I noticed the direction this discussion was starting to take regarding animals, so I wanted to post some really good Seth material that I just looked up; in one of the books, on that very subject.
(The question is asked:) "Are animals fragments of human beings?"
SETH: In one manner of speaking, you are fragments of your entities. Yet you consider yourselves quite independent, and not thrust-off second-handed selves; so dogs and other animals are not simply the manifestation of stray psychic energy on the part of human beings.
Animals do have varying degrees of self-consciousness, as indeed people do. The consciousness that is within them is as valid and eternal as your own, however. There is nothing to prevent a personality from investing a portion of his own energy into an animal form. This is not transmigration of souls. It does not mean that a man can be reincarnated in an animal. It does mean that personalities can send a portion of their energy into various kinds of form.
Perhaps reincarnations are over for a given individual, for example, yet within him is still some sense of yearning for the natural earth with which he has so often been involved. So he may project a fragment of his consciousness in such a way into an animal form. When this is done, the earth is then experienced in the way natural for the form. A man is not an animal, then, nor does he invade, say, the body of one.
He simply adds some of his energy to that present in the animal, mixing this vitality with the animal's own. This does not mean that all animals are fragments in this manner, however. Animals, as any pet owner knows, have their own personalities and characteristics, and individual ways of perceiving the reality available to them. Some goble experience. Their consciousness can be immeasurably quickened by contact with friendly humans, and an emotional involvement with life is strongly developed.
The mechanics of consciousness remain the same. They do not change for animals or men. Therefore there are no limitation set upon the development of any individual consciousness, or growth of any identity. Consciousness both in the body and without finds its own range, its own level. A dog then, is not limited to being a dog in other existences.
A certain level, again, of consciousness is necessary, a certain kind of knowledge, a certain understanding of energy organization before an identity can manipulate a complicated physical organism.
As you know, consciousness has a great tendency to maintain individuality, and yet to join in gestalts at the same time. An animal consciousness after death may form such a gestalt with other such consciousnesses, in which abilities are pooled and the combined cooperation makes possible, for example, a change of species.
In these and other cases, however, the innate individuality is not lost but remains indelibly imprinted. Consciousness must by its nature change, and so identities must also change - not one blotting out the other, but building upon it while each succeeding step is maintained and not discarded, you see.