Barfield, of course, understands instinct in Anthroposophical terms as the product of "superindividual wisdom." "If we really look at nature--if we really observe without the tabu at the back of our minds--," he explains in Speaker's Meaning, "there is nothing whatever to suggest that she has 'no inside.' Indeed, there is everything to suggest the contrary. The concept of 'instinct,' however it is taken, alone implies as much. For instinct cannot be understood, cannot honestly be conceived, otherwise than as a superindividual wisdom at work in nature" (SM 112).
In Owen Barfield: Man and Meaning,
he professes his conviction that "animals have more participation than
human beings, and what participation they have is obviously original. .
. . They have a group soul. . . . When you see all these birds suddenly
decide to leave the roof and fly round and round, it can't be that one
of them says 'Come on chaps, let's go then.' It's obviously some kind of
mental experience common to them all."