Multinaturalism and the ever-present potential for transformation

Multinaturalism is a unique mode of thinking that has  shaped the lives of people living in some of the oldest cultures on the Earth.

Multinaturalists consider that both animals and humans have a shared humanity. The difference, according to them is in the differing perspectives that the two groups hold. By putting both the groups in the same basket, the idea promotes a more harmonious co-existence.

The power of the idea is best understood when it’s compared with the concept of naturalism- which is the Western mode of thinking about such things. Naturalism accepts that all living things on the planet share a certain biological nature. However, according to this school of thought, only humans have creativity and agency while the rest of the living things are rather passive. This, needless to say, envisions humans being as being distinct from nature to a good extent. 

This viewpoint is behind many of the man-made environmental disasters we see around the world today.


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Multinaturalism is a philosophy of harmony, like a well-composed song


A real life example of multinaturalist view

Multinaturalism has its roots in the tribal practices of shamanism. For those who don’t know, a shaman is a healer in a tribe- catering to both the spiritual and physical health of the tribe’s members.

For a contemporary example of a tribe holding the multinaturalist view, we can look at the kawaiwete. They live along Brazil’s Xingu River. The shamans of that tribe believe that there was a time when humans and animals were not distinct but one. They also believe that some of these mythical predecessors still live underwater and also deep in the jungle. These beings could be considered as akin to patron saints of animals in the forests- they assume the human form to avenge innocent animals that are hunted to death.

They are also keepers of the souls of the unborn, the unwell and the dead. They tend to these souls until the tribe’s shamans could enable these souls’ return to the world of humans.

In other words, in this viewpoint, every part of the natural environment is something waiting to transform into a human.

Multinaturalism and the Hybrid archetype

The idea of multinaturalism calls to mind the concept of the 
hybrid archetype. As the term suggests, the hybrid archetype has multiple facets- with abilities or perspectives we conventionally attribute to multiple persons.

For instance, when we think about someone, the first thing that comes to your mind may be how graceful that person is. Similarly, the attribute that looms large when you think of someone else may be the initiative they show in getting things done. For yet another person, the principal attribute with which you think about him may be his deep clarity of thought.

Now, there may be those who have such multiple characteristics to varying degrees, the hybrid archetype would have multiple aspects in equal measure- turning him or her into a multifaceted persona of formidable strength. This in turn makes the hybrid archetype one of the most powerful archetypes to aspire towards. In this age when multitasking is the norm rather than the exception in businesses, you can see how the Hybrid archetype could be so relevant. 

The original hybrid archetype, by the way, is Tiresias.

A character in Greek mythology, Tiresia was both a man and a woman, possessing  a unique link to the animal kingdom as well- by virtue of being able to understand birdspeech. Also, according to legend, Tiresias could foresee the future as well.

Transformation as prerequisite for organization's growth

This potential of transformation which multinaturalism speaks about is extremely relevant to modern organizations.

Growth is sought by all organizations throughout its existence. Be it financial, structural or cultural growth, progress is addressed by its pursuit. And transformation is a necessary foundation for growth. This is especially true in the case of individual change agents.

We often view growth and transformation as synonymous but the latter often paves the way for the former.

To use a simple example, acquiring certain skills could help you transform to a higher performance level. The new skill set means you are now transformed. Now, this transformed self gives you the ability to grow further, expanding your field of operations with its aid or delivering even better performance in your core area.

True Personal Vision and transformation

Either way, the most important prerequisite for growth is the ability to transform. For this, one should adopt the view as in multiculturalism- that regardless of what point of professional progress you are in, you are poised for transformation.

Not into a human, for that you already are, but to a more resourceful and-more importantly- a visionary leader.

For it is a sense of vision which is lacking in many organizations, which pulls back their growth and sometimes even prevent them from attaining progress. This vision we are talking about is the True Personal Vision. It’s the vision innate to an individual, unique by definition and a powerful inspiration for future growth.

The vision gives you a destination towards which you could guide your organization. And by virtue of it being unique, you are setting out a future trajectory that none of your competitors would happen upon at the same time.




Due to the myriad distractions of daily life, it’s easy to lose sight of your True Personal Vision, effectively rendering it invisible. This calls for a special  process and an environment conducive to realizing your True Personal Vision. Temenos Vision Lab or TVL is a unique session developed by Temenos+Agility which helps you realize your True Personal Vision.

Using proprietary tools, some of the best leadership coaches in business guide you to your vision in Temenos Vision Lab.

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