Nature‘s Genius

 

 

Studies of brilliant, tool-making crows reveal the optimal environmental conditions for supporting genius in humans. But as author Linda Kohanov shows in the article below, a devastating flaw in modern society works against talented people who might otherwise create life-saving and life-enhancing innovations.

 

A number of recent books have set new standards for helping people understand the nuances of animal intelligence. One title that tops my list is The Genius of Birds. Author Jennifer Ackerman’s wide-ranging analysis of avian behavior coincides with the moving, mind-expanding, sometimes truly shocking experiences I’ve had with wild and domesticated birds over the years. But I was also surprised to find that her discussion of a particular species of crow illuminates an important yet often ignored element involved in fostering human genius.

Island of Innovation

“In terms of artful tool-making and use in the wild, no bird matches the New Caledonian crow,” Ackerman observes.

Like other members of the corvid family (including ravens and jays), these clever birds use a variety of devices to extract insects from wood, some of which are on par with the tools Jane Goodall observed chimpanzees employing to fish for termites. But not even primates make the “hook tools” that New Caledonian crows invented on an island paradise near New Zealand. The planning and skill involved in constructing these avian innovations—and the dexterity it subsequently takes to use them—are so sophisticated that human researchers who tried their hand at the art found it “surprisingly difficult to master….”

“It takes many complex moves conducted in a very precise manner to complete the [hook] tool,” Ackerman explains. “The final version looks a lot like a miniature saw but is used as a probe to wheedle out grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches, slugs, spiders, and other invertebrates from otherwise inaccessible nooks and crannies.”

Social learning from parents over time—and lots of concentrated practice—are essential.

But one of the main reasons behind this particular species’ technological prowess is even more telling. “Why is it,” Ackerman asks, “that out of some 117 species of corvids, the New Caledonian crow became such a wizard with gizmos?”

“Other crows,” she acknowledges, “are smart. Other crows live in tropical locations. Is there something special about this place? This bird?”

Absolutely, as it turns out: New Caledonian crows live in an ecosystem with an unusually small number of predators. As a result, “the crows are free from the burden of vigilance—in other words, they have the time and ease of mind to tinker with sticks and barbed leaves, to poke and probe, to bite and tear, and then probe again, without looking up. Freedom from threats may also have allowed for the evolution of a more leisurely childhood, in which young crows under the watch of their parents could safely dabble in toolmaking, refining their skills over a long period of time without starving in the process.”

Ackerman cites observations of a particular young crow learning to create and use the intricate hook saw: “Half the tools Yellow-Yellow makes won’t bring him any food. It’s almost a year and a half before he’s practiced at making adultlike pandanus tools that allow him to feed himself effectively. That’s a long stint of schooling. It works only because his parents support his education by letting him tag along and use their tools, and when he fails at feeding himself, they pop a fat grub or two in his beak to tide him over. The island does its part by allowing him to spend long hours of his young life honing his skills, moving gradually from bumbling apprentice to amateur tinkerer to expert toolmaker without the interruption from, say, death.”

Unnatural Behavior

The vigilance needed to anticipate predatory attacks is a serious hinderance to engaging higher levels of experimentation, innovation, and mastery, even among humans. Modern civilization has created environments where people never have to worry about fighting large carnivors. The problem is that, unlike the New Caledonian crow, we’ve become very good at preying on our own species.  Predatory behavior abounds in business, education, politics, the press, and sometimes even among family members.

When you hear people complaining, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there,” you know they’re enmeshed in some sort of carnivorous power system. When therapeutic or personal development clients tell me that they “don’t feel safe in groups,” I usually find out that they grew up in an intensely aggressive, shaming family system or were bullied at school. As a result, they are hypersensitive to the slightest whiff of potentially predatory behavior in any social setting. Constantly vigilant, often for good reason, many people have trouble reaching their true potential because significant brain power is diverted to anticipating and recovering from attacks at work, school, the Internet, even in some cases at home or church.

In “polite” society, the primary characteristic of noncriminal predatory behavior is the willingness to use someone’s vulnerabilities against him or her for personal gain. In nature, predators are essentially hard-wired to seek out the most vulnerable herd members because young, old, orphaned, or injured animals are the easiest to catch and kill. In human society, this inclination is generalized to all kinds of non-lethal situations where people lie in wait to take advantage when someone lacks a skill set, is shy about speaking in public, makes a technical or interpersonal mistake, etc.

By this definition, the press is intensely predatory, as are most politicians. In last year’s particularly contentious election, Hillary Clinton’s secretiveness and Donald Trump’s aggression were both products of trying to function in an overly predatory culture. These untrustworthy styles of behavior are essentially two sides of the same dysfunctional coin.

Nonpredatory Power

In my books The Power of the Herd (2013) and The Five Roles of a Master Herder (2016), I presented some unexpected research that led to the development of a chart showing specific characteristics of predatory versus nonpredatory power in nature. I also realized that the development of the human-animal bond in general and the domestication of horses, cattle, sheep and goats in particular, depended upon the ability of early humans and their dogs to override their predatory inclinations in order to protect, nurture, lead and manage their herds through the use of nonpredatory forms of power and influence.

Modern sedentary civilizations have forgotten much of this knowledge, leading to an overemphasis on predatory metaphors for power. We want to “kill the competition.” Even when we excel at professional or artistic endeavors where some level of mastery occurs in noncompetitive situations, people compliment each other by saying, “wow, you really crushed it!”

Influenced by our conquest oriented culture, science itself has been somewhat guilty of enhancing society’s obsession with predatory behavior. Most of us, for instance, are familiar with Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Related research by Peter Alekseevich Kropotkin, however, has been largely ignored. The Russian geographer and naturalist published Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution in 1902. Over the next 50 years, the book was rejected, in some cases actively suppressed, by royalty, fascists, capitalists, and communists alike. Based on a collection of essays and magazine articles he wrote in the late-1800s, Kropotkin’s observations of supportive social behavior in nature struck some corporate and political leaders as “dangerous.” In fact, even before Mutual Aid made it into bookstores, Kropotkin was obliged to put his keen, insightful intellect to other uses, namely figuring out how to escape from jail.

The czarist era Russian nobleman hadn’t intended to cause so much trouble. Born a prince (though he rejected that title at age 14), he had significant connections and resources to draw upon. When Darwin’s book On the Origin of the Species appeared in 1859, Kropotkin was inspired to contribute to the scientific literature on this topic. Commandeering a group of ten Cossacks and fifty horses, he trotted off to Siberia, hoping to gather case studies to support and further define the intricacies of evolution. But soon enough, he was confused and disillusioned by what he saw—or perhaps more specifically, by what he didn’t see.

“I failed to find — although I was eagerly looking for it — that bitter struggle for the means of existence, among animals belonging to the same species, which was considered by most Darwinists (though not always Darwin himself) as the dominant characteristic of the struggle for life, and the main factor of evolution,” Kropotkin wrote on the very first page of Mutual Aid.

He was even more disturbed by the fast-growing relationship between Darwinism and sociology, emphasizing that he “could agree with none of the works and pamphlets that had been written upon this important subject. They all endeavored to prove that Man, owing to his higher intelligence and knowledge, may mitigate the harshness of the struggle for life between men; but they all recognized at the same time that the struggle for the means of existence, of every animal against all its congeners, and of every man against all other men, was ‘a law of Nature.’”

In Kropotkin’s experience, this potentially destructive view “lacked confirmation from direct observation.” By then, he had witnessed significant instances of mutual support and competition avoidance in the vast numbers of animals he encountered in the Siberian outback. Bears hibernating, squirrels storing nuts for the winter, and herds of large herbivores languidly migrating were the most obvious examples, but Kropotkin also noticed an even more profound theme emerging.

“The first thing which strikes us is the overwhelming numerical predominance of social species over those few carnivores which do not associate,” he wrote, later adding that on the “great plateau of Central Asia we find herds of wild horses, wild donkeys, wild camels, and wild sheep. All these mammals live in societies and nations sometimes numbering hundreds of thousands of individuals, although now, after three centuries of gunpowder civilization, we find but the debris of the immense aggregations of the old. How trifling, in comparison with them, are the numbers of the carnivores! And how false, therefore, is the view of those who speak of the animal world as if nothing were to be seen in it but lions and hyenas plunging their bleeding teeth into the flesh of their victims! One might as well imagine that the whole of human life is nothing but a succession of war massacres.”

Kropotkin insisted that mutual aid is not an exception to the rule; it is a law of nature. Supportive behavior, he wrote, “enables the feeblest of insects, the feeblest birds, and the feeblest mammals to resist, or to protect themselves from the most terrible birds and beasts of prey; it permits longevity; it enables the species to rear its progeny with the least waste of energy and to maintain its numbers albeit a very slow birthrate; it enables the gregarious animals to migrate in search of new abodes. Therefore, while fully admitting that force, swiftness, protective colors, cunningness, and endurance to hunger and cold, which are mentioned by Darwin and Wallace, are so many qualities making the individual, or the species, the fittest under certain circumstances, we maintain that under any circumstances sociability is the greatest advantage in the struggle for life.”

Kropotkin’s view of evolution subsequently moved him to social activism, though in this context his ideas were a bit too revolutionary. To find so many incidents of mutual aid and nonpredatory behavior in the animal kingdom was one thing. To become a vocal anarchist as a result of these observations was quite another. While some of his discoveries won him worldwide recognition as a geographer, he subsequently took on a decidedly subversive mission, disguising himself as a traveling peasant lecturer named Borodin to spread nature-inspired visions of social reform, encouraging peaceful collectives of free, empowered people living in decentralized systems. After landing in a Russian prison as a result of these antics, he continued to promote his ideas throughout Europe upon his escape. From Kropotkin’s perspective, cooperation not only trumped competition in the drama of survival, it counteracted the damaging effects of overly predatory behavior.

Stress Creates Retrogression

Watching huge herds of wild ruminants, including semi-wild cattle and horses in Transbaikalia, Kropotkin challenged the notion that quantum leaps in evolution could ever have stemmed from sudden climactic change and other dramatic challenges. When “animals have to struggle against scarcity of food,” he insisted, they come “out of the ordeal so much impoverished in vigour and health, that no progressive evolution of the species can be based upon such periods of keen competition.”

Retrogression, he argued, was more likely to result from extreme environmental stress, unbalanced predatory behavior, and grossly limited resources. “All that natural selection can do in times of calamities is to spare the individuals endowed with the greatest endurance for privations of all kinds. So it does among the Siberian horses and cattle. They are enduring; they can feed upon the Polar birch in case of need; they resist cold and hunger. But no Siberian horse is capable of carrying half the weight which a European horse carries with ease; no Siberian cow gives half the amount of milk given by a Jersey cow.” And, he was quick to point out, humans forced to eke out a meager existence from the pressures of natural disaster, impoverished ecosystems, or relentless war experienced slower intellectual development as a result of ill health and sheer physical weakness.

Competition for limited resources, he concluded, is not the rule either in the animal world or in mankind. In the frigid reality of Siberia, he observed birds, deer, and wild horses slowly, languidly moving south in the fall as squirrels cheerfully collected nuts, and bears become drowsy, preparing to hole up for the winter, emphasizing the wisdom of hibernation, food storage, and seasonal migrations as instinctual efforts to avoid fighting for limited resources. Riding across the vast expanse of the Russian steppes, Kropotkin and his contemporaries also compared notes on what he later determined to be the ultimate evolutionary advantage: sociability.

In one impressive instance, a naturalist named Syevertsoff documented nearly a dozen white-tailed eagles acting as a survey team. Spread across the sky at a considerable distance apart, they were scanning an estimated twenty-five square miles. For a good half hour, individuals held their respective posts, tracing wide circles in silence, when one finally let out a piercing shriek. Its cry was soon answered by another eagle approaching, “followed by a third, a fourth, and so on, till nine or ten eagles came together and soon disappeared.” Later that afternoon, Syevertsoff arrived at the place where he saw the group descend into the gently rolling grasslands hours earlier. There he discovered the gregarious birds gathered around the corpse of a horse. Some of the eagles, probably the older ones who had eaten first, were perched on surrounding haystacks keeping watch while the youngsters dined in safety, surrounded by bands of crows.

A lone horse encircled by eagles, not wolves, was an unusual sight — the poor creature may very well have died from injury, old age, or illness. Adult herd animals, after all, are dangerous prey. As Kropotkin emphasized, their collective defense strategies are highly intimidating to even the most ambitious predators: “In the Russian Steppes, (wolves) never attack the horses otherwise than in packs; and yet they have to sustain bitter fights, during which the horses sometimes assume offensive warfare….If the wolves do not retreat promptly, they run the risk of being surrounded by the horses and killed by their hooves.”

The Shameless Misuse of Darwinism

In the late-nineteenth/early-twentieth centuries, studies of sociability and mutual aid in nature were ignored as the concept of evolution was used to justify callous, opportunistic behavior. Co-opted by aggressive political and business factions that had previously used the Divine Right of Kings and other religious metaphors to control the masses, Darwin’s theory was reduced to slogans that promoted survival of the fittest and competition for limited resources as laws of nature. Dictators, robber-baron style capitalists and other human predators felt all the more inspired to develop “efficient” ways of exploiting resources, animals, and people who were touted as less evolved. Communism purported to level the playing field, but these experiments also failed as they relied on centralized control, suppression and fear to gain “cooperation” in executing their initially idealistic plans.

The heart was missing in all these endeavors, reinforced by the notion that nature itself was an unfeeling, unintelligent, mechanical process. Darwin’s writings, however, explicitly contrasted with this premise. “There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties,” he wrote in his 1871 book The Descent of Man. As far as emotions were concerned, he also asserted that “the lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery.”

It took over 140 years for scientists to officially confirm this aspect of Darwin’s theory. On July 7, 2012, a “The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness” stated “unequivocally” that “non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of consciousness states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness.” The document acknowledged that “neural networks aroused during affective states in humans are also critically important for generating emotional behaviors in animals.” This includes “all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses.”

Research in the late-twentieth century also confirmed Kropotkin’s thesis that sociability is an important factor in survival and in the ongoing evolution of multiple species. There’s even a biochemical basis for this inclination. The hormone oxytocin, present in all mammals, buffers the fight or flight response in favor of “tend and befriend” behavior. This powerful neuropeptide, once thought to be released only in females during labor and milk production, also appears in men when they engage in nurturing activities, including petting and caring for animals. In both sexes, oxytocin heightens learning capacity, social recognition circuits, and pain thresholds. It also helps heal wounds faster, lowers aggression, and creates a sense of connection and well-being.

The wonders of oxytocin have spurred further research into the long-term transformational effects of the human-animal bond itself, leading to an unmistakable conclusion: Caring for others is a part of nature that has taken on a life of its own, moving far beyond incidents that occur in parenting direct offspring. Evolution has a heart. It’s much more than a fleshy pump. We ignore its vast connecting wisdom at our peril. And we evolve in direct relation to how consciously we embrace it.

Seeing is Believing

Social media abounds with animal videos illustrating strong interspecies relationships and heroic acts of protection. Most striking, of course, are interactions between carnivores and creatures that would normally be considered food. In one popular scene, a polar bear gently plays with a Siberian husky. In another clip, a wild deer emerges from the woods to frolic with a large family dog.

“Well, that’s easy to explain,” one scientifically-minded colleague told me. “Over thousands of years, our ancestors selected for friendly canines that could be trusted with our chickens, our sheep, our goats, and our children.”

“But how do you account for the overtures made by the polar bear and the deer?” I asked in response. We both shook our heads in silent wonder.

In still another video, we see the stunning effects of oxytocin. An Irish barn cat, who has just given birth, becomes enamored with a group of ducklings nearby. With her system swimming in the ultimate bonding hormone, the feline’s mothering instincts override her hunting instincts. One by one, she carries the hatchlings back to her blanket, not to eat them, but to nurse them. And the fluffy yellow puffballs begin to snuggle, softly chirping, sipping milk alongside her purring newborns! As time goes on, the connection grows stronger, with the fast growing ducks waddling behind their adoptive mother, towering over their feisty kitten siblings on morning walks to explore the farm.

Granted, these clips feature domesticated animals that were bred to live with other species. But naturalists have also observed coyotes and badgers hunting ground squirrels together, and zebras engaging in cooperative migratory activities with wildebeests. Beyond these scientifically validated examples, there are thousands of impressive amateur videos capturing supportive, even altruistic behavior among wild animals. Even though they may be willing to kill to protect their family members, however, large herbivores stop fighting when an aggressor backs off. This tendency to avoid fighting to the death, to “live and let live” is a major characteristic of what I’ve come to call “nonpredatory power.”

Juggling Clichés

Twenty years ago, I heard the first of many talented cowboys waxing poetic on what became a very popular theme. “Humans are predators, and horses are prey animals,” he said during a well-attended lecture-demonstration. “And yet they allow us on their backs. Imagine that, letting a lion on your back! Isn’t that incredible?”

Audiences rarely question this now often-repeated notion. Over time, however, this colorful yet simplistic interpretation of the horse-human relationship encourages experienced and amateur riders alike to ignore the daily reality of what both species are capable of. In the first place, humans are not carnivores. While some people habitually act predatory in just about any context, homo sapiens are omnivores with a strange, sometimes confusing mix of physical and behavioral characteristics. For instance, horses and other herbivores have eyes on the sides of their heads, emphasizing peripheral vision. Humans, like lions, look directly ahead, reinforcing a goal-oriented perspective scientists believe was designed for stalking. Even so, we have no fangs, and our nails can’t rip through paper let alone flesh. With the teeth and digestive system of a vegetarian, we have to cook our steaks and cut them into bite-sized portions—if we choose to go that route. But we can also thrive on plant-based diets.

The problem is we’ve grown up in a culture of conquerors where predatory behavior is rewarded in far too many businesses and reinforced in far too many schools (especially in the highly competitive, sometimes cut-throat world of higher education). Those who refuse to claw their way to the top often have trouble imagining an alternative because popular metaphors related to power are almost exclusively carnivorous.

The persistent image of human as predator actually disempowers more sensitive members of the population. Remember, misrepresentations of Darwin’s theories were promoted throughout the twentieth century to justify aggressive, opportunistic corporate and political interests. During that time, it was also useful to portray nonpredatory animals as gutless, anxiety-ridden prey. Gentle, caring people often follow suit, neglecting the skills needed to use power effectively, sometimes even accepting the role of victim because they can’t stomach becoming a tyrant.

In nature, however, carnivores and herbivores both display intelligent, richly nuanced behaviors that contradict stereotypes. Horses, zebras, water buffalo and elk will often graze relatively unconcerned as a predator who has recently eaten a big meal walks through their pasture. Yet when an agile carnivore is on the prowl, large herds will scatter long before the cat can get so close. Nonpredatory animals conserve energy for true emergencies by assessing the intentions and emotional states of other species at a distance.

This is why horses allow humans on their backs. As we go through the various rituals necessary to ride them, they can tell we’re not planning to eat them. But here’s where it gets tricky for humans who deal in clichés. These agile, socially intelligent animals also understand the difference between mutually respectful, supportive behavior and aggressive, needlessly controlling behavior.

Dominant and/or more sensitive herd members have even higher standards for anyone who adopts the physically intimate leadership role that riding requires. It’s also important to remember that horses like to play games with power, speed, boundaries and assertiveness. Young stallions in particular are not at all shy about challenging a two-legged handler in the same ways they’re accustomed to sparring with each other. Older more experienced horses tend to be calmer and more accommodating, but they also know how to drive off predators.

In this context, it’s especially important to remember that herbivores sometimes choose fight over flight, and not only when cornered. If you’re naïve, presumptuous or ornery enough to act like a predator in their presence, most will become evasive or even run, while others are more likely to attack. And heaven help you if you’re dealing with a herd of empowered adults.

Trance of Conditioning

These and countless other examples challenge our culture’s most cherished beliefs about the drama of survival, opening up new possibilities, new nature-based metaphors, for a more evolved approach to power. Several uniquely human attributes currently hold us back, however. That big homo sapiens brain we’re so proud of can act like a steel trap, bolstering a species-wide tendency to cling to old beliefs that contrast with an ever expanding view of reality. Scientists, politicians, religious leaders and even horse trainers are guilty of this. For centuries, some members of these seemingly unrelated groups conspired to treat animals (and until very recently, women and other races) as mindless, soulless machines.

Hoping to avoid the cardinal sin of anthropomorphizing other species, far too many researchers promoted a dismal, sometimes damaging form of mechanomorphism—in extreme cases conducting sadistic experiments on “unfeeling” animals, and “un-evolved” races (and I’m not just talking about Nazi experiments, though they were among cruelest and most disturbing). This is undoubtedly one of the reasons why it took well over a century for the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness to emerge after Darwin asserted that all creatures possess some level of emotion and intelligence.

During lectures for my first book The Tao of Equus in 2001, the persistence of this mechanistic belief system was still apparent. People would occasionally walk out in disgust when I suggested that horses and other animals had feelings and were intelligent enough to move beyond pure instinct. Since then, hundreds of books and documentaries on the emotional lives of animals have swayed a wider public, but there’s always a learning edge. On tours for The Power of the Herd twelve years later, I faced another round of resistance when I presented the idea that, as omnivores, we were capable of choosing freely between predatory and nonpredatory forms of power. Audiences on the whole were encouraged by this view, but some equestrians were dismissive, even hostile. I was surprised to find that a small but vocal number of people felt an almost religious fervor in categorizing all humans as predators, perhaps because the oft-touted opposite, “prey,” was too horrifying to bear.

Built upon the deceptively efficient, sometimes-lethal combination of predatory power and mechanomorphism, modern civilization continues to indoctrinate humans into this steely interpretation of life in a thousand subtle ways. From the laboratory and classroom to the boardroom and even the barn, stoic authority figures urge people to leave their feelings at the door. When ambitious leaders make decisions that marginalize others, the ubiquitous line “it’s business, not personal” purports to absolve the aggressors.

What will it take to wake from the trance of our conquest-oriented heritage and reclaim the ability to choose among a much longer list of natural, mutually supportive, socially intelligent behaviors?

The First Step

In this effort, it’s helpful to appreciate the differences between carnivore, herbivore and omnivore behavior, while recognizing “predator” and “prey” as situational designations. We sometimes forget that lions, wolves, tigers, and coyotes are also preyed upon—by other carnivores and by human trophy hunters. At the opposite end of the spectrum, fully empowered, adult herbivores do not act like victims in daily life. The young and old of all species are most at risk for finding themselves in the role of “prey animal.” Their survival depends on the actions of courageous parents, siblings, pride or pack members, herd members, and even individuals from other species who put themselves at risk to protect the vulnerable.

Still, there are important distinctions between the assertive, non-lethal forms of power herbivores develop and the killing-consuming orientation of carnivores, though lions, wolves and their domesticated cousins can also adopt nonpredatory behaviors, especially in relationship to animals, and people, they consider kin. Nature depends upon predators to keep life in balance with available resources, but through mutual aid, the hormone oxytocin and the impressive protective abilities of potential prey, four-legged carnivores are prevented from decimating large populations. In trying to justify callous, sociopathic tendencies, conquest-oriented cultures over-identify with inaccurate, cartoon-like images of humanity’s status as “king of the jungle,” using the idea that we are at the top of the food chain to exploit other species without reservation. The repercussions are reliably catastrophic.

To mitigate the dysfunctions that lead to war, economic crises, and environmental devastation, our species needs to cultivate an advanced knowledge of natural principles. In an act not unlike pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps, we must learn to function more like ecosystems rather than rabid predators or meek and disempowered prey. If we cannot evolve, consciously, in this way, apocalyptic predictions will become a devastating reality, and life on this planet may reach the point of no return.

Here’s the good news: A pattern for this transformation already exists, one that occurs over and over again, throughout history and around the world, whenever carnivores, herbivores and omnivores combine forces through the process of mutual domestication. This process, which I outline in the last chapter of my most recent book, The Five Roles of a Master Herder, gives us a sophisticated, life and intelligence enhancing template for how humans can get along with other humans, one that Nature has been perfecting for millennia.

Copyright 2017 by Linda Kohanov. This article was based in large part on her fifth book The Five Roles of a Master Herder: A Revolutionary Model of Socially Intelligent Leadershiphttps://www.amazon.com/Five-Roles-Master-Herder-Revolutionary/dp/B01G9DTLB0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506041534&sr=8-1&keywords=5+roles+of+a+master+herder

Linda Kohanov will present the mutual domestication process in her upcoming four-hour seminar The Heart of Evolution: Exploring the Hidden History and Untapped Potential of the Human Animal Bond in Missoula, Montana September 30. For more information, http://eponaquest.com/workshop/heart-evolution-exploring-hidden-history-untapped-potential-human-animal-bond/

Her multi-day experiential workshops offer practical solutions and tools for how to engage nonpredatory power in business, community, family, and other social settings. For more information, see her website: www.masterherder.com

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