Vol 27 No 3 (2011)

Transpersonalization to "Petness"

Jorge Conesa-Sevilla
Un-affiliated researcher and writer
A picture of three deer in Yosemite National Park.
Published September 14, 2011


According to Paul Shepard, to be human has always involved the process of totemic transpersonalization toward non-human animal “otherness.” For him, this process has aided and shaped our very own cognitive faculties, resulting in the structuring of human minds and societies. Pre-agricultural humans also adopted animals and held pets as companions, and later on, with the advent of agriculture, humans had a hand in shaping the evolution of tamable species (sheep, pigs, cows, etc). Questions are raised with respect to a perverted transpersonalization process toward humanized, tamed animals as opposed to the essential qualities of wild animals (totemic virtues).