AltanaESP Glossary

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Approved 20 July, 2021 @ 8:52am by Jan Viljoen (version: 5)


Symbiosis is a composition term  to…

  1. emphasize the holistic nature of human beingness,
  2. highlight the value of a harmonious environmental fit,
  3. underscore the importance of contextual awareness to really understand umwelt composites and to
  4. avoid the fragmentation of understandings, resulting from an objective-statistical approach.

The above indicated composition base of the term symbiosis would require many pages of text to explain all the possible symbiotic variations used and indicated in an AltanaESP context. However, all symbiotic references have specific principles in common, that can best be explained with a real-life example from nature… the Sea Anemone and Clownfish Symbiosis.

For explanation purposes, Anemones could be substituted by Habitats and Clown Fishes by Archetypes, for example…

Anemone the Habitat

Sea Anemones are predators that attach themselves to rocks or coral (creating a hostile environment for most fishes). There, they sit and patiently wait for an unaware fish to swim close enough for an attack with its tentacles. When a fish swims close by an anemone, its tentacles will shoot out a long poisonous thread. The toxins in this thread paralyze its prey, which makes it possible for the anemone to “reel it in” for an easy meal.

Clown Fish the Archetype

Clownfishes are the only fish species that can survive the deadly sting of the sea anemone. By making the anemone their home, clownfishes developed immunity to its sting. In preparation a clownfish will gently touch every part of its body to the anemone’s tentacles until it no longer affects it. A layer of mucus forms on its scales preventing clownfishes from getting stung again, resistant to anemone toxins and are no longer regarded by the anemone as possible prey (i.e. strategy to change its future stars by actions taken NOW!).

Sea Anemone and Clown Fish Symbiosis


Sea anemone makes an ideal home for clownfishes. Its poisonous tentacles protect clownfishes from predators and clownfishes feed on the anemone’s leftovers. A clownfish can help an anemone catch its prey by luring other fish toward the anemone. Clownfishes also eat any dead tentacles keeping the anemone healthy and the sea area around it clean.

Symbiotic Benefits…

  • Clown Fish: The anemone protects the clownfish and provides a safe place for it to feed, sleep and breed.
  • Anemone: The clownfish protects the anemone against predators, such as the large butterflyfish and certain invertebrates. Clownfishes also tend to irritate neighbouring competitors.
  • Mutual: The clownfish feeds it. Clownfishes will take bits of food that are too large for it to feed on and shove it directly into the mouth of the anemone.

Result… a better fed and larger anemone, allowing more clownfishes to stay there and a safer environment is created for all, gradually evolving from a mere survival environment to a prospering habitat.

basics/symbiosis.txt · Last modified: 20 July, 2021 @ 8:51am by Jan Viljoen