As we celebrate another ‘Independence Day’ on the days preceding and following the fourth of July in the good old U.S.A., I’d like to suggest a change from ‘Independence’ to ‘Interdependence.’ In 1776 it was appropriate to celebrate the overthrow of a colonial system of oppression but today, in this twenty first century, it seems necessary to update our language and consciousness from independence to an all inclusive interdependence that excludes no one and nothing on planet Earth.
Have you known defeat, suffering, struggle and loss? Have you also known success, celebration, ease and gain? If so, you’re probably in a place of understanding and appreciation for the interdependence you’ve experienced and have come to know independence as an illusion. The whole of Life is interconnected within itself. There is no real independence, just an egocentric sense of separation, alienation and disconnection. It’s the illusion that keeps us suffering, fearful and isolated.
As long as we see independence as something to be celebrated, we’ll never understand the reality of interdependence: We’ll not see the interconnectivity of the ‘web of Life’ that nurtures and sustains us all. We’ll continue to fight and struggle with one another and the whole of creation as we disconnect, alienate and even separate from the very essence of our Being and the wholeness of Life’s Creative Order. We’ll not have sensitivity, appreciation and understanding of the sacred unity of all and everything.
Why do we continue to resist our common unity, our common union with one another and all other sentient beings? Is it due to our ignorance, our conditioning, our history, our fears, lack of under-standing, apathy, greed, selfishness or some combination of these and a hundred other things? And why, in our pain and struggles, do we continue to make decisions that further alienate and cause ourselves and others to suffer? Could it be that this ‘independence strain’ we hold onto might be an underlying cause?
As I walk through this world I see how I, you and we draw lines between our inner and outer selves and one another. I see how we project our shadows onto others rather than own, heal and transform them. In so doing, we continue this ‘shadow dance’ that goes on forever increasing the alienation, disconnection and antagonism within us. It then gets projected, imprisoning us into independent cells of separation and isolation.
Understanding, cleansing the doors of perception, appreciating the wholeness of All and the interconnectivity with our True Nature leaves nothing in this life to be feared. Rather, it opens and unfolds all people to their essence with every breath, every heart beat and every deep loving concern. As Antoine de St. Exupery said: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Moving beyond the separation of independence into the unity of interdependence is both visible and invisible. It resides in our depths, in every heartbeat, in every breath, in every life. . . .
- As you reflect on this 4th of July holiday, awaken to the interdependence of the whole created order. Move beyond the politics, fireworks, food and drink to the interconnectivity, interdependence and influence of all you see, taste, touch, hear, smell and sense beyond your five senses. Recognize the sacred unity of all that is and remember to remember your interconnectivity with all and everything; especially the things you don’t like. Let your True Nature guide you into the natural order of things.
- Discover within yourself a sensitivity, understanding and appreciation for Life and fill every facet of it with compassion, reverence and respect. Be mindful of this everyday and notice the change it creates within you and all your relations. . . .