Conscious and Unconscious Interdependence and Community

3 07 2013

 American Culture teaches us to be independent. More accurately, to think of ourselves (erroneously) as independent.

Here is a story based on a true account. Some indigenous people thought a white man who landed near their village in an air plane was very, very smart (or a god).  In a conversation with one of the villagers, the white man discovered that the villager had made his own housing, clothing and tools. The villager assumed that the white man had made his air plane and clothing too, and thus was a very great man since he made this fantastic flying machine.

In our culture, we rely on many unseen hands and minds to provide our housing, lighting, clothing, food, entertainment, ease of transportation and communication, etc. Thus, we Americans, thinking we are independent, are not.  We are highly unconscious of all the interdependence that makes our daily activities possible.  (There is also the biological level of unconscious interdependence that supports our bodies.)

In this culture, we begin to think of interdependence when we consider romantic partnerships, partnerships to raise families, maintain homes, or run businesses. We are more likely to think “interdependence” with people whose faces we recognize. I imagine villages and small towns had a sense of interdependence (Is being aware of interdependence necessary for conscious participation in community?) ( I am aware that maybe most people just go about their lives without contemplating the meaning of community, interdependence, independence, etc.)

In our situation (house fire recovery) Martin and I are  very aware of our dependence on community. 

Can I develop inner understandings that foster my contributions to the interdependence of  the community that is present around me and Martin? Maybe interdependence can be better understood and more creatively contributed to  by using various  metaphors such as  flow or conductance or big picture Synergy operating in all life both on impersonal and “In Person” levels. (The impersonal level being  outside of awareness? )

Earlier on in our fire recovery I fretted about what reward are folks getting for helping us and feeling worried about not being able to repay all the help to individuals. I mentioned this worry to some folks and they assured me that they were finding their reward by helping. Helping made them feel good. Part of me still doesn’t understand. I just take is on faith that the individuals show up as they want to (and have time to).  Trusting Synergy reduces my stress.

I do like planting extra plants to have seedlings or produce to share with the people who come to help. I see that me giving plants to individuals is the same as giving to “my community”.  Also, when specific people come to help, they represent my community to me, as well as their own sweet/blessed  selves.

Participating in community interdependence can be thought of as  a group of people turning a wheel together. Together we can turn it faster and faster, causing the interchanges, exchanges, that fulfil needs and enrich experience to flow increasingly.




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