Interdependence, Plain and Simple

Our relationship to reality has important consequences for our life,
and the lives of others.


How we view ourselves in relation to the world and those around us, has significant consequences for our happiness, prosperity and health, as well as those around us.

Interdependence in this sense, means that we (as people) are not separate from our environment (the world and people around us).

Many of us have probably had an intuition of this sometimes.

We can even see this in obvious ways, such as the relationship between air quality and respiratory illness, or our widespread use of plastic and this plastic turning up in the fish we eat.

There are a many more subtle interactions, however, that are not necessarily obvious in daily life.

More recently, various disciplines of science have begun to confirm this long-held intuition. Some scientists have begun to suggest that consciousness itself probably plays a pivotal role in the nature of reality.

If you look closely, interdependence seems to be an important theme across much of human history. It can be found hidden in major religious traditions, and in the myths and allegory of many aboriginal cultures around the world.


There are some interesting implications of this principle:

  • Our thoughts, feeling and intention have a direct impact, albeit subtle, on our surrounds.
  • Consciousness seems to be as essential to reality, as matter and energy.

Difficult to Accept

There are a few reasons why these implications may be difficult to accept:

  • Reductionism. We are conditioned by society and our language to think in terms of concepts and parts, but not to think in terms of the whole.
  • Materialism. Unfortunately, with the advent of modern science, most scientists grafted their materialist theory of metaphysics on to science. Science is fundamentally about understanding patterns and relationships. Metaphysics is a discipline of philosophy, that attempts to give those patterns and relationships meaning. Because most of us are neither trained scientists, nor philosophers, we haven't noticed the confusion!
  • Religion. Religion has a bad reputation with many people. Religious organisations are no less susceptible to human failings it seems, than any other. These gradual corruptions have often turned people away from the underlying message.

Materialism is Weird

Materialism is actually pretty unintuitive, when you start to examine it closely. So it is surprising that it has become so entrenched in our culture.

Here are a couple of the strange things materialism says about you, that you might not have pondered:

  • The world you see and interact with, is a copy that is contained entirely within your brain. Even the night sky, is actually within your skull.
  • You are essentially a mindless robot, like a walking-talking computer.

Find Out More

Science of the Sages is a fantastic book, chock full with references to the latest science on the subject of interdependence (or non-duality). A free version of the book is available for download.

Dr. Bernardo Kastrup has also written a number of good books that comprehensively address the significant problems with materialism, including, Why Materialism is Baloney.

Explore For Yourself

Subjective experience is a significantly under-appreciated tool for discovery.

Think about it: For all intents and purposes, the entire world is experienced subjectively, including the consensus reality we all apparently inhabit, and all modes of science and reason.

Philosophically, the only thing you can say for certain is that there is a subjective experience, and there is that which experiences. This is the starting point for everyone.

Mystics and ancient cultures have been exploring consciousness for tens of thousands of years.

Often, the more we learn through science, the more we find it accords with some fairly simple observations made by these pioneers.

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