human enterprises. For to solve this problem is to open the way to everything
which can be of importance to humanity — to human welfare and happiness.
“The great problem has been felt as a powerful impulse through out the ages of
human striving, for in all times it has been evident to thinkers that upon the right
solution of the problem must forever depend the welfare of mankind. Many
“solutions” have been offered; and, though they have differed widely, they agree
in one respect — they have had a common fate — the fate of being false. What has
been the trouble? The trouble has been, in every instance, a radical misconception
of what a human being really is. The problem is to discover the natural laws of the
human class of life. All the “solutions” offered in the course of history and those
which are current today are of two and only two kinds — zoological and
mythological. The zoological solutions are those which grow out of the false
conception according to which human beings are animals; if humans are animals,
the laws of human nature are the laws of animal nature. The mythological
“solutions” are those which start with the conception to which humans are
mixtures of natural and supernatural — unions or combinations of animality and
divinity. Mythological “solutions” contain no conception of natural law;
scientifically judged, they are absurdities, well meaning no doubt, but silly and
deadly in their effects upon the interest of mankind.”44
Abraham, Buddha, Confucius, and Jesus understood the underlying connectedness of all
humanity. Their admonitions to us contain high awareness of our human
INTERdependence. This is why they taught us not to kill, not to steal, not to molest, not to
fraud, not to coerce.
that the indifference of Neutrality was not for humankind. They taught us to be our
brother’s keeper. As Gandhiexplains:
Man is a social being. Without interrelation with society he cannot realize his
oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. His social interdependence
enables him to test his faith and to prove himself on the touchstone of reality. If
man were so placed or could so place himself as to be absolutely above all
dependence on his fellow beings he would become so proud and arrogant as to
be a veritable burden and nuisance to the world. Dependence on society teaches
him the lesson of humanity. That a man ought to be able to satisfy most of his
essential needs himself is obvious; but it is no less obvious to me that when self-
sufficiency is carried to the length of isolating oneself from society it almost
amounts to sin. A man cannot become self-sufficient even in respect of all the
various operations from the growing of cotton to the spinning of the yarn. He has
at some stage or other to take the aid of the members of his family. And if one may
take help from one’s own family, why not from one’s neighbors? Or otherwise
what is the significance of the great saying, “The world is my family?””45
narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the
interdependence of the various elements in and parts of the United States — a
recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American
spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the
strongest assurance that the recovery will endure.
neighbor — the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so,
respects the rights of others. The neighbor who respects his obligations and
respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a world of neighbors.
realized before our interdependence on each other; that we cannot merely take
and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because
without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We
are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such
discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good.
This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as
a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed
of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.”46
When a task is larger than the abilities of a single individual it requires co-Operation. If
you want to lift a thousand pound sofa you will need help. Two individuals working
together can accomplish more than one individual working alone. One thousand
individuals working together can accomplish much more than any individual working
the most complex form of life in known universe, and we spin a web of complex
relationships to meet our needs and wants. They allow for division of labor. It is by
dividing labor, and becoming specialized, that we humans are able to increase our
standard of living almost without limit. If each of us had to provide all our own needs and
wants, we would have to be the jack of all trades, and the master of none.
labor, each individual can become master of one trade. The individual can then produce a
single product much more efficiently then he could produce hundreds of different
products. We humans have created complex webs of INTERdependence based on our
division of labor. Division of labor can be quite simple, as when the husband agrees to
carry out the trash, while his wife cooks supper. Or it can be very complex, as in a large
company, where the tasks are divided among hundreds of thousands of employees.
of the plants and animals. Our mothers and fathers, our grandmothers and grandfathers,
totally dependent on each other. Whether we like it now or not, really doesn’t matter.
Look in your pockets, we can’t go back 10,000 years now. We don’t know how to live in a
true world of independence. We could not survive without the tools of our
INTERdependence. The animals live their lives without the tools of INTERdependence.
They live life naked with no possessions. They catch their food with tooth and claw —
killing and consuming plants and animals to survive. They are dependent on plant and
animal tissue for survival. We humans share the animal body and are no less dependent
on animal and plant tissue for our survival. However, our intelligence and our
INTERdependence allows us to cultivate the plant and animal tissue we need in our
gardens, farms, ranches, nurseries, and hatcheries.
cosmos is that the cosmos evidences order, regularity, and mutuality. All
existences, great and small, are linked in a web of interdependent relationships.
Every relationship has a certain polarity and a certain order, and there is
dynamic, mutual movement, and exchange between male and female, heaven and
earth, mind and matter, subject and object, light and dark, being and non-being,
this and that, myself and the other. The movement within and between beings in
relationship is the source of generation and creative power. This motion is seen in
the regular cycles of nature, the changing seasons. It is sometimes mythically
represented by the cosmic union of god and goddess, of male and female
acquisitiveness while encouraging compassion and reciprocity. The Buddhist
and Taoist understandings of causality link all beings into an interdependent
whole of which the individual is but one part, and this is the basis for the attitude
of no-self and the ethic of compassion. Each person is his neighbor; any
distinction between myself as subject and the other as object is illusory.
yin]. The two primary forces generate...the great field of action.
and he has made nothing incomplete.
One confirms the good things of the other,
and who can have enough of beholding his glory?
and female he created them.
yourselves spouses, and pairs also of the cattle, by means of which He
truth of Shiva-Shakti, the eternal He and the eternal She at play in
(tapas). Whilst thus devoted to concentrated ardor, he produced a couple,
Matter and Life (prana), saying to himself, "these two will produce all manner
of creatures for me." Now Life is the Sun; Matter is the Moon.
find form. Male and female mix their seed, and all creatures take shape and are
born." In the Changes it is said, "When three people journey together, their
number decreases by one. When one man journeys alone, he finds a
night and night from day, but they do not go to law one with another as mortals
do.... The moon borrows from the stars and the stars from the moon... the sky
borrows from the earth and the earth from the sky.... All God's creatures
borrow from the other, yet make peace with one another without lawsuits; but
if man borrows from his friend, he seeks to swallow him up with usury and
and moon alternate; thus light comes into existence. When cold goes, heat
comes; when heat goes, cold comes. Cold and heat alternate, and thus the year
completes itself. The past contracts. The future expands. Contraction and
expansion act upon each other; hereby arises that which furthers.
and snakes hibernate in order to preserve life. Thus the penetration of
germinal thought into the mind promotes the workings of the mind. When this
working furthers and brings peace to life, it elevates a man's nature.
How did they come to birth? Who, O Seers, can discern it?
They contain within them all that has a name,
while days and nights revolve as on a wheel.
a varied offspring having feet and movement.
Like parents clasping children to their bosoms,
O Heaven and Earth, deliver us from evil!
nestled close together, rest in their parents' bosom
and kiss together the center of the world.
O Heaven and Earth, deliver us from evil!
determined. In correspondence with this difference between low and high,
inferior and superior places are established.
yielding lines [of the hexagrams] are differentiated.
distinguished from one another in definite classes. In this way good fortune
and misfortune come about. In the heavens phenomena take form; on earth
shapes take form. In this way change and transformation become manifest.
yielding displace each other.
rain. Sun and moon follow their courses and it is now hot, now cold.