interdependence

"Jesus puts healed people back on themselves, never creating any kind of dependency or codependency on him that will keep them from their own empowerment.” - Richard Rohr


Religious passion has been responsible for creating a distorted type of false humility that carries the tag line of, “its not about me but all about you”, where our humanity is diminished and seen as slightly insignificant in the grand scheme of things. We postulate a fervour that worships the name rather than the essence of how that name finds its identity in us. The big idea of worship has always been about an interaction that draws from mutual response and continuous interconnection. When I choose to be deeply associated with something that is bigger than I can comprehend, the divine spark in me is forever seeking to finds its source of meaning in reciprocity.

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The early Church Fathers and Mothers used a theological term, ‘theosis or divinisation’ to try and describe the joining together of the natural and spiritual in holy union. This was a shared participation in a new kind of belonging, a dance that would require a backward and forwards movement from both parties in order to conjure up a comfortable repose of complimentarianism.

Our discomfort with the idea of a deep divine connection has been affected by the idea of ‘original sin’, the concept that humanity is fundamentality ‘sinful’ or ‘depraved’ and unable to really comprehend deep oneness. The very fact that God chose to incarnate in human form is a reminder of the unique and undeniable beauty that resides within our original goodness. The idea of a Saviour is more about an internal reconnection and an invitation to actively participate in the ongoing work of theosis rather than a rescue from some kind of punitive judgement. Our ignorance of this reality has given way to a self flagellation of sorts, where we have taken a dim view of our potential, pouring cold water on any kind of confidence in human evolution. Because of the conundrum of evil we have opted for an original corruption hermeneutic rather than an original goodness hermeneutic which is partly understandable given the state of human behaviour, however this fatalistic mindset is both short sighted and pessimistic if we are to have a high view of hopefulness.

Even with an optimistic view of our potential we all need moments of healing to occur in order to be reorientated towards the divine distinction of our makeup, taking notice of the experiences of love, empathy, kindness, generosity and such like, the sacred reminder of our true self. The good in us is far greater than any not-so-good that tries to dominate proceedings as long as we understand the power of interdependence and its catalytic power in our lives.

Thus interdependence is fuelled by a goodness that resides in our mutual need for each other, a hard-wired default for companionship at some level. Aloneness is not an option if we are to make it in a world where we are surrounded by a survival of the fittest mentality. Our reliance on each other levels the playing field, unless we decide to climb the hierarchical ladder of competition and comparison that feeds our ego and false self.

“There is no "I" as such apart from others.” ― Gyomay M Kubose

Maybe the real obstacle is our independence, the wilfulness of our individuality that tries to go it alone, defiantly assuming that we can do life without the help and support of others? While I am very happy to have my rights and express myself with relative freedom I am also aware that it can be unhelpful and annoying for others to experience my defiant self-sufficiency, which ultimately ends up taking rather than giving to the greater good.

Interdependence is a posture of respect for the other, for those who we must acknowledge our need of and willingly invite into our private worlds. For this to happen we will all need to allow some kind of healing to happen around our mistrust and suspicion of others motives. This is the lifelong journey of acknowledging a predisposition towards leaning away from that which could potentially help our maturation. It starts with a sacred other, an incarnation of God in human flesh who relentlessly pursues my attention and affection, someone who refuses to let me go as I learn to dance in submissive unison with another.

“All have their worth and each contributes to the worth of the others.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion