From my Permaculture Musings, September 2007 ©

Everyone and everything is connected. Every individual human – thinking himself independent – is part of a living web and those who are part of an unharmonious web, those that have to work and live with others who aren’t like-minded, struggle to find the happy balance they need to make an impact on the web of the world.

This is why the “world wide web” is not in harmony right now – it needs to be broken into effective groups which can heal each part and so heal the whole. Making a harmonious web together with those who are like-minded – this is what we have to do – and we all have to build these individual webs of like-minded interdependent groups and all these webs together make a harmonious web across the whole world, each is separate from the others, but living in complete acceptance with all, each next to its neighbours giving stability to hold together the whole.

It isn’t independence that is important, it is the right kind of dependence, the kind that gives each individual the space and support to be individual while being part of a group that depends on each individual for its wholeness. We are not meant to stand on our own at all, we are meant to find a way to live closely and intimately with others while deeply honouring their individuality. We are not here to make everyone like ourselves or change them in any way, we are naturally different to compliment each other and make something that is larger than the sum of its parts.

This is what nature does. All trees of one kind form a spiritual group across the world, but in each space there are trees and plants and animals of different kinds forming a web of dependence that supports the whole of the ecosystem. This is why monocultures are unhealthy – even though the plants are all from the same family, they cannot form a healthy web without all the other parts that are different but harmonious to them, so the entire group becomes unharmonious and imbalanced and none of the trees reach their highest potential and they impact on their worldwide group in this unharmonious way and can affect other trees in other places in time too.

Most of mankind is unhappy for the same reason: We live in monocultures, with our “same” kind, working in the same fields, eating the same foods, living in the same way as those around us, but the web is unhealthy because there is too much sameness and not enough variety. There is an expectation that if everyone is the same there will be harmony, but it is not so.

We make our children into rows of straight trees through an education system that does not value differences, individuality or creativity. We fertilise them and provide them with a “balanced” diet and wonder why they do not thrive.

Even as individuals we are most strongly attracted to others who are in many respects opposites to us. Yet most people try to make even our partners, chosen for their difference, into something that is the same as us. Why? It is the differences that make us individual and honouring these differences makes for a stronger whole. It adds to where we are deficient ourselves, and we add our strengths to the partnership.

We mostly live in unhealthy webs which join other unhealthy webs and make the world also unhealthy. We need to group together those that “fit” together and make many new healthy webs across the world to heal the whole and keep it in balance.

The secret to individual happiness is to be interdependent with those who jointly form a harmonious web and make us feel safe and supported in the balanced environment this creates. We aren’t meant to do it all on our own, we’re meant to use our individual strength and perception to act in a conscious way and build the environment we need to feel supported in our endeavour to add our own important part of the whole, not only of humanity but the world.

In Lak’esh