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The Communal Body of the Divine Spirit #4 Interdependence

This post is part of a series about living well in groups.  They are a series of meditations inspired by a chapter in the New Testament. It is Pauls first letter to the Corinthians chapter 12.  Verse 21, in the New International Version of the Bible says,

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!”

And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!


Dependence to Independence to Interdependence

The transition from dependence to independence (with the detour of counter-dependence) is fairly easy to recognise.

The move from independence to interdependence is trickier I think. It isn’t promoted in our culture. So what is interdependence?

It means recognising that our independence is reliant on things that we did not make.  It means recognising that our independence is reliant on our circumstances and other people; it is not absolute.

  • The tools we use (from cutlery to computers) were not made by us. We get around in or on vehicles not made by us.
  • If we have a distinct style of dress we probably didn’t make the fabric (and if we did it came from plants or animals reliant on their environment).
  • Our early education came from early caregivers and authority figures.
  • Our later education relies on others too – face to face teachers or more remote ones via text, video and so on.

This doesn’t mean our uniqueness isn’t valuable.  It just means that the uniqueness of each one of us contributes to others.


To Do

Choose five simple activities you have done today.

What did you use that had been made by others.  How did others contribute to you being able to do this?


I'm Evan Hadkins. To find out how to live a more satisfying life you can download my manifesto on living authentically. It is a book of exercises to guide you to finding, nourishing and living from the core of who you are.

If you would like me to write about some aspect of living an authentic life please don't hesitate to get in touch. There is a box in the sidebar where you can leave a question anonymously if you wish, or you can email me, use the contact page, or comment on this post.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Arlin Pauler 2016/07/02, 4:50 pm

    I am dependent on you as the source of these posts. I get much from them. I imagine you knowing people get value from your work motivates you to keep doing it. So I am sharing this comment to do my part to keep them coming. It seems this puts us in an interdependent relationship.
    I wish I could manage to have time to ccomment more often. But never doubt you deliver useful Mindfulness Reminders to me. And I’ll continue commenting as I have time.
    I like your use of the Bible reference. While I am not a Bible toter, I often use this approach with clients for whom it can be a connection with their spiritual convictions.
    I trust things go well for you and yours.

  • Evan 2016/07/03, 12:26 pm

    Thanks Arlin. It is knowing that people get value that keeps me writing. I thought a lot about using bible stuff (I’m no fundamentalist and far from even most kinds of evangelicalism), it was a bit of ‘coming out of the closet’ moment for me. It is the only framework I know that has an organic take that doesn’t give approval to the current social order, so it is the only option I know of.

    Many thanks, your comment is much appreciated.

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