Life is interdependence


“Nobody can be independent. If you try it, you are being stupid,” states Osho.

Osho 1975

Prince Kropotkin is nearer to the truth than Charles Darwin. Prince Kropotkin says – and he is a religious man, a really religious man – he says that cooperation is the base of life, not struggle, and it is not a question of survival of the fittest, because if it is a question of the survival of the fittest, then might becomes right. It is not a question of survival of the fittest; most tender things also survive. Look at the flowers! They are not Adolf Hitlers, and they have survived. Look at the birds, the small birds, singing beautiful songs: they are not Genghis Khans and Alexanders, and they have survived. Life must be a deep cooperation – it is. Everything is cooperating; it is a cosmic whole, interdependent.

Look: the earth goes on feeding the tree, the sun goes on feeding the tree, the air goes on feeding the tree, and then a fruit is born. That fruit feeds you. It becomes your body, it circulates in your blood. It becomes your bones, it becomes your heart, it becomes your brain, it becomes the very marrow of your brain. Then one day you die. Insects start eating you. Then the insects die, they are reabsorbed in the earth. The trees start eating the earth. Again fruits will come. Your grandchildren will eat you in the fruits. Everything related, interrelated, connected. You have been eating your grandfathers, your grandmothers; they are again reabsorbed! You will be reabsorbed.

Waves come and go, the ocean remains – and each wave is connected with each other wave. Past and future – you are related to the whole past, you are a link; and you are related to the whole future that is going to be there. You are a link in the chain, and if one chain link is broken, the whole chain suffers. It is a cooperation. Nobody is independent and nobody is dependent. because even to be dependent you have to be separate. No, it is not a question of independence or dependence. Life is interdependence. Nobody is independent and nobody is dependent, everybody is interdependent.

So I call those messiahs pseudo who teach people independence, because it is a false attitude, untrue to life. Nobody can be independent. If you try it, you are being stupid. You can go to the Himalayas and you can try to be independent: you cannot be, because there also you will be part of the interdependence that is life.

Monks have been trying over all the centuries to become totally independent because they think if you are dependent then you are in bondage. So escape from the wife, escape from the children, escape from society; but where will you escape from oxygen? Where will you escape from water? Where will you escape from food? Where will you escape from the sun and the moon? Wherever you go you will remain part of the interconnected pattern of life.

You can never become independent, absolute independence is not possible, because that means you become an isolated unit, you become an island – and there exists no island. Islands that you see in the ocean, they also are not separate, they also are part of continents hidden under the sea. No island exists. Nobody can be independent. It is interdependence. It is a deep cooperation.

Don’t start with enmity; otherwise you will destroy life and your whole energy will be engaged in destruction – and existence is creative. You can enjoy it, you can become one with it, only when you are creative. And science has been destructive. It is not needed. Or, a totally different type of science is needed, based more on Kropotkin and less on Darwin. A totally different science is needed based on love, not on hate, based on Lao Tzu and not on Aristotle.

Osho, Just Like That, Ch 4 (excerpt)

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