Cooperative Interdependence
National Rainbow Gathering in Arkansas, 2007 CARD URL:

Card #366 – Cooperative Interdependence


Cooperation and interdependence are emphasized here. American culture tends to emphasize rugged individualism in an often absurd way — for example, the “Army of One” ad campaign for the U.S. Army or the Marlboro man riding alone through the prairie with only his horse and trusty cigarettes for companionship. But we are social mammals born into a world of interdependence. If you’re able to read this card, then someone took care of you when you were a dependent infant. Every breath we take depends on plants converting the carbon dioxide we and other animals exhale, and they convert to oxygen. Fritjof Capra, in his book, The Web of Life, developed a systems view of life in which he recognized two polarized yin-and-yang-like tendencies in living systems — the “integrative” and the “self-assertive.” This card emphasizes the integrative, and challenges you to see how certain self-assertive tendencies may undermine efficiency and the greater good.

This is a time to emphasize cooperating with others, working in ways that benefit all concerned. Cooperative interdependence is not merely with other people but also with the organic matrix and with the Tao, the unfolding of events. Cooperate with what the moment presents you with.

Instead of viewing yourself as a pirate, go-it-alone cowboy, or army of one, recognize yourself as a cooperation of the oneness. Your body is an intricate cooperative ecology of fifty trillion cells. Your cooperation with outer elements is interdependent on the inner cooperation of your body and your psyche. To have integrity, you need to cooperate with the many subpersonalities and other aspects of your psyche. You are a cooperative nexus in a vast web of life.

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