The Concept of Interbeing
In the era of the Anthropocene, we humans have explored many things and yet we have not succeeded in making ourselves completely independent of nature or even in dominating it. In fact, we almost forgot what we were born with, namely the inner knowledge that we are strongly intertwined with the body of the world. That we belong to one another. That we are one with nature.
A simple example is our cells. Their activity depends on the oxygen that enters our bloodstream via our lungs, from where it reaches the cells, which in turn transport CO2 back to the lungs via the bloodstream and by breathing out into the world. How beautiful it is now that those plants around us, the trees, the meadows of flowers and forests, on the one hand provide us with oxygen and on the other absorb the CO2 that we exhale. This example makes us understand that there is no border between us and the world. It is no coincidence that we have the saying that the trees are our lungs as well as the lungs of the entire planet.
And this is basically what we mean when we talk about the concept of interbeing. Everything is connected to everything.
Therefore, we are, ultimately, as the human beings that we are, living beings in the truest, most wonderful, and most honorable sense of the word. We have a heartbeat. We have sense organs. We give birth to children and defend them with passion. We experience what it is like to be human. We take life to sustain our own. We get wounded. And our wounds heal. We are subject to Mother Nature’s moods, and inevitably we die one day. The principles of the natural world apply to us as well as to all other living things, minerals, particles.
In many indigenous cultures, the entire earth is considered a perfect living organism. It is described as mother, father, friend, lover, a family member. Our planet Earth, Gaia, with all its life forms and systems, is experienced as a living and sentient being.
Shamans say that the world is a good friend, a longtime partner that “man”, our people, has had by his side since the beginning. And in this sense, for indigenous peoples, our planet world truly is our life. And living, for them, means trying to understand the earth, the animals, and everything that is, and…