The Philosophy of Interdependence
A large part of human thought involves making judgements and distinctions and organising the resulting mental content into categories. We are conditioned to assume that these categories and distinctions are absolute and reflective of reality. This conditioning, coloured by our personal and cultural background, in turn affects how we act and behave.
Interdependence is the perspective from which all phenomena are interrelated and interconnected; stated generally “everything affects everything”. On this view, categories, concepts and distinctions do not (accurately) reflect or represent reality but merely act as provisional markers with which to navigate the world of thought and action.
Interdependence is exemplified by boundary-dissolution experiences insofar as they illustrate the permeability of phenomena that we would usually consider dualistic in nature, e.g. mental-physical, self-other, life-death, human-animal. Such boundary dissolution experiences include but are not limited to dream states, meditative states, out of body, near death and psychedelic experiences.
The main process of my research is to test the above thesis through the study of first-person experience in conjunction with the relevant philosophical, spiritual, and scientific literature. I am particularly concerned with how the perspective of interdependence applies practically to education systems and environmentalism.
The above thesis is self-contradictory at least insofar as it relies on concepts (expressed through language) to cast doubt on our reliance on concepts. The potential for ‘paradox without contradiction’ will be a theme of the writing on this site, and an opportunity to bring together varying strands of what can broadly be termed Eastern and Western logic (again a dualism which cannot always be avoided!). The short thesis above is generally set in its principles but will evolve in its specific expression over time. I will save each version of the thesis as a record of its evolution, and always welcome comment, critique, or suggestions from readers.