Our universe of interdependent systems is made up of many parts that build a whole. We see this principle over and over again. I walk around with a sense of being whole and I have the knowledge that numerous cells make up who I am physically.

It is beautiful that we can be diverse in so many ways and still be here together as one; living in harmony is acceptance of what separates us and acknowledgment of how we are knit together.

A Universe of Interdependent Systems – Alan Watts “You Define I” Transcript

The Earth is not a big rock, infested with living organisms, any more than your skeleton is bones infested with cells.

The Earth is geological, yes, but this geological entity grows people. And our existence on the Earth is a symptom of the solar system and its balances as much as the solar system in turn is a symptom of our galaxy and our galaxy in its turn is a symptom of the whole company of galaxies; goodness only know what that’s in.

But you see, when as a scientist you describe the behavior of an living organism you try to say what a person does. Its the only way in which you can describe what a person is, describe what they do.

Then you find out in making this description you cannot confine yourself to what happens inside the skin. In other words you can’t talk about a person walking, unless you start describing the floor. Because when I walk i don’t just dangle my legs in empty space. I move in relationship to a room. So In order to describe what I’m doing when I’m walking I have to describe the room, I have to describe the territory.

So in describing my talking at the moment I can’t describe this just as a thing in itself because I’m talking to you. So what I’m doing at the moment is not completely described unless your being here is described also.

So if that is necessary if in other words in order to describe my behavior I have to describe your behavior and the behavior of the environment; it means that we really got one system of behavior. That what I am involves what you are. I don’t know who I am unless I know who you are and you don’t know who you are unless you know who I am.

There was a wise rabbi who once said “If I am I because you are you and you are you because I am I then I am not I and you are not you.” In other words we are not separate.

We define each other, we’re all backs and fronts to each other. We and our environment, and all of us and each other are interdependent systems. We know who we are in terms of other people.

We all love together and we are; I think, quite urgently, in need of coming to feel that we are the eternal universe each one of us.

Universe of Interdependent System


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