Chapter 30: Life Is a Deep Interdependence
In your vision of a model society, would there be one large commune, or a series of communes? If there is more than one, what would be their relationship to one another? Do you envisage people of different communes being able to be interdependent, sharing ideas and skills, and without any of the attitudes that grow out of possessiveness, like nationalism and fanaticism?
Maneesha, the question raises a very important thing: the concept of interdependence. Man has lived in dependence, and man has desired and fought for independence, but nobody looks into the reality - that dependence and independence both are extremes.
Reality is exactly in the middle; it is interdependence. Everything is interdependent. The smallest blade of grass and the biggest star both are interdependent. This is the whole foundation of ecology. Because man has behaved without understanding the reality of interdependence. He has destroyed so much of the organic unity of life. He has been cutting his own hands, his own legs, without knowing.
Forests have disappeared, millions of trees are being cut every day. Just now scientists are giving warnings - but nobody is ready to listen - that if all trees disappear from the earth, man cannot live. We are in a deep inter-exchange. Man goes on breathing in oxygen, and throwing out carbon dioxide; trees go on inhaling carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen. Neither you can exist without the trees, nor can the trees exist without you.
This is a simple example; otherwise life is interwoven in a thousand and one ways.. Because many trees have disappeared, so much carbon dioxide has gathered in the atmosphere, that it has raised the temperature on the whole earth by four degrees. To you it may seem insignificant - four degrees - but it is not insignificant. By the end of this century, this temperature will be enough to melt so much ice that every ocean will rise four feet higher. One degree of temperature more means the ocean rises one foot higher. So the cities which are on the coast of the oceans - and all the great cities are there - will be flooded with water.
If the temperature goes on increasing, as is the possibility, because nobody is listening.. Trees are being cut, without any understanding, for useless things; for third rate newspapers you need newsprint, and you are destroying life. There is a possibility that if the eternal ice of the Himalayas starts melting, which has never happened in the whole past, then all the oceans will rise twenty feet higher, and will drown almost the whole earth. They will destroy all your cities - Bombay and Calcutta, New York, London, and San Francisco. Perhaps a few primitive people who live high in the mountains may survive.