Session 1 - Mutual Connection and Dependence


Let's talk a little bit about the beautiful law of reciprocity in Nature, in human society, and in the personal lives of each and every person. If we examine life, we will see that we are completely interdependent with one another, and that the whole of Nature acts between all things as a single mechanism. In our terminology, we call it "mutual guarantee" or "mutual responsibility." What is "mutual guarantee"?

As we are studying and researching the entirety of the universe, we are discovering that all of its systems are interconnected and interdependent.


The planets circle the sun, and most have moons circling around them. It is a tremendously vast system, in which the more we study it, the more we see that its elements are moving in a coordinated, mutual reciprocity. The elements in our universe are so interdependent that our moon, for instance, affects everything that happens on Earth—our health, our feelings, the various movements of the water in the oceans, and many other changes.

The sun, of course, also affects us in many ways. Each solar flare has an affect, and while some flares pose hazards to our electronics and various communication systems on Earth, there are also such phenomena that endanger earth's existence altogether.

And then we have Earth itself, which is a ball of fire burning from within. We are practically living on a volcano. Yet, everything maintains a very subtle balance. Biologists, zoologists, and botanists all say that to create an environment of life such as what we have on Earth requires very special and unique conditions, which have not been found anywhere else in the universe. The existence of life requires very specific conditions, which all must act in mutual harmony: gravity, the right amount of water, pressures, temperature, and many other elements. All of these various elements and factors together combine within a tremendously complex formula that allows for the creation of life-sustaining conditions, only if that formula is followed to the letter.

At the end of every news broadcast we hear the weather forecast, sometimes predicting even a week ahead, but not more because of the complexity of the formulas that must combine to take into account the temperature, moisture, air pressure, wind, and other elements. This requires the use of powerful computers to predict the weather, since meteorologists must take into account not only their own local weather factors, but also the weather components from all over the world. This all combines into a huge amount of data required only to predict such things as tomorrow's temperature, wind-speed, and height of the waves.

Yet, this information is necessary because we are no longer sedentary. We move around the world using different types of vehicles, and therefore need to know the weather in our destinations and as we travel.

The weather is a good example of the tight linkage between the still level of life, which affects the vegetative level, which affects the animate level, and which affects us humans. We also see the reverse of this life chain in how man affects those elements. Our lives depend on the still level because we live on the produce of the land. We are also dependent on the vegetative because it is our agriculture. Likewise, we are dependent on the animate level because we are living creatures that need food, without which, we will not be able to survive.


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There exists a "Mutual Guarantee," a mutual dependence between all systems in nature.

Main Points

  • The life of all humanity depends upon the inanimate, vegetative, and animate levels of nature.


An important work which develops a theory of quantum physics that treats the totality of existence, including matter and consciousness, as an unbroken whole.

Book: "Wholeness and the Implicate Order"

"The main idea behind the Gaia hypothesis can be both simple and complex. Often, several similar examples or analogies concerning the bodies of living organisms are used to make the Gaia concept easier to understand. One of these states that we could visualize Earth's rain forests as the lungs of the planet since they exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. Earth's atmosphere could be thought of as its respiratory system, and its streams of moving water and larger rivers like its circulatory system, since they bring in clean water and flush out the system. Some say that the planet actually "breathes" because it contracts and expands with the Moon's gravitational pull, and the seasonal changes we all experience are said to reflect our own rhythmic bodily cycles.

Many of these analogies are useful in trying to explain the general idea behind the Gaia hypothesis, although they should not be taken literally. Lovelock, however, has stated that Earth is very much like the human body in that both can be viewed as a system of interacting components. He argues that just as our bodies are made up of billions of cells working together as a single living being, so too are the billions of different lifeforms on Earth working together (although unconsciously) to form a single, living "superorganism." "

"Lovelock also warns that since Earth has the natural capacity to keep things in a stable range, human tampering with Earth's environmental balancing mechanisms places everyone at great risk."

Article from, "Gaia hypothesis"

"As Laszlo emphasises:
'the doomsday arguments [Decline to Disaster scenario] miss a basic point: they do not recognise that humanity is also a dynamic system capable of rapid transformation. As the natural system approaches collapse it is sensitive and responds to small catalysts of change' (2008, p.15)."

Symposium Presentation: "Towards a Planetary Conversation?"

"There is really only one science, and the various "special sciences" are just particular cases of it."  from C.D. Broad's monumental, "The Mind and Its Place in Nature" (1925, p. 76)

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Emergent Properties

Engage Yourself

Question 1: The following clip entitled, "Living Systems," is from the important 1990 movie, "Mindwalk."  As you view the clip, think about what the central concept of the clip is in your opinion, and write it below. [link for video clip here, if needed.]

a. In my opinion, the central concept of the clip from the movie "Mindwalk" is:

b. What is the feeling that remains in you after watching this clip?

Can you elaborate on why you feel this way? [Also, if you selected "other" above, please specify here and elaborate on your feeling.]

Question 2: Even the Austrian physicist Dr. Fritjof Capra, emphasizes in his ideas about how much we depend upon each other, and how much all of nature behaves like one body.  Following are his words in brief that express this concept:

"The more one studies the living world, the more one comes to realize that the tendency to associate, establish links, live inside one another and cooperate is an essential characteristic of living organisms.  As Lewis Thomas (who was a physician, poet, linguist, educator, policy consultant and educator) has observed, ‘We do not have solitary beings.  Every creature is, in some sense, connected to and dependent on the rest.'".

Do you agree with the ideas of the physicist Dr. Fritjof Capra?  If so, please write in your own words what you identify with and explain why below. -OR-  If you don't agree with the ideas of Capra, oppose them and don't see any logic in them, we would be happy if you could express your ideas and justify your position:

Question 3: In this session transcript there are a number of examples that illustrate the mutual dependence between the parts of nature: the interdependence of the planets, the unique conditions that exist on earth and work in harmony in order to sustain life, the importance of weather calculations, which depends upon many factors in many natural systems, and more. 

Can you give additional examples that illustrate dependencies that exist in nature?  If possible, it would be wonderful if you could add the link to an interesting clip on the subject, or a research study that you know of, or write an example from your life..

Question 4: According to the transcript text of this session, what is unique about the conditions for life on earth?

Question 5: Have you ever thought about how many combinations of accidents and seeming coincidences were necessary to take place in the process of creation, in order to make these very particular conditions for life, in which we live?  How many times during the evolution in the process of creation could there have appeared slightly different conditions, and consequently, lead to the development of conditions that would make life impossible on Earth?

For questions of this type, try to respond to the "Anthropic Principle."  According to the Anthropic Principle, we live in a universe that is wondrously and perfectly planned, down to the most minute and final detail needed in order to make life possible on Earth.

In this next clip is a short explanation of the principle. View it before you continue with the final task in this session. [It is important to clarify: the "Anthropic Principle" is not considered to be a scientifically based theory. It is just an idea that guides scientists in developing scientific theories.  It is impossible to refute or confirm it – it is only a concept, and its use in developing theories is a matter of personal taste.] (link to clip here, if needed.)

On what does the life of man on Earth depend?