Co-Dependence, Interdependence, Independence: The Journey of Inner Freedom
When we talk about and celebrate Independence Day in the United States, or in any country, it is a celebration of an outer change that led to people being free physically and materially, and that’s a wonderful and beautiful thing.
But what we’re coming to understand in this work, is that real freedom can never be attained through changing some outer appearance. It is only attained when we become free of the bondage, slavery, oppression, and the repression of our own inner empire of the ego reigning like a dictatorial leader.
That’s why there’s plenty of people living in a “free” country that are in bondage. I remember listening to Nelson Mandala, who was in prison for 26 years, I believe, but he had become free long before that. (And because of that, he was able to set the country free.)
Ultimately, you want to become “inner-dependent”. This is where you’re no longer leaning on the interactivity of the world, or looking to someone else. You’re no longer manipulating and adjusting yourself. Also, no longer leaning even on your own human goodness or human capacities.Ultimately, real freedom can never exist as long as we believe someone or something outside of our consciousness is the source of anything in our life. Click To Tweet
It’s important to know the different kinds of dependence, as these are the stages you typically move through to become inner-dependent: Letting go of co-dependence, coming into independence, growing through interdependence, and ultimately move to inner-dependence.
There’s co-dependence, where you are not able to feel okay about yourself unless you can make someone else feel okay about themselves.
There’s independence, where you’re free within yourself, individually. You can be financially independent, independent from relationships that you might have been caught in, or independent from your family values and morals.
There’s interdependence, where you lean and depend on other people and things. You can recognize the value of duality to have other people and other things; humanly you are in an interdependent relationship with nature and with each other.
You want to learn to lean on that Source beyond your own human capacities and capabilities.
Do you truly depend on that presence within you, or are you leaning on what you know from yesterday? The Bible says, “You cannot live on yesterday’s manna. If you try to hold onto yesterday’s manna it rots in your hands, and the manna falls freshly from Heaven every day” – this is symbolizing this knowledge, intelligence, substance. It’s always pouring fresh in this moment.
You want to go back to the well every day, and throughout the day – every time you’re about to start something. Let go of all of your ideas of what “should be”. Let go to your attachment to what was. Let go of all of your opinions, preferences, agendas, goals, and throw yourself wide open to the power, the presence, the love of God – to the Divine impulse in this moment, which is always a revelation, which is always new.
I see in my mind the image of Niagara Falls, which is one of the wonders of the world. The water is just gushing with just unimaginable power, velocity and volume, and yet it’s never the same water! With all of that massive volume and power, it’s never, ever the same water. All of that is flowing fresh and new in every instant, inexhaustibly, but it’s not coming from that spot called Niagara. That spot called Niagara is just an opening. It’s actually coming from Lake Erie, this massive body of water that’s flowing over the falls.
If it was to try to hold onto that water and say, “This is me; this is mine. I depend on this. If I let this just flow over me, I’m going to run out and go dry!”, it would end up cutting itself off from Lake Erie, and it would eventually run dry. Instead, it depends on Lake Erie, and it never runs dry, and it’s one of the most powerful waterfalls around.
The same is true with you. When you learn to have inner-dependence, not co-dependence, not interdependence, not even just human independence, but inner-dependence, beyond your own thoughts, your own ideas, opinions and preferences, and lean back into that body of consciousness, it can begin to flow into your life like a mighty river rushing downhill without a boulder in sight, and it’s always fresh, and always new.
To support you in mastering this, listen to the in-depth podcast on the subject, where we break it down and put it into real-life practice TODAY. This will be a real game-changer.
To Your Emergence!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of the Emergence, A Revolutionary Path for Radical Life Change, with Derek Rydall Podcast]
Here we are. Welcome, again. Derek Rydall here. It’s great to be with you all. It’s always such an honor and a pleasure, and it’s so amazing how many of you stayed on even though I was so late, and I really appreciate it. What we’re talking about today is in honor of Independence Day in the US we’re talking about co-dependence, interdependence, and independence, which is the path of real freedom. It’s just such a great subject to talk about what real freedom is, and the celebration of Independence Day in the United States, or in any country, is a celebration of some kind of outer change that led to people being free, physically, materially free, and that’s a wonderful thing. That’s a beautiful thing. That’s a great and necessary thing, but real freedom can never be attained through changing some outer appearance. This is what we’re coming to understand in this work, that real freedom is only attained when we become free of the bondage, the slavery, the oppression, the repression of our own inner empire, of the ego reigning like a dictatorial leader.
That’s why there’s plenty of people living in a “free” country that are in bondage. There’s plenty of people that are in prison that are free. I remember listening to Nelson Mandala, who was in prison for 26 years I believe, but he had become free long before that. Because of that, he was able to set the country free. I remember one man that was falsely imprisoned, and he was in prison also for about 23 years, and he did the work, and he became free. When he came out he commented how he was so surprised at how all these people that had their freedom were more imprisoned than he ever was.
It’s important to know the different kinds of dependence. There’s independence, that’s free within ourselves, free of ourselves individually. There’s interdependence, which is where we lean on and we depend on other people, and we recognize the value of duality to have other people and other things, that humanly we are in an interdependent relationship with the plants and the trees and nature and with each other. We’re in an interdependent relationship at the human level. So humanly we can be interdependent, and it’s valuable to recognize that and appreciate that. We can become independent, however you look at that, financially independent, independent from relationships that you might have been caught in, independent from your family values and mores and you being able to have your own values.
Then we can also be co-dependent, and that’s where we start to get into trouble humanly where we are not able to feel okay about ourselves unless we can make someone else feel okay about themselves. That’s driven often by shame and guilt, and a projection of our power. Inside we’ve got an unwritten agreement that we’re responsible for how other people feel, and somehow we won’t feel good about ourselves or be good or be enough or be worthy unless they have enough or they’re happy. When you’re in those kind of relationships, whether the other person knows it or not, consciously or unconsciously, they’ve got their hooks in you now, and they can draw you around like a puppet on a string, like a dog on a leash, and it builds resentment, and it builds ultimately burnout and overwhelm and keeps you trapped in a cycle of feeling like a victim.
Those are the three kinds of human dependence. Co-dependence, which is a neurotic human pattern. Interdependence, which is a healthy, helpful human pattern to recognize humbly that we do need each other, and that no man is an island. That food on your plate, you might think, I went out there, and I hunted, and I got that animal. You needed to have that animal to hunt, or you needed to
have all the nature that produced an raised that animal. Maybe that gun or that arrow you used to hunt, somebody had to create that, and on and on. You realize you’re not as independent as you think you are. Like a cell in a body, you are part of a larger tapestry, a larger omni activity, and if you have food on your plate, that took thousands of lives all coordinating efforts to ultimately bring that food to your plate. Realizing that is a very important stage in humility and in human growth and development. Then coming into our independence, humanly knowing that emotionally that we have the capacity within us to live our lives, to be our own person, to not have to be the way we think society or parents or friends think. To be free of all the pressures, peer pressure, parental fantasies, society conditioning. That’s independence, but we’re still only talking about it on a human level.
These are all nice stages to move through. Letting go of co-dependence, coming into independence, growing through interdependence, but ultimately we want to reach for true inner-dependence. Inner-dependence is where now we’re no longer leaning on the interactivity of the world. We’re no longer looking to someone else. We’re no longer manipulating and adjusting ourselves to fit in or be good enough or be enough, but we’re also no longer leaning even on our own human goodness. As it says in the Bible, “Lean not on your own understanding.” So we’re not even any longer leaning on our own human capacities, our own human charisma or cleverness or capabilities. All of which are beautiful, but they are effects. They’re not cause. They’re not power.
Your mind, your thoughts are not a power, but we learn to lean on that Source beyond our own human capacities and capabilities. We learn to live in the mysteries, live in the gap. Live in the question. Life is no longer a problem to be solved, it’s a mystery to be lived. I don’t know if you heard me talk about recently, I talk about the blind spot theory. We often talk about how we have blind spots, and we think about it like these little slivers where we can’t see, but otherwise we see clearly, like in a car. The truth is that we’re living in a blind spot. We are primarily living in a blind spot. We have little slivers of seeing. Right?
Even our best ideas, our best capacities, our best thoughts, those are still extremely limited, and so we want to learn how to lean on the gap, the blind spot, the mystery. What are the qualities you would have to develop if you were living mostly in the dark, mostly in a blind spot? You would have to be curious. You would have to be flexible, receptive, childlike, creative, adventurous, open, a student. These are some of the qualities that would allow you to live in that area. You have to become very sensitive, intuitive.
It’s like learning how to see in the dark, like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars where he pushes away the controls and the goggles that shows him where the target is, and he just trusts the Force. He’s basically seeing with insight, not eyesight. This what we have to learn to do, but you can never get that as long as you’re leaning on your own thoughts, leaning on other people, leaning on the world of appearances and effects. You can’t really become the master of your life until you’re able to see in the dark, until you’re able to see with insight what’s really here, not just with eyesight. The eyes deceive you. The appearances are old effects. They don’t have power. As I’ve said, it’s like the wake of a boat. The wake of a boat is the evidence of the boat, the trail the boat leaves, but the wake doesn’t drive the boat. Likewise, your experiences and appearances are not driving your life.
We want to learn to have inner-dependence. I know we talk about this all the time, but it’s one of those principles and topics we really can’t talk about too much, because it’s not about just talking about it and believing it. It’s about are we practicing it? Are we organizing our live around this
principle? Do we really, truly depend on that presence within us, or are we just leaning on what we know from yesterday? When the Bible says, “You cannot live on yesterday’s manna,” if you try to hold onto yesterday’s manna it rots in your hands, and that the manna falls freshly from Heaven every day, this is symbolizing this knowledge, intelligence, substance. It’s always pouring fresh in this moment, so if you’re leaning on yesterday’s thought, on yesterday’s idea, yesterday’s identity, on some appearance which really is the past, if you look at your life you’re seeing the past, if you’re leaning on those things, you’re trying to live off yesterday’s manna, and it rots in your hands. It has no nutritional value.
You want to go back to the well every day, and throughout the day, every time you’re about to start something. That’s why you may hear me say sometimes when I’m praying, “Let’s stop.” We stop. We let go of all of our ideas of what should be. We let go of all of our attachment to what was. We just let go of all of our opinions, all of our preferences, all of our agendas and goals, and throw ourselves wide open to the power, the presence, the love of God, to the Divine impulse in this moment, which is always a revelation, which is always new. I see in my mind the image of Niagara Falls, which is one of the wonders of the world, I think. It’s a great waterfall. I think it’s Ontario, or the edge near Rhode Island, I can’t remember exactly where. You look at this massive thing, and the water is just gushing over it in just unimaginable power and velocity and volume, and yet it’s never the same water. With all of that massive volume and power, it’s never, ever the same water. If you’re looking at it right now, totally different water, totally different water, totally different water. All of that is flowing fresh and new in every instant, inexhaustibly, but it’s not coming from that spot called Niagara. That spot called Niagara is just an opening. It’s just an area on the mountain. It’s actually coming from Lake Erie, this massive body of water that’s flowing over the falls.
If it was to try to hold onto that water and say, “This is me; this is mine. I’ve got to depend on this. If I let this just flow over me, I’m going to run out. I’m going to go dry,” if it could, it would end up cutting itself off from Lake Erie, and it would eventually run dry. Instead, it depends on Lake Erie, and it never runs dry, and it’s one of the most powerful waterfalls around. The same is true with you. When you learn to have inner-dependence, not co-dependence, not interdependence, not even just human independence, but inner-dependence, beyond your own thoughts, your own ideas and opinions and preferences, and lean back into that body of water, that body of consciousness, it can begin to flow into your life like a mighty river rushing downhill without a boulder in sight, and it’s always fresh, and it’s always new.
So the way to practice that is you begin to stop every day, before you launch into your day, and reestablish yourself in that inner-dependence. You don’t look to your bank account. You don’t look to your partners. You don’t look to even your body or your own capacity. That’s interdependence or independence. You say, none of that is my Source. That’s all part of the branch of the tree, but it’s the tree itself that is supplying the branch, and you reestablish yourself and anchor yourself and remind yourself that this Divine presence within you, the Source within you, it is supplying all of your needs today. It’s showing up as the right thinking, the right ideas, the love, the compassion, the creativity, the generosity, the wealth, the health. Not your human capacities. I, of myself, do nothing. I, of myself, know nothing. I, of myself, am nothing, but I as an opening to the infinite presence am everything. When I lean on that, when I have inner-dependence, not outer dependence, not interdependence, and not even independence, but inner-dependence.
God is my rock. God is my Source. God is my life, my body, my health, my wealth, my love, my companionship, my friend, my partner, my wisdom. God, this Divine intelligence within me is everything. The day that you really get that, that’s the real Independence Day. That’s the real freedom. Now, no matter what’s going on in the world of appearances, you know that you’re sourced by something that is not a part of that, that it can supply you with all of your needs abundantly, no matter what anybody else thinks or does, no matter what happens with the economy, your job, your boss, your family, your bank account. You’re not leaning on any of that anymore. All of that’s a passing show. It’s just an effect. It’s an appearance. It’s a movie. You’re leaning on the source of infinite life and supply and power. It never runs out. It never exhausts. Like Niagara Falls, it pours forth so powerfully that you become one of the wonders of the world.
That is what I invite you today to say yes to like never before, and whenever you’re about to do something, whatever it is, you’re about to start writing that book, you’re about to start developing your business, you’re about to make a phone call, answer an email, start to get into the habit of just checking in and seeing, am I doing this to get anything, to get a reaction, or am I doing from a place of knowing I already have everything? Just reestablish yourself. Let go of all of your preferences and opinions and agendas, and know that God is running the show here. God is your life and being, and you’re open to whatever the spontaneous revelation of the moment is, and then make the call, then shoot the email off, whatever the case may be. Then that way you start to cut a subjective groove that permanently anchors you into that source, and it starts to flow more and more and more. You start to feel more and more moved by inspiration and compelling right action, instead of perspiration and struggle.
That’s what I invite you to do today. One other thing I can invite you to practice is every day practice letting go of just one opinion or preference. That doesn’t mean, if you prefer coffee versus tea, that doesn’t mean you don’t drink coffee, or if you have a judgment that this should be or this shouldn’t be, just practice every day letting go of an opinion or a preference. Ultimately, all of our opinions or preferences are hindrances, whether we think it’s good or bad, that is a judgment. Whether we think it should or shouldn’t be, that’s a judgment, and all of that is blocking our awareness to really tap into Source and become free. As Shakespeare said, “Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” and our thinkingness is what obscures our awareness of Heaven, of the truth of our being. Our opinions, our preferences, those are coagulated thought forms that we’ve accepted as being the way it is, and both the so-called things that we think are good and the things that we think are bad are problematic. Ultimately, we want to have no opinion and no preference, so that we can be a pure channel of the perfect pattern of infinite potential that’s thinking to emerge as us.
I’m not suggesting you jump there yet. If you were suddenly let go of all your opinions and preferences, you’d go crazy. You would just completely go crazy. In fact, some people in mental institutions have happened because they’ve such a breakthrough and a releasing of these ego structures that they didn’t have the structures to contain the energy, and they kind of went nuts. So I’m not suggesting you let it all go right away, but practice letting go of some opinion or preference every day, as well as stopping in the beginning of the day and throughout the day before you do anything and reestablishing yourself in your inner-dependence. Then step out from there. Then we’ll truly be letting our freedom flag fly, and our freak flag too, because we’re all freaks too. You’re going to be a freak if you don’t have opinions and preferences. When you have real inner-dependence, you’re a freak. Jesus was a freak, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Steve Jobs, Shakespeare, whatever, all freaks. We’re going to let our freedom flag fly and our freak flag fly. Say that five times fast. Life is good, and getting better all the time. Or I should say, life experience is getting better all the time. Life is infinitely and permanently good. I hope this has served you.