Life in symbiosis: a new science of relationship

For centuries we have cut nature and the richness of the world we experience into separated disciplines, categories, and subjects of inquiry. We reduced the vibrant and unpredictable complexity of the living and transforming whole that we are part of — and participants in — to manageable chunks of reality defined by clear — but nevertheless artificial — boundaries.

The result of favouring reductionist, mechanistic, and analytical thinking over holistic, organismic, integrative thinking has brought us a lot of useful knowledge and technology. Yet it has done so at a price — the profound illusion of separation from each other and from life as a whole.

A persuasive cultural narrative of separation has fractured Life as a 3.8 billion year old planetary process into supposedly competing species and individuals — making us blind to the symbiotic relationships and intricate patterns of interdependencies by which life optimizes the vitality of the whole system for the benefit of all participants.