Ecology & Interweaving
Co-creation living web
Recently, the term Co-Creation has been exiled and mutilated by the increasingly literal and superficial modern “wellness” and “spirituality” industry, a billion-dollar business that promises foolproof methods for achieving success quickly, in a conception of pseudo-reality and illusions of uniquely human triumphs.
It’s a movement that isolates us in the ideation of an anthropocentric world, separating us by beliefs of exceptionalism or meritocracy, where we come to perceive the living network of Co-Creation as something reduced to urban success, ego driven, being “in alignment” or in “abundance.” We confuse Co-Creation as something of magical thinking that serves us unidirectionally and without giving anything in return, and from which we can extract, conquer and control the results of our desires, goals, and expectations, however immature or irresponsible they may be.
Despite this perverse superficiality with which the “well-being” industry of modernity has grafted and suffocated this concept, it has never ceased to be alive and ecologically real, no matter how empty it may appear today.
It turns out that Co-Creation is not a modern invention about “how to get what we want” with positive phrases or “proven methods,” but a biological and immanent reality about ecology and deep relationship, about the niche and habitat creation, as old as Life itself.
The paradox is that Co-Creation was always animistic and biologically real in ecosystemic terms. It conveyed the porous body in a resonant kinship relationship with the more-than-human. Before Co-Creation was hijacked and exiled into an abstract, empty, exclusively anthropocentric landscape, it spoke of a deep, multidimensional, responsible, and reciprocal relationship.
Let us breathe. We breathe and contribute biologically to the dynamic co-creation of the web of Life with each inhale. We co-create, together with the trees, animals, clouds, and winds, the air of the Earth. All the air we breathe in is recreated inside our body, and we contribute to this constant living flow with every exhalation.
We are intrinsically part of co-creating the living system to which we belong, and we don’t even need positive phrases or foolproof methods… it just happens. Co-Creation is a biological reality in a living, complex world where agency and consciousness belong not to humans alone, but to all beings, from rocks to trees to animals, intertwining rhythmically.
Not About Us, but about Ecology
We are so distracted, lost, and confined in our minds that, besides thinking that nature is far away, we believe that Ecology is something that someone, an expert for sure, does or understands. We are so wrapped up in our linear and technological world that we no longer have the organic keys to decipher something we intrinsically are.
Ecology is about basic biology, the body in a visceral and sensory relationship, and mythology and science. The web of Life runs through us at every moment, just by breathing. It is not far away in some remote or wild place, but here and now, in contextual bodily relation.
Because the modern mind is hostage to both abstractions of transcendence and goals and facts, it constantly recreates one of modernity’s most perverse myths that frequently disengages us from Ecology, creating narratives of isolation, separation, and pain. The mind needs nurturing to remember, to feel the ecosystemic embrace of which we have always been a part. It is effortless, natural, immanent, and visceral. Yet, we forget that it is not about us, but about Life. We are not, nor have we ever been, the center of this vast network of kinship, but we have always been part of it.
Indra’s Web as a metaphor for Ecology
Indra’s Net, or Indra’s Jewel Web, is a metaphor for the interweaving and interbeing of all things in vast co-creation. This metaphor speaks of how everything is connected, how nothing exists in isolation, and how we have always been part of this living web that embraces us.
Indra’s Net is a vast network that extends infinitely in all directions. At every intersection of the various threads of the web, at every node or “eye,” is a single shining jewel. Each jewel reflects another jewel in infinite numbers, and each reflection carries the image of all the other jewels. Whatever affects one jewel affects them all.
This is an ancient and powerful fractal metaphor that illustrates the multidimensional interpenetration of all phenomena, both visible and invisible. Each singular phenomenon reflects all other phenomena and the ultimate nature of existence. Everything contains everything else, for reality, is organically interdependent.
Indra’s network is also related to the concept of inter-being, coined by Thich Nhat Hanh. Inter-being refers to the fact that all existence is a complex, ever-changing nexus of causes and effects in which everything is interconnected to everything else, being co-created together.
Saving the valuable concept of Co-Creation from modernity, we rescue its living power and speak then of symbiosis, relationship, and bonding. We recall how we are never separate from our topographical, geographical, meteorological, ecosystemic, historical, or biological context. We remember that we are entirely porous to all these “trivial” forces that sustain our Life at all times and that our wise body conspires to Life in all its different phases, textures, tones, melodies, and rhythms. Furthermore, we never co-create alone.
O’Brien, Barbara. “Indra’s Jewel Net.” Learn Religions, Aug. 26, 2020, learnreligions.com/indras-jewel-net-449827.
By Sofia Batalha
Mammal, author, woman-mother, and question weaver one day at a time. Awkward prose-poet with no grammatical knowledge. Pilgrim through inner and outer landscapes, remembering ancient earth practices, in radical presence, active listening, ecopsychology, art, ecstasy, and writing. Author of eight books, editor of the free online magazine, Wind and Water, Re-member the Bones Podcast, and Beyond the Sea Conversations — all in Portuguese.
More information: sofiabatalha.com or Instagram: @serpentedalua