The insight of inter-being will help remove discrimination, fear, and the dualistic way of thinking.
We inter-are — even suffering and happiness inter-are — and that is why the insight of inter-being
is the foundation of any kind of action that can bring peace and brotherhood,
and help remove violence and despair. That insight is present in every great spiritual tradition.
We need only to go home to our own tradition, and try to reveal that, to revive that.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
It can be helpful to think of Interbeing as made up of, or the interaction of, four aspects: being in touch, continue being, realize being, and make being here and now. The wellspring of compassion and understanding come from being in touch with our true mind and the processes of our inner life. Those processes include perception, mental formations, and feeling. Our true mind and inner life help us be in touch with the reality of the world and the reality of the mind. We recognize that we must learn to ‘look clearly and deeply’ (contemplation) at the wonders of life and see the meaning in the material and spiritual world. Being in touch with the true mind reminds and re “members” us with the wisdom leaders and traditions of our past who show us the way.
Thus, we learn our responsibility to continue being which is to extend and perpetuate the lessons and wisdom. To continue being is to “stay awake’ (e.g. awareness or consciousness) as many of the sages and prophets have taught. Continue being means we take good care of human consciousness and realization.
To continue and realize being draws us to express our insights into real life. Conversely, to realize being is to not dwell in the world of doctrine and ideas. Understanding and compassion must be real in our lives—seen and touched—and ideas about understanding and compassion are not understanding and compassion. When we realize being we transform and create a harmony between our joy and other’s, between us and creation. Only a calm and peaceful mind can realize and create harmony. This realized being brings about real presence that will alleviate suffering and create actions of less trouble and destruction in the world. Real presence exists when we make being here and now.
Only the present moment is real. That is why we make being here and now. Peace, liberation, enlightenment are present moment realities. There is no way to peace, liberation, enlightenment; Peace, liberation, enlightenment are the way. We make being here and now by practicing peace. Means and ends are inseparable. To realize being is to be aware; consciousness here and now. Make being here and now with means that are mindful and peaceful. To be is to Interbe. We Interare.
Am, be, is, and are all different words pointing to the same reality. If I say “I am” and you say “I am,” we both are. “I am” is the first person singular of the reality “to be.” Because we both claim to be, and rightly so, there is Interbeing. My joy and peace interare with your joy and peace. The reality that we have identity with, the reality that is equal in meaning, the reality of the same connotation, the reality of objective existence, and the reality of mutual reciprocity. This is Interbeing.
“If I am I because I am I, and you are you because you are you,
then I am I and you are you.
But, if I am I because you are you, and you are you because I am I,
then I am not I and you are not you”.
– R’Mendel of Kotzk known as the Kotzker Rebbe