We all start out being dependent as infants, children, young adults. Some people never grow out of that; then their relationships are based on dependence. They may not like who they’re with; they may not like what they’re doing, but they’re dependent. And so they will stay there, unless they can escape those situations and establish independence for themselves, like: “I begin to think for myself. I build my own platform. I can set my own direction. I’m not bound to my sense of duty or obligation to others, except in certain situations.”

So you can’t stay there because it naturally is to prepare you for interdependence, which means you are now your own person. But you realize you can’t really get much done alone, and you can’t really unite with anyone alone, and you have no real loyalty in your life from others alone. And you can’t have that kind of driving ambition and determination if you’re to unite with other people meaningfully to get anything done.

So you soon find out in independence that you’re alone and nothing really important may happen in your life. But it’s a stage of life. So if somebody’s thrusting for independence, that’s…as long as they don’t do it for too long or take it too far, then it gets pretty tragic.

But for a young person in your 20s, yeah, younger maybe, even 30s; 40s gets a little late to be adolescent. But some people will do that. They’ll break away and they’ll just go out and try to live on their own and be their own person without anyone else controlling them or limiting them or holding them back…

When you have reached a state of interdependence, you need to be with other people who have achieved that state. And that state…it’s not you just arrive and you’re there. I mean, it’s the beginning of a whole new stage of your life. You don’t just arrive one day being independent. Becoming independent is a series of steps and thresholds and everything—learning, unlearning, developing, releasing, forgiving. It has all these things.

The stage of becoming interdependent is establishing stability so that your personal growth now has to do with whether you can do this mission or not, at the mission level.

Marshall Vian Summers discusses the stages of dependence, independence and interdependence, with a particular focus on the limits of independence in life. This teaching was given as part of the 5-day Messenger’s Vigil in Boulder, Colorado, January 2020.