Different parts of a system are connected to each other through bonds or channels that are inescapable. There is a crucial idea here – that the connections we have with elements of our selves, our lives, and the world around us are inescapable. In other words they exist, they are there and we cannot do anything about that. The same is true for connections within groups, teams and organisations. As humans we tend to spend a great deal of time wishing things were other than they are. Much of this time wastes energy through getting lost in regrets about the past, judgement of the present or hope and fear about the future.
As a simple example of this principle, consider that your boss is your boss. Right now there is nothing you can do about that reality. You may love your boss, hate your boss or feel neutral towards your boss. The principle of inescapable bond¹ requires you simply to acknowledge that your boss is your boss and that this is an inescapable connection, part of how things are. Similarly the marketing department is connected inescapably with the research department and both are connected inescapably with production and sales. There is nothing anyone in either department can do about that.
The principle of Inescapable Bond reminds us to acknowledge and respect the connections we have with and within the systems we are part of. As we respect that reality then situations become clearer and more workable. I could decide to leave my company. I could try to improve the pattern of communication with my boss. I can do many things once I acknowledge the truth of the inescapable bond that is present.
On a personal level, our parents are our parents. There is nothing we can do about that. Our siblings are our siblings whether we love them or hate them. This sounds perhaps simplistic until one reflects how much time and energy we spend wishing things were otherwise that cannot be otherwise. Or denying things are so that are indeed so. My past is my past. I have an intrinsic and inescapable connection with everything that has happened, I cannot make it otherwise. This is the principle of Inescapable Bond.
The irony is that once we recognise these realities and honour these, then we find we do have options for how we think of them and work with them. We may reconsider how we communicate with those we are connected with, or chose to take action. If I acknowledge that my team is indeed deeply and inescapably connected to the marketing team, then I begin to take greater responsibility for how that connection actually works in practice. So the paradox perhaps is that by acknowledging the inescapable bonds we have, greater freedom becomes possible.
Inescapable bonds with the wider environment:
Another example of the inescapable bond principle is seen in questions of business’s relationship to sustainability and the wider ecology. Historically businesses success has been measured with metrics that do not acknowledge the reality of the inescapable bond business has with the wider ecosphere. Our economic system has ignored certain inescapable bonds between human activity and the wider planet, or pushed them to the boundaries of consideration, labelling them ‘externalities’. The industrial growth system has tended to act as if the only thing that matters is the value chain – a relatively limited set of relationships between extraction and production. Another way of saying this is that the central principle of our economic system has been a limited set of financial goals and objectives. But actually the whole system has inescapable bonds with the wider planet. By ignoring the inescapable bonds many ecological problems have been created. The reality of these connections have been neglected and this has allowed activity to take place divorced from various physical and scientific facts. Generally whenever we ignore an inescapable bond we are storing up problems that we will meet with sooner or later. Conversely when we acknowledge our inescapable bonds this can encourage us toward wiser and more skilful behaviour and also support us to develop deeper trust in the truth of a ‘bigger picture’, beyond our intellectual frameworks.
 A transalation of the Sanskrit term ‘samaya’