Throughout this series, I have made many statements that could be interpreted as attempts to discourage readers from trying to achieve self-sufficiency. This could not be farther from my true intent. In fact, my only purpose for posting my thoughts on this subject was to inform and to encourage people to reach the highest level of independence their capabilities and personal needs allow.
If you haven't achieved level eight, don't feel bad, neither have I. Personally, over the years, I have achieved bits and pieces of every level, never any complete level above the lower end of the scale. There are many reasons, the excuses are endless. Lack of knowledge or skill, lack of money, lack of time, lack of energy, lack of a like minded partner, and the list goes on. Not that these and others aren't valid considerations but none, or even all, of them can take the full blame.
To be self-sufficient means that you can, and do, provide for all of your own needs. The fact is that there is not enough time in the day or skills and varied ability for a lone individual to provide everything. This fact makes it necessary to include others, making self-sufficiency for the individual difficult if not impossible.
There is one, more important reason, genetics. Yes, I am going to blatantly and shamelessly play the, "it's not my fault, it's genetics," card here. As a species, we are social creatures, we need companionship and preferably of like minded people. John Donne said it nicely; "No man is an island." Humans need each other, in order to remain emotionally and psychologically healthy. The interaction between humans in terms of spiritual beliefs promotes a strong, healthy spirituality.
When considering the apparent hopelessness of individual self-sufficiency, perhaps the outlook would be brighter if we looked at the possibilities small groups or communities provide. Looking at a group of like minded individuals with varied skills, knowledge and abilities, it would be much less difficult for the group to achieve higher levels. A word of caution; if the group gets too large, it becomes a society with all the political issues we are trying to get away from.
With that said, it is my sincere hope that the opinions I have expressed have increased awareness, answered questions, or better yet raised a whole new set of questions. The act of questioning is the beginning of the learning process.