Hello Dear Friends, Cultural Creatives and Seekers Everywhere,
The Answers Lie Within
Originally, this idiom was used to emphasize that the answers to life’s spiritual questions reside within us. Simply, rather than seeking God in the outer world, this insight suggests that God resides within our bodies. The answers to our questions are derived from the fact that our bodies speak to us with sensations, images, emotions, and an inner knowing that is beyond words. Consequently, it has been proposed that through meditation we can focus our attention on our inner spiritual realm where all of our questions will be answered.
As a cell biologist, I would like to offer a radically different and very empowering point of view for the same idiom based on Fractal Geometry.
Fractals are a natural phenomenon that can be expressed through mathematical sets that exhibit a repeating self-similar pattern displayed at every scale (i.e., at higher and lower magnifications). For example, almost all cells in the body have the exact same functions as found in a whole human. Simply, a cell and a human represent fractal images.
At the present time, the behavior of eight billion humans has precipitated the 6th mass extinction that now threatens the survival of human civilization. Sociologists, economists, politicians, and religious leaders, among others, are all offering different solutions to right the course of this ship. But as the days go on, the situation is becoming more tenuous and uncertain, extinction is imminent … it’s just a few decades away.
This is why I emphasize the biological implications of “The answers lie within.” A human body is comprised of approximately 50 trillion cells, most of which represent the functional equivalents of “miniature” human beings. Cells and humans have the same needs and share the same desire to survive. While eight billion humans are struggling to survive on the planet, consider the fact that in the confines of a fit human body, fifty trillion cellular citizens are living in health and harmony. Like their human counterparts, each cell has a job, gets paid a living salary in ATP (the energy molecule referred to as “the coin of the realm”), has healthcare, protection, and a political voice (emotions and symptoms). Recognize that the same body chemistry that makes you feel good and healthy also provides the cells with the same good feelings and health.
The point is profound; if we can assess the social dynamics that provide this massive cellular community with health and happiness, we could apply the same behaviors to the comparatively small population of the planet’s human beings.
This month’s video emphasizes how a cell’s nervous system is a fractal expression of the human nervous system. For years, scientists have tried to understand the mechanics of the human brain. Neuroscientist Gerald Edelman attempted to trace the possible interconnections among the hundred billion neurons comprising the human brain. The sum of potential interconnections among neurons in the human brain results in the number 10 followed by ten million zeroes, and there are only 10 followed by eighty zeroes of positively charged particles in the entire universe.
Lost in the overwhelming complexity, neuroscientists tried to study the simpler brains of smaller organisms. Scientists then focused attention on the brain of a microscopic round worm called coenorhabditis elegans. The body of this worm consists of total of 959 cells and its brain has only 302 cells. Despite the mapping of the connections among the neurons and the comparison of brain structure with behavioral mutants, the complexity of the communication pathways has resisted analysis.
The fact is a cell also has a brain, as attested by its behavioral complexity. But as illustrated in this month’s video, the cell’s brain is actually an organic information processor, a “chip.” The mechanics of the cell’s membrane reveal the fundamental nature of a nervous system operates, regardless of how many cells are found in the brains of larger organisms.
The point I am emphasizing is that an understanding of cellular dynamics offers human civilization a fractal pattern by which human beings can create a social structure that ensures all of us a chance to thrive into the future. All we need to realize is “the answers lie within.”
Wishing you all health, happiness and a wonderful Holiday Season,