Sunday, 3 March 2013

History in our Bones

There is more to our genome than meets the eye. The genome we carry today originates in amoeba—a genus of Protozoa, consisting of shapeless unicellular organisms. Except for the number of cells, it reminds me of some people I know. Yet, some 300 million years ago, giant amoebas swam the seas of the Earth. And then something happened. The single cell split, then split again. Now we, humans, consist of some 100 trillion cells. Give or take a few billion amoebas—I mean cells.
Yes, we, the Homo sapiens are the sum-total of everything that happened in nature over at least the last 300 millions of years. We’ve learned to eat everything that moves. Nobody eats us, or at least, not often. We are at the very top of the food chain. We, after millions of year of being vegetarian, have become carnivores.
Why? Because we like to assert our superiority. Some fundamentalists will assert that the god told us to do so. Also, we like to kill. We are a species of killers.
Well, most of us.

The fact remains that if Darwin was right, then we began our journey towards self-awareness some millions of years ago. My cat is aware of herself. But I am aware that I am aware. A mere 5000 years ago our primitive predecessors realized that since the omnipresent creative force is ubiquitous it must, by definition, also be present within us. Now, I know that, “I am that I am”. I am aware that I evolved thanks to some forces that are beyond my comprehension. The question remains, is the difference between an amoeba and me only the number of cells and their relation to each other?
Or is the difference between an amoeba and us in that we are aware of this difference. Doesn’t the difference lie in the degree of our awareness?
Cartesians say that, “I think therefore I am”.
I say, “I am aware, therefore I am”.

Virtually all men and women I ever met believe that there is an external force, quite apart from us, which controls us, determines our welfare, adjudicates our future.
In a way, they are right.
We are the individualizations of that external force which created an amoeba. The rest is history. In order to qualify for the assurances of the great masters of the past (and very few of the present) all we need do is to make a tiny adjustment in our point of view. We all believe in the invisible—theoretical physics is the best proof for that. And now all we need do is to accept that we are not human animals possessed of a soul, but invisible, indestructible units of consciousness, which express themselves through a complex organism consisting of trillions of cells. Who knows what we might create next?
Two thousand years ago, Peter and Paul had been forced to face the same problem. It is a problem of faith. That’s all it takes. Faith like a grain of mustard seed.

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