Thursday, November 15, 2012

Making Sense of It All

Brilliant beams of the rising sun's light, unblocked by planets, satellites or pecan leaves, scan across the glade feeding the length of my body the warmth of a place I belong — of these cells, under this tree, on this planet, among the galaxies of atoms great and small that, too, belong wherever they exist. Stroking the fur of an animal, the hair of a friend or the satin hem of a winter blanket are further reminders of belonging. The laughter of a child erupting from a person of any age or the dulcet whisper of the great owl above me at night sing the music of the spheres to my ears, the orbits of my atoms. The sweet sensation of a juicy fruit, honeyed java or a lovers tongue are to flavor as the jasmine blooms, rich soil and my own garlic farts are to odor in letting me know I'm in the right place.

I would not know of these things except through reports I've gotten from my cells throughout my life which, at the rate of seven years per generation are in the midst of their eleventh generation. I've come a bit further in my theory that the mind is like a play by play announcer for the team its cells are; born at the same time, learning the game together, getting so familiar with the multitasking performance of this complex team that it forgets it is merely getting reports from the team about how the game is going and assumes it is in charge like any rabid arm-chair quarterback — as if it knew the first thing about digesting food, circulating blood or regenerating cells.

I came across a clever case study in psychology/philosophy the other day which I feel is relevant to the seamless continuity in cell regeneration. It involves five monkeys:
First the experimenters placed five monkeys in a cage with a step ladder and a bunch of bananas hanging from the ceiling. Whenever any one of them attempted to climb the ladder the monitor would spray the other monkeys with freezing water. Soon enough, whenever the bananas became so tempting for one that he tried climbing the ladder, the other four would beat the crap out of him until eventually none tried climbing.
Next they replaced one of these conditioned monkeys with a new one. When this newbie innocently began climbing the ladder, the four vets beat the shit out of him until he no longer tried climbing.
They repeat this replacement of a veteran ice water experiencer with an innocent new monkey scenario four more times until there are five monkeys who don't dare climb the ladder for fear of being beaten, and none of them know why they do it other than "that's the way it's always been."

Applying this example to cell regeneration and the biological transference of information from the old cell to the new one, called epigenesis, it is easy to see how, beneath any conscious preferences we might form from our experiences during our journey through life, our body is accumulating its own biological traditions of "that's the way it's always been" since the first regeneration of the last of the birth cells — the mini-evolution of the body as it copes with western civilization's deviation from the evolution of the rest of the planet by trying to establish human exceptionality as orthodoxy allowing it to consume natural resources reassembled and wrapped in neat little packages, mindless of the pollution their production and use causes; just as one sitting down to a juicy sirloin doesn't want to see pictures of a slaughterhouse.

If nothing else does, this would seem to shed some light into the mysteries of old age as the mind continues to operate on the reports it gets about the universe based on information from cellular reporters filtering what they experience just as the mind does as it places each new pixel of information it receives into the hologram gestalt of the present with lights and focus directed by the attachments it entertains at any given moment.

I still rely on personal experience being the only authority I respect, but I am finding the vagueness of memory increases with time leading me to think that the ultimate authority about what exists dwells only in the immediate instant of the present before cellular, mental, cultural biases can name anything. 

Meditation is preverbal thinking, the language of genetic memory …

… spoken where we belong.

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