Friday, April 27, 2007


Christianity starts with a seminal event that skeptics scoff at. How could a woman conceive a child, even the son of God, without a human father? Modern evolutionary theory begins with another seminal event, the replication of the first DNA molecule. In his preface to 'River Out of Eden' Richard Dawkins writes, "..when the ricochets of atomic billiards chance to put together an object that has a certain, seemingly innocent property, something momentous happens in the universe. That property is an ability to self-replicate; that is, the object is able to use the surrounding materials to make exact copies of itself....What will follow from this singular occurrence, anywhere in the universe, is Darwinian selection and hence the baroque extravaganza that, on this planet, we call life".

I am not a religionist. I am a mystic. I offer no opinion regarding the virgin birth. What I propose in this post is two things. The first is that the chance of all the microscopic components necessary to congeal, by themselves, into a molecular structure that is complex enough to replicate is so gargantuanly improbable, that it makes a virgin birth seem a commonplace occurrence by comparison. And second, even granting that all the materials could be in place, a molecule cannot possibly replicate, at least not the way it is described by Dawkins.

The DNA molecule, or any hypothetical replicating molecule, is made of nucleotides, proteins and sugars. The ricocheting atoms that Dawkins refers to must first ricochet into these organic compounds. This is a problem. Organic compounds are manufactured in living cells. They are not found on this planet outside of living things. A famous experiment done by Miller and Urey in the 1950's, whereby a reducing environment of methane, ammonia, hydrogen and water vapor, devoid of oxygen, was subjected to a continual electric current, produced some of the carbon compounds necessary for that first replicating molecule. The continual (for three weeks) electric current was supposed to be a simulation of the lightning that these elements might have been exposed to on the early earth. But is a constant current for that duration a reasonable simulation of lightning? Is a controlled atmosphere without oxygen or carbon dioxide, both of which would breakdown these compounds, a realistic recreation of the atmosphere on earth at that time, when volcanoes spewing carbon dioxide and water vapor were frequent occurrences, and when we know that water vapor photodissociates in the upper atmosphere into oxygen, and oxidized sediments from the pre-Cambrian era exist in large quantities? What we are talking about is a so-called chemical evolution of organic materials that supposedly took place over millions of years, from carbon compounds combining to make amino acids, amino acids combining to make proteins and proteins combining to make a replicating molecule. Keep in mind that these are organic materials that are not within the protective membranes of a cell, or part of a cell's commitment to survive. These are fragile compounds that breakdown if there is too much heat, too much cold, too much movement, exposure to oxygen or carbon dioxide, exposure to sunlight and exposure to many of the other products of organic combining like ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Other variations of the Miller-Urey experiment revealed many more previously unconsidered problems, to the point that many evolutionists have rethought 'pre-biotic' evolution. Many scientists now believe that this process took place not in an ocean of organic soup, but in shallow tide pools. Others look to thermal vents on the ocean floor, while others argue for an anaerobic beginning to life deep below the earth's surface and others have come to believe that life, in an extremophile form, may have arrived here embedded in a meteor from another planet.

Where this supposed abiogenisis (the creation of life, by itself, from non-living matter) took place, does not concern us here. Let's grant that somehow there were ample quantities of all the organic ingredients necessary. The assemblage of all of these, by chance, to a form and level of complexity that would be able to replicate is so fantastically remote a possibility that it is likened to the complete works of Shakespeare forming from a random mixing of letters, or molecules of metals with the help of heat from volcanoes and pressure from landslides forming themselves into a fully working refrigerator on an uninhabited planet. These are the 'chance ricochets' that Dawkins refers to.

Next comes the "innocent property" that this molecule just happens to have, which is the property of self-replication. To say that self-replication is a property of a molecule is like saying, "that rock is small, that rock is large, that rock is white, and that rock does calculus." Understand that a molecule is not a living thing. It's like a wall, a brick or a plate. Self-replication is a miraculous biological event. Since the unraveling of the structure of the DNA molecule by Dawson and Crick, our greatest scientists continue to study the act of replication. It is still not understood. They know, chemically, how the two strands of DNA separate, and they know, chemically, what material is used to "synthesize" the copy of the isolated strand, but how does it happen? Can we call it a "synthesis"? No, because it doesn't result in anything synthetic. The copied strand is exactly as real and authentic, as willful and determined to replicate, as the original strand. As baffling and awesome as this still is, does it make any sense to say that the DNA is 'self'-replicating', that it is making copies of 'itself'?

What is a self? When we say the dog came down the hill by himself, or the young calf stood by itself, it implies the ability to execute an action without help from others. Of course, it makes no sense to say a rock came down the hill by itself, or the crowbar stood up by itself. Non-living things are passive. They do not initiate action. Of course they move, they expand and they contract, but it is always some force that is causing them to do that. Really they are being moved, being expanded and being contracted. Physicists say that all the movement of non-living matter can be broken down into four forces, gravity, electro-magnetism, the strong force (which holds the nucleus of atoms together) and the weak force (which holds together smaller particles in the atom). Conventional wisdom has it that prior to this first molecular replication there was no life in the universe. That means there were no sounds, no sights, no thoughts, no intentions, nothing. There were only atoms and molecules moving in mindless obedience to gravity, electro-magnetism, the strong force and the weak force.

The first life form, whatever that was, was also the first machine. Yes, life forms are machines, although I hate to use that word, because people start thinking that life forms are just machines, which is not only wrong but helps lead to the moral and ethical slide that we now find ourselves in, but more of that later. All the processes of a life form, the thousands of processes within each cell, between cells, the processes of digestion, elimination, growth, the sensing of the environment, movement, replication, all involve energy. This energy is expended consciously and unconsciously to one end, the moment to moment survival of that life form. In the human body there are literally quadrillions of processes going on simultaneously and all synchronized to that one end, moment to moment survival. An organism does what it does to enhance its survival and to avoid or overcome threats to its survival. The energy and the focus to do all these activities I call will. Will is the fifth force.

You might say that is too anthropomorphic of me, that surely the will of a human being to pass her bar exams is different than the will of an ant to climb a hill to get to a discarded candy bar. But why is it different? Will has no thoughts. We may have thoughts about will, about will power, concentration, discipline, etc., but in the meantime our hearts keep beating, our lungs keep breathing and all the quadrillion processes of our life keep motoring on. Does the ant consciously desire the candy? I think so. The ant has receptors that let it know that the candy is there, and the scent of that candy arouses something in the ant that drives it toward it. And every one knows that the strongest desires are felt in the body and the fulfillment of those desires are usually diluted and complicated, not enhanced, by thought.

We had to call a plumber to our house recently because the sinks and toilets were backing up. The plumber wound up snaking out the mainline drain pipe leading from our house to the city sewer line. What had happenned was a very common occurrence in our area. A tree, sensing water in the pipe, had grown a root around it and squeezed. After several years of squeezing the tree managed to create a hairline fracture in that cast iron pipe and shot a tiny rootlet through that opening. Once that root started feasting on the water inside the pipe it grew to the point where the passage was blocked. I told my friend about it as a testament to the will of that tree. She thought that was rather silly, because it couldn't be like human will, and shouldn't be called the same thing. Why? What is different about it? What does human will look like? Human will is not part of the physical universe. Like all the really important things in our life like love, attraction, knowledge and one's self, will cannot be seen. It can only be surmised by the result of one's actions. The entire theory of evolution is predicated on this will without ever acknowledging it. What is driving all these countless beings in their struggle for survival if it's not will. The outcome of the contest of the survival of the fittest may be arbitrary, but the contestants certainly are not. Each one, from the plankton to the whale, from the amoeba to the redwood, is a complexly organized, synchronous whole driven by one over arching thing, it's survival. The survival of the fittest contest continues only so long as all the individual contestants continue to strive at every moment to survive. If you object to the word will, then call it something else, but if you over analyze and start to make distinctions you drive a semantic wedge between the great bond that bonds human beings to all of life, the will and desire to live.

Back to the replicating molecule. As the enormous complexity of the DNA molecule has become more clearly understood, many scientists have theorized that the first replicating molecule was not DNA, but something simpler, because the random assemblage of DNA with its millions or billions of nucleotides seems inconceivable. Beyond assuming that it was simpler, no one has any idea what this replicating molecule might have been composed of, and the theory goes that it no longer exists because it was devoured by more efficient, or more evolved, DNA centered organisms. To get some sense of what replication might be like let's look at DNA because it is at the center of every cellular replication on this planet and is the only example we have. The replication of DNA is part of the process of the whole cell's replication. To accomplish this DNA uses energy metabolized by the surrounding cell. The complex movements of the DNA molecule during replication and the energy required to split the strands of nucleotides and for the actual replication is borrowed from the cell. It is not part of the four forces of gravity, electro-magnetism, the strong force or the weak force. It is a function of will. This leaves us with only two options.

The first is that at the time of the first replication, that molecule was not a living thing, in which case it was a passive piece of matter subject to the four laws of physics. In other words it did not replicate, but it was replicated. And if it was replicated, who replicated it?

The second possibility is that at that moment it was a living thing and it did replicate itself. The question then becomes from where did that first will and that first self on this planet arrive?

Any feedback? Your comments are sincerely welcome.


Richard Dawkins writes in 'River Out of Eden', his popular book on evolution, "The machine code of the genes is uncannily computer like. Apart from differences in jargon, the pages of a molecular-biology journal might be interchanged with those of a computer-engineering journal. Among many other consequences, this digital revolution at the very core of life has dealt the final, killing blow to vitalism-the belief that living material is deeply distinct from nonliving material. Up until 1953 (the unraveling of the structure of the DNA molecule by Watson and Crick) it was still possible to believe that there was something fundamentally and irreducibly mysterious in living protoplasm. No longer."

Does the fact that genetic code resembles computer code lead one to think that living beings are less mysterious, or more so? The accepted wisdom is that DNA sends instructions to the cells using genetic code, which consists of four nucleotide 'letters' arranged in myriad sequences. Computers use a binary code, just two letters, high frequency or low frequency, 1 or 0. Computers work basically like this: A person, a conscious, intelligent being, types a message into a computer, an elaborate machine invented and constructed by conscious, intelligent beings, which translates the message from a language (spoken code) to computer code, which then travels to another machine, created and constructed by conscious, intelligent beings, which translates the code back to the original language at which point it is received and understood by yet another conscious, intelligent being.

If there were two computers that grew from two microscopic pieces of plastic or wire, without any assistance by any human intelligence, one of which started sending, by itself, millions of coded messages to the other, in a code which they invented themselves, and the other, upon receiving these messages began building impossibly complex new machines, and they both, in their spare time, were replicating themselves, then, that would still be a very pale, very inept imitation of a human being. Are we back to being fundamentally and irreducibly mysterious yet, or have Watson and Crick figured out the whole thing?

Supposedly DNA uses genetic code to send instructions to the cell. But DNA is the code. Does that mean that the code is sending its own instructions? That would be the equivalent of the high frequency and the low frequency of binary code, getting together to decide how to arrange themselves to create software. What part of the DNA is formulating these exquisitely complicated coded instructions? Is it the nucleic acids, the protein molecules, the sugars? What sense does it make to imagine that the code itself is formulating messages? Do letters, by themselves, form into novels? Do numbers, by themselves, form into equations? Codes are created by intelligence to communicate intelligent purposeful ideas to other intelligence. The way modern science thinks of it, lifeless submicroscopic bits of nucleic acid (genes) by sheer accident formed themselves into codes which communicated messages that were read and executed by other lifeless pieces of acids and proteins out of which, accidentally, came replication, the will to survive, birth, growth, death, digestion, elimination, metabolism, ambition, love and consciousness. And if you dare to challenge any of these ridiculous materialist assumptions, you are either an out of date religious fundamentalist who refuses to acknowledge the 'findings' of modern science, or you are some sort of a 'weirdo' who has a problem accepting 'reality' as, of course, only they can define it.

The physical plane is not the causal plane even when it is viewed through a microscope. We accept the structure (too small to see) of long, long chains of genetic code stretching along the twisting ladder of the DNA molecule. If you took all the genes from every cell of one human body and arranged them in one impossibly thin string, they would stretch from here to the sun (yes, not the moon, the sun) and back. What are they? Scientists tell us they are instructions. The genes, consisting of four nucleotides, make up a four letter language that give myriad instructions to the cell. The information in these instructions is so detailed and complex that the amount of genetic information in a single bacteria exceeds the total amount of information in the greatest libraries in the world. When a cell needs a certain enzyme it locates the particular piece of code it needs from the nucleus of the cell, copies it and brings it to the ribosome which reads the code and manufactures the enzyme. This is seen. This is known. But what is unseen? How does the cell know what enzyme it needs and how to locate that precise piece of code among the over three billion genes in each cell? Who or what knows the exquisitely precise sequence of protein and enzyme manufacture involved in the development of a human body from a fertilized ovum? How does the ribosome 'read' the code and then manufacture the enzyme? Yes, dedicated cellular biologists have studied these mechanisms and can describe many of the molecules and enzymes involved in these processes and the way in which some of these molecules interlock with others, but how? How do they know what to do, where to go and when to do it, and how did they arrive at those impossibly complex and precise shapes that allow them to do these things? These same scientists continue to study the cell to understand more of the thousands of chemical processes that go on simultaneously within the cell and the exquisitely delicate structures of membranes and molecules that enable the cell to do it's work. Mind you, the cell is the 'beginning' of evolution'. The common wisdom is that evolution starts with a 'simple' cell and then gradually over billions of years becomes more and more complex. Yet generations of our most brilliant scientists still struggle to understand the workings of this 'simple' cell, and few dare say that when they see such an impossibly intricate design and when they have clear evidence that each of our one hundred trillion microscopic cells remembers, reads, and replicates with a transcendent intelligence, only few would dare say that some other transcendent power and intelligence, an unseen force that shapes and energizes the whole thing, could possibly be at work.

I have a pretty good assistant. If I give him twelve instructions he will probably do six well, three passably and forget about the rest, and the last time I looked my assistant was a human being, the pinnacle of evolution. Here we have a microscopic cell and not only is there a Library of Congress' worth of instructions in that invisible dot, but there is somehow the artistry and intelligence to receive and execute all these instructions and coordinate that with the one hundred trillion other cells in the body, each with their own Library of Congress' worth of instructions, to create one synchronous, living human being.

I have a channel changer for my TV. In my area, at least, when I presses #4 I get NBC. This happens every time. It's scientifically consistent. Press #4, night or day, weekend or weekday, I get NBC. Does this mean that the #4 or the little wire inside that button, creates NBC? Does it mean that that wire is responsible for all the writing, acting, musical and administrative talent involved in the creation of NBC? Does my #4 even want NBC or care one iota about it, or even know of its existence? Of course not. A wire is a wire, a protein is a protein and an acid is an acid. The programming of NBC is, of course, created by the irreducibly mysterious talents of thousands of actors, directors, producers, designers and executives. My little #4 merely attracts the products of all this talent and intelligence to it. Watson and Crick thought they had found God in the DNA molecule. What they found was God's channel changer.

Please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Spiritual people are emphatic about their beliefs. They say that they are based on their strongest experiences. Those of a scientific persuasion say that these experiences are delusional. If you can't see something, it doesn't exist. Yet, is this a maxim that holds true for all scientists?

Chemists and biologists deal with the material, visible world. They look at non-organic matter and organic matter as basically two different types of essentially the same thing, "stuff" made up of atoms and molecules. Physicists, however, are different. Physicists study forces. Forces cannot be seen. Forces are inferred by their effects on the material world, from their effects on tiny bits of it, like sub-atomic particles, to huge masses of it, like galaxies and nebulae. Keep in mind that even though, thanks to modern instrumentation, much of that microscopic world and that mega world can now be seen, forces still cannot. They still can only be inferred. And the same is true with psychology. You cannot see a person's intelligence, ambition, motivation or feelings. These can only be inferred from the effects of these feelings and invisible traits on a person's body, speech and actions. No one questions the existence of forces, intelligence, feelings, motivations or other 'states of mind', but no one sees them either.

The problem comes when people whose entire training has been in organic chemistry and biology start making statements about life. Life, as anyone who has survived a lifetime of materialistic brainwashing knows, is essentially spiritual, not material. Of course we have a body, but it is not our body, but our experience of our body that is integral to our lives. Consciousness, love, desire, passion, curiosity, jealousy, ambition, etc., are the stuff of life and all of these are experienced but not seen directly, either in ourselves or in others. Even one's self is nowhere to be found in all the most sophisticated research. And all the slicing and dicing, the pushing and pulling, the dissecting and examining of the human body, with whatever instruments you like, will never reveal the self. This is simply because the self is not part of the physical universe. The self is not a content, but the context of one's experience. It is the non-physical bowl within which you experience everything that happens to you.

Let's get back to the essential problem of biologists and chemists telling us what life is about. In the giddy excitement following the discovery of some of the basic structure of the DNA molecule, Watson and Crick and many in their wake, such as Richard Dawkins, claimed that they had found the essence of life, that life was now understood. They had found God and God was the DNA molecule. Had they? What does DNA do, actually? According to these same scientists, the DNA molecule is a complex structure of sugars, acids and proteins, and contains genes that are nucleic acids, or nucleotides, and that they are arranged in long, long chains and these arrangements are coded for the manufacture of enzymes and proteins and that is it! End of story! DNA is nucleic acid. DNA guides the manufacture of enzymes and proteins and that is life, the whole story. In fact, they go on to say that the purpose of all of evolution and the entire development of the species in all its breathtaking complexity is purely and simply to create more efficient machines for the replication of the DNA molecule. This has to be the ultimate expression of materialism!

And people believe this! People who thought they were living beings with a soul, full of radiant consciousness, now believe that they are some sort of protein manufacturing center which oddly happens to talk, and which accidentally picked up, somewhere along the evolutionary line, the peculiar trait of 'consciousness', because it enhanced their ability to survive, which, ultimately, allows them to replicate more DNA. Wow!

Folks, WAKE UP! An acid is an acid is an acid is an acid. A protein is a protein is a protein is a protein. A life is a life is a life is a life. Look, if I could somehow learn the transcendently exquisite sequence of proteins that were secreted from the one hundred trillion cells in a human body and I built one hundred trillion microscopic spigots and poured all the exact right amounts of enzymes and proteins in exactly the right timing sequences, into a pot, do you think I would wind up with a human being? Let me tell you. I would wind up with a pot of protein. I would wind up with a lovely meal for a hyena, or a weekend feast for a jackal. That's it.

There is a wire to my stereo. When I plug it in, that wire serves as the conductor for all the genius of Beethoven, Mozart, Mahler and Bach, but when it's not plugged in, it's just a wire. All the proteins in the body and, yes, that includes the brain, when they are not plugged in to the nexus of will and consciousness and intelligence that is the essence of life, are meat, plain and simple.

All the great spiritual books that have survived for centuries: the Vedas, the Bible, the Book of the Hopi, the teachings of Buddha and Lao-Tzu, the Koran and the Upanishads, share the understanding that the subtle creates the gross, not the other way around. You are life, you are consciousness. You have a body which you experience and use. You did not come into being because a conglomeration of proteins, of non living particles, of microscopic little pieces of organic matter happenned, by chance, to get together, and suddenly congealed into an intelligent, living being that metabolizes energy, grows, replicates, senses it's environment, etc. And this is organic matter, by the way, that was supposedly, somehow floating around in our environment prior to the advent of life. So our basic belief now is that nucleic acids create proteins and proteins, or meat, create life; not that life creates proteins. Take away all the big words and that is what you wind up with. At some point, acids miraculously got together in a complex enough formation to start manufacturing proteins and this created life. Is this the ultimate in materialistic insanity? Are we meat that happens to talk and think and be conscious just to enable us to replicate more meat? Or are we living, conscious beings that have a body through which we experience the world? Is consciousness the result of material complexity or does the process begin with consciousness?

Let's look at will. Every process of a living body operates independently from the four forces of physics: gravity, electro-magnetism, the strong force (holding the nucleus of atoms together) and the weak force (holding sub-atomic particles together). To energize these processes, every living thing metabolizes energy. And what is the purpose of this energy, this force? To survive. Every living thing, and in the case of multi-celled organisms, every one of the millions and trillions of cells within an individual being and the thousands of processes within each cell of that being, all these quadrillions of processes are synchronized to deliver the same result: the moment to moment existence of that being. This is observable, this is obvious. So, why can't the scientific community give the same respect to the force of will that they do to the force of gravity and electro-magnetism? Is it a delusion when every plant, animal and every microscopic being on this teeming planet are all working in concert to the same end? Will is the force that keeps evolution going. Beings live and replicate because they want to live and replicate. Will energizes the whole thing and yet evolutionary biologists do not even mention it. They speak nonsense about rivers of DNA and genes getting together through the centuries. There are no rivers of DNA. There is a river of will and determination. Genes get together because beings get together. Beings get together because they are drawn to each other by ineffable forces, because of the overwhelmingly powerful desires to survive and procreate and care for their offspring that are put, not in their molecules, but in their selves. The same ineffable force that brings us to procreation is the same force that brings the DNA molecule to replication. How could these little sub-microscopic dots of acid replicate by 'themselves'. They have no selves. They are passive matter. It is the force of life, it is will, that causes the replication and the evolution and the seeking of a better adaptation to life, and the seeking of a mate in the first place. The cause does not originate in material, it originates in the non material.

You don't need rabbis or gurus or priests to make this determination. Get a few physicists on the case. The problem is that physicists don't study living beings. Living beings have become the sole province of chemists and biologists who look at the visible, physical world and search for answers exclusively within the visible, physical world. It would probably take a physicist all of five minutes to determine that there is a very different force going on within a living being, that the goal of that force, which could be tested an infinite number of ways, is the survival of that being, and whoever that physicist is that makes this revelation will probably get to name it. So, we won't be able to call it will any more. We'll have to call it Jablonski, which is fine with me, so long as we don't forget to glorify the force called Jablonski, that has sustained all life from the beginning and sustains us now as you are reading these words, when we glorify Jablonski, the physicist, who spent a few months researching his 'discovery'.

The subtle creates the gross. Let's look at it in terms of human creativity. Look at any invention, any construction, any work of art. There it is, very tangible in the material world. Yet before it was made it existed as a plan or a blueprint or a sketch. Before that it was an image in some person's mind, a mental picture of this thing that they had imagined. Before that it was an identified desire, like, I need to provide more shelter for my family, or I need to express this talent, or I need to honor this loved one with a gift, or I have to figure out how to get to work faster. And before, out of nothing, in other words an empty consciousness, came an itch, a nameless restlessness, which materialized into an identified desire, which materialized into a vision of a creation, which materialized into a more detailed plan which finally materialized into the thing itself. So with human creations it's easy to see that the subtle, the little restlessness, the little twitch, materializes into a house, a sculpture, the invention of the wheel, or whatever. It's obviously not that the house was created first and the consciousness from which the idea of the house came out of, follows later. That's pretty simple to see. What's harder to see is that our consciousness, our 'self', is part of a much larger consciousness, a cosmic mind or cosmic consciousness, that is the source of all natural creation in the same way that our limited consciousness is the source of all human creation. But more of this later.

Please feel free to comment.

Monday, April 23, 2007


Richard Dawkins writes in "River Out of Eden," one of several of his polemics on evolution,
"Airplanes built according to scientific principles work. They stay aloft and they get you to a chosen destination....Western science, acting on good evidence that the moon orbits the Earth a quarter of a million miles away, using Western-designed computers and rockets, has succeeded in placing people on its surface. Tribal science, believing that the moon is just above the treetops, will never touch it outside of dreams".

Using this analogy Dawkins equates evolution with the hard science of physics and any disagreement with evolution is equated with tribal superstition. Does the analogy hold? Our understanding of gravity led to the airplane. Our understanding of the expansion of gases led to the combustion engine. Our understanding of electricity led to the light bulb. So, is Dawkins et al., prepared to create a living being? If the principle of life "at it's core" is so well understood by evolutionary biologists, then when can we expect the first manufactured being to arrive? When can we expect the first man-made creation that grows, or that replicates, or that has will, or that is conscious? And please don't confuse genetic engineering with the creation of life. If I understand how my channel changer works I can change the progamming of my television. That doesn't mean that I know anything about how to build a television or that I know how to write, shoot, direct, act or in any way create television shows.

If you cannot see your 'self' or your consciousness or your will or emotions or intelligence, how can you expect to discover the very core of life from physical observation? When Watson and Crick discovered the double helix construction of the DNA molecule, had they discovered "God" as they had initially claimed or had they discovered God's channel changer? In all the subsequent research evolutionary biologists have determined that genes code for the manufacture of enzymes and proteins. But genes code for much more than that. Genes code for shape as well as content. The newly combined genetic code in a fertilized egg attracts to it a particular nexus of consciousness, will, intelligence and information that infuses the physical body and makes possible all it's myriad functions. If the only function of genes were to produce proteins and enzymes, gestation would result in a shapeless puddle of meat rather than a human baby. This is why so much of the code is considered 'junk' DNA, because scientists cannot 'see' a use for it. This is why the particular way all the billions of genes are folded over and over into the nucleosome is not considered a relevant bases for study; because the mystery of the genes is considered solved. If we can get a bacteria to manufacture insulin by genetic engineering, then why look further? All questions are supposedly answered.

The story of evolution is presented as a rational, easily understood account of how life developed from 'simple' single celled organisms into the one hundred trillion celled creatures that we call human beings. Supposedly, from these simple one celled beginnings, after many, many mistakes, we gradually, one step at a time, evolved because our ability to survive improved as we became more perfected and complicated. All of nature's mistakes have disappeared because they were 'devoured' by the more improved survivors that replaced them. Let's look at this argument piece by piece.

First there is the simple beginnings, the cells. Almost four billion years after they arrived on this planet, we are still studying these 'simple' building blocks of life. Before we get into endless, hairsplitting arguments about which genus the digger wasp belongs to or the sexual predilections of the male stickleback, let's look at this 'simple' cell. For all the years of dedicated research and the chest thumping of Watson, Crick, Dawkins and their ilk, there is not one, I repeat, not one, function of that simple cell, which is the very beginning of the story of evolution, that is truly understood by Western science, or that can be produced in a laboratory. We cannot create anything that replicates anything. We cannot create anything that digests anything. We cannot create anything that grows. We cannot create anything that metabolizes. We cannot create anything that is aware of its surroundings. The basic building block of the whole history of evolution, which is supposedly so clear, rational and logical, is an absolute and utter mystery! This story that begins in simplicity, actually begins with transcendent intelligence and unfathomable complexity.

Then, we have the gradual perfection of organs until we come up with the highly perfected organs of a creature such as ourselves. Along the way, according to the story, many genetic 'mistakes' were made, species that could not compete with the genetically superior species that we find today. Does this make any sense, really? When you look at the structure of a microscopic eukaryotic cell, the building block of all complex plant and animal life, you find a nucleus containing millions or billions of enfolded genes, with ribosomes and vesicles and reticulums, with vacuoles and lysosomes and centrioles, with microscopic membranes separating hundreds of chemical reactions all going on simultaneously in perfect synchronicity. When you look at all this dazzling complexity and precision at the very beginning of life, do you really believe that there were vast multitudes of species roaming this earth that were bunking into trees and walking off of cliffs, because they couldn't see well enough; that starved to death because they couldn't digest their food, or that died of fevers or chills because they couldn't regulate their temperatures? The whole thing is absolutely laughable. Beings make perfect adaptations to the particular niche of the environment that they inhabit. When there is a change in the environment, a shift in the weather, in the composition of the atmosphere, the arrival of a new predator or a new competitor, a change in the food source, etc., sometimes the genetic adaptation cannot act quickly enough to adjust to a rapid change. A species that was perfectly adapted to earlier circumstances, suddenly finds itself at a disadvantage. A good example is right now, when our dedicated physicians, researchers and, yes, genetic engineers, are working frantically to stem the tide of cancers, diabetes, heart and kidney conditions in our own species due to the dramatic change in our diet and air quality since the beginning of industrialization. Don't forget that for hundreds of thousands of years we were all organic, locally grown and seasonal eaters. The recent barrage of pesticides, preservatives, growth hormones, fillers and various and sundry chemicals that we are eating in our food, drinking in our water and breathing in our air is too much for our amazing but still limited abilities to adapt. But the idea that dinosaurs were weaker than we are, that pteradactyls were poor flyers, or that this earth was cluttered with evolutionary mistakes that were so completely devoured that nothing is left of them, not even their bones, is beyond absurd.

Underlying this whole theory is the most base, materialistic view of life imaginable. According to this theory, we are here to survive and replicate, plain and simple. Anything that doesn't survive as well as we do, gets devoured and disappears. But why, why do we want to survive? Just to survive? Just to eat so that we can replicate more of our own kind that can eat and replicate more? Yecch! We survive because we want to survive. We survive, that is all of our species, because, when our survival needs are met, when we have enough nourishment, when we are warm enough and cool enough, when our offspring are cared for and we are in the environment that we are so exquisitely adapted to, we love life. We, that is all of us, in the absence of need, feel in harmony, balance and deep connection with our surroundings, and this feeling is intensely peaceful, loving and pleasurable. We have to lose the 'National Geographic' sense of the wild, which focuses on the one minute violent, dramatic struggle for dominance between male Tibetan yaks and ignores the thirty years of peaceful grazing which makes up the rest of their lives. Aside from the bias of Darwinists and most historians, life is not about those occasional, dramatic struggles for survival, but about the much longer, peaceful, harmonious interludes, and the quest for that peace and balance that keeps all of us wanting to survive and replicate.

And finally, does our ability to survive improve as we become more complicated? Absolutely not! The total population of humans is not even a footnote to the population of microbes, plankton, amoebas and bacteria. If the thrust of life were replication, we would have stopped at the beginning. Every drop of ocean water, every square inch of soil on this planet is teeming with microscopic life. We do not live in order to survive. We survive in order to live. Our organs have not improved through evolution, so much as they have adapted to fit our different needs. The sense organs of a cell let it know when a virus is arriving and mobilizes anti-bodies to defend itself against that virus. When we need protection from viruses we turn to the abilities and sensitivities of the cell which far surpasses the abilities and sensitivities of the human organism as a whole in regard to virus protection. Each species gets the genetic equipment it needs to sense and deal with its particular environment. We are oblivious to all the ways a bacteria senses its environment in the same way that a bacteria is oblivious to all the ways in which we sense ours. The evolution of senses, motor skills, digestive organs, etc. has not been so much an improvement, but rather a change to adapt to different environmental demands. If there has been an upward, spirallic evolution of intelligence and consciousness resulting in human beings, it is for very different reasons than simple survival.

In sum, then, what do we really know about the creation of life? Western science has unlocked a part of the code for the manufacture of proteins and enzymes, the physical contents of living things. Who controls that code, who signals which of the three thousand enzymes and one hundred thousand combinations of enzymes will be produced within the one hundred trillion cells of the human body, at every moment of our existence, has not been determined. But the code itself, the arrangement of nucleotides in the DNA molecule, has been discovered, which is hugely important but is still only one small part, and the least subtle, least causal part of the entire picture. On a subtler and more causal level, is the coding for the shapes and energy pathways of living things. Western scientists have only recently begun to explore this area and could get much wisdom and insight from traditional understandings, particularly from the philosophies that underlie acupuncture and aryuvedic medicine. On a still more subtle plane, is the particular will and intelligence that forms an individual being. In our stubborn refusal to acknowledge anything we cannot see, we refuse to recognize the presence of will and intelligence, except, of course, the will and intelligence that we experience ourselves, even though it infuses and permeates every aspect of life and every process and every formation that we see through our microscopes. And finally, on the most subtle, the ultimate causal plane, is consciousness. Not only have Western scientists begun to deny the existence of consciousness (in another post) but they will never discover anything about it if they continue to limit themselves to the methods of physical observation and analysis.

In the homeland of that same tribe that Dawkins referred to as 'believing the moon is just above the treetops,' a television has mysteriously appeared. A tribesman fiddling with the channel changer has discovered that he can get many different, amazing results by pressing these different buttons. Not realizing that these programs are made thousands of miles away and transported invisibly to that little box, people begin to worship it, and worship each of the numbers on that channel changer. The tribesman who figured out how that channel changer works becomes the high priest of this new magic cult. He is celebrated and his little numbers are worshiped as gods. The name of that tribesman leading his people in bowing down to those numbers is Richard Dawkins.

Any thoughts? I sincerely welcome your feedback.

Friday, April 20, 2007


How is it that we, as a society, have become so convinced that the only intelligence in the universe is our human intelligence? Let's look at the animal kingdom. Migratory birds, with their 'bird brains' can effortlessly locate five hundred hidden items of food and construction materials for nests, that they had buried a year earlier. These same migratory birds can recreate a flight pattern of a thousand miles after experiencing it once. We are outwitted by our pet dogs when we play tag with them in our own backyards. These, of course, are examples of 'instinct' rather than intelligence. Instinct means that it is not the animal's own intelligence that is being used, but the intelligence of......what?

As was said earlier, intelligence cannot be observed directly. It can only be surmised based on one's words, behaviors and constructions. The more complex the construction, the more intelligence is assumed in the constructor. When one's words seem insightful, seem true to life, or reveal some aspect of life, the author is applauded for his talent and intelligence. When a painting or a story or a piece of music seems to express something profound or real about life, the author is acclaimed for her insight and brilliance. Although we ascribe intelligence to the degree to which a person's words or artistic achievements reveal some aspect of life, we accord no intelligence to the most complex construction of all, life itself.

Biology is the study of life, at least semantically that's what it means. In reality, biology is the study of organic matter. This matter, at least while it is part of a living being, and not when it is frozen with a fixative on a slide and viewed in a microscope, is engaged in myriad activities. Energy is coursing through this 'matter' and so is intelligence. Biologists are determined to explain everything they observe purely in physical terms. The more minutely they study organic matter, the more amazingly complex and 'intelligent' it gets, but their determination not to see any sign of intelligence is absolutely astounding.

Let's look at the manufacture of enzymes, which takes place millions of times in the one hundred trillion cells of your body every day. Over three billion genes are folded over and over again inside the nucleus of each cell. The nucleus is surrounded by a membrane which protects it from anything harmful that might come floating through the cell's cytoplasm. When a cell needs a certain enzyme produced, another enzyme moves to that exact location in the nuclear membrane that separates the needed piece of genetic code from the cytoplasm and this enzyme opens a hole in the membrane. Then, more enzymes separate the strand of DNA that contains the code from its partnered strand so that the needed code is pressed up against the opening in the membrane. Then another molecule, RNA, attaches to the exposed code and 'copies' it. More enzymes close the hole in the membrane and more enzymes help the DNA strand reattach to it's partner strand. Then the RNA with the copied code travels through the cytoplasm to a ribosome molecule which 'reads' the code and manufactures the needed protein. This process goes on millions of times every day within your body. Oh, yes, and not to worry about mistakes made with all this reading and transcribing. There are other enzymes that 'proofread' and correct mistakes in all these processes. Currently some of these processes are considered 'understood' and some are considered 'not yet understood'. By that is meant that many of the enzymes involved in the process have been identified and named and other enzymes have not yet been identified and named.

Let's suppose that everything were 'completely understood' in those terms. Let's suppose that we could specify every enzyme and every molecule that was used in all of these processes. Would we, then, completely understand how enzymes and proteins were manufactured? How does the cell know what enzyme it needs? I know when I need something to eat. I know when I need some sleep, but I am recognized as a modestly intelligent being. How does the cell know precisely what enzyme it needs out of thousands of possibilities if it has no intelligence? I could probably go to the Library of Congress and find a particular article I needed with the help of a librarian and a computer, because, once again, I am a human being with some intelligence and sophistication. Yet, how does that microscopic droplet of enzyme know exactly where to locate the needed genetic information in the nucleosome, which, by the way, contains more information than the Library of Congress?

One thing I absolutely cannot do, intelligent or not, is replicate anything. If a magician puts a ball under a handkerchief, waves a wand, and then pulls off the handkerchief to reveal two balls, we try to figure out the trick. We look for the place where the second ball was hidden. Was it up his sleeve or inside the lapel of his jacket? If he said, "No, actually the second ball was created from the first ball, it's brand new and identical to the first," would we believe him, or be all the more determined to find out the 'truth' to this deception. Yet this 'magic' act of replication happens trillions of times over in our bodies as DNA 'synthesizes' new DNA and genetic code is 'copied' on to the RNA molecule. In the magic trick, if the magician told us that he was going to reveal the 'truth' of his trick and then described the chemical contents of the first ball and then followed this with the chemical contents of both balls (which I guess would be twice what the first one was) would the magic trick, then, be 'completely understood'? Would he have revealed the 'truth' of the trick, or would he have completely ignored it? So, is this great mystery of DNA replication understood or has it been ignored? Do we understand or do we pretend to understand? And all this is only the least mysterious part of replication, because replication involves the whole cell and not just DNA. The replicated cell is just as willful, just as committed to its survival, just as determined to replicate, just as able to grow and manufacture a variety of enzymes at the precise appropriate moment as the original cell. Will, discernment and intelligence has been replicated along with material. Because we live in a world where these miraculous replications happen countless times at every moment of our existence, does not make them any less miraculous. Let's not delude ourselves into thinking that, because we have identified some of the enzymes and proteins involved in the process, that it is in any way 'understood' or that we have, in any way, removed intelligence from replication.

It's quite amazing really. Scientists call the genes instructions to the cell. If you say, well then who or what is giving these instructions and who or what is receiving these instructions, they will say, no, they aren't really instructions, that's just our way of anthropomorphizing the process so that it can be understood. But what other way could it be understood? What would giving and receiving and executing billions of instructions mean if there weren't some intelligence to give and receive and execute these instructions? When that microscopic drop of enzyme goes directly to the precise piece of code that is needed, how does that droplet know what enzyme is needed and how does it locate that particular piece of code among the billions of pieces of code in the nucleosome? Again, how can you imagine such a thing without intelligence? Does the ribosome read the code from the RNA? We use all these verbs to describe what is going on in a cell that imply intelligence, that make no sense without intelligence, verbs like instructing and reading and transcribing and proofreading, and yet we refuse to see any intelligence in it.

This is what happens when we start our observations on the physical, visible, plane and refuse to make causal inferences to the spiritual, invisible plane. How did Albert Einstein come up with the theory of relativity? He made one vertical line with three horizontal lines attached to it and that gave him the E. Then, he made two horizontal lines, one underneath the other, and that gave him the =. He followed this with two vertical lines attached two two slanted lines which yielded the M, one curved line which gave him the C and, for his coup de grace, he took a curved line and attached a horizontal line to the bottom of it, and he was done; E=MC2. See, now we completely understand the theory of relativity!

Please feel free to comment.


Darwin's groundbreaking book was called 'The Origin of the Species' not 'The Origin of Life'. Is there a difference between species and life itself? Darwin was attempting to explain the myriad ways in which life took different forms through the ages, but was he talking about life itself? Is there a basic patten, a describable essence that exists prior to this differentiation and is consistent through all these forms; all these phyla and species?

Supposedly life begins with single celled organisms. Viruses are considered a kind of quasi-life in that they must invade a living cell and hijack its DNA in order to replicate. The cell, then, pretty much every one agrees, is the first life form. What are the functions of this most primitive form of life? A cell grows, replicates, senses it's environment, takes in nutrients to give it energy and to continue to grow, eliminates what is useless or dangerous to it, and protects itself from threats to its existence. Is there anything in this that sounds familiar?

A few years ago, accompanying my daughter on her school field trip to the Scripps Ocean Institute, we looked through a microscope at a drop of ocean water. There were dozens of plankton in that drop scurrying frantically about. I thought, "What are they doing down there? What is all that frenetic activity?" Then I realized that what they were doing down there was pretty much the same thing that we were doing up here; trying to survive. They were looking for something to eat, getting away from enemies, finding a mate and trying to get their children raised. Isn't it strange that every life form, plant and animal, that has been created, shares all these functions with that original single cell? Not only are they doing these things but, using whatever genetic equipment they have, they are 'trying' to do these things. How is it that every single being and form of life, and in the case of multi-celled beings, every cell and tissue and organ within each being, is trying to survive? Can we attribute all this energy and determination to the DNA molecule's ability to 'self-replicate'? Modern evolutionary theory does exactly that. It attributes the entire development of the species to the creation of more efficient ways for the DNA molecule to self-replicate. All species, including humans, live to serve the replication needs of the DNA molecule. Can this possibly be?

Replication takes energy. Survival takes energy. Is it in the DNA molecule itself, in the sugars, the proteins and/or the acids, that this need and determination exists? Scientists assure us that it is blind. The whole thing is a blind, random matching of genes, originally begun by a blind, random collision of atoms. But why does it continue? Why don't we just give up? Humans may need a reason to live, and for me, the prosperity of the DNA molecule isn't quite sufficient. But foxes, oak trees, seaweed and amoebas don't need a reason, at least not a stated one. They just keep doing it. Is it just the replication of the DNA that makes them do it? Does the DNA even desire to replicate? Of course not. It's just a molecule. If the DNA had any consciousness, which, of course it doesn't, and it 'wanted' to replicate, I should think it would have been more than happy many millions of years ago. Amoeba, plankton, microbes, bacteria, all replicate like mad. There are billions and trillions of them, all containing DNA, and all replicating away in our oceans and soil. If the DNA molecule could have any 'needs' certainly they would be met the moment there was any life form whose birth rate exceeded its death rate. What in the world would DNA need from human beings on this earth teeming with microscopic life?

What about this blind, random matching of genes? This has to be a conclusion drawn by people spending too much time peering through microscopes. Genes don't combine by themselves. Beings (a term which I prefers to life forms) seek out other beings and their mating produces gene combinations. Beings are driven to seek out other beings by deep and ineffable desires. Does the will to live, to mate and to survive originate in the DNA molecule, or does it originate in the force that caused the DNA molecule to replicate in the first place?

Evolution is the history of traits, not the history of life itself. Traits are all the different ways that we take in energy, sense our environment, grow, replicate, eliminate, protect ourselves and move. Cilia, feet, fins, wings, claws and talons all are different ways of accomplishing the same thing. They all allow a being to move toward that which will enhance its survival and away from that which threatens its survival. The basic essence of life, prior to any differentiation, has the following characteristics: consciousness, in that every life form senses its environment to distinguish what is helpful from what is harmful; will, in that every life form is committed to using whatever evolutionary equipment it is given in order to survive and replicate; and intelligence, in that every thing it does, in the construction of the form of life, in the execution of all these processes and, above all, in the incredible system of genetic reproduction, it does with a searing, transcendent and awesome intelligence. This absolutely unique essence of consciousness, will and intelligence, is what we humans share with every single life form, plant and animal. Prior to genes, prior to bodies, prior to any physicality whatsoever. This is life, itself.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Obviously we inherit more than the contents of our body. Each of us inherits a basic human shape and our own genetically specific shape. It is often easy to observe the combinations of different features that a person inherits from their parents. "Oh, she has her father's eyes, her mother's lips", etc. If DNA codes just for the manufacture of proteins, how do we inherit this specific shape? Without a governing shape, all the exquisitely timed manufacture of enzymes and proteins from trillions of cells will result in a lifeless puddle of matter rather than a human being. Richard Dawkins, the foremost popularizer of evolutionary thinking, offers the following on the subject, "At the end of a virtuoso origami performance; after numerous foldings-in, pushings-out, bulgings and stretchings of layers of cells; after much dynamically orchestrated differential growth of parts of the embryo at the expense of other parts; after differentiation into hundreds of chemically and physically specialized kinds of cells; when the total number of cells has reached into the trillions, the final product is a baby." If this seems to explain anything to make the process of embryonic development more understandable, that illusion vanishes when you remember that, according to Dawkins' own precepts, there is no origamist. These growing cells are, supposedly, doing this incredible origami by themselves.

Dawkins adds, further,"Cells are programmed, by the genes switched on inside them, to behave as if they know where they are in relation to their neighboring cells, which is how they build their tissues up into the shape of ear lobes and heart valves, eye lenses and sphincter muscles." Notice that he says, "to behave as if they know", which means what exactly? Do they know where they are or don't they? No, they don't. They are just programmed by the genes switched on inside of them to behave as if they know. So, then the programmer knows. But wait, the programmer is the cell itself, at least according to this theory. So, then the cell does know where it is in relation to the other cells; or doesn't it?

Let's put aside a discussion of whether or not there is a programmer and see just what kind of a program that would be, if all the shapes and contours of the body were determined by a program within the individual cells. First of all DNA, according to evolutionary biologists, codes for protein and enzyme manufacture alone. No matter what the sequence of manufactures, that would still result in content without shape. If there is a separate code that lets cells know where they are in relation to other cells there is not a word of this 'other' code in the scientific literature. But, if there were such a code, or such a program, it would of course have to be different for every cell. And this shaping would be done from the inside, not the outside. Michelangelo is commonly considered our greatest sculptor. His David, Moses, Jesus and Madonna are all incredibly lifelike. But he was dealing with an image, a plan in his mind that he sculpted from. He chipped away at a block of marble very carefully and lovingly, until what remained conformed to this image in his mind. A human baby is, of course, far more complicated than a sculpture. First of all, there are five trillion separate, moving parts (cells). Second, this sculpture is three dimensional. Not just the surface of the body, but all the internal organs, the villi, the dendrons and neurons, the cappillaries, the digestive organs and the skeleton must be sculpted as well. Is this done within the cell without any outside perception or overarching image of how it should turn out? How is this possible? It's not even that the shape of an individual cell is different. A muscle cell, a blood cell, a nerve cell, have the same shape as others of their kind. If a bone is curved, it is not the individual cells that are curved, they are way too small. It is the boundary where those thousands or millions of cells end and a new type of cell begins that creates the shape. So where is the program for all these boundaries? Could it possibly be within an individual cell? If it were, it would have to be exactly the same program in each of the replacement cells. For instance, if you get a cut, or a bruise, new cells grow to replace the damaged ones and occupy exactly the same space as the previous cells so that the surface of the skin has the identical contour as the original. How do these new cells travelling from other parts of the body wind up with exactly the same 'program' as the cells that they were replacing?And with all of this complexity, of five trillion moving parts that must be organized into shapes, that is only the first part of the problem. Don't forget that the body is constantly changing. The boundaries, both external and internal, are ceaselessly moving during the nine months of gestation, so that a fetus at two months hardly resembles the same fetus four months later. So this supposed program is not only governing the movement of all these cells, but it is adjusting the boundaries of these cells every day as millions of new cells are added on. And, certainly, birth is not the end of this process. A five trillion celled newborn eventually becomes a one hundred trillion celled adult, and at no time are these boundaries, external and internal, every achieving stability. They are always changing. This would have to be some amazingly brilliant programmer. But wait! According to Dawkins, et al. there is no programmer. All of this is being done by the cells themselves!

To discover anything about the shape of a living thing, we have to first admit that we don't really understand it at all. To say that 'it's programmed that way' is really an atheistic way of saying we don't understand a thing about it, but we want to give the impression that we do. A possible way to begin to understand how living things are shaped is through Eastern medicine and the philosophy that underlies it. Western science has had and still has a strange relationship with acupuncture, acupressure, shiatsu massage, and moxabustion. Initially, acupuncture was written off in the West as pure hoakum, and the beneficial results that millions of people attested to in China and Japan were considered a placebo effect, the result of a superstitious belief in it's efficacy. It was then discovered that for many years Asian veterinarians were sedating animals using acupuncture needles before operations. Even the most parochial members of the American Medical Association had a hard time writing off Fido and Mittens as self-deluded zealots. Nowadays, often begrudgingly, acupuncturists are allowed to work along side Western practicioners in the same offices and clinics. Yet, the underlying philosophy, the reason why acupuncture works, has not been deemed worthy of investigation by Western researchers.

As was mentioned in another post, Eastern philosophy comes from the understanding that the subtle creates the gross. Eastern medicine has been more interested in the field of energy that underlies the physical body. This form of life energy, or chi, flows through the body through twelve main pathways, called meridians. Disease and discomfort, from this point of view, is caused by the blocked flow of this energy, and health is restored by achieving a balanced flow through these pathways. Although this energy has not been measured on any equipment, it can be sensed by a trained and sensitive practitioner. All acupuncture practitioners do believe that there could be equipment capable of measuring chi, but that awaits the sufficient interest and will in the research community. The idea is that there are two forces, call them yin and yang, in and yo, or heaven and earth. When these two forces meet, whirlpools of energy are formed, like two opposing current meeting in a river. The body is the fleshed out physicalization of these twelve intersecting meridian spirals. You can see the spirallic formation in the way the embryonic arm folds into a hand, the leg folds into a foot, the spinal column folds into the brain, the digestive system folds into the intestine, and the whole trunk of the fetal body curls, in the womb, into the head. Again, the subtle creates the gross, so this electromagnetic energy pattern is there first, and the cells grow into and flesh out this pattern.

As was mentioned in an earlier post, DNA is God's channel changer. It codes for much more than protein manufacture. It codes for where in the cell this code will be translated into a string of amino acids; it codes for how that string of amino acids will be folded, with perhaps the addition of sugars and fats, into a protein molecule; it codes for where in the cell or outside of the cell, this protein molecule will be employed; and if this protein is involved in the structure of the body, it codes for the shape that that structure will take. At the moment, the great majority of the three billion nucleotides that make up the DNA in each and every one of the one hundred trillion cells of your body, is considered to be 'junk' DNA, because scientists have not, as yet, found a use for it.  It is considered to probably be a vestige of centuries and centuries of evolutionary mistakes.  Knowing that God is neither wasteful nor frivolous, and that there were really no evolutionary mistakes, (we humans, just celebrating our perhaps one hundred thousandth birthday on this planet, consider the dinosaur, who thrived here for one hundred sixty million years, to be an evolutionary mistake); that, in some way, the quality of our existence today, is built on the knowledge gained, the materials created and the progeny produced by all that preceded us; I suggest that there is a yet to be discovered purpose to each and every one of those three billion nucleotides and to the manner in which they are folded into the nucleus of each of our one hundred trillion cells. A valuable place to put your intellectual and financial resources, might be in the further study of this 'junk' DNA to see if it has any relationship to the shape of the body and to try and detect energy fields surrounding the developing embryo. Also, I suspect that the precise way in which the billions of genes are folded over and over into the nucleosome has a direct relationship to the eventual shape of the body. These are just conjectures, buy you can have no conjectures or hypothesis if you pretend that the unknown is known and that all the questions are answered.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Talking about consciousness is difficult and frustrating. It's like one of those visual puzzles. When you first look at it you see an urn. People tell you there are two women's profiles there, but try as you may you can only see the urn. After staring for a while, at some point you suddenly see the two faces and the urn disappears. Afterward, it's hard to get back to seeing the urn when you are perceiving it in the opposite way. Understanding consciousness is something like that. You can't look at it directly, but you can 'get it'. Once you get it so many things in life fall into perfect place, that you will never go back to looking at the world the other way, because that perspective now appears not only nonsensical, but inside out. Also, once you've gotten it, it is frustrating trying to explain it to others. They think you're arrogant or that you have a 'far-out' or 'new-age' philosophy, when you have no philosophy at all. This is just the way that you are experiencing the world, and you know it's right because everything fits. If you talk about it you do so because you are trying to get others to see the light or because you are fed up with the arrogance of some scientific know-it-alls or the stultifying effects of materialism on the society as a whole. Getting it is also not a result of years of education. In fact, if it is Western style, scientific education, all those years of looking at life in a certain way, and perhaps one's professional commitment to that perspective, make it even harder to 'get it.'

Let's first look at the way the Western scientific community is currently approaching the subject of consciousness. When you physically observe the body, using the most modern instruments, and try to discover the very beginning of life, you get as far back as the genes. Genes, as was explained earlier, are not the actual beginning, though. They are the threshold between the invisible world of consciousness, will and intelligence and the physical world of bones, blood, brains and neurons. Will is the desire of consciousness to have and sustain a life in the physical universe. The genetic code is the cosmic mind's or the cosmic conscious', or God's, surpassingly ingenious system of growing a body to be able to participate in this physical universe. One word here about the G word, which is perhaps the most politically incorrect word that one can use in certain company. As Lao-Tzu said, "The name that can be named is not the nameless name". In other words if you call it God, the Cosmic Consciousness, Jesus, Allah or the Great Father, it is not any of those names, and whatever those names conjure up for you, it is not that either. It is not any content. It is not anything you can point to. You are part of it. So in trying to understand or experience the Divine, it is a more fruitful path of discovery to look within at the pointer than to analyze whatever it is that you are pointing at. It is not the sight, but the seer. You are made in the image of God, says the Bible, and this is what that means. It's not that you look like God, it is that your essence, the seer of your sights, the hearer of your sounds, the thinker of your thoughts, the context not the content of your experience, the invisible bowl from which you experience your entire life, is of the same spiritual essence and is an inextricable part of God.

When science observes in the other direction, when they look not at the beginning but at the end of life, in other words at your actual experience, they get as far as the electrical and chemical patterns on the surface of the brain. Just as life force and will is now considered an illusion because it hasn't been detected through scientific instrumentation, and life is now considered to be an act simply of protein manufacture; so consciousness, the very experience of life, is now also considered an illusion, a trick of the brain. It's like describing a house by listing every nail, screw, piece of wood and metal in it. If this house happens to be your home, the problem with this description is that no one built it, no one designed it and no one is living in it!

Steve Pinker writing in Time Magazine says, "Scientists have exorcised the ghost from the machine, not because they are materialistic killjoys, but because they have amassed evidence that every aspect of consciousness can be tied to the brain." Every aspect, that is, except consciousness itself. Imagine that you were looking at a television screen and an army of scientists, with unlimited funding and unlimited time on their hands, had recorded every possible program that you could watch. Not only every program, but every moment of every program was catalogued, so that they, the scientists, knew how to produce every image that appeared on that screen and could tell you when and where it was produced. Knowing all this, would it bring them one iota closer to understanding you, who is not the television screen, but the person watching the television screen?

Let's look at these aspects of consciousness that Pinker writes about. Light waves coming into your eyes are translated into electrical impulses that create patterns on your brain. Sound waves, tastes, touches, all do the same. There are also electrical and chemical patterns created by thoughts and emotions. Now is that the end? Is that how you experience your life? Is that what you see, hear, touch and smell; electrical and chemical patterns on the surface of your brain? If I was looking through an MRI or some other device that could see your brain patterns as you were looking at a sunset, would I be seeing that sunset? If I scanned your brain as you were listening to Beethoven, would I be hearing Beethoven? Don't you see that there is a huge difference between electrical and chemical patterns and what we actually experience? How huge? It's not apples and oranges. It's not even apples and elephants. It's more like apples and nebulae. It's a completely different plane of existence.

Electrical patterns on the brain are the body's outer threshold of the physical universe. Everything that you experience, your perceptions, feelings, thoughts, relationships, dreams and ambitions, lie beyond that. Just like the sense organs, brain and nervous system translate lights, sounds, and touches into electrical patterns; another system translates those patterns into actual experiences. That system cannot be seen. That system is not part of the physical universe. That system is called 'you'. It is also called consciousness. So with living beings, everything begins with the cosmic consciousness and ends with a limited consciousness, which is of exactly the same nature as the cosmic consciousness, but of a much more limited scope, since it is connected to a specific brain, a specific history, and a specific point of view.

The idea that things begin in consciousness and end in consciousness may be easier to grasp when you consider man made things. Look at all the supposed ghosts that have been exorcised from all the machines that Pinker is talking about. Every man made machine begins with consciousness. Some one had an itch, or a twitch, that materialized into a desire, that materialized into an idea or an image, that materialized into a plan, that materialized into the machine itself. And who is the machine for? It's for a conscious being, of course, because only a conscious being can use, enjoy or benefit in any way from a machine. So the machine begins in consciousness and ends in consciousness. Science has not exorcised the ghost from any machine. And with life itself, out of the cosmic consciousness comes the desire or will to experience a life in the physical universe. The end result is a consciousness that is tied to a specific body and a specific point of view.

Consciousness is not one of the evolutionary bells and whistles of the brain. Consciousness is you. It is who you are. Without consciousness there is no you; there is no reason for the brain; there is no life. There is no seeing, no hearing, no thinking, nothing. Scientists may examine the contents of consciousness but not consciousness itself. The brain may resemble a computer, the eye a camera and the ear a recording device. Yet the brain, the eye, the ear, and if you think about it, the computer, the camera and the recording device as well, would have absolutely no use at all without a consciousness to experience their output.

Hindus talk about two birds in a tree. One is very active. She never stops singing, building nests, eating, growing, flying, having children, tending to her children, growing older and dying. The other bird just sits watching. She never moves, she never changes. She just continues to observe everything. The active bird is your self with a small s, your relative self. The still, observing bird is your Self with a capital S. The small s bird is caught up in the constant, ceaseless changes of life. The large S bird, the watcher, is eternal and immutable. Did you ever, a moment after you woke up, have the sudden feeling that you are exactly the same as you were when you were a small child? Then, all the adult thoughts and concerns of the day rush in and the experience is quickly forgotten. Well, that you, that consciousness that exists prior to all the particular thoughts, concerns and desires of the moment, not what you are looking at, but the looker, that's the real you, that is pure consciousness.

Steve Pinker writes, "Consciousness turns out to consist of a maelstrom of events distributed across the brain. These events compete for attention, and as one process out shouts the others, the brain rationalizes the outcome after the fact and concocts the impression that a single self was in charge." Yow! And this statement does not come from some marginal publication. This is from a cover story for Time Magazine. This represents the latest in scientific thinking. So now, along with life and consciousness, modern science declares the self to be illusory as well. I may be mystical but I am also from the Bronx. You can't take away my life, my consciousness and my 'self' and not expect a fight.

Seriously Steve, consciousness is not this maelstrom of events, but 'that which' experiences the maelstrom. Consciousness is not a thing. It is not 'that', but 'that which experiences that'. To experience this 'watcher' without the things being watched, to experience pure consciousness without the maelstrom, this has been the goal of meditators and mystics through the ages. It cannot be studied scientifically because it is not a thing. It is not content, but context. It is the non-physical bowl within which you experience your experience. As opposed to the maelstrom of events, it, the watcher, pure consciousness, is the real you and it is not constantly changing. It is everlasting and immutable. This is knowledge that comes from looking away from the maelstrom, not from analyzing the maelstrom. It is the result of a search, not research.

Now a few things about this 'rationalizer', the brain. The brain is matter. The brain is not a being. In spite of all the conversation you hear about "my brain wants to do this", or "our brains have evolved to do that", the brain does no such things. The brain is not a being. You will never be introduced to or get to meet your brain. Your brain, when it is in your living body, is the passive conductor of electrical impulses and chemical reactions. When it is out of your body it is three pounds of meat. It does not want anything. It does not care about anything. It does not rationalize. It does not do spin doctoring. It does not want to protect you. It does not even know you. It is a piece of meat. It has no will, no intelligence, no desires and no grandiose evolutionary ambitions. You, that is consciousness, has all those things. You also have a brain. This brain has grown in complexity because conscious beings through the ages have wanted to have more and more complex interactions with the physical universe and have developed more and more complex brains to help separate and conduct the energy needed to execute all these interactions.

Then, Pinker asks, "Why does consciousness exist at all"? The main reason he gives is to help the brain with information overload. The implication being, if there were less information we would be better off without that pesky consciousness. What? Hold on! We are consciousness. What 'we' would be better off if there were no consciousness? There would be no 'we'. We are consciousness. We have come from consciousness and we return to consciousness.

Finally, not wanting to be a spiritual killjoy, I do never the less have to say that scientists will never, never, never discover consciousness or 'the Self' through the use of instrumentation or through physical observation. As you read this paragraph there are legions of dedicated scientists making prodigious efforts to understand these problems. In an effort to understand how sights, sounds, smells and touches are translated into our actual experience, they are probing and scanning the brain and finding ever more complex electro-chemical patterns. Again, these patterns, no matter how complex, are still composed of electricity and chemicals. They are of a completely different dimension from what we actually experience. And as you notice different parts of the brain light up with activity when there is thought, or memory or emotion, you will never observe the person who is having these thoughts, memories and emotions. You just see processes, and you never see 'the Self' or consciousness, which is not these processes, but the one which is having these processes. You see processes associated with certain tasks, but you never see the being who has the desires which create the energy for these tasks. You see the brain but you don't see the being whose brain this is, who experiences his life and pursues his goals in the physical world through the intercession of this brain. In spite of your Herculean efforts, you are applying physical techniques to understanding spiritual truths. Until you stop looking through microscopes and scanners and start looking within at the being that is conducting all these searches, you will not make any real headway to understanding the Self, which is the cause of all these ever more complicated results that you study.

Thanks for reading. I welcome your comments.