Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COMMUNICATION

Let me first say that this is the second post that I've written directly in response to comments from biologists objecting to other posts. The first was 'Self vs. Sense of Self' which was written in response to a comment written by an anonymous biologist to my post 'Survival of the Fittest.' I am writing this post in response to another anonymous biologist (do biologists no longer have names?) who had an objection to my post 'Who Does What.' And this is precisely what I would most like to be happening. A great teacher, Michio Kushi, once told me, as other great teachers have told their students through the ages, to love my enemies. By that he meant that enemies, or rivals or competitors, force you to be stronger, to work harder, to clarify your thinking, to explain more clearly and compellingly. They goad you to greater heights and levels of understanding.

I sincerely welcome comments from like-minded seekers. These sustain me, and being a mystic in a materialist world can be lonely sometimes. Writing this kind of blog is like shouting into the wind. I have a counter, so I can tell how many hits I am getting, but how many are really hearing me? How many are really getting it? When I receive a supportive comment or any written show of enthusiasm, it has enormous meaning for me. Thank you so much.


But I also want to give equal thanks and encouragement to those biologists or religious fundamentalists who would want to challenge my thinking in some way. Please, I sincerely urge you to go for it. Your objections force me to think, to go deeper, to clarify and make more tangible that which I have known, felt and intuited for many years but never articulated with this level of specificity. So, please, I beg you, bring it on!


As I have said in earlier posts, I have no objection to biologists and their enthusiasm for understanding how living things work on the physical plane. Biologists make observations and how can you argue with an observation? I don't. But I do argue with the assumptions and inferences that they make based on those observations. Case in point is the comment I received in response to 'Who Does What.' This biologist had just been studying cell to cell signaling and he objected to my statement that the cells in our bodies do not communicate with each other; that it is done for them. He thought that I must not have known that this signaling existed. But I do know about signals that move from cell to cell. I also know about the over ten quadrillion biological processes that happen simultaneously in a human body that are all perfectly synchronized and coordinated. So there is an amazing amount of communication going on, it's just not the cells that are doing it.


To understand this, we have to ask, what really is communication; what do we mean by this word? In my responding comment I mentioned that when we talk on the phone there are signals that move from my phone to yours and back again. The important thing to realize here is that it is not our phones that are communicating. We are communicating. Our phones are devises that assist us with that communication.


And what is it about us (the two telephone talkers) that is actually communicating? Of course our tongues are moving, our mouths are opening and closing, our vocal cords are vibrating, the pitch and cadence of our voices is rising and falling; but all of these things, while they assist the communication, while they are necessary devices that enhance and enable the communication, they, themselves, are not communicating. The real communicator is the one who initiates this process. Everything else helps relay the communication of this initiator. And the initiator is not any physical part of your body. Your tongue, your lips and your vocal cords do no want to speak. YOU want to speak. Communicating starts with a desire to communicate and the seat of desires is the Self. Right now, for instance, my desire is to get you to understand my thoughts in the hope that that will deepen your understanding of not just communication but of life and the limits of biology.


Now I can hear the biological wheels turning. Biologists are saying, "No, no. It starts in the brain." And of course they can rattle off a long list of centers in the brain: thought centers, speech centers, visual centers, memory centers, etc., etc. Yet how did they come to this understanding? How were they able to pinpoint the location of these centers? Because they noticed with their sophisticated instrumentation that at different times these different areas of the brain 'light up' with electrical and chemical activity. But when? When do these different areas light up? One area lights up when YOU WANT to think; another lights up when YOU WANT to speak; another when YOU WANT to look at something, and another when YOU WANT to remember something . The YOU that wants to do these things is not in the physical universe, so it cannot be observed. Therefore, for biologists, it does not exist. But it is the very reason why these different areas light up. Your brain and your body are the instruments of your desires including your desire to communicate. Your brain and your body assist you in putting these communications into words and relaying them to another being, but communication does not begin with your brain, your body or any of the proteins within it. It does not begin with matter, at all. It begins, as all human initiated action begins, with YOU and your desires.


Now as soon as biologists hear words like non-matter or spiritual or not physical, they run for the hills. If you happen to be sitting near one, could you grab him before he takes off and remind him that I am not talking about archangels or devils; I am not talking about auras or ESP; I am not talking about fairies or elves or demons or leprechauns. I have never seen or experienced any of those things, so I have no opinion about them and, frankly, not much interest in them either. I am talking about the Self, about desires and about experience, none of which can be observed, but all of which I experience at every moment of my existence. And since my Self, my desires and my experience are at least as real to me as anything that I read in a biology text book, I do have an enormous interest in them. And if our biologist friend would slow down for a minute, turn off the microscope and look inward, if he would mix a little 'search' with his 'research,' he might become very interested in them too.


The problem with biology is that it never begins at the beginning and it never ends at the end. Biologists may trace a process back to the enzyme that initiates that process. They may even trace the production of that enzyme back to an electrical charge. But what they will never get back to is the desire that creates the polarity, which creates the charge, which creates the electricity, which stimulates the production of that enzyme. And they will never discover the Self which is the seat of desires, the non-physical milieu from which those desires emerge. And they will never observe your moment to moment experience, your actual life, which is the result, the purpose, of all these ten quadrillion processes. Yes, they will see electrical and chemical patterns on the brain, but they will never see the sunsets and hear the concerts and taste the fabulous dishes and touch the intoxicating touches that you experience when those electrical and chemical patterns are translated into your experience. And they will never observe that amazing non-physical organ that translates those patterns into the delicious and insufferable, beautiful and ugly, stimulating and boring, refreshing and enervating fabric that is the actual experience of your life. We call that non-physical organ YOU.


Anyway, communication happens between beings. Whatever equipment is between those beings, whether the biological equipment that helps shape that communication into words and physical expression, or the mechanical equipment that helps relay that communication over long distances, the real communicators are the being who is sending the communication and the being who is receiving the communication. When I want to express my love to you I may speak those words which require myriad series' of biological processes in my brain, vocal chords, lips, jaw and tongue. But however rigorously and minutely we examine the streams of electrons, the chemical releases and the muscular constrictions that enable those words to be spoken, I am still the sole communicator. All those biological processes serve my communication. And if I type that message onto a keyboard and send it to you via e-mail, all the muscular movements of my fingers and wrists and the movements of my eyes as I type, and all the activity that can be observed and analyzed in the minutest detail from the conversion of those typed letters into computer code and the journey of that stream of electrons as it passes through transformers and inductors and capacitors and mother boards and processing units and USB ports, etc., etc., through all of that, I am still the only communicator, and everything else, everything on the material plane, whether it's physical movements, electron streams, sound waves, light waves, the whole panoply of material and biological equipment involved in sending you that message; all of it is assisting me, but there is still only one lover, only one communicator. The processors don't love you, the electrons don't love you, my vocal chords don't love you and my finger and eye muscles don't love you. I love you. And in all that equipment on your end, including all the equipment of your computer that translates those electrons from computer code into letters, and your biological equipment including your eyes that help you read those letters, and your brain that helps you organize those letters into meanings, and your ears that help you hear those words, there is nothing there that can receive that communication, that can either comprehend or feel my love, besides you. You, your self, the non-physical entity that occupies and uses your body, is the sole receiver of that communication and everything else, physical and biological, mindlessly relays that communication.


It's important to remember that this entire process, both biologically and mechanically, was engendered by a desire; my desire to communicate my love. Everything in the human made world, including communications, buildings, arts, writings, artifacts, ideas, everything, begins with a desire. Everything that ever got done in human civilization got done because someone wanted it to get done. Desire is the bridge between the non-physical world (you) and the physical world. Desire creates polarity between the desirer and what is desired. Polarity creates electricity which creates chemical processes which create thoughts and plans and actions.


So, let's talk about automatic biological processes, processes that happen willy-nilly, whether you want them to or not. These would be all the myriad processes that guarantee your moment to moment survival and that produce the equipment (your eyes, ears, nose, sense organs, etc.) that allow you to fulfill the desires that you have. There are modestly ten quadrillion such processes happening in your body at this very moment as you read these words, and all of these are perfectly coordinated and synchronized to bring about your survival and the richness and quality of the consciousness that you experience in this body. With all this activity that not only is synchronized but continues to be synchronized over the whole length of your life and that finds a way to reproduce itself so that even though the recipes for the basic ingredients change (gene sequences in sexual reproduction) the amazing way all these ingredients are produced and sequenced and combined with other ingredients and the way all these literally quadrillions of processes continue to be perfectly synchronized in a slightly different way with each new generation; who, or what, is synchronizing and sequencing all that? Just like in the example above, when we trace back all those myriad processes of communication we got back to one communicator; with a million relayed messages of love, there was only one lover. Now in the infinitely more complex jumble of processes that keep all of us alive, if these are traced back, is there one initiator, one being whose intention it is to keep us alive, to keep our descendants alive, to maintain this unfathomably complex equipment that allows us to be conscious and see and hear and walk and feel and smell and touch and think and contemplate? Is there one being whose desire, whose will, provides the endless energy and unlimited intelligence, the spark that keeps us living and breathing and metabolizing and growing and learning? Is there one being whose desires have created the natural world in exactly the same way that our human desires have created the man made world?


Of course there is. Obviously there is. What or who else would be capable of such an undertaking? A few submicroscopic specks of adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine? Be serious! That's not God. If anything, that's God's channel changer.


Yet the title of this post is communication. We discussed human to human communication but in what way is this God, or cosmic consciousness, to living being activity a communication? We are the recipients, the beneficiaries, of all this work, but where is the communication? It only begins to be a communication when we are aware of it, when we listen for it, when we develop our love and gratitude for everything that is being done for us. That's when we feel the love of the creator, the love of the universe, filling us; and, then, the communication is complete.


And let me suggest that in this completion lies our greatest fulfillment. Yes, our bodies and minds are the servants of our desires. We have this separate existence because we want to experience desire and fulfill our desires in this physical universe. But when we forget who we really are or where we came from, when we begin to think that at base we are no more than separate competing entities, and that all satisfaction comes from our being victorious, from coming out on top, that's when we harm ourselves and others and plunder our planet in endless, joyless, competition. True fulfillment comes through the realization that you are not a separate entity, that the Universe moves within and through you, that the ultimate reality is One and that separation is an experiment, a game for us to play and enjoy until we come together again.



Your comments are most welcome!

12 comments:

Matt Chait said...

I am responding to a comment by Ben that was left at the end of the Who Does What post. He had mentioned this post(Communication) to a biologist friend who, after refusing to read it, told him that when cells get into distress they send a signal to the brain, and when there are enough signals then we are hungry and we eat. Voila! cellular communication.

Cells are a little tricky, because there are single-celled beings and multi-cellular beings. Beings experience things; bodies, both cell bodies and human bodies, do not. In a multi-cellular being there is only one experiencer. You can be in distress. Microbes can be in distress. But the one hundred trillion cells in your body cannot be in distress. What he is talking about is not distress, it is a chemical reaction that causes an electrical response (a signal) that causes a chemical response in the brain which you (not a physical organ, but YOU) translate into a daydream about cheesecake. You are the being that receives the communication. The communication was initiated by the Being who set up all this incredible equipment with chemical and electric relays, whose intention was and is that you have enough to eat. Cells, as they function in your body, are the mindless, mechanical relay points of these communications.

onein6billion said...

"I also know about the over ten quadrillion biological processes that happen simultaneously in a human body that are all perfectly synchronized and coordinated."

And that's why no one ever gets sick!

Matt Chait said...

Good question. That was a question wasn’t it?

Why do we get sick? There are many reasons and I plan to devote at least one post to that question, but here are a few reasons:

1.So we can appreciate the experience of not being sick.
2.So we can discharge toxins.
3.So we can acclimate to sudden changes in our environment (temperature, humidity, etc.)
4.Because the growth, processing and preparation of our food, which used to done by loved ones that had an interest in our welfare, is now being done by anonymous corporations who tend to be more interested in their profits than in our well being. This results in a population which is ingesting large amounts of fillers, fertilizers, growth hormones, preservatives, chemical flavor enhancers, etc., etc. These substances are not food and cannot be fully metabolized or assimilated in our bodies. They become embedded in our internal organs and suddenly we have ‘conditions.’ We have heart conditions, and kidney conditions and lung conditions. I don’t know how many other posts you have read, but I have mentioned several times that the body is the passive conductor of biological processes. When the body gets clogged with calcium deposits, fat deposits, sugar crystals and deposits for which we don’t even have any names yet, the flow of electrons, enzymes and fluids is impeded. So don’t be like the guy who buys a brand new Ferrari, runs it on 87 Octane Cheapola Gasoline, and then tries to get his money back from the dealership when the engine starts knocking. I haven’t met you, but I guarantee you that, in spite of what you or anyone else may think, your body is a brand new Ferrari Coupe and you should treat it that way and not like a used Yugo that you dragged back from the junkyard.
5.We burn energy and wear down our bodies when we are fulfilling our desires. In between desires is when God, or the Universe, goes to work to restore and replenish our bodies for the next round of pursuits. Unfortunately, in our society, the marketplace has invaded our lives to such an extent that there is little escape from it. We are bombarded with advertisements, the unspoken message of each of these is that we are inadequate until we have X, Y and Z, and until we do A, B and C. We are so filled with nameless, nagging desires, that there is no rest or replenishment for us. The only time most of us experience the peace and restoration of desirelessness is either in deep sleep (and many of us are not able to achieve real peacefulness even then) or, for a lucky few, for a few moments following orgasmic sex. God is the ultimate healer. If you don’t allow God or, if you will, the Universe, in to do its work, then you can’t complain when it doesn’t get done.

Finally, if you haven’t noticed, this is not GQ or Cosmopolitan Magazine. When I say that your body is perfect I am not using the standards of a Hollywood casting agency. Your body and brain, your whole genetic make-up, is exactly the perfect set up for you, not anyone else, to experience what you need to experience and to learn what you need to learn in this life

Zetetic_chick said...

Hi Matt, congratulations for your blog.

In my country (Spain), there is a biologist (professor of Universidad Autonoma de Madrid) named Maximo Sandin. He's working in a new naturalistic theory of evolution. He has written many papers, but only two of them have been traslated to english:

http://www.uam.es/personal_pdi/ciencias/msandin/synthetic_theory.html

http://www.uam.es/personal_pdi/ciencias/msandin/biology.html

Maybe you have interest in his criticisms and theory.

Anonymous said...

Matt, tour theories about why people get sick seem flawed. I'm not saying that just because they contradict modern scientific theories, but because certain facts seem to contradict them. We know, for instance, that diseases are spread through contact with other people who have the disease. We also know that the immune system helps fight diseases. Your 4th and 5th reasons seem directed specifically at the modern world, but we know that diseases were more serious in the past. And your theories don't explain why modern medicine helps cure illness, why certain illnesses die out, and why some are stronger in certain areas and among certain people. I'm not saying your wrong, I'm just asking for you to clarify and explain the reasoning behing your theories.

Joe said...

Matt,

I read this after seeing the note on The Daily Grail.

At the top, you asked if it 'makes sense given your own life experience'. Regarding this post, my answer: absolutely.

You asked "Is there one being...". My answer: Obviously, but it's difficult describe that being except that you certainly can feel the 'love of the creator, love of the universe' at times.

I'm happy to consider any level of biological description, but as you say, it just doesn't explain the experience.

Perhaps irrelevant or not of interest to you, but I'm sure you've considered it since the post title is "Communication":

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/07/does-dna-have-t.html

How do you or Mr. Dawkins (et al.) explain that?

Last sentence in your post was beautiful.

Best Wishes.

Wayne said...

I have read your blog with great interest and feel compelled to toss in my 2 cents worth. I too would describe myself as a ‘mystic’ but habitually precede that word with the word ‘Christian’, which, in the eyes of some, makes me either oxymoronic or Catholic. I am neither.

You have given great thought to your words, and I applaud you for the effort. I agree, generally, with your conclusions.

What prompts me to write is your statement … I have a counter, so I can tell how many hits I am getting, but how many are really hearing me? How many are really getting it? In my own experience very few ‘get it’.

Our parents, our teachers, our Scoutmasters and a variety of others pound into our heads their version of ‘truth’ and over time, we begin to adopt those points of view. When confronted with an alternative ‘truth’ we are uncomfortable departing from our established, if fictional, truth’. (Mental picture of my mother screaming ‘I don’t want to hear this’ as my 16 year old self pointed out that her belief was inconsistent with scripture.) In order to ‘get it’ we must make an emotional adjustment that we are ready for ‘truth’, what ever that is, where ever it takes us. Few of us manage.

Dawkins is a missionary, no less so than the people who leave pamphlets on my door step. His intention is to convert as many as possible to his point of view. I sort of understand. If I held a passionate belief that one brand of cola was morally superior to another, I may make it my life’s work to convert the wayward. But if I believed that we are just a random event I would also have to believe the inescapable conclusion that nothing matters. My love, my hope, my dreams, even my failures, would simply vanish as my consciousness fades to black and therefore have no value. If nothing has value, what’s the point in trying to convert me?

You are climbing a steep slope. I wish you good luck.

Anonymous said...

Matt,

Excellent post. Regarfing communication, there is an excellent lecture in Freemasonry that deals with communication and symbols, and would tie in quite well with your ideas.

Kepp up the good work.

Respects,

Gwedd

Murenhausen said...

Interesting. What makes you think your YOU exists? You experience your YOU seemingly having some influence on the world or being influenced by it, but how do you know that any messages you receive from your YOU are not simply the byproduct of the chemical or electrical reactions between the cells of your particular collection of cells? That doesn't necessarily make anything about your YOU important either in the universe or of itself. As dizziness accompanies the consumption of too much alcohol, your sensation of YOUness may accompany the excessive stimulation of cells...
You mention many times 'YOU WANT', but what are any of the desires of which you speak other than a message from a cell or cells that it is or they are lacking a particular element, and in communication with the whole collection of cells, a 'decision' is reached on how to acquire the element that is lacking? That does not make your YOU anything more or less important to the body's requirements - it could just be irrelevant.
You make the suggestion that there is some 'original desire' inspiring all subsequent activity, but why? Electrical charges exist in the universe; like charges repel, opposite attract. There is no 'desire' there, and to confuse the subject by subsequently suggesting that there is the 'desire' for opposite charges to connect seems to me to be applying human 'desires' on things that simply do not require them... another unfortunate trait accompanying the over-stimulation of cells...
You say 'The problem with biology is that it never begins at the beginning and it never ends at the end' - the cells that make your body have no 'beginning or end'; when their collected efforts cease to be important to them, the collection will cease and the cells will go on to be something else. Your YOU, however, will probably not. The combination of cells that resulted in your YOU will no longer exist, and therefore neither will the same YOU side-effect...
You make the comment that 'I love you' - how do you know? How do you know that what you consider 'I' is not your 'drunk' cells? How do you know that 'love' is not the over-stimulated cells equivalent of being 'drunk'?
You say 'Everything in the human made world, including communications, buildings, arts, writings, artifacts, ideas, everything, begins with a desire', but everything here seems to ignore the very human 'desire' that 'there must be more to the universe; there must be an 'original desire' because my YOU desires that there is one'... a few random thoughts... keep it up though, eh? As you say, its good to have things to keep our YOU's occupied and trying harder!

Matt Chait said...

Thank you for your comment. Please read my post 'Self vs. Sense of Self'. In it I make clear, at least I hope I do, that I don't receive any messages from my 'You.' My You is the You that is receiving the messages. My You is not the electrical and chemical reactions between my cells. My You is what EXPERIENCES the electrical and chemical reactions between my cells.

Matt Chait said...

Anonymous said...
Matt, tour theories about why people get sick seem flawed. I'm not saying that just because they contradict modern scientific theories, but because certain facts seem to contradict them. We know, for instance, that diseases are spread through contact with other people who have the disease. We also know that the immune system helps fight diseases. Your 4th and 5th reasons seem directed specifically at the modern world, but we know that diseases were more serious in the past. And your theories don't explain why modern medicine helps cure illness, why certain illnesses die out, and why some are stronger in certain areas and among certain people. I'm not saying your wrong, I'm just asking for you to clarify and explain the reasoning behing your theories.
Anonymous,
Sorry for taking so long to respond. First of all, when we discharge toxins, we are not catching them from other people. Although colds and flus have many symptoms, we haven't 'caught' something every time we have a blister, extra dandruff, diarrhea, fever or swelling. We are expelling things that we took into our bodies, and this expulsion is part of the dynamic process of making us healthy. If we are not able to discharge these toxins, then we retain them and develop a 'condition'. Heart conditions, lung conditions, kidney conditions, circulatory conditions, are also not 'caught' from other people. But with any illness carried by a bacteria or a virus, some people catch it and some people don't, and that may have something to do with there whereabouts, but it has much more to do with their immune system which they have either strengthened or weakened through their life style and their diet. But more importantly, your objection harks back to my reference to biological processes being in 'perfect' balance. They are, but not in a static sense. When I say you have a perfect body, I don't mean that you have an apparatus that will protect you from any change whatsoever. That's not life. Life is constant change: hot and cold, happy and sad, comfortable and uncomfortable, pleasure and pain, connected and isolated,healthy and sick. I am trying to give you a perspective to help you deal with that change, but not to avoid it. Your body and its processes are 'perfect' in that through them they deliver to you the variegated and interesting experiences that you need so that you can learn what you need to learn in this life. Peace.

Murali said...

Hi Matt
I pray that God gives you more and more strength to continute writing like what you are doing now.
I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart.
Your well wisher
Muralidahra das
Melbourne