I am always reassured when I see a strong correlation between ostensibly low mundane life forms and myself. It shows Mother Nature is no fool; she simplifies her work by using time-tested tools at every level of life — and non-life as well. I suppose the reassurance I feel arises from seeing examples of my being truly connected to all life being.
Consequently, it is somewhat weird to see the lengths humanity goes to see itself as superior. Take for instance the myth of Man created in God’s image. Being unable to discern the subtle similarities between ‘them’—other life forms—and ‘us’, our species-centric ego aim our myths in that direction. In addition, the hierarchical backbone of civilization must certainly intensify this ‘them’ vs. ‘us’ bias.
Developing tools that allow us to see more, beginning with the telescope and microscope, helped change that. And, thanks to the Electric Age, this ability to examine how nature works its magic appears to be increasing exponentially. The Science News article, On the trail of cell navigation, shows the not-so-mysterious sameness between how the “dumb” amoeba and I approach life.
Ask yourself what single feature of experience has turned out to be the surest guide to living life in general. I don’t mean any particular experience, but more about your life experience overall. The end of chapter 14 hints at what to look for, The ability to know the beginning of antiquity is called the thread running through the way. That thread is the constant throughout your experience, which makes it extraordinarily subtle!
As you read this excerpt from the article, look for similarities between how you and cells navigate through life. (Google [Self-assisted amoeboid navigation in complex environments] for more.)
Cells seeking paths through the body’s tangle of tissues might adapt the navigational strategy of Hansel and Gretel. In the Brothers Grimm tale, the lost kids dropped pebbles and bread crumbs along a wooded trail to help lead them back out of a freaky forest.
Instead of using markers telling them where to go, though, cells might leave behind repellent molecules telling them where not to go.
In a new study, scientists suggest these markers help trailblazing cells move away from areas where they’ve gotten stuck, such as confusing dead ends and tricky corners.
“I think it’s a really nice idea that cells could be using something like this, a simple mechanism that allows them to navigate through these complex environments,” says biologist Iain Couzin of Princeton University, who was not involved in the study.
When reviewing the 75+ years of my life, I find the most dependable way of navigating life has been the same for me as it is for cells. Discovering “where not to go” has turned out to be my best guide of where to go. Discovering life’s dead ends, be they ideas, goals, “truths”, and such, greatly consolidates and simplifies life. The learning never ceases. Anything that promises to be an answer or solution comes up a distant second. They always turn out to be less than promised.
“where did the NOW go”
It sure goes by fast now doesn’t it? That means I’m enjoying life more now (i.e., time crawls when you’re not enjoying life), but this so called enjoyment is so different than I thought it would be way back when. I mean my eyes are failing, my body is weakening, my memory is slipping. Yes, AllandNone, I agree, “it is easy stumbling around and admitting I know nothing”. 😉
“where not to go” Actually I think the Amoeba is ahead of the human race. I am also almost 70 years old, where did the NOW go. Oh, here it is! I am in total agreement with you. I just have fun stumbling around and admitting I know nothing! It beats boredom. lol