Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Conversations with a friend...part 1

A friend asked me recently....

When a sperm gets fused along with an egg or ovum, they together form a single cell with 46 chromosomes, containing all the genetic information. Only that single cell is the origin of any one of us. Now the point to be noted is, that single cell not only contains the genetic information, that is a great past, but also all the information about us, which comprises our future. Whether we are black or fair, fat or thin, bald or hairy, tall or short, our physiological structure, physical being, i.e., when we would get what disease, also our temperament, and our psychological make up, and so on; that is our entire life is concentrated in that.

Can we say that is exhaustive? Along with that a lot of cells are formed along with innumerable information and assumes a form of any one of us.

We know that the single cell has everything about us. But even to know that, we need science, experience and a great historical process. and, we are in the process of knowing more.

We can very well say that we can never be exhaustive with respect to knowledge.

Now, can you tell if we are conscious or whether that single cell is conscious?

When every information of our life is somehow embedded in us, then what about our free will?

2 comments:

earthling said...

No matter how many times we are confronted with the birth of new lives, we always admire the miracle of the process. It is a cycle in itself but still the cycle never fails to astonish us every time.
I do understand about the fact that a single cell goes on its journey and creates the so-called individual. But once outside the mother's womb, it is faced with the rest of the beings as itself who have lives and who have a similar process of coming to this world in their entirety. The improvisation on the mind level begins when the interaction begins with the beings around and when it starts to imbibe the so-called knowledge imparted to it by individuals who surround it. Ok let me not say ˜it" and say you or me.
When you came into this world, you were faced with other beings who were responsible to get you in here. You are also faced with beings who in some way or the other influence your mindset. The beginnings are always like writing on a clean slate. But, initially, the sense of perception depends a lot on what the people around you say or do. The imitation continues for a little while and then comes the sense of reasoning into picture. The sense of reasoning is unique in every human and for the very same reason, free will also remain unique. The quest starts for the truth at a very early age and the sense of reasoning acts parallel. But the ever-questioning mind starts to believe in answers that are readymade. The list of questions that put you on the quest is initially answered by your immediate surrounding. Of course the intuitiveness you have as a child is far more sharp than the one you might have as an adult and you can attribute that loss to the ever-doubting world around you. Well, let me not get into the intuitive mind of the child right now. The influence created by the parent or elder or teacher or even the candy shop owner is tremendous. For a while you think all the questions you ever ask have rigid answers and the elders around you seem to have them in hand. And then the information you gather is so overwhelming that you only keep gathering it. At this stage you are not aware of the free will within which can push your quest further. You look upon adults as the only source of answers and with time, even the concept of truth, beauty, strength etc are viewed from the eye of your favorite mentor. Your sense of judgment lies only physically and then your dependence increases on the person whom you feel gives the most convenient answer. Your sense of right and wrong are influenced then and there. You have a sense of truth that every child has but in due course of time you see elders trying to hide a truth to make someone else feel better and you begin to learn about lying. External factors constantly bombard you with new information every single moment and the instant when you have to decide what you need to do when none of your elders or mentors are around you, your so-called free will comes into action. But this cannot be called free will totally because though you are the one who makes decisions there is always a situation which compels you to make the choice and this situation is always brought about by individuals. It can be different for different individuals but it is always relative to the other people who surround you. People around you constantly change your view of the world and influence you in some way or the other to make decisions. So the so-called free will always acts for the best of your reasoning and sense of judgment. And it is your way of reacting to what happens around you that confirms your uniqueness every step. After a while your quest expands and if you are open enough (by that I mean if you stop thinking that all answers are inside your head or in someone else's head) to the universe, you find your answers lead you to more enlightenment. Keeping an open mind to things always increases your knowledge and puts you closer to the universe of which you are an integral part. So according to me free will does not end with a single individual's mind. It is dependent on other beings around. And imagine if you were alone in this universe, everything would change but still you will have to be in unison with the universe and other beings around you.
I don't know if I made sense here but this is what I feel connects us all. And the connection makes us who we are. It is more like a collective consciousness that works rather than an individual one. But our actions always are taken with respect to the other beings around. It revolves around somebody or the other. It is relative.

Rags said...

I think the big difference here in the make-up of a person is the characteristics that are inborn Vs. acquired.
The single cell can represent your past, present and future but it is just part of a complex system of building that happens in a human, because the other part is that of what you experience in your environment that matters.
As far as consiousness goes, i'd say it's a collective experience. Just like how the planet is not made up of the consciousness of a million souls but as 1 universal and supreme consciousness.