The Nature of Life
What is life? Another big mystery that we have been grappling with for millennia. In recent times, science has made huge advances in understanding how biological organisms work and what they are made of, but the big picture still remains elusive. We believe that this is the case because it operates within the boundaries of a particular paradigm, so we will start by examining that paradigm in more detail.
THE NATURE OF LIFE
The Synthesis Perspective
Life is usually defined as an entity that has the capacity to perform certain functional activities including metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness and adaptation to stimuli such as light, heat and sound. It is further characterised by the presence of complex transformations of organic molecules and by the organisation of such molecules into the successively larger units of protoplasm, cells, organs, and organisms.
The self, awareness and intent cannot exist in a void. It makes sense that they are the properties of a relatively discrete (non-material) energy field. Despite its baggage, the traditional name for this part of a living organism, the soul, still seems to be the most apposite.
We need first to clarify that the self is different from ‘I’ which can be considered the sum of its identifications. The self already exists when an infant is born, while many aspects of ‘I’ (or our personality) do not, but are slowly formed…
As in the previous case, to clarify what awareness is, we first have to make a distinction between awareness and other phenomena that are easily confused with it, such as consciousness.
Intent is different from other possible triggers of activity, such as instincts and urges, reflexes, desires, and even will. Instincts and urges are reactions or responses that clearly do not need to be intentional.
From the Synthesis perspective the body is the material aspect of a living system that consists, on a macro level, of relatively slow but very densely packed energy. This is why physical sensations (e.g. pain, hunger) can have such a strong effect.
The body, as any other physical object, ultimately consists of subatomic entities that have a dual nature. So, while the physical body, as normally perceived, can be identified with its corpuscular form, what is commonly called the aura could refer to its wave (or field) nature.
The Relation Between the Body and the Soul
The body can be considered ‘a complex network of resonance and frequency’ (McTaggart, 2000, p.53). All the organelles (cell’s ‘organs’) are rotating and vibrating. Each of them is involved in this ‘musical’ activity of creating rhythmic waves of energy.
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