4 28 2004 53481

Social Values in the Cellular World

Simple social values are seen in all walks of life, even at the cellular level. Here is a brief description about how these values are manifested in the cellular world.

The automatic and intelligent regulation of enormous amount of complex interactive biochemical and physiological processes in the living system involves, even at the cellular and molecular levels, some basic principles, which through their manifestations, reflect the subtle role of consciousness-force existing in the smallest unit of life. Look at the process of our body growth. Why does a unicellular embryo grow into a specific multi-cellular organism? While the living fetus is cozily protected inside the mother's womb, why should it come out? The answers to the 'how' of the above questions are well answered by biomedical sciences. But, the 'why' of these and related events in the process of the birth and development of the living system still remain a mystery. These cannot be explained by the existing theories and experimental findings of the modern sciences. However, we may try to understand the nature and purpose of each facet of the molecular, cellular, and grosser manifestations of the psyche in the light of our ancient scriptures, which affirms the eternal existence and continuous evolution towards the ultimate boundless, perfection of the consciousness force in every expression of life. Every living cell is a conscious system that contains a subtle world in itself. The individual and collective behavior of the cellular system are reflected in various biochemical and psychological processes. It appears to be most intelligent and refined in the human organism, that enjoys the status of being the most evolved and privileged of all species ever born over the earth. In terms of social values, the principles involved in the perfect behavior of the molecular and cellular systems demonstrate cooperation, service, struggle, endurance, adjustment, valor, discipline, and unity. The human body is made up of trillions of cells, and has an equal number of neurons (nerve cells) in the information processing network of the brain. It is the cooperation of these individual cells that leads to the formation and efficient functioning of the different tissues, organs, and the body-system as a whole. In vitro experiments on cell culturing show that a single cell is itself capable of surviving independently in a proper medium. Sacrificing their freedom, the cells in our living system choose to share their earnings (inputs) and belongings with other cells via inter cellular interactions, and live in healthy cooperation and organized unity, thereby setting a shining example for the human society. All the constituents at the molecular level, including the enzymes and proteins, also follow this ideal principle of mutual association and make the large number of complex in-vivo reactions possible. At the macro multi-cellular levels, the internal organs obey this social discipline of mutual adjustment and collective efforts, and consistently teach us the values of amity and cooperation. Unselfish service is superbly adopted at every stage of organization and functioning of a living system. The non-stop intercellular and intercellular activities, continuous pumping of the heart, the distributive flow of blood, the burden-bearing arrangements of the bones, etc., stand as the best illustrations of this vital principle of social harmony and progress. Defense against the harmful invasions or disorders of any kind are another fundamental property of a living system and its components. At the cellular level, the cell membrane regulates the inflow and outflow of desired molecules and prevents the invalid entries. Lysozomes also aid in the protection of the cells. Excess of water in the blood is instantly thrown out (via kidneys) by the activation of particular hormones. Vomiting, shivering, allergy, etc., are outcomes of the acts of struggle of specific subsystems against any imbalance or untoward action. The prompt vigil and valor of the Lymphovytes and the antibodies in fighting toxins, germs, and infections, enable the healthy survival of the body. Any deficiency or fault in this immune mechanism results in vicious cycle of diseases, some of which could even be lethal. The role of consciousness-force pervading in the bio-molecular and cellular units is vital, though invisible in the duty-bound intelligence and efficacy of the uncountable, complex biochemical interactions, and physiological processes taking place in an adaptive manner from millisecond, and even in tinier fractions of time. In the volume on 'Principles of immunology', Dr Rose, Milgram, and Vanize observe that in spite of a physical contact, there is no material transfer or communicative interaction between the immuno component and the invader cells, even if they happen to be chemically compatible with each other. This indicates that the functioning of the immune cells is also governed by some inherent intelligent and crucial process, which is regulating the known (and also yet unknown) laws of biochemical reactions in a living system. Similar kinds of views are supported by the recent findings of some biomedical research laboratories, which demonstrate rise in the defensive strength, and efficiency of the immune system with the vital energy and willpower of the patients. Complete cure of severe stages of dreaded diseases like cancer by patients' self-will have been reported in some cases, despite the failure of advanced medical treatment. Experiments on modern therapies along with psychological training by auto-suggestive and biofeedback control have paved the way for systematic investigations for wider applications in this direction. The complementary or supportive organs in case of emergency further evince the remarkable endurance, sense of responsibility, and unity in the cellular and organ level components driven by the infinite capacity of the consciousness force. Functioning of a single kidney or lung in case of damage or removal of its partner, regulation of the RBC/WBC concentration in the blood through bone marrow within a short span of blood loss in an accident or after blood donation, are well-known examples in this regard. Existence of germs like flora, which are allowed by the skin tissues to eat dead cells, the presence of 'friendly germs' in the intestines for production of vitamin B-12, etc., mark the tolerance, compromise, and prudent adjustment of the associated molecular and cellular units for the good of our overall health. At the organ level, the flexibility of the respiratory tubes, expansion and contraction of the pleural cavity, and lungs to effectuate periodic purification of the blood through inspiration and expiration, flexibility of the muscle and joints, as per requirements of the body's action, etc., are familiar experiences of the marvelous dynamic adjustments in every unit of our physical existence. The ability to embrace the coexistence of other creatures, and adaptability to positive changes and compromise for maintaining its healthy growth in a randomly changing environment illustrate the farsighted vision of the biological system, both macro and micro. May the human society learn something from the tiny world of its biological counterpart, to adopt the social values naturally embedded there for peaceful co-existence and harmonious progress.

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