Yes indeed, Life is complicated. To know about the complexities of Life, the man requires a theory of Knowledge. How does the multicellular organism called man knows the fact of its own existence? How does the multicellular organism knows the Identity of the singularity called man who exists in the world reaping the benefits of life supporting living functions performed by the independent, individual building blocks of his body? The Rudolf-Rudi Connection at Whole Foods describes the Cognitive Theory of the Human Existence.
SPIRITUALISM AND INTELLIGENCE:
What is Man? I would begin this investigation by sharing my motivation for asking this question. The motivation comes from a statement that is expressed in Sanskrit language: “SARVESHAM SVASTIR BHAVATU”, a statement that seeks the well-being of all people, of all races, of all cultures, of all religions, and of all nations.
The meaning and purpose of life are affected by whatever we think is the real or true nature of man. It is important to recognize that our efforts to support the well-being of man would require correct understanding and knowledge of the real or true man.
WHAT IS INTELLIGENCE?
Intelligence can only exist in living matter and living entities. The word Intelligence (Latin. Intelligentia) involves perception, discernment, the ability to learn or understand from experience, and the ability to acquire and retain knowledge. Intelligence is associated with all-around effectiveness of a living organism to maintain its existence. Intelligence influences a broad range of living functions and could be observed in the performance of those functions.
The potentiality or capacity called Intelligence has a biological basis. However, in popular usage, Intelligence is used to describe the cognitive (knowing) component distinct from the affective (emotional), and motivational (drive) components of human behavior. Very often, people use the term Intelligence to describe the variations in the ability to learn, to function in society and to behave according to contemporary social expectations. I would like to differ from this conception of Intelligence as an innate ‘brain- power’- a mental faculty which distinguishes the more highly evolved animals from simple organisms, and tries to measure Intelligence levels and the differences among individuals and separate geniuses from average persons.
It is not reasonable to think of Intelligence as an exclusive function or faculty of the mind. Psychologists who describe the psychological basis of Intelligence tend to view Intelligence as a combination of the innate characteristics of an individual’s Central Nervous System which is molded by experience, learning, heredity, and environmental factors. Psychologists describe Intelligence as a collection of a large number of highly varied, although overlapping mental skills and abilities. Intelligence may include about 120 specific abilities which are grouped under three categories as: 1. logical processes, 2. the kinds of information processed, and 3. the products of such information processed (eg. classes, systems, relations).
It is understandable to know Intelligence as multidimensional and Intelligence serves as the basis for the performance of a wide variety of functions that involve knowing information, use or application of information, and physical performance or observed behavior which could be called Intelligent Behavior. Still, there is no single definition of Intelligence. There is no agreement if Intelligence could be directly observed and be accurately measured. Intelligence remains as a hypothetical ability. There is an abstract faculty that apprehends, conceptually and perceptually, relations among objects.
I present this abstract function of Intelligence to recognize relations among objects as a feature of a living cell and its ability to recognize the presence of other living cells present in its environment, its ability to recognize substances present in its environment, its ability to selectively use or dispose of molecules, its ability to express cooperation, tolerance, mutual assistance, defence, communication, and functional subordination in various biotic interactions with its own being, or in its interactions with other living species. My purpose is that of recognizing the fact of Intelligence as the characteristic of all living organisms and living cells and it could be important to recognize the association between Intelligence and Consciousness as the basis for a living entity to exist in its environment. We cannot afford to ignore the fact that millions of human beings have perished because of Intelligence displayed in operation and behavior of a variety of Viruses, Bacteria, Protozoa, and other parasites.
SPIRITUALISM AND INTELLIGENCE:
We must make a distinction between Intelligence and Intellect, the mental function which is associated with Thinking. Brain like all other organs and tissues of the human body grows and develops from the protoplasm of a single, fertilized egg cell. The intellectual abilities of brain are dependent upon the basic, underlying nature and ability of its living matter or protoplasm. Intelligence represents innate ability or capacity to learn and adapt. It describes the ability to acquire new knowledge from experience. This potentiality and capacity of Intelligence is reflected in mental abilities like creative thinking and analytical thinking.
In my view, both Consciousness, and Intelligence are the defining features of Soul or Spirit. For that reason, I submit that the living matter or protoplasm is of Spiritual nature as it knows to formulate its relations with other living entities with a nature that exhibits traits of Compassion, Sympathy, and Understanding to achieve both internal, and external Harmony, Tranquility, and Peace to support its existence and living condition. Man because of his intellectual abilities entertains thoughts about immortality, eternal life, and everlasting life as he recognizes the potentiality and capacity of his Intelligence that sustains and maintains his living condition.
The Rudolf-Rudi Connection proposes a Cognitive Theory of Human Existence
Spiritualism – The Cognitive Science of Spirituality:
The term cognition is derived from Latin word cognitio which means knowledge which is related to the Latin word cognoscere ( co-, together + gnoscere, know) which means the act or process of knowing. Cognitive Science involves the study of all human activities related to knowledge. These activities include attention, creativity, memory, perception, problem solving, thinking, and the use of language.
Cognition is the process involved in knowing, or the act of knowing which includes awareness and judgment. Cognition is often viewed as a psychological function and its nature is described as the relationship between the knowing mind and external reality.
The Cognitive Science of Spirituality that I would like to describe is related to the cognitive abilities of a living cell or living organism; the abilities such as recognition, responsiveness, communication using signals, memory, ability to process, store, retrieve, and use information that could be innate or acquired, the ability of adaptation to changing internal or external environmental conditions, and the fact of awareness of its own existence; the awareness of its internal condition, and the awareness of its external environment.
The purpose of the Cognitive Science of Spirituality is not that of describing a cognitive theory of human personality. The Behavioral Science is primarily involved in the study of stimuli and responses; it observes human activities particularly social behavior and not that of higher mental processes which are not available to direct examination. While Cognitive Science is concerned with mind’s ability to acquire, process, store, and use information, the information processed need not be represented in cortical awareness. Cognitive Psychology does not rely on conscious introspection or mental reflection.
The Cognitive Science of Spirituality that I describe does not involve acts of Meditation or mental introspection to discover the spiritual nature of man. I suggest that Spiritualism can be understood without regard to the machinery of brain/mind’s information processing. The organism that we all know as Amoeba (Greek word – ‘Amoibe’ which means change) is a spiritual entity as it is Conscious or Aware of its existence, it shows responsiveness by changing its shape as it likes, it is Intelligent for it uses, processes, stores, retrieves, and uses information to perform its metabolic functions, and it displays abilities such as adaptation and memory of its acquired experience. I tend to view these biological functions and characteristics as an attribute of the spiritual nature of its living substance and this spiritual nature brings functional harmony to sustain its existence as a biological entity.
The Theory of Knowledge and the Cognitive Science of Spiritualism:
I am not concerned about Bertrand Russell’s skeptical atheist temperament. The Spiritualism that I describe is not about religious faith or belief and the Spirituality that I write about is not concerned with religious practices or rituals. I claim that man is a Spiritual being because of the spiritual nature of his living matter or living substance. It is important to know that Russell was determined not to be beguiled by human pretensions to knowledge. He had never supported unbacked assumptions either about the foundations of knowledge or about what may be said to exist. He endorsed the application of rationality to all aspects of human thought and language. He was seriously concerned with the application of logical analysis to epistemological questions and attacked this problem by trying to breakdown human knowledge into minimum statements that were verifiable by empirical observation, reason, and logic. He was convinced that all knowledge is dependent on sense experience. His primary aim was to inquire with skeptical intent, “how much we can be said to know and with what degree of certainty or doubtfulness.” In 1898, with Trinity Fellow G.E. Moore, he rebelled against Idealism and became an Empiricist, a Positivist, and a Physical Realist or a Materialist. He held that the scientific view of the world is largely the correct view. He addressed the problem of the pretensions of human knowledge in his books, An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth (1940) and Human Knowledge, Its Scope and Limits (1948). His aim was also analytic and he assumed that it is possible to infer something about the world from the language in which it is correctly described. Russell analyzed that language must be used to state its minimum requirements, its atomic facts and avoid the use of descriptive phrases which may postulate the existence of objects. He held that a proposition is a picture of the facts that it asserts and must have in a sense the same structure. He stressed the importance of similarity of structure as a criterion in inferring causal relationships.
In a Lecture titled ‘Why I am not a Christian’ given on March 06, 1927, Russell explained the nature of his beliefs about God and Mortality. In his opinion and personal belief, he held the view that Life suitable to Protoplasm could be possible under certain physical conditions like temperature. Russell’s speculative assumption about the existence of Life or Protoplasm is not supported by scientific evidence. He had no scientific data to support his view. The ideal conditions for Life and Protoplasm exist right now and what we know is that Life is always born from previously existing Life. However, he had concluded his Lecture by stating that, “it needs hope for the future……., the future that our intelligence can create.”
Russell’s assumption that human intelligence is the basis for man’s biological existence is incorrect and is not consistent with the scientific reality about human existence and its nature. At a very fundamental level, man’s ability to acquire energy from an external source in the physical environment does not depend upon his physical or mental work or effort. If green plants with Chloroplasts have the ability to trap Sun’s energy, it could not be attributed to man’s intelligence. The fact of Chloroplasts and their ability is not dependent on man having any kind of intelligence. Russell’s theoretical claims have no relationship with observational evidence and his opinions could be easily refuted for lack of validity. Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences provide accepted body of information about the world and human body. We need to arrange this information into a meaningful pattern and interpret it to describe the reality. The purpose of the Cognitive Science of Spiritualism is to describe and codify observations and experiences to explain the biological basis for human organism in its given environment as an individual, and as a member of a biological community.
Rudolf is reborn as Rudi to describe the spiritual connection between the Cell and its Energy
Rudi acknowledges his German heritage at Whole Foods when he discovered the spiritual connection between man, food, and Providence. Whole Foods, Whole People, and Whole Planet are connected by a material substance called Protoplasm or Cytoplasm, a divine plan to provide nourishment to Life.
The Rudolf and Rudi Connection at Whole Foods, Ann Arbor can be best described as the concept of Whole Spirituality, the three dimensional spiritual relationship between the multicellular human organism, food, and the Divine Providence.
SPIRITUALISM – THE CELL THEORY OF SPIRITUALITY:
In Biology, cell is the basic or fundamental unit of structure, function, and organization in all living things or it is the building block of life. Let me begin with my respectful tribute to some of the people who contributed to ‘The Cell Theory’, one of the foundations of Biological Sciences. Cells were first observed in the 17th century shortly after the discovery of the microscope. Robert Hooke, british curator of instruments at The Royal Society of London, during 1665 coined the word cell. Dutch microscopist Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) made over 247 microscopes and examined microorganisms and tissue samples. He gave the first complete descriptions of bacteria, protozoa (which he called animalcules), spermatozoa, and striped muscle. He also studied capillary circulation and observed Red Blood Cells.
Improvements in microscopy during early 19th century permitted closer observation and the significance of cells had received better understanding. Matthias Jakob Schleiden (1838), german botanist, Theodor Schwann (1839), german physiologist, and Rudolf Virchow (1855), german pathologist, and others made important contributions to the Cell Theory that describes cell as the building block of all Life.
The Cell is the smallest unit in the living organism that is capable of carrying on the essential life processes of sustaining metabolism for producing energy and reproducing. Many simple, small, single-celled organisms like Protozoa perform all life functions. In higher, complex, bigger, multicellular organisms, groups of cells are structurally and functionally differentiated into specialized tissues and organ systems. Thus, the Cell Theory includes the following foundational principles of the Biological Sciences:
1. All living things are made up of cells. Cell is the most elementary or basic unit of Life.
2. Cell is a fundamental unit of structure, function, and organization in all living things including plants and animals.
3. Cells only rise from division of previously existing cells.
4. All cells are similar in composition, form, and function. All cells are basically the same in chemical composition (in spite of variations) in organisms of similar species. For example, all the solid tissues in the human body can be shown to consist largely of similar cells; differing it is true, but that are essentially similar to an Ovum.
5. The cells exhibit functional autonomy. The activity of an organism depends on the total activity of ‘INDEPENDENT’ cells.
6. Energy flow (metabolism and biochemistry) occurs within cells.
7. Cells contain hereditary, biological information (DNA) which is passed from cell to cell during cell division.
The Cell Theory of Spirituality:
The basic or fundamental unit of life in the human organism is derived from the fertilized egg cell that eventually develops into a complete organism. The most significant feature of similarity between the cells of the human body is the presence of a soft, gelatinous, semi-fluid, granular material inside the cell. This substance known as Protoplasm or Cytoplasm, or Cytosol is similar to the ground substance found in the Ovum or the Egg Cell.
This viscous, translucent, colloidal substance is enclosed in a membrane called Cell Membrane, Plasma Membrane or Biological Membrane. A small spherical body called nucleus is embedded in the Protoplasm of the cell. The three essential features of any living cell in the human body are that of the presence of protoplasm, the nucleus, and the cell membrane.
PROTOPLASM – THE GROUND SUBSTANCE OF SPIRITUALISM AND SPIRITUALITY:
I seek the existence of Soul or Spirit in a substance that is basic to life activities, and in a material that is responsible for all living processes. I, therefore, propose that the understanding of the true or real nature of this ground substance of all living matter will help man to discover peace, harmony, and tranquility in all of his internal and external relationships while man exists in a physical environment as a member of a social group, social community, and Society. In this blog post, I would like to pay my respectful tribute to Jan Evangelista Purkinje and Hugo Von Mohl for their great contribution to the scientific understanding of the living substance, living material, and living matter.
Purkinje conducted his research on human vision at the University of Prague and later on, he served there as a Professor of Physiology (1850-69). He went to Germany and was appointed the Chair of Physiology and Pathology (1823-50) at the University of Breslau, Prussia. There Purkinje created the world’s first independent Department of Physiology (1839) and the first Physiological Laboratory (Physiological Institute, 1842). He is best known for his discovery of large nerve cells with many branching extensions found in the cortex of Cerebellum of the brain (Purkinje Cells, 1837). He discovered the fibrous tissue that conducts electrical impulses from the ‘pacemaker’ called Atrioventricular node or A-V node along the inside walls of the ventricles to all parts of the heart to help in Cardiac contractile function (Purkinje Fibers, 1839). In 1835, he invented and introduced the scientific term ‘Protoplasm’ to describe the ground substance found inside young animal embryo cells. He discovered the sweat glands of the skin (1833); he discovered the nine configuration groups of Fingerprints used in biometric identification of man (1823); he described the germinal vesicle or nucleus of the unripe ovum that now bears his name (1825), and he noted the protein digesting power of pancreatic extracts (1836).
Hugo Von Mohl named the granular, colloidal material that made up the main substance of the plant cell as “Protoplasm” in 1846. Purkinje invented the word, but Hugo gave more clarity, understanding, and knowing the nature of this ground substance. He viewed cell as an “elementary organ” and in Physiology he explained Protoplasm as an organ of Motion or Movement, Nutrition, and Reproduction. It is the preliminary material in cellular generation. He was the first to propose that new cells are formed by division of preexisting cells and he had observed this process of Cell Division in the algal cells of Conferva glomerata. His observations are very important to understand the Cell Theory that explains cells as the basic building blocks of Life. He was the first to investigate the phenomenon of the stomatal openings in leaves.
Protoplasm is a complex, viscous, translucent solution of such materials as salts and simple sugars with other molecules, mostly proteins and fats, in a colloidal state, that is dispersed but not dissolved in one another. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen constitute more than 90 percent of Protoplasm.
It exhibits properties such as Protoplasmic Streaming or Cytoplasmic Streaming or Motion that is called “Amoeboid Movement.” It has the intrinsic power to change its shape and position. It has the power of Nutrition by which it can attract and obtain the materials necessary for its growth and maintenance from surrounding matter/environment.
The living functions such as Nutrition, Cellular Respiration, and Reproduction performed by Cytoplasm involve acquiring, processing, retaining, and using information to perform tasks in a sequential manner for a predetermined purpose and hence describe Consciousness, Memory, and Intelligence.
The terms Soul and Spirit belong to the materialistic realm where the Physical Reality of man’s biological existence is established. I have not yet discovered any good reason to use the terms Soul and Spirit as a metaphysical or transcendental Reality.
The Inheritance of Cytoplasmic Membrane or Cell or Plasma Membrane:
The Functions of Cytoplasmic Membrane or Cell Membrane or Biological Membrane:
1. Protection: It protects the cell from its surroundings or extracellular environment. Plant cell possess wall over the plasma membrane for extra protection and support.
2. Holding cell contents: Plasma membranes hold the semi fluid protoplasmic contents of the cell intact; thus keeping the individuality of the cell.
3. Selective Permeability: Cell membrane allows only selected or specific substances to enter into the cell and are impermeable to others.
- Gases like O2 and CO2 can diffuse rapidly in solution through membranes.
- Small compounds like H2O and methane can easily pass through where as sugars, amino acids and charged ions are transported with the help of transport proteins.
- The size of the molecules which can pass through the plasma membrane is 1-15 A0. This property is responsible for keeping a cell ‘as a cell’, an individual unit.
4. Shape: It maintains form and shape of the cell. It serves as site of anchorage or attachment of the cytoskeleton; thus providing shape to the cell (especially in animal cells without cell wall).
5. Organelles: Cell membrane delimits or covers all sub-cellular structures or organelles like nucleus, mitochondria, plastids, Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, microbodies etc. thus protecting them form the surroundings and also helps in maintaining a constant internal environment.
6. Compartmentalization: Cell membrane separate the cells from their external environment and cell organelle from cytosol. It help the cells and their organelles to have their own microenvironments, structural and functional individuality.
7. Cell Recognition: With the help of glycolipids and glycoproteins on its surface, cell membranes are able to differentiate similar cells from dissimilar ones, foreign substances and cells own materials. Cell recognition is useful for tissue formation and defence against microbes.
8. Antigens: Cell membranes possess antigens which determine blood grouping, immune response, acceptance or rejection of a transplant (graft rejection by MHC’s on plasma membrane).
9. Microvilli: They are microscopic finger like projections of plasma membrane present on some cells like intestinal epithelial cells, which are involved in a wide variety of functions, including increasing surface area for absorption, secretion, cellular adhesion etc.
10. Sheaths of cilia and flagella: Cilia and flagella are projections from the cell; made up of microtubules which are covered by an extension of the plasma membrane.
11. Cytoplasmic bridges in plasmodesmata and gap junctions: Plasmodesmata in plant cells and gap junctions in animal cells; meant for intercellular transport and communication, form cytoplasmic bridges between adjacent cells through plasma membrane.
12. Endocytosis and Exocytosis: Bulk intake of materials or endocytosis occurs through development of membrane vesicles or invagination and engulfing by plasma membrane.
Exocytosis: It is reverse of endocytosis that provides for releasing waste products and secretory materials ot of the cells with the help of plasma membrane.
13. Impulse transmission in neurons: The transmission of a nerve impulse along a neuron from one end to the other occurs as a result of electrical changes across the plasma membrane of the neuron
14. Cell metabolism: Cell membranes control cell metabolism through selective permeability and retentivity of substances in a cell.
15. Electron transport chain in bacteria: In bacteria; Electron transport chain is located in cell membrane.
16. Osmosis through cell membrane: It is movement of solvent molecules (generally water) from the region of less concentrated solution to the region of high concentrated solution through a semi permeable membrane. Here the semi permeable membrane that helps in osmosis is the cell membrane. Eg: Root cells take up water from the soil by osmosis
17. Carrier proteins for active transport: They occur in the cell membranes and control active transport of substances. Example, GLUT1 is a named carrier protein found in almost all animal cell membranes that transports glucose across the bilayer or plasma membrane.
18. Plasma Membrane enzymes: Many enzymes are present on the plasma membrane with wide variety of catalytic activity. Example: Red blood cell plasma membranes contain a number of enzymes such as ATPases, anion transport protein, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, protein kinases, adenylate cyclase, acetylcholinesterase.
19. Cell Membrane Receptors: Receptor on the plasma membrane performs signal transduction, converting an extracellular signal into an intra-cellular signal. Membrane possess receptors for hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies and several other biochemicals.
20. Plasma membrane assisted Cell movements: Undulation and pseudopodia are cell membrane phenomenon involved in cell movement. Amoeba, macrophages and WBCs move with the helps of temporary organelles like pseudopodia. Pseudopods are temporary cytoplasmic projections of the cell membrane in certain unicellular protists such as Amoeba. Some mammalian cells such as fibroblasts can move over a solid surface by wave like undulations of the plasma membrane.
The Ground Substance of Spiritualism and Spirituality. The vital characteristics, the animating principles of Protoplasm could be known by observing Amoeba proteus. The Living Substance works as an organ of Motion or Movement, as an organ of Nutrition, and as an organ of Reproduction to generate new cells which have a life span of their own. In these physiological functions, I describe the characteristics such as Cognition, Consciousness, Memory, and Intelligence as spiritual attributes of Life as they bring functional unity and harmony in the interactions between different parts of the same individual organism while it exists in an environment as a member of a biological community.
THE SPIRITUALITY OF SUBSTANCE, FUNCTION, ORGANIZATION, ACTION, AND INTERACTIONS:
To establish the biological existence of the human organism, I add the concept of Spiritualism and Spirituality to the Cell Theory.
The Single Fertilized Egg Cell has ground substance that is of Spiritual nature and the Spiritualism and Spirituality consists of the following functional, and organizational characteristics:
1. The Cell is Conscious of its own existence and knows its internal condition and knows it external environment.
2. The Cell is intelligent and it has the cognitive abilities like perception and memory to acquire information, to retain information, to recall information, and to use information in the performance of its complex tasks in a sequential manner.
3. The Cell has the ability to show characteristics such as mutual cooperation, mutual tolerance, and display functional subordination and subservience while being independent.
4. The Cell grows, divides, and develops into a complete organism while it acquires substances and energy from an external environment. The power of Protoplasm/Cytoplasm to attract matter found in its external environment is called Nutrition. The Cell continuously transforms matter to build matter of its own kind for its own benefit to sustain its existence with its own identity and individuality. The Organism represents a social group or a biological community of Cells. The Spiritual nature of Protoplasm/Cytoplasm brings this functional harmony and unity in the Social Group or Biotic Community of Cells by bringing together its Essence and Existence.
5. The Cell Theory is incomplete for it does not describe the conditioned nature of the Cell’s existence. The Cell represents a Living System that is thermodynamically unstable. It requires a constant supply of matter and energy from its external environment to sustain its living functions. The concept of Whole Spirituality formulates the connection between the Cell and its external source of matter and energy.
The theoretical claims about Spirit and Soul, the religious and philosophical doctrines of Spiritualism and Spirituality must be verified using the Cell Theory that defines the human organism. To describe Soul or Spirit as nonmaterial or immaterial Self will not help man to know the real or true man.
Whole Foods, Whole People, and Whole Planet come together in a Wholesome Relationship as God is the Energy Provider, the Original Source of Matter and Energy for Life.