The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth
A View by Richard Lang
MY MOLECULAR IDENTITY
When my observer, having investigated my cellular appearance, moves in closer towards me, (attempting to find out what I really am), she leaves behind my cellular level and discovers I am molecules. My body contains billions - I have more molecules in my body than there are stars in the sky! They are structures that come in many different sizes and shapes, often combining together to form more complex structures. A DNA molecule is like a twisted ladder or 'double helix'. Haemoglobin, a protein molecule, resembles a ball of twisted ribbon. Structure determines the job a molecule performs. Haemoglobin's unique form, for example, allows it to carry oxygen through the bloodstream, whereas some molecular chaperones have what look like little hands, enabling them to fold new-born protein molecules into their right shapes.
Molecule Into Human
My molecules are how my central nothingness appears at close range. (Only the largest of my molecules can be seen and photographed with an electron microscope.) They are the layer beneath my cells and above my atoms and play a vital part in determining who I am at the human level. For example the genetic coding in my DNA molecules translates upwards into determining the varying functions of my cells which translates further upwards to the human level, determining such things as how tall I am, how I process foods, how I respond to infections and medicines and so on. In this sense I am, humanly speaking, what my genes decide I am.
Trading Molecular Faces
When I look out from my central nothingness I do not
of course see my molecular 'face', just as I do not see my human face at
the human level. My appearance at any level is for others. It is only through my observer - at this range the molecular biologist - that I can come to know myself objectively. She places herself in my molecular zone
and thus registers me as molecules - there
in her central nothingness. If I were to observe my observer at this same range, then I would register her
molecules here in my
central nothingness. Thus we would each be capacity for the other's molecular appearance. We would be trading molecular 'faces'. Having studied one another at the molecular level, we could then step away from our microscopes and report our findings to one another at the human level, each reflecting back to the other their molecular identity.
Astonishing Molecular Machines
One Central Emptiness
I am at the centre of all my regions, including my molecular region. I look here into my centre and see it is empty. Self-evidently the core of each of my molecules is awake space or capacity. Each of my molecules is not for itself a 'thing' separate from its neighbours but is capacity for its neighbours. Although its 'view out' of its neighbours is presumably very poor, it is still a view and sufficient for the needs of the occasion. On the other hand, the 'view in' is excellent - boundlessly clear and absolutely awake. I know this because I am enjoying that view in now.
Go to My Atomic Identity
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