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..:: DNA ::..

By

Alan Schneider

                                                                                                                                                

          Much discussion is currently circulating in the alternative spiritual community, and in the general world community as well, regarding DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid – the chemical architect of all life as we know it on the Physical Plane of Expression.  This SYNERGY Essay considers this subject from the perspective of its spiritual implications. 

            DNA itself is affiliated with another complex genetic chemical known as RNA – ribonucleic acid – arguably one of the first organic acids to appear in creation, and a primary component of living and borderline living structures, including, for example, almost all viruses – the primary borderline entities on Earth.  At the chemical direction of DNA, RNA carries out most subsequent cellular work by activating cellular metabolic and maintenance processes.  In the case of the virus, a simple structure of a protein case (holding a sample of the viral RNA), protein shaft (that attaches to target cell walls by target protein recognition), and penetrator (which descends down the shaft following attachment), enables the virus to inject its RNA directly into the target cell, bypassing the native cellular RNA, and native nuclear DNA, entirely, and subsequently manufacturing only viral RNA in the process, until the target cell fills up with viral “packages” and ruptures, releasing the new viruses into the ambient biological environment.  Under certain circumstances, viruses can literally crystallize into solid, inert chemical lattices – no longer demonstrating any of the features of a living system – until a suitable biochemical environment is restored, at which point they again become viable, mobile protein life forms in solution. 

            The virus is an exception to the rule of life – almost all life is cellular in basis – with a central nucleus containing DNA (and RNA), having a nuclear wall, and this centrally suspended within the cell, itself containing many complex chemical elements, and the whole being surrounded by a protein cell wall.   The DNA manufactures the RNA through a chemical process called transcription, releasing it through the nuclear wall into the cell to carry on the processes of cellular metabolism.  When the cell has generated the required amount of metabolic products, the nuclear DNA replicates into another set of identical DNA, resulting in another nucleus and cell eventually, in the process of mitosis.  All of this is carried out by the original DNA organic molecule, which is theoretically capable of replicating in this manner indefinitely, favorable environmental conditions permitting.  

            The universe as an environment does not, of course, remain static – it exists in a condition of endless flux and transition, right down to the molecular, atomic, and subatomic levels.  Thus, no DNA molecule can replicate in the indefinite mode noted above – if such was the case, and DNA demonstrated no mechanism of change – life on Earth would have ground to a halt very soon after its inception.  But DNA is highly mutagenic – its composition is affected by many environmental factors, such as solar radiation, chemical infusion, and physical impact – and this very adaptable chemical generates many design iterations, or expressions, in the course of its existence.  As the environment changes, some of these iterations will demonstrate compatible structures to the new conditions, and life will evolve in consequence, eventually assuming more and more complex forms across time.  From the current observational perspective, we are the sentient pinnacle of this process, at least on land, and in the air.

            DNA appears to have become manifest on the Physical Plane in response to the balance of factors present in the solar biosphere – the region around the Sun that sustains life as we know it.  It is quite probable that some form of DNA/RNA based life would have inevitably become manifest on Earth, given its central location in the biosphere, this resulting from the concentration of complex organic molecules generated in the warm tidal pools of distant geological antiquity.  Thus, at least locally in our solar system, the evolution of complex life, culminating in sentient life, was functionally certain, with the only qualifier being that a planet of sufficient size to gravitationally retain an atmosphere may not necessarily have manifested within the solar biosphere – this much may have been a stroke of “fate”, or the “Karma” of this solar system, perhaps.  

            In the metaphysical sense, DNA can be regarded as the “Hand of God” acting in the biological continuum to determine the course of evolution on Earth, and, for that matter, the occurrence of Earth itself within the biosphere could also be regarded as Divinely determined, although much more subject to chance than the manifestation of DNA, which was more or less guaranteed once planetary manifestation had taken place.  And to the extent that our sentient human consciousness is genetically determined – and I suspect that this to be highly probable – the resultant structures of that consciousness must also be genetically determined, specifically the Sphere of the Psyche referred to so often in these essays.  The critical causative structure within that Sphere is, of course, the Self at its center, generating all subsequent consciousness, including the archetypes, the id, and the ego, these latter two existing on the surface of the Sphere, far from the Self at its core.   It can be said that human consciousness mirrors the physical form of the solar system – a central structure generating all else in evidence – we are all models of the first Creation under this analogy.  In ancient terms “As Above, So Below”.            

            The Psyche is subject to variable levels of activity – at one extreme (in deep sleep) there is no discernable activity – even dreaming is absent – at the other, under conditions of physical or mental emergency, an extremely heightened state of organismic arousal is noted as an external reflection of internal states of heightened emotional and psychic agitation and arousal.  Within these extreme levels, the overall state of psychic activity fluctuates much like the flux and transition observed in the physical universe – in constant movement, constant shifting of attention, and with constant variable evaluation (both consciously and unconsciously) of experienced events.   

            In recent experiments with the little “Kundalini detector” at my friend Jenna’s home, we both noticed another fascinating effect – the more we talked about God and spirituality, the more active the detector became, presumably indicating an increasing level of organismic arousal in parallel to increased psychic arousal.   Inasmuch as “God” is spiritually analogous to “the Logos” and “the Self” (essentially existing as a cultural “trigger” word in English usage) apparently an environment of sustained dialog regarding this high level of manifestation becomes very stimulating for the participants – something that the proponents of revival meetings have known for a long time without the advantage of measurement techniques, however.  Even if all the detector is indicating is heightened glandular physiological activity, this is still very meaningful when the additional presence of internal observation and subsequent discourse is taken into account.  

            The Self is a very esoteric structure.  Freudian theory does not accept its existence at all, although competing Jungian theory hinges on this phenomenon, and the testimony of those who have successfully contacted this fundamental level of conscious experience in deep meditation supports this claim.  In the light of this deep source connection, a fundamental question has arisen in the New Age community at this time: “Can the Self, as the spiritual source of all manifestation, either directly or indirectly affect the physical structure of the DNA molecule on the Physical Plane, and, if so, how?”  Moreover, is the personal contact in meditation with the Self referred to here necessary to expedite this molecular modification, or can it be performed externally by a sufficiently powerful human or other spiritual source?   

            A more pertinent question may be “If DNA is the Hand of God manifest on the Physical Plane, and the agency of Karma (the Will of God) for that reason,  should we attempt to adjust this process at all?”  What this all comes down to is the purpose and meaning of existence.  If, as the Buddha maintained, all of life amounts to suffering caused by the illusion of desire action, and this suffering is resolved by enlightenment, what is the implication of the desire to alter ones DNA?  If God does not play dice with the universe, should we attempt to? 

            The presumed mechanism of external DNA modification by spiritual practitioners, with or without higher spiritual support, seems to involve the proposed manipulation of Astral and Mental Plane archetypal symbols of the DNA structure manifest in both the perception of the adjustor and the subject.  We are left to suppose that the adjusted Astral DNA then manifests at some point in a similar or identical adjustment of the physical DNA of the subject.  While it may well be true that the observable structures and forms of the Physical Plane are the result of pre-existing Astral archetypal symbolic interaction, the Physical Plane itself is a Karmic mirror of consciousness, and what one intends to perceive there heavily influences what one does perceive there.  The question is “Does what I perceive originate from the Self, or as the result of unconscious ego-driven wish fulfillment?”  How deep are my practice, commitment, and dedication to Self exploration and Self Realization?  What only originates on the Astral or Mental Planes is far from resolute.  Does the world we experience in the physical senses ultimately result from the influence of the Self?  The answer to this question is “Yes”, but the information passes through many subsequent levels of expression before becoming physical, and each one results in another sheath of interpretation.  This is why the Physical Plane appears to be such a turbulent place – it reflects the disturbance of all that has metaphysically produced it.  Superficial practices result in superficial change on the Physical Plane, change that is easily eroded by the turbulence there.  And very few things are more superficial than the presumed manipulations of DNA practitioners, who will offer an easy way out of the lifetime of commitment represented by serious spiritual practices like Yoga and meditation. 

            As the reader has probably noticed by this point, I am quite skeptical of the veracity of all claims to non-environmental DNA modification, particularly those of human agent manipulators.  Beyond the questionable nature of their machinations, another, perhaps more pertinent, question arises – once the presumed adjustment has been completed (frequently after a notably expensive series of episodes), what is the supposed benefit to the subject?  I have heard of all manner of dubious things mentioned in this context, including spontaneous abundance manifestation, dramatically heightened psychic abilities, and large increases in the subject’s coefficient of Astral Light and Presence linked to personal Ascension.  And all for a few hundred dollars (and some very handy hypnosis by the practitioner)!  If these claims were indeed valid, I am sure that we would find ourselves waiting in line for years to access the procedure in very short order. Perhaps the technique merely needs more intense promotion on the part of its advocates – perhaps televised efforts might be useful...  

            The condition which we find ourselves dealing with on the Physical Plane is most difficult – even the apparently pleasant lives of the very affluent are often not as they appear to be, concealing untold torment and imperfection behind a glittering facade of opulence.  In the tiny minority of cases in which we do attain material satisfaction without evident personal and spiritual penalties, we must then confront the dark specter of old age and infirmity eventually.  There is no escape – the only way out of any confinement is to break through it – and in the case of Karma, this is impossible without living a life of deep personal introspection and self sacrifice.   Only in this way can the enlightenment and compassion be attained that opens the gates of consciousness and eventual liberation.   Only in this way can the Self be Realized in personal life, as a living phenomenon within our awareness.   There are no shortcuts, and no easy way to be free – of this the reader can be assured – only dedicated hard work along the lines just mentioned will produce lasting results.  “Chop wood, carry water...”   Namaste. 

                                          - With Love, Alan -

                         (Copyright 2009, by Alan Schneider)

 

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