Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cell, Sacrifice and Society

At the lowest level, how do we differentiate life and death?  A living cell once it comes into existence,  has the energy to hold the organelles together and goes through the grind of growth, split and finally death.  You can see these as the basic intelligence of the cell.  What about death of the cell?  It must also be an intelligence of the cell.  Why is it an intelligence?  Because, if the cell has an Apoptotic or a natural death, its contents are recycled as nutrients.  I would like to view this as a "sacrifice" baked into the DNA - to let itself die and be useful for the next generation of cells.

What if this intelligence is missing?  The cell lives for ever, may even reproduce for ever until a necroptotic or artificial death is effected.  This lack of this intelligence results in cancer.  So, let's conclude that sacrifice is natural and the opposite is an abnormality.

Newton's first law of motion doesn't align with nature's law. Life doesn't go on forever naturally.

Societies, from time to time have stressed on sacrifices to keep them running.  Sacrifice of cattle has been an integral part of agrarian societies, in which cattle is wealth.  Tamil history refers to a self sacrifice called நவகண்டம் (navakandam);  more recently during WW II, some Japanese soldiers committed hara-kiri.  The saffron in Hindu flags represents sacrifice along with other ideals.  This is also adopted in the Indian Flag to represent renunciation - a mellowed term for sacrifice.

Dig into the histories of societies to realize the importance given to this renunciation and sacrifice.

We are at a stage where the terms renunciation and sacrifice are looked down upon.  Modern nations with their market based economies insist on the opposites - indulge and amass.  Yes, there is charity around, but charity is not sacrifice - but just giving up what is in-excess, not what is essential.

Are societies heading towards cancer that it would need an external agency to set things right?  What would be that external agent?

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