an individual animal, plant, or single-celled life form.
• the material structure of such an individual: the heart’s contribution to the maintenance of the human organism.
This dictionary definition of the word organism, does not begin to do justice to something as complex and yet as common as the mammalian body. Reverting back to the (almost) truth through lying model, we first realized that the cerebral cortex – the most controlling part of the mammalian body – is not even organized by mammals themselves, but rather by the environment they live in. Dendrites plug into axion or teleodendron ports by means of constant repetitive motion, creating pathways from cell to cell – mind tunnels if you subscribe to our cartoon version of the process. Hundreds of thousands of secretions of neurotransmitters are necessary for the actuality of a single neurological connection.
Not only do neurological connections happen in this way, but the body is actually formed as a substrate of this process. The repetitions necessary to give rise to a small group of muscle cells, actually form the muscles. Repeatedly and successively placing greater demands on the actin and myosin filaments than they are capable of, force their protein fibers into position. Similar processes of repetitive demand are responsible for the maze-like patterns in cancellous and dense bone. Likewise it is the environment and not the organism that forms all of the bodies’ structures, from the microscopic and minute, all the way up to the complex mechanisms that beat the heart.
So what are we getting at anyway? Who is created by whom? Does the organism create the environment or does the environment create the organism? If it’s the complex repetitive cycle of carbon and oxygen producers that endlessly stabilize the environment for each other, then it’s one thing. If it is the long trail of DNA and RNA wiring that organizes the environment, then it’s a whole other thing altogether. Before moving on to the next post, I think that it’s important to note for the sake of contemplation that neither of these perspectives – the organism creating the environment or the environment creating the organism – can actually be thought of as Darwinian or creationist and furthermore, it doesn’t really make any difference.
For the next post, I’d like to explore the difference between relationship and fragmentation as they effect human suffering and what this has to do with the educational experiment at the Florida School of Massage.