One of the greatest Biodesign discoveries was that Darwin contemporary, Lord Alfred Wallace, described music as a quintessential component in human spiritual growth and development. Each day Biodesign students were greeted at the bio-lab door with music from quadraphonic speakers. The music could have been Classical, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Folk, Opera, Reggae or Gospel, etc. I had access to 1000s of selections and a variety of genres, melodies and lyrics were used to pique student interest in the correlation of music and Nature; e.g. Verdi’s, “Four Seasons,” Grofe’s, “Grand Canyon Suite,” John Denver’s, “Country Roads.” Sometimes the music was so poignant or appropriate that we had to modify the lesson in order to discuss what the composers and performers were communicating. In some cases the lyrics, apart from the melody, were dry and not inspiring. Conversely, there were times when instrumental versions of a song lacked vibrancy and meaning. Truly great songs often result when great melodies are combined with great lyrics to launch the song into the soul-stirring level.
The song, “Southern Cross,” is one of those songs. Whenever it was played, students would stop talking and were entranced by the magical union of the melody and lyrics. The song actually began as, “Seven League Boots,” composed by Rick and Michael Curtis. They entrusted it to Stephen Stills who rewrote and renamed it and it became a hit for Crosby—Stills—Nash.
Whether the actual “Southern Cross” conjures up a Christian epiphany or is simply a utilitarian navigational “asterism” (not a constellation) there are countless stories of jaded sea-salts who were humbled by their first view of the mysterious phenomena. It represents a focal point that inspires and guides travelers in the southern hemisphere.
The song might have joined a long list of also-ran lamentations of unrequited love, but the lyrics, rich harmony and soaring crescendos create a triumphant celebration of the healing powers of Mother Nature. It was a perfect fit for the Biodesign goal of seeking Truth, Beauty and Goodness. Alfred Wallace would be proud.
We were recently privileged to attend the 40th birthday celebration of Eric Empting (Biodesign ’97). During the joyous event, classmate Ahren Trumble sidled up to me and mentioned that he had lost his “Sasha Mug” and wondered if I possibly had a replacement. I assured him that I would check. He mentioned that the exact year was not critical, he just missed having a Sasha Mug.
For many years, we had a complete set of the 19 years of mugs that Sasha had so lovingly crafted for over 500 students. I was blessed beyond belief to have a whole set. However, several years ago, another student contacted me about her missing mug so the set was destined to be separated. In a splendid coincidence, I just happened to have one 1997 mug left for Ahren.
This a good thing, because it prompted me to announce that if there are other ex-Biodesigners who have lost or broken their mugs, they are welcome to PM me and maybe I will still have the right year. If not, they may be content with another year.
Sasha passed about 15 years ago, but his legacy of love and compassion still resonates in his pottery that is scattered possibly around the world. I still occasionally hear from students and or chaperones who pay silent tribute to the memory of Sasha every morning with their mug filled with coffee, tea or cocoa.
It was such an awesome privilege to sit at the master’s wheel and watch his mysterious creations appear before our eyes.
As Eric and I chatted, he indicated that he did not feel worthy of being in the Biodesign Class. Furthermore he felt that he did not deserve being quoted in “Biodesign Out For A Walk.” I laughed and indicated that I too did not feel worthy of being in the Class and was intellectually uncomfortable being called “the teacher.” I remain convinced that the students were far more important in creating the Biodesign experience than I was. Later, it occurred to me that John Muir did not feel worthy of spending so many splendid hours in Yosemite. Evidently, Muir’s feeling was contagious because Eric’s words of wisdom perfectly captured the spirit of Biodesign.
Except: Biodesign Out For A Walk.
Thirty years after I first stood in the shadow of Half Dome, I was standing in a circle of students for the last time. As I gazed up at my altar in the sky, I offered a prayer of thanksgiving:
“When I think of all the things that could have gone wrong, but didn’t, I am amazed.”
In a perfectly timed antiphon, Eric offered; “When I think of all the things that could have gone right and did, I am amazed.”
Sasha would also have agreed with Eric. Typically, every potter has a logo that he/she imprints on the underside of each piece of pottery. Because of possible overly religious connotations, I only described the symbolism of Sasha’s logo when asked by students. The imprint is the wing of a dove, which Sasha felt symbolized, for some quintessential mystery, the spirit of God descending on him and inspired all of his creations. If this is true, perhaps it is little wonder that many of the ex-Biodesign students and chaperones still regard their mugs with such reverence.
After whimsically describing John Muir as, “St. John of the Mountains,” I have come to suspect the designation may have been more Jungian and less whimsy. If so, his elevation to sainthood may not be an unrealistic overreach. In many ways he lived like an ascetic monk, welcoming hardships that few people would (or could) endure. He survived extended periods in the wilderness with a single wool blanket; tin cup, some tea and a pillowcase containing dried bread-balls.
“Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.”
As a highly literate man, Muir was likely aware that his philosophy was closely related to St. Francis of Assisi and St. Ignatius of Loyola. Both men were devout Nature lovers and described all matters natural as the handiwork of God.
Denis Williams wrote in his book, God’s Wilds: John Muir’s Vision of Nature (College Station: Texas A&M Univ. Press):
“Muir saw nature as a great teacher, ‘revealing the mind of God,’ and this belief became the central theme of his later journeys and the “subtext” of his nature writing.”
Muir joined Henry Thoreau and R.W. Emerson in a brotherhood of naturalists who believed that a quintessential component of becoming fully human involved transcending the confining bonds of logic, reason and egoism in order to be spiritually born: Ergo, Mystery remains Supreme.
Perhaps it is also not a reach to deduce that if Muir had been a member of the Roman Catholic Church, he would have been canonized long ago. However, the reality is that he regarded the universe as his church and being the free spirit that he was, chose not to identify with any particular branch of religion:
“Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water tanks the people’s cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.”
As a child, he had memorized much of the Holy Bible and his writing often reflected Holy Scripture; as in the case of Psalm 8:
“When I consider Thy heavens,
the work of Thy fingers, The moon and the stars,
which Thou hast ordained;
What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?” KJV
He also frequently sowed spiritual seeds with writings:
“From the dust of the earth, from the common elementary fund, the Creator has made Homo sapiens.”
“In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world—the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off and the wounds heal ere we are aware.”
Sometimes his words and deeds can be considered downright evangelical:
“I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness. Heaven knows that John the Baptist was not more eager to get all of his fellow sinners into the Jordan than I to baptize all of mine in the beauty of God’s mountains.”
One of the prerequisites of achieving sainthood is an act of performing a miracle. Because Muir was such a spiritual giant, few would argue that his life, works and legacy have provided inspiration, comfort, even healing for countless millions of people, many of who have experienced Nature-induced “born-again experiences.” His lofty vision of the importance of “eco-spirituality” has spread globally. Through his inspiration and guidance countless thousands of national, state and regional parks have been established worldwide. After Muir’s famous camp-out with Teddy Roosevelt, on top of Yosemite’s Glacier Point, Roosevelt signed into existence five national parks, 18 national monuments, 55 national bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges, and 150 national forests. Millions of acres have been set-aside for the primary purpose of encouraging people to reconnect with Mother Nature.
“Everybody needs beauty…places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.” JM
Muir wrote about “poets, philosophers and prophets” coming down from the mountains to improve humanity, but was too humble to realize that he belonged to that pantheon of sages. Countless millions of followers have joined the “Sierra Club” he founded, which has had a huge national and international impact, encouraging people to “go to the mountains” and seek a spiritual rebirth.
The final line in his marvelous story about his little wonder-dog Stickeen was:
“To me Stickeen is immortal!”
In what has become an extraordinary irony, it is truly John Muir who has become immortal in the hearts and minds of countless millions of Nature lovers around the world.
“St. John of the Mountains” has a nice ring to it.
There are religious scholars who believe that John Muir was sent as God’s messenger to interpret and describe the wonders and miracles of the wilderness. Conversely, there are secular scientists who assert that his life is a testament of the unlimited creativity of random genetic combinations without involvement with a Supreme Being. However, what they may agree on is that his life appears to be a huge synchronicity that resulted in his “thoughts and deeds that have moved the world.” (JM) In fact, his life was filled with so many synchronicities that they are too numerous to count. Muir seems to have had a gift for being at the right place at the right time. Perhaps he was aware that Louis Pasteur opined, “Chance favors the prepared mind,” as he was passionate and dedicated with his endless plans to explore the mysteries and revelations of Nature.
“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” JM
One of these events involved his first walk from San Francisco to Yosemite Valley. He arrived in the spring and walked south along the Coast Range and ascended Pacheco Pass. His first view of the California’s Central Valley was a view that stirred his soul.
Excerpt: “The Mountains of California.” JM
“The Great Central Plain of California, during the months of March, April and May, was one smooth, continuous bed of honey bloom, so marvelously rich that, in walking one end to the other, a distance of more than four hundred miles, your foot would press about a hundred flowers at every step…
When I first saw this central garden, the most extensive and regular of all the bee pastures of the State, it seemed all one sheet of plant gold, hazy and vanishing in the distant, distinct as a new map of the foothills at my feet…
Sauntering in any direction, hundreds of these happy sun-plants brushed against my feet at every step, and closed over them as if I were wading in liquid gold.” He wrote elsewhere, “ Only God can paint with flowers.”
Nearly every square foot of California’s Great Central Valley, from Mt. Shasta in the north and Mt. Whitney in the south, has been “repurposed” to accommodate human habitation. Fortunately, some of the lower foothills have escaped the destructive power of devotees of “progress.” Because of the atypically high rainfall this year, California is experiencing a rare explosion of wildflower life. It is a poignant reminder of what John Muir saw on his first walk from San Francisco to Yosemite Valley. Although impressive, this walk was only one of thousands of walks that contributed to the larger-than-life legendary John Muir.
Photo credit: Lake Elsinore Poppies: regensburgerphotography.com
Among perhaps the three greatest American Naturalists, John Muir was clearly the wildest. He “walked-the-walk and talked-the-talk” throughout vast areas of unspoiled wilderness. He experienced and described marvels, wonders and miracles that R.W. Emerson and H.D. Thoreau could not envision in their widest imagination. Emerson chose to write from the comfort of his office desk. Thoreau attempted to ascend Mt. Katahdin (5200 ft.), got lost in the fog and wrote: …“I fear bodies, I tremble to meet them. What is this Titan that has possession of me?”
Muir easily walked the equivalent of around the world and the list of mountains that he climbed is extraordinary; including Mt. Whitney (14,500 ft.), Mt. Shasta (14,100 ft.), Mt. Rainer (14, 411 ft.).
Even though he walked the world over, Muir’s favorite “temple” was Yosemite Valley, which he boldly proclaimed kept him in a constant state of elevated physical, mental and spiritual transcendence. Evidently, over 700 St. Helena High School advanced biology students agreed, especially those who participated in a total lunar eclipse on the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome.
After 24 years of leading high school students into Yosemite’s wilderness, it seemed as though Mother Nature saved one of her finest synchronicities for our last trip. Each year students were challenged to get as close to the living spirit of Muir as they could. Some experienced a “John Muir baptism” under Nevada Fall. Many slept under the stars on top of Half Dome (when it was legal). One class slept through a snowstorm; one class descended the Half Dome cables in a freak ice storm. It seemed to help that they had previously read about Muir’s escapades: a face-to-face encounter with a Yosemite bear; climbing a swaying fir tree in a windstorm; “scoochering” out on a ledge under the brow of a flooding Yosemite Fall; body-surfing an avalanche; inching across an ice bridge on an Alaskan glacier; frolicking during a major earthquake in Yosemite Valley; and wallowing all night (14 hours) in a Mt. Shasta fumarole during a snow storm.
The fall of 1996 proved to be our last trip to Yosemite. We camped at Little Yosemite Valley and planned a day-hike to explore the top of Half Dome. After a wondrous afternoon, the sun began to set and a small group of mostly boys approached me with a bold request. We had discussed the total lunar eclipse that was predicted that evening and I mentioned that we could not stay on top because descending the cables in the dark was not a risk I could take.
However, the group leader informed me that they had all brought along headlights and reminded me that chaperone Mark Salvestrin was a skilled wilderness guide. Furthermore, he was also a gifted Nature photographer who might be able to capture some of the magic of the eclipse. During our pre-trip studies, we learned that some Scots still believe in “Kything,” (communicating with the dead). One of the boys suggested that he had checked with Muir’s spirit and he agreed they should stay for the show. The group erupted with laughter, but I wondered if, in his clever ploy, the boy might have been on to something.
Whether in print or verbally, Muir enthusiastically credited a “Heavenly Creator” for guiding his life. Understandably, he was perplexed by fellow wilderness trekkers who put their trust in a small brass compass with a magnetic needle, but remained unaware of spiritual guidance from a Higher Power. Intriguingly, before I encountered the “Spirit of Muir,” I was in that company. As a “science” teacher, I had little (if any) interest in religious discourse and without him I probably would have lived my life agreeing with the great Stephen Hawking, (“The Great Design”) …God has become obsolete.
Thankfully, in direct opposition, Muir’s extraordinary theological interpretation of Yosemite: “a place to play and a place to pray” radically transformed my life and led me to the conclusion that he remains as a spiritual bridge between Heaven and Earth.
In the end I was swayed by the students’ tenacity and agreed that I would lead one group down to Little Yosemite Valley and Mark would lead the eclipse gazers down after dark.
After returning to camp, it was immediately clear that participating in a total lunar eclipse on top of Half Dome would become a totally, “you have to go there to know there” experience. The gazers effused enthusiasm as they absorbed the fact that they would not likely ever see an event like that again in their entire lifetime. They confirmed what Muir claimed that Nature never disappoints and always offers more that we expect.
Mark’s photo conjures up wonderful questions about mysteries of Muir’s “Heavenly Creator.” So, just what is it that makes lunar eclipses so intriguing? After all, in terms of gravitation, nothing unusual occurs: no changes in tidal rhythm or abnormal weather patterns.
On the other hand, there is a lot of space “out there” and when we consider the synchronicity of variables necessary for the Earth, Sun and Moon to align perfectly, it boggles the mind.
Our moon revolves around the Earth every 29.5 days and due to a mysterious “synchronous rotation” it keeps the same face turned toward the Earth.
The Earth’s rotational velocity at the equator is about 1,000 mph; San Francisco is moving approximately 700 mph and the velocity at the poles is zero.
The Earth is revolving around the sun at about 67,000 mph.
Our Solar System is traveling through the Milky Way Galaxy at 45,000 mph.
The Milky Way Galaxy is moving approx. 1,000,000 mph through “NOTHING!” Well, except for some widely scattered hydrogen ions.
We are headed for the constellation Hercules, but not to worry. It is over 1 million light years away and the distance that light travels is about 6 trillion miles per year. Therefore, we will have to travel 131,000,000,000,000,000 miles to get there.
Stories like these send chills down my spine when I contemplate that I could have missed 24 years of John Muir guiding my amazingly curious students on inner spiritual journeys via wilderness adventures. It is heartbreaking to know that very few of our public school children from K-grad-school will experience what Muir was writing about.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matt. 19:14
When our four children were small, each year the best Christmas gift that they gave to my wife and me didn’t cost them a penny. It was offered freely and eagerly as they sang the children’s hymn, “This Little Light Of Mine,” during one of the Advent-Sunday church services. Each performance varied depending on the teacher and children in the choir, but that did not alter the poignancy of the event. One teacher taught the children the American Sign Language signs for the words to enhance the process of communion (intimate fellowship or rapport).
Whether by the combination of lyrics, melody and hand-signs, or some mysterious indwelling of spirit, the song never failed to magically light up the church and raise the spirits of the parishioners.
Each face shone like a heavenly cherub; each voice exulted with joy. Their eyes sparkled and danced and revealed that they understood that they were doing something extraordinary and were eager to share.
These were otherwise normal kids capable of being bratty, selfish and naughty, however, while they were singing “Little Light” they transcended typical childish behavior.
Their faces radiated the purity of innocence. In the moment, they were not corrupted by fear, doubt or cynicism. They had no idea of what metaphors were, but that didn’t matter. They were not like lights, they were living lights and each beacon of love was palpable.
Sadly, like little Jackie Paper, of “Puff The Magic Dragon” fame, by the ages of 8-10 children are usually no longer interested in singing in a children’s choir. During their teens they often become too sophisticated to indulge in childhood songs.
Typically, this spiritual regression continues into adulthood where most adults lose all interest or ability to see themselves as “little lights that shine.”
Just in case you have never heard the song, or you are open to a little Christmas cheer, I have attached a video of The Soweto Gospel Choir. These African adults are not too shy, jaded or prideful to launch themselves into the spirit of Christmas:
“Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
It is intriguing to wonder if John Muir sang “This Little Light Of Mine” with his beloved daughters Helen and Wanda. However it has been authenticated that he thoroughly enjoyed taking them outside each night to contemplate [make a temple with] the stars before their bedtime. Based on his numerous expository themes on Nature, it would be easy to connect the dots and infer that he saw his daughters as stars, “glorious sparks of the Divine:” Little lights that were destined to shine.
Music was one of the greatest spiritual components of the Biodesign Class. Voltaire suggested; “Music is a pathway to the heart” and after living with the Native people of New Guinea, Alfred Wallace concluded that music was a part of their soul.
Whether I had a collective subconscious relationship with John Denver (or not) will remain a mystery. What is not a mystery, however, is that his song “Country Roads” became a huge hit shortly before the Biodesign Class was born. He died in a tragic plane crash, two days before my birthday and four months after Biodesign was terminated. My wife shared his birthday.
More importantly, Country Roads became a theme song for the Biodesign Class. It was clearly the favorite song to be sung around the evening campfires. The combination of the catchy melody and nostalgic lyrics; “Take me home, country roads, to the place, I belong…” never failed to move or transcend curious young minds.
For the first half of US history, 95% of the people lived on country farms and in rural areas, while 5% of the population lived in urban areas. Over the last half of our history the number has flipped; 95% of the people live in urbanized areas and 5% live in rural areas. The migration into urban areas has had its advantages, however, conversely, there have been many losses.
I doubt that very few people would describe New York City, Boston or Chicago as, “almost heaven.” The noise, pollution, crime—grime and gaudiness are more often antithetic to the natural peace and tranquility that is common in country living.
Following Henry Thoreau, the BIodesisgn students “went to the woods to live deliberately” and hopefully discover what John Muir meant; “In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world—the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off and the wounds heal ere we are aware.”
Each time we sang “Country Roads” around a campfire I could see the “the galling harness of civilization” dropping off of the students as their spirits rose with Yosemite mountains, soared over Grand Canyon or joyfully surfed the waves onto Mendocino Beaches.
Mike Sutton’s creative video-medley reveals that no other genre of music has drawn together such a diverse and talented group of musicians who triumphantly express their zest for life through music. It is as if “Country Roads” has brought them all together for a huge, glorious Thanksgiving celebration.
Whether Rodin’s sculpture of “The Thinker” was generic or not, it was a perfect complement to Rene Descartes’ life, legacy and accomplishments.
There is an old joke that pokes fun at Paris’ “Left-Bank” existentialists like Jean Paul Sartre. Sartre was enjoying a cup of espresso at a sidewalk café when the waiter asked him if he would like a refill. Sartre responded, “I think not” and he disappeared!
Of all the scientists, saints, poets and philosophers we studied in the Biodesign Class, Rene Descartes was truly one of my favorites. My admiration for him is not only rooted in what he believed and accomplished, but his revolutionary approach to education. His passion for learning inspired me to press on and collaborate with students in pioneering a one-of-a-kind Biodesign program.
At the age of 18 Descartes experienced a major epiphany that revealed that everything he thought he knew was the result of other men’s thinking. Ergo he vowed: … “never to accept anything for true which I did not clearly know to be such; that is to say, carefully to avoid precipitancy and prejudice, and to comprise nothing more in my judgment than what was presented to my mind so clearly and distinctly as to exclude all ground of doubt.”
Through the daunting process of reeducation, Descartes became a world-famous mathematician, scientist and philosopher. He was arguably the first major philosopher in the modern era to make a serious effort to defeat skepticism. His views about knowledge and certainty, as well as his views about the relationship between mind and body have been very influential over the last three centuries.
He began by questioning his own existence and concluded: “Cogito ergo sum, I think therefore I am.” From that beginning, he went on to reason that art can never exceed the skill of the artist and that the creation cannot be more intelligent than the creator, therefore there must be a more intelligent being than he.
Descartes’ work provided the basis for the calculus developed by Newton and Leibniz, who applied infinitesimal calculus to the tangent line problem, thus permitting the evolution of that branch of modern mathematics. His rule of signs is also a commonly used method to determine the number of positive and negative roots of a polynomial.
Descartes also wrote a response to external world skepticism. He argued that sensory perceptions came to him involuntarily, and are not willed by him. They were external to his senses, and evidence of the existence of something outside of his mind, and thus, an external world. He went on to show that the things in the external world are material by arguing that God would not deceive him as to the ideas that are being transmitted, and that God has given him the “propensity” to believe that such ideas are caused by material things. He gave reasons for thinking that waking thoughts are distinguishable from dreams, and that one’s mind could not have been “hijacked” by an evil demon placing an illusory external world before one’s senses.
“By ‘God’, I understand, a substance which is infinite, independent, supremely intelligent, supremely powerful, and which created both myself and everything else that exists. All these attributes are such that, the more carefully I concentrate on them, the less possible it seems that they could have originated from me alone. So, from what has been said it must be concluded that God necessarily exists.”
Albert Einstein wrote that it is not the immensity of the universe that should command our wonder, but the human brain that can begin to contemplate the immense universe.
In a similar manner, the purpose of studying Rene Descartes was not to inject religion into an advanced biology class, but to consider the thoughts and discoveries of one of the world’s greatest mathematicians, thinkers and philosophers and how he arrived at them. Descartes’ discoveries helped enable Isaac Newton to establish the foundation for modern physics. Einstein regarded Newton as the greatest scientist of all: ergo Descartes was a pivotal player in the evolution of Western Civilization.
Excerpt: Biodesign Out For A Walk, chap. 26, “Soul Medicine.”
“Many of the most sacred moments in Biodesign occurred through laughter. Their laughter was of the highest order, showing no sign of being grubby, pornographic, cruel, or mean-spirited. They laughed easily and often, especially at the many intimately embarrassing moments incurred while studying, traveling, and camping together. Their laughter was contagious and healing.
On one of the visits to the pool beneath Yosemite’s Nevada Falls, the guys were the first to jump in. The icy-cold water produced yelps and gasps. One of the guys asked his buddy, “Are you squinching?” Whether they had heard the term or not, all the guys immediately understood and burst into laughter. The girls looked on with puzzled expressions. One of them finally asked, “What is “squinching?” This produced more laughter, and finally, one of the guys said, “You should ask Mr. Young.”
I remembered a conversation with a French teacher-colleague of mine who spent a summer in France. When I asked about the highlight of her trip, she said, “I was standing in the Louvre, admiring Michelangelo’s statue of David, and I suddenly burst into rapturous laughter. It occurred to me that after God created Adam, he said, ‘Oops, I almost forgot! You will need two of these and one of these.’ The people around me must have thought I was a nut.” I shared the story and said she might be right.
The event provided a natural opportunity to describe, but not explain, one of nature’s many bizarre mysteries. Embryonic testicles originate in males in the same area that ovaries originate in females. During gestation, they are programmed to migrate down and out of the lower abdomen. In cases where this does not happen, the organs will not function properly. Apparently, the normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees is too warm. The problem was solved by moving them out of the body, allowing them to cool slightly. They can, however, become overly cold, and when this happens, males “squinch”. The scrotum shrinks and draws the testicles close to, or even up into, the lower abdomen. It was too much information for some of the girls, but most joined the guys in laughter.”
Although the event was uproariously funny, at a deeper level it pointed to the quintessential mystery of how every human being began his/her journey on Earth. Against unfathomable odds of time and space in the universe, each of us began during an extraordinarily mysterious moment when one sperm (out of approximately 300 million) united with one egg (out of about 400) to emerge as a once-in-a universe individual.
Just like the theoretical impossibility of any two snowflakes being alike, no two humans will ever be identical. Even so-called identical twins are not identical because they begin to affect each other’s behavior very early in their respective embryonic development. People who get to know identical twins often regard them as only slightly more alike that sisters or brothers.
“Self-actualization” just might be the spiritual correlation of Archimedes’ principle of buoyancy. If so, when people discover how “fearfully and wonderfully made” they are, they too may be inspired to run down the street yelling “Eureka!” “I have found Me!”
This event would have delighted, but probably not totally surprised naturalist Loren Eiseley who wrote, “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”