Chapter 14: The Infinitesimal and the Cosmic
You are a big city with seventy trillion people living in your body. Each cell has its own destiny within itself, its own personality within itself. Every cell in your body is a person in its own right. Not in your own right; rather, it is a person in its own right. If a cell is taken out of you, it will still remain alive without you, and it can live for tens of millions of years. You will be finished in seventy years and the cell can live for tens of millions of years in its own right. Each cell has its own tiny heart and a brain.
Scientists say that if not today, then perhaps tomorrow, we may learn that a cell has its own experiences, its own thoughts, its own ego. Why? - because it defends itself, it makes efforts to save its life. It contracts in an attack and expands in love. A cell also loves.
And this living cell has no idea about you, that you also exist. These seventy trillion living cells in your body have no idea at all that together they constitute a person, that through the combination of all of them, a personality is created. They have no idea about this.
The Upanishads believe, the mystics believe - it is not right to say that they believe, they know - that in the same way we are also tiny, living cells in the vast universe, and we have no idea about what is being created in the unity of us all. On the day that we come to know it, we name it “God.”
We are all living cells in the body of the vast universe. We live in our own right, just as the living cells in our bodies live in their own right. Perhaps some day, through even more subtle observations, it will be discovered that there are even smaller living cells which exist in their own right within these small living cells.
Just as there are atoms and sub-atoms, electrons, which together constitute matter, there are particles, living cells of consciousness, which together make the whole of life. To see this vast life in parts is science, to see it as undivided is religion.
A scientist investigating your body will even divide that into parts. He will divide it into parts and he will certainly try to understand each cell separately. And because none of the cells in your body has any idea about you, it cannot give him any information about you. So the scientist will say that there is no soul, that man is only a collection of hundreds of billions of cells - not an organic unity but a collection. Man is nothing more than that, the soul is nothing more than that: only a collection of these seventy trillion living cells. Then, too, when he dissects any of these cells, he will only find some chemical elements, some minerals, some liquids, some matter. Those particles of matter will not give him the information that what they are made of is life. They too will give information only about themselves; they too have no idea about life.
So ultimately, the scientist will say that a living cell is a composite of chemical components and a person’s soul is a combination of these cells. A combination! Understand the implication: there is no independent thing called life, it is only a combination. It is a combination of parts, it is not an indivisible whole.