Friday, March 11, 2016

Tao of Stem Cells...

I use this title to give reference to Aiden Crane's Dad, "Useless Tree" blog because after reading some of the entries on his blog, I found myself time traveling back to China during the 5th century b.c.

Some of the details about China at this point in history are fuzzy. It has been a very long time since I read the court annuls,  philosophies, and folk stories that emerged from this  time in history.  

"If you have a thing to shrink, you must first stretch it;
If you would have a thing weakened, you must first strengthen it;
If you would take from a thing, you must first give to it."

Then, I remember this dream:

I see Lao Tzu (old man) is writing out his "five thousand characters" near the Pass, and I hear the comforting words below from Confucius saying we must love without discrimination even though  warring factions are brewing and warlords will be soon ascending upon this place of tranquility. 

I am weary of war. 

My body flies over the Himalayas to stop in India where Susrata is doing the first cataract operation and over in Greece where Alcmaeon of Croton is making the connection between the brain, blood vessels, and arteries.

I am carried further back to unrecorded time finding a person hovering over another person who appears to be dead. It appears this person is carving a sharp object into the dead human body. In the bushes, there is person hiding who gasps at what is happening and runs away. The person continues with the work at hand but is interrupted later by a group of people who are shouting. It looks like this person with the sharp object is trying to explain something but nobody is listening. He is engulfed by the sound.

I am weary of ignorance and fear.

I think about the  consequences resulting from the very  first person who performed an autopsy with all the associated cultural taboos  and how similar the situation is today for a young geneticist finding a way to reverse a mutation.

We ask,  where do we draw the line?

If we draw a line, we are disconnecting the present from the future, the past from the present, or the past from the future. And time is not linear.

It seems like all the primitive forces of nature known to humans  appear to be flowing in one direction while forces driving the inquisitive nature of humans are flowing in the opposite direction.

This is the Tao of Stem Cells.

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