On Exploring a Journey Within

The human body is the best picture of the human soul. (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

I acknowledge the privilege of being alive in a human body at this moment, endowed with senses, memories, emotions, thoughts, and the space of mind in its wisdom aspect. (Alex Grey)

The bottom line is that the human body is complex and subtle, and oversimplifying – as common sense sometimes impels us to do – can be hazardous to your health. (Andrew Weil)

A human body is a conversation going on, both within the cells and between the cells, and they’re telling each other to grow and to die; when you’re sick, something’s gone wrong with that conversation. (W. Daniel Hillis)

A friend of ours was the engineering type – especially with mechanicals. He lost his job, then decided to become a surgical nurse. Because he initially struggled with biology, I helped him. Once he looked beyond the memorization biology requires, he started making engineering connections regarding the human body, which he eventually called the greatest engineering feat โ€ฆ thus tutoring was no longer necessary. Enjoy this animation of the human body.

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55 thoughts on “On Exploring a Journey Within

  1. I like your sense of exploration! This one reminded me of the old sci-fi movie Fantastic Voyage and its remake Innerspace. The wonders of how the human body works is incredible to behold. As your friend noted, an engineering feat!

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  2. That’s such an interesting story about your friend’s discovery that biology was much like engineering. My dad has Parkinson’s and went for about a year with a g-tube, unable to swallow correctly. With physical therapy he learned again how to swallow. It was amazing to me to learn the complexities involved in just being able to swallow! Our bodies are intricate, delicate and at the same time resilient and hearty. Great exploration, Frank. I loved the video.

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  3. Great video, Frank! (Though the kidney stone had me wincing. Ouch.)

    Did you ever see the film ‘Innerspace’ with Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, and Martin Short? Quaid’s character gets miniaturized and sent into Martin Short’s body. So funny. Then again, Martin Short could blink and I’d laugh.

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  4. It could be, that education and learning, is not about digesting as it is more about seeing and discovery of the possibilities that await. So each morning I pack my sack and head off into the unknown, scared to hell. But somehow I return in the evening an intact organism -albeit, nave. I’ll never figure it out, but that’s okay.

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    • Sylvia,
      The organization within all organisms is complex … just to different level of complexity. For instance, one-celled organisms are complex – but much less so than us or a tree. Thus yes, so much can go wrong in us … yet the human body has numerous ways of returning itself back to normal … but (of course) not always.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah…that moment when the penny drops and suddenly the foreign, the strange, the absofrigginglutely IMPOSSIBLE starts to become possible. Even though I have been hauling this sack of meat and bones around for half a century now, I still haven’t had that moment of pure “Eureka!” when it comes to mathematics. I am starting to despair that maths and I are a bridge too far…

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  6. Good clip, Frank. I submit that all science is interconnected and that sub-specialization is crutch made necessary by normal limitations. Those like DaVinci and a few others are unusual. They are both brilliant and autodidactic.

    The clip only gives a hint of the complexity, both mechanical and chemical, and one aspect not shown at all is the complex of the human micro biome, species of organisms that outnumber human cells about 10 to 1 and form an essential part of the the biochemistry that keeps us going. If NASA has studied that, I’m not aware of it, but it seems to me that there could be a bacterial diversity problem on voyages years in length.

    Another thought comes to mind as well. A new study recently stated that most kinds of cancer (and perhaps other diseases) may be as much a matter of genetic luck as of lifestyle and toxins. What this says to me is that evolution is still proceeding apace, with the weaker expiring before the better-adapted. The human body is not a designed machine, but one that evolved.

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    • Jim,
      Happy New Year to Missouri’s finest … and glad to see you again.

      Absolutely agree that the clip gives only a hint of complexity … and that hint is a very small one! Regarding your comment about the evolved nature (not designed) of the human body, I hope you understand that you are preaching to the choir.

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      • Regarding your comment about the evolved nature (not designed) of the human body, I hope you understand that you are preaching to the choir.

        Actually, Frank, I wasn’t sure. You are an eclectic kind of guy and your nature is reflected to me, not revealed. Although not really fair to do so, it is a sensible part of culture that we male human beings are generally defined by our occupation or specialization, and yet yours is still obscure to me. You’ve got a balancing act going.

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        • Thanks for your thoughtful response. Actually, the pages here serve as a record about my stance on that issue. (See the 50 posts in Religion & Science category) https://afrankangle.wordpress.com/category/religion-and-science/ … plus some within the Science category.

          No balancing act or walking the fine line in my eyes. I am in a group of Christians who also believe in evolution .. and there are more of us than people realize. We don’t support the Biblical literalists who support the Creation Museum, nor do we support the Intelligent Design folks. However, there is a group of atheists who are do different than the Creation Museum folks who say I have to make a choice .. .that is I (and many others) can’t believe in both.

          If you visit the Religion & Science pages here, keep in mind that my intended audience is Christians, thus educating them to counter the Biblical creationists. One thing you don’t find me doing is attacking atheists.

          Hope this helps.

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      • Thanks for your considered reply, Frank. I will indeed explore your religion and science category some more. Unlike some who discuss religion, I only have the objective of trying to understand the meaning of philosophy rooted in fuzzy, inconsistent and unverifiable history.

        I lost my only sibling to cancer last month. She was 64, and had been mentally disabled with a form of childhood epilepsy called West Syndrome. Because of friends and other family, and because she had attended and benefitted from the social workings of her church, there was a Christian funeral, and it was comforting. The minister was expert at summarizing her life and the positive aspects of her personality, and there indeed were enough to talk about. I get it. I was grateful. It’s a comfortable niche.

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        • Jim … My sympathies to you for your loss. No matter the age or the situation, losses are never easy.

          On my past posts, you may find it easier reading from the oldest. Of course they are intertwined with some that only focus on science, which are in the Science category. As i mentioned, my audience is other Christians because (to me) the Religious Right doesn’t speak for all of us, and definitely not for me … so I write as a Christian countering a loud Christian perspective.

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  7. Great video Frank..
    Reminds me of when I was 43.. I embarked upon joining my daughter to learn Massage at the local college.. Little did I know How detailed I would have to learn about the Human anatomy as well as all the organs, Lymphatic systems, name all the bones etc.. and so so much more..
    Each week we would have a mini exam.. as well as learning the practical in massage on students who volunteered.. It was only through my daughters encouragement that got me through it as It had been such a long while since I had been to ‘School’…
    I passed my final exam.. and was thrilled to have learnt a new skill..
    We never know what we are capable of until we ‘Journey within’ and pull out our ‘Grey Matter’ ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Sue,
      Many thanks for sharing your story …after all, learning never stops! Yes … the human body has incredible detail, then again to what level must one know the detail (hence purpose) is an important point to remember. After all, not all of us are medical doctors, so we don’t need to know the detail to their level … on the other hand, I’m a firm believer that too many people (possible most) don’t know many basics that would make dealing with the doctor so much easier.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Very cool video, Frank, and it also made me think of Fantastic Voyage. It’s fascinating how “they” make these 3D videos, but I’m glad they didn’t show a colonoscopy โ€” or did they?

    Slightly unrelated: Milton was raving tonight about a Taylor Swift Diet Coke commercial featuring a shed-load of Persian kittens. He hates TS, but LOVES those kitties. Check it out of you have not already seen it: http://youtu.be/okTokQgOo6I

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    • Lame,
      Another one relating to Fantastic Voyage! Cheers to that. Meanwhile, the colon doesn’t have a lot of great detail to admire. … And wow .. we haven’t seen that Diet Coke commercial … excellent … and cheers to Milton for putting up with TS in order to enjoy the kittens.

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      • The bellowing critic has a soft spot for cute critters. We once exited Starbuck’s while he was blathering loud and hard about some film we saw that he hated when he noticed an adorable Maltese and was instantly reduced to quietly cooing mush. But yesterday over the phone he still found a way to voice a dig at TS grousing about having to endure seeing her for that welcome fix “of the cutest kittens in the world”. He carried on so much about those kittens I had to find that commercial, He wasn’t helpful since he had no memory of the product she was pushing. And he’s a longtime Diet Coke drinker.

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  9. Reminds me of a book I once read called ‘The Stranger Within’. Each of us knows so little about our inner workings. If I didn’t know that was a journey through the human body I would say that it looked a very inhospitable place.

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  10. A most-thoughtful post and a mind-blowing video, Frank. I’ve come to see my body as a transport vehicle that lets my soul explore the world, my eyes like a head-mounted camera as I move from room to room–from indoors to out. I wish you a 2015 filled with more wonders than you can begin to share with us and almost more joy than you can stand, my only Buckeye blogging buddy!

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    • John,
      Wow … now that’s great insight because I hadn’t thought of the body as a transport vehicle that allows us to explore … now that’s quite the powerful thought! Thanks for the new year’s wish and all the best to you over there in the Land of the Bobcats & Bulldogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Very interesting Frank – loved how his background allowed him to connect and then move forward with a different perspective. When moving to TX, my husband moved first and I followed after things were wrapped up – but during the time alone I couldn’t sleep at night so I would turn the TV on to the medical channel and usually saw some operation or other documented. The most interesting was brain surgery ~

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