Pictured above are two diagrams of cell structures, the left representing an animal cell and the right, a plant cell. These diagrams are standard for high school biology students and provide a cross-section of the inner workings of two eukaryotic cells, each of which contains a nucleus and a full complement of organelles whose main functions are reproduction and the manufacturing of proteins and energy. In placing the two diagrams together side-by-side one is immediately struck by the similarities that exist between the two cell structures that should be, one would think, worlds apart. You have the plant world and then you have the animal world… what could possibly connect the two? Closer inspection of the two diagrams provides the answer to this question. With the exception of two or three minor and secondary features – which include a flagellum (tail) attached to the animal cell, an outer cellulose shell for the plant cell (as opposed to a viscous membrane for the animal cell) and a chloroplast in the mitochondria of the plant cell (that photosynthesizes sunlight, carbon and H2O into carbohydrates) – each and every aspect of the two cell structures are identical. Identical.
This simple observation leads to only one logical conclusion and that is; all organic life forms on planet Earth share a common ancestor….this means all flora and fauna, all plants and animals, without exception. With the mapping of the human genome, we now know that there are no such things as ‘races’…all human beings share a common ancestor…we are all equal members of one very colorful and diverse family. But, it now follows that we must extend this new understanding of human nature to include the entirety of organic life as well…that not only do all mammals, insects, birds, reptiles, aquatic life and plants share a common ancestor within their own family groups, but all these major family groups themselves share a single progenitor which is common to all. If one retraces the genetic lineage of all living things back to their original source, that path inevitably slithers its way back into the great oceans, back to the simplest of uni-cellular micro-organisms and eventually back to the first spark of life (three and a half billion years ago) that got the whole ball rolling in the first place. It was that first spark of life that set in motion the wheels of evolution and established the genetic building blocks and cellular framework common to all life now existing on the planet. And that is why the cell structures of all plants and all animals today contain an identical arrangement of components and organelles (e.g. a nucleus, DNA, RNA, liposomes, cytoplasm, enzymes, mitochondria, 22 essential amino acids, etc.)
It is the exact and uncanny precision governing both the order and function of these two seemingly disassociated cell structures that provides irrefutable proof that all living things are directly inter-connected and inter-related at the genetic level.
It was convenient for early European conquistadors to summarily write-off North American Indigenous cultures as ‘savages’, primitive and backward…that sort of rationale provided the justification for stealing the land and resources. But today, as we enter the twenty-first century, a different picture is emerging after five-hundred years of colonization…a picture which portrays Indigenous cultures historically grounded in a simple, understated, yet well-developed foundation of intelligence. The natives certainly didn’t have all the modern conveniences, weaponry and machines invented by their European counterparts but instead their intelligence was more centered on their relationship to, and understanding of, the natural world. Take quantum law for example. There are three approaches to understanding quantum reality; theoretical, empirical and experiential. (Actually there’s a fourth which is ‘drugs’ but that’s cheating so it doesn’t count). The stated objective of quantum theory and quantum mechanics is to gain a better understanding of how the universe works (both at the macro and micro levels) and to that end the burgeoning science has made some progress in both a theoretical and empirical context. (Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity is the theoretical and the detonation of the first atomic bomb was the empirical). But as brilliant as the theory was and as apocalyptic its practical application, quantum physicists today are still on the outside, looking in, …they still do not ‘know’ what quantum reality ‘is’ from a purely experiential perspective. Towards the end of his illustrious career, Albert Einstein admitted as much…he proclaimed that quantum reality needs to be directly experienced… theoretical and empirical observation are not enough.
North American Indigenous tribes (as well as many other ancient cultures world-wide) approached quantum reality from the experiential. They developed a unique and organic methodology – known as the ‘Vision Quest’ – which allowed direct contact with their own inner life-force. If an Omni-present field of quantum energy pervades the entire universe – as Einstein claimed – then it only follows that this energy would pervade the human form as well and that simple logic formed the basis of the Aboriginal’s journey into the intrinsic realm of divine consciousness. A single droplet of ocean spray contains all the properties and qualities of the great ocean itself…when human beings come to know the essence of who they are they will intuitively know the nature of the world around them. This knowledge extended far beyond the inter-relationship between plants and animals…it included all elemental reality; the earth, the water and the air. The central tenet of quantum law posits that pure reality is one thing, one singular and cohesive entity…a universal and unifying field of energy that underpins and interconnects all the seemingly separate and independent parts of the cosmos… much like a hidden power cord interconnects all the seemingly separate lights on a Christmas tree.
(Note: For more on this theme check out ‘The Allegory of the Christmas Tree’ in the website’s menu under; Essays, E-books and Education).
The accompanying collection of unique photographs titled ‘All My Relations’ is a practical means of expressing the hidden laws that govern the interconnection of all physical and elemental reality. By applying the principle of symmetry to chaotic configurations of form found in the, so called, ‘inanimate’ realm (rocks, trees, flowers, clouds, rushing water, fire and smoke, etc.) I have stumbled upon an infinite and exquisite world of creature-forms and characters that are all reminiscent of the ‘animate’ realm (two-leggeds, four-leggeds, the flying, crawling, swimming and slithering things). Over the years I have shown these images to the First Nations community across Canada and it never fails to ignite an instant recognition and validation of their Omni-theistic understanding of the universe…that all things are related and interconnected by one all-pervasive and wondrous force; the Great Spirit.