I recently read a manuscript entitled Truth of Origin From a Life Sciences Perspective, by Dr. Chiaki Shiozawa. In it, Dr. Shiozawa describes similarities between the Story of Creation (of human beings), conveyed by Oyasama over 130 years ago, to the biological structure of cells. It reminded me of 7th grade biology, because I also had the idea that the inner workings of cells were similar to the workings of God in our bodies; that the blessings of God were really at the cellular, genetic, and molecular levels. Let’s explore this and how it translates back to our bodies, our minds, and our lives.
The Truth of Origin teaches that in the beginning, this world was a muddy ocean. God the parent, finding this condition tasteless, thought of creating human beings so that by watching them live a joyous life, God would also share in that joy. How chaotic must have been – a world so hazy that the division between the earth and space was indistinguishable, where the sun and moon were not visible, where noxious gases and toxic oceans covered the surface and the atmosphere. Perhaps like what Saturn is today?
Looking through the muddy ocean, God saw a “fish” and a “serpent” amid many “loaches”, and utilized them as raw materials for human beings. God added “instruments” to them and created models of the first couple. The first aspects added were from a shachi-hoko (mythical creature with tiger head and fish tail that you see on the top of many Japanese castles) and a turtle, also drawn up from the muddy waters. The shachi-hoko, powerful in nature, was put inside the body of the fish for masculinity (bones, support, and the male organ). The turtle, gentle in nature, was put inside the body of the serpent for femininity (skin, joining, and the female organ).
Additional instruments were added: The aspects of consumption & excretion were taken from an eel; the aspects of breathing & speaking were taken from a flatfish; the aspects of growth & pulling forth were taken from a black snake; and the aspect of severing was taken from a globefish. The models were thus completed and the next step was for God to use all the loaches in the ocean as the seeds for human beings, and then to enter the bodies of the models and teach them the providence of reproduction.
Taken from a human scale, the story seems like mythical fiction. Although the assembly of instruments correlate to the different systems of the body (circulatory, respiratory, skeletal, muscular, integumentary, digestive, etc), the use of the various sea-creatures makes the story sound like fantasy. But the use of such metaphors was probably necessary when Oyasama taught the story of creation to the farmers of Shoyashiki Village, over 140 years ago. For example, the “muddy ocean” that Oyasama referred to now referred to as the “primordial soup” by scientists.
Science contends that life did not begin at a human scale, but rather at the molecular level; the bonding of chemicals in the primordial soup to produce RNA, which then somehow transformed into bacteria capable of photosynthesizing and replicating. Let’s re-examine the story from this molecular level:
Cells, the smallest component of independent life, are made up of mostly water, so let’s say the muddy ocean is the fluid inside and outside a cell. The first couple, comprising of the fish and the serpent, enhanced with aspects of support and junction, can be compared to the double-helix strand of DNA, which resides in the nucleus and contains all the genetic information for a cell to live and perform its function. The chemical strands of DNA are intertwined (like a nice couple!) to control the tasks of the cell, including replication. But while DNA contains the all the codes for life, it alone cannot reproduce itself – that is the work of ribosomes.
Ribosomes are little factories where proteins are created, based on the codes transcribed by DNA, and translated by RNA. Ribosomes take the genetic codes from RNA and link amino acid sequences in order to produce proteins. This function of joining might be metaphorically represented by the turtle in the story of creation. In addition, the turtle’s aspect of skin, could be symbolic of the cell membrane, which forms the boundary of the cell.
Have you heard of a cytoskeleton? It’s a network of fibers and microfilaments inside the cell that helps maintain its shape and gives it support. In essence, it is the muscles and skeleton of the cell. Remember in the story, God drew up the shachi-hoko, and used the aspect of bones and support in the creation of human beings? It could be that the metaphor of the shachi-hoko was used to describe these microscopic fibers, which no one had seen in medieval Japan.
Next God used the “eel” for the providence of eating, drinking, and elimination. Believe it or not, cells also need to consume and dispose of matter in order to survive. In the human body, we use our mouth to consume, our stomach to digest, and our bowels to excrete. Similarly in a cell, different organelles work together to perform this cycle. Lysosomes break down and recycle molecules, and then mitochondria produce energy.
Mitochondria, the tiny energy power plants within the cell also serve a separate but related function to producing energy: breathing. Actually, it’s the enzymes contained in the membranes that surround the mitochondria that regulates the cell’s breathing, but nonetheless, each breath we take brings in oxygen and the mitochondria in our cells convert that into carbon dioxide, creating energy for the cell at the same time. This function is represented by the flatfish.
The last two aspects, that of growth/pulling forth, and severing, are also critical components of the cell cycle. Cells naturally need to grow, replicate its genes, and then divide in order for life to have evolved. We may correlate this function to that of growth, represented by the black snake. The Golgi body, also known as the Golgi complex, is also responsible for the transport of proteins throughout the cell as well as outside the cell membrane. This function of pushing out is akin to “pulling out” of a baby during childbirth. So too is the providence of pulling forth, represented by the black snake.
Just as cells reproduce, they must also die. This is called apoptosis, or programmed cell death. In essence the cell self-destructs, either in connection with embryonic development (sculpting of the body shape), or when body tissues have completed forming and no further growth is needed. In a healthy adult, the number of cells that die off equals the number of new cells that are generated. This makes sense because otherwise we would continue growing, and our internal organs and tissues would continue growing. This is the divine aspect of severing, and is represented by the globefish.
As illustrated above, the story of creation not only relates to the functions of our human-scale bodies, but also explains the critical functions on a cellular level, where science says life began. There is more to the story beyond the original assembly of instruments to create the first couple, and I would like to explore this in future blogs; however, I would be remiss if I did not touch upon the incredible effort God exerted to create such intricate living beings.
Though modern science continues to unlock the mysteries of the microscopic world of molecules and cells, and in doing so, supports what Oyasama revealed over a century ago, science’s best explanation for how life began is that it happened by chance. There is a video that calculates the chance of life spontaneously occurring through the formation of amino acids in the proper sequence to form even the simplest protein structure known to sustain life. That chance is 1 in 10 to the 164th power. Consider there are 10 to the 80th power molecules in our observable universe. Therefore, the odds of finding a single marked atom in the entire known universe is a trillions of times SMALLER than finding a randomly generated sequence of amino acids to form even the simplest functional protein. Most proteins are much more complex than the simplest; however, we are already at a point where we cannot really comprehend the enormous odds of it happening by chance.
“Only through the exhaustive efforts of Tsukihi (God), made step by step, have you become the humans you are”