Having watched and impressive scientific TV show about the human cell and its eternal struggle against viruses, I felt moved and inspired at the magnificence of the human body, that internal universe, which, like the outer, is full of lessons for the opened mind and the journeying soul. Here are three of the spiritual lessons I learned from the not-so humble cell and its arch-enemy, the virus.
1) We’re all equally relevant in the order and harmony of life. For the giant white blood cell to do if defending job it needs the cooperation of a host of minute ones. All the tiny micro-organisms (I refuse to call them machines) have a particular function, a specific note to play in the symphony of life. If one misses the beat, the whole piece is in jeopardy.
2) Enemies are dark siblings and tough teachers without whom we would never grow. It turns out that the reason that viruses can do so well in the human body, it’s because they are made of the same stuff we are and the only way they have to survive as species is by conquest. Not only that: viruses are responsible in many ways of our evolution, and we of theirs. In this constant dance of adaptation, every time the body is attacked by a virus and wins over it, it evolves to become stronger, the lesson learned archived in our marrows and transferred as genetic legacy to our children. The virus also learns its lesson and evolves too, forcing us to evolve and become stronger one more time. In this story, what doesn’t kills you makes stronger -literally. If weren’t for this millenary struggle, we wouldn’t be who we are today.
3) As valuable as each individual is, sometimes you have to sacrifice all that you are for the greater good. This really touched me. During a virus attack, when all defences are breached and the cell has been conquered by the virus, the cell sends one last distressing signal of warning that reaches the white blood cells. For all purposes the cell is lost and must be destroyed, to prevent the spreading of the virus. But in many cases, healthy cells that surround the infected one make the biggest sacrifice of all and destroy themselves to make sure that the infection will not go beyond a certain area, thus helping the white blood cells to contain and fully eradicate the viruses.