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Genes and Cosmic Essences

Genes and Cosmic Essences

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Genes and Cosmic Essences

Lunghezza:
124 pagine
2 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Nov 2, 2015
ISBN:
9781310353680
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Is there any connection between science and spirituality? What can our genes teach us about life and death? Why is it that many of our best qualities seem to be lying dormant within us, and how can an understanding of genes and cosmic essences help us to call them forth? In this insightful book by prominent geneticist Dr. Kazuo Murakami and spiritual leader Masami Saionji, questions like these are discussed from both scientific and spiritual points of view. Can it be that these two fields, which have long been kept separate, will now start to join hands and lend support to one another?

Recommended by bestselling author Deepak Chopra and interfaith leader Fr. James Channan OP.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Nov 2, 2015
ISBN:
9781310353680
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Dr. Kazuo Murakami is one of the top geneticists in the world and Professor Emeritus at the University of Tsukuba, one of Japan’s leading research universities. In 1963, he obtained a Doctorate of Agricultural Chemistry from the Graduate School of Agriculture at Kyoto University and then became a researcher at Oregon Health & Science University. In 1976, Dr. Murakami started as assistant professor at Vanderbilt University. He was appointed Professor of Applied Biochemistry at the University of Tsukuba in 1978 where he began genetic research. In 1983, he decoded the gene of the human enzyme renin—a hidden factor behind hypertension—which won him international acclaim. In 1990, he won the Max Planck Research Award. In 1994, he became director of the Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance Center at the University of Tsukuba. In 1996, he was presented with the Japan Academy Prize in recognition of his achievements. Dr. Murakami has authored numerous books in Japanese and English, including "The Divine Code of Life" and "Genes for the Joyous Life".

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Anteprima del libro

Genes and Cosmic Essences - Kazuo Murakami

translation

Prologue

by Kazuo Murakami

How I met Masami Saionji

Masami Saionji, my counterpart in these dialogues, is chairperson of the Goi Peace Foundation, which holds peace-minded activities in Japan and other countries. We have known each other for more than ten years now. I first met Ms. Saionji when I was invited to an event called the World Peace Flag Ceremony.

The World Peace Flag Ceremony is a unique gathering in which people carry the flags of different countries and pray in each country’s language(s) with the words May peace prevail on earth. When I saw it, I was deeply moved. The ceremony is now being carried out in various countries, and in February 2013, a World Peace Flag Ceremony was held at the United Nations General Assembly conference hall under the sponsorship of its president at the time, Mr. Vuk Jeremić. (I wrote about this in the Opinion column of the Sankei Newspaper under the title Prayer is a ‘Declaration of Life.)

Ms. Saionji also chairs an NGO called the World Peace Prayer Society, which sets up peace poles inscribed with the words May Peace Prevail on Earth. You may have seen these poles. They have been placed in temples and churches all over the world, and even in the main office of the United Nations. When I went to Dharamsala, the corner of India where the Dalai Lama’s provisional government is located, I was surprised to find a large peace pole standing there.

I felt a great affinity for this kind of peace initiative, and now I serve on the selection committee for the Goi Peace Award as a trustee of the Goi Peace Foundation. The Goi Peace Award selects and honors people and organizations for outstanding achievements in bringing true peace and harmony to the earth and humankind. Past recipients have included prominent individuals such as Dr. James Lovelock, who proposed the Gaia hypothesis, the well-known author Dr. Deepak Chopra, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. In 2014, Kazuo Inamori of Kyocera was selected. Mr. Inamori is much respected in Japan and other countries for his responsible leadership in the areas of business and social development.

In connection with these activities I sometimes met with Ms. Saionji. When we spoke on those occasions, we found that we had much in common. As a result, we decided to have a thorough discussion about the earth and the universe, and that is how the following conversation took place.

If genes are the blueprints of the body, cosmic essences are the blueprints of the universe

In our conversation, Ms. Saionji brings up the subject of cosmic essences. I believe it was Masahisa Goi who invented this term. When I heard about cosmic essences from Ms. Saionji, it piqued my interest. I have long felt that while the blueprints of the body are genes, it would make sense for the universe to have something similar to genes, to make it run.

The universe operates in a very well-ordered manner, governed by fixed laws. It seems to me that this bears a resemblance to the way in which the body is impeccably managed by the genetic code inscribed within our DNA. In thinking about the author who wrote our genetic code, I came up with the term Something Great, and I feel that this Something Great is also at work in the formation of the universe. It is no easy matter to prove this scientifically, but if there is some kind of information system that methodically operates the universe, like Ms. Saionji’s cosmic essences, then it, too, must have been written by what I call Something Great.

During our discussions, Ms. Saionji said that when humans die, the cosmic essences that constitute their inner life, or soul, are released and return to the light of Something Great. This is the phrasing of a person involved in religion or spirituality, but it sparked a strong interest in me. From a scientific perspective, of course, it hasn’t been made clear whether the soul exists or not.

We don’t know whether the afterlife that religions speak of is a reality or not. Today, many people believe that once you die, it’s the end of your life. But if death were indeed the end of life, it would mean that all human beings’ lives are doomed to end in failure.

What I feel is that we human beings will be able to live happier lives if we believe that there is something that continues after death. We need to assume the existence of something like the soul, so that we can envision a condition of true happiness for human life. That may be why, since the days of ancient Greece, people have believed in the existence of the inner life, or soul.

People in modern times are deeply afraid of death and they try to stay as far away from it as they can, so that they won’t have to face it. But death comes to everyone. This is bound to occur with 100 percent certainty.

We may not yet have attained definitive knowledge about it, and we may not yet feel prepared for it, but I don’t think we human beings can be truly happy until we resolve the issue of death. I also believe that we can find a hint to the solution within the concept of the soul.

For a long time, I have believed that death is not the end, and that there exists something like a soul. I began to think this way when I realized that the human body is merely on loan to us from the earth. Within a cycle of about three months, all the elements that make up our bodies are completely replaced. Where do these elements come from? They come from the earth. Plants absorb minerals located in the earth, and animals eat the plants and take them into their bodies. If you ask, in turn, where these minerals came from, the answer is: they come from universal space. When we think in this way it brings home to us that our bodies are portions of the universe.

I have been involved in life science for some fifty years now, and I have decoded the DNA of various organisms. It has long been believed that DNA governs the body, but as I continued to work I came to sense the existence of Something Great behind it. Genes have been called the blueprints of life, but accurately speaking, they are only the blueprints of the body. Therefore, no matter how many genes we may decode, that alone will not bring us to an understanding of what life is.

I think this point may be easier to grasp if we think of it in terms of building a house. Blueprints are, of course, necessary for building a house, but you won’t get anywhere with blueprints alone. Before the blueprints are made, there has to be an owner who sets out to build the house. This being said, who is the owner of humanity? It can’t be a human being. The owner who inscribed the intricately calculated blueprints of our bodies within our DNA and created the human race can be none other than Something Great.

We may think of humans as the highest primates, controlling the earth at will, but that is not really the case. Humans, too, are enlivened by the power of Something Great. I have gained a keen awareness of this through my 50-odd years of research.

To say it in a word, our bodies are borrowed from the earth, from the universe, and from Something Great. Because they are on loan to us, we will have to give them back someday. This, I believe, is the meaning of death.

There is one other matter of vital importance here. If our bodies are on loan from the universe, the earth, and Something Great, then who is the borrower? It is, of course, our self, but what is the self? Since the time of Socrates, people have been saying know thyself, but before we can know ourselves we must answer the question what is the self? This is a question of major importance, and it has gone unanswered for thousands of years.

In response to this question, some people might say that the self is the heart and mind—in other words, our thoughts and emotions. But our thoughts and emotions are constantly changing, aren’t they? Our thoughts and emotions of yesterday are not the

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