Apoptosis – Programmed Cell Death
“The amount of apoptosis that occurs in developing and adult animal tissues can be astonishing. In the developing vertebrate nervous system, for example, up to half or more of the nerve cells normally die soon after they are formed. In a healthy adult human, billions of cells die in the bone marrow and intestine every hour. It seems remarkably wasteful for so many cells to die, especially as the vast majority are perfectly healthy at the time they kill themselves. What purposes does this massive cell death serve?”
Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.
Paul had been a kidney cell for a few months now. Life was hard.
He had a huge burden of responsibility in keeping the environment clean so other cells didn’t get sick. There were so many toxins coming through the kidneys and he had to filter them out. If he didn’t filter them out properly it could lead to a toxic load that could kill many, many other cells.
Paul was tired and confused. Why did he have to take on this responsibility? Other cells seemed to have such easy lives – going here and there – or resting and having a good time. At first he thought it would be good to have such an important role, but it was not what he thought it would be like.
He felt trapped and could not see how he could ever get out of this situation. Now that he was a kidney cell he could not go back to his family. He had no place in a thumb.
While he struggled with his purpose in life his work started to suffer. He started caring less about cleaning the toxins and often let some slip through. He didn’t really care what happened. Some part of him thought it might be good if he let the toxins through – because then he would not longer exist and wouldn’t have to continue to suffer.
Paul believed this was a very bad thing.
Tom had been in Madagascar for a few months and had finally started to settle into his new home and life when his health started to take a turn for the worse again.
He found a new doctor and the specialist had just told him that one of his kidneys was failing.
Tom didn’t understand why – he was still young and healthy, he ate well, he exercised. He had really tried to take good care of himself after his thumb problem, so it didn’t make sense that he was sick again.
Tom had just left the doctor’s office where he heard his bad news and was waiting in reception. The doctor wanted to do more tests and at this stage did not know how to treat the condition, so Tom needed to book in for another visit.
The receptionist was quite attractive and smiled at him when he approached the desk. She looked vaguely familiar but he was pretty sure he had never met her before.
“How can I help you?” she asked kindly.
“I have to get some more tests and make another appointment”, Tom said sadly. “I have a strange kidney condition and they need to try to find what is going on so they can treat it. In the meantime, I think I’m going to go crazy not knowing what is wrong with me.”
The receptionist looked genuinely concerned. “That’s no good. Stress can make illnesses even worse!”
She looked thoughtful for a moment. “Have you ever tried meditation?” she asked.
Tom hadn’t expected that and seemed a little confused. “Meditation? How would that help?”
“Well… meditation can help you de-stress. It can help you relax and stay calm instead of worrying about things you can do nothing about. It might be worth giving it a go.”
Another person joined the queue behind Tom.
“When do you need to come in again?” she asked, getting back to the business at hand.
“Next week.” Tom said and she wrote a time in the diary and handed him a reminder card.
Tom was interested by the idea of meditation but was dubious about whether it could help him anyway. But he liked the receptionist and decided he would give it a go – not because he thought it could help him – but so he would have something to talk to the attractive receptionist about when he came back next week.
But as he drove home and his thoughts of the receptionist waned Tom’s worries returned and he became very stressed and anxious about his future.
Tom believed this was a very bad thing.
Rosie was starting to enjoy being a thumb nerve cell – she really enjoyed the simplicity of her purpose in life – Bend, Straighten, Bend. It always felt so good when she listened to the voice of God and trusted it was what she needed to do – even if she didn’t fully understand why she was doing what she was doing.
But she still worried about her family members – especially Paul since he had gone away. She had not heard from him in a long time and had no idea how he was. There was still a part of her that desperately wanted him back with her family so she could make sure he was OK.
Then one day something strange happened. It was like suddenly she felt Paul’s presence. She couldn’t see him but she knew he was somewhere, and she somehow knew he was not OK. She could feel his negative energy almost as if it were her own and she knew that he was not happy.
“What is happening?” she yelled at no one in particular. She started becoming extremely anxious and desperate to find Paul and help him. As soon as she felt like this she stopped listening to the voice of God. She ignored the messages to Bend and Straighten, and instead became consumed with fear.
“Paul, where are you? Someone help me!!!” she pleaded.
In a matter of minutes Junie, the white cell, emerged from the Great Red Road.
“Junie, I’m so glad you’re here! I suddenly had this feeling that Paul is not OK but I don’t know where he is or how to help him. Can you help me find him?” Rosie begged.
“Yes, at the moment many cells are experiencing this connection with other cells – especially their sister and brother cells.” Junie said knowingly. “The old Cell Testaments have spoken of a time when the environment becomes calm and peaceful and an awakening occurs that results in cells developing special powers of communication. That is what seems to be happening now. Isn’t that amazing!”
“No! It’s not amazing. Now I can feel Paul’s worry and stress and it feels like it is my own and I can’t fix it! Please can you help me find him so I can look after him!” Rosie pleaded.
Junie sat quietly for a moment before answering. “Do you remember last time I was here we spoke about God.”
“Yes…” Rosie said.
“Do you trust in God? Do you trust that everything is perfect and exactly as it should be?” Junie asked.
“Well…” Rosie paused. “I used to. When I started listening to the words Bend and Straighten I trusted that I needed to do them even though I didn’t know why…. But this is different! It can’t be part of God’s plan for Paul to be so sad! If that is what God does to cells then NO! I don’t trust in God.”
Junie took a deep breath. “Rosie, do you think you can change what happens to Paul?”
Rosie yelled, “Yes! If I can just talk to him I might be able to help him see things differently. I might be able to save him!”
Junie said carefully, “Do you know that for certain?”
Rosie thought about it for a moment. “No… I don’t know for certain, but I have to try!”
Junie nodded. “That’s right, you don’t know. We can never know. Only God knows.” She continued. “What do you think it would mean for you then knowing you can’t change anything… and something does happen to Paul?”
Rosie started crying. “Well I would have failed him! It would be the worst thing that could ever happen! I would rather die myself than let something happen to him!”
“Do you think that’s what Paul would want for you?” Junie asked quietly.
“I don’t know. But I can’t just let him go!”
Junie sat silently for a moment as Rosie cried.
“I don’t normally suggest this,” Junie said, “but I think we need to take you to see The Priestess.”
Rosie had no idea who The Priestess was, but she was open to whoever might be able to help her and Paul.
Rosie believed this was a very bad thing.
“We are going to go on a bit of a journey” Junie said. “You would never be able to do this on your own, but if you travel inside me I can take you on the Great Red Road to see The Priestess.”
Rosie was ready to go anywhere and do anything to help Paul and Junie swallowed Rosie so she was safe inside and together they merged onto the Great Red Road.
Rosie was scared but she knew she had to do this for Paul’s sake. She had never ventured far onto the Great Red Road and it was the strangest place – full of so many different cells she had never seen before! Big small, all different colours. She could see new baby cells and older shrivelled cells. It was amazing yet terrifying at the same time. “Where are we going Junie?”
“We are going to the pineal gland.” Junie said.
Junie could see Rosie did not know what that was. “It is a special place that has a deeper connection to God. There are not many pineal cells and many do not have the connection, but The Priestess has worked on developing her connection to God, and she may be able to give you the answers you seek.”
As the journey would be a long one Junie took the opportunity to tell Rosie a bit more about her work.
“You remember how last time I came to see you I said my purpose as a white cell was to help other cells get better when they were sick?” Junie sked.
“Well I think it is important to let you know that I can’t help all cells.” Junie continued. “Sometimes I try to help a young cell, and for whatever reason they are unable to see things differently and so they pass to the Great Red Road.”
Rosie was listening intently, so Junie continued. “And sometimes I try to help an old shrivelled cell that I think could never make it and they recover fully!”
“I never know whether I am able to help. I just do my best and I have learned that if a cell passes to the Great Red Road then that is just how it is meant to be. I don’t see it as failure – because I did my best – I just trust it is God’s plan. I could become upset by all the cells I see pass, but I understand now that it is the nature of cell life. All cells are born and then die. No one knows when or how. It is just how life works.”
Rosie was sobbing because she could not imagine Paul passing to the Great Red Road without her at least trying to help him.
They sat in silence for the rest of the journey and then Junie dived out of the side of the Great Red Road and stopped.
They were now in what appeared to be a white crystal cavern. There were many shrivelled and hard cells, but some new and clear cells.
“Why are some of the cells hard and shrivelled?” Rosie asked.
“No one really know but the Cell Testaments say that during the times of Satan we lost connection to God and as the pineal gland cells’ purpose is to be connected to God they age quickly without that connection. I am usually not able to help these cells become well again…” Junie looked sad for a moment. “But the good news is the connection to God seems to be coming again so I have great hope that many of these pineal cells may recover.”
Suddenly out of the crystal a very large clear cell emerged. Junie looked towards the cell and back to Rosie. “Rosie, this is Pinkie The Priestess. I am hoping she can help you.”
Pinkie drifted calmly towards them. “Hello Rosie. I’m so glad you came. I hope I can help you understand what is happening with Paul.”
“How do you know about Paul?” Rosie asked surprised.
“I am connected to God and therefore I can connect to all God’s cells.” Pinkie replied.
Rosie was so excited, “Oh! Please where is Paul? How can I find him? How can I bring him back with me?”
Pinkie smiled at Rosie and continued “Although I can connect to God’s cells, I cannot interfere with God’s purpose. None of us can. All cells have free will and that must be respected.”
“But…” Rosie stammered. “But we have to help him! We can’t just let him go! I feel that he is not far from passing!”
Pinkie gave Rosie a big hug. “This is Paul’s journey. There is nothing that can be done as it is God’s plan. Whatever Paul chooses is to be respected as only God can see the great plan behind all things. Things that seem bad can actually be the greatest gifts. While things that seem good can actually cause great harm. We can never know what is good or bad, right or wrong. All we can do is trust.”
Rosie cried and cried because for the first time in her life she realised there was nothing she could do. This situation was out of her control.
And for the first time in a long time she felt some trust in God and this gave her a sense of peace. Whatever will be will be.
She loved Paul and would never stop loving him, but she understood that whatever Paul chose meant nothing about her as a cell. It did not mean she had failed. It did not mean she didn’t care. It just meant she could not see the bigger picture. And that meant she had to trust in God because only he could see the bigger picture.
And so finally she let it go.
Junie took her back to her home in silence and Rosie took her place back in her nerve. She slowly started listening to the voice of God again and she even felt a bit better when she Bent and Straightened.
She still felt the connection with Paul and she often thought about him but instead of worrying about him she sent him her feelings of love and care – she hoped he could feel her too. And instead of feeling stressed and anxious about Paul’s future and desperately wanting to help him she accepted that this was his journey.
She knew that her constant worry was only affecting her own health so when she felt sad she breathed just as Junie had shown her.
Sometimes she felt her connection with Paul wane. And when that happened she sent him as much love and care as she could. She prayed to God for Paul to be at peace, but she no longer prayed for him to come home.
Suddenly one day she no longer felt the connection with Paul.
“God please help Paul be at peace now” she bowed her head and silently cried.
Rosie believed this was a very bad thing, but she began to wonder if this was actually so.
Mia was a teenage cell. She had been enjoying living with her wonderful family, but then she started to physically change and she felt a pull to the Great Red Road and so she ran to tell her mother cell.
Her mother cell looked at her proudly. “Mia you have your whole life ahead of you. You are a beautiful and special cell and I know wherever you end up you will find your purpose and have a life filled with love and peace.”
With that Mia jumped onto the Great Red Road with excitement and joy. Her brother and siter cells were waving goodbye to her and sending her love. She had no idea where she was going or if she would ever see her family again but she trusted God and followed his call.
Mia arrived at the kidney and she knew it was her exit. Oh wow! She was so excited at discovering her purpose. “What will I be doing here?” she asked herself excitedly.
As Mia looked around she saw a cell that looked very similar to herself being sent on their final journey on the Great red Road. For a moment she felt sad because the cell did not look that old, but immediately she KNEW it was her purpose to replace that cell.
She floated over to where he had been and she saw a gap between 2 other cells and she jumped in to fill it. “Hello!” She said and then turned to her 2 neighbours. “Wow, what do we do here?”
“We filter all the toxins!” the neighbours answered happily. “We have to be very aware of what toxins are coming our way and then decide on the best method to filter them out while keeping the good cells in. We have to stay alert and act quickly!”
“Wow! That sounds awesome.” Mia said in amazement.
Mia jumped straight into her role and learned quickly. She was so thrilled to have a purpose and it was exciting to have to work out how to filter all the toxins correctly. In the beginning she accidentally missed a few toxins but her neighbour cells said not to worry about it as a healthy environment can handle some toxins.
So everyday she learned from her mistakes and she thrived on the problem solving. She was in her element and she loved it!
Mia believed that this was a very good thing.
Tom was on his way back to the Doctor’s office. He was actually feeling quite positive. For some reason he had started to feel better. Could it have been the meditation?
The other strange thing was that after he started meditating his thumb started to be non-responsive again. He wondered whether meditation might be causing that, but he continued anyway and in time his thumb randomly started to work again.
He had started meditating skeptically, but had started to come to really enjoy it. He found that he felt so much calmer and relaxed, and he was very excited to tell the attractive receptionist about it.
When he entered the waiting room he looked to the desk and was a bit sad to see that the girl wasn’t there.
So, he sat down in the waiting room for his name to be called.
The Doctor looked happy to see him. “Tom, we have some good news! Your kidney function has improved. How are you feeling?”
“Actually I feel great Doc!” Tom replied. “I actually started meditating – could that have helped?”
The Doctor nodded. “Absolutely! There is a lot of research now showing us that meditation makes us feel relaxed and peaceful and this means our cells can actually communicate better, and therefore they can heal. So keep doing it if it is helping!”
“Wow, I will” Tom said amazed.
“So, I don’t think I need to see you again unless you start to feel worse. So, I won’t say see you soon!” The Doctor laughed and said goodbye and Tom left the office feeling great.
He turned the corner to the waiting room and she was there! Suddenly he was so nervous. He stood in the queue to pay and she recognised him and smiled.
When he got to the desk luckily there was nobody behind him.
“Did you try the meditation?” she asked him.
“Yes! I did! And I am so much better. The Doctor has given me the all clear!”
“Wow!” she said. “That’s great! Do you need to come back.”
“No…” Tom said. He was wondering how he would ever see this girl again if he didn’t come back!
Suddenly Tom felt an urge to ask her out. He was normally so shy and he was worried that if he asked her out she might laugh at him, or say no, or… It was his greatest fear. But… it was now or never.
“My name’s Tom” he started. “And I would really love to talk more about meditation with you if you’re willing. Would you like to come and have a coffee with me sometime?”
For a moment he thought she was going to say No! She seemed to pause for so long.
“Tom, I would love to! My name’s Nancy by the way.”
Tom was so happy she said Yes and so proud he had faced his fear!
Tom believed this was a very good thing.
DOuG was thrilled! He was so excited that he had managed to get Tom and Nancy to meet in Madagascar.
It was one of his greatest achievements!
Firstly, he had to engineer Tom’s thumb healing back in Australia so he would hear the call to go to Madagascar.
Then he had to create a kidney illness so that he could get Tom to meet Nancy in the waiting room of the Kidney Specialist.
Then the grand finale was sending all the will he could to Tom in the waiting room to ask Nancy out! Fortunately, he had also managed to get Tom to start meditating so that Tom was able to hear his voice better.
And he had done it!
He knew that Tom meeting Nancy was vital to the future of the Sons.
As he peered into the fully sealed container containing the blue and green sphere he felt a shift in the energy of the Sons as a result of those two Sons meeting.
Now… how was he going to get Tom and Nancy to cocreate the device that would clean toxins from the water? Half the design was in Tom’s mind – the other half in Nancy’s mind. This was his next challenge and he loved it!
DOuG believed this was a very good thing.
Paul saw a white light and knew he had to head towards it. He felt a familiar energy and realised it was his Mother Cell!
“Mother!” he yelled “It’s so good to see you! Where am I?”
“You are in the place between Cells.” she answered as she embraced him. This is where we review our life before moving onto our next life.”
Paul felt a wave wash over him and suddenly he saw his whole life as a kidney cell flash before him. He had the opportunity to feel all his negative emotions and hatred towards his life which saddened him. But then he was shown the cell Mia. Mia was the kidney cell that replaced him, and she was loving her purpose! She was happy and joyful doing exactly the same role as he had been doing.
Suddenly Paul was overcome with great epiphany. It wasn’t the role that he hated – It was his attitude that caused him to react with hatred! He realised that everything in the external world was neutral and that it was his own beliefs that caused his suffering during his life as a kidney cell. He created his own suffering!
He had learned this great lesson and realised his life as a kidney cell was a great gift.
As he realised this he was shown even more.
He could see he had been part of Tom. He could see Tom was a Son of DOuG. He could now see that his negative life as a kidney cell created an illness in Tom that led to Tom meeting Nancy that led to DOuG being able to influence the world of the Sons to be healed. He could see how his passing had led to the detoxification and healing at so many levels all at once in ways he could never have conceived of as a cell. He could see it all.
The divine orchestration of God’s plan was mind-boggling and awesome.
Death was the same as birth. From his death came the birth of new and better adapted lifeforms and ideas that could heal more effectively. And after their death would come even better adapted creations. The process of creation/evolution never ended – it was a continual drive towards ever increasing complexity and efficiency.
Paul felt so proud of the role he played in this one healing of the universe on its path to ascension and deeper connection with God. The universe had recently completed its outbreath towards being disconnected and separate from God, and now the inbreath had started. Now the connection and ascension was building and would continue until it reached singularity and full oneness. And then the next outbreath would start a new cycle.
Paul knew this was perfect.
“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.”