The next level of complexity is something you are a part of and something you can’t see.
The cells that actively pursue and destroy invaders in your body are showing a kind of limited independent response. They are discrete “individuals” they
can learn new things (like a new antibody) and later REMEMBER those things. What language do they speak? Proteins and chemicals. They obviously don’t have independent lives in any sense that we find it easy to relate to, but at their microscopic level of reality, they are whole, autonomous units. They are part of “Team You”, and you couldn’t live without them but do they FEEL like YOU to you
? I mean do you identify with them, like “Yeah, that’s me”?
Probably not. Can they conceive of you? Perhaps they have established a cellular religion where they worship you and celebrate the oneness of all life here in the one world there is. Evil would be antigen I suppose and they would exude hymns of folded proteins.
But even if they did that they wouldn’t have any idea that the thing they were in was a human and that there were others. Some far-out cellular scientists might come up with the multiple people theory.
Anyway, down inside these cells, there are discrete building blocks of intra-cellular machinery: Vacuoles, Cell Membranes, Cell Wall, Nucleus, Golgi Body, Mitochondria, Microbodies, Microtubules, Centrioles, Flagella, Ribosomes, Endoplasmic reticulum. All of which are discrete task directed components plugging away at their jobs and constructing the cellular level of reality.
But they don’t know about cells and obviously can’t conceive of such a thing. What language do they speak? Chemicals and amino acids.
This is going to seem like a non sequitur but… I want you to think about driving. Everyone has had the experience of driving home from work for an example and then realizing that they were unaware of driving and had spent the whole ride singing or talking or thinking about other things. But that they did a fine job of driving anyway. OK, who did that? Who did the driving?
I can imagine people saying: “Some part of me, I guess”. Yeah ok, but WHAT part?
Here were some of the players engaged in driving:
- Visual and hearing processes
- Knowledge of physics
- Fine motor control
- Risk analysis
- Awareness of Traffic laws
And these skills are just tools…something was purposefully using them, some amazing factor compiled all these skills into a module that ran effortlessly and without … YOU.
What was missing was your conscious attention. Your driving was probably “flavored” by your typical personality but the reason we even notice this experience is because we weren’t there. We were off singing or talking. So who is the “we” that was off doing something else?
It’s the part we think of as ourselves for the simple reason that it’s the voice in the head module that thinks it is the REAL you. But the “ME” voice in your head is therefore just another part of you, a component of you as well. Maybe it’s the component tasked with being the spokesperson for the corporate entity called YOU. You could just as well say that YOU were driving while “some part of you” was off chatting with someone.