An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of August 23, 2009
issued from the Siskiyou Mountains west of
Grants Pass, Oregon, USA

BIRD FLOCKS, BREAST MILK & TRUST

Neurobiologists at Indiana University have showed that in the brains of certain flocking birds a neurochemical called mesoticin determines whether the birds spend more time with familiar individuals or unfamiliar ones. It happens that there's a virtually identical neurochemical in mammal brains, known as oxytocin, which affects female reproductive functions such as pair bonding with males, providing maternal care and producing milk for infants. The history explaining this connection is that around 450 million years ago the precursor of mesoticin and oxytocin appears to have arisen in the common ancestor shared by all birds and all mammals, which was a jawless fish. Also about 450 million years ago jaws arose in our common ancestor.

So, bird flocking behavior, human breast milk production and bonding feelings are all connected in the same way that bird jaws and human jaws are: 450 million years ago these things arose in our common ancestor. You can read the whole report yourself at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090813142144.htm.

This new insight is beautiful. Visualizing the Creator as a musician, and the Creation as Her music, we can say that 450 million years ago a certain impulse or theme began expressing itself on Earth in the form of a chemical affecting bonding emotions. Since then multitudes of variations on that melodic theme have been expressed as new species arose bearing the neurochemical and its derivatives. Each new species expressed the theme in its own musical key, with its own natural tempo, its own style of syncopation -- but the melody's essence always remained the same. Gregariously flocking Zebra Finches and googly eyes between bonding humans... all the same, beautifully improvised on the spot, this spot, Earth.

And what of the notion that a neurochemical molecule's shape and electrical configuration translate into specific kinds of feelings? Beautiful, too, that. If that can happen, might not emotions flow through the Universe's different dimensions and places, sometimes chemically, sometimes electrically? And don't forget that astrophysicists claim that over 95% of the Universe is dark energy and dark matter that can't even be observed with any human senses or our current instruments. In that 95% there is plenty of room for Universal emotional flow along neurons the nature of which we can't even imagine.

Who is to say that the Sun's "photons flowing through space" bathing Earth with life-giving energy doesn't amount to a Universal expression of generosity and benevolence just as "real" and worthy of recognition and reverence as any emotion an Earthbound human might be able to manage?

What beautiful music it all is, if only we listen, if only we open ourselves to music beyond the mere kind that expresses itself in Earthly air waves beating on eardrums. Facebook Icon.