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You are about to embark on an extraordinary voyage. As you enter the chapters of this book, you will don the identity of a new kind of adventurer: a cytonaut, a “sailor inside the cell.” Like Alice down the rabbit hole suddenly grown small, you will find yourself in a mysterious new world, and there you will explore the structure and workings of the trillions of tiny cells that compose you. You will come to understand that the living cell, the perfect container for the divine spark of life, contains more than scientists may be willing to admit—more than nucleus and membrane; receptors and genetic markers; fluid, flexing strings, and tubes. You will find that it also holds important lessons about how to live a fuller, healthier life. And you will encounter the compelling notion that the shapes and movements of the cell, visible to the eye only with the aid of the microscope, have been intuited for millennia by seers and shamans and are present in ancient art found around the world. Secrets of Your Cells opens the door to cellular intelligence and ancient wisdom, the magic and majesty that dwell within you.
You will have ample opportunity to investigate the nature of the cell throughout this book. By way of introduction, let me just say here that our cells are our oldest living ancestors, shared by all of life since its creation. We all possess the same building blocks, molecules, and biochemical principles. Written in the biography of the cell are the mysteries of life, growth, and transformation. At every moment of every day, our cells orchestrate millions of molecular symphonies, guided by cellular intelligence in a delicately designed system of checks and balances, push and pull, collaboration and communication. Fundamental to cellular functioning is the molecular embrace, in which elements of the cell fit together like hand in glove to realize their combined destinies; connection is, in itself, a building block of life.
When we examine the life of the cell, we are witnesses to sheer genius. In my view, based on much experience and study, there is clearly an intelligence at work. When you have completed the journey at hand and turn the page on the final chapter, concluding your own investigation into the intricacies and dynamics of cellular life for now, you, too, may find that you have adopted this view.