All of our cells can talk to each other though the junctions of “windows” and “doors” (receptor junctions) that exist between them. When communities of billions of cells are all connected integrally together, unified and united by the integrated signaling networks branching through all of the junctions between them, not only are the cells balanced, alive, and happy but they are amazingly powerful.
To give you just a small idea at the vast potential of cells in a network of connecting junctions, let us briefly consider the most complex and powerful cell network we know: our own human brain. The brain consists of an enormous network of interconnected brain cells. Each brain cell comes into contact with several of its neighboring brain cells through a series of interconnecting “wires” (called axons). There are junctions that exist between the axons of the brain cells (called synapses) where the signals from one brain cell hop over to the next one. It turns out that our memories, our associative powers, our cognitive abilities, and mostly all of the functions in our brain are actually found in the tiny synaptic junctions that connect our brain cells. Is this not incredible?
Scientists have found that synaptic junctions between brain cells can be “programmed”. The brain cells determine how many “trigger” molecules to put in each of the synaptic junctions. Depending on the number of trigger molecules in the junctions, the strength of the electrical signal that makes it across the junction to the next brain cell is determined. While traveling across the various junctions, the signals can be stopped, passed along, or even amplified, as determined by this trigger programming. Our thoughts and memories are most likely stored in the pattern of pathways that electrical messengers follow through the brain. And these signal pathways are determined by the programming in the junctions.
If you were to allow your mind to wander back to your childhood home for a moment, you might remember what your house looked like; patterns of the porch, the yard, familiar rooms, and surroundings might flood into your head, accompanied perhaps by memories of the sights and smells of home. Images of these familiar patterns are almost always associated with the way we felt; feelings of safety, warmth, or anxiety related to events that took place there. At every moment, the endless variety of patterns that pervade our surroundings are almost instantly associated in our mind to our current location in our mind’s map and our current emotional condition. Without this ability, we would literally be lost and clueless.
Perhaps the very secret to our intelligence lies in the amazing power that our mind has of building associations to the limitless variety patterns that surround us. At this moment, your mind is associating the patterns of letters in the words you are reading on this page with the concepts they represent. Different shapes and patterns almost naturally are associated with each other. The written symbol “Tree” invokes a certain pattern in our mind. We can hardly help it. It is just the way it is. Our language, both written and verbal, depends on this power of association.
If such an amazing organ as our brain–capable of embodying almost unlimited powers of association– is built by a network of electrical and chemical messenger pathways connected together by programmable junctions, then can you imagine the possibilities when all of the trillions of cells in your body are connected together by similar networks of signaling pathways? Just like your brain cells, all the cells in your body have similar junctions where signals are passed between them. The real “brain power” of all our cells is found in the programming of these junctions. These signaling junctions exist between every cell. Understanding the programming options available at the “doors” and “windows” of the cells leads us to discover the real software that determines how the whole of our body functions. Can you imagine the complexity and power when trillions of cells connected together in a huge signaling network? Actually, yes, you can imagine it. You live in it. It is your body!