Parts of us die every day. Units of us that die daily get reabsorbed into the system in keeping with the majestic order of the universe. For example, our tissues recycle when we lose our hairs, cut our nails, shed some blood or move our bowels.
Deprived of nourishment, these discarded cells and body parts decompose into constituent elements which then feed into various cycles: nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon cycles etc. The same drama happens during clinical death, albeit in a magnified scale.
As such, there is nothing fundamentally special about the heart, the brain, the skin, the hairs, the eyes, the lungs, the muscle or any part of the body. By invoking super-naturalism and the unknown, humans bring complexities into simple biological events.
Let us assume that life begins at conception, when the male gamete and the egg come together to form a single cell, called the zygote. Upon repeated division and subdivision, the zygote gives rise to trillions of offspring cells. Then the offspring cells team up in groups.
Different crops of cells continue to specialize in site and functions.
In the fourth week of pregnancy, some groups of cells that would be part of the human heart peel off from the bunch to move closer to the area where the future heart would be.
As early as in the sixth week of uterine life, some of these cells would later acquire the ability to bring forth the contractions and relaxations of the human heart.
Similarly groups of cells that would be the bedrock of the respiratory center, place themselves in parts of the brain that would become the medulla and the Pons.
Physiological changes occurring when a newborn exits the birth canal enables cells in the respiratory center area to ignite the human breathing mechanism. Without medical intervention, failure of spontaneous breathing after birth leads to the death of the newborn.
The blueprint for the aforementioned process resides in the genetic code of our DNA.
Human consciousness continues to evolve after birth when the newborn interacts more closely with the environment through the five senses of touch, smell, hearing, vision and taste. Our awareness is a result of the components of our body parts.
The fate of a plucked out hair or a lost tooth portends the fate of the entire being. When death comes, breathing and heart beat stop, ending all human consciousness. Deprived of oxygen and nutrients, all body cells die. They decompose into their original elemental building block of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, etc. It is a never-ending cycle of existence.
Anselm Anyoha MD
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