Facets of a Diamond - Blog

“The Turbine”

When as a medical student I tried to study biochemistry, I became overwhelmed by the hundreds of equations and diagrams. They were so confusing because they seemed not to make broad sense. There seemed to be no overall perspective, just so many little independent facts.

I spent nearly a year preparing a large master flowchart showing all the biochemical reactions in our textbooks, all displayed out there before me in a way that made it so all-encompassingly logical. (And I was especially proud that on the whole chart with its myriad flow lines, not one line cut across another, so carefully had I laid them out.)

What gave it all sense was that in the center, in pride of place, was the citric acid cycle, the turbine of all biochemical reactions. Into it directly or, more commonly, indirectly, cascaded all the biochemical reactions. And it was fueled by oxygen.

Now it was all so clear. There is the citric acid cycle—and into it are flowing hundreds of lines of action, each along its own path. Everything in its place and everything feeding its energy into the giant central turbine. It all made sense!

Life Energy Photography

Photograph by John Diamond, M.D.

And here I am nearly fifty years older, and trying now to make sense not just of biochemistry, but of human nature.

I have just visited a book superstore, buying from the following sections: philosophy, children’s, self-help, medical, biology, linguistics, psychology, theology, eastern spirituality, reference, music, art, theater, poetry, the classics, literature, history, evolution, ethology, and anthropology! Trying to make sense of human nature! Of all the thousands of interactions, of the flowing and intermingling lines of human activity in so many of its manifestations.

And in my mind I can construct a chart like the one I made of biochemistry. I can see the interplays of philosophy and history and theology, of linguistics and psychology. And so on, and so on. And so on—to where?

In the center, where all the lines eventually converge, is a giant turbine—the Spiritual Life. Into it flow all the activities of every human being. Here is the very hub of human nature. And it is fueled by Love.


Excerpt from:

Facets book cover


Holism & Health,