Life and the Great Chain of Being
By Nick Petruzzella, Ph.D.

The red, wrinkled 6 pounds of potential vitality finally slips out from the safety of mother’s womb after a tense 10 hours of labor. Mother, baby, and attendants are weary. Then, we hear the smack and the cry. The miracle of life begins anew.

It is hard to believe that every human being on the earth today was once in this situation, separated for the first time from its mother, breathing on its own, ready to join the community of man. Each human must learn how to survive and struggle, how to live, how to love, how to create a new world and how to create others like self, to be connected in the great chain of being.

There is something vastly different between these “living” humans and the inorganic minerals and substances, which co-inhabit the world with them. What is it that organizes these systems that makes them alive? Eastern cultures describe living beings as containing a life force or life energy called Prana and Chi.  In the western world, the scientific establishment has a mistrust of these concepts, since they do not have an operational definition based on how they are measured with scientific instruments. Even though one cannot measure prana or chi, when it leaves the being, we describe it as “dead”.  It is easy to determine the fundamental difference between a healthy living animal and road kill. It is easy to see the difference between the deer and the block of salt that it licks.

Westerners define life, instead, by studying the components of living things – molecules, cells, tissues, systems, etc. – and how these components interact with each other, displaying living functions. Our culture is beginning to see the need to incorporate these life-force ideas into our thinking, to begin to understand the many properties of living that can’t be described in terms of interactions of the components. Where physical non-living systems spontaneously revert to disorder (which we call entropy), living systems are constantly building and rebuilding and remain ordered. Miraculous blueprints (DNA) have roles and functions, which keep the living system new and fresh during its lifetime. The structure and activities of the DNA and the associated proteins and peptides which affect all of life’s attributes go a long way towards illustrating prana. The DNA blueprints from parents live on in the next generation.

Hard to explain and define are the relationships between the brain, mind and consciousness, and the spiritual connection between human beings.  Non-mechanistic elements of life (wisdom, knowledge and memory) are in the body during its lifetime. When death occurs, all of this wisdom somehow disappears. Not lost, this wisdom seems to be passed on to others through a connection which we refer to as spirit or soul. In the midst of the life process, living beings retain free will. Of all of the possibilities and probabilities that are available to us, we act in a non-deterministic manner and choose.

How did life come to be? What supplied the life-force? Was it God? What is God? Somehow, everything was created, including life as we know it.  The interdependency of the organic and the inorganic was fused together with a “creative bang”. It is not important whether this occurred in 6 days or 15 billion years. 

However it came to be, one thing is clear. Our earth and the universe have everything that we need to be happily alive. Besides the wealth of resources, the oxygen, the sunshine, there is the Wisdom that was required for us to live. This Wisdom, from wherever it emanated, leads us from the inert and inorganic to organic life. This Wisdom is part of the Prana Life Force.

Have you ever wondered why, when we need to solve problems or invent solutions, we always find the resources in our world to do so? When we needed a medium to initiate life, there was water. When we needed light, there was tungsten. When we needed electronics, there was silicon. When we needed the slow development of the complex chemistry required to evolve from one life form to another, we had the time that we needed. When we needed Knowledge to create life enhancing inventions, enlightenment filled the souls and minds of specially evolved human beings to lead us to find a way. We are involved in a giant Easter egg hunt to find the valuable substances, wisdom, people and spirits that are required to enhance our life. We will continue to search with the confidence that the Wisdom which has always guided our progress will be available.

Creating and solving problems is not a cake-walk, to be sure. Evil exists. Mankind, with free will, can choose to manifest itself in greed, ego and hate, forcing us to take steps backward or to move forward, living selflessly, with love. Every day is a complex interplay between these forces enhancing or destroying the world and mankind.

This Wisdom, this guidance, this spirit not only is available to cure and preserve the planet from such catastrophes as nuclear war and global warming, but also exists in the soul, mind, and bodies of all individual human beings. Within us individually, as well as collectively, we have all that we need: to help and love others; to enjoy life; to decide between what is good and what is evil; to conquer our bad traits; to motivate ourselves and change; to marshal our inner Wisdom and its associated chemistry in order to heal ourselves and grow.

When we close our eyes for the last time, it should be with the satisfaction that we lived up to the potential that we brought from the womb to the world and serenely move from life to death.  New birth follows and the miracle begins anew.


Dr. Nick Petruzzella, a former professor of physics at The Ohio State University, recently sold his business, Zip Publishing, and has started a new business, Progressive Publishing & Products.  Progressive has a variety of products and services such as publishing, printing, software, new and reconditioned computers and copiers, and computer service.  Progressive shares the philosophy of the holistic and alternative health community and wishes to direct its products and activities to this market.  Progressive Publishing & Products, 380 Wyandotte Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43202.  Phone: (614) 263-0835; Fax: (614) 670-8057;