1. Humans are an emergent phenomenon arising from the planet through mutations and resulting evolution.
  2. All human development, individual or group, is an interaction with the environment.
  3. All is fluid process. There is always an unknown.
  4. Humans manage themselves with their whole bodies inside their skins with brains as dashboards and networks of neurons and blood vessels, plus organs. Sensory systems connect to the world outside the skin as well as monitoring what is inside the skin.
  5. Humans perceive the world according to what penetrates their skins: wavelengths of various kinds (sound, light), pressure, temperature and according to what the brain already knows.
  6. Memory is managed and recorded by the senses throughout the body.
  7. Attachment is virtual, created by the senses and also by the early creation of a virtual shared space between mother and child for play, speculation, possibility. This may be the beginning of the feeling of the Holy.
  8. Humans have the capacity to know what another person is “feeling” inside and sharing it. This is supported by eyes and special cells in the prefrontal brain lobe. It is more than sympathy, like feeling with the other (empathy).
  9. The earliest “map making” power of the brain is in at least one layer of the thin covering of the cerebrum as well as single cells that can detect the creature’s head v. tail, drop-offs, walls, and maybe the magnetic directions. This continues inside with a map of the body, proportioned to the density of nerves so that hands and faces are out-of-proportion big. This “map” is related to memory, so that people remember where they are at significant moments. It is so powerful that it can map parts of the body that are missing.
  10. The importance of understanding the origin of relationships among people (attachment, empathy) is that this is the power of being human, to compose cooperative groups and efforts so clever they took us to the moon. But this research may also explain why we hate and fear people who are “different.”
  11. What emerges to my mind after exploring this far is that an epiphany, hierophany, vision or whatever it is, comes from an alliance or interaction between a person and the world. This used to be my definition of art! But it is not voluntary because not all of it depends upon the receiver. Openness to the world can make “lightning striking ground” both more likely and more positive, but it is more like the land that is struck than the striking fire. Sadly, I believe not everyone is able to receive this dimension of life. But it’s more like a gift than a privilege or entitlement.
  12. This level of understanding of humans is deeper than any “system” or institution or theology or tradition or object. It precedes and underlies all other “religions” and does not oppose them to each other — rather it includes them all as well as other humanities not identified as “religious.”




Born in Portland when all was calm just before WWII. Educated formally at NU and U of Chicago Div School. Clergy for ten years. Always happy on high prairie.

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Mary Strachan Scriver

Mary Strachan Scriver

Born in Portland when all was calm just before WWII. Educated formally at NU and U of Chicago Div School. Clergy for ten years. Always happy on high prairie.

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