Units to Unity

Units To Unity

Toward Oneness – the need to create a unit of unity

Ashley Davidoff

In the world of language the single and the simple is the letter, while in the world of music and painting it is the note, and the brushstroke respectively.  The letter moves on to the word, the note to the bar, and the brush stroke to an object in the painting.  In biology the cell is the basis of the organ and organism.  The Mozarts, van Goghs, Einsteins and Shakespeare’s of the world, organized connected and integrated the units in such a way so as to create a genius result – certainly one that is more powerful than the individual parts.   In biology,  years of evolution have slowly crafted the human body into a miraculous machine which we have the good fortune to own,  honor , learn about, and opportunity to unravel and understand its mysteries in the context of the medical world.

The yearning to be “one” drives us, whether we conciously know it or not.  The atom thinks it is indivisible (and probably invincible) but it also has smaller parts. The atom by itself is powerless unless it combines with similar atoms to make up molecule.  This same feeling of power and individuality comes to the cell, which for practical purposes, is the smallest living individual and independent unit in biology.  It is made up of smaller parts of macromolecules that combine to form microstructures such as the ribosome, endoplasmic reticulum, and the nucleus.  All parts in combination make up the cell, giving it singularity and oneness.  The cell is powerless without the tissue, and so it combines with similar cells to humble itself before the tissue.  Although the tissue claims individuality, it too seeks combination with other tissue as it searches for oneness in the organ.  The seeming accomplishment of unity continues through the body to the individual, the family, the community of the village, the community of the nation and the community of the world – and even the solar system, which bears uncanny structural similarity to the atom. The solar system probably thinks it is the end of the world, but the universe has a surprise in store.  At this writing, the universe resides at on the one end and the atom on the other – both claiming singularity – but we have to suspect there may be something beyond both of them.

In the previous chapter we discussed some broad concepts and principles of  biology and how biology seems to be part of a repeating system and pattern..  We wanted to extend the pattern of units to unity so that the extension to the family, community and nations gives a sense of the order that occurs in what sometimes seems to be a chaotic world.

Atoms are the smallest parts of matter that possess the distinctive chemical characteristics of chemicals that we can recognize in our surroundings.

If for example split a piece of charcoal, which consists of pure carbon, and break it up into its component parts,  it will end up as an atom of carbon that will have the same chemical characteristics as the original charcoal   If you were to do the same thing of chopping up an iron molecule till it ends up with characteristic component parts, you would end up with iron atoms that behave in similar fashion as the original iron bar  If the chopping continues then the iron particles will be broken up into protons, neutrons and electrons.

If on the other hand we took water and startied breaking it up into its component parts then we would arrive at the molecules of water wth 2 hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.  Individually these would not behave like the water molecule but rather like hydrogen and oxygen individually. Then as they get broken up further  into electrons protons and neutrons, they will not behave like oxygen or hydrogwn but like protons electrons and neutrons.

When a substance consists of a single type of atom it is called an element.  There are 92 different elements found naturally on the earth .

A substance that is made up of more than one atom is called a compound.

We will start once again at the atom and take you through a pictorial progression.

Units to Unity in the Atomic World –

Multiplying – Shaping Up – Combining Forces


Start with a Simple Positive and Negative – Hydrogen Atom

84154b04.699 positive and negative extreme states black and white Davidoff art Davidoff MD


Doubling the Forces

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Doubling and Doubling Once Again

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Forces Make and Take Shape

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Bonding and Bounding  of the Forces Align and Combine

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Like Forces Take Shape – Bigger and More Powerful – The Elements

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Units to Unity in the Biologic World –Multiplying – Shaping Up – Combining Forces – From Conception to Birth  In this text biological units are defined as those elements of life starting at the level of the organelles and progressing through the cell, to the tissue, organ, body, and to a biological being suchas a animal plant or peson.

Start with a Simple Opposing but attractive Forces – Close to a New Beginning

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 Conception – Adding  the Spark of Life

13275a12.800 units to unity conception sperm

Cellular Units Combining to form Something Bigger and More Powerful than the Individual Parts

An artists impression of the lung lobule consisting of multiple alveoli surrounded by the interlobular septa. Courtesy of Ashley Davidoff M.D. 32188 code RS pulmonary lung parts interlobular septa normal secondary lobule anatomy histology drawing

Cells of the Colonic Mucosa Combine to form a Powerful Functional and Structural Unit

Each Cell is Unique and Impotrant but Together they can Perform Functions which as Individual Cells they could not Accomplish

12860 Normal Colon Mucosa. This is a low power photo micrograph of normal colon mucosa illustrating extremely orderly, rigid, “test tube”-like arrangement of the straight tubular glands which comprise the colonic crypts. colon large bowel mucosa submucosa crypts histology Courtesy Barbara Banner MD 5star


Doubling and Doubling Once Again

Division after Division Multiplication to a Unit  – The Blastocyst

Units to unity – a blastocyst  is formed


Bonding and Bounding  Forces – The Structure Takes Shape – Bigger and More Powerful –

Differentiation of Cells – a Fetal Form – Genetic Memory

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The Fetus – later

The fetus is of course the organized units to unity of cells, tissues, organs and systems as we have discussed in the previous chapter.  This MRI reveals a fully formed healthy fetus in vertex position coiled up in classical fetal position with parts of its umbilcal lifeline seen just anterior to the abdomen.

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Multiplying – Shaping Up – Combining Forces – Organization – Empowerment

As each of the biological units builds, whether it is the cell, tissue, organ system, body, person or community, the larger units are more empowered by the smaller but the uniqueness and value of the smaller is an essential component of the larger.  Each part , no matter how empowered is an essential part of the final makeup, and without the individual parts the whole is not whole.  The eventual unit not only requires that the component parts be present, but that they are organized and approriately positioned to enable the unit to work, and work efficiently.  As a literary parallel, the word is more empowered than its individual letters, and the sentence more than the word, but without the well placed and organized words and sentences the story is no story.   In music, the bar is more empowered than the note, while the song is more empowered than the bar, and again without the notes the music organized and linked in a specific way, there is no music.  The genius of Shakespeare, Mozart and daVinci has been the result of how they combined the units of their art to produce a product that spoke genius and truth to us.  In the body, organization, positioning, and linking of the structural and functional biological units is critical.  Thus it can be said that as similar building blocks combine, they build a product that is more powerful than the individual parts, but the power of the whole is only as good as the quality and organization of its individual parts.

From the Atom to the Solar System

The collage takes us from the proton  (top left) through to element and molecule and finally to strands of DNA in the first row.  The second row starts with a group of cells advances to the tissues, to the organ which in this case is the liver.

 The third row represents units2unity from the organ (liver with its connections (arteries and veins to body systems and the body.

The fourth row advances from the body to the person, couple family home community.

The last row is the village advancing to the city, state country earth and solar system.

Note the similarity between the proton and the earth, and between the atom and solar system.

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Modern day examples of how organization has empowered our society abound.  Henry Ford pioneered the assembly line which was an organizational system that was necessary  to produce enough affordable cars for the masses, so that we all could get about and extend ourselves along greater distances in shorter time  This method did not only have far reaching effects in the motor car industry but also in factory production as a whole. 

Linking and connecting is another method of organizing individual parts and creating empowerment.  In our society we have seen this aspect in the creation of water and sewerage systems, phone lines electrical lines and cable lines.  The evolution of radio, TV, and now the internet is a long way away from the Paul Revere horse ride and the “British are coming”.   In biology, organizing and linking are old hat. Positioning and linking of the biological units with marvelous waterways, sewerage lines, electrical lines, garbage collection networks and production factory lines are all there.  The cells of the tip of the biggest toe on your foot, is linked to the most cranial cells on your cranium.  Thereare many lessons to learn from a system that has evolved into an efficient system over thousands of years.  Let us take a look at the liver.

The cell

The cell is the building block of all biological structure.  In this image a few polygonal cells of the liver are attached together.  Each cell has a central dark nucleus which is embedded in a pinkish cytoplasm. The nucleus takes up approximately 1/5 to 1/6 of the volume of the cell.

(Image courtesy of Barbara Banner M.D.) 13440

Note how in the image above the concept of a central governing body called the nucleus of the cell is surrounded and embedded by the surrounding cytoplasm in which there are submicroscopic structures called organelles embedded within the cytoplasm.  The organelles do not orbit like the shells of the atom or the planets of the solar system (or so we think) but they do circulate freely within the cytoplasm.  The cells are tightly linked sharing borders and as you will see transport networks, blood streams and resources.  Organization and linking abound.

As the cells grow and accumulate they align into an assembly line in the shape of cords.  Henry Ford would be proud.

Cells Align and Combine – Shapes – New Unit – Tissue

The cells of the liver are organized in cords and plates and are organized like spokes of a wheel  around the central vein. The plates and cords are lined by the sinusoids which are the channels which carry blood to the liver.  Just below the sinusoids, between the wall of the sinusoid and the capsule of the liver there is a space called the space of Disse which carries the lymphatic fluid of the liver.

(Image courtesy of Barbara Banner M.D.) 13445

 The cords of liver cells align themselves like spokes of a wheel around the central vein and surround themselves with portal triads that are positioned at their periphery.   The portal triads provide arterial blood, portal venous blood (rich in raw nutrition) and bile ductules that transport bile away from the liver.  This biologic unit is called the liver lobule.

Tissue Aligns and Combines – Shapes – New Unit – Lobule

The sinusoids and hepatic cords combine to form a liver lobule which is a functional and structural unit of the liver.  At the center of the lobule is the central vein from which emanate many cords of liver tissue.  At the periphery of the lobule there are 4-5 groups of portal triads consisting of distal branches of the portal vein (dark blue), hepatic artery (red) and biliary radicle (green).  They create the border of the lobule.

(Image courtesy of Ashley Davidoff M.D.) 13009 W

The liver lobules link organize and combine to form segments of the liver each formed around the 3 major veins of the liver.


The liver lobules combine forces to form the segments of the liver, which accumulate to form hepatic lobes and finally the liver itself.  In this instance the central veins are shown joining forces downstream to form a hepatic vein(royal blue) which drains into the inferior vena cava (IVC).

(Image courtesy of Ashley Davidoff M.D.) 13009 W17  24778 W6B2

The organs all have parts each named differently but the pattern in general is similar and  not organized in the same way as the liver.  The parts of each of the organs will be discussed separately in their individual modules, but the basic structural concept of small combining with small to form larger and more empowered subunits is universal.

Lobules Align and Combine – Shapes Up – New Unit – The The liver

The lobules of the liver combine to form lobes.  The liver has two lobes.  In this anatomical specimen the right lobe is seen on the left side of the image lateral to the stone containing gallbladder, while the left lobe is seen with the branching potal triad surrounded by the whitened connective tissue. on the right side of the image.

(Image courtesy of Ashley Davidoff M.D.) 13456

Liver aligns and Combines – Shapes Up – New Unit – The Abdomen

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Completing the Abdomen – surrounding skin

45883.800 Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD

The Body – Parts and the whole

I came across this man in a store window in Washington DC I think in the spring of 1983 and it brought to mind the idea of the concept of the parts making up the whole.  I show it in the context of the discussion for some light relief. 

Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD 02006p03




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The Young Adult – with the bigger picture in the background – part of a team



The Couple

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The Wedding  – The Family

A large family wedding with 12 children. Note the complexion of the groom is completely different to bride’s and her family. Genetics goes deeper than we know, and the good and the bad surface t intermittantly. However there is no telling when this will occur or become phenotypic.

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The Group within a Group

The red sweats – the motto on the shirt “You ‘re here- there’s nothing I fear”

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The Group within the Group

A group of people protesting in London. Davidoff photography. 10371


Different Groups of People

A collage of some of the people of South Africa. In this image there is a slight male predominance. Davidoff photography. 57728c


The Community

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The City

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Death in Units

A graveyard – the final journey Davidoff photography. 10863


The Earth – An apparrent independant unit – but little does it know

54954 Courtesy of NASA – National Space Science Data Center

The Solar System

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Microwave Sky

Our Infant Universe

Courtesy NASA Microwave Sky


Other Examples of Units to Unity

A Brick Wall in Amsterdam – Dutch and Chinese Words

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Weak Rock in the Wall

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Similar but not the Same – Uniqueness of Units

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Mountains Farms and Walls in Peru

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