Chapter 1 excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1: A Human Map

Our human genome has evolved and developed over millions of years. We know that we receive half of our genetic instructions—our genetic blueprint—from our mother and half from our father. What is less widely recognized is that, although our individual blueprint is unique (except in identical twins and the occasional multiple birth), 99.9 percent of the DNA contained in human beings is identical, indicating that we have a common human blueprint. Unfortunately, this commonality is often obscured when the emphasis is placed on the differences between “us” and “them.” We then become separate from those we perceive as “the other.” Conversely, if we embrace those differences we can enrich our human experience, giving us the feeling of being a part of the whole of humankind.

Implicit in most spiritual heritages is the recognition that we all originate from a primary Source, to which each of us longs deeply to return. The great poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran alluded to this when he spoke of “life’s longing for itself.” This adds a new dimension to the human blueprint. Unlike our genetic instructions, however, it is not composed of strands of DNA passed on through our lineage, nor can its contents be examined under even the most powerful microscope. Instead, it originates from the Divine, and it contains the inner instructions that support and guide each of us on our journey through life. This Divine blueprint defines the essence of who we are, and provides the impetus to find our true purpose and realize our potential. It inspires in us a sense of awe and wonder about life itself and compels us to deepen our connection to the Source.

During our lifetime, our human blueprint is shaped and modified, creating our own unique map. It is colored by our culture, religion, beliefs, gender, genetic coding, and life experiences, all of which act as filters through which we see the world. As we navigate the journey of our life, this map governs our feelings, actions, thoughts, and ultimately how we align ourselves to a central or guiding principle. We are sometimes surprised to learn that our own map is not the same as everyone else’s. Because we are limited to our own perspective—our own map—each of us interprets what we see differently. It is therefore important to remember that “the map is not the territory.” …….