There is a planet with oceans and land and air. Only, on this planet there are living marbles (yes, marbles — Oh, just go with it). At one point in time the marbles were living in just the oceans. They could communicate with one another, and one of their conversations went something like this:
A red marble complained, “This is boring! All I can do is roll around and create more marbles.”
“Agreed,” said a blue one. “We are single marbles, so lets join together to create complex combinations of marbles.”
All the marbles agreed, with one combination looking like the image below.
Now, you might be thinking, “Oh, he’s making a fish.” NO! It is not a fish. It is merely a combination of marbles using a particular design that helps them swim. But, that is not the only arrangement of marbles. They had a brilliant idea to make as many different designs as they could think of; the idea being that if one or more combinations were to go extinct, there would always be other designs, thereby ensuring the survival of marbles until their planet could no longer sustain life.
After the passing of some time one of the collections of marbles noticed that there was a place where the water ended and the dry land began. And, on that dry land were more collections of marbles. Some of them were stacked, one on top of the other to make fields of green. Others were piled into great marble trunks with branches and green marble leaves that seemed to touch the sky. There were crawling marbles, scurrying marbles, and even flying marbles.
At some point, millions of years into their future, some of the marbles said, “Let us make a collection of marbles that can walk on two legs. We will also join together as arms and use these forms to build houses that will keep us safe from the elements. We will build vehicles that will make it easier and quicker to reach our food supplies.”
Now, all we have to do is switch marbles for living cells and this story becomes about our own planet, and our place in it.
It would be incorrect to say that we are made of cells. The right way to say it is that we ARE cells, and that we are the design (the vehicles) they use to serve their own purpose. Think of it this way, if two friends grabbed onto each other’s ankles to tumble, would you call them a ball? No, they are two individuals that joined together to act as a ball, just as our cells grab onto each other to act as humans.
So, you see, a bear is not a bear, but a collection of cells. A flower is not a flower, but a collection of cells. And, you are not a human, but rather (yep) a collection of cells. We exist in this human form only to serve the cells.
In the above image a cell is dividing. Again, cells like this is not what you are made of, but rather, cells like this is what you ARE.
The following 6 minute clip is a time lapse of a single cell replicating until all of the cells take on the form of a salamander. Again, it’s not a salamander, but a collection of cells that took on that form.