We learned in college, especially with the theistic existentialists like Teilhard de Chardin SJ, that the Creator/Creation works through DNA and evolution. So everything is ALWAYS in process, never static, always becoming. The human being is never complete, and always we are growing on a continuum from before time to the “fullness” of time, with increasing complexity and consciousness as we go. Time and space are tools that the Divine Mystery uses for the unfolding of creation. We are unique but we are also connected, and the universe has patterns we can understand. We are dependent, and independent and interdependent as human beings. We can understand some things better because of cycles, seasons, rhythms which repeat over time.
In the way a human embryo grows into a baby, ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, which means that the developmental /ontological material of the DNA which is going to become a person, goes through the morphing of the “tree of life”, from a one-celled organism to the very complex organism of a full human person. This is what pregnancy IS. The embryo at one point has gills, and then they disappear, (they are called branchial tubes, and are gone by about the 3rd month). The embryo has a tail, and it disappears similarly. All the physical attributes and organ systems that evolved through many phyla also evolve through human embryology. We have hearts, lungs, livers and kidneys which are very similar to other organisms’ as life proliferated on our planet. Things arise, cohere, coalesce in to the complex organs which are designated in the architectural plans of our DNA. Our brains also mimic and then go beyond previous designs of brains in other mammals.
One thing Teilhard said which I find very compelling is that we have to explain why things have gotten more complex and more conscious, when the laws of physics lead us to believe in a tendency toward entropy, that is LESS energy. Why is the universe expanding, not slowing down but actually speeding up at the far reaches of the cosmos? Teilhard said it is because the energy of creation is LOVE. Love is what makes that dynamic growth and surging forward progress possible. Love underlies both differentiation and union, coming together in more complex ways. There is something in us that longs for that fullness, that union which transcends self.
So our lives are in constant progress, and there are many complex parts; and yet we are each unique, and have a personal story, even as we are just one thread in the big tapestry. And we can take a photograph or a series of photographs, which captures a moment or moments on that ribbon!