A variety of autophagic processes exist, all having in common the degradation of intracellular components via the lysosome. The most well-known mechanism of autophagy involves the formation of a membrane around a targeted region of the cell, separating the contents from the rest of the cytoplasm. The resultant vesicle then fuses with a lysosome and subsequently degrades the contents.
According to the Science News article, Dining In, "In the first recognizable step of the process, a small, curved, double-membraned structure appears around the parts of the cell that are on the menu. That little bit of membrane grows to encase whatever the cell plans to swallow" (p.18).
Here's what the Simple Explanation says:
On this day that time began, consciousness wrapped itself around the expanding space of our universe, forming a border between us and infinity.
Here's how I picture the process: imagine unfurling a large sheet, shaking it out above you, netting a big pouch of air, and quickly gathering up the corners in the middle. Voila--the Universal Unit of Consciousness, the prototypical toroidal shape, the essential fractal formula of creation.
The pouch of air inside the gathered sheet is our material universe, the sheet itself is the Universal UC, the fist holding the sheet corners at the middle is the ananda/joy/here/now point at the center of our universe, and the totality of the torus is the autophagosome container.
So, continuing with this metaphor, the debris that is this manifested universe will someday be simplified back to the building blocks of original consciousness and reabsorbed back into the undifferentiated metaverse.
|Fig. 1: Delivery of autophagosomes to lysosomes along microtubules.|