This attempts to integrate known facts with notable paradigms, some of which perhaps not-so-coincidentally-and-very-conveniently have pseudo-religious names and connotations. Read this page, then reread your sources, and see what clicks!
The list below is intended to be read in order. Eg., in the Beginning, there was step 1. It grows from there. Note: in this model, the Beginning is relative to each organism. The model does not attempt to address 'Big Bang' issues - although it might be extended to suggest that the Big Bang was in itself just another birth, which would in turn suggest the existence of multiple universes. It seems to be more dependent upon the observer's frame of reference. Lovelock, for example, did not suggest a Universal Gaia - his was planetary in size. As knowledge extends further, no doubt the notions below will shrink in proportion also.
Well, I have to confess that's not a terribly scientific analysis above. In fact it's filled with intuitive leaps. Hey, I'm that kinda guy. Science is doing its usual slow but thorough job of documenting these issues. Although, it will take millenia for anyone with a Ph.D to prove that Kundalini, the mythical serpent power, is the Moby of Natural Selectors... so in the meantime I have posted a bit of broad speculation that is probably close to the truth, but probably won't be proved, or disproved, for a really long time. :) I've posted it anyway because I think it's useful to work with, at least until it's sanitised by the Scientific Method.