Mind, Growth, and Matter
nterview in Succeed Magazine(link is external) If the existence of what is referred to as the ‘mind/body connection’, which has spawned a massive industry of complementary medicine and given rise to a radical new mindset, still sounds like bunkum to you, hold onto your seat and read on.
The new sciences quantum physics and epigenetics are revolutionizing our understanding of the link between mind and matter, challenging established scientific theories and prompting a complete re-evaluation of life as we have known it.
One of the shining lights to emerge from these new sciences is cellular biologist and best selling author, Bruce Lipton PhD, whose book, The Biology of Belief, was awarded 2006’s Best Science Book of the Year.
Lipton maintains that pivotal to this shift in thinking within the scientific community has been groundbreaking insight into the function of genes.
Bruce Lipton: The old vision was that genes are selfactualising (turn on and off). But current data reveals that there is no such thing as an on/off function for a gene because genes are blueprints (plans) to make proteins, which are the building blocks that give shape to the structure.
The significance of this shift in belief is vast in that the original view led to the notion that we are victims of our biology. Whereas the ‘new’ sciences show that we are actually masters of our biology.
The old vision was formulated by Francis Crick, who together with James Watson deciphered the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953. Based on experiments that were taken out of context but supported what he and Watson were thinking, Crick became completely enamored with the belief that DNA controls life. Crick came up with what is referred to in literature as the ‘central dogma’, the belief that DNA rules.
The crucial thing here is that this was only a hypothesis. There was never any scientific validation for it yet we all bought it because a belief already existed that this would be the answer to what controls life so when the data looked like it would fit it was simply assumed that this was right. (Lipton, who taught Cell Biology at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine was one of thousands of lecturers who taught the theory.)
This dogma became so fundamental to modern biology it was practically written in stone. It was the equivalent of science’s Ten Commandments.
In the dogma’s scheme of how life unfolds, DNA perched loftily on top, followed by RNA – the short-lived ‘Xerox’ copy of the DNA. The new understanding of how genes work is that this hypothesis is incorrect because genes are actually blueprints that are read.
Succeed magazine: Read by whom?
BL: Exactly. That was the question. Suddenly the emphasis shifted and the issue became, who the heck is reading them? It transpires that the reader is the mind. So the mind becomes the all-powerful contractor of the body. The mind tells the cells what it anticipates and the cells go into the blueprint – the DNA – and create what the mind is anticipating.
SM: So is this giving weight to positive thinking?
People hear about ‘positive thinking’ but when they attempt to put it into practice it doesn’t work because there is a step missing. The mind runs the biology but the important thing to recognize is that there are two parts to the mind, the conscious and the subconscious and that there are two very critical factors that distinguish the two parts.
1. When it comes to processing information the subconscious mind is over a million times more powerful than the conscious mind.
2. Neuro scientists have revealed that the conscious mind only operates at best about five percent of the day. Ninety five percent or more of the time (for most people ninety nine percent) we run our lives from the automatic processor, the subconscious mind.
SM: Before we continue down this path, is there any hard evidence that the mind is the master controller of the body?
BL: It has been statistically established that one third of all medical healings (including surgery) are derived from the placebo effect as opposed to intervention.
This means if someone has an illness and takes a sugar pill under the assumption that it’s a prescribed drug designed to cure the condition, a healing will occur one third of the time.
This is a scientifically established fact, which is taught in medical school and what it says is that perception and belief can instigate healing that occurs innately by the body. We have all been endowed with an innate healing ability that has been with us since the evolution of our species but from the age of six our brain patterns alter, we start acquiring perceptions about who we are in the world and in the majority of cases our conditioning over-rides this natural ability.
During the first six years of life the brain is in a state of a hypnagogic trance at the level of the EEG (the brain activity) and records experiences of the world, just like a tape recorder.
This is a very important part of nature’s plan for a new participant coming into the community because it allows the dominant program – language, behaviour etc – to be downloaded.
SM: Does that mean a child under six has a greater ability to heal itself?
BL: Providing it hasn’t been exposed to the belief that it can’t innately heal.
SM: Can you go a bit deeper? What exactly are these programs that are imprinted onto our brains?
BL: A program is a series of messages to the brain. Through the senses the brain constantly scans the environment. It reads that’s going on and it puts together associations into larger understandings.
For example you might understand the colour red and the shape of round but initially a tomato is not perceived as a tomato. A tomato is a collection of different stimuli such as taste, texture, appearance.
SM: Going back to self-healing, how do we go beyond the negative program that says we can’t heal ourselves?
BL: Let me come back to that. I want to add something important.
When an infant is growing up it recognizes that when it gets near what is called ‘water’ its parents get very anxious and imply that this ‘water’ is very dangerous. So here’s the thing, and this will relate back to our ability to self-heal.
Fact: Every child when it’s born can swim like a dolphin. If it comes out of the birth canal underwater it is able to swim. We all have built-in an ability to swim. So why do we need to teach children how to swim?
SM: Because they have received negative programming.
BL: Right, and the negative programming shuts off even a given instinct.
SM: Can the same apply to our ability to succeed?
Go back to the child and this time see it with parents who instill into it the program, ‘I don’t deserve’, which becomes part of its belief system and subconscious programming.
Project ahead 40 years to when the child is an adult sitting in some tiny office thinking, I don’t understand why I’m in this dead end place with this wretched job. I’m well qualified and I’m smart so why am I here?
Here is where the pieces come together. This guy is thinking this with the conscious mind that only runs the show five per cent of the day but he’s operating from the subconscious mind that’s running the program, ‘I do not deserve’.
The nature of the mind is to make coherence of the world. So if you have a program that says, ‘I do not deserve’, your brain will not let you generate behaviour that contradicts this because it’s nature says it has to be coherent.
SM: So how do we get beyond that?
BL: The first step is to own the fact that we have two minds and not deny that whatever is occurring in life – failure or success – is related to this fact. We need to shift the belief that we are victims of circumstances beyond our control.
The two minds work in tandem. If the conscious mind is busy thinking about something the subconscious mind will do whatever task is at hand. But this is the critical thing. It will do it according to the program that was put in there, which is often negative and therefore reduces our abilities.
If you tell a child it’s average and that’s the program, the child cannot exceed average because the brain will say, ‘this doesn’t make sense’. So no matter how hard that child tries it will unconsciously create average.
SM: So how do we make friends with our subconscious mind?
BL: First, recognize it’s there because if you keep thinking the world is against you you’ll keep shooting yourself in the foot.
Until you own that you’re operating from your subconscious mind 95 per cent of the time you can’t go to the next level.
SM: You recognized the strength of the subconscious mind through kinesiology.
BL: Yes. I discovered that when we compete the conscious and the subconscious, the subconscious always wins. So we’re functioning 95 per cent of the day with a more powerful mind that was programmed by other people with limitations that will prevent us from going someplace yet we can’t see it unless we purposely become aware of it.
SM: Once you become conscious, what then?
BL: You can habituate a new program by doing it continuously. That’s called Buddhist mindfulness. That’s what consciousness is all about. But that’s too hard for most people who are running at a million miles per hour. Another easier way of doing it is through energy psychology modalities, which are listed on my website.