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Mind Over Genes

Author // Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.

Earlier in my career as a research scientist and medical school professor, I actively supported the perspective that the human body was a “biochemical machine ‘programmed’ by its genes.” We scientists believed that our strengths, such as artistic or intellectual abilities, and our weaknesses, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, or depression, represented traits that were pre-programmed into our genes. Hence I perceived life’s attributes and deficits, as well as our health and our frailties, as merely a reflection of our heredity expression.


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Until recently, it was thought that genes were selfactualizing… that genes could “turn themselves on and off.” Such behavior is required in order for genes to control biology. Though the power of genes is still emphasized in current biology courses and textbooks, a radically new understanding has emerged at the leading edge of cell science. It is now recognized that the environment, and more specifically, our perception (or interpretation) of the environment, directly controls the activity of our genes. Environment controls gene activity through a process known as epigenetic control.

This new perspective of human biology does not view the body as just a mechanical device, but rather incorporates the roles of mind and spirit. This breakthrough in biology is fundamental in all healing, for it recognizes that when we change our perception or beliefs we send totally different messages to our cells and reprogram their expression. The new biology reveals why people can have spontaneous remissions or recover from injuries deemed to be permanent disabilities.

The functional units of life are the individual cells that comprise our bodies. Although every cell is innately intelligent and can survive on its own when removed from the body, in the body each cell foregoes its individuality and becomes a member of a multicellular community. The body really represents the cooperative effort of a community of perhaps 50 trillion single cells. By definition, a community is an organization of individuals committed to supporting a shared vision. Consequently, while every cell is a free-living entity, the body’s community accommodates the wishes and intents of its “central voice,” a character we perceive as the mind and spirit.

When the mind perceives that the environment is safe and supportive, the cells are preoccupied with the growth and maintenance of the body. In stressful situations, cells forego their normal growth functions and adopt a defensive “protection” posture. The body’s energy resources normally used to sustain growth are diverted to systems that provide protection during periods of stress. Simply put, growth processes are restricted or suspended in a stressed system. While our systems can accommodate periods of acute (brief) stress, prolonged or chronic stress is debilitating for its energy demands and interferes with the required maintenance of the body. As a consequence, this leads to dysfunction and disease.

In general, we are consciously unaware of our fundamental perceptions or beliefs about life. The reason is that the prenatal and neonatal brain is predominately operating in delta and theta EEG frequencies through the first seven years of our lives. This low level of brain activity is referred to as the hypnogogic state. While in this hypnotic trance, a child does not have to be actively coached by her parents; instead she obtains behavioral programs simply by observing her parents, siblings, peers, and teachers. Did your early developmental experiences provide you with good models of behavior to use in the unfolding of your own life?

During the first seven years of life, a child unconsciously acquires the behavioral repertoire needed to become a functional member of society. In addition, a child’s subconscious mind also downloads beliefs relating to self. When a parent tells a young child she is stupid, undeserving, or any other negative trait, this too is downloaded as a “fact” into the youngster’s subconscious mind. These acquired beliefs constitute the “central voice” that controls the fate of the body’s cellular community. While the conscious mind may hold one’s self in high regard, the more powerful unconscious mind may simultaneously engage in selfdestructive behavior.


Infant Connections

Maybe you’ve seen the movie Gravity with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney; in it, their space shuttle gets barraged by a whole bunch of small meteors and breaks up. All of a sudden Bullock’s character lets go of the “umbilical cord” (which is a good name) and is blasted off into space, floating into the dark distance of nowhere.

People don’t understand that in birth and infancy, the situation is the same. The main thing an infant needs is close proximity to her parents. As long as she’s attached by the umbilical cord she’s in good shape—she’s connected. Our conventional birthing processes take the baby away from the mother, which feels the same as floating off into space all alone. It produces a most fearful, scary disconnect of life.

When the baby is born, the natural process for the mother is to take the baby from the birth canal and bring her up to her chest. This is a reflex behavior—it’s built into humans without any other knowledge. This puts the baby’s head on the heartbeat. It’s the heartbeat that the baby is connected to.

When western medicine brings birthing techniques into a civilization that’s never had them, within a couple of generations, there’s a breakdown of the social order—and it has to do with the fear that the infant has. You have to think about it: The baby is connected—she’s part of the spaceship. She’s got the mother’s heartbeat and it’s all in sync. And then, Boom! She’s disconnected. Remember, you can’t be in growth and protection at the same time. Now the infant is not in growth because it has no connection anymore. It’s floating out in space with nothing there. It’s fear! It produces fear and that inhibits the growth of the child.

This is how the medical intervention has really thrown a monkey wrench into normal parenting. In regard to nighttime education, for instance, I say, relax: The baby doesn’t need any kind of education at night. The baby just needs to feel: I’m OK. I’m here with my community, I’m not floating in space. I don’t see nighttime as an educational opportunity, I see it as a security opportunity—holding, loving, somatosensory affection—so the child knows she’s being taken care of, that she’s not alone, that she’s got support.


Exiting the Matrix

The biggest problem in the entire world is when people say, “I’ve become so aware of something, but my life is still the same...” We have to recognize the reason for this: The conscious mind and the subconscious mind do not learn in the same way. The conscious mind is the creative mind. As a result it has the great ability to synthesize and learn very fast. If I give you a test after reading a book, you might score 100 on the test. Your conscious mind has understood all the data because it read it and learned it. But did the subconscious mind learn from that? No.

The subconscious mind is the habitual mind, and it learns primarily in two ways:

Number one: In hypnosis during the first seven years of life—bypassing consciousness and putting data straight into the subconscious mind.

Number two: Through repetition after you’re no longer in hypnosis.

While the conscious mind might say, “Aha!” and learn something new, it has no impact on the subconscious program. People think, “Can’t I talk to myself and change the program?” But there’s another problem. While you are an entity in the conscious mind, nobody is in the subconscious mind—it is a machine! It just records like an old-fashioned tape recorder. If you don’t like the program that’s playing, how much talking to the tape player will it take for the tape player to change? It will never change, because that’s not how it learns. Frustration comes when the conscious mind says, “OK, subconscious, don’t play that behavior anymore,” and then the behavior repeats.

If you want the subconscious to learn, you have to teach it in the way it is used to receiving information: hypnosis, repetition, and now energy psychology and belief-change modification.

If you don’t use one of these three methods, you will not change the program in the subconscious.

If you want to change the subconscious in the fundamental way of hypnosis, you can put earphones on at night, because as you go to sleep you pass through theta brainwaves, and theta is the direct download into the subconscious.

If you want to use repetition to change, you have to consciously plan a new behavior and keep repeating that new behavior.

Thirdly, using energy psychology and belief-change modification is like pressing a record button for your subconscious. It can create a super learning moment where you can download a belief in five minutes. We have a necessity to change fast. So much of civilization is pushing itself against the wall. This invention of energy psychology offers us the opportunity to get our feet on the ground as soon and as fast as we can.

We are in the matrix. We are being programmed. And we have to own this fact. For 500 years, the Jesuits boasted, “Give me a child until he’s seven, and I will show you the man.” What they were actually saying is if you give them the first seven years of programming then they will create the child’s fate. They knew that once the program was in, no matter what the individual wanted, the subconscious would run the show.

Something as serious and as important as this didn’t get lost by the leadership of this world. So we have all been programmed, and we are continuously being programmed. It’s time for us to wake up. We have a responsibility, once we know this, to wake up, to clear our own programs, and at the same time not perpetuate the programming onto our children.

People think genetics is our only lineage. But programming is a lineage too, and if you change the programming you change the life—instantly, in that moment. And that’s the most important thing we need to understand as parents—that everything we say and do for the first seven years of our children’s lives is being recorded and will become their beliefs and behaviors.


Pathways Issue 52 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #52.

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