Cell biologist Bruce Lipton says our lives are not ruled by our genes but by our cell membranes — which respond to our thoughts. Has he found the key to mind–body healing? Listen to his remarkable conversation with veteran science writer Jill Neimark.
The mystic healer Edgar Cayce once said, “Remember that thoughts are things, and as their currents run, they can become crimes or miracles.” Now cell biologist Bruce Lipton, formerly at University of Wisconsin and Stanford medical schools, suggests that Cayce was right. Lipton, author of Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles, contends that our thoughts can activate changes in the activity of the cell membrane, and thus alter our health and life.
Genes, proteins, and hormones all are players at the gates of the cell’s membrane, says Lipton, where consciousness and matter interact. In fact, he states bluntly that by changing our subconscious programming we can influence membrane function, and therefore, “We are not victims of our genes, but masters of our fate.”
Though Lipton may be reaching too far in some of his claims, his book has sparked interest not only from hypnotherapists and energy healers, but from cell biologists working on cancer at places like the University of Illinois at Chicago, where researchers have already published findings consistent with his emphasis on the cell membrane.
—Jill Neimark(JN) : Early in your book, you describe a kind of eureka! insight where you realize that the cell membrane is the equivalent of each cell’s brain. Later in your book, you write that interacting with the cell membrane will enable us to change our lives, health, maybe even the activity of our genes. By changing our deepest beliefs, you say, we can change the signals reaching the cell membrane, and thus our entire bodies from the cellular level on up. But before we get into all that, “brain” is a loaded word. What exactly do you mean by brain when you speak of the “magical mem-brain”?
BL: I mean the cell membrane functions as the active intelligence of the cell. At any given time, every cell membrane contains hundreds of thousands of switches, and the behavior of a cell can only be understood by considering the activities of all the switches. So I asked myself, Where does the cascade of activity for a cell start? And it starts at the membrane. In contrast, genes are remarkable molecules, but they are only blueprints that are activated by signals from the cell membrane. Genes are not our fate. Of course, a very small percentage of people actually arrived on this planet with defective genes, and in those rare cases the blueprint itself is inappropriate.
JN : Scientists have long known that genes are influenced by signals from their environment. There is the famous book The Beak of the Finch, which shows us that evolution is happening right before our eyes in just a few generations of birds on the Galapagos Islands. The length of the finch beak changes according to climate change, which affects the type of seeds that grow on the island and thentype of beak a finch needs. So haven’t we known for a while that genes are flexible and responsive?
BL: I fully agree and do say in my book that if you’re a leading-edge scientist, this will not be news. But if you ask the average person on the street what controls life, they will tell you genes control life. It was Nobel Prizen winner Francis Crick who suggested that genes are both the blueprint for the body’s proteins and that DNA controls its own replication. The first is true but the second is not. Genes are indeed blueprints. But a gene cannot cause or control its own expression. It is not self-regulatory. If genes don’t control life, then what is in charge of life? I say it’s the cell membrane. This is the “brain” equivalent. The membrane is the physical structure that interfaces internal “self” and external “not-self.” It is an interface that dynamically reads and interprets environmental cues and responds by generating signals that enable the cell to function and survive. And science supports this. One of the remarkable studies I mention in my book shows that a cell whose nucleus — with all its genes — is removed will keep functioning for as long as a month! This was a shock to me at first, since I was trained as a nucleus-centered biologist as surely as Copernicus was trained as an Earth-centered astronomer. It was truly a jolt when I realized the nucleus does not program the cell. On the other hand, if the cell membrane is damaged, the cell will immediately become dysfunctional and, frequently, die very quickly.
JN : You sent me a very interesting article on stem cells from Nature, which you jokingly titled, “It’s the stem cells, stupid!” It describes how the body is like an ecosystem , and the activity of a cell depends on its ecological niche, or where it lives. Stem cells, which are the subject of so much hope and controversy today, are influenced by their environment to become a neuron or a blood cell or any other kind of cell. But all this fascinating new research actually reinforces my view that every molecule of the body is intelligent in its own way. Genes, receptors, stem cells, hormones, all are key players and intelligent. The synergy of our minds and bodies seems more like an Escher painting to me, where the beginning loops around to the end and around again to the beginning. I think you are overemphasizing the membrane. Just out of curiosity, how do you think life began —do you think it began with RNA , DNA , cell membranes, or something else?
BL: I think the membrane was a very important part of the beginning of biological life. If I take fats called phospholipids and shake them up in water, they spontaneously form membranes. And these membranes undergo fission—in other words, they separate into two. They seem to “grow” like cells. Now, lipids are nothin but a container, and that’s not life itself. But once we have a container we can define inside and outside and start to regulate the conditions inside. The ability to regulate our internal domain is required for life , since we must have very specific environmental conditions for certain biochemical responses. For instance, a cell needs to maintain a certain pH and salt balance. I believe that when ancient RNA and other proteins in the primeval soup became encapsulated with in membranes , we had a breeding ground for life.
JN : You state that we’re mostly controlled by subconscious programming, and that if we can change this programming, we can actually change the signals the membrane sends into the cell. First, how are you defining subconscious? A lot of work has been done in recent years showing which specific brain structures are involved in states like fear, compassion, or the peaceful cosmic consciousness felt by experienced meditators. Are you using subconscious as a metaphor like Freud did, or are you referring to particular places in the brain?
BL: By conscious mind, I meanthe part of the brain that is self-reflective and self-observing, which is governed by the more recently evolved prefrontal cortex of the brain. By subconscious, I mean the part of the brain that is more ancient and doesn’t necessarily require conscious attention. It’s the programmable “hard drive” into which our life experiences are downloaded. The programs are fundamentally hardwired stimulus-response behaviors.
This is so automatic that people often refer to the fact that somebody has “pushed their buttons” — leading to an instinctive response.
JN : How does subconscious programming influence the cell membrane?
BL: When I have a thought, my mind sends out signals, in the form of growth factors, hormones, or other chemicals. Thoughts can also initiate rapid oscillations of nerve cells in unison, which creates a kind of field effect that influences other cells and neurons almost instantaneously. Now, what’s interesting, and what I found out in my research at Stanford, is that your brain can veto what’s going on in other places in your body. The signals sent out by your central nervous system actually override the function of cell membrane receptors that are responding to signals in their immediate environment. That means the brain can ultimately control the activity of tissues and organs. I believe that the most powerful information processing by the brain is in the domain of the subconscious and that it can shape tissue responses. These signals can actually influence the membrane to engage selected genes that then actively respond.
When part of the brain senses stress, for example, it initiates a complex signal cascade that directs the body’scells to launch a protection response, particularly through a stress hormone called cortisol. Now, let’s look at what happens to, say, a typical liver cell, which has receptors on its membrane that bind to cortisol. When it does this, the membrane sends information to the genes nside the nucleus of the cell to shut down their ability to break down a form of sugar called glycogen. The genes stop doing this, and extra sugar is released into the blood. That sugar is used as energy to counter the stress. This cascade could have been started by a real stress, or by a belief that causes stress even if it is a misperception.
I actually think this system explains how the placebo effect works. And a recent article on the placebo effect on pain in the Journal of Neuroscience confirms this. When researchers used sophisticated imaging of the brain, they found that placebos that were believed tonquench pain activated parts of the brain that directly affected opioid membrane receptors. That’s how a “belief” results in the chemical cascade that results in the placebo effect — and in this case, a reduction in pain. For hundreds of years we’ve been discussing the mind–body duality. What I’m proposing is a mechanism for its power.
JN: The description is fascinating and makes sense, but I think our frameworks are very different. I still don’t see a top-down hierarchy from the brain to the membrane. I see us as a web that has no weaver, that weaves itself, and the act of weaving is us. Nobody has yet explained how physical processes give rise to conscious experience in the first place. We don’t know how a stimulus turns into the blueness of blue, the sweetness of sweet, the sentience of anything from a cell to a person.
So it seems a leap to say that we now know how conscious experience modulates physical processes. What brought you to this work?
BL: My dad was an immigrant from Russia who came here at age 11, and by the time he was 16, he and his brother owned their first supermarket in New York City. I was born in 1944, and shortly after that we moved up to Chappaqua, the town where the Clintons now live. My mother told me that at that time there was a sign at the entrance to the town that read, “No Jews, no blacks, and no dogs.” We were Russian Jews and completely displaced into an environment that disapproved of us. I had one friend down the block, and that was it. That’s why the first time I looked into a microscope, in the second grade, I was so mesmerized. Here was another world with living creatures and it had nothing to do with my own troubled world. I remember spending an entire summer with an old Brownie camera trying to take a picture of cells in my microscope.
JN :How has your belief in belief changed your own life?
BL: My sense of humor has saved me. Years ago, after my divorce, I fell deeply in love with a woman and one day she said, “I think I need some space,” and what seemed like 10 minutes ater, she moved in witha cardiac surgeon. I pined away for nearly a year. I’d come home from work and just be alone and have this imaginary conversation with Barbara. I missed her all the time. Then one night, I was alone in my dark living room in the typical cold, grey Wisconsin winter and missing Barbara and I yelled out, “Just leave me alone, Barbara!” And all of a sudden the pure absurd humor of it struck me. I said to myself, “Well, she has left you alone and that’s the problem.” The next time I started missing Barbara I thought about the absurd humor of it, and I started laughing.
Humor has had the same impact on the rest of my life. In a very similar way, I was berating myself one day for not being good enough. And right in the middle of all my negative self-talk it was as if a voice offstage said, “Isn’t there anything more fun to do than this?” It was like I was in a stand-up comedy routine and I laughed out loud then and there. I’d been willingly engaging in “not-good-enough” programming from my subconscious, and there was something different I could do and I did it right then. I went to a movie. And the next time I got into a negative spiral of self-talk, the humor struck me again,and it just transcended my self-talk. That laughter was almost like a switch. Eventually, over time, the negative self-talk just stopped.
JN :What’s the one take-home message from the biology of belief?
BL: That we’re not, as individuals or societies, the pawns of our genes, or stuck in a vicious cycle of violence and competition. You can reinvent your life. The global community can reinvent itself, too. A study last year by two biologists, Robert M. Sapolsky and Lisa J. Share, showed this in a troop of baboons. The aggressive males happened to die out from foraging contaminated meat from a garbage pit. In the wake of their deaths, the females in the troop helped steer the remaining, less aggressive males into a more peaceful, cooperative community. We are all spiritual beings who need love as much as we need food. We can use the intelligence of our own cells to change our lives.
Jill Neimark is a contributing editor of S&H. She is currently finishing a book on love and health with bioethicist Stephen Post.
An Intimate Interview with Author Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.
What is it like for you to be pressing the edges of the conventional, entrenched wisdom of
the medical/health care field?
I am on an amazing journey that is filled with exhilarating life experiences expressing both sweet
and sour consequences. On the sweet side is the fact that I am having the most exciting time of
my life!! My research revealed a revolutionary understanding of how life ‘worked’ twenty years
ago and this awareness is now beginning to be recognized by leading edge science. The beautiful
part is that with a twenty year head start over my former colleagues, I have not only benefited by
applying this empowering awareness in creating the joyous life I am experiencing, but I have
been able to extend that knowledge to reveal how the world can thrive and evolve.
The sweetness of that knowledge is also where the ‘sour’ part comes in to the picture. Our
conventional world is engaged in a ruthless survival of the fittest competition, based upon
science’s endorsement of Darwinian theory, a belief that emphasizes, ‘life is a struggle for
survival.’ In contrast, the new biology reveals a completely different understanding of our place
in the world. Science is now recognizing that we are an integral part of a giant living community,
collectively referred to as Gaia. The new science underscores the fact that our survival is based
upon the cooperation of all the organisms in the biosphere. Unfortunately, our social
consciousness, shaped by Darwinian science, is so destructive to the environment that it has
already precipitated the planet’s sixth mass extinction’ which of course threatens the survival of
Yet there is also good news. Just as some terminal cancer patients undergo a spontaneous
remission, the living Gaia can do the same. As with those cancer patients, all we need to do to
save our world is change our beliefs, and this is precisely the consequence of the evolving new
science. My book, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and
Miracles, provides an easy to understand explanation of how our thoughts and mind create both
our internal (biological) and external (social) life experiences.
What about your discoveries has most profoundly affected your life and the way you live
In the first instant of acquiring my new insights into how cells worked, I was completely
transformed. As a conventional scientist, I taught my students that genes controlled life and that
we were essentially ‘victims’ of our heredity. When I first recognized that the brain of the cell
was the cell membrane, rather than genes, I was blown away, for the mechanism revealed that
life was controlled by signals from the ‘environment.’ The significance of this finding is that the
identity of the ‘self,’ distinguishing one individual from another, would also represent an
environmental (external) signal.If the cell (organism) dies, its identity signal is still present in the environment.
At that moment of awareness, I realized that we have an externalized ‘identity’ (spirit) and are immortal. The
realization of a transcendent ‘identity’ brought an amazing sense of peace into my life, for I had
truly lost the greatest of all fears’ death. It was the most profound experience for me,
a nonspiritual scientist that wasn’t even looking for that particular understanding.
Subsequently, my life was transformed when I realized how my developmental experiences
programmed my genes and behavior. With this knowledge I was able to rewrite limiting, self-sabotaging beliefs
that were keeping me from experiencing the health, love and joy we all seek. I have actively created a wonderful,
healthy, fulfilling life and supporting environment. I love my days, sleep like a baby and enjoy life without the
necessity of taking a single pharmaceutical drug!
One of the most important things I learned through my research was that human beings were
biologically modeled after the anatomy and physiology of single cells. Cells are in a sense,
miniature people. My research provided insight into understanding how the fifty trillion cells that
comprise the human body can live in health and harmony under the skin. I was able to apply the
fundamental principles of cellular life to the way I was living my life with great success. In the
words of old hippie philosophy, I was ‘cleaning up my own backyard before cleaning up the
world.’ I learned to live better and healthier on less money, not only through modeling my
efficiency upon cellular life, but also because my personal joy and satisfaction in life was no
longer linked to consumerism. My pleasures are now directly derived through my appreciation of
Gaia, my family and my community.
If you were to choose one area that you feel is your greatest challenge in sharing your
discoveries, what would that be?
As mentioned, the new science reveals that our preoccupation with competition and
consumerism is compromising our species and our environment. There is a lot of money trying
to keep us from evolving. Corporate and government interests, playing on our Darwinian fears,
are undermining our civilization and environment. Simply, self-empowerment is not in the
interest of those whose focus is to ‘control’ civilization. Wars, social and moral decay, faltering education,
famine and much of our disease will be eliminated when the new science becomes common knowledge.
The self-empowerment offered by the new science is a threat to those organizations that profit from war and ill health.
Among others, these organizations include the military-industrial complex, the larger biomedical pharmaceutical industry
and those fundamentalist religions that encourage violence and self-limitation in seeking their ends.
Presently, these organizations are spending vast sums of money, enough to solve civilization’s
problems, to ‘control’ and limit our abilities via the news, magazines and television programming.
Consequently, it is a difficult endeavor to fight the tide of self-limiting, selfdefeating propaganda
sponsored by the moneyed interests. Yet, in recent years I have noticed vast changes in consciousness
by people who intuitively know we are on the wrong track and are looking for a course correction.
Fortunately, books like The Biology of Belief, as well as a number of other new works of science,
are aimed at introducing the mass reading audience to the life-changing power of their conscious mind.
I believe we are approaching a threshold, like the notion of the hundredth monkey, where the new science
will appear to spontaneously change the direction of civilization and save us from our excesses.
When you consider your existing science and what other discoveries undoubtedly lie ahead,
who do you believe human beings are capable of becoming?
We will learn that if there is a ‘heaven,’ it is right here on Earth. We will learn how to recreate
the proverbial Garden of Eden. In this new awareness we will be able to guide our own stem
cells to renew our lives, without the use of pharmaceutical agents. Like breathairians, we will
also learn to capture energy directly from the environment and will no longer be dependent upon
the massive quantities of food we now think we need to eat. This awareness should provide us
with a natural lifespan of at least 120-140 years, while simultaneously taking the pressure off the
environment to feed us. Interestingly, current research reveals that we can double the life of
laboratory organisms by simply curtailing their metabolic intake.
The new science provides insight into how we manifest our reality. Since most people are
looking for happiness, joy and health, their collective vision can create such a reality. Such a
culture would be one that does not encourage disharmony and disease. That’s already a good start
in revitalizing Eden.
When you witness the range of responses to your material – from great joy to outrage, no
doubt! – what is it that keeps you moving forward?
The simplest answer is that I have found Heaven on Earth by personally applying the principles
of the new science to the way I carry out my own life. I love my job of bringing this new science
to the public, for in my travels, I have seen many people use this information to ‘taken control’ of
their own lives. There is nothing more joyous than to see an individual overcome physical and
emotional adversity through self-empowerment. And on a more self-serving level, the more
people create harmony in their world, the more harmony I experience in my world.
The Biology of Belief: An Interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton
From : May/ June 2005
BL: The new mechanism of evolution suggested by the new biology you describe in your book is one that
consists of repeating patterns of self-similarity; it is a pattern based upon fractal geometry*. The
significance of fractals is that they represent basic patterns that are iterated (repeated) over and over
again. If you can recognize a pattern at one level of the structure you can apply that awareness to
understand the patterns throughout the whole structure.
LG: Right, like the Fibonacci patterns** found in nature?
BL: Right, so basically the evolution of human civilization is self-similar the evolution of a single giant
organism. We are *humans are the cells in that ' social' organism. The relevance is that human
civilization will evolve through the phases that characterized the evolution of animals, Human civilization
will go through evolutionary phases that are redundant to previous evolution patterns. For example, in
the evolution of vertebrate animals, the pattern provided for fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and
mammals, an evolutionary jump occurred between each of these major classes of organisms, Civilization
is in the process of such a jump now, as we are evolving from a reptilian-based civilization to a
mammalian-based civilization. The intellectual character of our culture's leadership is currently most
similar to that of reptilian behavior. And yet more advanced mammalian characters yourself and myself
are in the process of rewriting a new blueprint for civilization, different from the way we are living now.
Reptiles are 'conscious,' and do not express the trait of 'self-consciousness.' What that means is that
they live for the moment but they have no conception or vision about how their actions today affect
LG: Not much abstract thinking in that state of being.
BL: A perfect example is our going to war in Iraq , without even considering what the consequences of
the war will lead to six weeks later. We fought the war without even a notion of how to deal with the
population when the war is over. That is an excellent example of reptilian thinking. A mammalian
civilization is a very different one because the character of mammals is that they are nurturers.
Nurturing means to 'take care of things so that the future will be better.' Mammalian civilization would
be focused upon taking care of the planet, while the current reptilian government, like dinosaurs, are
raping the planet for what they need at the moment with no consideration of how their actions affect
the future. I think that the mammalian character of our culture was actually seeded in 1969 when we were just
completing the bird phase of human civilization. That phase of our evolution was initiated when Wilbur
and Orville Wright got off the ground in 1904 and reached its fullest evolution, when we landed on the
moon. When that famous picture of the earth on the horizon of the moon was taken in 1969 and sent
back here, it changed the cultural mindset for a lot of people, for they responded by saying: "Oh my
God, that's all there is. We have got to take care of our planet." And that's when all of a sudden we got
the idea to take care of (nurture) the air, the water, our children and we began to use that belief to
impact political decisions. And that's because there were enough people who were mammalian in
character saying that we must take care of those things for our future so that there will be a planet left
for our children.
We have been working on this mission, and it's been an uphill battle against the old reptilian political
hardliners. It's now coming to a point where the dinosaurs (the president, his political followers and his
friends in the 'oil' industry-which by its nature is derived from the dinosaur ages)'it's going to crack. In
the past, the dinosaurs went extinct, for they were not adapted to the evolving world. As in the past,
something is happening that will not sustain the ancient reptilian mindset. We're about to hit the wall,
and future events will turn under the current social system so it will not be able survive using its current
After the crash, a new system, a mammalian-based nurturing one, will come out of the ashes.However,
we will not experience the mammalian-based culture until the present one crashes. This means that we
will have to wait and keep preparing for the future, while recognizing that during this evolutionary jump,
all around us things are going to look pretty chaotic.
LG: As you probably know, in most chaotic systems there are hidden patterns that can be seen if
you're not consumed by fear.
BL: Well, that's exactly where the fractal geometry comes in. Fractals are based on chaos and their order
comes out of the chaos. We will leave behind the structure of the reptilian culture, go through a period
of chaos and then evolve into a more advanced mammalian structure.
LG. Call me an incorrigible optimist, but that's the vision I see. OK, here's the first question: You say in your book, Biology of Belief:
Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles, that by giving the "energy-based" environment its due,
it provides the foundation for the science and philosophy of complementary medicine and the spiritual
wisdom of the ancient and modern faiths as well as for allopathic medicine. Could you explain what
you mean by that, and how does that unify complementary medicine, spiritual wisdom, and allopathic medicine?
BL: The first thing to recognize is that each one of these healing modalities 'complementary, allopathic,
and spiritual' is based on their perceived philosophy of how life works. The philosophy that the
allopathic community holds is that life is the consequence of a Newtonian matter-based machine. So
when they look at the body it's certainly based on matter; that's all it is. If you understand the body's
physical pieces, you'll understand why life works, how it works, and you can make physical parts called
drugs to fix it. So their whole premise is that life is a physical machine and in that vision, energy is not
relevant to the function of the machine.
In contrast, complementary medicine is based upon a philosophy that recognizes the controlling
influence of energy that flows through the system' specifically through the chakras, the meridians. It's an
energy-based system, which is not the same as the Newtonian material-based living system.
Complementary medicine emphasizes that to understand how the body works, you really must
understand the dynamics and influences of the energy flowing though the system.
Spiritual healers have a philosophy is somewhat akin to the complementary healers, but the
complementary modality emphasizes a bit more the combination of the body's physical and the
energetic components, and therefore, integrates allopathic understanding as well. The spiritual baseline
emphasizes that energy (spirit, an invisible force) runs the body, and does not focus much on the
physical parameters of life.
Three philosophies: The first one, allopathic, is Newtonian physics. The spiritual one emphasizes
quantum mechanics. And complementary healing integrates both, because it utilizes both the quantum
and Newtonian characters to describe life. Now remember that physics and quantum mechanics are the
same thing. Physics is actually defined as 'mechanics' so when we talk about physics, we are actually
talking about mechanisms of how things work.
The first mechanistic approach was the Newtonian approach, when Newton created the mathematics to
predict the movements of the heavenly spheres. The significance of his work is that when he made his calculations,
he didn't use the concepts of energy or God, or spirit in his equations. Newton just used the
physical parameters the planets in his measurements. Since he was able to predict the movement of the
planets using only their physical parameters and no other variables, it was perceived that one could
understand how the Universe worked by ignoring the contribution of energy and ONLY studying its
Quantum physics, on the other hand, reversed that fundamental belief in 1925. While Newtonian
physics perceived that the Universe's smallest subunits were marble-like atoms, quantum physicists
looked deeper and found that atoms were not physical but were actually made out of energy. While
Newtonians focused upon a Universe made out of matter, quantum physicists realized that the Universe
and all of its components were made out of energy. And yet there is a reality that some of our Universe
can be understood in physical terms and some of our world experiences can only be understood in
terms of energy interactions. Just because quantum physics replaced Newtonian physics doesn't mean
that Newton 's laws are wrong. So there are levels of reality where one can understand the world
through a Newtonian eye and then there are levels where you must really apply the mechanisms
described in quantum physics.
LG: Yes, in physics it seems like extreme speed and gravity determine when Newton 's laws break
BL: Yes, because they are not based on energy mechanisms, which active in an entirely different realm
of speed when compared to movement in the physical world.
In our world, things that are large in size, like cells, tissues, organs and bigger, can to some degree be
understood by using the physical laws of Newton . But when you get down to the level of the atoms and
molecules that make up the cells, you're dealing with the quantum realm. Allopathic medicine focuses
upon the larger physical realm in trying to understand how the body works. With Newtonian blinders
on, all they consider are physical interactions. They perceive of the body as a molecular machine, and
when it's not working, that implies some physical components of the body must be malfunctioning.
Their vision of disease is, "If the physical body is not working right, then throw in new molecules to
adjust the function." And those molecular fixes are called drugs. So they attempt to heal from that
mechanistic point of view. However, disease can manifest itself at different levels within the organism.
If the problems arise from trauma damage to the physical body, allopathic medicine offers miraculous
healing opportunities. If I break a bone, need a new heart or got torn-up in a car accident, you can bet
that I would seek an allopathic physician to help me heal. They can rebuild tissues and they can rebuild
organs and transplant organs and fix bones and all these things. That's trauma. They do miracles with
trauma and that's where, if you get in an accident and break your leg, you want a medical doctor.
However, if my dis-eases are the result of malfunctions occurring within the cell, such as cancer,
Alzheimer's, auto-immune disease, these dysfunctions arise in the operation of the cell's molecules and
atoms. Dysfunctions at these levels are controlled by mechanisms that operate in the energy-based
interactions of the quantum realm.
For example, cancer is a dysfunction that starts within a cell, it didn't get hit with a baseball bat or
anything, like trauma. It started as a molecular process that went awry. Diabetes is due to a malfunction
of the molecules of the cell. Alzheimer's is expressed as a failure of the cell's internalized cytoskeletal
structure. Diseases arising at the level of cellular molecules cannot be understood employing Newtonian
principals. At this level of organization,we start to enter the realm of energy influences. Molecules are
influenced by energy fields, not by baseball bats. For illnesses originating at this is level of the body,
traditional allopathic medicine is pretty much lost, for they're still pursuing mechanical defects in the
genes and biochemistry. New research fully recognizes that quantum mechanical principles control
behavior within the cell's molecular architecture.
LG: I like how they change the word alternative to complementary; it's actually a little more in line
with what you're saying.
BL: Absolutely, because we're going to integrate the influences of both the energy and the matter in
order to have a full awareness of how life works. Energy fields, like electromagnetic waves and prayer,
profoundly influence the structure and function of molecules and the health of cells.
Research has shown that everybody's mind is broadcasting invisible energy fields that can be read
outside of our skulls. What's relevant is that your regulatory energy frequencies are not contained
within your body. You're like a tuning fork walking down the street, vibrating thought frequencies into
the field around you. If you get enough people to vibrate in harmony, then the power of their collective
frequencies reach a level that is powerful enough to move things.
LG: Something we've noticed lately is a synergy in our community when like-minded people come together.
BL: Absolutely. It is based upon energy coherence. As two or more people align their thoughts, there is a
dramatic increase in energy power and coherence over that expressed by any individual person. It's not
one plus one is two; it's one plus one is some larger number.
LG: It's interesting that you would mention coherence. My wife and I did neural feedback training and
the moment we could reach coherence in our brain hemispheres, it was like a different ballgame
BL: Well, that's an important observation because brain coherence between the cerebral hemispheres is
virtually akin to realizing a state referred to as super-learning. And that's an important brain behavior
when you want to change the beliefs that run your life. In a state of super-learning one can literally
download new data instantly.
LG: OK, next question is: As I look at some of the other sciences, like physics for instance, I've noticed
a trend to view life, and our existence in it, as a more cooperative relationship. I also see in your view
of cellular life this same tendency. Do you think this is an indication that we as human beings are
evolving into a higher level of human consciousness?
BL: The answer is absolutely yes and it deals with the parallels that occurred in regard to how we
evolved. For the first three billion years of life on this planet, the biosphere contained only free-living
single-celled organisms. While such microorganisms as bacteria, yeast, algae and protozoa appear to be
like disconnected individual living entities, over time they actually learned how to communicate across
space with each other. So bacteria, even though they appear to be separate entities, here's a bacterium
and there's one over there, they are in fact part of a complex community. All microorganisms live in
community. Their communities are based upon the fact that they exchange information with each other
through chemicals and energy fields. These chemical and energy signals reflect the status of life or information
so others in the community can get awareness as to what is going on in their world.
Through evolution, cell communities began to become more physically organized leading to the
appearance of multicellular organisms such as fish, frogs, lizard birds and human beings. Some people
like to suggest there is no direction to evolution, but indeed there really is. Evolution is an explosion
principle like the Big Bang. It starts at a certain point but it doesn't go in one direction like a ladder' with
a low rung followed by a higher rung. It's actually a sphere, and the evolution of new species fills in all
available environmental niches.And while there were lateral progressions, to the left and to the right, they do not express
evolutionary 'advances' over one another. But at some point when you're building left and right, then the next step is
to elevate. The one characteristic that is uniform throughout the entire biosphere is that evolutionary
advances are characterized by their ability to handle more awareness.
So from the evolution of prokaryotes (e.g., bacteria) to eukaryotes (e.g., amoeba, paramecium), one of
the striking features is the increase in cellular membranes; there's 100,000 times more membrane in a
eukariotic cell than there is in a bacterium. My research, using enucleated cells (cells in which the
nucleus and its contained genes are removed), reveals that the behavior of cells is not interrupted.
These studies emphasize that genes do not control control life. Subsequent research revealed that the
brain of the cells was actually the cell's membrane. The only membrane in a bacterium is just its outer
skin. When you look at the higher-level eukaryotic cells, not only do they have an enveloping cell
membrane but they also have many membrane organelles within the cell, such as mitochondria, nuclei,
Golgi bodies, endoplasmic reticulum, things like that. All those are cell membrane-derivatives. They have
more membranes which directly translates as more capacity to process awareness.
However, there was a point where a cell could not further expand the amount of membrane it
contained, for if the cell became any larger, the physical pressure of the contained cytoplasm would
cause the membrane to rupture like a water balloon that has too much water in it. Cells reached a
certain physical size and if they got any bigger the membrane would break and the cells would die. So
the first three billion years of evolution was focused on making smarter and smarter cells. When the
limits of cell size was reached, evolution stopped for there was no way to add any more membrane.
So the course of evolution seemed to flatten out with all the varieties of single-celled organisms. But
evolution continued with a new way to accumulate more membrane. Rather than increasing the
membrane within a single cell, cells started to come together in close proximity and share the
awareness expressed in their collective membranes. If a cell has X amount of awareness (available
membrane) and it can 'plug-in' to other cells, they could directly share their awareness. In the end,
the awareness of a community of cells can be expressed as X times the number of cells comprising the
community. Evolution began to advance as well as life's efficiency when cells joined together into
community. We characterize the different types of evolving cell communities in regard to the shape the
multicellular organisms create. For example, single-celled amoebas may form a community that has a
stalk and tentacles. This 'community might be called a hydra. A larger group of cells may organize their
community into what we refer to as a clam. An even larger group of cells may acquire the 'shape' of a
cat. And then again, an even larger community of single cells may acquire the shape of something we
refer to as a human. Communities of cells are described as unique organisms, and we give those
multicellular organisms specific identities. We may look in the mirror and perceive of ourselves as
'singular' entities, each bearing a unique name and identity. But in fact, our bodies are actually the
expression of a 'social' community of approximately 50 trillion cooperative single-celled organisms. Why
are we here? Over the millions and millions of years of evolution, cells created more advanced 'aware'
communities. The human body is an example of cellular architecture that provides for an extremely
intelligent life form.
Over time, the evolution of maxed-out intelligent organizations provided for humans, dolphins and
other higher organizations, suggesting that we have possibly reached the highest level of organic
evolution. Does that mean evolution has reached an endpoint? In one sense, the answer is yes. But as
revealed in the self-similar character of fractal geometry, the process of evolution would repeat itself.
Humans recapitulate the situation that arose with the appearance of single cells. Humans are in a sense
evolutionarily similar to single cells. When evolution reached the endpoint of single cells, it changed
strategies and began to evolve through the assembly of single cells into community.
Individual humans are essentially advanced 'single cells.' Like cells, we have come together in
community over the years to share awareness. Social assemblies has provided for an evolving form of
humanity (civilization). As mentioned earlier, we are not at the stage of organization where our
assembly provides for an 'organism' with the character of reptiles and that our future advancements will
help shape humanity so that we will express the nurturing character of mammals. All the higher levels of
organizations, from cells to humans represent organizations that have evolve through their ability to
LG: It's interesting how we are manifesting that in our outer world as libraries, postal services, and
now the Internet.
BL: Oh, the Internet especially, because that's what cells had to evolve before massive multicellular
communities could manifest. Cells developed mechanisms by which they could instantly communicate
information throughout the entire systems, so that a skin cell, a liver cell, and a bone cell, would
instantaneously know when you're having a good or bad moment.
Human evolution means that we're going to have six billion different individual perceptions that will
provide a full spectrum of awareness to collective community known as humanity. And despite the fact
that our current reptilian mindset is fighting this evolution, the reality demands the inevitable
evolutionary step in which we're going to leave behind our reptilian fight-or-flight behavior, the struggle
for existence awareness provided by Darwin . The next level of evolution will endorse that cooperation
among the 'cells,' in contrast to the current notion of competition, is the ultimate step to our evolution
LG: And it seems like it takes so many subatomic particles to make an atom, so many atoms to make a
molecule, so many molecules to make a cell, and it might take so many people to bring this about.
BL: Well, I think this is a reasonable assumption. Consider each human as a unique set of eyes
understanding the universe. The more eyes' the more awareness. It's simple logic. That's why this next
jump in our evolution is going to be a very rapid change, for it primarily depends upon a simple rewriting
of our current beliefs. Based upon that lightning speed in the advances of our communication
technology, it will be very soon when all citizens of civilization will be 'wired' into the planet's collective
awareness. In the very near future we will resemble cells in our ability to instantaneous share awareness
and experiences. When the wiring's in place, what happened 10 minutes ago will be known by
everybody on the planet.
LG: One more question here, and then we'll get to the last question. How do you feel about society's
trend to self-medicate for stress with drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft?
BL: That is it is yet another example of a consequence of educating people that they are victims of their
biochemical machinery. And because of this, we don't take responsibility for the experiences we have in
our bodies. We have a tendency to blame our problems on the failure of our body's mechanisms. So, for
example, we can talk about cancer and ask, "What's wrong?" "Oh, the genetic mechanism is defective and
that's why it happened." This is our belief even though data reveals that less than 5 percent of
cancer is hereditary. Ninety five percent of cancer is derived from how a person responds to the issues
that confront their lives.
It's the same situation with cardiovascular disease. When you have a heart attack, does that mean you
had a bad heart? No, it just means you have poor 'driving' skills in managing your responses to the
world. While medicine generally suggests that your heart 'fails' you, in reality it more accurate to say
you have failed your heart by generating stresses through your efforts to navigate life's path. When an
individual is offered drugs to cope, it takes away personal responsibility in managing your physiology.
Taking most drugs is tantamount to putting masking tape over all the gauges on your car's dashboard,
because the drugs cover-up the feedback of information sent from your body when it is trying to tell you
that your 'driving' behavior is damaging the vehicle (body). While drugs may cover-up your health
problems, somewhere down the road you're going to run your body into the ground in that you are no
longer paying attention to the gauges (emotions and symptoms) that provide feedback about how your
body is functioning.
And the reality is that anyone who takes a drug to cover up their symptoms never really deals with the
causes of their symptom. The drugs mask the symptoms so that we think everything is OK, yet the same
destructive issues are still present and debilitating our systems.
LG: This is good information for people to really start reevaluating their lives and their actions and
responsibilities. In the movie What the Bleep Do We Know, they said that most of our bad decisions
are simply because we have bad information, which leads to limiting beliefs that we have about
ourselves and reality, most of which is unconscious.
BL: We have two interdependent minds providing for our awareness and behavior. The most powerful
processor of information is the subconscious mind that runs between 80-90% of our lives. It is like an
autopilot in that it can run our day-to-day life without any input from the conscious mind. The conscious
mind is a small part of the processor, but nonetheless one of the most advanced parts of our brain. The
conscious mind can be used to drive the system serving a s 'manual' control mechanism, your thoughts
can actually run the body. With training, yogis for example can regulate all their bodily functions
including metabolism, heart rate, body temperature and behavior of the immune system. But because
consciousness can think about the past and delve into the future, most of the time our conscious mind is
engaged with such activities and is therefore not 'present' to run the show at the moment of now. That
is why the subconscious mind runs most of the functions and behaviors that characterize our lives.
However, most people are unaware of the fact that the primary behaviors that are engaged by the
subconscious mind were downloaded into our mind before we were 6 years of age. We acquire these
behaviors by observing our parents, our peers and our teachers. This means that most of our behavior is
actually a replay of other people's behavior' this is where conflict enters our lives because their
behaviors are generally not in our best interests.
The dangerous thing is that the behavioral 'tapes' programmed in our subconscious are other peoples'
behaviors and most of these behaviors were acquired so early in life, that we are not even consciously
aware that we have or even use these programmed behaviors. Many of these early acquired behaviors
are limiting, self-sabotaging programs. Your personal beliefs are in your conscious mind while the
subconscious mind is a repository previously learned behaviors and reflexive instincts. The minds are
separate and an awareness in the conscious mind has no necessary counterpart in the subconscious
mind. Also, while you might become aware of new things in your consciousness, that new knowledge
does NOT change preexisting programs in your subconscious. Old traits hang on. We may try to override
limiting subconscious behavior using the conscious mind, but it will never change conflicting beliefs
programmed in your subconscious mind. That's why people have to use so much willpower to override
the subconscious mind and that's where the issue of 'power' comes in, because the subconscious mind
is millions of times more powerful in processing data than is the conscious mind. In my book there is
data that reveals that 20 million bits of information are processed per second in the subconscious mind;
while only 40 bits of information are processed in the conscious mind for the same second.
LG: Which shows you the power of the filtering process created by our beliefs.
BL: Absolutely. The powerful subconscious mind runs the show; psychologists say about 80-90% of our
daily behavior is run by the programming in your subconscious mind, most of which are apparently
limiting programs. Therefore, ~85% of our life is an effort to overcome the conditions generated by the
LG: Well, here's the last question and we've already touched upon it because everything we've talked
about leads to this question: It seems like the quest and the thrust of life is to self-organize into higher
and more complex organisms for the soul purpose, that's soul, s-o-u-l, of evolving into ever-higher
levels of awareness and consciousness. Do you see us continuing this process as human beings linking
together to form a planetary consciousness?
BL: Well, of course! Gaia, the planet, is itself a living cell. We are part of the Earth's membrane.
As described in my book, The Biology of Belief, we're the equivalent of proteins in the cell's membrane.
The membrane's proteins are the physical units of awareness. Humans are like organic antennas, downloading
the Universe's information. The beautiful part is that when we wake up, become more aware, we will find that
all humans are a part of the same organism, Humanity. When that awareness is owned by civilization, that
knowledge will complete the Earth's evolution, for then we and the environment we live in, will cooperatively
function as a single living cell. Then, as in all the previous evolutionary stages that has led us this point, this single cell(Earth)
then joins up with the other planetary 'cells' to share our collective awareness. And so on and on.
LG: Then we're talking about galactic consciousness that's so far beyond even our wildest imagination.
BL: Absolutely. And we have hints that that consciousness is there, even though we are not! We are not
evolved enough to dialogue with the other forms of planetary consciousness. When the Earth completes
the current evolutionary process and we recognize our wholeness, the earth will represent itself as a
single mature cell. At that time, we will hook up with other mature 'cells,' other planets, with life forms.
LG: The same way that molecules assembled into cells, cells assembled into organisms and organisms
assemble into communities'
BL: Yes it's a fractal thing . . . it's implied in the geometry that it must go that way.
LG: It's an exciting time to be alive, isn't it Bruce?
BL: Absolutely! It's exciting but in different regards for the humans now present in our world. For those
evolving a new 'mammalian' consideration of life, they will see the possibilities of the future, and the joy
of living in the Light. However, for those that maintain their 'reptilian' perceptions, it will be 'exciting'
but in a negative way for they're certainly locked in their beliefs about the struggles in life and their fear of death.
In the end, one side is going to walk away from this evolutionary leap and become whole, while those on the
other side are going to be embroiled in the crises generated by their ancient, limiting thinking. Personally,
I love being on the side of the Light.
LG: So do I, Bruce, so do I, and you know what? I think it's really great that you're putting out
information like this. Validation somehow expands our awareness, which in turn gives us the courage
to evolve past outdated beliefs.
BL: Likewise, what you're doing in your community adds to this awareness; to get every cell to turn its
Light on is what creates evolution, so we're all working on this together. I would like to suggest that
interested readers visit my website, www.brucelipton.com, to get more information and references on
the important topics we touched upon in this interview. Information on my new book, including a
sample chapter, is available at: www.beliefbook.com . Thank you for this opportunity to spread some
*Fractal: A geometric pattern that is repeated at ever smaller scales to produce irregular shapes and
surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry. Fractals are used especially in computer
modeling of irregular patterns and structures in nature.
**Fibonacci sequence: The sequence of numbers, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, . . . , in which each successive
number is equal to the sum of the two preceding numbers
-(both definitions from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed., 2000)
A dialogue with Gregg Braden and Dr. Bruce Lipton
By Meryl Ann Butler
Published in Awareness Magazine
We live our lives based in what we believe about our world, ourselves, our capabilities, and our limits. What if those beliefs are wrong? What would it mean to discover that everything from the DNA of life, to the future of our world, is based upon a simple “Reality Code” that may be changed and upgraded by choice? In a rare, extended weekend, Gregg Braden, Bruce Lipton and Todd Ovokaitys invite us on a journey to do just that! Visit www.greggbraden.com or contact (800) 637-5222 for more information.
(Part 1 of this article, featuring an interview with Gregg Braden, appeared in the September/October issue of Awareness Magazine. It can be found online at www.awarenessmag.com Part 2 continues our interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton.)
MAB: Bruce, the merging of your and Gregg Braden’s work is so exciting! Thank you for your willingness to share some of your thoughts with us.
Dr. Bruce H. Lipton: Thanks, I’m happy to participate!
MAB: The premise of your book “The Biology of Belief” is that humans are not, as was previously believed, victims of our genes, but that the environment has a direct effect on our DNA. Would you elaborate?
BL: Sure. Until recently, it was thought that genes were self-actualizing, meaning genes could turn themselves on and off. As a result, most people today believe they are genetic automatons, and that their genes control their lives.
But my research introduces a radical new understanding of cell science. The new biology reveals that we ‘control’ our genome rather than being controlled by it. It is now recognized that the environment, and more specifically, our perception or interpretation of the environment directly controls the activity of our genes. This explains why people can have spontaneous remissions or recover from injuries deemed to be permanent disabilities.
MAB: Then it really is about “mind over matter”?
BL: Yes, this new perspective of human biology does not view the body as just a mechanical device, but rather incorporates the role of a mind and spirit. This breakthrough is fundamental in all healing because it recognizes that when we change our perception or beliefs we send totally different messages to our cells, causing a reprogramming of their _expression.
This new science is called epigenetics. It’s been around for about 16 years, but it’s just now being introduced to the general public. For example, The American Cancer Society is an organization that has been looking for cancer genes for the last 50 years or so. But they’ve found that only about 5 percent of cancer has genetic linkage, leaving 95% that is not genetically linked. Recently the American Cancer Society released a statistic that said 60 percent of cancer is avoidable by changing lifestyle and diet. So now they are telling us, “It’s the way you live, it’s not your genes.”
MAB: So the long sought-after “Fountain of Youth” could be right inside ourselves?
BL: Within every one of our bodies at this very moment, there are billions of stem cells, embryonic cells designed to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs.
However, the activity and fate of these regenerative cells are epigenetically controlled. That means they are profoundly influenced by our thoughts and perceptions about the environment. Hence our beliefs about aging can either interfere with or enhance stem cell function, causing our physiological regeneration or decline.
MAB: What part does evolution play in this?
BL: Well, as it turns out, Darwin was wrong. Current science overrides Darwin’s theories emphasizing competition and struggle, but this information can take years to get into the textbooks. Cooperation and community are actually the underlying principles of evolution, as well as the underlying principles of cell biology. The human body represents the cooperative effort of a community of fifty-trillion single cells. A community, by definition, is an organization of individuals committed to supporting a shared vision.
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck had it right fifty years before Darwin. In 1809, Lamarck wrote the problems that will beset humanity will come from separating ourselves from nature, and that will lead to the dissolution of society. His understanding of evolution was that an organism and its environment create a cooperative interaction. If you want to understand the fate of an organism, you have to understand its relationship to the environment. He recognized that separating ourselves from our environment cuts us off from our source. He was right.
And when you understand the nature of epigenetics, you see his theory is now substantiated. With no mechanism to make sense of his theory before, and especially since we bought the concept of neo-Darwinian biologists who said the human body was subject to genetic control, Lamarck looked stupid. But guess what? New leading-edge science reveals he was right, after all.
MAB: So, how does this play out on the cellular level?
BL: Information from the environment is transferred to the cell via the cell membrane. We used to think that the cell nucleus was the brain of the cell. But in 1985 I discovered that the membrane is actually the brain of the cell. The nucleus, as it turns out, is actually the reproductive center.
The cell membrane (mem-brain!) monitors the condition of the environment and then sends signals to the genes to engage cellular mechanisms, which in turn, provide for its survival. In the human body, the brain sends messages to the cell’s membrane to control its behavior and genetic activity. This is how the mind, via the brain, controls our biology.
For example, an important discipline in the health sciences is referred to as psychoneuroimmunology. Literally this term means: the mind (psycho-) controls the brain (neuro-) which in turn, controls the immune system (immunology). This is how the placebo effect works!
When the mind perceives that the environment is safe and supportive, the cells focus on growth. Cells need growth in order to maintain the body’s healthy functioning.
However, when confronted by stress, cells adopt a defensive protection posture. When that happens, the body’s energy resources, normally used to sustain growth, are diverted to systems that provide protection. The result is that 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 because the body’s energy demands interfere with the maintenance it requires, and this is what leads to dysfunction and disease.
For example, the fear that has been propagated in the United States since 9-11 has had a profoundly destructive effect upon the health of our citizens. Every time the government advertises concerns of more terror attacks, the fear alone causes stress hormones to shut down our biology and engage in a protection response.
Since the World Trade Center attack, the health of the country has plummeted and the pharmaceutical companies’ profits have skyrocketed (with a 100% increase in less than five years!)
Our color-coded terror alert system has also been responsible for another serious consequence. In a state of fear, stress hormones change the flow of blood in the brain. Under normal, healthy situations, blood flow in the brain is preferentially focused in the forebrain, the site of conscious control. However, in stress, the forebrain blood vessels constrict, forcing the blood to the hindbrain, the center of subconscious reflex control. Simply, in fear mode we become more reactive and less intelligent.
MAB: In your workshop, you talked about how we receive stress information. Would you elaborate on that?
BL: Sure. The principle source of stress signals is the system’s central voice, the mind. The mind is like the driver of a vehicle.
If we employ good driving skills in managing our behaviors and dealing with our emotions, then we should anticipate a long, happy and productive life. In contrast, ineffective behaviors and dysfunctional emotional management, like a bad driver, stress the cellular vehicle, interfering with its performance and provoking a breakdown.
Stress information can come to the cell from the two separate minds that create the body’s controlling central voice.
The (self-) conscious mind is the thinking you; it is the creative mind that expresses free will. It’s the equivalent of a 40-bit processor in that it can handle the input from about 40 nerves per second.
In contrast, the subconscious mind is a super computer loaded with a database of pre-programmed behaviors. It is a powerful 40-million-bit processor, interpreting and responding to over 40 million nerve impulses every second. Some programs are derived from genetics: these are our instincts. However, the vast majority of the subconscious programs are acquired through our developmental learning experiences.
The subconscious mind is not a seat of reasoning or creative consciousness, it is strictly a stimulus-response “play-back” device. When an environmental signal is perceived, the subconscious mind reflexively activates a previously-stored behavioral response – no thinking required!
The insidious part of the autopilot mechanism is that subconscious behaviors are programmed to engage without the control of, or the observation by, the conscious self. Neuroscientists have revealed that 95%-99% of our behavior is under the control of the subconscious mind. Consequently, we rarely observe these behaviors or much less know that they are even engaged.
While your conscious mind perceives that you are a good driver, it is the unconscious mind that has its hands on the wheel most of the time. And the unconscious mind may be driving you down the road to ruin.
We have been led to believe that by using willpower, we can override the negative programs of our subconscious mind. Unfortunately, to do that, one must keep a constant vigil on one’s own behavior.
There is no observing entity in the subconscious mind reviewing the behavioral tapes. The subconscious is strictly a record-playback machine. Consequently, there is no discernment as to whether a subconscious behavioral program is good or bad, it is just a tape. The moment you lapse in consciousness, the subconscious mind will automatically engage and play its previously-recorded, experience-based programs.
MAB: How did we get our subconscious programming in the first place?
BL: The prenatal and neonatal brain operates predominantly in delta and theta EEG frequencies through the first six years of our lives. This low level of brain activity is referred to as the hypnagogic state.
While in this hypnotic trance, a child does not have to be actively coached into specific behaviors. She obtains her behavioral programming simply by observing parents, siblings, peers and teachers.
In addition, a child’s subconscious mind also downloads beliefs relating to self. When a parent or teacher tells a young child he is sickly, stupid, bad or undeserving, 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.
MAB: That’s pretty sobering! It seems to me that our subconscious mind is like a chunk of green kryptonite from Superman’s home planet, the one thing that could strip him of his superpowers. The kryptonite is analogous to the rocky foundations of childhood. As you indicated earlier, the subconscious isn’t evil by nature – and neither is the kryptonite. Yet it’s through these avenues that the programming of our childhood come back to plague us as adults, and – from what you are saying – rob us of our own superpowers! Many people feel so stuck, ineffective and victimized, in spite of the fact that their conscious intentions are focused upon success. So we come to the ultimate question, how can the subconscious mind be reprogrammed?
BL: To change a behavioral tape, you have to push the record button and then re-record the program incorporating the desired changes. There are several ways to do this with the subconscious mind.
First, we can become more self-conscious, and rely less on automated subconscious programs. By being fully conscious, we become the masters of our fates rather than the victims of our programs. This path is similar to Buddhist mindfulness.
Secondly, clinical hypnotherapy directly addresses the issue at the hypnagogic state.
In addition, we can use a variety of new energy psychology modalities that enable a rapid and profound reprogramming of limiting subconscious beliefs. These are forms of Superlearning that open and integrate both hemispheres of the brain at the same time, allowing us to re-write our subconscious programs. Using these processes that are mechanistically similar to pushing the record program on the subconscious mind’s tape player, we are able to release the limiting perceptions, beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviors.
Energy psychology modalities include Psych-K, Holographic Repatterning, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques),EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and BodyTalk.
MAB: As a labyrinth builder, I find many people report physical sensations of profound well-being and peace as a result of walking a labyrinth, as well as sense of timelessness, such as in an altered or hypnagogic state. Many spontaneous healings seem to be a direct result of labyrinth walking, and I myself have experienced healings and a sense of extraordinary wellness. Do you see this modality as a way to reprogram the subconscious as well?
BL: I believe any process that expands self-consciousness and allows us to observe and interact with our subconscious minds will open the gateway for change. With conscious awareness, we can actively transform our lives so they are filled with love, health and prosperity. The use of these new “rewrite” modalities provides a way to communicate with the cells of your body and is the link to transformative biology as well as psychology.
MAB: This was wonderful, thanks, Bruce, for sharing your insights!
BL: Thank you, I enjoyed it!
Gregg Braden and Bruce Lipton are blazing the trails of awareness of our interconnection with the Quantum Field, guiding us toward new and exciting understandings. Even this dynamic duo’s presentation style is significant – these guys live the co-operation they preach! Braden and Lipton offer their material in an integrated dance of perfectly-timed synergy, as their two distinctive arms of science converge, fittingly, at the heart.
Gregg Braden is a former Senior Aerospace Systems Designer turned New York Times best-selling author. His books include “Walking Between the Worlds”, “Awakening to Zero Point”, “The Isaiah Effect”, “The God Code”, “Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer”, and “The Divine Matrix”. He offers seminars and guides inter-national tours in search of the sacred. (www.greggbraden.com)
Dr. Bruce H. Lipton is author of the Los Angeles Times best-selling book, “The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles”. A cellular biologist, he is a former Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and former research scientist at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. He offers workshops throughout the U.S. and internationally. (www.bruce-lipton.com, www.beliefbook.com
Meryl Ann Butler is a Renaissance woman: artist, author, educator, labyrinth builder and joyful exploress of cutting-edge quantum developments. “90 Minute Quilts” is her handbook for personal and planetary healing through creativity, fun and fabric. She says, “They don’t call quilts ‘comforters’ for nothing!” Trained in New York by one of Norman Rockwell’s students, she tutors adults and children in the greater Los Angeles area in traditional drawing and painting, as well as in quilting and fiber arts. www.creativespirit.net/MabArt .
Devra: I’m really excited about our interview because I’ve always been interested in how you’re tying science and spirit together. Your work is just awesome.
Dr. Lipton: Thank you. It’s been such fun stuff and a big shock to my system. I had always been very conventional and mainstream before that. In fact, I was the heretic in the group.
Devra: Well, you’re not anymore! But in your book The Biology of Belief, you talk about having a scientific epiphany.
Dr. Lipton: Yes. The epiphany occurred in a moment when I was reverse engineering my work. You know, I was taking it apart to see how it all came about. I hit a point where I saw that the cell membrane is a brain that responds to its environment. It actually generates its behavior to compliment the environment. But then I also recognized that each one of us is a different entity and our cells express that differently such as when the immune system goes into “not self vs. self” mode – they see a difference there. What’s most interesting is that it identities on the surface of the cells, through antennas, but these antennas are not the identities. They’re just like television antennas. They capture the signal, yet the signal is outside the cell. The identity was the equivalent of a broadcast being received and then playing into the physical structure. It then manifests itself in the physical. So, in reality, the cell is the recipient of the identity and since it’s not the identity, whether the cell is here or not here, the identity is still here. That’s when I realized we’re immortal because we’re not in it. And that discovery took me from being unspiritual to full spirituality. Wow! Now, immediately upon this awareness, the question came up in my head, “Well, if I don’t exist, it’s a spiritual thing. Then why do I have this body? I’m already out here.” Well, the answer was phrased in a question format, so I guess they were Jewish cells. The cells responded to me by saying, “Well, if you’re just a spirit, what does chocolate taste like? If you’re just a spirit, what does a sunset look like? If you’re just a spirit, what does being in love feel like?” It was in that instant I knew the spirit comes in, but the spirit gets to have the sensations and all the awareness, the expressions and the feelings and love and joy which come from the cells of the body converting our experiences into sensation. Then take away the sensation, and that’s what’s broadcast back to the cells. So it’s like you have this body, you have these experiences because that was the purpose of it.
Devra: I’d like you to talk about that a little more. You have an interesting concept of cells. I find
Dr. Lipton: Well, being a cellular biologist, few people in the world have had the opportunities that I ended up getting. I was involved with the scientist who actually founded the cloning of cells. This was back in 1960. I was cloning stem cells back then. I was also doing electron-microscopy, which was like going into space. But it was inner space travel. Every day, when I turned on that microscope, I was seeing what no person in the world had ever seen before. After doing that long enough, I became quite familiar with the world and biology of the cells. It was like being a note-taking tourist in their world. Later, what I attempted to teach medical students was when you look at the human body, you can see all the wonderful parts, all the systems are there – the reproductive, muscular, skeletal, cardiovascular. These amazing systems give us all these characters and life, and then, you have to recognize that every one of those characters and systems is already present in every single cell. Every cell has every system that we have. These cells are miniature people! They’re living an experience in communities with each other that is an exact parallel to what we share. We have such a limited vision that we tend to look at ourselves as individual entities. Yet, we fail to perceive that the real living entity on this planet is an organism called Humanity. We are the cells in the body of that humanity as much as the single cells in my body are living in their community, creating this thing called me.
Devra: So all of these different cells are experiencing different things, therefore acting out in different ways.
Dr. Lipton: Each cell has its own life. You can put it in a Petri dish, you put some food on one side of the dish and put some trash on the other side of the dish, and they’re smart enough to be over at the food in a few minutes. They know what’s going on. They know how to communicate. And ultimately, the significance is, at least to those with a scientific awareness of fractals and fractal geometry, the relevance of this mathematics implies that the structure of cells, in their community, is a pattern that is redundant to the structure of cells of people in our community. This explains why self-destructive ailments, like auto-immune diseases, are such a big issue on the planet. The reason is what’s going on in our global community, the vibration of that is manifesting to the same parallels as our internal community. It’s all predicating one on top of the other. What’s happening in one is happening in the other. The more we become destructive in our outer world, the more we end up becoming self-destructive internally. That’s what we are seeing reflected in this current health crisis.
Devra: So do you think that the solution or at least the most constructive direction for changing the physical health on the planet lies in changing our consciousness?
Dr. Lipton: Oh, absolutely. It lies in changing the awareness of who we really are because we’ve been mislead by assumptions that are totally incorrect and as a result we’ve predicated a culture, an entire civilization, on beliefs that are not accurate. The beautiful part of it is there’s two ways to look at what’s happening. The predominant way has been to look at the world situation as crazy. Survival and extinction are big issues. But I encourage everyone to pull back and see it from a different sight and that is this: Civilizations have come and gone. For example, we could go back and say first the Indians and Aboriginals were here. They worshiped God as spirit and nature; everything was spiritual. Then we went into polytheism with the Greeks and the Romans. Then, we journeyed into monotheism in the Judeo-Christian phase. We jumped into scientific imperialism with Darwin. And what remains important is the fact these changes, in our culture, are following a distinct pattern that we are experiencing another major change, right now. We are breaking the structure of the existing pattern to make way for the new one. I get excited to look at where we’re going. But if we are caught up in the socio-political economic trials, we can’t see it. If you stand back and look at it, humanity as a collective organism, represented by us as people, is going through an evolutionary leap at this moment. And the undoing of the structure is a requirement, an absolutely imperative, to get to the next level.
Devra: So what would you call the next level we’re moving into?
Dr. Lipton: The mammalian phase of evolution. And I will explain…remember I said there were fractal patterns and fractals are repetitive self-similar patterns? Well then, humanity is an organism (like an animal) and we’re cells in this organism. The significance of this is that, as an animal, it will evolve to self-similar stages as animals as the evolution of animals has done already. Fractal patterns would imply that. So, let’s say there would be a fish phase, in the vertebrate level. You see, the world has gone through the phases of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals and humanity is going through those stages as well. The fish phase was mariculture – when the first civilizations lived off the water. They lived by the water and they couldn’t go away from the water because they would die. So, they were like fish. Then the next phase would be the amphibian phase when civilization learned to take the water onto the land. Well, that was the beginning of our agricultural period when we were no longer restricted to the edge of the water. People could find and transport water and then they became capable of growing things everywhere. Later, we went from the amphibian to the reptile phase. Reptiles are mechanical devices. I mean they are like machines. Dinosaurs have even been referred to as killing machines. And they were. They represent the mechanistic age, whereas amphibians were in between water and land. They were a more sluggish kind of thing. By the time you got to reptiles, they were like machines. They could even fly. And that machine phase is when humanity went from agriculture to the industrial age. The industrial age gained life from the reptiles, the dinosaurs. And a branch from the dinosaurs became the birds. A branch from the smaller reptiles later became the mammals. So, I say reptiles and ducks are your middle-aged dinosaurs, the age of the corporations where they took the knowledge of Mom and Pop businesses and made giant machines out of them; the giant corporations we have now. The birds were actually Wilbur and Orville Wright who gave life to aviation. The world changed with the birds because all of a sudden from that perspective sprang all the height and the communications. At that point, everybody could communicate in minutes versus years. This then changed life to the bird phase which precipitated what we are experiencing now.
In 1969, when the bird’s fullest evolution took us to the moon, we captured a picture of the Earth on the moon’s horizon. This has become an icon to represent the fragility of our planet suspended in dark space. All of a sudden people started to realize that we have to take care of the Earth. Taking care is what? Nurturing. Nurturing is the character of mammals. So, the nurturers were seeded in 1969. Over time most people thought that disappeared. Today it’s been coalescing into the greens and the environmentalists and all the people who perceive the next evolution. They are the mammals. So we are in the age of the dinosaurs controlling the little meek, the mammals – the corporate interest over the mammal interest. And yet, if you look back – the dinosaurs crashed. We’re experiencing that again, right now! The markets are shaking. Credit is falling apart. The body is going. Why? Because it doesn’t sustain the system. The dinosaurs cannot sustain the system and that’s why there’s an evolution. The evolution is mammals. That means it’s time for community, harmony and taking care of each other. If you’re part of the dinosaurs, this is a very dark time for you. But, if you’re part of the mammals, this is a very light time for you. So, we’re moving into that next phase right now, and for me, that is the exciting part!
Devra: You see a lot of that happening in the political race right now in the United States.
Dr. Lipton: Well, I’d love to see more of it because this is what it represents. It represents this detached voice, from the distance, saying this structure is killing us! And that’s where the change will come from. So again, we can look at the global crisis as the shedding of this old, reptilian skin that allows this conscious, mammalian nurturer to surface. Otherwise, the alternative may be extinction.
Devra: This is really interesting. When we go into this fully, when we finally transcend the dinosaur into this full mammalian thing, what will happen? What will the shift look like?
Dr. Lipton: This is where the meek inherit the earth. The mammals were not actually derived from the dinosaurs; they were derived from the smaller reptiles. Mammals were small, furry and soft. Dinosaurs were these big, giant, scary things. Mammals were meek and they ultimately took over the world. This is what will happen again. This phase into harmony and higher awareness will spread and eventually eliminate most of the health problems we have. Our present health problems are related to disharmony in the system. The more disharmony you have, the more the system starts to die. The more system starts to die, the more the parasites come, making the thing look really scary. But once harmony is brought back into the system, health will return as well. Today the biggest issues of death are not really organic issues. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer and 90% of that is lifestyle. 60% or more of cancer is also considered lifestyle. However, in fact, the biggest leading cause of death is the medical profession.
Devra: Well, I’m not anti-medical profession. I think there’s a place for it, but it seems like their answer for everything is to take a pill. Take a pill. Put a chemical in your body and this will solve everything.
Dr. Lipton: But that’s not the medical profession. What you’re talking about is the bleed through of the reptiles. The dinosaurs created the pharmaceutical industry, and in turn, it shapes the medical profession. So the medical profession is actually being cultivated and cultured through the pharmaceutical industry’s pursuit of its own drug. Everything has to have a drug. The reality is this – we require no drugs for healing; true healing only calls for a change of consciousness. As a demonstrated fact, one third of all feelings are due to the placebo effect. Science acknowledges that. One third of our health cost could be totally eliminated if we realize it’s a placebo effect. And the other consequence is this: Although you’re familiar with the placebo effect, most people are not familiar with the no-cebo effect. Basically, the placebo effect demonstrates that a positive thought can heal you. The no-cebo effect is a scientific term for the fact that a negative thought can kill you. It’s the same power at work and it’s the power of thought. Not the power of positive thought, it’s the power of thought – just as powerful negative as it is positive. So if you recognize one third of all feelings are generated by a positive thought, then we must recognize the profound amount of all illnesses that are due to the negative thoughts. These are the things that drive heart attacks and cancer. Changing your belief system will eliminate the contribution from thought which is the primary contribution. I’ve got to tell you, though, I wouldn’t want to live without the medical profession. Why? Because if I’m in an accident, I don’t want a chiropractor sewing me up. If I need a heart transplant, then homeopathy is not the direction I want to go. Traditional medicine works miracles in anything it can call trauma. But when you get outside the range of trauma, the effectiveness declines significantly.
Devra: You know, I’m so thrilled to finally know somebody who’s not anti-medicine.
Dr. Lipton: No, it would be a horror to be out of the realm of their miracles of medicine.
Devra: And I think that doctors get lost in all of that. It took me a long time to find a doctor that was open to using the right thing for me at the right time. You know if you needed surgery, fine, do surgery. If you had homeopathic remedies or herbs or whatever, use that. Or change your lifestyle for potential heart problems. It was the first time a doctor had ever said, yes your cholesterol is high, why don’t you try resting, meditating to reduce your stress. Instead of here, let me put you on this drug that’s going to make your muscles die in a matter of weeks.
Dr. Lipton: That’s exactly right. If the AMA was running the business they might possibly be open to other things, which they are beginning to open to because it’s the public is forcing them to do that. The pressure is on because the public is finding the benefit. When more than 50% of the population seeks alternative or complimentary healers, then as a business model, you have to take a look at what’s going on. Again, it’s the pharmaceutical industry that has pushed every one of these drugs because simple it’s a corporation and the bottom line of any corporation is, do we make money? In a corporation that makes drugs the more drugs you can sell the more money you can make. You can see why television advertising has people wanting every damn drug they can get because the pictures on the TV are better than they’re own lives. We’ve always connected the drug with the healing. This is one of the perceptions that is about to be changed in this world. We are about to re-empower ourselves through our own participation in our health and healing.
Devra: Yeah, I can’t tell you how many times doctors have said to me, “You’ll be dead in a week!” And I’d say, “No, I don’t think you’re right. Sorry, that doesn’t feel right to me.”
Dr. Lipton: Exactly. For several thousands of years, we’ve continuously given up our own power to beliefs that actually are not true. Now we have an opportunity to regain power over our lives. When you have power over your life, then all of a sudden, you are participating in this life and not just responding to it.
Devra: Absolutely. Because we should be at cause for our own lives and not at effect of it.
Dr. Lipton: We are, but we don’t know it.
Devra: Before we end our interview, I want to let our readers know your website is www.brucelipton.com
Dr. Lipton: Thank you. There’s lots of information that people can download – articles and resources and stuff like that, free stuff so it’s not a sales gimmick.
Devra: And The Biology of Belief is also available in all major bookstores and it’s so interesting to open up something that can finally kind of tie together all of those readers. I mean, I do a lot with science in Mystic Pop, and one of the reasons I do it is because people who may not be that into the “spiritual,” “Now Age” kind of thing can find their path through science back to the same place.
Dr. Lipton: Absolutely. And that was a surprise to me. To me it’s the image of the snake on its tail. I was avoiding spirituality by going into science. I thought spiritual people were the most freaky, scary people in my life So, I really avoided spirituality and went on this total scientific path, only to find out when I got to the end my search had lead me to the opening of my spirituality. So it was a circular search in the end.
Devra: And we’re so glad to have you.
20 In fact, how do I know whether I have any control of my genes or not?
Recent research on identical twins showed how their lives changed their genetic read-out. When a sperm and egg come together at conception, the new fertilized cell has two complete sets of genes, one from the mother and one from the father. Most of the traits in the body only use one of the two genes for each trait provided by the two parents. When born, the genes selected in each identical twin’s genome were about the same. However, as the siblings grow up and have different life experiences they end up selecting different gene combinations. Overtime, their life experiences lead to each having a unique gene profile different from their identical twin. This is simple proof of how life experiences lead to changes in gene activity.
21 You say that our genes are a kind of blueprint. And, more impressive, that they will be rewritten. How?
As mentioned above, genes are linear molecular blueprints; the sequence of DNA bases (also known as A, T, C and G, standing for adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanosine) represents the “genetic code.” The sequence of the code is used in assembling a “string” of amino acids that form the backbone of a protein molecule. Different amino acid sequences make different shaped protein molecules. The shapes of the building block proteins are important in assembling the structure of the cell and for generating movements that create the cell’s functions.
The DNA is a linear code. However, epigenetic mechanisms can cut the code up into pieces and reassemble them in a variety of ways. So that a single gene blueprint can be used to make 30,000 different versions of proteins. This means we can rewrite a healthy gene code and create a mutated protein product, OR, we can rewrite a mutant genetic code and create a normal protein product. Through epigentic mechanisms we actively participate with our own gene activity. Unfortunately, we have been doing this all our lives, but we did not know we were doing it…and in the absence of that knowledge, we have not been aware that our lifestyle, thoughts, and emotions have been influencing our genetics.
22 Is it possible to reshape our deepest thoughts?
Absolutely! The problem is we did not understand the way our minds work. We have two minds, the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is the one we associate with our personal identity, it is the thinking, reasoning mind. The subconscious mind, as the name implies, operates with out supervision of the conscious mind, it is the “automatic mind.” If the beliefs in the subconscious mind conflict with the desires of the conscious mind…which one will win out? The answer is clearly the subconscious mind, for it is one million times more powerful an information processor than the conscious mind, and as neuroscientists reveal, it operates about 95% of the time.
We used to think that if the conscious mind became aware of our issues, it would automatically correct any negative programs downloaded in our subconscious mind. This is why people have a tendency to “talk to themselves” with the hope of changing limiting subconscious programs. Unfortunately, this does not work. The reason, the subconscious mind is like a tape player, it records behavior and at the push of a button, the program will replay over and over again (habits). The problem is there is no “entity” in the subconscious mind that “listens” to what the conscious mind wants! It is simply a tape recorder. One can consciously change the subconscious mind’s programs, but not by talking to or reasoning with it.
There are three ways that are very effective in changing old, limiting or sabotaging beliefs in the subconscious mind: Buddhist mindfulness, clinical hypnotherapy and an exciting new healing modality frequently called “energy psychology.” Discussions of these different programming methods are available in the Resource section on my website (www.brucelipton.com)
23 Have you seen this situation in your life? Could you give us an example?
I first started writing my book in 1992 and over 15 years I had started and restarted the book several times, going half way into the story each time before I hit a wall, writers block, and I couldn’t go on. I later found that my subconscious mind was in fear of completing the project because I felt my life (career) would be threatened if I published a book that my conventional colleagues would consider as heretical.
Once I found the subconscious program that was sabotaging writing, I “reprogrammed” my subconscious mind with the belief that it would be safe to write this the book and that the writing process itself would be fun, easy and fast. Within three months the book was in final form and on its way to press.
My partner Margaret and I programmed our subconscious minds so that we would, in fairytale fashion, “live happily ever after…on an eternal honeymoon.” Though it’s not yet “ever after,” we have been on a continuous honeymoon for twelve years and that’s just the beginning!
24 And if the positive thoughts don’t work with me, what does it mean? Am I “maladjusted”? A helpless mind?
As described above, there are two minds, the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is the seat of your personal identity, desires, wishes and aspirations; it is the “thinking” rational mind. When you are generating “positive thoughts,” you are using the conscious mind.
The subconscious mind is a database of learned “habits,” which are downloaded with primary beliefs beginning midway through gestation and for the first six years of life. The subconscious mind is one million times more powerful in processing information than the conscious mind. Also the subconscious mind controls our behavior about 95% of the time.
If the beliefs in programmed subconscious mind do not support the desires of the positive thoughts…which mind will “win”? Do the math, the subconscious mind is 1,000,000X more powerful and operates 95% of the time. Positive thoughts will not work for most people because the beliefs programmed into their subconscious mind will limit or sabotage the goal of the conscious mind’s positive thoughts. Positive thinking really works when the desired objective is supported by both the intentions of the conscious mind and the programs in the subconscious mind.
If a person is unaware of the dual nature of their mind and the fact that the subconscious mind is more powerful, the failure to get results from positive thinking is often quite frustrating and sometimes psychologically damaging.
25 Could you give us some advice on how to control our health beyond our emotions and genes?
The most important advice I feel I can offer is to check-in with the beliefs that are held in your subconscious mind, for those behavioral programs shape your health and the character of your life. Since the most fundamental of those programs were downloaded into our subconscious mind before six, we really have no conscious awareness of the nature of many of these programs…many of which may be self-sabotaging or limiting and preventing us from experiencing the life we desire.
26 Are the schools teaching your discoveries?
Firstly, they are not really “my” discoveries! I am just one pioneer among many others who are revising the scientific principles we have grown up with. There are now many younger scientists that are forging a wider path into the realms of the “new biology.”
Some of the new insights, especially regarding epigenetics are just now beginning to show up in regular schools. However, the information about energy vibrations and health, as well as the important role of the subconscious and conscious minds is not yet being offered to the public. Conventional textbooks are usually from 10 to 15 years behind the leading edge of science, so the schools do not yet have the new sciences incorporated in their curriculum.
27 What did you mean with this statement: a human organism is not a singular individual, it is in reality, a “community”?
When we look into a mirror we usually recognize the image as our self, a single living human entity. But this is a misperception, because in truth the cells are the living entities. An individual human is actually close-knit community of approximately 50 trillion cells. Every cell is intelligent and can survive outside of your body by living and growing in a tissue culture dish.
However, when in the body, each cell is becomes an integral part of a community, working with the other cells that share the common vision of the community. The nervous system acts as a government that controls and coordinates the functions of the body’s cells. When the mind serves as a “good” government, the cellular community is in harmony and expresses health. If the mind is confused, angered, in fear or disturbed, it can destroy the harmony of the cellular community and lead to dis-ease or even death.
Just remember, your thoughts are sent to the body’s cells via neuro-chemicals and nerve transmission. If you are harsh on yourself, it’s your cells that are the ones that physically feel the brunt of your anger. Cell’s are generally very loyal, to the extent that if you so wish it, they will actually commit suicide (apoptosis in the cellular world). Positive and negative thoughts shape your biology, for your mind is actually “governing” 50 trillion cells.
28 In what ways is a human cell a unit of perception and what kinds of beliefs influence this model?
Cells are in fact, “miniature” people, for cells and humans have all the same systems (e.g., digestive, respiratory, reproductive, nervous and immune systems). Each cell, like every human, has receptors built into its skin so it can become aware of (perceive) the environment. Cells have receptor molecules built into their skin (cell membrane) that act in the same manner as receptors built into our skin-our eyes, ears, nose, taste and touch receptors.
Therefore cells live in their “world” in much the same manner as we live in our “world.” Cells have perceptions of their environment and are very aware as to what is going on in their massive, trillion-celled community. However, they receive broadcasts from the “government,” the mind, about the conditions of the world and the needs and demands upon the cellular community. Therefore if we have fears about life, then every one of our cells is reading our fear experience via the chemistry and electromagnetic vibrations sent throughout the body. When we are happy our cells are happy. Our beliefs are broadcast to, and shared with, all of our cellular citizens. In their own biochemistry, cells have chemical/vibrational experiences that we would sense as rage, anger, love, and bliss. Your cells experience the same life you experience!
29 Do our cells react to bad energies in a room, for example? Or to thoughts from another person?
Actually, our brain responds to the energy vibrations that constitute the field. The brain easily detects harmonious and disharmonious energies in the field…when it does, it sends out chemistry to control the body’s functions. We experience the chemical information sent to our cells by the brain as “good and bad vibes.” There are now many published scientific experiments that reveal people can be physiologically connected and respond to others via thoughts and meditation techniques. Quantum biophysics is the field of study that is providing a scientific foundation for the principles of energy medicine that have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years (e.g., acupuncture, feng shui and chi exercises).
30 Almost all of us have bad thoughts sometimes. Do you have them, too?
Not so much now! Ever since I started rewriting my subconscious programs, I have had a better life and that is directly associated with having better thoughts and beliefs. I know that “bad” things happen in this world, but I try not to dwell on them because I know that my beliefs and thoughts are actually influencing my life experiences. One of the important lessons of the new science is that we are continuously participating in the creation of our own life experiences. The joy for me is that upon exercising that understanding, I have created a most beautiful and lovely life experience for the last twenty years…and I don’t think that is an “accident.”
31 What are you researching now?
Currently, I am translating the awareness offered by the 50 trillion-celled communities (a human body) that have successfully been living on this planet for over a million years. Cells are miniature people and their social rules and customs can be directly applied to human civilization. My new book, Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There from Here, co-authored with Steve Bhaerman, focuses upon the fact that our global crises are pushing human civilization to evolve…or go extinct. The book is based upon a study of how 50 trillion cellular citizens can work in harmony and health, and that all can experience a life of bliss.
32 How do you connect the Darwinian science with the destruction of our environment? Could you explain it?
Darwinian science has two environmentally destructive components: 1) The belief that we arose from random mutations is a negative belief because it implies that there was no “reason” for the existence of any species, including ourselves. This kind of thinking separates us from all the other organisms in the biosphere. This belief is destructive because it separates us from Nature and in truth we are an integral part of Nature. We and every other organism were created to maintain an ecological balance in the environment…and in our ignorance we have actually been destroying the environment that provides for our existence.
Secondly, Darwinian theory has provided us with the perception that life is a continuous series of violent competitions for survival. With its apocalyptic vision, Darwinian theory has the world and its inhabitants in constant chaos and life-threatening competition. However, new insights now reveal that evolution is not based upon competition it is based upon cooperation. So we must let go of the Darwinian vision of struggle, for it conflicts with an evolution that emphasizes harmony and community. Global Humanity is a single organism comprised of billions of human “cells” trying to learn how to live in harmony before we all go extinct.
33 You say that we need to be able to guide our stem cells to renew our lives. And improve our lifespan to 120-140 years. Is it the dream of the fountain of youth? How can we do that?
Recent research on organisms exhibiting greater longevity than others in their species have revealed that almost all of these long-lived individuals had gene mutations that affected their insulin pathways and reduced their ability to digest food. When scientists did experiments in which regular animals were given subsistence-level diets (greatly reduced amount of food), they found that they could almost double the life span of every type of organism studied. These tests are now being applied to humans.
It appears that in digesting food, the process creates toxins (free-radicals) that poison our systems and shorten our lives. The interesting point is that when humans evolved there were no supermarkets, our ancestors did not have much food…and they were healthier for it. Today, in the face of technology and industrial farming we have the opportunity of over-eating and taxing our systems. Unfortunately, we have become “habituated” to eating too much, so that when portions are reduced, people psychologically feel they are not getting enough. We have to change our programming about food and then we will have the opportunity to double our life spans.
34 How long do you expect to live? What do you do in order to achieve that?
I have never really focused upon “how long” I will live. However, my research has emphasized that it would be better to pay attention to having the best life experiences I can while I am still alive. Live everyday to the fullest and there will be no regrets later!
9 Who is in charge in our body?
During the first few weeks of embryonic development the genes are primarily controlling the unfolding of the body plan of a human (e.g., creating two arms, two legs, ten fingers and ten toes, etc.). Once the embryo takes on the shape of a human, it is called a fetus. In the fetal stage of development, the genes take a back seat to control by environmental information. During this period the fetal body’s structure and function are adjusted in response to the mother’s perception of the environment. Maternal hormones, growth factors and emotional chemistry controlling the mother’s biological response to the environment pass through the placenta and influence the genetics and behavioral programming of the fetus.
I refer to this period where the mother’s perception and interpretation of the world are relayed to the fetus via the chemistry of the mother’s blood as “Nature’s Head-Start Program.” This maternally-relayed “information” about environmental conditions allows the developing fetus to adjust its biology so that when it is born, it’s structure and physiology will be more in tune with the world in which the child will live.
The “reading” of the environment’s signals (in the womb and after birth) enables the body’s cells and their genes to make appropriate biological adjustments to support and sustain life. Since the environmental signals are read and interpreted by the mind’s “perceptions,” the mind becomes the primary force that ultimately shapes an individual’s life and health.
10 Please, talk about how the energy impacts cells. Could you describe this mechanism?
Using conventional human senses (e.g., sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, etc.) we have come to perceive the world in which we live in terms of physical and non-physical reality. For example, apples are physical matter and television broadcasts are in the realm of energy waves. Around 1925, physicists adopted a new view of the physical reality that has become known as quantum mechanics.
Originally, science thought that atoms were made up of smaller particles of matter (electrons, neutrons, and protons), however modern physicists found that these subatomic particles were actually immaterial energy vortices (resembling nano-scaled tornados). In truth, atoms are made out of energy and not physical matter. So everything that we thought was physical matter is in reality made up of focused energy waves or vibrations.
Therefore the whole Universe is actually made out of energy, and what we perceive as matter is also energy. The collective energy waves of the Universe, which might be referred to as “invisible moving forces,” comprise the field (for more information see Lynne MacTaggart’s book, The Field).
While quantum physics recognizes the energetic nature of the Universe, biology has never really incorporated the role of invisible moving forces in its understanding of life. Biology still perceives of the world in terms of Newtonian physical molecules, pieces of matter that assemble like locks and keys. Biochemistry emphasizes that life functions result from the binding of physical chemicals similar to an image of puzzle pieces plugging into each other.
Such a belief insists that if we want to change the operation of the biological machine then we must change its chemistry. This belief system emphasizing “chemistry” leads to a healing modality that focuses upon the use of drugs…allopathic medicine. However, conventional medicine is no longer scientific in that it still emphasizes the Newtonian idea of a mechanistic world and does not recognize the role of the invisible moving forces that comprise the world of quantum mechanics.
In physics there is an understanding that if two things have the same energy vibrations, they share “harmonic resonance,” meaning that when one vibrates it causes the other to vibrate. For example, when a vocalist can sing the right note, one in tune with the atoms in a crystal goblet, their voice (vibration) can cause the goblet to shatter. The energy of the voice combines with the energy of the goblet’s atoms and the two energies become so powerful together, it causes the goblet’s atoms to fly apart and break the glass.
Some energies when added together become constructive, that is the two energies are summed together producing a more powerful vibratory energy. However, two energy waves can interact and cancel each other out, so when combined, the power of the combined energies become 0. In humans, when energies are constructive and give more power, we actually physically experience these energies “good vibes.” However, when two energies cancel each other out, we experience this energetically weakened state as “bad vibes.”
Microwave oven energy vibrations “harmonically resonant” to certain food molecules cause them to move faster which results in food getting hot. Noise canceling earphones (e.g., made by Bose company) generate vibrational frequencies that are “destructive” (out of phase) to ambient noise frequencies and this causes the background sounds to be cancelled-out and the sound disappears. Biologists are now finding that biological functions and molecules can be controlled using harmonic vibratory frequencies, including light and sound vibrations.
It is nececessary that biology incorporate an understanding of energetics and energy fields, because energy waves profoundly influence matter. A great quote by Albert Einstein states: “The field is the sole governing agency of the particle.” Einstein is saying that the invisible forces (the field) are responsible for shaping the material world (the particle). To understand the character of a person’s body or health, one must consider the role of the invisible energetic field as a primary influence. The problem is that conventional medicine has not really acknowledged that the field even exists, although the “influence of invisible moving forces” has been demonstrated in published scientific articles for over fifty years.
The conventional model of medicine based upon Newtonian physics has provided for miracles such as heart transplants and reconstructive surgeries. However, conventional allopathic medical sciences do not know how cells actually work and are still inappropriately emphasizing the role of genes in controlling our lives and health issues. Biomedicine is still steeped in a mechanistic, material universe. Medical science focuses its attention on the physical body and material world and have completely ignored the role quantum mechanics.
Once medicine starts to understand and acknowledge the influences of energy fields as important, influential determinants, they will then have a more realistic picture of how life works. Simply stated, conventional medicine alone is not truly scientific in that it does not invoke the Universe mechanisms recognized by quantum physics.
11 How does the power of energy fields control the body’s biochemistry?
The functions of the body are derived from the movement of molecules (primarily proteins). Molecules change shape (they move!) in response to environmental electromagnetic charges. Physical influences such as hormones, growth factors, food molecules and drugs can provide these movement-inducing electrical charges. However, harmonically resonant vibrational energy fields can also cause molecules to change shape and activate their functions. Chemicals can activate protein enzymes in a test tube and the same proteins can be activated using electromagnetic frequencies including light waves.
The problem lies in the fact that conventional biology does not emphasize the physics of quantum energy fields in understanding the mechanics of the cell. Therefore when the topic of “energy” healing is discussed, conventional science ignores it as irrelevant because it is not in their textbooks. Unfortunately for conventional medicine, the newer scientific insights into how molecules move and generate life are recognizing the powerful role of energy fields in shaping the structure and behavior of matter, factors that control life.
12 Do the biologists who believe in evolutional theory refuse the idea of powerful energy fields?
Conventional evolution theory is based upon the fact that genetic mutations are random events (accidents) that are not connected to the conditions of the environment. Therefore, evolution theory does not consider either the physical environment or the energetic environment as relevant in shaping genetic mutations. However, the notion of accidental mutations as the source of evolutionary diversity is giving way to an understanding that cells can generate what are called adaptive, directed or beneficial mutations wherein organismal interactions with their environment play an active role in shaping the cell’s genome.
Once the mutation event occurs (random or adaptive), conventional science then emphasizes the role of the environment as the selection factor in weeding out organisms with dysfunctional mutations from those with beneficial mutations. This is referred to as natural selection. However, only the physical environment is considered in this selection process, consequently science does not factor in the role of the invisible energy fields as a contributing element in “selecting” or influencing the survival of organisms.
13 Could you describe the cells reactions above stimuli?
Discussed in Question #10 and #11 above.
14 Can you explain how the cells respond to energy patterns and in what ways it relates to quantum physics? Before, could you define quantum physics?
As described above, quantum physics is the newer science of how the universe “works,” and it is based upon the whole Universe being a creation made out of energy. In contrast, the outdated version of how the Universe worked, Newtonian physics, emphasized the role of matter as separate from energy.
In the old Newtonian physics version of life, cells are made out of pieces of matter (molecules) and could only be influenced by other pieces of matter (molecules such as hormones or drugs). The newer insights on molecules offered by quantum physics reveals that molecules are units of vibrating energy that can be influenced by both matter and invisible energy waves (harmonic resonance). Constructive interference (i.e., good vibes) and destructive interference (i.e., bad vibes) can control the movements of protein molecules.
Since life is derived from the movement of protein molecules, then it’s understandable how energy fields influence life by causing molecules to change shape.
15 Your work concludes that evolution is based upon fractal geometry. Could you explain these ideas to a 14-year-old boy? If he understands, I will, too.
Understanding the definition of geometry explains why this math is important for studying the structure of our environment and biosphere. Geometry is the math that describes “the way the different parts of something fit together in relation to each other.” Geometry is the math of how to put structure into space. Until 1975, the only geometry we studied was Euclidian geometry, which is easy to understand because it deals with structures like cubes, spheres and cones that can be mapped on graph paper.
However, Euclidian geometry does not apply to Nature. In Nature, most structures display irregular and chaotic-appearing patterns. These natural structures can only be created by using the recently discovered math called fractal geometry. The mathematics of fractals is amazingly simple because you need only one equation, using only simple multiplication and addition. When the equation is solved, the result is put back into the original equation and the equation is solved again. This process can be repeated an infinite number of times.
Inherent in the geometry of fractals is the creation of ever-repeating, “self-similar” patterns nested within one another. You can get a rough idea of “repeating shapes” by picturing the popular toy, hand-painted Russian nesting dolls. Each smaller doll (structure) is a miniature, but not necessarily an exact version of the larger doll (form). This new math is the science behind the old saying, “As above, so below.”
In a fractal Nature, the appearances of structures at any level of organization are “self-similar” to the structures found in higher or lower levels of organization. Therefore a fractal understanding of the organization at one level is applicable to understanding an organization at another level. When applied to the new biology, this new math reveals that a cell, a human and human civilization are “self-similar” images at different levels of organization. So by studying a cell, one can learn about a human. By studying the community of cells in a human body, one can learn the nature of forming a successful community of humans that form the larger organism, humanity.
Perhaps we will find the answers for saving civilization through a study of the very successful cellular civilizations beneath our skin
16 Are there any scientists following these ideas? Who?
Every week the current scientific journals are publishing exciting new research on the topics emphasized in the “new biology.” One of the new stars in the science of epigenetics is Randy Jirtle (Duke University in Durham, N.C,USA) who is providing amazing experiments on using epigenetic control mechanisms to reverse genetic mutations. Dr Andrew Weil from the University of Arizona is a leading physician in complementary medicine.
17 If genes or DNA do not control our body, what is their function?
There are about 23,000 “conventional” genes that are actually molecular “blueprints” used in making proteins, the molecular building blocks of the cell and the human body. A second type of gene is called a “regulatory” gene whose function is to “control” the activity of other genes.
The problem that science encountered with the results of the Human Genome Project is that the body has over 100,000 different proteins and since each protein needs a gene as a blueprint for its construction, it was believed that the human genome would have over 100,000 genes. Unfortunately, the results of the Genome Project revealed that there were only 23,000 genes. This finding pulled the rug out from conventional science’s belief in genetic control…for there were too many “missing” genes.
The old belief in genetic control is now giving way to the new science of epigenetic control (epi- in Latin means above, so epigenetic control literally reads as “control above the genes”). Epigenetic control mechanisms connect environmental signals (what’s going on in the world) with the control of gene activity. Epigenetic mechanisms turn gene activity on or off and they also control how much protein will be made from each gene. More amazingly, epigenetic mechanisms can be used to create over 30,000 different variations of protein molecules from an average gene.
Meaning: Genes are potentials that are selected and shaped by epigenetic mechanisms that are responding to environmental signals. Genes are “blueprints” for the body’s construction and epigenetic mechanisms resemble a contractor that can select and modify the gene blueprints to fit the perceived needs of the body.
18 How can your ideas influence our everyday life? What could or should believing that genes do not govern our bodies – but are governed by our mind instead – change in our routine?
In biology education, from elementary school through introductory college biology courses, students get an incomplete understanding of how life works. Most people are educated with the belief that genes “control” life. This incorrect idea is consistently repeated in newspaper and magazine stories about the discovery of genes claimed to control this trait or that disease. From their abbreviated education, most people believe that their fate is programmed in their genes. This belief is especially strong when a person realizes that cancer, heart failure or some other disease “runs” in their family.
Since we didn’t pick our genes, and since we cannot change them, we buy into the assumption that we are “victims” of heredity. Realizing that we are stuck with our genes and that we can’t do anything about them, most people resign to the belief that they are powerless in controlling their lives. Because of this belief, people become irresponsible when it comes to matters of their own health. They think, “If I can’t do anything about it anyway…why should I care.”
The new science reveals that our thoughts actively shape our genetics. This understanding is not new; it is precisely the foundation for the placebo effect. This effect is expressed when a person’s belief leads to a healing even though they have been given an inert sugar pill. Medicine recognizes that one third of all healings are the result of the mind acting through the placebo effect. The best example of the placebo effect is Prozac, which in laboratory tests was shown to be no more effective than a sugar pill. That’s a billion dollars of profit for the pharmaceutical companies from a drug that was no more effective than a placebo.
However, most people are unaware of the equally powerful but opposite effect known as the nocebo effect. The nocebo effect represents the consequences of bad or negative thoughts that can create disease or even kill. Science has already owned the mind’s role in healing, but there is no extensive research on the placebo and nocebo effects primarily because there is no money to be made by the pharmaceutical companies if people used their minds to heal themselves instead of using drugs.
If people were encouraged to use the placebo effect for healing, we could immediately reduce healthcare expenses by one third. This is the power of the placebo effect’s influence and yet science has not even studied this effect. Imagine if we understood how to enhance the placebo effect, it is likely that we could easily reduce healthcare costs by more than 50% without doing anything more than changing our thinking!
19 Do you believe that we can avoid diseases like depression, diabetes or dementia if we send positive messages to our cells? How?
Only about 5% of human diseases are related to inborn genetic defects (also known as birth defects), this means that 95% of us were born with an adequate genome to have a healthy happy life. For those of us in the latter category that end up with health issues, the question is why are we having problems with our lives or health? It is now recognized that life style is the cause of over 90% of heart disease, over 60% of cancer and maybe all of Type II diabetes (see www.rawfor30days.com for video of how changing life style “cures” diabetes!!!!). The more we look, the more we see how our emotions, reactions to life, our fears, our poor diets, lack of exercise and excessive stress shapes our lives.
The importance of all this is that we DO have significant control over our biology, and with our intentions, we can “reprogram” our health and our lives. Medicine seeks “cures” but does not really emphasize “prevention.” If we were truly trained to know how our biology works, people would have the opportunity to influence their health and this would be the best preventative for disease. The public is programmed to see themselves as victims, yet we are truly powerful enough to control our health.
The problem with the notion of positive thinking as a cure for our ills is that the idea is truly misleading…positive thinking alone cannot get us to our wishes. The primary reason for the failure of positive thinking is that the programs operating from our subconscious minds, not from our “thinking” conscious minds, primarily control our lives. Unfortunately, as the name implies, the subconscious mind operates without observation by the conscious mind. In fact, the subconscious mind is essentially independent of the conscious mind.
We are now aware that most of the fundamental programs and “beliefs” stored in the subconscious mind were acquired before six years of age at which time the brain starts expressing alpha EEG waves associated with conscious activity. Therefore most of the subconscious mind’s programming occurred while we were not even expressing conscious awareness. Psychologists reveal that many of our developmental experiences actually result in the programming of limiting or self-sabotaging beliefs in the subconscious mind.
The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that over 95% of our life is controlled by the invisible (i.e., generally not observed) programs stored in the subconscious mind. So while we may exercise wonderful positive healing thoughts with our conscious mind, our unconscious mind’s programs and beliefs are actually shaping our lives. The problem lies in the fact that the behaviors programmed into the subconscious mind, before age six, were directly downloaded by observing others such as our parents, family and community.
Therefore the programs that control most of our cognitive activity (those from the subconscious mind) are actually those derived from others. The problem is that their behaviors may not in any way support the wishes, intentions and desires that we hold in our conscious mind. Since the subconscious mind essentially runs the show, we inevitably find conflict in trying to obtain the desires of our personal conscious mind (and this applies to the issue of positive thinking and why it frequently does not work).
The Biology of Belief book is now available in Porteguese by Butterfly Editora Ltda in Brazil. The following interview was done with Mônica Tarantino & Eduardo Araia for Planeta Magazine, May 2008. For the Porteguese translation, see Entrevista, Edição 428 – Maio/2008, at www.revistaplaneta.com.br.
1 You are one of the most important voices of a new biology. What are the differences between the traditional biology and your version?
When I first introduced the concepts that I collectively I refer to as the “new biology” in 1980, almost all of my scientific colleagues ignored these new ideas as unbelievable and some even went as far as calling it a scientific “heresy.” However, since that time, conventional biology has been undergoing a profound revision of its basic beliefs. The new revisions of biomedicine are leading traditional science toward the same conclusions I had twenty-five years ago. The funny part is that when I first presented public lectures on the “new biology” in 1985, my scientific peers walked out on my lectures considering the ideas as flights of fantasy. Today, when presenting the same information, research scientists are quick to respond, “So what is it that you are saying that is new?” Indeed, our biological beliefs are evolving.
While leading edge science has acquired a different view of how life works, the general public is still being educated with the outdated beliefs. Scientists know that genes don’t control life, yet most media (TV, radio, newspapers and magazines) are still informing the public that genes control their lives. People are still primarily attributing their deficiencies and illnesses to genetic dysfunctions. Since we are taught that genes “control” life, and as far as we know we did not select our genes nor can we change them, then we perceive we are powerless in controlling our biology and behaviors. The beliefs about genes cause the public to perceive of themselves as “victims” of heredity.
Yet today there are still some very significant differences between the views of conventional biology and the insights offered by the “new biology.” Firstly, traditional biologists still acknowledge that the nucleus (the cell organelle that contains the genes) “controls” biology, an idea that emphasizes genes as the “primary” controlling factor in life. In contrast the “new biology” concludes that the cell membrane (the “skin” of the cell) is the structure that primarily “controls” an organism’s behavior and genetics.
The membrane contains the molecular switches that regulate a cell’s functions in response to environmental signals. For example, a light switch can be used to turn a light on and off. Does the switch “control” the light? Not really, since the switch is actually “controlled’ by the person that turns it on and off. A membrane switch is analogous to a light switch in that it turns a cell function or the reading of a gene on and off…yet the membrane switch is actually activated by an environmental signal. So the “control” is not in the switch, it is in the environment. While conventional biologists are now recognizing that the environment is an important contributor in regulating biology, the “new biology” emphasizes the environment as the primary control in biology.
Secondly, conventional biomedical science emphasizes that the physical “mechanisms” that control biology are grounded in Newtonian mechanics. In contrast, the “new biology” acknowledges that the mechanisms of the cell are controlled by quantum mechanics. This is a major difference in perspective for the following reason: Newtonian mechanics places emphasis on the material realm (atoms and molecules), while quantum mechanics focuses upon the role of the invisible energy forces that collectively form the “field” (see The Field by Lynne MacTaggart).
Medicine sees the body as strictly a mechanical device composed of physical biochemicals and genes. If the operation of the body is dis-eased, medicine uses physical drugs and chemistry to heal the body. In the quantum universe, it is recognized that invisible energy fields and physical molecules cooperate in creating life. In fact, quantum mechanics recognizes that the invisible moving forces of the field are the primary factors that shape matter. At the very leading edge of biophysics today, scientists are also recognizing that the body’s molecules are actually controlled by vibrational energy frequencies, so that light, sound and other electromagnetic energies profoundly influence all the functions of life. This new insight about the power of energy forces provides an understanding of how Asian energy medicine (e.g., acupuncture, feng shui), homeopathy, chiropractic and other complementary healing modalities influence health.
Among the “energy” forces that control biology are the electromagnetic fields that are generated by the mind. In conventional biology, the action of the mind is not really incorporated into the understanding of life. This is very surprising in that medicine acknowledges that the placebo effect is responsible for at least one third of all medical healing, including surgery. The placebo effect occurs when someone is healed due to their belief (action of the mind) that a drug or medical procedure is going to heal them, even though that drug can be a sugar pill or the procedure a sham. Interestingly, the influence of this very valuable healing ability is generally disregarded by conventional allopathic medicine and even “despised” by the drug companies that prefer to see drugs as the only remedy for disease.
The “new biology” emphasizes the role of the mind as the primary factor influencing health. This is an important difference because it acknowledges that we are not necessarily victims of the biology, and that with proper understanding we can use the mind as a power that controls life. In this reality, since we can control our thoughts, we become masters of our biology and not victims of hardwired genes.
Thirdly, the “new biology” emphasizes that evolution is not driven by the mechanisms emphasized in Darwinian biology. While the “new biology” still recognizes that life evolved over time, it suggests that it was more influence by Lamarckian mechanisms than Darwinian mechanisms. (This answer is discussed in more detail in the Darwinian question below.)
In conclusion, the intention of the “new biology” is not so much directed toward the scientific community (which has already begun revising its belief system) as it is intended for the public (lay audience) that is still being mis-educated with old, outdated and limiting beliefs. The public needs to be aware of the new science for it represents knowledge that will allow them to have more power over their lives.
This is new knowledge is about “self.” Since knowledge is power, than “knowledge of self” directly means self-empowerment, exactly what we need during these troubling times for the planet.
2 Do you experience any kind of pressure because of your ideas? If so, what sort of pressure?
Not really. Most conventional scientists simply ignore my ideas and instead favor maintaining conventional beliefs, in spite of the fact that medicine has become the leading cause of death in the United States (see statistics for iatrogenic illness). However, since 2000, I have noted that more and more scientists are beginning to acknowledge that there is indeed a real theoretical basis for the “new science” I present. On a daily basis, newly published scientific research is continuously confirming the ideas presented in The Biology of Belief book.
For example, Chapter 2 in my book is about how the environment programs the genetic activity of cloned cells. I titled this chapter It’s the Environment, Stupid. Four months after the book was published, the prestigious scientific journal Nature had a lead article on how genes in stem cells were being programmed by the environment. They titled their article It’s the Ecology, Stupid! I was excited because they were verifying what I wrote and even used the exact same title. (There is an old saying, “Imitation is the sincerest from of flattery,” an indeed, I was flattered by their article!)
It is very difficult for scientists to let go of established beliefs they have been trained with and use in their research. When new insights of science come into their field, many scientists stubbornly prefer to hold on to their outdated views. I believe that science is unintentionally holding back from acknowledging necessary advances we could use in keeping our world from crashing because of the difficulty in releasing limiting beliefs. Yet the new science insights account for what we already know while providing explanations for many of the unexplained observations such as miraculous healings and spontaneous remissions.
3 How does your theory contest the Darwinism? Could you describe and explain these main aspects?
Firstly, people confuse evolution with Darwinian theory. Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck scientifically established evolution in 1809, fifty years before Darwin’s theory. Darwinian theory is about “how” evolution occurred. Darwinian theory offers two basic steps: 1) Random Mutation- the belief that gene mutations are random and not influenced by the environment. Simply, evolution is driven by “accidents.” 2) Natural Selection- Nature eliminates the weakest organisms in a “struggle” for existence. Simply, life is based upon competition with winners and losers.
New scientific insights offer a different picture. In 1988, research established that when stressed, organisms have molecular adaptation mechanisms to select genes and modify their genetic code. Simply, organisms can change their genetics in response to environmental experiences. Consequently, there are now two types of genetic mutations: “random” and “adaptive.” In accepting “directed” mutations as an evolutionary mechanism, logic would select that process as highly probable in shaping the evolution and beautiful organization of the biosphere. While it could always be argued that life arose through “accidental” random mutations, it would be highly improbable that this mechanism would be the primary drive force behind evolution.
Conclusion: the order of life implies we are not likely accidents of random evolution, for we evolved from, and are totally connected to, everything on this planet. This new vision reveals that human influences in destroying the environment are actually leading to our own extinction. Humans were truly meant to be the gardeners in the Garden of Eden.
Darwinian theory further emphasizes that life is based upon a “survival of the fittest in the struggle for existence,” implying that it is a “dog-eat-dog” world where we must struggle to stay alive. This idea of “struggle” was originally based upon Thomas Malthus’ theory that predicted: “Animals reproduce so quickly that there will come a time when there will be too many animals and not enough food.” So life will inevitably result in a struggle and only the “fittest” will survive the competition. This idea has carried over into human culture so that we see our daily lives as one long competition driven by the fear of losing the struggle. Unfortunately, Malthus’ idea was found to be scientifically incorrect, consequently the competitive character of Darwinian theory is basically flawed.
New insights offered in biology are now revealing that the biosphere (all the animals and plants together) is a giant integrated community that is truly based upon a cooperation of the species. Nature does not really care about the individuals in a species; Nature cares about what the species as a “whole” is doing to the environment. Simply, Nature does not care that we have had an Einstein, a Mozart or a Michelangelo (examples of humanity’s “fittest”), Nature is more concerned about how human civilization is cutting down the rain forests and changing the climate.
The “new biology” emphasizes that evolution is 1) not an accident and 2) is based upon cooperation, these insights are profoundly different than those offered by conventional Darwinian theory. A newer theory of evolution would emphasize the nature of harmony and community as a driving force behind evolution, ideas that are completely different than today’s notion of life/death competition.
4 Could you tell us how you have concluded we can command and modify our cells and genes? You were part of the beginning of the researches about stem cells. Was it from that experience that you concluded the characteristics and behavior of the cells reflect their environment and not their DNA?
My first scientific insights were based upon experiments I started in 1967 using cultures of cloned stem cells. In these studies, genetically identical cells were inoculated into three culture dishes, each having a different growth media (the cell’s “environment”). In one dish the stem cells turned into muscle, in the second dish the genetically identical cells turned into bone cells and in the third dish, the cells became fat cells. The point: the cells were genetically identical, only the “environments” were different. My experimental results, published in 1977, reveal the environment controlled the cell’s genetic activity.
These studies show that genes provide cells with “potentials,” which are selected and controlled by the cell in response to environmental conditions. Cells dynamically adjust their genes so that they can adapt their biology to the demands of the environment. My studies led me to the fact that the nucleus, the cytoplasmic organelle containing the genes, was not controlling the cell’s biology even though this is the belief that is still acknowledged in today’s textbooks.
I later found that the cell’s membrane (its “skin”) was actually the equivalent of the cell’s brain. Interestingly, in human development, the embryonic skin is the precursor of the human brain. In the cells and in the human, the brain reads and interprets the environmental information and then sends signals to control the organism’s functions and behaviors.
5 Later, you stated that the transformation of cells from the blood vessels in other tissues was related to signals sent by the central nervous system. So is it correct to say that it is possible to control the formation of the blood vessels from our mind? What is the physiological and mental path and the benefit of this power?
The structure and behavior of the blood vessels are highly regulated by the body so that the cardiovascular system can provide fresh oxygenated blood to tissues based upon their “needs.” If you are running away from a leopard you need blood to nourish your arms and legs as they run away from the threat, and when you have eaten dinner, you need blood in the gut to nourish the processes used for digestion. The point: different behaviors require different blood flow patterns. The body’s blood flow pattern is regulated by the brain that interprets the body’s needs and then sends signals to the blood vessels to control the function and genetics of the cells lining the blood vessel.
Blood serves as the provider of both the body’s nutrition and of the immune system. The blood vessels have different behavioral characters when they are involved with nutrition function (growth) or when they are engaged in an inflammation response (protection).
The functional and structural status of the blood vessel is based upon the body’s needs. The mind is the primary director of the body’s needs, so thoughts and beliefs acting through the nervous system directly results in the release of neurochemicals that influence the genetics and behavior of the blood vessels. Consequently, our mind can enhance our health by properly regulating vascular activity and can just as easily sabotage our health if the mind sends inappropriate regulatory signals to the body’s systems.
6 But for them to transform into a new type of cell isn’t it necessary for them to have a “multipotent” DNA? What can determine the changes in the tissues and in what way?
All cells in the body have the same genes (except the red blood cells that do not have a nucleus or genes). Every cell is endowed with the same genetic potential to form any tissue or organ. While most people think genes control the cell’s biology, genes are simply “blueprints” used in making the body’s protein building blocks. In early stages of development, all the genes in embryonic cells can be activated so these cells are truly “multipotential cells.” As development proceeds and cells differentiate into specialized tissue and organ cells, this maturation is accompanied by a “masking” of genes that will not be expressed by a particular cell. For example, when a cell differentiates into a muscle cell, the genes in its nucleus that can make nerve cells, bone cells, or skin cells are “inactivated.” The cell loses developmental potential as it matures.
Recently, scientists have found a way to “unmask” genes. They are able to reactivate gene programs that have been disenabled during development. In their study, they uncovered genes in a skin cell and reverted the mature, differentiated skin cell into a “stem cell,” a more primitive developmental state. New insights reveal that in response to certain environmental conditions (for example, the release of specific hormones and growth factors), cells activate or mask their genes in order to fine-tune their behavior and activity.
7 Did you test this model to show and replicate your theory to show the other scientists your point of view?
Back in the late 1970’s to early 1990’s, my research “conflicted” with the general beliefs held by cell biologists. Before I was able to publish research I did at University of Wisconsin or at Stanford University, my colleagues were consistently shown the results of these “strange” experiments, in order to give them a chance to critique my studies and be sure I was accurate in my interpretation of the results.
In fact, my last published research articles at Stanford University Medical School were delayed for almost a year until all those involved in the studies fully accepted the results and agreed on the interpretation of these unusual experiments. Even though they were intimately involved with these studies, the more conventional scientists in the group chose to ignore the results and consider them to be an “exception” to the established beliefs. Unfortunately, scientific principles cannot have “exceptions,” If a principle has exceptions, it simply means the assumed belief is incomplete or incorrect!
8 What are the consequences of this conclusion for the science? Does it represent the possibility of a change of paradigm?
When I first published my studies in the 1970’s, the results completely challenged the beliefs about genetics at the time. Many scientists totally ignored my research because it did not conform to conventional assumptions. However, the work was important for it revealed that our lives were not preprogrammed in the genes. The new science showed that we could actively influence our genetics. It showed how life experiences and education radically change the readout of our genome.
What was “heresy” when I first published this work is now becoming conventional belief in cell biology. In fact, today when I talk about my experiments and the strange results, many scientists say, “So what’s so new in what you are talking about!” We have come a long way since 1977! The paradigm has already changed and the important self-empowering principles of the new science of epigenetics are slowly making their way into the conventional world.