The Biology of Belief 10th Anniversary Edition: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles by Bruce H. Lipton
Suddenly I realized that a cell’s life is fundamentally controlled by the physical and energetic environment with only a small contribution by its genes. Genes are simply molecular blueprints used in the construction of cells, tissues, and organs. The environment serves as a “contractor” who reads and engages those genetic blueprints and is ultimately responsible for the character of a cell’s life. It is a single cell’s “awareness” of the environment that primarily sets into motion the mechanisms of life.
Just like a single cell, the character of our lives is determined not by our genes but by our responses to the environmental signals that propel life.
When our uniquely human minds get involved, we can choose to perceive the environment in different ways, unlike a single cell whose awareness is more reflexive. I was exhilarated by the new realization that I could change the character of my life by changing my beliefs.
take me from my job as a perennial “victim” to my new job as “co-creator” of my destiny.
That scientific premise has one major flaw—genes cannot turn themselves on or off. In more scientific terms, genes are not “self-emergent.” Something in the environment has to trigger gene activity.
I believe that cells teach us not only about the mechanisms of life, but also how to live rich, full lives.
Using these cell communities as role models, I came to the conclusion that we are not victims of our genes, but masters of our fates, able to create lives overflowing with peace, happiness, and love.
We are made in the image of God, and we need to put Spirit back into the equation when we want to improve our physical and our mental health.
Every time a drug is introduced into the body to correct function A, it inevitably throws off function B, C, or D. It is not gene-directed hormones and neurotransmitters that control our bodies and our minds; our beliefs control our bodies and our minds, and thus our lives . . . Oh ye of little belief!
New Biology, we will no longer fractiously debate the role of nurture and nature because we will realize that the fully conscious mind trumps both nature and nurture.
I taught my students that the biochemical mechanisms employed by cellular organelle systems are essentially the same mechanisms employed by our human organ systems. Even though humans are made up of trillions of cells, I stressed that there is not one “new” function in our bodies that is not already expressed in the single cell. Virtually every eukaryote (nucleus-containing cell) possesses the functional equivalent of our nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, excretory system, endocrine system, muscle and skeletal systems, circulatory system, integument (skin), reproductive system, and even a primitive immune system, which utilizes a family of antibody-like “ubiquitin” proteins.
Like humans, single cells analyze thousands of stimuli from the microenvironment they inhabit.
Single cells are also capable of learning through these environmental experiences and are able to create cellular memories, which they pass on to their offspring.
In this process, not only did the cell “learn” about the measles virus, it also created a “memory” that will be inherited and propagated by its daughter cells. This amazing feat of genetic engineering is profoundly important because it represents an inherent “intelligence” mechanism by which cells evolve. (Steele, et al, 1998)
The more awareness an organism has of its environment, the better its chances for survival.
The function of the nervous system is to perceive the environment and coordinate the behavior of all the other cells in the vast cellular community.
Interestingly, Lamarck’s hypothesis about the mechanisms of evolution conform to modern cell biologists’ understanding of how immune systems adapt to their environment as described above.
The sharing of genetic information via gene transfer speeds up evolution since organisms can acquire “learned” experiences from other organisms.
This sharing of information is not an accident. It is nature’s method of enhancing the survival of the biosphere. As discussed earlier, genes are physical memories of an organism’s learned experiences.
Already there is a study that shows that when humans digest genetically modified foods, the artificially created genes transfer into and alter the character of the beneficial bacteria in the intestine. (Heritage 2004; Netherwood, et al, 2004)
Genetic engineers have never taken the reality of gene transfer into consideration when they have introduced genetically modified organisms into the environment.
We need to move beyond Darwinian Theory, which stresses the importance of individuals, to one that stresses the importance of the community.
Evolution becomes a matter of the survival of the fittest groups rather than the survival of the fittest individuals.
the genes we inherit from our mothers and our fathers are not our fate!
Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues, Dr. Martin J. Blaser, Director of the Human Microbiome Program at New York University,
Finland, the incidence has risen 550 percent since 1950. Blaser writes that these modern epidemics are “not only diseases but also external signs of internal change.”
But most cell biologists knew nothing of this wisdom of tissue culture techniques. And scientists moved sharply away from considering environmental influences after Watson and Crick’s revelation of DNA’s genetic code. Even Charles Darwin conceded, near the end of his life, that his evolutionary theory had shortchanged the role of the environment.
But single-gene disorders affect less than 2 percent of the population; the vast majority of people come into this world with genes that should enable them to live a happy and healthy life.
Scientists have linked lots of genes to lots of different diseases and traits, but scientists have rarely found that one gene causes a trait or a disease.
The confusion occurs when the media repeatedly distort the meaning of two words: correlation and causation. It’s one thing to be linked to a disease; it’s quite another to cause a disease, which implies a directing, controlling action.
reality, the idea that genes control biology is a supposition, which has never been proven and, in fact, has been undermined by the latest scientific research.
Nijhout summarizes the truth: “When a gene product is needed, a signal from its environment, not an emergent property of the gene itself, activates expression of that gene.” In other words, when it comes to genetic control, “It’s the environment, stupid.”
There are two primary factors that determine the contour of a protein’s backbone and therefore its shape.
One factor is the physical pattern defined by the sequence of differently shaped amino acids comprising the pop-bead-like backbone.
The second factor concerns the interaction of electromagnetic charges among the linked amino acids.
a protein’s flexible backbone spontaneously folds into a preferred shape when its amino acid subunits rotate and flex their bonds to balance the forces generated by their positive and negative charges.
Improperly folded proteins, like people with spinal defects, are unable to function optimally. Such aberrant proteins are marked for destruction by the cell; their backbone amino acids are disassembled and recycled in the synthesis of new proteins.
However, if the protein’s positive and negative charges are altered, the protein backbone will dynamically twist and adjust itself to accommodate the new charges.
The distribution of electromagnetic charges within a protein can be selectively altered by a number of processes including the binding of other molecules or chemical groups such as hormones, the enzymatic removal or addition of charged atoms (ions) in the backbone’s amino acids, or interference from electromagnetic fields such as those emanating from cell phones. (Tsong 1989)
it is the changing of the proteins’ electromagnetic charges that is responsible for their behavior-generating movement, not DNA.
Since proteins represent the physical body, the dogma implies that your physical body, and your life experiences cannot send information back and alter the DNA. According to the Dogma, DNA controls your life and you cannot influence your DNA!
Geneticists experienced a comparable shock when, contrary to their expectations of over 120,000 genes, they found that the entire human genome consists of fewer than 25,000 genes.
Now that the Human Genome Project has toppled the one-gene for one-protein concept, our current theories of how life works have to be scrapped. No longer is it possible to believe that genetic engineers can, with relative ease, fix all our biological dilemmas. There
We can no longer use genes to explain why humans are at the top of the evolutionary ladder. It turns out there is not much difference in the total number of genes found in humans and those found in primitive organisms.
The Caenorhabditis genome consists of approximately 24,000 genes. (Blaxter 2003) The human body, comprised of over 50 trillion cells, contains only about 1,000 more genes than the lowly, spineless, thousand-celled microscopic worm.
Following enucleation, many cells can survive for up to two or more months without genes. Viable enucleated cells do not lie about like brain-dead lumps of cytoplasm on life-support systems. These cells actively ingest and metabolize food, maintain coordinated operation of their physiologic systems (respiration, digestion, excretion, motility, etc.), retain an ability to communicate with other cells, and are able to engage in appropriate responses to growth and protection requiring environmental stimuli.
However, the results are unambiguous: enucleated cells still exhibit complex, coordinated, life-sustaining behaviors, which imply that the cell’s “brain” is still intact and functioning.
Enucleated cells die, not because they have lost their brain but because they have lost their reproductive capabilities.
So the nucleus is not the brain of the cell—the nucleus is the cell’s gonad!
Epigenetics: The New Science of Self-Empowerment
The science of epigenetics, which literally means “control above genetics,” profoundly changes our understanding of how life is controlled.
You need an environmental signal to spur the “sleeve” protein to change shape, i.e., detach from the DNA’s double helix, allowing the gene to be read. Once the DNA is uncovered, the cell makes a copy of the exposed gene. As a result, the activity of the gene is “controlled” by the presence or absence of the ensleeving proteins, which are in turn controlled by environmental signals.
The science of epigenetics has also made it clear that there are two mechanisms by which organisms pass on hereditary information.
Studies of protein synthesis reveal that epigenetic “dials” can create 2,000 or more variations of proteins from the same gene blueprint.
Parental Life Experiences Shape Their Children’s Genetic Character
A landmark Duke University study published in the August 1, 2003 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology found that an enriched environment can even override genetic mutations in mice. (Waterland and Jirtle 2003) In the study, scientists looked at the effect of dietary supplements on pregnant mice with the abnormal “agouti” gene.
When methyl groups attach to a gene’s DNA, it changes the way regulatory chromosomal proteins bind to the DNA molecule. If the proteins bind too tightly to the gene, the protein sleeve cannot be removed and the gene cannot be read. Methylating DNA can silence or modify gene activity.
While the media made a big hoopla over the discovery of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genes, they failed to emphasize that 95 percent of breast cancers are not due to inherited genes. The malignancies in a significant number of cancer patients are derived from environmentally induced epigenetic alterations and not defective genes.
Dean Ornish revealed that by just changing diet and lifestyle for ninety days, prostate cancer patients switched the activity of over 500 genes.
saw that endothelial cells, which are the blood vessel–lining cells I was studying, changed their structure and function depending on their environment. When, for example, I added inflammatory chemicals to the tissue culture, the endothelial cells rapidly became the equivalent of macrophages, the scavengers of the immune system. What was also exciting to me was that the cells transformed even when I destroyed their DNA with gamma rays. These endothelial cells were “functionally enucleated,” yet they completely changed their biological behavior in response to inflammatory agents, just as they had when their nuclei were intact. These cells were clearly showing some “intelligent” control in the absence of their genes. (Lipton 1991; Butler, et al, 2010)
The Stanford study found that three quarters of the variations in the immune systems of identical twins (who share the same genome) were due to “nonheritable,” environmental influences including exposure to microbes, toxins, diet, and vaccinations.
Recent technical advances in reading the genome have further reduced the number of genes found in humans to only about 19,000, the same number now estimated for the Caenorhabditis worm. In fact, by now, the origin of over 90 percent of human genes has been traced back to more than a hundred million years ago, which implies that worm and human genomes likely share most of the same genes.
Here’s another fact I often use in my lectures as a cautionary tale about overemphasizing the roles of genes: the same gene used to code for the protein keratin found in hair also provides for all of the following structures: skin, nails, claws, hooves, and horns. The gene that encodes the synthesis of individual keratin protein building blocks does not control how those keratin molecules will be used.
So protein-encoding genes do provide for cellular building blocks, but do not determine an organism’s structure or its complexity. That leaves us with a fundamental question: what does?
Figuring out an answer to that question leads us to another completely unexpected outcome of the Genome Project: genes that encode a cell’s protein building blocks constitute less than 2 percent of the genome’s total amount of DNA, so the vast majority of DNA does not contribute to the cell’s protein population. The belief that this DNA lacked function led Francis Crick to label it as “junk DNA.”
over 80 percent of noncoding DNA is involved with regulating the production and assembly of gene-encoded proteins.
Perhaps the biggest surprise from the consortium’s findings, which were from the results of 300 years of computing time, is that a large proportion of dark DNA consists of gene “switches.” Over four million gene switches in the noncoding DNA constitute an almost inconceivably intricate information wiring system, one that turns genes on and off and provides a mechanism to rewrite DNA’s coded protein structure. (Kolata 2012)
Before new insights about the role of dark DNA surfaced, scientists studying the genetics of disease only sought to identify mutations in the genome’s protein-coding genes. The ENCODE assessments now reveal that as many or more disease-associated mutations are present in the dark matter, the noncoding DNA.
Though telomere DNA is noncoding—it does not contribute to the structure of the protein’s gene blueprint—it provides two vital functions. First, telomere extensions physically prevent the DNA double helix from unwinding.
Second, telomeres provide the physical platform required for DNA replication. A cell must duplicate its DNA before it divides to ensure that each daughter cell receives a complete genome. In this process, an enzyme (DNA helicase) unzips the double helix while a large protein complex, DNA polymerase, attaches onto the free end of the DNA strand. The polymerase enzyme travels like a train on a track down the length of the DNA. As it does so, it assembles a complementary strand of DNA in its wake. However, when the polymerase “train” reaches the end of the DNA strand, it runs into a technical problem . . . the enzyme cannot duplicate the length
Telomeres prevent a loss of protein-encoding information during gene replication by providing a noncoding stretch of DNA whose loss will not affect the protein’s blueprint.
Cell biologists have identified a special enzyme called telomerase whose function is to extend telomere length. Telomerase activity is the molecular equivalent of the “fountain of youth” because it replenishes telomeres that increase the vitality and reproducibility of stem cells. Telomerase activity enhances health and extends life.
Life experiences can stimulate or suppress telomerase activity. For example, stressful prenatal developmental experiences, childhood abuse (both verbal and physical), domestic violence, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), nutritional deficiencies, and lack of love all inhibit telomerase activity.
So what structure in the prokaryotic cell provides its “intelligence”? The prokaryotes’ cytoplasm has no evident organelles, such as the nucleus and mitochondria, that are found in more advanced, eukaryotic cells. The most likely candidate for the prokaryote’s brain is its cell membrane, the only organelle found in every living cell.
I call phospholipids “schizophrenic” because they are composed of both polar and nonpolar molecules. The fact that phospholipids contain both polar and nonpolar molecules may not sound like a recipe for schizophrenia to you, but I assure you it is. All the molecules in our universe can be divided into nonpolar and polar categories based on the type of chemical bonds that hold their atoms together.
Polar molecules include water and things that dissolve in water. Nonpolar molecules include oil and substances that dissolve in oil; there are no positive or negative charges among their atoms.
In effect, this lipid core is an electrical insulator, a terrific trait for a membrane designed to keep the cell from being overwhelmed by every molecule in its environment.
Receptor “antennas” can also read vibrational energy fields such as light, sound, and radio frequencies. The antennas on these “energy” receptors vibrate like tuning forks. If an energy vibration in the environment resonates with a receptor’s antenna, it will alter the protein’s charge, causing the receptor to change shape. (Tsong 1989) I’ll cover this more completely in the next chapter, but I’d like to point out now that because receptors can read energy fields, the notion that only physical molecules can impact cell physiology is outmoded. Biological behavior can be controlled by invisible forces, including thought, as well as it can be controlled by physical molecules like penicillin, a fact that provides the scientific underpinning for pharmaceutical-free energy medicine.
The activity of one specific channel type, sodium-potassium ATPase, merits special attention. Every cell has thousands of these channels built into the membrane. Collectively, their activity uses almost half of your body’s energy every day.
Here’s how sodium-potassium ATPase manages that trick. Every revolution of sodium-potassium ATPase throws more positive charges out than it lets in to the cell, and there are thousands of these proteins in each cell membrane. As these proteins go through hundreds of revolution cycles per second, the inside of the cell becomes negatively charged while the outside of the cell becomes positively charged. The negative charge below the membrane is referred to as the membrane potential.
Once I understood how IMPs worked, I had to conclude that the cell’s operations are primarily molded by its interaction with the environment, not by its genetic code.
Logically, genes cannot preprogram a cell or organism’s life because cell survival depends on the ability to dynamically adjust to an ever-changing environment.
They’re behaving like a flowing liquid, yet they do not lose their crystalline organization. The phospholipid molecules of the membrane behave in a similar fashion. Their fluid crystalline organization allows the membrane to dynamically alter its shape while maintaining its integrity, a necessary property for a supple membrane barrier. So in defining this character of the membrane I wrote: “The membrane is a liquid crystal.”
my new description of the membrane: “The membrane is a liquid crystal semiconductor with gates and channels.”
“A chip is a crystal semiconductor with gates and channels.”
The first big-deal insight that comes from such an exercise is that computers and cells are programmable. The second corollary insight is that the programmer lies outside the computer/cell. Biological behavior and gene activity are dynamically linked to information from the environment, which is downloaded into the cell.
Amazingly, simply altering the membrane potential in cells from the backs and tails of tadpoles resulted in fully developed eyes growing in the backs and tails, far from where eyes normally form. (Pai, et al, 2011) Sounds like impressive, magical mem-Brains to me! The key to the success of the study was the team’s finding that during the embryonic development of a tadpole, the membrane potential in cells destined to form an eye drops precipitously from about -70 millivolts to about -20 millivolts. In their lab, Levin’s group induced the same drop to -20 millivolts by inserting voltage-regulating calcium ion channel proteins into the membranes of the tadpoles’ back and tail cells, triggering a signal that initiated the growth of a complete eye. This research is exciting because it opens the possibility of repairing birth defects and regenerating damaged human organs. It also underscores the fact that the membrane controls cell behavior using nonchemical, “electric” (more next chapter!) environmental signals: “Aside from the regenerative medicine applications of this new technique for eyes, this is the first step to cracking the bioelectric code,” said Levin. (Yuhas 2013)
But I want to offer a more nuanced view of cholesterol, which is often lost in the rush to demonize it. Cholesterol is a lipid molecule that plays a vital role in our day-to-day survival. It is, for example, the precursor for the synthesis of important steroid molecules, including the bile salts used in digestion, regulatory steroid hormones such as estrogen and cortisol, and vitamin D.
cholesterol is an essential component of the membrane whose function is required for the survival of our 50 trillion cells, which is another way of saying our survival. Cholesterol helps the membrane maintain a very important balancing act: it must be rigid enough to physically resist the strain placed on it by the cytoplasm it encloses…
Membrane fluidity is also of great importance in controlling the cell’s “brain” function because it impacts the membrane’s ability to read and respond to environmental information. To function normally, IMPs, in the form of receptor and effector molecules, must be able to engage one another by freely circulating within the membrane’s inner, oil-loving, hydrophobic core. It is the viscosity of the membrane’s lipid core that controls the ability of these proteins to circulate freely. A membrane made up only of phospholipid molecules would be quite fluid,…
when cholesterol is inserted into the membrane, it immobilizes surrounding phospholipid molecules, creating the extra rigidity that strengthens the membrane and impedes the…
So in addition to stiffening the membrane, cholesterol acts like “antifreeze” that ensures that proteins and…
membrane’s rigid cholesterol molecules can also act to restrict IMP movement. When clusters of cholesterol molecules link up with a class of lipids called sphingolipids, they form structurally rigid “rafts” that restrict the movement of entrapped IMPs. This restriction on IMP movement…
rafts behave like “corrals” that group clusters of IMPs so they can work together to control specific cellular functions. Cholesterol rafts are the cell’s equivalent of short-term memory because the IMPs they contain…
Pennsylvania State University in the lab of Theodore M. Hollis, a gifted scientist I met when he…
These animals had so much cholesterol in their systems that their blood was milky white. Despite their apparently toxic level of cholesterol, these rats did not form endothelial cell plaques typical of atherosclerotic blood vessels. The secret . . . Ted added an over-the-counter antihistamine drug (the same kind that allergy sufferers turn to regularly) when he introduced the cholesterol. Because the antihistamines could override cholesterol’s apparent role in atherosclerotic plaque…
Ted’s research obviously suggested an alternative…
Histamine is a stress-related hormone that prepares the body to deal with anticipated injuries and inflammation when the fight-or-flight response is activated by a perceived stressor. Now decades later, the role of…
And the protective results observed in histamine-free mice were independent of serum cholesterol…
The results of animal studies point to the role that chronic stress plays in the creation of histamine and in the onset and exacerbation of atherosclerosis and promotion of cardiovascular disease. In direct contrast to the implied role of cholesterol in causing heart disease, cardiovascular pathology may instead primarily result from environmental stressors rather than genetic or biochemical dysfunctions.
The data indicate that for every 300 people taking expensive statin drugs, only one life might be saved.
As a side note, AstraZeneca, makers of the statin drugs used in the study, was the source of funding for the now discredited JUPITER Study. (Lorgeril, et al, 2010)
Recent independent studies have shown that statin use for primary prevention has minimal or no value in reducing heart attacks and mortality. (Sultan and Hynes 2013)
The origin of 90 percent of cardiovascular disease is not due to an organic dysfunction in the cell’s mechanisms, but rather represents a behavioral response driven by environmental signals in the blood.
brain secretes blood-borne hormones, stress factors, and inflammatory agents in order to coordinate the function of 50 trillion cells to sustain life. This insight returns us full circle to the story of the magical mem-Brain because the cell membrane is the information processor that provides the interface between biology and our brain’s perception of the environment. A more complete understanding of cholesterol’s vital role in membrane information processing makes it apparent that disturbing cholesterol metabolism with statin drugs is tantamount to throwing yet another monkey wrench into the machine.
The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature by physicist Heinz R. Pagels.
Quantum physicists discovered that physical atoms are made up of vortices of energy that are constantly spinning and vibrating; each atom is like a wobbly spinning top that radiates energy. Because each atom has its own specific energy signature (wobble), assemblies of atoms (molecules) collectively radiate their own identifying energy patterns. So every material structure in the universe, including you and me, radiates a unique energy signature.
In fact, as you focused through the entire structure of the atom, all you would observe is a physical void.
now you don’t” nature of quantum physics. Matter can simultaneously be defined as a solid (particle) and as an immaterial force field (wave). When scientists study the physical properties of atoms, such as mass and weight, they look and act like physical matter. However, when the same atoms are described in terms of voltage potentials and wavelengths, they exhibit the qualities and properties of energy (waves).
Einstein recognized when he concluded that E = mc2. Simply stated, this equation reveals that energy (E) = matter (m, mass) multiplied by the speed of light squared (c2). Einstein revealed that we do not live in a universe with discrete, physical objects separated by dead space. The Universe is one indivisible, dynamic whole in which energy and matter are so deeply entangled it is impossible to consider them as independent elements.
the quantum perspective reveals that the universe is an integration of interdependent energy fields that are entangled in a meshwork of interactions. Biomedical scientists have been particularly confounded because they often do not recognize the massive complexity of the intercommunication among the physical parts and the energy fields that make up the whole.
In contrast, the flow of information in a quantum universe is holistic. Cellular constituents are woven into a complex web of crosstalk, feedback, and feedforward communication loops (see illustration next page). A biological dysfunction may arise from a miscommunication along any of the routes of information flow. To adjust the chemistry of this complicated interactive system requires a lot more understanding than just adjusting one of the information pathway’s components with a drug.
histamine is an important chemical signal that initiates the cells’ stress response. When histamine is present in the blood that nourishes the arms and legs, the stress signal produces large gaping pores between the cells lining the wall of the blood vessels. The opening of these holes in the blood vessel’s wall is the first step in launching a local inflammatory reaction. However, if histamine is added to blood vessels in the brain, the same histamine signal does not cause gaping pores between the lining cells, but instead increases the flow of nutrition to the neurons, enhancing their growth and specialized functions. In times of stress, the increased nutrition signaled by histamine enables the brain to ramp up its activity in order to better deal with the perceived impending emergency. This is an example of how the same histamine signal can create two diametrically opposed effects, depending on the site where the signal is released. (Lipton, et al, 1991)
But most of the medical industry’s drugs have no such specificity.
It affects histamine receptors wherever they are located throughout the whole body. Yes, the antihistamine will curb the blood vessels’ inflammatory response, dramatically reducing allergic symptoms. However, when the antihistamine enters the brain, it inadvertently alters neural circulation that then impacts nerve function. That’s why people who take over-the-counter antihistamines may experience allergy relief and also the side effect of feeling drowsy.
Albert Szent-Györgyi published a book called Introduction to a Submolecular Biology. (Szent-Györgyi 1960)
“Resonance in Bioenergetics,” published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science, revealed that energetic signaling mechanisms such as electromagnetic frequencies are a hundred times more efficient in relaying environmental information than physical signals such as hormones, neurotransmitters, growth factors, etc. (McClare 1974)
Energy signals are a hundred times more efficient and infinitely faster than physical chemical signaling. What kind of signaling would your trillion-celled community prefer? Do the math!
This expanding network is producing compelling research that challenges “facts” that biologists like me memorized in school—for example, the “fact” that signals controlling cell behavior and genetics are carried only in the substance of chemistry, such as hormones, drugs, atoms, and ions (e.g., Ca+, Na+, and K+). That notion was upended by experiments reported by Chaban in 2013 that revealed that nerve cells outside physical barriers influence the activity of nerve cells within sealed chambers. When healthy nerve cells surround the barrier, the encapsulated nerve cells express a normal calcium signal process, but when cancerous or dying cells surround the physical barrier, enclosed nerve cells process calcium signals in a completely different manner. Because the barrier prevents physical signals from influencing cell behavior, the nerve cells must be communicating with one another across the barrier using a nonphysical, energetic signaling mechanism. (Chaban, et al, 2013)
How are electrons efficiently shuttled through the chlorophyll complex in the presence of these random vibrations? Combining molecular dynamics and quantum chemistry to study electron transfer processes, physicists at the University of California, San Diego offered a profound solution to this problem. Their study revealed that electron transfer occurs through a web of quantum tunneling pathways created through constructive or destructive interference patterns typical of the wave-like processes of quantum mechanics I described in this chapter. (Balabin and Onuchic 2000)
The challenge with all this new research is that while it is an indisputable fact that immaterial, energetic signals can control biology, there is no conventional known mechanism to explain such phenomena.
Experimental manipulation of environmental EMF (electromagnetic field) frequencies has been shown to profoundly influence the activity of the cell’s sodium (Na+), potassium (K+ATPase), and calcium (Ca2+ATPase) ion protein channels. (Guan and Reed 2012) Since these membrane proteins control the cell’s electrical activities, including the development and maintenance of the cell’s membrane potential, environmental electromagnetic fields can shape the health and fate of biological systems. For example, it is now well established that microwave radiation, associated with cell phones and other electronic devices, interferes with and disrupts normal cell behaviors and can possibly lead to dysfunction and disease. (Kesari, et al, 2013)
Thoughts, the mind’s energy, directly influence how the physical brain controls the body’s physiology. Thought “energy” can activate or inhibit the cell’s function-producing proteins via the mechanics of constructive and destructive interference,
The fact is that harnessing the power of your mind can be more effective than the drugs you have been programmed to believe you need.
“separate” subdivisions of the mind, the conscious and the subconscious, are interdependent. The conscious mind—which represents the seat of our personal identity, source, or spirit—is the creative mind. It can see into the future, review the past, or disconnect from the present moment as it solves problems in our head. In its creative capacity, the conscious mind holds our wishes, desires, and aspirations for our lives. It is the mind that conjures up our “positive thoughts.”
subconscious mind is primarily a repository of stimulus-response tapes derived from instincts and learned experiences. The subconscious mind is fundamentally habitual; it will play the same behavioral responses to life’s signals over and over again, much to our chagrin.
However, neuroscience has now established that the conscious mind runs the show, at best, only about 5 percent of the time. It turns out that the programs acquired by the subconscious mind shape 95 percent or more of our life experiences. (Szegedy-Maszak 2005)
While almost all organisms have to actually experience the stimuli of life firsthand, the human brain’s ability to “learn” perceptions is so advanced that we can actually acquire perceptions indirectly from teachers. Once we accept the perceptions of others as “truths,” their perceptions become hardwired into our own brains, becoming our “truths.” Here’s where the problem arises: what if our teachers’ perceptions are inaccurate? In such cases, our brains are then downloaded with misperceptions. The subconscious mind is strictly a stimulus-response playback device; there is no “ghost” in that part of the “machine” to ponder the long-term consequences of the programs we engage. The subconscious works only in the “now.” Consequently, programmed misperceptions in our subconscious mind are not “monitored” and will habitually engage us in inappropriate and limiting behaviors.
Our responses to environmental stimuli are indeed controlled by perceptions, but not all of our learned perceptions are accurate. Not all snakes are dangerous! Yes, perception “controls” biology, but as we’ve seen, these perceptions can be true or false. Therefore, we would be more accurate to refer to these controlling perceptions as beliefs. Beliefs control biology!
The endothelial cells I grew in culture monitor their world closely and change their behavior based on information they pick up from the environment. When I provided nutrients, the cells would gravitate toward those nutrients with the cellular equivalent of open arms. When I created a toxic environment, the cultured cells would retreat from the stimulus in an effort to wall themselves off from the noxious agents. My research focused on the membrane perception switches that controlled the shift from one behavior to the other.
primary switch I was studying has a protein receptor that responds to histamine, a molecule that the body uses in a way that is equivalent to a local emergency alarm. I found that there are two varieties of switches, H1 and H2, that respond to the same histamine signal. When activated, switches with H1 histamine receptors evoke a protection response, the type of behavior revealed by cells in toxin-containing culture dishes. Switches containing H2 histamine receptors evoke a growth response to histamine, similar to the behavior of cells cultured in the presence of nutrients.
adrenaline, also has switches sporting two different adrenaline-sensing receptors, called alpha and beta. The adrenaline receptors provoked the exact same cell behaviors as those elicited by histamine.
when I simultaneously introduced both histamine and adrenaline into my tissue cultures. I found that adrenaline signals, released by the central nervous system, override the influence of histamine signals that are produced locally.
that the mind (acting via the central nervous system’s adrenaline) overrides the body (acting via the local histamine signal).
who received surgery, as expected, improved. But the placebo group improved just as much as the other two groups! Despite the fact that there are 650,000 surgeries yearly for arthritic knees, at a cost of about $5,000 each, the results were clear to Moseley: “My skill as a surgeon had no benefit on these patients. The entire benefit of surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee was the placebo effect.”
The data show that in more than half of the clinical trials for the six leading antidepressants, the drugs did not outperform placebo, sugar pills. And Kirsch noted in a Discovery Health Channel interview that “the difference between the response of the drugs and the response of placebo was less than two points on average on this clinical scale that goes from fifty to sixty points. That’s a very small difference. That difference clinically is meaningless.”
When the mind, through positive suggestion, improves health, it is referred to as the placebo effect. Conversely, when the same mind is engaged in negative suggestions that can damage health the negative effects are referred to as the nocebo effect.
Meador told the Discovery Health Channel: “He died with cancer, but not from cancer.” What did Londe die of if not esophageal cancer? Had he died because he believed he was going to die? The case still haunts Meador three decades after Londe’s death: “I thought he had cancer. He thought he had cancer. Everybody around him thought he had cancer . . . did I remove hope in some way?” Troublesome nocebo cases suggest that physicians, parents, and teachers can remove hope by programming you to believe you are powerless.
This research has confirmed that brain cells translate the mind’s perceptions (beliefs) of the world into complementary and unique chemical profiles that, when secreted into the blood, control the fate of the body’s 50 trillion cells. So blood, the body’s culture medium, not only nourishes cells, its neurochemical components also regulate cells’ genetic and behavioral activity. As Steve Cole, an epigeneticist at UCLA’s School of Medicine, told Pacific Standard magazine: “A cell is a machine for turning experience into biology.” (Dobbs 2013)
The function of the mind is to create coherence between our beliefs and the reality we experience.
The conclusion is simple: positive perceptions of the mind enhance health by engaging immune functions, while inhibition of immune activities by negative perceptions can precipitate dis-ease. Those negative perceptions can also create debilitating, chronic psychological stress that has a profound and negative impact on gene function.
To see if stress might epigenetically influence genes involved in depression, the drinking water of one group of mice was spiked with corticosterone (the rodent version of cortisol) for four weeks. Control mice drank plain water without this glucocorticoid hormone. Mice who received corticosterone displayed characteristics of anxiety in behavioral tests. Assessment of gene activity showed that these mice had a significant increase in Fkbp5, a protein whose human equivalent has been linked to mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disease. (Lee 2010)
Unsurprisingly, Dr. Herbert Benson, famed Mind/Body Medical Institute Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has concluded that stress is responsible for up to 90 percent of all doctor office visits. (Benson 1997)
social isolation is an even more potent and underestimated risk factor. “If you actually measure stress, using our best available instruments, it can’t hold a candle to social isolation. Social isolation is the best-established, most robust social or psychological risk factor for disease out there. Nothing can compete,” he told Pacific Standard magazine. (Dobbs 2013)
Of the approximately 19,000 human genes, lonely and not-lonely people showed sharply different gene expression responses in 209 genes, many of which play roles in inflammatory immune responses. He reasoned that if social stress reliably created this immune gene profile, it might explain the results of his earlier studies in which lonely HIV carriers succumbed so much faster to the disease than socially active HIV carriers. (Cole, et al, 1996)
The findings of Cole’s team suggest “that chronic interpersonal difficulties accentuate expression of pro- and anti-inflammatory signaling molecules” and that “these dynamics may underlie the excess morbidity associated with social stress, particularly in inflammation-sensitive diseases like depression and atherosclerosis.” (Miller, et al, 2009)
perceptions of insecurity were separated from the participants’ socioeconomic scores and laid over the gene-expression scores, the data showed that it was really the kids’ perceptions of their vulnerability, their perceptions of how scary the world is, not their income levels, that accounted for most of the difference in immune gene expression. In fact, when controlled for variations in threat perception, poverty’s influence almost vanished. (Cole 2009)
When Kaufman laid both the kids’ depression scores and their SERT variants across their levels of social support (defined narrowly as contact at least once monthly with a trusted adult figure outside the house), that seemingly paltry (i.e., once a month) social connection erased about 80 percent of the combined risk of the depression-related short SERT variant. (Kaufman, et al, 2004) Science writer David Dobbs asks: “If social connection can almost completely protect us against the well-known effects of serious abuse, isn’t the isolation almost as toxic as the beatings and neglect?” (Dobbs 2013)
Many traits mediated by behavioral epigenetics have been shown to carry over to subsequent generations.
The implication of behavioral epigenetics research is not that people are doomed to lead dysfunctional lives because their parents did—epigenetic traits are not immutably coded genetic traits.
your genes do not dictate your life and you can change your life when you change your beliefs.
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work, “The belief that we are just our genes is one of the most pernicious myths in modern culture—the insidious notion that people come into the world with a fixed set of abilities and that they, and their brains, cannot change. The scientific community is partly to blame for this because for decades scientists refused to see what potential for change was staring them right in the face.” (Achor 2010)
Achor’s studies emphasize that we have been culturally programmed to believe that if we reach our goals (when we get into Harvard, lose twenty pounds, get a high-paying job, etc.), then we’ll be happy. However, this formula for happiness is actually inverted: happiness fuels success, not the other way around. Simply stated, success doesn’t bring happiness; happiness brings success.
Belief modification can induce rapid changes in gene activity. When individuals raise their levels of optimism and deepen their social connections (à la Steve Cole and Brittney), they not only raise their level of happiness, but also dramatically improve every single business and educational outcome tested for.
recent study revealed that just eight hours of mindful meditation was sufficient to significantly change vital gene functions. Compared to controls, meditators exhibited a range of genetic and molecular differences that included reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes and altered levels of gene-regulating machinery. These observed changes in genetic expression are associated with faster physical recovery from stressful situations and prove that mindfulness practice can lead to health improvement through profound epigenetic alterations of the genome. (Kaliman, et al, 2014)
fact that the primary source controlling our life experiences is the subconscious mind, and we need to focus on reprogramming it rather than just shifting our conscious mind’s beliefs.
epigeneticist Cole to conclude: “To an extent that immunologists and psychologists rarely appreciate, we are architects of our own experience. Your subjective experience carries more power than your objective situation.” (Dobbs 2013) In Cole’s quote, the term “subjective experience” represents perception or belief, while “objective situation” can be interpreted as reality. Replacing Cole’s words with these synonyms, his quote now reads: Your belief carries more power than your reality. Hence . . . The Biology of Belief!
the entire cellular lining of your gut is replaced every seventy-two hours.
When I was cloning human endothelial cells, they retreated from toxins that I introduced into the culture dish, just as humans retreat from mountain lions and muggers in dark alleys. They also gravitated to nutrients, just as humans gravitate to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and love. These opposing movements define the two basic cellular responses to environmental stimuli.
Gravitating to a life-sustaining signal, such as nutrients, characterizes a growth response; moving away from threatening signals, such as toxins, characterizes a protection response.
It turns out that the mechanisms that support growth and protection cannot operate optimally at the same time. In other words, cells cannot simultaneously move forward and backward. The human blood vessel cells I studied at Stanford exhibited one microscopic anatomy for providing nutrition and a completely different microscopic anatomy for providing a protection response. What they couldn’t do was exhibit both configurations at the same time. (Lipton, et al, 1991)
In addition to diverting energy to support the tissues and organs needed for the protection response, there is an additional reason why growth is inhibited. Growth processes require an open exchange between an organism and its environment. For example, food is taken in and waste products are excreted. However, protection requires a closing down of the system to wall the organism off from the perceived threat.
Inhibiting growth processes is also debilitating in that growth is a process that not only expends energy but is also required to produce energy. Consequently, a sustained protection response inhibits the creation of life-sustaining energy. The longer you stay in protection, the more you consume your energy reserves, which in turn, compromises your growth. In fact, you can shut down growth processes so completely that it becomes a
It is also important to note that to fully experience your vitality it takes more than just getting rid of life’s stressors. In a growth-protection continuum, eliminating the stressors only puts you at the neutral point in the range. To fully thrive, we must not only eliminate the stressors but also actively seek joyful, loving, fulfilling lives that stimulate growth processes.
The body is actually endowed with two separate protection systems, each vital to the maintenance of life. The first is the system that mobilizes protection against external threats. It is called the HPA axis, which stands for the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal axis. When there are no threats, the HPA axis is inactive and growth flourishes. However, when the brain’s hypothalamus perceives an environmental threat, it engages the HPA axis by sending a signal to the pituitary gland, the “Master Gland,” which is responsible for organizing the 50 trillion cells of the community to deal with the impending threat.
The technical details of how stress stimuli engage the HPA axis follow a simple cascade: In response to perceptions of stress registered in the brain, the hypothalamus secretes a corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), which travels to the pituitary gland. CRF activates special pituitary hormone-secreting cells, causing them to release adrenocorticotropic hormones (ACTH) into the blood. The ACTH then makes its way to the adrenal glands, where it serves as the signal to turn on the secretion of the “fight-flight” adrenal hormones. These stress hormones coordinate the function of the body’s organs, providing us with great physiologic power to fend off or flee from danger.
Redistributing the viscera’s blood to the limbs in the fight-or-flight response results in an inhibition of growth-related functions; without the blood’s nourishment the visceral organs cannot function properly. The visceral organs stop doing their life-sustaining work of digestion, absorption, excretion, and other functions that provide for the growth of the cells and the production of the body’s energy reserves.
Hence, the stress response inhibits growth processes and further compromises the body’s survival by interfering with the generation of vital energy reserves.
The body’s second protection system is the immune system, which protects us from threats originating under the skin, such as those caused by bacteria and viruses. When the immune system is mobilized, it can consume much of the body’s energy supply.
When the HPA axis mobilizes the body for fight-or-flight response, the adrenal hormones directly repress the action of the immune system to conserve energy reserves. In fact, stress hormones are so effective at curtailing immune system function that doctors provide them to recipients of transplants so that their immune systems won’t reject the foreign tissues.
Therefore, a secondary consequence of engaging the HPA axis is that it interferes with our ability to fight disease.
Activating the HPA axis also interferes with our ability to think clearly.
Adrenal stress hormones constrict the blood vessels in the forebrain, reducing its ability to engage in conscious volitional action. Constriction of forebrain blood vessels redirects vascular flow to the hindbrain. The increase in nutrition and energy enhances the hindbrain’s life-sustaining reflexes to more effectively control fight-or-flight behavior.
The athletes are left in the starting blocks, their blood coursing with adrenaline, their bodies fatiguing with the strain of preparing for the race that never comes. No matter how toned their physique, within seconds, these athletes will physically collapse from the strain.
In a revealing study published in 2003 in Science, researchers considered why patients on SSRI antidepressants, such as Prozac or Zoloft, don’t feel better right away. There is usually at least a two-week lag between starting the drugs and the time the patients feel they are getting better. The study found that depressed people exhibit a surprising lack of cell division in the region of the brain called the hippocampus, a part of the nervous system involved with memory. Hippocampal cells renewed cell division at the time patients first began to experience the mood-shifting effect of the SSRI drugs, weeks after the onset of the drug regimen.
Lupytha Hermin, an oft-cited artist who posts inspirational words with pictures on Facebook, offers this simple wisdom: “You know why it’s hard to be happy—it’s because we refuse to LET GO of the things that make us sad.” I believe this may be one of the more important insights in learning how to control the negative effects of stress.
Chronic stress also depresses the immune system by impairing the function of glucocorticoid receptors normally used to inhibit or shut down inflammatory responses.
Interfering with the behavior of these immune receptors results in a dysfunction referred to as Glucocorticoid Receptor Resistance (GCR) in which the duration and intensity of inflammatory responses increase, heightening the risk for asthma and other autoimmune diseases and encouraging the onset and progression of chronic inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. GCR is associated with people who experience chronic stress, such as parents of children with cancer, spouses of brain cancer patients, and persons reporting high levels of loneliness. (Cohen, et al, 2012)
And a groundbreaking study published in 2013 documented for the first time that this physiologic state of deep rest induced by practices like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and prayer produces immediate changes in the expression of genes involved in immune function, energy metabolism, and insulin secretion, results that should impress even the most skeptical biomedical researchers.
“Scientific studies of longevity, medical and mental health, happiness and even wisdom point to supportive relationships as the most robust predictor of these positive attributes in our lives across the life span.” (Ackerman 2012)
In a healthy relationship, holding your partner’s hand is enough to lower blood pressure, ease stress responses, improve health, and diminish physical pain! (Coan, et al, 2006)
To send her message into the world, Scarlett founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation (http://www.jesselewischooselove.org) whose stated mission is, “To create awareness in our children and our communities that we can choose love over anger, gratitude over entitlement, and forgiveness and compassion over bitterness.”
The fetal and infant nervous system has vast sensory and learning capabilities and a kind of memory that neuroscientists call implicit memory.
“There is mounting evidence that programming of lifetime health by the conditions in the womb is equally, if not more important, than our genes in determining how we perform mentally and physically during life. Gene myopia is the term that best describes the current all-pervasive view that our health and destiny throughout life are controlled by our genes alone.
The same life-enhancing epigenetic plasticity of human development can go awry and lead to an array of chronic diseases in older age if an individual experiences adverse nutritional and environmental circumstances during fetal and neonatal periods of development. (Bateson, et al, 2004)
“For the growing brain of a young child, the social world supplies the most important experiences influencing the expression of genes, which determines how neurons connect to one another in creating the neuronal pathways which give rise to mental activity,” writes Dr. Daniel J. Siegel in The Developing Mind. (Siegel 1999)
Dr. Rima Laibow in Quantitative EEG and Neurofeedback describes the progression of these developmental stages in brain activity. (Laibow 1999 and 2002) Between birth and two years of age, the human brain predominantly operates at the lowest EEG frequency, 0.5 to 4 cycles per second (Hz), known as delta waves. Though delta is their predominant wave activity, babies can exhibit periodic short bursts of higher EEG activity. A child begins to spend more time at a higher level of EEG activity characterized as theta (4-8 Hz) between two and six years of age. Hypnotherapists drop their patients’ brain activity into theta because this low frequency brain wave puts them into a more suggestible, programmable state. This gives us an important clue as to how children, whose brains are mostly operating at this frequency through six years of age, can download the incredible volume of information they need to thrive in their environment.
At around the age of six, we become less susceptible to outside programming with the increasing appearance of higher frequency alpha waves (8-12 Hz). Alpha activity is equated with states of calm consciousness. While most of our senses, such as eyes, ears, and nose, observe the outer world, consciousness resembles a “sense organ” that behaves like a mirror reflecting back the inner workings of the body’s own cellular community; it is an awareness of “self.”
At around twelve years of age, the child’s EEG spectrum begins to show sustained periods of an even higher frequency defined as beta waves (12-35 Hz). Beta brain states are characterized as “active or focused consciousness,” the kind of brain activity used in reading this book.
The learned behaviors and beliefs acquired from other people, such as parents, peers, and teachers, may not support the goals or desires of our conscious mind. The biggest impediments to realizing the successes of which we dream are the limitations programmed into the subconscious. These limitations not only influence our behavior, they can also play a major role in determining our physiology and health. As we’ve seen, the mind plays a powerful role in controlling the biological systems that keep us alive.
Research reveals that parents act as genetic engineers for their children in the months before conception. In the final stages of egg and sperm maturation, a process called genomic imprinting adjusts the activity of specific groups of genes that will shape the character of the child yet to be conceived.
Verny writes in Pre-Parenting: Nurturing Your Child from Conception: “It makes a difference whether we are conceived in love, haste, or hate and whether a mother wants to be pregnant . . . parents do better when they live in a calm and stable environment free of addictions and supported by family and friends.”
From the moment of conception, the experience in the womb shapes the brain and lays the groundwork for personality, emotional temperament, and the power of higher thought.”
For example, if the father leaves and the mother starts questioning her own ability to survive, his leaving profoundly changes the interaction between the mother and the unborn baby. Similarly, societal factors, such as lack of employment, housing, and healthcare or endless wars that pull fathers into the military, can affect the parents and thus the developing child.
But the developing child receives far more than nutrients from the mother’s blood. Along with nutrients, the fetus absorbs excess glucose if the mother is diabetic and excess cortisol and other fight- or-flight hormones if the mother is chronically stressed. Research now offers insights into how the system works. If a mother is under stress, she activates her HPA axis, which provides fight-or-flight responses in a threatening environment.
Suboptimal conditions in the womb that lead to low birth-weight babies have been linked to a number of adult ailments that Nathanielsz outlines in his book Life in the Womb, (Nathanielsz 1999) including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
He concluded that genes account for only 48 percent of the factors that determine IQ. And when the synergistic effects of mingling the mother and father’s genes are factored in, the true inherited component of intelligence plummets even further, to 34 percent. (Devlin, et al, 1997; McGue 1997)
genes are shaped, guided, and tailored by environmental learning experiences.
A wonderful example of the effectiveness of conscious parenting programming is superstar golfer Tiger Woods. Although his father was not an accomplished golfer, he made every effort to immerse Tiger in an environment that was rich with opportunities to develop and enhance the mindset, skills, attitudes, and focus of a master golfer.
you are personally responsible for everything in your life, once you become aware that you are personally responsible for everything in your life.
Michael Mendizza and Joseph Chilton Pearce’s inspiring book Magical Parent-Magical Child makes it clear that play not programming is the key to optimizing the learning and performance of infants and children. (Mendizza and Pearce 2001) Children need parents who can playfully foster the curiosity, creativity, and wonder that accompanies their children into the world.
For adoptive and nonadoptive parents alike, the message is clear: Your children’s genes reflect only their potential, not their destiny. It is up to you to provide the environment that allows them to develop to their highest potential.
It also bears repeating that it’s not too late as an adult to overcome your own negative programming by accessing your subconscious mind using many different processes including hypnosis, habituation (repetitious use of new behaviors), cognitive behavioral therapy, and a variety of rapid-change energy psychology modalities (listed on my website, http://www.brucelipton.com, under Resources).
“Most kids don’t need them,” writes Dr. Martin J. Blaser in his book Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues,
I am happy to report, however, that a year after the AAP suggested physicians consider cholesterol-lowering drugs for young children, the Journal of the American Medical Association (Shonkoff, et al, 2009), citing mounting epigenetic research that traces health problems back to fetal and early childhood stress, suggested a different approach. The JAMA article concluded that “new interventions to reduce significant stress in early childhood may be a more appropriate strategy for preventing adult heart diseases than the off-label administration of statins to school-aged children.”
Today’s technology is heavily contaminating the environment with many behavior-disturbing, endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that include dioxin, phthalates, agricultural pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), industrial solvents, pharmaceuticals, and heavy metals. Exposure to these EDCs that have estrogenic, antiestrogenic, and antiandrogenic properties has been shown to perturb the same stress pathways that provoke a disease response. (Vaiserman 2014)
For example, the number of C-section births has skyrocketed even though epidemiological studies have associated Cesarean section delivery with a greater risk for asthma, type 1 diabetes, obesity, and celiac disease in later life.
The results found specific epigenetic differences between the groups in almost 350 DNA regions, including genes known to be involved in controlling metabolism and immune defense. (Almgren, et al, 2014)
C-section, who do not have the benefit of acquiring all-important microbes when they travel through their mother’s vagina, have a smaller and less diverse population of the phylum Bacteroidetes during the first two years, bacteria that aid in protection against allergies.
Artificial formulas do not contain the powerful energy resources or immune protection found in mother’s milk. In fact, a nutritional imbalance in synthetic formula feeding is associated with deaths from diarrhea in infants in both developing and developed countries. (Victora, et al, 1989)
Breast milk provides the highest energy and most concentrated source of lipids that are required to build the brain’s structure—there is simply no substitute that can match complex maternal lipids as a readily assimilable, “high-octane” energy source.
A baby’s brain doubles in size during the first year; in year two it reaches 80 percent of the size of an adult brain. In this rapid growth process, brain tissues burn up 60 percent of the baby’s energy resources. (Gibbons 1998)
Paleoanthropologist Leslie C. Aiello believes that the large size of the human brain evolved through an ancestral dietary shift from a heavily vegetarian to a more energy dense and easily digestible diet that included meat. (Gibbons 1998) He
Breast-feeding also promotes mother-child attachment and decreases stress.
The cell engages in behavior when its brain, the membrane, responds to environmental signals. In fact, every functional protein in our body is made as a complementary “image” of an environmental signal. If a protein did not have a complementary signal to couple with, it would not function. This means, as I concluded in that “aha!” moment, that every protein in our bodies is a physical/electromagnetic complement to something in the environment. Because we are machines made out of protein, by definition we are made in the image of the environment, that environment being the Universe, or to many, God.
The cell’s receptors are not the source of its identity but the vehicle by which the “self” is downloaded from the environment.
Psychological and behavioral memory does make sense if we realize that the transplanted organs still bear the original identity receptors of the donor and are apparently still downloading that same environmental information. Even though the body of the person who donated the organs is dead, their broadcast is still on. They are, as I realized in my flash of insight while mulling over the mechanics of the cellular membrane—immortal, as I believe we all are.
Don’t humans possess an inborn inclination to violence? The logic goes: animals are violent, humans are animals, and therefore humans are violent. No! Humans are not “stuck” with an innate, viciously competitive nature any more than we are stuck with genes that make us sick or make us violent. Chimps, who are the closest to humans genetically, offer evidence that violence is not a necessary part of our biology. One species of chimps, the bonobos, create peaceful communities with co-dominant males and females in charge. Unlike other chimps, the community of bonobos operates not with a violence-driven ethic but an ethic that can be described as “make love, not war.” When the chimps in this society become agitated, they don’t engage in bloody fights; they diffuse their divisive energy by having sex.
Dr. Harold G. Koenig, Professor of Medicine at Duke University, reviewed over 600 of these research studies and concluded that people who hold more spiritual beliefs fare significantly better in mental health and adapt more quickly to health problems than those who are less spiritual.
Spiritual patients exhibit significantly better indicators of immune functions, such as higher white blood cell counts and antibody levels and experience significantly lower infection rates. They also exhibit lower levels of adrenal stress hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine (secretions that directly repress the activity of the immune system) than nonspiritual patients. (Koenig 2012)
her spiritual nature is no longer burdened by the fear of death, a consciousness that creates an unperceived weight on our lives.
is the amazing story of Anita Moorjani and her husband, Danny, reported in her book Dying to Be Me. (Moorjani 2012)
I use PSYCH-K in my own life. PSYCH-K has helped me undo my self-limiting beliefs, including one about not being able to finish my book.
PSYCH-K at Rob’s website: http://www.psych-k.com