(Picture Credit: Benjavisa Ruangvaree)
By Riah Skrinnik, MS APCC
Traditional science once established the notion that our DNA molecules control our mind and program our behavior. But in the groundbreaking book, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Bruce Lipton discusses how our behavior is instead a subconscious reflection of our beliefs and not our genetic data. “We are not victims of our genes, but masters of our fates, able to create lives overflowing with peace, happiness, and love,” Lipton wrote. With these wise words in mind, we can explore the marvelous discoveries of both seen and unseen abilities of human biology.
The traditional thinking had been that the information from our DNA is flowing in one direction forming the concept that we are the result of our genes and, therefore, we cannot influence our genetic data. This hypothesis was firmly embedded in academia as well as society as a whole. As a larger community, we embraced this limiting belief, leading us to operate as if we were biological machines controlled by genes. This gave many of us the excuse that we were born a certain way and that there is nothing we can do to change. This thinking had relieved pressure of responsibility to heal and had impacted generations to accept the limited idea that we are victims of our DNA.
Later it was assumed that by altering genes, we could alter functions and behaviors. This concept was even tested in a well-known study that discovered what has been coined the “gene of happiness,” a particular gene more active in happy people. (Weiss). But this was unfortunate news for the group of people who showed no extra activity in their “happy gene” because they assumed they can’t change anything about their mood because they can’t control their genes. This dogma promoted mass acceptance of a victim mentality that is constantly in need of a rescuer. This theory had programmed our minds to believe that the part of our inheritance is to be an expression of our genes.
Lipton is one of the revolutionary teachers who claimed that the notion of how genes dictate our existence was, in reality, a false belief. According to Lipton, our genes do not control our biology, rather, they are just a blueprint that requires our minds to design and produce our behaviors, habits, and lifestyle. We have about 150,000 parts of different proteins in our body that react to the environment by altering their shape. In fact, our life is a movement of our proteins that can create and recreate new designs. “Just like a single cell, the character of our lives is determined not by our genes but by our responses to the environmental signals,” wrote Lipton.
With this discovery, a modern scientific term was born called epigenetics, which means “above genetic.” This new field is a game changer because it challenges us to look “above the genes” and takes us from victim to creator. New research has found that the perception and response to our environment control the genes. We are not victims of our genes because we have the power to change the immediate environment around us and, consequently, change our response. New studies show that our well-being depends not on hereditary dogma, but on our ability to understand the enormous capacity of our mind, which can lead to effective responses for external stimuli so that we can achieve a healthier environment for ourselves, our families, and our communities. There is much we can learn from this new biology, but the most important is the emerging belief that we have the power to create the lives we lead.
Lipton, Bruce H. (2016). The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles / Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. — 10th-Anniversary Edition.
Weiss, A., Bates, T.C. & Luciano (2008). M. Happiness is a Personal(ity) Thing: The Genetics of Personality and Well-being in a Representative Sample. Psychol. Sci. 19, 205–210.