Consciousness and the New Biology
In his groundbreaking book The Biology of Belief, Bruce H.Lipton, Ph.D. uses the leading edge biological science of epigenetics to demonstrate why and how what we believe and what we think about affects our physical reality, right down to the healthy function of individual cells.
Maybe you’re already convinced about the power of positive thinking and the effects of the Law of Attraction, but if you’re like me and like to have a few facts and a smattering of logic to support what you intuitively understand, then you’re going to want to read Lipton’s book.
Lipton doesn’t just talk about new biological theories, either. He’s an epic myth-buster in several areas, using the latest science to help us move light years beyond the ideas of Newton and Descartes and into the leading edge of scientific thought in the 21st century.
His book is so compelling that every time I found Lipton’s detailed scientific proofs a bit daunting and skipped ahead in a chapter, I found myself so amazed by his conclusions that I inevitably went back and read what I’d skipped.
Starting with a new understanding of the role of our genetic strands of DNA, which until recently was believed to be the primary cause or director of cell behavior, Lipton painstakingly builds a clear, comprehensible scientific case for the new belief that the primary cause of cell behavior is its response to its environment.
This completely trashes the idea that humans – or, indeed any living things – are helpless victims of genetic programming (remember the movie “Jurassic Park”?). Your physical body is not a machine endlessly replicating programmed behavior, but rather a collection of individually conscious cells which, through a complex system of intercommunication, work together for the health and well-being of the whole (you).
Next, he explains how the new physics, quantum mechanics, interacts with biology to remind us that solid matter is not actually solid, that it is at its core pure energy. As Lipton says, “…we do not live in a universe with discrete [sic] physical objects separated by dead space. The Universe is one, indivisible, dynamic whole [author’s italics] in which energy and matter are so deeply entangled it is impossible to consider them as independent elements.”
This concept is a key to how your thoughts affect not only your health but the unfolding reality of the world around you!
For the next important concept, Lipton refers us to scientist Candace Pert’s book Molecules of Emotion, the ideas in which were featured in the mind-blowing 2004 movie What the Bleep Do We Know? Pert’s studies of how the brain interacts with the body revealed that your mind, rather than existing solely in your head, is actually distributed throughout your body via signal molecules. And, even more important, her studies show that the larger self-consciousness of your forebrain can intentionally use the rest of your physical brain to “generate ‘molecules of emotion’” which can override the unconscious, faulty programming which many agree produces unhappiness or disease.
These “molecules of emotion” are key to understanding why traditional ideas about positive thinking often don’t work, especially over a sustained period of time. Most popular positive thinking focuses on your rational mind through self-talk, but it’s actually the chemical reactions created by your emotional responses that are most important, and your emotional responses are usually triggered or controlled by your beliefs.
Using the placebo effect (in which patients are cured by taking harmless substances which they believe are medicine) and the effectiveness of hypnosis as examples, Lipton next discusses the stages of human learning and the levels of consciousness in which they take place.
He describes the various frequencies of brain activity, from Delta (slowest) to Beta (fastest), which frequencies are typical at which ages, and why reprogramming of subconscious beliefs and retraining in positive thinking are most effective by accessing the Delta or Theta states, which are the normal frequencies for infants to six-year-olds. In adults, Delta state is reached in deep, dreamless sleep or deepest relaxation, which is why subliminal sleep programming can be so effective. Theta is reached in meditation.
In his epilogue, Lipton finally allows himself to cut loose and speculate about how these discoveries can positively impact our future, as individuals and as a society, bringing in everyone from Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer’s apprentice in “Fantasia” to Darwin through fractal geometry and Rumi, stirring them all together into vision to inspire even the most hardened cynic.