The Biology of Belief, report for curriculum
The Biology of Belief is a book about cellular healing and manipulation by the mind by Bruce Lipton, PhD. Lipton explains how our thoughts can trigger healing - or illnesses - in the body. He received his Ph.D. in developmental biology in 1971 and taught at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and St. George’s University of Medicine and from 1987 to 1992. He also was a researcher at Penn State and Stanford University Medical Center. He has several published works on this including white papers and essays on cellular biology and epigenetics that have appeared in Nature magazine, the University of Wisconsin, Stanford University and many others. He has written four books on epigenetics and the power of belief to change your health and to change your mind. He has lectured at conferences such as the Institute of Noetic Sciences conference and made guest appearances in films and on television shows regarding the impact of love and fear on your body. In 2009, he received the Goi Peace award for his work in the “New Biology”.
Despite all of Lipton’s awards and accolades, his work is still often criticized by skeptics which you can sense pays a toll on his own psyche. He mentions in the Biology of Belief, which was republished in 2015 as a ten year anniversary edition, his awe and disappointment in a more recent publication on epigenetics in Nature magazine where they repurpose his words and findings without siting him and his article written years earlier. These ideas are not new - that of healing the body with our thoughts or even that of channelling energy from what is known as God for lack of a better word - but what makes Lipton different is his tracking of cellular change using the scientific method. Today we have the technology to see and track changes in the body more so than ever before. Lipton has documented the cell changes in amino acid behavior due to signals generated in the mind to create behavior (healing or dis-ease), much like what Masaru Emoto has done with talking to water crystals and photographing the result as evidence (see Masaru-Emoto.net).
When Lipton was working at the universities, he much considered himself an atheist and taught what was known as The Central Dogma (Crick & Watson, 1953). The Central Dogma teaches that genetic information flows into proteins from the DNA to the RNA to the proteins (pgs 31-33). He also taught Newtonian theories that only really focused on the physical, that the body is a machine. He noted that the purpose of science in this regard is to dominate and control nature.
Lipton sees a deeper path in the vibrational studies of cellular biology and jokes that the concepts of creating good vibes is actually founded (pgs 84-91). He sited the waves created in atomic spinning which creates a frequency that we are not taught (in the medical field) to tune into. If health and dis-ease is genetically based, he says, then we are powerless, we’re victims and we can be irresponsible. Times have changed, however, and where we used to believe in Newtonian physics, we now also study Quantum physics. Our paradigm has shifted from ‘the universe is matter’ to ‘the universe is energy’. The key idea here is that matter can separate. Energy cannot separate. It is all connected and therefore that idea that genetic information in the only way to shift change in the proteins is an incomplete picture (pgs 65-91).
There are 150,000 proteins in the human body, but only 23,000 were found in the Human Genome Project. Therefore, he concludes, genes do not control life. The old belief was that the nucleus controls the cell. Now we can see that the membrane controls the cell. The membrane is where the ‘brain’ of the cell resides. If you remove the nucleus, the cell cannot reproduce, however, the cell can still survive. He likens the nucleus to being the ‘gonads’ of the cell which operate on survival instinct. Where we used to think we only needed to study Psychology and Biology, we now see how all these things are connected and new branches of science are being incorporated such as electro chemistry, quantum physics and fractal mathematics as it pertains to our bodies and the secrets of life itself. The secrets of the cell, he says, is the secret of life.
So where does all this confusion stem from and why is it so difficult to shift the larger paradigm? In the United States, iatrogenic illness is the leading cause of death - that is, the medical treatment of disease. 784,000 deaths annually, outnumbering both cancer and heart disease, and 300,000 of these deaths are from prescription drugs (pg 77). Yet, according to statista.com in 2015 the U.S. pharmaceutical market is the world’s most important market. At the time, the U.S. held over 40% of the global pharmaceutical market and had $425,000,000 in ‘nominal spending on medicines’ within the U.S. That, coupled with contemporary mainstream medical sciences, vibrational learning and education on energy healing is easily swept aside. With these authorities and a multibillion dollar industry not advocating self-healing, but rather a life of dependence, the challenge becomes clear.
The National Institute of Health finally did incorporate an ‘alternative medicine’ department due to public pressure as it has gained popularity in recent years, but Lipton says there is no serious funding for energy work and energy work is still labeled as ‘unscientific’ (pg 83). Even so, research and study continues. In the epilogue, Lipton discusses his study of fractal geometry. He says, Geometry is a mathematical assessment of ‘the way the different parts of something fit together in relation to each other.’” Continuing to site the changing times, he mentions how it wasn’t until 1975 (from 300BC) we primarily studied Euclidian geometry, but Euclidian geometry doesn’t apply to nature. In nature, he says, organic and inorganic structures display irregular patterns. It wasn’t until Benoit Mandelbrot launched fractal mathematics to consider these seemingly chaotic patterns (pg 166). Of course, sacred geometry has been a concept pursued for thousands of years and documented as such by Plato and in 1596 Kepler, the astronomer, wrote Mysterium Cosmographicum outlining what was known as God’s plan through naturally occurring patterns and shapes in nature and in space.
However, religion has no place in science. Yet something in Lipton’s studies changed him from an atheist to a firm believer in the unseen. After all, you cannot see atoms, force or vibrations with the bare eye. This is another area where he feels modern medicine is failing us because it wants us to understand the matter, but not the (energy) field.
“The field is the sole governing agency of matter.” ~ Albert Einstein.
The matter plus the field equals the structure, Lipton iterates. In understanding energy and how we may control it as well he explains the entanglements. There is constructive interference or destructive interference which is why vibrations can alter our health and biology because you cannot separate the waves, you must study the field. The mind in this case can direct the energy. Back to protein since the cell is a ‘protein machine’. Calmodiulin is the backbone, a multi functional calcium binding messenger protein, and the peptide bonds are the protein gears. There are twenty differently shaped amino acids and several ‘pathways’ (respiratory pathway, Krebs cycle, etc.) in which there is a signal that generates movement. The positive and negative charges of the atoms create the signals in the spinning (the wave or frequency or vibration) and that makes movement. Where there is movement, there is life! (pgs 25-39)
In an article in Science magazine called “Controlling Biological Function” (Sept 2006) these ‘good vibes’ and ‘bad vibes’ can be explained. “For a quantum mechanical object, one can arrange interference of several ‘paths’ to create constructive interference that selects one state and destructive interference that blocks others. This is achieved with a pulse of light whose spectral components are controlled in phase and amplitude.” Lipton notes three ways to ‘mess up’ the signal: trauma, toxins and thoughts. Relying fully on genetics (protein) there are less than 5% of birth defects which he links to past life trauma that has been unresolved. Behavior, however, is the leading cause of dis-ease. A signal is created that goes to the mem-’brain’ that goes to the protein. As soon as that protein receives the signal, movement happens.
Perception is the switch to control the movement! We get a primary signal, an awareness to the environment which goes to the receptor where a secondary signal is created. The secondary signal goes to an effector in the integral membrane and we get a physical sensation. When the feelings or physical sensation, occurs, a behavior is created. This is what Lipton calls Signal Transduction. Perception controls behavior.
So what is a gene? A gene is a blueprint, nucleus and chromosomes which are 50% DNA and 50% protein, a DNA core with a protein sleeve. The new science is epigenetic and studies the sleeve and through epigenetic control, a person can create good or bad. When the gene is read, there is control. When the gene is not read, there is no control. For example, in the agouti mutation there is a yellow obese mouse and a brown thin child mouse. The child mouse was given methylation, a mix of B vitamins such as folic acid and niacin. The outcome was altered.
Nature versus nurture is a useless argument, says Lipton, because when you have consciousness you can rewrite your environment.
“Both Nature and Nurture are intertwined, but what’s bigger is epigenetics in terms of bulk. Genomics might be the tip of the iceberg, but I truly believe epigenetics is the base,” says American biologist Randy Jirtle.
Through belief, people have allowed themselves to get bitten by poisonous snakes and survived, self healed while taking placebos, dipped themselves in freezing cold water and not lowered their body temperature. Belief is biology, says Lipton. Belief is in the field.
So what causes sickness? Here’s the thing: life moves toward nutrients and away from toxins. Your cells are no different. As cells move toward nutrients, they grow and there is growth. As cells sense toxic signals, they move away, hide, protect themselves which shuts down growth. Your hypothalamus and pituitary regions perceive stress, the ACTH response is sent out creating a fight or flight response, your body creates and sends corticoids which suppresses the immune system. Stressors create such a cycle where growth is shut off, the immune system is shut off and even consciousness is shut off (we become less intelligent). This occurs in states of love and fear as well - growth versus shutting down respectively (pg 117-124). In a Romanian orphanage, for example, 40% of the children became autistic. They were given everything, but love. It is not just the absence of stress, it is the addition of love and joy which will create growth.
What are we anyway? We are genetics, which are our instincts the subconscious mind which are our learned habits and our self conscious mind which is our creative programming - our consciousness. When we are in the womb, we have our mother’s environment. When we are born we have attachment bonding. Even at this early state changes can be made as proved by some infants born with autism who had an adult looking into their eyes every day after they were born. The Delta period of vibrations is when the super learning can occur. It is the known as the programming state when the little human learns enculturation. A child could master three languages, for example, if it originates in this period. Then there is the Theta period, between two and six years old, the Alpha period which is a time for calm consciousness and finally school consciousness, the Beta period, at 12 years old. This is why you may not know the programming you received because you were not conscious. While in the Delta and Theta periods a person is still in their original mammal brain, the subconscious, receiving 40 million bits per second. It is a fast and habitual brain. Once the self consciousness is fully established, our brain receives 40 bits per second. It is a slow and creative brain. It is the job of the subconscious to control reality, autopilot. The job of the conscious mind is to focus on the now. That said, it should be noted that we are 95% habit. Only 5% is attributed to positive thought or will power.
So how does one change? Lipton chooses to explore buddhist mindfulness. There is also a ‘honeymoon period’ of self watching, clinical hypnotherapy, or modalities such as energy psychology, holographic re-patterning, body talk, psych-K, episodic future thinking, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and others. Whatever the chosen path of change is, the focus is finding the harmonic resonance. We are all parts of one whole microorganism, we individually are not the whole. We have a collective consciousness, a collective mind. For example, if the consciousness changes, there doesn’t have to be a war.
We all are made up of receptors. The antennae of our selves are on the outside and each specific receptor is specific to the person. You can transfer ownership by transferring the antennae. For example, a beam of white light goes through a prism, the prism splits the white light into a rainbow. Say, you try to remove one of the frequencies or colors and put it back through the prism, you will no longer receive white light. Lipton remarks that many spiritual people have longed for or perceived this purity of white light returning to the planet, but it will only be ‘when every human being recognizes every other human being as an individual frequency of the White Light.’ (pg 165) We are super consciousness in our spirit, our intuition, we have our minds, our self consciousness, and we have our subconsciousness, our instincts and our habits. The cells convert the experiences of the world. This place is the place for love. Each person is like a frequency of the white light. We are white light and humanity is evolving, says Lipton. We can create the world we want… if we just believe.
In summation, after all the science and after all the tenuous research and after all the disbelief and criticism, it boils down to one little sentiment so aptly written at the end of The Mental Universe, a paper by Johns Hopkins University professor, Richard Conn Henry of the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy, “The Universe is Immaterial - mental and spiritual. Live and Enjoy.”