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Present as compared to absent

The Fringe Dweller's Guide to the Universe

Present as compared to absent

 Well, this week's column has been sort of a group effort – I received a tape in the mail from a Haven friend (hey, Thierry – great tape!) called "The Biology of Belief." The speaker is Bruce Lipton, PhD, a cellular biologist. I went to his site ( http://www.brucelipton.com) and grabbed a couple of lines from the site, which describe some of the content of the tape.

"Recent advances in cellular science are heralding an important evolutionary turning point. For almost fifty years we have held the illusion that our health and fate were pre-programmed in our genes, a concept referred to as genetic determinacy. Though mass consciousness is currently imbued with the belief that the character of one's life is genetically predetermined, a radically new understanding is unfolding at the leading edge of science.

Cellular biologists now recognize that the environment (external universe and internal-physiology), and more importantly, our perception of the environment, directly controls the activity of our genes.

As is described by Nijhout, genes are "not self-emergent," that is genes can not turn themselves on or off. If genes can't control their own expression, how can they control the behavior of the cell? Nijhout further emphasizes that genes are regulated by "environmental signals." Consequently, it is the environment that controls gene expression. Rather than endorsing the Primacy of DNA, we must acknowledge the Primacy of the Environment!

Conventional medicine has consistently ignored research published in its own main-stream scientific journals, research that clearly reveals the regulatory influence that electromagnetic fields have on cell physiology. Pulsed electromagnetic fields have been shown to regulate virtually every cell function… These findings are relevant for they acknowledge that biological behavior can be controlled by "invisible" energy forces, which include thought.

For example, if an organism "perceives" a stress that is actually not there, the misperception can actually change the genes to accommodate the "belief."

"Perceptions" lie between the environment and cell expression. If our perceptions are accurate, the resulting behavior will be life enhancing. If we operate from "misperceptions," our behavior will be inappropriate and will jeopardize our vitality by compromising our health."

Looks like the Buddhists, and Ben & Jock, and, humbly (;-)) I, have been speaking a version of life that is closer to "reality" than the allopathic medical community might readily accept.

The tape, BTW, is available (it ain't cheap) from Dr. Lipton's site.

Now, let's unpack what's being said above, and let me add an illustration stolen from the tape, then talk about present vs. absent.

Lipton has a score of recent evidence to support the concept that at the cellular level, there is much more going on than protein reception. Cells are like little binary switches. In response to stimulation they do one of two things – move forward toward nutrition (growth) or move away from toxins (protection.) Allopathic medicine assumes that this is strictly a chemical reaction, and thus drugs are "keyed" to receptors at the DNA or cellular level, to chemically "switch" the cell. This is the "mechanistic" view of science.

At the quantum level, everything is about energy. As in vibrations. Turns out that the mental process of perceiving, and perhaps to a greater extent, interpreting experience not only affects mood and motivation. It affects the organism at the cellular level.

Lipton further argues that only 5% of dysfunction is genetic. The rest is the organism's response to the environment.

Thus, to re-quote Lipton, above –

"For example, if an organism "perceives" a stress that is actually not there, the misperception can actually change the genes to accommodate the "belief."

"Perceptions" lie between the environment and cell expression. If our perceptions are accurate, the resulting behavior will be life enhancing. If we operate from "misperceptions," our behavior will be inappropriate and will jeopardize our vitality by compromising our health."

In other words, what we perceive, and more importantly, how we interpret what we perceive, is chiefly responsible for our health.

Today's topic is presence as compared to absence. Another way of putting this is, the more "present" we are to what we are thinking and interpreting, the healthier we are, even to the cellular level. The more we "miss" (absence), the more affected we are by things that seem to be out of our control.

Simple, right? Well, not really. Question is: what, exactly do we perceive?

My favourite illustration from the tape is this: Every second, the brain is being "hit" with 4 billion signals. Of those 4 billion, we can manage 2000 bits of information in consciousness.

lots of dots

Here's a picture. Imagine it's made up of 4 billion pixels.


Now, let's look at what the brain is actually conscious of. Remember, it's 2000 bits. Here, the dot represents consciousness. Except it's enlarged 1000 times, so you can see it.

In other words, 99.999999% of the signals hitting our brains is "unconscious."

So, if you want to change something, and you have a thought in your head, that doesn't necessarily mean anything changes. Why? The "reasons" for the behaviour are actually buried in the "missed signals."

It's like this: what does what you are sitting on feel like, as you read this? Hadn't noticed your butt before I asked, had you? The nerves were sending messages to your brain, but your brain chose not to report it to your consciousness. Until you chose to pay attention to your butt.  You are what you attend to. All the rest is background.

Now, buried in the 99.999999% are most of your beliefs. The things I call Rock beliefs in my book, Living Life in Growing Orbits. They are decisions you made about yourself. Once you made them, they faded into unconsciousness, and continue to determine your behaviour, out of your consciousness. If you are not aware of the belief, you can't change it. Even when you become aware of it, changing it is hard, hard work.

Lipton, at one point, says something like, "The behaviour won't change unless you change the core belief." We've talked about this in Into the Centre from therapy language. It's the difference between process and content.

Content is the experience (the "conscious dot.") Let's say I'm having trouble with my husband, I'm having conflicts with my parents and my friends aren't very loyal. Each of those is "content." From a consciousness perspective, I may focus in on the current relationship or situation, and cry, "He's being unfair!" or whatever. Then, I switch to another, and another.

Let's say I decide to focus in on one of them, and use better communication. But nothing much changes. I despair.

The process, the fact underlying all the situations is what Lipton calls the "core belief." Perhaps, growing up, you got it in your head that people should treat you "special." Or, you learned you had to fight to stay alive. Or you were taught that you had to get sick to get attention (this is a biggie!)

You begin to see that if the core belief does not change, the day-to-day behaviours are not going to shift. Period. And, if the core belief remains out of consciousness, the only alternative the "system" (your body) has is to get your attention by making you sick or making you ache. If that doesn't work, the cells begin to break down and you get deeper, more serious illnesses.

Presence is the ability to focus your attention on what is really going on at the deep, core level. Bodywork deals with this same process, allowing core issues to emerge. Absence is to think your life is out of your control, as opposed to simply out of your consciousness.

If you want help extracting your core beliefs, and re-thinking and re-imaging your life, give my book a try. It's 365 days doing the hard work of self-exploration, at the core level. Then, add in a mentor (see last week's article) and find a Bodyworker.

Presence is knowing what's up at the core level. Nothing will change, and you will be absent, until you take core work seriously. Before it's too late. Because it's "cellular," baby!

A Moment's Humour

Couldn't resist. Because it's all about how you live your life. (Thanks, Kateryna!)

Butt Prints in the Sand

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
Those prints are large and round and neat,
"But Lord, they are too big for feet."

"My child," He said in sombre tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."

"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know,
So I got tired, I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt."

"Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight, and one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the sand."

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