Epigenetics, Spontaneous Evolution, and the Power of Positive Thinking
I just finished reading Spontaneous Evolution, Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There From Here by Bruce H. Lipton and Steve Bhaerman (2010) and was looking back over the dog-eared pages, trying to get a handle on what I can tell you about a book so mind-blowing that I couldn’t wait to share it, but I came up blank. There’s so much information packed into Spontaneous Evolution that not only do I have no idea where to begin, I don’t know what to highlight.
So how about this for a start? What the heck is epigentics?
Here’s the definition from the online dictionary:
ep·i·ge·net·ics | ˌepəjəˈnediks |
plural noun [treated as singular] Biology
the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself: epigenetics has transformed the way we think about genomes.
I hear you — English, please! In general, that means your DNA only predisposes you to an outcome, yet ultimately, you control that outcome. DNA aside, there are a whole list of factors that go into getting you from birth to outcome, but here’s the great news: you have a choice about those factors and can influence or change an outcome simply by altering the way you think about it. As Bruce Lipton says: “if you think it’s all in your genes, think again.”
According to Lipton, your DNA is only the table setting for your reality, but the appetizers, the main course, the dessert, even the wine pairings are all you and your perception of that reality. Lipton is not just suggesting this, but has spent a good portion of his adult life researching that very phenomenon. For thousands of years, gnostics, buddhas, mystics and Wayne Dyer, among others, have said the same thing only without the lab research. They always knew that science would catch up — and now it has.
Fire-walkers, levitators, energy healers, mothers who lift cars off their trapped children, faith healers, these inexplicable and amazing people defy natural laws and are usually explained away as anomalies, a result of faith. According to Lipton and Bhaerman, the hardest part about the belief game is that you either believe it or not; there is no middle ground. And, be honest, our society is all about hedging our bets so faith, real honest to goodness, unshakeable let the snake bite me because God will keep me from dying faith, is an unusual commodity.
If you’re focused on what the doctor said about your dis-ease and your prognosis for health, you’ve already given away part of your power, and the random miracle that may have slipped in the back door, assisting you in your reversion to perfect health may not have the available floor space with all the other worries claiming their spots.
My favorite discussion in Spontaneous Evolution was the bit on Darwin’s theory of evolution. Did you know that Darwin wasn’t really the first to come up with the theory? He had help from English naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace, unlike Darwin, was a commoner who caught and sold specimens to museums and wealthy collectors as a way to make a living. In June 1858, Wallace sent Darwin a copy of his On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type, Wallace’s own theory of evolution. Apparently, catching specimens in Borneo and selling them had given him a lot of time to study those specimens. At this point, Darwin hadn’t thoroughly vetted his own theory so rather than rejoice at a like-minded idea, he mourned the possibility of losing his coveted spot as the father of a new theory and enlisted the help of some well-connected colleagues. A month later the theory was officially introduced at the Linnean Society of London as the Darwin-Wallace theory.
Here’s the kicker. Darwin’s theory espoused one of fierce competition as in — the only way one succeeded in the world was to be the very best. As a result, for over 150 years, people have been trampling over each other to get to the top of the heap because, well, survival of the fittest means that the best man wins. On the contrary, Wallace’s theory was not one of survival, but of cooperation.
“From the perspective of the commoner, Wallace recognized that evolution was driven by the elimination of the weakest, while Darwin interpreted the same data to mean that evolution resulted from the will to survive inherent in the fittest. The difference? In a Wallacean world, we would improve in order not to be the weakest, but in a Darwinian world, we struggle to acquire the status of being the best. In other words, had Wallace prevailed, there would be less focus on competition and more on cooperation.”
We want to be number one or we think we’ve failed. We have less of a cooperate spirit and more of a need to dominate than ever. We’re breeding this into our children the same way we’ve had it bred into ourselves. We want to get ahead, be best, and take no prisoners in the process, but is that really how society functions best, or for that matter, how we want to live our lives? Remember what it felt like to be part of a community? People helping people? Why don’t we do that anymore? Should the desire to help really be equated with weakness?
Eventually, Wallace’s name dropped off — he was a commoner, after all, and in a classic case of survival of the fittest (or should it be richest?), only Darwin remained. In only took about a year for Wallace to fade into obscurity while Darwin was heralded worldwide with the publication of The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. There is more to the story and about a decade later, Darwin himself started focusing on human cooperation over competition, but by then it was too late and Darwin’s followers dismissed his new theories — a real pity.
What does the Iroquois Confederacy and the birth of the United States government have in common? How about the birth of a cell and its adaptation to an evolving world? Sure, the world can get you down when the news is always so negative, but Lipton and Bhaerman have an antidote. Spontaneous Evolution will show you how to move the earth beneath your feet. This book is filled with so much positivity that you’ll walk, or maybe even float away convinced that a more peaceful, verdant world is at all of our fingertips.
And you thought change was impossible.
pam lazos 1.12.20