It takes over 100,000 different types of proteins to run your body. Each of us is made up of approximately 50 trillion single cells. Human beings are multicellular organisms. You should see yourself as a bustling community of more than 50 trillion individual cells. We also have hundreds of trillions of microbial “invaders,” mostly in our gut, are absolutely necessary for our survival, and there are ten times more of them than cells in the human body. Because the body cannot survive without its microbes (collectively called the “microbiome”), they are the functional equivalent of any of our other vital organ systems.
Each cell is an intelligent being that can survive on its own
We share basic behavioural patterns with our cells. There is not one “new” function in our bodies that is not already expressed in the single cell. Virtually every eukaryote (nucleus-containing cell) possesses the functional equivalent of our nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, excretory system, endocrine system, muscle and skeletal systems, circulatory system, integument (skin), reproductive system, and even a primitive immune system, which utilises a family of antibody-like “ubiquitin” proteins.
It shouldn’t be surprising that cells are so smart. Single-celled organisms were the first life forms on this planet. But the evolutionary advantage of living in a community soon led to organisations comprised of millions, billions, and even trillions of socially interactive single cells. While the cellular communities appear as single entities to the naked eye—a mouse, a dog, a human—they are, in fact, highly organised associations of millions and trillions of cells where the nervous system acts as the government in organising the activities of its cellular citizens.
It was only 700 million years ago, which is recent in regard to the time frame of life on this planet, when single cells found it advantageous to join together in tightly knit multicellular communities, organisations we recognise as animals and plants. Evolution is a matter of the survival of the fittest groups rather than the survival of the fittest individuals. Evolution was based on an “instructive,” cooperative interaction among organisms and their environment that enables life forms to survive and evolve in a dynamic world.
You can see cells as miniature humans
Like humans, single cells analyse thousands of stimuli from the microenvironment they inhabit. Single cells are also capable of learning through these environmental experiences and are able to create cellular memories, which they pass on to their offspring. With the nucleus as the cell’s brain. As smart as the human brain. With a quantum connection to the universe.
Cells are like computer chips
The membrane of a cell is a liquid crystal semiconductor with gates and channels. A chip is a crystal semiconductor with gates and channels. The cell membrane is structural and functional equivalent (homologue) of a silicon chip. The fact that the cell membrane and a computer chip are homologues means that it is both appropriate and instructive to better fathom the workings of the cell by comparing it to a personal computer.
The first big-deal insight that comes from such an exercise is that computers and cells are programmable. The second insight is that the programmer lies outside the computer/cell. We are the drivers of our own biology, just as I am the driver of this word processing program. We have the ability to edit the data we enter into our biocomputers, just as surely as I can choose the words I type. When we understand how IMPs control biology, we become masters of our fate, not victims of our genes.
You can programme your cells
Molecular biology has shown that the genome is far more fluid and responsive to the environment than previously supposed. You can control, improve or re-programme your genes by exercise, good nutrition, a positive outlook on life, living in happiness and gratitude, being in service, and experiencing love, especially self-love, all enhance telomerase activity and promote a long and healthy life.
Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, while the speed of a diffusible chemical is considerably less than one centimetre per second. Energy signals are a hundred times more efficient and infinitely faster than physical-chemical signalling. What kind of signalling would your trillion-celled community prefer? You do the math!
That is why quantum physics is relevant to biology. At the atomic level, matter does not even exist with certainty; it only exists as a tendency to exist. So every material structure in the universe, including you and me, radiates a unique energy signature. However, the quantum perspective reveals that the universe is an integration of interdependent energy fields that are entangled in a meshwork of interactions. That the invisible forces of the electromagnetic spectrum profoundly impact every facet of biological regulation. For thousands of years, long before Western scientists discovered the laws of quantum physics, Asians have honoured energy as the principal factor contributing to health and well-being. The manipulation of the quantum properties of matter can influence the course of biochemical reactions. Matter and energy are entangled.
Thoughts, the mind’s energy, directly influence how the physical brain controls the body’s physiology. The conscious and the subconscious are interdependent. The subconscious mind is fundamentally habitual; it will play the same behavioural responses to life’s signals over and over again, much to our chagrin.
When it comes to sheer neurological processing abilities, the subconscious mind is more than a million times more powerful than the conscious mind. Neuroscience has now established that the conscious mind runs the show, at best, only about 5% of the time. It turns out that the programs acquired by the subconscious mind shape 95% or more of our life experiences. We are completely unaware that our subconscious minds are making our everyday decisions. Our lives are essentially a printout of our subconscious programs, behaviours that were fundamentally acquired from others (our parents, family, and community) before we were six years old.
The brain controls the behaviour of the body’s cells. In higher, more aware life forms, the brain developed a specialisation that enabled the whole community to tune into the status of its regulatory signals. Those regulatory signals are the emotions. Through self-consciousness, the mind can use the brain to generate “molecules of emotion” and override the system. The self-conscious mind is self-reflective; it is a newly evolved “sense organ” Endowed with the ability to be self-reflective, the self-conscious mind is extremely powerful. The conscious mind’s capacity to override the subconscious mind’s preprogrammed behaviours is the foundation of free will.
Your mind and genetics
Is it possible that the mind can override genetic programming? Does belief control biology? We do know that the mind controls the body You get an order from your manager. The CEO walks in and gives you the opposite order. Which order would you follow? If you want to keep your job, you’ll snap to the CEO’s order. There is a similar priority built into our biology, which requires cells to follow instructions from the head honcho nervous system, even if those signals conflict with local stimuli.
Lipton believes in the placebo effect. Mind over matter. Placebo is an amazing testament to the healing ability of the body/mind. When the mind changes, it absolutely affects you.
- 80% of the effect of antidepressants, as measured in clinical trials, could be attributed to the placebo effect.
- In more than half of the clinical trials for the six leading antidepressants, the drugs did not outperform placebo, sugar pills.
- Beliefs are contagious! We now live in a culture where people believe that antidepressants work, and so they do.
You are your beliefs
If you believe you can or if you believe you can’t, you’re right. Your beliefs act like filters on a camera, changing how you see the world. And your biology adapts to those beliefs. You can choose what to see. You can filter your life with rose-coloured beliefs that will help your body grow, or you can use a dark filter that turns everything black and makes your body/mind more susceptible to disease. You can live a life of fear or live a life of love. You have the choice:
- Your beliefs become your thoughts
- Your thoughts become your words
- Your words become your actions
- Your actions become your habits
- Your habits become your values
- Your values become your destiny
Beliefs are chemicals
Research has confirmed that brain cells translate the mind’s perceptions (beliefs) of the world into complementary and unique chemical profiles that, when secreted into the blood, control the fate of the body’s 50 trillion cells. You can get addicted to those cocktails. Read “Breaking the habit of being yourself”.
Meditators exhibited a range of genetic and molecular differences that included reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes and altered levels of gene-regulating machinery. These observed changes in gene expression are associated with faster physical recovery from stressful situations and prove that mindfulness practice can lead to health improvement through profound epigenetic alterations of the genome.
Your perception is your reality
Health and illness are much more rooted in our minds, our hearts, and how we experience ourselves in the world than our models even begin to understand. And in fact, those who perceived that they were getting more exercise lost weight and lowered their blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index. Your belief carries more power than your reality. Hence . . . The Biology of Belief!
Lipton has spent years studying molecular control mechanisms within the physical body and at that astounding moment came to realise that the protein “switches” that control life are primarily turned on and off by signals from the environment. From the Universe. Because we are machines made out of protein, by definition, we are made in the image of the environment, that environment is the universe or God.
Tuning into the universe
Lipton goes back to quantum physics. Consider the human body as a television set. You are the image on the screen. Your identity is an environmental broadcast that was received via an antenna. The TV’s antenna, which downloads the broadcast, represents our full set of identifying receptors and the broadcast represents an environmental signal. Now imagine you controlling the TV. You are your own tuner. Imagine that there are an infinite number of universes and everything that could possibly happen occurs in some universe. That you control and tune which universe you step into. Similar to the “The future of the mind”. One of my favourite books about the brain.
You are a quantum machine, and your beliefs control your destiny. Your beliefs are your programming language for your cells, your body, your mind and your future. Collectively, that means that what we all believe, determines our collective future. Meditate on that.