Book Review

by Linda Iverson, RN, MN, CHt

The Biology of Belief -
unleashing the power of consciousness, matter and miracles

by Bruce H. Lipton, PhD (copyright 2005)

"The implication of this research radically changes our understanding of life.  It shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology; that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts."  This book is a combination of cellular biology, quantum physics, and more. 

Chapters 1-3 are about the biology of cells, how they work, and how they evolve.   Dr. Lipton’s research as well as others, found that it is the membrane of the cell, not the nucleus, which causes the cells to work and do their job.  The membrane responds to signals outside of the cell such as the environment, chemical changes in the brain brought about by thought or emotions, what we eat and many other stimuli.
Chapter 4 shifts to quantum physics – "The Illusion of Matter".  Matter can be described as particles (solids) and also as well as force fields (waves).  It is impossible to consider the particles and energy waves as independent from each other.  Researchers are starting to look at this knowing that the particles and the energy waves are affected by many physical signals (outside of the cell) such as hormones, cytokines, growth factors, tumor suppressors, messengers and ions.  These all have very complex interactions.

Chapter 5 is titled "The Biology of Belief" – the author discusses the incredible power of the mind and how his research on cells gives insights into the body’s mind-body pathways.  He goes on to discuss the conscious mind versus the subconscious mind (which are the basis of hypnosis).  The conscious mind is the creator of positive thoughts and such, however, the subconscious mind is like a computer – it just continues running programs, some of which were implanted at conception.  In the conscious mind, it is the emotions that give off the signals that trigger the cells to do their work following the subconscious programming.

Through research with cloned epithelial cells, he found that when adding histamine or adrenaline, the cell turned various switches off or on.  He then found in further research that people change when they believe certain things, which then create the emotions, whichthen create the reaction in cells. This is similar to the placebo effect known in medicine.

From Mahatma Gandhi:
            Your beliefs become your thoughts
            Your thoughts become your words
            Your actions become your habits
            Your habits become your values
            Your values become your destiny  

Chapter 6 is about "growth" versus "protection" in our evolution.  A sustained "protection"  (fight or flight) response is harmful because it shunts actions away from activities needed for growth (inhibits creation of life-sustaining energy).  The growth response, is one in which we not only have a lack of stressors (which only puts us at a neutral state) but in which we also actively seek joy, love, fulfilling life activities.  The protection mechanism starts activation of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis.  When the HPA alarm is sounded, growth shuts down and the cells shifts to the protection mode.

Chapter 7 again states that we are not all about DNA.  Programming of the subconscious mind starts at conception - cells start interacting with their environment immediately at that point.  Parental attitudes shape everything about the fetus and "the experience in the womb shapes the brain and lays the groundwork for personality, emotional temperament, and the power of higher thought".  Conscious parenting includes taking care to not implant unnecessary fears and limiting beliefs in children.
The author brings together the science and the spirituality of who we are and how it all works together.  One of his conclusions is that we are spiritual beings who need love as much as we need food.  He believes we have an "evolutionary mandate" to stop violence.

"The science revealed in this book defines how beliefs control behavior and gene activity, and consequently the unfolding of our lives."  Many of our negative believes were downloaded beyond our control into our subconscious programming during gestation and early childhood.





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