Sounds True: What is the New
Bruce Lipton: We have been conditioned to believe that genes
control and give character to our lives.
Since we apparently
don't select the genes we come with and since we can't change
the genes that we have, we have acquired the belief that our
lives are pre-programmed by the genes we acquired at conception.
This is referred to as genetic determinism. But the mechanism of
genetic determinism would require an excess of up to 150,000
genes to create a gene-controlled biology. When
the human genome
project results came in, we found that there are approximately
only 25,000 human genes.
This means that there are not enough
genes to account for a human as a genetically controlled
automaton. There has to be a second genetic code that is more
powerful or overrides the functions of the primary DNA genetic
code to account for human complexity.
The name of the field of science that describes this new genetic
mechanism is called epigenetic control. The significance of this
is indicated in the name epigenetics, which refers to any
control above the genes. As an organism goes through a changing
environment, its genes are continuously changing as well.
Epigenetics refers to the results of the interactions between an
organism and its environment.
The significance of this is that
our interactions with the environment are not only from direct
experiences such as whether it's cold or hot out, but by our
perceptions or beliefs, which also trigger a physiological
So we can learn how to positively affect our
physiology by becoming conscious of how to better use our
thoughts and feelings.
Sounds True: Is this why you called your book
The Biology of
Bruce Lipton: The mechanism of epigenetic control is that the
behavior of the genes is mediated by our perception of the
Lower organisms sense their environments directly
via stimulus/response. When you get to humans, our response to
the environment includes our interpretation of the environment,
and that is where the variabilities arise.
perceptions are correct in their interpretation, and sometimes
our interpretations are incorrect. Either way, it is our
perceptions that control our biology. I could have called the
book The Biology of Perception, but since not all of our
perceptions are accurate, it was preferable to call the book The
Biology of Belief.
The idea is that once you understand how your
beliefs change your life, you know that if you want to change
your life, you have to change your perceptions.
Sounds True: And how would one do that?
Bruce Lipton: Where do we get our perceptions? Through our
Our mind is like a tape recorder that records our
experiences. If the stimuli associated with our past experiences
reappears, the mind replays the same response it's been
programmed to play from the previous experience.
If in this
process we acquire information that is dysfunctional to our
happiness or health, it doesn't matter - our mind will continue to
act out the same self-sabotaging, limiting behaviors for the
rest of our lives until these programs are changed.
The significant issue here is that we all have two minds that
are working in tandem: there are the conscious and the
The subconscious mind is a million times more
powerful as an information processor than the conscious mind.
So, although we think we can control our lives by using our
conscious mind, our subconscious programs operate our biology
for 95-99 percent of the day, so our lives are actually mostly
controlled by our subconscious programs.
This explains why we
can have great intentions to be healthy, happy, successful,
etc., and continuously fail to meet our goals, because 95-99
percent of our behavior are actually rerunning programs that
don't necessarily reflect what we want or think at all.
Sounds True: But our environment does have some direct affect
on us as well, doesn't it?
Bruce Lipton: There can be physical environmental causes for our
responses as well as emotional, psychological influences.
instance, the American Cancer Society recently recognized that
over 60 percent of
cancer is totally avoidable solely by
changing lifestyle and diet. And the same thing applies to
Dr. Dean Ornish taught his
cardiovascular patients how to have better diets, how to better
manage their stress, how to improve their communication skills,
and how to meditate. And he found that cardiovascular disease
could not only be stopped, but that his patients actually
regenerated their cardiovascular system.
And the important point
is that it wasn't done with medication; it wasn't accomplished
through changing the chemistry, which is the old paradigm that
genes control our chemistry and our chemistry controls our
But Dean Ornish's work is a direct example of
we can influence our lives by our behavior, and as our beliefs
often form the basis of our behavior, to change our beliefs can
be the easiest way available to us to create the lives we want
Cancer and cardiovascular illness are the two leading killers,
but this process has also been proven to affect diseases such as
diabetes and arthritis.
The significance of the new biology is
where before we saw ourselves as victims of our biochemistry, we
now recognize that we are the masters of our biology. But the
problem is that we are generally completely unaware of our
We think we are controlling our lives
but usually we are not, because our subconscious mind has been
programmed by our previous experience - much of it before the age
of six - and so we don't see how it is controlling us, or know how
to change our behavior.
And when these programs are running,
we're not aware of them, and therefore when our lives don't seem
to work we look to outside causes of the problem, not being
aware that we are self-sabotaging or limiting ourselves.
other words, as Henry Ford said,
“If you think you can, or if
you think you can't, you're right.”
Sounds True: What is something that anyone can do to begin to
get some control over their subconscious programming?
Bruce Lipton: The primary thing is to learn how to practice
When you are being mindful and conscious,
you are not operating off the prerecorded tapes that typically
invisibly lead us off-track. Mindfulness practice encourages
people to get into the practice of being more conscious in their
Sounds True: What kind of wisdom do our cells have?
Bruce Lipton: Human hubris has us believe that we are
intelligent and considers everything far less intelligent than
we are. And when we get down to the level of cells, we
essentially don't consider them as possibly having intelligence.
We think of ourselves as a singular entity, but the reality is
that we are an interactive community of 50 trillion individual
cells. It is their technology and their intelligence that
The reflection of their intelligence is in their
technology - they can manage their environment and manage their
world with technologies that we haven't even comprehended yet.
For millions of years, their social activities have made
possible the evolution of all life forms on this planet.
fact, we are struggling on this planet with how to form a
cooperative world with only about 7 billion people.
there has been a cooperative world of about 50 trillion citizens
that have created a philosophy and politics of life that has
enabled them to live and thrive over a million years.
is unique about these cellular civilizations is that they can
live in total bliss, which is reflected in the health and
vitality that we experience.
Sounds True: How do our cells learn to live together?
Bruce Lipton: When life first appeared on this planet, for the
first 3 billion years it consisted of singular cells living in a
very diffuse community.
But about 700 million years ago, cells
learned how to cooperate and form community. Those communities
of cells - which now may be as small as 10-20 cells or up to
hundreds of trillions of cells - are all based on a cooperative
Every cell is a sentient being, and every cell
participates and works to support the nature of the community.
Some cells become heart cells; and others become bone cells; and
others, nerve cells.
And by specializing in their functions and
working in cooperation they are able to create these
unimaginable cooperative communities.
Sounds True: So, in a way, evolution is not based on survival
of the fittest but is actually based on cooperation.
Bruce Lipton: Absolutely. Evolution is a reflection of
Evolution isn't one animal against another
animals learning how to live in harmony with each other.
Maintaining our belief in
a Darwinian struggle of survival of
the fittest is totally counterproductive to our actual
And its destructive consequences of this belief of
survival as a perceived struggle are responsible for most of the
problems that we have on the planet today.
Sounds True: So, then, changing our perceptions of our
individual evolution would change the future evolution of our
Bruce Lipton: Exactly. And it can be seen in the instructions to
seek the answers within.
In other words, if you want to figure
out the rules of a successful community, the answer is to look
inside yourself as a thriving community of 50 trillion
individual cells. It can be a model of a diversity of people
living in community.
It turns out that we must understand the
nature of the biology to understand the responsibility we have
in the unfolding of our individual lives, but also, in a larger
sense, the challenges we face as a part of the larger community
of the world.
Sounds True: So the first step to our taking responsibility
for our own lives and future evolution is to realize that we are
not the victims of our environment or even our programming, but
that we are the creators of our present through the process of
Bruce Lipton: Right. And the key word is knowledge.
Knowledge of self is power.
When we gain this kind of knowledge,
we begin to experience true self-empowerment. The absence of
this kind of knowledge is the fundamental issue that keeps us
from experiencing the Garden of Eden here on earth.