The Intelligence of Your Cells Bruce H. Lipton, PhD ©2008
(Originally published in Peak Vitality: Raising the Threshold of Abundance in Our Material, Spiritual and Emotional Lives (2008) Editor: J. M. House, Elite Books, Santa Rosa, CA)
From the Microcosm of the Cell to the Macrocosm of the Mind For the first three and a half billion years of life on this planet, the biosphere consisted of a massive population of individual single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, yeast, algae, and protozoa. About 700 million years ago, individual cells started to assemble into multicellular colonies. The collective awareness afforded in a community of cells was far greater than an individual cell’s awareness.
Since awareness is a primary factor in organismal survival, the communal experience offered its citizens a far greater opportunity to stay alive and reproduce. The first cellular communities, like the earliest human communities, were basic huntergatherer clans wherein each member of the society offered the same services to support the survival of the community. However, as the population densities of both cellular and human communities reached greater numbers, it was no longer efficient or effective for all individuals to do the same job. In both types of communities, evolution led to individuals taking on specialized functions. For example, in human communities some members focused upon hunting, others upon domestic chores or child rearing. In cellular communities specialization meant that some cells began to differentiate as digestive cells, others as heart cells, and still others as muscle cells. Most of the trillions of cells forming bodies such as ours have no direct perception of the external environment.
Liver cells “see” what’s going on in the liver, but don’t directly know what’s going on in the world outside of the skin. The function of the brain and nervous system is to interpret environmental stimuli and send out signals to the cells that integrate and regulate the life-sustaining functions of the body’s organ systems. The successful nature of multicellular communities allowed evolving brains to dedicate vast numbers of cells to cataloguing, memorizing, and integrating complex perceptions. The ability to remember and select among the millions of experienced perceptions in life provides the brain with a powerful creative database from which it can create complex behavioral repertoires.
When put into play, these behavioral programs endow the organism with the characteristic trait of consciousness—: the state of being awake and aware of what is going on around you. Many scientists prefer to think of consciousness in terms of a digital quality, an organism either has it or not. However, an assessment of the evolution of biological properties suggests 3 consciousness, like any other quality, evolved over time. Consequently, the character of consciousness would likely express itself as a gradient of awareness from its simpler roots in primitive organisms to the unique character of self-consciousness manifest in humans and other higher vertebrates. The expression of self-consciousness is specifically associated with a small evolutionary adaptation in the brain known as the prefrontal cortex. This is the neurological platform that enables us to realize our personal identity and experience the quality of “thinking.” Monkeys and lower organisms do not express self-consciousness. When looking into a mirror, monkeys will never recognize that they are looking at them selves; they will always perceive the image to be that of another monkey. In contrast, neurologically more advanced chimps looking in the mirror perceive the mirror’s reflection as an image of themselves. An important difference between the brain’s consciousness and the prefrontal cortex’s selfconsciousness is that consciousness enables an organism to assess and respond to the immediate conditions of its environment that are relevant at that moment. In contrast, self-consciousness enables the individual to factor in the consequences of their actions in regard to not only how they impact the present moment but also how they will influence the future. Self-consciousness is an evolutionary adjunct to consciousness in that it provided another behavior-creating platform: the role of a “self” in the decision-making process. While conventional consciousness enables organisms to participate in the dynamics of life’s “play,” the quality of self-consciousness offers an opportunity to simultaneously be an observer in the “audience.” From this perspective, self-consciousness provides the individual with the option for self-reflection, reviewing and editing their character’s performance. The conscious and selfconscious functions of the brain may be collectively referred to as the mind. In conventional parlance, the brain’s conscious mechanism associated with automated stimulus-response behaviors is referred to as the subconscious or unconscious mind, for the reason that its functions require neither observation nor attention from the self-conscious mind. Subconscious mind functions evolved long before the prefrontal cortex; consequently, it is able to successfully operate a body and its behavior without any contribution from the more evolved self-conscious mind. The subconscious mind is an astonishingly powerful information processor that can record and replay perceptual experiences (programs).
Interestingly, many people only become aware of their subconscious mind’s automated programmed behaviors when they realize they’re engaged in an undesirable behavior as a result of someone “pushing their buttons.” The power of the subconscious mind lies in its ability to process massive amounts of data acquired from direct and indirect learning experiences at extraordinarily high rates of speed. It has been estimated that the disproportionately larger brain mass providing the subconscious mind’s function has the ability to interpret and respond to over 40 million nerve impulses per second. In contrast, it is estimated that the diminutive self-conscious mind’s prefrontal cortex can only process about 40 nerve impulses per second. As an information processor, the subconscious mind is one million times more powerful than the self-conscious mind. As a tradeoff for its computational bravado, the subconscious mind expresses only a marginal creative ability—one that may be best compared to that of a precocious five-year-old. In contrast to the freewill offered by the conscious mind, the subconscious mind primarily expresses prerecorded stimulus-response “habits,” such as walking, getting dressed, or driving a car. Although the prefrontal cortex’s ability for multitasking is physically constrained, the selfconscious mind can focus upon and control any function in the human body. It was once thought that some bodily functions—such as the regulation of heartbeat, blood pressure, and body temperature—were beyond the control of the self-conscious mind,. It is now recognized, however, that yogis and other practitioners that train their conscious minds can absolutely control functions formerly defined as involuntary behaviors. The subconscious and self-conscious components of the mind work in tandem, with the subconscious controlling every behavior not attended to by the self-conscious mind. Most people’s self-conscious minds are rarely focused upon the current moment, since their mental processing continuously flits from one thought to another. The self-conscious mind is so preoccupied with thoughts about the future, the past, or resolving some imaginary problem, that most of our lives are actually controlled by programs in the subconscious mind.
Taking Personal Responsibility We have all been shackled with emotional chains wrought by dysfunctional behaviors programmed by the stories of the past. However, the next time you are “talking to yourself” with the hope of changing sabotaging subconscious programs, it is important to realize the following information. Using reason to communicate with your subconscious in an effort to change its behavior would essentially have the same influence as trying to change a program on a cassette tape by talking to the tape player. In neither case is there an entity in the mechanism that will respond to your dialogue. Subconscious programs are not fixed, unchangeable behaviors. We have the ability to rewrite our limiting beliefs and in the process take control of our lives. However, to change subconscious programs requires the activation of a process other than just engaging in a running dialogue with the subconscious mind. There are a large variety of effective processes to reprogram limiting beliefs, which include clinical hypnotherapy, Buddhist mindfulness and a number of newly developed and very powerful modalities collectively referred to as energy psychology. For a list of resources, visit: www.brucelipton.com Learning how to harness our minds to promote growth is the secret of life, which is why I refer to the new science as The Biology of Belief. As we become more conscious and rely less on subconscious automated programs, we become the masters of our fates rather than the “victims” of our programs. In this way we can rewrite old, limiting perceptions and actively transform the character of our lives so that they are filled with the love, health, and prosperity that are our true birthrights.
If you want to see Bruce Lipton explaine about Biology of belief then click to the left :o).
Love, unity and wisdom