BS — Bruce Lipton on ‘The Biology of Belief’
Recently, I had the opportunity to see Bruce Lipton speak about ‘The Biology of Belief’ which is also the title of his first book published in 2005. If you don‘t know Bruce Lipton he is a scientist who educates his audience about his belief that instead of DNA and inheritance, beliefs control human biology. He further claims that this perspective empowers the individual rather than victimising them to the programs that have been installed into their human mind mostly throughout the first seven years of life. But what is that actually mean?
His ideas stem from experimenting with genes in the late sixties earning him a PhD in 1971. He found evidence that a cell is behaving differently based on the environment it is in. In conclusion, genes don’t just turn on and off and therefore are not in control of human biology. I recommend to check out Epigenetics to learn more about the current scientific views as this is definitely not something I could provide further insights on. But back to the genes, if they are not in control of human biology, what is?
It is well known that the brain develops rapidly in the first years of a human life building a solid foundation to enable the individual to navigate throughout life. In the first seven to eight years, the brain is learning by absorbing observations and informations, copying behaviours and learning from parents, teachers, and the people within the community. During this time the brain has no or little consciousness and is therefore not assessing whether any learning absorbed is supporting or hindering later life success. It is the time when the majority of our beliefs are formed or according to Bruce Lipton that our subconscious mind is programmed. This subconscious program then runs our lives, has us walk, chew, run, talk and also act automatically without us being conscious about any of it.
Even though as adults we have a critical mind that is able to make conscious decisions, discern behaviours and accept or reject opinions presented to us, our early childhood program has us follow convictions that has been installed though copying mostly our parent’s opinions and behaviours. Sometimes, this is causing an inner conflict when we desire a to behave differently to what we have been programmed with. The subconscious belief drives that behaviour and the conscious effort to change that very behaviour is experienced as hard work. The hard work comes from pushing against the subconscious belief rather than reflecting the actual repetition of the new behaviour. In other words, we are not congruent or simply not in harmony within ourselves. According to Bruce Lipton, this is the cause of dis-ease including cancers.
If he is right, then a mere change of subconscious beliefs or, now I conclude, on the contrary letting go of trying to change our behaviour is the cure of disease. It sounds too easy to be true. And even Bruce Lipton follows his arguments with quantum physics and the theory that everything is energy. Energy doesn’t have edges. It doesn’t cancel each other out, it touches and engages with other energy forces. On a macro cellular level, proteins create new structures by attracting opposite energetic polarity that is yet again influenced by forces of the field around them. Lipton demonstrates how energy waves coming together can double their effect when having the same polarity or completely cancel their effect with an opposite polarity. He goes on to describe this as an experience of good or bad vibes. Looks very complex to me. Nevertheless, it gives reassurance to follow the good vibes and leave alone the bad ones and intuitively lots of people are doing just that: Following their subconscious beliefs.
So where is that leave us with regards to the biology of belief? It helps us to understand that our beliefs carry certain vibes that attract exactly what we believe to be true. You may have heard of self-fulfilling prophecies or the law of attraction, it is pretty much the same concept as far as I understand it based on scientific principles. Bruce Lipton further claims that a belief about having cancer genes running in the family increases the likelihood to also get cancer, especially if fear fuels the belief towards an expectation that a cancer diagnosis is inevitable. He extends a bit on fear and how it ensures our body distributes the energy into the legs and arms to be ready for fight or flight. This also shuts down among others our digestive system and our immune system. But back to the biology of the cell and its proteins that keep growing new cells to replace the old ones. If we were to change our beliefs that are in dissonance with our desires, we can heal ourselves by simply creating (and I am simplifying) good vibes within.
How do we change beliefs? One option, he offers, would be to listen regularily to a tape with new set of beliefs when we go to bed at night. As we drift off into sleep our brain waves go down to Theta which is the same level of brain activity with that reduced consciousness that has helped us as children to absorb all the learning. Another option which takes far more effort is by prolonged and consistent repetition of a behaviour forming a new belief. Bruce Lipton also recommends PsychK® as one of the quickest ways to change a belief.
On reflection, I found it fascinating how Bruce Lipton were able to explain lots of complicated science and bring it into simplified words helping us to understand more about the nature of our biology. Whether, our beliefs are responsible for our biology or not is something I am not too sure about. Neither am I in agreement with the ‘old school’ belief of genes being in control. I wonder though if there is a grand plan for our lives. And if this is the case then it may be that our core beliefs and copied behaviours are potentially what we need to succeed on our individual’s life journey.
Most of us break free from outdated beliefs when we hit a wall or somebody close to us has hit a wall that effects us so much that we need to do something about it. Other people transformed after a traumatic experience and started movements to help others or have developed a completely different way of life as Richard G. Tedeschi writes about in his HBR article “Growth After Trauma”.
Back to Bruce Lipton, he certainly knows how to keep an audience glued to every word he says. That in itself is a way of instilling beliefs into our subconscious as we have learned to trust an authority, even more an authority that is a bestselling author and a scientist with a huge popularity that another famous scientist Robert Cialdini refers to as social proof in his books on influence and persuasion.
So while Bruce Lipton definitely has made some interesting points on the biology of belief and proposed a way out of our victimhood to live in a permanent honeymoon he also added some of his own beliefs about the Covid pandemic, big pharma and THEM, who ever they are. He used the acronym BS a number of times clarifying that this means of course Belief-System. And whether I belief all that he said that night or not is something I have to decide. Fact is according to Wikipedia that mainstream science has apparently not paid attention to claims made by Bruce Lipton and I am left with the observation that even though he tells us how we are blind to our our behavouirs and underlying beliefs, we may blindly believe what he says.