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Yes, you read it right. We can alter our genes with the power of our perceptions
Underneath your skin is a bustling metropolis of 50 trillion cells, each biologically and functionally equivalent to a miniature human. Current popular opinion holds that the fate and behaviour of our internal cellular citizens are pre-programmed in their genes.
The notion that our fate is indelibly inscribed in our genes was derived from the now dated scientific concept known as genetic determinism.
Since James D Watson and Francis Crick’s discovery of the genetic code, the public has been programmed with the conventional belief that DNA ‘controls’ the attributes passed down through a family’s lineage, including dysfunctional traits such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and depression, among scores of others.
As ‘victims’ of heredity, we naturally perceive ourselves to be powerless in regard to the unfolding of our lives. Unfortunately, the assumption of being powerless is the road to personal irresponsibility: “Since I can’t do anything about it anyway.why should I care?”
Just as the Human Genome Project got off the ground in the late 1980s, scientists began to acquire a paradigm-shattering new view of how life works. Their revolutionary research has become the foundation for a new branch of science known as epigenetic control, which has shaken the foundations of biology and medicine.
It reveals that we are not ‘victims,’ but rather ‘masters’ of our genes. The Greek-derived prefix epi- means ‘over’ or ‘above’. Consequently, the literal translation of epigenetic control is “control above the genes.” Genes do NOT control life; life is controlled by something above the genes. This knowledge of how life works provides the most important element in our quest for self-empowerment.
The new science of epigenetics recognises that environmental signals are the primary regulators of gene activity. As described in my book, The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles, cells read and respond to the conditions of their environment using membrane protein perception switches. Activated switches send signals to control behaviour and regulate the activity of the genes.
Amazingly, epigenetic information can modify or edit the readout of a gene blueprint to create over 30,000 different variations of proteins—the cell’s molecular building blocks—from the same gene.
This editing process can provide for normal or dysfunctional protein products from the same gene. You can be born with healthy genes and through epigenetic processes, express mutant behaviours, such as cancer. Similarly, you can be born with defective mutant genes, and through epigenetic mechanisms, create normal healthy proteins and functions.
The conventional belief that the genome represents the equivalent of a computer’s ‘read-only’ program is now proven to be false. Epigenetic mechanisms modify the readout of genetic the code—which means that genes actually represent ‘read-write’ programs, wherein life experiences actively redefine an individual’s genetic expression. The ‘new’ biology is based upon the fact that perception controls behaviour and gene activity!
This revised version of science emphasises the reality that we actively control our genetic expression moment by moment throughout our lives. Rather than seeing ourselves as victims of our genes, we must come to own the responsibility that our perceptions are dynamically shaping our biology and behaviour.
As organisms experience the environment, their perception mechanisms fine-tune genetic expression to enhance their opportunities for survival. The expression of a healthy or diseased biology is directly influenced by the accuracy of an individual’s interpretation or perception of their environment. Misperceptions rewrite genetic expression just as effectively as accurate perceptions, yet with far graver, perhaps even life threatening consequences.
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