by Patricia Wagner
Has your doctor ever explained to you that your mind affects your body? Perhaps you have been told that a cheerful attitude is better than a dour one by a kindly physician (or was that your mother?) This was likely couched in terms that implied “it can’t hurt but you know that this is in your genes”. Well, actually I think that we’ve been talking to the wrong type of doctor to learn how dramatically the mind indeed affects the body, in either creating or destroying health.
I’m thinking rather of stem cell biologists or quantum physicists. Were we to speak to someone of that persuasion, we’d have it confirmed with copious evidence that our beliefs affect our biology. As someone who has studied this subject from the perspective of the Ageless Wisdom mystery schools, this causes a great deal of personal delight for me. I hope, regardless of your orientation, that this will intrigue you as well.
NO SWIMMING UP THE “CRICK”
In 1953, with Watson and Crick’s seminal work, the “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids”, the concept of genetic determinism was codified into the education of future physicians. Through Crick’s theory, it became commonly accepted by all that the physical molecules of DNA control life. This theory states that information flows in one direction only: from the DNA to the RNA, and then to the protein that manifests itself as a human body in all its glory or lack thereof. Today, it is commonly accepted by all that our genetic information is inherited from our parents, and we must take the good with the bad. Some might even say that it makes sense to know in advance what this inherited programming might be, so as to head off trouble before it begins.
So we are a product of our genes, you say? Well, about 10 years after we were informed of this linear progression from DNA to RNA to protein, a geneticist, Howard Temin, discovered that RNA could flow backward and alter the host’s DNA code. Although vilified within his field, in 1975 he won a Nobel Prize for proving that the HIV virus is caused by a “reverse transcriptase” enzyme that sends an upstream signal back to the DNA code, altering it.
In 1990, the “no swimming up the Crick” dogma was further undermined by a Duke University biologist, H. Frederik Nijhout. He reported that genes are simply blueprints, not the brains of the bodily operation. In fact, Nijhout’s work concluded that environmental signals control gene activity. In 2003, when Dr. Paul Silverman of the Human Genome Study also confirmed that the cell signaling process is dependent upon environmental stimuli to “trigger” nuclear DNA you’d think that this would have changed everything for the chronically ill amongst us. Sadly, funding for research into the ways to trigger our DNA back to health is sparse, and often discredited. Of course, drug companies wish to change the cellular soup in which we float with a profitable potion or two. Hmmm . . . . wonder if there may be a connection here? Hence, we are left to noodle this out on our own for now.
ARE DISEASES LINKED TO GENETIC DEFECTS?
The National Cancer Institute says that at least 60% of all cancers are due to environmental causes, not genes. Other research reveals that just because you have a culprit gene, doesn’t mean you’ll be affected by disease. And then there is our personal condition: an acquired mutation. Why? Sadly, research is only performed on the ill folks with a genetic disorder – not those who remained healthy in spite of their errant genes. Another study of adopted children found that these adoptees were succumbing to diseases of their parents which were thought to be genetic in nature. That’s the sort of nature or nurture we could do without.
The new field of epigenetics provides insight regarding these murky findings. DNA is not what controls the operation of the human cell. Nor is the nucleus of each cell. The “brains” are located in the cell membrane, specifically in the IMPs (Integral Membrane Proteins) which act like the gatekeepers for the cell, letting certain signals in and other signals out. This elegant and magical mechanism is what translates environmental influences into changed behaviors. Simply put, it is the IMPs that will allow malfunction to enter or depart, and it is the environment that affects the signaling.
Stem cell biologist, Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. defines the cell membrane as “a liquid crystal semiconductor with gates and channels”. In a word, the cell membrane is the structural equivalent of a computer chip! Two points need to be emphasized at this juncture: (1) a cell is a programmable chip and (2) the programming intelligence resides outside of the chip itself.
Remember our MPN doctors explaining to us “it’s not exactly a JAK2 gene, it’s more like this anomaly we found on a pathway”? Well, IMPs facilitate communication of vital information between cells via pathways, or well-worn roads shared by sometimes seemingly unrelated organs or glands. If a biological malfunction occurs anywhere on a pathway, this can affect everything else on the pathway. It’s why there is usually a “constellation” of symptoms for a disease. And you’ve heard those drug commercials that promise, for example, to fix your rheumatoid arthritis but may cause blindness or acute leukemia? If it shares a pathway, fixing one thing may well damage two more things. Finding a physical-level solution may be a very prolonged process, as we’ve been advised.
Sometimes problem-solving requires changing one’s perspective. So for now let’s look at this problem not as our doctors would, but rather from other scientific disciplines. As Einstein discovered, atoms are not made of matter, but rather nonmaterial energy. In fact, astrophysicist Sir James Jeans writes: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter. . . we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter.”
DRINKING THE ELIXIR
Maybe you, too, practiced “The Secret” to get that red Maserati of your dreams, and disappointingly failed. Do not dismiss this magic elixir of creative thought based on such experiences. Your conscious mind might well have focused on that car picture fixed by magnet to your refrigerator, but 95% of your mind and mine is functioning on the subconscious level. Your subconscious mind may not have been convinced that the Maserati was for you. Your subconscious is stuck mostly in grooves that were worn in before you even went to kindergarten.
Our learned perceptions of a lifetime aren’t always accurate or useful, so it seems. And here is the crux of the problem for those of us who wish to reprogram ourselves for total health: Yes, our cells respond to their environment but 95% of our controlling perceptions or beliefs are already programmed in and not easily changed by merely thinking more positive thoughts. And in the meantime, our pathways may be jammed with fear, anger, and generally flummoxed in a way that has upset our cells.
In a prior article I mentioned having reached the realization that allopathic medicine wasn’t enough. I’ve since worked with energy medicine, meditation, visualization, tapping, and much more. Under duress, I even confess to an occasional howl at the moon. (Its energy moves the tides, right?) Although no small feat, I have eradicated the “nocebo effect”. I’ve deprogrammed myself of prior strong impressions acquired through research on my dis-ease. I no longer feel powerless to stop the incessant clanking and wheezing of my errant genes or pathways, or whatever it is that allopathic medicine ultimately decides is the broken widget in my physical vehicle.
In fact, much of my physical, mental, and spiritual suffering has been alleviated. I see myself well, and my body is gradually responding to this vision. As Larry Dossey, M.D., has beautifully illustrated in “Prayer is Good Medicine”, prayer is not something we do – it is something we ARE. Since physicists acknowledge that mind is the primary environmental influence over matter, it makes sense that first we envision something as being true. Then it IS true.
This mind-over-matter, or shall I say wave-over-particle type of healing requires knowledge and skill. Given the “positive thinking” conundrum just mentioned, it takes a much deeper understanding of the role of the mind, and how the Universe’s energy works both in the macrocosm and the microcosm. Ultimately, it takes faith in conjunction with skill. It is a process we will explore in future articles , my brothers and sisters in this process of healing. Blessings, until then.
Take me back.
© Patricia Wagner and MPNforum.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patricia Wagner and MPNforum.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content