Written by Lee Schneider
Bruce Lipton was telling me about Newtonian and quantum world views. Yeah, you can stop reading now. You have better things to do than know why self-help books won’t always help you or the real reason you think you need glasses. You can keep thinking of yourself as a victim of your hereditary fate and go get coffee. Really. See you here next week, but then you won’t know what the behavior of iron filings in a magnetic field has to do with anybody getting cancer.
Dr. Lipton is a biologist who got into quantum physics. That kind of thing is sometimes seen as a sign of unstability, but I assure you that Dr. Lipton is quite lucid. Start with his take on Isaac Newton, who described gravity and the rules we use to understand the physical world. Newtonian thought holds that the material world is essentially everything there is. Nothing else matters. Now think about Charles Darwin and “survival of the fittest.” In Dr. Lipton’s view, put those two dominant thinkers together and we get a world where only physical stuff matters, and survival of the fittest means becoming the person who controls most of the physical world. But wait – life is also about the unseen, energy like electromagnetism and mental energy. “While you see and respond to the physical world, it’s the invisible world that is actually the shaper,” he says. This is the quantum world.
Look at what happens when people read self-help books but never change. The reason, says Dr. Lipton, is because of the function of the conscious vs. the subconscious mind – the invisible world shaping things.
The conscious mind is associated with the authentic self and the spirit. The subconscious mind is about habituation. “You learn something and then it’s a habit so you don’t need to relearn it,” Dr. Lipton says. The conscious mind can read the book, take a test on the contents, and pass. But unless you change the habits of the subconscious mind, knowing the contents of the book won’t create change.
Scientists believe the habit-mind is running our everyday life, and according to Dr. Lipton, it is also determining our genetics. At Stanford University School of Medicine his research revealed how environment controlled the behavior and physiology of a cell, changing its genetic structure. That’s the reverse of the established view, which holds that our genetics are “locked” and unchanging. Put it another way, your dad wore glasses, your mom wore glasses, you will wear glasses. Genetics, right? Well, Dr. Lipton says genetics aren’t “fate” – they occur because your cells got the information that that’s the way life is: Everybody in our family wears glasses. If your cells received different information there’d be a different result.
This is getting kind of deep, so here’s a picture of how you can use a cat to prop up your iPad.
Dr. Lipton wants us to know that we are not victims of our “hereditary fate” but can actually make lasting changes to cellular structure. That’s how our health is shaped by invisible forces.
Remember the high school experiment when you sprinkled iron filings on a piece of paper and put a magnet under the paper? Is the pattern you saw in the magnetic filings themselves or in the invisible magnetic field? What’s happening is a physical structure is reflecting an invisible force.
In pharmaceutical medicine, if cells get cancer we try to change their chemistry. But in Dr. Lipton’s view, optimum health means changing your belief system, not just adding chemicals to the body. Your cells, like iron filings, make physical changes when acted upon by unseen forces. Those forces can include environmental toxins, heredity, and consciousness. It means that the science of the physical world doesn’t tell the whole story. You have to consider the quantum world where the universe starts looking less like a great machine and more like a great thought.
Lee Schneider is creative director of Red Cup Agency.