Newborn baby feet

Sabotaging ourselves with limiting subconscious programs

In Insight and Experience, Insight and Self Awareness, Mind and Movement by Bruce LiptonLeave a Comment

How babies learn

In human development, when a sperm and egg come together their fate is presumed to be controlled by the inherited genes. The role of the woman in foetal development has primarily been restricted to her contribution in regard to nourishment via the components of her blood that pass through the placenta to the foetus, but her blood contains a lot more than just nutrition. Blood contains all of the information molecules as well, such as hormones and emotional chemicals. The mother is always adjusting her physiology and her emotions to deal with the contingencies of life. Since her blood via the placenta is directed to the foetus, the foetus is experiencing and feeling what the mother senses. This is a super-intelligent idea on the part of Mother Nature. Since the foetus, when it is born, is going to live in the same environment that the mother perceives, the mother is helping the foetus ‘adjust’ to current world conditions. If the mother perceives the world as threatening, this sends completely different signals to the foetus than if she perceives the world as a warm, supporting place.

When stress hormones cross the placenta they have exactly the same target sites in the foetus as they have in the mother. They cause the foetal blood vessels to be more constricted in the viscera, sending more blood to the periphery, preparing the foetus is for a fight/flight behavioural response. In a developing foetus this is going to enhance the development of the musculoskeletal system and make a bigger body, with a coordinated increase in the hind-brain function to control that response. In a truly unstable world, this mother is creating a child that will have a great advantage because its ability to be a fighter and survive is greatly enhanced. Yes, the genes control the unfolding of a body plan, but how you enhance some organs and take away from other organs is based on the flow of information chemicals that are transported from the mother’s blood into the placenta.

It is now recognised that when the child is born he is fully capable of experiencing almost all the emotions of adults. Newborns can express rage, jealousy, anger, love and sadness. It turns out that both the mother and father are actually tailoring and shaping the child’s physiology and behaviour to fit into their world. If the parents find the world troubling, their child will be affected. For example, when parents do not want a child, this information, in the form of emotional chemistry, is crossing the placenta! The foetus already knows that its support is not guaranteed. It is clearly important for us to recognise that creating a child is a very important, dynamic, interactive process between the parents and the foetus. In fact, recent understanding in human pathology clearly reveals that issues that affect us as adults, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and obesity, actually have their roots in the peri-conceptual, foetal and neonatal phases of life. The conditions under which a child is developing in utero profoundly shape her for the rest of her life in regard to behaviour and physiology.

When the child is born, it will stare into the faces of its parents and within hours it learns to read their facial expressions. The reason for this is very important – the facial expression of the parent serves to instruct the infant about its new world. As the child explores its world, if he encounters something ‘new’ and the parent’s face expresses concern or fear, it immediately learns that thing should be avoided. The child will back away from whatever he perceives as threatening, and that is a healthy response for his life. Through this bonding and in all their interactions, the parents are programming the responses of the child. When parents are not there and do not follow through on this bonding, it leads to problems in development, referred to as an attachment disorder. Such children have trouble focusing and express characteristics similar to attention-deficit disorder. Science has documented how responses to the world that we acquired from our parents are profoundly important in shaping our own physiology, our health and the diseases that we may experience later in life.

Fitting into society

Here is how a child learns to rapidly fit into society: a child’s brain can download experiences at a super high rate of speed. From the moment a child is born through about the first six years of life she is in a super-learning state. Children learn and assimilate from how we treat them and how we respond to each other. We understand through hypnosis that you can download information into someone’s subconscious mind and bypass the conscious mind. Why is this relevant? Because between birth and age six, the child’s EEG brain activity is operating in a hypnotic trance state, so that whatever the child is learning is being downloaded into the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind ‘records’ and habitually plays back these programs. Think about all the rules of society, about every way we live, the nuances of our language. A three-year-old child can learn three different languages at the same time and not confuse their grammar, vocabulary or syntax. By age eight or nine just learning one new language is difficult. What is the difference? When the child is under six, the conscious mind is not developed – so it does not interfere with the programming. Observed life experiences are directly downloaded into the subconscious mind. At this time, the child also develops an idea of self-identity and these programs play throughout life.

The power of the mind

We are powerful and we are capable of doing things that are called miracles. Miracles are actually events that science does not understand yet. Very profound miracles happen every day. For example, some people have cancer and suddenly their perception changes and they may experience spontaneous remission. By changing their perceptions of life, they reprogram their cells. That is the expression of epigenetic mechanisms, molecular processes that give the power back to the individual. Rather than perceiving that ‘we are victims of the cells’, the new science recognises the power that we have to control the cells.

There are many stories throughout history that reveal the power of our thoughts. The placebo effect is really the ‘perception effect’. If you believe that something is going to help you, that belief itself can lead to the healing process. Among the biggest selling drugs on the market are the SSRI drugs—things like Prozac and Zoloft—and it has been revealed by the drug companies themselves through the Freedom of Information Act that these drugs turn out to work no better than placebos. The placebo effect is something that we have not really taken advantage of, the idea that beliefs can control our biology and physiology. In fact, it is now established that one third of all medical healings, including surgery, are the result of the placebo effect.
But what is most important and what has been left out of the picture is the equal and opposite effect called the ‘nocebo effect’. This is when a negative thought or belief is used to shape our biology. For example, if a professional person, a medical doctor or specialist, says you are going to die in three months and you believe him, then you may set this date into your perceptual clock, start to disentangle yourself from your life and actually die in three months. Basically the placebo and nocebo effects are two sides of the same coin and simply represent the perception effect.

But here comes a problem

The conscious mind can process about 40 bits of data per second but the subconscious mind can process 40 million bits of data in the same second. The relevance is simple. The subconscious mind is one million times more powerful as an information processor than the conscious mind. We all believe that we run our lives with a conscious mind. This is what I want from life. I want to do all these wonderful things. Yet our life doesn’t match our intentions; as a result there is a tendency to say, “I can’t get the things that I want, the world is not providing them to me.” We take on the role of victim. New insights have completely revolutionised this idea. We now recognise that 95% to 99% of our cognitive activity comes from the subconscious mind; less than 5% is influenced or controlled by the conscious mind.

When we are doing affirmations or positive thinking, we are using the tiny processor that has less than five percent influence, which means that we have to depend on willpower to overpower the subconscious mind. That is a nearly impossible job because the moment we take our eye off the ball, we automatically go back to the preset programs that are in our subconscious mind. Positive thinking is a good idea, much better than negative thinking, but while you are engaged in positive thoughts using the conscious mind, the subconscious mind with its limiting and self-sabotaging programs is running the show! Consequently, positive thinking does not improve the situation for most people.

The conscious mind doesn’t have the capacity of the subconscious mind

It is not that the conscious mind is not powerful, for it can run anything in the human body. We used to think it could only run the voluntary system – the skeletal muscles, arms and legs. But yogis have revealed that the conscious mind can change body temperature, blood pressure and heartbeat. The conscious mind, if it focuses on any part of the body or any function, can control it. But the conscious mind, being a small (40 bit/sec) processor, doesn’t have the capability of controlling as many things at the same time as the subconscious mind can, operating at 40 million bits/sec.

Most people hardly use the conscious mind. They run their day-to-day existence from programs stored in their subconscious mind. What programs will that subconscious mind run? The answer is the exact programs that were downloaded into it. No variations on a theme. What it has learned it will play for its entire life unless we go into the subconscious mind and rewrite the program. The conscious mind is frequently oblivious of the programs running from the subconscious mind because the conscious and subconscious minds operate in tandem: one does not observe the other. So if the things in my life are not what I’m looking for, is it because the universe isn’t offering me the opportunity or is it because I’m sabotaging myself? Almost inevitably we are sabotaging ourselves with limiting programs stored in our subconscious mind.
Must we go back and identify how the subconscious programming occurred?

Absolutely not. The subconscious mind does not have a future or a past. It is handling the present moment all the time. A signal from the environment comes up, pushes the receptor that engages the effector that then coordinates the response. That is the subconscious mind. There is nobody in there. There is nobody to talk with or negotiate with in the subconscious mind. We must find other ways of influencing and impacting the subconscious mind’s programming. One approach is what Buddhists call mindfulness—to be fully conscious all the time and make decisions with your creative mind, not from your habitual subconscious mind. The yoga paths all provide various such practices. Other approaches include clinical hypnotherapy and a new field of diverse modalities that are collectively called ‘energy psychology’, ways of identifying and rewriting belief programs in our subconscious minds.

Taking personal responsibility

The new biology is very important for it addresses why we lack personal responsibility, why we do not recognise how powerful we are in controlling our lives and controlling what happens in our world, why we are on the path where we are facing extinction, and why our world is falling apart. We are destroying the environment. We are in crises of all kinds including a health crisis. The fears we are experiencing are worsening the healthcare crisis because our fears cause protection responses that shut down growth mechanisms and the function of the immune system. We are in an escalating cycle of fear and ill health. All this is a wake-up call. It is up to us as individuals to finally own who we are.

The new sciences of epigenetics and quantum mechanics recognise the important role of the invisible fields in controlling life, which includes the thoughts and energies that contribute to our reality. This new awareness changes our old worldview. We now know that we control our genes. We control our lives. Our thoughts are real and tangible. They influence our physiology. Physicists are now beginning to recognise that the universe is a mental construct. Knowing these things we become empowered. The programs in our subconscious minds are downloaded as the life we are experiencing. What we have to do is review our lives and identify the things we want to change. The things that we strive for and don’t work generally reflect a subconscious program that sabotages our efforts to get there. We do not have to go back and find out how we acquired that program; that would be tantamount to killing the ‘messenger’ over the ‘message’ (the resulting acquired subconscious program). Though we can rewrite subconscious programs using a variety of methods, until we do, we are actually victims of our subconscious minds. Not victims of the world, victims of our own belief systems. When we clear these pathways we become empowered. Then and only then will we likely experience what Jesus said: “You could do all these miracles even better than I once you believe you can.”

The mind can lead us there, but we have to apply the awareness

You must recognise something that I also had to recognise. It is not just acquiring the awareness in my conscious mind; it is actually applying that awareness into my life that makes the change. While the mind can lead us there, we actually have to do something to manifest the magic in our lives. We are in a desperate race to change who we are and what we are so that we can bring our environment and our planet back into harmony, to bring back the opportunity for our survival. We are all cells in a larger organism called humanity. When we have that belief we will start supporting each other instead of killing each other. Our future lies in recognising that we are far greater as a whole than as individuals.

Think about it this way: underneath your skin are 50 trillion cells living in harmony in a very closed environment. These cells are very intelligent. We have always looked down at everything less than human as not being intelligent. That is our hubris and it is going to cost us a lot. If you can look inside the body and see those trillions of cells living in harmony, recognise this: every cell is a sentient being just like every one of us. Every cell lives in a community and has a job to support that community. There are rules and regulations. Cells get services. There is health care by the immune system. The garbage is taken out by the excretory system. The digestive system delivers the food. There is a society consisting of trillions of individuals inside our bodies that can thrive when we are in good health, yet the few billion people on the entire surface of the planet are so out of balance that we are destroying our environment.

The answers lie within

This understanding returns us to the age of mystical belief that offered, ‘The answers lie within’. If we want to understand how to structure a human population of a few billion people on our planet, the answer lies under our skin. Humans are evolving. Humanity will complete itself as a multi-human community and at that time we will recognise that, when we fight others, we are fighting ourselves. Humanity is a single body containing cells and each one of us is a cell in that structure. When we understand that, we should stop harming each other and start organising ourselves into the social structures that reflect what is going on in the human body. When we arrive at that point, the Earth will complete its evolution as a single living cell. What is our role in that living Earth cell? We are the equivalents of the proteins in the Earth’s cell membrane. We are the ‘receptor’ proteins on the surface of the earth that receive the signals from the environment and the ‘effector’ proteins that engage in the behaviours that control the expression of the planet!

We have [lost??] our original mission statement. The aborigines that are still here remind us that we are the gardeners and what we have done to this point is devastate that garden. But as we evolve we will start to recognise the power of our consciousness. We must organise our lives now to plan for the future. We can create a whole different experience on this planet. When the planet completes its evolution it will be an individual living cell. Evolutionary history reveals that every time a level of development completes itself, it joins other similar entities to create a more powerful social structure. Therefore, I anticipate at that time that we will begin to interact with other earths, other cells out in space, and start to create a large matrix of living cells as planets that constitute the universe. We have great hope and possibility before us. We are living in a very supportive garden, a garden that should support all of us, where we can enjoy life and peace, prosperity and happiness.

Dr Bruce Lipton, scientist, researcher, teacher, author, is driven by a passion to bring scientific evidence directly to the people his information could best assist: everyone.

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