Spontaneous evolution—our positive future and a way to get there from here
By Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman
Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman posit that, by questioning the old beliefs that got us to where we are today and keep us stuck in the status quo, we can trigger the spontaneous evolution of our species that will usher in a brighter future. This article is extracted from chapter 1 of their book of the same title. The book has just been released in the US and will be available in Australian bookshops.
We all want to fix the world, whether we realize it or not. On a conscious level, many of us feel inspired to save the planet for altruistic or ethical reasons. On an unconscious level, our efforts to serve as Earth stewards are driven by a deeper, more fundamental behavioral programming known as the biological imperative—the drive to survive. We inherently sense that if the planet goes down, so do we. So, armed with good intentions, we survey the world and wonder, “Where do we begin?”
Terrorism, genocide, poverty, global warming, diseases, famine . . . stop already! Each new crisis adds to a looming mountain of despair, and we can be easily overwhelmed by the urgency and magnitude of the threats before us. We think, “I am just one person—one out of billions. What can I do about this mess?” Combine the enormity of the mission with how small and helpless we imagine we are, and our good intentions soon fly out the window.
Consciously or unconsciously, most of us accept our own powerlessness and frailty in a seemingly out-of-control world. We perceive ourselves as mere mortals, just trying to make it through the day. People, on presuming helplessness, frequently beseech God to solve their problems.
While many profess to live their lives by the Bible, the perception of powerlessness is so pervasive that even the most faithful seem blind to the frequent references in the scriptures that extol our powers.
With these divine instructions at hand, we ask ourselves, “Is our presumed powerlessness and frailty a true reflection of human abilities?” Advances in biology and physics offer an amazing alternative—one that suggests our sense of disempowerment is the result of learned limitations.
Are we as frail as we have learned?
In terms of our human evolution, civilization’s current “official” truth provider is materialistic science. And according to the popular medical model, the human body is a biochemical machine controlled by genes; whereas the human mind is an elusive epiphenomenon, that is, a secondary, incidental condition derived from the mechanical functioning of the brain. That’s a fancy way of saying that the physical body is real and the mind is a figment of the brain’s imagination.
Until recently, conventional medicine dismissed the role of the mind in the functioning of the body, except for one pesky exception—the placebo effect, which demonstrates that the mind has the power to heal the body when people hold a belief that a particular drug or procedure will effect a cure, even if the remedy is actually a sugar pill with no known pharmaceutical value. Medical students learn that one third of all illnesses heal via the magic of the placebo effect.
With further education, these same students will come to dismiss the value of the mind in healing because it doesn’t fit into the flow charts of the Newtonian paradigm. Unfortunately, as doctors, they will unwittingly disempower their patients by not encouraging the healing power inherent in the mind.
We are further disempowered by our tacit acceptance of a major premise of Darwinian theory: the notion that evolution is driven by an eternal struggle for survival. Programmed with this perception, humanity finds itself locked in an ongoing battle to stay alive in a dog-eat-dog world.
Awash in a sea of stress hormones derived from our fear-activated adrenal glands, our internal cellular community is unconsciously driven to continuously employ fight-or-flight behavior in order to survive in a hostile environment. By day, we fight to make a living, and by night, we take flight from our struggles via television, alcohol, drugs, or other forms of mass distraction.
But all the while, nagging questions lurk in the back of our minds: “Is there hope or relief? Will our plight be better next week, next year or ever?”
Not likely. According to Darwinists, life and evolution are an eternal “struggle for survival.”
As if that were not enough, defending ourselves against the bigger dogs in the world is only half the battle. Internal enemies also threaten our survival. Germs, viruses, parasites, and, yes, even foods with such sparkly names as Twinkies can easily foul our fragile bodies and sabotage our biology. Parents, teachers, and doctors programmed us with the belief that our cells and organs are frail and vulnerable. Bodies readily breakdown and are susceptible to sickness, disease, and genetic dysfunction. Consequently, we anxiously anticipate the probability of disease and vigilantly search our bodies for a lump here, a discoloration there, or any other abnormality that signals our impending doom.
Do ordinary humans possess superhuman powers?
In the face of heroic efforts needed to save our own lives, what chance do we have to save the world? Confronted with current global crises, we understandably shrink back, overwhelmed with a feeling of insignificance and paralysis—unable to influence the affairs of the world. It is far easier to be entertained by reality TV than to actually participate in our own reality.
But consider the following:
For thousands of years, people of many different cultures and religions from all parts of the world have practiced fire walking. Many people attribute the ability to remain burn-free to paranormal phenomena. In contrast, physicists suggest that the presumed danger is an illusion, claiming the embers are not great conductors of heat and that the walker’s feet have limited contact with the coals. Yet, very few scoffers have actually removed their shoes and socks and traversed the glowing coals. Besides, if the coals are really as benign as the physicists suggest, how do they account for severe burns experienced by large numbers of “accidental tourists” on their firewalks?
Our friend, author and psychologist Dr. Lee Pulos, has invested considerable time studying the fire walking phenomenon. One day, he bravely faced the fire himself. With his pants rolled up and his mind clear, Lee walked the gauntlet of burning embers. Upon reaching the other side, he was delighted and empowered to realize that his feet showed no sign of trauma. He was also totally surprised to discover upon unrolling his pants, his cuffs detached along a scorch mark that encircled each leg.
Whether or not the mechanisms that allow fire walking are physical or metaphysical, one outcome is consistent: those who expect the coals to burn them, get burned, and those who don’t, don’t. The belief of the walker is the most important determinant.
We are all familiar with weightlifting, in which muscled men and women pump iron. Such efforts require intense bodybuilding and, perhaps, some steroids on the side. In one form of the sport called total weightlifting, burly male world record holders lift in the range of 700 to 800 pounds and female titlists average around 450 to 500 pounds.
While these accomplishments are phenomenal, many other reports exist of untrained, unathletic people showing even more amazing feats of strength. To save her trapped son, Angela Cavallo lifted a 1964 Chevrolet and held it up for five minutes while neighbors arrived, reset a jack, and rescued her unconscious boy. Similarly, a construction worker lifted a 3,000-pound helicopter that had crashed into a drainage ditch, trapping his buddy under water. In this feat captured on video, the man held the aircraft aloft while others pulled his friend from beneath the wreckage.
To dismiss these feats as the consequence of an adrenaline rush misses the point. Adrenaline or not, how can an untrained average man or woman lift and hold a half ton or more for an extended duration?
These stories are remarkable because neither Ms. Cavallo nor the construction worker could have performed such acts of superhuman strength under normal circumstances. But with the life of their child or friend hanging in the balance, these people unconsciously suspended their limiting beliefs and focused their intention on the foremost belief at that moment: I must save this life!
Every day, thousands of patients are told, “All the tests are back and the scans concur . . . I am sorry; there is nothing else we can do. It is time for you to go home and get your affairs in order because the end is near.” For most patients with terminal diseases, such as cancer, this is how their final act plays out. However, there are those with terminal illnesses who express a more unusual and happier option—spontaneous remission. One day they are terminally ill, the next day they are not. Unable to explain this puzzling yet recurrent reality, conventional doctors in such cases prefer to conclude that their diagnoses were simply incorrect—in spite of what the tests and scans revealed.
According to Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona, author of Coyote Medicine, spontaneous remission is often accompanied by a “change of story.” Many empower themselves with the intention that they—against all odds—are able to choose a different fate. Others simply let go of their old way of life with its inherent stresses, figuring they may as well relax and enjoy what time they have left. Somewhere in the act of fully living out their lives, their unattended diseases vanish.
Now here’s an utterly crazy idea. Instead of investing all of our money into the search for elusive cancer-prevention genes and what are perceived to be magic bullets that cure without the downside of harmful side effects, wouldn’t it make sense to also dedicate serious energy to research the phenomenon of spontaneous remission and other dramatic, non-invasive medical reversals associated with the placebo effect? But because pharmaceutical companies haven’t come up with a way to package or affix a price tag to placebo-mediated healing, they have no motivation to study this innate healing mechanism.
Do we need surgery? Or just a “faith-lift”?
All who participate in walking across coals, lifting cars, or expressing spontaneous remissions share one trait—an unshakable belief they will succeed in their mission.
We do not use the word belief lightly. In this book, belief is not a trait that can be measured on a scale from 0 to 100 percent. Belief resembles pregnancy; you’re either pregnant or you’re not. The hardest part about the belief game is that you either believe something or you don’t—there is no middle ground.
Even though many physicists might say they believe lit coals are not really hot, they are not apt to shovel the briquettes out of their Weber grill and practice firewalking on them.
Even if the extraordinary examples cited above are exceptions that cannot be explained by conventional science, people experience them all of the time. Even if we don’t have the science to explain what they did, theirs are experiences of conventional human beings. As a human being yourself, you could likely do the same things as well as, or even better, if only you had belief. Sound familiar?
And while these stories are exceptional, remember that the exception of today can easily become the accepted science of tomorrow.
One final compelling example of the mind’s power over biology can be gleaned from the mysterious dysfunction commonly referred to as multiple personality disorder, more officiously known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). A person with DID actually loses his or her own ego identity and takes on the unique personality and behavioral traits of a completely different person.
How could this be? Well, it’s like listening to a radio station in your car and, as you travel, the station becomes staticky and fades out as a different station on the same frequency grows stronger. This can be jarring if, for example, you are cruising with The Beach Boys and, a couple of choppy moments later, you find yourself in the midst of a fire-and-brimstone, Bible-thumpin’ revival. Or, for that matter, what if you’re enjoying Mozart and the Stones suddenly roll in?
Neurologically, multiple personalities resemble radio-controlled biological robots whose “station identification” uncontrollably fades from one ego identity to another. The unique behavior and personality expressed by each ego can be as vastly different as folk music is from acid rock.
While almost all attention has been placed on the psychiatric characteristics of persons affected with DID, there are also some surprising physiological consequences that accompany ego change. Each of the alternate personalities has a unique electroencephalogram (EEG) profile, which is a biomarker equivalent to a neurological fingerprint. Simply put, each individual persona comes with its own unique brain programming. Incredible as that may seem, many persons with multiple personalities change eye color in the short interval it takes to transition from one ego to the next. Some have scars in one personality that inexplicably disappear as another personality emerges. Many exhibit allergies and sensitivities in one personality but not in another. How is this possible?
DID individuals might help us answer that question because they are the poster children for a burgeoning new field of science called psychoneuroimmunology, which, in people-speak, means the science (—ology) of how the mind (psycho—) controls the brain (—neuro—), which in turn controls the immune system (—immun—).
The paradigm-shattering implications of this new science are simply this: while the immune system is the guardian of our internal environment, the mind controls the immune system, which means the mind shapes the character of our health. While DID represents a dysfunction, it undeniably reveals the fact that programs in our mind control our health and well-being as well as our diseases and our ability to overcome those diseases.
Now you might be saying, “What? Beliefs control our biology? Mind over matter? Think positive thoughts? Is this more of that New Age fluff?” Certainly not! As we launch into a discussion of new-edge science you will see that the fluff stops here.
The world according to new-edge science
What does science say about this mind over matter stuff? The answer depends upon which science you ask.
The science of conventional medicine tries to reassure us that none of the phenomena we just described actually exists. That’s because today’s biology textbooks and mass media describe the body and its component cells as machines made of biochemical building blocks.
This perception has programmed the general public to accept the belief in genetic determinism, which is the notion that genes control physical and behavioral traits. This sad interpretation is that our fate is inextricably linked to ancestral characteristics determined by genetic blueprints derived from our parents and their parents and their parent’s parents, ad infinitum. This causes people to believe that they are victims of heredity.
Fortunately, the Human Genome Project (HGP) has pulled the rug out from under conventional science’s beliefs concerning genetic control. This is ironic because it set out to prove the opposite. According to conventional belief, the complexity of a human should require vastly more genes than are found in a simple organism. Surprisingly, the HGP discovered that humans have nearly the same number of genes as lowly animals, a finding that inadvertently reveals a fundamental myth-perception underlying genetic determinism.
So, if genes do not control life . . . (pause to formulate a mind-blowing question) . . . what does?
The answer is: we do!
Evolving new-edge science reveals that our power to control our lives originates from our minds and is not preprogrammed in our genes.
This is great news. The power for change is within us! However, to activate the amazing power of mind over genes we must reconsider our fundamental beliefs—our perceptions and misperceptions—of life.
Our first serious misperception occurs when we gaze into the mirror and see ourselves as singular, individual entities. In reality, each of us is a community of 50 trillion cells. While this number is easy to say, it is almost unfathomable. The total number of cells in a human body is greater than the total number of humans on 7,000 Earths!
Nearly every cell in your body has all of the functions present in the entire human body, which means that every cell has its own nervous, digestive, respiratory, musculoskeletal, reproductive, and even immune systems. Because these cells represent the equivalent of a miniature human being, conversely, every human is the equivalent of a colossal cell!
As we will come to see, our mind represents a government that coordinates and integrates the functions of the body’s massive cellular civilization. In the same manner that decisions by a human government regulate its citizens, our mind shapes the character of our cellular community.
Insights into the nature of the mind, how it influences us, and where it lives, offer an opportunity for us to fully realize our true powers. An awareness of this knowledge allows us to actively participate in the unfolding of our individual lives as well as contribute to the evolution of our collective world.
Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority in bridging science and spirit and a leading voice in new biology. A cell biologist by training, he taught at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine, and later performed pioneering studies at StanfordUniversity. Author of The Biology of Belief, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences.
Steve Bhaerman is an author, humorist, and political and cultural commentator, who’s been writing and performing enlightening comedy as Swami Beyondananda for over 20 years. A pioneer in alternative education and holistic publications, Steve is active in transpartisan politics and the practical application of Spontaneous Evolution.