A new perspective of why we are the way we are, has been introduced by some cutting edge molecular biologists. Foremost among them is former professor of medicine at Stanford University, Dr Bruce Lipton.
He says the new science of epigenetics has shown that our genes are in fact controlled and manipulated by how our minds perceive and interpret our environment. It was formerly believed by science that it is our genes themselves which dictate our traits – that our genes form who and how we are. The new findings are great news because it means that we can change many things about the way we are, including our health, by changing how we interpret events and situations which happen to us.
For example Dr Lipton shows that if we interpret things in a positive way, we start living healthier and better quality lives, regardless of the genetic makeup we started with. A new attitude, positive or negative, sends new messages to the cells in our body and can actually reprogram their health and behavior. It can even change cellular structure, turning diseased cells into healthy cells.
This new science does away with the old scientific tradition, based on Newtonian physics, that the body is just a mechanical device, and actually acknowledges that mind and spirit also play a role in who we are. (Don’t even think to ask how much research it took to prove that!)
Dr Lipton explains that there are two separate minds that create what he calls the body’s controlling voice. There is a conscious mind that can think freely and create new ideas ‘out of the box’. Then there is the subconscious mind, which is basically a super computer loaded with a database of programmed behaviors, most of which we acquired before we reached the age of six.
The subconscious mind cannot move outside its fixed programs – it automatically reacts to situations with its previously stored behavior responses. AND (here’s the rub), it works without the knowledge or control of the conscious mind. This is why we are generally unaware of our behavior, in fact most of the time we are not even aware that we are acting unconsciously.
Studies from as far back as the seventies show that our brains begin to prepare for action just over a third of a second before we consciously decide to act. In other words, even when we ‘think’ we are conscious, it is our unconscious mind which is actually making our decisions for us.
And it seems the unconscious mind is running us on its automatic pilot mode, 95% of the time!
Neuroscientists have shown that the conscious mind provides 5% or less of our cognitive (conscious) activity during the day – and 5% they say is for the more aware people, many people operate at just 1% consciousness. Dr Lipton also says that the unconscious mind operates at 40 million bits of data per second, whereas the conscious mind processes at only 40 bits per second. So the unconscious mind is MUCH more powerful than the conscious mind, and it is the unconscious mind which shapes how we live our life.
The scientists show that most of our decisions, actions, emotions and behavior depend on the 95% of brain activity that is beyond our conscious awareness, which means that 95 – 99% of our life comes from the programming in our subconscious mind.
Osho has talked about this for more than forty years, but it is pretty graphic when you hear the scientific statistics which bear it out, isn’t it!
So, our life reflects our unconscious programming. This is because the job of the subconscious is to create reality out of its program, ie to prove the program is true. So if you have negative programming in your unconscious, Dr Lipton says 95% of the time you will recreate those negative experiences in your life. And as those of us who have ever taken the time to check out our unconscious thoughts know, most of the programs our unconscious mind runs are based in negativity – for example fear of what other people are thinking about us, fear of not being loved and respected as we are, etc, etc.
So… how to get out of this endless cycle of old programs and start to be more in the conscious mind? Because of the power of the unconscious mind (one million times more powerful than the conscious mind), and the amount of time it is running us (95 – 99%), Lipton says it takes a lot more than positive thinking to get out of it. Because as soon as you forget to be conscious, the unconscious is back in charge again. Sound familiar? He suggests meditation, hypnotherapy or other reprogramming approaches.
And in fact, in the parallel field of neuroscience, a number of experiments with Buddhist meditators have shown that people can actually change their brain structure (regardless of their age) by creating new neural pathways just by conscious thinking. The same research also shows, by the way, that people who meditate regularly have higher immunity and lower blood pressure, among other health benefits.
So what are you waiting for? Osho has described over three hundred meditation techniques in his different books. He says there is a technique to suit every type of man or woman, you just have to try them out and find what ‘clicks’ for you.