Belief and Survival
Updated: Mar 15
I’ve just finished reading the book “The Biology of Belief,” by Bruce Lipton Ph.D. As a Psychotherapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist, I am delighted and yet not surprised by the findings of both the book as published ten years ago and now in the 10-year anniversary edition which includes more up-to-date research by other respected scientists and establishments which prove Bruce Lipton’s theories. As a cellular biologist, he establishes many things of interest in the book, but the one conclusion which is relevant to my field is that belief and behaviour affects cells and gene expression, enabling in certain cases, even many cases, the genetic code to not be expressed and that the result of behaviour and beliefs drive both the mental and physical health of humans.
This article is not a review of the aforementioned book, although I strongly recommend you read it. (It contains enough metaphors to make the book easy to understand for non-scientists). This article is, however, about Belief and Survival.
Darwin got it wrong when he talked about survival of the fittest. He should have said survival of the smartest because he didn’t give ‘community’ the credence it deserves. Just to mention a few, ants survive in colonies, chimps in family groups and humans in communities. We need each other to produce food, build shelter, pay for work, educate our children, the list goes on. Although in many cases we may be separated from our immediate families, especially when following guidelines for safe living in these times of COVID-19, we depend on community to survive. If, according to Bruce Lipton, our immediate environment affects our cells and their behaviour in the body, we need to consider what environment in which we exist. How can we survive as best we can? If our environment is stressful, our cells will be directly impacted by the chemicals and hormones we release within the body and that will impact our health. Sounds logical doesn’t it? It is.
This leads me to ask of you — what environment are you creating and allowing to exist? How can you establish a kind, nurturing environment bearing in mind the current restrictions in your state/country which might prevent social contact? How do you feel communicating with people when you can’t see their mouths to read the micro-expressions we depend upon for interpretation of meaning of interaction? There is a definite deficit in our communities at present. This is of course affecting our responses and sense of connection. It’s affecting the structure of our communities. We need to survive. We need to come through these isolating times without losing our sense of connection.
COVID-19 has forced many to change the way we live, interact, socialise, shop, study, work. Every aspect of our sense of community has been affected. How has this change been brought about? In many cases, a change in law. Many perceive this as having their rights removed. This reduction in our sense of personal freedom has in many cases has led to unrest, and at the very least, stress. Here’s where Bruce Lipton comes in. Perceiving the negative of the situation leads to an increase of the production of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone,’ and this in turn will affect the behaviour and immunity of our cells. I’m not talking about single cells. I’m talking about the multi-celled organs within the body too and once the hormones have been released, the blood that flows through the body.
We’re at the time of year for reflection and for some, planning for the new year. We’re at the time of coordination of family time where possible, often through internet links where physical contact is not possible. We’re also at a time of social isolation — even without the presence of COVID-19. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for the social isolation of the elderly and displaced to lead to compromised immune systems or even early deaths. Thank god we have shops to buy food, books to read, music to listen to but we don’t all have the luxury of intimate social interaction. By which I mean, interaction with those we share relationships. Today it affects more of us. The conversations and recognition with others which might have played an important part of our life are no longer a part of the everyday. We are forced to spend longer times inside, when we are out, we should keep our distance from each other and not be able to see each other’s faces all through communication. These reflections may seem grim and all too commonplace in people’s minds but I’m determined to turn them around and not live with negative perceptions.
What is the silver lining? After all, every cloud is meant to have one. I’m going to float an idea with you. Compassion. Wear a mask to protect others, instead of thinking about the removal of your rights and freedoms. By wearing a mask, and following the recommended protocols for safety, you are reducing the possibility of spreading the virus, especially if you are asymptomatic and don’t know you have it. You may be saving someone’s life. How good does that feel? To save the life of another human being especially when at the other end of the spectrum is to cause the death of one must be an amazing feeling for all.
If we are isolated, instead of mourning the lack of human contact, time alone can now be used for reflection, introspection and perhaps even planning for another year ahead. Let us take stock. Bearing in mind the many lost this year, we are alive. Most of us live in a world of resources and as long as we have breath in our body, food in our belly and a roof for shelter, each one of us can make a life worth living. I don’t think it’s altruism that causes us to think of and take care of others. It’s survival. We need to believe that we can make good use of the different structure of our communities at present to continue to survive not just economically, but individually. Individual survival can be positive in both a physical and mental sphere and it’s not forever. Believe this and we will continue to thrive whether closely or loosely connected. We can do it and with a bit of patience, we can do it well.