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Our thoughts have the power to determine our reality.
To understand the working of the mind, we interviewed Dr. Bruce Lipton, the stem cell biologist known for promoting the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person’s beliefs. He talks about the connection between the conscious and the subconscious mind –and its significance in our daily lives.
Explaining the Difference Between the Conscious and the Subconscious Mind
The two minds exist as interdependent elements. Each is a separate mind but they work and collaborate together. Some people think the conscious mind and the subconscious mind are directly connected with each other, so if I change the conscious mind I will change the subconscious program. This is totally incorrect and actually causes a lot of problems in people because the conscious mind learns differently than the subconscious.
The conscious mind is the latest evolution of the brain, located in the pre-frontal cortex. It represents you as a unique individual entity.
The Subconscious has programs in it, but it’s not much of a creative mind. Its creativity is a bit like that of a 5-year old child. The subconscious learns in two fundamental ways. In the first 7 years of our life the brain is predominantly in a EEG frequency called Theta. A mind in Theta is not in a level of consciousness. It’s their imaginative mind and that’s why children below 7 have great creative power (Theta is also the frequency needed in hypnosis). During the first 7 years of a child’s brain development the subconscious is downloading behavior, but it doesn’t download from itself. It acquires behavioral programs by observing other people like the mother, father, family or community. Those observations are essentially recorded just as on a videotape.
The conscious mind is not working at this time so whatever recordings are coming in during the first 7 years of life are not being critically reviewed by the conscious mind. When a child passes age 7, s/he can add new programs to the subconscious mind, but it does it through the process of habituation.
Conscious mind changes easily, and is where the mind holds your personal wishes, desires, and aspirations for life. If I ask, “what do you want out of your life”, the answer will come from the creative conscious mind.
Lower forms of life are just reactive or reflexive, meaning input/output, stimulus/response. The conscious mind can do one amazing special thing and that is: To think. It can pay attention to what’s going on in the world, but if the conscious mind is thinking, the behavior is automatically switched to subconscious programs. For example, you are driving the car and you are imagining something, you don’t stop driving or miss out on what’s going on the road. The moment you have a thought the driving is taken over by the subconscious mind.
Interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton –
Questions and Answers
How can you use the power of your subconscious mind?
First thing is recognizing this: I am running my life 95% of the time with the subconscious mind, which means that 95% of the time you are operating through the subconscious programs. The conscious mind being you and your wishes and desires work only 5% of the time.
If you can rewrite the negative programs in your life and change it to positive behaviors, then 95% of the day you will not be sabotaging yourself with negative programs.
Reprogramming the subconscious mind is a long process because the conscious and the subconscious mind is a separate entity, not one. The assumptions used to be that, if I can make you aware of something or bring consciousness back into your life then, this new awareness or understanding will automatically change the programs in your subconscious mind. This is not true at all. You have to repeat the new behavior all the time as an exercise, and then it will ultimately work.
By having the belief that you want to change your childhood (subconscious) program does not change the program. It’s the conscious mind’s thoughts about that, and this does not translate into subconscious programming.
Some believe that if you repeat a behavior for a long period of time, it might change, but in most cases, it doesn’t change unless you do the proper exercises to make it change.
The 3 ways of changing the subconscious mind to give you the power back is:
1) Reprogram it using hypnosis
2) Reprogram it using a repetition of a behavior so you get a new habit, and
3) You can use Energy Psychology modalities to rapidly change existing programs.
If you understand how to create changes in the programs then it will take relatively short period of time. If I use hypnosis I can rewrite programs directly in the subconscious mind through a hypnotherapy session. If I want to learn something or change the programming then I make a new behavior and I have to repeat that new behavior everyday, and the significance is that every time I repeat the same behavior, the subconscious mind learns.
And there is a new psychology program called Energy Psychology or belief change modifications. These processes are like pushing the record button on a recording device – if you engage in these processes by creating a new script, these processes allow individuals to download a new behavior within minutes that will last forever.
Is the Subconscious mind a link between the finite mind and the collective consciousness?
Simply put, the subconscious mind is a database of programs and the conscious mind is connected to the collective consciousness of the world. The conscious mind can create but it creates through the filter of subconscious programming. Subconscious is a link, a resource of behavior, a program to facilitate life – once you learn how to walk, it’s a habit and you don’t need to learn it again. If there was no subconscious mind, you’d have to relearn everything evry time you woke up in the morning No other individuals have access to your subconscious mind. It is directly connected to the conscious mind and the conscious mind is you selecting the programs and creating behaviors.
What is the power of intuition, or listening to your inner-self?
People might be aware of that intuitive voice or listening to their inner-self, but they discount it as not being valuable. They discount it because we are programmed to follow programs. We are taught to do this and this & if the person listens to their inner self, their conscious mind and information coming into them from the source, they don’t give it much value as compared to the programs.
Personally, I think the inner self is fascinating. For example, you get a wonderful thought and you can feel it in your heart or head, that I want to do this or don’t want to do this. People ignore that because we have been programmed not to pay attention to these wandering thoughts. This is because of our childhood development. We give more power to the programs that we learned than to our own beliefs about those programs.
This is why so many people have problems in their lives, because their inner selves gives them answers to issues they are dealing with that would help them, but the belief of the individual is they shouldn’t listen to that inner voice.
Most people ignore it and one of the reasons is as children we are never really given a program or told by teachers that listening to your inner voice is very valuable. If we had learned that as children then we would be much more effective in our lives today and we would pay more attention. If we change that and listen to it then lives will change for the positive.
How can thoughts heal you physically?
When I put embryonic cells in a culture and I change the composition in a culture medium, I can change the fate of the cell. This was one of my experiments – I had genetically identical cells in 3 petri dishes and I change the composition, the chemistry of the culture medium, in each of the dishes. In one dish the cells formed bone, in another dish the cells formed muscle and in the third dish they formed fat cells.
What’s the point of this research? The answer is that all the cells were genetically identical, so the fate of the cells couldn’t have been controlled by the genes, because they all have the same genes. Rather, fate of the cells was determined by the chemistry of the culture. In the human body the cells are like skin-covered culture dishes, with 50 trillion cells, the culture medium is called the blood. If I change the composition of the blood, how I changed the composition of the culture medium, then I affect the fate of the cells.
The brain is what controls the chemistry of the blood, but the mind(unconscious) determines what chemistry is going to be released. For example – if you have feeling of being in love, your thoughts are” I am in love”, the chemistry released by a brain in love includes hormones like dopamine for pleasure. This causes you to become healthy and happy. The chemistry also releases growth hormone, which supports the growth of the cells.
This is why when people are in love have a glow, and this is because the brain is creating culture medium, blood with elements that affect the genetics and activity of the cells.
What’s interesting is if I change my thoughts then I change my cells. So if you are in love and all of a sudden you become afraid that something is going to happen, then love is replaced by fear. The thought of fear releases different chemicals, which are stress chemicals or inflammatory chemicals that affect the immune system of a healthy body.
If I have negative thoughts such as fear and stress, I am releasing chemicals from my brain that will shut down the growth of the cells. However, if I maintain thoughts of health, harmony and love, it will lead to growth of the cells. Thoughts can heal you physically because thoughts can change the chemistry of the culture medium and the culture medium, blood, is what feeds and organizes the behavior of the cells.
Thoughts can heal you physically because thoughts can change the chemistry
that organizes your behavior on a cellular level
How do you convey the idea of perfect health or ‘everything will be ok’ to your subconscious?
You have to see the world as being ok and healthy, because when you see the world that way, then the subconscious behavioral programs will complement those behaviors. The cells will see oh life is beautiful and remember if we believe that, the idea of oh I see perfect health, the brain translates the idea into chemistry.
“Love is an idea translated into one chemistry
and fear as an idea translated into another chemistry”
Therefore when you are visualizing or thinking that everything will be ok, you are sending signals via the brain of harmony, happiness to the cells. This is how simply you can convey the idea to the subconscious.
Now if you repeat this behavior consistently, remember repetition is creating new habits, then without even thinking about it you will end up seeing the world as everything is ok, and seeing yourself in perfect health and that will make the brain continually release the chemistry of that vision.
In your book ‘The Honeymoon Effect”, what are the important aspects for a couple to sustain it?
In the movie, Matrix, most likely everyone has seen that, everyone is programmed and if they take a blue pill, everyone stays the same way and if they take a red pill they get out of the program. The interesting thing about it is this, as I said in the beginning, most of our life, 95% of the day is controlled by the subconscious programs which are other people’s behaviors, and these behaviors are often dis-empowering and self destructive. But then you would say, if I saw these behavior I wouldn’t do them.
This is the problem that people have to understand, when you are thinking you are not paying attention; you default to the programs in the subconscious, so you are not seeing the behavior. In fact the ones that do see the behavior are other people who are watching us. Every now and then does a behavior get observed and we are like, “Oh my gosh, I was just behaving like my father, or I was behaving like my mother.” This is where we got the programs from, and this is what’s going on 95% of the day, whether you see it or not.
So the Honeymoon effect is just like the movie The Matrix – its when we unconsciously took the red pill and got out of the programs of the subconscious, and how did that happen? The answer is this – when you fall in love, what were your life’s wishes, your ambitions and desires. When you fall in love and you find that wish being answered and the person in your life being what you desire, you don’t let your conscious mind wander – what you wanted to have is now in front of you and therefore, you keep your conscious mind paying attention.
Remember, on a regular day we only run our lives 5% with our conscious mind’s wishes and desires and we run it 95% from the programs we got from other people. When you fall in love we stay in what’s called ‘mindfulness’ – its a way of life where you keep your conscious mind in the present moment and don’t let it run off into thought. When you stay conscious, you create behaviors that in line with your wishes and desires, that’s the honeymoon. The honeymoon is this period where people’s life is like heaven on earth and they are so excited and healthy.
Unfortunately, the honeymoon ends because at some point life gets very busy and the conscious mind has to start thinking and the moment the conscious mind starts thinking we are no longer behaving from the behaviors of wishes, but controlled by the subconscious.
Now the relationship is based on 4 minds – the two conscious minds of wishes and desires and the two subconscious minds with programs. As the subconscious mind program starts to take more power, the more thinking we are doing and running the subconscious with programs that belong to someone else. They are someone else’s judgements, expectations, and values.
Communication problems can cause the breakdown of the harmony of the honeymoon effect. To sustain harmony, both should recognize that the ‘honeymoon’ was created from their wishes and desires; their personal source, their spirit, their identity because it’s the conscious mind. But when dysfunctional behaviors show up, it doesn’t really represent them They come from the programs they got from other people.
It’s not the person in a relationship that is bad but the program that’s bad. If they are both aware that the bad behavior is not coming from their wishes and desires, they can consciously change these behaviors. If they change the negative ones and replace them with positive behaviors every time they default to the subconscious, they start playing the positive programs and this way you will keep the honeymoon alive.
How can one ‘sabotage’ beliefs of the conditioned mind and realize its true power?
Beliefs or the conditions of the subconscious mind are programs and if you want to get back into its powers then basically, you have to see them and rewrite the programs. People wonder what are my programs especially because if I was being programmed even before I was born in the last trimester and the first 7 years, pregnancy is when programming starts.
Do you remember the program when you were one year old? Obviously not. How will I know what the programs are, because I wasn’t conscious when the programs were being created?
The answer is simple, 95% of our lives comes from the subconscious mind, because the conscious mind is thinking that means your life is like a print out of your subconscious programs. All you have to do is look at your life and see that the things come into your life easily are there because of the programs in the subconscious that encourage them.
But the things you want or create are difficult and you have to work hard to make them happen. The reason you have to put so much effort in is because you have programs that do not support your wish, and therefore you are trying to overcome a program that is operating 95% of the day that doesn’t support you. You don’t have to go through psychoanalysis, all you have to do is look at your life – what ever comes easy comes easy because you have programs, and whatever you have to work hard at and put a lot of effort into, those issues aren’t supported by the program.
Through the processes of the subconscious reprogramming mentioned before once you know what the negative programs are, you can work specifically to rewrite them and make them positive programs, and your life will be empowered.
Most people ask for scientific evidence to back theories such as the power of your thoughts. What would you like to say to them?
Its a 100 years of research on something called the placebo effect. It is simply the fact that a positive thought can reverse the illness or genetic problem just because of the belief of that positive thought. Placebo by definition is the expression of the positive thought and in fact research reveals that from one-third to two-thirds of all medical healing is actually the result of the placebo and not due to drugs or surgery.
…”People who change their thoughts, change their genes”.
The placebo effect is a very powerful, scientifically understood process that reveals how the power of thought affects your biology and health. But now through Epigenetic research, we can see that people who change their thoughts, change their genes. For example, just being in meditation for 8 hours can change two very important genes that control the immune system and help create health. This becomes very important, even taking placebo pills, has been shown to be the result of a thought and those thoughts in turn change the behavior and genetic activity of the cells involved.
Here’s an amazing study to look at: Dean Ornish, a scientist in San Francisco, has revealed that taking prostate cancer patients and helping them change their stresses by teaching them meditation techniques and stress reduction techniques led to the patients change 500 genes in 90 days and most of them were associated with prostate cancer.
I wanted to add one last conclusion about the power of thought. Negative thoughts are equally powerful to changing the behavior in the genes, but in the opposite direction. While positive thoughts can lead to healing, negative thoughts actually lead to disease and death.
Thoughts are powerful whether they are positive or negative, we’ve only been focusing on the nature of positive thinking but we must emphasize that negative thinking will cause illness and disease and it becomes very important in our world because the predominant thoughts that people have are negative thoughts. They don’t realize that just having negative thoughts alone is inducing an illness or diseases in them. So this becomes important for people to know that both – positive and negative – are powerful.
Edited for readability