THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF
by Jagbir Singh
(How our beliefs transform our genes and lives)
You might remember an interesting scene from the movie, TAARE ZAMEEN PAR. The art teacher (Aamir Khan) tells the rude and cursing father of the dyslexic kid (Darsheel) about Solomon Islands. In those islands, the tribal don’t cut down a tree. They surround the tree and curse it for hours every day. Within a few weeks, the tree dries up and becomes dead.
Many of us might find that example too difficult to believe. How can intangible and invisible thoughts and words kill a tree! Well, if you get to read Bruce H. Lipton’s THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF, you won’t only believe in the Solomon Islands story, but would also think a dozen times before saying something demoralizing to yourself and the people you love.
In this book, Mr. Lipton tells in detail about the power of conscious and subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is millions of times more powerful than the conscious mind, and decides most of the things in our lives according to the beliefs it has. Many times we fail to change an unpleasant habit despite our will-power and consistent efforts. It’s because the habit has been so strongly programmed in our subconscious mind that the efforts made by our conscious mind hardly make any effect.
Take the example of your laptop. Suppose it’s playing the songs you don’t want to hear. If you ask and kick the laptop to play your desired songs, it would hardly be able to do so. You will have to work on its music software and change the song from there to get the result. In the same way, if you want to change your life in a far more effective way, you will have to get rid of the negative beliefs installed in our subconscious mind and reprogram it by installing new beliefs.
These beliefs are so strong that they affect our cells and transform our genes as well. Mr. Lipton has devoted a full chapter on how it happens, and if you don’t have time to read the book, you can watch a youtube video which explains it pretty well. Just go and type the name of the book in the youtube box.
So, when the tribals of Solomon Islands curse a tree, they are actually installing negative and harmful beliefs in the tree’s mind (yes, trees do have minds too). Within a few days, those negative beliefs change the molecular architecture of the tree and kill it from inside.
2500 years ago, when the Buddha said that ‘you are what you think’, he was not articulating a random philosophical theory. Actually he was telling a scientific fact which is now proved correct by Quantum Physics and Molecular Biology. While reading the book, I remembered how the Buddha had talked about subconscious mind and its unfathomable power over our lives. He called it Alay Vigyan which means store consciousness. This is the part of mind where all our beliefs and experiences are stored; and they dictate our life from there.
The book has a special chapter on Conscious Parenting where it talks about the beneficial and harmful effects of what parents say to their children. If you are a parent and you keep cursing your child in the name of constructive criticism, you are installing beliefs in his mind which will keep harming him forever. But if you keep appreciating him in a sincere way, you are installing beliefs in his mind which will help him for his entire life.
And be careful of what you keep saying to yourself. Repetition of words and thoughts is the best way to install a belief in your subconscious mind. If you keep saying you are a loser, don’t be surprised if you become one within a few months or years. And if you have friends who keep saying such things to you, there is no harm in saying a quick goodbye to them. Maybe you value the friendship a lot. But you must value yourself a little more.
To sum up this small write-up on beliefs, I would like to share what Charlie Chaplin said to his grandson, "Even when I was in orphanage, when I was roaming the streets trying to find enough to eat to keep alive, even then I thought of myself as the greatest actor in the world. I had to feel that exuberance that comes from utter confidence in yourself. Without that you go down to defeat."