Bruce Lipton – The Power of Consciousness
Interview by Iain McNay
Iain: Hello. And welcome again to conscious TV. My name is Iain McNay, and today our guest in the studio is Bruce Lipton. Hi Bruce.
Bruce: Hello Iain, thank you so much for this opportunity.
Iain: Bruce has written a book that came ou\t about five years ago, The Biology of Belief, which has sold really, really well. And he has a new book out, fairly recently, which I have the talking book of, Spontaneous Evolution. And we’re going to talk to Bruce, a little bit about his history, and how he got to be a biologist, how he had certain realizations about how the body works and how in fact life works. And also we are going to talk about the contents of both books.
Iain: So let’s start first of all Bruce, with an experience you had when you were seven years old at school, and you first looked into a microscope. I think that was a beginning of a change in your life, wasn’t it?
Bruce: It was absolutely a big change in my life… you know being a little kid seven years old, the whole world is bigger than you are. And when I looked into a microscope for the first time and saw like an amoeba moving around, and a paramecium darting about here and there, in my little child mind I said “Oh my gosh, they’re not like pinballs bouncing around, they have intentions, they’re moving, they’re like little people”. So I grocked this idea: cells are like miniature people… and [I was] very excited because there was a world smaller than me so as a young kid that was like, “Oh I am looking into a new world”. And it’s interesting because I was seven years old when I did that, my fascination with microscopy and biology continued, until I was in graduate school and had then graduated to electron microscopy. And now was flying through the structures of the atoms and molecules making up a cell. So basically it was seeded at seven and it matured by the time I got into graduate school.
Iain: And your mother bought you your own microscope, so you were able to do this at [your] leisure and find out more and more about how everything worked?
Bruce: Oh I was, as a kid, I just got so caught up with it. I remember spending one entire summer, because I wanted to take a photograph through the microscope. And I knew I could see it, but every time I held a camera up I tried to do it and ahhh… it took me about a summer and finally at the end of the summer I finally got a microscope after probably hundreds of dollars’ worth of photographic material but… it was my persistence, I wanted to see and study these images in the microscope.
Iain: So you eventually became a biologist. What did you actually learn then?
Bruce: Well it was interesting because I became a biologist, a developmental cellular biologist, I [was] working on cells of course then, and in my graduate work I was cloning stem cells. And it’s interesting because a lot of people think stem cells are something brand new that just came into this world recently; and the fact was I was cloning stem cells back in 1967. Forty years ago. And the significance was - while I was doing this research - I was also teaching medical students. So I was teaching medical students the foundations [of] how cells work, the conventional story out of the text book. Genes control life, what we call the ‘genetic determinism’, the belief that genes control your traits, behavior(s), physical characteristics, et cetera. And what my research revealed when I was studying the stem cells was this, very profound: I put one stem cell in a petri dish all by itself and it would divide every 10-12 hours. So it would be 2, 4, 8, 16 cells, 32 cells. After about two weeks I had thousands of cells in the petri dish, but what was unique [was] they were all genetically identical. But then I did the experiment; the experiment was to take some cells out of the dish, and put them into a separate dish with a different environment.
Bruce: And so the environment is a culture medium, but the culture medium to cells is like the world that we live in. It’s got the air, the water, the food, all of the things in it. So I take the cells out of my stem cell dish, put them into a separate dish with a different environment… and the cells formed muscle.
But then I went back to the same dish with genetically identical cells in it, and took some cells and put them in a different environment and they formed bone. And then I went back to the same dish with genetically identical cells and put them in a third petri dish with a different environment and they formed fat cells. And there I was confronted with this reality: all the cells are genetically identical, but they had different fates; fat, muscle, bone. I said, “Simple question. What controls the fate of cells”?
And the answer is: the environment.
It was the only thing that was different, because they were all genetically identical. So I started to really say, “Oh my goodness, here I am teaching genes control life, to the medical students, and yet the cells were revealing to me that hey, they all had the same genes, but it was the environment that I put them in”. And so the environment controlled their life, and a very simple experiment that is very profound for us today is, if I took my plastic petri dish with cells in it and moved it from a healthy environment to a less than healthy environment, the cells get sick. And if I were a ‘Doctor of cells’ you might say, “Well, what kind of drugs would you give these cells?” And it turns out, no you don’t give the cells any drugs, you just take the dish from the bad environment, put it back into a good environment, and the cells will innately, naturally, come back to health again.
Iain: So, how did this realization impact you at the time? Because you were teaching something completely different, you did this experiment and realized what you were teaching wasn’t the full truth.
Bruce: Well absolutely, and then I had a problem with my colleagues, because first of all they doubted my work and I brought them into the experiments and I had them observe them, and watch them… and they all said: “Wow, yah, the environment controls the cells”… but they wanted to marginalize it so that they would say, “That’s an exception or an anomaly” because we’re teaching genetic control. It didn’t fit the story. The net result, what it lead me to do was - I had tenure, I had tenure at the university – [but] I walked out of the university and said, “Look I can’t keep my integrity, and at the same time teach something I know is patiently wrong”. So I walked out because I saw that teaching the belief that genes control life was very, very incorrect. And it’s very interesting because I did that in 1970 and now it’s like 30, 40 years ago, and guess what? The new science that is just coming into the forefront of our world today, is something called ‘Epigenetic Control’. What I was teaching was genetic control, control by genes. The new science that is now coming around is called Epigenetic Control. And what that means, and you need to understand the prefix ‘epi’ means above. So you say ‘epi-dermis’ that means the layer above the dermis, [or] skin. If I say “Epigenetic Control” [then] literally it says ‘control above the genes’. And this is the new science and why is it profound? Because when you teach genetic control, you teach victimization. You didn’t pick the genes as far as we know. The genes control your traits. You can’t change the genes… so you become victimized by your heredity.
And the new science - epigenetic control - reveals how your response to the environment, as you change your response to the environment, you change the fate of your cells. Just like in the petri dish. That makes you a master because you are the one who has the opportunity to change your perception and response, and therefore you are the one that controls your genes.
Iain: But it took you some time, didn’t it, to incorporate that into your life because in The Biology of Belief, your book, you talk about you went through a very unhappy period… your father was dying of cancer… you had a very messy divorce from your first wife and you weren’t happy. And you thought at that point that actually your genes did influence and that you had unhappy genes, and it took you some time, to actually realize that in your life, you could change things.
Bruce: Yes, it was very interesting because again I was still coming from the programs of my own deep beliefs which I got from childhood on, about genetic control. And yet, it was funny because I was at that point also going out and beginning to talk to people about this new science, about… if you understand what I am talking about you can create this fabulous life. And it was fun because in the beginning I would try to get people together and I would tell them that “You can create this fabulous life” and they would sit [back] and look at me and say, “You know Lipton, for a guy that says you can create a life with this… your life doesn’t look that good”. And essentially I almost said, and fortunately I didn’t say the words, but I essentially said, “Well do as I say, not as I do”. And that was the opening point that said, “Oh my God, I can’t just talk about the academics of the new science. To make it work, you actually have to apply the principles of the new science”. And that was a change point in my life, where I said, “Well, I am not going to lecture on this unless I verify to myself that by influencing my personal beliefs and attitudes and things, that I can change my biology.”
And it was wonderful. Because, it only took just a short time to realize how I manifest profound changes in my life by taking in the understanding that how I see the world, my perceptions, control not just my internal biology and my genetics’ behavior, but it controls how I create in the world around me. So I went from a world of almost self-destruction, into this world of more mastery. And the most exciting thing is that I have found since that time, that I absolutely live in heaven. Because I’ve created a...
Iain: But let’s look at practically how you did that. Just so people pick up a few clues.
Bruce: Ok. Well, the first thing is this; the work shows that your mind’s perception of the world changes your biology, the chemistry of your body, which changes your cells. And I said OK, if you can control how your mind operates, then you can control your chemistry, but then here’s where the problem comes from: there’s two parts to the mind. The conscious mind, which has your personal identity, your spirit, your source attached with it – is a creative mind. The conscious mind can see into the future, it can review the past; solve problems. The subconscious mind, the other mind, is more of a habit mind. That’s when you learn how to do something; and when you learn how to do it, you don’t have to think about it, it’s automatic.
Well, most of us walk around in the world thinking that we’re running our lives with our creative mind. I might say, “Emmett, what do you want out of your life?” And you would say, “Oh I want to be healthy and have great relationships” and then you would try to say that ‘I am running my life with these beliefs’. But science has now revealed that we only run our lives with our conscious mind at most about five percent of the time.
Iain: So we are running on these subconscious programs?
Bruce: Ninety-five percent of the time. And then the issue is, so where did you get the fundamental programs that you operate from? And here is the thing I learned: it’s in the first six years of our lives that the brain is in a functional state, an EEG state, the electrical activity, that is - not even in consciousness - a child doesn’t even reach conscious brain function until about six. So for the first six years of your life, your brain function is [at a] lower frequency, it’s called theta, which is like a hypnogogic trance, a hypnosis. So the first six years of your life you’re like a television camera, recording everything around you, everything you observe just going from your observations into your programing. So, we acquire beliefs and attitudes and behaviors, not from ourselves, but from our parents and our family and our community. These become the fundamental beliefs.
A very interesting point, the Jesuits were very proud and they would say: “Give me a child until it is six or seven and it will belong to the church for the rest of its life”. What they were saying was what they knew, what science is now finding out; the first six years are programming. And whatever programming you get, that will be the rest of your life. So that’s why they said, “Just give me the first six years” and it turns out, they were precise. The first six years is downloading programming, that’s when you get your behaviors from those around you.
Iain: So you were able, by realizing this, to then look at how you were living your life on a practical level and say, “I am not going to be governed by these pre-programs. I am going to live my life in a more conscious way”. Am I oversimplifying this?
Bruce: That’s a fundamental statement of how it works, but it’s not as easy as, “Oh, ok I’ll just change my thinking…”
Iain: I understand that.
Bruce: …because the thinking is not that much in our control. The brain is operating, as I said, ninety-five percent from the subconscious.
Iain: Yes. But how did you actually then get results, in a relatively short space of time?
Bruce: Well the first thing is, how does the subconscious learn? And that’s a very critical thing. The conscious mind can learn from reading a book. So the subconscious mind can read a self-help book and you go, “Wow, that sounds really great!” Then you find that you read the book, but your life is still the same. Why? And the answer is that it turns out the subconscious mind is more of a habit mind, things that you repeat over and over again.
So the reality is - if you can stay conscious - be present and when those negative thoughts come into our head, and psychologists tells us seventy percent of the time the thoughts going through our head are negative and redundant, so the same negative thoughts are going through. If you could stop those thoughts, if you could hear them as they come through, like “Oh that’s not going to work”, or “This will never happen” those kind of thoughts, if you can hear them and stop them consciously and say “No”… and change the belief right there, just give them [a] more positive thing. As you repeat this more frequently and keep repeating it, the subconscious mind begins to learn. So as a habit, if you stay conscious, you have to work at it. And here’s why: people say “How come only five percent from conscious mind and ninety-five from subconscious?” Because the conscious mind can think into the future, and think into the past, and solve problems. Then think about it yourself, most of the time you’re thinking about something. Well if you’re thinking, you’re using the conscious mind. Well if you’re using the conscious mind for thinking, then who’s running the show? And the answer is, when you are not paying attention, and when you are thinking about what you are going to do tomorrow, your subconscious is running the show.
Iain: So you used the words, ’be present’.
Bruce: Be present, be mindful.
Iain: Which we hear a lot. Be mindful, which really means be aware of what’s going on. So you get an automatic reaction; you’re aware of that and say, “I don’t want to go there, that’s an old pattern” and you look at a new way to be in that situation.
Bruce: Exactly! And you have to repeat it over and over again because if you think, “Well I got mad at myself yesterday because I repeated that same stupid thing; and I got mad again today because I repeated the same stupid thing”, then people give up, because they get frustrated… but it’s like, “No-no-no… it’s a habit”. So you have to [do it] every day, but ultimately you can repeat it. Yet there are fortunately now very many new healing modalities that can help you rewrite the subconscious beliefs much faster. So, I get very excited because some of this may take work for people because you have to really be present. And yet we are so bombarded with information and our lives are so busy, that our conscious mind is almost always wandering, trying to resolve issues and problems and things that we have to work out, which then means the subconscious mind is running the show. It’s very interesting because most people will be very familiar with this story... I tell it to my audiences and they all laugh because they are familiar with it. I say, “Look, you have a very close friend, you know your friends behavior, and you happen to know your friends parent. And at some point you see that your friend shares the same behavior as their parent. So you casually volunteer, you go - you know Bill, you’re just like your dad!” And that’s when you have to back away from Bill. Because Bill is the first guy that says, “How could you compare me to my dad?” And everyone laughs because they’re familiar, but I say no [look] ‘there’s two very profound points from that one story. Profound point number one: everybody else can see that Bill behaves like his dad. He got his programming from his dad. It’s only Bill who doesn’t see it.
And profound point number two: we are all Bill, because all of us… got programming and all of us operate with these programs and we don’t even see we’re doing it. Even when told we’re doing it, we’ll deny that we do these behaviors because we don’t even see what we’re doing. That’s why it’s called subconscious, below conscious.
Iain: Because you went from - [and] I’m quoting from your book - “Wanting to be anyone but me” to being (I think you quote yourself) as “the happiest man in the world”. You felt so happy.
Bruce: Oh my gosh!
Iain: So you proved this can work.
Bruce: Well I had to because as I said, when I first started talking about it, it was from an academic conscious point of view. This is what I learned but, my subconscious programs were still just exactly the same. So, while I had this wonderful knowledge, my life still wasn’t anything I wanted to brag about, because it wasn’t. And as that old game, ‘who would you like to be?’ I could think of anybody I’d rather be than me. And yet, when I started to apply the new science and rewrite the subconscious so it supported me rather than the programs of limitations, or disempowerment that we get from our parents and our community, as children, which almost all of us get.
When I put in the new programs, all of the sudden I started to find - my goodness my life completely turned around. All wonderful things started happening in my life. I was healthier, I haven’t been to a doctor in twenty years. So I don’t need that. I don’t take any of their drugs. Why? Because most of the illness is from the stress of not living in harmony. And when you learn to get rid of the limiting programming that we got as children and put in programs that support you, guess what? All of the sudden, the place turns into heaven. And it’s interesting because I tell people, “You create your own life” and then they look around and go, “I don’t want responsibility for this”, but I say “Well you didn’t know you were creating with these unconscious beliefs”. And yet, then I tell people, especially people that have fallen in love, people that have fallen head over hills in love I say, “Go back to that time when you first fell in love and let me ask you a question, were you healthy?” ‘Oh yah, I was healthy as anything’. I say “Did you have energy?” They say ‘Oh, I had so much energy I made love so many days in a row without even eating’. And I go “how was life for you”? ‘It was so exciting; I couldn’t wait for the next day’. So I said, “In this little period” that you know I refer to as a honeymoon, I say “Wasn’t life like heaven on earth?” And they go ’Yah!’ And I go, “You know, that was not an accident; that was an actual creation.”
And you say, ‘But what was different that made life so heaven on earth during love?’ And the answer is: because you become very self-conscious of yourself, you don’t rely on the habits. The day before you meet this person you are going to go on a date, I say (especially to the women) “How long did it take you to get dressed?” They say ‘It was 15 minutes then I was out of the house’.
Then I say, “Now tonight, you are going to go on a date with this person who has just rocked your world, how long does it take you to get dressed”? They say, “My God, it may take an hour or two.”
Yesterday 15 minutes, today an hour or two. What’s the difference? Yesterday I got dressed by habit. Because I get dressed every day. But tonight, I am looking in the mirror. Meaning I am self-conscious. I am making sure that I represent myself to be the fully, the best individual, that I can be. And when both parties are not relying on the habit, and both of them are saying, “I’m creating the best I can be,” they’re living in the moment of the now, they are being very mindful, they are being very present, and guess what? Heaven on earth is created. Unfortunately, life gets busy, it’s hard to stay present…
Iain: And meeting as well, they’re truly meeting. Which is also very rare, unfortunately.
Bruce: And why is that important? Because it did demonstrate that you did create this period and it’s available to you all the time if you knew how not to get stuck in the old habits.
Iain: Well, one of the things that I really found fascinating in your book, is the fact that we all have approximately 50 trillion cells in our body and these cells are all self-sufficient. They have their own memory, they have their own immune system. In fact, you also go on to say that for 2.75 billion years, there was only one-celled organisms alive on the planet.
Bruce: Yah, and the nature is, as the single cell evolved to be the most intelligent it could be, it ran into a physical limitation, because intelligence is physically tied up with the membrane, or skin of the cell. You can only have so much membrane. So evolution apparently stopped. It was like two and a half billion years, just these single-celled organisms, then someone (asked) “How can you have more evolution”? And the answer is: cells started to come together into community, because when cells come into community they share awareness. So there’s more awareness with ten cells than there is with one cell. And there’s more awareness with a million, or a billion, or a trillion. So when you look at a human being, while we see ourselves as single entities, the truth is, we are made out of 50 trillion amoeba-like cells. And so, our body is this giant community. And what makes it very exciting, as you mentioned is, in my own work cloning cells, I can take a cell out of your body and it can live outside of you. Why? It has its own intelligence. It has essentially every function in your body as is present in a cell. So my seven year-old vision, manifests to be true when I got older, to realize cells are miniature people. And then you say, “Well what happens in the human body”? And then I go, “This is where the issue comes in. It’s because you have 50 trillion cells living in community, but your mind is the government.”
When a government works in harmony with the people, then the people thrive and the community is in good health and grows. But when a government is not really supportive, or not working in harmony with the community, then the government can cause the nature of that community to fall apart, or even lead to the end of the community. Well, that’s what we’re finding out. Our mind is the government and when we entertain harmony and the right living in balance with nature - and with each other - then we provide our 50 trillion cells with very life supporting information and chemistry.
Iain: So, harmony means, giving the body good food? Not being stressed out?
Iain: Living in a happy environment?
Bruce: Yes. Basically it is – as I said when I had my petri dish of cells - if I put it from a healthy environment to a bad environment the cells got sick. But you didn’t have to give them drugs, all you did was take the dish from the bad environment and put it in the good environment. And the joke I like to tell people is, “Well this happens in a plastic petri dish, but guess what? We are skin covered petri dishes”. Underneath our skin, is 50 trillion cells living in a dish, and the culture medium is the blood. And so when I change the culture medium in a plastic dish, I change the fate of the cells. And then I say, “Well then, what controls the culture medium in my blood, the chemistry?” And the answer is: “My thoughts influence my brain, and the brain releases chemistry that matches my thoughts”. So when I’m in stress, or I’m afraid of the world, I release different chemistry into the blood than if I open up my eyes and I find myself in love; I release completely different chemistry. All I have to ask an individual is, “How do you feel when you are in total love, or how do you feel when you are in fear?” And the answer is: “I feel totally different.” Well guess what? All the cells are bathed in that chemistry, and so the feeling of love produces totally different chemistry in the blood. Chemistry that supports growth, and healing of the body, and supports the immune system.
And in contrast, when we perceive reasons to be afraid, and we release stress hormones into our body, we actually shut off the growth mechanisms and the immune system, to save the energy. Why? Because if you believe you are going to have to run from that lion, you want all the energy available to run from a lion. So when a person is in stress, they allocate their energy reserves for fight or flight, but take it at the expense of the health of the system, the immune part of the system. And so the more stress you’re under, the more bad chemistry - in a sense of not supporting you - that you experience. And it was a very important point in our evolution, stress or fear was not the mainstay of life. The mainstay of life was to be happy and live in harmony with the environment. Every now and then, a saber tooth tiger would come. Okay now it’s time to be stressed out. Now it’s time to run. But the point is once you escape from the saber tooth tiger, in the old days, then it’s like back to health and harmony. Then I say what about in today’s world?
Today’s world is 24/7 run from the tiger. And this is not biologically sustainable, because the chemistry of protection contrasts with the chemistry of growth.
Iain: Yes it’s interesting. You point this out in Spontaneous Evolution, your second book, that how the body also, is a snapshot of how we are as a human race.
Bruce: Oh absolutely. Because, what we would see from a new understanding of evolution, which is a great extension beyond the Darwinian belief which is quite limiting, okay, and quite troublesome in fact. Because just think about what the principle Darwinian belief is: that evolution is based on a struggle for survival with the competition for fitness. So that says, ‘Oh my God, we are all out there in a dog eat dog rat race trying to survive, because of you stop running, the person behind you is going to run over you’. So if that’s your way of life, then every day by definition, you are living in a stress hormone body, because of all the fears that we have. And yet, evolution says no, evolution is based on community and cooperation. A body has 50 trillion citizens and they live in harmony with each other. And it turns out that every human being, we are beginning to find out, is like a cell in a larger community called humanity. So in biological terms, the organism that is evolving on the planet is not the human being, we already did that. The organism that’s evolving is the super-organism called Human Civilization. And right now, humans are fighting each other and killing each other, and if I say: “ Well what would that look like in the body if the cells fight each other and kill each other? And I say oh… well that’s called autoimmune disease – self-destruction.” And autoimmune disease can kill you from the inside.
Iain: And that’s on the increase isn’t it?
Bruce: Oh absolutely because our biological lives are complements to the environment. The more stress and more violence on the outside, the more that’s taken inside in biology and converted to disruption and disharmony of your own cellular internal community.
Iain: So what can we then do as a human race? Maybe it’s an obvious question, but here we are, we represent in a way, the 50 trillion cells that are in our own bodies, on a bigger scale. And here we are, we see the intelligent ones, the ones that are really looking and seeing what happens inside their own body, they’re seeing what happens on the outside, but as you mention again in Spontaneous Evolution, there’s also the consensus reality.
Iain: And even though individual people can see what’s happening, what can they actually do when there’s this whole other, I suppose stronger force playing its part?
Bruce: Well you’re right, it’s a stronger force because everybody’s mind is like a tuning fork. Because actually you can read brain activity from outside your head with a new thing called a magnetoencephalogram. Most people are familiar with an electroencephalogram, [where they] put wires on your head and read your brain function.
The new one, magnetoencephalogram, they put a probe out here (Dr. Lipton is gesturing to an area about two feet from his head). And they can read your brain function from outside. Well, it’s a very important point, it says, if you are reading my brain function from outside, then what am I doing? I must be broadcasting my brain function. So all of us are like tuning forks. But if we are all out of tune, then there’s a tendency for even a tuning fork, that tries to stay in tune, will be pushed out of tune by something we call entrainment. And the issue is, how can you survive in this world? And the answer is: you must essentially detach yourself from this field around you. Not be taken in by the stories. Not to buy into the fear. Not to buy into the threats on our existence and start to recognize look: we are creating these lives. If you buy other people’s creations, then you manifest what they are creating.
Bruce: If you want what you want, then you have to not get engaged. The more conscious you become, the less you are affected by the outside fields. And so this rising consciousness that we’re seeing, is the evolution of humanity, to rise above the noise of the background. And recognize [that] you are the creator. Just like we talked about, if you can create a honeymoon for yourself while you’re in love and everyone started to create a honeymoon for themselves, then all of the sudden, the concept of war and violence would disappear. Because if everybody’s in love, and everybody’s in harmony, and everybody is so excited by being here, then the competition and violence that we live by - because of today’s beliefs - would disappear. And the reality is, we are moving in that direction right now. Day by day, more people are taking back the power saying “I’m not buying your beliefs.”
Iain: You have to be consciously standing apart don’t you? And say, “I’m not going to be part of this.”
Bruce: Yes, right. It’s interesting because a lot of people say, “Well I am going to go in there and fight that system.” And I go, “Well that’s not really good either, because if you’re fighting a system, then you’re contributing energy whether it’s pro or con, to that system.” The way to fight the system, is to not be part of the system.
And it’s fun because I talk to some British people I know and they are people… I forgot what they are called, but they are people who are somewhat living all through England, but nobody knows where they are or who they are. They’re sort of out there, and they’re having this life, independent of the government even knowing who they are. And it’s like at some level, we all have to start doing that, but when we do that we’ll find there’s more of us, than the other ones. And then all of us that are on the outside of the system, actually become the new system.
Iain: So there comes this critical point where things start to shift, do you feel?
Bruce: Yah, and I think we’re really approaching that with 2012. I think that is a very auspicious beginning because, it's not a mystical thing, it’s really a change in the energy fields of the Earth, because the Earth is changing its position in relation to the Milky Way. So basically, the energy that comes from all the stars and the sun especially, influence who we are.
When we change our positions, in relationship to the field, we change our response because we evolve in the field of energy, and when the field of energy changes, so do we.
Iain: Something else you talk about in the book, which I found quite fascinating, was the placebo effect and the nocebo affect.
Bruce: Yah, yah. It’s funny because a lot of people understand what the placebo effect is. And what is it? It’s interesting because medical science has revealed that from one-third to two-thirds, which is significant, of all healing, whether it’s drug related, or surgery, or whatever healing process, the healing didn’t come about form the process. The healing came about because the person believed the process was going to heal them. So if I gave you this brand new drug, and it’s purple colored, because that makes it really special you know. And it’s funny because there is a drug, a purple drug, and they said “It’s purple” and everybody’s like, “That’s got to be real special!” But people believe that the drug holds this effect. And you give a person this drug, all the sudden they themselves say, “Yah the drug did it.” And then you tell them later, it was just a sugar pill and that healing didn’t come from the drug, it came from the belief in the drug. So, the belief in healing…
Iain: So it comes back to the mind again, doesn’t it?
Bruce: It’s again the power of belief. In this case it’s a very positive belief that this procedure, drug or whatever, is going to heal me. But what people haven’t talked about, because everyone knows about the placebo effect, is that the placebo effect is based on a positive thinking. What is the consequence of negative thinking? Ah… well science has a term for it, but it really hasn’t come out in the public, it’s called the ‘nocebo effect.’
And the nocebo effect, it has been revealed by science, a negative thought can not only make you ill, but a negative thought could also kill you. You can be scared to death in a real sense, okay? And why is that important? Because it turns out, it’s not just the positive thought of placebo that’s influential, the negative though works the same way, with the same power, but in the opposite direction.
So basically it’s not placebo/nocebo, it comes down simply to this… it’s the power of thought. A positive thought will move you in a healing direction and a negative thought will move you into an illness direction. But before I get off that topic, I don’t want people out there in the audience and go, ‘he’s one of those positive thinking kind of guys’. It’s more than just positive thinking. It’s a commitment and an intention of positive thinking. It also really needs the support of your subconscious belief, because if your subconscious belief is going ‘oh that new age weirdo stuff’. That’s what your subconscious is programmed to believe and yet your conscious mind is the one that says, “I will think positive thoughts”. And I go back to the data, only 5% of your life is coming from the conscious mind. So if you are only entertaining a positive thought with your conscious mind, you’re only contributing 5% of that to your life; 95% of your life is still coming from the subconscious. And if the subconscious doesn’t hold those beliefs, then you are actually fighting yourself and not likely to realize the expression of a positive thought.
Iain: So let’s look at this again, practically. Someone’s not feeling well, they’ve got, I don’t know… they’ve got the flu, or they’ve got something with their stomach or something. What should they practically do? They should presumably go to the doctor and get a diagnosis, would you go along with that? I’m just trying to see where this goes in day to day life.
Bruce: I wouldn’t say don’t go to a doctor. But what I would say is, before you go to a doctor, just look around and think about this: what’s going on in your life? Where are the stressors coming from? Because it’s almost your physiological expression, is a complement to your life experiences. Those people that are happy are healthy. As I said, when you are in the honeymoon, you didn’t get sick in the honeymoon. That’s when you were absolutely healthy. But when you got caught back up into real life, that’s when the illnesses start to occur.
So we always look at, ‘Oh, I must be sick, there must be something wrong with my biology’. When it turns out, it didn’t begin with your biology. Only about 2% of illness is actually connected to genetics, let’s say. 98% of illness is not just genetics, it’s [the] environment. So when a person says, “I have the breast cancer gene”, people think ‘I am going to get breast cancer’. And I say, “Well wait, wait, 50% of the women with the breast cancer gene get cancer. What about the 50% that have the gene and didn’t get the cancer?” We never study that side; we only study the side that got the cancer. And you find out, ‘what is it that the 50% do, that don’t have the cancer yet, [but] have the gene, what’s the difference?’ The answer is their lifestyle is different. Their stresses, their fears, their concerns are not the same as the ones that get the illness. The gene, give you a propensity to get a disease, but the propensity is based on how you perceive life. And it’s interesting; studies showed that when children get adopted into a cancer family, the adopted child will get the cancer with the same percentage or probability, as any of the natural siblings. And you say ‘Yah, but the child came from totally different genetic stock.’ And the point is yes, it wasn’t the genes that promoted the cancer, it was the lifestyle that promoted the cancer, especially the lifestyle of stress. Well if stress is causing lifestyle… I look around at the world and I go, “My God, no wonder everybody is sick”. Every day is filled with more stress than the day before. And if you buy into the stress, you take that disharmonious vibration, essentially and bring it in your life and you end up with disharmony inside your body. Your life is a reflection of what you see.
Iain: Yah, it’s a question of going back a few steps, that’s what I’m hearing and just looking to see… I’m not feeling well and I had the same thing last year. What’s behind that? Am I happy in my life, what is emotionally happening? What is happening physically? Am I doing the right things to support my body?
Iain: It’s a fundamental look isn’t it?
Bruce: I don’t want to say, don’t go to the doctor. So I will go back just 20 years ago, the last time I went to a doctor. I went to a doctor because I had pneumonia and I said to myself, I can see why at that moment in my life, there was so much stress going on, that I could see that I had opened my system up to that. But then I also realized… OK, I can handle this with my consciousness. But then I realized that the bacteria were doubling and growing faster than I could handle my consciousness. So I said… OK, now is the time for some penicillin. But the concept of it was, I don’t rely on the penicillin. All I have to say is, I get back on my feet and I go, “It was my responsibility. If I don’t get into that same stressful situation again, then I won’t have to go through this again.” And it’s been 20 years.
Iain: So it’s intelligent learning?
Bruce: Yes. Don’t dis-guard the element of medicine until your consciousness gets high. And the fact is, when people have lower consciousness - because they are not strong enough in their consciousness to really manifest everything they want - they really need to take care of themselves more. Eat better, better nutrition. Do more exercise. Just do these things to add to your health. But the surprising thing is, if you get more and more and more conscious, there is a point where you get so conscious, then you become like… the person we refer to as Jesus, who does all these miracles. And what did Jesus say about the miracles? He said, “You can do these better than I can do them, but you don’t believe”. And that is the absolute truth, because when you fully have control of your consciousness, with that belief, you do create the miracles. The miracles of spontaneous remission for example. A person terminally ill, who all of the sudden says, “I’m not buying this, I’m going to change my vision of life.” And the moment they change their perception, they have what’s called a spontaneous remission. Again, that would be called a miracle, but what was it? Taking full control of consciousness and manifesting a life of being fully conscious and present and seeing what brings harmony into your life. Avoiding, or eliminating, as best you can, any of the disharmony that exists on the outside, because disharmony will make disharmony inside.
Iain: Yah. How I am hearing this is the subconscious you talked about earlier, is often unconscious. And by what you are talking about, the subconscious, the unconscious, becomes conscious. And through that change can happen.
Bruce: Yah. Then the consciousness can go back and redo it. Because the conscious is the one that has the perspective and you become your subconscious. It’s very interesting because, what I talk about is, look: people heal themselves innately, for a million years before there were medical schools, Ok? Because we are innately able to heal ourselves. You cut yourself, you don’t really need a doctor to heal the cut. The cut heals by itself and all the illnesses can. But then I say, your subconscious, which was programmed in the first six years, go back to six years. And I would say, in a conventional family, that when a child got sick in the family, or any member of the family got sick, the conventional phrase they heard was, “Oh, we have to take Billy to the doctor” or “Mom has to go to the doctor.” What did we learn as a program? It says, if I am sick, it didn’t say ‘heal yourself’, that wasn’t the lesson. The lesson was, when I am sick, I have to go see this doctor. And here’s the joke: you ask a lot of people that get sick and go to the doctor, ask them and they’ll say, “You know it was really funny, I got well on the way to the doctor” or “I got well waiting in the doctor’s office.” And I go, you know that’s funny, but it’s not a joke for this reason, “You are always able to heal yourself until you got a program. What was the program? Go to the doctor.” So, basically, which I love about it, because nobody said what the doctor had to do. You just had to go to the doctor.
So the point was, these people are sick, but they’ve got a program that says I’m sick but I can’t heal myself. Why? Because I didn’t go to the doctor. So they make a commitment. They go to the doctor and on the way to going to the doctor, or in the doctor’s presence, they completed the commitment. Because they never said the doctor had to do anything. They just had to go and at that moment, all of the sudden, the innate ability to heal themselves started working. And then they find themselves in the doctor’s waiting room feeling “God I feel a lot better than I did when I got here.” And the answer was: because you made a program of limitation, then you succeeded by following the program, by showing up, and that’s all you had to do. Because all you had to do was go see the doctor.
Iain: You talk about, again in your first book, about how cells automatically move away from toxicity, and towards nutrition.
Iain: And it seems that, as human beings that’s something that we’re trying to do, but we get it wrong a lot of the time. We’re trying to move away from unhappiness, or what we think makes us unhappy and towards what we think makes us happy. But we get it muddled up don’t we?
Bruce: Well, yah. But do you see… the key word you said there was “what we think makes us happy.”
Iain: That’s right.
Bruce: I mean, I was caught in that whole daze too before I became aware I thought at one point, wow I’m going to buy that little… you know that car. I bought a car that looked like a Ferrari called a Pantera back in the 70s. And I thought, “Okay I’m going to be happy, I got this great car.” So I got the car and about three days later it’s like, “Now I got this car, and I’m not any happier and as a matter of fact I got three speeding tickets every day I took the car out, because of course I couldn’t go 30 miles an hour with it. So well… every day the car became a burden to me. And all of the sudden I said, “You know, that whole program that that Ferrari is going to make you happy… that was a mis-program”. It wasn’t the car that makes you happy and I started to find out, it wasn’t the material things that make you happy. What makes you happy? Love makes you happy. Good food will make you happy. Harmony in your environment makes you happy. These things… harmony in the environment; what’s the price tag on that? Having a relationship with somebody that supports you and fulfills you. Where’s the price tag?
We always thought, “Oh money gives you happiness”. So we had all those billions of people out there every day running in the streets [saying “How much money can I make because I get a lot of money I’m going to be happy”. And then they find out, even people with the most money are not happy. And it was [that the] programming was wrong. If we were programmed to seek out companionship and community and love, that’s where you make us happy. It changes the whole game.
Iain: But it’s almost as if we have to go through a process of finding certain things don’t work, to find out what does work for us.
Bruce: Well that’s true. But then the question is this: how many people go through the process, find it doesn’t work and then repeat the process and it doesn’t work again? It’s like “Oh, oh yah, I’ve been married four times!” Somebody will say, “God they repeated the same error already three times with the ideas…” You think that by the fourth time maybe you could learn that the pattern you played three times in a row will probably play itself again until you change? Not your partner. You keep bringing in the same partner with different colored hair and a different name, but you’re still, you brought that person in, and you play the same game over again. The question is, can you learn? The answer is, you can. But do many people learn? The answer is no, because they keep thinking that it’s just my fate, you know… it’s just the way life is.
Iain: The subconscious still remains unconscious.
Bruce: That’s the problem and until you change the subconscious program… the subconscious is a habitual mind, it’s a habit. Until you change the habit, you will replay the habit. That’s why it’s called the habit; see… you keep replaying the same program. It’s like the definition of insanity is the idea of keep doing the same thing, and expect something different to happen. The fact is though, that’s insane. Why keep doing the same thing? You get the same thing. And if the habit mind is giving us a story, then the answer says, “How do I change it?” Change the subconscious mind, because that’s where the habits are that we’ve got from other people. Again, this is most important; the fundamental habits of the subconscious mind came from other people. That’s why they rarely match what you want in your conscious mind, which is you. And you create those programs. And yet the fundamental programs of the subconscious were downloaded during that first six years of our development.
Iain: At the beginning of the book you have a dedication which I really like and I wrote it out. You dedicate it to ‘Gaia, the mother of us all, may she forgive us our trespass.’ I think there’s a little wisdom in that… in that quote.
Bruce: When I finally started to realize the very simple truth that it was like an old spiritual word, but I now understand the biological connotation of it - that we were made in the image of the environment -and so we are complements to the environment. And yet what we have done is, without being aware that our biology is dependent on the environment, we have systematically undermined and destroyed Mother Nature and Gaia. And in the process now we’re finding we are threatened with our own extinction and the fact is… we didn’t know what we we’re doing. But the question is: will Gaia allow us to come back? And the answer is: absolutely! Because just as much as a person can come back from the edge of death, with something called the spontaneous remission - even though science has already recognized we are facing our extinction, so we could say that we’re a terminal patient and humanity is a terminal patient - the concept of changing our belief system, will allow the garden to come right back to fullness again.
So we are in a learning stage to remove ourselves from the beliefs of our current civilization which undermine not just the humans, but the environment that we’re in. And the problem is, we were created as a complement to a certain environment. Since we are destroying that environment, then we are no longer complements to our environment, then we don’t fit by definition. And that is why science has recognized we are facing our extinction. So… I’d like to apologize to Nature by saying “Gee I’m really sorry. We didn’t get it, but we’re learning!” More and more people, especially the younger people, they are importantly recognizing that you cannot destroy this environment and survive and that we must pull together and honor Gaia, the mother of us all. Because by returning our love back to Gaia, Gaia will give us back the love and the life that we can have on this planet.
Iain: Absolutely. Something you look at in Spontaneous Evolution too, is how science and spirituality are coming together. They used to be very separate.
Bruce: Oh, absolutely!
Iain: The scientific way, which is very factual driven - that’s that - and you couldn’t change it. Spirituality was trying to open up things but… they really are meeting now aren’t they?
Bruce: Yah, it was interesting because the spiritual world of religion was talking about the invisible moving forces that shape the physical reality and we call them ‘Spirit.’ Then science only came into existence because it made a detente with the church in the very early days of science and said, “Look, we won’t tread on your invisible spiritual domain, we will just study the physical world.” And when Newton was able to predict the movements of the planets by just looking at the physical features, then scientists got the ideas… well, if you can understand how the universe operates by just studying the material world, [then[ we don’t need that invisible stuff. But in 1925, Newtonian physics was incorporated subsumed by a bigger physics called Quantum Physics and Quantum Physics emphasizes the universe is made out of energy. It’s not made out of matter. And then I say, “What do the quantum physicists call this energy that the universe is made out of?” And they call it ‘The Field.’ I say: “What’s the definition of the field?” They say (I love this), ‘invisible moving forces that influence the physical world’. I go, “My goodness, that’s the same spiritual definition that is used for spirit.” Quantum Physics emphasizing the invisible field as primary to the physical world, is essentially reiterating the statement of the spiritual people who talked about the invisible forces shaping our physical existence. And so by definition, science - the new science of Quantum Physics - is bringing us back into alignment with the spiritual reality. Hopefully, the dogmatic beliefs of the church which had talked about these wonderful terms, but didn’t allow us to live there and science, which is still stuck in its material plane, will both divest themselves of their dogma and allow us to come together and recognize we’re all part of that invisible field. That we don’t even live in our own bodies if you understand the nature of how the cell works. We are part of the field being downloaded into our body. That we are all, by definition, the field, or are all spiritual: same definition. And if we recognize this, the unity of it and that you cannot be taken out of the field and you cannot be, in a sense, punished by the field. You are the field, and then maybe the beliefs, those very restrictive beliefs from both science and from dogmatic religion, will disappear. Because the people owning their own spirituality, owning their own responsibility and not saying, “Oh it’s spirits that did this” …and that we are the creators will generate a new world. Because what I firmly believe is very simple. Go out and talk to the average person anywhere in the world and say, “If you could create a world, what would you like?” “Oh I’d like a world where there is peace and harmony and I’d like some food and a job.” And I go, “Isn’t it amazing how everywhere you go in the world, virtually the entire population has the same belief? How come we don’t have any?” And the answer is because the leadership isn’t exercising that belief.
So, I trust the people to take over the leadership of this world. And that the structure that is, is actually in a state of collapse. When it collapses, this will be our opportunity to evolve from the very destructive Darwinian perception of the world, into a more holistic holism that says we’re all part of the same system. We are all cells in the same body and when we work together, we will create magic on this earth like nothing that’s ever been seen before. So I am very optimistic about that.
Iain: I think that’s a great place to finish Bruce. Thank you very much!
Bruce: Thank you very much Iain! I so appreciate this opportunity.
Iain: And I just wanted to do a little plug here for Bruce’s two books, The Biology of Belief and Spontaneous Evolution, which I have as a talking book and which I really enjoy listening to in the car. So, thank you Bruce Lipton and thank you for watching conscious TV. We will see you again soon. Goodbye.
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