An Article Series Exploring the Quantum Science Behind the Mind-body Connection
This article series delves into the question of whether our thoughts can create our personal reality. Many of the world’s most successful people are walking examples that we can achieve anything we set our minds to. To better understand how and why our minds are so powerful, we can dive into the exciting field of quantum biology — the intersection of quantum physics and biology.
The marriage of these two fields of science is a relatively new concept. While its implications to the real world are infinite, one of the things this body of knowledge can help us understand is the power of our mental focus — including our attention, focus, and beliefs.
Quantum biology could be the science that finally helps us recognize how every mental act translates into our physical actions and thus directly influences the quality of our lives.
The book “Life on the Edge: The Coming Age of Quantum Biology” by scientists Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili is a wonderful introduction to the field of quantum biology. This article series follows the book, chapter by chapter, and applies its findings to the topic of how the quantum world could be responsible for our thoughts turning into things.
In the last article in this series, we explored the role that electromagnetism plays in how our mental focus shapes our bodies and our lives. Today we dive into Chapter 7 of “Life on the Edge” and take a look at the link between quantum mechanics and genetics.
INFORMATION SHARING OVER BILLIONS OF YEARS
Genes are the building blocks of our cells. They pass vital information from one generation to the next with incredible accuracy. Whether it’s the color of our eyes or the shape of our nose, we are created in the image of our ancestors. We are estimated to have between 20,000–25,000 genes which are made up of strands of DNA.
So just how accurate is the replication of DNA inside all of these genes? According to McFadden and Al-Khalili, the rate of errors in DNA replication is typically less than one in a billion! Yet the mutations that do happen generally have a good reason — they are a means for life to adapt to inevitable changes in the outer environment.
How is it that life is smart enough to replicate the right genes at the right time to create an embryo that later develops into a full human being — or any living organism for that matter?
THE QUANTUM WORLD INSIDE OUR GENES
In order to gain a better understanding of the complexity of genes, we must peer into the quantum world. As Erwin Schrödinger (one of the pioneering physicists of quantum mechanics) initially hypothesized, our genetic code is indeed written in quantum particles. This is what has allowed our ancestors to pass on their genes over millions and billions of years.
The readings of our DNA code inherently affect the physical expression and behavior of our cells.
During DNA replication, our entire genome is copied. As McFadden and Al-Khalili explain, however, most readings of that genetic code do not happen during the process of gene replication itself. They happen as the genetic information is used to direct the synthesis of proteins in the cells.
This means that simply inheriting a gene does not guarantee that the gene will express itself physically. In a sense, a gene can be put on mute. It can lie dormant or it can be activated.
Even if certain genetic information is passed on from a parent, it does not necessarily mean that this information will be “read” or expressed in the child’s body.
ACTIVATING THE RIGHT GENES FOR A HAPPY LIFE
The importance of the observer effect that permeates throughout the quantum world must be addressed next. Essentially, the observer effect states that nothing that is observed is unaffected by the observer. When we measure or observe a particle, we change its state — at least from our limited human perspective.
A particle is in a state of quantum superposition where it exists in a field of infinite possibilities until we collapse those possibilities into one through the act of our conscious observation.
McFadden and Al-Khalili explain that measurement of the DNA polymerase enzyme inside a cell could cause a change to a particular letter of the genetic code (mutation). While the authors don’t exclude the possibility of quantum tunneling playing a role in adaptive mutations, this area has yet to be researched further.
The book goes on to explain that not only does our DNA affect our proteins and thus our cells, but that genetic information also flows the other way. Our environment affects our cells on a genetic level.
This overturns the standard dogma of molecular biology that genetic information can only flow in one direction — from DNA to the cell and to our body. Our environment has just as much of an effect on our genes as the other way around.
CHANGING OUR GENES FROM INSIDE OUT
As Dr. Bruce Lipton’s research in the field epigenetics has confirmed, our genes indeed respond to changes in our internal and external environment. As he explains in his book “Biology of Belief,” over 90% of disease is a reflection of that environment, with only 1% of disease being attributable to genetics.
We are not nearly as powerless over our health as we think! In a way, this is nothing new — we already know that our lifestyle choices can either be the cause of a disease or can help us prevent it.
But what we haven’t yet fully grasped is the power that the internal environment of our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings has on our health.
If the observation of a particle causes it to change its state, we can hypothesize that our conscious attention changes the state of what we perceive. Our perception is the fundamental key to our reality. It affects our thoughts and emotions which are the means through which we interpret the quality of our lives. They are the root cause of our actions.
THINKING OUR WAY TO BETTER HEALTH
Turning back to the main question in this article series - how do our thoughts create our reality? And what do our genes have to do with this?
By choosing to focus on any particular aspect of reality, we make it real in existence through the act of our limited perception. If we focus on thoughts that evoke positive states of being such as gratitude, compassion, or joy, we experience those aspects of reality for ourselves.
Because the internal environment of our thoughts and feelings is still an external environment for our cells, we thus affect our cells and our genetic structure by choosing to direct our focus in a given matter.
As explained in part III of this series, positive emotions put us in a more coherent state. This state allows the highly efficient processes of the quantum world to take place within our body.
We are not the victims of our genes. We are not the victims of our thoughts or feelings. We are the intelligent beings who can respond from a space that is beyond them.
We are pockets of quanta vibrating at infinite speeds, translating blocks of information into our reality — changing that reality as fast as we can think.