By: Anmol Piplani (LTEN)
Hello friends. So we are back with a new topic on science and spirituality. This one is on Freedom. Hope you have read last article on Happiness-Psychology and Spirituality
In this democracy of ours, we are free from imperialist. We don’t have communist culture or military rule. That’s good. But are we really free? Have you ever wondered about how our lives are driven? What all do we carry in our consciousness; Our beliefs, values, etc.
So let us understand the biology and psychology of our belief system and consciousness first.
BIOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGY
Now I have been reading a book called – ‘Biology of Beliefs’ by Dr. Bruce Lipton.
This book explains through epigenetics and quantum physics that our beliefs and thoughts that can affect the health of body to a large extent. He explains how by moulding our attitude and notions, we can have happy, healthy and stress less lives.
Not only our beliefs and thoughts affect our body and moods in a superficial way but its effects go to deep down level of our genes. This is what epigenetics all about. Which genes will be activated depend on what environment we provide to them. And our attitudes, thoughts and beliefs are the most important part of that environment for our cells.
So we start with when a child is born. (Whatever I have put in following paragraphs, it is borrowed from the above mentioned book)
Science says that the foetal and infant nervous system has vast sensory and learning capabilities and a kind of memory called implicit memory. The quality of life in the womb, our temporary home before we were born, if negative, programs our susceptibility to coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and a multitude of other conditions in later life. The environment we provide affects a lot on what kind of genes will be activated in the child. When we as parents improve the prenatal environment as well as environment during first 5-6 years of child, we act as ‘genetic engineers’.
During the first two years of age, human brain operates at low frequency Delta waves.
Then comes the stage of Theta waves, in which the frequency is although higher than Delta but still of less frequency. This occurs between 2-6 years of age. This is a state in which the human mind is in most suggestible, programmable stage. This state is used by Hypnotherapist to treat the psychologically ill patients.
Young children observe and download a lot of data offered to them in their subconscious minds and make their parents’ behaviours and beliefs their own.
Once programmed into subconscious mind, they control our biology for the rest of our lives.. or at least until we make the effort to reprogram them.
Later come Beta and Alpha stage. In alpha stage (that comes during teens) children only reflect whatever they have learnt. Now the learning process comes difficult comparatively.
So whatever we have learnt during earlier years, now find expression. Whether it be- ‘I will never amount to anything’ or ‘I can do anything’. And as said in ‘Conversations with God’ book-‘as we believe, so we experience.’
So a lot depends on how parenting is done and it calls the need for Conscious Parenting which encompasses giving the right environment to our children and also the right information and behaviour, more by our own example and lifestyle than words.
Not only that, research reveals that parents act as genetic engineers for their children in the months before conception. In the final stages of egg and sperm maturation, a process called genomic imprinting adjusts the activity of specific groups of genes that will shape the character of the child yet to be conceived. So this also calls for Conscious conception & Conscious pregnancy. It makes a difference whether we are conceived in love, haste, or hate and whether a mother wants to be pregnant.. parents do better when they live in a calm and stable environment free of addictions and supported by family and friends. From the moment of conception, the experience in the womb shapes the brain and lays the groundwork for personality, emotional temperament, and power of higher thought.
It is worth noting that a baby’s brain doubles in size during first year and it reaches to 80% by the end of year two.
So it depends on us a lot what our next generation can be. And for that we have to mould ourselves first.
It also mentions that one should not feel guilty if as a parent, one is not able to provide the right environment to the child. It turns out that humans are wonderfully resilient creatures. Wiring of brain is “plastic” which means it can be rewired even in adulthood.
Now the thing is, while we take help from number of self-help books, take many sessions on right attitude and behaviour and other psychological sessions, we find that we are not able to retain and sustain the teachings for much longer and apply them to the full. The reason is that our conscious mind governs about 5% of our behaviour, while subconscious mind governs about 95% of our behaviour.
That is why change is difficult although there are ways like meditation, hypnotherapy, affirmations, etc. which help bring change easily.
Another experiment which can help us know the power of beliefs and subconscious mind is that which is called muscle testing or kinesiology. In it the subject is told to hold out his/her arm and resist a downward pressure applied to it. Sounds easy, right?. Now try it with saying “My name is <your name>”. Easy, right? Now try it with “My name is <some other name>”.
The result observed in the last experiment was that subjects’ arms flop down when the name called is not the actual name of the subject.
The reason behind it is that when our conscious mind has a belief that is in conflict with a formerly learned “truth” stored in the subconscious mind, the intellectual conflict expresses itself as a weakening of the body’s muscles.(**)
The author then observing characteristics of all living beings by way of biology concludes that
the lower an organism is on the tree of evolution, the less developed its nervous system and thus the more it relies on pre-programmed behaviour(*)
Although author discusses much more on epigenetics and quantum physics and provides many insights through them on healing, discussion on those are out of scope of this article.
So now you can make out of above discussion, how much control we have on our lives. We are trained by our environment. Genes also affect us which are in turn activated by environment. We have many beliefs put in us, values put in us from outside. Most of them were embedded in our early childhood when we gathered those data without discrimination. Later on, we form our own thoughts and beliefs through observation of external world and our intelligence, which, may not always guide in right direction; for intelligence is dependent on already existing data and observations are dependent on our limited perception. We are also influenced by notions carried in a culture through our immediate social circle and everyday experience. And last but not the least which contributes to our subconscious data bank is Media.
Not only this, we are also bounded by our own ideas about happiness and freedom itself. We usually say that we need freedom to do anything we want. And then we indulge in activities which hamper our body and mind. Or decide that we can’t live without anything in particular or anyone in particular. We are bounded by our own tendencies and desires. We are enslaved by our own minds. Even if we know this, we are not able to overcome these things because of biology of beliefs and role of our subconscious mind we just discussed. We are yet but slaves of our wishes, putting bar to our advancement.
Here meditation can help us. Meditation helps us train our mind by fixing our mind on a divine thought. There is state of absorption/stillness attained in meditation which corresponds to Theta or Delta stage. In that stage we are more open to suggestions. And here we use the highest thought for suggestion, that is, of divinity. As our mind settles more and more on this comforting divine thought and gets absorbed in it, all the past thoughts leave their place. This is the reason why we experience sometimes a rush of thoughts when we sit in meditation; they are leaving their place from subconscious mind and coming at conscious levels. By keeping attention on a divine thought in heart, we do not attend to these thoughts and they lose their power and disappear.
At first the thoughts are of superficial nature-daily worries, office problems, etc. Then as we proceed with meditation, they uncover the past thoughts and beliefs and eventually, these too leave their place. With regular practice, our mind gets in habit of remaining in divine state and we work in our daily life from that place. This also brings our attention from outer world to inner world-the subconscious mind. Not only that, but as our attention gets focused only in ‘NOW’ moment, we start getting rid of influence of past and worries of future. And this is how concentration also develops and we are able to work or do anything without getting distracted by disturbance due to our own thoughts or external world. And as explained in last article on Happiness, this very state of absorption is happiness.
Shri Ram Chandraji of Shahjahanpur (a.k.a Babuji), says REAL FREEDOM IS FREEDOM FROM FREEDOM.
After sufficient practice, there comes a stage when we are absolutely in ‘NOW’ moment and we go beyond Freedom. As long as we have the idea of freedom, there is bondage too. To go beyond duality into oneness, this too shall be transcended.
I practice Heartfulness meditation which also encompasses aspect of ‘Cleaning’, which helps in cleaning the results of daily actions and thoughts and hence facilitate meditation.
Transmission, which is an important element of Heartfulness meditation, is a yogic energy, helps in this transformation. It is a divine energy which helps in bringing the states of absorption earlier than our minds are currently capable of.
In short, meditation trains our subconscious mind and also transcends us to Super-consciousness.
Meanwhile we also work on forming higher beliefs and notions about life by reading right books, learning about higher values and practicing those values in our daily lives. This forms our conscious living.
Gradually, our consciousness gets cleaned and perceptions become clearer, accurate and higher.
And a time comes when we reach a stage in which we transcend beliefs. We see things as they are, undistorted by our previous notions. And if we analyse the last statement I quoted from author (marked *), we can say that as we evolve, we depend less and less on our pre-programmed behaviours.
And freedom lies in this. Freedom from keeping any pre-programmed behaviour, freedom from tendencies, freedom from needing anything in particular to be happy, and freedom from beliefs. And having learnt from quantum physics in second article about inner world being the source of outer world, we create the same outer one from the inner little by little. And as Clinton Lee Scott has rightly said –
The freedom of the mind is the beginning of all other freedoms.
And also if we analyse the statement marked (**), we can conclude that following the truth (in which we believe) gives us strength. Just imagine what strength we will be having when we will realize the Ultimate Truth. (We can also conclude that it is in practicing truth in our lives that strength is gained- a lesson for life. This is what gave the strength to great leaders like M. K Gandhi)
So we can say that, as we are able to perceive present reality ‘as it is’ more and more, rather than coloured by our previous thoughts, we are moving up the ladder of evolution. And when we are able to perceive reality in its perfect state, it is called- Realization or Enlightenment
Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
(Bible, John 8:32)