the science behind your beliefs
by Bruce Lipton
• Bruce H. Lipton, PhD is a stem cell biologist and an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. He is the bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and The Honeymoon Effect: The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth. In May, he spoke on the Honeymoon Effect at the Hay House-sponsored I Can Do It! conference in Vancouver. Part two of his talk is below. (www.brucelipton.com)
The mind [is] the last and most critical part of our story. The mind is what ultimately controls which chemicals are going to be released and which activities you’re going to be engaged in. I should say minds with an “s” because there are two minds involved. First, there are two parts to the mind: one is the conscious mind, associated with the lobe of tissue right behind your forehead, called the prefrontal cortex. It’s the latest evolution of the brain. If you take away the prefrontal cortex, you’re left with the rest of the brain, which was the subconscious mind. Each mind has a different function and, more importantly, each mind learns in a different way. That’s where the crux of the problem in today’s world comes from.
Let’s talk about the conscious mind. The conscious mind is the seed of your personal identity, your source, your spirituality. What makes you different from the person sitting next to you? Prefrontal lobe. You take out the prefrontal lobe and you’re just a human, but the prefrontal lobe is you. Characteristic of it, importantly different from the subconscious, is that it’s creative. The conscious mind is the mind that separates us from lower animals that are reflexive and reactive, that just respond to the world through input/output, stimulus/response. Once you become creative, you can think of different things, different actions.
What humans have created came from the prefrontal cortex of creativity and when I ask what you want from life, it doesn’t exist in the present. By definition you’re being creative, you’re projecting something into the future. Your mind, with your desires, wishes and aspirations, is where it comes from – the conscious, creative mind.
“I want to be healthy, have a great relationship, have a great job.” That’s good, creative thinking conscious mind. It’s also the seat of positive thinking. Everybody says, “That’s scary, that doesn’t work.” Well, positive thinking is creative thinking, basically.
The subconscious is a record/playback mechanism. Like a video recorder, you turn on the camera, sound and picture. Everything comes in. You turn on your VHS or a DVD for every new program in your subconscious mind. It has a little creativity, like a precocious five-year-old, but it’s predominantly habitual. It’s habit. Push the button, play the program, from now until forever unless you change the program. Every time you push the button, you’ll create the same response.
A lot of people used to say the subconscious mind is the font of hell, all the evil stuff; no, it’s just a tape recorder. It’s not the recorder; it’s the programs that are good or bad. And you need the subconscious mind. For example, how long did it take you to learn to walk when you were an infant? Once you finally learned, you didn’t have to think about it anymore. So you can’t do without the subconscious mind because… once you learn something, you don’t have to relearn it again.
What’s in this habitual mind? Instincts and life experiences. You tap somebody’s knee and they kick. Sure, that’s an instinct but it’s built into the behaviour and your life experiences are also programmed in there. But here’s the catch. The ultimate problem in the world today is that it also contains acquired programs, meaning you learn from other people even though you have no direct experience of something. A negative aspect of that is that people learn to be bigoted against others. They learn it before they even meet these people. They were programmed. The subconscious mind is a programmed mind and it becomes very relevant.
I get a brand new iPod and take it out of the box. Consider the little click-wheel in the front to be the conscious mind because it’s creative. Make a playlist, select what you want and create. So I take my new iPod out of the box and push play and nothing happens because there’s no program in there. If you don’t have a program, you can’t make a playlist. You cannot be conscious if you don’t have any programs. It’s a simple fact. Let’s say a child could speak the moment it comes out of the birth canal. The head comes out and you say to it, “Tell me something” and the baby looks up and says, “I don’t know anything, I just got here.” It can’t tell you anything without any experiences or programs.
Nature included this understanding in the development of the nervous system. In EEG, electrical activity of the brain, there are different vibrational frequencies that represent different states of mind. The lowest frequency is called delta and it’s the predominant brain state for children for the first year. Predominantly, they’re sleeping because delta is sleeping or unconsciousness.
Over the next seven years, the vibration of the brain amps up to theta. That’s a higher vibration. It’s imagination. Children between two and seven seamlessly mix the real and imaginary world, to the chagrin of parents. The kid is riding a broom, saying, “I’m riding a horse” and you say, “That’s a broom” and the kid is like, “It’s a horse, can’t you see it?”
By age seven, you amp up to the next higher level of vibration called alpha – that’s when consciousness first appears. It becomes predominant. By 12, it goes to a higher vibration called beta, which is schoolroom focus consciousness. This is why education changes before and after 12. Before 12, you can’t put very complex information in because beta is a higher level of vibration and learning.
The first seven years is a programmable state. You’re not even predominantly unconscious. You don’t really even touch consciousness because theta is not only imagination, it’s hypnosis. That’s important because of how many things a young child needs to learn to become a member of a family and community.
If you take your one-year-old and show him a book and say, “These are the facts you have to learn,” obviously that doesn’t work. You don’t have to do that for a simple reason: the child’s brain is in hypnosis. It observes everything like a video camera and records it. But it’s not observing itself. It’s observing other people. It’s learning enculturation. How do I behave as a member of this society? I watch my mother, my father, my siblings, my community. I observe them, see how they do it and record it. It’s just downloading.
The problem is consciousness doesn’t really become a predominant state until after seven so here’s the most important fact. The programs you download before seven were never cleared through your consciousness. They were downloaded outside of consciousness. Are they good or bad programs? Psychologists will tell you that 70% or more of these programs are negative and redundant, disempowering, self-sabotaging and limiting. That’s a fact.
This becomes important when trying to find a relationship in your life. For this reason, you also have self-identity. Who are you? How do you know? People tell you. Your parents tell you. Your teachers tell you. The people around you tell you.
“You’re the most wonderful, loving child that ever existed on this planet. I’m so fortunate that you’re so capable and empowered with intelligence and ability.” Maybe one of you got that parent. Most of us got parents that are coaches: “You can do better than that.” “You should try harder.” “You don’t deserve this.” “Who do you think you are?” “You’re a sickly child.” This is important because if you’re an older person on a team, consciousness is working to know the coach is trying to encourage you to work and try harder, but if you’re under seven, consciousness is not working. What’s working is download, a direct record that says, “I’m not deserving, I’m not worthy, I’m not loveable.” This becomes the fundamental program in your subconscious of who you are.
The function of the mind of the mind is to create coherence between your beliefs and your reality. It says you will make life based on what you believe. If you’re programmed with ‘not good enough’ and ‘not deserving,’ your mind will use that data to manifest behaviours which correspond to that program. That’s where we get self-identity.
You might say when you wake up in the morning and get on with your day, you’re leading your life with your wishes and desires. Your conscious mind is leading your life so why care what the programs are? Because science has found out how the secret mind, your unconscious, really shapes your decisions. Look at the data. According to cognitive neuroscientists, we are conscious only about 5% of our cognitive activity. Your conscious mind, wishes, desires and aspirations only work 5% of the time; 95% of your life comes from the subconscious programs.
This is because there’s another unique characteristic to the conscious mind. It can think. And if it thinks, it’s not paying attention. If I ask you right now what you’re doing next Tuesday, you’ll start to look at the little rolodex in your head. You’ll be wondering what the hell’s going on Tuesday. For that moment, you’re not paying attention with your conscious mind. The fact is simply this: when your conscious mind is engaged in a thought, the default is the subconscious program – 95% of the day, while you’re thinking, you’re operating from default subconscious programs which are not even your own. They’re not your behaviours, desires, wishes and aspirations. They were programmed into you by other people. You’re not living your own life 95% of the day. You’re living the program.
This becomes quite unfortunate when we reveal that 70% of those programs are negative and redundant. The conscious mind, which is creative as compared to the unconscious which is habitual, works 5% of the time. So how much do wishes, desires and aspirations control your life? A tiny bit. You are playing from the subconscious with other people’s beliefs, attitudes and programs. They’re not yours and also what you got about your own identity isn’t yours. If your father yelled, “You don’t deserve that” when you were screaming for a toy in K-Mart, in that moment, you recorded, “I do not deserve.” So 95% of the day, the subconscious program “I do not deserve” is playing. But because your conscious mind is busy thinking, you don’t actually see your own behaviour. That means 70% of your behaviour is self-sabotaging and 95% of the day, you’re probably shooting yourself in the foot and then coming home and looking at your bloody foot wondering how that happened.
The nature of life comes from this understanding. Most of you are familiar with this story: At one time you were close to a friend. You knew them very well and you knew their parents. One day, you realize they’re showing the same behaviour as the parent so you volunteer, “Hey, Bill, you know you’re just like your dad.” Bill will go totally ballistic and ask, “How can you compare me to my dad?” This is the most profound story I can tell you for a very simple reason. Everybody else can see that Bill behaves like his dad. The only one who doesn’t see it is Bill because when he’s playing the program he downloaded from his father, his conscious mind isn’t paying attention so he’s the last one to see he’s playing this behaviour which might be undermining his life.
And we are all Bill. So we’re playing programs as our life. The movie The Matrix should not be shelved in the science fiction section of the video store. It’s a documentary. You have been programmed and you didn’t put the programs in, but you are living by them and you don’t see them yourselves.
There’s always been a mistaken belief that, if the conscious and subconscious minds are integrated and if you educate the conscious mind, the subconscious will automatically follow and understand. That’s false. There are three ways it learns:
Hypnosis is the first way we learn for the first seven years of our lives so using subliminal tapes at bedtime is important. Every night, as the EEG ramps down to a lower and lower vibration, before delta sleep, you go through theta – hypnosis. By putting earphones on, you go through the hypnosis period and you can download behaviour.
Habituation is how we learned after age seven. We repeated and repeated something. How many times did you say the alphabet before you could go from A to Z? You had to repeat it, but once you got it you never had to repeat it again. You want to change behaviour? Repetition. Repeat a process over and over again and your mind will change. You can have beliefs that aren’t real, but if you put in a program, the mind will work to create coherence between the program and the reality. Even if you’re sick, if you put in the program that you’re healthy, the mind will turn the physiology around to match the program.
Lastly, the fastest and most unique way – because we’re running out of time on our planet, facing crises like crazy with an evolutionary step coming and we have to learn fast – is a new range of belief-change modalities called “energy psychology.” In my book and on my website, I have a whole list of them. There’s a resource page with all these new modalities. You can change beliefs in 10 minutes. This is important because our lives are a reflection of those beliefs and you can rewrite those because that’s what you created. If you understand this then love and health and happiness and honeymoon are not short-term, but a lifetime experience.
The biggest joke I think people have – and it’s my perception this is a joke – is that we die and then go to heaven. I’d like to suggest a weird, different answer. I believe we were born into heaven and we came here to create. When you feel it and when you do it right, you know it’s heaven on earth and that’s where we’re all going.