Genes? Genealogy? The search for our roots? What is it that we’re looking for? Perhaps we all want to know who we really are. My colleague, Kay Stroud, writing for the September 30, 2016 edition of ONLINE Opinion, sites some fascinating research into the new field of epigenetics which indicates, among other things, that a spiritual practice can set us free from the often tyrannical pre-destiny of our genetic code. It’s a good read! Here’s Kay:
The ratings don’t lie. And they are telling us that millions are watching TV programs such as Who do you think you are?
That’s clear evidence of just how fascinating we find it to trace our family histories back through the generations. And to watch celebrities doing so!
Nevertheless, our feelings of connection to earlier generations can also lead to healing in families when today’s values and insights about race, religion, nationality and circumstances throw new light on events from long ago. We learn to understand and forgive poor decisions of the past, and take a step towards better understanding the people around us today.
But wherever we live in the world, the conventional wisdom has been that we’re stuck with our genetic lucky dip, such as dad’s big nose or nana’s short temper. If we’re blessed with grandpa’s kind and gentle disposition or mother’s lovely olive skin, it may seem like a fair trade-off in the “win some, lose some” genetic lottery, on which is seen to hinge myriads of physical, mental and emotional outcomes for each of us. Or so the science of genetics would suggest!
However, increasingly it is turning out that we don’t need to blindly accept the hands we’re dealt with in regard to any predisposition to either poor health or poor behaviour!
The newer science of epigenetics raises important questions about long-held biological beliefs about inherited deficiencies. Some advocates say they have proved that diabetes, autoimmune diseases and many cancers are reversible, and practitioners claim that genes can be regulated through a combination of better diet, exercise and the introduction of meditative practices.
In particular, they found that a spiritual practice could unchain people from the belief that deficiencies were fixed and must be tolerated, whether these deficiencies appeared as a proclivity to malfunction or to be obese or angry….