Today, I would like to give a little background on the self discovery that lead to “The Biology of Belief.”
I was teaching medical students cell biology in the university. At that time, I taught the conventional story, about how genes control the characteristics of the cell. When we teach people that, we are teaching them that they are victims. They can’t change themselves. Life is not in your control. The genes control you. When people believe that they have no power in their lives they look outside for happiness and health; that is why pharmaceutical companies make money.
Back in 1967, I was cloning stem cells. At that time, very few people in the world knew what stem cells were. A stem cell is the same as an embryonic cell. If I did a tissue section in your body before you were born, I would say this is an embryonic cell. If I took the tissue section one second after you were born, I would call the same cell a stem cell. A human being is made of 50 trillion cells. Everyday, hundreds of billions of cells die. To stay alive, we need to replace these hundreds of billions of cells everyday. Where do they come from? The answer is stem cells, originally embryonic cells. Doing the same thing they did in the womb – making the body.
While I was teaching at the University, I was cloning a stem cell. I take one stem cell and put it in a petri dish by itself. The stem cells divide every eight hours or so. First there is one, then there are two, then there are four. After a week, I have about 50,000 cells in my petri dish. All the cells are genetically identical because they all came from the same one cell. I split up these cells into three different petri dishes. Cells are like fish. They have to be in a fluid, which is called the culture medium. I changed the chemical composition a little bit in the culture medium of each of the three dishes. In one dish, the cells became muscle, in another they became bones, and in the third they became fat.
Then the question came….
What controls the fate of the cells? Earlier, we thought genes controlled them, but they all have the same genes. What was different was the environment. The fate of the cells is not controlled by genes but is controlled by the environment – in this case, the culture medium.
For us humans this means….
When you look in the mirror, you see one organism. But that is not actually true. The human being is made of 50 trillion cells. The cells are living entities. You are a community of 50 trillion cells. A human body is a skin-covered petri dish. And the culture medium is blood. That is what nourishes the cells. From the experiment in the lab, we have seen the culture medium can control the fate of the cells. Simply, the chemistry of the blood controls the genetics and behavior of the cells.
What do you believe this means?