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"Genes can’t turn themselves on or off … they can’t control themselves,” Lipton said. If a cell is cut off from any environmental stimuli, it doesn’t do anything. "Life is due to how the cell responds to the environment.”
Furthermore, in Lipton’s view, a being’s perception of the environment acts as a filter between the reality of the environment and the biological reaction to it.
Positive thoughts stimulate growth, or activate growth-related genes. Negative thoughts (particularly fear or hostility) stimulate a protection response.
"Perception rewrites genes,” Lipton said. Positive thoughts stimulate growth, or activate growth-related genes. Negative thoughts (particularly fear or hostility) stimulate a protection response—a fight or flight response that doesn’t allow for growth.
Mind Affects Matter in Fetal Development
Lipton, and other researchers, have made the connection between a mother’s feelings of love or fear, happiness or stress, and how they may physically affect the development of the fetus in her womb.
"Recognizing the role the prenatal environment plays in creating disease forces a reconsideration of genetic determinism,” Lipton said. Again, positive thoughts can stimulate growth and negative thoughts can stimulate a protection response.
In "Biology of Belief,” Lipton quotes Cornell prenatal physiologist Peter Nathanielsz, M.D., Ph.D.: "There is mounting evidence that programming of lifetime health by the conditions in the womb is equally, if not more important, than our genes in determining how we perform mentally and physically during life.”
Dr. Thomas Verny, who founded the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, writes, "Scientists have come to recognize living organisms as ‘dynamic systems’ capable of actively reprogramming gene behaviors to accommodate environmental challenges.”