An Epi-Gene is a Happy Gene

July 21, 2014 by Rabbi Laibl Wolf
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Life can victimize you. The child can be a victim of poor parenting. The teenager can be a victim of drug peddlers. The adult can be a victim of poor financial advice. Voters can be victims of political intrigues. And we are all victims of our genes. But an emerging branch of science known as epigenetics suggests otherwise.

Rabbi Laibl Wolf

Rabbi Laibl Wolf

While genetics refers to the gene sequence, or DNA code, epigenetics refers to all the other factors that control how and when each gene is expressed. Meditation, non-toxic food, compassion, mindfulness, stress management, are all positive factors that affect the way that a genetic code may express itself.  Impatience, fast foods, ego-centeredness, shallowness, stress – also affect the expression of the genetic code – negatively. In short, you aren’t a victim.  You simply make bad choices.  And here are some of them:
1.    Choosing not to master the way you think: I hear you saying “You can’t control thoughts – they just enter.” I assure you that the neuroplasticity states clearly that you can retrain your thought processes. The key lies in interpretation of the data. That data is delivered to the brain by your seeing eyes, hearing ears, feeling fingers, sensitive noses, and curious taste-buds.  But what you choose to do with the data distinguishes the wise one from the fool.  For example, should someone bad-mouth you, you can choose to foolishly argue back or more wisely be strategic about their nasty streak. You don’t have to own their problem. You need to be the consistently compassionate and understanding individual that you really are. Mastering thoughts does not necessarily mean not thinking. It means reorienting your mind to interpret life’s data positively. Negative thinking is a bad choice, not a gene-mandated nature.
2.    Choosing to eat toxic food: ‘You are what you eat’ may be a maxim from former days but rings true particularly today. Our capacity to deal with toxic chemicals ‘snuck’ into our food by way of preservatives  (for long shelf life), colourings (to fool the sense of sight), sugar-charged (to create taste-bud addiction), additive-laden food texturizing for tantalization (to heighten the sensuous experience of food) – all of these are creating huge toxic overloads.  Gluten intolerance, wheat intolerance, fructose intolerance, heartburn, dyspepsia, and dare I say, even cancers, are the result of our bad choices, not our genetic make-up.
3.    Choosing stress over faith and reason: Stress means the dissonance between how you want the world to be, and how it really is. The wider the gap the higher the stress. Stress is not just a product of helplessness but the result of your arrogant prophecy: this will result in disaster. Stress is fear of a future bad outcome. “I’ll get fired.” “She won’t love me.” “I will lose my home.” “People will view me as a failure.” By positing an unhappy outcome you create, within, the emergence of destructive forces of worry and anxiety. Be a little more humble and choose faith in the place of fear. As you are not a prophet chances are an even bet – failure or success.  You don’t know. So choose the positive.  Logically it’s on equal ground as its harmful alternative.
4.    Choose a conscious life of depth and awareness: You have a choice – swimming life on the surface or scuba diving in the depths. Live deeply and you create the timeless dimensions of meaning and purpose. Live in shallow waters and it will be filled with pettiness, small mindedness, and enslaves you to your genetic predilections.  Only through mindful and conscious living can you overcome habitual tendencies.
Epigenetics is proving that we are victims of our genes only by choice – or more likely through abrogation of choice. By not choosing, nature take sits course – the genes will direct you along the line of least resistance.  Through personal mastery via practice of mindfulness, meditation and self-discipline, you can enlist your genetic code to assist you where you choose to go.
An epi-gene is a happy genes.

Rabbi Laibl Wolf, is Dean of Spiritgrow – The Josef Kryss Center, Australia

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