In high-school biology class, I was enamored by genetics, particularly Mendel’s experiments. The idea that one could selectively introduce specific traits (genes) into living beings (peas, in Mendel’s case) so that they could find subsequent expression in future generations was utterly fascinating to me. The further notion that these traits, once introduced into a species, would remain intact between generations, while finding dominant or recessive expression, was even more fascinating. For me, genetics gave new perspective to the term, individual expression.
Genetics provides the framework, the foundation for what we are given. Our inherited genetic code is something that we (apparently) cannot change. On the surface, this could be interpreted as a restriction of our freedom to choose. However, biology class also taught me that heredity is only one side of the coin. Our full individual expression is a function of our genetics and the second side of the coin, our environment. This is good news indeed, because it means that even though we may have been given a weak foundation, we still have the power of choice.
That choice is expressed in the environment that we choose. We cannot necessarily change the map, but we can choose the path, the destination and how we choose to travel. We may been born into a particular set of beliefs, values, even a religion (or lack of religion), and that is our “map”. Yet, our spiritual expression, our involution [inn(er-re)volution], need not be constrained our genetics. The choices of our associations, our communities, our personal practices reflects the type of house we build on the foundation that we are given.
But there is more. As we dig a bit deeper, and learn more about our genetics, and particularly our alleles (variations of a particular gene in a chromosome), we can gain greater awareness. For instance, we can learn why our eyes are a slightly different hue of black (or brown or blue) than those our siblings. This increased awareness can be used to mitigate the expression of some of our negative traits. With the choice of a better environment, we can alleviate or alleliate away our flaws. This is called epigenetics – by changing our genetic expression… we get closer to complete freedom!
epigenetics – the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself…
Maybe the (spiritual) giants (and Shakespeare) knew something that science is discovering just recently. The fault is not in our stars, our genetics. And even if we believe that our genetics are faulty, we have the choice to change our beliefs through our environment, and control how those so-called faults find expression. So, the question is – what do we truly believe? What is the expression of those beliefs creating within us? And if those beliefs are not creating world-brightening, full-spectrum-of-color expression(s), are we willing to change them?
P.S. I invite you to join us on Sunday, March 4th at 9amET/7:30pmIndia for our weekly chat on twitter in #SpiritChat – we will discuss “Spiritual Genetics” and more, as we unwind the double helix. Namaste. Kumud.