There are TV shows about tracing our ancestral roots and climbing the family tree as far as we can go. We are becoming fascinated with the story of us. What traits might we have inherited and from whom? If we are lucky enough, and there are enough paper trails and records, we can go quite far back. And it is interesting; all the hidden facts combined with blithe ignorance have shaped our stories; shaped who we think we are.
I love the conversations that we are all having about DNA and where do we ‘really’ come from. Science has made it easy to map our very own genome (Genes + Chromosomes). There are businesses and labs popping up all over the world to cater for this fascination in who our ancestors were and where they lived. The narratives reach back into aristocracy and landowners versus the poor; into masters and slaves; into noble birthrights and ‘insignificant’ birthrights. We are tracing the lineage of ghosts, stepping back into the past to try and define ourselves in the Now. Some look for redemption, some look to find royal blood, some look because it’s fashionable.
I love the work that many short filmmakers do with the subject of DNA science to bring awareness to prejudice and racism. Through science, we can see that we are not so different after all. When the DNA is traced far enough back, as a species, we are inextricably linked, regardless of our present-day skin colour, language or religious beliefs. I have enjoyed witnessing in these shows and short films: prejudices dissolve and some become softer with encroaching humility and awareness. They are made to disseminate a clear message that we are all One human race; to bring education and hope. When watching these inspiring films, I too, am filled with hope and a sense that we truly are making progress.
An Open World Begins with an Open Mind
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I was surprised to learn that siblings with the same parents can have varying DNA sequences. Of course, I know logically and through experience that siblings vary, but I was still surprised at how the mechanics of DNA organise themselves. There are infinite sequence possibilities. Genes are the foundation of our identity … but they do not define us. The science of Epigenetics explores the complexities shaping who you think you are.
Definition of epigenetics — The study of the process by which genetic information is translated into the substance and behaviour of an organism: specifically, the study of the way in which the expression of heritable traits is modified by environmental influences or other mechanisms without a change to the DNA sequence.”
Genes are the foundation of our identity … but they do not define us. Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi.
Science has a new kid on the block who is asking us to dramatically rethink sociology and anthropology standards. Many theories can now be literally tested in the laboratory. This is exciting as it liberates humans from defined cultural conditioning and belief systems that we perhaps don’t resonate with. There is so much to celebrate within all our differences when we step into commonality and LOVE. And there is so much we need to rethink about how differences can keep us separate, isolated and alone when we step into FEAR. Our behaviour, our personality, is of course determined by nature and nurture. Epigenetics changes everything. It provides the key to understanding how we are formed as individuals, but more importantly, it gives rise to our freedom, especially the freedom of our potential. We are, in effect, expanding our awareness of Free Will into the realm of all possibilities.
Biological behaviour can be controlled by invisible forces, including thought, as well as it can be controlled by physical molecules like penicillin. – Dr Bruce Lipton.
When we can trace our DNA, we can establish the most extraordinary facts about organic life on Planet Earth. We can unravel DNA and carbon date fossils, and we can cram the libraries and databases with so much useful knowledge. We can learn and grow in Oneness and Harmony. We can make lasting changes for good an expedited dream come true. And yet, I can’t imagine Science, in my lifetime, answering the big existential question: Where do we really come from?
Once Upon a Time, There is YOU
There was a time, not so long ago, when you were pure Awareness. There was a sperm and an egg and pure Awareness and they all collided and made YOU. You were a divine code of dividing cells, an entirely unique arrangement of DNA. These cells overlapped and merged and proliferated and did microscopic, miraculous, wonders in perfect sequence in order to produce the incomparable YOU. When all the biology was, for nine months, busy making you, pure Awareness was both witnessing your formation and experiencing it simultaneously. Consciousness witnessing the unfolding of consciousness in the form of human life. It’s more like science fiction than science fact, right?
There’s a myth perpetuated that the Universe is random chaos — it’s simply not true. The Universe is precise and ordered. From the organic life-codes of DNA, to the biosphere that sustains life on Earth, to the distance of the sun and the moon in relation to Earth that regenerates life and pulls the tides etc. There is so much evidence that we are (at this stage) beyond our own comprehension. I hear, see and read about all sorts of people who are obsessed with facts and science. All well-intentioned in trying to understand the infinite mysterious phenomena of life on Earth; Earth in a galaxy, a galaxy in infinite space of the ever-expanding Universe.
It’s Miraculous, Isn’t it? Right Here and Now – It’s Miraculous.
I have always chosen to believe in the miracle. Or rather, I chose somewhere along the way, not to forget that I came in as pure Awareness who collided with a sperm and an egg. Religions have tried to package pure Awareness as an omniscient presence governing all our lives. I have rejected this ideology for my own direct experience of ‘God’. And it’s everywhere … When I am still and present, when I am here and now, when the multiplications of my DNA resonate in this body – I have no choice but to acquiesce to the miracle that I am embodied within — That we are all embodied within. Despite this being beyond my mind’s comprehension.
I came in as pure Awareness who collided with a sperm and an egg.Photo by David Rangel.
It’s far more relaxing to accept the miracle of life and celebrate it, and for pure fun and imagination, to speculate on its origins than to be weighed down with futile questions. And in my experience, it is far more harmonious and peaceful to rest in not knowing all the answers. Then the invitation to dance and celebrate in the mystery of this Existence is never far away.
What are your thoughts about mapping your DNA? Have you already done this? What were your reflections after you got the results? Did it change anything? We’d love to hear from the wondrous, unique, sequence of Pure Awareness and DNA that you are …
Much love as always,
Your fellow cousins …