Deterministik Genetika Vs. Deterministik Pengaruh Lingkungan Vs. Deterministik Jiwa

SENI PIKIR & TULIS

Di Dalam ALAM SADAR Bersemayam PILIHAN BEBAS

Di Dalam ALAM BAWAH SADAR Bersemayam DETERMINISTIK GENETIK BIOLOGIS ataupun DETERMINISTIK PENGARUH LINGKUNGAN SOSIAL

Di Dalam ALAM PIKIRAN Bersemayam DETERMINISTIK JIWA

Perdebatan antara penganut “deterministik genetik” saling berdiri saling berhadap-hadapan terhadap kaum “idealis”, yang mencoba berusaha sekuat tenaga untuk memungkiri deterministik genetik seorang umat manusia, bersikukuh bahwa pengaruh pola asuh dan lingkungan sosial adalah lebih determinan dan lebih dominan dari apapun yang bersifat “backbone traits” (sering juga disebut sebagai “constitutional traits”, yang menandakan karakter dasariah seseorang) atau “tulang-punggung karakter” seseorang, kian memanas sekalipun berbagai penemuan ilmiah maupun realita empirik memperlihatkan bahwa kita bahkan tidak mampu menentukan bentuk tubuh kita sendiri kecuali lewat rekayasa bedah medik. Setiap harinya, seorang pria disibukkan oleh urusan janggut yang harus dicukur secara rutin, janggut mana tumbuh bahkan tanpa dikehendaki olehnya.

Penganut “deterministik genetik” sekadar defensif, sementara kaum “idealis” terus melancarkan kritik tiada henti, seakan sebagai pejuang kemanusiaan bertumpu kepada mereka melawan penindasan “robotik genom” (manusia tanpa kehendak bebas). Apapun itu, setidaknya, dengan mengakui keberadaan “deterministik genetik”, kita dapat membuat pendekatan atau strategi yang lebih aplikatif sebagai solusi terhadap berbagai masalah hidup dan sosial. Sebagai contoh, gen terkait kemampuan berbahasa, akan inaktif bilamana tidak terdapat stimulus terhadap seseorang untuk berbicara dan berinteraksi. Genetik bahasa, paling mudah diaktifkan saat seseorang masih sangat belia dari segi usia.

Tiadanya gen untuk mendukung pembelajaran bahasa asing, maka tiada guna mencurahkan seluruh sumber daya waktu maupun tenaga untuk mempelajari bahasa asing. Bila kita dapat mengetahui bakat-bakat maupun kelemahan-kelemahan kita secara personal dengan pemetaan DNA layaknya “genome project” yang dinilai ambisius beberapa dekade lampau (namun sudah sejak lama diterapkan oleh penduduk di Israel), maka kita tidak perlu membuang-buang banyak sumber daya manusia untuk hal-hal yang tidak perlu dan cukup berfokus pada apa yang menjadi potensi utama kita.

Satu-satunya kekhawatiran bangsa yang cukup terbelakang dari pemetaan genom dirinya ialah, ia tidak akan lolos seleksi alam, semata karena tiada calon pasangan hidup yang berminat membangun rumah-tangga dengan seseorang yang mengidab potensi penyakit tertentu, atau bahkan baru diketahui memiliki kelainan mental tertentu. Merasa terancam akan tersisih dari “percaturan dunia dan sosial”, mereka akan berdalih telah terjadi upaya eugenika yang menyerupai “genosida” terhadap orang-orang yang dinilai kurang bermutu dari segi bibit, bebet, serta bobot,

Eugenika merupakan gagasan dalam tataran praktis tentang upaya memperbaiki mutu kelanjutan spesies manusia dengan perkawinan selektif di antara orang-orang dengan ciri-ciri genetik tertentu yang dianggap memiliki mutu yang prospektif untuk melangsungkan keturunan. Charles Davenport pernah melakukan riset silsilah terhadap banyak keluarga di Amerika Serikat, dan mendapati bahwa beberapa kondisi fisik dan psikis tertentu bersifat herediter. Akan terdengar sebagai mulia adanya, namun mengerikan bagi sejumlah pihak yang tidak bisa menerima kenyataan tentang perihal dirinya, bahwa upaya memutus galur gen “buruk” dari masyarakat menjadi misi utama “kemanusiaan” mereka.

Mereka mengusung kampanye rekayasa sosial lewat kebijakan pengendalian perkawinan dan sterilisasi (secara paksa maupun melalui penerapan rezim perizinan) sebagai tawaran bagi masa depan umat manusia yang lebih “cerah”. Tujuannya adalah mengeliminasi kondisi-kondisi seperti keterbelakangan mental, penyakit kejiwaan, rendahnya IQ, maupun kelainan fisik, yang mana kesemua itu bersifat “hereditas” alias diturunkan secara turun-temurun. Mereka dinilai secara sembrono memasukkan tendensi kriminal dan alkoholik sebagai sifat yang terwariskan, meski penelitian genom dewasa ini menemukan relevansinya yang erat. Sebaliknya, Faktor-faktor sosial—seperti lingkungan yang buruk, gizi buruk, dan pendidikan yang tidak memadai—dieliminir sebagai nonfaktor.

Eugenika yang lebih modern dewasa ini, dilakukan dengan metode rekayasa genetika, alih-alih memutus garis keturunan seseorang penduduk yang dinilai “tidak berkualitas”, yakni dengan cara memodifikasi DNA. Tidak tertutup kemungkinan pendekatan demikian bisa digunakan untuk merancang tatanan baru umat manusia dengan sifat-sifat yang lebih unggul sebagaimana rekayasa genetik terhadap tumbuhan penghasil pangan dunia yang kebal terhadap penyakit dan hama serta lebih produktif. Hanya saja, mengingat resiko jangka panjangnya, baik positif atau negatif, terutama potensi bahaya dibaliknya, belum sepenuhnya dipahami. Tentu langkah spekulatif tersebut menjadi beresiko, karena perubahan DNA adalah permanen sekaligus bersifat herediter (kandungan karakternya diturunkan kepada generasi penerusnya).

Contoh lainnya ialah gen terkait kecanduan terhadap minuman beralkohol maupun barang madat lainnya, seorang pakar menyebutkan bahwa populasi penduduk memiliki setidaknya sepuluh persen diantaranya membawa serta genetik kecanduan ini. Karenanya, berhubung kita tidak mengetahui secara pasti siapa diantara kita yang mewarisi gen kecanduan demikian, pilihan terbaik ialah untuk tidak pernah mencobanya sama sekali apapun yang menjadi produk “pintu gerbang obat-obatan terlarang” (baik tembakau, mar!yuana, alkohol, dsb), dimana bilamana ternyata saya atau Anda memiliki gen tersebut, maka dapat dipastikan Anda akan mencandu dan mengkonsumsinya untuk seumur hidup Anda. Dengan demikian, pakar yang paling orthodoks dari kubu “deterministik genetik” sekalipun, tidak pernah menyatakan bahwa seluruh potensi genetik kita aktif secara begitu saja tanpa separuh atau sebagian diantaranya membutuhkan stimulus internal maupun eksternal sebagai pemicu untuk diaktifkan daya determinannya terhadap seseorang yang menyandang gen demikian.

Apapun itu, bisa jadi ada yang lebih buruk daripada pandangan “deterministik genetik”, yakni “deterministik pengaruh lingkungan eksternal diri” yang menyerupai “lingkaran setan”. Sebagaimana kita ketahui, pola asuh, asupan gizi, mutu pendidikan, akses finansial, maupun segala sumber daya lainnya, dikuasai oleh mereka yang tergolong “berpunya” atau kelas “mapan” (sebagaimana para elit yang membangun dinasti politiknya). Mereka yang berlatar-belakang “kasta” bawah, akan cenderung hidup dalam lingkaran komunitas maupun dunia bawah, sementara mereka yang sejak semula berada di kelas atas, akan tetap hidup sebagai bagian dari kaum kelas atas.

Bila “deterministik genetik” mengenal anomali penyimpangan yang disebut sebagai mutasi genetik, maka “deterministik pengaruh lingkungan” mengenal apa yang disebut sebagai kesenjangan. Mutasi genetik, mengakibatkan keturunan seorang kriminil mungkin saja kehilangan sebagian “bakat kriminal” yang diwariskan oleh kedua orangtuanya—tepatnya pada momen inilah, “deterministik genetik” terdegradasi oleh kejadian mutasi. Namun itu akan memakan waktu berabad-abad atau mungkin bermilenium-milenium lamanya sebelum kemudian menampakkan hasilnya secara kontras dan gradual saja sifatnya (evolusi, tidak revolutif menyerupai rekayasa genetika), sehingga bukan berlangsung secara revolusioner tampak kasat mata perubahannya dari satu generasi ke generasi berikutnya.

Maka, “deterministik pengaruh lingkungan” menampakkan kecenderungan yang lebih mengerikan, mematikan, fatalistik, sekaligus elitis bila tidak dapat kita sebut sebagai bergaya teknokratik. Mereka yang memiliki latar-belakang keluarga tempat kelahirannya sebagai kaum berpunya, maka akan tumbuh dewasa semakin berpunya dan semakin makmur, semata karena dikelilingi oleh orang-orang yang besar dan hebat, pola asuh dan pola didik yang bermutu tinggi, asupan gizi dan nutrisi yang mencukupi, akses finansial dan kesehatan yang memadai, memiliki jaminan hidup yang lebih terjamin, dan segala keberuntungan lainnya, membawa mereka melaju di jalan tol bebas hambatan untuk meraih pencapaian lebih gemilang oleh generasi berikutnya.

Sebaliknya, mereka yang hidup di “selokan” (slum), akan kian miskin dan kian terjerat kemiskinan, kebodohan akut, penyakit yang tidak berkesudahan, kejahatan maupun aksi residivis menjelma “sampah masyarakat”, hidup terpasung dalam keterbatasan, menghabiskan waktu di balik sel jeruji penjara, terbelenggu stigmatisasi, kelaparan hingga malnutrisi, busung lapar ataupun “stunting”, tersisihkan dari pergaulan papan atas, kemerosotan intelijensi yang terlampau dini dan amortasi usia produktif ataupun degradasi kecerdasan otak yang tidak terbendung akibat terisolir dari berbagai sumber daya pengembangan diri, berakibat menyerupai “lingkaran setan” tidak berkesudahan. Keluarga miskin mewarisi anak-anak dan generasi penerus yang miskin.

Kesenjangan ekonomi, kecerdasan, dan intelektual, itulah kutukan dibalik “deterministik pengaruh lingkungan”. Kesenjangannya kian melebar dan bersenjang, yang miskin semakin tersisihkan, yang kaya semakin menguasai segala akses terhadap sumber daya, yang bodoh semakin terbelakang, yang cerdas semakin cemerlang, yang jelata semakin tidak bersuara, sementara yang berkuasa kian mendinasti dan memonopolisir. Lihatlah, kini sumber daya ekonomi dikuasai hanya oleh segelintir pihak, kontras dengan kehidupan masa lampau dimana kapitalisasi lebih terdistribusi secara merata. Kesenjangan merupakan mimpi buruk bagi kaum tertindas dan tersisihkan, terlebih kesenjangan demikian justru kian melebar.

Seorang tokoh, bernama Profesor Lipton, pernah berkata bahwa kemiskinan adalah genetik—namun bisa jadi, itu bukanlah pengaruh genetik, namun pengaruh lingkungan yang amat deterministik membentuk pola kepribadian tumbuh-kembang seorang anak. Cobalah ketikkan kata kunci berikut pada mesin pencarian artikel di dunia maya : “Professor Lipton poverty is genetic”, maka Anda akan menemukan beragam bahasan perihal peran yang dimainkan oleh “deterministik genetik”, salah satunya ulasan bertajuk “We are programmed to be poor”. Artinya, kemiskinan bukan diciptakan, namun dilahirkan.

Bruce H. Lipton, PhD, nama lengkapnya, seorang biolog sel, dalam artikel berjudul “Bruce Lipton, PhD: The Jump From Cell Culture to Consciousness”, https:// www. ncbi.nlm.nih .gov/pmc/articles/PMC6438088/, diakses pada tanggal 9 September 2021, menguraikan sebagi berikut:

Genetic determinism was, at the time, a prevailing belief—that genes are capable of turning themselves on and off and regulating not just our physical structure, but our emotions and our behaviors as well. Genes seem to be the controlling factor of all characteristics of our lives. We attributed to them, at that time, the character of self-actualization, meaning that genes can turn themselves on and off.

In summary, what I was actually teaching future doctors, which they would then relate to their patients, is that genes are controlling their lives. As far as we know, we did not pick the genes that we came with. If we do not like the characteristics we have, we cannot change the genes. That leaves us with an unfortunate conclusion: We are victims of our heredity.

Meaning, if there is cancer running in your family, well, anticipate that their gene for cancer is going to affect you and you are going to have cancer or cardiovascular disease or diabetes or Alzheimer’s or whatever those so-called hereditary issues are. So, we are powerless in controlling our biology, because the genes control it by turning on and off, and we have no control over them. [NOTE Penyunting : Kita hanya dapat mengkondisikannya dengan membentuk kondisi yang paling ideal.]

What would you do if you were powerless? The answer is: You have to find a rescuer. Therefore, you give up power over your life—because you believe you have no power—and hand it to someone who is recognized as a rescuer. A medical doctor, a pharmaceutical agency, or whatever it is, will take care of us. That is what we are teaching.

At the time I was teaching that, I was also doing work on cloning stem cells. Stem cells is just another term for embryonic cell. They are exactly the same. The difference is, I can call a cell an “embryonic cell” when you are an embryo. The moment you are born, you are no longer an embryo, so I cannot call it an embryonic cell. I change the name to stem cell. We want to equate the two. A stem cell is an embryonic cell in the body of a person who is born.

Why should I have these so-called embryonic cells in my body? We have to recognize that, on a daily basis, we lose hundreds of billions of cells from normal attrition: dying, old-age, damaged, or some problem with them. We have to replace them. How many days in a row can you stay healthy when you are losing hundreds of billions of cells every day? At some point, if you are not replacing those cells, you are in a lot of trouble. The fact is, our population of stem cells, embryonic cells, are there to replace any type of cell we lost, whether it is skin cells, bone cells, muscle cells, or brain cells. We can replace these cells, thank God; otherwise, there would be a problem.

My work was very simple. It was to identify a single stem cell and put it in a tissue culture dish by itself. The cells divide every 10 to 12 hours. I started with 1 cell, 10 hours later there were 2, and 10 hours later 4. Every 10 hours it was doubling: 4, 8, 16, 32, etc. After a week, I had about 50 000 in the Petri dish. The most important insight is that all 50 000 cells were derived from the same parent. By definition, I have 50 000 genetically identical cells in my culture dish.

I grow these cells in something called culture medium, which is the environment in which cells live. In other words, cells are like fish; they live in a fluid environment. So what is culture medium? It is the laboratory version of blood. If I take the cells out of the body, I want to put them in a very similar environment, so I create a synthetic version of blood for the culture dish. Because I am creating a synthetic version, I can change the composition in my medium.

Now, in the experiment that blew my mind, I created 3 slightly different versions of culture medium, by changing some of the constituents. I put these 3 different environments in 3 different Petri dishes, but all the dishes had portions from the same culture of genetically identical cells in them. As a result, cells in environment A became muscle. In the second Petri dish with genetically identical cells to the first but in a slightly different environment, the cells became bone. Then in the third dish, again with genetically identical cells but a different environment, the cells became fat cells. Now you are left with a very profound question: What controls the fate of the cells?

You start with the first premise: All 3 groups of cells are genetically identical. I cannot say there were different genes in dish 1 and different genes in dish 2. That’s not true; they are all genetically the same. The only difference was the composition, or the chemistry, of the culture medium—the environment in which the cells live. The conclusion was profoundly important. It is the environment that selects the genetic activity of the cell.

This is profoundly different than the genes making the decisions as to what cells are going to be. So, this is a pretty interesting story about cells in a plastic dish, but what the heck does this have to do with me as a human? The jumpy part is that, when we look in a mirror and see ourselves as single individual entities, that is an illusion. It is a misperception. Because the truth is, a human body is actually a community of 50 trillion cells. When I say the word Bruce or you say the word Craig, that is a term that does not represent a single entity. It represents a single community of up to 50 trillion cells.

IMCJ: … and several trillion microbes.

Dr Lipton: Yes, that is the newer version of the human as a super organism. Instead of just human cells, we cannot survive without our microbiome. That expands, as you just said, to trillions of additional cells that are not ours but our microbiome’s cells. When you look at yourself as a single entity, that is the illusion. That truth, which is the jumpy part, is that we are skin-covered Petri dishes inside of which are 50 trillion-plus cells. Inside the body is the original culture medium called blood. [NOTE Penyunting : Dalam terminologi Buddhisme, itulah yang disebut sebagai “anatta”, alias tanpa inti ataupun yang disebut sebagai diri “Aku”.]

Here is the point: It doesn’t make a difference to the fate of the cell if it is in a plastic dish or the skin-covered dish. Because the fate of the cell is controlled by the conditions of the environment. The blood composition is really the factor that controls the genetic response of the cell. So then, what controls the composition of the culture medium? The blood. So, the brain is the chemist. [NOTE Penyunting : Bukankah menjadi menarik, bahwa “deterministik pengaruh lingkungan” dapat lebih mendominasi.]

That leads us then to the next and more important question: I know the brain is the chemist, but what chemistry should the brain put into the blood? The chemistry put into the blood by the brain is a direct complement to the picture we hold in our mind. In other words, the mind’s image is translated by the brain into chemistry, which then goes to the body to create a physical complement to the image in the mind. In ancient terms, back from the days of the Buddha, 2500 years ago, “What we believe, we become.” Basically, our perception changes the chemistry of our blood.

In my lectures, I simply give this story: If you are sitting there with your eyes closed and you open your eyes and see someone you love, your mind holds a picture of love. A picture of love in the mind is translated by the brain into very specific chemistry. In a state of love, the brain releases dopamine for pleasure into the blood. The brain releases oxytocin into the blood, which is a chemical that helps us bind to the source of love that we are experiencing.

The experience of love also releases another chemical into the growth medium—into the blood—called vasopressin. It helps us become more attractive so that our partner sticks with us even more. Another very important factor released by our brain while perceiving love is growth hormone—which, by its name does exactly what it says: It influences our growth. That result is that the chemistry of the body’s natural culture medium—blood—is adjusted by the perception of the mind.

The perception of love introduces such elements as dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin, and growth hormone, all of which are chemicals that enhance the vitality and health of the 50 trillion cells in our skin-covered culture dish. In a state of love, the chemicals released in love result in health and harmony and a glowing body. People say, “Oh, look, you can see how in love they are. See how they glow.” That is a chemical expression of the culture medium, affecting the vitality of the cells.

Then I say, “Wait. The same person could open their eyes and instead of seeing love, see something that scares them.” In a state of fear, the brain does not release the chemicals associated with love. It releases chemicals associated with fear, which are stress hormones and inflammatory agents, changing the chemistry of the culture medium. Then, go back and recognize that the fate of the cell is directly dependent on the chemistry of the culture medium.

Now with stress hormones and inflammatory agents released in the blood, I change the genetics and behavior of the cells and start to express a protection posture, which is antagonistic to growth. In fact, it actually cancels growth. The protection chemicals in the blood allocate energy for fight or flight, getting ready to run from a perceived fear.

The genetics of the cell give us all kinds of potentials. The potentials expressed are related to the composition of the culture medium. The culture medium composition in a laboratory is synthesized by me—synthetic blood. In your natural skin-covered Petri dish, or body, the brain is the chemist and it translates your perception into chemistry that complements that perception. The result is that your biology becomes complementary to your mind and its perception, hence the nature of what is called the placebo effect.

In the placebo effect, a person is ill in some degree then is given an opportunity to take a very specific medicine. The physician says, “This is the latest, greatest drug to treat you. Look, it’s colored purple, it’s very good. Even the color is going to heal you.” You believe, “My God, I found a drug that is going to heal me.” You take the drug, you get better. Later, you find out that the drug was just a sugar pill. What healed you? Well, obviously not the sugar pill. It was your perception and beliefs about the sugar pill that healed you. Almost everybody says they are familiar with that—how the mind can release chemistry in a belief that actually turns around and heals us.

What most people do not recognize is the consequence of a negative belief, in reference to the fact that a placebo is a consequence of a positive belief. A negative belief is equally powerful in shaping our biology and our genetics. It works in the opposite direction of a positive belief. A negative belief can result in any illness and even cause us to die. Just a belief. It can because that belief is translated in chemistry that will not support our vitality.

A negative belief relates to something called the nocebo effect. The nocebo effect is a consequence that can include any illness, disease, or death. That result is simple. The chemistry that determines our biology, genetics, behavior, and life characteristics is chemistry derived from the brain which, in turn, is derived from the brain interpreting an image in our mind. As we change our mind, we change our biology.

This is the foundation of something called spontaneous remission. Say a person is going to die of terminal cancer. All of a sudden, there is spontaneous remission. What does this spontaneous remission do? In every case, the remission is due to the fact that the patient had a profound change of belief, a change of mind in regard to the factors that affect their lives. A letting go of the stresses and of the mind issues that were creating a nocebo effect. Letting go of those stresses can actually cause cancer to undergo spontaneous remission. The power is not in the genetics; the power is in consciousness. Our consciousness is translated into biology via the chemistry of the natural culture medium called blood.

IMCJ: How does that relate to your beliefs on the effects of environment on the evolution of genetics?

Dr Lipton: Let’s pretend that the old belief of genetic determinism is valid. That would mean that the genes you are born with are going to control the characteristics of your life. Well, the problem is that the environment is ever-changing. There is no static environment. Why is that relevant? Well, if your genes are designed to keep you alive in environment A and then the environment changes to environment B, then those genes may not support your vitality at all. They may actually lead to your death. Therefore, then, your life is totally under the control of these mechanical devices, which are not connected to the environment.

That would be silly. Life would have died out a long time ago when upheavals in the environment occurred, like we are experiencing right now in regard to climate change. Why is this new insight important? Because the new insight says, “No, you are not controlled by your genetics. Your genes are controlled by your environment, and more specifically your perception of the environment.” This allows dynamic control of your biology. If genes controlled your life, your fate would be determined regardless of what was happening in the environment: “These are your genes, this is your life. You have this cancer gene, you are going to get cancer and die.” The fact is, there is no such thing as a cancer gene.

That is a belief that is self-sabotaging. If you believe you have a cancer gene and you believe that gene can turn on and give you cancer, then your belief is manifesting a chemistry that will create cancer because you are translating your perception into chemistry. A perception of cancer can cause cancer. Less than 10% of cancer has any hereditary linkage of all. The other 90% or more of cancer is a direct response to the environment and the perception of the individual in that environment. It basically says, “Genetic control is a limitation, because you can only express what your genes express.”

The new science called epigenetic control sounds almost like the same thing. When I say genetic control, it translates as “controlled by genes.” The new science is called epigenetics. It sounds similar, but it is profoundly different. Epi means “above,” so when I say epigenetic control, I am literally saying, “control above the genes.” This is the new biology. It reveals that the environment and our perception of the environment are what control our genetic activity. [NOTE Penyunting : Genetik dipicu dan terpicu oleh efek berantai faktor-faktor lainnya, bukan sebagai faktor tunggal.]

This is profound. A revolution for the simple reason that the conventional belief, which most of the public is already programmed with, is genetic determinism. That makes us victims because, as I said, I cannot control the genes if the genes are controlling themselves. Therefore, my life is an expression of a pattern of genes unfolding and I am a victim of this pattern. Epigenetics changes the entire game, because it says that genetic expression is directly due to the environment and our perception of the environment.

We are capable of changing the environment we live in and we are capable of changing our perceptions. Therefore, we are not victims, but we are actually masters of our genetic activity. We have to recognize that the belief of being a victim is a perception. If that is what you believe, then you can be a victim because you are going to translate your perception into biology. This is why your work becomes important in this case, Craig, because knowledge is power. A lack of knowledge is by definition a lack of power.

A lack of knowledge about this new understanding of epigenetics is actually a disempowering experience for the individual on this planet. If you believe genes control your life, then you let go of the control and programs take over. If you understand epigenetics and you say, “Wait, I have the ability to change conditions environmentally or perceptually to enhance my life, rather than to fall victim to illness,” that is self-empowerment. That is why the new knowledge is power inducing.

IMCJ: As a person’s belief system manifests in their chemistry, what are the factors that come together to constitute somebody’s belief patterns?

Dr Lipton: The more fundamental statement is, I said, “The brain is the chemist.” But the mind is the imagery that the brain is trying to complement with chemistry. The brain is perceiving the mind. Whatever the mind’s image is, the brain is going to translate that image into chemistry.

Many of us, when we were young, played with something called paint by numbers. You get an image that is all carved up into little pieces with numbers inside each little fraction of this fractured image. The numbers refer to a paint color in the paint box. If you match the paint and fill in the spaces with the right numbered colors, then lo and behold, you create this beautiful picture.

To simplify what life is all about, it is doing paint by numbers in reverse. The mind starts with a completed picture and the brain breaks down the picture into numbers. The numbers do not represent paint. They represent neurochemicals, hormones, growth factors, and regulatory agents. These secretions then go into the body and cause the body to become a physical complement to the image.

IMCJ: So the brain, our chemist, is actually doing the mind’s bidding?

Dr Lipton: That is where a problem arises. The term mind is actually a misinterpretation or a misperception. The mind suggests that there is a single mind. No. The fact is that what we refer to as the mind is actually two interdependent mechanisms working in harmony with each other. We refer to these two different pieces of the mind as one: the first being the conscious mind, and the other being the subconscious mind.

This is really important because the two minds learn in different ways, which is very critical. The two minds are interdependent. They work together, but they have different functions. The subconscious mind is the primal mind and constitutes about 90% of our brain. The subconscious mind is habitual. It has programs in it—habits. These habits play automatically without us thinking about them. It is subconscious, meaning that these behaviors would play without our conscious even being involved.

When you were an infant, you learned how to walk. It was a conscious process. Then it became a habit. Today, you don’t have to think, “I’m going to walk from this side of the room to the other side of the room. Left leg first, okay, now move the right leg.” All you have to do is have the intention to move to the program, then the subconscious mind will automatically do this without your conscious mind participating at all. [NOTE Penulis : Meditasi Vipassana yang diajarkan Sang Buddha justru membangkitkan kembali “alam sadar” dan melatih serta menguatkannya, dengan cara serupa anak balita belajar berjalan, secara persis dengan ‘Left leg first, okay, now move the right leg.’]

Many of the habits are derived from instincts built into the system. In other words, if you walk outside and it is cold out, the reception of the cold by the nervous system will adjust the biology to heat itself up and keep your temperature at 98 degrees by warming up the system. If you walk outside and it is warm out, the nervous system will pick up that information and it will adjust the body to cool itself down so it does not go above 98 degrees. Your body temperature is not under your conscious control; it is subconscious.

Those are instincts that built in. We also acquire habits. As I said, walking is a habit. We did not have that habit when we were born; we had to learn to how to walk. It is not just restricted to learning as a youth. For example, when you were old enough to get a driver’s license, you had to learn how to drive. You had to practice. You create a habit by learning. Once you learn how to drive, you don’t have to think about the details of driving.

Consider the first time you got into a car. Look how overwhelming it was for the conscious mind to deal with that. We have mirrors—rear-view mirrors, and mirrors on the door. We have this windscreen to check out what is going on in front of us. We have the dashboard with gauges and all kinds of things happening. We have the gas and brake pedals, and the clutch pedal if you have a manual transmission. When you learned how to drive, it was super complicated because so many details had to be considered.

Now you have been driving for a while, and guess what? When you get in the car, you do not have to think about any of those details. They are now automatic habits. I can get in a car, click the ignition key, start driving the car, and never once think about the details. Habit will manage the driving of the car for me. The subconscious mind is the habit mind. We learn habits through life experiences, as well as those that were programmed as instincts.

On the other hand, there is the conscious mind. The conscious mind is completely different in its function. It is a creative mind. It is the mind that expresses our wishes, our desires, our aspirations, and what we want from life.

If I say, “Hey Craig, tell me what you want from your life?” Whatever you offer is going to come from the conscious mind, because that is the creative wish. That is, something that you are looking forward to having. It does not exist, but you can visualize that it can occur. Consciousness is creative, and subconscious is habitual.

IMCJ: How do the conscious and subconscious minds work together?

Dr Lipton: I could look at my life and I say, “I want my conscious mind to run my life; that would be really great. Behavior would be controlled by wishes, desires, and aspirations, and I should be able to manifest it.” Well, here is the interesting conundrum: What happens when the conscious mind is engaged and not focusing on the world?

For example, Craig, what are you doing on Sunday at 2:00 PM? If you are going to answer that question, recognize that you have to take your conscious mind away from observing the world around you. It must go inside your head and look for the answer. Because the answer to “What are you going to do in the future?” is locked in some calendar inside your head. When you are thinking, the conscious mind has to go inside to process the information. Wait, if you are driving your vehicle, your biology is using the conscious mind. Then I start thinking, “Then who is controlling the vehicle at that moment?”

In the moment that the conscious mind is engaged in thinking, all functions are taken over by the habits stored in the subconscious mind. By definition, subconscious means “below consciousness.” That means I can continue walking down the street while my conscious mind is internally engaged in thought. As I am walking, I am not going to walk into a tree or fall off the curve because my subconscious mind functions as an autopilot.

I can either use my conscious mind to create my life, or if my conscious mind gets engaged in thinking or focusing on something, my life is taken over by the autopilot: the subconscious. On autopilot, the behavior that is going to be expressed comes from programs that were already downloaded into my mind. Here comes where the rubber hits the road on this. Before you create consciousness in your life, you have to have programs in your subconscious to give you a parallel story.

Consider that I go to the Apple Store and I am interested in buying a brand-new iPod. I am so excited; I got this new device. I get it out of the box and on the front of the iPod is something called the touch screen. This is where you have conscious control over the program. On the touch screen, I push play, and nothing happens.

Now I am really upset because I just spent all this money on a damned iPod and it does not work. There is this little 5-year-old kid standing next to me, looking up at me like I am an idiot. “Hey mister,” he says, “you can’t play any music until you download some music.” I say, “Oh yeah, there is a hard drive in the iPod.” You can put programs and music in the hard drive and then once you have these programs, you can use the touch screen to be creative with them.

The conscious mind is the touch screen. The conscious mind is creative. I can imagine things and I can do all these things, but the conscious mind cannot work if there is no program in the subconscious mind. This is why the first part of our lives, from the last trimester of pregnancy through the first 7 years of our lives, our brains are functioning at a lower vibration, as determined by electroencephalograph, or EEG. The brain predominantly operates in a vibration or frequency called theta for the first 7 years. Theta is a frequency lower than consciousness. Theta is actually a brain function associated with imagination.

Think about it. A kid under 7 years of age is riding a broom as a horse. In the mind of the child, that is not a broom anymore; that’s an actual horse. The kid can visualize being on a physical horse, riding it around when it is only a broom. That is theta; that is imagination. If the mother says, “Give me the broom back,” the child thinks, “I don’t understand what you’re talking about; this is a horse.” That is the character of theta. Theta is also hypnosis.

The relevance is that consciousness as a brain function, expressed as alpha EEG activity, does not really kick in until about age 7. If you do not have any data in the hard drive, you have nothing to be conscious of. Your biology provides the first 7 years as a download period. When you get to age 7, your consciousness then can have access to these programs and create a life from them. Just like I cannot create music playlists on my iPod until I download some music, first.

The issue is that the fundamental programs in our subconscious mind did not come from our personal wishes, our desires, or our spiritual quest. The first programs that come into our minds go into the subconscious mind as downloads via hypnosis in the theta period. But where did those programs come from? Observing others. Observing our mothers, our fathers, our siblings, and our communities in the first 7 years is how we acquire the behaviors to become a member of the family and a member of community. These behaviors do not reflect our wishes and desires; they are just copied from other people.

Here is the problem: The subconscious programs do not necessarily reflect or support my own wishes or my desires for health, happiness, and love. These things may not be in those programs I downloaded from other people. Then you say, “Okay, I’m not going to default to those programs. I’m just going to operate my life with my conscious mind.”

That is a wonderful intention. Scientific assessments reveal that the wishes, desires, and aspirations of our creative conscious minds only control cognitive behavior about 5% of the time. Subconscious programs are in control 95% of our lives. Why should that be? The answer goes back to, “Hey, Craig, what are you doing on Sunday?” That means your conscious, creative mind is now going inward looking for some answer in thought. At the same time, because it is going inward, it is not paying attention to what is going on to the outside. That is when the autopilot subconscious kicks in and controls our behavior.

Of the downloaded behaviors acquired before age 7, the vast majority—70% or more—are programs of limitation, disempowerment, and self-sabotage. These programs were acquired from other people, not from ourselves. Again, being subconscious, these programs are occurring without conscious recognition and awareness. Therefore, though we have the perception in our mind that we are controlling our lives with our wishes and desires, the truth is far from that. Since thought causes 95% of our cognitive behavior to be controlled by the subconscious—ie, below conscious—mind’s “invisible” behaviors, we struggle to manifest our conscious mind’s wishes and desires.

IMCJ: How does this interplay affect genetics?

Dr Lipton: Becoming aware of the subconscious source of our behavior gives us an opportunity to change our lives by rewriting the programs of limitation or the things that interfere with us. If we change those programs, we are empowered; free to express the wishes and desires of the conscious mind. This is really what the whole new biology is all about. Take us away from, “You are a victim of life,” to introducing the fact that we are the creators of our life. Our consciousness is the source of the great potential of creating heaven on Earth.

We must leave behind the notion of victim and recognize the new science of epigenetics—the science of mind over genes—in order for us to regain power and create the lives we would like.

IMCJ: Is there a time when this happens naturally?

Dr Lipton: Yes. When we fall head over heels in love with somebody, a profound change occurs in our lives. Your life could suck all the way up to the day you meet person X. The next day is like, “Oh my God, I’m so in love!” It is heaven on Earth. Things become more beautiful and life is so much easier. You are healthier. You are happier. You are creating a world of joy and love, and that’s called the honeymoon. When we fall in love, we stop focusing our conscious mind in thought and start keeping it present. It is called being mindful. Meaning, if you’ve been looking for this person your whole life, why would you redirect your mind to go interior into thought when what you have been looking for is right in front of your face?

Science has recognized that immediately after falling in love, we enter a period of mindfulness where we keep our conscious mind present. It means when you fall in love for the first time, you stop playing subconscious programs that have been controlling 95% of your life. You start running programs that are based on your conscious wishes and desires. All of a sudden, without the programs—without the subconscious programs—we begin to experience a heavenly life.

The programs eventually kick back in, because inevitably we start thinking again. Guess what? They sabotage the entire honeymoon experience, which ultimately disappears; then life returns to the way it was beforehand. The vast majority of those programs are disempowering and self-sabotaging. We are quite powerful if we can get out of the program.

This is where the future will take us: Knowledge that we are powerful is quite different than the program we receive that we are victims. We are moving into a new future where we start to recognize, “Oh my God, my mind is creating the problems.”

Getting back to health, it comes down to a simple fact: Less than 1% of disease is associated with genetics. Over 90% of disease is a total reflection of environment and especially our programming: the disempowering, self-sabotaging behaviors that we acquired in the first 7 years. Since those disempowering programs are based on our environment and our perception, and since we can change the environment and our perception, we have the power to free ourselves from disease and to start living that happily-ever-after honeymoon of life experiences that we all believe that we can have. The way to do that is by eliminating the self-sabotaging subconscious programs acquired during the first 7 years of our lives.

IMCJ: What have you observed on the cellular level that leads you believe that the cells demonstrate this awareness?

Dr Lipton: As I said, I grew cells in tissue culture dishes and used culture medium to approximate blood. In addition to nutrition and oxygen carried in the blood, the blood is also sending information: signals, hormones, growth factors, and neuroregulatory agents. Information is in the environment of the cell. This information, by interfacing with the cell membrane—which is the brain of the cell—then enables the cell to engage in behaviors that are elicited by this information. The cell becomes aware of the environment by reading the information in the culture medium, the natural culture medium called blood.

Signal transduction, a new science, reveals the pathways by which an environmental signal engages a biological behavior. The interface of the cell membrane reads the environment of the cell and, in response to the information, adjusts the behavior and genetics of the cell to survive in that environment. The awareness process becomes biological awareness of the interface of the cell membrane, which then translates the environmental information into biological behaviors—signal transduction.

Part of signal transduction is the new science we mentioned, epigenetics. Signal transduction is the whole process: Environmental signals controlling cell behavior and cell behavior include genetics. The environmental signal via signal transduction can go into the nucleus and selectively change the reading of our gene blueprints.

IMCJ: That can elicit a differentiated response?

Dr Lipton: Absolutely. This is why a change in perception of an individual can change their biology, virtually immediately. How fast can you change genetics? There are studies that showed the genetic readout of some inflammatory genes in a group of people who then went through a meditation process. After 8 hours of meditation, the activity of the genes changed. How long did it take? Well, less than 8 hours.

You can change your genetic activity by how you change your response to the environment. The commonly held perception is that your genes are a blueprint of your life—this is totally false. The blueprint of your life is based on your perception, because your genes will change according to your perceptions via epigenetics. Rather than putting emphasis on genes controlling life, the emphasis is fully turned around to recognize your perceptions, via signal transduction, are translated into biological behavior. These factors control not only your behavior but also control your genetic activity.

IMCJ: You mentioned that you see the cell membrane as the brain of the cell. Doesn’t that conflict with conventional wisdom at this point that the nucleus is the brain of the cell?

Dr Lipton: Well yes, because we have held that the genes are self-actualizing. Which means that if genes are capable of turning themselves on and off, like we thought, then that would make the nucleus of the cell the brain. Because that is where the genes are located—essentially, 98% of them. Since genes were then given the opportunity of self-actualization, then all the decisions are being made by the genes in the nucleus. Well, that turns out to be totally false. Genes are not self-actualizing. They do not make any decisions at all. The control of genes is not due to any inherent activity in the DNA itself. The change of genetic activity is due to the interaction of the cell with environmental signals.

When I put my cells in the tissue culture, the fate of the cells was not determined by the genes. They all had the same genes. The fate of the cell was determined by the information in the environment.

So, what is reading that information? The answer is, “Not the genes directly.” It is the cell membrane through receptors picking up the signals and translating them into biology, which then sends signals into the nucleus, which then controls the genetic activity. This is the essence of what the new science epigenetics is all about. Genes do not make decisions, so then the question is this: “If they are not making decisions, where are our decisions being made?” That takes us back to the cell membrane, which is the first organelle to evolve in the evolution of cells.

If there was no membrane, of course, there is no cell. As the interface between what is outside the cell and inside the cell, the membrane reads both environments. In this position, the membrane reads the external environment and then adjusts the functions of the internal environment to keep the cell alive. The idea of genes controlling biology is totally false. I understood this in 1964 when I did my first enucleation experiments. If you remove the brain from any living organism, the necessary consequence is death. So, if the nucleus is the brain of the cell, then the process called enucleation, which is removing the nucleus using a micropipette, should lead to the death of the cell.

Guess what? You can enucleate a cell. The cell will survive for months without any genes in it. It is not just sitting there; it’s doing every function it had before. It is moving around. It is ingesting food. It is breathing. It is defecating. It is communicating with other cells. All of this is happening without genes. Well then, obviously something must be coordinating the behavior of the cell and there are no genes in it. Where the heck is the control coming from? The answer is what led me to the cell membrane. The cell membrane is the interface of control. Genes are just responsive elements farther down the line.

The relevance is that the whole DNA story perpetrated and propagated by Watson and Crick as “DNA controls life and it’s self-replicating, therefore it controls itself,” led to something called a central dogma, which is a reflection of how information flows in biology’s conventional thought. This convention stipulates that information flows from DNA to RNA to protein in a unidirectional manner; this flow of information led to the belief that genes control our lives. Unfortunately, Watson and Crick left some very important stuff out of that explanation. They left out the membrane proteins and the chromosomal proteins that control the DNA, called regulatory proteins. But even those proteins are controlled by environmental signals. It is not DNA to RNA to protein.

The new understanding is: environmental signals to regulatory protein to DNA to RNA and then to protein. Why is it relevant? DNA is not at the top of that information scheme; the environment is. Leaving out the chromosomal regulatory proteins, which are responsible for regulating DNA, we had a complete misperception on the nature and role of DNA in controlling our lives.

Northwestern University, dalam artikelnya berjudul “Poverty leaves a mark on our genes: Study’s findings challenge understandings of genes as fixed features of our biology”, ScienceDaily, 4 April 2019. <www. sciencedaily .com/releases/2019/04/190404135433.htm>, diakses pada tanggal 9 September 2021, menguraikan sebagai berikut:

A new Northwestern University study challenges prevailing understandings of genes as immutable features of biology that are fixed at conception.

Previous research has shown that socioeconomic status (SES) is a powerful determinant of human health and disease, and social inequality is a ubiquitous stressor for human populations globally. Lower educational attainment and/or income predict increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, many cancers and infectious diseases, for example. Furthermore, lower SES is associated with physiological processes that contribute to the development of disease, including chronic inflammation, insulin resistance and cortisol dysregulation.

In this study, researchers found evidence that poverty can become embedded across wide swaths of the genome. They discovered that lower socioeconomic status is associated with levels of DNA methylation (DNAm) -- a key epigenetic mark that has the potential to shape gene expression -- at more than 2,500 sites, across more than 1,500 genes.

In other words, poverty leaves a mark on nearly 10 percent of the genes in the genome.

Lead author Thomas McDade said this is significant for two reasons.

“First, we have known for a long time that SES is a powerful determinant of health, but the underlying mechanisms through which our bodies ‘remember’ the experiences of poverty are not known,” said McDade, professor of anthropology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and director of the Laboratory for Human Biology Research.

“Our findings suggest that DNA methylation may play an important role, and the wide scope of the associations between SES and DNAm is consistent with the wide range of biological systems and health outcomes we know to be shaped by SES.”

Secondly, said McDade, also a faculty fellow at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research, experiences over the course of development become embodied in the genome, to literally shape its structure and function.

There is no nature vs. nurture,” he adds.

McDade said he was surprised to find so many associations between socioeconomic status and DNA methylation, across such a large number of genes.

“This pattern highlights a potential mechanism through which poverty can have a lasting impact on a wide range of physiological systems and processes,” he said.

Follow-up studies will be needed to determine the health consequences of differential methylation at the sites the researchers identified, but many of the genes are associated with processes related to immune responses to infection, skeletal development and development of the nervous system.

“These are the areas we'll be focusing on to determine if DNA methylation is indeed an important mechanism through which socioeconomic status can leave a lasting molecular imprint on the body, with implications for health later in life,” McDade said.

Journal Reference : Thomas W. McDade, Calen P. Ryan, Meaghan J. Jones, Morgan K. Hoke, Judith Borja, Gregory E. Miller, Christopher W. Kuzawa, Michael S. Kobor. Genome‐wide analysis of DNA methylation in relation to socioeconomic status during development and early adulthood. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2019.

Sebagai sintesa dari pandangan penulis secara pribadi yang kemudian menemukan afirmasinya menurut pandangan Prof. Lipton sebagaimana diulas di atas, dikotomi bermuara perdebatan tiada usainya antara kedua kiblat deterministik, sejatinya telah mencampu-adukkan antara ranah “alam sadar” dan “alam bawah sadar”, mengakibatkan berbagai kerancuan dan kekeliruan persepsi. Tiada proses berkesadaran pada “alam bawah sadar” yang selama ini menguasai hampir seluruh periode hidup kita, karenanya mustahil terdapat kehendak bebas.

Bila kita membiarkan “alam bawah sadar” menguasai seluruh waktu hidup kita, jadilah entah itu deterministik genetik, lingkungan, ataupun apapun itu namanya, benar-benar terjadi. Dengan membangkitkan kekuatan “alam sadar”, kita menjadi berkesadaran—atau juga sebaliknya, dengan menjadi berkesadaran kita membangkitkan “alam sadar”—yang karenanya kita menjadi berdaya atas hidup kita sendiri, bukan lagi sebagai korban keadaan yang tidak berdaya tanpa pilihan.

Bila tiada kehendak bebas, manusia memang menjadi budak dari biologinya, namun seorang anak manusia tersusun atas tubuh dan jiwa, dimana jiwa selalu bertansformasi tanpa bentuk yang permanen. Faktanya, di dalam rezim domain kekuasaan “alam bawah sadar”, sama sekali tiada ruang bagi pilihan ataupun kehendak bebas, yang ada ialah deterministik semata, apapun itu sebutan atau julukannya, entah “deterministik genetik” ataupun “deterministik pengaruh lingkungan”. Akan tetapi, domain ranah jiwa, masih menjadi misteri hingga saat kini, ia tunduk pada alam sadar ataukah sebaliknya, meski sains mulai masuk lebih dalam dengan penelitian terhadap fenomena “reborn”, kelahiran kembali. Bila jiwa tidak memiliki DNA atau genetik, maka mengapa jiwa dari satu kelahiran ke kelahiran beriktunya dapat demikian memiliki watak pembawaan yang hampir serupa?

Sementara itu, pilihan serta kehendak bebas dapat kita bangkitkan dari kekuatan “alam sadar”. Itulah sebabnya, seorang Pangeran Siddharta Gotama mampu melepas kungkungan penjara bernama tubuh, lewat proses aktivitas berkesadaran penuh (olah kesadaran) bernama meditasi yang dalam padanan katanya ialah “mindfulness”, sehingga mencapai “Yang Tercerahkan”—istilah lain dari “Buddha”—yang tidak lagi tunduk pada supremasi genetik ataupun pengaruh lingkungan, merdeka dan bebas seutuhnya dan sepenuhnya.

Sebagai penutup, telah ternyata, kita senantiasa membawa jejak kehidupan lampau kita maupun jejak-jejak langkah perbuatan pada kehidupan kita saat kini untuk kita warisi di kehidupan mendatang. Bahwa, jiwa pun ternyata memiliki semacam “deterministik jiwa” atau semacam “sidik jari” yang khas, sebagaimana diulas oleh penemuan fenomenal dewasa ini oleh seorang peneliti bernama dr. Walter Semkiw, dalam buku yang ditulisnya berjudul “BORN AGAIN, Kasus Kelahiran kembali Tokoh dan Selebriti”, Penerjemah : Tasfan Santacitta, Penerbit Awareness Publication, Jakarta, Cetakan 2, Des 2014, menuliskan dalam kutipan sebagai berikut di bawah ini (kata-kata asli dari Walter Semkiw, redaksi sekadar mengutip, namun terpaksa merubah redaksional frasa “reinkarnasi” menjadi “kelahiran kembali”), dengan kutipan sebagai berikut:

Lika-liku, bentuk, dan proporsi wajah tampaknya konsisten dari satu kehidupan ke kehidupan lain. Kebiasaan fisik, seperti postur, gerakan tangan, serta jenis perhiasan yang dipakai juga bisa konsisten dari satu kehidupan ke kehidupan lain. Bahkan pose-pose yang tertangkap dalam lukisan diri dan foto anehnya sering serupa dari satu kehidupan ke kehidupan lainnya.

Tipikal tubuh juga bisa konsisten, meski ukuran tubuh bisa beragam. Seorang individu bisa memiliki fisik yang lemah dalam satu kehidupan dan fisik yang kuat di kehidupan berikutnya. Seseorang bisa saja pendek dalam satu kelahiran kembali dan tinggi dalam kelahiran kembali berikutnya, meski karakteristik wajah, postur, dan gerakgerik tampaknya tetap sama.

Untuk catatan, riset kelahiran kembali saya menunjukkan bahwa dalam sekitar 10-20% kasus, jiwa bisa berganti jenis kelamin. Bahkan dalam kasus-kasus seperti ini pun, bangun-wajah masih tetap konsisten. Secara keseluruhan, sebagian besar orang (80-90%) tidak berubah jenis kelaminnya dari satu kehidupan ke kehidupan lainnya, dan agaknya hakikat kita memiliki sifat dasar maskulin atau feminin.

Mereka yang dasarnya maskulin cenderung terlahir berulang sebagai pria. Sedang mereka yang dasarnya feminin lebih memilih kembali dalam tubuh perempuan. Saya pikir, bagaimanapun, kita semua sudah berganti gender secara berkala, untuk belajar bagaimana rasanya menjadi gender yang berbeda. Ciri kepribadian agaknya bertahan dari kehidupan ke kehidupan. Cara seseorang memandang kehidupan dan cara orang lain mempersepsikan diri Anda juga tetap konsisten. Beberapa ciri kepribadian kita bersifat positif dan kita membawa sertanya menjadi manfaat.

Sedangkan beberapa ciri kepribadian lainnya bisa membawa kerugian dan menyebabkan penderitaan dari kehidupan ke kehidupan. Tampaknya, evolusi kita berperan untuk menghaluskan bagian-bagian yang kasar dalam pembawaan kita. Sebagai contoh, katakan saja ada seseorang yang sifatnya sangat agresif. Keuntungan menjadi seorang agresif adalah orang ini mencapai tujuan-tujuannya. Aspek negatifnya adalah orang lain mungkin terluka oleh pendekatan agresif itu.

Tujuan bagi seorang yang agresif selama periode satu masa kehidupan atau lebih adalah untuk belajar mempertimbangkan perasaan orang lain. Meski ciri kepribadian tetap konsisten, saya telah mengamati bahwa penyakit badan maupun batin tidak bertahan dari satu kehidupan ke lainnya. Individu-individu yang memiliki ketergantungan secara kimia atau mengidap penyakit kejiwaan dalam suatu kehidupan sebelumnya tampaknya tidak membawa kelainan-kelainan ini ke kehidupan selanjutnya. Secara spiritual dan intelektual, kita tampaknya melanjutkan apa yang sebelumnya kita tinggalkan. Pencapaian-pencapaian yang telah kita raih dengan susah payah dalam pengejaran spiritual dan intelektual tetap bertahan—menjadi bagian dari diri kita.

Karena itu, upaya-upaya untuk memajukan diri kita tidak pernah sia-sia dan kita terus membangun sesuai upaya kita dari kehidupan ke kehidupan. Sama juga, bakat bisa muncul melalui satu kehidupan ke lainnya, namun sebaliknya, jika jiwa perlu mengambil jalur yang berbeda dalam masa kehidupan tertentu, bakat-bakat tersebut kadang terhalang. Sekalipun kita memiliki tingkat kematangan spiritual dan pengembangan intelektual yang sama di sepanjang kehidupan-kehidupan, kita bisa bertukar antara menjadi miskin dan kaya, terkenal dan tidak dikenal. Kita bergiliran berada di dalam atau di luar lampu sorot.

Status kita dalam kehidupan agaknya ditentukan oleh karma yang telah kita ciptakan dalam kehidupan-kehidupan yang lampau, serta oleh pelajaran-pelajaran yang telah ditentukan oleh jiwa kita sendiri. Tentu saja, ada pola bahwa jiwa yang kuat akan kembali menjadi jiwa yang kuat, seniman besar kembali sebagai seniman besar, dan mereka yang berpengaruh pada masa silam akan melakukannya lagi dalam kehidupan berikutnya.

Lebih spesifiknya, nuansa dan kecenderungan nama yang kita pilih seringkali sama dari satu masa kehidupan ke lainnya. Tentu saja, orangtua kitalah yang memberi kita nama pada saat kelahiran, tetapi ketika beranjak dewasa, kita memilih versi nama yang diberikan kepada kita sesuai dengan yang kita inginkan. Sebagian memilih memakai nama tengah ketimbang nama pertama, ada pula yang lebih menyukai nama panggilan atau menggunakan inisial. Kita cenderung memilih variasi dari nama kita yang mencerminkan irama batin, suatu pola energi atau corak energi. Seperti halnya ciri kepribadian tetap konsisten dari kehidupan ke kehidupan, cara ekspresi seseorang tampaknya sama dari satu kehidupan ke kehidupan.

Dalam kasus John B. Gordon / Jeff Keene, sebuah analisis resmi linguistik yang dilakukan oleh profesor sebuah universitas memang menunjukkan bahwa struktur penulisan bisa tetap sama dari satu kelahiran kembali ke kelahiran kembali lainnya. Tentu saja ada beberapa variasi gaya menulis yang dikarenakan perbedaan tradisi dari berbagai zaman. Akan tetapi, konsistensi dalam gaya ekspresi maupun isi tetap teramati. Seperti potret-potret yang membuat kita bisa melihat bagaimana penampakan seseorang sama dari satu kehidupan ke kehidupan, dokumen sejarah, buku harian, dan berbagai dokumentasi lainnya memungkinkan kita mempelajari gaya penulisan lintas kelahiran kembali.

Orang-orang agaknya datang ke kehidupan dalam kelompok-kelompok, berdasarkan pada karma bersama dan ikatan emosional. Pasangan sering kembali bersama dan seluruh anggota keluarga dapat berulang. Ketika seseorang terlahir lagi, para anggota lain dari kelompok karma orang tadi akan hadir. Pengenalan anggota dari kelompok karma orang tersebut merupakan kriteria penting lainnya dalam memastikan pencocokan kehidupan lampau.

Sejatinya, pertumbuhan dan evolusi manusia tidak bisa berlangsung tanpa adanya kehendak bebas. Sebagian orang mungkin memiliki rute perjalanan yang lebih terstruktur sehingga membatasi lintasan sampingan, sementara orang lain memiliki aturan main yang tidak terlalu terstruktur. Namun demikian, kita tetap memiliki kehendak bebas di sepanjang jalur takdir kita. Kelompok-kelompok karma memberikan wawasan mengenai pengalaman deja vu. Jika kita berjumpa dengan orang-orang yang telah kita kenal di kehidupan lampau, tidaklah mengejutkan bahwa kita memiliki sepercik pengenalan ketika kita bertemu. Karena orang memiliki pola perilaku yang konsisten, kita bisa mengenali berbagai sifat dan reaksi unik ketika situasi-situasi tersebut terjadi kembali.

Suatu ciri umum dalam riset kehidupan lampau adalah simbol-simbol dari kehidupan lampau biasanya ditemukan pada kelahiran kembali individu yang sekarang dan kejadian-kejadian sinkron yang terjadi seolah memperkuat hubungan kehidupan silam. Dalam kasus saya pribadi, banyak kejadian-kejadian “kebetulan” yang seakan menghubungkan kehidupan silam saya sebagai John Adams, seorang pemimpin dalam Revolusi Amerika di Boston. Sebagai contoh, saya pertama kali bicara di depan umum mengenai kehidupan lampau saya di “Publick House” di Massachusetts, yang dibangun pada tahun 1711, di sebuah ruangan yang penuh dengan pernak-pernik zaman Revolusi.

Sekitar 50% kasus-kasus kelahiran kembali yang diteliti Dr. Stevenson, kematian dini ataupun tragis terjadi dalam kehidupan sebelumnya. Dr. Stevenson menemukan bahwa individu-individu yang meninggal karena luka-luka yang traumatik, seperti luka karena peluru atau pisau, seringkali terlahir dalam kelahiran kembali berikutnya dengan bekas luka yang mencerminkan luka-luka yang terjadi dalam kehidupan sebelumnya. Dalam kehidupan kini, anak sering memiliki fobia yang berkaitan dengan penyebab kematian dalam kehidupan sebelumnya.

Sifat kepribadian, kesukaan, dan kebiasaan seringkali bertahan dari satu kelahiran kembali ke lainnya. Penampakan fisik yang dilaporkan sering sama dalam sejumlah kasus. Dalam 95% dari kasus Dr. Ian Stevenson, anak kembali dalam jenis kelamin yang sama dengan kehidupan sebelumnya. Jadi, hanya dalam 5% kasus terjadi peralihan jenis kelamin dari satu kehidupan ke lainnya. Pada tahun 1998, Dr. Stevenson meneliti ulang kasus-kasus yang ia teliti dua puluh tahun yang lalu. Dua di antara kasus-kasus tersebut, tersedia foto-foto dari individu-individu dari kehidupan sebelumnya. Gambar-gambar ini menunjukkan bahwa setelah usia dewasa, penampakan fisik konsisten dari satu kehidupan ke kehidupan berikutnya.

Dr. Stevenson telah meneliti nyaris 3.000 kasus yang mana anak-anak dilaporkan mampu mengingat kehidupan lampau. Dr. Stevenson memiliki kriteria yang ketat untuk mempertimbangkan kasus-kasus yang sahih dan dari 3.000 kasus yang ia periksa, sekitar seribu memenuhi kriterianya sebagai otentik. Meski Dr. Stevenson tidak memfokuskan pada kecocokan penampakan fisik pada tahun-tahun awal risetnya, kasus-kasus Suzanne Ghanem, Daniel Jurdi, dan yang lain-lain telah membuat ia merevisi pendekatannya. Hanan Monsour dan Suzanne Ghanem memiliki arsitektur wajah yang sama, ciri wajah yang senada.

Rashid Khaddege dan Daniel Jurdi juga memiliki fitur wajah yang serupa. Sebuah foto yang membandingkan antara Khaddege dan Jurdi dilampirkan di akhir bab ini. Untuk melihat kesamaan bangun-wajah Hanan Monsour dan Suzanne Ghanem, silakan rujuk buku Old Souls oleh Tom Shrode. Dalam bukunya, Where Biology and Reincarnation Intersect, Dr. Stevenson menyarankan agar peneliti-peneliti pada masa mendatang secara sistematis mempelajari “kemiripan wajah antara subyek dan kepribadian sebelumnya.”

Bukti obyektif kelahiran kembali menunjukkan bahwa orang-orang memiliki ciri kepribadian yang sama, dan seringkali bakat yang sama, dari kehidupan ke kehidupan.

Menjadi patut kita pertanyakan serta menjadi sebentuk hipotesis baru, mungkinkah “deterministik genetika tubuh” merupakan delusi, sementara yang sejatinya terjadi dan berlangsung selama ini ialah “deterministik jiwa”? Mungkinkah “deterministik jiwa” tersebut yang membuat tubuh seseorang menjadi bertumbuh dengan memiliki seperangkat organ tubuh dilengkapi kode genetik yang ada, mengingat pada awal pembuahan dalam rahim, sel punca yang ada ialah sebatas sel induk sebelum kemudian membelah dan terdiferensiasi menjadi sel-sel yang lebih spesifik dan menghasilkan perpaduan sepasang kromosom yang unik yang bersifat personal.

Bila ternyata selama ini para ilmuan dan pakar kita meleset menetapkan objek studi dan penelitian, untuk mencari akar penyebab deterministime yang menimpa umat manusia, bisa jadi selamanya akan menjadi misteri yang tetap terkubur rapat. Beruntunglah sains kini merambah pula ranah metafisika seperti perihal fenomena kelahiran kembali yang kian empirik dan terungkap dalam banyak kasus yang dapat diverifikasi secara metodologi ilmiah.

Itulah antinomi atau paradoksal kehidupan, di dalam kepastian terdapat ketidakpastian, sementara di dalam ketidakpastian terdapat kepastian. Di dalam determinisme terkandung pilihan bebas, dan di dalam kehendak bebas bersarang pula determinisme. Apapun itu, mengubah nasib bukanlah sekadar bermimpi, itu membutuhkan kerja keras sepanjang hayat, lintas generasi dan lintas kehidupan, secara BERKESADARAN PENUH. Merubah nasib dan membebaskan diri dari kungkungan diktatoriat “deterministik nasib”, membutuhkan serangkaian langkah serta pendekatan evolusi berkesadaran yang bukan sekadar menghabiskan waktu, pula bukan revolusi.

© Hak Cipta HERY SHIETRA.

Budayakan hidup JUJUR dengan menghargai Jirih Payah, Hak Cipta, Hak Moril, dan Hak Ekonomi Hery Shietra selaku Penulis.

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