A Message from David Kessler
I was privileged to co-author two books with the legendary, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, as well as adapt her well-respected stages of dying for those in grief. As expected, the stages would present themselves differently in grief. In our book, On Grief and Grieving we present the adapted stages in the much needed area of grief. The stages have evolved since their introduction and have been very misunderstood over the past four decades. They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss as there is no typical loss.
The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Our hope is that with these stages comes the knowledge of grief ‘s terrain, making us better equipped to cope with life and loss. At times, people in grief will often report more stages. Just remember your grief is an unique as you are.
Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief
In this groundbreaking new work, David Kessler—an expert on grief and the coauthor with Elisabeth Kübler-Ross of the iconic On Grief and Grieving—journeys beyond the classic five stages to discover a sixth stage: meaning.
In this book, Kessler gives readers a roadmap to remembering those who have died with more love than pain; he shows us how to move forward in a way that honors our loved ones. Kessler’s insight is both professional and intensely personal. His journey with grief began when, as a child, he witnessed a mass shooting at the same time his mother was dying. For most of his life, Kessler taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about end of life, trauma, and grief, as well as leading talks and retreats for those experiencing grief. Despite his knowledge, his life was upended by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son.
How does the grief expert handle such a tragic loss? He knew he had to find a way through this unexpected, devastating loss, a way that would honor his son. That, ultimately, was the sixth state of grief—meaning. In Finding Meaning, Kessler shares the insights, collective wisdom, and powerful tools that will help those experiencing loss. Read More
The Five Stages of Grief
Denial is the first of the five stages of grief. It helps us to survive the loss. In this stage, the world becomes meaningless and overwhelming. Life makes no sense. We are in a state of shock and denial. We go numb. We wonder how we can go on, if we can go on, why we should go on. We try to find a way to simply get through each day. Denial and shock help us to cope and make survival possible. Denial helps us to pace our feelings of grief. There is a grace in denial. It is nature’s way of letting in only as much as we can handle. As you accept the reality of the loss and start to ask yourself questions, you are unknowingly beginning the healing process. You are becoming stronger, and the denial is beginning to fade. But as you proceed, all the feelings you were denying begin to surface.
Anger is a necessary stage of the healing process. Be willing to feel your anger, even though it may seem endless. The more you truly feel it, the more it will begin to dissipate and the more you will heal. There are many other emotions under the anger and you will get to them in time, but anger is the emotion we are most used to managing. The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God. You may ask, “Where is God in this? Underneath anger is pain, your pain. It is natural to feel deserted and abandoned, but we live in a society that fears anger. Anger is strength and it can be an anchor, giving temporary structure to the nothingness of loss. At first grief feels like being lost at sea: no connection to anything. Then you get angry at someone, maybe a person who didn’t attend the funeral, maybe a person who isn’t around, maybe a person who is different now that your loved one has died. Suddenly you have a structure – – your anger toward them. The anger becomes a bridge over the open sea, a connection from you to them. It is something to hold onto; and a connection made from the strength of anger feels better than nothing.We usually know more about suppressing anger than feeling it. The anger is just another indication of the intensity of your love.
Before a loss, it seems like you will do anything if only your loved one would be spared. “Please God, ” you bargain, “I will never be angry at my wife again if you’ll just let her live.” After a loss, bargaining may take the form of a temporary truce. “What if I devote the rest of my life to helping others. Then can I wake up and realize this has all been a bad dream?” We become lost in a maze of “If only…” or “What if…” statements. We want life returned to what is was; we want our loved one restored. We want to go back in time: find the tumor sooner, recognize the illness more quickly, stop the accident from happening…if only, if only, if only. Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. The “if onlys” cause us to find fault in ourselves and what we “think” we could have done differently. We may even bargain with the pain. We will do anything not to feel the pain of this loss. We remain in the past, trying to negotiate our way out of the hurt. People often think of the stages as lasting weeks or months. They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another. We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion. We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one.
After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though it will last forever. It’s important to understand that this depression is not a sign of mental illness. It is the appropriate response to a great loss. We withdraw from life, left in a fog of intense sadness, wondering, perhaps, if there is any point in going on alone? Why go on at all? Depression after a loss is too often seen as unnatural: a state to be fixed, something to snap out of. The first question to ask yourself is whether or not the situation you’re in is actually depressing. The loss of a loved one is a very depressing situation, and depression is a normal and appropriate response. To not experience depression after a loved one dies would be unusual. When a loss fully settles in your soul, the realization that your loved one didn’t get better this time and is not coming back is understandably depressing. If grief is a process of healing, then depression is one of the many necessary steps along the way.
Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing. In resisting this new norm, at first many people want to maintain life as it was before a loved one died. In time, through bits and pieces of acceptance, however, we see that we cannot maintain the past intact. It has been forever changed and we must readjust. We must learn to reorganize roles, re-assign them to others or take them on ourselves.
Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones. As we begin to live again and enjoy our life, we often feel that in doing so, we are betraying our loved one. We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, new meaningful relationships, new inter-dependencies. Instead of denying our feelings, we listen to our needs; we move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives. We invest in our friendships and in our relationship with ourselves. We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time.
What 1000s of Near Death Experiences Can Teach Us About Dying
Since 1998, Jeffrey Long, M.D., a radiation oncologist in Louisiana, has been collecting and documenting near-death experiences—across cultures, languages, and countries. To date, he has many thousands of them. While throughout his career, he’s worked with patients who are grappling with the potential of end of life, his interest in the reality of NDE’s was stoked by a study he read in a medical journal, followed by a friend’s recounting of their own experience—which seemed more real to this friend than life itself. Dr. Long launched his site, NDERF.com, with a detailed survey in order to create as much scientific structure as possible—and he employs translators across the globe to help collate the NDE’s into a cohesive understanding of what might happen after we die, and the statistical prevalence of certain features appearing (life review, encountering spiritual beings, being stopped at a boundary, etc.). He has written several books, including New York Times bestsellers—Evidence of the Afterlife is a great place to start for an overview of his findings—which establish undeniable themes that hold regardless of religious background, language, age, or cultural background. (What’s most incredible are the NDE’s of young children, who have never been exposed to the concept, as well as NDE’s of those who were born blind, yet have vision for the first time on the other side.) Below, we asked him some more questions.
A Q&A on Near Death Experiences with Jeffrey Long, M.D.
There are accounts of many mystical experiences and encounters “beyond the veil”—why did you decide to focus on near-death experiences? And why do you believe that only about 10 percent of people who become clinically dead experience one?
For decades, researchers, myself included, would scratch our heads and wonder why some people have near-death experiences and why some people don’t. And why, despite the fact that there are very strong, consistent patterns, no two experiences are alike. What’s going on with all that?
I think the Rosetta Stone of understanding came for me many years ago when someone shared a near-death experience that was an incredibly blissful and positive experience. She firmly believed that she had encountered God in an unearthly realm during her near-death experience. And for the first time out of thousands of instances that I’ve ever seen, she asked God directly: “Why me? Why was I so blessed to have this experience happen to me?” God’s response was very revealing: “Love falls on everyone equally; this is what you needed to live your life.”
I think that helps explain why some people have these experiences and some don’t. I think it’s coming from a wisdom outside of ourselves. And I think it helps explain why people have very similar experiences, yet no two are identical.
You have found that near-death experiences dramatically change peoples lives—why do you think that is?
Oh yes, enormously. It’s interesting, we’ve asked very direct survey questions about that, so we have some quantified data. The great majority of people who experience a near-death experience change. And unlike virtually every other transformative human experience or life-changing event of earthly origin, the changes in their life actually seem to become progressive and more notable the longer they live. These changes can go on for decades and you just wouldn’t do that in response to an experience that you understood to be unreal or hallucinatory. In fact, we ask that as a very direct survey question: What do you currently believe about the reality of your experience? And of about 590 NDE responders, 95 percent say the experience was definitely real with the other options being probably real, probably not real, and definitely not real. So among those that have these experiences, virtually everybody knows that it was a real thing. It’s just much harder to believe for those of us who have never had one. Seeing is believing. If you don’t personally have a near-death experience, which is again a blessing—obviously these people nearly died—it’s hard to understand these unearthly experiences.
For some people, do these have the quality of a vivid dream?
That’s a great question. In the very first version of the survey in 1998 when I first put the website up, I asked that question: Was your experience dream-like in any way? I deliberately worded that in a somewhat non-scientific way because it was leading them to answer yes if any part of their NDE was dreamlike. I thought, geez that’s about as aggressively as I can conceive of wording a question to bring out any dream-like aspects, at any time, in any way during the experience. Well, the responses to that question were so overwhelmingly, “NO, absolutely not, no way, are you kidding?” I felt bad I was asking them that because the responses were not only so uniformly no, but so emphatically no. I ended up taking that question out because I got a tongue thrashing up behind the ears. That was one of the very first things I learned at the dawn of my research and understanding: No, near-death experiences are not dream-like in any way.
What were the other similarities in response to survey questions that reinforced your belief that these are so real?
In my first book I had nine lines of evidence for the reality of near-death experiences. What’s most persuasive to me as a physician-researcher is a little bit different than the lines of evidence that are most persuasive to the public. The public is very persuaded by a near-death experiencer who was totally blind from birth and yet had a highly visual NDE—it was the first time she ever saw. And they are also persuaded by out-of-body experiences. In a little over 40 percent of my surveys, NDE’rs observed things that were geographically far from their physical body, that were way outside of any possible physical central awareness. Typically, someone who has an NDE with an out-of-body experience comes back and reports what they saw and heard while floating around, it’s about 98 percent accurate in every way. For example, in one account someone who coded in the operating room had an out-of-body experience where their consciousness traveled to the hospital cafeteria where they saw and heard their family and others talking, completely unaware that they had coded. They were absolutely correct in what they saw. These types of out-of-body experiences are very persuasive to a lot of people.
“Typically, someone who has an NDE with an out-of-body experience comes back and reports what they saw and heard while floating around, it’s about 98 percent accurate in every way.”
A lot of people with a medical or scientific background, like me, are very persuaded by people who have had near-death experiences while under general anesthesia. Under adequate general anesthesia, they’re very carefully monitoring heart respiration—in fact, it’s artificially controlled in many operations because you literally shut the brain down to the point where the brain can’t simultaneously breathe. And so the person needs to be artificially ventilated. When their heart stops, i.e., when they code, and they’re under general anesthesia, it’s extremely well-documented that they have no brain activity—yet, when these people have an out-of-body experience, what they report of what goes on during codes is what really happens, and not what Hollywood shows. Its frantic, crash carts aren’t immediately available, there can be some swearing typically by the doctors. It is very difficult for everybody there. It’s not like what they show on TV—you would have to be there to accurately report on what is happening. After this out-of-body experience, when they then go on to have a typical near-death experience, it again seems doubly impossible. For one, they’re under general anesthesia and there shouldn’t be any possibility of any conscious experience; secondly, their heart has stopped, and 10-20 seconds after your heart stops, the electroencephalogram, or EEG, that measures brain critical electrical activity goes absolutely flat. So, during general anesthesia to have your heart stop and have a near-death experience absolutely, in my mind, almost single-handedly refutes the possibility of a near-death experience being the result of a physical brain function as we know it. It is not a dream state, it is not a hallucination. It is absolutely beyond any medical explanation.
Do you believe that someone has to be physically dead to trigger a near-death experience?
My definition of near-death experience is fairly stringent among researchers. In other words, they have to be unconscious at the time of the experience or clinically dead with absent heartbeat and respiration. They have to be so physically compromised, that if they didn’t get better they would suffer permanent irreversible death. I think that’s what the public, in general, accepts near-death experience to be. In the media public vernacular, the deader the better. Now, having said all that, we have a huge number of experiences that can occur without a life-threatening event. Just an hour ago, I reviewed an experience from this week, and one of them was a dream. If you pulled out the very beginning of it and the very end of it, it would be indistinguishable in most people’s minds from a near death experience: In the dream, he felt he had died, suffered pain, the pain immediately went away, he had an out-of-body experience, he felt intensely positive feelings, he approached a light and was told it’s not your time, he felt resentment that he had to come back. All that is a classic near-death experience. And yet, this is what made me wonder: He woke up, and called it a dream, but said he had blood on his tongue and a bad taste in his mouth. I am suspicious that he had a seizure. That would explain the tongue biting, though there was no indication of any seizure disorder before or after. And he had what sounds more like sleep paralysis. So I scored that one as just being NDE-like.
There are a number of people within a number of different circumstances who have experienced non-dreams as an out-of-body experience. Prayer and meditation are the most common settings in which people have experiences that resemble near-death experiences.
Based on your research, what do you think happens to consciousness after death?
Part of what I’ve been doing some research on lately may offer a direct answer to that important question. Certainly, you can’t ask that question of people who die irreversibly, but I now have a growing number of what I call shared near-death experiences. This is where two or more people have a simultaneous life-threatening event where they lose consciousness. And they both have a near-death experience but they’re aware of each other. One of the classic ones that I present to groups is fiancées, and it’s a tear jerker.
“The beings separate the two from holding hands. Two of the four beings take the lady and move away with her, toward a light. The other two beings gently take the guy and lead him back down to the car.”
A guy and a gal are driving to Canada and have a bad car wreck—the two of them are actually holding hands as they share their near-death experience rising above the car. They’re met by spiritual beings, and they feel intense love, which is all very classic. The beings separate the two from holding hands. Two of the four beings take the lady and move away with her, toward a light. The other two beings gently take the guy and lead him back down to the car, which is burning below him. He recovers consciousness in the car and his fiancé is leaning on his shoulder, though he knows already that she is dead. He knows he has been with her sharing a near-death experience on her initial part of permanent irreversible death.
We have about 15 or 16 of these accounts. Shared near-death experiences are certainly suggestive that what is reported in near-death experiences is a pathway that can occur for those who permanently, irreversibly die. Of all the shared near-death experiences that I’ve studied in my research series, one of the people permanently, irreversibly died and yet they were communicating during their near-death experience, often in great detail. So, the remarkably good news is that near-death experiences may well be what actually happens based on shared near-death experiences.
When people are given a choice, whether to continue with death or return to life, or when a situation like this happens when fiancées are separated, what is the idea? Was it an inevitable that she was going to die, and it was not yet his time?
Interestingly, during some near-death experiences some people are given a choice, and some are simply returned to their body involuntarily. Among those who are aware they have a choice to return to their earthly body, it is remarkable that the great majority do not want to return. That’s very puzzling, isn’t it, when you consider that all their friends, family, and loved ones are on earth, and everything that they remembered for their entire life up to that moment was their earthly life. How could they not want to go back? According to 75 to 80 percent, the answer is they feel very intensely present, positive emotions in their near-death experience, more so typically than they ever knew on earth. They very strongly like this afterlife realm, this unearthly realm, which some call Heaven, and there’s a sense of familiarity like they’ve been there before. They very much want to stay. It’s amazing how powerful these experiences are.
“They very strongly like this afterlife realm, this unearthly realm, which some call Heaven, and there’s a sense of familiarity like they’ve been there before.”
To more directly answer your question on why some shared NDEs have a choice and some don’t, reading between the lines, you can tell that the other person in the shared NDE had more severe trauma—either injury or illness—and their body simply wasn’t able to support life. These are people who really did die irreversibly because that life-threatening event was so severe that this was not a near-death experience to them, it was a witnessed death experience. And there was no choice.
In your second book, you talk about evidence of God—can you explain how that manifested in survey results?
One thing that was obvious to me early on is that God would appear quite regularly in near-death experiences. So, in the most recent version of the survey, I directly ask: During your experience, did you encounter any awareness that God, or a supreme being, either exists or doesn’t exist? I worded it in the binary format because the skeptics would say: Aha! You only asked if they had awareness of the existence of God and you didn’t ask about awareness that God doesn’t exist. How do you know an equal percentage of people aren’t going to come back and say, “I was aware God didn’t exist but you didn’t ask.” We sorted that out by having a narrative response, and once again, I was more than a little embarrassed when it was extremely obvious that virtually all—I think there was one exception out of hundreds—answered yes, they encountered an awareness of, or encountered God directly, during their near-death experience. Something like 44 percent of people answered yes, and I was astounded. The narrative response that followed made it very clear that, indeed, God does exist. That’s never been reported by any other researcher before. I think a lot of researchers consider that to be sort of taboo, and if they have an academic affiliation, what are their colleagues going to think? That’s the glory of being in private practice. I don’t have to worry about academic constraints.
My methodology was to get a huge number of sequentially shared near-death experiences; we included everybody who encountered God, or Jesus, over the span of 1,000 near-death experiences in the study. I found 277 people who were aware of or encountered God (I limited it to those who mentioned God specifically rather than supreme being). Within this group, the consistencies of their descriptions of God were amazing to me, in particular, because it’s not consistent at all with conventional religious thinking. For example, God is essentially never described as judgmental. God is essentially never angry or wrathful. People who do encounter God find an overwhelmingly loving presence, and an overwhelming sense of peace. Often there is a dialogue with God. It doesn’t seem like God wants to be worshipped.
“God is essentially never described as judgmental. God is essentially never angry or wrathful. People who do encounter God find an overwhelmingly loving presence, and an overwhelming sense of peace.”
The two things that stuck out as the most common descriptions within their experiences are two-fold. First, by far, God’s overwhelming loving nature; a close second is that people felt a unity, a oneness with God. Typically, they use the stronger language of unity or oneness, as opposed to the less strong words of connection or connectedness. That surprised the heck out of me because that’s not conventionally taught in American or in Western religion. For most of reported history, you could be murdered by the church of power for such thoughts. And yet here were people expressing that overwhelmingly, consistently, and very vividly. It certainly changed my view of God doing that research. I had a liberal Protestant upbringing, but this God is a God I would have more respect for than any God I was taught growing up.
So it was a more Eastern perception of God, that we are all one?
Yeah, and, I might add, best I can tell there is no correlation at all between sub-types of religion. The people who report on these experiences with God aren’t “new age”—in fact, people who identify as “new age” are five percent or less. These are people from Protestant, Catholic, and every denomination of religion you can think of who are having these encounters, which again to me is further striking evidence that they’re consistently seeing something that is not conventionally taught in religion. In fact, it is poo-pooed in most conventional religions, in the West anyway.
Do people come back with an idea or understanding of what Earth is about?
I asked very directly in the survey: Did you receive any information regarding our earthly purpose, meaning, and purpose of our earthly life? And again: yes; uncertain, no. The interesting thing was the narrative response. The gist of it is: That we are truly spiritual beings having an earthly existence, but our real nature is something beyond that.
So what are we doing here? The best I can tell from reviewing hundreds and hundreds of responses is that we’re here to learn lessons. Lessons about what? Well, the number one thing that pops up is lessons about love. Apparently, in this earthly environment, we have this illusion that we’re separate from God. We have this illusion that we are separate from everything and everyone, which in the grand scheme of things, in the afterlife, is not true. But in this unique realm of, if you will, diminished consciousness, we have an opportunity to learn things we couldn’t learn apparently in any other way. And that sort of makes sense to me. In the afterlife when you know everything and everyone is connected, and there’s unity, and there’s an overwhelming sense of peace and love, you literally could not learn some of what we need to learn down here. And apparently, interestingly, what we learn down here is important. It’s important not only for our lives but in some way, that I don’t have it all figured out, it seems to have universal, if you will, cosmic consequences. What we’re learning is important far beyond just significance for our own lives, and the lives immediately around us. There seems to be, a ripple effect, which we see in life reviews, too. An action can really have far more wide range in consequences than we ever thought possible—sometimes the simplest things can turn out to be the most important. I guess you can intellectually know that’s true, but you hear that described in near-death experiences quite a bit.
Why do you think so few people have negative near-death experiences?
Yes, that’s true. In the scholarly literature, we refer to them as frightening or distressing, as those seem to be the emotions they evoke. And the reason we don’t call them negative is that even though they can be very frightening, the experience typically has a very positive, life-changing consequence. About 1 percent of near-death experiences are truly hellish. Now frightening, there’s a whole spectrum. For example, sometimes people, very uncommonly, are frightened when they have that initial out-of-body experience because it’s so unfamiliar. They quickly calm down and go on to have the typically pleasant experience.
The experiences that most people ask about when they’re asking about those types of negative NDEs are the ones that I call objectively frightening, in other words, these are the ones that have true hellish imagery. There are two ways that it seems to be encountered: either at a distance where they’re aware of a very frightening/horrible place, often as they’re sailing by during their near-death experience accompanied by someone else; or, about half the time, they’re actually in that realm themselves. What I think is most important is that for many of these near-death experiencers, they’re clear afterward that they needed an experience like that to force them to face some issues in their lives and grow and be more loving to people on Earth. Basically, they had the self-recognition that they literally needed a kick in the butt to become a more decent person. And so there’s really a silver lining to that darkest cloud in some of the most horrific experiences I’ve ever read about.
“For many of these near-death experiencers, they’re clear afterward that they needed an experience like that to force them to face some issues in their lives and grow and be more loving to people on Earth.”
After reading these accounts, my opinion, based on this fairly objective evidence, which is mirrored by work from other researchers, is that there is indeed a hellish realm. However, there are also near-death experiencers who say there can be no Hell here. Both are correct, and here’s why. When hellish realms are encountered in near-death experiences, they’re generally highly compartmentalized. They can’t, won’t, don’t interact with the rest of the blissful, pleasant afterlife. And why or how these hellish beings can be there is very interesting. We’ve had one near-death experiencer describe that these beings literally chose to live in that realm and all they have to do is choose to leave it. So, what you see there in these hellish realms are beings that have made unbelievably bad choices in the afterlife, not that they’ve been sentenced there or forced there, but because they are such dark, evil beings, their Heaven is literally to be surrounded by beings who are like them, who share their values. Neither I nor any near-death experience researcher that I’m aware of believes in a permanent, involuntary Hell based on our research. It seems to be a product of incredibly bad choices.
Why do you think some people are so resistant to the idea that NDEs could be real, and so desirous to find a physical explanation for what’s behind them?
Coming from a scientific background, this is just so different from the typical scientific thinking about consciousness and literally who we are. It’s much easier for scientists to try to grasp onto what we call material explanations for evidence—and obviously, there’s no material or physical brain explanation that could account for all of this. I think part of it is they want to draw the unfamiliar to what is familiar to them, and they have a lot of confidence in science, which is a great thing. It’s interesting that the scientists who are skeptics tend to find explanations for NDEs that correlate with their area of scientific expertise. Kevin Nelson, a neurologist, will see rapid eye movement or random trusions, which is interesting. An anesthesiologist, who worries about the effects on the cell membrane, will believe NDEs are related to mitochondria, the energy producers in all cells. And the psychologist will believe that there’s a psychological explanation.
Over twenty of these skeptical explanations for NDEs have been proposed. And the reason there are so many is not one, or several explanations of NDEs based on materialist understanding make sense even to the skeptics.
Is this really the question of whether the mind—our consciousness—is generated by our brain in a very literal way, or if there is a spiritual, animating force?
I think from the Atheist materialist point of view, they quite correctly point out: Aren’t we our brains? Isn’t what we remember generally a product of what we actually perceived at some prior time? Neurologically, if you have a stroke, that part of your brain that affects that particular muscle group is no longer working and so that muscle group doesn’t work. It’s very deterministic: There are lesions in the brain, there are lesions in the visual track, you’re going to be blind sometimes in one part of the visual field that’s part of the occipital lobe. There’s no question that who we are, and what we are in our perceptions found here, are clearly based on the physical functions of the mind. I don’t doubt that.
“It’s just that there’s some other part of us that seems to be intimately related to our consciousness and who we are, and what we are, that’s much more than our physical brain.”
It’s just that there’s some other part of us that seems to be intimately related to our consciousness and who we are, and what we are, that’s much more than our physical brain. And it’s non-physical clearly. Some call it the soul, but the term to use is neither here nor there. Every shred of evidence from near-death experience and a number of other related experiences all convincingly point to the conclusion that consciousness, that critical part of who we are, survives physical brain death.
Do you believe that our deaths are pre-determined or fated? Why do some people die so young?
I think that’s probably who we are as biological organisms, especially if you’re talking to a doctor that treats cancer. It seems to be biologically determined that even the most curable kinds of cancers are about 99 percent curable, and the most fatal kinds of cancers are over 99 percent fatal no matter what we do. It just seems to be that so much of what we think, and learn, and the ways that we ultimately grow are based (I think out of design) on us having a physical existence. So, how long we’re around in life to learn our lessons, who knows. Certainly, biology is a part of it, but you could say that there are people genetically predisposed to live a long life, there are children literally born with cancers that will be fatal in their first year of life, and everything in between. It ultimately goes back to the genes, the biology, accidents or illnesses, bad luck if you will, which doesn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason. So, I guess there’s no good answer for that. If there is a design in why some people live longer than others, I’d have to take it back to what God told the near-death experiencer, and that is, “Love falls on everyone equally, this is what you needed to live your life.” I’m pretty sure with an infinitely loving God, in an infinitely loving universe, that if we need opportunities to learn lessons we will have those opportunities above and beyond what we experienced in our life. That’s based on my confidence in the overwhelming loving nature of God.
Jeffrey Long, M.D., a radiation oncologist in Louisiana, has been collecting and documenting near death experiences—across cultures, languages, and countries—since 1998. He has written several books, including Evidence of the Afterlife.
7 Steps to Calm an Anxious Mind
Small acts of moment-to-moment mindfulness are the key to mellowing out your monkey mind, say Nina Purewal and Kate Petriw, the authors of Let That Sh*t Go. Their straight-talking guide chips away at anxiety: It’s not necessarily about blocking out your calendar to meditate, they say; although if that’s your jam—sure, great. But start, they suggest, with gently observing your thoughts when they cross the line between reflecting and ruminating. It’s an effort that, once you’ve given it some practice, is pretty small. And you could come out the other side with something pretty big: awareness, acceptance, authenticity, perspective, and—as you learn to hear yourself out—maybe some peace of mind.
How to Befriend Your Ruminating Mind
By Nina Purewal and Kate Petriw
Sometimes we don’t even know it’s happening: We go from one thought to the next, innocently mulling over an issue. Maybe you’re debating whether a text you received from a friend was off-tone, or maybe you’re making calculated decisions about your next career move. Your mind can’t really help itself. It’s completely natural. It’s your mind’s job to think thoughts. But then you find yourself churning over the same issue again and again, and it’s ruining your focus, souring your mood, and interrupting your sleep—which means you might be ruminating yourself into a lather.
The cause? Possibly it’s that you’re denying your inner voice. It’s inevitable that our minds will toil over a decision here and there, but if an issue has been taking up an unnecessary amount of mental energy, it could be that you’re not listening to the most important person in your life: you.
A ruminating mind can actually be your ally. It’s stirring up shit for a reason, telling you that something might not be right. The problem is that we distract ourselves from this inner voice by unnecessarily scrolling through our phones or filling our schedules to the max. And by doing this, we neglect the part of that voice that might actually have the answers.
Until we’ve given the mind space to distill whatever issue we’re dealing with, it will continue to invade our mental energy. Once we can lean into what our gut is telling us and what our emotions are pleading to let us know, the ruminating mind will more likely subside.
Rather than getting frustrated with the ongoing mental racetrack, try to do the opposite: If your mind is shouting so loud that you can’t focus, hear it out. Take a minute—or an hour—to sit with it. Hand it a microphone.
Here are some tips to let that shit go. Meaning: Calm your mind, release fear, and get to the bottom of your authentic self.
Listen to your inner whispers
Consider this: Your mind has two parts, the chatty mind and observing mind.
The chatty mind is the mode that we often associate with busyness, rumination, and anxiety. We call it the “monkey mind.” It unintentionally goes from thought to thought to thought, faster than we can even digest. (We typically think between 35 and 42 thoughts a minute. That translates to 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. Who can keep up?)
The observing mind, on the other hand, simply observes what the chatty mind is doing. It sounds something like this: “Okay, now you’re stressing about that work deadline. Now you’re thinking about that argument that really upset you and what to do next. Now you’re wondering what to make for dinner.” The observing mind notices that the chatty mind is running off, and that is half the battle.
Once you tap into your observing mind, you can keep your chatty mind from going down so many rabbit holes. The observing mind is like a muscle: The more you use it, the more weight it can hold. So when the observing mind catches the chatty mind being chatty, you can calm it right down and bring yourself back into the present, which gets you out of that swirling headspace, even if just for a few seconds. It’s like your mind catching a breath of fresh air. And that allows you to become not only more present to the mind but also more acutely aware of what it is saying. It allows you to tap into the wisdom you already have.
When your observing mind catches your chatty mind running off to stress-land, one way to get yourself into the present is to breathe. Take a few deep, big belly breaths. Your body will give you cues when you’re stressed: Your heart might start to race, your palms might get sweaty, or you might feel a little squeezy; get cozy with these indicators and when you notice them, breathe. It’ll help the racing thoughts settle.
Lean into your senses. You can focus on how your breath inflates and deflates your belly, or how the air feels moving in and out of your nostrils. Notice what’s around you. What do you hear, see, feel, smell? If you’re out for a walk, look at the trees, the intricate folds of a flower’s petals, or even the patterns on the cement you’re walking on. This can bring you back to the moment in front of you.
This gives your chatty mind a little pause on what you’re ruminating over. It turns down the noise, so you can dial in to what your inner truth is telling you.
Sometimes the culprit behind a racing mind is that we’re not being honest with our own emotions. When we stew over an issue, we might be subconsciously trying to avoid feeling something we don’t want to feel, like shame, jealousy, or sadness. Our chatty mind might be giving us a nudge to look a little deeper into what’s going on. It’s not easy to feel all the feels. Sometimes we avoid going there because it’s too painful. But when you let that shit out, you can let that shit go.
You can honor your emotions by crying it out, talking to someone, or even having a good scream. When you allow yourself to feel those emotions, you can peel back the layers and get closer to your core self.
Let go of “shoulds”
There really is—at the risk of sounding trite—only one magical you. No one else on this planet is meant to do what you are here to do. The more you own who you are at the core, which isn’t always easy, the less your mind will get the best of you.
The thing is, when we’re not true to ourselves, we end up adhering to other people’s expectations of us—the “shoulds” of life. Think about the last time you found yourself in a ruminating tailspin—it’s more likely than not that there were a few shoulds on that mental record: I should have a house by this age. I should pursue that relationship. I should have x number of kids. It’s important to understand where these shoulds are coming from. Parents? Friends? Some implicit law of society? If you really want all those things for yourself, go for it! But ask yourself whether you really do. Maybe you don’t care about making a ton of money, or perhaps you don’t want a relationship or kids. But the need to please can sometimes lead us to question our own desires and decisions. When you evaluate where the shoulds are coming from, you can better understand whether you’re living for your true self.
Catch your chatty mind when you find you’re on this path and use your observing mind to stop this kind of thinking in its tracks. Work toward actions that reflect what’s important to you. And once you do that, your mind will, over time, stop sifting through the things that matter to others and refocus on what you want for yourself.
Relaxation is another great tool to clear the swirling bullshit that is clouding the real inner you. And here’s the kicker: Relaxing is productive. When you relax, it activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you better handle stress, curb worry, and calm the chatty mind.
Back in the day, our sympathetic nervous system—responsible for our fight-or-flight response—was activated if we were properly under threat (as in: We were getting attacked by a saber-toothed tiger). But nowadays, it’s triggered by much smaller stimuli: an argument with our partner, the unwelcome ping of another work email, or the intimidating length of our to-do list. When we activate the parasympathetic nervous system—remember, by relaxing—we actually become less prone to stress and negative thinking.
So take that bath. Meditate. Watch Netflix. Go for a hike. Just feed your soul without guilt. Because once you’ve taken that time for yourself, the inner you takes note. You’re building self-trust by doing things that are important to you, and you’ll notice how much you and everyone around you benefits from that rejuvenated state. You’ll have more patience, compassion, and energy.
Another way to slow down the chatty mind is with action. It might be writing down next steps on a piece of paper, or maybe it’s sending an email to address an issue that’s bothering you. These little actions will keep your chatty mind in check by telling it, “Hey, I’m working on this.” Then it’s no longer spinning in your head; it’s taking a trip with the email you sent or taking a seat on that piece of paper. You know when you need three specific things from the grocery store and it’s not until you write them down that they stop repeating in your head? Same thing.
Writing things down or taking action doesn’t always mean that you have the answer to whatever issue is in your head. You can even just write down how you are feeling; it’s not a solution to an issue, but when your mind notices you’re taking action, it’ll pull back on the reins a bit. And that makes it easier to let go.
When your mind is finally calm and you begin to get clarity, you might be tempted to berate yourself for not taking action earlier. You wouldn’t be the first. But this only sparks a new round of unnecessary rumination.
Remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can. We tend to live in this world that values instant gratification and quick fixes, but not every issue in your head can be solved in an instant. It can take days, months, years, or even decades to peel back the layers of your true self. But once you start hearing yourself out and taking those next steps, you’re on your way to a more authentic version of you, and the chatty mind will start to subside.
It’s important to know that our rational brain developed to help us survive. And most of the time, it’s on our side. But when we haven’t given our mind the attention and affection it deserves by hearing it out, calming it down, and owning who we are, it can start to spin its wheels. And that’s natural.
A ruminating mind is simply calling out for our love. We will forever have thoughts and get tripped up on certain issues. But when we catch our chatty mind, it can help us to deal with those thoughts more effectively. Be patient with yourself. There’s no destination in finding your authentic self; it’s a process.
Nina Purewal and Kate Petriw are the authors of Let That Sh*t Go: Find Peace of Mind and Happiness in Your Everyday. Petriw is the founder of Mind Matters, a Toronto-based organization focused on stress reduction for better mental health. And Purewal is the founder of Pure Minds, which offers mindfulness and meditation workshops for public and corporate groups.
This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.
Ab Thought Field Therapy | Meridian Energy Tapping | Tapping Therapy
Dr. Roger Callahan, the founder of tapping therapy, passed away peacefully Nov 4, 2013.
Please click here to visit Roger's memorial site ... and to to share your message and celebrate his life.
Dr. Callahan was a pioneer, an intellectual, and, above all, a humanitarian. He was passionate, not just about helping people, but challenging our beliefs about accepted psychological principles and healing in general... he lives on each in tap of the hand.
Roger, in the last video taken, reflects on tapping thereapy:
Dr. Roger Callahan Discusses His Most Important Discovery in TFT:
Over 30 years in Development
Thought Field Therapy (TFT) provides a code to nature's healing system.
When applied to problems TFT addresses their fundamental causes, providing information in the form of a healing code, balancing the body's energy system and allowing you to eliminate most negative emotions within minutes and promote the body's own healing ability.
We provide common recipes (algorithms) or codes in our books and tapes. Specific or individual Codes are elicited through TFT's unique assessment procedures taught in Steps A, B, and C training programs.
"When I observe a number of suffering patients who did not respond to our usual treatment modalities, suddenly get better after TFT algorithms are given, I don't need a double-blind controlled study to tell me the value of TFT."
...James McKoy, MD Chief, Pain Clinic, Chief Rheumatology Services Assistant Chief, Neuroscience Department, Kaiser Permanente, Hawaii region
Our Mission Statement
We aim to provide and encourage interest and education in the Callahan Techniques® Thought Field Therapy (TFT) to both the professional and lay person, establishing standards of protocol and training in TFT.
Through our Thought Field Therapy Training Center, web sites and newsletter, we teach a highly effective, non-invasive, healthy self-help alternative to long-term, or drug related psychotherapy.
We strive to make TFT available to all, world-wide, helping to end much of the human suffering caused from traumas, stress and life's problems.
Our unique Voice Technology™ allows us to provide training support throughout the world.
Our web sites, training programs and newsletter, The Thought Field, promote public awareness, acceptance and understanding of the Callahan Techniques® Thought Field Therapy as an important, safe and effective self-help tool.
Dr. Roger Callahan, our founder and developer, has a personal mission to achieve worldwide recognition, acceptance and use of Thought Field Therapy. Together, we continually strive to accomplish this mission through trainings, advertising, marketing, public relations and international charitable assistance.
We truly believe we can have a significant impact on the decrease of human suffering if everyone has these tools at their disposal.
"Traditional psychotherapy is like swinging at a pitch with your eyes closed. TFT causal diagnosis is like shooting the ball out of the stadium with a cannon. It's that fast and powerful." ....John D. Gray, PsyD, Idaho Falls, ID
Joanne M. Callahan, MBA
Thought Field Therapy®
by Callahan Techniques®
Joanne is the co-developer of Thought Field Therapy with her husband Roger Callahan, and is the President/CEO of Callahan Techniques, Ltd.
Joanne Callahan, is a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara and received her MBA in Healthcare Administration from California State University San Marcos.
Joanne Callahan also is the Director of the Thought Field Therapy Training Center and publisher and co-editor of The Thought Field, a quarterly newsletter.
She is trained in TFT at the Advanced and Voice Technology™ levels and the only person other than Dr. Callahan certified to teach all levels of TFT.
Joanne Callahan co-authored Thought Field Therapy and Trauma: Treatment and Theory, and the recently revised Stop the Nightmares of Trauma (with Forward by Jack Canfield, co-author Chicken Soup for Soul® Series), and Chapter 12, Thought Field Therapy: Aiding the Bereavement Process, in Death and Trauma: The Traumatology of Grieving.
Joanne currently serves as president of the TFT Foundation.
TFT is the origin of meridian tapping therapy that uses nature's healing system to balance the body's energy system.
“What’s fascinating about TFT is it’s quick, painless and it’s success rate is almost unheard of in the field of mental health in any type of treatment over this whole century.” Shad Meshad, President, National Veterans Foundation & Founder and Author of the National Vet Center Program.
If you live with chronic pain caused by disease, disorder or accident or suffer from acute pain resulting from surgery or accidents, then you owe it to yourself to listen to what Dr. Robert Pasahow has to say about TFT Meridian Tapping...
What is Thought Field Therapy® (TFT)?
Thought Field Therapy (TFT) is a little-known, but highly effective, drug-free and non-invasive way to reduce or eliminate even chronic pain without the risk of medications.
TFT was discovered and developed by California clinical psychologist, Dr. Roger Callahan. It works with nature’s healing system combining the acupressure meridian system and modern psychology.
You don't have to experience a reduced quality of life caused by pain and anxiety!
Increase anxiety due to pain is another of the top reasons quality of life diminishes. The medications for both of these often interrelated issues, are usually toxic leading to many complications and side-effects, even death.
Individuals on blood thinners can’t even take most medications for physical pain and are left with little or no option for their pain relief.
Where is the evidence?
Researchers at Oxford University in the United Kingdom have found that the anxiety caused by the anticipation or experience of pain makes the perceived level of pain much worse. TFT effectively reduces or eliminates anticipatory anxiety in addition to reducing the pain.
Length of relief from pain, per occurrence, is also important to the sufferer. In a study, TFT provided longer relief than that experienced from pain medications.
Statistically significant results were obtained with all problems and symptoms treated with TFT in a study at Kaiser Behavioral Health Services. These problems included anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, anger, anxiety due to medical condition, bereavement, and chronic pain along with others.
When I observe a number of suffering patients who did not respond to our usual treatment modalities, suddenly get better after TFT treatments are given, I don't need a double-blind controlled study to tell me the value of Callahan Techniques® TFT.
James McCoy, MD,
Chief, Pain Clinic, Chief, Hematology Service,
Assistant Chief, Neuroscience Department
If you suffer from ...
and many other
... you can use TFT energy tapping in addition to your medications to reduce the risk associated with continued medication use and to enhance their effect.
It makes economic and reasonable sense that we use a natural, risk-free process for pain relief and management "first", before we spend large sums of money for medications with known side-effects and unknown risks.
For a safe, drug-free, non-invasive way to relieve your pain with no side effects, get our TFT Meridian Tapping Pain Control Audio Download today for only $17.95.
In most cases, the self-administered technique demonstrated in the recording by Dr. Callahan himself, will give you the exact same results describe in the research study conducted by Dr. Pasha and others. Don't wait to relieve your pain. Get the TFT Tapping Pain Control Audio Download today.
1. Longhairs, A., Tracery, I., Gait, J. S., Clare, S., Menon, R. S., Matthews, P. M., & Rawlins, J. N. (1999). Dissociating pain from its anticipation in the human brain. Science, 284(5422), 1979-81.
2. Thought Field Therapy and Pain, by Robert Pasahow, PhD, in The Thought Field, Volume 11, Issue 2,
3. Thought Field Therapy Clinical Applications: Utilization in an HMO in Behavioral Medicine and Behavioral Health Services, Kaiser Behavioral Health Services, Sakai, Caroline, et al., J Clinical
Alternatives Spawned From 30 Years of Healing with The Callahan Techniques® and Thought Field Therapy®
Emotional Freedom Techniques – developed by Gary Craig – TFT Training in 1994
Callahan techniques reduce your problems with stress management, anxiety management and sleep disorders. Good nutritional support is vital for optimal mental health and weight control. We provide many of the latest nutritional books and high quality product formulations for improved mental health including weight control, sleep disorders and insomnia, anxiety and stress relief and pain relief. EFT or Emotional Freedom technique, is not associated with TFT meridian tapping techniques. Proper nutritional supplementation for weight control along with our self-help products can lead you back into optimal mental health, reducing the need for long-term stress management tools. These high quality nutritional formulations assist with weight loss difficulties and insomnia promoting increased energy for optimum stress relief reducing the need for anxiety management drugs. They can take the edge off of life's daily traumas and weight control stress. As an outgrowth of the success of The Callahan Techniques™, meridian tapping as treatment on the acupuncture meridians has continued, and has been copied and include in other versions. (e.g., James Durlacher’s Acu-POWER, Gary Craig’s EFT™, Fred Gallo’s EDxTM™, etc.). Accordingly,Roger's meridian tapping has been established as the “Gold Standard” without critical review in the treatment of psychological and psychosomatic disorders.
Callahan Techniques® Thought Field Therapy is the power therapy of the 21'st century. It is a brief, effective psychotherapy for the rapid and natural healing of negative emotions and psychological problems. In the alternative medicine field, Thought Field Therapy uses nature's therapeutic system to balance the bodies energy system promoting natural healing and improved mental health. Callahan Techniques® Thought Field Therapy is a natural, drug-free approach with rapid results that can be documented with Heart Rate Variability measurements. Callahan Techniques® training is offered to professionals in the energy healing and alternative medicine as well as traditional healthcare fields.
What would your life be like if you learned that you are more powerful than you have ever been taught?
This wise and thoughtful book is a powerful antidote for anyone who is pessimistic and depressed about our future and the challenges we face as humans.
Larry Dossey, MD, Author of The Power of Premonitions: How Knowing the Future Can Shape Our Lives
Finally, a compelling and easy-to-understand explanation of how your emotions regulate your genetic expression!
Joseph Mercola, D.O., Founder of the world's most visited natural health web site
Hi, Dr Bruce Lipton. I do not know English well, please excuse my language mistakes. Thank you very much for your education and for you people. Here in Poland many people listening to You and...
Bruce Lipton has written the single best book on love—both personal and planetary—that I've ever read. And I've read a lot of them! I know Bruce and his beloved Margaret up close and personal.
Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., biologist, psychologist, and bestselling author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind
Bruce Lipton’s book is the definitive summary of the new biology and all it implies. It is magnificent, profound beyond words, and a delight to read. It synthesizes an encyclopedia of critical new...
Joseph Chilton Pearce, Ph.D., author of Magical Child among others
Your two hour YouTube video should be required viewing for biology students! The cell is taught almost incidentally with little importance most of the time. ...
Spontaneous Evolution is a great book, a vital message, and even more, it embodies Causal Evolution. By...
Barbara Marx Hubbard, Founder, The Foundation for Conscious Evolution
Dude! I just read through the resources page at all the links to stuff, and was amazed beyond expression.
Powerful! Elegant! Simple! In a style that is as accessible as it is meaningful, Dr. Bruce Lipton offers nothing less that the long sought-after “missing link” between life and consciousness.
Gregg Braden, New York Times best selling author of The God Code and The Isaiah Effect
Dr. Lipton’s revolutionary research has uncovered the missing connections between biology, psychology and spirituality. If you want to understand the deepest mysteries of life, this is one of the...
Dennis Perman, D.C., Co-Founder, The Master’s Circle
Hello Bruce! [that was my Dad's name!]—I'm so thrilled I've found you and your books! I'm not even much of reader—until...
Mr Lipton, I recently completed reading (and listening to; via Audible) your AMAZING book "The Biology of Belief," and I must say it was absolutely amazing. I have believed for years that we need...
The implications of this powerful book have the potential to change the world.
Deepak Chopra, author of The Path to Love: Spiritual Strategies for Healing
A truly remarkable achievement . . . a lifetime of joy all delivered in one concise manuscript. I've read it twice, and I loved every minute I spent with it. One of my favorite reads ever.
Wayne Dyer, an internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development
What a pleasure to read Bruce’s entertaining romp through the science of loving relationships! Bruce makes it clear that couples can learn a lot from the quantum physics, biochemistry, and...
Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., author of The Big Leap and Conscious Loving
I have recently come to know your content and theories. I find you to be very intriguing and quite on point.
THINK beyond your genes..
August 22, 2019
Read Part 2 of Bruce's interview with Natural Awakenings Magazine on the role of consciousness in healing.
July 07, 2019
Read Bruce's interview in the July issue of Natural Awakenings magazine, Atlanta, Georgia.
March 07, 2019
Read about the Science of falling in love and the power of the subconscious mind in "A Conversation with Bruce H. Lipton, PhD" in the March/April 2019 issue of A Conscious Life Journal.
October 10, 2018
During his extensive three-part series with Face the Current, Dr. Bruce Lipton has shared dynamic thoughts about energy entanglement, epigenetics, surrogation, piezoelectricity, sound therapy, somatic energy, and consciousness in the field.
August 01, 2017
Kindred Spirit Magazine presents Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. On Spirituality and Science. To read:http://kindredspirit.co.uk/?s=bruce+lipton
October 26, 2015
The Whole Living Journal interviewing Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. on The Biology of Belief, I Want to Be Me. To read click here and go to page page 11: http://issuu.com/wholelivingjournal/docs/32_page_website_sept_oct_15?e=4555475/15188435#search
October 19, 2015
I'M Magazine presents Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., to read: http://www.magazineim.com/home/index.php/i-am/bruce-lipton/
July 23, 2015
Author, Dina Proctor speaking about Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. on Healing with the Power of Meditation: How to Hea Your Body with Your Mind. To read: http://www.consciouslifestylemag.com/healing-meditation-mind-body/
July 22, 2015
Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. interviewed last May in Madrid, Spain for magazine, Revist Imo. To read: http://www.revistaimo.com.
January 17, 2014
January 15, 2014
The folks at Truly Alive Magazine recently featured The Honeymoon Effect in their pages, including a complete, in-depth interview with Bruce.
October 29, 2012
Chiropractic Philosophy and the New Science: An Emerging Unity
Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. ©2005
As a former medical school professor who currently lectures before chiropractors and chiropractic students, I must admit I am very perplexed about the intellectual foundation of chiropractic education. Major chiropractic colleges create an academic impediment that unknowingly destabilizes their students and hobbles their graduates’ effectiveness.
June 07, 2012
A Cosmic Joke that has the Scientists Rolling in the Aisle
June 07, 2012
Evolution by BITs and Pieces:
June 07, 2012
Abstract: The role of nature-nurture must be reconsidered in light of the Human Genome Project’s surprising results. Conventional biology emphasizes that human expression is controlled by genes, and is under the influence of nature.