These are stressful times, no doubt about it. We are divided, fearful, and struggling to maintain a positive outlook and solid mental health. Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., is a cell biologist and lecturer, and the bestselling author of “The Biology of Belief.”
Today, Bruce offers ideas on how to empower ourselves, so that we don’t fall prey to a “victim mentality.” He talks about how a positive belief system, based on our own agency, can improve our mental health, overall health, and bring about a powerful, positive transformation in our world.
He gives suggestions for how to invest our energy wisely and how to use the world’s resources carefully, to best care for ourselves and the planet. And he reminds us that positive action can help us not simply survive these times, but to actually thrive!
Listen to the episode here:
Within the below transcript the bolded text is Hilda
We are in a time of global crisis. We are divided, stressed and struggling to maintain a positive outlook and solid mental health. This is episode 293. Our guest is Bruce Lipton. Bruce Lipton, PhD is a cell biologist and lecturer, and internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. He is the bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and The Honeymoon Effect. Bruce offers a refreshing perspective on how to empower ourselves in these times. He talks about a positive belief system, not based on a pie in the sky philosophy or wishful thinking, but rather based on our own agency, the idea that we can take charge of ourselves and act in a way to bring about a positive outcome in our lives and in the world. He discusses how this helps us avoid a victim mentality and succumbing to fear or despair. He explains the importance of taking care of the world around us as well, utilizing its resources wisely. All in all, he reminds us to invest our energy cooperating with the transformation that is taking place around us right now. This is ultimately much better for our health and our future.
Welcome to the show, Bruce.
I am happy to be here because with the crazy times we’re having, a lot of people think the world is coming to an end, but in my vision, it’s coming to a new beginning.
What do you mean by that?
We’re going through an evolutionary upheaval. The significance is that we have some belief that evolution was a slow, gradual, imperceptible change over millions of years of animals evolving slowly into one another. We find that this is not true. Evolution has been punctuated five times in the history of this planet. Life was thriving and then some cataclysmic event wiped out up to 90% of life. Five times evolution was going strong, something major happened, and then almost all of life gets wiped out and it starts over again. A new species and new things start all over. Five times they’re called mass extinctions. Over fifteen years, scientists recognize that the planet is now experiencing the sixth mass extinction.
The last mass extinction several million years ago was when the dinosaurs were here. It was a lush tropical forest all over the place, and a comet hit near the Yucatan Peninsula near Mexico. The comet was big. It upended the web of life. All the dinosaurs disappeared, the forest got lost, and up to 90% of life got wiped out. Now, we’re in what is called the sixth mass extinction. We’re losing species of organisms every day faster than in the previous mass extinctions. Science has found the cause of this mass extinctions. The cause is human behavior.
I’m glad you said that. I thought you were going to say it was the Coronavirus.
That’s a symptom. There’s an old story, if you look at all the trees, you might not be able to see that collectively, but they make a force, something bigger. The trees we’ve been looking at are economic problems, racial, religious strife, the COVID story, climate change, we can go on and on like this. Each one of those is a tree. While we look at each of these problems like, “See that problem.” I say, “You’re failing to understand that there’s a much greater problem that all of these smaller problems are contributing to.” We are in what is called a mass extinction. Science has recognized this for fifteen years, but the problem is it has not gone out to the public. I thought we were moving that way when mass extinction came into the newspapers, then it disappeared as fast again.
The issue is human behavior is undermining the web of life to the degree that this mass extinction is in process. In 1970, the World Wildlife Foundation took a survey, how many animals are on this planet? They did it a few years ago and repeated it. Since 1970, we’ve lost 2/3 of the animal population on the entire planet. We’re down to 1/3 of the animals. If you were here in 1970 and you counted all the animals, now we only have 1/3. In Germany, they’ve been doing a survey of insects’ population. What they found out is in the 27-year period of doing this every year, that count of insects is 75% down from the original count years ago, meaning we’ve lost 3/4 of the insect population. A lot of people go, “I don’t care about mosquitoes.” I go, “Honeybees are darn important because we can’t eat without them.”
You are not the first one to say this to me about the insects. I was interviewing Dr. Arthur Firstenberg and he was saying the same thing. There is a domino effect. You lose the insects, then you lose the spiders, the birds, and others that prey on them.
A web of life starts off with a primitive organism. You add a new organism, which is now influenced by the first organism. Every time you add a new influence, you have to exist with the previous system. We started with the small little insects and bigger organisms like birds live off of these insects. If the insects disappear, then the birds are going to have a problem. It’s a domino effect. The last one that’s mind-boggling if you think about it is that science has now recognized that by 2048, which is not that far into the future, there will be no fish in the oceans on planet Earth.
That’s like a science fiction story. No, this is happening right now because humans have overfished, humans have polluted the water, and humans have messed up the reproductive grounds for these fish. Humans are creating this. That leads us to one important conclusion. If we are to survive, I’m not talking that this evolution is a million years from now, NASA’s research said within the next couple of decades, there will be an irreversible loss of industrial civilization. The world that we’re living in right now will collapse within two decades.
This is mind-boggling and alarming. When you say the word “extinction” and then start painting this picture, it should give us all pause. The next question has to be, what do you perceive as a change in our behavior that would help avoid this impending disaster?
If you want to go back and say, “How could we live on this planet in a healthful long period?” I say, “We must go back to the behavior of the indigenous population that was here originally.” You say, “What do you mean, go back to the Native Americans in North America or the first nation people or Aborigines in Australia? What do you mean go back to them?” Their philosophy and their way of life is that the planet is a garden, and they are gardeners, that they take care of the planet. This is what we have failed to do. We’re destroying the planet, undermining the web of life, taking all the resources out, throwing all the garbage and the pollution. The farming we’re doing is destroying nature, the industrial farming.
What do you need to do? The first thing is go back to the premise that if we’re not taking care of the environment around us, we will not be here. Wake up, it’s time to go back and take care of the garden. The idea that we could keep taking stuff out of the Earth and there will be always stuff to take out. The resources that we’ve been taking out are dwindling. You can’t find these resources. What does that mean? You can’t continue life the way you’re doing it. We have to change. It’s wonderful because the change is going to come from the younger generation, post-Baby Boomers, the alphabet generation. Why should they be the ones that will bring the change? The answer is simple. There’s a problem in this world for people and the economy is not working.
Those younger people can’t even get into the job market in such a way that they can support themselves. Their parents might have a giant house, five-car garage with Bimmers and things in there, and they are struggling to get an apartment with somebody else because there’s no money. There are no jobs. There’s no work. They’re going to take over because they’re the younger generation, but they’re not going to follow in the footprints of what we have now. Look how their lives are compromised. Why would they continue doing this?
First of all, at The Weston A. Price Foundation, we are exactly on that same page, that there is wisdom to be tapped, to be emulated from those who have walked this Earth before us. The indigenous peoples have a wisdom that is invaluable. The funny thing is we talk a lot about food farming, the healing arts, and looking back to that indigenous wisdom. When people first come to us, they think, “This is just to improve my own health.” Soon they realize it’s not just about our physical health, it’s also about how we care for the land. It’s a whole different mindset. Also, number two, I have seen firsthand this younger generation pivoting and moving back to this wisdom. They are going off-grid. They are doing regenerative farming. I was meeting with this man who was foraging for his family. It’s not so that he can be self-sufficient, and they can be perfectly happy. It’s because he knows we need to cooperate with Mother Nature. Everything that you’re saying is resonating with our experience here at the Foundation.
I am happy because this is the opinion, the voice that is necessary to take us away from the older people. What happened to the Environmental Protection Agency? This is one of the most important agencies in the US government because it protects the environment from all the pollution and all the stuff that’s undermining us. In the last several years, all of the rules that were put into place have now been taken down to give industries and corporations free rein to do whatever they want. The biggest problem has started a long time ago when they said corporations were like people. They have representation like people, and they have a voice like people.
Here’s where the problem comes from, people live by a set of rules called morality. Corporations have no set of rules about morality. You’ve got leadership by corporations destroying the environment as long as they’re making a profit. This is what we have to get rid of, the idea that corporations are people. They are not people. If they are, they’re the greediest people that ever lived on this planet because it’s all for them and not for us. It’s a wake-up call that says, “We have to stop this controlled by money people.” Money people don’t see a future. They see immediacy, “Am I making money or am I not making money? How can I make more money?”
The corporation has a different goal than an individual might. I am surprised by this conversation, Bruce, because I thought you were The Biology of Belief, positive thinking guy. You’re talking a lot of doom and gloom.
I’m not talking of doom and gloom. Here’s the point, a simple vision, when a caterpillar matures, it goes through a metamorphosis and turns into a butterfly. I’ll use pictures of my lectures. I show this milkweed plant that monarch butterflies, the caterpillars love to feed on. I show the bush, and then I show three days after the butterfly laid their eggs and the caterpillars formed on the bush. All of the leaves of that milkweed plant were gone. The caterpillars were voracious. They ate every leaf off of the plant. They reach an endpoint and then they go into a cocoon. Inside the cocoon, there are changes. What happens when the cocoon opens up? There’s a butterfly. This is the parallel human story. Human civilization now is the equivalent of the caterpillar. They are self-destructive, eating everything, destroying the environment to grow and grow. There’s a point where growth stops because you can’t do it anymore like now with the pandemic. The butterfly hasn’t formed yet, were still a caterpillar. Cells are like miniature people. Let’s pretend we are cells in a caterpillar. There are miniature people, but they have a social thing going.
As the caterpillar is eating and everybody is growing, the job is good. Everybody is working, digestion, excretion, movement. Every job in the system is working, but it reaches the end of that point where there are no more leaves on that plant. It stops. What does it do? It wraps itself in a cocoon. The cells in the caterpillar have no more jobs. There’s no food to eat. There’s no movement. There’s nothing going on. When the cells are out of work, the structure starts to fall apart, and the caterpillar is breaking down, and the cells are turning into street cells. They’re out on the street. At this point in the cocoon, there’s a breakdown of the entire structure of that caterpillar.
The cells are citizens that are finding themselves out of work, no jobs, nothing is going on. There are imaginal cells, and they have a vision for the future. They’re the ones with the vision of what a butterfly looks like. What do they do? They coordinate the caterpillar cells that are out of work. The imaginal cells coordinate them to create a new structure called the butterfly. When the cocoon opens up and the butterfly flies out, there’s a profound difference. The caterpillar was the most voracious organism, eating everything. When a caterpillar turns into the butterfly, the butterfly has the lightest touch on the planet. It hardly even touches the ground. What a transformation, a metamorphosis.
I see what you’re saying. This isn’t doom and gloom then. This is a period of metamorphosis and change.
Thank you, you’ve saved thousands of words I would have said because that was the conclusion. This is it. Here’s the most important part. If I was a cell in the cocoon, I’d look to my left and say, “The caterpillar is falling apart. That’s my career, my life. It’s falling apart.” I can look at the imaginal cells and say, “What are we building? Something brand new, something that we can thrive into. This is great.” Here’s the problem for the public at this moment, we are in the cocoon. Human civilization as a caterpillar has destroyed the environment to the extent that we are going extinct. Here is what I hope the readers can understand. We’re now in a cocoon where we’re transforming from an unsustainable civilization, hopefully, into a new sustainable one.
You will have two choices. This is the whole thing. I could look at the caterpillar coming down and bemoan the fact that my former job, my career, everything is in jeopardy. The whole thing is falling apart, or I could be in that community and say, “Let me put my attention on what we’re building that’s new, because what we’re building that’s new is going to take us into a future that thrive.” You have two choices. You could see the one coming down, kick your life and that’s when I go, “That’s a problem.” That’s going to cause you illness, health problems, and psychological problems. Why? It’s a structure that is not sustainable. If you think your life is connected to that structure and you see it falling down, you’re in a bad way.
How do we manage to avoid seeing those kinds of cocoon walls collapsing in on us and not being afraid and depressed? How do we switch our mindset so that we can look toward what’s being built instead of what’s falling apart?
This is what we talked about where the younger generation is saying, “I’m not following in your footpaths anymore. I’m following a new path. I’m going to do something to support my environment. I’ve got to take care of my own food, take care of my family.” The character of mammals in a book, they’re called nurturers. Mammals are nurturers. Nurturing is taking care. We’re evolving into a more mammalian civilization. We’re nurturing and taking care of the planet, the water, the atmosphere, and our own kids. This is where we are moving into. There was a thing in the hippie days that says, “Before you go out and save the world, take care of your own backyard.” I wanted to bring that back up right now. This is the most important. The world is in a lot of trouble, but if your own life is not in harmony and your own backyard isn’t working, we shouldn’t be out in the street yet. We should first speak, “Can I take care of myself?” You brought up how people are looking for food, growing food, or taking care of the community. This is how we are going to survive.
I can hear the difference in your voice between a person who is like, “This is horrible. I can’t wait until 2020 is over and the election is over.” They’re going on and on. There’s this anger and rage boiling up inside, if not a complete disappointed and depressed spirit, versus the person who’s like, “How can I contribute now?” Empowerment versus disempowerment is one way I might frame it.
Empowerment means ability to take care of yourself. Do you have a power to take care of yourself? Right away, the word is power. Where do you get power from? Energy. Are you using your energy wisely or are you wasting and spending your energy and spinning your wheels and not going anywhere? This is one of the most cues for how we are going to survive in the future. Energy is life. That’s a given thing. If you’ve got energy, you have life. If you have no energy, you have no life. We spend our energy irresponsibly. Money is energy. That’s the equivalent. Here’s $1. It is a unit of energy. I could buy something that is energy-based using this, whether it’s food or toys. We have a budget. The average person, let’s say they have a checking account, does not go down the street and write checks willy-nilly, “You’ve got a beautiful pair of shoes. Here’s a nice check for you. You’ve got a nice haircut.” No, because money is your life.
Before you write a check, there’s a consciousness behind it, “Am I using this money to support my life or am I using this money to throw it away?” As I throw it away, I lose the money, which is the energy. I’m losing my life. You don’t waste your money if your life is dependent upon it. If I gave you a book that was called an energy checkbook, and this is the energy in your life. If you go down the street and write checks, if they’d give them energy, “You can have some of my energy.” What did you get back? To give your energy out and got nothing back, you compromised your life because energy is life. If you’re giving away your energy, you could lose your life.
If I gave you an energy checkbook that said, “Before you invest your energy, you have to write this check of energy,” all of a sudden, you start to look at the world and go, “There are things that I’m doing where I’m spinning my wheels. I’m throwing the energy out, and nothing is coming back.” That’s the same as writing a check and giving it away to people. Nothing is coming back. The first principle is this, your life is energy. If you have energy, you have life. When you’re running out of energy, you’re running out of life. Go back to the Serenity Prayer. What does that prayer tell me? It says, “Put your energy into things that make a difference and come back to you, but do not throw your energy in the things you have no control over.”
I’ll give a simple example. This is a political rough time for people. You can go to a club or a bar and every night there will be people arguing, “My side of the politics, your side of the politics.” They get heated up. They get all upset. The energy is flowing like crazy. The bar closes and they go home. You spent the evening using all your energy to argue, yell and do all this stuff. Did you change anything from that? The answer is no. You wrote a check and gave it away, and you’re losing your life. If you had to write an energy check, you do exactly what the Serenity Prayer said. That is if I’m going to invest my energy, I want it to have a return. If I have no return from the energy, then it’s a sink where money is going down the hole and it’s not coming back. Energy is going down the hole. Energy is life. Do what the Serenity Prayer says, put your energy into where it makes a difference and start to look if whatever you’re involved with, is it making a difference or not? If it’s not and you’re using your energy, then that’s the same as, “Open your wallet and give away your money.”
On behalf of the person who is in that bar arguing, maybe they’re in the bar arguing one night, and the next night they’re out demonstrating or helping to facilitate voting somewhere. Sometimes we don’t know what the return is going to be.
This is the whole problem. The argument in the bar clearly makes no difference because whoever is talking in the bar are not Congress people. They’re not shaping politics. They’re going to have a vote. You spent your whole time arguing with somebody about their vote and your vote. It’s a waste because there are a lot more voters out there than the guy in the bar you’ve been arguing with. You just used your energy. Cancel it. It’s the most important thing. We shouldn’t fight something. Fighting something means you take your energy and put it against the opposite side’s energy.
I use in my lectures a video of two wires from a battery, positive and negative. I say, “Opposite charges, opposite beliefs.” I touched the two wires together where they come one against the other. What happens? Sparks fly, the wires melt, the heat comes out and I go, “That’s wasted energy.” What do you do? You short circuited this. You touch the two wires. The energy from the positive, the energy from the negative neutralized. No energy comes out. What’s the point? Don’t put your energy into a system that is counter to your energy because you’re going to neutralize your energy like a short circuit.
You have no idea how much this is resonating with me right now. I’ve always felt like I want to be for something, not against something. Let’s be for the metamorphosis. Let’s be for that butterfly. Let’s be for the new system and caring for the planet as opposed to being against some evil force. What if nobody decided to oppose an evil system to help the cocoon crumble? Is that a bad idea? Should somebody be doing that even if it’s not me?
Voting is the same as spending your money. Where are you putting your energy into this voting thing? In the voting thing, there’s an opportunity where we can make a difference. The arguing over the voting thing, I would put my money in. I’ll go to the polls and I’ll put my vote in because I’m contributing. To argue with people and get in the street and do all that stuff, that’s when the two wires are touching each other, and nothing will come from that. Put your energy into the groups that are making a difference that you see is what you’re looking for. Now, you’re taking your energy and making it a positive construction versus arguing against something where that energy is lost as fire and heat and nothing comes out of it.
I have to participate. I do want to participate in my vote. The problem is if you can trust the voting system, which is questionable these days. The idea is, can I put myself into another community? Do I want to be in the yelling community that yells and yells? Do I want to go into community that says, “Let’s go make a garden, let’s build up this, let’s clean up this, let’s work together in harmony?” That is a constructive use of your energy. You’re enhancing your life when you’re using your energy in that form. If you’re in the street throwing rocks, I don’t think your rocks are going to knock out the ones with the guns.
Maybe this is not the best use of your energy at this time. The best use of your energy would be to mobilize the people that you want to be in that community with because community is power. As you’ve seen and we mentioned, the COVID-19 has broken community because nobody can gather together and make their opinions without violating the rules. The COVID thing is an issue with the virus, but it’s a political issue because people only have power when they are in a community. When you’re locked in your own house, you have no power. When you lock up the world, then the people of the world have no power, except for those that were running it when we were staying at home. That’s where the problem is.
I believe in the power of our own choice. If I decide in my own home that I am going to contribute to the metamorphosis and the positivity and the world I want to see, I can still be empowered in that way, even if I can’t be in community.
It’s hard because community means I’m going to share my energy with you. You’re like a battery. Everybody is like a battery. I remember in the movie, The Matrix, Neo asks Morpheus, “What’s the Matrix want from people?” Morpheus holds up a battery. He said, “These are what the system thinks about people, they’re batteries. Using their energy to drive whatever thing they’re trying to do.” The truth is we are energy units. Every person is an energy unit. The question is, am I empowering something that’s going to destroy me or am I empowering something that’s going to enhance my life and my vitality? That’s the choice in the street at this moment. Which one do you want to work on? You can lose all your energy by fighting a system that has more energy than you. This is what we have to worry about.
I didn’t get to any of the questions on my list but it doesn’t matter. I’m sure we’ll talk again. I feel like you’ve given us a good word for this moment. I want to wrap up with a question that I often pose at the end. If the reader could do one thing to improve their health, what would you recommend that they do?
Turn off the television set. The reason why is simply this, let me give you the most important fact about the immune system. It’s where our health is controlled. The immune system is in charge of your health and it uses energy. That’s a fact. You know how much the immune system uses sometimes? If you’re sick, sometimes you have no energy even to get out of the bed. If your immune system is compromised, in other words, you’re not giving it the budget. You’re not giving it the energy to maintain itself. A compromise on the immune system weakens the health of that individual. What can weaken the health? Stress.
Stress hormones shut off the immune system. Stress is 24/7, 365. People are stressed all day. What’s the result? A health crisis. You go, “I thought the health crisis is due to genes.” I go, “No. Less than 1% of illness in humans is attributed to the genes. Ninety percent of illness or more is due to stress.” You say, “So, what?” People turn on the TV. We’ve had flu every year. Let’s go back several years ago. When flu season is coming, “Get your flu shot.” Some of them get a flu shot. Some don’t get a flu shot, no big deal. Flu is here every year. 2020’s flu season, “You’re going to die. Millions of people are going to die.” That changes the psychology of the observer.
If we turn off the TV, we’re not feeling that tiger breathing down our neck. That’s what I hear you saying. I’ve heard that communities that don’t even watch TV are like, “We’re doing great right now. We don’t even know there is a pandemic.”
The problem is that when you watch it, the subconscious mind, not the conscious mind, which is the one that says, “I’m not going to pay attention to it. That’s a possible one.” Subconscious mind has got a program, virus, disease, sickness, “Virus is here. Disease is coming. Sickness is coming.” You’ve got to be careful because the vision you hold in your head is what you will manifest in your life. Fear, you lose your power. You’ve lost your maintenance of the body. You’ve lost the ability to launch a good immune response. When you watch the news, you are being disempowered because they’re giving you a situation where you have no influence, and you feel already victim, “I’m a victim and I have no power.” That’s the worst thing in the world to have that belief system.
Thank you, Bruce. I look forward to our next conversation.
Me too, because I enjoy being with you. Thank you for letting me speak to your wonderful audience. I want to emphasize why I consider them the wonderful audience you have. It’s because these are the cultural creatives. These are the people that are looking for different answers, the ones that are not in the box, because the answers are outside the box. I appreciate being on this show because the cultural creatives that can change the world are reading. I want to thank them.
I’m glad to hear that. Let’s go get them.
It’s just a honeymoon for all of us if we want it.
Thank you, Bruce.
Thank you. Bye.