Friday, September 18, 2009

You are personally responsible for everything in your life

We say that perception is belief:
Your belief in a stressful situation
will rewrite your genes to accommodate the stress.
If the stressful environment is not even real
is not even out there:
You will change your biology to fit what you believe.


Quitmoanez said...

Adapted from a lecture I just saw.

cara said...


do you have a link for us?

D.Macri said...

This is, in my mind, still not resolved. Nobody changes their biology so much that we should right off it's influence. You do not control if you are born with no food in a third world country, or raised in a western palace.If you are talking larger scale perception, like forming you're own universe in your mind, like what people often describe as god or heaven, even that, I suspect is bound by laws. Everything is limited.

Except ducks apparently.

(Not to mention the implications! Think of how wrong it would be to say that to, for example a rape victim, or someone hit by a drunk driver, "you're personally responsible for everything in your life").

I would be much more comfortable with, "Everyone underestimates how much they can personally influence their own life"!

anita said...

I thought it was all about statistics.

D.Macri said...

I now disagree with myself, it's more than just ducks, but still.


wolfBoy said...

hmmmmm. i'm sort of with dave here.

or, let me put it this way... i disagree about 85% with the title, but the poem itself represents what is, to some degree, an indisputable scientific fact (hate that phrase, might as well start replacing it with "divine truth" since one is no less faith-based than the other in some respects).

i read a while back that kids playing video games where they're fighting soldiers in city streets experience almost identical physical reactions to actual soldiers in actual combat situations.

word verif: vantry. vantray, vantray, say the Teacher, all is vantray.

wolfBoy said...

and in disagreeing with the title, like dave, i can offer some fairly specific case studies.

the theological term "grace", for e.g., covers this-- the idea that we can receive mercy and favour that helps us, even though it is in no way merited by our actions.

c-dog said...

I agree, the title is a bit hard to swallow, but I'm just paraphrasing the lecture.

Yet from the point of view of its power as a vehicle of personal action, I think it is crucial. And specifically in those situations that Macro notes. It is in these situations, where one is clearly not responsible for what is happening, that believing or acting like one has some agency plays out the best.

To use one of my oft examples, in the experience of torture, it is those individuals that make a willful decision to stake a claim to themselves, to their identity, as prior to their experience of an extreme loss of control, it is these individuals that have much improved psychological and health outcomes over the long-term. In short, they recover and survive fully and as far as can be said, completely.

As for science and divinity being one (which is not what you're saying wolfBoy but is what I'm concluding), I'm not so sure, but I get the point.

Ludolf Grollé said...

You might believe you've changed your biology - but is that jut a perception or the truth? "L"

c-dog said...

No, it is known that proteins can transfer information to RNA which then encodes DNA, and we're not talking evolutionary time, we're talking in terms of the lifespan of a cell.

wolfBoy said...

again, like the video game example, your biology responds to the situation not as it is, but as you perceive it to be.

those kids playing "kill the zombie" video games aren't in any real danger, yet their body produces the exact same biological response (elevated heart rate and blood pressure, increased adrenaline, increased blood flow to skin, etc) as a soldier has when he's creeping through a baghdad street looking through his infa-red goggles.

of course, if we all perceive ourselves to be 17 again, our body may not follow suit, but...

renamaphone said...

Man's Search For Meaning, by Viktor Frankl.

This isn't related to biology, well, I guess it is in a sense, but what CQ wrote about identity and survival made me think of it. It's a fascinating read.