It's hereditary, so it can’t be changed is a phrase I often hear as a doctor, either doctor to patient or patient to the doctor or doctor-to-doctor. And sometimes I nod in agreement, because it is easy, and because it is true for the person who says it, but basically I don't know.
In this way, as a doctor I may easily keep a man stocked in his understanding of his disease as limited by the descriptions from my medical books and categories. The patient is risking becoming my description of him. Maybe it's a result from the way medical science teaches doctors to believe in life and diseases as linear events. In the way that situation A leads to the result B. In fact we humans are much more complex, so the mere thought of it may cause turmoil for everyone who come to know this, and what to do if our worldview bursts?
When we humans begin to discover that communication in the body is not just linear through our nervous system and blood vessels but multidimensional through the skin, connective tissue the water in the body through vibrations from hormones, minerals, sound-, pressure - light etc. inside and outside the body. When we recognize that the appearance of a symptom A is not uniquely caused by event B, and does not necessarily lead to the result C. Our childhood ABC dissolves itself in a sense. Our linear perception of the world and mankind ceases, as we enter into a multidimensional worldview.
With this knowledge may our usual understanding of heredity also disappear. Where is this “cousin” located in fact? The cousin, we tend to lean upon, and place the responsibility for our discomfort?
“It is in the genes” is a usual response. However it is just about 1% of our disorders, which can be localized to a gene, and which we may claim to be 100% genetic in the sense that the disorder is present at birth. How and why the many other disorders emerge in us between birth and death at a given time, we really don’t know. We may observe and describe some physiological changes, but what initiated them at first hand in a person we don’t know. Like why does a family member get the flue while another goes free? What causes the emergence of a disease after a traumatic event in a person's life, while other people go through the same traumas without developing illness? Suffering is complex, multi-factorial and individual.
Yet we are born with genes as a good mixture of our parents and ancestors and in this sense there are some heritage. And if we look at our family tree, we may discover that we may have inherited, arthritis, embolism, depression, cancer but also anger, arrogance, abuse, greed, stinginess, joy, etc. It's all in the genes or is it really?
Although we are born with certain genetic susceptibilities they are not necessarily expressed. The many “Dandelion Children” are witnesses of this resilience. So we have a choice to some extent, we can choose to see ourselves as susceptible to the same ailments as our ancestors, still not knowing if we get them. We can also choose to view ourselves as a blank page with numerous options, also when an obstacle like a symptom pops up. We do not know what turns on and off for our gene expression. It is rarely a single event or a single exposure that leads to suffering, it is mainly multiple and repetitive. Therefore a treatment or pills rarely prevent the occurrence of a disorder or result in complete cure, like our linear thinking would like us to believe, so that we may be in control of the situation.
But the situation is not under control, the body communicate multi-dimensional and through many channels and at all times in our changing environment. It can be scary, but it can also be liberating to know, that we are not entirely determined by our genes, and dependent on a single treatment or pill for our entire well-being. As some people have experienced that they don’t get their family disorders, or they still get their disorders despite a given preventive treatment. Put in another way, we die even though we may have a pacemaker and eat aspirin and cholesterol-lowering pills. They can’t prevent death.
Such realisations should not raise any anxiety, guilt or shame, because we all do our best, until we know better, and we get an opportunity to change what can be changed. And it's hard to blame our ancestors, as Adam and Eve did not know any better.
This knowledge can be used to regain hope and faith in ourselves and our inherent ability to support each other. And we can support each other in awaking to this multidimensional world of multidimensional opportunities, and gradually help each other to let go of our common heritage: the fear of the unknown. The most important in life such as love, life and death are still completely out of our human control.
Thank you for reading,