Nothing gives me more joy and pleasure than to inform you of a revolution. There is a quiet revolution that is sweeping our land. Its artillery is information passed from person to person, and its effects are peace and healing. There is no central command; instead, its intelligence comes from a multitude of scientific minds spread all over the United States and abroad. The spread of this revolution cannot be stopped because the flow of information cannot be stopped. Although attempts have been made nothing can stop the efforts of a million men and women willing to share. Truth in hands of people is a potent weapon. It can liberate hearts and stir the soul.
As the founder and principal director of ChristAudio, it's been a privilege to watch spectacular scientific discoveries unfold over the decades.
One of the most extraordinary discoveries was documented by Harvard cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson whose research history started in the early 1970's. In 2013 he led researchers to conclude that genetic activity changes with meditation. This landmark study showed changes in genetic differences in blood samples in people after a 20-minute relaxation session. The study was conducted on both male and female participants as well as novice and experienced meditators.
Scientists were able to measure 22,000 genetic changes that positively affected health while suppressing illness in the body.
In another astounding, report this one directed by Eric R. Kandel, awarded the Nobel Prize for his excellent work demonstrating how thought, even our imagination, can activate or deactivate genetic functions in our DNA, demonstrated and recorded how thought changes neurotransmitter chemistry in the brain which in turn affects how we feel.
In other words, how we think or imagine, changes the structure of our brain and body. The implication of this monumental discovery suggests that the landscape of our physical body is capable of changing moment-by-moment by how we think.
Even more astounding is the realization that every human being is endowed with the capacity to change how they think, this means each one of us is gifted with the ability to physically changes ourselves.
Medicine has traditionally taught that if we could change the chemistry of the brain we could change how we feel and think. All types of powerful medications have been developed out of this philosophy to treat many spectrums of mental health, but, as you've learned so far the voices of those leading the field are documenting that the cultivation of the mind is the most critical factor in maintaining good health, not the other way around.
Changing our chemistry, and ultimately how we feel, is more complicated than just introducing chemistry into the brain. Our brain is connected to a universe of thought and emotion that leads to real change. In my life-long quest, I've encountered situations where one simple realization can lead a person to instantaneous transformation. Anxiety, or depression, seems to be magically transformed to health and balance by grasping a simple realization, and the transformation is lasting.
The most valuable lesson we are learning is that the activity within the unseen space of the mind directs the health of the body.
We may not have control over life or the world around us, but we do have control over the activity of our mind. God has empowered you to control the nature of your thought. God also designed your body to manifest the result of your thought-life as real and substantial. Today scientific truth reveals that the reality of the mind becomes physically manifest in the flesh.
The Apostle John once said, "and the Word became flesh". (John 1:14) The Word is the invisible representation of God manifested in physical form. We can see a similar process at work within ourselves with the activity of the mind physically manifesting its details in the body.
Science has proven a key Biblical scripture that we are created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27) Within ourselves are comparable processes to the creation, in the sense that something invisible can manifest something visible and measurable.
The power of our mind can help or hinder. Guided by this truth many have succeeded in living extraordinary lives. One could say that those fortunate enough to understand and practice this principle could be considered mentally healthy while those who do may not be as healthy, and sadly many are not.
The National Institutes of Health complied some staggering numbers in their Biological Sciences Curriculum Study around the subject of mental health. Here's a direct excerpt:
According to recent estimates, approximately 20 percent of Americans, or about one in five people over the age of 18, suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
Four of the 10 leading causes of disability—major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder—are mental illnesses.
About 3 percent of the population have more than one mental illness at a time.
About 5 percent of adults are affected so seriously by mental illness that it interferes with their ability to function in society. These severe and persistent mental illnesses include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, other severe forms of depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Approximately 20 percent of doctor's appointments are related to anxiety disorders such as panic attacks.
Eight million people have depression each year.
Two million Americans have schizophrenia disorders, and 300,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
Attending to mental health is no different than attending physical health. We have to feed and exercise our mind every day to remain continually enjoy in good health.
Having robust scientific accountable data is great but having a Biblical reference to these discoveries would inspire anyone to pursue a life of mental health to the highest degree.
In chapter 4 of the Book of Proverbs we are instructed to ponder, meditate, muse, and deeply reflect on God's word until it becomes a discernible body of knowledge from which we think and live. In verse 22 of the same chapter, we are told that the God's word cultivated in the mind is health to the flesh of its possessor.
Any doctor or scientist today will tell you that good health is a result of positive genetic activity. If you ask me, the precept to profoundly and meditatively ponder on God's word for good health sounds a lot like what both Dr. Benson and neuroscientist Eric Kandel discovered.
Imagine spending millions of dollars and employing thousands of staff hours only to prove one sentence in the Bible, well, that's precisely what happened. If you slow down your brain waves to think reflectively on God's words, your genetic activity will change for the better.
This, of course, leads us to the inevitable understanding that we are created to mentally and physically benefit from positive thought and emotions, whereas negativity corrupts us genetically.
Now is the time to create a daily practice to unwind the mind and quietly meditate on God's word. The exercise will lift your spirit, clear your mind, and according to doctors and God's word, change you genetic activity.