Genetics vs. Free Will
- Category: Self Improvement
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So we are told that 66.5% of our illnesses, habits, and personality traits are genetically designed. So what chance do we have? The odds seem truly stacked against us. No-one is going to argue with DNA. Just accept that you are a likely cancer candidate who tends towards insecurity and worry, and who is socially inadequate. Isn’t acceptance a good thing?
This predeterministic argument sounds plausible in every respect. It conforms to our latest understanding of genetics. And it’s also oh so wise – acceptance of our fate and lot is surely an expression of wisdom.
But there’s that missing 33.5% still to be accounted for? And must we be really so accepting of our faults and shortcomings?
So let’s start again. Yes it does seem that we are inclined genetically by about 66% - but the operative word is ‘inclined’, i.e. proclivities, tendencies, possibilities, pointers – not ‘givens’. Those who have the ‘obesity marker’ are inclined that way, and therefore need to work harder to overcome it. And it’s not a difficult obstacle course – but it does require alertness, mindfulness and commitment. Ditto all the other genetic markers that point to tendencies.
That is exactly what the reincarnative journey of the soul is about. The soul is given, in each lifetime, its perfect obstacle course. The course includes carefully designed life exigencies, and is ‘fitted’ with a space suit called ‘the body’. The body’s ‘software, i.e. it’s biological make-up, is perfectly matched to be suitably challenged by, yet able to overcome, the challenges of this lifetime.
The Chabad Hassidic teachings emphasize that we are never given a challenge without the capacity, power, and capability to overcome. The genetic inclinations are carefully programmed by the Divine Designer to be successfully matched by our determination, commitment and wisdom.
Then there is the matter of the other 33.5%. This constitutes the influence of parental modeling, formative childhood experiences, and the environmental influences of life etc. So here we have it – a total of 100% of life’s influences that seem to be totally out of our control. Where does free choice come into the picture? How do we stand a chance to overcome.?
So let me explain. Free choice is like making yoghurt. It doesn’t take much catalyst (acidophilus) to transform a liter (quart) of milk into yoghurt, in fact 0.5% of the total volume does the trick. A tiny bit completely transforms the lot! In the same way, free choice coupled with willpower and determination, can transform all the genetic and environmental influences. Spiritual acidophilus transforms the quality of life.
And that holds as true for preventing cancer as it is for changing any unwanted personality traits. Cancer prevention requires careful management of health maintenance behaviours such as a good quality whole foods (not ‘artificial dead foods’) coupled with conscious eating, plus reasonable exercise spread throughout the day coupled with ongoing body scrutiny, and not least of all, positive disposition coupled with a good dose of Emunah (axiomatic positive thinking).
Sure you may have the cancer gene. We are told that we all have a variety of illness dispositions, and the longer we live the more likely these will rear their ugly heads. But we can ward these off – by the exercise of free choice.The common perception of ‘acceptance’ as being wise, is unwise. What we need to accept is that we have dispositions – not to accept their conclusions. We have the spiritual and tangible reserves to creative alternative conclusions – through the exercise of free choice.
Yoghurt is not just for yogis!
- See more at: http://www.spiritgrowjosefkrysscenter.org/blog/yoghurt#sthash.Gd5JPCmC.dpuf
This article was originally posted at http://www.spiritgrowjosefkrysscenter.org/blogs/laibls-world