Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence – hence the name epi- (Greek: επί- over, above, outer) -genetics. Examples of such changes might be DNA methylation or histone deacetylation, both of which serve to suppress gene expression without altering the sequence of the silenced genes.
These changes may remain through cell divisions for the remainder of the cell’s life and may also last for multiple generations. However, there is no change in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism;instead, non-genetic factors cause the organism’s genes to behave (or “express themselves”) differently. A single fertilized egg cell – the zygote – changes into the many cell types including neurons, muscle cells, epithelium, endothelium of blood vessels etc. as it continues to divide. It does so by activating some genes while inhibiting others.
The epigenetic code can be rewritten quickly and to dramatic effect. Our epigenome may also undergo relatively rapid spontaneous change with a powerful influence on our biological traits. Epigenetic events might silence genes when they aren’t needed, then turned them back on when external conditions warrant.. So much for “changing gene frequencies”. This isn’t “changing gene frequencies” (the normal description of “evolution”), but changing epigenetic markers. Epigenetics dwarfs the rate of spontaneous change seen at the DNA sequence level by about five orders of magnitude. Epigenomes are changeable, programmable and will feed us the bottom line on how the genome works.
With the Human Genome Project largely complete, scientists are turning to variation in the epigenome and beginning to map chemical modifications of DNA that affect gene expression. Two recent studies that provide the first comprehensive maps of human DNA methylation — one of the most commonly studied epigenetic modifications. The changes are much more subtle and clever than we might imagine. Some regions remain methylated, some become demethylated, some become methylated, and these changes can occur in certain genes, certain parts of genes, and certain things that aren’t genes.
Specific epigenetic processes include paramutation, bookmarking, imprinting, gene silencing, X chromosome inactivation, position effect, reprogramming, transvection, maternal effects, the progress of carcinogenesis, many effects of teratogens, regulation of histone modifications and heterochromatin, and technical limitations affecting parthenogenesis and cloning.
More Than Metaphor?
KINdling is a metaphor that implies Inner Fire, Light or Life Force can be stimulated and modulated by driving forces both internal and external to ourselves. The word kindling is thus a metaphor for the stimulation and modulation of energy dynamics. The increase in response to small stimuli is similar to the way small burning twigs can ignite a large fire. By resonance, mirroring and entanglement, dragon kin can awaken latent capacities in one another in a similar KINdling process, facilitating superfluid consciousness.
Our “epigenetic” code – an extra layer of biochemical instructions in DNA – can evolve more quickly than the genetic code and can strongly influence biological traits. “It’s not all in the genes,” says Joseph Ecker, a professor in Salk’s Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, who led the research team. “We found that these plants have an epigenetic code that’s more flexible and influential than we imagined. There is clearly a component of heritability that we don’t fully understand. It’s possible that we humans have a similarly active epigenetic mechanism that controls our biological characteristics and gets passed down to our children. ”
With the advent of techniques for rapidly mapping the DNA of organisms, scientists have found that the genes stored in the four-letter DNA code don’t always determine how an organism develops and responds to its environment. The more biologists map the genomes of various organisms (their entire genetic code), the more they are discovering discrepancies between what the genetic code dictates and how organisms actually look and function.
Scientists have even found that identical human twins exhibit different biological traits, despite their matching DNA sequences. They have theorized that such unexplained disparities could be the work of epigenetic variation. Since none of these patterns of variation and inheritance match what the genetic sequence says should happen, there is a clearly a component of the ‘genetic’ heritability that is missing. Epigenetics shows patterns of divergence compared to the ancestral state. Thus, transgenerational epigenetic variation in DNA methylation may generate new allelic states that alter transcription, providing a mechanism for phenotypic diversity in the absence of genetic mutation.
Ecker and other scientists have traced these mysterious patterns to chemical markers that serve as a layer of genetic control on top of the DNA sequence. Just as genetic mutations can arise spontaneously and be inherited by subsequent generations, epigenetic mutations can emerge in individuals and spread into the broader population.
Although scientists have identified a number of epigenetic traits, very little was known about how often they arose spontaneously, how quickly they could spread through a population and how significant an influence they could have on biological development and function.
Researchers found that overall there is very little change between each generation, but spontaneous epimutations do exist in populations and arise at a rate much higher than the DNA mutation rate, and at times they had a powerful influence over how certain genes were expressed. They mapped the state of all locations on the DNA molecule that could undergo a chemical modification known as methylation, a key epigenetic change that can alter how certain underlying genes are expressed. They then watched how methylation states of these sites evolved over the generations.
The epigenetic code is far more fluid than genetic code. Even more surprising was the extent to which some of these changes turned genes on or off, for substantial alterations in their expression – the process by which genes control cellular function through protein production. Not only do the epigenomes morph rapidly despite the absence of any strong environmental pressure, but these changes have a powerful influence on form and function.
Ecker said the results of the study provide some of the first evidence that the epigenetic code can be rewritten quickly and to dramatic effect. “This means that genes are not destiny,” he said. “…our epigenome may also undergo relatively rapid spontaneous change that could have a powerful influence on our biological traits.” The wisdom of the grandmothers in their mitochondrial DNA. .Is this the long-hidden mechanism for awakening dragonkin to their full potential?
The Sleeper Must Awaken
Researchers have shown the extent to which spontaneous epigenetic mutations occur. They plan to unravel the biochemical mechanisms that allow these changes to arise and get passed from one generation to the next. They also hope to explore how different environmental conditions, such as differences in temperature, might drive epigenetic change, or, conversely, whether epigenetic traits provide organisms with more flexibility in coping with environmental change. “We think these epigenetic events might silence genes when they aren’t needed, then turn them back on when external conditions warrant,” Ecker said.
The key is in the ignition. What gets ignited is primordial energy transformation and transcendence. The pre-physical quantum ground state is the vacuum. The Gnostics were correct in insisting this void is a Pleroma, a plenum of information-infused energy that interacts with the manifest world. There is a relation between DNA, epigenetics, the topology of the vacuum, morphological development and evolution in biology. In the Pleroma state, polarities neutralize in balance leading to a sense of peace, as inner conflicts resolve.
The KINdling concept is analogous to the “butterfly effect” in chaos theory which demonstrates how a small amount of energy applied strategically in time or space can be pumped up into macrocosmic effects. In this trope, small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. Such state changes are most often permanent or continue to evolve based on their attractor patterns. Such forces can either build or destroy, create order or chaos.
Sympathetic resonance, entrainment and entanglement are related concepts we can use to amplify and explore our model. Resonance is a harmonic phenomenon where a formerly passive string or vibratory body responds to or is entrained by external vibrations to which it has a harmonic likeness. Recent research has revealed applications in quantum physics, brain function, and the acoustic and photonic nature of DNA holographic projection. The discovery of ‘mirror neurons’ in the human brain has revealed subtle resonant linkages in our interpersonal relationships.
Brainwave synchronization is the ability of the brain to synchronize with external stimuli such as another individual, as well as visual and/or audio signals. Brainwave synchronization is also called Frequency-Following Effect, Photonic Stimulation, Photonic Driving, and Visual and/or Brainwave Synchronization. Brainwave synchronization is very effective for changing from one brain wave state to a targeted brainwave state. Such spontaneous “biofeedback” may be one of the mechanisms behind shamanic and psychotherapeutic healing, through mirroring and shared “biofeedback”.
This cluster of mirror neurons holds the key to understanding many enigmatic aspects of human evolution. Pre-adaptive mirror neurons affect us from the cradle to the grave, being associated with bonding, imitative learning and collective consciousness. We construct a self-image first of our bodies and their capacities and limitations through experimentation, and then of our essential nature as we gaze into the “mirrors” of our caregivers.
Learning replicates itself within cultures with astounding speed, sometimes refered to as ‘the hundredth monkey effect’. Mirror neurons could well play a role in resilience, mentoring, language and self-awareness. Our primal self-images shapes our perceptions based on the input of our senses and nervous system. Mirror neurons fire when we observe others expressing or doing similar actions. They help us read and understand the intentions of others. Therefore, they are the psychobiological root of mindreading, empathy, “mindsharing,” and our innate ability to adapt and change — resilience, as well as innovation.
We can mirror the optimistic positive attitudes and aptitudes of our mentors. Shamanic processes of mindsharing involve a shared reality in which the integrity of the mentor stabilizes the journeyer even though they may be moving through fear and pain in a highly emotional state. The empathic sensing, “mind reading,” and compassionate reassurance of the mentor sustains the dynamic momentum of the process as it moves spontaneously toward natural healing. Mindsharing comes down to us from the ancient shamanic tradition of spiritual healing.
“A shaman is someone whose specialty is induction of a well state, someone who may help either through research or treatment to induce a state in someone else’s brain that will produce health,” according to psychiatrist Arnold Mandell. “But the brain is an open, instrinsically unstable system, and its higher level order may be not just the wires and connection of a switchboard but all the turbulence and eddies of streams and waterfalls. And yet it has a statistical stability, an inertia. If it’s perturbed enough, it gets more and more turbulent. It fractures, then organizes into a new regime. The brain is my cosmology. I sometimes think the rest of science is the brain’s picture of itself.”
Inner journeys, using our dreams, symptoms, feelings, fears and pain as doorways to deeper levels of ourselves, allow us to exercise our right-brain functions much as intellectual pursuits exercise the rational mind. They also help us find and share our joy. We connect directly with our emotions, our non-linear irrational elements and the sensations that arise in our psychophysical being.
By directing our attention toward our inner process we connect with the eternal source of wisdom and our intuition comes to the fore. An inherent part of the process of changing from the inside out is that as the deepest self transforms, downline faculties such as beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and behavior, as well as psychosomatic condition, automatically change as well. Thus, resilience can be seen as the ability to dynamically change at the most fundamental level toward a more adaptive way of being in the world.
DNA’s asymmetrical qualities might be a significant factor in genetically influencing other asymmetrical aspects of the human body, such as hemispheric differentiations, organ placement, and so on. Their rationale is as follows: “The double strands of each DNA molecule encode genetic information in terms of the sequencing of component amino acids. The two long strands are wound around each other in a clockwise spiral; thus, the DNA molecule cannot be superimposed upon its mirror reflection,”
In other words, its mirrored reflection represents a reversed image of the original DNA molecule rather than an image that could be placed identically onto its original; its right helix would be on the left, and its left helix would be on the right and its genetic codes would be read backwards. The laws of physics claim to work the same for any phenomenon’s identically mirrored image as they do for the original phenomenon. Only sequencing information, such as written information–like the DNA codes–do not reflect symmetrically, and thus introduce asymmetry into the application of natural laws.
There is an “underlying cytoplasmic gradient operating during embryonic development that favors the left side of the body.” They conclude that systematic asymmetries of morphology, molecular biology, and sub-atomic interactions are ultimately linked, and that there is, after all, an absolute, universal distinction between left and right. So, our question becomes, “can we use this information about our brains’ asymmetrically functioning “parts” to become more resilient?”
Cogitive neuroscience speaks of Mirror Neurons as the driving force behind “the great leap forward” in human evolution. V.S. Ramachandran claims that the discovery of mirror neurons in the frontal lobes of monkeys, and their potential relevance to human brain evolution is the single most important “unreported” (or at least, unpublicized) story of the decade. He predicts that mirror neurons will do for psychology what DNA did for biology: they will provide a unifying framework and help explain a host of mental abilities that have hitherto remained mysterious and inaccessible to experiments.
The fundamental scientific discovery is that every physical system has fields of energy that permeate and surround that system. When systems vibrate at their optimal frequency spectrums, they are able to function more efficiently and deliver expected, even enhanced, levels of performance. When these systems are not vibrating ideally, reduced efficiency and performance can result. In humans, the principal energy system is known as the “Biofield” – a term officially recognized by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. In ancient times it was called subtle energy, chi, prana.
Light My Fire
While the term ‘kindling’ is used in brain research to refer to “electrical kindling”, symbolically it can be applied more widely as a metaphor for “ignition” by repeated exposure or stimulation producing emergent phenomena. Kindling has been shown to effect both transient and permanent gene expression in some contexts, and that extends our metaphor toward plausible effects in unreported pathways. We don’t have to take such notions literally to benefit from their conceptual application.
In disease process, electrical kindling alters the hippocampal expression of the mRNA expression of methyl DNA-binding factors, suggesting that this family of transcriptional regulators can be differentially altered. We suggest, at least conceptually or symbolically, that kindling can represent positive change or potentiation, as well. Many mysteries of gene expression and brain plasticity remain to be examined.
Biophotons govern the interaction of coherent EM fields and biological matter, in a coupled feedback loop between field and matter. Biophotons also have a characteristic frequency that defines their resonance patterns and energy distribution. The dominating role of source and sink of the field is likely DNA, which produces most of the biophotons. Both morphology and dynamics of DNA indicate it is a phase-conjugate adaptive resonance antenna. It both transmits and receives holographic information from the subquantal domain.
DNA receives and emits this information as biophotons that coordinate, communicate and stimulate the biochemistry. Waves of energy vibrate and resonate with one another creating an interference pattern that is a 3-dimensional holographic field. From the center of each cell, DNA molecules create, coordinate, and control the field. By altering our biophoton field, we can change our DNA expression.
According to Popp, “The high degree of coherence of biophotons elucidates the universal phenomenon of biological systems — coherence of biophotons is responsible for the information transfer within and between cells. This answers the crucial question of intra and extracellular biocommunication, including the regulation of metabolic activities of cells, growth, differentiation and evolutionary development.”
Our intuition guides us in possibly fruitful directions for research and experimentation. If seizures can be kindled into creating permanent brain pathways through gene expression, can the same be said for the unusual electrical activity potentiated by self-discovery and transcendence? Therapeutically, we know that just as one traumatic event can induce a toxic pattern, one therapeutic event can utterly reverse or overwrite that pattern. The ‘placebo effect’ shows that beliefs have the potential to both harm and ‘cure’. Can such beliefs produce transformations or stimulate visionary experience or spiritual deliverance?