Toxic Habits, Stale Information, and Creating A New You
The field of genetics has officially entered the information age. Scientists are sending synthetically constructed DNA across the internet, vaccines are electronically engineered in hours instead of months… the examples of progress are plentiful, and they all sound like science fiction. Thankfully, legendary health guru Deepak Chopra is here to explain how we can use this new information to improve our daily lives.
None of this would be possible without reducing biology to data, making information the basis of life.
In an essay for SF Gate, Deepak explains how our advanced understanding of genetics can help us contextualize negative habits, beliefs, and mindsets. Just like unwanted physical tics (like mindlessly reaching for more chips) negative mental patterns result from a process of information coding, one that our bodies are constantly involved in. When we react to stimuli, we build tracks in our brains that becoming increasingly hard to break from. “It’s a self contradiction to live as both jailer and prisoner,” Deepak says. “But all of us are caught in that contradiction.”
In order to change ourselves, Deepak suggests, we must acknowledge that these tracks (a) exist, and (b) are not permanently ingrained. “Consciousness transcends information,” he writes. “And only consciousness can reshape [information] into higher and better uses.” In other words, the more we push ourselves to become aware of these patterns, the better chance we have of changing them.
While science is starting to show us that our biological makeup is little different than the coding of a computer, thinkers like Deepak are showing us that, with self-discipline, we can change that coding for the better.