Chapter 3        Who Are You, Really?


“Example is not the main thing in influencing others; It’s the only thing!”

Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965)

This is a question that we don’t often ask ourselves, perhaps because we think we know already, though that’s not always true!

“Well, I am the physical product of the genes I inherited from my parents and ancestors!”  No, that’s not true! It would only be true if you had the same lifestyle, beliefs, and thoughts as your parents in the same physical environment! The new science of epigenetics has proved that every gene has to be turned on by our environment, our internal and external environment.6, 52   So we can’t blame our parents’ genes for who we are anymore!

“Okay, so I am “my personality”, how I relate to other people and events!” No, that’s not true either! We are only consciously in charge of our thinking, behaviour, and actions for about five percent of our waking hours and ninety-five percent of the time our subconscious is in charge, and that was programmed mostly by our families before we were seven years old! Our subconscious brain can process over 20,000,000 environmental stimuli per second, but our conscious brain can only process about 40 environmental stimuli per second! 44

“Ah! Yes, I know, I am the person in my body!” No, that’s not true either! This will come as a shock to you and indeed to most people – your body is an amazing ecosystem that relies for its survival on a vast number of micro-organisms. Your own body is a community of 30-50 trillion cells containing 23,000 genes. That’s not enough genes to produce the vast range of proteins and nutrients your body needs. It is estimated we need over 100,000 genes! Despite the fact we are top of the evolutionary tree we have fewer genes than many bugs or flies (a drosophila fly has 60,000!) Our genetic deficit has been made good by hosting a vast population of friendly bugs, bacteria, viruses, etc. that account for ten times more cells than we already have in our bodies, accounting for over 300 trillion cells if we are to be healthy! So, in fact, we are only partially our body! 11

So, who am I really? There is a meeting of ancient wisdom and modern science that is proposing the concept that our true self is our soul! This growing understanding has been supported by the advances in Quantum Physics and the “spooky” science that Einstein commented on. There is a growing belief that the fundamental “stuff” of our universe is not matter or energy but consciousness! You and your soul are part of this universal consciousness! You are not your physical body but far more than that, you are a part of universal consciousness that is timeless and spaceless. Now, that may be too much to accept today, as it does take time for us to accept major shifts in our understanding – it took a few hundred years to accept the fact that the earth isn’t flat! Perhaps we should all start thinking about trying to have a conversation with our real selves, chatting with our Soul? 12

Like it or not we humans are the product of millions of years of symbiosis with nature. That’s how we invited all those microbes into our lives. When we live in contact and harmony with the natural environment we thrive. Our greatest error has been to progressively separate ourselves from nature in sterile, concrete, urban environments and even see nature as the enemy against whom we have to wage a constant war.

Despite the fact that of the known thirty million bacteria, only a hundred are potentially harmful, we attempt to eliminate all bacteria and other bugs with our antibiotics, industrial chemicals, the sterilisation of processed foods we eat, and even with the cosmetics we use. If we are to thrive and enjoy better health, we all need to learn to live closer to nature in the future. 13

The old saying that “no man is an island “is indeed true. We are all connected to the whole natural world and the universe!

That’s who you are!