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Genetics, Sanskaras & Meaning

A thought about what our role is in this incarnation is to face the challenge that our predecessors could not overcome.

This short thought is on personal growth and how our challenges manifest themselves, not only in the physical world but how they are carried in our genetics and unconscious mind.

There has been much research undertaken on heritability of psychological and physiological traits and the results are extremely divided.

As humans, we are born with around 99% of the same DNA. We can live with each other and relate to each other through this, yet it is the 1% of differences that divide us the most. These differences must be overcome to live in global harmony with each other and with nature. The work required in overcoming these starts at home. Many of us recognise negative traits within our parents which we wish to overcome, traits which have been refined since the previous generation and so on. Much like our ability to generate memes, we are also refining our morality. In Hinduism, these mental imprints are known as Sanskaras — the unconscious karmic imprints acquired through each and every action of our soul’s journey. In genetic research it is known as heritability. It is something that is ever present, lying dormant within your DNA or your unconscious mind and is triggered by the world around you. We are tasked with transcending this challenge. For some the challenge may be physical and for some it may be mental, yet we all experience the challenges through our intangible emotions. This is why we adore those around us who conquer challenges like climbing Everest, solving a longstanding math problem, learning to walk after a life threatening injury or just learning to cope with the hand that life has dealt them. These metaphors appearing in the world around us should inspire us to focus on our goals.

We do not know why god makes life difficult for us, or why we embark on such intensive challenges, but the underlying human compulsion and mystical nature of the universe is too grand to be ignored.

While we typically like to blame our parents personally, or the actions of the previous generation of the human race collectively, we do not know how we trigger inherited traits, we can only seek to observe them and overcome them. What may seem an almost impossible feat to us to overcome, is but a blip on the story of humankind, yet necessary to propel us forward as a race.

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