You might remember Dr. Bruce Lipton from our July 2006 interview about his first bestseller, The Biology of Belief. That book focused on how our beliefs affect our reality, including our health and biology.

In 1982, Dr. Lipton began examining the principles of quantum physics and how they might integrate into his understanding of the cell’s information-processing systems. His research at Stanford University revealed that the environment, operating through the cell membrane, controlled the behavior and physiology of the cell, turning genes on and off. Challenging the established scientific view that life is controlled by genes, these discoveries presaged one of today’s most important fields of study, the science of epigenetics.

“According to Lipton’s work, genes control neither our cells nor our destinies,” John David Mann wrote in his introduction. “Instead, they are themselves controlled by signals from outside the cell—including our thoughts and emotions. James Allen built a lasting masterpiece of modern entrepreneurial philosophy based on the Old Testament observation, ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ Bruce Lipton took it to the laboratory and proved it as scientific fact.”

“But there is something more profound to be learned,” say the authors of Spontaneous Evolution. “The collective beliefs of a culture or a society also affect our personal biology and behavior.”

Economic meltdown, environmental crisis, seemingly endless warfare… the world is in critical condition. We’ve all heard stories of people who, by changing their belief systems, experienced seemingly miraculous recoveries from illness. The question is, can the same spontaneous remission happen for our world?

According to Lipton and his coauthor, philosopher Steve Bhaerman, it’s not only possible, it’s already happening. We are surrounded by proof that humans are taking an evolutionary step forward.

Spontaneous Evolution reveals how changing our understanding of biology and human history will help us navigate these turbulent times. It invites readers to question the accepted pillars of traditional biology, including random evolution, survival of the fittest and the role of DNA, and to consider, among other possibilities:

the blueprint for our sustainable, life-affirming future that is literally inside us—encoded in each of the trillions of cells comprising our body;

how our beliefs about nature and human nature shape our politics, culture and individual lives;

and how we can become planetary “stem cells,” supporting the health and growth of our world and every individual in it.

By releasing the old beliefs that keep the status quo in place and building our lives and our world on this heartening new story, say the authors, we can trigger the spontaneous evolution of our species.

Infused with intelligence and humor, Spontaneous Evolution is an insightful and hopeful look at the unfolding destiny of our species and at how everyone can participate in building a positive future.

Hardcover, 432 pages, $25.95;
Hay House Publishing, 2009