by Steve Hammons
July 19, 2006
Research into the nature of DNA has revealed that this material
within each cell of our bodies has important implications for who
each one of us is, on many levels.
In addition to determining our physical characteristics, our
vulnerabilities to certain diseases, and maybe even our personality,
is it possible that the DNA helix holds some of the important
memories of our ancestors?
Theories that suggest that we can tap into the deep nature of DNA to
uncover ancient memories are not new. In the 1960s, some
psychological researchers claimed that there may be keys that unlock
our DNA, revealing experiences of generations of our relatives who
lived long before our present time.
In the 1988 movie ALTERED STATES starring William Hurt, the main
character, a research scientist (Hurt) dives deep into his
consciousness and genetic roots. In the film, he not only relives
ancient experiences of his ancestors, he actually changes on the
This film was reportedly based on the real-life research of
prominent psychologists and medical researchers of the 1960s and
‘70s who used isolation tanks and pharmacological triggers to access
deep DNA memories and experiences, which they claimed were real.
These ideas are similar in a way to the concepts of past lives and
reincarnation. However, this DNA-related line of thinking focuses on
the previous lives within us that are based on genetic memories,
encoded on the DNA helix within us.
MEMORY BANK, INNER SPACE
The DNA within all living things is the blueprint for what each
organism becomes, subject to the environmental influences that can
also have significant effects.
For humans, recent discoveries about DNA are rapidly changing our
views about the importance of this material. DNA may affect us much
more significantly than we imagined. And, it may hold keys to
It has long been known that our physical appearance is determined by
the combination of DNA from our mother and father. Now, researchers
are confirming that certain diseases and disorders have direct links
to our DNA. Our health may be programmed to some degree by our
Our IQ and aptitudes, musical skills, athletic ability, even our
psychological and emotional traits may be significantly affected by
the DNA within us.
It has been demonstrated that experiences necessary for survival of
a species are learned and that this knowledge is passed on to
subsequent generations. In some cases this is mostly likely at least
partially through DNA and the unconscious “instinct” that results.
Even tiny and simple organisms learn crucial survival skills and
pass these on.
For humans, with our relatively complex brain, feelings and
memories, what other kinds of experiences might be saved in our DNA
over the many thousands of years when our ancestors were born, lived
and died? And, can they be accessed by us here and now?
Because learning about situations that are necessary for survival of
a species are probably saved as a kind of unconscious genetic
memory, those fundamental human experiences could be deep down in
our DNA somewhere.
Let’s say you have always had a significant fear of bears since you
were a child. Even Smokey the Bear and other friendly Hollywood
bears could not convince you to regard bears with anything but
anxiety and fearful feelings.
Maybe it is possible that deep, deep within your DNA memory banks,
your great-great-great-great-grandmother or
great-great-great-great-grandfather had a very bad experience with a
bear two hundred years ago. Maybe they saw someone be killed by a
bear. Maybe they had to climb a tree to save themselves from being
eaten by a bear.
Would a life-changing experience like this, resulting in knowledge
very useful for survival, possibly be encoded in the DNA and passed
on to future generations and you?
If there were a way to go deep down into your mind and
consciousness, and into your genetic history, maybe through some
kind of altered state like a dream or through some kind of trigger,
could you recall and experience that event?
Could you relive and re-experience in some way
great-great-great-great grandma’s or grandpa’s harrowing and
hair-raising close encounter with a hungry bear two hundred years
What about some similar “peak experience” or life-changing event of
an ancient relative five hundred years ago? What about five thousand
years ago? After all, we know that at least some part of that
history is inside all of us, right in the DNA in every cell of our
body, right now.
WHAT WE KNOW
AND DON’T KNOW
Scientific researchers are gradually uncovering the secrets of our
DNA. They have identified the functions of and relationships between
some of this material. Many genes remain a mystery and their purpose
Sometimes, these mystery genes are called “junk DNA.” According to
some researchers, this may be an inaccurate label. Because the
purpose and nature of this DNA material is not understood, it
certainly does not mean it is useless junk.
As is often the case in scientific discovery, the more we know, the
more we realize how little we know. Each question answered can raise
many new questions.
For some, our human overconfidence and even arrogance can sometimes
trick us into believing that we know all of the answers.
However, in the field of genetics research, there seems to be so
much that is not known, that for an open-minded person, these kinds
of theories about deep DNA memories cannot be ruled-out.
To conduct our own personal research and to find out for ourselves,
maybe all we need to do is listen to our inner DNA.
Listen to the voices, feelings, sights and experiences of our
ancestors. Their lives, joys and fears are within us. In that way,
they are with us always.