We are learning that genetics are more incredible then anyone as ever imagined. From the deciphering the structure of DNA, to the links of finding a murderer based on forensic evidence, the structure of our society and how we manage has changed drastically in sixty years.
Is there anything more beautiful then seeing your spouses features in your children? Or holding your grandchild for the first time and seeing some of your own physical features? To my husband’s grandmother’s surprise, his brother looks exactly like his grandmothers father. His Irish features skipped a few generations! Inherited physical traits are passed on by genetics. But controversially, there are studies that show sometimes our memories are passed on genetically.
I remember a few years ago, in my University Anthropology class, my well respected professor timidly explained to the class that he believed in inherited memory. Essentially memories, such as a traumatic experience or a passion for a particular place, are passed down from generation to generation. Our class seemed to be in unison: we did not believe a word of it. However, as I grow older and as the saying goes “the more you know, the more you don’t know” the wisdom this man disposed on my naïve class is constantly on my mind.
There are many accounts of people who have travelled to a country of their ancestors and automatically knew how to get around. They have never set foot in the country before, but through what they say felt as an inherited memory, they had “been there before”. Their senses were heightened by the hustle and the bustle of their ancestors community, and that they have “smelled these smells” and “heard these sounds” before, often in their dreams.
One story that is really striking is a Japanese family who adopted a French baby. He was raised in Japan without knowledge of his French ancestry. He had an extreme fascination with French culture and even though he only spoke Japanese, he took French classes, and was always at the top of his class and became fluent in a short period of time. Is this a coincidence or inherited predisposition of the culture from his parents?
I have a family member who is unable to travel due to a lifetime health problem. Her ancestry resides on the coastal region of Gaspe. When I asked her if she ever wondered what it was like to go there, or I offered to show her (as she has no desire to go on the internet) videos of her ancestors home town, she refused. “I already know what its like, I can tell you what the ocean smells like, sounds like, and I feel like I have been there.” She replies, as she explains that the region is within her through what she described as an inherited memory. She has never been anywhere near the ocean.
She is not alone. Many people believe their fears or phobias are passed on by ancestors. “I hate the water,” a man told me, “then I learned my great grandfather drowned”. Whether it is coincidence or not, before these people learned about the horrific events of their deceased ancestors they have an immense fear of the cause.
Biologically speaking, senses are passed to the short term memory. The hippocampus, located in your brain, consolidates short term memories and transfers the memory to the long term memory. Neural connections then spread across the brain. Not everything makes it to your long-term memory. So, if inherited memory is true, I would believe that the answers to our questions lie within the hippocampus transmitting the information into long term memory, and finding the link between the stored long term memory received and genetic code imprinting. Perhaps this link can be found from instinct, which every animal, including ourselves have.
I assumed because my dogs were puppy mill survivors and lived in a rabbit cage for over 10 years would not have regular learned dog traits. As my dog adjusted to regular life, I came home after a day from work. My dog wagged her tail when she saw me. I believed until then that wagging a tail was not instinct, but a communication taught from mother to pup. Since my dog never saw her mother and was human raised, and placed in a cage her whole life, she would never know to wag her tail when she was happy. Is this Genetic memory? Instinct? Coincidence?
I would be interested in you, the reader, talking about any memory you believe to be inherited by your ancestors. Please feel free to comment below, as I feel this topic is incredibly interesting and further discussion should be encouraged. Those who believe in reincarnation and past lives should also leave their insight!