The concept known as “genetic memory” is much less studied and far more controversial than what we know as “regular” memory. Whilst there are a multitude of other examples in animals (see: Gallagher, 2013), according to the decorated psychiatrist and author Dr. Darold Treffert, these mysterious genetic memories may also apply to humans too (Treffert, 2015).
The Gift of the ‘Savants’ and What it All Means
Treffert’s research centered around ‘savants’. These are people who are exceptionally gifted in certain skills, displaying completely extraordinary and specialized abilities; be it grasping art or mathematics, linguistics or musical composition, savants all have the innate ability to excel in their respected crafts far beyond what we may consider a regular capacity for consciousness.
According to Treffert and many others, these skills can be “inherited” through some form of genetic code, one that was already present in the brain. Individuals who exhibit this from early childhood are known as being “congenital” savants. However, savants are most often not born to a family of other savants, and in some cases, do not exhibit these miraculous gifts until later in adult life, these are coined the “sudden” savant.
So what is going on in the brain - an organ where around a third of the estimated 20-25,000 genes in our human genome are stored - to allow for this Rain Man-like savantism to take place?
Well, to understand this, first you must be introduced to the third and final type, the “accidental” savant. This is when special abilities only appear after some significant trauma to the brain has occurred, often to the left fronto-temporal area (Hughes, 2012), henceforth the individual seems to miraculously awake to the world with these newly acquired savant-like skills. Treffert, believing this was the key in understanding this phenomena, dedicated most of his research time to this.
Then, in a 2014 article published in the “Scientific American”, he made the bold claim that we all may possess inner savant-like abilities. I for one think this is fantastic news (I’ve personally always wanted to be a lot better at math...), but Treffert goes on to somewhat shatter my dreams of truly mastering my times tables by noting how this skill may only become apparent “if the proper brain circuits are activated or switched off through electrical stimulation”, occurring through a process he labels as the “3 R’s” - Rewiring, Recruitment, and Release (Treffert, 2014, P.54).
He goes on to explain how head trauma rewires the individuals brain circuitry, consequently helping them to recruit and “establish newly formed connections between regions that were not previously linked” creating, in essence, new forms of consciousness. This is then followed by a sudden release of a “dormant capacity” - the genetic memory - “as a result of increased access to the newly connected brain areas” (Treffert, 2014, P.56).
|It is believed that a person’s special abilities from genetic memory can appear after significant trauma to the brain has occurred. Pictured X-rays of human skulls with apparent head trauma. ( stockdevil / ancient-origins/Adobe stock)|
Thus, in this manner Treffert believes the savant is born; the genetic memory is successfully accessed, processed, and for lack of a better term, remembered by the individual.
Whilst we are admittedly at the infancy of understanding this phenomena, it may well have been this same system that the great Swiss psychoanalyst and founder of analytical psychology Carl Jung referred to as the “collective unconscious”, where our personal (that which we experience ourselves) consciousness “rests upon a deeper layer, which does not derive from personal experience” instead being “inborn” into our psyche (Jung, 1968, P. 20).
An important question may be: can we access these skills without being fortunate enough to have been born with the genetic memory already accessible, or conversely, unfortunate enough to suffer significant brain trauma?
We have to look no further than a ground-breaking experiment conducted by Sydney University’s “Center for the Mind” in 2006. Researchers used “a polarized electric current” to, among other things, “diminish activity in a part of the left hemisphere” of the brain “while increasing activity in the right hemisphere”. By using this repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) “these researchers induced savant-like abilities in human volunteers,” especially when tackling skills involving problem solving (Treffert, 2014, P.56) using a simple, low-frequency of just 1 Hz (Snyder et al, 2006, P. 837) (see also: Young, et al. 2004)
This research indicates that through forms of low-level electromagnetic stimulation, it’s possible to “artificially” generate these latent savant-like skills in some people, skills which are most likely housed in the mysterious mechanism of genetic memory.
The Egyptian Spark
At this point you're probably thinking, what does any of this have to do with our ancient past? That would be a fair question. Let me now attempt to answer.
I am putting forward the theory that, extremely deep in our ancient past, quite possibly at the very genesis of what we now know as “civilization”, our ancient ancestors were working tirelessly, going to lengths of unparalleled extremes, in attempts to access the same savant-like skills and the same “genetic memories” as mentioned above.
Despite what the well-established Egyptologist narrative leads many to believe, many of the readers will know that the Great Pyramid of Giza was, in all likelihood, not originally designed as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) in the 26th Century BC.
|The Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx|
As the enigmatic builders set in place “more masonry than all the medieval cathedrals, churches and chapels built in Europe added together'' (Wilson, 1996, P.6), they also went to the trouble of aligning the 2.3 million stone construction blocks perfectly to the four cardinal directions whilst coincidentally choosing “the exact position of the geographical center of the habitable world” as the pyramids place of foundation (Barnard, 1884, P.13).
The function, of the “Great Pyramid, with its numerous chambers and passageways positioned with such deliberate accuracy,” has long since been alternately theorized by researchers like the decorated engineer and acclaimed author Christopher Dunn, as showing itself like “the schematics of a very large machine” used in what he coined the “Giza Power Plant'' Theory (Dunn, 1998, P.19).
Furthermore, this article does not even begin to scratch the surface of similar ideas concerning the use of sound frequencies. Researcher and accredited author Andrew Collins has a fascinating two-part article series on a similar phenomenon in none other than, you guessed it, the Great Pyramid, so please check that out for further information.
Moreover, the general evidence for this re-shuffling of the historical deck of narratives requires a whole other set of work, so please see UnchartedX (below) and Ancient Architects for such careful investigations. Let us instead return to another fascinating and more recent discovery, more applicable to this discussion.
Were the Egyptians Collecting and Concentrating Electromagnetic Energy?
As of 2017, a team of physicists working within the Great Pyramid came to the startling realization that the pyramid works to focus electromagnetic energy. Whilst there has long since been much anecdotal evidence for people feeling different inside the Great Pyramid, (innumerable amounts of people have claimed to experience altered states of consciousness whilst within certain regions of the pyramid), could this finding push us one step closer to revealing where these altered states truly resonate from?
“Multipole analysis” - a method widely-used to study the relationship between a complex object (in this case, the pyramid) and an electromagnetic field was employed to help this investigation. The findings, published in the Journal of Applied Physics , “revealed that the Great Pyramid's chambers can collect and concentrate electromagnetic energy”, concentrated hundreds of feet below in the so-called subterranean chamber - a chamber that researchers have long since believed once held water fed by a mysterious underground water source - whose purpose is still widely debated to this day.
|Layout of Egypt’s Great Pyramid, showing all the main interior rooms, passageways and subterranean chamber. (Jeff Dahl / CC BY-SA )|
In light of Dunn’s thorough and systematically supported theory, this new scientific revelation is certainly an intriguing addition to the alternative theory of the pyramids original function.
The teams research highlighted that “the Great Pyramid scatters the electromagnetic waves and focuses them into the substrate region” - this “substrate region” being the Giza Plateau itself, the large limestone base which the pyramid was deliberately constructed upon, as well as its own subterranean chamber, embedded deep below the plateau base (Balezin et al., 2017).
The scientific supervisor of the project, Dr. Evlyukhin, notes how his team “obtained interesting results that can find important practical applications” and this was followed up by a PhD student from the Faculty of Physics and Technology of ITMO University who excitedly remarked how the pyramidal nano-particles have all the “promise for practical application in nanosensors and effective solar cells ” (Komarova, 2018).
But it’s All a Coincidence, Right?
Of course, mainstream media sources like the UK’s Daily Mail - forever the shiny beacon of truth - was quick to reassure us the “ancient Egyptians that built the pyramids more than 4,400 years ago were not aware [boldness added for effect] of this quirk of design” (McDonald, 2018).
While of course this ingenious function was coincidence... it must have been... surely?
Let me start by saying, whilst admittedly the Great Pyramid is as mysterious as it is colossal, as you begin to study it in greater and greater depth, you understand that nothing about the 5.75 million tons of masonry was accidental. It was all tediously, painstakingly deliberate. It was all precisely placed, with a precise purpose in mind - whatever that may be.
I, like many others, believe we should at least consider the possibility the master architects who designed and constructed the Great Pyramid , along with all its unique and uncontestably advanced features, may have actually known about this design feature, maybe, dare I say, planned for it.
In light of what we know about electrical stimulation being used to gain access to certain savant-like skills, I think this new understanding of the pyramids’ capabilities raises interesting possibilities about its original purpose.
Could the use of electrical currents, now understood to be produced at the Great Pyramid of Giza and further speculated to be present at numerous other megalithic sites worldwide, have been used to harness electrical stimulation in order to alter states of consciousness and access savant-like abilities?
Whilst I can neither confirm nor deny, it is certainly plausible given the evidence.
If this was the case, granted it’s a very big “if”, accessing long-forgotten skills, maybe even genetic memories from our past, in order to expand our own consciousness and better improve not only the understanding of ourselves, but the understanding of the world around us certainly seems like a logical reason for the genesis of these megalithic marvels.
This further opens up the doorway for exploring the idea that the ancient architects, whoever they may have been, really did know what they were doing, and we are only now, slowly but surely, getting to truly understand just what these mysterious builders and their monuments were truly capable of.
Whilst it may be a long time before we get any real answers as to whether our ancient ancestors created these magnificent monuments to deliberately cause alterations in the brain's circuitry and possibly cause activation of certain skills, certain genetic memories that were present (albeit in a dormant capacity) all along, it is always worthwhile digging a little deeper and asking these questions to stimulate a healthy, alternative discussion.
Ancient Magic of Meditation
For those of you who are unable to visit these monuments, or do not have access to low frequency electrical stimulation, or do not want to readily receive brain trauma in the hopes of learning new skills, don’t worry, there may be a safer, much more convenient solution that you can do right from your own home.
As our own technology progresses, many studies are now beginning to show that long term practice of meditation can increase the density of gray matter in the brain (Vestergaard-Poulsen et al., 2009), which is associated with better sensory, memory and muscular control, as well as increasing white matter (Fayed et al., 2013). This is further associated with faster signal production in the brain relating to sensory and motor functions and to top it off, has been shown to generally increase the thickness of the cerebral cortex (Lazar et al., 2005), which has been shown to directly correlate to an increase in general intelligence (Menary et al., 2013).
All in all, if looking for something to help improve overall brain function, especially whilst many of us are stuck inside during these strange times, meditation may be the perfect solution. There's a host of evidence to suggest our ancient ancestors also practiced meditation in some form or another, from shamanistic-style rituals like Native American vision quests, to spiritual journeys described in the earliest Vedic traditions, well over 3,000 years old, conducted throughout the East. We need to start giving these traditions, and the people who founded them, more credit.
I’ll leave you with the words of Dr. Treffert I opened this article with,
“Meditation or simple adherence to assiduous practice of an artistic skill may suffice to allow us to switch on the more creative right side of the brain and thus explore undiscovered artistic capabilities.” (Treffert, 2014, P.57)
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