Generational Curse? Ancestral Memory? Is It In the DNA?
For some reason, this subject of generational curses came up a few times yesterday in different conversations, I saw it mentioned in an article yesterday and today I came across it again in a post on I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Christ and couldn’t resist reblogging it. I never believed in “curses” such as negative events and behaviors being handed down, until I looked at it from a Biblical perspective and came to realize that this is a form of God’s punishment, but it is also a message and His perfect way to reform.
The article that caught my attention yesterday was in the New York Times. It was about a woman who had just discovered, and was uncovering, her Sephardic Jewish roots. There were a series of coincidences in her life that led her to this discovery. She mentions how the secret of their Jewish heritage was held and handed down from generation to generation – to be kept hidden and then given to safeguard by the next selected members of the following generation. She began to speculate about the effects of hidden secrets and of hidden experiences (such as persecution) on the following generations namely what we call “ancestral memory”. Can ancestral memory be inherited? Are the experiences of our ancestors in our DNA?
There were some very interesting statements in the article about this.
…There are scientific studies exploring whether the history of our ancestors is somehow a part of us, inherited in unexpected ways through a vast chemical network in our cells that controls genes, switching them on and off. At the heart of the field, known as epigenetics, is the notion that genes have memory and that the lives of our grandparents — what they breathed, saw and ate — can directly affect us decades later.
Recent studies in Sweden explore the effects of famine and abundant harvests on the health of descendants four generations later. That is not exactly what I am looking for: I’m intrigued by the notion that generations pass on particular survival skills and an unconscious sense of identity that stands the test of centuries.
The French psychologist Anne Ancelin Schützenberger, now in her 90s, has spent decades studying what she calls the ancestor syndrome — that we are links in a chain of generations, unconsciously affected by their suffering or unfinished business until we acknowledge the past.
In the 1990s Dina Wardi, a psychotherapist in Jerusalem, worked with the children of Holocaust survivors and developed the theory that survivor parents often designated certain children as “memorial candles” who took on the mission of serving as a link to preserve the past and connect the future. The children of survivors who actively struggled against the Nazis, she found, had a compulsive ambition to achieve. source
I noticed that the study mentioned above focused on the effects of famine/abundant harvest on the health of the descendants four generations later.
1 Then God said all these words: t 2 “I am ADONAI your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery. c 3″You are to have no other gods before me. 4 You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.5 You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, ADONAI your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot. d 7 “You are not to use lightly the name of ADONAI your God, because ADONAI will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly. s 8 “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. 9 You have six days to labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Shabbat for ADONAI your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work -not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the for eigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. ( Exodus 20: 1-10 CJB)
Nothing is what it appears to be in our lives when we examine things in context from a “worldly perspective”. What our ancestors experienced in their lives is all according to God’s plan. We are constantly being tested by circumstances, both good and bad, in our lives. Our ancestors were given their fair share of tests. Only God knows how their hearts responded to these challenges, because its their inward responses, their faith, that is the issue. Did they mishandle wealth? Did they grow distant from God and lose faith during times of suffering? Did they feel angry and resentful because of their poverty? Did they rebel and feel hatred because of persecution? Did they create an inflated sense of self/ego because of their higher education, wealth and social status? Did their respectable position in society cause them to lose their humility and to forget God? Did they fall prey to the “world”?
Some of us may be the ancestors experiencing the punishment served by God on the future generations.
Is this a wrathful God that would do something like this, to punish the innocent?
It is a wake up call! God put in this measure of punishment to wake us up. God wants us to constantly examine and test. That doesn’t apply solely to false teachings. It also applies to our lives. We need to examine, test and reassess where we are – are we still on the narrow path? Are we slipping?
In our reassessment and examination of our lives and circumstances, we can see if there is a familial situation going on. Secular studies can show that there may be a DNA factor involved. I believe that ancestral memory can be something that is carried physically down the line. That goes hand in hand with the Exodus passage above – God will hand down the “punishment” a few generations down the line. Why shouldn’t this ancestral memory be “recorded” then in our DNA? It is serving a purpose, it records a “trait” that has to be dealt with.
It is not punishing the innocent, it is calling them to action, to cleanse the whole family tree and the branches to come! And if you have to prune some branches – SO BE IT!
29 Aren’t sparrows sold for next to nothing, two for an assarion? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s consent. 30 As for you, every hair on your head has been counted. 31 So do not be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows. 32 “Whoever acknowledges me in the presence of others I will also acknowledge in the presence of my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others I will disown before my Father in heaven. 34 “Don’t suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Land. It is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword! 35 For I have come to set 36 a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, so that a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. 37 Whoever loves his father or mother more than he loves me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than he loves me is not worthy of me. 38 And anyone who does not take up his execution-stake and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his own life will lose it, but the person who loses his life for my sake will find it (Matthew 10:29-39) CJB
All you need is a few family members to wake up to the call. God is waiting for the special conversation with his children to address this problem and to clear up the problem! How loving is the Father that waits patiently for their child to see the problem for themselves, because only then are they ready to address what has been handed down and to clean up what went astray. Sometimes the next generations are more able than the previous to do what is right.