The epigenesis and development of new genetic capacities

From the lamp, once  polished , came the djinn–an allegory for life's experiences that shape us

From the lamp, once polished, came the djinn–an allegory for life's experiences that shape us

History of the jinn and its etymological roots

Much has been written over the last decade about the new science of epigenesis, and the transmission of genetic patterns–often about faulty genes, and inherited illnesses, but also,  the more positive application of how do we switch on 'good coding'. InnerDialogue has fortuitously worked in this area for the last forty years, predating this research by working with the Jinn / Djinn. The story is complicated and perhaps not yet ready to be articulated fully on a web page, but nevertheless, we have trained our practitioners to, if not able to feel or be aware of these forces, to recognize that these elements are part of the lexicon of our work, and can be part of the narrative of a client. Our understanding is that the  djinn represent the power (read  force) that activates or suppresses a code; turns it 'on' or 'off'. These codons (a sequences of nucleotide triplets) can be detrimental to the person, or not; they may switch on (or off) genes that would augment the client's wellbeing, life and purpose. They are the ontogenes of modern science, and are either activator or suppressor genes, yet they are also of being; they exist as entities. Some switch on our old code which predisposes us towards illness, disease, psychosis and which mirrors our understanding of Hahnemann's  miasma–inherited predispositions towards inherited types of illness. Others switch on new behaviors. What we do know is that science articulates that the behaviour may be switched on, but the cellular and extracellular environment has to be conducive to augment the change. The environment has to support the change–whether it is about the health of our cells and body matrix, a supportive nourishment at all levels, our personal consciousness (cognitive awareness of the change(s) required), a good marriage or partnership, a loving household, , extended family support, a relationship with an enabling  community, a hospitable clime, a social ease, personal economics etc.

The original  awareness and initial understanding  of the jinn as forces, can be traced back to pre-Islamic thought, and the djinn, described using different words, are in many old traditions, in (most) cultures around the world. They were specifically named in the Qu'ran, as beings made of smokeless fire (light) and as companions to humankind, living in parallel with us.

Indeed We created man from dried clay of black smooth mud. And We created the Jinn before that from the smokeless flame of fire.
— Quran 15:26-27

The original etymology in Arabic is جَنَّ‎ (janna, “to hide”), from the root ج ن ن‎ (j-n-n). By default the jinn are (mostly) hidden from human view. The prevailing view of early Arab observers was that these jinn were the activators of madness and illness (in the passive جُنَّ‎ (junna, “to go crazy”). On another etymological journey we may note that in Azerbaijani, the Persian word  جان (jân) (definite accusative جانێ‎ (janı), plural جانلار‎ (janlar) infers:

  1. soul, spirit

  2. being, creature, life

  3. body

  4. force, vigour

Again, from the  Middle Persian HYA, yʾn' (gyān, “soul, ghost”), from Proto-Iranian *wi- + *HanH- (“to breathe”), from Proto-Indo-European (“to breathe”), whence, for example, Latin: animus. The last goes on: 

Tajik: ҷон (jon) → Uzbek: jon → Azeri: can / جان‎ / ҹан → Bashkir: йән (yän) → Georgian: ჯანი (ǯani) → Hindustani: Hindi: जान (jān) Urdu: جان‎ (jān) → Uyghur: جان (jan) → Uzbek: jon → Kazakh: жан (jan) → Kyrgyz: жан (can) → Middle Armenian: ջան (ǰan) Armenian: ջան (ǰan) → Russian: джан (džan) → Ottoman Turkish: جان‎ Turkish: can → Albanian: xhan→ Macedonian: џан (džan)→ Serbo-Croatian: džan / џан → Tatar: җан (can)→ Turkmen: jan

Likewise, by extension, the English and French use of the word genie: From French génie (“genius", "genie”) (used to translate Arabic جِنّ‎ (jinn) based on similarity of sound and sense) from Latin genius (“household guardian spirit”). We might ask now, in the light of modern genetics, where does genius arise from? A tutelary spirit or a set of genes switched on in-utero or in our early learning environment?

Gene is much more difficult to explain why I have placed this in the linear arrangement of descriptive words in the title. A gene is (from wikdictionary):

  1. (genetics) A theoretical unit of heredity of living organisms ; a gene may take several values and in principle predetermines a precise trait of an organism's form (phenotype), such as hair color.  

  2. (molecular biology) A segment of DNA or RNA from a cell's or an organism's genome, that may take several forms and thus parameterizes a phenomenon, in general the structure of a protein; locus.

So we move our argument from something concealed, hidden, to a force of light–photons–to tutelary spirit which bestows (divine) genius to gene which 'parameterises a phenomon' to ontogenesis–the development of an individual organism, anatomical or behavioural feature from the earliest stage to maturity.

So let us return to the matter in hand: this spiritual world surely takes on many different forms and manifests in perceptible forms.
— Ibn Arabi, in Futūhāt al-Makkiyya

If we look to folklore narratives or stories; many being teaching stories, as they contain wisdom and knowledge in their convoluted and colourful weavings. The most important one, in this particular topic, is the Thousand and One Nights (Alf laylah wa laylah), a tome of collected works whose span is over many centuries of collation. It tells of the courtesan Shahrzad telling stories every night to put the King or Shah in the mood to hear the sequel the following night, so delaying her execution. (The King was in the habit of sleeping with a courtesan and have her executed the following morning!)

Within the book is the extraordinary teaching story of Ala'din (Arabic: علاء الدين‎, ʻAlāʼ ad-Dīn) whose name means 'nobility of faith' or 'nobility (excellence) of religion'. 

There are of course many copies and variations of the story, having him Chinese in some renditions, others as some street-wise kid from Baghdad. The story setting is probably unimportant, save they are talking about the exotic. The content is basically the same, and I will try to paraphrase rather than tell the whole story.

The story of Ala'din

A street urchin, poor and destitute, works the streets of his city to beg, steal, run off with scraps of food and items to sell so he can feed his widowed mother. He had not learnt from his father a tailor, as he had preferred to while his time away on the streets. His father had died of exhaustion, working day and night to feed the family. One day a magician turns up, looking for a savvy young kid to help him on a difficult task. He spies Ala'din near his home, and pretending to be a long lost uncle, inveigles his way into their life and trust. He wants Ala'din to go down into a cave and find a missing heirloom. Ala'din reluctantly agrees.

The two go off into the desert, find the likely location, and as instructed, Ala'din continually calls repeatedly within himself,  his name, and the stone hiding the cave rolls back as if by command.  Ala'din, now rather frightened, reluctantly goes down into the darkness, having been told to tarry not, but to find the lamp, and not to pick-up anything that he sees on the way–not to be seduced by what he will also find. He's given a magic ring as a talisman. They tied a rope to a boulder, and dropped the remainder into the darkness, and he slid down it.

The long and short of the story is that he finds his way down into the cave, somehow finds a set of stairs and descends downwards until he senses a room which he enters and finds the lamp–his quest. He tucks it into his threadbare jackets and ascends back to the opening of the cave. On his way back, he now notices, free of his original task, the glitter of jewels on the floor, as if fruit from ornamental trees that dotted the dim scene;  all around him. His natural inclination was to pick some of these up, even though he knew not their value; but intrinsically sensed that they may help to support him in providing for his mother. His clothes become increasingly heavy as he pockets more and more jewels and a golden plate. 

Suddenly he hears the magician's voice pleading to him to come out of the cave; he had to climb back up the rope they had used to let him down into it. The supposed uncle had spied some strangers coming across the desert and did not want to be disturbed or found out. However Ala'din was now so heavy, weighed down by the riches he found, that he had not the strength to climb the rope. Defeated, the boy fell to the floor after many attempts. The magician in fear of being discovered, and in disgust, muttered again the magic words and the rock closed the cave once again. Ala'din was left in the dark, alone, unable to exit.

Some time later, in his anguish and fear he nervously began to rub and twist the ring his uncle had given him as a talisman. Suddenly, in a exothermic explosion of sound, a jinn appeared. Ala'din was of course frightened, never having experienced such a sight. However the djinn announced that he was a helper, a servant, to the one who freed him, and that he would give Ala'din any one wish he desired. Ala'din of course, asked to be taken out of the cave and to be back home.

In a flash, Ala'din found himself back at home, with his mother; startled, frightened, unsure of what had happened. His mother of course asked him what had he been doing, and to that, he slipped back into his old artful ways and produced the fine gold plate, saying he had found it. He was instructed to go and sell it, and as he knew some honest goldsmiths managed to get a good price for its sale. His mother and himself, then found themselves able to afford food that they had not tasted for years, since her husband's death. The two lived well until the money ran out, and again he was able to sell another expensive trinket that he had picked up in the cave. This went on, until one day he was left with the dirty old lamp which was the target of his original quest. It didn't appear valuable at all; dirty, unused, forgotten over the ages, slightly bent and dented. He thought he would have  a better chance if he polished it up, make it at the least, appear valuable or newish. As he polished the lamp, there was, suddenly, a flash of smoke and a  second genie / djinn appeared. This djinn looked down at the frightened boy and announced that he was the djinn of the lamp and he was now owned by Ala'din who had summoned him. What would he like? Again, Ala'din's initial need was food for his mother and self, and a sumptuous banquet appeared instantaneously  in front of them! This process was repeated very day.

This process of his and with their needs taken care of, allowed Ala'din to foster his latent skills of a businessman, passed down from his father. His basic needs being taking care of, he was able to start to mature, learn, put into practice the skills that made him survive as a street urchin. Gradually as 'he polished' his own vessel–mind, body and spirit–this allowed the epigenesis of new skills, talents and capacity. He rose through the ranks of the townspeople becoming a rich and successful, and well-loved businessman.

The story does continue, whether it is superfluous in the context I am not sure, but there is  time when he stops caring for his spirit–becomes too big for himself, a narcissist perhaps due to fame, wealth and importance. He stops using the lamp–which as you may have surmised is really his own body; but seen as a container of the light, his essence. Meanwhile the magician, returning from Africa or some other country, accidentally finds the now married Ala'din, and calls out 'old lamps for new' on hearing a complaint from his wife that the lamp was dirty and unused. discarded. On realizing this is the lamp he once coveted, he tricks the young and innocent wife and exchanges the now forgotten and unused lamp  for a new one. This is an omen we can see foreshadows what is happening nowadays, the present, where there is a plethora of new ideas, spiritual models, quests, technologies to seduce the careless, lost and the idle rich. His vessel (which contains his soul), in metaphorical terms, is stolen and substituted with a new vessel, that does not contain anything of 'him'. He falls into despairs and vows to find both the lamp, his riches, his wife and come back to the One Path. Of course he does so, but the story is worth reading through.

Download a copy  from the internet.

Your sickness is from you, but you do not perceive it and your remedy is within you, but you do not sense it. You presume you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire Universe. You are indeed the evident book, by whose alphabet the hidden becomes manifest. Therefore you have no need to look beyond yourself. What you seek is within you, if only you reflect.
— ~ Ali ibn Talib (a.s)