Deep DNA memory theories: Can we remember our ancestors’ lives?

DNA originally uploaded by gravitywave at Flickr
DNA originally uploaded by gravitywave at Flickr

By Steve Hammons

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 biological level.

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.


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 further discoveries.

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 genetic history.

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 ago?

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.


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 is unknown.

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.

About the Author

Steve Hammons is the author of two novels about a U.S. Government and military joint-service research team investigating unusual phenomena. MISSION INTO LIGHT and the sequel LIGHT’S HAND introduce readers to the ten women and men of the “Joint Reconnaissance Study Group” and their exciting adventures exploring the unknown.


  1. There is so little real biology in this post that it’s saddening to me.

    The eggs that a woman uses to conceive a child were created when that woman herself was in the womb. The DNA of those cells are locked away, and won’t change no matter what happens to that woman throughout her life. Likewise, the stem cells that continually produce sperm throughout a man’s life existed when that man was but a newborn boy (though they didn’t start dividing until puberty), and so anything that happens to that man will not affect the DNA of his sperm.

    Furthermore, it is extremely unlikely that any permanent changes to the DNA of even brain cells would occur in response to memory formation. Long-term potentiation, the process whereby brain cells form connections to embody a memory, does indeed involve changes in DNA expression (i.e. how often a piece of DNA is read), but doesn’t involve any changes to the DNA itself. And, even if it did, it wouldn’t affect the germ cells (sperm and egg), so wouldn’t be passed to the next generation.

    It’s true that there is much we don’t know, especially in the areas of junk DNA and RNA interference, but what we do know about memory formation and inheritance is enough to suggest that inherited memories are impossible.


    • wow you are very intelligent; however DNA stays with you no matter before or after stem cell reproduction. Infact what you said made absoultuly no sense. If what you said was right then genetic diseases and herittary diseases could not exsist when infact they are carried with the DNA in sperm. And when they start splitting thats when the effects can even increase.


      • In the sperms or eggs, in the gamete cells, chemicals can change one of the nucleotide bases, like adenine, in the sequence of the DNA during meiosis that will give you a different gene coding for a different protein, etc….Or methylation of the histone that covers the DNA molecule can suppress or activate the expression of a gene… If that sperm or egg accomplishes fertilization the baby will inherit that change…These new mutations can be transmitted to the new offspring…It is not a matter of intelligence but of studying what is available today in genetics…


    • Anything happens to a person definitly effect his DNA programming come on take an eg;
      a person exposed to UV radiation may have some variations in his genom level and this will cause some favourable or unfavourable situations in him if the change is fovour we may not feel it and if the change is unfavourable it leads to genetic disorders (mutation intusing cancers)
      IN case of a egg cell which is arrested in first mitotic division in her puberty and during fertilisation it undergo sufficient which mother had in her genom at her present age


      • Babies don’t remember how to do that, it’s an inbuilt physical response for the purpose of survival.


    • True that women are born with the number of eggs that they will ovulate during their fertile life. But those eggs’ DNA can be affected by the environment, example of chemicals exposure, radiation exposure, etc around the egg can cause changes in DNA… Epigenetic may be what we need to look further into…one obvious example of the environment affecting the egg, is the older woman, where chromosome 21 fails to separate itself during meiosis and the egg has two chromosome 21 instead of one…when it gets together with the sperm gives rise to trisomy 21, also known as Down’ s syndrome…so something as simple as aging affected the stored egg that the woman had since birth…
      Like I said, Epigenetic may help us clarify this further.


  2. I didn’t write this article but it seems that you speak about current scientific theories as if they cannot be superceded by newer, possibly better and more comprehensive ones.

    And as far as I’ve read about memory, it’s a considerably misunderstood area… that is, current modes of scientific research are still somewhat in the dark as to how it works.

    Moreover, the more I look into neuropsychology the more I see a whole host of debates and competing theories that the average person has no idea about.

    But if you want to play the social role of “the good scientist” who purports to know (e.g. “but what we do know about memory formation”), then so be it…


  3. The BBC mentioned Swedish studies showing a strong co-relation between famine experiences of the grandparents and the grandchild’s memories later as adults.

    I find inherited memory an intrigeing concept which if true, answers concepts which I really have trouble with – such as reincarnation. There are too many people who have ‘memories’ of someone famous – such as Joan of Arc or a French nobleman during the reign of Terror. After all, we can only have one person alive at any time who is the reincarnated Joan of Arc or Marie Antoinette.

    However, if genetic memory of a traumatic event – such as being in the crowd and witnessing the burning or beheading – that can be imprinted and passed down to desendents as ‘memories’. Inherited memory provides an answer for personal experiences. For example, an unquestioned knowledge that I ‘belonged’ in an area once inhabited by early17C Puritans – that I had a connection with the area Anne Hutchison relocated to when she was bannished from the Mass, Bay Colony 1645. When I visited the American wing at the NYC Metropolitan Museum of Art, and entered a room taken from an early 17C New England home, I was stunned to realize that I recognized the room. I was about 14 at the time. The room felt like ‘home’ – not mine, but like I recognized it as a friend’s home, or a place I’d visited in it’s original location. This feeling of being born out of time has stayed with me all my life. I didn’t learn about my Puritan ancestors until the last few years. My maternal lines are multiple intermarrying old puritan families from 1630 and 1636 – from MBC. There is no question several lines were present at Anne Hutchison’s banishment trials.
    So inherited memory through genetic imprinting is in early days scientifically, but I like the concept.


  4. Thanks for a fascinating post!

    You know, there’s another speculative idea that I’ve considered.

    Is it possible that folks having experiences such as you’ve related inherit some kind of genetic template or predisposition which would allow for unusual transcendental experiences, sometimes falsely interpreted as ‘proof’ for reincarnation?

    See, for instance…

    Section: Rethinking Space-Time


  5. I believe it is the memory passed down in our DNA that allows us to evolve. It is what you would call a instinct.

    I also believe people that inbreed are recopying their genetic code leading to a handicapped child.

    But if it is possible to see our ancestors memories it will take a genetic genius to find a way to read our DNA.

    Correct me if I am wrong


    • No…that is not what causes “handicapped” children at all. A brother and sister or parent and child can have an offspring that is completely healthy depending on what hereditary diseases are present or not present. The mere act of incest does not automatically produce a “handicap”.

      Inbreeding is well researched in the animal breeding community and any responsible breeder does testing on all dogs before breeding them to make sure only animals without certain hereditary or breed specific illnesses are not present. Due to this they can breed animals that have familial relations.

      It would work the same way for humans if we wanted however as sentient beings we have moral and ethical barriers to it. In theory, you could do the same sort if genetic testing in humans and produce offspring with no issues.

      Genetic memory however, is biologically impossible. The DNA we pass on is locked at the time of our conception therefore it can’t be imprinted with our memories.


      • Inbreeding done properly is okay. Most humans suck at picking healthy partners among the general public as it is, do you think they would know a healthy 1st cousin from the one with severe issues. Unlikely. There are more than ENOUGH studies on inbred populations which show a multitude of PROBLEMS. Look up the Outback Hicks in Australia for example – perfect “Hills Have Eyes” family they had going.


  6. This doesn’t really answer my question I want to know if it is possible to maybe re-live your ancestors lives in memory or dreams,
    or randomly maybe seeing someone getting stabbed in a movie and know what it feels like so much that it hurts.


  7. hey i dont want to come on here and sully anybodys words…
    but can it be possible that our ancestors were smarter than we give them credit for? What im saying is what if they had the knowledge we seek? They knew certain facts about there biological body that we cant comprehend because to us its “superstitious” what if they knew they could retain memories and certain skills and forsights to be given to next generations so the learning process comes natural…(i.e. a man in the year 2008 has never in his life picked up a sword…one day he decides he wants to learn how to use one,upon taking the course of study he realizes he already knows the basics of swordplay.) How did he know?? Was one of his ancesters a great warrior or a skilled master? how did he retain the knowledge of swordplay with never picking up a sword to practice? There are many answers…the one i would like to believe is a great ancestor knew that at the time having that skill meant life or death and knew after he/she remembered it..after aquiring that knowledge they knew it would be passed on to future generations. Our survival of a species is in our DNA our own evolution is what will keep us going…you ever notice how your mom may sing at stupid T.V. commercials or your dad likes race cars…10 to 1 you like cars or you catch yourself singing a show tune every once in awhile. I’ll end this with a message to all…enjoy your life with open eyes,a good heart and great experiances..knowledge is power. G.M.R. 1982-????


  8. Steve, sadly it’s the closed minds of some of your sceptics and their like that limit the scope of what science can learn. It will take a maveric scientist who doesn’t care less for the opinions of his peers or his fundinng body, to follow through on cutting edge biological research. I remember exploring this issue with bacteria, when I used to be a microbiologist in the early 90’s and it seemed then, that most of the research said it was impossible, it was only a few scientists who risked saying that this was probable.

    I’ve no doubt that the links between memory and DNA will be unvieled. And likely we will find that they go deeper than simple sugars and phosphates, they go down to the atomic level and beyond and the energies that are transmitted with all nucleic acids.

    Sometimes I feel we need to step outside of accepted scientific ideas to get closer to some kind of truth. Why accept the limitations of the mainstream ?

    Related to this issue is the concept of working across generations of people with feeling states. I used to work as a therapist with the ideas of Bert Hollinger – a gestalt therapist – who played out unresolved conflicts across generations of families – using the person with the conflict and a bunch of strangers. It works in real life. As if some kind of , lets say morphic field was carried by each individual genetic material and could be affected by the intent of a group of strangers. Worth looking into.


  9. I am confused about reincarnation and mentioned today to a friend that perhaps we inherit memory from our ancestors in our DNA and then I looked on the internet this evening and found this.

    When I was about 5 or 6, on my way to school one day, I was overcome with a feeling of oppression that “I had to grow up all over again and go to school all over again”. It was not a happy feeling.

    In some ways I agree that there is a possibility, and a big one, of inherited DNA memories, but in another why would I think I had to grow up all over again. I did not query this when I was a child but remembered it much later. I was also brought up a strict Catholic in Ireland where reincarnation was taboo and I didn’t know the concept when I was that age.

    I just thought I would share this, where would the ‘I’ come if it was an inherited memory from an ancestor.


  10. Margaret, thanks for your comments.

    I’m not the author of this article but the more I think about it, the more I become aware of just how mysterious consciousness really is.

    To me it seems to operate on several levels… body, mind and spirit, to name a few. Some even believe in intersecting parallel realities.

    You might find these articles of interest:


  11. I thoroughly enjoyed your information. I do believe that my dreams bring ancesteral DNA transferred memories into my dreams. Even so far back to the cellular beginning.You know those squiggly nonsensical crazy dreams! Completely organic in nature? I speak Danish in my sleep and dream of my battleship sinking from specific engine gears locking up. I also dream over and over of an evil sitting in the top of a very old house in a corner chair. I fly and battle the devilish one like an earthen angel? The house is always the same…I could paint it perfectly. In my life now I have been attacked by a ghost. Thrown 15 feet off a porch of my far gone great great aunt’s house? Yet I am mostly interested in DNA related dreams. I believe we can access our entire past… through dreaming. I believe in other planes of existence and that we have links to worlds unshown….some shown in dreams.


  12. Very interesting comments. Thank you!

    Myself, I’ve wondered if a genetic template or predisposition could allow for unusual transcendental experiences involving a kind of psychological burrowing through space-time.

    If so, it would be so easy to mistake this kind of phenomenon with the belief in reincarnation. But many believers in reincarnation don’t seem to want to go there. Maybe the idea of a person reincarnating strokes up the ego, makes some folks feel important and “God-like”?


  13. I too, have had interesting yearnings, and feelings of overwhelming deja vu when being in specific places, and even the sound of a train always stops me….I love it, and don’t understand why.
    Since tracing my genealogy, I have uncovered interesting stories of random relatives which seem to fit in…

    However it is done, there is a connection, whether it is through the spirit world, or biological I don’t know.
    When you think of the many horrible wars, diseases, famines, and maltreatment of humans throughout history, at the very least we can say, we are survivors! Like cells that mutate, we have changed and done what we can to survive. We have learned much, and we have much to learn.


      • I am pretty sure that the next migration will be the “noxemia” that is the Earth Mother’s way of cleansing the consumers off her surface again…. We have destroyed most of the cooling layer and thus created our own internal heater that will eventually shift jet streams, water currents in the oceans, and the equator…. Fanatical! Willowish Tuathasadig Shegearmalith!


  14. No one can refute or confirm that which involves something that is beyond proof.
    DNA memory is an interesting concept, but is it plausible? DNA seems to pass along “constructive” traits (i.e., characteristics that are defined and understandable, visible, subject to confirmation, etc.). Memory would seem to fall under the category of a latent trait that evolves coming into existence “after the fact”. In other words, memory is an etheral creation, not a substantial, real or material existence that could be passed along in the chemical or biological sense. Just an opinion, but it would seem that memory being passed along would seem like a logical trait of survival (i.e., evolution). But we have a flip side to that as well. Bad memories actually could inhibit the natural selection necessary for survival by inducing predisposed judgements that are not relevant to actual situations.
    I wish the author would have included a brief mention of “intution”. I would be more inclined to believe that one can use “intution” to call upon “past imprints” of long gone events and mistake this for reincarnation, rather than the DNA theory. Just my two cents.


  15. This may explain Deja Vous experiences, or why I was always deathly afraid of snakes and my friends were not and why I enjoy swimming while they are afraid of deep water. Nothing traumatic in my life’s experiences or those of my close friends can account for such “irrational” fears.


  16. if we can have our relatives memories then humans could have existed in earths last cycle which could be were most human ideas come from?


  17. Wow this was very interesting…im 13 and ive always wondered if somewhere down the line if my family had any assassins…..this way in Assassins creed helped people view there ancestory and see what there ancestors were and that some genes where past down from genearation to genaration….

    I enjoyed reading this 🙂 thxs


  18. I know this is an oxymoron, but I have memories that I don’t exactly remember happening to me. I remember when I was little standing in line and the black people were seperataed from the white people (I’m fourteen btw so I know this never happened.Maybe it was a memory of my grandmother’s?). I remember being left out at a sleepover but when I go over the memory I don’t reconize any of the girls, however I do know all the girls at the sleepover were on the same cheerleading squad- weirdly enough, my mom once told me she was left out at a sleepover and she showed me a picture of the girls on her cheer squad (when she was nine) and some of them looked familiar.
    Also, when I younger (about four or so) I used words that you normally wouldn’t hear in a childs vocabulary and I didn’t know what the word meant but I knew how to use it already (But it wasn’t like when you learn your first words i.e. your mom saying “Come to mama” -that’s how you knew she was your mama. Babies learn from the people around them but there is a point when you’re little and you just have to ask what something is.)
    Is that not wierd?
    This is a facinating subject that I would like to study deeper into…


  19. My humble simple hunch is that man is no brain or DNA, he is always beyond these things. Only these DNA sciences or stories may paint our curiosity and sense of discovery. By studying the ‘means’ (DNAs and Brain) we can never know the ‘end’, by doing so we still be knowing the ‘means’ alone, not the ‘end’. Do Nothing At last (DNA). Our attempt to Decode the Code may end up in digging our own Grave, perhaps, who knows. Life is still a mystery.


    • Last night I watched part of a program that apparently linked a large number of ancestors with one of the great conquerors and philanderers–I think it might have been Genghis Khan, if I remember right.

      Yes, I just checked and it was Khan.

      Anyhow, my point is that, assuming studies like this aren’t misguided, I don’t think we should dismiss recent research about DNA. To my mind, a holistic approach seems most sensible.

      By way of analogy, only a fool would think that he or she could drive a car around town without paying attention to the gas tank, the tire pressure, and overall condition of the car.

      Something to think about…


  20. i don’t know about this very much, but there are some things that we genetically fear. for example, i once heard the call of a mountain lion, as my immediate reaction was to flee the area and hide. i have never heard the call of a mountain lion before. i did not even know it was a mountain lion until later. my ancestors lived here and so probably knew to fear that sound. maybe it was passed down to me through my DNA. Who knows?


  21. Thank you Earthpages for the opportunity to add a reasoned thought or two regards DNA/Memory banks. Comments on this page are all revelant to the Topic and share common occurrences in our Human State. Yes, there is something going on. So called Primitives all had some form of Ancesteral belief. My personal experiences lead me to believe that information from those that have gone before us is communicated in Dreams and actual physical experiences, also the important one, Visions. Having a genetic predisposition as a reception Base, ( or Contact Level ), within ones makeup strengthens the likelyhood of receiving these Visions and Dreams. However, we also have our present Selves to deal with. We are inclined to somehow disregard messages received, or pass judgement and feel we are too intelligent to reaalllyy believe there is anything in the latest Vision. We do this at our Peril. There are people who have come to harm by not heeding the warning. I am a Believer. I Know. And I am in great respect for those on an Astral level, those who have my wefare at heart, and moreso those who would hope to harm me. And no,I do not belong to any Faith, only a love of Creation in all it’s forms, and a willingness to learn, and keep an open mind. Kenneth William McKersie.


  22. Through out my life I have always felt interests in certain people or places, only to later find out they may have been my ancestors. As a kid in school I found the stories and history of Native Americans to be quite interesting and the way they were treated sad. This coming from a white boy. I’m not sure if I did know at the time that I had Native American heritage. Later on in life I started reading comics about super heroes, one of which (wolverine) was from Canada, I started to find Canada interesting, I loved reading about it and the people. I found out on my Dad’s side I am part French Canadian, and on my Mom’s side my great great grandfather came from Canada to the U.S. I didn’t do this with New York city (home of Spider-man) or other places that my favorite heroes were from. And I have for a long time felt at times to be out of my time zone, like that I may have done better to live in the past with “the warrior races” as I would say. Then there was high school, (or rather summer school, as I failed out of english four and had to retake it in the summer to graduate.) My teacher I had in that summer school class was so informed about the writers and the time and people that these stories originated from. She would talk about the Vikings and the type of people they were and all of it was so interesting to me the more I learned. After her using me as a “prop” for the average size of a Viking (me being so tall) I came to used the the term “Viking size” to describe things that should be bigger to fit me comfortably. Like door ways or the small space in cars. I would also jokely call myself a viking. A few months later after I finished the class and graduated I had a n increasing interest in vikings and would read things about them from time to time. When I subscribed to netflix, I ran into documentaries about Vikings. I once again gain interest in them and started learning more about them and just loved the people. They also just fit and interested me as I saw them as “great warriors of the past” (Later to find out they were far more then that, also being great artists, muscians and possibly the greatest explorers to ever live.) That was when I learned of Scandinavia being were the vikings originated and mostly lived. I found out that Sweden was part of Scandinavia. I’m part Swedish, they may have be part of my ancestory. I listen to some bands that have viking lyrics, so one day came across a new band with a more unique sound compared to that others. Thinking they were viking metal I started listening to them. I noticed their music to not have very “viking” lyrics. So I looked them up, found out their lyrics are Celtic lyrics, mostly spoken in Gaulish. The Celts who were from Ireland, and my mother’s side is mostly Irish. Now that one may have been a coincedense, but I just can’t see the others as being that as well. So that’s when I started to question if there was some sort of memory of ancestors that made me so interested about the Native Americans, Canada, Celts and mostly Vikings. Whenever I mention it to my family they just laugh at it and tell me I’m crazy. But the more I think about it it just seems to explain alot in my life. Ever since I could remember I always seem to just know I wanted to “draw cartoons” As I would say as a child. It wasn’t until about middle or high school that I learned of my father’s dream to become a writer. Which seems like I was born with that same dream. But being a kid it was all about making up stories for cartoons, which grew from there into my adult hood interest of more adult animation.

    Just a note, adult animation isn’t anything bad, it’s just for more mature audiences. Like anime and the few american made animation for adults like Waking Life, Heavy metal, A Scanner Darkly, and others I can’t think off the the top of my head as american animation is mostly centered around kids. Most people think the word “adult” and think porn. Don’t want people thniking I’m a weirdo. lol


  23. Last night, I dreamt a very stunning dream. Stunning, because this article sort of explained my dream. I was in a 3rd person perspective of the leader of a small army, maybe some 500 years ago. And there was another army right in front of the leader I was watching. Then, everything transformed and the two armies were batling each other next to and on a house. But the leader I was watching was after the other leader. I woke up with the expression “wtf” on my face. I don’t dream much, but when I do, I see things that have occured in the past. Because of this, I do believe that memories can be passed down from generation to generation. If memories coud not be passed down, how would we be able to learn so quickly how to eat, walk, talk, and other things? How would we be able to dream past events? How would we KNOW what is good or what is bad? But of course, this is only a theory and nothing more. We, as people, can not access these memories in our DNA. We can not access many things because we don’t have the know-how in order to do so, yet.


  24. I see the future the only dreams i remember are deja vue feelings and when i think were did i see this it was when i was dreaming


  25. I was presented an intriguing theory the other day by a family member on this subject.

    But before i divulge further, i must say that i believe these are theories, and don’t mean to sound arrogant as if to say i “know everything”. Scientists are struggling to understand DNA, let alone the average joe reading this article. So i present just a theory based on personal experience.

    Let us carry on.

    I have an italian/greek background, but born and raised in australia. My father was born into an alexandrian-based greek community, while my mother was the only one in her family born here in australia (the rest immigrated here from southern italy). So that’s my background.

    The subject came about after i had a dream. A fairly vivid dream. Now, sometimes i feel like i’m imagining things, and it’s just my creative mind. However, this dream seemed to have changed a lot of what i have come to know about myself.
    I awoke in a field of green (in this dream), and the skies were fairly blue, while the air that i was breathing felt pretty real.
    I walked over to this shore, where 2 battleships were engaging in combat. One had the king george flag, while the other, was not present.
    I noticed a small town to my left on a sort of cape or peninsula. The buildings looked “middle aged italy” or renaissance period.

    When i was discussing this dream with my father, he got the strange idea to research it. Turns out the dream was an actual battle fought in the middle ages, the setting was almost identical, and it was between the republic of genoa and venice – genoa being represented by the king george flag.
    What was more strange was the commander on the venetian side in the dream shared my name. At this point, i couldn’t believe what i was reading. Artistic renderings of the battle mirrored the images from my dream. I didn’t know what to think. I have never heard of, or researched anything like this.

    Recently, i have decided to study the italian language, which my mother speaks fluently. And i have noticed in the small time i have studied it, i have picked up a lot naturally, as if i already knew it. A lot of the vowels came to me naturally. I look at any italian word, and can easily pronounce it on first sight – despite never really studying it.

    Perhaps language is embedded in our dna as well? and me being taught australian-english was just a “new language” so to speak.
    A lot of my mates are english descended australian, and look at any western european word and simply struggle. They cannot seem to work out the vowels and sounds. Therefore i’m just led to believe that it’s a part of me.

    It only gets more interesting. My grandparents spent their youth in depression era europe, so they had little to no food on the table. My parents were raised in the supposedly “lucky country” of australia, where they taught me that no one starves here, and that food and money is plenty. But i cannot seem to understand why i cannot, for the life of me, waste or throw away food. I feel a psychological effect when i chuck something away, like i get upset. So i forced myself to eat the foul sandwiches my mother made me as a child. Which was strange because most kids my age threw whatever that had out into the bin with no remorse. Like food was always there.

    All of these things about me share striking similarity with those attributes of my ancestors. Language, standards, pride – for instance, i somehow felt more “at home” during a 1 month holiday in italy, than i have ever felt in the 21 years here in australia. I share a lot of the same beliefs of my grandmother. I despise a lot of the people here, and a lot of the cultures. As much as i’d like to embrace it, i can’t seem to bring myself to drinking copious amounts of alcohol and being generally loud and violent, while holding esteem to those who do this every weekend.
    I actually had a better time hanging out with my cousins in italy in bars and restaurants than i have ever had with my mates – in which i feel like i’m often acting.

    Thanks to anyone who has actually read this far, i don’t mean to give you my life story, i just feel quite intruiged by this topic.


    • Interesting account, thanks for sharing. Sometimes I wonder if we have genetic predispositions for spiritual connections. Whether or not these connections involve reincarnation, per se, or perhaps just dynamic links to other times and places, who can say!

      Maybe it takes a certain degree or self awareness before one starts thinking about these things. And the reason for that too, remains a bit mysterious.




  27. hi im 14 now and ive had an astonishing experience.
    i was about 11 at the time and we just moved from Vlissingen to Rotterdam (im half Dutch half English btw) and the minute i walked out i found a group of freerunners, i myself was never a really sporty kid nor had i done anything similiar to it but while watching them run on walls and rooftops i felt like ive seen it all before and while i was thinking i closed my eyes and i felt myself moving so i opened my eyes and everything looked like the middle-ages later i woke up and they said i fainted…i thought i was going mental later that week i went outside again and saw the same freerunners so i tried to join them and somehow i was faster then any of them and somehow managed to run up a wall on a rooftop and jump 2m to another rooftop and i have been a freerunner ever since (i am currently know as “shunpou” which is japanese for flash step)
    yesterday i remembered that day and tried to figure out how this could have happend and then i found this.


  28. Even though a woman is born with all the eggs that she will produce during her reproductive years, an intense environmental experience may cause a memory in the brain that may trigger chemical changes that can affect the DNA of the egg that is being release that month, causing a mutation. If this egg is fertilized by a sperm, the mother may have passed this “genetic memory” to the child, imbedded in the DNA of the egg of the mom…Same story may happen in the sperm of the dad…So the hypothesis of passing memories of our ancestors to their descendant is not as impossible as some of the “scientific voices” have expressed in this forum…


  29. I read an article last year regarding how difficult it was for someone of a heavy weight to keep it off because it had been memorized in it’s DNA. That made me think about DNA mental memory carried on from ancestors. In contrast I also found Edgar Cayce’s thoughts on reincarnation quite interesting.
    I have had dreams with people clothed in 1930,40 clothing that woke me abruptly.
    But I’ve also had a few premonition dreams (aprox 1 or 2 weeks before really happening)
    While awake and painting a landscape while sitting on the porch , I had a quick two minute visual of dark water and fish pouring in the house (I dont know where it came from)while trying to paint the trees in the yard. Two weeks later, Katrina took the house. Mental time travel????? I dont know but there is so much to learn.


    • Mental time travel?????

      I think it’s possible. Another interpretation/explanation would be that God knows the future and gives you that knowledge. But I think a kind of psychological time travel could be possible, given the relativity of time and space. Thoughts and visions are much “lighter” than, say, physical bodies. So it makes sense that humanity would start there.


  30. Yesterday I found myself mourning for my Mother’s baby sister that had died 11 years before I was born. This prompted me to look into inherited memory. This isn’t the first time that I have mourned her death. The feelings were real and again I am feeling her loss today. I have never even seen a picture of her and had only heard her name mentioned a few times many years ago.I also have had many visions over the years of a native american woman sitting in front of a row of bushes. I have had this vision so many times that I thought if there is such a thing as reincarnation then that must have been me. But I never see what she sees or feel what she feels, I am always looking at her. Where is this coming from if not from inherited memory?


  31. i Believe that inside of All of Us is Every Single Ancester That We are related to Because we are Made of The very Same Soup so to speak as was all the People That came Before us Meaning our Parents Parents and Theirs and So on To The very begining of Life or Where ever Your Tree Branched Off and not only are they inside of us We Pass Them Down into our own Children and it is This Reason -why we Live Die and Come back Because we Can only Live one Life at any one Time in History We Don,t realize it but we Come back because we Are Still inside all of Our Family and relatives Right Now Even Tho’ We Live -we Are Just a Part of This Sperm that Creates us we Cannot remember because of Cpourse Different Brains Bodys Time of Born ect. Did You Ever Wonder Why You Were Born when You Were? this is The Reason. Think About this very seriously.


  32. ever hear of someonee picking out a dead relation from a photo? when they have neverr met or seen that relation? could it be that what i call (living memory) is why so many around the world has had this happen to them?as a paranormal researcher who does not believe in so called ghost i often wonder about memorys and if they can be passed on .maybe this can explain why so many say they have seen deal relations who they have never met or again maybe it can explain why they can pick a photo of a dead relation .butt as always it is only ever theory.


  33. I have had what I like to call genetic memories for years. I have only ever told one person about them and this was not received very well.

    I have been considering writing a fictional book on the subject and so got to looking online for some actual research to provide a factual link to make the reader think that what I say may in fact be possible. As far as I’m concerned it is but I’m no scientist and can’t prove anything obviously.

    I am from Scotland and like most Scots can trace my ancestry back through time very well using records and of course famously through the clan system. Because of the clan system, even when your paper trail runs out, you know where your ancestors lived .

    I have never researched my family tree but I do know roughly where my ancestors moved around through Scotland and it wasn’t far.

    I will try to explain my “memories” in order of earliest in time first. I must point out that I do not “see” the person experiencing the “memory” as one would watching a film, rather I see it as if I am the person having the experience.

    It is a hot sunny day in a glen. I am on the side of a small hillock with a blonde lad who I think is my brother. Directly in front of me about a hundred yards is a thicket. Not big enough to be a fully fledged wood or forest. It is used to provide wood for fires. I can smell woodsmoke along with the flowers and grass that surround me. Slightly to the right of the thicket are a lot of low thatched huts. There is little wind. We are both kilted and barefoot. We both have on loose shirts with wide open spaces in the neck/chest areas. We both have wooden swords and are winding each other up in a language I don’t understand but I take to be Gaelic.

    I believe that these memories in some way are designed to help us. eg: knowing that stripy insect probably hurt or kill without ever having it explained.

    This one is a relatively happy one though it might be possible that it was an initial grounding for soldiering which as everyone knows the Scots are world famous for.

    That Scots are good at fighting is not an accident. This is not just a social trait. I believe that it is indeed genetic. Scots are simply good at it because their ancestors were. We all often joke about people having the temperament of their mother country (assuming they aren’t there of course). Take America or Australia as examples. An Irish American may blame his temper on his Irishness and this would be accepted. He may be 5th generation American but no one would ridicule him for such a statement it being part of everyday thinking. People accept the passing down of traits through racial groups but don’t think too much about the triggers of them.

    Another experience goes like this.

    I am a man and have been to a tavern and am heading home late at night. I am in a town or city. The streets are cobbled and it is quite dark although not completely which would suggest summer and as you would imagine with a Scottish summer, its raining but its not cold. I reach a low door and enter. In the corner on the left facing into the room is a cot/bed with another man in who grunts a greeting I don’t understand or can’t make out.

    I make my way to a set of wooden steps on the other side of the room which lead to another cot made of wood. It has a mattress made of straw which is encased in a large sheet sewn all around rather like a massive straw filled duvet. I sit down to undress. I take off a really heavy coat/jerkin which is soaked. I wearing very baggy undergarments and a shirt with lace at the cuff. I don’t think that I am too poor for the period. As i try to get comfortable I rub at a pain in my lower left abdomen. I know its bad but drink seems to be the way to cope with it.

    I’ve always liked a drink as does my dad and pretty much all Scots males. They say that this is passed down the generations but how they can deduce this in a place like Scotland is beyond me!

    I have had a hernia repair in the lower left. Some have suggested to me that it runs in the family. My father also suffered the same. I’ve no idea why if this was just my brains reaction to a physical condition, my “memory” would be so detailed.

    Another: I am a small boy. I am dressed in shorts and a woollen jumper. It is freezing and I am stood holding the hand of what I assume to be my mother. We are all dressed rather drably and the women who make up the bulk if not the majority of the crowd are dresses in black. Everything is grey it seems, the clouds the buildings, the sea, the edge of which we are standing at. I am standing just close enough on the cobbles for the sea to be lapping at my feet. I don’t like the horrible froth that is touching my boots or the violent noisy water. The women are all crying and wailing and its all quite scary but you can’t complain. I think some men have drowned on a boat at sea.

    Even today I have a fear of the sea despite growing up on the coast. I don’t like like froth either.

    Another: I am dressed in Army uniform. First World War I think. I am covered in mud and am fumbling in my pocket for a piece of paper. Ration card I think. Everywhere around me is just mud. A massive wall of mud is to my right. I can’t make out what it used to be. A great big crated is in front of me and there are dead and dying everywhere. I appear to be unarmed and I a staggering around not knowing quite what to do. I can actually taste the mud and blood in my mouth. I don’t know where I am but it’s not the UK.

    I often get deja vu. Have done since I was about 12. It always involves the same feeling of having done the action before.

    However I was once abroad and was in a courtyard with high square building all around with blinds all shut such as you might see in France. I had an overwhelming feeling of having been there before(I hadn’t even been abroad before). It was a bit like deja vu only much stronger. I know it sounds strange but I blanked out the surrounding noise and could almost hear voices of the past in that courtyard. It even smelt different. I found it difficult to drag myself away from that place. It was like nostalgia for a place I’d never been.

    People often say that they pine for their homeland when they move away. I firmly believe that the sights, sounds eg: tones of voice, and even smells are passed down. This is why people visiting their mother country for the first time feel at home.


  34. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail.
    I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.


  35. Why assume that the connecting factor must be physical DNA? There will be many ‘facts’ thrown up by DNA research, that will be later refuted as simply misinterpretation of findings. The only reliable fact, is perhaps that we are all mixed (although it is now said that modern Africans don’t have Neanderthal genes).
    My own surprise encounter with what I now call ‘the influence of ancestors’, came during four years’ research into an historical arts and trade topic, covering the 5-6,000 years of known civilised societies. Seemingly forgotten or unknown now, is the importance of skills and trades being passed on to each generation. Sworn oaths of secrecy, also meant only marrying someone from the same trade – even from another country. Suddenly I found records of people marrying, who were descendants of the same trade families. This could be hundreds of years later, when I believe, they had no idea of their common origin, trade or background, or even common foreign origins. Others, having the same distinctive family name, scattered around the globe, have a ridiculous number who practice the same trade as their mainly unknown ancestors. And yes, it seems to affect where some people go, visit or live……….and it’s all largely unconscious.
    It’s interesting that none of the mumbo-jumbo attitudes, common with ley lines or crop circles or other ‘mystery’ phenomenae, is thrown at this topic. People seem to broadly accept that there’s something in it and don’t sneer. Elephants, evolved for longer, go on long treks to visit the bones of their relatives and turn them over. Web genealogy has been added to by TV interest. The title “Who do you think you are?” implies a very direct connection with ancestors. How detached or immersed the subjects are in their findings, varies a lot.
    Working for some years in therapy/psychology/social work, I was and still am convinced of the primary importance of mother, parents and environment, as the determining factor in our character and condition. A baby born with a genetic/physical pre-disposition to being passive, who has a stimulating active mother, will likely become active too. But the influence of ancestors is a whole new dimension in what we understand to be the determinants of our lives and characteristics. That may be because most apparent progress comes with an often unseen price – ignorance not of the ‘facts’ but a loss of attunement with most of the dimensions of life such as this. Because the language and forms used to express this were different, does not mean that they weren’t all referring to the same phenomenon.
    Seeing and understanding ourselves as skin and everything under it, as physical detached entities, is an accident of evolution, greater in some societies than others. So the issue may be not that we can rediscover what was previously known about this, but can we experience swimming in this ‘soup’, as a previous post calls it – attuned and conscious?
    I fear a new bandwagon – people who wake up one day and proclaim that they too are ‘Genealogy Therapists’. But I have put a toe in these waters myself and found that discoveries made on people’s ancestry that I looked into, have indeed seemed to help or relieve some of their problems, or perhaps just turn their attention in a different direction.
    Will web connections lead to a rediscovery of connections we already had, but lost?
    Are we unconsciously driven to complete, repair, fulfill or understand things that happened to our predecessors? Can we be a conscious part of a processional story?
    It happens in the poorly understood space-time we inhabit, where some people sometimes have contact through internal connectors, that have been otherwise cut off or disabled.
    This may happen in pre-cognitive dreams – another topic mentioned above, studied by
    J. W. Dunne’s in his 1927 “An Experiment with Time”. A Scotsman dreamt of seeing horse racing results in future newspapers.
    He became Lord Kilbracken and editor of a national newspaper, partly as a result.
    A connection with a dimension that moves somehow faster that the speed of light, would explain being able to see forward in time. In other words, some people sometimes have open brain receptors, that can pick up a dimension, like a radio station, that’s moving faster than light.
    Beyond attunement and understanding, must be the freeing from now not just biology and upbringing but the influence of ancestors too. This may mean that virtuoso violinists carry on, stop or play even better. It may mean that people can discover abilities they didn’t know they had or find the source of certain problems and difficulties that previously troubled or inhibited them, that they could not understand.
    So far it’s all far less controversial than say psycho-analysis, as though people are ready for this – it seems to meet a current need or interest.
    May your discoveries be refreshing and liberating!

    Liked by 1 person



  37. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in
    your content seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.

    The design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon.



  38. Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest authoring
    on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share
    some stories/information. I know my readers would value your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.


  39. This link is to a talk I gave about an experience I had that I referred to as “accessing a genetic memory”. It seemed like the only plausible explanation for the event. Even more strange was the sequence of events that lead me to an understanding of what may have happened.

    It is all very interesting and intriguing and I continue to research to try and understand it. That lead me here.


    • Dear John Hadfield! Thank you for sharing. I’ve known for years that within each of us is cellular memory which may upon rare occasions (if ever) come into the conscious mind. Having experiences such as yours and an episode that brought about understanding is something to treasure always and to pass on to others as you are now doing. This may help some who experience unexplainable episodes, dreams, or even thoughts.


  40. Well… when my father was a child, he was taught by two particularly nasty teachers, and somehow I’ve always had a certain mental image of what they looked like. Recently, I saw a picture of them, and they looked exactly how my imagination had depicted them to be. Personally, I think I must have heard a description of them before which lead to such an accurate idea of their appearances, but still… it’s quite mysterious. If we were to go with the theory of genetically inherited memories, then I could only entertain the notion that these teachers had such a profoundly negative effect on my father’s younger self that they.. well, they stuck with me, too. I’m very close to Dad, and inherited most of my genes from him, if that helps. Any suggestions?


  41. Wow, I almost can’t believe I found this article today. All my life I have had things happen to me I didn’t understand. Even as a kid as young as three or four years old. Going someplace new and Knowing I had been there before. Knowing which hallway to go down and which door to open. Memories of places no one else in the family could help to identify. One of latest big events was a vision. It took about forty five minutes to play out at I sat quietly and over the course of ten years everything in the vision came true in my life. I am white, blue eyed and blond but I have always felt a close connection to the American Indians. To the point of having memories and dreams associated with them. I’ve gone to Pow Wows and found myself singing along with them. I recognize the songs they are singing even though I don’t know what the words mean in English. I don’t usually talk about any of this because when I’ve tried, others really do think I am crazy or just making it up. Ever since I can remember this has been happening…people, places and things. I always knew it was real but had no idea where it was coming from. I know very little about my heritage except we are English and Irish. I had a lot of learning difficulties when I started school, almost like I was someplace a lot of the time.Thank you so much for this article. I am a nurse by profession and well grounded in the sciences of the day. I’m very spiritual but not religious. None of it made sense until I read this. I could go on and on about what has happened. I have no control over it…it just happens. Thank You.


  42. It can be very theraputic to get in touch with one’s ancestors and it is something I have been doing over the last ten years.
    Once, having lower back issues, I was able quite easily to trace them to my great great grandfather who was my fathers mothers fathers father. In conversation he related to me he had an injury being thrown from a horse. (I actually can talk to him by just tuning into my memories anytime I wish to… it is something I can do with anyone I desire, as long as they are in my family line.. I don’t know these people intelectually, but they seem familliar nonetheless.)
    After having the conversation with him about his injury, my lower back issue cleared up.
    I have cleared many questions I’ve had of how certain issues came to be in me.
    Emotional issues also.
    Beware of the intellect, because it is a trap.


  43. I have to believe that some memories ARE inherited. Earliest ancestors grew upon past knowledge passed down and possibly inherited. I am a biologist with emphasis on the human side of things. Past life experiences such as mentioned are not uncommon. Sometimes science can’t prove everything so embrace the amazing thing we call life. This doesn’t have to contradict creationism and it doesn’t prove evolution. Also, try to keep your blogs short. Love what you have to say but…..


  44. Would like to connect with a knowledgeable
    Person. I have experienced communication in dreams regarding my DNA and who I come from. Just interesting factors to add to your resurge and can perhaps help me understand what is being communicated to me.

    My email is


  45. Whoa! What an intense amount of discussion. The work of Rupert Sheldrake provides substantial scientific data on this concept, which he refers to as Morphic Resonance, basically as the intersection between evolution, biology and quantum mechanics. Extremely compelling evidence to say the least. Exciting in that we now how a workable scientific theory which has the potential to provide some serious mainstream scientific currency for things like psychic ability, ancestral memories, reincarnation and much more besides! What truly exciting times we live in.


  46. Yeah this is a very popular article. Morphic resonance is an interesting idea but I find it limiting. When I read a bit more about it, I realized that Sheldrake was only talking about the past influencing the present. Myself, I hypothesize an interactive field where future could conceivably bleed thru to the present. Some find this hard to understand. One theologian I spoke with emphasized that God may know the future and give us that knowledge, but since the future hasn’t happened yet, it cannot influence the present. I disagree with that view too, considering we know that space-time is relative and that we each live in relative space-time zones.

    Here’s a somewhat old piece I wrote about morphic resonance…
    Needs an update! 🙂


  47. very intresting… and by going deep down into our DNA memory,can we able to know who our ancesters was?? and the skills ,feelings can we recall it from us within?
    coz i got visions like during my sleep in which i can found myself……………..


  48. I found this site because I was searching for knowledge re. “cellular memory” that I’ve been conscious of for many years. When I was a preteen girl I had a recurring dream about being a teenage Indian boy and was scared and hiding in a barn looking through wide gaps in the planks as my father who had long white hair walked up to the yard gate to talk to some men on horseback. The men rode away and I was so relieved because whatever my father had said caused them to leave.

    I’ve had other vivid dreams that have awakened me and caused me to lie in bed wondering who those people were in my dream. I’ll cite just 2 of them: Once I woke up and went to the Internet for a word I was unfamiliar with to discover it’s the language spoken in a far east country (Urdu(sp?)) – in another dream I was either sitting with or observing men talking about someone they all seemed to be familiar with and one said “You know he’s been canonized” – I woke up wondering who they were talking about – I knew the word “canonized” sounded familiar but couldn’t remember what it meant so got up for the dictionary and as soon as I read the definition, I knew they had been talking about King David in the Bible.

    I’m in my 82nd year of life. My father never did have white hair and it was never long. I grew up in a family with 6 sisters and many cousins. I was the only one that claimed to be Indian until recently. Whatever my father had told me, I don’t remember; many years later when I found that my son had been telling people he was part Blackfoot, and told my father, he said,”He’s picked the meanest tribe to be a part of” and told me it was Cherokee. Long after my father died, one of my cousins was doing genealogical research found that my father’s mother’s great-great grandmother was a full-blood Cherokee and married a man who was part Creek and (I believe) part Scottish.

    I wish I could find a way to unlock some of the knowledge I feel is stored in my cellular makeup.



  49. I as a child always enjoyed green scenaries. .I always love castles. As I got older I learn about other countries…I feel a very deep connection with Britain. My brother studied our family history and found out some of our ancestors were King Henry 11 and Eleanor of Aquintain. Had my DNA found out i am native American, British, Italian, spanish and few others. Something inside me long time ago told me my history before I knew any of my history.☺ amazing


  50. Yeah, its a weird thing genetics…i am one of the only living relitives, that can tell my cousins, how their father was, they have never met him, but they act exactally like him, as i knew him growing up, even the same words are used, and sentenses….

    As for myself, I met my bio father, he was a drunk, so i stayed well away from him, after i was old enough to know who he was, a super aggressive marine solder…..and my mom was super passive…….but i grew up always wanting to lead not follow…….beyond them….i aways was a good builder of stone and natural things, without knowing how to do it, i just built, and it was like i knew how to mix cement, mortar fro scratch….and was not taught how to do it back then… im sure it plays a big part, d.n.a


  51. This topic is really fascinating …the more u study the more u want to dig deeper,it is amusing that how i am afraid of traffic even when i was never told it was such. Another great instance is how a baby who never learned maths,physics knows that throwing a ball over another will make it move…is this what we called genetic memory..i am interested in knowing the ways of activating this genetic memory that could be a boon for mankind.


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