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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mind-Body Reality

Many months ago I heard about Dr. Candace Pert and decided to read her book "The Molecules of Emotion".   I added my name to the waiting list at my local library, then forgot all about it.  A few months after doing this, I decided to take a physiology / anatomy night school class.   Our second class was about cell structure and how substances move across cell membranes.  The day after the cell lesson my library called with an automated message that a book was ready for me to pick up.  As I had completely forgotten which book it was, I headed off to the library wondering what I might find.    And there it was, a book about how emotions move back and forth between the physical and non-physical as information chemicals absorbed into cells, delivered to me the day after I learned how the cell receptor mechanism operates.  What an interesting coincidence!


Though I've witnessed amazing healing take place through my Reiki practice, my internal skeptic is uncomfortable with not being able to explain, in any scientific way, what it is exactly that I do.  Always looking for a more tangible explanation, I was eager to read the supporting science that is Ms. Pert's amazing career.   Her decades of experiments clearly demonstrate the interconnectedness of the various body systems, and debunks the idea that the brain is the body's control centre.  She has proven that instructions do not initiate in the brain and disseminate to the body through it's various systems.  Instead, the execution of the instructions take place simultaneously in the brain and the body using exactly the same chemicals.  Functionally, you cannot separate the body from the mind - they are the same thing.   Finally - here was the proof I'd been looking for!  I couldn't wait to finish reading the book - to find those tangible answers I could share with my clients.

As with any book on the subject of mind-body connection, eventually she had to leave the hard science behind and speculate what some of her findings might mean.    If the circulation of emotional and spiritual information throughout the body-mind is a chemical process,  and if this chemical process is what sifts through our thoughts, determining which ones rise to our consciousness, then is our body our unconscious mind?   Do the paths these chemical processes follow throughout the body flow along what has come to be known as the acupuncture meridians?   Is this chemical movement what generates subtle energy?  If emotions are chemicals stored in our cells, does this mean our bodies literally hold our memories? 

These are exciting questions!  Imagine how our understanding would grow if we had the answer to even one of them.   Her book addressed so many important questions, so why does it feel that so much was left unanswered?


If you visualize all knowledge as an island of information, and the surrounding ocean as all that is yet to be learned, then the shoreline is the edge of the known/unknown.  As more is learned, the island gets larger.  And as the island gets larger, the shoreline gets longer, making the known and unknown grow at the same rate.

Perhaps it's time to leave my skepticism on the beach and just wade out into the water......

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