Molecules of Emotion
While still a graduate student, Candace Pert defied authority to continue her work to find an opiate receptor, a compelling theory which the medical research community did not believe existed in reality. Secretly marshalling resources and working alone through a long weekend, she made the breakthrough that helped create a new field in brain research.
That was just the beginning of an incredible career as a leading brain researcher who has continually opened new doors to understanding the complex interconnection of mind and body. In her 1997 blockbuster book, Molecules of Emotion, she states:
The body is the unconscious mind. She then proceeds to explain this shocking statement in completely rational, scientific, yet understandable terms. This book provides a fascinating explanation of many of the mind-body phenomena we associate with New Age thought or eastern religions. But also, because of the incredible profusion of breakthroughs that have come from Pert and her collaborators, it illustrates profound principles of innovation. The medical research industry is known for its highly competitive, political nature which, in most cases, severely restricts interdisciplinary collaboration. Pert, from the very beginning, deliberately courted collaborators from many disciplines and helped create a new field of research: psychoneuroimmunology. She believes that new developments and information should be released to the scientific community as soon as practical and as completely as possible rather than planning the more normal game of doling out the information in a series of articles to increase citation numbers, a key status and performance measurement. In a field that commonly operates on linear, trial-and-error methods, Pert depends on intuition and instinct to leapfrog her to breakthrough points.
Here are a few quotes from her book. I hope they entice you to read the whole thing.
“Do not accept the conventional wisdom. Do not accept the idea that something cant be accomplished because the scientific literature says it can’t. Trust your instincts. Allow yourself a wide latitude in your speculations. Don’t depend on the literature it could be right or it could be completely wrong.
Spread all your hunches out before you, and go with the ones you think are most probable. Select the one that you can test easily and quickly. Don’t assume it has to be overly complicated to be of value, since often the simplest experiment yields the most unequivocal result. Just do the experiment! And if you can keep it to a one-day experiment, so much the better.
A shocking but exciting fact revealed by the opiate-receptor findings was that it didn’t matter if you were a lab rat, a First Lady, or a dope addict. Everyone had the exact same mechanism in the brain for creating bliss and expanded consciousness.
The body is the unconscious mind! Repressed traumas caused by overwhelming emotion can be stored in a body part, thereafter affecting our ability to feel that part or even move it.
The peptide-respiratory link is well documented: Virtually any peptide found anywhere else can be found in the respiratory center. This peptide substrate may provide the scientific rationale for the powerful healing effects of consciously controlled breath patterns.
Mind doesn’t dominate body; it becomes body. Body and mind are one. I see the process of communication we have demonstrated, the flow of information throughout the whole organism, as evidence that the body is the actual outward manifestation, in physical space of the mind. Bodymind.
At this molecular level there really was no distinction between the mind and the body.
From a Breathing Times subscriber:
Breath is the unifying principal of the three systems of mechanics, metabolism, and mentality. It is the psychopharmacological link between conscious and unconscious states. Each of the three mechanical aspects of the breath have specific neurotransmissional function. Any technique that emphasizes one aspect of the mechanism exclusively will shift neurometabolism accordingly. Since neurometabolism is a volatile equilibrium, this is not trivial. Yoga practices are designed for this purpose, stimulating a specific aspect or relationship of aspects. I realize that contemporary yogis don’t always explain it this way, and I think that also leads to misuse and abuse. Right knowledge is yoga or union. That union is from bringing together all aspects, and applying discernment.
Jim N. more about Yoga