An update on the intelligence of our cells is biochemist Sondra Barrett, Ph.D.’s book Secrets of Your Cells. (2013) Also see books by Bruce Lipton.
A Summary of Candace Pert, Ph.D.
Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You
Feel. (Simon & Schuster Touchstone, 1997)
Cell receptors are the interface between emotions and tissue.
The cell’s brain is the receptors that float on its membrane. A
neuron (nerve cell) may have millions of receptors. Candace Pert
has spent her life as a scientist researching the receptors that sit on
the cells. She explains how they work in the first chapter of her
book. A receptor is a single molecule made up of strings of amino
acids, like beads on a necklace, perhaps the most complicated molecule
there is. (The 20 known amino acids make up protein and are
manufactured in the ribosomes found in every cell.) A receptor
vibrates and hums as it changes shape, waiting to pick up messages
that diffuse through the fluids surrounding the cells. A ligand is the
chemical key that fits in the receptor, in a process called binding,
“sex on a molecular level.”
About 95 percent of ligands are peptides, smaller strings of
amino acids. Examples of peptides are insulin and hormones—
excluding the steroid sex hormones. The second type are neurotransmitters
such as serotonin, usually made in the brain to carry
information across the gap (synapse) between neurons. The third
type are steroids including testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.
The chemical exchange of information molecules is a second
nervous system, and the most ancient. It allows the different systems
to communicate with each other (i.e., the endocrine, neurological,
Paul MacLean first described the brain as having three layers
which represent evolution; first, the brainstem or reptilian brain
(responsible for autonomic functions such as breathing and body
temperature). The limbic system encircles the top of the brainstem,
the source of emotions and where trauma gets stuck. The
cerebral cortex in the forebrain is the place we think and reason.
Chimps have 99 percent of the same DNA as we do, but they don’t
have a developed frontal cortex. It doesn’t fully develop in humans
until the early twenties, useful to know when relating to teenagers.
The brain’s food is glucose, carried in the blood, which fuels the
neurons to secrete messenger chemicals (neurotransmitters and
neuropeptides) and the glial cells to work on the nerve endings in
an “ongoing sculpting of connections.”199
Pert coined the phrase “molecules of emotion” in response
to her finding that 85 to 95 percent of the neuropeptide receptors
are found in the emotion centers (limbic structures). They include
the amygdala (almond-shaped structures on either side of the forebrain,
about an inch into your brain from your earlobes), hippocampus,
and limbic cortex. Since the 1920s, researchers were
able to stimulate strong emotions by electrically stimulating the limbic
cortex over the amygdala. Pert’s group of scientists discovered
that high concentrations of neuropeptides exist in most locations
(“nodal points”) where information from the five senses enters the
nervous system. Receptors are also found on immune cells for
almost every peptide found in the brain. Thus the immune system
can send and receive information from the brain via the peptides,
and the brain is another nodal point in the network.
“Using neuropeptides as the cue, our bodymind retrieves
or represses emotions and behaviors,” since change at the receptor
level is the molecular basis of memory.200 Memories are stored
in the body, as well as the brain, especially in the receptors
between nerves and cell bodies called ganglia. We pay attention to
some information and ignore the rest, as otherwise we would be
overwhelmed. Pert deduces this means memory processes are
emotion-driven and that emotions are peptide ligands. “Peptides
are the sheet music containing the notes, phrases, and rhythms that
allow the orchestra—your body—to play as an integrated entity.”
Memory and performance are, therefore, influenced by mood.
“Emotional states or moods are produced by the various
neuropeptide ligands, and what we experience as an emotion or a
feeling is also a mechanism for activating a particular neuronal circuit—
simultaneously throughout the brain and body—which generates
a behavior.”201 Pert believes there is one kind of peptide for
each emotion, just as endorphins are the mechanisms for bliss and
bonding. We can consciously influence what goes on in the body, as
by visualizing increased blood flow into a body part to increase oxygen
and nutrients to nourish the cells.
Pert believes “repressed emotions are stored in the body—
the unconscious mind—via the release of neuropeptide ligands,
and that memories are held in their receptors.”202 Emotions, then,
“are at the nexus between matter and mind, going back and forth
between the two and influencing both.”203 The immune system is composed of the spleen (the brain of the immune system), the bone marrow, the lymph nodes, and various
white blood cells. Pert speculates that meridians may be the
pathways followed by immune cells. Some of the immune system
cells create antibody molecules to engulf bacteria, virus or tumor
cells. Scavenger cells (macrophages which begin in the bone marrow
as monocytes) clean up the debris after invaders are killed.
Macrophages also repair and heal tissue. Interferons, similar to antibodies,
fight invaders, but they’re peptides made by white blood
cells called lymphocytes. (Some are B cells, others are T cells). Ed
Blalock found they sometimes secrete endorphin (a mood-altering
brain peptide) and a stress hormone, which means the immune
system acts like tiny pituitary glands.204 Pert and her team found
receptors on immune cells for almost every peptide or drug found
in the brain.
Immune cells make and secrete neuropeptides, the same
brain chemicals that control mood. The immune system can send
information to the brain with immunopeptides and receive it
through neuropeptides which hook up on receptors, the basis for
the new study of psychoneuroimmunology. The brain, glands, and
immune system are linked in an intelligent information network of
neuropeptides and receptors which create emotions. This means
“emotion-affecting peptides, then, actually appear to control routing
and migration of monocytes, which are very pivotal to the
overall health of the organism.”205 For example, in cancer, neuropeptides
(which affect mood and behavior) signal the cancer cell
receptors and cause them to grow and travel. Thus, cancer can be
fought with peptides to block receptors, as when taxofilen is used
against estrogen-dependent breast cancers. Viruses use the same
receptors as neuropeptides to enter a cell.
Even if we don’t understand the details of the interaction
between emotions and cell receptors, it’s important for healers to
know the connection exists and that it can be influenced consciously.
Here’s the quantum physics perspective from Deepok
Chopra, MD, based on a talk he gave on November 4, 2006 in
Chico. Further information is available in his recent books Book of
Secrets and Life After Death, his website chopra.com, and his blog
choprablog.com. He started an organization to global peace called
Alliance for a New Humanity, ANHglobal.org.
Chopra contrasts the new science, based on quantum
physics, with the old mechanistic, reductionist, deterministic science
which believes the development of life and its evolution over
eight billion years was an accident, a product of matter. The new
science believes there are no accidents because a consciousness
pervades the universe which is not basically matter. Sub-atomic
particles are fluctuations of energy, not matter. Our senses fool us
into thinking what we experience is solid, predictable, and
unchanging. What we perceive as matter is mostly empty with fluctuations
of energy, information and intelligence.
In fact, we continually rebuild our bodies as atoms flow in
and out, including atoms right now that used to be in the body of
Jesus, Buddha, Hitler, etc. We make new skin every month, a new
skeleton every three months, new DNA every six weeks, so that
by the end of next year we will have replaced 98% of the atoms in
our bodies. Everything changes although consciousness or soul outlives
the death of molecules.
Just as a movie or TV picture and reality itself appears to be
continuous, it’s actually flashes of off and on at the speed of light.
Without the off we wouldn’t perceive. In the quantum world of the
off, there is no energy, information, or space and time, no objects.
This is called quantum non-locality, as theorized by Bell’s Theorem
and proved to be true in 1998. What exists is waves of infinite possibility
where everything is connected and synchronized. This
explains how events can happen simultaneously, as in the communication
between the 100 trillion cells in the body which perform
hundreds of thousands of activities each second. However, in this
world of probability nothing is certain (Heisenberg’s Uncertainty
Principle). Einstein rejected this notion when Heisenberg present-
ed it to him, saying God doesn’t play dice with the universe.
Stephen Hawkins recently said that God does throws dice and, furthermore,
places them where we won’t find them. Quantum leaps
without going through linear space and time provides the basis for
creativity in evolution, as when reptiles evolved into birds and
chimp ancestors into humans.
Einstein’s student John Wheeler said the universe doesn’t
exist unless there’s an observer; quantum physics studies the
“observer effect” on whether a potential state becomes a wave or
a particle. It’s like electricity needs a positive and negative pole to
activate. As the observers, we’re thus co-creators with God the
creator. The world functions according to these five principles and
so does our consciousness or soul, which is non-local or material.
We create through uncertainties in a field of infinite possibilities
where the space between thoughts is reality, not the sensations.
We create our own reality with our thoughts, intention, awareness,
what we focus on, and meditative exploration of the inner world.
Chopra lists questions to ask as part of this exploration and bringing
our shadow selves into the light, at his website
http://www.chopra.com. He says death is nothing to fear because it’s part
of the off and on through which the soul moves. Thus the body is
an excellent example of quantum principles, as well as the chemistry
which Pert explains.