- File Size: 2286 KB
- Print Length: 370 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; 1 edition (May 8, 2010)
- Publication Date: May 11, 2010
- Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003L77V74
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,462 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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Christiane Northrup, M.D. author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom Reading Molecules of Emotion filled me with molecules associated with joy, inspiration, and hope.
Dean Ornish, M.D. author of Eat More, Weigh Less Molecules of Emotion is a highly inspiring story of the search for the biochemical links between consciousness, mind, and body that also weaves in Pert's deeply personal search for truth. Highly recommended!
Lynn Harris New York Daily News Pick up the coolest, smartest, hardest-core mind-body book I've seen in a while.
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Since the 1970s, the late Candace Pert has persisted in her vision of finding molecular evidence for the functionality of our emotions, and our sexuality, and more generally for mindbody medicine, within the boundaries of modern science. The book, if all that additional information was taken out, would be a research paper, too thin to fill a book. And it would probably miss its goal entirely. It’s this holistic and empathic approach, and needless to add that it’s an artistic approach as well, that makes this book so unique. And it shows that this scientist is actually a great human. Actually Pert, together with the brilliant animations in the Bleep movie, made transparent how human sexuality works, and that it is not a mechanical abstract function, that it is not, an instinct or ‘drive’ as Sigmund Freud called it, but a direct outflow from our emotional predilections.
To give an example, how she explains this rather complex matter in a very readable, comprehensive way, let me put this quote:
—If receptors are the first components of the molecules of emotion, then ligands are the second. The word ligand comes from the Latin ligare, ‘that which binds’, sharing its origin with the word religion. Ligand is the term used for any natural or manmade substance that binds selectively to its own specific receptor on the surface of a cell. The ligand bumps onto the receptor and slips off, bumps back on, slips back off again. The ligand bumping on is what we call the binding, and in the process, the ligand transfers a message via its molecular properties to the receptor. Though a key fitting into a lock is the standard image, a more dynamic description of this process might be two voices—ligand and receptor— striking the same note and producing a vibration that rings a doorbell to open the doorway to the cell./24
Candace Pert’s project was since its humble beginnings in the 1970s very daring, as until now mainstream psychology treats emotions as ‘floating parameters’ that are hard to grasp by our reigning mechanistic science paradigm.
But in her own words, her vision even went beyond. She did not just want to succeed in her personal research project, but desired to help bring about this huge paradigm shift to many scientists who are currently working on it. And she wanted this paradigm shift to expand also into medical science, so that the psychosomatic unity of body and mind are definitely recognized in medicine.
It is known from the Bleep movie how brilliantly Pert explained her research, how she can convey complex matters in a simple comprehensive way. And here is how she explains emotions under the particular angle of her research:
—When I use the term emotion, I am speaking in the broadest of terms, to include not only the familiar human experiences of anger, fear, and sadness, as well as joy, contentment, and courage, but also basic sensations such as pleasure and pain, as well as the ‘drive states’ studied by the experimental psychologists, such as hunger and thirst. In addition to measurable and observable emotions and states, I also refer to an / assortment of other intangible, subjective experiences that are probably unique to humans, such as spiritual inspiration, awe, bliss, and other states of consciousness that we all have experienced but that have been, up until now, physiologically explained./131-132
To summarize, this highly readable book from an amazing scientist may scramble you up a bit, but this is a good thing to happen. The book is not a dry research report, but in the contrary reads like an adventure novel—the novel of a daring woman who has achieved much in her life. She has won the hearts of many people and through touching their hearts she has been able to put new seeds in their minds.
Several of the reviews on this page complained that it was more of a memoir than a text. And they are right, it is - but it is not something that merits complaint. Rather, i think Candace Pert does a wonderful job of showing her personal journey, and the path along the way.
i would have rated it with five stars, but unfortunately, the book has a lot of typos. i find it hard to believe that as classic a book as this one would have so many grammar and spelling mistakes. Nearly all of these would and should have been caught by a good editor. I found them rather distracting, making it somewhat harder to read. It was an unfortunate wart on the what would otherwise be a solid five star review.
For some books, that would have been it. The book would have going onto the shelf, mostly unread. However, this book was good enough that I was able to look beyond the editing mistakes. And in the couple of days it took me to read it cover to over, i was fascinated by the world Dr.Pert builds.
i love the picture she portrays of science - specifically the National Institutes of Health. It shows the atmosphere in a national-lab setting and portray it and the publish-or-perish scientific world in a less than flattering picture of the peer review system. Against this backdrop we have many 'NeuroPeptide' or life sciences discoveries. where is all this leading, I don't have the foresight to predict. But that's the beauty of science, and Dr. Pert does a wonderful job of picturing all aspects of her journey.
Top international reviews
With this in mind, the book would have benefitted from some flow-charts enabling readers to have an alternative way of seeing how the immune system "listens" to our emotional thoughts and responds accordingly. If you are already invested in the quantum aspect of life and know something about consciousness and The Field (Lynne McTaggart) and Bruce Lipton's The Biology of Belief, you will enjoy this. If not, you might find it hard going and it would be best to start with something easier, like The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart.
She is so knowledgeable about the HUMAN CONDITION and the neural network
peptides, and cells ... BEYOND just BIOLOGY... she pioneered the connection and molecules and peptides that our EMOTIONS create, and fought long and hard to be heard by the establishment in USA. She won eventually by sticking her head above the parapet.
LOVE this brave lady. She understands emotions in biological / physiological terms and consequences thereof.
QUITE Un common for a scientist to have a deep understanding and Passion also for an
"ALTERNATIVE " viewpoint. Difficult in parts to grasp if you are not interested in MIND BODY
it is NOT a book for whizzing through for a quick fix... it is TRUTH in essence but need a grasp
of... or interest in... all THE ABOVE. It should be in every University 1st YEAR reading.
My first surprise was that the book had been written in 1997! That it took me fifteen years even to hear about it, despite an interest in the subject, is astonishing. That the original research goes back to the 1970's is even more so.
The book has been criticized as too autobiographical with not enough hard science take-aways. It is true that it is autobiographical, and doubtless I also hoped to understand more of the subject at the end of it than I do, though I did learn quite a bit. However, it is also very well written and, except for the last couple of chapters which disappoint, as hard to put down as a good detective novel. So the entertainment value and the broader insight into how the neuropharmacological research community works more than compensated for this failing, and in fact I do not know if there was, at the time of writing, more to be said on the subject than is contained in the book. I do have a couple of more recent books on similar subjects lined up for reading, so check this space.
Where I would fault the book, however, is its tendancy to wild generalization, containing as it does a wide range of claims about body-mind interactions with no effort to discriminate between them. As such, it is more suggestive than authoritative. Certainly, Pert's work lends weight to the validity claims of many non-pharmacological therapies. A picture emerges from the book as to why these therapies may be successful, and I have no doubt that broadly she is on the right lines. However, there are so many gaps in explaining how these bodymind linkages work that there is really nothing in the book that counts as an explanation. The only things on which she sheds real light are the action of psychedelics and a treatment for AIDS based on blocking the CCR5 receptor, used by the virus, with a molecule based on an endogenous ligand, which still today is struggling to gain official acceptance. The view that the brain is not merely a neurological but also an endocrine organ is doubtless, by now at least, well established, but even the links she shows between emotions and the immune system, which are persuasive at the conceptual level, are difficult to disentangle. Lastly, Pert's meanderings into alternative and new age therapies tend more to discredit than buttress her thesis - and I say this as someone with plenty of sympathy for some of these therapies.
I did take from the book a real sense of the biochemical unity of life. It is extraordinary that the "molecules of emotion" are so widely distributed in nature, with analogues even in plants. Plus she quotes approvingly Reich and Lowen, which is courageous enough, though whether her research actually provides support for the idea of somatically stored emotions is not clear.
Although it is not intended, and does not function, as a textbook, Pert is a relatively unknown but important scientific pioneer and her work deserves to be read for this reason as well as for its broader sociological interest.
It is a fascinating read of her struggles with the establishment but also the amazing discoveries and their implications. A bit over-scientific in places, but if you skim some bits it is well worth it.
It ties in well with my book, Blue Sky God: The Evolution of Science and Christianity
Engaging read but I've stopped for a breather halfway through!
I'll return but I need a rest!
If you are thinking of ordering it - DO!
I f you want to understand how our feelings affect our health - it is one of the best books to read
Although a Scientist she has the gift of communication and can write so that we can all understand this important subject.
Please note Amazon, that this book was written by Candace Pert, not Deepak Chopra!