MOLECULES OF EMOTIONS --- WHY YOU FEEL THE WAY YOU FEEL
by Candice B. Pert. Scribner, 1997


FORWARD (p9-10)

    This book explores how your mind, spirit, and emotions are unified within your physical body in one "intelligent system." This pioneering research demonstrates how your internal chemicals --- the neuropeptides and their receptors --- are the actual biological underpinnings of your awareness, manifesting themselves as your emotions, beliefs, and expectations.

    They profoundly influence how you respond to and experience your world. Your mind and your body are actually one!

    Your awareness and perception can transform matter since it can create an entirely new body. The book provides a vivid scientific picture of the fact that your mind is "nonlocal!" That is, your biochemical messengers act with intelligence by communicating information, orchestrating a vast complex of conscious and unconscious activities at any one moment. This information transfer takes place over a network linking all of your bodily systems and organs, engaging all of your molecules of emotion --- as a means of communication!

    Your brain is actually a "mobile brain" that moves throughout your entire body--- since it is located in all places at once and not just in your head!

    Thus your body-wide information network is ever changing and dynamic and infinitely flexible. It is one gigantic loop, directing and admitting information simultaneously. Your body-mind intelligently guides what you perceive as "life itself!"

1) The "recepter revolution" --- an introductory lecture (p11-31)

    [1] Arrival

    [2] The audience

    [3] Taking the stage

    [4] Setting the tone

    [5] The basics

    [6] The ties that bind

    [7] The chemical brain (p26-27)

    [8] A brief history of receptors (p27-29)

    [9] A new idea --- research begun in 1970 on "receptorology" at Johns Hopkins Univeristy by author (p29-31)

2) Romance of the "opiate receptor" (p32-62)

    [1] Destiny

    [2] Enchantment

    [3] Initiation

    [4] Threshold

    [5] Experiment (p50-55)

      An experiment is divided into two parts. First, the design and, then, the implementation. But rarely do they follow one another smoothly! (p50)

    [6] Eureka! (p56-62)

      On October 25, 1972, Candice Pert recorded the data verifying the "killer experiment of my dreams." The author had found the opiate receptor! (p61)

3) Peptide generation --- a continued lecture (p63-72)

    [1] Finding the key (p63-64)

    [2] Basic building blocks (p64-65)

      Peptides are tiny pieces of protein which have long been recognized as the first materials of life. A peptide consists of a string of amino acids, each joined together like beads in a necklace. The bond that holds the amino acids together is made up of carbon and nitrogen, and is extremely tough.

      When there are approximately 100 amino acids in the chain, the peptide is considered to be a "polypeptide."

      When there are 200 or more amino acids in the chain, the polypeptide is called a "protein."

      In order to identify a new peptide, a chemist must first extract the substance and then isolate it from all other biochemical impurities. Then the challenge is to characterize it, a process that involves naming each of the amino acids that makes it up. There are 20 known major amino acids. These names must be written in the precise sequence of their arrangement. The result is the identification of the chemical structure of the peptide!

      This complex process can be compared to language. You need to know the alphabet before you can learn to read. Amino acids are the letters. Peptides, including polypeptides and proteins, are the words made from these letters. Together these ingredients make up a "molecular language" that composes and directs every cell, organ, and system in your body!

    [3] Naming the baby (p65-67)

      By 1975, scientists had worked out the chemical formulas for only 30 or so peptides. Formulas were written as a sequence of three-letter abbreviations, each representing a specific amino acid. In December 1975, Scottish scientists published the chemical analysis of the brain's own "morphine," which consists of a pair of peptides, each five amino acids in length. Thus two more peptides were added to the slowly growing peptide family. The chemical structure for the two peptides was summed up by the formula --- Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-Met and Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-Leu --- and was called "enkephalin." Now a peptide chemist had all the information needed to make enkephalin from amino acid starting materials in just a few days!

    [4] A peptide history (p67-69)

      The first peptide ever to be replicated outside the body was oxytocin. This is the substance that is released from the pituitary gland during childbirth to bind with receptors in the uterus, where it causes the uterine contractions that eventually do the work of expelling the baby. Oxytocin also produces the uterine contractions of sexual orgasms in females. And in the brain, it acts to produce maternal behavior, stops infanticide, and seems to be related to monogamous relationships.

      This unifying function of peptides, coordinating physiology, behavior, and emotion toward what seems to be a coherent, meaningful end, is very characteristic of humans and animals.

      Oxytocin is the darling of the peptide revolution. Its importance in peptide history cannot be overstated, because once it was demonstrated with oxytocin synthesis that chemists could make something identical to what the body could make, they also realized they could attempt to improve on nature!

    [5] The peptide/brain connection (p69-72)

4) Brains and ambition (p73-93)

    [1] Glory (p72-79)
    [2] Exploitation (p79-87)

    [3] The race (p87-90)

    [4] The hare turns tortoise and drops out of the race (p90-92)

    [5] New horizons (p92-93)

5) Life at the palace (p94-106)

    Success (p105-106)

6) Breaking the rules (p107-129)

    The rainbow is a profoundly hopeful symbol, which separates the white light of appearances into its multiple spectrum, revealing a hidden dimension!

    The mission of science is to pierce through the layers of everyday reality and penetrate the truth!
    (p118)

7) The biochemicals of emotion --- a continued lecture (p130-149)

    8) Turning point (p150-179)

      9) The psychosomatic network --- a concluding lecture (p180-1950)

      10) Child of the new paradigm (p196-219)

        11) Crossing over, coming together (p220-249)

          12) Healing feeling (p250-278)

            Information (p255-261)

            Happiness (p263-265)

            Play (p277-278)

          13) Truth (p279-315)

            EPILOGUE --- The story continues (p316-320)

            APPENDIX A --- Prevention-oriented tips for healthful, blissful living (p321-323)

            APPENDIX B --- Bodymind medicine --- resources and practitioners (p324-345)

            GLOSSARY (p346-353)

            RECOMMENDED READING (p354-358)

            INDEX (p359-368)


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