Originally published July 23 2009
Mind-Body Connection, Part II: The Map is Not the Territory
by Alexander R. Lees
(NaturalNews) What is a neuropeptide? In the Mind-Body Connection Part 1 article we learned a thought - an abstract - is transduced by the human brain into a language the body can read - chemistry. The specific chemistry is called a neuropeptide. Exactly what is a neuropeptide?
A neuropeptide is a chain of amino acids, and each acid within the chain contains both a positive and a negative pole. Due to the way the chain is constructed, two positives can be back to back, or two negatives, or one of each. The significance of this is that by combining positives and negatives within the sequence of the chain, the chain carries information to the cells of the body. This information is the transduced thought, which includes a small, or large, electrical charge called an emotion.
Another way of saying this is the brain and body use a binary code to transport information between them, for example: + + +- ,+ - - - , - + + +, + +- - and so on. Each combination of + - (pluses and minuses) represents different information.
This information, or code, is then transported to the cells via the nervous system, and is one of the ways genes can be turned on (expression) or off (dormant).
According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, cell biologist (and others) we now know each cell contains a set of master genes, or control genes. It is the master genes' job to read the information made available by the neuropeptide, and at the same time, use it to turn the working genes on or off. These master genes can also, given enough information, rewrite a gene, that is, change its function.
There are several factors involved in turning genes on and off, and/or rewriting them, and there are two we want to focus on. The first is the emotional charge. A general rule to keep in mind is: The stronger the emotional charge available, the greater the chance of the genes being affected by the neuropeptide. The second factor affecting the genes is repetition. If the same neuropeptide enters the cell over and over again, then it is more likely the genes will be affected.
One question that could be asked at this point is: What is it that genes do? Genes primarily do two things. They create proteins, and they generate behaviors. Since the focus of this series of articles is about how thoughts affect health (as well as creating attitudes, perceptions and behaviours) we need one more piece of the puzzle to help complete a usable picture.
We interface with the world via our five physical senses. That is, information from out there (the world at large) is brought into our inner world and forms a model, or map (inside our head) of how that world is. The term model is used to denote that there is a great reductionism in all this acquired data.
To understand the use of the word model, at least for our purposes, consider the following. We came into the world without a thought in our heads, merely a few prewired programs to help us along. Then we learned to make noises to represent things, called a language. These noises are codes or labels for objects, people, experiences, and so on. Each family varies to some degree in their teaching of these codes. At the same time, it places a value on each and every experience. The experience could be a conversation about what's important, who is important, what is right, and what is wrong. They do all this with laughter, tears, anger or acceptance. They teach us what the possibilities or limits are, and what our potential is.
If you were a passenger in an automobile, and you and your partner were off on an adventure, (for example, exploring some back country roads) you may end up being the official navigator. Your assigned position may be to read the map, and offer information to the driver. You aren't looking at the territory then, you are looking at a representation of it, called a map. Those upside down Vs on the map aren't really mountains. They are a representation of them. That squiggly blue line is not a river but is a representation of one. In other words, the map is not the territory.
In a like and similar way, the model of the world within our heads is like a map. It is not the territory itself, but a representation of it. Because each of us has different parents, peers, teachers, coaches and so on, we each have a difference in our model of the world. Sometimes there is an overlap in perception or translation, and this is called a shared reality.
There are also differences, and the sum of these differences make us unique. Sometimes, our model or representation of something is quite supportive, and because of this, we eat right, play right, exercise right and generally are happy and content. At other times our models clash, and dissension and animosity become the norm. Our model can even cause us to disagree with some aspect of reality itself. Doing so, we can end up defending smoking cigarettes, abusing alcohol and trying to convince ourselves that eating whatever we want, when we want, will somehow allow us to be immune to heart attacks, diabetes and a host of other ailments as well.
These are but a few examples of how our model, based on our thinking processes can contribute to our misfortunes, such as disease. To summarize, we create a model of the world and then we live our lives in a way that conforms to the model. Remember that the term model is used to denote that there is a great reductionism in all this acquired data. The reason for this is simple.
There is far, far, too much information available for the nervous system to process, so to protect itself from an overload, certain filters evolved to reduce the volume. These mental filters are referred to as perceptive filters, and their main purpose is to allow us to pay attention to what is considered important. Not only do these filters contribute to our uniqueness and our individuality, they are also the main reason why we are motivated to eat properly (or not) and whether we exercise (or not) and so on.
In Part 3 of the Mind-Body Connection we will focus on these filters and how they are structured. With this understanding comes the ability to change them. Later in the series, we will be introduced to certain techniques, or methods to change them. After all, there is so much information available about de-toxing our body and feeding it appropriately, why not do the same with our mind?
Bruce Lipton, PhD <http://www.brucelipton.com/>
Candace Pert, PhD - Molecules of Emotion - <http://candacepert.com>
As well, there is information available from Behavioral Science, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and Epigentics (the study of the master genes).
About the authorAlexander R. Lees, DCH, RCC has been in private practice for 22 years, as a counsellor and therapist. He is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, with a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. As well, Dr. Lees is a Certified International Trainer of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and an expert in meridian tapping techniques (including EFT). Dr. Lees presents international seminars and workshops on a variety of topics related to the mind/body connection, EFT and NLP. Also, he is the author of Pathways Through Your Mindfield, EFT - What is it and how does it work? and co-author of Freedom At Your Fingertips. Please visit http://www.DrAlexLees.com where you will find information about NLP, EFT, the mind/body connection, as well as MP3s (including a free download) and lots of other good stuff. To read his personal story, which also lead him to becoming a psychotherapist, please have a look at http://www.dralexlees.com/about01.html Dr. Lees lives in beautiful White Rock, BC, Canada, with his wife Berit and their dog Ty.
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