Saturday, January 12, 2019

Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel, by Candace B. Pert (author, narrator)

Simon & Schuster Audio, ISBN 9780743541398, September 1997

Candace Pert, a neuroscientist and discoveror of the opiate receptor, recounts both the intricate relationship between mind, body, and emotions, and her own career uncovering those connections and the neurochemical basis of them. Beginning her career in the early 1970s, gender was an even bigger obstacle than it is now, which no cultural or legal expectation that it shouldn't be. Sometimes she had to fight for recognition of her contributions; other times she had to fight to be able to do the work at all.

But along the way, she made major discoveries, and had life-changing experiences. The mind-body dichotomy was still unquestioned scientific orthodoxy in her early days. She doesn't say, but I will: Rene Descartes has a lot to answer for. Pert's work with neuropeptides and their receptors helps to rebuild the essential unity of the person, mind, body, and emotions, and uncover the connections between our emotional health and our physical health.

There are times when this goes right up to edge of woo-woo, but it doesn't cross over. Pert is spiritual, religious, and very much a scientist. No, that's not a contradiction or a paradox. She's quite open about her beliefs, and the interrelations among the different aspects. Her central, guiding principle is a commitment to truth.

It's a fascinating story. There are times when I find it quite frustrating. It is, however, well worth reading if you are interested in the topic.

I bought this audiobook.

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