This chapter starts with the words "You do not think in a vacuum'. Every time you have a thought there is a biochemical reaction in the brain you make a chemical and then he goes on to describe how we're made of cells and that all cells have receptor sites on their exterior surface that receive information from outside their boundaries and then when there's a match in chemistry frequency and electrical charge between a receptor site and an incoming signal from the outside, then the cell gets turned on to perform certain tasks.
This is where these three ingredients (neurotransmitters, neuro peptides and hormones) blend together to create the cause and effect chemicals. These are known as the cause and effect chemicals for brain activity and bodily function and these things can connect to, interact with or influence the cell in a matter of milliseconds so think of neurotransmitters as chemical messengers primarily from the brain and neuropeptides as chemical signallers that serve as a bridge between the brain and the body to make us feel the way we think and hormones as the chemicals related to feelings primarily in the body.
Example... Let's say you're trying to figure out how to get over someone or how to be able to get over the loss of a job or perhaps it's thinking about some kind of argument that you're about to have with somebody or maybe you get cut off in traffic. Some kind of event causes you to feel stress.
If you start thinking about these stressful things your neurotransmitters would start the thought process in your brain to produce a specific level of mind. Your neuropeptides would chemically signal your body in a specific way and you would begin to feel a bit riled up and then as the peptides find a way to your adrenal glands they would then be prompted to release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol and then you're definitely feeling riled up.
Chemically your body is ready for battle so as you think these thoughts your brain circuits fire in corresponding sequences and patterns and combinations which then produce levels of mind equal to those thoughts. Once these specific networks of neurons are activated, the brain produces specific chemicals with the exact signature to match those thoughts so that you feel the way you were just thinking. The brain constantly monitors the way the body is feeling and then based on the chemical feedback it receives it will generate more thoughts that produce chemicals corresponding to the way the body is feeling. We begin to feel the way we think and then to think the way we feel.
This continuous cycle creates a feedback loop called a 'state of being'.
This is how all three of these components mixed together to create this cyclic thinking and feeling as a state of being. Dr Joe Dispenza writes a warning, 'when feelings become the means of thinking or if we cannot think greater than how we feel, we can never change. To change is to think greater than how we feel. To change is to act greater than the familiar feelings of the memorized self.' Breaking the habit of being yourself consists of thinking greater than the way you're feeling. This is using your thoughts to override the chemicals and the ingredients that you had been cooking in the past. So you know the result of this cyclic communication between your brain and your body is that you tend to react addictively to these kinds of situations and you create patterns of the same familiar thoughts and feelings and you unconsciously behave in automatic ways and we become wired and mired in these routines.
This is how the chemical 'you' functions and this is why it can be difficult to break habits.
Then Joe Dispenza goes on to say ninety-five percent of who and what we are by mid life is a series of subconscious programs that have become automatic like driving a car, teeth brushing or overeating when we're stressed or worrying about the future or blaming our parents or not believing in ourselves or insisting on being chronically unhappy etc.
For example let's say that you had made a mistake in your life and you've been carrying that guilt about it or anger or sadness or shame and so every time you think that thought you're signalling your body to produce the specific chemicals that make up that feeling of guilt or anger or sadness or shame because you've done this so often our cells are swimming in this sea of guilt chemicals.
Then these receptor sites on the cells adapt so that they can better take in and process this particular chemical expression that of guilt or anger sadness or shame and then this enormous amount of guilt bathing the cells begins to feel normal to them and eventually what the body perceives as normal starts to be interpreted as pleasurable.
What ends up happening is these cells become somewhat desensitized to the chemical feeling of guilt and they will require a stronger more powerful emotion from you, a higher threshold extreme to turn on the next time and then when that stronger hit of guilt chemicals gets the body's attention, your cells perk up at the stimulation and when each cell divides at the end of its life and makes a daughter cell, the receptor sites on the outside of that new cell will require a higher threshold of guilt or anger or sadness or shame or whatever that negative emotion is to turn that cell back on and so then the body demands a stronger emotional rush of feeling bad in order to feel alive so you become addicted to guilt by your own doing. This is why being able to overcome your body and the training that it's received can be a challenge.
Dr. Joe Dispenza then writes 'you have become unconsciously guilty most of the time. Your body has become the mind of guilt so in a sense it's like training your body to live as a memorized chemical continuity.' What we're seeking to be doing with breaking the habit of being yourself is interrupting and denying those cells or chemical needs by going contrary to those subconscious programs to be changing those emotional patterns. This is sort of like going through a drug withdrawal or an addiction because once these cells are no longer getting the usual signals from the brain about feeling that guilt, they begin to express concern.
In the past your body and mind were working together feeling perfectly... bad, but now since you're looking to be changing that, you'd no longer want to be thinking and feeling in the same way, your intention would be to produce more positive thoughts. Even though the body is still revved up to produce guilt programs of the past, because ultimately we're working with a system and so what you're looking to be doing is to make a slight change in the system. This is where Joe Dispenza says to think of this as a highly specialized assembly line. Your brain programmed the body to expect a series of the usual parts that fit into this larger assembly and then all of a sudden you've sent it another part that doesn't fit in to the space with the old guilty program or part. Once you've sent it another part that doesn't fit into this space where the old guilty part once did, then it's like an alarm goes off and the whole operation comes to a standstill and the cell starts behaving in these funny ways.
As a metaphor, its like the cells are saying:
'Hey what are you doing up there! We're supposed to be feeling guilty! We've been following your commands and demands for years! We've subconsciously memorized this program of guilt from those repetitive thoughts and feelings. You want us to change but we can't have that!' So he's voicing the idea about how the cells would be reacting and how they'd be responding when the cells would be sending an urgent message right up the spinal cord to the surface of the thinking brain. In your brain there's a hypothalamus which is sending out a single saying 'hey we've got to make more of this chemical because we're feeling kind of depleted right now' so the hypothalamus signals the thinking brain to revert back to its old habitual ways.
The body wants you to return to your memorized chemical self so it influences you to think in familiar routine ways and so this is why when we're going through changes that you must put a stop to those old thinking patterns and when we do why we will say things like 'hmm this doesn't feel right.'
That's because in a sense we've taught ourselves to feel right about the wrongness of our habitual thinking. So for true change to occur it is essential to have unmemorized your personality and then to recondition the body to a new mind. A challenge with trying to make that change is that by itself, conscious positive thinking cannot overcome subconscious negative feeling.
This is where Joe Dispenza talks about how ineffective positive thinking is. "I want to be clear that by itself positive thinking never works many so-called positive thinkers have felt negative most of their lives and now they're trying to think positively. They are in a polarized state in which they are trying to think one way in order to override how they feel inside of them.
They consciously think one way but they are being the opposite. When the mind and body are in opposition, change will never happen." This is why these memorized feelings limit us to be continually recreating the past. Most of us live in the past and resist living in a new future. We become addicted to those familiar feelings and I'm certain you can think of examples of perhaps people that you know or conversations that you've had in the past where a person is continually talking about those glory days where there is nothing new happening in their life and so to stimulate feelings they'll reaffirm themselves from some glorious moments in the past.
Dr Joe Dispenza does an excellent job in illustrating and articulating the depth of the problem to overcome our bodies and how important that is by giving two interesting examples. One is from this study that was published in the Journal of Neurophysiology which is about how strength increases with physical contractions and imagined muscle contractions.
One group would imagine lifting their finger up and down and another group would actually do that exercise. After several weeks the results of the study showed that the people that had just imagined lifting up that finger got a twenty two percent increase in muscle strength even though they never moved a muscle. The people that were lifting up the finger had a thirty percent increase in muscle strength. The point is that by focusing your mind in ways that are much better for you and by thinking outside of your body can actually change your body.
Then he talks about how the quantum model asserts that we can signal the body emotionally and begin to alter a chain of genetic events without first having any actual physical experience that relates to that emotion so in other words we can imagine pretty cool stuff and as a result we can signal our genes to make new proteins to change our bodies to be ahead of the present environment. For example let's look at a study that was done on people with diabetes.
One group of people have to watch this boring lecture and the other group of people get to watch a comedy and at the end of the day when they examine the gene sequences of the people that were laughing, they discover that these diabetics had altered 23 different gene expressions. Just by laughing at that comedy show, their elevated state of mind apparently triggered their brains to send new signals to their cells which turned on those genetic variations that allowed their bodies to naturally begin to regulate the genes responsible for processing blood sugar.
So just by signalling the body with a new emotion, the laughing subjects altered their internal chemistry, that chemical of you to change the expression of their genes. An additional example relates to bicep strength. This was about people that were imagining doing bicep curls and people that were really doing it in real life and again the people that were able to just imagine doing that physical activity had shown an increase in strength.
So when the body has changed physically and biologically to look like an experience has happened, just by
thought or mental efforts alone. This offers evidence that the event has already transpired in our reality and so the brain begins to upgrade its hardware to look like the experience has physically occurred.
Then the body has changed genetically or biologically and both are different without our doing anything in three dimensions so then this event has occurred both in the quantum world of consciousness and in the world of physical reality. This is how you can begin to be breaking the habit of being yourself by thinking greater than your body.
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