Think about the variety of personality types in the world. Surely you know people who seem exceptionally sensitive: perhaps emotionally, perhaps artistically, perhaps physically (affected by allergies, migraines, aromas, or even the weather). You probably also know of people with more significant ailments: chronic pain or fatigue, depression, and similar complaints. On the other side of the personality spectrum are folks who never strike us as sensitive. They are life's 'solid citizens': uncomplaining, staunch, rarely showing emotion. Overwhelmingly the first group is made up of women, whereas men figure more prominently in the second.
Would it surprise you to learn that the neurobiology (brain/body relation) between these two types of people is significantly different? Or that the differences begin in the womb, subject to both genetic inheritance and environmental influence? Continuing into childhood and on through adolescence, the experiences an individual has shape not only his/her mental functioning but, even more important, the way he/she processes feeling.
Make no mistake: feeling literally underlies consciousness. What our bodies sense – and how we feel about it – is at the root of the self, determining our thoughts and views and how we will conduct our lives. This website, and its companion book, The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion, draw from cutting-edge research to demonstrate how science is beginning to give credence to long-held beliefs that the brain is not altogether the master of the self. What turns out to be most important -- and most distinctive among individuals -- is the degree of connectedness between head, heart, and all the bodily systems.
This flow of feeling, based in the energetic processes of the body, is part and parcel of immunity, stress reactions, psychosomatic conditions and, remarkably, a variety of conditions including:
- Migraine headache
- Severe or longstanding allergies
- Fibromyalgia (chronic pain)
- Chronic fatigue
- Sleep disorder
- Phantom pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Our provocative thesis goes farther, asserting that anomalous perceptions can also be viewed through the lens of bodily feeling. Apparitions, poltergeist disturbances, telepathic impressions, ‘out of body’ experiences…these and other such reports are due to distortions in the way individuals process feeling. They are discernable patterns amenable to scientific inquiry.
Consider that only recently has the study of emotion attained scientific respectability. At the same time, we have begun to shed light on such longstanding mysteries as synesthesia, chronic fatigue, and post-traumatic stress. This is no coincidence. It is time for even more perplexing anomalies of mind to become understood. The body – sentience itself – is a doorway, and The Spiritual Anatomy of Emotion supplies the key. You will be challenged, heartened and, yes, transformed by what you read.