Monthly Archives: August 2016

Summary of Molecules of Emotion

An update on the intelligence of our cells  is biochemist Sondra Barrett, Ph.D.’s book Secrets of Your Cells. (2013) Also see books by Bruce Lipton

A Summary of Candace Pert, Ph.D.

Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You

Feel. (Simon & Schuster Touchstone, 1997)

Cell receptors are the interface between emotions and tissue.

The cell’s brain is the receptors that float on its membrane. A

neuron (nerve cell) may have millions of receptors. Candace Pert

has spent her life as a scientist researching the receptors that sit on

the cells. She explains how they work in the first chapter of her

book. A receptor is a single molecule made up of strings of amino

acids, like beads on a necklace, perhaps the most complicated molecule

there is. (The 20 known amino acids make up protein and are

manufactured in the ribosomes found in every cell.) A receptor

vibrates and hums as it changes shape, waiting to pick up messages

that diffuse through the fluids surrounding the cells. A ligand is the

chemical key that fits in the receptor, in a process called binding,

“sex on a molecular level.”

About 95 percent of ligands are peptides, smaller strings of

amino acids. Examples of peptides are insulin and hormones—

excluding the steroid sex hormones. The second type are neurotransmitters

such as serotonin, usually made in the brain to carry

information across the gap (synapse) between neurons. The third

type are steroids including testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen.

The chemical exchange of information molecules is a second

nervous system, and the most ancient. It allows the different systems

to communicate with each other (i.e., the endocrine, neurological,

and immune).

Paul MacLean first described the brain as having three layers

which represent evolution; first, the brainstem or reptilian brain

(responsible for autonomic functions such as breathing and body

temperature). The limbic system encircles the top of the brainstem,

the source of emotions and where trauma gets stuck. The

cerebral cortex in the forebrain is the place we think and reason.

Chimps have 99 percent of the same DNA as we do, but they don’t

have a developed frontal cortex. It doesn’t fully develop in humans

until the early twenties, useful to know when relating to teenagers.

The brain’s food is glucose, carried in the blood, which fuels the

neurons to secrete messenger chemicals (neurotransmitters and

neuropeptides) and the glial cells to work on the nerve endings in

an “ongoing sculpting of connections.”199

Pert coined the phrase “molecules of emotion” in response

to her finding that 85 to 95 percent of the neuropeptide receptors

are found in the emotion centers (limbic structures). They include

the amygdala (almond-shaped structures on either side of the forebrain,

about an inch into your brain from your earlobes), hippocampus,

and limbic cortex. Since the 1920s, researchers were

able to stimulate strong emotions by electrically stimulating the limbic

cortex over the amygdala. Pert’s group of scientists discovered

that high concentrations of neuropeptides exist in most locations

(“nodal points”) where information from the five senses enters the

nervous system. Receptors are also found on immune cells for

almost every peptide found in the brain. Thus the immune system

can send and receive information from the brain via the peptides,

and the brain is another nodal point in the network.

“Using neuropeptides as the cue, our bodymind retrieves

or represses emotions and behaviors,” since change at the receptor

level is the molecular basis of memory.200 Memories are stored

in the body, as well as the brain, especially in the receptors

between nerves and cell bodies called ganglia. We pay attention to

some information and ignore the rest, as otherwise we would be

overwhelmed. Pert deduces this means memory processes are

emotion-driven and that emotions are peptide ligands. “Peptides

are the sheet music containing the notes, phrases, and rhythms that

allow the orchestra—your body—to play as an integrated entity.”

Memory and performance are, therefore, influenced by mood.

“Emotional states or moods are produced by the various

neuropeptide ligands, and what we experience as an emotion or a

feeling is also a mechanism for activating a particular neuronal circuit—

simultaneously throughout the brain and body—which generates

a behavior.”201 Pert believes there is one kind of peptide for

each emotion, just as endorphins are the mechanisms for bliss and

bonding. We can consciously influence what goes on in the body, as

by visualizing increased blood flow into a body part to increase oxygen

and nutrients to nourish the cells.

Pert believes “repressed emotions are stored in the body—

the unconscious mind—via the release of neuropeptide ligands,

and that memories are held in their receptors.”202 Emotions, then,

“are at the nexus between matter and mind, going back and forth

between the two and influencing both.”203 The immune system is composed of the spleen (the brain of the immune system), the bone marrow, the lymph nodes, and various

white blood cells. Pert speculates that meridians may be the

pathways followed by immune cells. Some of the immune system

cells create antibody molecules to engulf bacteria, virus or tumor

cells. Scavenger cells (macrophages which begin in the bone marrow

as monocytes) clean up the debris after invaders are killed.

Macrophages also repair and heal tissue. Interferons, similar to antibodies,

fight invaders, but they’re peptides made by white blood

cells called lymphocytes. (Some are B cells, others are T cells). Ed

Blalock found they sometimes secrete endorphin (a mood-altering

brain peptide) and a stress hormone, which means the immune

system acts like tiny pituitary glands.204 Pert and her team found

receptors on immune cells for almost every peptide or drug found

in the brain.

Immune cells make and secrete neuropeptides, the same

brain chemicals that control mood. The immune system can send

information to the brain with immunopeptides and receive it

through neuropeptides which hook up on receptors, the basis for

the new study of psychoneuroimmunology. The brain, glands, and

immune system are linked in an intelligent information network of

neuropeptides and receptors which create emotions. This means

“emotion-affecting peptides, then, actually appear to control routing

and migration of monocytes, which are very pivotal to the

overall health of the organism.”205 For example, in cancer, neuropeptides

(which affect mood and behavior) signal the cancer cell

receptors and cause them to grow and travel. Thus, cancer can be

fought with peptides to block receptors, as when taxofilen is used

against estrogen-dependent breast cancers. Viruses use the same

receptors as neuropeptides to enter a cell.

Even if we don’t understand the details of the interaction

between emotions and cell receptors, it’s important for healers to

know the connection exists and that it can be influenced consciously.

Here’s the quantum physics perspective from Deepok

Chopra, MD, based on a talk he gave on November 4, 2006 in

Chico. Further information is available in his recent books Book of

Secrets and Life After Death, his website, and his blog He started an organization to global peace called

Alliance for a New Humanity,

Chopra contrasts the new science, based on quantum

physics, with the old mechanistic, reductionist, deterministic science

which believes the development of life and its evolution over

eight billion years was an accident, a product of matter. The new

science believes there are no accidents because a consciousness

pervades the universe which is not basically matter. Sub-atomic

particles are fluctuations of energy, not matter. Our senses fool us

into thinking what we experience is solid, predictable, and

unchanging. What we perceive as matter is mostly empty with fluctuations

of energy, information and intelligence.

In fact, we continually rebuild our bodies as atoms flow in

and out, including atoms right now that used to be in the body of

Jesus, Buddha, Hitler, etc. We make new skin every month, a new

skeleton every three months, new DNA every six weeks, so that

by the end of next year we will have replaced 98% of the atoms in

our bodies. Everything changes although consciousness or soul outlives

the death of molecules.

Just as a movie or TV picture and reality itself appears to be

continuous, it’s actually flashes of off and on at the speed of light.

Without the off we wouldn’t perceive. In the quantum world of the

off, there is no energy, information, or space and time, no objects.

This is called quantum non-locality, as theorized by Bell’s Theorem

and proved to be true in 1998. What exists is waves of infinite possibility

where everything is connected and synchronized. This

explains how events can happen simultaneously, as in the communication

between the 100 trillion cells in the body which perform

hundreds of thousands of activities each second. However, in this

world of probability nothing is certain (Heisenberg’s Uncertainty

Principle). Einstein rejected this notion when Heisenberg present-

ed it to him, saying God doesn’t play dice with the universe.

Stephen Hawkins recently said that God does throws dice and, furthermore,

places them where we won’t find them. Quantum leaps

without going through linear space and time provides the basis for

creativity in evolution, as when reptiles evolved into birds and

chimp ancestors into humans.

Einstein’s student John Wheeler said the universe doesn’t

exist unless there’s an observer; quantum physics studies the

“observer effect” on whether a potential state becomes a wave or

a particle. It’s like electricity needs a positive and negative pole to

activate. As the observers, we’re thus co-creators with God the

creator. The world functions according to these five principles and

so does our consciousness or soul, which is non-local or material.

We create through uncertainties in a field of infinite possibilities

where the space between thoughts is reality, not the sensations.

We create our own reality with our thoughts, intention, awareness,

what we focus on, and meditative exploration of the inner world.

Chopra lists questions to ask as part of this exploration and bringing

our shadow selves into the light, at his website He says death is nothing to fear because it’s part

of the off and on through which the soul moves. Thus the body is

an excellent example of quantum principles, as well as the chemistry

which Pert explains.

South African Girls Protest “Pandering to Whiteness”

Pretoria High School for Girls tells African girls to chemically straighten their hair in the interest of tidiness. In August 2016 some girls refused to “conform to western ways” and more than 4,500 signed a petition to end racist practices and stop “pandering to whiteness.” #StopRacismAtPretoriaGirlsHigh trended on social media. South African students also not allowed to speak their tribal languages, although German and Spanish students can speak their languages.

Are Indian youth a spoiled generation?

I asked Indian SpeakOut student if older generations think Gen Y is spoiled.


Earlier, our parents did not have the luxury of choosing their dreams as much as we do. For example, my grandfather has an amazing voice but could not give up stuff to pursue that, though he still says he would have become Mohammad Rafi (an Indian singing legend) if he had gone to Mumbai. Similarly, my dad had to pursue job after diploma instead of graduating. Even I feel guilty of spending half of his net worth to get a European degree. Now if you see the story, I seem the most self centered don’t I? 🙂 All in all, given India’s largest growth rate in the world, many things are changing fast. In my opinion, many children also have mistaken definitions of modernity, for example thinking that English is more affluent than Hindi and clothes define personality.

There were days when Miss World from India used to crown the next Miss world from India again, it was because our beauties also had intelligent brains.. But after 2000 (the year when Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Pacific were all from India), India has not won any. Our beauties are pretty as ever but their thoughts are not as solid and do not reflect our mystical culture perhaps.

The poor kids either don’t have good guidance, or are just swayed by the rich English speakers and try to imitate them. Even though they are unable to imitate, they as a result lose their originality and what they should be. In a lot of ways, the new generation needs morals, good interpretations, self realization and education more than mere literacy and money and development.

the most maligned generation?

A Pennsylvania State University professor, Sophia McClennen also defends her college students against charges that they’re lazy, clueless, and selfish, believing they’re “the most maligned generation in decades.”[i] She quotes scholar Russell Dalton who believes they may be the most attacked generation ever. She points out they work while in college, volunteer more than their elders, and are more socially aware and engaged than Boomers were at their age. They attended the “most punitive and rule-based grade schools in the developed world” with more standardized tests and homework. They struggle with debt and other pressures leading to increases in psychological problems reported by college counseling centers and don’t deserve to be bullied. The comments on her 2016 Salon article were generally supportive, suggesting that Millennials are attacked because they’re progressive, although some commented they’re rude and uninformed and more adversarial with faculty.

[i] Sophia McClennen, “Students Suck, Professors Don’t Care and Other Myths You Shouldn’t Let Ruin the Start of the School Year,” Salon, August 28, 2016.

Share your school success tips for a book for students

School Success:
Stay Centered and Ace Tests
I’d like to add your experiences and suggestions for how to succeed in school. The contents so far:
Part 1 Student Experiences and Study Suggestions
Students Describe Homework and Test Pressures
How to Achieve Your Goals
Study Tips
Writing Essay Exams and Research Papers by Stephen Tchudi
Oral Reports
Making Your Brain Work for You
Coping with Learning Disabilities
Time Management
Part 2 Coping with Stress
Other Causes of Stress for Youth: Relationships, Poverty, and Health
The Physiology and Causes of Stress
Stress Reduction: Breath, Bilateral Balance, Balance the Meridians and Acupressure Points, Brain Gym Exercises for Balancing, Movement and Self-Massage, How to Relax, Self-Talk, Restructuring Your Thinking, Understanding Our Subpersonalities and Emotions, Visualization Exercises to Clear Emotional Blocks, Visualizations to Reduce Stress
Part 3 Other Issues that influence School Success
Happiness, Feeling Good About Yourself, Coping with Anxiety, Perfectionism, Being a Sensitive Person, Anger, Worry and Guilt, Depression, School and Stress Cause Fatigue: How to Have More Energy
Part 4: Education in Various Countries
Biographies of the international students who added their tips to this book.
Please email gkimball at csuchico dot edu

local action for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals passed in 2015 were followed up with a Youth Action Mapper app where youth activists report on local progress.

About Us



United Nations Youth Programs

United Nations Includes Youth

While academics neglect youth as positive changemakers, the United Nations is more proactive, but youth activists I’ve interviewed don’t seem to appreciate UN youth programs. Although the UN facilitates youth activism and representation in its deliberations, Yara (17, f, Ethiopia) reported about young Egyptian activists attitudes towards the UN; “Most are not even commenting about it, because they either see it as too late or completely useless, to be honest.” From Brazil, activist Khaled emailed about the UN,


In Brazil we don’t usually make positive statements about the UN. Although it is an international organization, I believe that their powers are very limited, because when their decisions go against the interests of the rich countries, these countries ignore these decisions, as the USA has done lately in relation to decisions of the Security Council for example. Anyway, the UN is a closed and hostile space to popular participation as are all the governments.


In some countries youth learn about UN policies and global issues in school. Roohi, a 16-year-old girl, reports,


Here in Singapore, nearly every geography student studies the UN Millennium Development Goals, the Kyoto Protocol and the like. The grading system is such that you cannot score well if you don’t discuss the failures. This means that each student is made aware of the shortcomings of such international agreements, and this makes quite a few lose faith and hope that we can do something where others have failed. This readily available information makes it easier for us to form opinions and take stands about what we feel is right vs. wrong.


The UN was a central promoter of making human rights global issues, as in the UN Decade of Women. The first conference was in Mexico City in 1975, completed by the Beijing conference 20 years later that made the revolutionary statement that women’s rights are human rights. The UN focuses attention on youth, providing studies about their needs, training youth leaders and including youth in policy making. The 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child was the first international legally binding policy to insure that children have the full range of human rights, including participation in decisions that affect them. It mandates that children under 18 be included in UN programming and was ratified by 194 nations. The US is the only UN member state not to ratify it, partly because it is the only country to sentence children to life in prison without the possibility of parole, which is prohibited by the Convention.

The first World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth was held in 1998, and the UN continued to organize World Youth Forums and publishes the World Youth Report that includes youth activism. In 2002, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan addressed the children of the world in his opening statement to the General Assembly: “We, the grown-ups, have failed you deplorably… One in three of you has suffered from malnutrition before you turned five years old. One in four of you has not been immunized against any disease. Almost one in five of you is not attending school…. We, the grown-ups, must reverse this list of failures.” An International Coordination Meeting of Youth Organizations was organized in 2004 to better advocate with the UN and other global organizations.

UNICEF, the “world’s leading agency on children,” points out that adolescents can play a central role in halting the spread of HIV/AIDs, protecting against violence and abuse, contributing to survival programs for young children, and developing policy.[i] UNESCO advocates that because the world has over one billion people between the ages of 15 and 25, these youth should be involved in formulating global policies that concern them. Examples of how to include youth are available.[ii] UNFPA (UN Population Fund) supports an Internet site called Global Voices to report on youth issues. The social media site called Voices of Youth was founded by UNESCO in 1995 so that global youth can communicate online. Before its general conferences, UNESCO includes a Youth Forum discussing employment, democracy, sustainable development, student activism, etc.

The goal of the UN’s Child-Friendly Cities Initiative is to put children at the forefront of urban planning. UNHabitat researches youth issues and facilitates meetings and advocates for youth: “The challenge of putting youth at the centre of development strategies can be compared to the challenge, two decades ago, of putting women and gender issues on the development agenda.”[iii] It acknowledges that youth are victimized by urban poverty, child trafficking, sexual exploitation, high unemployment, HIV/AIDS, and living on urban streets. UNDP (UN Development Programme) works with a network of youth organizations involving about 30,000 young participants to improve adolescent sexual and reproduction health. It also works with an NGO called Restless Development to facilitate youth leadership in development.

The UN Interagency Network on Youth Development was established in 2010 and the first Envoy on Youth took office in 2013. Many other UN agencies work on improving the status of global children and youth.[iv] Probably more than any other international organization, it has been proactive in training African youth.[v] Beginning in 1981, the UN General Assembly asked governments to include youth delegates and some Scandinavian countries complied. More countries began to include youth representatives after the General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY) in 1995. WPAY coordinates UN youth programs and identifies priority actions for youth such as education, employment, hunger and poverty, environment, drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, leisure-time activities, girls’ rights, and youth participation.[vi] It aims to include youth in political decision-making, similar to the European Youth Forum and the Nigerian National Youth Parliament.

The UN is placing increased emphasis on the inclusion and support of youth, recognizing their ability to contribute to development. The UN set aside 2010 as the International Year of the Youth to “advance the full and effective participation of youth in all aspects of society.”[vii] The official slogan for the International Year of Youth (IYY) was: “Our Year. Our Voice.” The Global Youth Movement for the Alliance of Civilizations initiative proposed at the UN General Assembly in 2005 “aims to highlight concrete actions of youth to advance cross-cultural understanding.”[viii] A World Youth Conference was held in Mexico City in 2010, sponsored by the government of Mexico and the UN.[ix] The conference focused on themes that pertain to young people: poverty, education, information and communication technologies, health, gender equality, human security, human rights, sustainable development, international migration, citizens’ participation and advocacy, and global partnership and cooperation.[x]

At the UN’s Global Youth Forum in Bali in 2012, the representatives advocated that national governments should appoint a young Youth Minister and elect youth parliaments to advise national parliaments. They should include a variety of young people with a focus on young women and “youth belonging to vulnerable groups.” A Facebook page called “Global Youth Voices” was formed to encourage youth input, as does my “Global Youth SpeakOut” page on Facebook and WordPress.

To prepare for a 2012 report for the United Nations on youth programs, 21 governments and 49 youth organizations responded to a survey.[xi] Rapidly increasing in number, two-thirds (131) of the world’s countries had national youth policies (NYP) in 2016, up from 99 countries in 2013) and 13 had a national youth council (as in Argentina and Germany.)[xii] A list of the countries with NYPs is provided in an Oxfam report on global youth inequality.[xiii] UNESCO created a guideline for setting them up, with an emphasis on youth participation.[xiv] Some countries have youth ministers to implement NYPs, as in Germany and Senegal. European countries and Oceania are more likely to have them. The NYP of Belize was designed by youths led by a Minister of State with Responsibility for Youth and Sports. He explained their youth council will make sure the government implements policy. Some countries have also developed national databases on youth. However, to be successful the NYPs need funding, youth participation, and implementation. Various books discuss youth participation in government policies.[xv]

The UN Secretary General appointed a youth envoy in 2013, part of his priority for working with youth and women to address the needs of the largest generation of youth the world has ever known.[xvi] Ahmad Alhendawi (29, m, Jordan) announced his priority is to find the 425 million jobs that young adults will need in the next 15 years and higher wages for the 2 million youth who earn less than $2 a day. “We can’t lose this generation,” he said in a UN webcast. Alhindawi also aims to facilitate youth participation by helping to shape the post-Millennial Development Goals agenda, especially to include marginalized youth such as girls. His third goal is to coordinate an infrastructure of youth programs in different agencies in the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development. The UN Secretary General also set up Youth Advisory Councils to UN offices in countries around the world and ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) Youth Forums. Alhindawi has encouraged governments to set up youth-led advisory groups and the World Bank has also set up its own youth advisory groups around the world.

Alhindawi believes that the System-Wide Action Plan on Youth (SWAP) developed under the leadership of Ban Ki-moon is the most important UN document since the World Programme of Action for Youth in 1995. SWAP’s priorities are employment and entrepreneurship, health and education, and youth participation and rights. The UN Commission on Human Rights initiated a “Free and Equal” educational campaign to promote equality for GLBT people in 2013, explaining that at least 76 countries still criminalized consensual same sex relationships. UN agencies including UNICEF, the Global Education First Initiative and its Youth Advocacy Group, and UNESCO produced an Advocacy Toolkit for youth in 2014.[xvii]

Save the Children NGO released a report in 2012 to update the UN Millennium Development Goals titled, “Ending Poverty in Our Generation.”[xviii] The report advocated that inequality be addressed in the new goals since the income of the poorest 77% equals that of the top 1.75% of the world’s population. It pointed to Brazil and China as countries that have made progress towards equality and suggested need for financial and trading systems to benefit poor countries.

Starting at the Rio+20 meeting in 2012, the UN solicited youth input into the new Millennium Development Goals that expired in 2015.[xix] Over seven million people, mostly under 30, responded to the My World survey to formulate these new goals. The respondents suggested new issues to be included such as: honest government, protection from crime and violence, better job opportunities, equality between men and women and protection of the environment.[xx] The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) titled “Transforming Our World” were passed by UN members in September 2015, consisting of a set of 17 goals with 169 targets to end poverty by 2030 at the cost of $3 trillion. They sound noble but academic Glen David Kuecker calls them “lipstick on a pig” because the same power broker corporations, NGOs and consultants are in line for the development funds.[xxi] Kuecker predicts that, “The SDGs will provide just enough growth so that just enough food, medicine, and education are available for the multitudes to ensure the system remains seamless in its reproduction and capitalism remains non-negotiable,” controlling the system from behind the scenes, similar to the Matrix films.

The 2016 meeting of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) finally acknowledged that the missing link in the fight for gender equality is the youth voice by organizing the Youth Forum CSW.[xxii] It published A Declaration on Gender Equality that features these youth issues: decision-making, climate change, sexual and reproductive health, violence, economic empowerment, migration, access to media, religion, sports, and engaging young men.

[i] “Adolescents and Youth,” 2009.


The report draws from best practices in 18 programs and additional research.

See also









[xi] “Implementation of the World Programme of Action for Youth,” Report of the UN Secretary General, November 29, 2012.


[xiii] Jennifer Glassco and Lina Holguin, “Youth and Inequality,” Oxfam, August 12, 2016, Appendix 1.

Click to access bp-youth-inequality-global-120816-en_0.pdf

[xiv] “Empowering Youth through National Policies,” UNESCO, 2004. Shows a map of countries with policies and reviews them.

[xv] Barry Percy-Smith and Nigel Thomas, editors. A Handbook of Children and Young People’s Participation. Routledge, 2009.

Roger Hart. Theory and Practice of Involving Young Citizens in Community Development and Environmental Care. Routledge, 1997.

David Driskell. Creating Better Cities with Children and Youth: A Manual for Participation. Routledge, 2001.

Kelly Curtis. Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things. Search Institute, 2008.

[xvi] Biography:
UN Programme on Youth:





[xxi] Glen David Kuecker, “UN Sustainable Development Goals: The Matrix Reloaded,” TeleSur, October 2, 2015.


Are young adults over-protected?

A college senior reports five years after entering CSUC: Almost all the kids that age (first entering college) here at CSU Chico that I’ve met (and those a few years in) have never held a job, never tried for one, and do not have even the most basic skill set for taking fundamental care for themselves and their living situation. And mind you, I’m absolutely not judging, I’m just amazed and horrified because they deserve to have been better prepared for life than that.  I think it is/was the “helicopter parents,” as you described them; protecting them rather than preparing them for life, during their adolescence.