Our brains are made up of tiny nerve cells called “neurons” which branch out and connect to each other forming a neural network. At each connection point, thoughts and emotions are incubated and holographically stored by associative memory. This means that all ideas, thoughts, feelings, and memories are interconnected and have possible relationships with one another. For instance the concept of motherhood is stored in all our neural networks, but each person’s concept is built from their own unique amalgamation of ideas, emotions and past experiences. Some people may have motherhood connected to unconditional love and forgiveness, so when they think about motherhood, they experience memories/feelings of happiness and acceptance. Other people may have motherhood connected to disappointment and ridicule, so when they think about motherhood, they experience memories/feelings of rejection and depression. We all build our own neural networks based on our own subjective experiences, how we perceive and what we believe.
“What we ultimately do is tell ourselves a story about what the outside world is. Any information that we process, any information that we take in from the environment is always colored by the experiences that we’ve had and an emotional response that we’re having to what we’re bringing in. Who is in the driver’s seat when we control our emotions or we respond to our emotions? We know physiologically that nerve cells that fire together, wire together. If you practice something over and over, those nerve cells have a long-term relationship. If you get angry on a daily basis, if you get frustrated on a daily basis, if you suffer on a daily basis, if you give reason for the victimization in your life, you’re rewiring and reintegrating that neural net on a daily basis, and that neural net now has a long-term relationship with all those other nerve cells called an ‘identity.’ We also know that nerve cells that don’t fire together, no longer wire together. They lose their long-term relationship because every time we interrupt the thought process that produces a chemical response in the body, every time we interrupt it, those nerve cells that are connected to each other start breaking the long-term relationship.” -Dr. Joe Dispenza, “What the Bleep Do We Know?”
Inside our brains, the hypothalamus acts like a tiny factory assembling various chemicals called “peptides,” small chain amino acid sequences that match the different emotions we experience. There are quite literally chemical combinations for sadness, chemical combinations for anger, chemical combinations for fear, and chemical combinations for love. There are chemical combinations to match every emotional state we experience. So the moment we feel anger, the hypothalamus immediately assembles a complementary neuro-peptide or neuro-hormone and releases it through the pituitary gland into the blood stream. Once in the bloodstream, the peptides/hormones work their way through the body and we begin developing long-term relationships between thoughts/emotions and our physical biochemistry.
“Candace Pert, former chief of brain biochemistry at the National Institute of Mental Health, believes the separation of mind and body is also an illusion. She and her co-workers have discovered that neuropeptides previously thought to exist only in the brain are found throughout the body. Neuropeptides are known to be important in the flow of electrical activity, resulting in transmission of electrical signals from one neuron to another when emotional activity is going on. Thus, they are believed to be messenger molecules literally carrying information around the brain. Finding them throughout the body suggests that mind is present throughout the body and that emotions are the links between matter and mind.” -Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D., “The Spiritual Universe” (193)
“Thoughts change brain chemistry. That sounds so simple but that’s the way it is, with our thoughts changing neurotransmitters on a daily basis. If a man walks into a room with a gun, we think “threat”, and the brain releases norepinephrine. We become tense, alert, develop sweaty palms, and our heart beats faster. If he then bites the barrel of the gun, telling us the gun is actually chocolate, the brain rapidly changes its opinion and we relax and laugh — the joke is on us… We feel what we think! Positive thinking works. As the above example suggests, what we think about a situation actually creates our mood. Passed over for a promotion, we can either think we’ll never get ahead in this job (lowering serotonin and making us depressed) or assume that we are being held back for another promotion or job transfer (makes a better mood).” -Dr. Joseph M. Carver PhD, “Emotional Memory Management: Positive Control Over Your Memory”
Every single cell in the body has thousands of peptide receptors scattered around its surface. When a peptide enters a receptor it sends a signal to the cell which actually alters its physical and chemical makeup. If we are constantly bombarding our cells with the same negative attitudes, emotions, and beliefs, our biochemistry adapts by creating more receptor sites for those particular peptides. This leaves less receptors for essentials like nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fluid exchange, detoxing and as a result we start becoming physically/chemically addicted to the peptides produced by our negative emotions.
“We bring to ourselves situations that will fulfill the biochemical craving of the cells of our body by creating situations that meet our chemical needs. And the addict will always need a little bit more in order to get a rush or a high of what they’re looking for chemically. So my definition really means that if you can’t control your emotional state, you must be addicted to it … It’s biochemical. Think about this. Heroin uses the same receptor mechanisms on the cells that our emotional chemicals use. It’s easy to see then that if we can be addicted to heroin then we can be addicted to any neural peptide, any emotion.” -Dr. Joe Dispenza, “What the Bleep Do We Know?”
Much like drug addicts, people often become physically/chemically addicted and dependent on various negative states of being such as depression, victimization, frustration, or jealousy. Over time we crave more of the peptides we’re addicted to and create repetitive dramas in our lives in order to receive our next dose. As this behavior continues and our unhealthy cells divide, they create sickly offspring with more receptors for neuropeptides, less receptors for essential nutrients, and become unable to carry on proper protein production.
“Now, all aging is the result of improper protein production. What happens when we age? Our skin loses elasticity. Well, elastin is a protein. What happens to our enzymes? We don’t digest as well. What happens to our synovial fluid? Those are proteins that become brittle and stiff. What happens to our bones? They become thin. So all aging is a result of improper protein production. So then the question arises … does nutrition really have an effect if the cell doesn’t even have the receptor sites after years of emotional abuse to even receive or to let in the nutrients that are necessary for its health?” -JZ Knight, “What the Bleep Do We Know?”
Here we see once again how negative thoughts/emotions/beliefs, especially habitual patterns, lead to physical disease and degeneration. On the flip side however, living with positive, life-affirming, non-limiting thoughts/emotions/beliefs leads to physical health, wellness, and even miraculous supernormal abilities.
One such ability of mind over matter is known as “Inedia” or “Breatharianism.” While normal people die after a couple months without food, or a few days without water, breatharians have lived for years without either! For example, a devout Christian named Therese Neumann did not eat or drink for 35 years. In 1923 she began to drink only liquids and by 1927 she stopped even that. Under the close eye of a medical doctor and four Franciscan nurses, she was watched 24 hours a day and confirmed not to have eaten or drank anything for 2 weeks with no ill-effects, dehydration or weight loss.
“When the local bishop in Regensburg first learned of Neumann’s fast, he sent a commission into her home to investigate. From July 14, 1927, to July 29, 1927, and under the supervision of a medical doctor named Seidl, four Franciscan nursing sisters scrutinized her every move. They watched her day and night, and the water she used for washing and rinsing her mouth was carefully measured and weighed. The sisters discovered several unusual things about Neumann. She never went to the bathroom (even after a period of six weeks she only had one bowel movement, and the excrement, examined by a Dr. Reismanns, contained only a small amount of mucus and bile, but no traces of food). She also showed no signs of dehydration, even though the average human expels about four hundred grams of water daily in the air he or she exhales, and a like amount through the pores. And her weight remained constant … At the end of the inquiry Dr. Seidl and the sisters were completely convinced that Neumann had not eaten or drunk a thing for the entire fourteen days. The test seems conclusive, for while the human body can survive two weeks without food, it can rarely survive half that time without water. Yet this was nothing for Neumann; she did not eat or drink a thing for the next thirty-five years.” -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (153)
Jainist Hira Ratan Manek claims not to have eaten anything since 1995. He has been studied under controlled conditions by teams of scientists and doctors many times and was never observed to eat or drink at all. One time he went 211 days under careful supervision, another time 411 days. Even more impressive, 81 year-old Indian Sadhu Prahlad Jani claims not to have eaten or drunk anything for 70 years! He was also studied carefully under 24 hour CCTV surveillance for weeks at a time by medical professionals and didn’t eat, drink, urinate, or deficate. Many more examples of documented inedia can be found in Herbert Thurston’s book “The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism.”
“In the 1970s, Jack Schwarz, a Dutch-born author and lecturer, astounded researchers in laboratories across the United States with his ability to willfully control his body’s internal biological processes. In studies conducted at the Menninger Foundation, the University of California’s Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, and other, Schwarz astonished doctors by sticking mammoth six-inch sailmaker’s needles completely through his arms without bleeding, without flinching, and without producing beta brain waves (the type of brain waves normally produced when a person is in pain). Even when the needles were removed, Schwarz still did not bleed, and the puncture holes closed tightly. In addition, Schwarz altered his brain-wave rhythms at will, held burning cigarettes against his flesh without harming himself, and even carried live coals around in his hands … He believes anyone can learn voluntary control of their body and thus gain responsibility for his or her own health.” -Michael Talbot, “The Holographic Universe” (102-3)
In 1947, during public performances at the Corso Theater in Zurich, Mirin Dajo stunned audiences with his extreme piercings. Dajo would have an assistant stab a fencing sword completely through his abdomen, clearly piercing vital organs, yet somehow causing him no pain or lasting injury. When the sword was removed he did not bleed and had only two small red spots at the entry and exit points. Dajo’s performances were so gut-wrenching and nerve-racking that one spectator actually suffered a heart attack while watching. Having piqued the interest of one Swiss doctor named Hans Naegeli-Osjord, Dajo was invited to Switzerland to have his abilities formally studied under laboratory conditions. In front of a group of doctors and journalists, Dajo had his assistant stab him through with the steel rapier and as always he did not bleed or even flinch. He then calmly walked upstairs with doctors to take his X-ray which undeniably proved that no trickery was involved and he was indeed impaled. Dajo was later tested again by scientists in Basel and allowed them to personally stab him. He even insisted that they treat him roughly and jogged several blocks while impaled to show his tolerance for pain.
Mirin Dago and Jack Schwartz’s stories are certainly amazing but far from unique. Hawaiian Kahunas, Indian Yogis, African Shamans and others have traditionally trained to control their pain receptors so as to perform extreme piercings, lie on beds of nails, and walk on burning hot coals.
“For thousands of years, people of many different cultures and religions from all parts of the world have practiced fire walking. A recent Guinness World Record for longest fire walk was set by 23-year-old Canadian Amanda Dennison in June 2005. Amanda walked 220 feet over coals that measured 1,600 to1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Amanda didn’t jump or fly, which means her feet were in direct contact with the glowing coals for the full 30 seconds it took her to complete the walk. Many people attribute the ability to remain burn-free during such a walk to paranormal phenomena. In contrast, physicists suggest that the presumed danger is an illusion, claiming the embers are not great conductors of heat and that the walker’s feet have limited contact with the coals. Yet, very few scoffers have actually removed their shoes and socks and traversed the glowing coals, and none have matched the feat of Amanda’s feet. Besides, if the coals are really as benign as the physicists suggest, how do they account for severe burns experienced by large numbers of ‘accidental tourists’ on their firewalks?” -Dr. Bruce Lipton, “Spontaneous Evolution”
For most people, fire walking will burn their feet, extreme piercings will cause severe pain/bleeding, and prolonged dry fasting will result in certain death, but for people who have reprogrammed their psyches with non-limiting beliefs, such feats become attainable. Another example is extreme weight lifting. The strongest record-holding bodybuilders can dead lift about 700-800 pounds (400-500 for females) but under intense psychological pressure untrained unathletic people have actually lifted several times this weight and held it for minutes at a time!
“To save her trapped son, Angela Cavallo lifted a 1964 Chevrolet and held it up for five minutes while neighbors arrived, reset a jack, and rescued her unconscious boy. Similarly, a construction worker lifted a 3,000-pound helicopter that had crashed into a drainage ditch, trapping his buddy under water. In this feat captured on video, the man held the aircraft aloft while others pulled his friend from beneath the wreckage. To dismiss these feats as the consequence of an adrenaline rush misses the point. Adrenaline or not, how can an untrained average man or woman lift and hold a half ton or more for an extended duration? These stories are remarkable because neither Ms. Cavallo nor the construction worker could have performed such acts of superhuman strength under normal circumstances. The idea of lifting a car or helicopter is unimaginable. But with the life of their child or friend hanging in the balance, these people unconsciously suspended their limiting beliefs and focused their intention on the foremost belief at that moment: I must save this life!” -Dr. Bruce Lipton, “Spontaneous Evolution”