The endocrine system stands at the heart of
human opportunity and human dis-ease. This is the case because
the major glands are the transmitting agents for social, emotional,
mental and spiritual forces which underlie the whole of our physical
This idea may seem a bit farfetched to the uninitiated, simply
skeptical, or strictly scientific. Many such folks believe that
human beings are just peculiar masses of protoplasm which are
somewhat controlled by brain impulses and nervous system patterns.
But, there is growing evidence that we are really this and much
more. Research is appearing which will eventually validate that,
"The mind is not so much in the body, as the body is in the
This saying has roots both in the Eastern Hindu tradition and
among Western mystics, such as Meister Eckhardt. The aphorism
suggests firstly that mind is more than brain (an obvious part
of the body) and secondly that the body is a dense projection
of a deeper energy field called the mind.
Dr. Candace Pert, researcher at the National Institutes for Mental
Health, says, "... it is possible now to conceive of mind
and consciousness as an emanation of emotional information processing,
and as such, mind and consciousness would appear to be independent
of brain and body."
Social forces, emotions, thoughts, and spiritual energies stand
hidden beyond, above, and within what we know to be the outer
physical body and material world. These powers work through the
physical and do not emanate from them. The reverse is actually
the true case as the physical mechanism is an endpoint and not
a beginning for anything.
Our health and our dis-ease are not simply due to physical allergens
and microbes, accidents and mishaps, but to a host of forces which
lie beyond yet within our material midst. There is rhyme and reason
to the course of universal momentum and so to in our own lives
on planet Earth.
The midway or meeting point for these invisible forces and the
outer physical human form is the endocrine system, and, more specifically,
the psycho-neuro-endocrine system. The concept of this system
is really quite simple while the practical working out of it may
be in the opposite direction.
Direct support for this view is now coming from the new medical
discipline called psycho-neuro-immunology. Psycho-neuro-immunology
springs from the earlier arena of psycho-somatic medicine and
will eventually form the foundation of psycho-neuro-endocrinology.
The immune system backed by the nervous apparatus and the brain
is receiving increasing emphasis in evaluation and treatment of
disease. The following suggestions arise to help in the correlation
of the components of a new psycho-physiological system:
1) The immune system is centered in the thymus gland located in
the center of the chest cavity.
2) The thymus gland is one of seven major human endocrine glands.
3) All of the glands, through their hormones which are secreted
directly into the bloodstream, have profound effects upon the
4) The glands are interconnected and interrelated through feedback
mechanisms, the 'master' gland, and the nervous system.
5) The nervous apparatus and the endocrine glands actually make
up one whole neuro-endocrine system.
6) The brain is the most important, but not the only nerve center,
which influences the endocrine glands and the immune system and
7) The brain and other nerve centers and the endocrine glands
are dependent upon emotions, the mind and the soul through the
whole of the psycho-neuro-endocrine system.
Reversing field, the psycho-neuro-endocrine system, composed of
the Soul (psyche comes from the Greek word which means soul) and
its agents - the chakras (Sanskrit for invisible vortices of consciousness)
- works through the mental, emotional, and subtle bodies to manifest
effects in brain and nerve centers, endocrine glands, organs and
organ systems, body regions and parts towards illness or health.
The following list approximates the relationships within the tracts
which compose the chakra system:
This system, with the centers of consciousness
as focal points, will be demonstrated to be the integrating, synthesizing,
and animating force in the human body. The chakras will eventually
be recognized for their vital functions in the reproductive process,
in the creative capacity, and in the recreative and regenerative
power within every human being. These centers as agents of the
Soul potentially provide us with every quality, energy, attribute,
and force which is active or latent in the universe. The psycho-physical
energy centers are constantly and progressively working to draw
the deeper, subtler, and more expressive energies of creation
into the human organism and into the human community.
The psycho-neuro-endocrine system is the symbol par excellence
of the sevenfold nature of the universe. It makes possible the
whole of the creative process within the human organism and within
human society. And it is the living agency for the movement of
energy and consciousness in our world.
"While, according to Western conceptions, the brain is the
exclusive seat of consciousness, yogic experience shows that our
brain-consciousness is only one among a number of possible forms
of consciousness, and that these, according to their function
and nature, can be localized or centered in various organs in
the body." Lama Govinda, Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism
The unity of the nervous and endocrine systems has been hypothesized
and demonstrated for many years in the West as well as in the
East. "Hence in the largest sense the autonomic nervous system
and the various endocrine glands (merged through the hypothalamus)
represent a single neuroendocrine system that has evolved to integrate
and coordinate the metabolic activities of the organism."
(Williams 'Textbook of Endocrinology) Yet, these systems
remain separated in medical practice and specialization. This
will assuredly be modified in the future.
The relatively new discipline of psycho-neuro-immunology has already
begun to explore the connections between mind-emotions and neuro-endocrine
functions, especially focusing on the thymus gland and white blood
cell parameters. Dr. Pert's work (not discussed in this article)
takes a further step in generalizing emotional energy throughout
the body and theorizing mind-consciousness as an underlying foundation
for the whole body. The next step will require a leap in courage
and faith to include the psyche - the soul - in the quest for
scientific and medical knowledge of the human organism.
Practically speaking, understanding of the psycho-neuro-endocrine
system can help explain most any ailment. Paul Solomon has said
that, "all disease processes and syndromes, not only are
psychosomatic in their form . . . but also are symbolic of that
process clinging to that which is obsolete for the nature and
for the self."
Consideration of the body area of any condition,
the systems and centers involved, the quality of energies focused
in the illness, the relationships to past dis-ease and problems,
and the symbolic nature of the challenge to health can create
an opportunity for growth and healing and not just a struggle
for recovery or survival.