Need Something to Smile About?
BY DAVID S. LEWIS
We’re over the hump, as it were, in terms of circling the sun, veering toward the brighter side of Earth’s orbit, and so now there’s more sunlight streaming our way than on the shortest day of the year—winter solstice. Days though are still short, and nights long. It is, after all, winter in Montana, when the sun in northern latitudes cuts a shallow arc across the sky (or appears to) and by 6 o’clock night drops upon the frigid winter landscape like a foreboding curtain.
It’s dark and cold, and winter’s lack of illumination has its way with people—all of us to a degree, owing to the role photons seem to play in our brains and endocrine system. Too few and mood enlivening neurotransmitters are not secreted by the mysterious pineal gland, a pine cone shaped affair deep in the brain that acts as a photoreceptor, like the retina of an eye, and with more of the hormone melatonin oozing forth. The net result can be melancholia (tryptophan, what’s more, plays a role, a light capturing amino acid and precursor to the mood elevating neurotransmitter serotonin, and to the sleep inducing melatonin, both of which are secreted by the pineal, with melatonin also synthesized by the retinas of your eyes, where its principle functions are unknown).
With continuous low light, you can feel down. It’s a matter of degree, of course. Not all people are the same, and while it may be said generally that light makes you feel positive and prolonged darkness has the opposite effect, force of mind determines a lot when it comes to your attitude toward darkness (look at Dracula), and happiness or sadness could certainly have to do with other things going on in life, but all in all it seems related to the age old battle between light and darkness as it plays out in human beings (and the turning of celestial spheres, man being the measure of all things), with darkness having an edge in winter.
In days of old they addressed seasonal darkness with festivals of light, fire ceremonies that brought illumination and warmth, or with a slug of grog from the old wassail bowl that helped thwart demons of the mind or dull the senses until the taunting voices were barely audible.
These days, people lacking any real lyrical bent call it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition in which too much melatonin is produced by the enigmatic pineal due to the lack of photons (which inhibit melatonin). You might even get diagnosed with such a disorder, but don’t let it get you down, as Neil Young put it (speaking of lyrics), it’s only castles burning, find someone who’s turning, and you will come around. Neil could get away with such vague constructions back in the day, owing to the high consumption of marijuana among his fan base (and his own) but the message came through—when gloom sets it, shadows of the mind eclipse happy thoughts, so find a friend.
If you do happen to be dealing with such issues, imagine how lonesome Laplanders feel, way up there near the Arctic Circle in Finland, Sweden and Norway where the sun rises in winter for a moment or two then sets before you get a chance to say, Hey, check out this sunset— Never mind, you missed it.
Seriously (or not), people can have a hard time during these months, especially if other matters have gone off the rails. Maybe someone feels alone and forgotten, or a loved one has departed, compoun-ding feelings of alienation, or maybe life options have evaporated due to money, poor prospects, bad luck.
Sounds depressing, but there’s a switch that can be flipped by which such impressions can be seen in the light of day. It’s over there on the wall (incandescent bulbs will do just fine). So, light up your house, turn on all the lights, start a fire in the hearth, or get some sun.
Then turn on the lights in your brain. Yes, there’s a switch in your brain—turn it on. But how do you do that? It’s not hard. We talked about it (here) at the New Year, as a resolution, but now it comes into play in another way, a practical way, as a means of enlivening consciousness when the long dark winter or other forces would push their way in.
Here’s what to do, recommended whether you’re seasonally depressed or not. First, shake loose physically. Get some exercise, so the blood starts flowing to your brain. Do some push ups, preferably in fresh air, or take a brisk walk or run. Inhale some of that fresh, cold air outside, even if after dark. You might exercise on your porch in the cold (briefly will do), so you feel the life force inside of you. Then smile, a little one will do, and keep smiling.
Yes, we gave this recommendation at the turn of the year, but some have forgotten or are in need of a permanent life coach, and since then we’ve discovered another dimension, literally, to this practise.
By triggering the smile reflex and all it entails, you can change your chemistry and outlook on life by accessing something rather amazing. It’s called quantum thinking, and it involves quantum biology.
It’s about positive thinking, but there’s more to it than that. Not to be too cheerful (depressed people hate that) but changing your life, and winter, in this way isn’t hard. Obviously, if your dog just died, or your spouse just left you, you have to deal with that. Finding someone to talk to, a friend or therapist, is wise, but absolutely (as your process unfolds) do not minimize the value of quantum thinking through smiling and the dynamic that follows.
Maybe we’ll call it quantum smiling, the effect as you activate your photonic brain—the release of chemicals and subatomic particles related to your nervous and endocrine systems, from your glands and neurons (thought now to be light-sensitive) that physics suggests co-exist non locally with energies in the quantum field that magnetize and magnify your state of mind, as you exercise this capacity and adopt the psychic posture of happiness.
Here’s how that works, from sources in both the physical and metaphysical sciences.
Your brain, it turns out, is photonic, and part of the universal quantum field, as is everything that exists, a tenet of theoretical physics. The pineal gland, a light receptor located near the center of the brain, is stimulated by nerves from the eyes, by photons, which the brain conducts, processes, even produces, and that are involved with secretions of mood elevating chemicals like serotonin that are central to your mood, and the precursor of which, tryptophan, is used in nature to synthesize psychoactive and euphoria-inducing substances like psilocybin.
Photons, subatomic light particles with wave-like properties, are the elementary unit or quantum of electromagnetic radiation, and like all subatomic particles are extremely mysterious, being omnipresent (everywhere at once), both waves and particles simultaneously, and straddling the border between physical and metaphysical realities in that they possess no mass. They can also be described as wave/particles that carry and mediate the electromagnetic field extending indefinitely through space.
As particle/waves within the universal quanta, they enable other particles to interact electromagnet-ically. All this is going on in your brain, as your brain interacts subatomically with the universe as a transmitter and receiver (everywhere) with essential light playing a key role, as the pineal, referred to as the Third Eye metaphysically (it is indeed an eye-like photon processor) converts signals from the sympa-thetic nervous system into hormonal signals, which induce moods, which would in turn feed back into the quanta, which would feed your brain in a return energy loop.
With the principle of non locality involved, the effect is actually harmonized and immediate, there being no actual separation between brain particle/waves and the quantum field itself. In simple terms, your mind exists within the universal mind—they are one and inseparable.
Recently, evidence has supported the significance of quantum mechanics in biological processes and so a new field of quantum biology has emerged, the fusion of biology and quantum mechanics (or, we might say, brain mechanics and spiritual consciousness). Collagen fibers in this biological process function as fiber optics, conducting photons and forming networks using half the total protein content of your body, sending those photons along pathways in brain and body. Patterns of light within you then interact with “outside” photonic energy in the universal quanta that coincide subatomically with consciousness in your mind (due to the principle of non locality, in which all particles in the universe share the same non space/non time, the dimension the great physicists of our era say comprises Reality. This dynamic would in turn convey light patterns (because subatomic particles communicate) to initiate “neural events” related to feelings, mental state, and behavior in the feedback loop that supports this effect.
With photons being created by the pineal (it does that too), and the pineal responding to light absorbed by the eyes, which are really part of the brain, the brain and senses can be seen as photon based matter-wave systems within the quantum field that may, non locally, access not only conventional photons (as matter penetrating gamma- and X-rays, visible light, and low-energy infrared and radio waves, depending on radiation frequency) but the supernal light recorded by practitioners of exotic eastern disciplines that also avail cosmic consciousness through development of the pineal center and ecstatic awareness.
This capacity would be incorporated into human DNA as innate potential, a birthright, and while unseen and constantly active, owing to the symbiosis of matter with its parental quantum field, the means by which mind interacts with, and indeed is inseparable from, the universe (the basis then for extra sensory perception and remote viewing).
Smiling, adopting a corresponding attitude, and certain yoga practices, activate the pineal gland and with it the mind within the greater mind through the above dynamic.
Keep smiling. It can’t hurt.