Somatic Resonance

Author: Fr. William Most

Fr. William G. Most

Somatic Resonance

Introduction: Since we are made of matter and spirit, body and soul, and these are so closely joined as to add up to one person, the result is that if we have a condition on one of the two sides, then for normal running - not for mere survival - there is need of a parallel condition on the other side, which condition is called a resonance. When this resonance falls on the bodily side, which is most common, we speak of somatic resonance.

For example, if a man is in deep black depression, then the unfortunate biochemistry of this affliction may interfere with the biochemistry that should be the somatic resonance to faith. Then the sufferer will think he has lost or is losing faith. The reason is that the disturbance of the biochemical resonance makes it almost impossible for faith to function, though it does not expel faith.

This concept of somatic resonance explains many things. Cf. the chapter "Help from Psychology" in Wm. Most, Our Father's Plan. Here are some further applications of the concept:

1. US News & World Report, Nov 8, 1993, pp. 76-79. Personality changes seem to come from some antidepressants. Serotonin, a mood-elevating brain chemical, normally flows from the synapses... into the cells where it is deactivated. SSRIs such as Prozac and Pamelor block the brain's natural ability to deactivate Serotonin, thereby resulting in more Serotonin effect. Can cause drowsiness or lowered sexual desire. -- Due to modification of somatic resonance.

2. Discover magazine, Oct, 1993, pp. 30-31;"Violence in the Blood" by Sarah Richardson. A perfect correlation between inclination to violence seems to relate to a defect in men on the short arm of the X chromosome, a marker known to code for an enzyme monoamine oxidase A which should break down three important neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine.

3. Science News of Oct 14, 1989, p. 250 said: "Men who had committed murder without clear premeditation had the lowest levels of the breakdown product of serotonin known as 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid or 5-HIAA. In addition, men who had killed more than once had lower levels of 5 HIAA than did one-time murderers... . In a study of violent offenders and impulsive arsonists... Linnolla's team again found abnormally low levels of 5 HIAA. Men in this group who went on to commit additional violent offenses or arson during an average three-year follow-up period after prison release had the lowest levels of 5-HIAA. Studies measuring 5-HIAA levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of suicide attempters show that individuals who used violent means, such as guns, tend to have lower levels than those who took pill overdoses... . . In autopsy studies, other investigators have linked low brain concentration of 5-HIAA to a aggression in Alzheimer's patients. In contrast, note Thomas R. Insel of NIMH, some studies of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder show that these individuals have slightly higher-than-normal levels of 5- HIAA... . Linnolla cautions that 5-HIAA is only an indirect indicator of serotonin function."

3. Science News Oct 14, 1989, p. 246: "With the help of antidepressants, Ann finally conquered the guilt and despair that had overwhelmed her for two years after her husand's death in 1984. The 62-year old woman said she felt 'as if a cloud had been lifted. ' Then, in early 1988, Ann took part in a medical experiment. She and 20 other patients recently recovered from depression drank a chocolate-flavored concoction of amino acids that drastically lowers blood levels of a precursor of serotonin... . three hours after drinking the liquid, Ann began sobbing uncontrollably. She slept little that night and mourned her husband's death as if it had just happened. The following evening, the the episode ended as abruptly as it had begun. She stopped crying and told the doctors she felt back to normal... . Thirteen other participants experienced similar setbacks after drinking the liquid." COMMENTS: even though the patients knew it was just a chemical change, yet their feelings seemed real.

4. Scientific American:. Feb. 1974, pp. 84-91 reports low levels of serotonin go along with increased sexual activity and insomnia.

5. Science News Oct 9, 1971, p. 249. An infusion of Lactate triggers anxiety attacks in those prone to anxiety. cf. Ibid, July 16, 1983 pp. 45-46. Shows anxiety is linked to biochemistry.

6. Science News August 20, 1983, p. 122-25. A chemist from Argonne lab took hair samples of violent criminals at Stateville prison in Illinois, found highs or lows of certain trace elements tended to correlate with tendencies to violence.

7. Discover magazine, Aug. 1992. pp. 11-12: Louis Gottschalk, a neuro- psychiatrist at U of C at Irvine took hair samples of 193 rapists, murderers, armed robbers and other violent criminals - and also took samples from normal persons."On the average violent criminals have almost five times more manganese in their hair." He had set out to reproduce an earlier study that had found elevated levels of lead, cadmium, and copper in criminal hair. Those results did not hold up, but the manganese connection did.

8. Science News, by Tina Adler,"Comprehending Those who Can't Relate", vol 145, April 16, 1994, pp. 248-49. Finds that autistic persons have difficulty in relating to others. A PET scan of a normal brain compared to a socially withdrawn person shows in a normal person, a cooler anterior singulate compared to the very active anterior singulate of a socially withdrawn person.