Friday, May 28, 2010

Emotions of the Heart

I've never thought of the heart as an organ of emotion. Sure we talk about having a broken heart, or loving someone with all our heart, but it seems to be more of a metaphorical saying, not something true. After reading an article called "The Heart as an Organ of Perception" by Stephen Harrod Buhner in the magazine Spirituality & Health, I have new ideas of what the heart really is capable of. The hearts electromagnetic field is 5,000 times stronger than the brain's and can be detected by sensitive scientific instuments up to 10 feet away. This explains the reason we can feel someone's presence without seeing or touching them. And why we can tell how someone is feeling just by being close to them.
Indigenous people tend to say they live in their heart, while we in the West tend to say we live in our heads, we don't take the time to pay attention to the feelings we get from our hearts, or we just assume those feelings are really coming from our brains.
As it says in this article, first we feel with our hearts, then we know with our brains.

The Extraordinary Heart

I first learned about the heart from a Western point of view. I was amazed by it then with all the functions that it performs. Beating away, keeping us alive, the heart functions has a pump, releases hormones, and is composed of neural tissues which make up it's own pacemaker. Now I have come to the see the heart in a different and even more amazing light. The heart is not just a muscle sustaining life, but it is also responsible for feelings, emotions, consciousness, perception, cognition, and the innate closeness that we feel towards other living things. Of course this is what is advertised, that love comes from the heart. But what does that really mean? and is there actually a science behind it? Turns out that, yes, there is. The article that we had to read in class was very interesting just in the research alone. I wish that there was a title on it, but it was by Stephen Harrod Buhner in Spirituality & Health, March/April 2006. The article illustrates these amazing aspects of the heart that have long been underestimated of disregarded in Western Medicine and mindset. The concept that really struck a cord with me was where in the body we live determines how we perceive and interact with the living world around us. Buhner explains that when asked where in the body they live indigenous people who still have a closeness with the earth gestured toward their hearts, while Western people usually gestured toward their brain. To live from the heart is to feel from the heart and learn and know after. I really like this way of thinking, it just seems to make so much more sense! The heart truly is an organ of sense, with the power to entrain ones entire body and interact with others heart centers. This is why two people can exchange information and communicate with out every saying a word, they do so through their heart fields. The more we learn to feel from the heart, the way our body was meant to feel, the more connected to the rest of the living world around us we will be. Living in our heads just gets us farther from intuitions and innate abilities to communicate instinctualy. Unfortunately, Western society has put so much emphasis on living in the head/brain that there seems to have developed a social phenomenon that I am going to call the mind-body-heart disconnect. Western society seems to view each of these as an independent entity and therefor misses the concept of the whole system. "The whole is far more than the sum of the parts", and that is just putting it lightly!

I am going to have to cut this blog short since I am running out of time, but I plan to post more since I am not done evaluating and reviewing the article.