Understanding the heart, changing the world

“It is only with the heart that one sees rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”—Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Heart’s Code by Paul Pearsall, first published over a decade ago, is an interesting and still timely read. Pearsall is a psychologist, a PhD, who has studied the relationship between the heart, brain and immune system. He’s worked in a cardiac rehabilitation program helping heart attack victims recover.

Pearsall’s studies have led him to conclude the physical heart might have its own independent kind of intelligence and that the heart communicates with the outside world in its own unique way. Candace Pert, PhD, recommends Pearsall’s leading edge research. Her book, Molecules of Emotion, describes scientific evidence of tiny chains of information-rich amino acids in the brain and shows these “bits of brain” circulate throughout the heart and the rest of the body.

When Gary Schwartz, PhD, was professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale, he found that atoms, cells and the heart itself store coded information. He also concludes hearts carry a form of conscious intelligence, energy and memory.

Pearsall refers to additional scientific research suggesting the heart has its own intrinsic nervous system. He says “intrinsic cardiac adrenergic (ICA) cells in the heart synthesize and release catecholamines—neurochemicals such as dopamine and other substances previously thought to exist only in the brain.“ He concludes the intelligence and energy stored in the heart “remember” who we are and that the heart sends its own energy to other cells in the body and even to other people’s bodies.

He notes that the nucleic acid in all cell nuclei, DNA, contains memory and information. The heart transmits powerful energy, and its cells contain particularly vivid personal identity. Pearsall gives examples of heart transplant recipients’ acquiring the personal tastes and even recalling specific experiences their donors had.

Though some cultures acknowledge “heart wisdom,” our society doesn’t support people in accessing the heart. Pearsall says, “It’s a brain’s world.” The brain is king, and the heart is seldom heard. One reason is that the heart’s energy is subtle and can only be perceived when the brain is quiet and still.

Meditation and other contemplative practices offer some people a door to this deeper awareness, but when the brain is left unchecked, it tends to abuse the heart and the rest of the body, dragging them around through the realm of constant activity and chatter. The brain’s tyranny weakens the immune system and can cause the heart to “attack” the body just to get the brain’s attention. A heart-centered life is quieter, gentler and healthier. This isn’t an anti-intellectual stance, but a broader view that gives the brain credit where it’s due, but at the same time makes room for and honors the heart’s role.

The heart is both matter and energy. We have about 75 trillion cells in the body, mostly consisting of space. The book, The HeartMath Solution, describes research indicating the heart’s electromagnetic field is by far the strongest in the body, roughly five times stronger than the field produced by the brain. Electromagnetic fields can be detected scientifically with electroencephalograms (EEGs)

Experiments by Gary Schwartz, PhD, professor of Psychology, Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Arizona, give evidence of a direct connection between the electromagnetic fields of the heart and brain and shows the synchronization between heart and brain increases when people focus attention on the heart. The evidence also shows one individual’s field directly affects the electromagnetic energy fields of other people.

The HeartMath Solution describes a process called “entrainment,” wherein an individual’s brain waves begin to synchronize with the electromagnetic rhythm of the heart, producing greater mental clarity and a feeling of well-being. This can occur when the individual focuses on love, appreciation, beauty, inspiring music, meditative silence and other “heart qualities.” The book says this is similar to the way a clock’s pendulums tend to fall into the same rhythm. The pendulum with the strongest rhythm always pulls the others into synch with itself.

When two people are together the heart with the strongest entrainment can bring the heart of the other person into synchronization with its own rhythm. Spiritual literature offers many accounts of enlightened individuals transmitting strong heart energy and activating the same energy in others, but a similar kind of energy transfer happens often in everyday life.

The human body contains around 75 trillion cells, made up of both matter and energy. The energy particles consist mainly of space, yet, as Pearsall says, we’re still “literally heavy with info-energy.” Every cell contains memory and carries its own simple consciousness. The word cell comes from the Latin “cellula,” which translates “small chamber,” and every chamber, as Pearsall points out, has many compartments called “organelles,” all sharing an energy-bond.

Information, including memory, is carried in every cell of the heart. Based on his research, Pearsall concludes that the heart is the central coordinating instrument for the DNA’s resonating and the constant exchange of information between the cells. He mentions that nature-based cultures seem to sense the heart’s character, role and rhythm in ways our less contemplative society misses and suggests we can regain heart attunement through “cardio-contemplation.” This means paying attention to the body’s signals and quietly tuning in to subtle sensations coming from the heart.

Some of Pearsall’s suggestions for tuning in to the heart’s code include:

1. Be still. He quotes Meister Eckhart: “There is nothing in all creation so like God as stillness.”

2. Lighten up. Don’t let the brain think it has or needs constant control.

3. Be quiet. Say and do less.

4. Resonate. Listen to the heart.

5. Feel. Tune into nature and the senses.

6. Learn. Learn from and by the heart.

7. Connect. Send heart energy into the world around you.

If large enough numbers of people come to understand and experience the human heart and its potential in this new way, it could help raise the consciousness of the human race and help alleviate many of the world’s interpersonal, social and political problems. Pearsall mentions that in the same way a mother whale’s song moves through the ocean to calm her calf, our heart’s energetic vibrations reach through space to soothe other creatures. If Pearsall and his peers have it right, apparently the human heart has endless depth and vast reach and contains all the really important information.

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