The Coherent Heart

in CreativeWorkHr CWH2 months ago (edited)

Which commandment is the most important of all?

"30 ... you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 28-34 ESV

Love should be at the centre of everything that we do in this life, but what is love, and where is its source? What does it mean to love 'as yourself', and why are we commanded to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul?

1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a tells us clearly what love is and how we should show it:

"4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. "15

In 1993 J.A. Armour discovered an area of activity within the heart, the knowledge of which previously lay hidden from humanity: the heart-brain. It comprises approximately 40,000 neurons of sensory neurites, and is linked to the cranial brain by the vagus nerve, which we can imagine as a highway or conduit for information. Because the majority of the fibres in the vagus nerve are afferent, the heart-brain neurons relay more information to the cranial brain, than vice versa.1 As such we can say that the heart informs the mind more than the mind informs the heart. Thomas R. Verny, MD described the heart-brain as a "sophisticated informed encoding and processing centre."4 It can "act independently of the cranial brain to learn, remember, make decisions and even feel and sense. "3

Furthermore, the heart brain not only has electrical neural activity like the cranial brain, it also releases hormones. The levels of oxytocin in the heart-brain are as high as in the cranial brain.1 The key difference highlighted by Dr. Vadigepalli in his thesis paper, is that there exists a more "fluid expression" of these hormones in the heart-mind which allows the heart to fine-tune its responses to the brain.2

Given that this chemical compound is known as the love or bonding hormone, this turns a lot on its head! Previously it was thought that all cognitive and emotional activity were vestiges of the mind alone. We now know, however, that our body does not only have a brain situated inside our head, but it also has a heart-brain and as an aside, a gut-brain,the latter of which does not fall within the scope of this piece.

The heart is not only the seat of emotions, feelings, and love, but is also the seat of intuition, which is often described as a representation of our unconscious being, or our higher spiritual selves. Intuition is that little voice that speaks from within, seemingly without any application of conscious logic, guiding us to decisions that are usually good for us. Evidence for this somewhat supernatural characteristic of the human heart lies in the research conducted into non-local intuitive perception and pre-stimulus response times.

Non-local intuitive perception is "the knowledge or sense of something that cannot be explained by past or forgotten knowledge or by sensing environmental signals." 2 Radin's protocol on pre-stimulus responses "suggest the physical heart is coupled to a field of information not bound by the classical limits of time and space. This evidence comes from a rigorous experimental study that demonstrated the heart receives and processes information about a future event before the event happens. Participants in the study were shown "randomly selected, emotionally arousing or calming photographs"... the mean average recorded pre-stimulus response from the heart brain was 4.8 seconds BEFORE the image was shown." 2 Further tests showed that the mind responded similarly, albeit 1.5 seconds behind the heart.

So how is this possible? If the researchers are correct, and their findings are well documented and based on rigorous testing, which they are, then we have to conclude that the heart and mind are connected to something supernatural if it transcends the rules of space and time. Could it be that we finally have verifiable evidence that our hearts and minds are connected to God's word through our intuitive self or soul, and all we have to do is be still... and listen?

It is fascinating that the heart's electrical field is 60 times that of the brain and detectable over the entire surface of the body, while its magnetic field is 100 times that of the brain and is detectable 3 ft away from the body.3 These electrical and magnetic fields can impact both ourselves and others because human beings pick up on the electrical activity within the hearts and minds of those around them. It therefore matters what the state of our heart is when we are in close relationship with others.

We know that love has its home in the heart. But love is not simply a feeling. It is more than that. It is a choice. It is an action. And we are commanded by God to love above all other things. To fulfill the second part of Jesus's commandment 'to love our neighbour as ourselves' we first need to ask the question: how do we love ourselves, and then ensure that we are doing it? There is a duty bestowed on us and we have to ask ourselves if we are applying 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a in our relationship with the self. Am I being patient, kind, compassionate, and forgiving of myself? Am I being honest, protective, hopeful, and persevering with myself? In short, am I failing myself? If I am treating myself with the very antithesis of love, how can I hope to love others adequately or to the extent that the Lord requires?

Before I can truly show love to someone else, I must show up in my own life. As Dr. Kirsten Neff puts it, we need to "turn the lens of self-kindness inward."12 Self-compassion has to come first. We need to take care of our own oxygen masks before we can even begin to think of strapping one onto someone else. If we run out of air before we can complete the task because we didn't stop to take care of ourselves first, or consider the dire ramifications of that, nobody will benefit fully from the love we have to offer. The first step then is to ensure that we connect with our own needs, be gentle and compassionate with ourselves, and allow ourselves to bask in the love of the Lord so we fall in love with ourselves too. Maya Angelou says "Nothing will work unless you do." 11

To become the best versions of ourselves; a self that we can truly love, we should practice achieving and sustaining Heart Coherence. This is "a synchronized and empowering state, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, allowing us to become our best selves."5 Appreciation, compassion, and forgiveness, when practised with intentionality, lead to a state of Heart Coherence, and bring balance and harmony to the heart's nervous system. Heart coherence is transformational because the heart-brain sends electrical signals or messages all around the body, and when the heart is in a state of coherence, this has a positive effect on every organ in our body, improving our health and sense of wellbeing. We can achieve heart coherence by doing the following three things: heart-focused breathing, activating positive feelings like appreciation, and focusing on something specific that brings a sense of deep gratitude. Once coherence is achieved, the mind, emotion, and intuitive heart achieve synchronicity and we achieve peak personal performance of our inner and outer selves. 6, 7, 8 This then enables us to turn our attention outwards and allow God's love to work through us in relationship with others.

Maya Angelou proclaimed "People don't always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you make them feel."

To connect with ourselves and with others, we need to "Listen beyond the words, listen for feelings, values, for what isn't being said" Lynne Hurdle, Communication and Conflict Resolution Strategist

We can then identify their love language; what they need, and show up for them as we have showed up for ourselves.

If we can show them love that makes them feel how we feel, then we are fulfilling our destiny as defined by the Lord.

If Love is the Greatest Commandment of them all, then we are designed to love. And this makes perfect sense coming from a Creator who is Love Himself. "8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."1 John 4:8 ESV

God conflated the separate aspects of self: heart, mind and soul. As Christoffel Snijders says, they were "blown together with ingenuity." They were designed to work in perfect harmony with each other, but when we turn our attention away from appreciation, compassion, and forgiveness for the self, we allow incoherence to creep into our lives and into our hearts. This then prevents us from being able to love as we were meant to do. Jesus commands us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and soul. This synchronicity across our entire being is powerful, and when we have heart coherence, it leads to coherence across the divide: the optimum heart position to be in to love with all that we have.

In the end, we love because God loved us first. His love is self-sacrificing and
He reveals His nature to us time and again.

"For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him, will not perish but have eternal life."John 3:16

We should never forget that we are made in His image and that He is the ultimate expression of love. We were made to be in relationship with Him first, and thereafter with others. He has set the path for us to follow, and He leads the way. When we turn our gaze inward and listen with quiet intent, we hear the voice of Love, and we are reminded of our purpose in this world.

We were made to Love.

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Bibliography

1 Pain: Is it all in the Brain or the Heart? - Ali M Alshami

2 The Heart's "Little Brain" - Karuna Meda citing the work of Drs. Schwaber and Vadigepalli

3 Science of the Heart

4 The Significance of the Heart-Brain Connection - Thomas A Verny

5 What is Heart Coherence?

6 Why Heart Coherence Matters

7 Quick Coherence Technique for Adults

8 3 Tips to Boost Heart Coherence

9 The Great Commandment - Mark 12: 28-34

10 Your gut is directly connected to your brain, by a newly discovered neuron circuit

11 Dr. Maya Angelou

12 Dr. Kirsten Neff - Happy Families Online Conference, Feb-24

13 Lynne Hurdle - Happy Families Online Conference, Feb-24

14 1 John 4:8

15 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a

16 John 3:16

17 The Coherent Heart - 3 steps to accessing heart intelligence

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Really very interesting stuff!!! I didnt understand the point fully about how the heart and brain was able to recognize the card that was coming up next in that study.

Meaning - the card revealed something emotive - (anger, sadness, joy, funny...etc) and the people were able to predict what it was before it was revealed?? Like... being clairvoyant? Is that what was tested?

You know... up until today - reading you post - I've always had a little hmmm issue with the "put your facemask on first" analogy. I didn't know why - because logically - it makes sense when you're thinking about a child in an airplane. but outside of that... I wonder if that message truly stands. I don't know. I'm thinking of it... and hmmm

I have to think some more. hehehe

Aside from that, i love the research on the heart brain!!! You were telling me about it - and its really fascinating!!! I love that we keep discovering more and more about the body - and it always reveals an even more complex Creator than we once thought hahaha. Science is great!! But it only scratches the surface of the depths of wonder that God has designed!

hey - another thing.

if the heart brain gives out more info to the brain than vice versa - i guess that really explains more about how people "die of a broken heart"

because that really is a mystery - isn't it??? how can someone just give up the will to live when they are entrenched in that much sorrow.

not such a mystery when you realize 40k sensory neurites are passing onto the brain "I can't live without him/her."

wow!!

great post Sam!!!

They weren't testing clairvoyance, although I can see why you mention that. They were testing the heart's ability to pick up on things that were about to happen and register a response to them before the brain became aware and before the individual became aware of the actual event in question. It's kind of like when you suddenly get that weird sense that something is not ok with someone across the miles and you reach out instinctively and discover that they need you right there and then. They would say that the heart is tapping into knowledge outside the realm of time and space or into electrical signals and that this is giving the heart advance notice of what is coming. I feel like that is something similar to what I experienced when my Mom died.

And yes...there are so many phrases related to the heart that if we think about them, point to the heart having its own brain capable of thinking, making decisions, feeling, and intuiting.

I love that we keep discovering more and more about the body - and it always reveals an even more complex Creator than we once thought hahaha. Science is great!! But it only scratches the surface of the depths of wonder that God has designed!

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but how were they able to guess which card was there?

thats my question - like.. was it just... "i think a bad one is coming next?"

The cards were randomly selected. I'm not sure exactly how the heart and mind knew... although given that the mind followed behind the heart, I'm guessing that the mind simply took the heart's cue!

Oh, I just found this... which seems to suggest that the pre-stimulus emotional responses to non-local objects and events is based on the heart connecting to knowledge about those objects/events that is only held in a domain of quantum holographical information. I guess at the end of the day they are all saying that the experiments proved accurate heart and mind responses to non-local objects and events and that the only way the heart and mind could have known is by being connected to a body of knowledge that held implicit knowledge about these objects and events... and that this knowledge was outside of the construct of time and space because we can't access it consciously. But seemingly, our hearts are already connected to it. It's quite something to try to get one's head around! I'd love to find more articles about it to read more about exactly what the experiment involved.

The Psychophysiology Of Intuition: A Quantum-Holographic Theory Of Nonlocal Communication

feels like they're saying clairvoyance in very scientific language hahahahaha

I think the difference is that this is not a conscious awareness. They are not saying that the person was claiming to have advance knowledge of an object or event, but that the heart and mind registered a direct pre-stimulus emotional response in electrical signal output that the person was not even aware of... The person had no idea what was on the cards and may or may not have guessed correctly if they had to guess, but the heart and mind accurately responded to the emotional messaging hidden on the cards, in advance of the cards being shown to the person.

but if its registering some kind of knowledge of it - whether or not its known HOW exactly.

it still seems supernatural and clairvoyant.

or else - what is it?

advanced knowledge has some kind of power.. be it heart, brain, or spirit.

its tapping into SOMETHING other than the natural.

some kind of crossover from the natural realm to the supernatural - (in my opinion)

these things are always fascinating to me - but the danger I guess is... if it IS a cross over from the natural to the supernatural... is it a gateway that could lead to harm. sometimes those paths start out benign to lure a person in with trust, and a complacency... you know?

i know this is way beyond what you're talking about - hahahaha just a rabbit trail that i find interesting (and scary too!) hehehe

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So the phrase is somewhat true...

The mind can't verify, but the heart knows...

This was a lovely informative read sam..

Thanks @seki1 I'm glad that you enjoyed it. Fascinating stuff the heart and the brain! !LUV

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It's so true, we can't love others properly unless we take care of ourselves ♥️

Fascinating research! Why weren't these studies made widely known?!?!

I wonder if they also did studies on people with artificial hearts, and those with transplants? Is there something of the memory or personality alive in the heart of a deceased person who donated their heart?

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There is mounting evidence and numerous examples of heart memory being transferred to heart donees. Take a look @amberkashif's comment on this post. It is something I researched and came across too before I wrote a short story about it some time back! !LUV !PIZZA

Fascinating :) Something in the Bible about being able to put one back together even without DNA (such as after cremation or burial at sea) has me wondering if we might even be us at the molecular level. Maybe in the neutrons?

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That sounds incredible! Reminds me of this...

"There are more things in Heaven and Earth Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." William Shakespeare (Hamlet)

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There most certainly are things we can't even imagine this side of Heaven :)

Now that we know about DNA, and that it is indeed delicate, I'm convinced that there must be some sort of pattern which is even smaller, and much more difficult to destroy.

The only other explanation I can think of is that what makes us who we are is perhaps stored or mirrored in another dimension or place. Sort of like what I read about in a book by Robert Sawyer. His books are definitely fascinating, and deal with real quantum mechanics via sci-fi books. He's not a believer, or at least wasn't, but his writing suggests he was / is searching.

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Thank you so much! Always appreciated !LUV

You can't give what you don't have. Before you can love someone truly , you need to first love yourself.
This was a lovely read
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So happy that you found some value in it for yourself, @meyateingi !LUV

The major challenges that we face in this world can be solved if everyone embraces love. Stealing, lying, killing, name it, all these vices are products of lack of love.

Once you love your neighbor as yourself, you wouldn't want any harm befall him. The scripture gives the template of loving oneself and others too. Man is good at deviating. Lovely piece. I enjoyed every line.

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I'm so glad you enjoyed it, @lightpen. I enjoyed trying to bring together the beautiful elements from the Bible and the scientific research that I had done. !LUV

Oh the wahala. I wrote a long comment and it disappeared 😭

I hate it when that happens! 😔😭🤯 Sorry, Sis... but I saw that you managed to leave me a long message anyway. I did read all my messages at the time, I just did not get a chance to reply yet 🙏 !LUV

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We met because we were designed to meet. Having a connection of hearts ❤️❤️

Have you ever contemplate on how people across the seas feel related to each other without meeting them in person, not even hearing each other’s voices? Doesn't it seem mysterious.

If you remember one of my posts, Magical connection, talks about the probable effectivity of heart's magnatic field.

We need to take care of our own oxygen masks before we can even begin to think of strapping one onto someone else

I learnt this lesson the hard way but I am glad I finally learnt. Interestingly, I once wrote a post contemplating on the saying LOVE your neighbour the way you love yourself. My ideology pretty much resonates with yours.


In Qur'an there are verses that indicate that it is the heart that thinks. Various kinds of hearts are also mentined like wise hearts, locked hearts, thoughtful hearts, upside down hearts, twisted hearts etc.


While researching on the topic of heart brain, I went through an interesting and incredible real life incident. A 12 years old girl's heart was transplanted by another girl's heart. After the transplantation, she started having strange dreams. Later on, the girl made it possible to arrest the murderer of the girl whose heart was transplanted to her...... It means heart-brain has memories too.

Wonders of God's creation, isn't it?

I believe that we connect at the heart level because everything I feel about other people, I feel deeply inside my heart. I feel the physical connection there, in my heart. I feel both deep senses of love and loss, in my heart. So yes, I think we were meant to connect across the miles, and I feel strongly that one day we will meet in person! It's the most beautiful of mysteries explained only by the presence of God in our lives. I love our synchronicities and our differences. They are what make our friendship special to me.

And it doesn't surprise me that the Qu'ran references the heart as thinking. There are several instances in language where phrases including the heart appear to give it the qualities of thought and intuition. It seems that this wisdom was captured in several writings.

Yes! I read about that case too, Amber! Crazy stuff. Our bodies are so perfectly made. !LUV !ALIVE !PIZZA

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feel strongly that one day we will meet in person!

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Our bodies are so perfectly made

They indeed are ... way beyond the limitation of scientific discoveries

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