How the Heart-Brain Connection Affects Your Consciousness
A Post-Modern Post-Materialist Meta-Analysis of Cardiac Coherence and the Teleology of the Central Chakra
Thousands of years ago, people believed that the heart was responsible for all of our thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviors. This hypothesis can be called cardiocentrism, and the idea seems to have derived from the ancient Egyptian belief that the heart is the “house of the soul”. This concept was then later adopted and adapted by Greek philosophers such as Aristotle who believed that the heart is the “seat of the soul”. Of course, an opposing theory called cephalocentrism, claims that the brain obviously plays the dominant role in controlling things. That notion was apparently introduced by Pythagoras, who argued that the soul resides in the brain. The thing is that they were all right.
To reframe this in more modern terminology, in 1991, Dr. J. Andrew Armour discovered that the human heart has an “intrinsic cardiac nervous system.” This “heart brain”, as they call it, is composed of approximately 40,000 neurons, meaning that the heart has its own nervous system of sorts. This is really the key to it all because the often underrated life-sustaining blood-pumping organ is able to influence emotional intelligence as well as higher cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving.
That same year, the HeartMath Institute (HMI) began to develop safe and reliable, scientifically validated tools and techniques for helping people reduce and avoid stress while experiencing increased peace, satisfaction, and enjoyment. To better illustrate this point, the two graphs below clearly contrast the difference between variable and stable heart-rhythm patterns, revealing the emotional tone of an unhealthy versus a healthy person, by way of an ECG heart rate readout.
In regards to this, cardiac coherence is a functional mode associated with increased self-regulatory capacity, efficient utilization of resources, and numerous benefits, both cognitive and behavioral. In contrast to this, low heart rate variability (HRV) can lead to a number of different diseases and disorders, including, but not limited to, hypertension, obesity, inflammation, diabetes, and even congestive heart failure. Thus, given the decline of HRV with aging, it is vital for people to create a more resilient baseline for themselves in the present.
This is particularly important because, the heart is constantly responding to commands sent by the brain, in the form of neural signals. However, unbeknownst to many, the heart actually sends more neural signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. For instance, the vagus nerves ascending bottom-up processing in afferent pathways often send intuitive insights to the brain from the heart. More to the point, on average, among brain-heart interactions, 90% of the information involved flows from the heart to the brain, not the brain to the heart. So, in the end, only 10% of the signals between those two vital organs come from the brain.
Along with this, your heart radiates a magnetic field that energetically affects other people’s moods when they interact in close proximity with you. This can generate stability and harmony, or be a painful source of revulsion, at a deeply intuitive level. This is because, surprisingly, a few seconds before any event occurs, your heart is the first thing to react, then your brain, and then your digestive system. In other words, people’s psychic “gut feelings” about things are really precognitive heart-initiated responses that have been validated by science.
As part of this, the Earth’s magnetic fields carry relevant physiological and psychological information that connects all living systems in the terrestrial biosphere. More importantly, since we all affect the global information field, otherwise known as the noosphere, it is our duty to help create a planetary-wide coherent field environment. This can be achieved using HMI’s “shift and lift technique”, which is a three-step algorithm.
Step 1: RESPIRATION
- Slowly and consistently breathe in and out, as you visualize the air passing through your heart.
Step 2: ACTIVATION
- Generate within you feelings of genuine connection to the world-at-large, and foster an attitude of authentic listening.
Step 3: RADIATION
- Emanate pure heart qualities to lift the vibration of the field environment surrounding you.
In addition to all of this, the way that we communicate with each other about our hearts also has an impact on our lives and the lives of those around us. One way of thinking about this is by examining some of the different kinds of idioms that people use when mentioning the heart in casual conversation. Consider some of the samples below to get a better sense of what I mean.
- all heart: said of someone kind and loving
- bare (one’s) heart: share one’s feelings
- bleeding heart: said of someone who is excessively generous
- cross my heart: said as an oath to assert one’s honesty
- find it in (one’s) heart: have the compassion to do something
- follow (one’s) heart: do what one loves rather than what is expected
- from the heart: with sincerity
- heart goes out to: said in regard to feeling sympathy for someone
- (one’s) heart is in the right place: said of someone well-intentioned
- heart skips a beat: said of someone excited, frightened, or surprised
- (one’s) heart sinks: one becomes discouraged
- open (one’s) heart: show generosity
- put (one’s) heart into: to do something with conviction
- take (something) to heart: be affected by something
- wear (one’s) heart on (one’s) sleeve: openly show one’s emotions
- with all (one’s) heart: with great enthusiasm
Along with this, the heart chakra is the fourth major chakra, according to Hindu Yogic, Shakta, and Buddhist Tantric traditions. Furthermore, in certain Western and Eastern mystery schools, the brain is said to be related to Ajna, the sixth chakra, or “third eye”, and the heart is related to Anahata, the fourth chakra, as shown in the image below. These different parts of the soul can be thought of as specific psychic energy centers within the overall form and function of the psyche itself. This is important because, the former is the seat of your thoughts, while the latter is the seat of your emotions.
It’s also important to understand that each chakra rotates at a specific frequency. As part of this, in Sanskrit, Anahata means “unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten”. Moreover, the heart chakra is associated with balance, calmness, and serenity. In line with this, the heart chakra is your center of love, empathy, and forgiveness, serving as a perfect focal point for meditations on compassion. In sharp contrast to this, a blocked heart chakra can cause someone to suffer from shyness, anxiousness, loneliness, and many other unpleasant ailments. This is why people should ritualistically open and align their chakras on a regular basis. As part of this, effective, open, honest communication is the best way to open the throat chakra, thereby connecting the heart chakra to the third eye chakra.
With that being said, the point I’m getting at is that both your material and mystical heart rhythms directly affect your physical and mental performance, for better or worse. Again, this is because heart signals can affect your emotional perception, social awareness, reaction time, and decision-making abilities, among many other things. Plus, by initiating quick coherence within just a few seconds, as shown below, one can develop increased information processing, with an improved ability to focus, as well as a 24% improvement in short-term memory and a 40% improvement in long-term memory. Furthermore, to derive the full benefits of this, it’s important to learn how to get in sync to generate and eventually perpetuate a positive mental attitude based on open-mindedness and lovingkindness.
In the end, if and when you ever grow accustomed to cardiac coherence through rhythmic breathing exercises and you become familiar with what that state feels like, then you can finally begin to practice breathing positive feelings through the heart chakra itself. Eventually, with enough practice, you should even be able to get in sync anytime you want by directly activating and radiating a positive emotion, such as joy or love. In this way, the global coherence initiative can serve as a co-creative project that works to unite heart-centered people in a heart-focused way, to shift personal, social, and global consciousness, from a condition of instability to stability and interconnectivity, thereby ushering in peace and harmony, for one and all.