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Discovering the Intuitive Intelligence of the Heart

Radiance Talley | Apr 12, 2024

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the authoritative views of the Baha'i Faith.

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Radiance Talley | Apr 12, 2024

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the authoritative views of the Baha'i Faith.

Before the 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes proposed a dualistic view of the mind and body and shaped the understanding of the heart as a mechanical organ rather than a spiritual or emotional center, civilizations around the world had revered the intelligence of the heart for thousands of years.

Ancient Egyptians believed the heart was the source of wisdom and the center of memories and emotions. They regarded the heart as the most important internal organ because of its connection to intellect, personality, and memory. Likewise, ancient Chinese believed that the heart was the seat of the mind. In fact, translated, Xin — the ancient Chinese word for heart — means “heart-mind.” Ancient Indians believed that the heart held both intelligence and the soul and understood the heart as the link between Earth and heaven.

RELATED: ‘The Heart’s Code’: The Power of Heart-to-Heart Connections

In the last few decades, scientists have now come back to that understanding of the intelligence of the heart that was shared long ago, recognizing the heart’s powerful energetic connections and intuitive intelligence.

Defining the Intuitive Intelligence of the Heart

“What is meant by terms such as intuitive heart or heart intelligence is what we call the energetic heart, which is coupled to a deeper part of one’s self,” wrote Dr. Rollin McCraty and Dr. Maria Zayas in their article “Intuitive Intelligence, Self-regulation, and Lifting Consciousness,” published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine in 2014. 

“…We use the term energetic systems in this context to refer to the functions we cannot directly measure, touch, or see, such as our emotions, thoughts, and intuitions.”

Many people refer to this “energetic heart” or “deeper part” of themselves as their “higher self” that is connected to the divine kingdom. Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, definedthe human heart” as “the recipient of the light of God and the seat of the revelation of the All-Merciful.”

“Our experience suggests that the physical heart also has communication channels connecting it with the energetic heart,” wrote Dr. Rollin McCraty and Dr. Maria Zayas. “Nonlocal intuition therefore is transformational; it contains the wisdom that streams from the soul’s higher information field down into the human system via the energetic heart and can inform our moment-to-moment experiences and interactions.”

Abdu’l-Baha, one of the central figures of the Baha’i Faith, described how a heart’s connection to the heavenly realm can result in these spiritual intuitive insights. In a tablet to Sarah Farmer, the founder of what is now known as Green Acre: A Baha’i Center of Learning, he wrote:

Blessed art thou, that thy heart is connected with the callings of the Kingdom of El-Abha [the divine kingdom], so that thou hast dispensed with the telepathic wires of the world, because the terminal of the spiritual wire reached the center of thy heart and the other is placed in the Spiritual Center, vibrating informations constantly through the power of the Spirit and successively conveying the great glad-tidings. This is the station of (or for) every maid-servant whose heart is filled with the love of God and attracted to the Beauty…

How the Heart Intelligently Communicates With the Brain

The heart comprises around 40,000 neurons, similar to those found in the brain, indicating that the heart has its own intrinsic cardiac nervous system — commonly referred to as “the heart brain.” Because the vast majority of neural pathways ascend from the heart up to the brain, the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain does to the heart. Perhaps that’s why Abdu’l-Baha wrote:

Praise God, therefore, that the sight of thy heart is illumined, and the hearing of thy mind responsive.

“These signals from the heart to the brain connect through the vagus nerve and continue straight to the thalamus (which synchronizes cortical activity such as thinking, perceiving, and understanding language), then to the frontal lobes (responsible for motor functions and problem solving), and on to the brain’s survival center, the amygdala (which signals emotional memory),” explained Dr. Joe Dispenza in his book “Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon.”

The heart communicates with the brain in a variety of ways — neurologically, biochemically, biophysically, and energetically. When the heart and brain are in sync and functioning optimally together, we experience heightened awareness and intuition and make better decisions. 

Dr. Rollin McCraty and Dr. Maria Zayas wrote, “When we are heart-centered and coherent, we have a tighter coupling and closer alignment with our deeper source of intuitive intelligence and are able to more intelligently self-regulate our thoughts and emotions, which over time lifts consciousness and establishes a new internal physiological and psychological baseline.”

RELATED: Can Your Personality Change?

The HeartMath Institute’s research found that this coherence increases when we experience positive feelings like appreciation and compassion. Dr. Joe Dispenza wrote, “Because feelings and emotions are energies that emit powerful magnetic fields, the stronger the elevated feelings, the stronger the magnetic field. In fact, the heart produces the strongest magnetic field in the body—five thousand times greater in strength than the field produced by the brain.”

The more we acquire and develop virtues, or spiritual qualities, like love, joy, kindness, and gratitude and feel the resulting positive emotions, the greater impact we can have on our world as we strive to live a service-oriented life. As Abdu’l-Baha said in a talk in Paris in 1911:

If you desire with all your heart, friendship with every race on earth, your thought, spiritual and positive, will spread; it will become the desire of others, growing stronger and stronger, until it reaches the minds of all men.

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Comments

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  • Robert Rogers
    Apr 12, 2024
    -
    Another awesome article, Radiance. Thank you for your insights and quotes from many sources.
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