By: Sheri Bauer,
Angel Light Center for the Healing Arts
From the beginning of time, the heart has been seen as a symbol of love. It is believed that the heart-shaped seed pod of the Silphium plant, used in ancient times as an herbal contraceptive, is the source of the heart symbol.
The heart was also believed to be the seat of the human soul. The ancient Church from around 850-1200AD banned the use of heart surgery and autopsies because it believed that the body should remain untouched for resurrection. Therefore, in early anatomy books, the heart symbol was used to depict the human heart because no one actually knew what it looked like.
Modern researchers are now giving credence to the theory that the heart plays a very important role in human consciousness. According to excerpts from the book “The Subtle Body” by Cyndi Dale, “the heart is an organ of communication that can potentially manage the body’s intuitive processes and under certain conditions, such as when a person consciously centers or focuses in the heart, the heart begins to run the brain, leading to higher mental functioning and emotional states and a healthier body.” The conclusion is that the heart can order our reactions to incoming events with information first impacting the heart, and, through the heart, the brain and then the rest of the body.
The Heart is also the balance point between the right brain and the left brain. The left brain is designed to rule over logic and linear thinking. It helps us decipher math problems and translate the written word. It connects us to our physical reality and helps us process through our everyday life. The right brain rules intuition. It allows us to see the unity in all of life. It lives in the moment and connects to a knowingness that cannot be logically defined by words. The heart’s job is to serve as the balance point, assisting us in using both sides of the brain to achieve harmony for our body, mind and spirit.
The heart shape is ingrained within our consciousness at the physical, emotional, feeling and spiritual levels. We doodle this symbol of love in our notebooks and send them sealed with kisses in our cards and love letters. We stamp them on our coins, shape them into candy, and embroider them on our clothing. Each aspect of the heart is a gateway through which we can express an associated level of consciousness. And we must experience each and every level to fully understand and experience Love.
On the physical level, the heart governs the circulatory system, pumping 1,900 gallons of blood through our system every 24 hours. It beats approximately 70 beats per minute, roughly about 100,000 times per day - no small task. The heart responds through the senses. The physical traits of a potential mate can start our heart racing, activating our pheromones and stimulating our imaginations. The scent of roses can awaken our passion. The sound of music can induce the production of serotonin, causing pleasurable sensations though out our body. The taste of chocolate can unleash aphrodisiac properties which stimulate the physical body to express itself and find pleasure. Sexual satisfaction is found though passionate touch. For a while, we are satiated.
Emotionally, the heart is known as a vessel of both joy and sorrow. It is the center that governs our responses and relationships. It represents our thoughts and feelings. It rules over our ability to give and receive love and to forgive ourselves and others. On the emotional level, the heart responds to praise, compassion, understanding and kindness, the salves of healing. The emotional heart is the bridge to the feeling heart. It is the gateway through which we gain access to a higher level of consciousness.
When immersed within our feeling heart, we are able to experience a deep connection to plants, animals and other people. We are able to sense their thoughts and feelings, the nature of their being, their rhythms and life cycles. It is through the feeling heart that we may reach the ultimate mystical experience of enlightenment or the oneness described by many mystics and spiritual adepts.
The heart, on the spiritual level of consciousness, develops as we learn accept the pain, grief and burdens we have encountered and survived. At this point of our awakening, we have not only accepted our journey, but have embraced it with gratitude, knowing that all our lessons have unfolded just as they should. It is at this point in the development of our Love Consciousness that we have released our personal baggage and have achieved alignment with higher knowledge and principles. We awaken to become vessels of love.
True love in its simplest and most potent form comes through transcending ourselves. True love happens when we can put what is RIGHT before what we feel, what we think and what we need. We do what is right, not for ourselves, but for our higher self and for the higher good of others and the higher good of the planet. This is Love with a capital L. It comes from the deepest and most radiant connection we can manifest.