Heart and Mind
(Posted on August 1, 2013 by David McMillin)
[NOTE: While serving as mentor for an online version of “A Search For God” study group and working on the Destiny of the Mind lesson, a class member asked for my thoughts on the relationship of heart and mind. Here is my reply. – David McMillin]
In relation to mind, I think of the heart as a seat of emotional intelligence. This derives from the way mind manifests in the physical body:
Thy brain is not thy mind, it is that which is used by thy mind! (826-11)
The Cayce readings provide extensive and deep information on how mind manifests through the entire body (not just the brain), especially through glands and nerves within the body cavity itself. The mental body is said to "flow" through the physical vehicle, through definite gland and nerve centers, particularly along the spine (the pineal cord or silver cord). For example, in one of the Glad Helpers' readings Cayce was asked, "In certain types of insanity, is there an etheric body involved?" The reply included this description of the flow of the mental body:
Then, through pressure upon some portion of the anatomical structure [such as pressure on a spinal center] that would make for the disengaging of the natural flow of the mental body through the physical in its relationships to the soul influence, one may be dispossessed of the mind; thus ye say rightly he is "out of his mind." (281-24)
Here is another example of the flow of the mental body for a woman wanting to become a writer:
(Q) Shall I write with someone else, or shall I write by myself?
(A) Fear enters here, when the entity attempts to write alone – but WRITE alone, and keep that NEAR self as the IDEAL, when doing so. Be not afraid to really express those children of the mental body as flow in, in meditation, for these – in use – will grow and will not destroy self, will they but be tendered by the love of the Creator, or of the body itself. (5439-1)
Certain readings speak of an "aerial activity" that functions in the same way (and is probably the same activity of the mental body as it flows through the centers). For example, from the beginning of the embryo on through human development as a fetus and then after birth as a full human being, the organs of the body have access to this flow of the mental body. In the readings given for the Glad Helpers (281 series) this process is described in detail.
With regard to your specific question about heart and mind, with the growth of the human embryo, the thymus gland in the chest is associated with the development and functioning of the heart. In this broader sense, the thymus and heart "center" (that some call a "chakra") have a metaphysical role in soul expression. Remember, just like with mind and the cerebral brain we are considering more than just course physical matter when we think of this center. Thus, it can be regarded as a center of emotional intelligence – love and relationships, with its own connection to the mental body.
This association is similar to the expression of desire at the level of each physical organ of the body, as I have explained in a reply for a previous lesson. It is the same sort of process by which the soul transmits and encodes information into the anatomy and physiology of our bodies. That is an expression of mind, in its broader sense (from a soul perspective).
There is much more that can be given with regard to psychophysiology – about how the sympathetic nervous system (which is much more than the current designation as simply a portion of the autonomic system) functions through the unconscious mind – the mind of the soul. This involves the various levels or layers of mind (conscious, unconscious/subconscious, superconscious), the solar plexus brain, etc. At Meridian Institute, when we did research on heart rate variability, we looked into some of this and were also aware of the work being done at the HeartMath Institute that you have cited.
The transpersonal aspects of the heart/mind connection was explored in many of the Cayce readings, especially the life readings that addressed planetary sojourns (past lives on other planets) and reincarnation (past lives on this planet). Here are a couple excerpts that discuss the role of heart and mind from a transpersonal perspective:
Hence as has been indicated, we find arising from the experiences of the entity during that sojourn [a past life during the American revolution] the capacities in the attempting to cast out fear. For it was experienced by the entity during that period that when there could be aroused within the minds and the hearts and the experiences of the emotional forces of the individuals the awareness that there were purposes greater or beyond the self, these brought the possibilities, the abilities, the activities that made for the sustaining influences. And much of that was imbued into the minds of those during the trying periods, when the fires of patriotism burned low during that severe winter in Valley Forge. (1210-3)
In the mental or Mercurian forces we find this tendency for the combative conditions between rational and emotional forces of the heart and mind. (3412-2)
Thus mental and emotional patterns are carried over, in some manner, to the physical organs of a body, including the heart and brain as organs of awareness. This can also be viewed as the means by which "karma" is carried over. This is obviously a deep subject, with many dimensions.
From a practical, applied perspective, just being aware of the feelings associated with the heart, can be helpful in terms of self awareness ("Know Thyself"), whether strictly in terms of this life or previous ones. The heart will speak to us, if we listen to that source of emotional intelligence that can remind us of who we are as souls, making our way through eternity, finding our way back to the Source.
Thanks for asking this deep and complex question. I hope this information is helpful and something that you can apply in your own experience. Blessings, Dave