Above all that you watch over well attend to your heart; for out of it emerge the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)
It is the heart, not the brain, which is the major energetic organ of organization and integration of the human body.
Through the theory and observation of cardio-energetics, and through the technology of heart transplantation, we witness the emergence of a new way of looking at the heart and its energy. This new view is based on quantum perspectives of energy and the multiple levels through which the heart can be perceived and experienced. In effect, the study of cardio-energetics provides us with new and clearer insights into the teachings of the Kabbala and Chasidism concerning the heart and its ability to elevate the universe through the transformation of our own hearts. Both cardio-energetics and our sages understand--despite differences in time, context, language, and intent--that we establish essential harmony within ourselves through the heart. This harmony reflects the harmonies of above and below inherent within the Creation.
Anecdotal though they may be, numerous accounts abound of heart transplant recipients experiencing observable changes in personality and lifestyle preferences following their transplant surgery. These changes frequently conform to the personality and lifestyle preferences of the organ donor, raising the question of whether a transplanted heart retains the energetic imprint of its original heart-mind-body context even after transplantation into a "new body," and if so, how this process occurs. (Reference is to Paul Pearsall, The Heart’s Code: The True Stories of Organ Transplant Patients and What They Reveal about Where We Store Our Memories, London: Thorson, 1998).
Energy cardiology, as an aspect of systems theory, energetically applied, is an attempt to explain these phenomena, and in so doing, deepen our understanding of the energetic role of the heart in organizing and maintaining life.
From the perspective of cardio-energetics, it is the heart, not the brain, which is the major energetic organ of organization and integration of the human body.
Of all the organs within the body, the heart is preeminent in terms of the centrality of its location, the richness of its connections to all the cells within the body, and particularly relevant here, the intensity of its energy transmission…. But just as the heart not only pumps patterns of biochemical nutrients to every cell within the body through the circulation, it also "pumps" patterns of energy and information to every cell within the body…. It follows that to various degrees, every cell in the body is bathed in the dynamical energy generated by the heart.
The cardiac energy pattern includes electrical, magnetic, sound, pressure, temperature and electrostatic energies.
The 'wisdom of the heart,' is not only the sense of what the heart knows and intuits, but also from where and to where its wisdom travels
Since the heart is a primary generator and transmitter of info-energy, it is central to our system's recollection of its life--its cellular memory (Pearsall, op cit., pp. 13-14).
"L energy" -- the energy of cardio-energetics -- is the energy related to quantum occurrence, meaning that it operates by the principles of nonlocality, relativity, and freedom from Newtonian principles of linear time and space. When we are tuned in to our L energy, we can experience a sense of freedom from time and space constraints (Pearsall, p. 57.)
Further, cardio-energy not only maintains the very interactive cellular structures of the body, but interacts with other hearts and energy systems as well, creating an ever-increasing unity of ever more complex systems of energies which are constantly in communication and interaction with each other. Therefore, it is the individual heart which receives from outside itself sources of information its related mind organ cannot access on its own, and in turn, transmits information to other hearts multiplied exponentially by the countless sources of cardio-L energy which contribute to its own "wisdom." In so doing, the individual heart becomes a microcosm of the larger macrocosm of cardio-energy of which it is a part, and to which it contributes, thus, in a most significant manner, participating in the creation of its own reality.
This notion of the 'wisdom of the heart,' not only in the sense of what the heart knows and intuits, but also from where and to where its wisdom travels, and with what effect, is a central theme in Kabbala and Hasidism. On one level, according to the seder ha hishtalshelut, the order of emergence of the sefirot (Divine emanations) and their energies, in focusing on the "higher" sefirot (the mochin) we see that the heart is associated with the sefira of bina (understanding).
As Chaim Kramer explains it: Every human being has both a mind and a heart which correspond respectively to the sefirot of chochma and bina. Each of us possesses his own basic cache of knowledge upon which the mind acts and accordingly directs the body. However, the directives of the mind are essentially neural impulses, which are automatic responses. It is the heart, bina, which focuses differently from the mind, where we come fully to appreciate and understand a given situation. The way in which our hearts 'hear' and 'understand' a predicament will determine the manner in which we respond to it.(Anatomy of the Soul, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, by R. Chaim Kramer, Jerusalem: Breslov Research Institute, 1998, pp. 220-221.)
When a person thinks good thoughts, he purifies the Space of Creation.
Based on the crucial role of the heart, bina, in structuring and communicating to us our most basic perceptions of ourselves and our understanding of and interactions with the outside world, Rebbi Nachman of Breslov writes at great length of the role of the heart both in maintaining the health of the body and the soul, as well as in the creation of 'worlds.' In a number of statements strikingly similar to the premises of cardio-energetics and the effects of L energy on every aspect of physical cellular structure as well as spiritual well being, Rebbi Nachman states, "Evil thoughts congest the hearts." (Likutei Moharan I: 49:1.)
Thus, suggests Rebbi Nachman, it would be a serious mistake to view congestive heart failure and its treatment merely from the materialist perspective of physical organ dysfunction. Rather, such ailments of the heart must also be understood within the context of the heart's very own L energy and therefore, and most importantly, from the perspective of the heart's own energetic and spiritual effects upon itself.
In addition, in his teachings on the chalal hapanui, (the vacated space), Rebbi Nachman speaks not only of the role of the heart in terms of one's own health, but states, "The good thoughts in the heart are the good inclination, through which good deeds and attributes are revealed. This is a formation for good. Thus, when a person thinks good thoughts, he purifies the Space of Creation."
This teaching in Likutei Moharan strongly parallels the understanding that L energy moves beyond the individual to interact with all other persons and energy systems, altering the level of them all. What each individual 'thinks' with his heart, and the levels he achieves through his own spiritual effort literally reverberate throughout all other energy systems, and thus, throughout the entire universe. In effect, teaches Rebbi Nachman, through the tikun (the rectification) of one's own heart, one quite literally creates 'worlds,' including no less than the essential transformation of one's very self.
A person can be true if he is balanced.
In a parallel fashion, among the seven lower sefirot representing the middot (values of character) it is the sefira of tiferet (beauty), associated with the heart in its context of balance and truth, represented by Jacob. "Jacob is the first person in the Bible who reveals the full spectrum of human emotions ranging from love to anger…. This is an example of a truthful person as defined by the Talmud: 'What is outside is what is inside.' A person can be true if he is balanced. If he totally gives or totally restrains himself, he cannot be true. If he is well balanced within himself, however, he can have a balanced relationship with other people." (Aryeh Kaplan. Inner Space, Jerusalem: Moznaim Press, 1991, p. 63.)
Clearly, paralleling the perspective of cardio-energetics, the energies and processes contained within tiferet are those which bring harmony, balance, and integration within a person. In addition, however, since the sefirot are themselves aspects of the manifestation of the tree of life, to fully realize the essence of tiferet in one's life is to necessarily seek to activate its energies and possibilities not merely in the personal realm, but throughout all of existence as well. Therefore, according to cardio-energetics, through the focusing and elevation of the L energy of each individual heart, it is possible to spread the harmonizing and integrating energies of tiferet throughout all the sefirot and their permutations, thus elevating and binding together all of Creation.
Further reflecting this crucial drive towards harmony and integration, it is a central teaching within the Kabbala that through our performance of commandments and Torah learning, and energized by our intention, we should continually seek to bring about the unification of tiferet with malchut (the last of the sefirot, our 'world' of physicality) thus bringing about the unification of the upper and lower 'worlds' through the unification of the Holy One Blessed be He and His Shechina, establishing universal harmony and balance.
The author of the Tanya, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, known as the Alter Rebbe, describes at some length yet another aspect of this process of the balance which must constantly be sought within the heart between the animal soul and the divine soul which reside respectively in the left and right ventricles of the human heart.
The abode of the animal soul…derived from kelipat noga in every Jew, is in the heart, in the left ventricle that is filled with blood. It is written, 'HaBehamit [animal], for the blood is the nefesh [soul].' Hence all lusts and boasting and anger and similar passions are in the heart, and from the heart they spread throughout the whole body…. But the abode of the divine soul is in the brains that are in the head, and from there it extends to all the limbs; and also in the heart, in the right ventricle wherein there is no blood, as is written, 'The heart of the wise man is on his right.' It is the source of a man's fervent love towards G‑d…
Just as two kings wage war over a town…so do the two souls--the divine and the vitalising animal souls that comes from the kelipa--wage war against each other over the body and all its limbs…. (Likutei Amarim, Tanya 1:9.)
Wisdom of the past is lost and forgotten as new intellectual currents seem to clear the way for more penetrating understandings
Needless to say, based on the kabbalistic principle of "as above so below,"(Zohar II, 220b.) clearly implying as well the relationship of the internal to the external, the Alter Rebbe describes not only the lifelong internal struggle waged by the average person between the divine and animal souls, but also the struggle throughout all the 'worlds' between the Divine Light and the external shell, kelipa. This also parallels the view of cardio-energetics that a struggle is waged within the heart of each person. The internal spiritual balance that one is able to maintain, and the Torah commandments by which one lives, continually animate and elevate one's divine soul, which elevates the individual and transforms everyone surrounding him or her. Thus, the balance of the good inclination versus the bad inclination in the world is affected by the cumulative and interactive energies of the hearts of even average human beings in their lifelong struggle.
It often occurs that the wisdom of ancient texts and sages is lost and forgotten as new intellectual currents seem to clear the way for more innovative and penetrating understandings of the body, mind, and heart. Through the theory and observation of cardio-energetics, and through the technology of heart transplantation, we witness the emergence of a new way of looking at the heart and its energy. This new view is based on quantum perspectives of energy and the multiple levels through which the heart can be perceived and experienced. In effect, the study of cardio-energetics provides us with new and clearer insights into the teachings of the Kabbala and Chasidism concerning the heart and its ability to elevate the universe through the transformation of our own hearts. Both cardio-energetics and our sages understand--despite differences in time, context, language, and intent--that we establish essential harmony within ourselves through the heart. This harmony reflects the harmonies of above and below inherent within the Creation. The heart not only perceives this harmony, but participates in its creation day by day, as heart interacts with heart, transforming and elevating Creation itself.
Condensed from the original article and reprinted with kind permission from B'Or HaTorah vol. XII (2000), pp. 113-120.