Sie sind auf Seite 1von 17

Thinking With The Heart Besides The Brain (PART TWO):

Assalamu Alaikum dear brother I found some very interesting articles you would like to read, and Insh'Allah allmighty upload! Thinking with the heart besides the brain has been proven by modern technology, but some scientist still criticise, offcourse, this is natural due to the "Shockingly" new finding of the neurons etc. (NOTE: Everything in these articles is interesting, but i "Red-lined" the most interesting things, but make sure you read everything because you dont want to miss other interesting things that i missed to "red-line")

Article # 1:

Can your heart think and feel?

Can your heart think and store memories? A number of years ago, Claire Silvia from Boston , USA , had a heart transplant. Pretty soon she started to experience strange things. It was like a whole new rhythm, a whole new feeling, she explains. And when a journalist asked her, soon after the transplant, what she now wanted most in the world, the words Id die for a beer right now! suddenly popped out of her mouth, much to her embarrassment and surprise she didnt previously even like beer! Little by little, she says, other things started happening until I was convinced I was living with the presence of another within me. Claire not only noticed changes in her tastes, her preferences for foods and drinks, but even in her handwriting. All she knew of the person who had donated her heart was that he was a young man who died in a motorcycle accident, strict confidentiality rules mean that organ recipients arent allowed to know the details of their donor. Then one night she dreamed of her donor, and the name Tim L popped into her mind. The next day she rang her transplant co-ordinator and told her about the changes she had experienced, and asked her if her donors name was in fact Tim L. There was silence on the other end of the phone, and then the co-ordinator said Please dont pursue this. It turned out that her donors name was in fact Tim Lamarand.

Throughout most of Human history people didnt locate their thoughts and emotions within the brain. For example, the ancient Egyptians didnt even see fit to preserve the brains of their kings and queens in the same way that they did with other organs when mummifying them. But while it wasnt until recently that the brain was identified as the seat of our thoughts, emotions or soul, then where did the ancients believe was the centre of these things? The answer is the heart. Today we laugh at the notion that our hearts could be intelligent, we see them as basic pumps. A pump doesnt have thoughts, emotions and memories. But perhaps we dont know as much as we think we do. For example, our modern association of thought and emotion with the brain may have gone a bit too far. One association with the heart that we have still kept, to some extent, is that its something to do with our emotions, particularly with love the heart remains a popular visual symbol of love. Also its often used as a symbol for our intuition and morals. We often use phrases like listen to your heart. Or follow what your heart tells you is right. Admittedly, most people when using these phrases are not always literally asking you to stop and try and sense how your heart feels, they are using the word heart as a metaphor for your intuition. But could that metaphor for locating feelings and emotions in the heart actually have some reality to it? Well, at the most basic level, we know that emotional stress can harm the heath of our hears, putting them under strain, and perhaps leading in extreme cases to people suffering heart attacks, as the end product of years of chronic stress. Also, the heart regulates the blood flow, and blood contains hormones and neuro-peptides which transmit emotional information. But could there be a stronger connection than this? Amazingly, Dr Andrew Armour, a neurologist from Montreal , Canada , discovered a small but complex network of neurons in the heart, which he has dubbed the little brain in the heart. These neurons seem to be capable of both short and long term memory. Why should the heart even have neurons and the ability to remember? Well, for one thing, there is a lot of muscle coordination that goes on in the heart in order to allow it to function properly. The fact that hearts can even be transplanted shows that there is a long-term memory stored in the heart for its rhythms. When a heart is removed, it is cooled and can stay alive for up to four hours. Once the heart is connected into its new recipient, as blood enters it, it begins to beat again. It is almost certainly the little brain in the heart that is enabling the heart to remember how to beat. Furthermore, there is a lot of communication that occurs between the heart and the brain. There are 40,000 neurons in the heart which communicate with the brain. Hormones from the heart travel in our bloodstream. Every time the heart beats, it creates both pulse waves of pressure, and of electromagnetic energy which travel through the body and to the brain. Amazingly, the heart generates a magnetic field 5000 times more powerful than that of the brain. It can be measured six feet away from the body. It almost certainly extends further, but this is the limit of our current sensing equipment. We all too often forget that the brain is just the most complex end of a whole nervous system which extends throughout our body. For example, the nerves in our hands are in almost constant

communication with our brains, a fact that leads some to believe that the ancient art of palmreading may have some validity: if the nerves on our hands are constantly communicating back and forth with our brains, then its not an unreasonable stretch of the imagination to wonder if our personalities could imprint themselves on the lines of the skin of our palms. Similarly, our hearts are also in constant communication with our brains. Could a similar effect be occurring with the heart? Could the 10-15% of heart donation recipients who like Claire Silvia experience changes in their tastes, personalities and memories be picking up on information on the hearts original owner that was stored in the heart itself? Gary Schwartz, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Yale university believes so. He has developed a theory that could explain how the heart learns and remembers. Schwartz points out that all that is required for a system to be able to learn is that it has dynamic feedback: the outputs feed back to the inputs. Any such system that has feedback can learn. As the brain and the heart have feedback both through neurons and through the bloodstream the heart can in theory learn. Schwartz, in collaboration with Professor Paul Pearsall, a cardioneurologist from the University of Honalulu (and author of The hearts code), collected a number of case studies of heart donation recipients who have experienced these unusual changes. Among them is the case of a 47 year old white man who received the heart of a young black man. Whilst the 47 year old was not racist, he did have a number of underlying assumptions about what kinds of tastes a young black man would have. He joked that if his tastes had changed, perhaps he would now start to like rap music! But what actually happened was the man became obsessed with classical music, and would listen to it over and over. It turned out that the young black man had in fact been a classical violin player. Another heart recipient suddenly became obsessed with competitive cycling and swimming, and began training for, and eventually winning competitions at these sports. One year later he discovered his donor had been an athletic Hollywood stuntman. Whilst there are a number of scientists and doctors who are now convinced that these types of stories could point to the reality of heart memories, there are many who also remain sceptical. They argue that there are alternative explanations. One explanation thats been put forward for these strange experiences is that the drugs that the person has to take so that their immune system doesnt reject their new transplanted heart (immunosuppressants) are causing some kind of psychological effect that makes a person believe they are accessing memories from the organ, particularly as even having a deceased persons heart in your body might play on your imagination. However, while this explanation would account for having some kind of psychological effect, it doesnt account for the accuracy of the information that such heart recipients have come out with. This accuracy is all the more impressive considering that hospitals maintain a policy of not telling the recipient or their family any of the personal details of who their donor was. Another theory is that the patient manages to pick up enough information from the medical staff around them to piece together perhaps even subconsciously some basic details of their donor. It may even be that conversations that doctors and nurses have while the patient is anesthetized are somehow being absorbed by their mind, below the level of conscious awareness. This is certainly plausible, yet in most of the documented cases its been confirmed that the surgical

team had not discussed patient details whilst performing the operation, and indeed it would be highly unusual for such a discussion to take place. There may be many orders of magnitude far fewer neurons in the heart than the brain, but many simple animals such as insects can display intelligent behaviour and memory with a relatively small number of neurons. So perhaps this is also true of our hearts? Ironically, the kind of feedback that Dr Swartz says is present between the heart and brain and is responsible for heartmemories is the very thing thats currently lacking in the scientific world on this issue, and is holding back our understanding of it. We need feedback from all heart donor cases, we need much more study on this area in order to finally understand whether hearts can remember. Simply ignoring this possibility will block us from ever understanding it. And if it turns out that our hearts can remember, I think many more people would find comfort in knowing that a part of their dead relatives personality was living on in the recipient. Some may even chose to meet the recipient and place their hand on their chest to once again feel the heartbeat of the person they loved. It may also encourage more people to carry a heart donor card.

Article # 2: (NOTE: Everything in this article is interesting, so i decided to not "Red-line" anything!)

Knowing By Heart: Cellular Memory in Heart Transplants by Kate Ruth Linton

Under the supervision of: Tom Anderson Throughout history, a number of individuals in the scientific community have proven reluctant to accept or even acknowledge new concepts simply because they have not been able to fit them into the confines of their limited understanding concerning the natural world. In the realm of heart transplantation technology, uncharted and controversial territory is beginning to emerge as a result of a concept known as cellular memory. What is cellular memory, particularly in relation

to the technology of heart transplantation? And is cellular memory, in fact, a valid concept worthy of further investigation? These are precisely the concerns/questions I intend to address today. On May 29, 1988, a woman named Claire Sylvia received the heart of an 18-year-old male who had been killed in a motorcycle accident. Soon after the operation, Sylvia noticed some distinct changes in her attitudes, habits, and tastes. She found herself acting more masculine, strutting down the street (which, being a dancer, was not her usual manner of walking). She began craving foods, such as green peppers and beer, which she had always disliked before. Sylvia even began having recurring dreams about a mystery man named Tim L., who she had a feeling was her donor. As it turns out, he was. Upon meeting the family of her heart, as she put it, Sylvia discovered that her donors name was, in fact, Tim L., and that all the changes she had been experiencing in her attitudes, tastes, and habits closely mirrored that of Tims (Sylvia179). Some members of the scientific community and of society, as a whole, may brush this off as being merely a strange coincidence. However, some believe that episodes such as this one offer evidence of a concept known as cellular memory, which is beginning to gather more and more attention in the scientific community as the technology of heart transplantation improves and affects more people throughout the world (Bellecci 1). Cellular memory is defined as the idea that the cells in our bodies contain information about our personalities, tastes, and histories (Carroll 1). Evidence of this phenomenon has been found most prevalently in heart transplant recipients. Though cellular memory may seem too far- fetched for some, several scientists and physicians have looked further into it as a valid concept and have come up with various theories to try and gain more understanding of it. Some have tried to gain a deeper understanding of cellular memory through the realm of chemistry. One such scientist is Candace Pert, Ph. D., who studies biochemistry. Her findings helped support one belief which a growing number of scientists have now adopted: every cell in our body has its own mind and if you transfer tissues from one body to another, the cells from the first body will carry memories into the second body (Sylvia 221). In other words, these scientists believe cellular memory does, in fact, existalthough they would probably prefer not to word their belief as such. Candace Pert discovered that at least one aspect of our minds has been distributed to other organs throughout the human body. She found that the brain and the body send messages to each other through short chains of amino acids known as neuropeptides and receptors. These amino acid chains were previously known to exist exclusively in the brain. However, Pert and her colleagues have found them in places all throughout the body, especially in major organs such as the heart (Pert 1). Another scientist whose attempts to grasp the concept of cellular memory were made through chemical terms is Dr. Andrew Armour. Armour was one of the early pioneers in neurocardiology, a new discipline in which the communicative relationship between the brain and heart via the nervous system is explored. Recent research has shown that communication between the heart and brain is a dynamic, ongoing, two-way dialogue, with each organ continuously influencing the others function (HeartMath Institute 1) In 1991, Armour introduced the concept of a functional heart brain. He discovered that the

heart has its own intrinsic nervous system and that the complexity of this system is great enough to qualify it as a little brain in its own right. Thus, Armour calls the hearts intrinsic nervous system the little brain in the heart. Basically, the hearts brain is an intricate network of several types of neurons, transmitters, proteins, and support cells that allow it to act independent of the cranial brainto learn, remember, and even feel and sense (HeartMath 1). Information is translated into neurological impulses by the hearts nervous system and sent from the heart to the brain through various pathways. These impulses reach the medulla, located in the brain stem, where they have a regulatory role over many of the blood vessels, glands and organs. However, they also reach higher centers of the brain, where they may influence perception, decision making and other cognitive processes (HeartMath 2). Armour describes in his book, Neurocardiology, that the hearts intrinsic nervous system, which functions independently of the brain and nervous system at large, is what allows a heart transplant to work: under normal circumstances, the heart and brain communicate with each other via nerve fibers running through the spinal column. In a heart transplant, however, these nerve connections are severed and do not reconnect for an extended period of time, if at all. Fortunately, the transpla nted heart is still able to function in its new body using its intact, intrinsic nervous system (HeartMath 2). Certainly the independent quality of the hearts little brain would have a part in retaining and recalling cellular memory, regardless of whose body may be housing it. However, as previously stated, the discipline of neurocardiology is relatively new, so theories such as this may not yet be firmly established in the scientific community. Some physicians and scientists have tried to gain understanding of cellular memory through psychological, metaphysical, and even supernatural terms. One can see why they would go to these unconventional lengths in order to try and explain cellular memory when faced with such disturbing incidents as this: several years ago, an eight-year-old girl received the heart of a tenyear-old girl who was murdered. Shortly after receiving her new heart, the girl began having recurring nightmares about the man who had murdered her donor. She believed she knew who the murderer was. Her mother finally brought her to a psychiatrist and after several sessions, the girls psychiatrist could not deny the reality of what the child was telling her. They decided to call the police and, using the descriptions from the little girl, they found the murderer. According to the psychiatrist, the time, the weapon, the place, the clothes he wore, what the little girl he killed had said to him. . .everything the little heart transplant recipient reported was completely accurate (Pearsall 7). Needless to say, the psychiatrist was eager to find any available explanation for this particular patients experience. Several transplant surgeons have contributed to a theory for cellular memory essentially based on psychological and metaphysical conditions, which Dr. Paul Pearsall has pieced together. Pearsall is a psychoneuroimmunologist, or a licensed psychologist who studies the relationship between the brain, immune system, and an individuals life experiences. Pearsall calls this theory the Lowered Recall Threshold (Pearsall 120). Basically, it suggests that the immunosuppressive drugs that transplant recipients must take are what bring about associations to donor experiences in recipients. Immunosuppressive drugs minimize the chances of rejection of the new, foreign heart by suppressing the recipients immune system. Scientists believe these drugs could also possibly act as psychotropic, meaning acting on the mind (Merriam-Webster 1090), stimulants that lower the patients thresholds for accessibility and enhance their perception, allowing them to recall memories they may have

long forgotten. In other words, transplant recipients who claim to be having experiences with the cellular memories of their donors are actually just recalling their own memories of their own life experiences (Pearsall 120). However, in instances such as the eight- year-old girls who received the murdered girls heart, this certainly does not seem to be the case. James Van Praagh, one of the foremost spiritual mediums in the world (James 1), speculates that cellular memory is due to the presence of the donors spirit that has not yet moved on to its next home. Praagh is a survival evidence medium, one that is able to make connections between the world of the living and the world of the dead by providing proof of life after death through detailed messages. In his own words, he feels the emotions and personalities of the deceased (James 1), much like Whoopi Goldberg in the film, Ghost. Praagh points out that donated organs often come from young people who were killed in unexpected ways, and died quickly. Because their spirits feel they have not yet completed their time on earth, they may linger in whatever physical aspect of them is still being put to use; in this case, their donated heart (Sylvia 229). An extension of this theory, developed by other spiritual mediums, suggests that because of the suddenness of many donors deaths, the donors spirit may not have yet realized that its body is dead. Thus, the transplanted heart continues to function as if it were in its original body, not realizing that its original owner is no longer there (Pearsall 119). Theories such as these are indeed very intriguing and do seem to make sense for cellular memory. However, because theories involving spiritual phenomena are somewhat elusive and difficult to prove scientifically, many people are reluctant to accept them as truth. Hospitals are very strict concerning the disclosure of donor information to recipients. In order to protect the family members of the donor as well as the recipient, hospital authorities do not allow recipients to know anything about the person whose organ they have received (Sylvia 200). Despite this control, many nurses claim that cellular memory is really just the patient piecing together information about the donor that they may have gathered from discussions by various health-care staff who were around them. This is called the Hospital Grapevine Theory (Pearsall 119). Although it is unlikely that these discussions could have taken place in the patients presence while he or she was conscious (because of the hospital policy concerning disclosure), it is possible that the health-care staff talked about the donor while the patient was anesthetized. One previously discussed heart transplant recipient, Claire Sylvia, thought this may have been the case with her cellular memory experiences. However, once she contacted one of the physicians present in the operating room where she received the transplant, she found that the room had been absolutely silent. . .the way Dr. Baldwin (the surgeon) likes it (166). At least for Sylvias case, the Hospital Grapevine theory does not seem to apply. Of course, not all heart transplant recipients experience as great a degree of cellular memory as Claire Sylvia, if any at all. One such individual is Larry Slagle, one of my professors friends, kind enough to allow me to interview him. On May 19, 1995, Larry, a then 60-year-old man, received the heart of a 33year-old motorcyclist who had been killed while riding in Delaware (or so he vaguely remembers being told by the transplant coordinator). When asked whether he or anyone else around him has noticed changes in his person since the operation, Larry jokingly replied that he now finds himself craving beer and peppers all the time (referring to Claire Sylvias experience with cellular memory: after her operation she began craving beer and peppers, like her donor). Apparently, he had read up on cellular memory, but still gave no credence to the theory. There

were some changes that he did admit to though: he finds that he has become more kind, more inclined to set goals for himself (like bicycling regularly, an activity he enjoyed prior to his operation), and he now has a tremendous desire to feel useful. Also, despite his delight at being alive, he mentioned that he is very irritable. This particular change, he claims, is due to Pritazone, one of many immunosuppressive drugs he takes daily. His explanation for the other changes all had to do with the psychology of being a transplant recipient: the renewed kindness came out of being a beneficiary of such kindness and skill, the desire to feel useful came out of his attitude that to get a gift like that and waste it would be a terrible thing, and the goals he sets for himself are his answer to depression, his way of going on with life. In other words, Larry feels he has not experienced any degree of cellular memoryor at least been aware of it, as he chose to put it. Although my interview with Larry did not yield the results I had hoped for (a compelling account of cellular memory, of course), he did pose some interesting questions that challenged my resolve about cellular memory and really made me think. One question that particularly struck me was: If cellular memory is, in fact, a valid concept, then why doesnt it occur more often than not? Bruce Lipton, a former Stanford research scientist who received training in cellular and developmental biology, proposed one possible explanation for this trend. His reason implements Candace Perts discovery of neuropeptides in the heart, which function as keys that fit into specific types of receptors located on the surface of heart cells: A transplanted heart comes with the donors unique set of self-receptors, which differ, naturally, from those of the recipient. As a result, the recipient now possesses cells that respond to two different identities. Not every recipient will sense that a set of cells within their body is now responding to a second signal. But if anyone is going to experience this change, it might well be a dancer who is acutely aware of her own body, referring to Claire Sylvia. Sylvia 222. In other words, ins tances of cellular memory in heart transplant recipients may be relatively uncommon since the average transplant recipient most likely does not have a finely tuned awareness of his/her own body (refusal to take note of their bodys signals may actually be what landed them in line for a transplant in the first place). Thus many transplant recipients probably would not notice the, many times, subtle changes that may occur due to the second set of receptors now present in their body. Although instances of cellular memory do seem to be the exception to the rule, one must not allow them to be ruled out entirely. In the words of famed psychiatrist and philosopher, William James, If you wish to disprove the laws that all crows are black, it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white (Bellecci 2). These rare instances of cellular memory are medical white crows. There may not be enough evidence to say one way or another whether cellular memory is valid. However, judging from the theories and accounts of cellular memory discussed above, one can certainly see a need for further investigation of it. Cellular memory may be baffling, and the scientific community may know very little about it. But is that not the impetus behind most scientific research? To explore the unknown and find answers to the unanswered? I believe that it is. And for that reason, I believe that we, as members of society, owe it to the generations to come to support research in this area. With further investigation of cellular memory, perhaps someday we will be able to really unlock the hearts mysteries and memories and truly understand what the statement, knowing by heart, means. The extent to which cellular memory is currently being investigated reaches only as far as heart research. One of the more cutting-edge heart research institutes is HeartMath, located in Boulder Creek, California. Here, the relationship between the

heart and brain, and the ways in which this relationship affects ones physical, mental, and emotional health is explored. Cellular memory has not yet entered the arena of serious investigation, though I believe it should. Perhaps scientists could work to find a cure for cellular memory, a means for suppressing memories in donor organs so that recipient s would not have to undergo the emotional stress caused by cellular memory, in addition to the physical trauma that they have suffered during the operation. Bibliography 1. American Heart Association. Heart Transplantation. 2002. MedLine Plus. 20 Nov. 2002. <>. This website provides some statistics concerning heart transplantation and survival rates. 2. Bellecci, Pauline M., MD. The Heart Remembers. 2002. The Natural Connection. 12 Nov. 2002. <>. 3. Carroll, Robert Todd. Cellular Memory. 2002. The Skeptics Dictionary. Nov. 12 2002. <>. 4. Hawthorne, Peter. The Transplanted Heart. Chicago: Rand McNally & Company. 1968. 5. Institute of HeartMath. The Intelligent Heart. 1998. 10 Dec. 2002. <>. 6. James Van Praagh, 2003, Spiritual Horizons, Inc. January 25, 2003. <>. 7. Janis, Pam, Do Cells Remember? 24 May 1998. USA 11 Nov. 2002. <>. 8. McGoon, Michael D., M.D. Mayo Clinic Heart Book, New York, William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1993. 9. Merriam-Webster OnLine. Psychotropic. 2003. Merriam-Webster, Inc. 25 January 2003. <>. 10. Pearsall, Paul, The Hearts Code, New York, Broadway Books, 1998. 11. Pert, Candace, Why do we feel the way we feel? The Seer. 3 Dec. 2002. <>. 12. Sylvia, Claire, A Change of Heart, Boston: Little, Brown and Company. 1997.

Article #3 : The Thinking Heart: An Interview with Paul Pearsall by Hal Bennett and Susan Sparrow

Essay Excerpt: For centuries, scientists, philosophers, physicians, and poets have argued about the function of the heart. Is its sole purpose to move blood throughout our bodies? Or does it do something more? Theologians and doctors of ancient times saw the heart as the "thinking organ" of the body and the dwelling place of the soul. In recent years, particularly since the success of heart transplants, evidence has surfaced that perhaps these early inklings were more accurate than we thought. Paul Pearsall is one of many researchers who has observed that transplant patients who receive an organ from another person's body may also receive much more -- what he calls their "cellular memories." Recipients have reported inheriting everything from the donor's food cravings to knowledge about his murderer -- information that in one case led to the killer's arrest. As a result of these and other researchers' findings, Pearsall is now convinced that the heart has its own form of intelligence, that we are only rarely aware of in modern life. In his view, the heart processes information about the body and the outside world through an "info-energetic code" -- a profuse network of blood vessels and cells that serves not only as our circulatory system but as an energy information gathering and distribution system, much like a complex telephone network. What's more, he believes that the soul, at least in part, is a set of cellular memories that is carried largely by our hearts. Predictably, such views have met with opposition in the medical world. But in his view, the implications of his theories -- that the heart "thinks," cells remember, and communication can therefore transcend the boundaries of time and space -- are too important for him to dismiss. "I see myself as a bridge," Pearsall explains. "We need the brain, and we need these brilliant scientists who are bringing their brain power to the world. But we want them to have heart, and that's what drives me." Bennett/Sparrow: This is a controversial subject in scientific circles, as you surely know. I suspect that you've had to confront a lot of criticism from your peers for carrying this banner. Pearsall: The Heart's Code is not my theory, of course. I've drawn most of what's in the book from scientists who've been researching it. But the heart as a sentient organ has always interested me. It's a crucial hypothesis! Bennett/Sparrow: I think we may be the first civilization in history that hasn't believed that

the heart has an important role in our mental, emotional, and spiritual processes. Why do you think we've taken this position? Pearsall: The short answer is that we're a brain culture as distinct from a heart culture. We want to quantify everything. If we can't weigh it and measure it objectively, it simply doesn't exist for us. The Hawaiians have always believed that it is through the heart that we know the truth. For them, the heart is as sentient as the brain. We find this same belief with the Hopi Indians in New Mexico, and with the Chinese; within many cultures the heart chakra, is the key to healing. My kahuna friends here in Hawaii say to me, "What took you so long? We've known this for centuries!" ABOUT THE AUTHOR Hal Zina Bennett and Susan J. Sparrow are a husband-wife team who collaborate both as authors and as creative writing teachers and coaches. Together they have over 30 successful books, both fiction and non-fiction. Hal's The Well Body Book is legendary, since it helped to launch the holistic health movement. Susan and Hal live with two small dogs in a remote village on a lake in Northern California. Their books together include Follow Your Bliss, Spirit Guides, and Write From the Heart. Hal's newest book, Spirit Animals and the Wheel of Life, explores Nature-based spirituality as a way of healing our relationships with our planet, ourselves and each other. Susan is presently working on a new book about women and their perspectives on marriage. Susan and Hal are co-founders of Tenacity Press, an independent book publisher, and Write From the Heart Seminars.

Article # 4: Yes, i found a christian writing about the same thing heheh!

Yes, the Heart Really Can Think and Have Emotions!

Amazing New Scientific Evidence Corroborates Biblical Teaching Yet Again!

Time was when such biblical verses as the following were looked upon with some amusement by science:

When the Bible describes the heart as the seat of our souls and personalities is it just using a poetic/romantic idiom? 'For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...' (Proverbs 23:7a KJV) ''...that you may know the thoughts of your heart.' (Daniel 2:30b NKJV) '...The thought of your heart may be forgiven you.' (Acts 8:22b NKJV)
These verses appear to suggest that the heart is capable of thought. We have all always known that the Bible often speaks of the human heart as the seat of emotions, feelings, sincerity, passion and love, but I think most of us have just left it at that simply the poetic approach to the thoughts and feelings of the heart which the Bible, and much romantic literature also, has used - After all, we all know that the heart is simply a superbly efficient pump, a most vital bodily organ which pumps blood around the body, but no more than that right? That is all that modern science has ever considered the heart to be able to do. Yet it has remained the case that of the around 400 places in which the Bible uses the word 'heart', it assumes that the heart is a place of intellect, thought, emotions, character, love, compassion and faithfulness probably fewer than 10 Scriptures may refer to the heart's physical role in maintaining life by pumping blood. The Scriptures are obviously far too many for us to consider here, just consult any good concordance for many such references. But amazing new evidence has made heart specialists and researchers think again! It has been estimated that between 5-10% of recipents of donated hearts have had most unusual experiences, including taking on aspects of the lives, interests, tastes and passions of the unfortunate deceased heart donor! Heart specialists who initially scoffed at this, blaming possible side-effects of anti-rejection drugs, are being forced to look more closely at the available evidence (source: Mindshock: Transplanting Memories? Channel 4 television, UK, 26 June, 2006 at 10pm BST). Channel 4's own description of this programme (which your article writer carefully watched) says this,

...In recent years several heart transplant recipients have reported unexpected side effects
including experiencing memories, habits and desires they never had before. With studies showing that these are not isolated cases, 'Transplanting Memories?' meets patients searching to understand what has happened to them. The film follows organ recipients as they make contact with their donor families in an effort to understand their new found lease of life and features scientists who are pioneering research into the intelligence of the heart and the biochemical basis for memory in our cells. Is science's understanding of how memory works quite as cut and dried as once thought? (source: Before we check out the medical side of this, let us note just one or two of these experiences.

"...Carter is six, but he was talking Jerry's baby talk and playing with my nose just like Jerry did..."

A Few Amazing Examples:

1. The donor was a 16-month-old boy who drowned in a bathtub. The recipient was a seven-month-old boy diagnosed with tetralogy of Fallot (a hole in the ventricular septum with displacement of the aorta, pulmonary stenosis and thickening of the right ventricle).The donor's mother, a physician, noted: "The first thing is that I could more than hear Jerry's [donor's] heart. I could feel it in me. When Carter [the recipient] first saw me, he ran to me and pushed his nose against me and rubbed and rubbed it. It was just exactly what we did with Jerry. Jerry and Carter's heart is five years old now, but Carter's eyes were Jerry's eyes. When he hugged me, I could feel my son. I mean I could feel him, not just symbolically. He was there. I felt his energy. "I'm a doctor. I'm trained to be a keen observer and have always been a natural-born sceptic. But this was real. I know people will say that I need to believe my son's spirit is alive, and perhaps I do. But I felt it. My husband and my father felt it. And I swear to you, and you can ask my mother, Carter said the same baby-talk words that Jerry said. Carter is six, but he was talking Jerry's baby talk and playing with my nose just like Jerry did. "We stayed with the ... [recipient family] that night. In the middle of the night, Carter came in and asked to sleep with my husband and me. He cuddled up between us exactly like Jerry did, and we began to cry. Carter told us not to cry because Jerry said everything was okay. My husband and I, our parents and those who really knew Jerry have no doubt. Our son's heart contains much of our son and beats in Carter's chest. On some level, our son is still alive."

The recipient's mother reported: "I saw Carter go to her [donor's mother]. He never does that. He is very, very shy, but he went to her just like he used to run to me when he was a baby. When he whispered 'It's okay, mama', I broke down. He called her 'Mother', or maybe it was Jerry's heart talking. And one more thing that got to us. We found out talking to Jerry's mom that Jerry had mild cerebral palsy mostly on his left side. Carter has stiffness and some shaking on that same side. He never did as a baby and it only showed up after the transplant. The doctors say it's probably something to do with his medical condition, but I really think there's more to it. "One more thing I'd like to know about. When we went to church together, Carter had never met Jerry's father. We came late and Jerry's dad was sitting with a group of people in the middle of the congregation. Carter let go of my hand and ran right to that man. He climbed on his lap, hugged him and said 'Daddy'. We were flabbergasted. How could he have known him? Why did he call him dad? He never did things like that. He would never let go of my hand in church and never run to a stranger. When I asked him why he did it, he said he didn't. He said Jerry did and he went with him."
2. The donor was a 19-year-old woman killed in an automobile accident. The recipient was a 29year-old woman diagnosed with cardiomyopathy secondary to endocarditis. The donor's mother reported: "My Sara was the most loving girl. She owned and operated her own health food restaurant and scolded me constantly about not being a vegetarian. She was a great kid. Wild, but great. She was into the free-love thing and had a different man in her life every few months. She was man crazy when she was a little girl and it never stopped. She was able to write some notes to me when she was dying. She was so out of it, but she kept saying how she could feel the impact of the car hitting them. She said she could feel it going through her body."

The recipient reported: "You can tell people about this if you want to, but it will make you sound crazy. When I got my new heart, two things happened to me. First, almost every night, and still sometimes now, I actually feel the accident my donor had. I can feel the impact in my chest. It slams into me, but my doctor said everything looks fine. Also, I hate meat now. I can't stand it. I was McDonald's biggest money-maker, and now meat makes me throw up. Actually, when I even smell it, my heart starts to race. But that's not the big deal. My doctor said that's just due to my medicines. "I couldn't tell him, but what really bothers me is that I'm engaged to be married now. He's a great guy and we love each other. ....The problem is, I'm gay. At least, I thought I was. After my transplant, I'm not...I don't think, anyway...I'm sort of semi- or confused gay. Women still seem attractive to me, but my boyfriend turns me on; women don't. I have absolutely no desire to be with a woman. I think I got a gender transplant." The recipient's brother reported: "Susie's straight now. I mean it seriously. She was gay and now her new heart made her straight. She threw out all her books and stuff about gay politics and never talks about it any more. She was really militant about it before. She holds hands and cuddles with Steven just like my girlfriend does with me. She talks girl-talk with my girlfriend, where before she would be lecturing about the evils of sexist men. And my sister, the queen of the Big Mac, hates meat. She

won't even have it in the house."

3. The donor was a three-year-old girl who drowned in the family pool. The recipient was a nineyear-old boy diagnosed with myocarditis and septal defect. The recipient's mother said: "He [the recipient] doesn't know who his donor was or how she died. We do. She drowned at her mother's boyfriend's house. Her mother and her boyfriend left her with a teenage babysitter who was on the phone when it happened. I never met her father, but the mother said they had a very ugly divorce and that the father never saw his daughter. She said she worked a lot of hours and wished she had spent more time with her. I think she feels pretty guilty about it know, the both of them sort of not appreciating their daughter until it was too late."

The recipient, who claimed not to know who the donor was, reported: "I talk to her sometimes. I can feel her in there. She seems very sad. She is very afraid. I tell her it's okay, but she is very afraid. She says she wishes that parents wouldn't throw away their children. I don't know why she would say that." The recipient's mother said about the recipient: "Well, the one thing I notice most is that Jimmy is now deathly afraid of the water. He loved it before. We live on a lake and he won't go out in the backyard. He keeps closing and locking the back door. He says he's afraid of the water and doesn't know why. He won't talk about it."
These are just a few of many amazing stories, there are many more, such as Claire Sylvia, a woman who received a heart-lung transplant. In her book entitled, A Change of Heart: A Memoir, Ms. Sylvia describes her own journey from being a healthy, active dancer to becoming ill and eventually needing a heart transplant. After the operation, she reported peculiar changes like cravings for beer and chicken nuggets, neither of which she had a taste for prior to the transplant. She later discovered that these were favorites of her donor. She even learned that her donor had chicken nuggets in his jacket pocket when he died in a motorcycle accident. Or, the recipient of a donated heart who suddenly became an avid fan of classical music (whereas he had previously been disinterested), it turns out that the heart came from a young black man who was a very keen classical student of the violin (sources of these two examples: Mindshock: Transplanting Memories? Channel 4 television, UK, 26 June, 2006 at 10pm BST).

The Work of Dr Andrew Armour and Others...

The Biblical Words Used for 'Heart'

Completely independently of such Several Hebrew and Greek words are translated as 'heart' in English translations of the Bible, but mostly heart transplant experiences, Dr it comes down to three words: Andrew Armour Ph.D. is a heart specialist who had noticed the 1. 'leb' (Hebrew) presence of neurons in the heart Meaning: heart, will, feelings, intellect. he noted a sophisticated 2. 'lebeb' (Hebrew) collection of these and learned Meaning: heart (as the innermost organ), that the heart contains a complex understanding, awareness. nervous system of its own. He 3. 'kardia' (Greek) soon realised that there is a more Meaning: the heart, thoughts, feelings of the mind. intimate connection between the heart and brain than had The overwhelming feeling one gets is that the previously been known or ancients better understood the close relationship understood. Indeed, the doctor between the heart and brain than modern science claims that the heart actually sends more information to the has traditionally understood. Only now is this close brain than the other way around! relationship beginning to be appreciated by the Dr Armour has written a pamphlet latest studies on the human heart. called, Anatomical and Functional Principles. His publisher makes the following comment about this writing: 'Groundbreaking research in the field of neurocardiology has established that the heart is a sensory organ and a sophisticated information encoding and processing center, with an extensive intrinsic nervous system sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a "heart brain" .... Armour discusses intriguing data documenting the complex neuronal processing and memory capabilities of the intrinsic cardiac nervous system, indicating that the heart brain can process information and make decisions about its control independent of the central nervous system. By providing an understanding of the elaborate anatomy and physiology of the cardiac nervous system, this monograph contributes to the newly emerging view of the heart as a complex, selforganized system that maintains a continuous two-way dialogue with the brain and the rest of the body.(source: Professor Paul Pearsall Ph.D. has also made a contribution to the new discussion of the intelligence of the human heart. After interviewing nearly 150 heart and other organ transplant recipients, Pearsall proposed the once staggering concept that cells of living tissue could have the capacity to remember. ...Paul Pearsall is one of many researchers who has observed that transplant patients who receive an organ from another person's body may also receive much more -- what he calls their "cellular memories." Recipients have reported inheriting everything from the donor's food cravings to knowledge about his murderer -- information that in one case led to the killer's arrest. As a result of these and other researchers' findings, Pearsall is now convinced that the heart has its own form of intelligence, that we are only rarely aware of in modern life. In his view, the heart processes information about the body and the outside world through an "infoenergetic code" -- a profuse network of blood vessels and cells that serves not only as our circulatory system but as an energy information gathering and distribution system, much like a complex telephone network. What's more, he believes that the soul, at least in part, is a set of cellular memories that is carried largely by our hearts. Predictably, such views have met with

opposition in the medical world. But in his view, the implications of his theories -- that the heart "thinks," cells remember, and communication can therefore transcend the boundaries of time and space -- are too important for him to dismiss. (These comments come from here: Of course, much of mainstream science remains sceptical about the newly discovered powerful links between the brain and the heart. Why is this? This is largely because mainstream science mostly works through a system of theories which have been proposed, whereas this new line of research has mostly (though not entirely) come about because of the sudden production of enormous and unanticipated evidence from recipients of donated organs. Despite this, more scientists are regularly joining this exciting new area of research and even Britain's foremost heart transplant doctor, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub (in the televised channel 4 programme), while being guarded in his comments, nevertheless welcomed the new area of research, although, of course, the professor is typical of a long line of heart specialists who have only seen the human heart as a pumper of blood. However, the extensive research of Armour and others show that there can now be no going back we can all now state quite dogmatically that the relationship between the heart and brain has been hugely underestimated and that the heart contains more brain-like capacities than anyone would have thought just a very few years ago. There is an inter-change between heart and brain with the brain actually receiving more information from the heart than vice versa. No one would have believed this only 5-10 years ago! Armour's separate and unassociated area of research to the 'transplanted memory' phenomenon has shown that there is no biological reason why the heart cannot store memories, thoughts and passions. This means that the biblical concept that the heart is the seat of one's soul , intellect and character can no longer be taken as a purely poetic/romantic writing idiom. Robin A. Brace, 2006.