Intuition and The Heart – Who We Really Are
I read an article recently from the Heartmath Institute that deals with the role that the heart plays in human intuition. The article includes guidelines that each of us can use for establishing within us, a new “baseline” of responses – both emotional and behavioral responses – to events that happen around us or that involve us directly, and for making the decisions and choices that are important to us. We all can be in control of such responses and can learn to “self-regulate” them in a way that makes our lives much simpler and more clearly about our true selves than what most of us have been programmed into believing that we are. Intuition plays a large role in this self-regulation, and the heart is seen to be the prime director of our intuition.
Rather than responding to situations from habitual patterns that are not necessarily healthful or constructive, we can respond instead with new responses that use our deeper intuition and the “core values” that come from who we really are.
And how do we know who we really are? We learn that knowledge, or begin to recover that knowledge, through our experiences; and we learn to recognize that knowledge, when we live from our hearts, and through our intuition, and begin to feel good and strong and real and clear in each of our responses and choices. We begin to feel good about ourselves, because it is our own voice that we hear giving us guidance and not voices from our past, or voices from our immediate surroundings or experiences.
The Heartmath Institute’s article “The Intuitive Heart” lists three types of intuition:
Knowledge that we acquired in the past and have forgotten that we have. The brain matches patterns that are seen or felt in new problems or challenges with these implicit forgotten memories that come from prior experiences.
The ability of our nervous system to detect and respond to environmental signals such as electromagnetic fields. Much is known in science about the abilities of all life forms to sense changes in electromagnetic fields such as those that are around and through our planet Earth. But what is pertinent here is that science is recently noticing and finding “scientific proofs” that every heart creates an electromagnetic field which is also detectable by all life forms. There is much recent evidence showing that in addition to words, facial signals, voice qualities, hand gestures, and body movements, there is a subtle but influential electromagnetic or “energetic” field that operates just below our conscious level of awareness. It has been called a type of intuition that is likely an aspect of empathy. “When people are involved in deep conversation, they begin to move into a subtle energetic flow that synchronizes their movements and postures, vocal pitch, speaking rates, and length of pauses between responses”.
Having the knowledge or sense of something that has no apparent connection to past experiences or knowledge, or to forgotten experiences or knowledge, or to environmental signals. An example might be when a parent senses that something is happening to his or her child who is some distance away. This sort of intuition is sometimes thought of as telepathy, or clairvoyance, or precognition, and there is no real body of “scientific proof” for the existence of this ability as of yet. But there is an enormous body of evidence and awareness of its existence through centuries of human experiences. And there is considerable experimental evidence that the heart is involved in the receiving and processing of information that enables such awareness and even responses.
There has been more than seventy years of research on non-local intuitive perception. Repeatedly, it appears that the capacity to receive and process information about non-local events is a characteristic ability of all physical and biological organization, and that the reason for the existence of this ability lies in the inherent interconnectedness of everything in the universe.
There is in fact, compelling evidence that the
physical heart is coupled to fields of information that are not bound by the
limits of space and time.
This evidence comes from a rigorous experimental study that demonstrated that the heart receives and processes information about an event before the event actually happens in space and time. It is even clear that the heart receives this type of information before the brain does – typically one to three seconds before. The heart then sends the information to the brain; and a special type of signal is sent when the information is about an adverse event that is about to occur. And as might be expected, there is a strong correlation between the brain’s state of coherence and its efficiency in responding to information from the heart.
Shifting our emotions into a coherent state with coherent heart awareness, quieting mental chatter and emotional unrest, and paying attention to shifts in our feelings allows intuitive signals to come into conscious awareness. The heart plays a central role in creating coherence and positive emotions.
The Heartmath Institute’s article cites research showing that the heart and bodily systems send far more information to the brain than the brain sends to those same body parts. The brain uses that information to establish familiar “baseline” reference patterns that trigger or inspire responses that are based in emotions, and these patterns become familiar and comfortable, even if the reference pattern is chaos, anxiety, confusion, overwhelm, etc.
So if a new experience or challenge is encountered, a mismatch can be presented to the brain’s storehouse of references, and that event usually requires some internal adjustments or an outward action in order to try to return to a feeling of safety and comfort. If the new response lasts less than three seconds, it is called an arousal, or an alert, or an orienting response, and the brain just waits to see what happens next. If the new response lasts longer or is used often, the brain begins to adapt and the baseline reference is updated. An example could be moving from a quiet country home into a home in a city, and eventually adapting toward feeling comfortable with the background noise of the city. A departure from the familiar has occurred, and that usually creates a response that has an emotion connected to it, and that emotion (Latin emovere – to move out or away from) causes us or moves us to adapt. It can be the impetus toward evolution, toward creating and choosing a new response reference baseline, on both an individual scale and on a collective scale.
If a person wants to make major changes, and even minor ones, to a lifestyle or to personal feelings about life, it is important to begin feeling comfortable with responses that are not in the familiar reference baseline group of responses. When we begin helping ourselves learn how to regulate our emotions – to see them for what they are, accept them, and then make efforts to feel differently if that is the intention – we begin establishing new default points and eventually a new baseline for experiencing our lives. Responses that trigger emotions such as doubt, anxiety, frustration, hopelessness, and fear, begin instead to trigger emotions such as enthusiasm, acceptance, appreciation, gratitude, and joy. This last group can be called heart-based emotions as opposed to the previous group which can be called survival-based emotions.
It has been shown that the heart plays a unique role in stabilizing the functioning of every system in a biological organism. When the intentions of that organism are being expressed from among those heart-based emotions, the coherence level of all bodily systems increases measurably and responses to events in each and every moment are then based in coherence and intuitive awareness. The more often such processes occur, the more comfortable they become, until they have created and are, a new set of baseline references, creating in turn, new feelings about personal and even societal capacities for creating new positive experiences in every moment, in any situation.
The continued practice of coherence-building techniques creates re-patterning in the neural systems, and coherence then becomes the new baseline reference memory. This new baseline reference means that self-regulating of emotions, and stress responses, and behaviors toward coherence and stability, becomes automatic. It becomes easier then, to maintain your “center”, your “balance”. Such mental and emotional flexibility means freedom from old ways of reacting to triggers, and from uncertainty about abilities to respond to new kinds of input. And all of these processes make feeling the information that is available from all three types of intuition much easier.
There is considerable discussion in the article about the intuitive heart and about heart intelligence, and both terms refer to what is called the energetic heart which is in coherence with a deeper part of the self. Many people refer to this deeper area of their consciousness and experiences as their Higher Self, or Soul, and there are many other terms for this realm of experiences. “Energetic” in this sense refers to functions that cannot be directly measured, touched, or seen – such as emotions, thoughts, and intuition. Science — most notably quantum physics but in other areas as well – has begun to recognize that this realm of non-measurable energies has its existence outside of our usual senses of time and space. And certainly, there is much evidence in experience that demonstrates that the physical heart is itself in-tune with this energetic (energy-based) heart.
Non-local intuition therefore contains and responds to wisdom and vision that streams from that soul’s or higher self’s information field into the heart, and subsequently into the mind and the body, through the energetic heart, informing and inspiring moment-to-moment experiences and interactions. There is then, a flow of higher awareness that is not connected to relative locations (space) or to relative sequences (time) that can create and inspire a synchronistic alignment with the heart, when the mind and body are in coherent states.
A calm and clear and balanced awareness then, is a key to a strong connection with that “deep inner voice” that every human being and likely every cellular organization has, very similar to the electromagnetic fields that affect every atom in our universe.
A quote from Neale Donald Walsch’s book “Home With God”, p25, :
(the channeled speaker says): “Do not believe a single thing I say. Listen to what I say, then believe what your heart tells you is true. For it is in your heart where your wisdom lies, and in your heart where your truth dwells, and in your own heart where God resides in intimate communion with you. Please do not confuse what is in your heart with what is in your mind. What is in your mind has been put there by others. What is in your heart is what you carry with you of me.”
Intuition usually speaks “quietly”. So, when subtle shifts in feelings occur, from feeling frustrated and anxious, for example, to feeling patient or calm, the intuitive heart has begun contributing to the situation. Old reactions from the mind and its triggering of emotions and behaviors have been quieted or bypassed altogether.
A new “baseline” for responding to and enjoying our lives has been established.