Read an Excerpt
First Scientific Contact with the Soul?
Science has recently discovered three startling new possibilities regarding how we think, feel, love, heal, and find meaning in our life. This research suggests that the heart thinks, cells remember, and that both of these processes are related to an as yet mysterious, extremely powerful, but very subtle energy with properties unlike any other known force. If the preliminary insights regarding these prospects continue to be verified, science may be taking the first tentative steps to understanding more about what shamans, kahuna, priests, spiritual leaders, and healers from ancient traditional medicines have been teaching about for centuries--the energy of the human spirit and the coded information that is the human soul.
The research and true life stories presented in this book will introduce preliminary documentation that is offering clues about the heart's code, the phrase I will use throughout this book to represent a proposed subtle life or "L" energy "cardio-cryptogram." This heart's code is recorded and remembered in every cell in the body as an informational template of the soul, constantly resonating within and from us, sent forth from our heart.
Toward One World Medicine
By exploring the possibility of a heart's code, we may be able to begin to build a bridge between the biomechanical wonders of modern medicine, the spirituality of ancient traditional healing systems, the various alternative or complimentary medicines, and the wisdom of religious scholars and spiritual leaders. It is not likely that we will be able to understand all the forms of medicine in the world until we are willing to broaden our understanding of the world. By doing so, we may not have to select from among all the models of healing. Instead, perhaps we can combine them into one world medicine made up of all the wisdom about the brain, body, energy, information, the spirit, and the soul. With sufficient patience, tolerance, creativity, a more inclusive view of the human system as it interacts with all systems, and perhaps most of all, with a more open heart and less defensively reactive brain, we may be able to combine the rigor of science with the subtle wisdom of the heart to answer the most important questions in the universe: what and why is life?
The Burden Of Prudence
The hypotheses regarding the heart's code are without doubt among the boldest proposals any scientist could make. I offer them to facilitate more discussion and study and as new possibilities to be explored as medicine experiences its growing pains associated with the challenges in dealing with the issues of spirituality and mortality, which are of such deep concern to patients, and the lessons of so-called alternative or complementary medicines. These are proposals that many of my scientific colleagues often say they "have a very hard time accepting." Surgeon Dr. Bernie Siegel is the well-known author of Love, Medicine and Miracles and other books that deal with ideas about mind/body/soul interactions that many of his colleagues still refuse to accept, get angry with, and often consider strange and even crazy. He writes, "What disturbs me is the use of the word 'accept.' If we close our minds and don't accept, science and healing cannot move forward. Instead of 'hard to accept,' let us say, 'hard to understand.'"
Using our current scientific way of thinking, it is very difficult to understand how the heart could have a code, a cell could have a memory, and an immeasurable form of energy could contain information about the soul. I suggest that we should study these ideas precisely because they are "non-sense." They do not make sense in terms of science's current ways of trying to explain the mysteries of life. Perhaps these new possibilities regarding the heart's code will offer some new ways to come to our senses about the meaning of life and the processes of healing.
In the mid-1800s, the idea that tiny germs invisible to the eye could make us sick was seen as "utter nonsense" by the medical leaders of that time. Based on seemingly strange but recurring reports from patients and some doctors and nurses about the suffering that seemed to be caused by dirty hands delivering babies, and thousands of needless deaths caused by the use of scalpels still defiantly sharpened on the bottom of the surgeon's boot to show disdain for the silly "germ theory," doctors began to reluctantly accept the possibility of the existence of imperceptible but deadly microorganisms. This doubting acceptance allowed the development of more understanding about invisible things causing visible consequences, and doctors began to wash their hands and sterilize their instruments before any medical procedure. Today, because of the historical prudence of their predecessors, the burden of proof has been met and doctors understand much more--but not all--about bacteria. This same cautious but accepting prudence is required if we are to learn more about the existence of a heart's code and the cellular memories it conveys.
Four Hypotheses Regarding Energy, Information, and the Mind/Body Connection
Our understanding of the heart as a sentient organ is about where our understanding of the miraculous complexities of the brain was more than one hundred years ago. In comparison to the continuing rapid progress in study of the brain, learning about the heart as more than just a pump is developing much more slowly. The central hypotheses regarding information-containing energy communicated by the heart were initially proposed by Drs. Gary E. Schwartz and Linda G. Russek. They are as clearly stated and testable as any other set of scientific suppositions, but the ideas of a "thinking" heart and information-carrying energy seem excessively difficult for many scientists to accept as starting points for study.
Dr. Gary Schwartz is a professor of Psychology, Neurology, and Psychiatry and director of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory at the University of Arizona. His associate, Dr. Linda Russek, is a research psychologist at the Harvard University Student Health Service and codirector of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory. They are a creative, energetic, sensitive research team who have always been interested in a "systems" or interactive view of how life works. They have dedicated their professional lives to the attempt to create one medicine out of the many diverse approaches to healing and have never been afraid to challenge and extend the accepted principles of psychology and medicine. They have combined the fields of biology, the new physics that studies subtle energy and the invisible atomic world, and modern cardiology to help explain the info-energetic nature of the heart beyond what skeptics call the abiding impulse to mythologize the heart. They based their field of energy cardiology on what they call "dynamic systems memory theory," the idea that all systems are constantly exchanging mutually influential energy, which contains information that alters the systems taking part in the exchange. They offer four hypotheses to explain how cells might be able to make memories out of the info-energy constantly circulated through the body system by the heart. I have paraphrased and expanded their hypotheses here.
1. Energy and information are the same thing. Everything that exists has energy, energy is full of information, and stored info-energy is what makes up cellular memories. Based on theories and research from the field of biology and other sciences, all living systems are by their nature manifestations of energy that contains the information (memory) of what they are and how they function. To scientists, the word "system" refers to a set of interactions between inseparable units. From the interactions between the tiniest parts within a single cell to the exchange of information between family members at dinner to the energy bouncing back and forth between the stars and planets, everything exists in a continuous info-energetic relationship. Since all systems are information-containing energy "stuff," all systems constantly exchange memories.
2. What we call mind, consciousness, or our intentions are really manifestations of information-containing energy. Based on the lessons learned from modern physics, information and mind seem to be one and the same. What I am calling "L" energy is the basic code of life and what our "system" remembers as "who" we are. Energy is the ability to do work and a force that conveys our personal life code (our systemic memory) along with the information it contains. Information is what gives a system its form and structure, and energy is the force or function that moves a system, connects all aspects of a system, and helps systems communicate and connect. Since all systems are connected and share forms of the same energy, all systems share common memories.
3. The heart is the primary generator of info-energy. The heart is constantly sending out patterns of info-energy that regulate organs and cells throughout the body. Every cell in the body is literally bathed in the info-energy conducted from and by the heart. 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.
4. Because we are manifestations of the info-energy coming to, flowing within, and constantly being sent out from our total cellular system, who and how we are is a physical representation of a recovered set of cellular memories. Based on cellular biology, we know that certain molecules have very good memories because they are particularly good at storing complex coded information. For example, DNA is a nucleic acid found in all cell nuclei that contains genetic information that determines to a yet to be determined extent not only how we look but what diseases we might develop, whether or not we are grouchy or cheerful in temperament, and even how long we live. All cells have energy, so all cells contain and share information. All cells store info-energetic memories, and our heart, by nature of its immense power, millions of cells throbbing in unison, and central location in our body, is the central organ that constantly pulsates info-energy from, between, and to all other organs and cells. Because of the heart's code and the cellular memories with which it deals, every cell in our body becomes a holographic or complete representation of our energetic heart. It may take extraordinary individuals such as the little girl above and the other heart transplant recipients you will read about, or at least individuals willing to learn to employ the abilities all of us have, to be able to make our implicit cellular memories explicit. If any one of us can do it, than any of us also has the potential to be a cellular memory recoverer.
Two centuries ago when science and its methods for looking for meaning emerged, an artificial choice was thrust upon us when scientific inquiry and religious faith began to come into conflict. Although Einstein warned us that science without religion is blind and religion without science is lame, we have often assumed that we had to chose between science's "hard logic" and religion's "blind faith."
Historian Sidney Mead writes, "Americans since 1800 have, in effect, been given the hard choice between being intelligent according to the prevailing stands in their intellectual centers or being religious according to the standards prevalent in the denominations." More recently, this choice as to the way to find meaning in life has been played out in the often heated conflict between biomedicine and alternative medicines, between "objective" science and ancient healing systems, between rational atheism and the irrational preachings of blind faith from a religious denomination that sees itself as the only "right way" to salvation. Beginning to understand how the heart may be where the soul speaks may provide a middle ground and the establishment of a creatively tolerant meeting place for those who come from within the powerful system of the scientific method and the wisdom of the heart embraced by so many indigenous people.
We don't have to and should not give up our quest to learn more about the remarkable brain and our respect for its magnificent powers of reason in order to begin to learn more about the untapped spiritual info-energetic wisdom of the heart. An irrational world brings us only misery, but a millennium in which the gifted brain is moderated and instructed by a gentle heart could bring us a shared paradise on earth. If we are willing to try to combine the best the brain has created, and will create, with the wisdom of the heart's code that may be our soul calling out the cellular memories that give meaning to these creations, we can become much smarter than we have ever been. We can have two major intelligences and learn to adore the rational skepticism of science and still look for the energy of the soul conveyed by the heart. This is an objective of this book.
Sources of Support
The ideas about the role of the heart that I present here come primarily from four sources. The first is the collection of my own personal and professional experiences that seem to illustrate and document several points about the heart's code. While I have been as careful as possible to be objective in my presentation of clinical materials obtained in my professional clinical work, what I consider to be my own lingering cellular memories of my ordeal with cancer render my personal accounts of my experiences highly subjective. When I seem excessively optimistic about the existence of the heart's code and overly defensive in my attempt to describe and document it, it is because I believe it is what I became so familiar with when I almost died. It is my hope, however, that my own story and the stories from other patients will connect with some of your own experiences so that the issues raised in this book will seem more worthy of your prolonged attention through some of the unusual and sometimes disconcerting material ahead.
A second source of support for the ideas presented here derives from the lessons from indigenous peoples who are often more comfortable and tuned in to the less blatant lessons of life and who are often very "L" energy sensitive. Based on their own form of equally important science, these lessons provide unique ways of forming new questions that may help us understand more about the heart's code.
A third source of support for the heart's code comes from stories from heart transplant recipients who provide unique insights into the workings of the heart. A small percentage of these patients seem, like the indigenous people, to be extremely "cardio-sensitive" to their "L" energy and cellular memories. Like the little girl who helped catch her heart donor's murderer, they are able to produce very accurate accounts of changes in their personalities that correspond with the personality and memories of a donor about whom they would seem to have no way to know anything. As with my own story, I do not offer these accounts as proof of the existence of a heart's code or cellular memories but as clinical evidence that much more is going on in transplantation that all of us may learn from whether or not we have a new heart placed in our chests.
The fourth source of support comes from the theories and research of scientists contributing to energy cardiology and cardio-energetics, the many new fields of scientific inquiry that deal in different ways and to varying degrees with concepts related to the idea that energy and information are one in the same. You will read about research at major centers by highly respected scientists who are offering strong hints regarding the possibility of "L" energy and the heart's code and about what physicians and nurses have to say about a thinking heart.
By combining aspects of all of the above sources of support for the possibility of the existence of a heart's code, you can make your own judgment as to whether further study of its existence is merited, and you can chose whether or not to be alert for what your heart has to say about the way you live, work, and love.
From the Trade Paperback edition.