Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sacred Heart Science

Every time I read about the Sacred Heart of Jesus I inwardly roll my eyes and sigh. Jesus is God incarnate. Of course His heart is sacred. My mind always wanders to the thought of someone promulgating a cult of the Sacred Kidney of Jesus or the Sacred Pancreas of Jesus. 

The belief that the heart is the center of human emotions is an old and apparently long-lived one. Today we scoff at the ancients in the firm knowledge that the heart is simply a muscle designed to pump blood.  Emotions take place in the brain, we all know that.

The science, as we are so often reminded, is in.
The other day I heard parts of a news story explaining that  researchers are exploring the possibility that there actually is a mind-heart connection. Were the ancients on to
something? 

Every generation convinces itself that they have reached the pinnacle of human knowledge, that they are the smartest people ever. Imagine the farmer of the 1830's guiding his new-fangled steel plow behind an oxen. He must have thought that plow was the absolute bomb, the 'cutting edge' of technology. (Apologies for the unintended pun.)

We don't know everything. We get it wrong, a lot. Asian cultures look at medicine completely differently than us sophisticated people in the West. Maybe they know something we don't. Have we been misled all this time by the 'Men of Science'? Is the heart more than just a blood pump?

Is there a sound, 'scientific' and logical reason besides simple tradition that the heart symbol is still used to represent romantic love? Can a broken heart literally break our hearts?

I don't know but I'm sure not rolling my eyes so much any more.