Where does intelligence come from- the brain or the heart?
That’s a question my dad asked me recently. One of those random, spur-of-the-moment, out-of-the-blue musings that catch you off-guard. A seemingly innocent question right? With a seemingly easy answer? Wrong. My first reaction was obviously “the brain” (I totally blame academic conditioning for this) but the answer seemed too easy and knowing my dad, I knew that that wasn’t the answer he was looking for. “Not the brain” he said. “It comes from the heart, at least that’s what the Bible seems to believe”. On looking through various Bible verses, I found that to be true and on thinking about it, it even seemed to make sense. But the conversation my Dad & I started out with and the conclusion I ended up with were two entirely different “thought” processes.
Shall We Begin?
Are we Team Heart? Or Team Brain?
The first school of thought holds the head (brain) above the rest. I mean yes, certain areas of your brain do light up based on physical/ emotional cues and the brain does send neural signals to the heart making it respond in turn. This is the generally held viewpoint correct? And you will counter, the brain can “think” as it has been proved that damage to a certain part of the brain can affect the activity that your body is meant to be performing. Neuron impulses, baby. Simply put, you will say the brain controls your body. Agreed. But what controls your brain? Your brain can be used to map out reactions based on sensory cues you receive to a particular impulse. It just tells your body what to do. But what tells your brain what to do?
Heart on a Mission
Similarly, the second school of thought believes that the heart wears the pants in the relationship. This school says that the heart sends more signals to the brain than the other way around and based on your emotional state, your heart rhythmic patterns will affect your mental well-being. Science even says that the heart has its own nervous system that makes its functional decisions independent of the brain- meaning the heart has its own “brain”. The heart, like the brain, generates its own electromagnetic field, which is believed to be largest electromagnetic field within the human body. In the same way you can measure brain activity, you can measure heart rhythmic patterns. Abnormalities in the heart’s electrical system can lead to the heart beating too fast or too slow. But again, your heart is reacting based on a physical or psychological cue. Like the brain, the heart patterns are affected by impulses but even if the heart is the superior organ in the body and controls the brain or has a functional role that affects the rest of your body subject to the cues it receives, what governs the heart really?
And then there’s Me. And the conclusion I ended up with. A conclusion also held by a small group of (let’s just call them) my “Soul- Mates”.
It’s a small group to be sure, but this group is the one stuck in the middle.
Popular opinion states that electric signals are sent to the brain or heart, courtesy of physical and psychological stimuli as a result of your current environment. But what if it’s not the heart and brain reacting to physical and psychological stimuli but the soul- that invisible filter between the stimuli and the rest of your body (including the heart & brain).
The third school of thought ties the process of both thinking & feeling, not to the heart or the brain, but the soul. The elephant in the room that no ones talking about, because no one can see it.
The crux of the matter is that we are still trying to rely on a physical organ to indicate where our intelligence and so called “thinking” comes from. But what if that’s the problem to begin with?
What if thinking comes, not from a physical organ like the heart or brain but from an unquantifiable element like the soul? The soul cannot be seen and cannot be measured so yes, this is mere speculation. But speculation in itself needn’t be wrong. Every soul is unique to the person and imbibes his personality- the way you behave will depend on this personality which in turn will trigger emotional & mental states which can be measured using the heart or brain.
The soul is susceptible to physical & psychological stimuli in your current environment and as such, every soul will be shaped from the experience it receives and also for the decisions it takes. I believe the soul is governed by will and freedom of choice and is in turn responsible for thought and emotion. On reacting to stimuli, the soul sends electric impulses to both the heart and mind to act accordingly which in turn causes the rest of your body to fall in line. Off-course all of these reactions happen so fast and with the soul being invisible, it’s easy to associate “thinking” or intelligence with more tangible organs, like the heart & brain.
The soul is nothing but divine energy- an energy that can be used for pure or corrupt intentions. However the soul is limited by the fact that it exists and is dependent on a very physical human body. So the soul sends impulses to the brain and heart and these organs send out impulses to the rest of the body. But while these impulses may be sent out, any damage to the brain, heart or any part of your body will in turn affect the function for which that organ is responsible. So say you are in a state of happiness, your soul sends an impulse to the brain to “be happy” but damage to your limbic system may restrict your body from exhibiting a happy state.
Various people have stated that certain organ transplants lead to the recipients imbibing personality traits of the donor. I believe that these are imprints of the soul, that your soul leaves distinct energy marks on your entire body. What is transferred is the lingering essence of the person- however the question of why this is experienced in only certain cases or how it can significantly alter another individual’s state is still a mystery for another day. If I were to wager a guess, I’d say most of the traits that recipients seem to inherit from donors are tied to interests, habits, certain dominant traits or traumatic incidents. All of these inherited traits have one thing in common- they are all highly impassioned states- like the prowess of a musician, the addicted nature of a fast food lover, an aggressive personality or distressing state of a victim of trauma- a phantom imprint of which can be transferred to donors. This seems to point out that while the soul leaves imprints on the entire body, highly passionate traits can leave a stronger mark of energy which can be transferred to other beings via an organ transplant.
There is also the whole “life flashing before your eyes” phenomenon that supposedly happens before you die. If you are a Christian or believe in life after death or are of the opinion that every soul will be held accountable for deeds committed within his lifetime, then your “life flashing before your eyes” could simply mean your soul collecting your life’s account to prepare for its journey to another realm. The process happens so fast that what our human bodies are capable of experiencing in the final moments are just certain points of times in our lives-perhaps the ones that had maximum impact.
Since we are on the topic of the soul, another popular question that starts internet wars is the presumed location of said soul (atleast for those that believe there is a soul). Some believe the soul resides in the brain or as part of / near the heart, possibly in response to their belief in whether the heart or mind is the more intelligent organ. I think the soul has no specific location or form. Rather it is bound to your human body until the time of your death and encompasses your entire being- basically spread out through your entire body, much like the blood in your veins- it’s the voice inside your head, the feeling in your gut, the inexplicable bouts of intuition and the direct line to your Maker.
To wrap it up, there is more to intelligence & “thinking” than meets the eye.
Like maybe, the Soul.
Piano Heart (https://fbi.dek-d.com/27/0345/8527/119913883)