5 Key Aspects of the Heart

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

Good afternoon Fam, It is important for us to understand the various aspects of the physical heart and the metaphysical heart in order to ensure that we live a healthy life as possible.  Most people share many aspects of the physical functions of the heart but we will recap just to make sure that we are all on the same page. 

Physical Functions: 

  • Our Heart is a muscular organ

  • The size of a closed fist

  • Located in the Thoracic cavity.Pumps blood through the body (at the average preferred pressure of 120/80) Additional Functions of the Heart: It's like the bodies highway and roads - veins

Transports and distributes things like gases, blood, food, and anything that we put in us, throughout the body. 

But there are also some emotional functions:

  • The emotional center of the body. 

  • Connected to the brain through the 2 Amygdala's"Everything that you want to accomplish is on the other side of fear!"  Well, fear is regulated and controlled by the heart's sentries that are in the brain. 

  • The amygdala is a section of the brain that is responsible for detecting fear and preparing for emergency events. This lesson discusses the amygdala, its functions, and its role in our perception of fear and other emotions.

The amygdala is an almond-shaped section of nervous tissue located in the temporal (side) lobe of the brain. There are two amygdalae per person normally, with one amygdala on each side of the brain. They are thought to be a part of the limbic system within the brain, which is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory. However, this inclusion has been debated heavily, with evidence that the amygdalae function independently of the limbic system.

The amygdala is responsible for the perception of emotions such as anger, fear, and sadness, as well as the controlling of aggression. The amygdala helps to store memories of events and emotions so that an individual may be able to recognize similar events in the future. For example, if you have ever suffered a dog bite, then the amygdalae may help in processing that event and, therefore, increase your fear or alertness around dogs. The size of the amygdala is positively correlated with increased aggression and physical behavior.

Popular Saying and Societal Understanding of the Heart Functions:

  • "I love you with all of my heart"

  • “I thank you from the bottom of my heart”

  • “She has broken my heart into a million pieces”"

  • My kids are my heart!"

Spiritual Functions: Metaphysical Aspects and Duties  1. Follow Your Heart (Guiding us to an Infinite Reality)

God has given man a heart and the heart must have some attachment. We have proved that nothing is completely worthy of our heart's devotion save reality, for all else is destined to perish. Therefore the heart is never at rest and never finds real joy and happiness until it attaches itself to the eternal. How foolish the bird that builds its nest in a tree that may perish when it could build its nest in an ever-verdant garden of paradise.

Man must attach himself to an infinite reality, so that his glory, his joy, and his progress may be infinite. Only the spirit is real; everything else is as a shadow. All bodies are disintegrated in the end; only reality subsists. All physical perfections come to an end, but the divine virtues are infinite. (Abdu'l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 136)

2. Listen To Your Heart (Counsel) All that is in heaven and earth I have ordained for thee, except the human heart, which I have made the habitation of My beauty and glory; yet thou didst give My home and dwelling to another than Me; and whenever the manifestation of My holiness sought His own abode, a stranger found He there, and, homeless, hastened unto the sanctuary of the Beloved. Notwithstanding I have concealed thy secret and desired not thy shame. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Persian Hidden Words 27)

I have the greatest desire to speak with you, but if I do not talk with my tongue I commune with my heart and my soul is with you. Without the medium of words, it speaks to you of mysteries.(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 119-120)

God has created man in such wise that the two focal points in his being, namely the mind and the heart, should complement each other. The mind without the heart illumined by faith does not acquire the capacity to investigate, or the language to understand, the truth of the Cause of God. Similar to the eye when deprived of light, it is unable to explore the world of the spirit. Instead, it develops its powers in the field of materialism and naturally rejects the concept of God and religion. Thus it becomes the most effective barrier to the individual’s acquisition of faith. In such circumstances the heart becomes filled with love of the world and its own self, for it is a characteristic of the heart to love. If it is not allowed to love God, it will love itself and its worldly possessions. And this is one significance of the ’stranger’ that Bahá’u’lláh refers to in The Hidden Words: O My Friend in word! Ponder awhile. Hast thou ever heard that friend and foe should abide in one heart? Cast out then the stranger, that the friend may enter His home. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 2, p. 217)

3. Purify Your Heart (Benefits) Look how Abraham strove to bring faith and love among the people; how Moses tried to unite the people by sound laws; how the Lord Christ suffered unto death to bring the light of love and truth into a darkened world; how Muhammad sought to bring unity and peace between the various uncivilized tribes among whom he dwelt. And last, of all, Bahá'u'lláh has suffered forty years for the same cause -- the single noble purpose of spreading love among the children of men -- and for the peace and unity of the world the Bab gave up his life.

In the sight of God color makes no difference at all, He looks at the hearts of men. That which God desires from men is the heart. (Abdu'l-Bahá, Abdu'l-Bahá in London, p. 68)

When asked for a definition of a pure heart, Abdu'l-Bahá said, "The pure heart is one that is entirely cut away from self. To be selfless is to be pure." (Abdu'l-Bahá, Abdu'l-Bahá in London, p. 107)

4. Develop Your Heart (Advancement) When a true seeker determineth to take the step of search in the path leading unto the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must, before all else, cleanse his heart, which is the seat of the revelation of the inner mysteries of God, from the obscuring dust of all acquired knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments of satanic fancy. He must purge his breast, which is the sanctuary of the abiding love of the Beloved, of every defilement, and sanctify his soul from all that pertaineth to water and clay, from all shadowy and ephemeral attachments. He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly incline him to error, or that hate repel him away from the truth. Even as thou dost witness in this Day how most of the people, because of such love and hate, are bereft of the immortal Face, have strayed far from the Embodiments of the Divine mysteries, and, shepherdless, are roaming through the wilderness of oblivion and error.

That seeker must, at all times, put his trust in God, must renounce the peoples of the earth, must detach himself from the world of dust, and cleave unto Him Who is the Lord of Lords. He must never seek to exalt himself above anyone, must wash away from the tablet of his heart every trace of pride and vain-glory, must cling unto patience and resignation, observe silence and refrain from idle talk. For the tongue is a smoldering fire, and excess of speech a deadly poison. Material fire consumeth the body, whereas the fire of the tongue devoureth both heart and soul. The force of the former lasteth but for a time, whilst the effects of the latter endureth a century.

That seeker should, also, regard backbiting as grievous error, and keep himself aloof from its dominion, inasmuch as backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul. He should be content with little and be freed from all inordinate desire. (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 264) 5. Guard Your Heart (Health and Wealth) Proverbs 4:20-23 (King Solomon from the NIV version of the Bible)

20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

He should cleanse his heart from all evil passions and corrupt desires, for the fear of God is the weapon that can render him victorious, the primary instrument whereby he can achieve his purpose. The fear of God is the shield that defendeth His Cause, the buckler that enableth His people to attain to victory. It is a standard that no man can abase, a force that no power can rival. By its aid, and by the leave of Him Who is the Lord of Hosts, they that have drawn nigh unto God have been able to subdue and conquer the citadels of the hearts of men. (Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 272)

I used all of this research in a talk that I gave recently. I am also preparing to do a live talk show on this same theme tomorrow. Feel free to leave a comment or feedback or ask any questions and I will address them.


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