©Arlene R. Taylor PhD
If the 20th century has been, so to speak, the Century of the Brain, then the 21st century should be the Century of the “intelligent” Heart. —Paul Pearsall PhD
“It was so stressful! My boss actually told me to stop thinking with my heart and only think with my head!” Laura, a petite middle-aged woman, sat in the chair beside my desk and shook her head in disbelief as she continued. “I have a track record as a very successful manager. At least I did have until six months ago, when I got a new boss.”
It was my turn to shake my head ruefully as Laura continued, “At our very first meeting I expressed some concern I felt, and he went ballistic!” Her new boss had evidently made comments such as: “You FELT? You need to THINK!” and “I expect you to use your head in this job. You can worry about your heart at home.” The capstone was when he had bellowed: “You’re a smart person, or you wouldn’t be in this job. Give me “smarts” not “hearts.”
The field of cardio-energetics suggests that there are at least two distinctly different heart codes. These are likely expressions of cellular memories that were established early in life: a soft-hearted or more open code and a hard-hearted or more closed code. Laura and her boss may represent these two extremes, and the dissonance she described may be related to the difference in vibrations (releases of electromagnetic energy) between those two hearts.
“What is your opinion of the way in which you make decisions?” I asked Laura. “Do you lean more toward thinking with your heart or with your head?”
“Actually,” she explained, “I try to achieve a balance. I check what I think against what I feel, and vice versa.” I nodded.
“My immediate challenge,” Laura continued, “is figuring out what to say in response to the criticism my new boss has leveled at me.” She paused. “Can you give me some specific points to discuss with my colleagues?”
“Given your perception of your own heart/head balance, you might begin by referencing the work of Dr. Daniel Goleman,” I suggested. His studies have shown that of the two, EQ (emotional intelligence) has a potentially greater impact on one’s success than IQ (intelligence quotient).
Estimates are that IQ contributes about 20% to the factors that determine a person’s success in life, while EQ is responsible for 80% or more. EQ largely determines your professional success in your job or career. Successful managers typically have high levels of EQ, while less successful managers typically have low EQ (often with a high IQ). EQ is synergistic with IQ. That is, top performers in life use both—in harmony.
After conception and before the brain has yet formed, the heart begins to beat without any central nervous system in place because it has its own nervous system. Researchers have discovered that the heart has perhaps 40,000 neurons and its own neurotransmitters. (Privately, some theorize that up to 60% of heart cells may be neurons.) Consequently human beings have the ability to “think” with their heart as well as with their brain—a form of double think.
I asked Laura what her heart perceived when she had been told by her boss to “think with her head.” She reflected for a few moments and then replied, “I sensed a dissonance between us. I experienced some discomfort and even felt devalued. Sort of talked-down to.”
“Pay attention to that,” I suggested. “It is a form of information.” The heart is continually sending out vibrations and in turn is able to pick up vibrations from other hearts. In fact, the electromagnetic field (EMF) that is created by the heart is 5000 times more powerful than the electromagnetic field created by the brain (e.g., 50,000 femtoteslas—a measure of EMF—compared to less than 10 femtoteslas recorded from the brain).
Each person contributes electromagnetic energy to the quantum energy field around them from both the heart and the brain. This phenomenon is seen in family systems, so why not in organizational systems as well? As Dr. Paul Pearsal put it in The Heart’s Code (p. 132-133):
Every new heart added to a family brings with it its own unique contribution to the info-energetic dialogue of the family system.... When the heart (what may be seen as the body’s tuning fork) resonates and sends out its ‘L’ energy to resonate with all family members’ hearts, the family system is being constantly energetically recreated, as influenced by the unique temperamental tone contributed by each heart.... Like individual family members, all families have their own unique collective temperament, which is an info-energetic whole that is much more than the sum of its cellular parts. Cardio-energetics sees the intensity of the loving and sometime hating with families as deriving less from the character of one family member than from a resonating energy system constantly being created by all of its members. —Paul Pearsal, PhD
Laura leaned back in her chair and smiled. “Thank you,” she said. “My job is to make sure that I use the information my heart and my brain provide—in harmony.”
I agreed. A brain that is unchecked by the heart can be lethal in terms of the thoughts and actions that are unleashed; a heart that is unchecked by the brain may ignore facts that can contribute to a less than desirable outcome. Human beings need to learn to make decisions based on the gut-facts interaction: rational-analytical considerations that tap into the brain’s potential for processing the issues involved, along with intuitive-instinctive considerations that tap into the heart’s potential for contributing its own unique style of thinking and feeling.
An unmediated channel connects the heart with the emotional layer of the brain. This two-way communication system allows for continual 24/7 interaction between these nerve centers. You can learn to increase your awareness of these communication systems and use the information provided by both of them. Does learning to think with both the brain and heart guarantee success? No. There are no guarantees in life except perhaps, as the old proverb puts it, death and taxes. However, IQ plus high EQ is a recipe for success. Used in harmony, these two types of intelligences can enhance your chances of being successful exponentially.