The Brain in the chest
Source edited on canva
There came a time in my life when I faced clinical depression. I struggled hard to come out of it. I tried telling my brain to count and think of positive things around me. It helped me little to come out of the melancholy. I felt like someone within me responded and say, "I know all the things you tell me, but nothing makes me feel the happiness."
My mother talked to me and tried letting me appreciate the blessings I had had. It didn't make any difference. I already had a deep discernment for the gains I had in my life. My own mind counted them as gains. It wanted to be happy for them. Nevertheless, I was unable to pull me out of the persistent sadness I was in. I knew it was not the right way to think but still I had the strong intention for self- harm. Perhaps, the gloom that had surrounded me was not in the brain that reside in my head, but the brain in my chest. The normal way of positive thinking affected only a little. After all, I had taken decisions following what my head had said. I had badly neglected what my heart kept on telling me all the way long, and I had to face the consequences in terms of that depression.
The thing that helped me coming out of that state of intense sadness is a book, named as Zaavia (translation: dimension). It stated simple things in simple words with simple examples, but it was full of wisdom. The wisdom that has the power to enlighten the heart. Several stated events were just normal day to day happenings and experiences, but I could feel their positive and inspiring impact on my thoughts. Perhaps, because it was from someone who thinks from his heart and so the reader gets its direct influence on his heart.
The writer of the book, Ashfaq Ahmed, is a famous Urdu scholar who is known for his mysticism and spiritualism. Every inspirational writer or speaker doesn't get the status of a mystic. Why some of them are called so whilst their living and/or appearance do not differ from others. Let me say, a mystic is a person whose wisdom and sagacity derives from his heart. His thoughts, being from his heart, have a greater potential to impact the thinking of other person's heart.
Yes, our heart thinks, feels, understand and takes decision. It is no more merely a philosophy or religious teaching. It is an emerging field of science that tells us about the amazing abilities of heart to act like a brain. Heart has been found to have forty thousands neurons of its own. These neurons work independently of the commands of the brain in the head (as it was formally thought that every body-organ and cell works under the command of brain). The neurons around the heart communicate to brain and send their own commands to it. Some researchers are of the idea that the little brain in our chest is more powerful and influential than the brain in our head. (Source). In other words, heart is the organ that is the center of our emotions, feelings, thoughts, and thus our well-being.
Evidences from the reasearches have demonstrated a drastic change in one's personality after having the heart-transplant (Source). Not only one's personality traits differ but also the likings, dislikings, preferences, sexual behavior and memories are found to be transferred from the donor of heart to the acceptor. (Source)
Unlike the general ideology, where heart (intuition) is thought be an irrational and not-so-wise way of action, some practitioners are of the idea that heart has more rational thinking than the brain . Like the old philiosiphies and mystical teachings, it has also been suggested that we can learn (via practice) to understand what our heart thinks (Source).
Hasn't it ever happen to you that you start liking or disliking someone for no apparent reasons? At times you cannot even think of any logical answer to this liking/disliking. It is perhaps because those feelings and thus the thoughts of it derive from your heart and not the brain.
Sometimes, an event that our brain counts as a success doesn't give us as much joy as a small happening such as a random compliment or a smile from someone special gives us. Perhaps, because our heart has its own standards irrespective of the brain.
Sometimes, we take a very logical and wise decision following our brain, suppressing the appearantly illogical desires of our heart, but we are not as happy as we should be. Even if the results of our decision turn out to be good, we do not feel the real joy. Perhaps, because the heart had not counted it as the success. So, it is very important to resolve the discord between the heart and the brain before taking any decision.
The real happiness can only be experienced when both the heart and the brain follow the same path. For this purpose we need to train our brain to consciously understand what our heart thinks (source)
This is my entry to pob word of the week, discord