Heart Brain Imbalance
When our first parents sinned, everything was turned upside down and inside out… Find out how.“It is hard to contend against one’s heart’s desire; for whatever it wishes to have it buys at the cost of soul.” – Heraclitus
By now I think that y’all know I’m very much a nerd. Hehehe. Based on how I’ll combine dead biblical languages, science, fiction and philosophy in my posts, it’s not hard to tell huh? Well I have some more nerdiness for ya today (smile). Since I was a little girl I have always loved science. My favorite game was Operation by Hasbro. I know some of y’all reading this post remember that game. Anyway, I love studying God’s word in conjunction with science. There is a definite link between spiritual and science. It has been proven in different studies, and when you align science with the word of God you can see how the two are inextricably linked.
I’m quite sure that some of you guys reading this have heard of the heart-brain pathway. To explain this in simple terms, we know that the brain thinks on its own, but it is scientifically proven that the heart is considered a brain (heart-brain) and can operate independently of the cranial brain to learn, make decisions, sense things and feel. It also has long term and short term memory. There are neural pathways called efferent pathways that descend from the brain to the heart, and there are neural pathways called afferent pathways that ascend from the heart to the brain. There are more afferent pathways from the heart to the brain, than efferent, from the brain to the heart. So ever wonder why when we know better about something cognitively we still follow what our heart is saying?
I’ve read quite a few personal stories on cellular memory and heart brain connection, but there is one that really gets me. There is story of a woman of Jewish descent, named Claire Sylvia, that received a heart transplant and the donor was a 19 year old male named Tim Lamirande. While he was living he loved fried chicken, beer, green peppers and motorcycles. She later developed a desire for these things. Claire said she would wonder why she began to desire these things or thinking certain things. She met the family and found out that the donor loved all of those things. What’s even more bizarre is later she had a kidney transplant in which the match came from her ballroom dance partner who was an ex-boyfriend. After having the kidney transplant she said that her cooking style changed. Her kidney donor commented to her that she began cooking and baking just like his mother. This woman has written book about her experience and made a movie.
It’s so fascinating and amazing how God has created us. We are truly a living, wondrous work of art. The enemy knows this and it has been his mission to destroy us from the very beginning. It’s crazy how Claire said she would ask herself why she is desiring something she doesn’t like.
Remember that Satan gained access to Eve’s heart through her mind. He got into her head first and what she began to think resonated with her heart. This transfer of deceitful thought from heart to brain is what got us in trouble. Because there are more neural pathways that run from the heart to the brain instead of from the brain to the heart, it is much easier for us to be pulled in the direction of what we feel instead of what we know.
When our first parents sinned, everything was turned upside down and inside out—from the way beast and man interact with each other, to the way men and women interact with each other, to the way parents and children interact and most importantly the way man interacts with God—which was all caused first by what we think and feel. Eve gave access to her mind which allowed access to her heart. Our adversary, being as wise and cunning as he is, knew the implications of this. He manipulated how our heart and mind should work together, bringing about a perverted emotional heart-mind thought process—beginning with the heart and ending with the mind as opposed to beginning with the mind and ending with the heart. How many times has someone, something, or some circumstance appealed to your emotional senses, but your mind (or something in you) tells you “Nope! Don’t do it! That ain’t it! Go the other way! Run!” But you didn’t and got burnt. Later on you’re beating yourself up and saying things to yourself like “Ugggh!!! I knew it! How could I have been so stupid!” or “I felt like I should not have. But did and now I’m salty. Womp womp (in my sad trombone sound effect voice. LOL!). Eve should have run like Joseph did from Potiphar’s wife.
Recall Jeremiah 17:9-10, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
God tells us here in this verse how we don’t even know what is in us because how sin has perverted us. He has to show us what we are really made of – what’s good and what’s not. And every person has their own unique combination of strengths, weaknesses and sinful tendencies. That question “who can understand it” is rhetorical. Whenever God asks a question like that in scripture, it’s not because he doesn’t know the answer, but because He wants us to see how much we don’t know and that we need to sit back and listen. He asks us deep, penetrating questions because He wants us to think and see how much we need him.
The word for search in Hebrew is chaqar meaning to search through, to explore, to examine intimately, to investigate or to try.
The word for test in the Hebrew bachan meaning testing of God’s proving people in a way in which their faith becomes more established; to perform a qualification test, acceptance test; validate; proof test.
This text shows us that God searches us not just to point out our sin for repentance, but to also take us through a test to show us that we can depend on Him. Because He knows us so intimately and wants to heal us and make us clean, we can trust Him because he accepts us even before we choose to accept Him or fully trust Him.
I also find it interesting that God said he examines the heart and the mind. The ancient Israelites believed about the heart what has been scientifically proven today. They believed the heart spoke of the inner man. They believed it contained the spirit and the soul and thus these parts of man’s personality express themselves through it. It hosts our understanding, mind, memory, thinking, appetites, desires and will.
What’s more interesting is that in this verse, the word for mind translates to be “kidneys” in the Hebrew. Hebrew tradition teaches that the kidneys were considered to be the most important internal organs along with the heart. They are associated with the most inner stirrings of emotional life and viewed as the seat of the secret thoughts of the human for moral discernment, for reflection and inspiration. They were viewed as the center of life and the core of the person and the area of greatest vulnerability.
It’s amazing that Claire Sylvia’s testimony includes a kidney and heart transplant and she began to question why she was doing certain things. It’s interesting that this woman was also Jewish. Her experience seems to be a living truth of what God had already spoken in scripture.
Her story speaks to how we need to be made new. She got a new kidney and new heart and her desires changed. This is what God has promised us with the “new man” when we “take off the “old man” in Ephesians 4:24.
Eve sold her soul for something she thought she didn’t already possess— being like God—and Adam sold his soul for his wife that he thought he would lose if he didn’t join her in eating the fruit. What lies as a snare to your soul that you are willing to sell it for? Ask God to reveal it to you and keep you from it. Pray for a balance between your mind and your heart. Take some time and meditate on the song “Head to the Heart” by United Pursuit and blessed.