As I see it, there are three different, probably interrelated possible meanings when one refers to one’s “heart.”
The first meaning, the most obvious and mundane one, is the physical heart, that oxygenates and circulates our blood, among other probable corporeal and incorporeal functions.
The second meaning seems to be an aspect of mind: the core of the mind or emotional body; the part that’s held most dear; the most sacred aspect of one’s disposition; the driving force that all other mental disposition emanates from; maybe even the subconscious or an aspect of the subconscious. This heart also seems to be related to intuition, maybe because this heart has its own way of knowing and wisdom, likely not only a way of “processing information” but also involving some form of psychic perception. It probably also embodies some form of psychic substance and activity.
The third usage seems to refer to the heart chakra, which may be a function of the biological heart. My heart chakra seems to be located right beneath the sternum, around a half an inch to an inch behind the skin.
I know it’s there because I used to feel things there, like emotions but more localized. I used to send bursts of energy to girls I liked from that spot in my chest. I have reasons to believe it was something like “throwing out extension cords” meant to connect my heart with another’s.
As I’ve mentioned in a couple of other essays, I once experimented with this heart function by sending a burst to my friend who could see auras, while she was looking at me. I didn’t make any unordinary physical movements or inform her of what I was doing. As soon as I did it, she opened her eyes really wide like she had seen something incredible.
I also had an experience once where I felt a kind of peace and subtle, divine bliss that I’d never felt before, and it was more or less centered in my heart chakra. I was watching the wind and sunlight play with the leaves of the trees in the yard around the pool while I felt this, and I somehow transcendentally recognized that the trees (or at least their leaves?) were feeling the exact same thing I was feeling in my heart while dancing with the wind.
It seems that there’s some degree of overlap between “heart” as an aspect of mind and “heart” as in the “heart chakra,” as well as the possible overlap mentioned already between “heart” as in the biological organ” and “heart” as in the “heart chakra.” By the transitive property of things being related to each other, this means they’re all likely in some way interrelated.
I have a text of the four or five happiest moments in my life, which includes a more elaborate account of the bliss I felt in my heart that I mentioned above. I’ll include the text here:
I’ve had four moments of true happiness in my life, and they’ve all been completely different kinds of happiness.
One was when I was at my family’s log cabin in Michigan, I woke up and I suddenly just felt soo happy, I have no idea why. I was just so happy to be alive. So I stepped out of the cabin into nature and being there made me so happy that I literally laughed out loud for a second, uncontrollably.That’s the only time I’ve ever been so happy that I had to laugh at nothing.
Another time was when I was swimming in the pool with my little sister (who’s very intuitive), and she had me stay still while she dumped a pale of water on my head. I closed my eyes. You’d think there’s nothing scary about having some water dumped on your head, but for some reason that simple act entailed that I had to trust her, a kind of surrender. I think that was the key to what happened next.. I suddenly felt divine happiness literally in my heart (heart chakra or maybe solar plexus chakra). It was so subtle yet so real and something that was so far from my normal miserable empty experience.
Anyway while in this state I was watching the trees blowing in the wind, and I could actually see the happiness of the trees or their leaves being tickled by the wind and the sun, because it was the same happiness in my heart. So now I know that trees actually are spiritually alive and sensitive and enjoy life.
Sometime not too much later I overheard my mom saying that my sister had told her that a pain she’d had in her hand for years was magically gone. I think it probably had something to do with the divine presence touching my heart while we were in the pool.
The joyous feeling in my heart that time was a living energy, like there was a kind of inner motion to it.
Many years later I read somewhere, I’m pretty sure in The Power of Now, that some special state of consciousness–I forget how he described or named it, something like bliss or enlightenment or connection to and love for all life–is often attained by people who spend many years suffering and then have a moment of surrender.
Another time I had to walk through the cafeteria of my niece’s elementary school while it was chalk full of children, and I didn’t have my hat on which I usually liked to wear to cover up my baldness. I actually felt like I looked a little bit freaky, because I had long wavy hair and was also partially bald. So I was really embarrassed but I decided to have courage and just do it. A minute later when I was back outside of the building walking along the sidewalk, I could perceive this soft white energy filling all the space and surrounding everything in it, and I felt so at peace and comforted by this energy–like it was God or something–that I smiled a huge smile for this little girl that was walking by me from the other direction, and it was genuine.. It would have taken more effort not to smile than to smile. Again, this is extremely unusual in my experience. That’s actually the only time I can remember smiling and not being forced to, besides when I happen to be laughing at something. By the way, I was also carrying an open black umbrella over my head at the time even though it wasn’t raining. =p
The fourth time I was truly happy (fourth in this list, I mean–this probably isn’t in chronological order), I was in a mall and suddenly randomly I felt an actual glow/source of light in the center of my heart (heart chakra or solar plexus chakra area) and I guess it kind of emanated from my whole being in a way because this kid who was in front of me randomly said hi to me.. that like never happens to me.
All of these moments of happiness were truly sublime, but they only lasted a few minutes or maybe less each time.
There was also another time I remember that could possibly have been the happiest moment of my life, it was when I got back home after having been on vacation for a few weeks with some relatives. The door was opened and my mom was in the living room vacuuming and I ran to her and hugged her. I don’t actually remember how that felt, I just remember what I did, or remember remembering it, so I’m not sure if it was the happiest moment of my life or not. Also I’m not sure if there were other equally happy moments during my childhood that I just don’t remember.