This Mother’s Day writing is about an important dynamic which forms the basis of where a good life comes from. It all starts with the mother, of course, and how the heart of the mother nurtures the heart of the infant child in the child’s early formative period.
Today’s Journal is based on notations I once made during a presentation by Joseph Chilton Pearce who I referenced in “The Pulse of Life” writing as being one of my important teachers in the 1970-1980’s time period. Joe wrote 13 major texts on child and human development. He gave thousands of presentations and authored many contributions seen in other textbooks. He was a cultural creative in the field of human psychology and development, and he was a near peerless genius in this field of study and contribution.
Pearce taught college humanities until the mid-1960s, and thereafter devoted himself to writing and lecturing. In the following decades, he published his major works on themes ranging from child development to heart-brain connection to associated themes in spirituality. He understood the concept the ambient field of life and its non-local aspect as the source of everything he knew and taught. I am moved to state that he seemed to channel this wisdom rather well.
His first book, a popular best seller, was published in 1971 and was entitled The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: Challenging Constructs of Mind and Reality. This book is about the crack of consciousness which happens in our lives when we allow ourselves to become immersed in and informed by the field of higher intelligence. The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
His last book came out in 2012, entitled The Heart-Mind Matrix: How the Heart Can Teach the Mind New Ways to Think. In this text Joe details the enormous amount of research which I have attempted to portray, in part, in the last 3 Journal entries about the primacy of the heart as the central organizing intelligence in our lives.
Joe passed on at the age of 90, in August, 2016, and was teaching right up to the end of his time here. He evolved his initial themes of child development onward over the years into a growing understanding of how the heart’s compassionate intelligence is the true informant of our prefrontal cortex and is the means by which we are able to reconnect to Creation and our spiritual identity.
Quantum physicists like David Bohm, who Joe often referenced, describe fields of energy surrounding us which convey information and intelligence into our awareness. These scalar field effects were described in the earlier “The Spiral of Life” writing. Recent research suggests that the heart field modulates the incoming information from the field around us and relays important epigenetic messaging to our genetic blueprint; thus spelling out instructions for a new life. In light of this new research, early life bonding is redefined around the nature of the maternal-infant experience.
From Joe I first learned the fact that up to 65 percent of the cells of the heart are neurons just like those found in the brain. A good many years later I heard Deepak Chopra reiterate this piece of neurocardiological science at a conference in 2005. Chopra said that these heart cells are not thinking in word abstractions. Rather, they are knowing, longing, and feeling in another type of energetic which is one important source of our spiritual connection and higher self Identity.
There is a direct neural channel between the heart and the brain. Joe’s exact words were, “There is an unmediated 24 hour communication between the heart and the brain.” By way of an estimated 40,000 neuronal pathways, the heart informs the brain of its general emotional state and encourages the brain to make an intelligent response. Poets and sages have been saying this about the heart, in one way or another, down through the ages. From the emerging field of neurocardiology and the enormous amount of research from the HeartMath Institute and other movements, the intelligence and primacy of the heart in the full spectrum of our biological existence has been correctly centered and defined.
Now all that is needed is for humanity to wake up to the importance and the potential of this dynamic paradigm shifting fact, and begin to step out of violence and usurpation, and into peace. This potential is the subject of the science presented in “The Prayer of Life.”
Joe described each phase of the heartbeat as creating its own part of the nested toroidal field effect which surrounds the body. The first field is very close to the heart. The next toroidal field, radiating out at least three feet, is a very powerful field and is the one that is thought to be the most important in the early mother-child bonding experience.
The third field extends twelve to fifteen feet from the body. It is easy to understand that one person’s heart field will interact with another person’s heart field when 2 people are in close proximity. When two fields overlap they interact via the phenomenon known as resonant coupling. This resonant field effect is present in every relationship, and it is particularly important for mothers and infants. We can assume that the fields shared by mother and infant contain a great deal of critical information for both.
The emotional state of the mother impacts the physical development of the baby’s brain in shape, character, growth, and quality. The maternal state influences the infant’s neural cells capacity in utero and after birth, particularly in the first 18 months of life. The mother’s heart coherence also determines if the infant’s prefrontal lobes grow well, or not.
The infant’s heart begins beating during the fifth week in utero, and entrains to the mother’s heart patterns at that time. In the entrainment phenomenon the wave forms of the mother and infant match up so that there is no dissonance. This match is the essence of the early bonding experience.
When the hearts entrain, then the brain begins to entrain also as it begins to develop in utero. This bonding extends onward to entrain with the family and the immediate environment as well. That heart fields interact and entrain by resonant coupling is a precise, measurable, scientific fact. The amplitude and the Hertz value of the two heart frequencies become coherent, creating a state of harmony, wholeness, and health. If the mother is living in a state of low coherence, then the child’s development will be so affected.
It has been shown through HeartMath research that the heart frequencies of one person can be detected in the brain waves of another person who is within 5 feet. More sensitive instrumentation would likely demonstrate that hearts can affect brains at greater distances.
If maternal bonding fails then all subsequent bonding is put at risk and is made more difficult to bring about. Many studies from Harvard show that failed early bonding has lifelong impacts on the child, and beyond.
Failure to bond socially and become an active and contributing member of society is not so much the child’s moral ethical failure, but is more the failure of not having established an optimal early maternal-infant bond on which later social bonds are built. The nature of our early bonds is reflected throughout life, both in our health and in our ability to interact socially with others, both inside of the family and outside of the family in larger social spheres.
UCLA psychologist Allan Schore, who is credited with over 17,000 citations in the scientific literature and is author of 4 seminal texts, advocates that teen and adult pathologies can be traced to the first 18 months of life. All pathologies of teen and adult can be traced back to the quality of the emotional states surrounding the child and absorbed by the child in this early formative period of life.
During those first 18 months the infant’s environment is functionally defined by the mother, father, and other primary caregivers. The emotional experience which the child is given during the first eighteen months determines the nature and quality of the neural structures that develop in that period. This influence creates a lasting lifelong consequence.
USC neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, M.D., Ph.D., has written that the development and degree of intelligence of the neocortical structure, which he calls the intellectual creative brain, is critically dependent on the emotional system. The higher functions of the brain are dependent on the degree of development or limitations of our brain’s ability to process and manage emotional states. Our cognition becomes limited to a large degree by our state of emotional development in infancy, and throughout all subsequent phases of life.
Such emotional and cognitive development starts in utero when our hearts entrain to whatever the quality of the maternal heart frequencies may be. In order to develop higher intelligence in a child one must first have developed the emotional cognitive system well; without which there is not as solid of a foundation to move on into higher levels of human intelligence.
The fundamental and foundational safe space bonding of the infant with its mother is currently not very well established in our family, social, and educational systems. On this basis our whole educational system has been limited in what it has been able to offer, as have current family and social systems in America. One obvious result of this failure is that America has become one of the most violent countries in the world. Such a disturbing trend can be improved by better parenting and family life, which I believe is the most important variable in play.
Balance of the Autonomic Nervous System
In my time studying the maternal-infant dynamic I learned that the ocular focal distance of a newborn is about 18 inches. This is about the distance between the eyes of the mother and the infant when the mother is holding the infant in her arms during nursing.
When the infant and mother’s eyes are focused on each other, the infant’s “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is stimulated and aroused in a normal developmental pattern. When the infant has experienced enough of this stimulation, then the infant will reflexively avert gaze. Upon averting gaze, or closing its eyes, the infant is then allowing for the development of the “rest and digest” parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).
The fluid balance of the SNS and the PNS, hopefully initially developed in the nursing experience, allows for the healthy development of a balanced autonomic nervous system. Once again, the SNS and PNS were explained and demonstrated in “The Pulse of Life.” In that writing I attempted to describe the 2 limbs of the ANS, when overstimulated, as being like a “foot on the gas” and a “foot on the brake.” Often, we may feel the experience of both a foot on the gas and a foot on the brake simultaneously. This kind of heart field energetic is a very chaotic feeling, and this energetic is broadcast both outward and inward as such from the heart’s powerful neuronal electromagnetic presence.
Our ability to mitigate such polarized feeling states is dependent on how the heart was cultured and nourished via the emotional bonding energetic from week 5 of gestational age, and onward. If the heart is well tended in the first 18 months of life, then that heart will be more able to achieve heart resonant frequency along the course of life.
Heart resonant frequency is the range of heart frequency which results in the abilities to access higher cognitive ability, higher emotional states, higher intuitive ability, and the ability to entrain other hearts into this state of calm. Generally regarded as being 0.1 cycles per second (Hertz), the range of resonant frequency is from 0.08 to 0.15 cps. You can refer to the drawing I made in “The Pulse of Life.”
On this Happy Mother’s Day it may be said that the art of good mothering and good parenting is arguably the most important social dynamic which needs to be positively and well developed at a time when humanity’s trends on the planet have become unsustainable.
The purpose of these past 4 Journal writings on the life sustaining and life enhancing functions of the heart has been to bring attention to the heart’s more subtle, but more vital role in the development of a happy, healthy, and spiritually adjusted life.
This 9 minute TED video will assist some of the concepts registered in these last 4 Journal writings. This presentation From Conception to Birth is a sort of marvel of the peace which passes all understanding in the creation of a child. The development of the heart and cardiovascular system is detailed a bit in this video starting at the 7 minute mark. The speaker appropriately ascribes to Divinity the grand mystery of the intelligence which creates our human lives.
What the world needs now is Love. Sages have said forever that Love is the essence and fabric of all things, and is present at all times in all things. I don’t think the sages meant this in a metaphorical sense. We just need to become more aware of and receptive of the universal force of Love which sustains all of Creation.
Love is always flowing through our hearts.
Thank you for reading.
Signing off from Crestone and Beyond
“The best things cannot be talked about, and the second best things are almost always misunderstood.”….from Heinrich Zimmer (1890-1943), German religion historian
Reading and References:
- The Mysteries of the Heart…a nice factoid from the HeartMath Institute which has nice summary points about the heart.
- Feeling Our Emotions…an interview with Dr. Antonio Damasio published in Scientific American.
- The Quest to Understand Consciousness…Dr. Antonio Damasio delivers a popular and highly viewed TED talk. This presentation, which is well done and is well received by the audience, is a quick tour through one medical scientist’s understanding of brain structure and function in relation to consciousness and our sense of self. The lecture never mentions the heart which is peculiar to me, but not necessarily a drawback. If Joseph Chilton Pearce were giving one of his deeply immersive parallel lectures on how the heart influences the brain, I can only imagine the rapture and silent stillness of the audience.
- A nice writing on the subject of non-locality.
- Parenting Part II, Part III…2 writings on this website which cover parenting, the developmental phases of the child and adult, and the consequences of the quality of parenting, from the perspectives and life work offering of developmental psychologist Erik Erikson.
- On Life, Heart, and Life after Life…the earliest writing on this website about the heart…and also how fear affects it.
- Real Love…a Buddhist practitioner shares some insights about Love.