Perhaps the best part of writing a book is receiving letters and emails from people suggesting that I look into some aspect of the subject that they're excited about. As many of you know, my heart book, Human Heart, Cosmic Heart, has been out for about three weeks, and the new ideas are rolling in.
One of them, a remarkable insight about the heart sent to me by a doctor in Europe, I share here not only as inspiration about the amazing heart, but also as a gesture of gratitude because the heart is so intimately connected to this emotion. Thanksgiving week is the perfect opportunity to share my gratitude with all of you who have stood by us through our continual shortages of products this past year.
It turns out that inside the heart, a network of fibers, called trabaculae, crisscross the inner chambers. A Russian researcher was able to demonstrate with sophisticated analytical work that each little section of the trabaculae is connected to an organ or particular section of the rest of the body.
For example, one section of the trabeculae is “connected” to the spleen. How this connection works isn’t clear, but what is clear is that this section of the heart packages up the blood that is destined to go to the spleen (i.e., old red blood cells) in small spiral formations, and these small spirals go directly to the spleen for processing. The freshest, newest red blood cells are packaged in another part of the heart for our brain, and if our leg gets a cut, the part of the heart corresponding to that part of the leg dissolves some of its own fibers, then sends them gift wrapped in a vortex to the area of the cut to be used as a bandage. Frankly, as preposterous as this sounds, the careful experiments described in the paper show it to be true. (This research will be posted soon on www.humanheartcosmicheart.com).
Unequivocally and seemingly miraculously, our hearts look after us. It senses the needs of our bodies and will even dissolve part of itself to help heal us. If that image doesn’t evoke the feeling of gratitude for our hearts, I don’t know what will. And how can we take care of our hearts? One of the best ways is to walk barefoot on the beach with your beloved, just like Baker Beach in San Francisco (above).
If we truly connect heart to heart with one another, this feeling of gratitude and thanksgiving will emerge, and perhaps that is the true spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday.
With warmth and gratitude,
Tom Cowan, M.D.