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The Wisdom of the Heart | Trend Forecasting’s Cardiac Muse


When I first began writing about trend forecasting, I was inspired by the idea of heart vision; specifically, the role of the heart in perception, emotion and consciousness. I return time and again to a passage from Carl G. Jung’s, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (pp. 247-53), where Jung is speaking with the chief of the Taos pueblos, a man named Ochwiay Biano:

“See,” Ochiway Biano said, “how cruel the whites look. Their lips are thin, their noses sharp, their faces furrowed and distorted by folds. Their eyes have a staring expression: they are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something; they are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think that they are mad.”
I asked him why he thought the whites were all mad.
“They say that they they think with their heads,” he replied.
“Why of course. What do you think with?” I asked him in surprise.
“We think here,” he said, indicating his heart.”

During my first Master’s at Harvard University, I spent considerable time researching and writing about Indigenous philosophy and intelligence. This work has indelibly informed my work in trend forecasting and my understanding of intuition and consciousness. To think with the heart is an incredible task, and not without its challenges. (How easily my brain assumes control of the wheel!) Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes. As Western thought grasps at the surface, the Indigenous heart, mind and being seeks, “the inscape”; that inner voice and authenticity that lies within each experience and aspect.” What might our world look like if more people thought with their hearts, instead of their heads?

The wisdom of the heart throughout history:

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

“The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.”
~Blaise Pascal

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all

Each one sees what he carries in his heart

The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.

Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart.
~Mahatma Gandhi

There is no reason not to follow your heart.
~Steve Jobs

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.
Helen Keller

There is a wisdom of the head, and a wisdom of the heart.
~Charles Dickens

I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.
~Vincent Van Gogh

Only do what your heart tells you.
~Princess Diana

There is no instinct like that of the heart.
~Lord Byron

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Some other fun facts about the heart that I discovered courtesy of a blog post on Elephant Journal:

10. Your heart is incredibly strong. Your heart muscle is strong enough to lift 3,000 pounds.
9. But, you can actually break your heart. Deep emotional hurt releases stress hormones like cortisol which damage your heart.
8. Your heart is a great indicator of your innate responses. What makes your heart race? Who makes it calm? You can convince your mind of all sorts of things. If your mind is telling you you don’t know what you want, listen to your heart. It knows.
7. The six quarts of blood in your body travel a distance of 12,000 miles around and around your body every single day.
6. The blood vessels fed by your heart are over 60,000 miles long; they could wrap around the earth–twice.
5. It used to be believed that the physical heart controlled emotions. Now we know the opposite is true. The cycle of your heartbeat is mainly regulated by your parasympathetic nervous system. When you are calm and happy, you relax into a regular rhythm.
4. Your heartbeat is strong enough to project blood over 30 feet.
3. Your heart beats–on average–100,000 times a day.
2. When you laugh, the blood flow to your heart is increased for about 45 minutes.
1. Your heart pumps over 31,000,000 gallons of blood in a lifetime.

If you head over to heartmath.org you’ll learn that, “the heart is, in fact, a highly complex, self-organized information processing center with its own functional “brain” that communicates with and influences the cranial brain via the nervous system, hormonal system and other pathways.”

Pretty cool, huh? With all due respect to Jiminy Cricket, tell your conscience to take a hike, and start listening to that powerful piece of cardiac muscle!