The Field Surveys VI

The World Needs More Popes

Jan Lundquist   

Jan (new)

A running joke in our spiritual community here in the High Desert is that we are all popes – in our own private religions.   Collectively, we have explored countless belief systems, ideologies, and theocracies.  Individually, each of us has taken from them those elements that speak to us and synthesized them into very a personal belief system.

And yet, though our paths are singularly our own and we may meet in person only occasionally, I always feel a “ping” of kinship in my heart when we embrace.   I believe this physical response is due to an exchange of heart energy that occurs between two people when in close proximity.

“In the HeartMath study, The Electricity of Touch: Detection and Measurement of Cardiac Energy Exchange Between People, researchers set out to determine whether the heart’s electromagnetic field, as measured by an electrocardiogram (ECG), in one individual could be detected and measured in another person when the pair either were seated within about three feet of each other, or held hands.

The results of The Electricity of Touch experiment were positive:

The data showed “…when people touch or are in proximity, a transference of the electromagnetic
energy produced by the heart occurs…” 

In earlier Field Survey Reports, I discussed brain waves, and their relationship to the activities of the conscious and unconscious mind.  In terms of measurable energy, however, our heart waves are much more powerful.

The Electricity of Touch experiment also showed that: “The heart generates the largest
electromagnetic field in the body.  The electrical field as measured in an electrocardiogram
(ECG) is about 60 times greater in amplitude than the brain waves recorded in an
electroencephalogram (EEG).” 

In other words, while the brain operates imperceptibly in the field of ideas and information, the heart works, and noticeably so, in the field of energy.

Knowing this, it seems paradoxical to me that we still undergo years of formal education devoted to the development of our brainpower, with almost no attention paid to the development of our heart power.  Oh sure, there may be some vague attempts to model it in parables and fables at story time, but the general attitude seems to be that, as long as our physical heart is beating, it is doing its job and needs no further attention.

But perhaps it does.  At least the Dalai Lama thinks so:

dali-lama (a) (Image courtesy of 

“What we need is a calm mind and warm-heartedness provides a basis for that.  That’s how we make
ourselves happy as individuals in families, local communities and nations.  I believe that if we can
train those who are young today in these qualities the world will be a more peaceful place later in this century.” 

What does “warm-heartedness” really mean?  Open and accepting, loving and giving, most certainly.  However, I suspect that the Dalai Lama, being fully aware of the fact that the heart field extends several feet from the body, is also speaking of warm-heartedness in a literal and physical sense.

Our educational system’s failure to directly address this directly can be forgiven on the basis of ignorance, but it is often overlooked by the esoteric and mystical teachers who should know better.  Even the time honored 4 Paths of the Hindu Yogic tradition approach the development of the warm heart, as a byproduct of “doing” something else.  As a quick recap of those Yogic traditions:

Karma Yoga, the Yoga of Action, is followed through the conscious consecration of all actions to a higher cause.

Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of Love, requires turning all thoughts to the adoration and praise of the One.

Raja Yoga, the “Royal Road,” is the process of bringing mind, body, and emotions into a disciplined alignment.

Finally, Jnana Yoga, or the Yoga of Knowledge, said to be the most difficult of all, requires using the mind to ask inquiries that lead to the “breaking of the glass” that separates viewer and source.  This can be the most dangerous of paths, as if it is successful, it might lead to behavior and claims that others could view as insane.  Alternately, it can also become the most trivial of paths, as the aspirant may get lost in idle idol speculation.  In order to avoid either outcome, one needs to have integrated the lessons of the other of the Four Paths: selflessness, love of creator, and control of mind and body.

Though we may not call it yoga, almost everyone of us who is inclined to follow a spiritual path gravitates toward one or another of these paths.  They are all geared towards teaching us how to transmute our small selves to our larger selves.  And everyone of them, if followed diligently and long enough, leads through the same gate, the one that I think of as the Gate of the Radiant Heart.

Except for the rare “spontaneous awakening,” those who have not chosen to follow some spiritual path or another will never know the Joy of passing through this gate.  And, unfortunately, the requirement of making the choice in the first place limits its achievement to the adult realm.   Our educational systems do not even go there for our youth.  But what if we were introduced to the power of the heart early?  Might we not get further, faster?

I like to think so.  Educators in the United States are now beginning to speak of educating the “whole child.” In Louisville, KY, for example, one school district is being used as part of research study of a K-12 curriculum created with that intent:

“Educating the whole child for self­-awareness and self­-understanding, the curriculum integrates
mindfulness for stress management and self­-control; contemplative movements, postures and
breathing for physical awareness and agility; nutritional knowledge for healthy eating; and social
and emotional skills for effective interpersonal relationships.  Elementary ­school students will learn
to cultivate focus, resilience, empathy, connection, and well­being as the basis for academic and
personal success.”  
See: The Compassion Schools Program

Well, that’s certainly a great start.  I only hope that somewhere in that curriculum, they make time to introduce the students to their hearts.  The world needs more popes and less pomp.

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