© Éditions de l'aigle
The author neither gives medical advice
nor recommends any method as treatment modality. He advises the reader who
might have to face a health problem to meet a doctor duly entitled to make a
diagnosis or advise a treatment or a therapy. Charles-Rafaël
Payeur only presents a symbolic approach of the human
body and a psycho-spiritual reading of the numerous pathologies that might
affect the human body; this in order to help the reader live a healthier life
or better co-operate with his/her family doctor. Should you use a piece of
information contained in this booklet, be aware that by doing so, you commit
only yourself. The author and the publisher decline any responsibility for the
consequences of your acts.
In order to better understand the
fundamental stake of the cardiovascular system, we are going to study the
general symbolism of its central organ: the heart. Various anatomic elements
will allow us to better define what it precisely personifies. As we did in our
previous studies, we shall of course emphasis on general considerations, then analyze in detail some macroscopic and microscopic
elements that characterize it. Then, we shall briefly study the symbolism of
the blood vessels closely related to the heart.
A. The Heart
To make a better approach of the
symbolism of the heart, it is essential to study first its general shape. The
shape always reveals the deep nature of an organ and of its associated
functions. We now know that the shape is never arbitrary and provides us with
invariable elements that help us better understand what an anatomic structure,
whatever it is, personifies. At this level, we shall find elements likely to
lead us in a relevant way to understand better how the heart functions. As we
usually do, we shall also make the analogy between the organ studied and an
element likely to enlighten us. For each case that is of interest to us, we shall develop the
symbolism of the soul and see what it reveals. But first we are going to study
in a more precise way what the general shape of the heart teaches us.
1. Shape of the organ
previous studies taught us that the shape of an organ carries a special meaning because it establishes the organ in a given existential
condition. The shape of the heart is similar to a cone, geometrical figure
resulting from the association of a basic circle and an axial straight line as says
Dr. Francis Lefébure:
"It is true that this cone is not perfectly
regular, and this enabled anatomists to distinguish various sides. But these
sides are not flat. They are rounded and jointed by rounded edges, in fact an
increased curvature. The study of these details has a meaning only if it allows
us to reinforce our overview; if that is not the case, we’d better throw a
superficial but sensible look. [...] Let the surgeon talk of the sides of the
heart to facilitate his/her operation. But let us admire, while studying the
laws that link the various forms of the nature, how nearly entirely conic the
heart is, particularly during the systole."
Les Homologies, Le Courrier
du Livre, Paris, 1978)
Figure I. The general shape of the heart
general shape of the organ results from the association of a circular basis and
of an axial straight line; this is very interesting. As a matter of fact, let
us recall that the Ancients always associated masculinity with the axial
straight line and femininity with the circle. As an
example, we can easily notice that the form of the phallus is essentially
rectilinear as the body members associated to action are (main male feature):
arms, legs, fingers... In that, it is the opposite of the spherical shape of
the vagina fundus which surrounds by its fold the
extremity of the womb which is also circular. This circular shape can be found
in the parts of the body associated to the reception principle (main female
feature): eyes, ears, head...
From the microscopic point of view, the male gametes keep the same
rectilinear feature. Thus the spermatozoon
shape strives towards a straight line more than any other cell of the body
does. Even the nerves take a treelike appearance due to the presence of dendrites. If we keep to our symmetry connection with the female principle,
we notice that the ovum is nearly spherical. We shall even assert that no other
cell of the body is as perfectly spherical as the ovum is. We shall then
conclude that, due to its general conic shape, the heart evokes a union process
between the male emissive principle and the female receptive principle. More
than that, not only it results from this union but also it is the tangible and
obvious expression of this union.
of the male emissive principle and the female receptive
principle, the heart evokes the capacity to place oneself in an attitude of giving (male principle) and of
welcoming (female principle). It was very soon associated to a relationship
dynamic line and especially to love realities, an
experience that amounts to giving of oneself and being welcoming to others. Of
course we shall have the opportunity to come back to this essential aspect in
the course of our study.
2. Analogy with the soul
it evokes a union process between the male and female
principles, the hermetists establish a close relationship between the
heart and the soul, the human being having a spirit, a body and a soul
according to the principles of the compound anthropology. Why this relationship? Mainly because the male principle
has always been related to the spirit which is characterized by its emissive
and active nature while the body has always been related to the female
principle due to its fundamentally passive and receptive nature. The
spirit is the inner part of the being, naturally turned towards the outside,
its complementary dimension. Therefore, it passes the life it receives from God
on to the body. The female principle is traditionally associated to the body
which is a part of the being ontologically receptive. As pure exteriority, it
tends effectively to turn towards the inside, its complementary dimension. The
spirit conveys life and the body receives it fully.
the soul, it is issued from the dynamic union of the
body and the spirit, it is "the spirit commanding the body" as says Father Varillon
(there seems to be some kind of confusion in his mind between the soul and the
spirit). The body is not limited to the physical dimension, as many people think, it also has an energetical, emotional and mental dimension. Therefore, the
union of the spirit and of the "energetical
body" provides the organism with vitality; the union of the spirit and of
the « emotional body" gives birth to the feelings, the emotions, the
affections and the desires whereas the union of the spirit and of the
"mental body" gives birth to the cognitive faculties such as the
thought, the intelligence or the discernment... The soul (in the traditional
meaning of psyche, anima) could therefore be defined as the whole of the
energetical, affective and mental faculties of the
human being, all these psychic dimensions being remarkably evoked by the heart.
is closely linked to life: it is probably the vital organ of the organism as it
maintains the circulation of the blood, life principle.
The cardiac arrest is one the first symptoms leading to a death report. Phrases
such as "to cut to the heart" instead of "to kill" or
"as long as my heart will beat" instead of "as long as I shall
live" speak for themselves. Let us point out that, according to the
Egyptian Ancients, at least according to Pline, death
comes after heart degeneration:
"their knowledge had led them to acknowledge that, until the age of
fifty, the human heart becomes every year heavier of about two drachma – i.e.
about eight grams – and that, from the age of fifty onwards, it looses these two drachma
every year. This is why, « for lack of heart », the human being does
not live older than a hundred years..."
Petite fantasmagorie du corps, Essais Payot, Paris, 1994)
also governs the emotional faculties that lead human beings to have feelings,
emotions and desires. Therefore it has always been looked at by the Ancients as
the centre of these faculties. This is clearly
evidenced in the dictionary:
"1° The heart is, by metaphor, the
centre of the sensations and emotions. "To agitate, to make the heart
beat" means "to disturb". "A pain, a grief that breaks my
heart, makes my heart bleed or burst or sink, that cuts me to the
heart". "To have a heavy heart". "Heart that sighs does not
have what it wishes". "The fear turns my heart to ice." "To
feel happy-hearted". [...]
"2° The heart is the seat of the desire,
of the mood. "To accept, to acknowledge, to agree with something big
heartedly, light heartedly."
"With all one’s heart": with all one’s energy. "To put all one’s
heart into something. "His/her heart isn’t in
anything anymore". "To take things to heart".
"3° The heart is the seat of affectivity (feelings, passions). "The sentiments that
the heart feels." "To listen to one‘s heart". "To be
tender-hearted." "To be a noble-hearted or good-hearted
man/woman". "A heart overflowing with tenderness or gratitude." (Le Petit Robert, Dictionnaire
alphabétique et analogique
de la langue française, Paris, 1976)
the heart governs cognitive faculties such as the thought or the intelligence.
It is closely related to knowledge.
For example, "to learn, to know by heart". Of course, the kind of
knowledge we are talking about is fundamentally different from a rational
knowledge issued by the brain reason. A famous saying confirms this clearly: "The
heart has its reasons that reason does not know." More precisely, it is
linked to the intuitive intelligence which, as the ancient Chinese philosophy
says, "shines" in the so-called "cavern of the heart". The
Ewes that live in other lands – in Ghana,
– used to say also that the heart is the seat of intelligence.
Table of correspondences
between the soul and the heart
- The soul results from the dynamic union of
the body (receptive principle) and of the spirit (emissive principle).
- The heart looks like a cone, i.e. a figure resulting
from the union of a circle (receptive principle) and of a straight line
- The soul is closely related to the life
principle, every living being having a soul (in the traditional meaning of
- The heart is the vital centre of the human
being. It maintains blood circulation which is a life principle.
- The soul governs the emotional faculties that
lead human beings to have emotions, desires, feelings.
- The heart in human beings is looked at
as the seat of emotions, passions, affections and feelings.
- The soul governs cognitive faculties such as
thought, intelligence and memory.
- The heart is closely related to knowledge,
intuitive intelligence and memory.
- The soul is traditionally linked to the trunk
(the spirit is evoked by the head and the body by the members).
- The heart is situated in the upper part of
the trunk. It is the main organ of the trunk.
The heart is also the seat of emotions, passions,
affections and feelings. Therefore, this emotional dimension becomes seat of
expression of the Holy Spirit, is transfigured and becomes principle of
tenderness and sweetness. Before lovers used to exchange hearts in wax,
gingerbread, silver or gold to express the tenderness and love that bounded
them. A heart, very often with a dove, used to decorate the traditional wedding
puddings in the country families of all Europe: jugs and dishes, bed-warmers,
iron stands, and so on. Nowadays, it remains the symbol of love relationships
as many popular phrases say "to offer one’s heart", "to win a
heart", "to listen to one‘s heart", "loving heart",
"faithful heart" or "flighty heart"...
At last, the heart is closely related to
knowledge, intuitive intelligence and memory.
is a table of the correspondences between the Holy Spirit and the Heart:
correspondences between the Holy Spirit and the Heart
Holy Spirit features
- The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (emissive
principle) and from the Son (receptive principle).
- The heart looks like a cone, i.e. a figure
resulting from the union of a circle (receptive
principle) and of a straight line (emissive principle).
- The Holy Spirit is The One that
« gives life ». He blows existence and life into every creature.
- Transfigured by
love, the heart becomes a principle of mystical life. It is the dwelling
place of the divinity in the human being.
- The Holy Spirit incarnates in a very
privileged manner the tenderness and affectivity expressed between the Father
and the Son.
- Transfigured by
love, the heart becomes principle of tenderness and affectivity between two
- The Holy Spirit incarnates wisdom. He is The One
that inspires, The One that talks through the Prophets.
- Transfigured by
love, the heart becomes principle of inspired wisdom and place of revelation
of the Father’s willing.
At last, as mediation force, the soul of course puts human
beings in relation with each other. "Saint Irénée,
in the second century, as the most clear-sighted anthropologists nowadays would
do, presents the body, the soul and the spirit as the three functions, the
three relations or else
the three manners of being of the
human being. Through his body, the human being is open to the world and to the
matter, through his soul, he is open to the others, through his spirit he is open to
God." If the spirit is open to God and the body to the world, the soul is
therefore opening to the others. Thus, it becomes the privileged seat of love,
strengthening its analogy with the heart as organ of love.
B. Cardiovascular system
1. Central position
The heart is situated in the middle of the chest, its
right side being under the right side of the sternum and its spike under the
left nipple. It becomes then a kind of meeting point between the right and left
sides of the body. The right side incarnates, from a symbolic point of view,
the active dimension and the left side the receptive dimension. This is why
many cultures have associated the right side with the male principle and the
left side with the female principle. "Comments made by rabbis specify that
the first man (Adam) not only was androgynous, but also man on the right side
and woman on the left side. God split him into two parts when He created them
man and woman. The Christian Middle Age did not escape the tradition and said
that the left side was supposed to be female and the right side male."
Therefore, we come back to the heart as union
principle between two complementary realities. From a simple biological point
of view, it is the central organ above anything else as it is situated at a
balance point between two opposite poles: the breathing system and the
Its central situation led me to situate this organ,
from a metaphysical point of view, between the reality of the self and the
reality of the other. As a muscle, it incarnates a participative union dynamic
line between me and the other, between me and the Totally-Other.
From the biological point of view, this is eloquently evoked as this organ
governs the blood circulation between the cell and the outside world.
Traditionally, the cell evokes the self as structure bearing the genetic
luggage characterizing the individual. Owing to the heart dynamical action, it
will enter into relation with the other, i.e. the one that is situated outside
the body. The air breathed in by the lungs and the nutritive substances assimilated
by the digestive system embodies the resources of the other (symbolized by the
oxygen and the nutriments). These resources then will be brought into the
intimacy of the cell (of the self) and the cell, in turn, will pour its own
products (carbon dioxide among others) that will be offered to the other. Thus,
the heart ensures a real dynamic line of participation between the self and the
other, dynamic line that may be summarized as follows:
situation between the self and the other
Participative union dynamic line
2. Binary structure
A thick central wall splits the inside of the heart
into two halves, the right half and the left half. This organ works as two separate
pumps, the right one acting as a pulmonary pump and the left one acting as a
systemic pump. What does this mean from a symbolic point of view? Of course it
refers to the two main characteristics of the heart: giving and receiving. As a
matter of fact, the right half of the heart essentially belongs to an
exteriorisation or gift dynamic line whereas the left half is associated
to an interiorization or welcoming dynamic line. Let
us look at this more thoroughly.
The right part of the heart embodies essentially a
dynamic line through which the blood, coming from the cell tissues (that
symbolize the self), enters into the right auricle and goes to the right
ventricle to be orientated towards the lungs. There it releases the carbon
dioxide resulting from the metabolic activity. This process naturally evokes a
dynamic line of gift through which we offer others a bit of what we are. This
is an outline of blood circulation associated to the right part of the heart:
Figure II. Blood circulation associated to the right
part of the heart
Functions associated to the left part of the heart are
part of a welcoming dynamic line as oxygen-loaded blood (a substance coming
from the outside) enters into the left auricle and goes then towards the
corresponding ventricle that orientate it towards the cells of the organism.
This process evokes a dynamic line of welcoming of others and interiorization. You will find thereafter a significant
Figure III. Blood circulation associated to the left
part of the heart
The heart binary
Right part of the heart
Left part of the heart
I give myself to
I welcome others
This analysis leads us to make the following synthesis
on the heart psychological stakes:
The four cavities
of the heart and their psychological stakes
- I leave my
confinement and turn myself to others (in order to reveal who I am to them).
- I open myself to the
resources that others offer to me (in order to nourish myself and grow).
- I am fully radiant
with what I am and I am therefore a witness.
- I use the
resources offered to me by others and therefore ensure the development and
blooming of my being.
Find also hereafter a table synthesizing the
initiatory stakes of the heart:
The four cavities
of the heart and their initiatory stakes
- I die to myself in
order to turn myself to others in a gift prospect.
- I welcome others
and let them be themselves in all authenticity.
- I give myself to others
without expecting any compensation, transcending thus any survival instinct.
- I give others a
central place within my existence, participating thus joyfully to their
3. Unwilling feature of the cardiac muscle
The heart is the sole striated muscle whose way of
functioning is not driven by willingness. This of course reminds us of the
close link that exists between this organ and love. As a matter of course, the
ultimate stake of the heart is to express the divine power within the created.
Love lays beyond any personal willing: "The heart has its reasons that
reason does not know." As human beings come from the Creator and not from
the creature, they will never be able to have control on this reality or submit
it to their willing, just as they will not be able to get hold of God. If they
try to do so, love will disappear because this reality necessarily involves
Hereunder is a table that synthesizes the symbolic elements
associated to the macroscopic structure of the heart and the corresponding
the macroscopic elements of the heart and their stakes
Stakes associated to the heart
- The heart is situated
in the chest centre, its right edge under the right side of the sternum and
its tip under the left nipple.
- To establish a
relational dynamic line between two different poles that enables them to form
a unity without any confusion.
- The structure of
the heart is hollow and enables it to contain blood in order not to retain it
but to pour it out.
- Not to keep for
oneself the life given by God, but use it to help others.
- A thick central
wall splits the inside of the heart into two halves, the right one and the
left one, that have two distinct functions, although they are interdependent.
- To develop a
capacity to give (associated to the right side) and to welcome (associated to
the left side) as two dimensions distinct from exchange and love.
- The heart is
composed of four cavities: two auricles and two ventricles associated to
specific blood vessels.
- To develop the
psycho-spiritual modalities essential for establishing a fair and authentic
- The heart is
composed of four valves involving blood circulation into a very specific
- To strengthen
one’s psycho-spiritual frame of mind without going backwards in one’s fit of
welcome or gift.
- The heart is the sole striated muscle of the
organism whose way of functioning is not driven by willingness.
- The ultimate
experience of the heart, love, cannot be submitted to control: a will to
submit love to one’s own willingness means make it disappear.
The microscopic observation of the heart
and of the vessels is also likely to make some fundamental symbolic elements
associated to the archetype of this system appear. To better realize this, we
shall underline some of the particularities that are specific characteristics
of the heart cell and some of those that are specific characteristics of the
blood vessel structure.
The cells or cardiac fibres do have a particularity
insofar as they are anastomosed (in biology anastomosis means the communication between two vessels,
two nerves or two canals of the same kind (this is the sole example of anastomosed muscle fibres in the whole organism). So we can
observe a cardiac fibre and never find its end, this showing in an admirable
way this close union principle between two realities, forming one reality
although each element remains distinct from the other (this is fusion without
Figure IV. Diagram of a cardiac
The cells of the cardiac muscle are winded in form of a
propeller round the axis of the organ. From the symbolic point of view, this is
very interesting as the SPIRALE which is thus formed is a curve articulated
around an axial straight line. It results thus from the association of a circle
and of a straight line, the propeller having the property of the circle,
insofar as, while going all along it, we eternally turn around a central point.
It also has this property of the straight line, insofar as, going all over it,
we move away from this central point.
"It holds simultaneously two of the main
features of the circle and of the straight line. In plane geometry, it is the
median term, impolarized between the two poles
“circle” and “straight line”."
Les Homologies, Le Courrier
du Livre, Paris, 1978)
Therefore the form adopted by the cardiac
cells fits in with the symbolism we have already developed concerning the cone
(this latter can be looked at as a spiral that developed itself in the space
around an axis). In the same perspective, Dr. Lefébure
adds the following:
"The spiral signs the cardiovascular morphology in the blood eddy
inside each ventricle: the blood entry orifices (mitral
valve and tricuspid) being close to those of the way out (sigmoid valves), and
the ventricle having a conic shape, the movement is necessarily an eddy
movement. The eddy is the mechanic translation of the spiral. The display of
the large vessels such as pulmonary veins and the knuckle of the aorta entering
and leaving the heart is such that the blood makes a
curl in all of this. This comes from its embryology, the prime cardiac tube
having rolled itself into a sort of knot. Moreover, the big vessels of the
members roll themselves around their axis: thus the femoral artery is anterior
to the groin while its prolongation (poplited
artery) is posterior to the knee level; thus it took the shape of a spiraled
course, all this evokes, from a symbolic point of view, a capacity to face
others in an attitude of gift and welcoming, putting them in the centre of
one’s existence and evoluating around them. Hereunder
is a table of these symbolic elements associated to the microscopic structure
of the heart and the corresponding stakes:
Table showing the
microscopic elements of the heart and their stakes
- Cardiac fibres
are anastomosed; so it is possible to go along a
cardiac fibre without finding its end.
- To link closely between them two realities
without confusing them, each one remaining ontologically distinct from the
- The cells or cardiac fibers are wounded
in spiral around the heart axis.
- To place oneself in an attitude of gift
and welcoming, placing others in the centre of one’s existence and evoluating around them.
The cardiovascular system has several distinct
physiological functions, among which eleven are particularly characteristic.
These functions are the functions of maintenance, of systemic venous
circulation, of systemic
arterial circulation, of contraction (systolic function), of pulmonary arterial
circulation, of coronary circulation, of automaticity,
of release, of circulation at the capillary level, of valve functioning and of
pulmonary venous circulation. Let us see in detail what this means.
and venous circulation function
The heart and the root of the large vessels are
contained in a strong fibrous envelope called pericardium. This membranous bag
is composed of the serous pericardium and of the fibrous pericardium. The
external side is rough, fibrous and little supple. It is fastened to the
diaphragm and linked to the sternum by fibrous strips. The internal part of the
serous pericardium, which is thin and smooth, has two layers. The parietal leaf
lines the inside of the fibrous pericardium and the visceral leaf sticks to the
heart surface. Between both of them is the pericardic
space that contains some drops of pericardic liquid
that lubricates the surfaces and facilitates the heart movements during
From a symbolic point of view, this structure evokes
naturally a capacity to be welcoming and give respecting one’s own existential
limits in one’s relation to others (the limits that structure one’s deep
vocation). If we want to give to others anything other than what we are, we
will inevitably encounter failure even if we are motivated by noble desires. In the same way, if
we are welcoming to others without respecting oneself, we will develop negative
consequences that will damage the relationship.
2. Venous circulation
As for the large circulation, or systemic circulation,
the veins draw the blood back from the tissues of the organism towards the
heart. This blood is first drained by the veinlets
that join together later to form veins that ultimately pour out in the two
large vena cava (the largest veins of the organism) that at last bring the
blood to the right heart auricle.
The upper vena cava starts at the top of the thorax
and runs into the right auricle. It is formed by the meeting of the right and
left brachio-cephalic veins, that are themselves
formed by the meeting of the under-clavier veins (that drain the blood of the
upper members), jugular veins (that drain the blood of the head) and of several
minor veins. The upper vena cava also receives blood from the azygo veins that drain most of the thorax blood. Therefore it
collects the blood of the upper part of the trunk, of the head, of the neck and
of the upper members.
The lower vena cava starts in the lower part of the
abdomen and pours into the right auricle. It is formed by the meeting of the
two iliac veins which receive the blood of the veins of the lower members and
pelvic organs. The lower vena cava also receive the blood from the sushepatic and renal veins which drain the liver and the
This function evokes a capacity to let go, giving up
all self confinement (even ultimately dying to oneself), to open oneself to
others in a beaming or giving perspective.
At the main circulation, or systemic circulation,
level, the role of the arteries is to feed the cells of the organism.
From a symbolic point of view, this function which
enables the heart to drive the blood forward towards the lungs and the whole
body of course evokes a capacity to receive (left ventricular systole) and to
give (right ventricular systole), showing thus dynamism, vigour and energy by
this fight against all the forces of inertia that try to lock human beings up
in a deadly condition where they give up all dynamic lines of gift or welcoming.
arterial function, coronary circulation and automaticity
At the small circulation or pulmonary circulation
level, the arterial system drives the blood forward from the right ventricle
towards the lungs where some products issued by the metabolism are released.
From a symbolic point of view, this function of course evokes a capacity to
give, in a dynamic outpouring, through a full beaming of one's being or through
a gift of oneself in love.
As any other organ, the heart depends on the
arteries for its feeding in oxygen and on the veins for bringing the blood,
full of the products issued by the metabolism of the cardiac cells, towards the
right ventricle. The right coronary artery feeds the right auricle (included
the sinus knot and the auriculo-ventricular
knot), part of the left auricle, most part of the right ventricle and the lower
part of the left ventricle. The left coronary artery (which is composed
of an anterior interventricular artery and of a
circumflex artery) feeds the left auricle, most part of the left ventricle and
most part of the interventricular septum. Many
collateral arteries link the branches of the right and left coronary arteries.
The coronary veins are situated on surface compared to the arteries. The largest
vein, the coronary sinus, opens in the right auricle. Most of the coronary
veins throw themselves into the coronary sinus, excepted
the anterior coronary veins that pour out into the right auricle.
Figure V. Coronary circulation
From a symbolic point of view, this coronary
circulation evokes a principle which is unique insofar as its role is
to keep the heart going, i.e. the dynamic line of participative union as
such. Thus, an alteration of these vessels, as it is the case in myocardial
infarction for example, will indicate a more or less conscious willingness to
bring into question this dynamic line of the heart, refusing to keep a
relationship of authentic exchange with the others and, more, a dynamic line of
love, trying to preserve some ostracism.
3. Automaticity function
At the myocardial level, specialized cells enable the
conduction of electric impulses. These cells control the rhythm and the cardiac
frequency (a propriety called automaticity). In some
circumstances, any myocardial muscular cell can as a matter of fact control
the frequency and the rhythm of the contractions. However the sinusal or sino-atrial knot, also
called Keith and Flack knot (situated at the endocardic
surface of the right auricle near the superior vena cava) usually determines
the cardiac frequency. The release of the sinusal
knot launches an impulse through the right and left auricles, which involves a
contraction of the latters.
knot or of Aschoff and Tawara
(situated in the lower part of the right auricle septum) then deals with the
influx conduction. It is normally the sole electric connection between the
auricles and the ventricles. First it slows the influx, thus
delaying the ventricular activation, which enables the blood to fill the
ventricles in from the auricles. Then the conduction goes through the auriculo-ventricular knot and a net of fibres called auriculo-ventricular fascisculus
(or His fascisculus) in order to spread its influx in
the ventricles, involving their contraction.
Each beating heart is activated by electric impulses
issued by the natural pacemaker of the heart, the sinusal
knot, situated in the upper part of the right auricle. These electric impulses
are issued at the rhythm of one hundred per minute and activate the heart
contractions (The pulse is the frequency of cardiac revolution per minute. It
is to be taken where the arteries are on surface (never with the thumb). At
birth, it is up to one hundred and thirty-five revolutions per minute. By
teenagers, it falls to eighty revolutions per minute and by adults it is
approximately of seventy-five per minute. The frequency of cardiac revolutions
of the athletes can even fall to fifty-five per minute.). From a symbolic point
of view, all this of course evokes a capacity to receive and to give without
letting oneself be destabilized by anything, always finding in oneself new
strengths. This function embodies a capacity to constantly renew one's dynamic
line of participative union with others.
After the contraction phase during which the auricles
contract themselves first (auricular systole) pushing the blood towards the
ventricles that contract themselves in turn (ventricular systole), propelling
the blood out of the heart through the arteries, then follows a phase of
release or diastole (whose duration is of about four-tenth of a second)
enabling the heart to get filled in with blood (the blood coming from the cells
filling the right part of the heart and the blood coming from the lungs filling
the left part of the heart). From a symbolic point of view, this function of
release evokes of course a capacity to receive and to give in a dynamic line of
abandonment and getting oneself invested by this irresistible attraction that
others have on oneself (welcoming them and giving of oneself to them in the
of mediation, circulation in the capillaries
We have already said that the capillaries link the
arteries to the veins insofar as their walls are composed of a thin layer of
cells that release oxygen and nutritive substances (coming from the arteries),
these elements spreading themselves in the tissues of the different body organs
while the products issued by the metabolism of the cells enter into the
capillaries and are then going into the veins. From a symbolic point of view,
this function of mediation evokes an exchange process where each one gives what
he/she has (on a psychological level) or what he/she is (on an initiatic level) to the other.
Hereunder is a table showing the main functions
associated to the heart and their psychological stakes.
Table showing the
main functions of the cardiovascular system and their psychological stakes
Functions of the circulatory system
The psychological stakes
and systemic venous circulation
- The heart is
contained in a strong membranous bag called pericardium.
- To welcome and
give respecting one's own existential limits (those that structure one’s deep
- At the large
circulation or systemic circulation level, the veins carry the blood back
from the organs and the tissues towards the heart.
- To release,
getting out of self confinement (even dying ultimately to oneself) to favour
an opening to others in a beaming or gift perspective.
Systemic arterial circulation
- At the large
circulation level, the role of the arteries is to feed the cells of the
organism with oxygen and nutritive substances.
- To benefit from
the resources that others offer or from their presence by feeling the joy
that this brings.
- The heart is a muscular pump that contract
itself at an average rhythm of eighty to a hundred pulses per minute,
propelling the blood towards the lungs and the whole body.
- To receive and give, showing dynamism, vigour
and energy, fighting thus against all the forces of inertia that confine
human beings in a death condition where they cannot welcome nor give.
Pulmonary arterial circulation, coronary
circulation and automaticity function
- At the small circulation level, the pulmonary
arteries push the blood from the right ventricle towards the lungs where it releases
some products issued by the metabolism of the cells.
- To offer others one's living power by a full
beaming of one's being or by one’s life sacrifice (giving of oneself out of
- The heart depends on the arteries for its
feeding in oxygen and on the veins for bringing the blood loaded with the
products issued by the cardiac cell metabolism towards the right auricle.
- To maintain with others a dynamic line of
- Each beating is activated by electric impulses
issued by the sinusal knot situated in the upper
part of the right auricle.
- To receive and give without letting oneself
get destabilized by anything, always finding new forces to maintain this
- After the contraction phase comes a release
phase or diastole during which the heart gets filled in with blood.
- To receive and give being in a dynamic line
of abandonment, letting oneself be invested by the irresistible attraction that
others have on oneself (welcoming them in oneself or giving of oneself to
the capillary level and valvular functions
- The capillaries link the arteries to the veins
and bring the oxygen and the nutritive substances to the cells, receiving
also the products issued by their metabolism.
- To establish an exchange process in which
each one gives what he/she has or what he/she is to the other.
- The valves prevent the blood from circulating
in the wrong way between the auricles and the ventricles and between the
ventricles and the aorta or pulmonary artery.
- To receive or give being in mediation with
others without making any step back.
Pulmonary venous circulation
- At the small circulation level, the pulmonary
veins bring the blood back from the lungs towards the left auricle of the
- To open oneself developing an attitude of
welcome towards others (to others as such or to the resources they offer).
The heart is called lév in
Hebrew [Lamed-Beith] or sometimes lévav [Lamed-Beith-Beith]. This last word, pronounced libév, also
means "to inflame", "to stur up the
flame", "to enchant", "to fascinate" or "to
charm". The three letters of this word also form a root from which the
[Noun-Lamed-Beith-Beith], which means "to become
sensible", is originated. At last, the proper structure of the word speaks
for itself and we are going to look at this closely. To understand better the
heart-associated stakes, let us start the symbolic analysis of the various
words extracted from the Hebrew word and the letters that compose it.
As mentioned before, the Hebrew word lévav [Lamed-Beith-Beith] which means the heart also means "to
enflame" or "to stir up the flame" when it is pronounced libév.
"To enflame" evokes the act of lighting a fire while "to stir up
the flame" is associated with the act of reviving or rekindling it. Which
fire can be lighted or revived at the heart level? First, it is of course the
vital fire associated to the metabolic activity of the organism. The metabolism
is based on a process of oxydoreduction during which
a real fire, fed by oxygen, involves the decomposition of the food molecules
and the extraction of a great energy. Second it is the fire of emotion or
desire, associated with the affective dimension of the being. Expressing
feelings has always been linked closely to the activity of a burning fire. It
is the fire of passion. So, "to declare one’s flame" evokes, in the
popular language, the fact of expressing one’s loving passion, one’s loving
desire. At last, it is the fire that sets the intellect
ablaze, that enlightens the conscience with its light and free it from
darkness. This fire is the very symbol of enlightening and knowing. Through
these three forms of fire, we find the three modalities of the soul.
There is also a fourth fire that the candidate must
light in his/her heart. It is the fire of love taught in the Sacred-Heart
doctrine. A revelation received by Sainte Gertrude in the fifteenth century is
particularly interested on this account. As she was asking Saint John why he had written nothing on
Christ’s heart, the apostle answered:
"I was due
to announce to the borning Church the doctrine of the
uncreated Verb of God the Father; but concerning this sacred Heart, God is
waiting to let it know in the last times, when the world would start to fall in
decay, in order to revive the flame of charity which will have got cold."
of Sainte Gertrude, mentioned by H. Montaigu
in his work, Paray le Monial, Paris, 1979)
In human beings, the heart is really the place where
love, issued from its meeting with others (and through it with the All-Other),
can inflame itself, and set its soul ablaze on the three levels that compose it
(vital level, emotional level and mental level), and bring it to exercise the
sacred ministries of king, priest and prophet (if we want to use again the
On the other hand, we know that the Hebrew word lévav [Lamed-Beith-Beith] meaning the heart also means, when it is
pronounced libév, "to enchant", "to
fascinate" or "to charm". It is significant to realize that for
the words "to enchant" ("to submit to a supernatural
action", according to Le Petit Robert, alphabetical and analogical dictionary of the
French Language, Paris), "to fascinate" ("to make use of an
irresistible seduction", according to Le Petit Robert) and "to charm" ("to captivate through
a strong appeal", according to Le Petit Robert), one must be gifted with graces (a word coming
from the Latin word gratia that means "God’s help" and is
"a kind of charm, of pleasantness that can be found in a human
being", according to Le
Petit Robert). Grace is not a product of human nature
since it is a strength of a supernatural origin that invests the soul when this
latter is no more a simple breath issued from the spirit and body union, but a breath
of love issued from the intimate and plenary communion between man and God. A
beautiful and clever person may live without being invested with grace.
Therefore we come across again with the essential
stake that we have associated with the heart. Let us add that grace, as light
of the soul, will express itself at the three levels. There will be acts
stamped with grace (vital level), feelings stamped with grace (emotional level)
and words stamped with grace (mental level). More, not only grace originates in
a union between man and God, but it also has a power of attraction on others,
involving a dynamic line of communion between two beings, the one who is
fascinated being called to dispossess oneself of one’s
self to participate into the reality of the one who charms him/her. Therefore,
we find again this dynamic line of union between two realities so closely
associated with the heart.
We also said that the stem word [Lamed-Beith-Beith] forms a root from which originates the verb nilbav
[Noun-Lamed-Beith-Beith] meaning "to become
sensible". As the verbs "to enchant", "to fascinate"
or "to charm" evoke grace, the fact of
"becoming sensible" is directly associated with wisdom which is also
a gift of God. The Judeo-Christian tradition teaches us that God is the sole
wise able to communicate an authentic wisdom to men enabling them to know His
reality and to let it know to others.
Wisdom as transforming knowledge appears in men who
have turned themselves entirely to God, opening themselves
to His knowable reality and enriching themselves from it. Of course it is not
simple reason, it is an intuition or an inspiration.
In other words, it is not a brain knowledge, but a
cardiac knowledge. Again, we come across the image of the heart as vector of
knowledge, a concept we have precedingly developed.
IV. Initiatic and psychological
The first psychological stake associated with the
cardiovascular system very certainly lies in the development of an aptitude to fully
assert who we are. The candidate is therefore called to express with strength
and without any compromise all the dimensions of his/her personality, doing it
essentially in a perspective of testimony.
Therefore it is important for the candidates not to
smoother in them who they are, and to dedicate themselves to assert what they
bear in their deepest inner being. Therefore, while putting their light on the
streetlamp, not only they will beam their deepest being, but they will give
rise to a similar desire to express their real nature to those who surround
them. To make a testimony of what we are, it is also effectively to invite others to
do the same through the power of example. More then, it is by expressing
themselves that they will develop a capacity to assert themselves more
strongly, creating a real confidence in themselves according to the principle
that the more a capacity is used, the more it develops itself. The more the
deep values of the self are expressed, the more they grow stronger and give
confidence to the candidates. The candidates will gain a remarkable beaming
power that will give them a certain authority. Faithful to themselves (to the
inner spirit that guide them), they will also tend to be loyal and sincere in
their relationships to others.
The second attitude is the attitude when the person
goes through using strength: it is the aggressive attitude that is described
hereunder by Dr Fanget:
an aggressive attitude, it is to express, even to impose your needs, your
desires, without taking into account others’ needs and desires. It is, for
example, to smoke during meetings without asking permission. It is to put the
radio on very loud without caring for your husband’s sleep. It is to park your
car in front of a garage giving as a pretext that you will be only a few
minutes long. It is to phone to somebody starting to talk about your own
problems without asking if you are disturbing."
Fanget, Armez vous! Pour mieux vivre avec les autres)
Hereunder is a synthesis of the aggressive behaviour:
of an aggressive behavior
1. You express your needs and your desires.
2. You do not respect others.
3. You speak 95 % of the time and let others
express themselves 5 % of the time.
4. You express yourself straight, even roughly.
5. You gaze at others fixedly, you are strained,
rigid, you come very close to others when you speak to them.
6. You speak in a loud voice.
7. You tend to generalize.
8. In case of dispute, you do not hesitate to
9. After doing so, you are satisfied because you
have obtained what you wanted, but you feel a bit guilty when you think that
you have harmed others.
Then comes the asserted behaviour where "you express
your needs, your desires, simply and directly, taking into account others’
needs and desires. It is the 50 / 50 rule: you have 50 % of
the rights, but your partner has also 50 % of the rights. You will be able
to say to the lady who overtakes you while you are queuing up in a store:
"It’s long waiting and I understand that you are
in a hurry, but I would appreciate that you stay behind me please." You
won’t hesitate to ask your colleague to give you a lift home a day when your
car is being repaired, if he/she has time of course and if this doesn’t trouble
him/her... You will dare ask your partner to respect your tastes for old movies
while respecting his/her liking for action movies: "Listen, we have a
problem: you wish to watch the last John Woo and, I,
the “Seventh Seal” by Bergman. So, I suggest that we meet after the pictures
and have dinner together." You will ask your neighbours to park their car
in another place than in front of your door or tell them that their dog’s
barking is a nuisance for you."
However it is important not to mix up asserted
behaviour and aggressive behaviour although the affirmation of oneself, the way
it is sometimes lived (and the way it has been lived during the last decades to
allow minorities to make themselves heard) very often leads to such a
confusion. To avoid this, Dr. Fanget made the
between the aggressive behavior and the asserted behavior
- You obtain by
- You obtain by negotiating.
- You use coercion, threat.
- You use dialogue.
- You belittle others.
- You respect others.
- You create a bad
feeling in others.
- You create a good
feeling in others.
- You generalize.
- You are precise.
- You pass value
judgments on others, on what they are.
- You pass judgments
only on others’ behaviour, on what they do. You do not pass any judgment on
what they are.
A sound self affirmation involves, in a second step,
to get along better with others. "If you have a too passive behaviour, you
will be looked at as a sucker, the person who is used when needed and not
respected. [...] An excessively aggressive behaviour will give you the image of
a nuisance", of an eternally unsatisfied person that cannot live without
conflict. And this can have consequences on the friendship level, on the love
level and on the professional level." "If you assert yourself and
respect others, very likely others will get along with you very well. This will
enable you to widen the circle of your friends and also probably to enrich your
human relationships. However, this last point, although desirable, is not
always obtained as it also depends on others’ good will. It is likely that you
will not have friendly relationships with everybody. But a good level of self
assertion will allow you to resolve possible relation problems easier."
and welcome by others
To love according to this phrase written by Saint-Exupéry in Lettres à un otage (Letters to an hostage):
"Brother, by differing from me, you do not wrong me, you enrich me."
with others (to take and to give)
The third psychological stake associated with the
cardiovascular system is a consequence of the first two stakes as it involves
the development of a sharing relationship where the personal riches, fully asserted, are
put at the disposal of others who learn to develop qualities and new
capacities. Others, who are ontologically different from us, bear resources
that we can acquire and develop in the frame of a privileged relationship,
allowing everyone to get to some expansion of himself/herself.
This probably express itself in a very significant way
in the experience of attraction that men feel towards women and women towards
men. Men go effectively to women so that they awake in themselves the feminine
part of their being while women go to men so that they awake in themselves the
male energy. Each one receives from the other what he/she does not have and the
relationship becomes a relation of mutual enrichment through the sharing of
B. Initiatic stakes
The first stake, related to love, can be found
essentially in the development of a capacity to give, and more precisely, to
give of oneself. If it is generally admitted that gift is an essential
dimension of love, too often we forget that it does not mean only to give
something but to give of oneself. Of course, it is true that love is gift of
our riches and that we cannot conceive a love relationship without offering
what we own (materially, psychologically and spiritually). How could we ever
think of a love relationship where each partner would keep his/her own bank
account and his/her own resources, asking the other to take an equal part into
the common purchases? But there is a still more fundamental gift without which
there is no love. It is self giving in the way the husband and wife offer
themselves to each other up to the point when they do not belong to themselves,
when they are dispossessed of themselves.
The first spiritual stake of the cardiovascular system
invites us to self denial without any reserve and teaches us that the joy of
giving is very often greater than the joy of receiving. "the man in love, who seeks to realize himself in giving to
the one he loves, the mother who gives herself to her children and lives only
for them, are able to understand those words. Because they are in communion as
far as it is possible with our God’s mystery, source of all love." Not
only we are invited to give our own goods without any reserve, but also we are
invited to self giving, making a real offering of our whole being.
The Father teaches me to give according to others’
needs and not according to what I would like to receive. How often can we
observe a father who wants to give his son the best of himself imposing his
advice and resources so that the son may realize what is best to the father’s
eyes and do what the father has not succeeded to carry out himself.
Of course this is a noble wish, but the son will
answer that he has not necessarily the same goals and wishes to live
differently. "How many quarrels and splits between fathers and teenagers
originate from this. This father forgets that one
"doesn’t make" a child for oneself, but for him/her. That the child does not belong to anyone but to himself/herself and
to God. And that the goal is to "educate" him/her, i.e.
"to lead him/her out", so that he/she may carry out his/her own human
project, his/her new and unexpected adventure. There again, fascination of the
same refusal of the difference. I who is a bachelor, I have no right to blame
anybody and I might have been a bad father. But I have heard enough confidences
by wounded parents and repelled sons to know that the risk lays here."
This need for putting one’s riches at others’ disposal
has been wonderfully expressed in the symbolic tradition by the image of a pelican
that bleeds itself white for its babies. According to a very ancient legend, it
happened that the pelican, when coming back to its nest, found its babies
unconscious and lifeless. The bird then shouted "its pain loudly, bended
to the small bodies covered with blood, ripped its chest with its beak and
soaked them with its blood. Then, under the warm fatherly sap, the dead baby
pelicans started to quiver, came to life again, started to flap their wings
happily and curled up against their father who, twice, gave them life." In
this legend, the behaviour of the bird which opens its chest to take care of
others evokes the real self sacrifice where the nutritive substances that feeded it so far exclusively spurt out to feed others
(these nutriments that can be found in blood being moreover the result of a
long work of ingestion and digestion, the "quintessence" of its
"To love means to give up living in
oneself, for oneself and by oneself." Thus welcoming
others will always begin in a movement by which the candidate will withdraw
from himself/herself into himself/herself to generate a wide space, inviting
others to become the centre of his/her own life.
By practising such a welcome behaviour, human beings
will cease focusing their conscience on themselves and will get free from the
close circle of their personal self. In other words, they will escape the power
of their self-centred and instinctual urges which, bringing them to relate
everything to themselves, used to cut them from all
exchanges and real communion with others. This behaviour however should not be
felt as a constraint but lived in a natural way, coming from a deep heart
surge. This will lead them to the third aspect of the spiritual stake
associated with the cardiovascular system.
part into others’ reality
The third spiritual stake of the cardiovascular system
corresponds to an experience of participation into the nature of others, the
ultimate desire of any love experience being to be able to feel what the other
feels, to be able to live what the other lives and to be able then to
participate fully into his/her reality. Any person who really loved knows what
it means, the greatest pain in love being precisely to remain a foreigner to
the other, not to be able to experience him/her. Welcoming, in the meaning we
have just defined, brings us necessarily to participate into the reality of the
beloved person as we make her the centre of our life. The fullness of love
leads us to an
experience of transcendence that allows us to go beyond what we are in a participation without confusion. "The vow of love is
to become the other, while remaining I, so that the other and I are not only
united but also really one. The human experience of love is a mix of joy and
suffering. Tremendous joy of saying to the one we love: you and me are not two,
but one. Pain of being forced to recognize that, when saying so, we say not
what it is, but what we would like to be and cannot be."
Love generates a deep communion that creates a true
unity; however this unity is always a dynamic line between two persons who take
on their differences.
4. The heart,
gathering place of love
To conclude this chapter on the spiritual stakes of
the cardiovascular system, it is important to say that the heart of the person
who placed herself in such a psycho-spiritual dynamic line necessarily becomes
identical to the mysterious Graal vessel, this sacred
gathering place of love coming from heavens. The very structure of the heart
aims it to this sublime vocation. By cultivating a spirit of gift, welcome and
participation into others’ reality, the candidate will change his/her heart
into a real matrix in which love will take root and grow, accomplishing thus
the poet’s wish: "Ah! If only my heart would become a crib, again God here
on earth would be a child" This is in this perspective that the devotion
to the Sacred-Heart was established in the Christian tradition. Called
"God’s House" or "Heavens’ Door", it is an admirable
evocation of the coming of the divine light into human beings.
As far as we are concerned, we see in that, of course,
the very symbol of love, the poured blood changed into a rose being the most
beautiful evocation of love. Let me mention this section of Philippe Mailhebiau’s book on the rose: "The Rose essential oil
is a wonder of nature; it might not be the sole one but it is exceptional. The
simple fact of smelling it refines our sensitivity, takes us into an unknown
world, seems to break up the darkness of our worries, of our fears, of our
sorrows. It lets us know love, not only human love which is already a gift,
maybe the most beautiful in existence, but also spiritual love, let us say
divine love if this word were not overworked. The authentic perfume of the Rose
seems to come from another world; an initiatic
tradition says that it was a gift made by the Venus planet.
Whether we believe or not in legends and beliefs, the Rose
seems to be a subject for meditation, for contemplation, a source for
We cannot prevent us from paralleling this devotion to
Christ’s Heart and the Eastern spiritual path of hesychasm
with its "Heart’s Prayer". The latter aims at making the Master live
in the faithful’s Heart and eventually identify both
hearts: the mean used is the repetitive invocation of Jesus’ name or any of the
other names of the Lord (Morya, Bouddha,
Rama, Saï Baba, and so on.)
According to the Christian hermetism,
the planetary archetype associated with the cardiovascular system is the Sun.
By the Ancients this star used to occupy a central position comparable to that
occupied by the heart in the human body. "The sun, Plutarque
says, with the strength of a heart spreads out and pours out heat and light as
if they were blood and breath". Macrobe says: "The name Intelligence of the world
given to the sun answers that of the Heart of the sky; source of the ethereal
light, the sun is, for this fluid, what the heart is for the living being. Al-Jili also thought that the heart is to the faculties what
the sun is to the planets: it is from the sun that they receive their light and
their impulse. [...] The symbolism of the centre and of the sun is wonderfully
engraved on the famous marble of the Orques
Charterhouse (Sarthes), published long ago by Louis
Charbonneau-Lassay. He is an extraordinary witness of
the intellectual deepness reached by the monks of St Bruno in the understanding
of the Heart’s mystery. This marble represents the Heart beaming in the middle
of two concentric circles; the circle of the planets, the innerest
one, and the circle of the zodiac, the most external one."
More precisely, the Sun used to embody, and still
embodies, a capacity to beam its deep identity without taking into account the
prejudices and stereotypes imposed by the society (or the illusions inherent to
the ego). Sometimes, it happens that we are mistaken concerning
self-affirmation when we see it as a kind of conceit or tremendous proud. This
is a big mistake as self-affirmation precisely allows the individual to exist
fully. Moreover, as it brings the individual to beam faithfully the values of
his/her deep being, the sun favours the development of a remarkable power that
will express itself naturally in the form of a charismatic authority whose
legitimacy is obvious.
From a spiritual point of view, the Sun at last evokes
a capacity to express and radiate with enthusiasm the strength of the Spirit.
The Hebrew name for the Sun very clearly demonstrates that as it is the word shèmèsh [Shin-Mem-Shin] that means "to officiate as a priest".
Christ, who was the great priest of the works of the Spirit ("Having a
great sovereign priest that came across Heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us
stand fast in our profession of faith.", Hebrews IV, 14), was associated
from the third century onwards to the "True Sun" (Verus Sol). In the fourth
century, the famous Byzantine poet Romanos the Melode made Him say in the Canticle of the Courtesan:
"I, the Sun". Let us mention Berulle, who,
in his Meditations on
Santa Magdalena in the seventeenth century, speaks of "Jesus,
this rising Sun".
Hereunder is a table summarizing the symbolic elements
related to the Sun and the stakes embodied by the cardiovascular system.
Table showing the
symbolic elements of the Sun and the stakes embodied by the cardiovascular
Sun-associated symbolic elements
Cardiovascular system-associated stakes
- The Sun embodies a
capacity to radiate its deep identity without taking into account the
prejudices and stereotypes imposed by society (or the illusions inherent to
- Expression of
one’s self through one’s behaviour, emotions or thoughts.
- The Sun embodies a
capacity to radiate with enthusiasm the strength of the Spirit, i.e. love
- Expression of love
through one’s behaviour, emotions or thoughts.
It is as vector of the fruitful and vitalizing divine
power that he was looked at as real thaumaturgist.
When a subject of the King of France suffered a disease that could not be
healed by doctors, he/she used to go to Paris,
on the doctors’ advice, to be healed by the Sovereign. At particular times of
the year, generally corresponding to religious feasts, the king effectively
used to receive sick people and heal them through a particular ritual process.
As an example, Louis XIV, who reigned from 1643 to 1715, had many opportunities
to carry out this healing process and many recoveries were obtained. "The
doctors were so often witnesses of these recoveries that, particularly
concerning lymphatic tumors who were royal
prerogative, the first surgeon of the Dauphinesses, Dionis,
"advise all the people that suffer this disease to try to heal through a
so soft spiritual mean before trying to get healed through the doctors who will
not save them from pain..."
So fundamentally, the cardiovascular system embodies a
capacity in human beings to welcome and to give. From a psychological point of
view, it evokes more precisely the development of a capacity to affirm oneself
(function of witnessing), to open oneself to the resources offered by others
(by using them to ensure the development and opening up of one’s being) and to
turn oneself to them by exchanging and sharing. From a spiritual point of view,
it will embody a capacity to give of oneself to others, to welcome them fully
in oneself to grant them a central place in our
existence, and to experiment what they are in a transcendental movement beyond
all survival instinct.
Table showing the
functions of the cardiovascular system and their stakes
The functions of the cardiovascular
Maintenance function and systemic venous
- The heart is
contained in a strong membranous bag called the pericardium.
- To welcome and
give respecting one’s existential limits (the limits that structure one’s
- At the large circulation
level, or systemic circulation, the veins carry the blood back from the
organs and tissues towards the heart.
- To release and get
out of self-refinement to favour an opening up to others in a perspective of
beaming or gift.
Systemic arterial circulation
- At the large
circulation level, the arteries feed the cells with oxygen and nutritive
- To benefit from
others’ resources or presence and feel the joy that this brings.
- The heart is a muscular
pump that contracts itself at a middle frequency situated between eighty and
a hundred pulses per minute and propels the blood towards the lungs and the
- To receive and to
give showing dynamism, strength and energy and to fight again all the inertia
forces that confine human beings in a death state where they cannot receive
nor give anymore.
Pulmonary arterial circulation, coronary
circulation and automaticity function
- At the small circulation
level, the pulmonary arteries propel blood from the right ventricle to the
lungs where it releases some products issued from the cell metabolism.
- To offer others
one’s vitalizing power by a full beaming being or by one’s life sacrifice
(giving oneself out of love).
- The heart depends
on the arteries for its feeding and on the veins for bringing the blood
loaded with the metabolic products back from the cardiac cells towards the
- To maintain with
others a participative dynamic union line.
- Each beating is
released by electric impulses issued by the sinusal
knot situated in the upper part of the right ventricle.
- To receive and
give without letting oneself be destabilized by anything and on the contrary always
finding new forces to maintain this dynamic line.
Function of release
- After the phase of
contraction comes a phase of release or diastole during which the heart gets
filled in with blood.
- To receive and give, being able to place
oneself in a dynamic movement of abandonment and letting oneself
be invested by the irresistible attraction that others have on oneself
(welcoming them in oneself and giving oneself to them).
Circulation at the capillary level and
- The capillaries
link the arteries to the veins, bring oxygen and nutritive substances to the cells
and also collect the products issued by their metabolism.
- To establish an
exchange process in which each one gives to others what he/she owns or is.
- The valves prevent
the blood from circulating in the wrong way between the auricles and the ventricles
and between the ventricles and the aorta or the pulmonary artery.
- To receive and
give placing oneself in a mediation relation with others without stepping
Pulmonary venous circulation
- At the small circulation
level, the pulmonary veins bring the blood back from the lungs to the left
ventricle of the heart.
- To open oneself up
by developing a welcoming behaviour towards others as such or towards the
resources they offer.
Section II – Diseases – Symbolism and
As all the other arteries, the coronary arteries may
be affected by atherosclerosis. Sheets of atheroma gradually
cover the internal walls of the vessels, narrow the blood flux and favour the
development of blood clots. This coagulation of course stops the irrigation of
the part of the heart concerned and involves the necrosis of part of the
cardiac muscle; this conveys in most cases a great and persisting pain and
ultimately leads to cardiac arrest.
This disease originates in a problem at the level of
maintenance of the heart. This function means, on a symbolic level, a capacity
to maintain a participative union dynamic line. Myocardial infarction is
therefore closely linked to a problem of that kind. More then, this disease
results from an obstruction at the coronary arteries level. Any obstruction
phenomenon is of course associated with a blocking process (refusal to carry on
or to go on in self investment). Therefore this disease seems to result from a
refusal to maintain with others a participative union dynamic line.
then this refusal? There might be two main causes. The first one might
result from a tendency to receive no more from others (neither their resources,
nor their selves), maybe trying to free oneself from a too oppressing relation
(or judging that one does not deserve this relation anymore). The second one might
result from a wish to give no more to others (neither one’s riches, nor one’s
self), thinking that they are not worth it or do not deserve it anymore.
Thus, myocardial infarction shows us two types of
clashes that we can sum up as follows: "I do not want to receive anymore
from others (neither their resources, nor their selves), trying to free me
from a too oppressing relation (or thinking I do not deserve it
anymore)."; and "I do not want to give anymore to others (neither
my riches nor my self), thinking they are not worth it or they do not deserve
More then, this disease is characterized by a strong
and persistent pain in the chest. The pain of course evokes a state of acute
crisis. Why such a crisis? In both cases, by trying not to maintain a dynamic
line of exchange or participation anymore, the individual confines
himself/herself in a dangerous death condition (by cutting himself/herself from
all the resources necessary for his/her development and from love as experience
Then, each clash we previously associated with
myocardial infarction implies a consequence that we can sum up as follows:
"By trying not to maintain with others a dynamic line of exchange or participation,
I confine myself in a dangerous death condition by cutting myself from its
resources or from the love that it could bring me, leading me to shortage or
At last, myocardial infarction affects the heart
situated in the centre of the chest. We can therefore infer from the two
deviant behaviours we associated to myocardial infarction that they might be
stimulated by a difficulty to establish, in one’s relation with others, a
matrix middle able to meet everybody’s needs.
Therapeutic approach of the
Myocardial infarction affects the heart which is
situated in the middle of the chest.
Table showing the
body areas affected by myocardial infarction
To establish, in
one’s relation with others, a matrix middle able to
meet everybody’s needs.
Thus the sick person looking for reharmonization
will have to try to harmonize in herself the psycho-spiritual stakes that
correspond to the body area mainly affected. Myocardial infarction is
aggravated by the fact that the sick person has difficulties in building for
herself an appropriate matrix middle.
Therapeutic approach of the
We know that myocardial infarction affects the heart. The
sick person will have to harmonize in herself the corresponding
Table showing the
psycho-spiritual stake of the cardiovascular system
To welcome others
(or their resources) and to give oneself to them (or to beam facing them).
Therapeutic approcah of the under-system
At a more precise level, myocardial infarction affects
the coronary circulation.
The sick person will be invited to develop in herself
the psycho-spiritual stake that could be summarized as follows: "To centre
myself and radiate what I am becoming the privileged vector of an extraordinary
In the case when the individual does not want to
receive anymore from others,he/she
will be able to use the following positive affirmation: "I get centered and discover my fundamental needs that can be
met only by others."
In the case when the individual does not want to give
anymore to others, the positive affirmation could be as follows: "I
radiate what I am and become the privileged vector of an extraordinary
fertility able to meet others’ needs."
Description médicale Medical description
Arterial hypertension occurs when the pressure exerted
by the blood propelled on the walls of the arteries increases. It is not necessarily
pathological. During sport practice, the heart must send more blood
into the arterial system in order to meet the energetic needs of the organism, contracts itself more vigorously and increases the
arterial pressure. Stress is also a cause of hypertension and involves the
contraction of the blood vessels, and consequently the increase of the cardiac
activity. At last, the old age is a factor of arterial hypertension as the
arteries get hard and increase the resistances to blood circulation towards the
organism. In order to maintain sufficient blood output, the heart must
therefore contract itself more vigorously.
Arterial hypertension becomes pathological when the
blood pressure in the arteries of a person relaxed and quiet remains unusually
high. Very often it does not provoke any symptom and therefore it is detected
most of the times during a routine examination. Some of the complications due
to non-treated hypertension are cerebro-vascular
accidents, cardiac insufficiency, kidney lesions and retinopathy.
This pathology comes from a problem at the cardiac
activity level (and particularly at the systolic function level). The latter is
linked, on a symbolic level, to the development of a capacity to receive
(systemic arterial circulation) showing dynamism and energy, fighting against
all the inertia forces that confine the individual in a death condition where
he/she does not welcome anymore. Therefore, the arterial hypertension will be
closely linked to a problem of that kind. More then, this disease results from
an increase of the cardiac activity. Any increase phenomenon is of course
associated with an exaggeration process. Consequently this pathology seems to
result from a tendency to exaggerate, the individual tending to mobilize
his/her energy in an abnormal way against inertia forces that prompt him/her to
withdraw into himself/herself and break an harmonious
participative dynamic union line with others.
Why then this exaggeration? It may have two main
causes. The first one might result from a feeling of incapacity to welcome in
an appropriate manner the resources offered by others (or to give them place
within his/her existence). This feeling will encourage him/her to place oneself
exaggeratedly in an opening behaviour towards others. The second one might
result from an excessive dependence upon others or upon their resources, the
individual seeking to open himself/herself to others
in an excessive way.
Thus, arterial hypertension shows us two types of
clashes that we can sum up as follows: "I do not feel able to welcome
others or their resources in an appropriate manner, so I place myself in an
excessive behaviour of opening to them"; and "Maintaining an
excessive dependence upon others or their resources, I seek to open myself to
them in an excessive manner."
This pathology is scarcely accompanied by symptoms.
However, it increases the risk of cerebro-vascular
accidents and of numerous other diseases. In other words, it develops a ground
hostile to any personal development and to any experience of transcendence. Why
such a situation? Insofar as the individual focalises all his/her strengths to
place himself/herself in an excessive manner in an
opening dynamic line towards others, he/she misuses them and exposes
himself/herself to various disorders involving a weakening of the organism. If
he/she maintains also an excessive dependence upon others or upon their
resources, opening himself/herself in an excessive manner, he/she will not
develop a capacity to affirm his/her identity (the latter, not being expressed,
So, each one of the clashes we have previously
associated with arterial hypertension involves a consequence that can be
summed up as follows: "By focalising all my strengths to place myself in
an excessive behaviour of opening to others, I weaken my whole
organism."; and "By maintaining an excessive dependence upon others
or upon their resources, and by trying to open myself to them in an excessive
manner, I do not develop a right capacity to affirm my identity (the latter,
not being expressed, dies)."
At last, arterial hypertension affects the whole
arterial system. So there is no ground specifically favourable to its
Therapeutic approach of the ground
We have just said that arterial hypertension affects
the whole arterial system. So there is no ground specifically favourable to its
Therapeutic approach of the
We know that arterial hypertension affects the heart.
The sick person will have to harmonize in himself/herself the psycho-spiritual
Table showing the
stake associated with the cardiovascular system
To welcome others
(or their resources) and give oneself to them (or radiate face to them).
He/she could write for his/her greatest benefit the
following positive affirmation: "I receive from others and I give to
others (or at least express to them) what I am."
Therapeutic approach of the
More precisely, arterial hypertension affects the
heart systolic function.
The sick person will be invited to develop in
himself/herself the psycho-spiritual stake that might be summed up as follows:
"To get centred and radiate what I am, being able to invest myself
strongly, freeing myself from any death inertia."
In case the person focalizes all his/her forces to
place himself/herself in an excessive behaviour of opening to others, he/she
might use with benefit the following positive affirmation: "I centre
myself on what I am, being able to invest myself strongly, freeing myself
from all death inertia."
If he/she maintains an excessive dependence upon
others or their resources, trying to open himself/herself to them in an
excessive manner, the positive affirmation could be said or written as
follows: "I centre myself and radiate what I am, being able to invest
myself strongly, freeing me of all death inertia."