I was doing my morning news search, looking for inspiration for different topics, and an article on Gizmodo caught my eye. Apparently, researchers from Finland have been able to visually map where emotions express themselves in the body.
What struck me as most interesting is the focus all of these emotions seem to have around the heart. Obviously, the heart has always corresponded with the "feeling centre" of the body, but not on a physical level. In metaphysics, when we refer to the "heart centre," we rarely mean the actual heart, but more accurately mean the centre of our subtle self.
From this photo, we can discern some very important information about how our emotions affect us physically, which can lead to a greater understanding of how our mental and emotional states have a direct influence on our health.
For example, happiness is a full body experience. It literally touches every part of the body with a glowing warmth. In an article from Science Daily, researches followed over 5,000 university students for 40 years, and determined that the individuals who were less then optimistic as students seem to die earlier than their "happy" counterparts. This reveals that maintaining a positive mind/emotional state leads to longevity and better, overall health.
Taking a look at the visual of depression, we see that the body is almost a complete void of the same brilliance that is expressed when we are happy, and instead is made up primarily of the cold blue. From what I understand, brighter colours mean warmth, while bluer colours represent cold. In a state of depression, it would seem that the revitalising warmth of contentment is vacant. What kind of effects might this have on our health?
In most cases, depression is linked with a lack of self-esteem either enforced by the self, or by those around us. It has spawned an entire generation of people who are forced to take medication just to remain productive within society. Of course, this should not be the aim of medicine, but that's a topic for another time. It does reveal that society is not designed to fulfill happiness, but to keep it perpetually out of reach so that we always have something to chase.
There is also a great deal of evidence that suggests that depression can and does lead to thoughts and acts of suicide. It as if the vitalising force (expressed as brilliant light) is inactive in the body; much like being cut off from the "tree of life" sapping our will to live. Altogether, this reveals more evidence that how we think about our lives has a direct impact on how we experience our life.
If we take a look at the picture which shows the body as neutral, we find that both the brilliance of happiness and the cold, blue of depression is not present. This raises a whole new set of questions, such as is "neutral" considered the natural state of the body? Should we not strive for happiness, and instead journey towards a state of perpetual neutrality?
I suppose it depends on who you ask, but in popular spiritual circles, the concept of non-duality is perceived as the natural state of existence, or the basis from which all noumena and phenomena emerge. But does non-duality correspond with neutrality? And if so, does this mean that the universe is primarily neutral to how life expresses?
To quote Ernest Holmes:
The Universe is impersonal. It gives alike to all. It is no respecter of persons. It values each alike. It's nature is to impart, ours to receive. - Science of Mind
There are many different ways to interpret this information. We can say that the brilliant light of happiness can activate greater inspiration and creativity, while depression may suppress those same qualities.
Neutrality may be seen as a state of inactive activity, or in other words, we are not being propelled by either emotion or thought, and are centered in a place of stillness. Or perhaps, neutrality is a receding from both emotional connection or mental projection?
I suppose you can take from this what you want, and I would love to hear some thoughts on what this might mean for future understandings of how thoughts and emotions may impact our overall health.