The Heart’s Code

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Self-styled psychoneuroimmunologist Paul Pearsall contends that people often think with their hearts rather than their heads. In THE HEART’S CODE: TAPPING THE WISDOM AND POWER OF OUR HEART ENERGY, he explores the relatively new field of cellular memory, an area that has broad implications socially, medically, and religiously. He conjectures that just as all cells contain genetic blueprints, they also contain memories of the distant past.

Pearsall has collected a panoply of anecdotal material from organ transplant patients and their families. He claims that in many heart recipients, a spiritual tie grows between patient and donor. Some of the people interviewed claim to share memories with their deceased donors, leading Pearsall to postulate that the heart, which he personifies throughout his book, actually is capable of thought, emotion, memory, and communication with other hearts.

Pearsall intimates that a unique form of energy he labels the “fifth force” exists in the world but is usually eclipsed by the power of the brain. What he writes about essentially, then, is emotion (the heart) versus reason (the brain). In passages that suggest overtones of the religion and philosophy of Native Americans, Pearsall points to the brain’s concern with short-term memory rather than with the archetypal recollections of the heart.

Pearsall calls the heart’s energy “L” energy, which is not bound by time and space, as the energy of the brain is. Obedient to the laws of physics, it unites with other forms of energy present in the universe.

In THE HEART’S CODE, Pearsall treads on territory viewed by many in the medical profession as, at best, specious and at worst, downright fraudulent. The book is imaginative and lively. Its research is extensive but has a significant bias that is sure to alienate scientifically-oriented readers.