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Research Library

The Spiritual Heart

    • Published: 2020
    • Micheline R. Anderson1
    • Religions 2020, 11, 506. DOI: 10.3390/rel11100506.1. Spirituality Mind Body Institute, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA.
    • Download the complete paper, click here.


The heart has been a symbol within ancient philosophy and spiritual practice for personal consciousness, wisdom, intuition and love. In recent decades, scientists with growing interest in spirituality have built a strong case for the beneficial relationship between religiosity/spirituality and physical health. Explanations for this connection have included associated health behaviors that negatively impact cardiovascular health but have failed to adequately explain away this consistent association. Here, we suggest a central and bidirectional relationship between the heart, the "Master Organ," and the phenomenology of spiritual experience. Further, we provide existing evidence for a synergistic, salutogenic relationship between robust cardiac function and spiritual wellbeing that may o er a roadmap to spiritual, psychological and physical recovery and health at the individual, interpersonal and global level.