I love Latin: the way it cords our language back to common ancestor, how it comes in slivers while fluency escapes. For the last few weeks it has visited me one word at a time like sunlight filtered and fractured through a triple-canopy of concern. Lip and tongue placed to breath forgotten notes inked on the mother bar of time. Sounds I can’t pronounce drift softly over my mind like a quilt, patch-worked and familiar, to remind that the heart precedes mind.
The English word “nature” comes from the Latin word “natura” which means “birth”, and ultimately from “nasci” which means “to be born.” Thus English words like “natal” and “nascent.” Latin marks our birth in nature. I spend most of my time in the wild to be in my heart– to be home.
In his book Blue Mind Wallace Nichols talks about biophelia: the peace that covers us when we return to the world in which we lived for most of all of our 300,000 years of existence.
Primitive tribes to classical societies have held the essential soul, the beacon of being, rests in the heart.
I feed my heart outdated college rock and single-album punk mystics. I feed it paperbacks and facts. I take it on long runs in the woods, then push it to climb trees barefoot.
In Science of the Heart Vol 1., researchers concluded that studies proved the heart, with its 40,000 independent neurons, had a mind of its own that communicates with the brain, “…influencing information processing, perception, emotions and health.” James N. Kirby reached to the same conclusion when, in Frontiers in Public Health in 2014, he states that, “The evolution of mammalian caregiving involving hormones such as oxytocin, vasopressin and the myelinated vagal nerve as part of the ventral parasympathetic system, enables humans to connect, co-regulate each other’s emotions and create pro-sociality.” In short, that our hearts shape ourselves and others through the neuro-magnetic field.
I am free when I return to my “ferus” or “feral” self. J.G. Ballard writes about this neuronic memory in The Drowned World. It pulses through particle exchange theory; the more one is in contact with any other force or mass the more he or she becomes it and it becomes them. Wild bleeds into wild. Salvation is cellular.
I have given up on fighting for self-discipline. Instead, each day I wrestle loose from ambitions to control. Some scientists argue that self-discipline is finite. They theorize that practicing self-discipline alone, denying our wants to adhere to our goals, results in “ego-depletion” and a dangerous loss of control.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy is inescapable in a closed set. But pressure can only build to the limits of density before it expands into creation. This is one of the “fundamenta” of physics, a “valorem” of art, and the “promissum” coded in every human heart. Rip it up, and start again.
I’ve read, or listened to, over sixty books this year. I have used Kindle and Audible without giving any money to Amazon. Instead I’ve used this app to support my local library system. It’s wonderful, and available for both Apple and Android devices.
Listen to this
Maria Popova “Why the Scientific Method is Like Love”