“Gut Feelings” – of brains and bowels

Scientific research adds a new dimension to the discussion of the bowels as the seat of the emotions in Property and Compassion – Plato and Luke (VFTE, 4/29/15). Our friend Gary, who frequently comments on Views from the Edge, brought it to our attention with his response to the Property and Compassion post:

I find it interesting that the intestines were considered the seat of emotions [in the Bible]. I read a couple months ago that we now know that the intestines actually are lined with neurons, i.e., brain cells. “Gut feeling” is more than a metaphor….

Click Gut feelings: the emerging biology of gut–brain communication  to read the full article. Or scroll down two-thirds of the way through the article to read get the essence of the gut-brain connection.

The Hebrew location of the emotions was the bowels, also translated “inner parts” – stomach and intestines. The instinctive response to human need is a pit in the bottom of the stomach, a visceral response. One has to be carefully taught not to feel it. As the author of the New Testament epistle asked,

…whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? [I John 3:17 KJV].

– Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, May 1, 2015.

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