the function of, the structure of, the meaning of
Long the subject of mystery and speculation it’s now possible through the wonders of modern scientific reasoning to know all things. Many long standing mysteries, fables and stories have long since either been cleaved in twain or proven as fact by the keen blade of scientific proof. Forged in this bitter crucible are many grave and wonderful truths… none more grave and more wonderful than this I am about to explain.
For centuries the focus of gentle metaphysical debate and much heated discussion, the composition of the human heart is a subject close to many. Not until recently has it been possible to bring together all that is known about this versatile vessel, the seat of both respiration and aspiration, of both circulation and the soul.
In short, the human heart is a complex device. It has many aspects, but let us begin with its function. Far from being monofunctional it has a variety of functions most of which seem to be, at first glance, completely unrelated. It’s primary function, as opposed to it’s more mundane secondary function of pumping blood around the circulatory system, is to be the centre of human emotions. Not all emotions reside in the heart, assuredly not. The kinder softer emotions are naturally pooled in the heart, and the bitter, darker feelings are of course located mostly in the forehead.
Love, of course takes up the largest area, at the bottom of the heart, with affection, meditating for peace, caring, recycling, poetry and of course philanthropy taking their proper places in the upper lobes. In recent years a tiny seemingly insignificant part higher up in the center left has been identified as In My Own Way, and although it crops up many times in the literature, it’s precise function in normal human relations has yet to be defined clearly to my satisfaction.
Which brings us to the structure. The two lobes of the heart, the two high domes, almost spherical in aspect, joined at the centre and going down to the point, shiny and crimson in almost perfect plastic symmetry, forms the single most potent human symbol. The rude, meaty pump often disgustingly portrayed in the gutter press performing only the secondary function has for a long time been discredited in any serious exploration of the science of love, and for our purposes can be considered a myth, a bloody gothic symbol of man’s body horror, paranoia and loathing of his own visceral mortality.
No, for the purposes of clarity and truth we eschew such notions in favour of the purity and symmetry of the heart’s true form, as portrayed properly in all emotional literature of the last 500 years. The heart’s true form is a hard, impermeable shell, forming a letter B at the top and a letter V at he bottom, the B indicating the male aspect, the testes, and the V indicating an obvious female counterpart.
So thus the properly formed human heart has a masculine and feminine side. Also in colouration, the healthy human heart filled with love is red and shiny. The heart filled with hate has been seen to be black and lacking in all reflection.
In conclusion, what are we to say about the meaning of the human heart? Is it an organ, a crude pump which while somewhat crucial to the maintenance of life has no deeper meaning? No it is clear to any right thinking person that the heart is, both medically and metaphorically, at the centre of what it is to be human.
It is the seat of our humanity, being both the repository of our best impulses and emotions, and simultaneously at the core of some of our most lamentable mistakes. The heart leads us to places both foul and fair, makes us do things against our better nature, and yet can lead us willingly to our finest hopes and our ultimate destiny. When the heart bleeds, as it almost always does at times of great care, it shows us the pain and suffering which come with great compassion.
This is the summation of all that is known, and there can be no more accurate description of the form and function of this blessed vessel than is stated herein. It warms my own vessel to know that finally after years of study and sifting of evidence I have set down the truth as I see it. I now rest the flawless blade of science and clasp my hands in thanks.
Praise be to God, to Darwin and St., George.
Dr Phileas Pipefug, Bristol Royal Infirmary, 1875