Dr. Juan Antonio López Benedí | Intelligent heart: Know, feel, and train the science of the heart
Juan López Benedí

Dr. Juan Antonio López Benedí | Intelligent heart: Know, feel, and train the science of the heart

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Dr. Juan Antonio Lopez Benedi

General Director of the Institute of Education in Values. (Spain)

Well, thank you and I’m pleased to be here with this great scientific and human team, above all. Because for me the emphasis is that we can all have different professional scientific orientations, different interest, but we are all human beings, and that’s what really unite us, and what should always unite us.

My presentation was… Well, actually there won’t be a PowerPoint presentation, we seem to be having technical issues; but either way, I had already decided I wasn’t going to use it, because I was going to mention research from the HeartMath Institute but seeing as it has already been discussed extensively, it is no longer necessary. What I am going to focus on are the qualitative aspects versus the quantitative aspects, or complementary to the quantitative that has been presented here.

The human organism, as we’ve seen, generates many electrical and bioelectric impulses through the process of neurotransmission, and as we all know, every electrical impulse generates a magnetic field.

We have all had the chance to prove this through simple home or school experiments with magnets (and this is what has been spoken about before). But while these measurements lead us to the understanding that the magnetic field can be measured, there is also another language that is very human which is also connected to this and is connected to the traditional indigenous cultures, but of which, recently or currently, has been spoken very little of, or hardly anything at all.

Just as there exists the possibility to mathematize the heart, it is also possible to convert or develop the relationship between the feelings that come from, or the spirituality, that comes from the heart, with an element I have been studying a lot from the hermeneutic perspective and its practice for many years. And this element is dreams, symbols, representations, associations, metaphors, the world of poetry... which traditionally has been considered a non-scientific element, but I think that precisely because of that, it is urgent that, given the existence of a qualitative method, we should reconsider the observation and research in these fields that have been traditional and continue to be very important to many people, that we develop these from a more scientific point of view.

The proposal of Juan Rof Carballo, who was a Spanish Neurologist, known internationally, to bring a person back to his or her humanity, was, in broad terms, to recover and introduce in his daily practice of free, selfless meditation, the purest intimate experience, the immaterial aesthetic contemplation.

In that way, we are able to recover the intuition, the impulse, the heart, features of brilliance that characterizes the great personalities, whether in the business field or any cultural fields.

To this component, to this process, I identify with the designation of “intelligence of the heart,” as a field and predisposition (and in that sense, I published a book specifically on this topic.)

Creativity is one of our characteristics; it grants specification, its own specification, to the human term when facing the animalistic and also, when facing the mechanical or the robotic. When linked to intelligence, in neurology, not only cardiac, but also intestinal, it’s position becomes more acceptable and more tangible; comparable to the rational analytical process, it is more evident. That is why, in my book, I mention there are 3 types of intelligence, or intelligence agents: The brain, the heart (of which I have been speaking of now), and the intestines; specifically the intestine through the enteric nervous system, but at the same time, the gut in many cultures was or is an element of reference for all that movement of connection with nature, and specifically in the shamanic processes.

A link between creativity and the intelligence of the heart can be observed (and we have already heard a speech which also points to that sense). Through those means, we find a bridge and the possibility to articulate feelings, emotions, the primary impulse (which would come from the gut) and its rational objectivity. It refers to an impulse for concrete action that is carried out in it; when that concrete expression is not produced, that impulse is reduced to thrill emotions which dissolve with time. And this is where we move in our daily life, consciously or subconsciously.

The crisis situation within the social framework manifests itself as a reflection of the previously lived crises by those of us who constitute the lens or structure of society. Before, in the presentation, we saw that reflected from an electromagnetic point of view, but there are other elements by which we can see this from the qualitative point of view.

Given that we sometimes lack self-perspective, we have the need of contemplating our actions and objectifying them as something completely external; and this is the field of quantitative research, that is to say, of mathematics, of the human phenomenons.

That collection of objectivized actions and relations has been christened “society”. This way, we are, apparently, freed from the responsibility of our actions, and we can criticize and condemn them through the disguise of anonymity.

Today many decisions are being made; many things are sold to us, we are given many postulates through publicity and other media from entities that seem to be invisible, but that are very influential. We should start considering those fields from another perspective.

We can find two types of general critiques that we address to the abstract and anonymous entity which we call society. On one hand, we have the ones that are destructive: These are expressed as insults and condemnations. The other type is the constructive ones, and these are characterized for trying to analyze, overcome, and solve situations of conflict. The first obey dissatisfactions, impotence, or frustrations that emerge every time we try to convey a feeling or idea into a practice and it is not fulfilled for whatever reasons.

Concretely, if... I think in all of Latin America there exists a saying of, “He who is hungry, dreams about bread,” and if we are starving, as much as we dream about bread, if we don’t eat bread, well I would think we’ll have a problem; even frustration is generated for not being able to get it, and that is what makes us ill-tempered or what generates negative feelings, frustrations that exist in different areas, not only in starvation, about hunger with regards to eating bread, but many other aspects of life in which we generate wishes, but it is not always easy to satisfy them because we don’t know. We only know what we should not do, but we don’t know how to satisfy our wishes in an intelligent way.

That of course arises, it seems that the Holy Spirit has to enlighten us somehow, but I believe the Holy Spirit seems to be in overbooking lately and there are some communicational issues; at least for some people, it does not get to them.

This real, yet hidden inability to the instinctive need of self-esteem and recognition, connected to the survival instinct, provokes the reaction of trying to find some exterior person to blame, which is an obstacle in our path, or assaults us, preventing us from being who we want to be, or to live as we would like to live.

The society as a general or concrete entity, throughout some of its agent, that are also abstract, as can be peoples, races, cultures, genders, religious, ideological groups, etcetera; it is easy to deduce the reason of wars and violence in general from this perspective.

There are too many entities in which we are involved; we have dissatisfactions and within those entities we sometimes say, “The guilt of your insatisfaction, the reason of your poverty, is because those people are bad, therefore, let’s go kill them or let’s get rid of them one way or another.” Now it’s not killing, like before, now they are more subtle but we are still thinking of war in one way or another.

The second type of critiques, the constructive ones, are produced when the consideration of the impersonal as being aggressive is overcome. This assumes a process of greater rationalization and intelligence, in which we start to see distinct aspects, actions, or difficulties without the visceral need to view them as good, or condemn them as bad. In its place, the assessments are produced in terms of improvable assertions and correctable mistakes. My making efforts to improve and to correct, frustrations diminish and tend to disappear, which eliminates the need for violent impulses and these no longer exist.

We still have a bit more to learn, but we are on our way there. At least, what I did want to make clear is that the path to peace does exist, but not through international agreements, because for thousands of years we have had international agreements that have not been fulfilled, or are only fulfilled when it is convenient. There is another way, and it starts with us, with the people on foot.

I have been relating creativity with its human intuition counterpart so as to accentuate the need for balance in the face of traditional abuse of the western analytical technification of recent times. But let’s keep our feet on the ground to not get lost in an excessively poetic remark.

The heart’s intelligence linked with that impulsive creativity, also depends on analytical observation, of rational conceptualization, and of technique, to be truly applicable and not just remain a mere fantasy. Not only is this last component necessary as a theoretical equilibrium, but in the same way its empirical testing and its practical, tangible, and concrete expression are necessary.

Upon the phantasmagorical experience, for example, of the labor, financial, and social crisis, that is fundamentally associated with a crisis of values in people, a strong need is imposed to provide new orientations that allow us to take over the ghosts and recover our integral humanity.

Parallel to the increase of artificiality and superficial relationships that induces the increase of vital frustrations with their corresponding deriving pathologies, there is also an intense movement back to nature led by environmental groups.

Now, these movements by themselves are no universal remedy for the person, even though they may coincide in vital points for social equilibrium. They won't lead to a solution as long as they assume only an escape from the artificial or of the mechanization or technification process. Behind these, the same mistakes with new disguises may reproduce themselves, as certain sectarian manipulations can be seen in the fields of politics and religion.

My proposal originates from the following reflection: We cannot achieve anything by simply turning back to nature. Wherever you are, and whatever your profession is, the first thing the human being needs is to start by exercising his or her own personal creativity applied to his or her immediate environment, to stop being frustrated and learn to be themselves, ourselves, without using society, the authorities, family, or culture as justifications for our impotence. The human being, the person, must be that: Above all, a person of integrity.

It is very important recover the security of action, from the mental and emotional impulse, which is generally called intuition or cardiac intelligence with the relevant adaptations for every circumstance.

Once the rehabilitation of non-paranoid visceral intuition has been recovered, it makes the application of creativity in each concrete case possible. When I specify the need of recovering the non-paranoid intuition, it is because there is a tendency, when we allow ourselves to act on pre-rational impulse, to see things incorrectly. In fact, there’s also a saying in Spain, I’m not sure if in Latin America also, but possibly, that says: “Think wrong, and you’ll be right.” Well, I think we all understand that we should look at it another way, right? Because it seems as though everything is leading us to disaster, and I want to see hope, that is to say that humanity is the hope for self-improvement and this has been proven for thousands of years, right? Do you remember when we lived in caves? Something has happened since then; we have overcome ourselves in many ways, right? Not everything is that bad. 

Once the key has been discovered, and the exercise of this ability has been recovered, just as accessible and normal as any other that we use daily, its function is simple. When, due to certain prejudices, fears, doubts or insecurities, the use and sensitivity of this balancing component of mental and emotional activity is lost, we place ourselves in a position akin to that of a person with reduced abilities, because of the lack of an organic neuronal functionality. For this reason, he or she will find themselves less likely to respond to and defend themselves against aggressions or environmental demands, being able to experience alienation or self-isolation, and by doing so, refusing to develop their total capacity as human beings.

However, if we can remedy this, why settle for being unfulfilled people? Why give in voluntarily to the reduction of mental or psychological capacities? The technification of psychology based on the experiments of behavior modification placed the classical sense of human dignity in crisis. Skinner mentioned it directly in his book “Beyond Liberty and Dignity.”

For many years, the presentation of moral qualities as mere products of social enforcement, increased the existing tension between the human being and the robot, given that the relationship was reversed and the latter (the robot) seemed like the image of perfection to which the former (humans) tends to imitate with the consequent loss of values and sense that we face, or that we abandon, or that we complain about in recent times

There are formulas to approach that slippery world and place it in favor of our interests, no matter what they are. There are possibilities of taking charge of our lives, from what tends to go beyond the consciousness and the will, relying on sufficient methodological rigor far removed from superstitions, beliefs, or traditions of dubious origin. It can be done without relying on esoteric rites and beliefs; it is only necessary to accept a broader vision that integrates our human potential with an open and an adequate critical methodology.

In this sense, I insist, I feel that the most appropriate methodology to address human processes is qualitative; because, I insist, if we only use quantitative methodology we tend to keep comparing ourselves to robots. That’s not to say it is not compatible, quantitative methodology still has its sense and its power, but it cannot be the only one we identify with science.

In this way, the praxis of more than 30 years of experimentation, in my case, has proven that it is possible, useful, and effective to recover the dialogue with the emotional world from fantasy, symbols, and the ability of natural play. Because in the same way that gestures show our emotions, (as demonstrated by Paul Ekman) our internal representations, our imagination, our dreams do also. Whichever way you look at it, even when there is no awareness of a dream world it is present in our daily lives. Or, is there someone here who knows they never dream?

There were some experiments that are referenced, because I have to confess that when I was about 10 years old I was worried about having to sleep and lose so much time knowing I had so much to research and learn; but sleeping and dreaming have an important value. During the Nazi era, during World War II, some experiments were conducted where people were allowed to sleep, but not dream, because when the encephalography shows more intense activity that reflects dreams, they were woken up. Apparently, those people would not survive a month, or they would go crazy or die.

So, even if we do not remember our dreams, our dreams are essential for life. And not only nocturnal dreams but also daydreams, that is, our goals in life, our enthusiasm with which we are able to create worlds as we have thoroughly demonstrated.            

It is not necessary to think about dreams, it is not necessary for our knowledge or will for them to exist; dreams, that dream world, develops its own form of intelligence to organize and maintain life in our organism; from the same vital impulse that created us, independent from any spiritualist, religious, materialistic,  or atheist ideology. If we could do without dreaming, even if we did sleep, we would die.

Daydreams, the dreams of our hopes and illusions, the dreams that encourage us, that liven and motivate us, are also the essential motor of our existence. Without them our heart stops in sadness and depression.

We have all experienced this with more or less intensity, within ourselves and in the people around us: If we do not have objective dreams or goals in life, we are not able to bear fruit in prosperity, abundance, and wealth, in all its different aspects, including the scientific ones. For scientific research, that is also necessary, dreams that enable us to create hypotheses on which to work.

And by that we don’t intended to say that the mere fact of dreaming or having illusions is enough. If behind imagination, fantasy, and enthusiasm there is no planning of the structure it is stone by stone, it will be impossible to live in our palace, or we will reach the corruption that will burn us from within.

Now, dreaming passively, hallucinating, can trap the individual in the maze of a mental illness. However, becoming aware of the way in which this inner palace is built through wish, motivation, dreams, and goals, is a fundamental key to self-knowledge, emotional intelligence, and self-motivation, as part of the same, that in turn becomes a valuable tool for intervention, as has been observed, and whose quantification I show now.

After participating in research-action processes, within complex representations, in the manner of what has been presented previously (in a way of a simple example), in Spain, Sweden, Florida, Texas, and Mexico, the following statistics related to case studies are cited here in detail.

Between the years 2013 and 2015, the total number of treated cases per cities and countries have been: Austin, 7; Cuenca, Spain, 23; Goteborg, Sweden, 78; Madrid, Spain, 15; Miami, Florida, 27.

For these 150 cases, 78% of these were resolved in a single session adjusting this profound material, achieving full satisfactory compensation of their pure imaginative representation, associated to with the stressful or distressing experience. Twenty percent have needed more than one session with a maximum limit of 7; and regarding the remaining 2% there is no evidence of an apparent improvement.

There is a certain limitation that I also have framed as to why it occurs.

Between the years 2016 to 2018, 54 people have also been treated in Mexico City, 32 in Ciudad Juarez; 7 in El Paso, Texas; and of these 83 cases, 82% resolved with a single session, 17% needed more than one, and with a maximum limit of 7, and 1% did not achieve observable improvement.

I think these results are better than those that are asked when patenting a drug.

But what I am working on in those sessions, and that is also done in groups and is also done from a social perspective, is that observation of those deep roots of our nature and adjusting internal contradictions in a pre-rational way, we can expand ... and they are my books too, in all of them I address –for now I have 19 published– and I’ve tried these processes from different perspectives.

As time is running out, I'll leave it here. If there are any questions then, with pleasure.


Thank you, Dr. Juan Antonio for such an important presentation. And at the end, we will have questions for all the speakers, alright?

So now we are going to call Dr. Franz Freudenthal, cardiologist, pediatrician, scientist, winner of the Science and Technology Category of the Innovative Prize of America, 2014. Dr. Freudenthal has focused his career and his life to create innovative solutions to cure congenital heart disease and save millions of lives. For that, in 2003 he founded Cardio Centrum, a diagnostic and treatment center for congenital heart disease, also created the company PFM, Bolivia, dedicated to design and manufacture low cost occlusion devices accessible to low income families.

Thank you, sir.