The head and the heart: humanity’s great metaphorical containers

Axis, Praxis

I was asked the following question on Quora some time ago:

Why do people point/refer to their chest (heart) when they talk about the mind, when the head (brain) is the organ used for doing so?

Here’s my answer:

People who have had a western-style education generally point to their head when they are talking about their mind, and to their chest when they are talking about their heart, which is the “metaphorical container” for many if not most emotions.

Around the world, people have always associated the heart with intense emotions — anger, love, fear and so on. This may be because these emotions are actually felt in the heart and lungs. When you are aroused by strong anger, love, or fear, you may feel that your chest is pounding — and it often is! Your emotional state can affect your heart-rate and your breathing.

So using…

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