Charles Darwin sees connection between thought and blushing

Blushing provides a great example, I think, of how consciousness can affect health. An emotional response in thought (e.g. feeling embarrassment) has a direct effect on the body – a change in blood flow seen as blushing in the face. I have found that through prayer, a change in thought resulting from feeling a connection to God, or feeling God’s love, can result in physical healing.

Charles Darwin (courtesy of flickr user shehal)

So I was pleasantly surprised to come across some of Charles Darwin’s writings about blushing in Chapter 13 of his book, The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals (see pages 325-326). Now I’m not getting into any debate here between evolution and creationism. I’m just sharing interesting insights from a well-known and respected naturalist.

Darwin wrote (emphasis added by me), It is not the simple act of reflecting on our own appearance, but the thinking what others think of us, which excites a blush.

Under the heading, “The Nature of the Mental States which induce Blushing” he identifies shyness, shame and modesty. Later he continues, “hereafter the question will be discussed, how it has arisen that the consciousness that others are attending to our personal appearance should have led to the capillaries, especially those of the face, instantly becoming filled with blood.”

So, if thought and consciousness can affect a change in blood flow, what must be the possibilities for good when thought and consciousness meet up with the divine and spirituality?

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