What’s Beating Your Heart?


Have you ever thought about your heartbeat before? Like in a philosophical sense, like, what’s beating your heart right now, in this very moment? Why is your heart continuously beating? What is keeping you alive as you read this (or listen to this)?

From a scientific perspective, it’s a tiny cluster of cells inside the heart called the sinus node. This tiny little structure sends out electrical signals within the heart to make it beat. This is called the heart’s “natural pacemaker”. The sinus node creates a steady pace of electrical impulses that cause the heart to contract and relax – to pump blood throughout the body. And this keeps you alive. 

The Building Blocks of Life

But what is causing those little cells to keep generating electricity? What makes up that little pacemaker and keeps it going? Well, molecules make up cells. And atoms make up molecules. Subatomic particles like protons and electrons make up atoms. And quarks, the tinies particles in the universe, make up atoms. Oh, and quarks are made up of energy, according to science.

So there you have it! Energy is keeping your heart beating. It’s what is keeping you and everything in existence alive and moving. Energy is the answer to it all! Well, not exactly. Energy, or anything within the physical universe can’t be what’s beating your heart and keeping you alive, because nothing moves or causes itself. Time to put on that philosophical thinking cap. 

Potential vs. Actual

Movement is change. And change is going from a potential to an actual. It is demonstrating cause and effect. Whether it is energy or a particle or a cell or a person, nothing in this universe or physical reality is unmoving or unchanging. It, even on the tiniest of scales, is going from point A to point B in some respect and in some capacity. It is going from potentially being at point B to actually being at point B – demonstrating an effect from a cause. A potential is by itself just that – its potential. It’s not actual or real because no potential can make itself actual. It must be actualized by something beyond or outside itself. 

So what’s the cause? Well, maybe it’s just energy. Or maybe it’s another form of energy? You could say that the energy is just the answer, but because the energy is always moving and always carries with it potential, it can’t be the answer. The answer must lie in something that is not moving, that has no potential – something that is purely actual. Or else you’ve explained nothing. You have no ultimate or fundamental cause for anything if you just say it is energy. 

You have to look outside the box, so to speak, or better yet, outside of physical reality, to conclude what’s keeping all of it together. And when you do that, you find that the ultimate cause and explanation for the physical universe and energy that makes up everything lies in an unmoved, changeless, purely actual, immaterial entity, that many refer to as God. So, God is beating your heart. 

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