Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

When trying to discern fact from fiction, pay attention to signals from your heart and your body.

"Believe nothing no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own inner wisdom."

- Buddha

Truth and untruth

As long as the nature of the collective world reality is polarized, there will be truth and untruth and all the shades in between. We are living in a universe of information, in which we are both senders and receivers, and we are equipped with built-in ways to discern what's true and what's in our greater good. We can sort it out and navigate more effectively, if we choose.

The challenge

The expansion of global digital information gives us unprecedented access to the accelerated pace of new discoveries and breaking world events. Whether the news relates to nutrition, interstellar space, politics, well-being and more, when it is publicly "reported," it can also be laced with misinformation (error or incomplete info) and disinformation (intentional manipulation of info). Increasingly, it is a challenge to discern what's true.

Your heart is wired to know

Research indicates that the physical heart picks up all information first and informs both hemispheres of the brain. Together, the three process and assemble information for use. The heart knows truth and untruth instantly without any mental processing. The right brain is intuitive and non-linear; the left brain relies on gathering linear, physical data. Heart/soul and brain/mind are all designed to act together in synergy to give us as much of the complete hologram as possible.

Studies have shown, for example, that in job interviews people make decisions about candidates (via the heart and the right brain) in a matter of seconds, and then the rest of the time is spent gathering the linear data to support the near instant decision.

Be still and listen

The long-standing wisdom to listen to your heart is valid. This is neither a mental activity nor about emotions. It requires being still, quieting the mental chatter and paying attention to the often-subtle inner signals the heart is sharing. We have most of the answers to all of our questions when we pay attention to and value this awesome source of direct knowing.

I was once at a lecture given by Buckminster Fuller, who was a brilliant scientist and inventor. When it came to the Q&A portion, people eagerly raised their hands to ask him questions. Fuller then asked the audience to pause and to silently ask themselves their own question and listen internally for an answer. He also requested that if anyone realized they had an answer to their question, to please put their hands down. Many did. His point was that if we pause and tune in, we often know the answers.

Whether or not we follow what we know, however, is a matter of many variables. But the "hardware" is there. The inner "voice" is always trying to guide us.

Body wisdom

The body also knows truth about external and internal environments. Everyone has some kind of physical "truth energy meter." In the presence of something that is true or untrue, the body will give you many signals. These include shivers, heat, a rush of energy, a stomachache, tears, even a good or a yucky feeling. When someone is telling the truth or not telling the truth, your body is responding to the incoming energy and giving you signals. Your job is to know your body's code and allow it to inform you.

Another example of body wisdom happens in the presence of other people. The heart instantly assesses the energy of another person. In response to someone kind, the heart opens and the body relaxes. Alternatively, in the presence of a person who is not kind, the heart automatically closes and the body tenses. If you'd like to test this, bring to mind an image of someone you know who is loving. See what happens in your body. Now bring to mind an image of a cruel person and note how your body responds.

The wisdom of the body also includes knowing... and trying to tell us... what foods, exercise, music, indoor and outdoor environments are supportive to our individual make-up and which are not. The point is to pay attention. Don't allow your mind to override the signals. The mind can make a case for anything.

Critical thinking

And then there is critical thinking, the ability to value the intuitive- and body-wisdom and then examine physical, linear data to see if it supports what you are picking up. No one knows everything. The good news about experts is they are likely to have more knowledge on a given topic. Though it is still important to check in with your common sense and your inner knowing to see if it makes sense to you.


Everyone is well served to develop a more expanded repertoire for knowing what's true. Listen to the signals from your heart and utilize both sides of your brain. Listen to experts and trust your own inner knowing.

Finding the positive

The silver lining in all the current confusion and manipulation about what's true is that it's pushing us to self-validate and attune to the higher intelligence of the universe and the greater wisdom in our souls, hearts and minds. This "inside job" is a very important aspect of being an empowered person. Allowing all the parts of our inner "hardware and software" to guide us supports our greater good as individuals and as a collective.

Remain receptive

Life is always revealing new possibilities. A useful skill is to hold beliefs as only a temporary foundation of truth. Remain resilient and open to expanding your horizons. There is always more. PJH