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Cover for The Source of All Things

The Source of All Things

A Heart Surgeon's Quest to Understand Our Most Mysterious Organ

Reinhard Friedl, Shirley Michaela Seul (Contributions by)


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In the tradition of Henry Marsh’s Do No Harm, Reinhard Friedl's The Source of All Things is a heart surgeon’s personal investigation of the human heart, moving from his riveting clinical experiences to a more poetic understanding of its workings.

The heart is our most important organ. Yet despite that it has not changed since the appearance of Homo sapiens 300,000 years ago, it is also our most mysterious. In most human cultures, it is seen as the source of love, sympathy, joy, courage, strength and wisdom.

What if the heart could answer questions neurosciences can’t begin to? Having witnessed the extraordinary complexity and unpredictability of human hearts in the operating theatre—each one individual, like a fingerprint—heart surgeon Reinhard Friedl looked again at this “primitive pump” to reconcile it with his experiences from thousands of heart operations.

In this book, he presents findings from various scientific disciplines, such as secret connections of the heart and brain and their influence on emotions and consciousness. He reveals the miracle that is the heart that we speak about so often yet is strangely foreign to many human beings.

Full of compelling patient stories, The Source of All Things ends with a plea: that we recognize the heart’s wisdom and adopt a more heart-centered way of living, leading to greater health and more joy.

St. Martin's Press, 9781250274861, 320pp.

Publication Date: August 24, 2021

About the Author

DR. REINHARD FRIEDL is an eminent surgeon who has held thousands of hearts in his hands. He has operated on premature babies and repaired the heart valves of patients well advanced in years. He has implanted artificial heart turbines and stitched knife wounds to the heart. He lives in Germany.