General information and resources for students and adult learners.

Cross my heart

‘Cross my heart’, in fact, was an oath.  It combined a sacred symbol with a physiological misconception.  No one, at least no practicing Christian, would make the sign of the cross and tell a lie.

For thousands of years, the heart and not the brain was erroneously regarded as the seat of all knowledge and thought.  That is why the memorizing of a text or a poem is still referred to as learning it ‘by heart’.

All thought is formulated in words, even if these are only silently spoken.  Therefore, anything said comes ‘from the heart’ not emotionally but cerebrally, so to speak. To make the sign of the cross above the very source of one’s thoughts gave sanctity to one’s words and affirmed their truth.  


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