When a clam, like the rest of us, heads off for its next incarnation and no longer needs its shell, the shell continues its own journey into dust. A few of them travel by way of becoming anything from a treasure for the young at heart to an ashtray. But most simply get pulverized by the ocean’s continual thrumming against the seashore. Sooner than later there ain’t much shell left. Before it disintegrates completely into the infinity of seemingly unrelated shards that make up ocean bottoms and sandy beaches, magic happens. The part of the shell that is hardest to destroy, the part that once held the muscle that regulated the shell’s opening and closing, becomes a symbol of life’s essence: a heart with wings.
My guess is, all the great wisdom of holy books, saints and sages merely reflects the truth the universe has been whispering to itself forever: Only Love.