Two things are true of our five senses. We rely heavily upon them to understand and navigate the world around us. We have no context to truly evaluate how accurate or inaccurate they are in understanding reality.
Looking to the animal world, we see that our senses are not as acute as other animals. A cat can see far better than we can. A dog can smell far better. Being clever as we are, we’ve developed tools to help us detect some things beyond the realm of our sensory perception.
When you start using senses you’ve neglected, your reward is to see the world with completely fresh eyes.
Our prevalent means of understanding the world – science – places a hard boundary between reality and unreality where our senses and even our clever tools cease to register information. Yet, we must acknowledge this is an arbitrary boundary superimposed on a scale whose scope we have no way of knowing. Over time our tools get better and inch their way into that darkness of unreality.
Is our awareness pushing the true boundaries of reality or is it barely a blip in a vast universe of awareness and intelligence not reachable by our five senses and the tools they produce? By limiting ourselves to the confines of that world view, are we condemning ourselves to a permanent and profound sense of misunderstanding reality?
When we fall asleep, we withdraw our awareness from its hypnotic fascination with physical sensation, thereby enabling us to listen with our now awakening sixth sense.
After all, we’re born with our five senses. We’re encouraged to use them and sharpen them from a very young age. Over our lifetimes, we become very biased towards them. Is this analogous to being marooned on and island and searching for food only on the land, ignoring the possibility that the sea around our island may be more abundant?
What other options are available to us? Well, we have our sixth sense. Various cultures have defined this in different ways. Some view mind as the sixth sense. Others refer to an intuitive sense that transcends the five senses and, when listened to, provides a richer picture of reality than just our five senses. Some people use phrases like “listening to their heart” or “listening to their gut.”
A poet, you see, is a light thing, and winged and holy, and cannot compose before he gets inspiration and loses control of his senses and his reason has deserted him.
These conceptions seem very mushy to a rational brain that is the great defender of the tyranny of our five senses. It prefers the materialistic version of the world our five senses project into our minds. It’s physical and measurable and visible.
Our sixth sense is far more ephemeral, open, and uncertain or at least it feels that way to the brain conditioned by a steady diet of rational materialism. Yet, it opens us up, if we’ll go with it and allow it, to a whole other level of perception and reality that seems to reach out to meet us from the vast depths of unawareness and invisibility.
Am I saying we give up our five senses and the rational world they have produced? No. I am suggesting that we do have a means, living within each and every one of us, to enhance and expand their capabilities and shine a light on realities they could never reach alone.
Knowing that, why would we choose to remain stuck with one very powerful sense tied behind our backs?