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MIND, SENSES & INTUITION:

The Building Blocks of Perception

How we perceive and process information happens from two “directions;” from the tangible outer world that triggers our senses and from the intangible inner world that triggers flashes of intuition. Most everyone is comfortable with using our senses because they are based on a tangible dimension of perception which is usually “provable” and verifiable by all five senses. What validates these “proofs” is also our trust in and use of time. That is, because we perceive a difference between what happened before what we are sensing now, our mind can easily see and believe changes in our physical world. Our senses work by virtue of the framework of time utilizing before and now and a tangible difference between a greater or lesser intensity. The physical world may be stressful but lends itself well to our belief system of, “If I can see it, touch it, taste it, hear it or smell it, it’s real” or “I’m from Missouri, show me.”

We accept and use our senses as the basis for our behaving rationally and logically. But intuition is a different animal. There is nothing tangible or rational like the senses that we can use to validate or “prove” the flashes it provides us with. It is intangible and operates in a timeless format. By most people, it’s considered completely irrational and has no basis in “reality.” Yet, for some of us it is considered a reliable resource for our actions and understanding. Even though there can be such drastic differences in our perception of reality, there is a third entity that can connect these two types of perception together and explain their workings between these two dimensions; the mind.

Our first two examples show us opposing camps from which we perceive our truth. But what position does the mind hold relative to rational and irrational? Its capability can act as a bridge working between both camps. Yet, most of us have only developed the mind’s tangible application. Its use is and has been sorely deficient in applying itself to discriminating and describing our intuition. Let’s take a look and observe how the mind works in both environments and see if we can make the connection to balance our use of the two.

When we see, hear, touch, smell or taste something, what happens? We discriminate a “texture” between the current experience and something we’ve experienced before and remember. It is the comparison of the before and now (in the moment) that produces the difference we feel triggering our attention and registering recognition. This recognized difference between before and now has gained our attention through the intensity or strength of a change, or perhaps the “volume” of the difference between two points of reference on the timeline. The variation in the intensity acts as a trigger for our threshold of awareness. The more intense the difference, the more likely it is to be brought to our attention and recognized. The more subtle the difference, the less likely it will be to catch our attention.

As an example, we can reference a subtlety or difference in intensity by comparing temperatures. If we move from a hot tub at 104 degrees into a swimming pool at 65 degrees, the difference in the temperatures between the two will most certainly trigger within us an awareness of the difference. However, if we move from the pool at 65 degrees to a shower set at only 70 degrees, the difference in the temperature between the two may not be of sufficient intensity to trigger a recognition in our conscious awareness. Our recognition depends on our degree of sensitivity which determines our threshold for triggering our awareness.

It is also important to note that even though we may not consciously notice a difference in temperature or texture, it still registers somewhere below the threshold of our conscious awareness. An example of this might be that we are moving through an environment where the temperature might be below our comfort level but we’re not aware of it. This may be so because we are preoccupied with other matters that are either triggered by a larger difference in intensity or texture or we may simply be preoccupied physically, acting or thinking through another issue. The point is that the texture or difference in temperature may not be intense enough to gain our attention. However, our unconscious mind has an interesting way of making its workings known. It has the ability to “put things in the path” of our moving attention in the same way we might arm a weapon before we actually use it. So, during our preoccupation with whatever might be holding our attention we may also notice the style or color of a coat that a passerby might be wearing. The meaning and usefulness of the coat are obvious. But because of our preoccupation we might not as yet make the connection to being cold. This effectively places the more subtle difference next in line for our attention once our action and focus on what we’re preoccupied with gets played out and the intensity drops. Then we realize that we  are cold. Another example might be like being in a room where everyone is shouting and one person is whispering. We can’t hear the whispering person. But when everyone else stops shouting, we can. An example of “putting things in our path” might be if the whispering person moved to stand in front of us. In other words, a more subtle stimulation may be perceived once the grosser ones are drowned out or removed and the subtle one gains more intensity (moving).

It is also true that one or more of our senses may be more developed than others and have a lower threshold for being triggered. This can be exemplified by imagining that we have become blind. We now become much more dependent on our other senses. Our hearing and sense of smell become much more acute. Our tactile sense becomes much more refined. Our hearing begins to listen for the reverberations in the room which enables us to use it like sonar navigation. The point is that each one of our senses is individually developed depending on our life experiences and according to the necessities for enhancing our safety and survival.

After our senses have been triggered our mind “pairs” with the experience offering an assessment or judgment about the feeling. This assessment or judgment, if sufficient enough in intensity, may be committed to memory and consciously remembered so our reaction may be prepared if the experience repeats. If the memory is intense enough and well-structured enough it may also be used to anticipate future experiences. Remembering our hot tub experience, we may, before stepping in, remember the previous experience with temperature and, if it was too hot, observe caution before entering. Remember, future is also part of the timeline and functions within the tangible  framework of the mind.

Intuition is a horse of a different color and a lot harder for the ordinary person to deal with. There are, essentially, two types of intuition. The first type is what most people work with and might not even recognize but think of it as instinct. This is when we are headed somewhere and we suddenly feel that it just doesn’t “feel” right. It gives us a feeling that if we proceed, things might turn out badly. Sometimes it might be precognitive where we find an auto accident happened at the time and in the path that we were headed toward, and sometimes we follow the feeling and it turns into a better situation than we had anticipated. In a very large percentage of the time most people don’t recognize the change for the better or worse as it’s happening or even after. And if it is recognized, its seen as a freak occurrence. Others can think back on it and recognize the value of what they may have felt at the time and consciously commit to paying more attention to future similar feelings. This type of intuition happens to large percentage of people but mostly in mini surges consequently adjusting their path through their life issues. This is also what many people would define as psychic or intuitive “hunches.”

The second type of intuition occurs as a full-blown panorama with circumstances in living color and depth. It happens all at once and in a flash with no before or after but only in the ever present now. Many people would describe it as a waking dream or vision. It is usually overwhelming and creates a very powerful impression.

One of the best examples of this type of intuitive flash comes from the writings of Ludwig van Beethoven. He wrote that an entire symphony would come to him in a tremendous flash completely inclusive of all movements and changes. It had a fullness inclusive of every counterpoint and key change in one tremendous split-second flash. It all happened at once. He then went on to say that it would take him months, even years, to comprehend it, organize it and put it down on paper. This type of intuition is a gift and usually happens to consciously productive and dynamic people. Whether they recognize it as such is another issue.

Very few people have this kind of flash. And even if they do, they often attribute it to a sudden daydream or hallucination. For people who are mostly invested for their beliefs and perceptions in the practical, down to earth tangible world, these may only be passing fancies comprised of irrational impulses. But for those of us who have listened and recognize that it is something on a much larger scale suggesting a path for our personal growth and potential, this can be a goldmine for creativity, individual expression and personal success. But those of us are far and few between. This kind of developed awareness also involves practice and a conscious commitment.

Since both of these types do not follow the timeline, they are not subject to the same dynamics that regulate the linear mind. That makes it much more difficult for us to understand and put it into a linear framework so we can exchange information about it. Although it can be rendered comprehensible through clever structuring of our language, it is still a very elusive and fleeting experience. Its dynamics work much more in line with the timelessness of a dream. A dream, and our inability to fully describe it, exemplifies the difficulty we face in attempting to bring an intangible and non-linear experience to the understanding of a linear driven world. Let me explain.

For most of us at best, remembering our dreams is a challenge. It is even more of a challenge to put them into a verbal form so they may be expressed to others. This difficulty in translation lies largely in the fact that our mental, and hence verbal, faculties follow a format that uses a linear timeline as its reference in order for us to express the dream’s structure and have it understandable to others. Dreams do not do this even though we remember some parts in a linear form. Perhaps it would be best to first explain what happens when we sleep so we understand the landscape that dreams occur in.

There are two fields of perception that our mind operates in. One is tangible, the other is not. The first is the tangible field and is composed of opposing polarities in the physical world hosting an evidence-based environment for our senses to operate within. This tangible or physical state can be exemplified by saying something is either black or white. We either see it or we don’t. We taste it or we don’t. We can touch it, or we can’t. This is the field that our mind uses to determine if things are or are not. Things either exist or they don’t. This field gives our mind the ability to discriminate between options.

The other field is intangible. It is the dimension of time. It operates in a past, present and future format. Our mental faculties need this waking, time constrained landscape in order to function in a linear fashion giving us a sense of moving through time. Thinking needs the linearity of before, during and after in order to have a field or space within which to operate. This dimension “regulates” and measures our sense of time in our waking state. This format is a “fluid” field for our mental life to operate within. It gives our thoughts movement.

But there is a major difference between these two states of existence. Sense opposites like white and black provide a state of opposing polarities that reflect the differences in our sensing of color, taste, sight, touch, hearing. It provides a two-way dimension. It either is or is not. Past, present and future, supportive of our mental waking state, provide a three-way directional field of before, during and after, allowing the movement of our thoughts through time.

Through these two perspectives our physical polarities allow us the perception of definition, what is or isn’t, and our temporal polarities allow us the perception of movement. When we “fall” asleep, we lose our perception of time. Our movement through the temporal world ceases. When the mind ceases linear movement, time collapses. When this occurs , we no longer have reference points for the linear mind to use. It can no longer function using the reference points

of past, present and future. Our linearity has melted back into the timelessness of dreams and intuition. The three-way dimension has collapsed. It’s like a house of cards collapsing into a flat pile. The pile becomes homogeneous. However, after we fall asleep, the two-way dimension allowing our senses to define our surroundings is still working. That is, what we perceive simply is or is not. Falling asleep is, essentially, the collapsing of only the three-way dimension of before, during and after but not the polarity of is or isn’t. You might assume that the two-way polarity of the physical world will give tangible function to the mind but it only provides the field for the definition of what is or isn’t needed to comprehend the polarities of separation and discrimination.

It is time, the three-way polarity, which allows the movement of the mind, making it active by utilizing the separation or the movement between polarities in a before, during and after format. This explains why we can comprehend the factors in our dreams but not comprehend their movement and sequence. Time is needed for that. In our dreams change occurs instantaneously as our awareness in the dream is refocused. We don’t perceive the degree of change, only the change itself. We “magically” appear in place after place with no memory of a journey between them.

When we fall asleep the body is no longer subject to the sequencing applied by the linear mind. The mental tension that was holding on to the stress of our conscious polarity is now absent and the body may regenerate itself through returning to a state of “mindless” balance. The body has a natural ability to reestablish stasis when it is free of external factors. The mind is, essentially, an external mechanism based on time.

So, now the landscape is established in dreaming. The effectiveness of the sequencing conscious mind has been “terminated” through the collapse of time. We are aware of the separation of things which allows us to define them but we are now in a sea of feeling where everything happens at once and everything is interconnected. This is the domain of intuition. Here, everything “occurs” in a flash, instantaneously with no beginning or end. It simply exists or it doesn’t. There is no before or after. There is only now. What we perceive flashes in and out; it exists then, it doesn’t…or never did. There is no past (memory). There is no future (intention). There is only the now of “it is” or “it is not.” When we change environments in our dream the two-way focusing of our is or isn’t awareness makes it occur instantaneously. Suddenly, we are just “there.” Are you finally starting to comprehend the fleeting quality and evasiveness of feeling this way? Now, with this perceptual perspective in mind, we can comprehend the stress and confusion that an infant experiences, leaving the world of timelessness and being thrust into our waking polarity defined and time driven world of linearity through birth. No matter how we ease, cut, slice or dice it, birth is a traumatic experience. Now, consider this; dying is the same change only in the other direction…back into timelessness or the dream state. It’s where we came from. It’s where we’ll return to. Physical death may be a hurtful and traumatic experience before we leave the body but after we do, arriving back into timelessness would be  orgasmic.

To describe our dreams or intuitive experiences in a timeless format, they must be communicated with words. How do we describe a timeless experience with time constrained words? Words like “perceive” or “recognize” are inadequate in passing on what we feel. “Perceive” comes from the Latin per combined with capere or “to take” (capere) “through” (per). “Recognize” comes from re combined with gnoscere or “to know” (gnoscere) and “again” (re). Both use time as a reference point. But time constrained words are all we have because our vehicle of communication, the mind, is structured with them through our perception of linearity. It’s how our mind separates and understands creating our ability to think – before, during and after.

The “half in” and “half out” state we briefly reside in when moving from dreaming to thinking from timelessness to linearity is an alpha state and the only place besides in meditation where we can bridge the comprehension of a timeless dream into the understanding of a time constrained and a mentally communicable representation. The difficulty is easily exemplified if we imagine communicating in the interconnected dynamics of a spider web. Step on it and it resonates to and through every other part. The best path for describing it is in terms of what we emotionally feel rather than in terms of our physical senses. The better we can understand the context or feel of an experience, the better we will be able to describe the interconnectedness of a dream and our intuition. Context can best be defined simply by saying that we talk around a subject rather than in specifics in order to give our listener a feel for what is “in the center” of the conversation but impossible to be directly stated. The more contextual depth we are able to learn and experience in our communication skills, the more able and proficient we will be in describing what we receive through our intuition and what we experience in a dream or any other “timeless” experience.

So, in summary, our mind operates as a discriminator and a bridge between our tangible and intangible worlds. It uses its polarized two-way perception to discriminate what exists or does not in both our waking life, dream life and intuitive states. It uses its three-way perception of before, during and after in our waking state but is decidedly absent in our timeless dream and intuitive states. This leaves us with a tremendous challenge in explaining to others, in tangible terms, what we perceive in dreams and through our intuition. The mind is a magnificent tool. It is not who we are but a part of what we can use to understand our life and what we perceive as we move through it. We are and have much more at our disposal than we can perceive or even imagine…

Books by John Lawrence Maerz

More work by John...

Animal Superiority-1Are we really top dog in a life process that’s millions of years older than we are? Do we really think that we’re smarter? Wiser? More aware? What sets us apart? Why do we believe that something does? Why do we feel that we are different? As long as we can remember thinking…thinking? Is that it?

I do believe that we are different but not necessarily better or superior. As a species, we have a dimension giving us a specific distinction in the animal kingdom, to which we most certainly do belong, but with what we consider additional survival skills. The added dimension is not thinking or thought. Thinking and thought are a function of the additional dimension. That dimension is an awareness of the passage of time. I do believe that other mammals, maybe other genera also, have recognition of the passage of time but because they don’t have language skills that are as specifically separative or discriminatory as Homo sapiens, their perception is perhaps more rudimentary than ours. Granted, a newborn Homo sapien may not have the survival skills as broadly developed at birth as other mammals might, however, I do believe that as we begin our life our ability to sense physically and psychically is comparable to other mammals. Please note that when I say psychically, I’m merely referring to the ability to sense difference in the movement of energy. As we become “humanized,” those abilities slowly become trained out of us, pushed into the background of our awareness and eventually regress into what we call our unconscious. We do have senses that are inherent in the rest of the animal kingdom; it’s just that they are currently dormant. Let’s look at what gives us our ability to perceive time.

Salvador Dali TimeAt the risk of trying to define time, let’s just say that it is our perception of movement through space. We do know that when we are totally involved in what we’re doing, we don’t notice the passage of time. If we think about a time when we’re so involved in a project and when we came to check the time, we’re very often surprised how time seems to have passed so quickly. Conversely, when we’re anticipating or waiting for an event or occurrence, time feels as if it slows down to the point where it feels like it’s almost standing still. To wit, when we’re children, we’re always anticipating something. We feel like we’re doing nothing but waiting. Time “moves” slowly. When we’re older, we’re no longer anticipating as many things as we were when we were children and time seems to fly by. So, I think that you can see that how quickly time moves is a function of our perception and where we put our attention. The more we anticipate, the slower it appears to move. The more engrossed we become in what we’re doing, the faster it moves.

Now let’s look at how we perceive the passage of time. Its root lies in our ability to develop language and discriminatory or separative skills. Our mind is effective through its ability to be able to separate the timing of our experiences from each other. When we first learn to separate we give birth to the mind through the distinction between what feels good and what does not. How do we do this? As we develop language, we attach different learned words to experiences that feel good and pleasurable and others to those that don’t. We then we hold them attached to those specific experiences, in our mind in what we call our memory. Each stored experience becomes a combined snapshot of the experience, the feeling that arose with it and our pleasure assessment. The order of storage tells us what came before and what came after. This establishes our first recognition of the passage of time; our perception of the past.

Linear timeBecause our mind can use our learned language to tell the difference between what came before and what came after, we are able to use this same ability to create a linear construct of events that project into the future for a possible order of events to be anticipated or waited for. This eventually becomes combined with what we want or don’t want. This establishes our second recognition of the passage of time; our perception of a possible future.

When events are in the process of occurring and before they are compared to what has already occurred or to what projection might occur and we are having the experience, we perceive the present. This establishes our third recognition of the passage of time: our perception of the present or being in the moment.

Back to the animal kingdom and the potential for Homo sapiens to possess a mind and the ability to separate past, present and future. Now, it is assumed that the rest of the animal kingdom supposedly, may have a mind but not the refined ability to develop as sophisticated a language and thought process as humans, we believe that this leaves them unable to create a more perceivable distinction in the passage of time.

Mysterious tunnel to the lightInitially, we may see this as an advantage over other mammals in that it implies that our ability to think through our defensive and survival capabilities may appear to be a lot more sophisticated and effective. But in the same way that we have the ability to perceive the passage of time, we also have the potential to get lost or locked in the different dimensions of time. That is, unlike other mammals, we can get “stuck” in the past or the future to the detriment of our present and future well-being and enjoyment. Since other mammals have virtually no,or limited,perception of past or future, their attention remains primarily in the moment. Not necessarily so for Homo sapiens. What appears to be the mammalian kingdom’s ability to “remember” experiences is primarily a function of conditioning, not necessarily memory. Memory requires a mental structure of comparison in order to exist and progress. Even if other mammals do possess a rudimentary capacity, it is nowhere nearly developed as well as Homo sapiens. Due to this, most humans suffer from severe personification when it comes to perceiving what animals might exhibit in their behavior, especially, our pets.

Hit by a busLet’s look a little more closely at Homo sapien's potential for getting lost or locked into the past or the future. Because the human mind can construct and project an anticipated future, our attention doesn’t always remain in the moment. If we’re crossing the street while our attention is focused on fantasizing about desired or fearful circumstances occurring in our home or careers, we might not be paying attention to the bus careening down the street aimed in our direction. In this, our focus on the future can have lethal consequences. If we’re on a date with someone whom we find extremely attractive while thinking about how we were cheated on in a past relationship, we may miss a wonderful opportunity to create a new future and a much more rewarding experience through obsessing over our past.

Let’s take a look at another possible misconceptions we may have about ourselves and other mammals; fear. A human’s fear is almost entirely wrapped up in the potential of “what if” or what might occur and is future oriented. Our imagination is our most influential component in the way we perceive and deal with fear. Why? Because with our ability to perceive and create a charged imagination about the future and its possible outcomes, we often paralyze ourselves with fear over making the “wrong” move or taking the “wrong” action through imagining the hawk & rabbitdevastating scenarios that might occur. But if other mammals don’t have the same potential to fabricate a possible future, how does fear register with them? Since they exist mostly in the moment, we believe that fear is essentially a function of instinct and conditioning. It’s not fear as we would define it. They don’t define it. They have no language to separate it out from other feelings. They simply feel it. A rabbit’s tendency to remain motionless or move like a bullet is not the result of their looking for or expecting the hawk to swoop down and attack. It is simply an innate instinctual vigilance that has been conditioned and inbred into their genetic makeup over thousands of generations of repeated experience and evolution. They live in the moment. It has become an integral part of their perceptual and instinctual repertoire. It seems that Homo sapiens have essentially lost access to the awareness of those abilities through being conditioned to mentally focus on only the past and the future. Yet, it still remains buried under Animal sensestons of mentally judged memories and experiences. We know this because as we consciously make an effort to re-tune ourselves to nature and our natural surroundings, some of those “senses” slowly begin to reemerge.

But there is another ability that many of us humans agree is innate within our makeup; intuition. Since what our culture generally accepts as being true is that which has the potential to be physically verified (agreed upon by others), only a portion of our population actually accepts the validity of its existence. Since most of western humanity is in agreement with being or feeling superior to the animal kingdom, I believe that it is very unlikely that there are many people that even consider that animals may also possess intuition and that it is not merely a function of repeated and evolutionary physical experience and conditioning that eventually translates into becoming a genetic progeny in their DNA.

For the majority of us who believe that we are more than just our physical existence we can easily consider that we must exist in a somewhat different state of being before we either acquire, enter or construct the current physical bodies we reside in now. It is my belief that our mode of movement before we incarnated existed within the fields of feelings and intuition, NonLinear timeneither of which requires mental functioning or time to operate. This is also why they are so difficult to explain or describe to another. They are also the fields in which our deepest dreams occur. To wit, how many times have you attempted to explain a dream in earthly language only to get lost in the confusing time and overlay of events and people? The more “awake” you become, the more elusive the dream becomes. Feelings and intuition do not follow a linear path. They are simply innate, timeless and occur involuntarily. It’s also important to note that we retain them both through our incarnation. These fields are where empathy originates from. Yet, our “civilized” training has had the effect of eclipsing them with linearity and the time constraints of our mental functioning within the physical world. We know animals have feelings. Who’s to say they don’t also have intuition? What may even seem more curious to consider is that they also dream. Have you watched your dog’s feet and REM (rapid eye movement) when they’re sleeping? This would explain many of our experiences with them that we’ve been puzzled by in trying to explain while having been unable to trace the “answers” through physical instincts and genetics.

animal masterySo, back to our original question. Are we really superior to animals? I think not since we generally possess the same characteristics, especially, as with mammals. But we have and added dimension, time, which brings with it its tool to track and record it…our mind and the development of thought and language. This inclusion is usually what most people, claiming to be superior, use to set themselves above animals. However, there are many things that we appear to be unable to do based on the submerging of our instincts, feelings and intuition in deference to our use of the intellect. But our use of the intellect presents its own problems in that we more often than not allow ourselves to become trapped in our future “what ifs” and in our regrets or obsessions over our past “performance” and the resulting judgments by our peer group, families and authorities. We often miss being in the moment when it counts. So, who’s to say who is superior? I think that determination depends on what kind of standard we’re using to compare. I think that once we evolve enough to maintain a balance between past, present and future and eliminate enough of our fear of loss of control to allow our feelings and intuition to re-emerge and integrate with our eventually to be refined mental faculties, perhaps then we might be able to state that we have an added skill and dimension that adds a wholeness or unity to the pairing of our energetic and our physical existence. But to be superior? I think not. That’s a judgmental compensation applied by someone who feels himself to be “less than” man's best friendothers of his own species. Right now animals, especially mammals, might be “one up” on us in that they are not saddled with getting caught in the past or future and seem to be very content operating in the here and now. In that, they bring us tremendous peace with our tuning into being in the moment with them.

 

Who-am-I-3This may seem like a very simple question. It’s something that we as a race have asked ourselves as far back as we have been able to remember. But when most of us ask this question we go no further back than our own memory. That can include our memory of what we learned in history, what we’ve read, what we’ve been told by others, what we have personally experienced and what input we have processed on our time on this earth. The key word that provides us the best clue to how we identify ourselves is input.

With all of the technology that we’ve experienced we naturally hear the word input and think of computers, recorders, cameras, microphones, telephones; all of the gadgets that create a record or memory of what we or someone else has experienced. But all these gadgets simply imitate a capacity that we all share. That capacity is the use of our senses. Our senses depend on input. Our senses depend on stimulus (new information) that we can compare to what we already know, what we’ve committed to memory, what is different from what we already know or feel at the moment. We depend on input to define ourselves.

Selfie-Mona LisaWhen we are asked, “Who are you?” our answers are based on input we have received about ourselves from our surrounding world. We define ourselves by how the world sees us and how we see ourselves as participating in that world. To begin with we say our name. Did you choose your own name? No. Your parents gave that to you based on the input they perceived about you. Are you your job? No. You define yourself based on input that you and others perceive about what you do. Are you your family? No. Who you are is based on the input that you and others perceive about the people you live with and, most likely, work at supporting. The point I’m making is that sense input produces what is accepted as being true about you or not through your senses and those of others. It’s a compilation of and comparison to what you are and aren’t as compared to your surrounding world. So, what would happen to how you perceive who you are if we slowly removed those senses on by one? How, then, would you define yourself to yourself and others? Let’s see…

Smell-orangutansSince smell and taste are very closely related, let’s remove those together. Do you like a good steak? How would you know if all you could sense about it was the texture or what it feels like as you put it into your mouth? There would probably be very little difference between that and chicken, or turkey. Do you like ice cream? Yogurt? The texture of both are very similar. The only difference you’d recognize would be the color and that ice cream would feel much colder. What about flowers? You no longer can smell them. The only difference would be how they looked and how they felt (fragile, strong, thorny, tall short, etc.) With no smell and no taste, your ability to see food and flowers and feel their texture and temperature would be the only way that you could tell them apart. You, then, would have to lean much more heavily into the input available from your other senses of sight, tactile feeling and hearing. To wit, it is said that when someone goes blind the acuity of their remaining senses multiplies. Let’s remove another sensual input.

The kiss-RodanLet’s remove your tactile input. How would sex feel if you had no sense of touch? No taste? No smell? You might become aroused by what you could see or hear, but, then how could you feel the tactile pleasure of caressing? Warmth? Texture? Friction? Let’s go one further. How would you now identify your sexual experience? In pictures? In sounds? Your only input is your sight, hearing and of course your memory of what you’ve experienced before. With the loss of touch, taste and smell what has happened to the intensity of your experience? What has happened to the depth of your experience? How will you now describe it and your participation to others? How do you now define yourself in terms of sex and your experience with it? Your loss of three senses has monumentally diminished your experience with sex, food, texture, warmth, cold. What now remains to commit to memory? Let’s remove one more sense.

Hearing-Dog-1Sound has now left your repertoire. Can you hear music? Birds chirping, wind rustling leaves, the sighs of your lover during sex? What is now left to commit to memory to compare with what you’re already experienced? Only what you can see.

I’ve left the most impactful sense for last; sight. In today’s world we receive the largest volume of our sensual input through our sight. We learn things creating input watching television, our computer. We move about finding our direction through our house, the supermarket. We recognize people. We recognize ourselves in the mirror. We recognize the difference between night and day. We write Eye-heart-2down shopping lists of things to remember. We know when to stop filling a glass. We know when we come too close to the edge of a cliff. We see the steps we must traverse to go up or down in our houses. We can see when it’s safe to cross the street in traffic. Our last sense input is gone. How now can we experience the world? What have we left to identify ourselves with? Only our memory.

exhaustion-childBut, for most people, when the external input is turned off and we are so exhausted from following the convolutions and gymnastics of our conscious mind, it is our cue to sleep. When this occurs, most of us simply vacate bodily awareness and withdraw from our worldly participation. Removing any attention we may have on our body allows it the time and the space to disengage from all the resistances and polarities our conscious mind has constructed in dealing with daily events and the resulting stress it had deposited in our muscles and nervous system. In letting go of our body and mind it allows us to return to that unified non-polarized place we lived in before we were born in order to integrate our newest day’s activities into our “larger self” and clarify any changes in direction needed to further enhance our experience when we return to Larger self-1our physical world. When we are fully recharged and begin to reconnect with our body and mind it is then that we begin to dream. This is where the antics of our mind begin to negotiate with the timeless unified state we were just visiting and produce, sometimes, enlightening insights and sometimes, confusing timing and irrational scenarios that puzzle the conscious mind. When we have fully awakened, our unified awareness has totally shifted into our polarized perspective ready to participate in the physical world making choices and creating new resistance. This process repeats itself every night. If we are deprived of our REM sleep, that is, our opportunity to negotiate what we’ve integrated about being between “here” and “there” with our newest experiences, we eventually lose our mental thread and perceptual grounding: we lose our connection to “reality.” We all know that sleep deprivation makes most of us “loopy.”

SucubusHowever, the momentum of our conscious mind is sometimes so strongly connected to where we’ve been, or what we are going through, that we are unable to totally let go of our connection to our bodies resulting in the type of insomnia where we’re half in sleep and half out and dreaming. So now, with no external input the mind goes crazy dredging up enough material from our memory of past experiences to fill our awareness and “solve” what it is that we are distressed and tense about. When we finally awaken we are only partially recharged and working on only five cylinders for the rest of the day.

The point I’m making here is that the mind itself can be considered a sense. Because it contains the total memory of our past experiences and conjurations of possible outcomes in the future, it too is part of the polarization process controlling the “on” or “off” states (e.g., taste or don’t taste) of what we sense. Our senses and mind must both be released in order that we are able Energized-1to fully discharge enough of the resistance we have built and accumulated daily that we may be able to let go and vacate back into our unified essence to regroup. We can compare our regrouping to a computer that we would reboot clearing its memory and cache in order to have enough RAM to perform new tasks when turned back on again.

Desensitization tank-1It’s also worthy to note that back in the 60s the rage in colleges was to climb into desensitization tanks that would “deaden” the senses enough so that all that remained was our conscious mind. Some people loved the experience. Others became terrified at being “alone” with themselves. There is very little difference between this and the substances we currently use to either heighten or deaden our senses today like the difference between what alcohol does and what barbiturates do. Some want to escape the senses. Others want to be overwhelmed by them so they feel nothing else. Either way, it’s an escape from facing ourselves and what we feel.

So where does this leave us in terms of who we are? We know that when the senses are gone or turned off our mind replaces them with the memory of what we’ve already sensed or anticipated sensing. In recognizing this we know that we aren’t our senses. We also can say that when the physical senses are turned off, the mind goes into overdrive attempting to fill the perceptual gap. As the mind increases in speed, there eventually comes appoint where our Catch the trainability to make sense of it can no longer keep up with the speed and we are thrown free like a child from an accelerating merry go round and end up in the sidelines watching it spin. This tells us that we also aren’t our minds either, yet, we do have a mind just like we have senses. This means that when we physically die, what we can recognize, our senses and mind, are NOT all there is.

So what’s left to define? Feelings and intuition? These are continuous and involuntary types of energy that arise within us. They were present within us before we came here. But even they occur within us. So who or what are they within? So who or what is us? You? I? Without being separate from what we are attempting to define or discriminate, we can’t answer the question. It’s our belief in separation that creates the question. If there is no separation, there is no question. So now we must ask, “Who or what is it that we are asking this of?”