Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Five senses? Six? Seven?

Today Nicky (at Absolute Vanilla) wrote about Six Senses.  After reading her insightful post, I began to analyze her "six" senses, since "sixth sense" to me means sensing something that can't be recognized by our five senses -- or else the movie Sixth Sense ("I see dead people").

Nicky's six are "I can see, I can hear, I can feel, I can touch, I can smell, I can taste."  I think feel and touch mean the same thing, so the list contains the five senses of see, hear, touch, smell, and taste.  To confirm my own list, I googled "senses" and got this illustration:
But I came up with another "sixth" sense.  Someone said that, in addition to these five senses, "our inner ear senses our body's orientation in space."  We know when we are upside down, and we know when we are tilted to one side or the other.  I'd call that balance or equilibrium.  Hmm, and maybe it could be what Nicky called "feeling," that awareness of something touching me, maybe even gravity that tells my inner ear which way is up.

I've already strayed far from Nicky's original intention, which was to calm ourselves through meditation on our senses.  This kind of thinking is a lesson in mindfulness.  Okay, Nicky, I'll do that now.

I can see
... my maid-mother-crone art piece, hanging on the wall beside my desk.
... the sun shining on the green grass outside my window.

I can hear
... a car driving past my house.
... Kiki meowing for me to come clean her litter box.

I can touch (something outside myself)
... the beads of moisture on my glass of iced tea.
... the keyboard with flying fingers.

I can feel (something touching me)
... the desk chair firm beneath me.
... hunger.

I can smell
... lunch warming in the oven.
... the new book on the stack beside me.

I can taste
... the goodness of warm bread.
... the crispy salad.


Unknown said...

Lovely meditative list, Bonnie.
I suppose, if I were to have taken the sixth sense in that post a little more seriously, I would have implied that which I could intuit. But I suspect that might have knocked a few people's socks right off! ;-)

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Intuit away, Nicky! I'm "wearing" only bare feet at my desk today.

Intuition is a good definition of the movie's meaning of "sixth sense." Thanks.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I meant to tell everyone that I did clean Kiki's litter box, promptly. "I HEAR" dog owners laughing at me because dogs have masters and cats have staff, like me. But hey, I don't have to walk my cat and carry a pooper scooper and plastic bag to clean up the sidewalks.

Helen's Book Blog said...

I like it! And, as an aside...loved the movie the Sixth Sense.

Anonymous said...

Liked your analysis.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I happened to run across an article about our senses. We may have as many as 20, according to how you want to count them. We humans have a sense of balance and a sense of acceleration. We sense pain, the position of our body (which side we're lying on, for example) and the position of our arms and legs. We definitely sense temperatures, whether something is hot or cold or warm. We feel pressure and gravity. Here's the article:

"How many senses does a human being have?"