Sense. Common sense. Half sensed. Sensing what is going on. The sixth sense. It makes no sense. I am sensing you are. I am sensing I am. I sense that. Give me a sense of what you are saying. These words, which science is it, phenomenology or etymology that is informing me that yes, the Buddhists are right, the mind is a sixth sensory organ.
Which means, each sense then, must partake of the others. Which is not always easy to partake. It’s true that the mind is easily seen in each sense, senses are not passive only, but expressive, and they gather and make a collage of memory, context, and raw appetites in order to tell the story de jour. But it’s not easy to see, for example, the olfactory element of sight, though, I do believe it must be there. So, it speaks to our necessary dissociation of the senses from each other. Reminds me that Huxley spoke of the feelies in Brave New World, and that in that book’s movies, all five senses were provided as entertainment to the passive spectator.
But once again, the senses are not passive, and we don’t need Huxley’s Brave New World to be dissociated. We, by nature of being human, I suppose, but accelerated even by the fact of literacy, and so many other technologies, give sight a kind of tyranny that, in its precision and utility, I suppose it deserves, up to a point. Which point.
All of life then, in these later years, which we are not tethered and yoked to the economic machine which sees only the literal linear god called progress, growth, monetization, and gain in our sights, all these later years, are simply giving back, in a generous opening of the gripping hands, a generous giving back to other senses.
As I lay on the bed, trying to ungrasp the fist that is my entire body wound up in an incomprehensible shivering of post trauma trauma, I by miracles find allies at times, the times I don’t forget. The times I know that I am in the palm of some hand that is truly greater, a palm that has no need to ever grip into a fist, and would that it did, it would grant me the gift of annihilation from this vale of woe.
Would I be ready? I am tempted to say never will be, and yet, some part of us is willing to die. That seed of release acceptance, counterintuitively, needs to be grown, and it is simple: simply come to resemble more the great palm of thriving enveloping care, resemble it more.
These simple half hours of powerful somatic support communalized by community, for, alas, despite my deepest held desires, we do not do this alone.
What sense is it that overtakes my dis-ease and folds me into a greater sense. Hint, my eyes are closed. Sight, that grave overlord, is remitted back to somewhere, though, no doubt, some part of me is still seeing lights and fancies that dazzle as their very purpose.
But with eyes closed, I am a very large sense, which each part of the whole body experienced rather than seen. A hand, when full of consciousness, resembles nothing like fingers, a thumb, a palm, a back, a wrist. None of these things exist in the full experiential sense of the hand. And so it must be too for each so-called part of the body, and even, what is said to be as outside the body. Where does the body end and where do the many senses begin? As always, we are so much greater than any sense, but surrendering to a larger sense, this is the beginning of having at least, a fuller sense of being alive in a way that does not numb, but rather, senses.