The un­known senses – by An­dreas N. Bjørn­dal

We started this se­ries about the senses with the five tra­di­tional senses. Then, we ex­plored Rudolf Stein­ers 12 senses adding a mag­netic sense in the last ar­ti­cle. To­day we will look at a few other senses we re­late to daily with­out think­ing of them as senses.

The most ob­vi­ous are the senses of thirst and hunger. They make sure we get what we need to stay alive. These senses can be in­flu­enced in many ways.
If you look at peo­ple drink­ing or eat­ing you might get thirsty or hun­gry. Mar­ket­ing take this into ac­count. You might also re­act with dis­gust to things oth­ers are eat­ing or drink­ing. So you do not only feel thirst and hunger be­cause you need some­thing, it can also be a de­sire for plea­sure.

The words thirst and hunger are used to rep­re­sent other things than food too.
We are fed on many lev­els and you can have a thirst or hunger for trav­el­ling, learn­ing, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing, re­lat­ing, time off etc.
These de­sires can be dif­fi­cult to re­al­ize or you might want to re­duce them if they are tak­ing con­trol of your life or are un­healthy.
Al­co­holics feels a thirst or crav­ing that slowly de­stroys them.

Too lit­tle or too much is of­ten an is­sue with de­sires. To in­dulge, of­ten has a bad af­ter- taste, while ab­stain­ing, gives a sweet af­ter taste. This is a nice mech­a­nism that helps us ad­justs.

If you fast reg­u­larly, you will know that both the sense of thirst and hunger can dis­ap­pear even if you have not eaten for many days. When you start eat­ing again, your senses of taste and smell are so acute or cleaned out that al­most any meal is like a de­li­cious feast, a fire­works of tastes.

As with hunger your abil­ity to fast is much broader than just a mat­ter of food. Your abil­ity to con­trol your de­sires and needs can in­flu­ence many of your senses, it can give you con­trol and abil­ity to sus­tain pain and suf­fer­ing.
The abil­ity to con­trol, ex­er­cise your will, to ab­stain and be as­cetic, forces you to re­late to your in­ner core, forces you to face your­self and stand in­de­pen­dent of the ex­ter­nal world. Most peo­ple are in a con­stant search for ex­ter­nal stim­uli or sat­is­fac­tion; al­ways mov­ing away from them­selves.

These is­sues are also re­flected in in­dul­gence, sys­tem over­load or the af­ter ef­fects of greed. The sense of too much is also ex­pe­ri­enced with a full blad­der or a full rec­tum.

If you have cul­ti­vated your de­sires, you can feel the need to eat more healthy, to eat less or to drop cer­tain foods and even feel a need to fast. If you in­dulge you will grad­u­ally be­come aware, get­ting stuck is rather a fee­ble will power that takes time to make strong.

Also, when the blad­der is full you can speak of a will. Some peo­ple have to run as soon as they feel the least urge, oth­ers can go to bed with a full blad­der, have a good sleep and wake up next morn­ing re­mem­ber­ing they needed to uri­nate.

In many tra­di­tions, mas­ter­ing your­self take ad­van­tage of these senses, needs, de­sires, or crav­ings and re­duce them. To learn to reg­u­late, re­duce or ab­stain strength­ens your will. Ab­stain­ing from any­thing that con­trols you is a good thing. To­day it could as well be the smart­phone or Face­book that you need to show your­self you can be with­out.

By drop­ping sugar, Coca Cola, Face­book, choco­late, cof­fee or any other things you crave or think you need to have will sur­prise you with how good you can feel, but also how the crav­ing can ac­tu­ally dis­ap­pear. The strength­ened will cre­ates a feel­ing of free­dom and in­ner power, an in­creased au­ton­omy.

An­other sense we have not men­tioned is the sense of dan­ger, poi­son or that food is un­healthy. Cer­tain col­ors, shapes, smell and sounds will im­me­di­ately be un­der­stood as signs of dan­ger. Col­ors, smell or taste of food and drink, or just how it looks like can also make you scep­tic or cre­ate a strong aver­sion. Some peo­ple vomit just by the sight of things. As with the above senses this can also be mod­i­fied with grad­ual ex­po­sure, but is a healthy sense that you have ac­quired through gen­er­a­tions of ex­pe­ri­ence, stored in the col­lec­tive un­con­scious.

The senses can also cre­ate at­trac­tion, con­nec­tion, dis­gusts, fear or scep­ti­cism to­wards oth­ers. Some peo­ple you might feel you need to pro­tect your­self from, oth­ers feels like an in­spi­ra­tion of joy. The strongest sense in the in­ter-hu­man sphere is the sense of love. You sense a par­tic­u­lar flow of joy a sense of ful­fil­ment when you are in love even if it is not rec­i­p­ro­cal. You might be in a re­la­tion­ship and not feel love or you might love some­one you are not in a re­la­tion­ship with, but any­way you sense that feel­ing of love.

This sense of a spe­cial con­nec­tion can also be there in the fam­ily or within a group of peo­ple. You can sense a con­nec­tion or be­long­ing that tran­scends the ego. It can be with a good friend a grand­fa­ther or mother and some­times you feel this con­nec­tion with a guide, coach or ther­a­pist. You sense a mu­tual un­der­stand­ing, a mu­tual sphere or a sense of be­ing in tune and un­der­stand­ing be­yond the words or ex­pres­sions be­tween you.

Your abil­ity to ad­just to the com­mon good, your abil­ity to let your own needs and de­sires, that we cov­ered in the be­gin­ning of this ar­ti­cle, and make a pri­or­ity on what prof­its the group is the pre­req­ui­site to sense the group.
If you are a slave of your greed, or al­ways think what is in it for me, then you do not have that in­ner si­lence that can make you hear the need of the group.

Your sense of holonity is your sense of be­long­ing to a big­ger whole, a big­ger holon, like your or­gans act­ing for the whole body, the com­mon good, you can also act for hu­man kind. You can sense the state of your group and even hu­man kind. This sense of holonity or how much you are in har­mony with a big­ger group is one of the most sub­tle and most im­por­tant senses for our mas­ter­ing and spir­i­tual growth.

Read about the other senses here
Or visit my blog

Holon, unity and wholeness, holonistic knowledge, self-development, spirituality, nature and mysticism as the way to truth

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