A Guide for Conscious Living since 2009
Multi-Dimensional Mastery - December 2015 - Santa Fe
Coming to Our Senses
From the Ordinary to the Sublime
By Dr. Judy Scher
Our culture has traditionally focused primarily on the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. However, it has been shown through research that there are more than 53 senses connected to biological human expression.
Between 1961 and 1978, researcher Guy Murchie made an exhaustive inquiry into the senses by painstakingly scrutinizing hundreds of scientific studies. He identified over 80 different biological senses/sensitivities, which were subsequently verified by Harvard’s Biological Laboratories. For literary convenience, he narrowed the senses down to 31 in his book, The Seven Mysteries of Life (Houghton Mifflin, 1978).
According to Michael Cohen, a forerunner in the burgeoning field of Ecopsychology, and founder of Project NatureConnect, during 26 years of living and teaching in the wild, he and his students identified 53 natural senses. Every one of these natural senses is an alive and distinct sensation.
For example, the sense of ‘belonging’ is more than an emotional feeling. It is a biological phenomenon that helps us sustain life as well as connect to a higher purpose. As each sense is a link to ourselves and the whole of who we are, when a ‘sense’ is not accessible it’s as if a part of our body was cut off. When the sense of belonging - connecting to the web of life - is severed and not supported, we instinctively strive to have that ‘sense’ fulfilled even if in less than optimal ways.
To compensate for this lack of connection, we end up relying heavily on certain limited and overused senses - such as thought, reason, or language. The mental senses are very important, however when they are used primarily as the only way to interpret information from the world around us, we are frequently left with the feeling of being isolated, apart from, and alone – separated from the whole of life.
Examples of basic biological senses that are underutilized or absent in our westernized culture are: sense of belonging, sense of community, sense of gravity, sense of balance, sense of vibration, sense of seeing without eyes, sense of moods and identities attached to color, sense of season, and proprioception (body awareness), among others. We compensate for our lack of connection to all of these innate senses by creating dysfunctional ways to have our needs met, such as addictions, violence, and more.
The senses that connect our biology to the whole are often seen as our ‘base nature’, but our ‘base nature senses’ actually exist along a continuum and extend into what I call our meta-senses. Meta-senses are those that help us connect and participate with other levels of reality beyond this three-dimensional world. Our meta-senses would include such things as sensing and/or seeing our auric fields, chakra centers and other dimensions. When we become aware of these meta-senses, we begin operating at a different level. These meta-senses can be accessed through practice and focused attention, in the same way we learn a sport or how to fly a plane.
Our culture conditions us to amputate these extraordinary senses – senses we are already wired for - by dismissing them as non-existent or by consensual agreement that they have no practical value ‘in the real world’. We have often heard the statement that we only utilize 10% of our brain. This underutilization includes our senses.
The body links the ordinary to the sublime. It is because we have a body with all the energetic structures connected to it that we are able to expand spiritually. Our body has an ability to open in a multidimensional way when supported by awareness and practice. It also requires an efficient listening platform, which means that if our physiology is in defense and its focus is on survival, it becomes more challenging to open the gates to all these senses. When the body is relaxed at its core, and able to listen at the deepest levels, it can optimize our ability to pay attention in a multisensory and multidimensional way. This opens the door to realities that are in fact all around us, but invisible to our conscious mind - until we come to all of our senses.
Judy Scher, D.C. is Director of the Scher Center in Santa Fe since 1992. She is an international teacher, workshop leader, and keynote speaker. The Scher Center utilizes cutting edge reorganizational healing tools including Network Spinal Analysis Care. For more info go to www.HealingWithoutLimits.com
or call 505 989-9373.