Why do people keep saying there are only six senses? It is time to open our minds much broader than that, and acknowledge the vast range of things we sense beyond sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch – and whatever sixth sense the speaker happens to be considering at the time.
What about the sense of where our bodies are in space, without reference to sight? What about the sense of our bodies moving? What about the sense of another person’s mood, even if they’ve left the room before we enter it? What about the sense that it’s about to rain or thunder, or the exhilarating sense of imminent lightning?
What about the settling we feel in our bodies when we have a cat sitting moulded onto our knee, or after we’ve finished a bout of laughter? What about our sense of direction, however that works? What about the prickle of premonition or deja-vu? What about pain, in its myriad forms? What about hunger, what about thirst, what about knowing we need to exhale?
What about our sense of space, or of order? What about the sense of rightness, of certainty? What about our sense of justice? What about the sense of intuition or the sense of logic? What about the sense that a loved one is with us, even when they are a long way away, or no longer in this world? What about the sense of belonging, and being loved?
Some of these things could be rolled in together, but none of them come under one of the five standard headings, unless we stretch those headings beyond “sense” as well. And there is more, so much more…
There’s the sense that we have been holding ourselves back for many, many years because in language we acknowledge limits to our world that do not need to exist.
What would you sense if you took an expanded moment of freedom to breathe into? Is there something there for you that your body, in its most intelligent sense, has known for a long, long time, that your mind did not?
What about the feeling of love for another? Where does that come under the headings of the big five?
And our other emotions: fear, anger, joy, excitement, peace, happiness, grief… ah, yes, grief?
These things we feel in our bodies, but not with the sense of touch, taste or smell. These things we feel in our hearts, our tight muscles, our headaches, our expanded arms; the lifting of our chest in anticipation; the bowing of our shoulders in pain.
In describing our world we can limit it, it’s true; but we can also open our view, widen our horizon with a few, deep, heart-chosen words.