Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The sixth sense

Everyone occasionally makes use of a sixth sense: an ability to know something that does not seem to be available to the five senses we normally use to interact with the world. Today I was caught up in an exploration of whether the sixth sense is part of the world studied by physics or part of the constructed reality we make with our minds. How does your sixth sense work?

Go inside and remember a time when you had a sixth sense about something. Notice how you were seeing, hearing, and sensations in your body. Does your sixth sense have an impact on your sensory perception?

Imagine having a sixth sense. The poet Blake said that from four senses we would not be able to imagine a fifth: if you could add another mode of perceiving, what would it be and how would it help you move forward?

It's possible that language is our sixth sense: a way of knowing that is rooted in the world studied by physics and yet connected directly to the world known by our minds.

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