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Use Your Mental Senses To Reconnect To The Sensory World

Senses beyond touch, sight, sound, taste, smell, we can realize and optimize daily. This week: the mental senses.

Photo by That’s Her Business on Unsplash

Senses worth further investigation, today: internal and external mental sense

The real world is a sensory one, find it with your brain.

Using our mental faculties is complex.

We obviously use our five basic senses to take in stimuli, and we process that with our body, through our brain (also a part of our body!)

We engage our brains with an abstract language that miraculously converts one person’s thoughts into ones and zeros, electronic signals, and then back again. Meaning is made from input, but today we are going to talk more about the mental senses beyond abstraction.

Our sense of time, for example, is highly mental and physical, as is our sense of physical space. But there are many other substrata of senses we can include in our mental sense, such as internal and external pain, or lack thereof. Our sense of play, games, interactions, fun, and “flow.”

Our sense of urges such as procreation which engages all of the above, and it also, clearly uses imagination and creativity. Procreation and recreation are intricately interwoven, and like mind and body, impossible to separate. Think of dance, or what is needed to follow the social rules of a game, or outdoor exercise.

Thus, our social awareness and all mental, emotional, and even spiritual awareness, is included among the mental senses.

The control center, and beyond

In line with that social awareness, or sense of belonging, is the need to join the hive, group, or super-organism. In the cases of social species like ants, bees, and some birds, every contribution of a member helps steer the survival of the whole.

Even our sense of kin selection, tribe inclusion, and an altruistic sense that arose from many other organisms to work together — such as the wood wide web, a forest community, — is considered by many to be part of our consciousness.

Sentience, that rare, very hard to know ability to be self aware, while still participating in the larger network beyond, relies on an inborn, and also environmentally programmed, sense which some think is intuitive. Learning happens from womb to tomb, and because we invented written records, even beyond.

For now, we are just “mental”

Clearly, the mental senses are complex. They are not one thing, or another, and they all fall under a very wide umbrella.

Yet, if you think about it, you realize that every sense we have is integrated. We don’t just see a scene, we taste, smell, intuit, gauge temperature, feel, hear, and navigate it.

All of these come together, and inter-weave, to become what we call the “mental senses.”

Personally, I believe there will be so much more understanding, and an ability to study neuroscience, the brain, the genome, and a fuller comprehension of our societal networking in years to come.

There are many studying the human body, and our belonging. This, of course, covers a wide variety of subjects from biology, to neurology, to anthropology. Sub-headings for our “senses” may eventually come into accepted terminology as listed senses, themselves. For example our sense of navigation may be a fully “mental” sense realized the way that taste is a “sense” that is related to smell. Obviously, taste and smell are connected, but we list them as if they are different senses because there is some factors that distinguish smell, and some that distinguish taste.

It is similar to how our sense of intuition is apart from knowing facts is, or our sense of imagining, is different than our sense of color, or shape.

As we begin to more thoroughly investigate the many networks of belonging to Earth, and to our race within humanity, we may perhaps come up with specific terms, and a better vocabulary to describe the many aspects of our mentality which we call the mental senses.

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Because the earth needs us. Pronto.

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Christyl Rivers, Phd.

Christyl Rivers, Phd.

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.

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