See, hear, touch, smell, taste...

Do we take these abilities for granted? I often do. I have to remember to be thankful for these senses which give me pleasure, pain, warn me of danger or illness, let me know when the dinner is done (or more often in my case, OVERdone), and pretty much enable me to function in and interact with my world.

Imagine being born without one or more of the five basic senses.

Perhaps this is the case for you. It seems to me that it would be difficult to even know what that missing sense would have been like if we had never experienced it in the first place. How would you explain what the color royal blue is to someone who had never experienced vision? Or describe the warble of a songbird to someone who is not familiar with the concept of sound, much less the difference between a birds' song and a ringing telephone? How about describing the aroma or flavor of a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie to someone who has never experienced the delight of "sweet" or "chocolaty" or "buttery"? (now I'm hungry)

I often ponder the possibility that there are more senses beyond the standard five. I believe that all of us have additional senses, but few of us are willing to use and trust them. Intuitive abilities are used by animals all the time. Their survival depends on them. They often seem to "just know" things. They don't question how they know, or doubt it or think, "oh my goodness, I must be evil!" They simply use the abilities given to them.

I think that little baby people are also born with these intuitive abilities, but they learn to suppress them when they find no need to use them. Maybe parents and teachers even discourage it. Little Jimmy couldn't have seen a ghost, there's no such thing as ghosts...or is there? Eventually, these abilities go the way of the appendix or tonsil and just kinda hang around and make a nuisance of themselves once in awhile. Until, like the tonsils, it's discovered that just because we didn't understand it's purpose doesn't mean it was useless.

Some of us still have use of intuitions that we've managed not to suppress. We may feel ashamed, set aside or weird. Knowing negative future events before they happen can bring on a feeling of guilt for not having acted upon the knowledge or hunch... yet who would listen? Maybe there weren't enough details available about the event to affect it - like knowing a plane will crash but having no idea where. All aviation can't be grounded because some crazy lady had a vision! Or maybe in attempting to change it, the "future" would no longer be the "future"... and we're not supposed to mess with the future (are we?). It makes my brain tired to think like that. Stop it!

A difficult thing is describing what it is like to "sense" with an ability beyond the usual five senses. Sort of like explaining color to someone who has never seen or the bird's song to someone who has never heard, it's nearly impossible to explain the experience. It's really cool to meet another person with similar experiences.

Sometimes knowledge comes to me as a voice that blurts out of my mouth before I think about it (my husband might say I do that all the time, but I don't mean like that) and says something like "we're gonna have an earthquake". Or it may appear in my mind as a little floating thing like inside those "magic eight ball" toys. Once I "read" a future event, in my mind, as text printed in a newspaper headline. It might appear as a dream that's more vivid than usual. More often, information appears to me as mental images. Not recognizable images (trains, dogs, trees, etc.) but more like strange and unfamiliar pictures that aren't really pictures (again, hard to explain). It's like seeing, only without looking through the eyes. Sometimes it's a way of "reading" people, or sharing thoughts and knowing what they are going to say a few seconds before they say it. Actually hearing, only not with the ears.. or speaking without really speaking. Or just picking up on "vibes", like feelings... Sort of..

Dogs "sense" good people and bad people (unless they're fooled with a juicy steak). Mountain lions can "smell" fear. Wild birds know which berries are edible and which are poison. Ants seem psychically connected with one another. A flock of birds or school of fish are able to all turn at the exact same moment, without texting one another with "left turn in 20 seconds". I've discovered old dogs tend to be "talking dogs". They're just full of messages for us if we listen to them. I love old dogs...

It could be that having a usable sixth sense is genetic. My mom had it and one of my sons does as well. I think we could all tap into some of our unused senses once we turn off our logical, skeptical, and thinking minds (for a little while) and pay closer attention to how it could have been that we knew who was on the phone before we answered it. It's gotta be more than coincidence when we start singing a song and then turn on the radio and hear it playing... often. Or when we are sending an email to an old friend we haven't spoken with in a long time, and click "send" just to find an incoming email... from that old friend. Coincidences are probably very rare.

©2012, Mary Lou St. Lucas

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Mary Lou St. Lucas is a former stay-at-home mom who has participated in custody and divorce-related support groups. She often speaks out through impassioned letters to local newspapers regarding issues affecting quality of life for children and families. She has experienced divorce, including the heartbreaking decision to give up daily contact with her two sons for what she believed was their best interest at that time, as well as the societal stigma attached to being a non-custodial mother. She emphasizes the importance of kids having BOTH parents in their lives on a regular basis, even if the parents cannot or will not be married anymore. She hopes other parents will see that there may be alternatives to the standard custody arrangements, depending on the individual situation. She writes from her perspective of today instead of revisiting and dwelling on the painful emotions of her past. She strives to live a full life in spite of a recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and believes a sense of humor is mandatory. mlstuff.blogspot.com/2007/08/male-bashing-t-shirts.html or E-Mail.

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