Why do we deny our human capacity to perceive the world around us with our more subtle senses, while at the same time accepting the wide range of senses exhibited throughout the animal kingdom, senses that we barely understand? We would have a better understanding of animal life if we learned to use our own subtle senses. However, to do this we need to learn how to recognise our mind-senses. I use the term mind-senses to differentiate from those physical senses that tell us about the world around us; tell us through sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Our mind-senses give us an added advantage; they make us aware of factors and events not so readily available to us; past, present and future.
Whether we accept it or not, we all use these senses to some degree; much depends on our sensitivity, attitude to life and emotional state. Nevertheless we are all accustomed to that most basic means of communication – hairs rising at the back of our neck and shivers sweeping all through our body. No matter how we read these shivers, they are the simplest form of expression from a non-physical person, to someone still physical. Those shivers convey a variety of feelings that we can learn to understand.
We experience the world in our own particular way and according to our own skills. The way we use our sensory skills is very personal and determined by our temperament and inclinations . My life has been governed by a kind of ‘sensing but it was only in my forties that I began to realise how I ‘picked up’ on the personality of people around me – by ‘pick-up’, I mean that I start to act out a person’s temperament. By observing my words and actions, I have a pretty good idea of that person’s temperament. Recently, I had an appointment with a man and the moment I saw him, I began to act out of character; drawing all the attention to myself and I remembered acting in the same way at a previous meeting. He liked to be the centre of attention!
That kind of ‘pick up’ is immediate and obvious but there are occasions when it is not so clear. Some time ago I was visiting friends when I began to feel very uncomfortable in my stomach and gut. I had no option but to ask if anyone was suffering these symptoms? It was not clear then, but a few months later, one of the friends with similar sumtoms was diagnosed with cancer.
Pick-ups are not totally random – there is always a purpose. One time when we had a girls’ get-together, one of the women was pregnant. We had all been laughing and talking when I was suddenly overcome with birth pangs and found myself curled up and bearing down. Helpless with laughter, I warned them that the baby was going to come a lot sooner than was expected.
As with all things in life we can use our abilities for better or worse. Some years ago I started a counselling course at the local college and I recall the tutor teaching what was known as ‘reflecting’. Two students sat facing each other, the one acting as the client had to make casual moves with our hands, feet as we all do, when talking to someone. The one acting as counselor was instructed to make the same movements, reflecting the actions of the other. This felt very strange to me because I have always reflected the person I am with, quite unconsciously. I was not happy with this deliberate form of manipulation and left the course. Reflecting another person in a totally unconscious way is nature’s way of showing sympathy, making the other feel more comfortable and at ease.