According to Greek philosopher Aristotle, we interact with the physical world with the five traditional senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. In reality, humans have more than five senses. For instance, we can sense time and its passing throughout the day. We have a proximity sense (how close objects are, is someone watching us) and a sense of proprioception (this is how we can touch our hand to our elbow without looking). One could argue that empathy is a basic sense – the ability to sense the emotional state of others.
We rely on all five senses to obtain information about the world around us and, depending on our preferences and environment, we may rely on one or two senses more frequently. Psychologists refer to this as our VAK bias or learning style: visual, auditory or kinesthetic (sensing, feeling).
Our language can reveal our dominant VAK learning style. Notice the difference in these phrases (exaggerated for clarity!), in response to the question “Do you understand what I am saying?”:
- I see what’s going on, it’s clear-cut. (Visual)
- I hear you, no problem. It’s music to my ears! (Auditory)
- I’m definitely getting a feel for it. (Kinesthetic)
However, we have a sixth sense – intuition – that is also innate. It is this sixth sense that allows us to tap into the Unified Field of Cosmic Consciousness – the wisdom and experience of all planes of existence from the physical to the spiritual. For some of us, the sixth sense is dormant but in others highly developed and accessible. If dormant, we can learn to tune into the higher vibrations of the sixth sense to the point where accessing it becomes an unconscious ability or skill, rather than one we need to consciously activate. Just like with sight or hearing, we will automatically be able to tune into our sixth sense to process information from beyond the traditional five senses.
Each of the basic physical senses has a parallel psychic sense, or “clair”, which is expressed through our sixth sense. It is not uncommon for your dominant physical sense to correspond to your dominant sixth sense.
|Physical Sense||Corresponding Psychic or Sixth Sense|
|Sight||Clairvoyance (clear seeing)|
|Hearing||Clairaudience (clear hearing)|
|TouchEmotion (empathy)||PsychometryClairsentience * ( clear feeling / knowing)|
|Smell||Clairalience (clear smelling)|
|Taste||Clairgustience (clear tasting)|
Claircognizance (clear knowing) is another important sense, characterized by “just knowing” something that could not normally be known. The information comes from the Higher Self and can be a combination of input from all the other psychic senses or from one’s Spirit Guides. Think of those “aha!” moments you have had in life – they are moments of claircognizance.
* Clairsentience (clear feeling). There is some confusion around this term as some practitioners use the sense of “feeling” to describe emotional feeling whilst others used it to describe physical feeling or touch. When I refer to clairsentience, for me it is the knowingness of emotion. For me, knowingness from touch is psychometry (knowing the history – and emotion – of an object by touching it).
Many of us neither have developed nor fully use our basic five senses. In the modern world, we are bombarded with stimuli at all times – lights, sounds, and smells and so on – and many of us have developed strong filters to tune out the irrelevant debris that we encounter daily. It would be exhausting to react to each stimulus that hits our senses, so we allow only important information to filter through: the crying of a child or an animal in distress, a squealing tire or siren when driving, the smell of smoke. All of these will trigger mindfulness and action.
Through development and heightening the abilities of our physical senses, we can develop and sensitize our psychic senses. There are very many ways to enhance and improve your physical senses. A starting place would be the sensitizing exercises in William H. Hewitt’s book Psychic Development for Beginners, which is available on-line. Portions of it may also be read in Google Books.
Another excellent choice would be to join a psychic development class or group in your area. A search through Google or Meetup.com would likely show lots of choice in your area.
In future articles we will delve more into each of the psychic senses, along with tips on how to develop them!