Growing up we all learn at some point that no two people on this earth are exactly alike. Despite being seven billion strong, we are each one-of-a-kind. I’m not sure when I first heard this, but even now as an adult the idea fuels my curiosity about life. While often the topic goes hand-in-hand with teaching kids about how we are all alike and different, I have been thinking about how our lives are made unique by filtering the world through our senses. Yes, I’m a bit strange at times.
When I think about people I know, some have an amazing affinity for taste and food, like my mother-in-law, who is an amazing cook. Yet others, like rock violinist Aaron Meyer, clearly experience the world through hearing and music. Then there are those who build things, like in the image today, where touch and feel dominate sensations much of the time. For me, I experience much of the world by what I see, often behind the lens of a camera. In many ways, we are the sum total of life experiences processed by our senses!
Are you aware of the degree to which your different senses contribute to who you are? Which ones most define your own uniqueness? Which ones are overdeveloped? Underdeveloped?
A central task in life is awakening to the essence of who we are. I say this because it’s a core message of all spiritual lineages, and our ability to awaken is directly related to how we experience the world through our senses! They can be both a blessing and curse. If we over indulge them, we end up enmeshed with our own egos, trapped in an earthly world of pain and pleasure. If, however, we consciously use each in moderation to deepen our relationship with that which is beyond self, they will provide a path out of suffering.