Life Sense: Knowing Life Beyond the Senses

 

Life Sense: Knowing Life Beyond the Senses



How does the human body make sense of the world? What is its source of knowing? 

The answer is obvious: through the five senses. 

Whatever you know of the world or yourself is information you have gathered only through the five sense organs—by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. If these sense organs fold up, you would know neither the world nor yourself. When you sleep every night, suddenly the people around you disappear, the world disappears, and even you disappear. You are still alive, everybody around you is alive, but in your experience everything evaporates, because these five sense organs have gone into “shutdown” mode. 

The sense organs are limited. They can perceive only that which is physical. If your perception is limited to the five senses, naturally the scope of your life will be restricted to the physical. Additionally, the senses perceive everything only in relation to something else. If I touch a metal object and it feels cool to my fingers, it is simply because my body temperature is warmer. Suppose I lower my temperature and touch it, it would feel warm to me. 

The sense perceptions are absolutely wonderful instruments for human survival. They are turned on at the moment of your birth because they are essential to your survival in the outside world. But if you are seeking something more than survival, they are not enough. They give you a distorted impression of reality because they are entirely relative in their perception. 

If you are really interested in knowing life in all its depth and dimension, it is imperative that you look inward, not out. Why? Because the essential nature of life does not lie in the physical or psychological expression of body and mind, but in their source. However, looking inward doesn’t happen easily. It takes work, because you don’t yet have the perceptual mechanisms to look within. The human predicament is just this: the very seat of your experience is within you, but your perception is entirely outward bound. 

This is why there is such a big disconnect between within and without. You can see what is outside you, but you cannot see what is inside you. Even if someone whispers, you can hear it, but there is so much activity happening in the body that is beyond your ability to hear. If even an ant crawls upon your skin you can sense it right away, but there is so much blood flowing within you that you cannot feel. Your sense organs can only register external sensations of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. But the source of all experience is within you. An experience may be triggered by an external stimulus, but its origin is always internal—and there are times when the same experience can be generated even without an external trigger. 

Yoga is fundamentally aimed at enhancing your experience beyond the five senses. There is a dimension beyond your five sense perceptions. You can call that dimension whatever you please. You can call it “self,” if you choose. You can call it “divine,” if you choose. You can term it “God,” if you choose. The terminology is entirely up to you. 

And even if you are not in quest of the divine or the self, enhancing your perception can play a vital role in assuring a fundamental level of well-being. Whatever you are—doctor, policeman, engineer, artist, homemaker, or student— fundamentally, it is your quality of perception that determines how effective and successful you are and how much you can do on this planet. The expansion of your sense perception beyond its present boundaries can achieve phenomenal results, bringing a completely new and seemingly magical dimension to your life. 

The common questions are: “Is it very difficult to enhance my perception? Do I have to withdraw to a Himalayan cave to turn inward?” 

Not at all. This possibility does not come from sitting somewhere on top of a mountain; it is within you. The only reason it has been inaccessible is that you are either busy or preoccupied with what is happening outside or far too engaged in your own psychological drama. It is just a lack of attention which has denied people the possibility of discovering what lies within. 

Turning inward does not have anything to do with thoughts, ideas, opinions, or philosophies. It has nothing to do with the psychological activity of your mind. Enhancing your perception means enhancing your ability to receive life, just as it is. If you are willing to dedicate just a few minutes of your life to this every day, you would see the change. The simple process of paying a little bit of attention to your inner nature will transform the quality of your life in remarkable ways.


Sadhana 

Start by paying attention to everything you think of as yourself just before you fall asleep: your thoughts, your emotions, your hair, your skin, your clothes, your makeup. Know that none of this is you. There is no need to make any conclusion about what “you” are or what “truth” is. Truth is not a conclusion. If you keep the false conclusions at bay, truth will dawn. It is like your experience of the night: the sun has not gone; it is just that the planet is looking the other way. You’re thinking, reading, talking about the self, because you’re too busy looking the other way! You haven’t paid enough attention to know what the self really is. What is needed is not a conclusion, but a turnaround. If you manage to enter sleep with this awareness, it will be significant. Since there is no external interference in sleep, this will grow into a powerful experience. Over time, you will enter a dimension beyond all accumulations.




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