The Sixth Sense… a psychological misfit

The Sixth Sense… a psychological misfit

by A.O. Kime

It is commonly believed we have a sixth sense, not just the five
that are so apparent, that of sight, smell, taste, feeling and
hearing. It seems to be true even though the sixth sense is quite
different than the others, more mysterious and metaphysical in
nature. Generally the sixth sense is known for the ability to
sense danger but sometimes it is associated with one’s
”˜gut-instinct’ when trying to choose the right course of action.
The ability to sense danger is uncanny, that is, to sense
something beyond the capacity of the other five senses. Further,
the sixth sense doesn’t seem to be associated with any human
organs such as eyeballs and eardrums or require any physical
apparatus like olfactory nerves or taste buds. The sixth sense
seems to operate without any help at all from the body”¦ it seems
to be entirely mental.

Even though it is often known as the ‘sixth sense’, like
everything else metaphysical”¦ it is only a concept. Yet,
everything about the metaphysical realm are concepts, whether it
is the human soul or our subconscious mind. That could even apply
to angels, heaven or the devil, and, of course, none seem to have
physical properties. Even so, since the dawn of time, man has
wanted to give them names. Probably the first to be named was the
Creator. Later, when people began to believe things like spirits
and heaven must exist, they were also given names. After all,
these concepts needed to be referred to in some manner. In the
nineteenth century, when it seemed the human brain had two
separate functions, it was decided they should be called the
conscious and subconscious mind and the idea of a sixth sense
debuted around 1837.

Other concepts were named as well, such as the human soul,
guardian angels, spirits, the muse, hell and demons. The sixth
sense phenomenon was one of the most recent to be labeled and,
like the others, needed to be. As for the sixth sense, almost
everyone has experienced it so we know it exists. We don’t know
how it operates but that doesn’t matter as much that it does and
most often when it should. However, we can recall a few times it
failed to warn us of danger. Or maybe we didn’t listen.
Sometimes, regardless of our fear or anxiety, we went ahead and
did something anyway”¦ sometimes we have to. Maybe we felt it was
worth the risk. Making a move on some guy’s girlfriend might seem
worth the risk or for the thrill of canoeing whitewater rapids,
riding a bull. Mostly though, the sixth sense is associated with
alerting us to real danger, like a stranger lurking in the
shadows. More incredibly, it might be telling us not to go
somewhere that day as if, somehow, it can foretell events.

The sixth sense is not always reliable

But the sixth sense is not always reliable, the ”˜bad feeling’ we
sometimes had turned out to be a false alarm. Since it can make
mistakes, maybe the sixth sense has a human quality to it. In
other words, if it represented divine guidance we would expect
perfection. Perhaps then we should consider the sixth sense as
”˜human’ even though we’re unsure whether animals have it.
Sometimes their keener sense of smell, hearing and eyesight makes
it seem so.

Actually, some animals have senses which humans don’t, such as
the ability of snakes to sense chemicals through their unique
vomeronasal organ. And some, like bats, whales and dolphins have
what is termed ”˜echolocation’ and sharks have the ability to
sense electrical fields generated by other fish. Yet, I don’t
think anyone has ever claimed animals have a sixth sense like
humans (correction: apparently the belief animals can sense
looming earthquakes exists which has heightened due to the
conduct of animals during the Asian tsunami of 2004). Since we
don’t know what makes the sixth sense function, except that it is
mental and not dependent upon a physical support apparatus like a
human organ, there should be a great significance in this, as if
having a deeper meaning.

Actually, some people consider the sixth sense and extrasensory
perception (ESP) as being the same thing, but I’ve always
considered them two separate things because, to me, the sixth
sense is more about the ability to sense danger whereas ESP is
more about communicating mentally. It’s a matter of semantics and
preference I suppose. However, while the sixth sense wasn’t
called ‘extrasensory perception’ until about 1870 by Sir Richard
Burton, then in that regard, one could probably say it was meant
to mean the same thing. However, it seems the case whereby he
simply recognized more functions of the ‘sixth sense’ and thought
the term ‘extrasensory perception’ (or ESP) would be more
apropos. I would disagree… it is a ‘sense’. Even though ‘sixth’
seems to suggest is is lacking a name, and perhaps an open
invitation for someone to name it, ‘sixth’ is good enough for me.
Besides, as even more capabilities of the sixth sense began to be
recognized even later during the 1800s, whereby they could be
defined as separate processes… and for all that which the sixth
sense is capable of, or encompasses, ESP should have been clearly
defined as one of those capabilities, but not to be considered a
replacement name.

The influence of science and religion

Without citing individual cases of sixth sense experiences”¦ what
else can be said? We simply don’t know too much more. If however,
some of these cases involved the foretelling of events, then that
would add another dimension to it. While I can’t recall
experiencing that myself, I have little doubt it has happened to
others. Often the reason we cannot fathom these things, anything
metaphysical, is how we perceive them. For that matter, I think
how most people perceive the spirit world has been wrong for the
past 2,500 years. In some detail I explained the reasons in
Spirit World and Metaphysics. Mainly we’ve let the various
concepts floating around, philosophical and religious, overly
influence our perception of the spirit world. Further, if any one
of the major concepts isn’t in the ballpark, it has the effect of
distancing us from the truth even more.

How would I rationalize the sixth sense then? Well, I try to look
at it in a different way but in order to do that”¦ I almost have
to forget it has a name. A name has a way of boxing a concept in”¦
in this case; the sixth sense may be a greater phenomenon that
merely a ”˜sense’. I think we would do a lot better understanding
all of nature’s wonders if we didn’t let these names influence
us. We must understand that these names, as apropos as they may
seem, are only representations of deeds, actions and activities”¦
nothing more. We’d be better off to consider them verbs, that is,
except for some concepts, like heaven or hell. We can’t assume
names, like ”˜angels’, are for a ”˜thing’ or ”˜entity’ because such
distinctions may not really exist, at least not how humans
understand distinctions. Such distinctions, as humans make them,
assuredly have been throwing us off.

As an example, while each of the senses has a given range of
capabilities, like the eardrum can hear different sounds; it’s
still called ”˜hearing’. In other words, correctly we don’t let
any particular musical tone influence our concept of what
”˜hearing’ is. Although I think almost everyone perceives the
sixth sense correctly”¦ simply the ability to ”˜sense’ things and
we all know what that means. We just have to keep on guard not to
let a name of any phenomenon unduly influence us.

The sixth sense versus semantics… round 1

As to how the sixth sense figures in overall would be nearly
impossible to explain. The difficulty of course is with
semantics, the lack of terms to adequately convey metaphysical
concepts. However, I must continue to say a major problem is how
we make our distinctions”¦ we’ve allowed these distinctions to
affect our overall concept. It is largely religions which have
made these distinctions however, and not science. Actually it was
ancient man which developed the concepts, religions just tried to
explain them… but too much so.

Besides these distinctions failing to paint the right picture if
they aren’t totally correct, there might be some completely
wrong. As an example, since it would be common to consider an
angel a spiritual entity and ”˜someone else’, we might be, through
the power of our mind actually creating them all along, not
merely as hallucinatory manifestations, but effectively real
events. To further explain… even though manifestations are
generally considered hallucinatory, ‘real manifestations’ could
actually exist, and, it seems, human created, making them (in
essence), an extension of that human. If that were true, one
could then see how faulty our old concept was about the spirit
world. Whether my contentions are right or not, I’m mainly just
pointing out how the slightest deviation from the truth can
affect the whole picture.

At any rate, the sixth sense, the name given in order to
reference this phenomenon, is more engrained and part of the
human psyche than commonly imagined. So much so, it should be
considered the ”˜essence of man’ rather than a ”˜part’. If we began
to consider the sixth sense as us, and not just a tool,
everything takes on a whole new meaning. Just like the human
soul, it is us and cannot be separated. Science doesn’t know this
yet but humans are greater than the sum total of their parts. For
more on how the current terms are affecting our concepts, see our
webpage on Imagination.

With the truth being held hostage by institutionalism, both
academic and religious, we are forced to discover spiritual
realities for ourselves. And the simplest things seem to hold the
most clues. A tree for example or a bug.

A.O. Kime


Resource Box: © A.O. Kime (2003) A.O. Kime is an author of two
books plus some 70 articles on ancient history, spiritual
phenomena, political issues, social issues and agriculture which
can be seen at http://www.matrixbookstore.biz


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