Imagine That

We have five primary senses, touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell. That’s the general census, that’s what I was taught in grade school, anyway. Of course we’ve moved on since I was in grade school and added more, well not so much added as acknowledged, but there’s still a powerful cultural bias to the notion of the big five. I blame that on E.S.P. Now E.S.P. stands for Extra-Sensory Perception, so it’s technically outside the realm of the sense (that’s what Extra-Sensory means after all), but it’s been called the “sixth sense” for so long that there’s a natural tendency to ignore anything beyond the basic five.

Just to cover my bases, here’s what Wikipedia lists as our senses at the time I’m writing this: Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell, Balance and Acceleration, Temperature, Kinesthetic Sense, Pain. Essentially that’s the classic five with Touch sort of split out into Temperature, Kinesthetic and Pain, and with the new sense of Balance and Acceleration. Okay, so the world is not as simple as they told me in grade school; there’s a news flash.

So E.S.P., the classic sixth sense, is a way of knowing things without actually sensing them. That sounds to me, a lot like the way most people experience God, so I decided to ask her about it. She told me that we do have a sixth sense. We do have a way of knowing things that we haven’t perceived. Unfortunately it’s unreliable. It’s as likely to tell us things that aren’t true as it is to tell us things that are true. Actually, despite it being the way that we do know God, it almost universally tells us things that are not true in any objective sense. It lies to us. All the time. Hardly ever tells the truth. But that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Many things, it turns out can be useful without being true. If you’ve ever had a cathartic experience reading a book or watching a movie, you should understand the truth of that.

So what is it? What is this miracle of perception?

Imagination is the real sixth sense.

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