senses

Where the senses fail us, reason must step in.

The Divine Light is always in man, presenting itself to the senses and to the comprehension, but man rejects it.

First, of all do not deny your teenager's perception. Do not argue with his experience. Do not disown his feelings. Specifically, do not try to convince him that what he sees or hears or feels or senses is not so.

Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourse of my book friends. They talk me without embarrassment or awkwardness.

We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.

The enlightened ones are neither attached to nor detached from their senses and thoughts.

In the shadow of death he produces life, and though the senses are terrified, faith taking all for the best, is full of courage and assurance.

Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.

Gloom’s roots are in pretentiousness, fastidiousness, and a disregard of the good. The gloomy man, living in irritation and a constant quarrel with his destiny, senses hostility everywhere and seems never to be aware of the illegitimacy of his own complaints. He has a fine sense for the incongruities of life but stubbornly refuses to recognize the delicate grace of existence.

Both our senses and our passions are a supply to the imperfection of our nature; thus they show that we are such sort of creatures as to stand in need of those helps which higher orders of creatures do not.

In an age of egoism, it is so difficult to persuade man that of all studies, the most important is that of himself. This is because egoism, like all passions, is blind. The attention of the egoist is directed to the immediate needs of which his senses give notice, and cannot be raised to those reflective needs that reason discloses to us; his aim is satisfaction, not perfection. He considers only his individual self; his species is nothing to him. Perhaps he fears that in penetrating the mysteries of his being he will ensure his own abasement, blush at his discoveries, and meet his conscience. True philosophy, always at one with moral science, tells a different tale. The source of useful illumination, we are told, is that of lasting content, is in ourselves. Our insight depends above all on the state of our faculties; but how can we bring our faculties to perfection if we do not know their nature and their laws! The elements of happiness are the moral sentiments; but how can we develop these sentiments without considering the principle of our affections, and the means of directing them? We become better by studying ourselves; the man who thoroughly knows himself is the wise man. Such reflection on the nature of his being brings a man to a better awareness of all the bonds that unite us to our fellows, to the re-discovery at the inner root of his existence of that identity of common life actuating us all, to feeling the full force of that fine maxim of the ancients: 'I am a man, and nothing human is alien to me.

The passing life of the senses doesn't lead to knowledge of what our Self is. When we clearly see what our Self is, then we shall truly know our Lord God in great joy.

Experience shows that Being is the essential, basic nature of the mind; but, since It commonly remains in tune with the senses projecting outwards toward the manifested realms of creation, the mind misses or fails to appreciate its own essential nature, just as the eyes are unable to see themselves.

Without imagination, we merely see or hear, and even if we see or hear that the objects of the senses are beautiful, we cannot feel that they are so. The difference is this: in feeling the beauty of objects, we enjoy not only the common, shared pleasures of the senses, but also the private pleasures of the imagination, peculiar to ourselves, and such that we have to struggle to articulate them.

The entire world we apprehend through our senses is no more than a tiny fragment in the vastness of Nature.

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

The inner work is first of all the work of God's grace in the depth of the soul which subsequently distributes itself among the faculties of the soul, in that of Reason appearing as Belief, in that of Will as Love, and in that of Desire as Hope. When the Divine Light penetrates the soul, it is united with God as light with light. This is the light of faith. Faith bears the soul to heights unreachable by her natural senses and faculties.

But if it so happens ... a work ... under pain of otherwise becoming shameful or false, requires fantasy ... [and that] certain limbs or elements of a figure are altered by borrowing from other species, for example transforming into a dolphin the hinder end of a griffon or a stag ... these alterations will be excellent and the substitution, however unreal it may seem, deserves to be declared a fine invention in the genre of the monstrous. When a painter introduces into this kind of work of art chimerae and other imaginary beings in order to divert and entertain the senses and also to captivate the eyes of mortals who long to see unclassified and impossible things, he shows himself more respectful of reason than if he produced the usual figures of men or of animals.

Perhaps a new kind of inspired physicist, experienced in the yogic modes of perception, might arise to comprehend the further reaches of matter, space and time. A physicist (if he were still called that) trained in yogic perception would compare his discoveries with those derived from today's "normal" physics, and there would probably be a "principle of complementarity" existing between the insights derived from the various consciousness states, "normal" and "yogic". Physics would be entirely empirical (in this broadened sense), its findings with instruments ranging from the ordinary senses and their physical extensions (telescopes, radar, etc.) to the subtle yogic ways (indriyas) of apprehending the universe.

Once conform, once do what others do because they do it, and a kind of lethargy steals over all the finer senses of the soul.