Our Spiritual Senses
In determining our spiritual senses, we must define what exactly we mean when we talk of ‘spiritual’ things.
In the modern age, ‘spiritual’ means many things to different groups. For a student of theology, it means our connection with the divine being. For a ‘New Ager’, it can be anything from a connection to self and the Universal Consciousness to communicating with totem animal spirits. For a Spiritualist, it is a recognition and communication with spirits of the departed.
For our purposes, all of these interpretations are recognised through a definition of the word spirit as being “the non-physical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character; the soul”.
It also recognises that ‘spirit’ can be interpreted as the essence of something or someone and is “the prevailing or typical quality, mood, or attitude of a person, group, or period of time”.
Therefore, ‘spirituality’ is the essence of a person that has nothing to do with physical appearance or functionality but has to do with a certain quality measured by self awareness, morals, motivation, and a strength of character.
Perhaps our understanding can deepen as our knowledge advances in the field of Quantum Physics.
These spiritual senses do not have an organ associated with the person’s ability to receive information and interpret the data perceived. That does not mean that the sense is not real. It simply means that we do have the technology to measure how the information is received.
All religious systems recognise that the spiritual experience is indeed real because the person perceives it to be real. Any event perceived as real will cause physical responses or changes within the person.
In the field of psychiatry, the perception of reality comes into question. A practitioner of psychiatry recognises the loss of ability to function in society and the distress caused by the ‘mental illness‘. They attempt to address the anxiety and loss of function through pharmacological means to help the person regain control. However, this is where the public psychiatric services’ interest ends.
Many private psychiatric practitioners delve deeper into the area of spirituality to help the person resolve (re-solve) the problems that have surfaced.
M. Scott Peck is one such psychiatrist who has written many books during, and after, his practice.
In his first book, “The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth”, Peck explores what spirituality is and how people can achieve spiritual growth.
In his second book, “The People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil”, Peck explores the concept of evil, how it can be recognised and how it can be changed.
Others have written about ‘things spiritual’ in the fields of self-development and personal growth designed to achieve mental health. Everything from connection with the divine essence of the planet and other people, developing higher sense abilities and martial arts like Tai Chi and Yoga.
Our spiritual senses develop when “a good mind entering into a pious soul leads it into the light of knowledge”. – Hermes Trimegistrus in Pymander