“Perhaps the most familiar example of mistaken sense-reports is that of the movement of the earth. The senses of every person report to him that the earth is a fixed, immovable body, and that the sun, moon, planets, and stars move around the earth. … It is only when one accepts the reports of the reasoning faculties that he knows that the earth not only whirls around on its axis every twenty-four hours, but that it circles around the sun every 365 days. …
“I am not trying to make any of you doubt the report of the five senses. That would be most foolish. … Instead, I am trying to acquaint you with the real nature of these five senses, they you may realize what they are not, as well as what they are; and that there is no absurdity in believing that there are more channels of information open to the ego or soul of the person.” ~William Walker Atkinson
Confusing the Senses
It’s curious that there are still people who will say they believe only what they can perceive with the five senses, and nothing else, when there is so much evidence that the senses can be confused or tricked.
Atkinson mentions one of the most common of these illusions. If we are moving in a car at 80 mph (128 k), we feel the speed. Our senses tell us we are moving. But when we are sitting still in a chair, we are actually moving about 19 miles or 30 kilometers per second around the sun. The senses are fooled because the whole planet is moving at that speed. We seem to be still because our sense work relative to the earth and to what we see around us.
Have you ever been sitting in a plane or train that is not moving, then the one next to you starts moving. You feel a strange sense of movement because your senses are confused. They don’t know which plane or train is moving and which is sitting still.
Optical illusions are another one. A favorite of mine in recent years is the sidewalk drawings that are done so that they appear to be 3-D objects.
Other senses can be fooled as well. Real estate agents will tell you that certain scents like apple pie make a house more appealing. The house would be exactly the same if it smelled like boiled cabbage, but it wouldn’t sell. Continue reading “Confusing the Senses in Many Ways”