You all the know the 5 basic senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. What if I told you that some of us have access to more than just these senses except that they’re a little more difficult to perceive.
For example, there’s fear, emotions, physical pressure, energy, identity, sense of communication, how we think, what we think about/mental pressure and our sense of worth/ego. These represent another realm or plane of senses that most of us have no idea exist.
So why am I telling you about these senses? The reason I’m telling you about these is because these senses are what make up the bulk of human experience. We all experience these 9 senses I just mentioned. The caveat however is that we all have different roles when it comes to how these senses are experienced.
For example, I have a very specific way in how I think and what I think about. If you come and talk to me, you’ll notice very quickly that there’s no way you can get me to change how I think about things no matter how much you try.
But when it comes to fear, I am very open. What this means is that I pick up on other people’s sense of how this works.
Now which of these senses are fixed and which ones are open are somewhat random but it’s your responsibility to recognize these senses in your life and how they operate.
Now let me tell you why.
When I say I have an open sense of fear what I’m really saying is that the way I experience fear is through someone else. I don’t really experience fear on my own, instead other people experience fear through their own experiences and when I’m around them I pick it up.
I don’t know why I’m like this all I know is that I am. This is important for one major reason. When I feel like I’m scared or not feeling well, it’s not really me. When I experience fear I get it from other people, but it sure as hell feels like it’s me.
You get what I’m saying?
This is important because I need to make sure that when I live my day to day life I’m not pretending that this fear (that I feel) is more useful than just information for my mind.
Let me give you a good example of why this is important.
Let’s say you have to give a presentation. You walk into the room, introduce yourself and start your presentation, but immediately two people start talking.
Now you can’t ignore them so you acknowledge them. You tell them that you’re giving a presentation but then they respond with “Whatever Nerd. You suck at explaining shit.” At this moment, you start to get a little uncomfortable because it feels like you have to deal with something that isn’t your problem.
Now in a normal setting, there are two ways of thinking about what just happened. You might just put it down to those two people being assholes and just leave it that. On the other hand, if you’re a little more sensitive, like me, you might think that the real problem was you, that if you weren’t as “teacherly,” “nerdy,” “forceful” then maybe you wouldn’t have to feel bad about what just happened.
Now I know what you’re thinking, Oh, Raghav, no, you can’t do this to yourself, it’s not your fault, I can’t believe you’re letting this get to you, but this is exactly my point.
It’s easy to just go and say that those people are assholes and be done with it. The reason it’s hard for me to go down that road is because when I get a response like that what I really feel is acute fear. Now remember, I don’t experience my own fear so it becomes really confusing to me. There’s these two people who are acting very arrogantly and with great confidence, yet when I’m around them all I experience is fear and a great lack of wellbeing.
The truth is that my sensitivity breaks past the facade of what we see and shows me the truth of the matter: these two people are acting out of fear.
Now is it my place to help them or deal with it? No, of course not. The only reason I’m telling this story is because it’s extremely easy for me to take what is a sense of mine (the sense of picking up other’s fear) and turn it into a weapon that hurts myself.
The truth is that it takes a lot of experience to be able to come to a place in life in which you can look at vulgar, painful behavior, see the truth of it and still remain unfazed. We humans are getting very good at lying and living a life that makes us miserable and others miserable but all the while pretending that we’re actually not miserable.
But let’s pause here for a bit and get back to the morals of a story like this.
Yes, I know there are some of you out there who don’t have a problem with stuff like this. Whether you have experience, or maybe you’re not sensitive to other people’s fear or maybe you were raised well and taught how to handle this kind of stuff, you already realize what you need to do to keep yourself safe and that’s great. I hope you continue to live like in a healthy manner.
But I know there are some of you out there who do feel similar to the way that I’m feeling. One small remark is all it takes to feel shitty about yourself even though logically you know you shouldn’t really care. For those of you who can empathize I want you to recognize how not-responsible for the fears of others you really are.
I want you to recognize that if you express yourself and someone does something to make you feel bad, it’s similar to saying “hi” to someone and then as a response, they totally freak out, their eyes gouge out of their sockets, they make a dramatic scene and then out of nowhere, they throw a fucking stink bomb onto the ground.
Now, if this was real, you know you’d be smelling like a piece of shit or at least you’re in an area that smelt like a piece of shit. What you’d probably do is leave the area and do what’s right for you. What you wouldn’t do is blame yourself for the crazy behavior of that person and what you’d also not do is cut your nose off because it smells really bad.
And this is my crucial point.
Obviously I’m talking particularly about being sensitive to fear and wellbeing but you have to realize that we’re all sensitive to different things. Unfortunately I can only relate to that which I’m sensitive to but I hope that those who are reading this who don’t identify with this particular sensitivity figure out what they are sensitive to and find a way to sympathize with what I’m saying here. If not, that’s cool too.
For those of us who are sensitive, the usual response is generally one of self-guilt (for something that is not your fault) or one of self-suppression. A lot of us live around people—parents, teachers and sometimes even people we call our friends—who can put out some really nasty energies. Yet, because so many of us find ourselves in situations in which we feel powerless to make change happen (like moving away) which we can’t do a lot of the time because of school, living with family or just working a job you can’t leave from, we start to numb ourselves in the process. We literally cut off our noses (energetically speaking) and it’s important to recognize how unhealthy this is.
We ARE sensitive people, all of us. Blocking this off can make us very sick very quickly. This is why I used the example of the stink bomb. It would be unhealthy to live in an area that represents the stink of a stink bomb, but it would be even unhealthier to cut your nose off or literally stop breathing because it smells really bad. Recognizing this is crucial to recognizing unhealthy behaviors in everyday life.
If someone behaves in a manner that is unhealthy, in order to be healthy you will have to take an initial whiff of their stink. This is ok, it means your senses are working properly. But you have no obligation to stay around and you have even less obligation to help these people figure their shit out.
But will you able to feel sympathy for them? Yes, of course. Because you can pick up—if even for a little time, assuming you get the fuck out of there—the fears of other people, you can know for that moment how those people truly feel inside and what that means for their lives and decisions.
This means that when I notice people acting out all I really see is suffering and pain and a whole lot of shit that sucks. And because I understand that, I don’t hate them or make assumptions about who they are and what it means etc etc.
But do I have to stay around this shit or feel responsible for it? No fucking way. Pick up your shit and get the fuck out of there.
Keep your boundaries straight and respect yourself and you will learn that these hidden senses we have can be more useful for us than we think. The first step, of course, is seeing that we possess them.
I want you guys to know that I purposely chose a silly example of having to deal with a small remark in order to highlight the degree of information that is being sent to us sub-vocally. It is very important to me that health starts at a fundamental level and so every single thing someone does represents the level of health at which they live their life. I think I do this because I’m particularly sensitive to the wellbeing of others and I’ve had to think about things like this a lot more than most people. Regardless, I hope you don’t feel like the gravity of what I’m expressing is any less just because it might sound childishly simple or naive.
But then again I’m known for being remarkably naive 🙂
If I had to put this article into one sentence it would be:
“You can smell but you’re not responsible for the stink of others.”
As long as we can remember this when it comes to the things that we’re truly sensitive to, no matter how out of control we might feel around other people, we will find the healthy path forward.
I know some of you reading this might no be able to totally identify with where I’m coming from. Being sensitive to fear is common but not that common. I would ask those of you who are still reading to see whether you can apply what I talked about to the other sensitivities I mentioned earlier in the article.
I’ll remention them here for you.
3. Physical pressure
4. The energy to do work
6. Sense of communication
7. How we think
8. What we think about/mental pressure
9. Sense of worth/ego
Perhaps one of these is something you feel like you’ve never had a grip on or is a problem area for you. I can probably go out of my way and say that your problem is either one of two things: You’re either using your energy wrong and are therefore having problems, or you’re sensitive to that particular energy and let other people’s stink bombs affect your life more personally than you should. Either way I hope you can find peace within yourself.
I might do another article soon but with a sensitivity to identity and love since that’s another sense that I have.
And as to where I’m getting all of this shit from and why I know this, that’s a story for another time.