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The Truth about Our Five Senses & the World We Don’t See

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Hamlet, Shakespeare

Most people believe themselves to be pretty aware. Our five senses guide us through the world, and we use these senses to formulate our opinions and our experiences. We make judgements about everything in our field of vision—I am too fat, he is attractive, her house is better than mine—and we form opinions about the things we hear, see, taste, and touch.

But the truth about our five senses is that they are actually incredibly limiting. We think that we are making decisions based on complete knowledge, but we are actually only working with a small piece of the picture. We are only working with the reality that we can see and touch, which as you budding quantum physicists now know, is only half the picture.

In her brilliant book Dying to Be Me, Anita Moorjani used an excellent example to demonstrate this problem. She asked her readers to picture themselves in an expansive, soaring warehouse with rows of soaring shelves. (That will be easy to picture for those of you who frequent CostCo!). She then asked readers to imagine that the warehouse was pitch black. The only thing you have to guide you is a flashlight. Using this flashlight, you must guide yourself through the store, selecting things from the shelves with limited light.

However, since you only have your flashlight, you have no idea how large the warehouse really is. You only see the shelf in front of you, and so you base all of your opinions about yourself and the world with this incomplete information. Shrouded in darkness and unaware of the vast, soaring space around you, you make fearful, limited choices, because you have no idea that there are rows and rows of other options and possibilities just feet away from you.

Now imagine what would happen if someone suddenly threw on the overhead lights. As illumination pours from above, you would suddenly realize the folly of your ways. You would discover that your five senses had only given you a very small percentage of the picture. As you stumbled in the darkness, a whole world existed around you that you were not even aware of.

This is the perfect analogy for how most of us live our lives. We use our five senses and our limiting self-beliefs to steer us through the world, focusing only on what is right in front of us—our to-do lists, our “flaws,” our fears, etc. But meanwhile, there is a whole universe soaring above us and around us and even within us. Yet since we only have our flashlights, we keep missing the whole picture and suffering as a consequence.

That is why something amazing happens when we stop assuming that we know it all. When we accept that there are things in this universe that are beyond our field of vision and maybe even our current level of comprehension. What if we accepted that there are things in heaven and earth which we cannot even begin to imagine?  Yes, I think something amazing would happen—I think this would cause us to realize that we ourselves are capable of things that we never imagined, as well. That we are so much more than our thoughts and our momentary emotions and our past experiences. That we are powerful and infinite and pure energy.

So tell me: What would be possible if we could drop the flashlight, flip on the light, and just stand back in awe?

You can listen to my interview with Anita Moorjani HERE

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