elizabeth muncey

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How could we use the fact we have seven senses to interpret our world and focus on social and economic issues as two sides of one coin.

We have known for some time we have five literal senses sight hearing taste touch and smell and can link these to external features on our bodies. What if we have forgotten our other two senses because they are hidden on the inside of us. What if the two missing senses or lenses to experience the world are our sense of spirituality and our sense of instinct. There is starting to be an evidence base in the social sciences for exploring these two senses. The physical manifestation of instinct is in the genetic, nervous and endocrine systems of us with biochemical and electrical impulses as the messengers and our cultural heritage is the product. The physical manifestation of spirituality being in the way our systems operate effectively with our behaviours and emotions as the messengers and the hopes and dreams and stories we create as the product. All research begins with hopes and dreams. It is the foundation of a hypothesis, in the question the research will answer. The eventual product is more energetic, more productive, more creative humankind. What might be the cost of ignoring the two meta-senses or meta-lenses? What toxic nfluence might environmental stresses both physical and meta mean to humankind's positive development ?

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    Sep 1 2012: Like Freitze's comment. Of course the original sci-fi character who tried to operate mainly on logic is Spock from Star Trek. Love science fiction for it's endless investigations into the human condition. Like Emily Dickinson said 'tell all the truth but tell it slant'. It's a safe way of discussing really complicated issues while taking the 'heat' of real-time judgement out of the equation. Have had lots of conversations here on TED since posting this particular conversation about ethics and education and progress. I like to read about the world's spiritual traditions and am always amazed when new scientific discoveries seem to correlate with information inscribed in ancient artefacts. By that I mean the idea of the 'all-seeing' third eye, for me is like a metaphor for the Pituitary gland, which is the site of the production of oxytocin, the hormone that bonds us together socially and also acts as an anti-oxidant. The idea behind the conversation is not at all new, it was expressed by M. Scott Peck in one of his books after 'The Road Less Travelled'. I think what I am trying to say is that humans need to retain a sense of wonder and a sense of humility in their scientific and technological expeditions. A universe where all is known and categorised and analysed and diagnosed and labelled is not a place where I would want to be. I like to think of life as chaotic and like the ocean, full of tides and eddies and currents, to be navigated on life's journey because I would hope that would be the way forward. Don't want the wisdom we already have lost in the pursuit of evidence-based science because there might just be a treasure lost.
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    Sep 1 2012: " What might be the cost of ignoring the two meta-senses or meta-lenses? "
    I think Spirituality and Instinct are both innate qualities we all have. If they are ignored they will thrive anyway by coming out as intuition, sense of self, imagination, hope, creativity ; the energy of them individually or as a team will continue to manifest in what ever way we need it or use it.


    " What toxic influence might environmental stresses both physical and meta mean to humankind's positive development ?"
    I think reducing ones power over ones self. Inhibiting the ability to be innovative, creative. And placing fear all around so that brain-washing people is easier to do. Forcing people not have their own opinion - they must agree with a group to be accepted. This stifles growth in all areas of thought, spirit, and physical and mental health needs. But it can be revived.

    For example " negative-teachings " below; trying to control someone:
    Spirituality does not matter- it cannot be seen, therefore it does not matter.
    Instinct is learned - I will teach you what you need to know.

    Both of those are dangerous but not fatal - because most everyone's spirit is strong enough to fight against being smothered. We all need to express ourselves. Our spirituality and instinct go hand in hand. One supports the other as they help us use our other 5 senses to decipher life's fun and mysteries.
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    Aug 4 2012: For spirituality could try the word hope or the word energy. Whatever gets people out of bed in the morning (besides needing to pay the bills). The idea that today is a new day and anything could happen and that there will be another new day tomorrow.
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    Aug 4 2012: We naturally rely on instinct and feeling, as well as on what we have learned from our experiences and education, as we interpret our world and take action in the social or economic sphere.
    I am not much of a reader of science fiction, but it seems to me the sort of scenario you put forward of a culture stripped of the influence of emotion and instinct has been a subject of science fiction. This dystopian scenario was, I think, the premise of the Newberry award-winning children's book The Giver.
  • Aug 4 2012: I am not completely sure that the religion side of spirituality is a sense. I think it is more a way for us to cope with the mind wrecking fact that we will die and that when we die on the "other side" there might be nothing but oblivion. I personally do believe in a designer but I can't help but think that my belief is born in my own fear of death.
    On the other hand the set of morals that every human shares (with the exception of mentally disturbed people like psychopaths) Is definately important and is perhaps "sence" that has most contributed to the sucess of the human race. Our morals are what make us human which is why immoral actions are called inhumane.
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    Aug 4 2012: hmm, that is indeed very interesting to think about...

    I do kind of think of our mind to be the 6th sense. It's just not a sense that you could really communicate with other minds... or can you??? :O But I definitely "feel" my thoughts, if you know what I mean. I think dreams are also an interesting subject matter too...

    However, I'm unsure what "spirituality" really is because I never really experienced it myself or did not know if I experienced it myself.