“The eye is a two-way organ, a window of the soul that actually may serve its owner better by being looked into than out of.”  Guy Murchie


When we spend time in nature, we not only exercise our bodies, we also sharpen our five senses: sight, hearing, smell, touching, and sometime taste.  Might it be possible that we have been too limiting with regard to the number of principal senses?

Guy Murchie in his outstanding book on science and spirit, The Seven Mysteries of Life, makes a persuasive case for 31 senses.  Mr. Murchie breaks down his list of 31 into five categories: The Radiation Senses, The Feeling Senses, The Chemical Senses, and The Mental Senses.  We’ll briefly discuss the first 15 and save the rest for the next Blog.

Radiation Senses:

  1. Sight, which includes seeing polarize light and seeing without eyes, such as the helio-tropism or sun sense of plants.
  2. The sense of awareness of one’s own visibility or invisibility and the consequent competence to advertise or to camouflage via pigmentation control, luminescence, or transparency.
  3. Sensitivity to radiation other than visible light, including radio waves, x-rays, gamma rays.
  4. Temperature sense, including the ability to insulate, hibernate, or estivate.
  5. Electromagnetic sense, which includes the ability to generate current (as in the electric eel), awareness of magnetic polarity (possesses by many insects) and a general sensitivity to electromagnetic fields.

Feeling Sense

6. Hearing, including sonar and the detection of infra- and ultrasonic frequencies beyond ears.

7. Awareness of pressure, particularly underground and underwater, as through the lateral line organ of fish, the earth tremor sense of burrowers and barometric pressure.

8. Feel, particularly, touch on the skin and (definitely tickling!, vibration sense (such as the spider feels), cognition of heartbeat, blood circulation, and breathing.

9. The sense of weight and balance.

10. Space of proximity sense.

11. Coriolis sense, or awareness of effects of the rotation of the earth.

Chemical Senses

12. Smell, with and beyond the nose.

13. Taste, with and beyond the tongue or mouth.

14. Appetite, hunger and the urge to hunt, kill or otherwise obtain food.

15. Humidity sense, including thirst, evaporation control and the acumen to find water or evade a flood.

It is interesting that the sense of wonder does not appear on the expanded list, though I would have included it within the Feeling Sense, though wonder may come into play in Mr. Murchie’s mysterious 32 second sense…to be discussed next time.