If you read about Samkhya in Indian philosophy, you’ll often hear it explained that senses arise out of mind and objects come out of the senses. However, it’s better to understand perception to be coming out of consciousness itself with mind an intermediary that interprets. Mind may well claim a higher role, but this is overstating.
One can note, for example, that in deep yoga when the mind goes silent, it does not take the senses off-line. (although there may be no content to sense) They continue unimpaired. And when the mind is asleep in deep sleep, hearing is still idling, ready to wake us if something is not right.
As we settle into more profound levels of being, worlds open up to us, including the direct perception of lively and flowing consciousness, prior to mind.
However, when we are identified with the contents of our experience, the objects of perception, there is a definite tie from the senses to their objects.
Note that this also tells us that sensing is not tied to the physical organs of sense. Our eyes see the physical, for example, but cultures talk of the “3rd” eye that sees more subtly. And deeper still, consciousness has no such boundary. Consciousness simply experiences whatever and wherever it is focused on, sensing and sensed closely tied together.
Similarly, the ears have a more subtle function slightly above and behind the physical ears but are not limited to that either.
Because our sense organs are somewhat concentrated in the head and the minds processing of physical inputs is there also, we develop deep habits of relating to sensing from the point of view of the head. Even when this limitation ends, consciousness typically retains that POV. But it doesn’t have to. That becomes our choice.
Last Updated on March 19, 2017 by Davidya