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There are five outward material powers in man which are the means of perception—that is, five powers whereby man perceives material things. They are sight, which perceives sensible forms; hearing, which perceives audible sounds; smell, which perceives odours; taste, which perceives edible things; and touch, which is distributed throughout the body and which perceives tactile realities. These five powers perceive external objects.  (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 56)

Early on in my therapy, when I didn’t remember and couldn’t talk about what happened to me as a child, my therapist introduced me to the BASK model of recovering repressed memories.  B was for behaviour; A was for affect; S was for senses; and K was for knowledge.  I learned that it was possible to have a behavior or a sensory response or feeling but not remember what happened.  For example, I can never have a certain brand of soap in my house.  I avoid public campfires, especially on Halloween.  I don’t like white noise such as bathroom fans, designed to drown out other things.  I don’t like apple juice or tapioca and I don’t like being hugged, even by people I know.  All of these things trigger memories of past abuse.  Without a memory to prove it right, though, these things would just seem confusing.  With a memory, it all comes together in one big “aha”!

So I loved finding this quote, where religion backed up science.  I looked up the meaning of the word “perception” and found it means “insight, awareness and discernment”, so I can reword the first sentence of the quote to read:  “I have five outward powers which give me insight, awareness and discernment about what happened to me as a child.” 

“Powers” means “abilities, capacities, strengths, rights and drives”, so I have the ability and the right to use these God-given powers to perceive what happened. 

Knowing our senses drive us to discernment, I am grateful.

What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation?  I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!

If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Violence and Abuse:  Reasons and Remedies  Print        Kindle

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