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!