What everybody knows … is not always true.
Everybody knows that the sun rises in the east. What many know better is that the earth rotates and gives the appearance that the sun rises in the east.
Everybody knows that we have five senses. And everybody knows that this goes back to Aristotle and Plato. Did Aristotle and Plato really derive the theory of the five senses? As far as my research can tell, yes. It’s clear we have these five senses.
But are there only five?
Try an experiment: close your eyes and with your eyes closed, use your right forefinger to point at your left big toe. Then open your eyes and adjust your aim.
How did you know where your right forefinger was? How did you know where your left big toe was? And how did you know the direction from one to the other?
We have built into us a sense of all of these. Some of us will need to adjust that aim a little, some a lot. That sense of where our parts are is better developed in some of us than in others. Michael Jordan in basketball, Jerry Rice in football, and Tiger Woods in golf demonstrate just how finely developed this sense can be. This sense of body position and how to control it is called our kinesthetic sense.
How do moths find mates? A sense of smell? No, scientists find that they use a different organ to sense different chemicals. The chemicals are called pheromones, and the organs are pheromone detectors. We humans also have pheromones and pheromone organs. Our pheromone organs are located in our sinuses behind our noses and are separate from our senses of smell.
Unlike smell, pheromones are seldom a conscious sense, and unlike smell, they use huge molecules in tiny concentrations. But pheromones have subtle and strange effects on us. Studies have found that women can use pheromones given off by men to determine whether her immune system was different enough from her date’s. If they are, it increases the likelihood their children will be healthy. If they are not compatible, the children will be unhealthy. And partly on this basis, the woman is influenced — not controlled — to accept or reject the man. Pheromones give a whole new meaning to the “chemistry” of love. This is our pheromone sense.
Have you ever been out in a storm and had your hair stand up? Or been working near high voltage and had a tingling sensation? Both warn us that electricity is nearby. But how do we know this? Why does our hair stand up? And how do we know the difference between when something makes our hair stand up to warn us and something so scary that it frightens our hair into standing up?
Something tells us the difference between nearby electricity and cold or the fright that causes goose bumps that also make our hair stand up. This is called our electrical sense.
Do you feel healthy today? Have you ever had a day go excellently by, just because you were feeling healthier than the day before? When you’ve eaten something which disagrees with you, how do you know that? Since all of your five senses said it was a delightful meal, how do you later know that the meal disagrees with you? And how do you know that you have a fever or a low temperature? We all have a sense of the state of our own health or a health sense.
Neither Plato nor Aristotle had complete knowledge. With due respect to them, we have more than five senses. We have four other senses, those of Kinesthetics, Pheromones, Electricity, and Health.
These nine senses form an interesting pattern.
Three senses (sight, smell, sound) allow us to sense things at a great distance from our bodies.
Three senses (touch, electrical, pheromone) allow us to sense things close to our bodies.
Three senses (taste, health, kinesthetic) allow us to sense things inside our bodies.
That is three sets of three or three triune sensory types. Our senses form a tri-unity of tri-unities – reflecting that we were created “In the image of God”, Who is triune.