The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

6th Sense

I’ve often wondered about the whole notion of the 6th sense, because so many things seem to get caught up in the one concept. The other 5 senses, of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch are quite specific about what they are covering. The so called 6th sense, however, not only helps people to read minds, contact the dead and see auras, but also to predict the future.

Now I know there is much that is unexplained in the world, for example the collective consciousness of some groups of animals which mean that certain shoals of fish, or flocks of birds seem to move as a single entity. Absolutely fascinating, and as yet, totally unexplained.

But just because there are some unexplained phenomena about doesn’t mean that we can leap to a whole pile of spurious conclusions.

The best analogy I can come up with is to imagine a world where there is no sense of smell. In such a place, it would not have been necessary for the language to have developed to explain the variety of aromas, as no one would be experiencing them.

Let us suppose, in this olfactory deprived world, that a few people had, by bizarre evolutionary flukes perhaps, actually developed a sense of smell. You can imagine how a conversation might go:

“You want to know something strange? When I wake up in the morning, I can tell if someone has put the coffee on and is frying bacon, before I even get up out of bed.”

“I don’t understand it. Do you think it’s related to your uncanny ability to know when little Abbey’s nappy needs changing without even looking?”

“Maybe, maybe. Sometimes, I just fear I might be going mad.”

“Are you kidding? I’d love to have your powers. Now, before you go to a priest for an exorcism, I want you to tell me what lottery numbers are going to come up this weekend…”


Unknown said...

I have a seventh sense, which unfortunately is only good for telling me which brand of pickle has the most garlic.

Stella said...

LOL Kim, never thought about that.

Well I don't have a sixth, seventh or anything higher sense. Bought a Euromillions ticket today (bought my first one ever, last week cos jackpot was getting higher and higher) and didn't win. Have just read there were 3 winners, 2 tickets bought in France and one in Portugal - they share the 183,573,077 euro jackpot!!! That's 61,191,025 each, that's approx 41,752,711.50stg., 84,189,031.17 Can dollars, 73,585,378.17 US dollars. I know, it's sad, I did all those conversions, sigh.....all that money would probably ruin my life right?

Dr Maroon said...


Foot Eater said...

The Oxford don Rupert Sheldrake postulates something called 'morphic resonance' to explain the uniform motion of flocks and shoals. He uses the same concept to explain why dogs get excited when their owners leave work, even though they (the dogs) are at home several miles away. The avowed anti-mystic Richard Dawkins has a far more rationalistic explanation for the former phenomenon, but I'm damned if I can remember what it is.

Gyrobo said...

Blogger deleted my comment!

I wrote something about how your post was just like the Country of the Blind by H.G. Wells.

To quickly summarize: this guy finds a village where everyone is blind. When he tries to describe sight to them, they think he's stupid or insane.

Dr Maroon said...

Stabalisation has occurred.
I am not typing my comment, but i'm thinking it, and looking in a general south west direction.

If you get the urge for shortbread let me know.

Dr Maroon said...


Kim Ayres said...

I was trying to reply to some of the comments yesterday, but Blogger seemed all over the place and kept resetting itself to several hours earlier. All new comments then vanished. However, they did turn up in my mailbox, so all was not lost completely.

So Anti-Barney, if you're reading this, I did enjoy your quip about your 6th sense telling you it was a waste of time buying a lottery ticket.

Asher - but hey, what a sense to have!

Stella - I can't remember who said it, but I always liked the quote that money doesn't buy you happiness, just a better class of misery.

Foot eater - I'll google that when I've got a bit of time

Gyrobo - yes, the analogy works in that way too.

Dr Maroon - So it's your fault! I'm still trying to get the crumbs out of my beard. My healthy eating plan has been set back by months. Still, at least the kids now have plenty of shortbread tins to bang loudly...

Anonymous said...

What is a hunch anyway? We all have them. Nice post.

Kim Ayres said...

Lance - Thank you, and welcome to my ramblings.

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