We had a lovely fire at the Bard House on Sunday night; a wine and fire, sit around in the back yard, tell stories, sing songs, read poems kind of night.

I read the list of 60 senses, by Paulus Berensohn. Afterwards, one of my housemates said that hearing it was trance-like, meditative. And so I share with you, the senses, as listed in Lewis Hyde’s essay The Senses of Penland, which can be found in The Nature of Craft and the Penland Experience.

In honor of the swiftest of Springs, and the awakening of sense after a winter’s rest.


1) sense of light and sight–including polarized light

2) sense of seeing without eyes, such as heliotropism or the sun sense of plants

3) sense of color

4) sense of moods and identities attached to colors

5) sense of awareness of one’s own visibility or invisibility and consequent camoflaging

6) sensitivity to radiation other than visible light including radio waves, x-rays, etc.

7) sense of temperature and temperature change

8) sense of season, including ability to insulate, hibernate, and winter sleep

9) electromagnetic sense and polarity as in the nervous system and brain waves

10) hearing, including resonance, vibrations, sonar, and ultrasonic frequencies

11) awareness of pressure, particularly underground, underwater, and to wind and air

12) sensitivity to gravity

13) the sense of excretion for wast elimination and protection from enemies

14) feel, particularly touch on the skin

15) sense of weight, gravity, and balance

16) space or proximity sense

17) coriolis sense or awareness of effects of earth’s rotaion

18) body movement sensations and sense of mobility

19) smell with and beyond the nose

20) taste with and beyond the tongue

21) appetite and hunger

22) hunting, killing, or food-obtaining urges

23) humidity sense, including thirst, evaporation control and the acumen to find water

24) hormonal sense, as to pheromones and other chemical stimuli

25) pain, external and internal

26) mental or spiritual distress

27) sense of fear, dread of injury, death, or attack

28) procreative urges, including sex awareness, courting, love, mating, paternity and raising young

29) sense of play, sport, humor, pleasure and laughter

30) sense of physical place, navigation senses, including detailed awareness of land and seascapes, of the positions of sun, moon, and stars

31) sense of time

32) sense of electromagnetic fields

33) sense of weather changes

34) sense of emotional place, of community, belonging, support, trust and thankfulness

35) sense of self, including friendship, companionship and power

36) domineering and territorial sense

37) colonizing sense, including receptive awareness of one’s fellow creatures–sometimes to the degree of being absorbed into a super organism

38) horticultural sense and the ability to cultivate crops, as is done by ants who grow fungus, by ants who farm algae, or birds who leave food to attract their prey

39) language and articulation sense, used to express feelings and convey information in every medium from the bee’s dance to human literature

40) sense of humility, appreciation, ethics

41) sense of form and design

42) reasoning, including memory and the capacity for logic and science

43) sense of mind and consciousness

44) intuition or subconscious deduction

45) aesthetic sense, including creativity and appreciation of beauty, music, literature, form, design and drama

46) psychic capacity, such as foreknowledge, clairvoyance, clairaudience, psychokenesis, astral projection and possibly certain animal instincts and plant sensitivities

47) sense of biological and astral time, awareness of past, present and future events “next” (left brain)

48) the capacity to hypnotize other creatures

49) relaxation and sleep, including dreaming, meditation, brain wave awareness

50) sense of pupation, including cocoon building and metamorphosis

51) sense of excessive stress and capitulation

52) sense of survival by joining a more established organism

53) spiritual sense, including conscience, capacity for sublime love, ecstasy, a sense of sin, profound sorrow and sacrifice

54) sense of awe

55) sense of imagination

56) sense of tension and release in the body

57) sense of chi

58) sense of humor sense of balance

59) sense of story and how it links us up with the cosmic–the universe story

60) sense of being known–Bushmen “wherever they went they felt they were known”





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