Sense of life
The sense of life is the internal sense of your organs and internal
processes. Your life sense tells you that you are full, that you have
indigestion, or that you have to go to the toilet. You do not sense
as long as your life processes are all following their normal,
course. You do not register the life sense until one of the life
disturbed, or when you are ill. Other examples of observations made by
life sense are stomach-ache, congested nose or sinusitis. You do not
your organs or life sense unless something is wrong. Pain is a serious
disturbance which is also perceived with the life sense. Your life
sense tells you that you
have cut your finger, that a muscle hurts or that you bumped your knee
on the table-leg.
Generally, your life sense gives you information about your physical
situation, your health, vitality, illness
or pain. The life sense uses the vegetative nervous system, which has
connections with all the internal
Another type of observation that the life sense can make is the
perception of your body as having
substance. Your life sense makes you perceive yourself as a physical,
material body. If you only had a
sense of touch, you would only be able to feel your body’s
boundary, so that your body would feel like an
Normally speaking, you are not consciously aware of your body or your
organs. Your attention is not
drawn inward, and this enables you to focus on the world around you.
When you are sick or in
considerable pain, you are less attentive of your surroundings.
The following anecdote illustrates what might happen if your sense of
life isn’t functioning properly. One
afternoon, a couple went to visit friends and left their son at home.
When they came home, they could
smell scorched flesh and saw their son playing with a candle. He was
holding his fingers in the candle’s
flame and watching them turning black. He did not feel any pain to warn
him that what he was doing
was dangerous. This insensitivity is a symptom of leprosy. People with
leprosy do not feel pain, so they do
not notice when they get cuts or infections, and subsequently do not
treat them. The wounds become
infected and the infection can penetrate deeply into the body and
result in disfigurement.
Pain (and your life sense) is a sensory warning system. If you
didn’t get a message that your stomach was
full, you would not know when to stop eating. You would not go to the
toilet if you couldn’t tell your
bladder was full. Pain protects you from further injury. A stab of pain
warns you that you are cutting your
finger and should stop. If this sense did not function, many safety
measures would need to be taken in
order to prevent injury and accidents.
Your life sense is directed at the perception of your body; you
perceive your life processes with your life
sense. But you can also use your life sense to make external
observations, by using it in combination with
other senses and empathising.
With practice, you can observe:
vitality and illness in other people and organisms.
suffered by another person or animal. You can feel the
other’s pain when you see something
happen because you have felt that pain before yourself. You can feel
this pain directly, it doesn’t take
much imagination. You must beware, though, of transferring human
feelings to plants or animals.
space that an object occupies in its surroundings. Is
the space it takes up satisfactory, is it filled
harmoniously or not?
using the life sense
Perceive the state of one of your organs (stomach, intestines, lungs,
heart). Then drink a few glasses
of water or jog around the block, and repeat the observation.
Have you ever felt an organ? For example, your lungs, heart, bladder,
spleen, liver, muscles. What
did you observe, in which circumstances did you feel the organ?
observations using the life sense
Health, vitality. Observe the vitality of a tree. How can you determine
its vitality: what part does
your life sense play?
Make an observation of the health of an animal, e.g. a cow. How can you
determine its health, what
part does your life sense play?
Observe the pain of another person or animal. What do you
experience, where do you
experience it, what feelings go through you?
Observe the space that is filled by an organism (plant, tree or
animal). Is the space filled
harmoniously or not?