“Sense Dependence” by Harsha Ravindran (2016)

Believe it or not, we are actually really dependent on what our senses tell us. I know that might seem rather obvious given that we need our senses in order to see, hear, smell, feel or taste stuff; but we depend on them to a point where we are willing to even compromise our intellect and reason to follow what they say. 

An example would be like how I was at school the other day, during a science experiment. We were doing a test that involved blowing air into a plastic tube, and I, who can be rather paranoid about cleanliness, washed the tube thoroughly before I started. Even with that knowledge that I had already cleaned it, I was still affected by what my senses heard when my friends were telling me all the health hazards and possibilities that the tube was full of bacteria and stuff. Though my intellect knew that there was nothing for me to worry out, hearing their words still made my emotions panicky and freaked out until I point I even felt like puking for the rest of the day. Isn’t that rather illogical? 

Just because my senses heard something, it was able to convince my emotions, and to a certain extent, my intellect, into believing it to be true. This is called reacting. When you react you are basically just blindly following the information that is given to you by your senses and thinking in a P.E.I.S way. Reacting to your senses easily gets your emotions involved and sways your intellect. 

This is just one of the many situations where my senses have ‘gained control’ of the situation and I reacted to it. It uses the world around you to make you think or feel something, which may not necessarily mean it is true.

You can see your senses at work when you’re doing things like watching a movie. Have you ever realized that when watching a creepy movie, it isn’t only your sense of sight that is engaged but also your sense of hearing, listening to the eerie music? Like seriously, have you ever tried watching a movie on mute? It’s not really that scary anymore. But the point I’m trying to make is, can’t you see how the absence of one sense can change your perception of something almost entirely? Now imagine what your senses can do to make you think in life with the presence of all 5 senses without a mute button!

So what can we do about our senses? How can we manage them and turn them into helping us out instead of against us? Well firstly, you need to remember that the original purpose your senses are here to achieve is to actually help you learn about the world outside. In a perfect situation, the senses, under the guidance of your intellect and spirit, will learn and get the needed information for you to work on your goals, help see and take a look at what you did to understand it better, and help you learn more about yourself. 

But luckily there is a way to slowly shift your senses into the ideal way of managing them. The easiest way would be to surround yourself with people and situations that are related to your goals. This way your senses are engulfed in an environment which is beneficial to what your heart wants. Your senses would then absorb the things around you, which would in the end help you out! 

For example, in my old environment, I used to hang out with some rather dramatic people. My senses would then absorb the emotional drama’s around me, starting a P.E.I.S thought cycle, where my emotions get engaged and my Mind refines my skills of being dramatic. But in my new environment, I now hang out with a group friends who are super undramatic; it even goes up to a point where they refuse to engage in the drama’s which my mind creates. Now that they’ve become part of my environment, my senses watch them and learn that I do not need to create these drama’s and slowly switch to reacting less. 

This works because normally during a certain dramatic situation, your senses are heightened, exaggerating everything and demanding a lot of attention. When my senses, or well basically I, don’t get attention from the people around me through my dramas, my senses quieten down, deeming my high-state of emotions unneeded. They learn and adapt to the natural calm and responding way of my friends. 

See, your environment helps keep your senses in check! 

So start observing how your senses work and how dependent you are on them. Slowly regain control of them and use them to learn what you need to and get them on your side! It’s an undoubtedly helpful tool to have on your side!

– Harsha

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