The Twelve Senses

Last week we began our study of the Twelve Senses on my discussion forum. Thought some of you blog and newsletter readers might be interested in what this is all about so here I offer a very brief description….
 
Conventional science recognizes five senses – touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. However, therapists in many fields also seek for ways to describe other qualities that the human being has which are connected to how he or she experiences the world – one hears about a “sense for balance”, an “awareness of the other” and so on. Anthroposophy can help fill in the gaps and provide an overarching description and explanation of the totality of the senses and their critical role in mediating between the individual, the world and other people.
 
And so we find twelve senses. These are grouped in three groups of four:
 
The Physical Senses which are directed at an experience of one’s own body:
Touch
Life Sense
Self-movement Sense
Balance
 
The Soul Senses which have to do with the relationship between the individual and the world:
Smell
Taste
Vision
Warmth
 
The Spiritual or Social Senses which have to do with relating to another human being:
Hearing
Language Sense
Conceptual or Thought Sense
Sense fo “I” or ego sense
 
There is an interwoven relationship between these senses – and what is crucial is that in order for the Higher Senses to develop properly, the lower senses need to have been nurtured and developed. One can immediately see that a healthy, peaceful movement based, hands-on kindergarten experience as opposed to an early intellectual experience, for instance, is far more enriching for the Lower Senses.
 
Our conversation on the Twelve Senses will take us into December.  We have started with a general discussion about how the senses are grouped. We will then look at each sense in turn. Our goal will be to attempt to understand this subject and how it might effect how we parent and educate our indivudual children. Participants are welcome to bring issues about their own children to the discussion and to brainstorm and share with others on what might be going on with him or her and how s/he might be helped. This also, of course, takes us into some of the territory of our regular discussion on the Therapeutic Waldorf sub forum on another part of the forum.
 
We warmly invite you to consider subscribing to our on-line discussion forum and joining us! Go to the Christopherus homepage for more information!
 
And do have a read of my earlier blog entry reviewing Daena Ross’ dvd on this fascinating and important subject:
 

Posted on November 5, 2007 in Active and Therapeutic Education

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