THE SENSES AS THRESHOLDS OF SOUL
For too long, we have believed that the divine is outside us. This belief has strained our longing disastrously. This is so lonely since it is human longing that makes us holy. The most beautiful thing about us is our longing; this longing is spiritual and has great depth and wisdom. If you focus your longing on a faraway divinity, you put an unfair strain on your longing. Thus, it often happens that the longing reaches out towards the distant divine, but, because it overstrains its self, it bends back to become cynicism, emptiness or negativity. This can destroy your sensibility. Yet we do not need to put any strain whatever on our longing. If we believe that the body is in the soul and the soul is divine ground, then the presence of the divine is completely here, close with us.
Being in the soul, the body makes the senses thresholds of soul. When your senses open out to the world, the first presence they encounter is the presence of your soul. To be sensual or sensuous is the be in the presence of your own soul. Wordsworth, careful of the dignity of the senses, wrote that, ‘pleasure is the tribute we owe to our dignity as human beings.’ This is a profoundly spiritual perspective. Your senses link you intimately with the divine within and around you. Attunement to the senses can limber up the stiffened belief and gentle the hardened outlook. It can warm and heal the atrophied feeling which are the barriers that exile us from our selves and separate us from each other. Then, we are no longer in exile from the wonderful harvest of divinity that is always secretly gathering within us. Though we will consider each of the senses specifically, it is important to acknowledge that the senses always work compositely. The senses overlap. We can see this in the different responses people have to colour. This indicates that colours are not perceived merely visually.