Now all this means that the ego, or soul, or mind, if you prefer the term— is the real Knower who becomes aware of the outside world by means of the messages of the senses. Cut off from these messages the mind would be almost a blank, so far as outside objects are concerned. Every one of the senses so cut off would mean a diminishing or cutting-off of a part of the world of the ego. And, likewise, each new sense added to the list tends to widen and increase the world of the ego.
We do not realize this, as a rule. Instead, we are in the habit of thinking that the world consists of just so many things and facts, and that we know every possible one of them. This is the reasoning of a child. Think how very much smaller than the world of the average person is the world of the person born blind, or the person born deaf! Likewise, think how very much greater and wider, and more wonderful this world of ours would seem were each of us to find ourselves suddenly endowed with a new sense! How much more we would perceive. How much more we would feel. How much more we would know. How much more we would have to talk about. Why, we are really in about the same position as the poor girl, born blind, who said that she thought that the color of scarlet must be something like the sound of a trumpet. Poor thing, she could form no conception of color, never having seen a ray of light— she could think and speak only in the terms of touch, sound, taste and smell. Had she also been deaf, she would have been robbed of a still greater share of her world. Think over these things a little.
Suppose, on the contrary, that we had a new sense which would enable us to sense the waves of electricity. In that case we would be able to “feel” what was going on at another place— perhaps on the other side of the world, or maybe, on one of the other planets. Or, suppose that we had an X Ray sense— we could then see through a stone wall, inside the rooms of a house. If our vision were improved by the addition of a telescopic adjustment, we could see what is going on in Mars, and could send and receive communications with those living there. Or, if with a microscopic adjustment, we could see all the secrets of a drop of water— maybe it is well that we cannot do this.
On the other hand, if we had a well-developed telepathic sense, we would be aware of the thought-waves of others to such an extent that there would be no secrets left hidden to anyone— wouldn’t that alter life and human intercourse a great deal? These things would really be no more wonderful than is the evolution of the senses we have. We can do some of these things by apparatus designed by the brain of man— and man really is but an imitator and adaptor of Nature. Perhaps, on some other world or planet there may be beings having seven, nine or fifteen senses, instead of the poor little five known to us. Who knows!
By Swami Panchadasi – Courtesy of Project Gutenberg