Subtle Touch Subtle Senses
What is the nature of the senses and the sense organs? How do our senses become more subtle as we do spiritual practice? What are some of the ways that we experience the subtle touch of Shakti? A podcast from Satsang with Shambhavi
Podcast First Words
Sparsha, or touch, is one of the senses that is a capacity of the divine to explore its own nature. We have smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing, and we have our minds. That’s how we interface with everything.
We think of those as our senses. But really our individual senses are individual instances through which the cosmic capacity of those senses is being expressed and used by the one consciousness, the one subjectivity. As Abhinavagupta famously said, “Our senses are deities playing in the field of duality.”
So if we want to get away from this idea that we have these senses, we can first of all understand that those senses are. Smelling is. Touch is. Taste is. Awareness is. Everywhere.
Our instances of the senses are really just symbols—or what we call living symbols—of the senses. Starting from our gross physical body: our nose is a symbol of smelling, our ears are a symbol of hearing, our skin is a symbol of touching, our tongue is a symbol of tasting, and our brain is a symbol of awareness.
These physical organs are not the organs of the senses. In our karmic realm vision, we identify these organs as the organs of the senses. But really the senses are everywhere.