Our Reality is Defined by Our Senses
We see, smell, taste, touch, and hear the environment around us, and then our minds (both unconsciously and consciously) create realities based on what our senses tell us. We generally believe that we are experiencing all there is to perceive, and we make assumptions based upon those perceptions, which ultimately shape our actions, worldview, and ideologies.
Without our senses, we wouldn’t be able to thrive and understand the world around us. Yet, at the same time, we are severely limited by our senses. This is especially true when we compare ourselves to other animals. Although human beings have a unique trait of higher reasoning and self-awareness, our reality may actually be a limited, illusory perception.
When individual senses are directly compared to humans and other animals, we look primitive in comparison. In fact, there is an entirely different reality being experienced by amphibians, fish, mammals, birds, insects, and reptiles. These enhanced senses undoubtedly shape an entirely unique perception of existence for the life of these animals.
Unique Animal Senses
- Some insects like ants can see polarized light, while some fish can see infrared light.
- Cats have a mirror-like membrane in the backs of their eyes that lets them hunt and move in almost complete darkness.
- The eyes of insects and birds are attuned to wavelengths of light outside the visible range that humans see in
- A Silkworm Moth can detect pheromones up to 11km away
- Snakes smell with their tongue, which collects scent particles in the air, and then makes contact with the Jacobson’s organ, located on the roof of the mouth.
- A pig’s tongue contains 15,000 taste buds compared to the 9,000 taste buds that a human has.
- Rats use the long hairs in the same way that blind people use canes. By whisking the hairs across objects they come across, rats and other rodents form mental pictures of their surroundings.
- Butterflies have hairs on their wings to detect changes in air pressure.
- Dogs can hear sound as high as 40,000 Hz.
- Migrating birds use the Earth’s magnetic field to stay their course during long flights. One recent study suggests birds might have a form of synesthesia that lets them “see” the planet’s magnetic lines as patterns of color or light that are overlaid on their visual surroundings.
- Bats and dolphins use echolocation for movement and locating objects.
- Sharks have specialized electrosensing receptors with thresholds as low as 0.005 uV/cm. These receptors may be used to locate prey. The dogfish can detect a flounder that is buried under the sand and emitting 4 uAmp of current.
A Different Reality
The limitations of our senses raise unlimited questions about what we perceive as our reality. For example, the following questions immediately come to mind:
- What would our relationships be like if we had a heightened sense of pheromones?
- What would our environment tell us, and how would we interact with it if we could see polarized and infrared light?
- How would we interact with our environment if we could hear sounds from far away and at different spectrums?
- What would it be like if we could use echolocation to determine where we go and how we identify objects?
- If we could taste like a pig, would we be overly consumed with taste and eating (more so than we are now)?
When spiritualists claim that there is much more beyond what we can perceive, they are absolutely correct. Except in our case, it has more to do with our limitation to perceive our environment and our higher-reasoning’s desire to survive and live forever. Our limited perceptions, coupled with our survival instincts, contribute to our inability to fully comprehend our true reality and fuel our instinctual superstitious behavior.
So why don’t we have these enhanced senses? The answer is simple. The process of evolution decided we didn’t need them to survive and thrive.