sensation Quotes

We do not perceive what is "out there," rather we perceive what is "in here." Our senses can only inform us of their own status. They can inform us of the electrical status of neurons or the physical or the chemical status of the receptors. The outside world is never taken into our consciousness. The outside world is rather our own creation, psychologically synthesized from the mass of sensations that envelope us. In many respects, the ultimate question that perception must ask was stated by John Stuart Mill in 1865. He asked, "What is it we mean, or what is it which leads us to say, that the objects we perceive are external to us, and not a part of our own thoughts?" That remains, perhaps, the ultimate, unresolved perceptual puzzle.

- Stanley Coren, Sensation and Perception

According to this model, human beings are, at least in one aspect, sensation-receiving machines; and although our receptory apparatus is competent to select and organize outward stimuli within the narrow range necessary for physical survival within our environment, it does not necessarily tell us very much about the nature of that environment. People, in other words, have little access to the possible world existing beyond their sensations.

- Cruce Stark, The Haunted Dusk

BEFRIENDING THE BODY Trauma victims cannot recover until they become familiar with and befriend the sensations in their bodies. Being frightened means that you live in a body that is always on guard. Angry people live in angry bodies. The bodies of child-abuse victims are tense and defensive until they find a way to relax and feel safe. In order to change, people need to become aware of their sensations and the way that their bodies interact with the world around them. Physical self-awareness is the first step in releasing the tyranny of the past.In my practice I begin the process by helping my patients to first notice and then describe the feelings in their bodies—not emotions such as anger or anxiety or fear but the physical sensations beneath the emotions: pressure, heat, muscular tension, tingling, caving in, feeling hollow, and so on. I also work on identifying the sensations associated with relaxation or pleasure. I help them become aware of their breath, their gestures and movements.All too often, however, drugs such as Abilify, Zyprexa, and Seroquel, are prescribed instead of teaching people the skills to deal with such distressing physical reactions. Of course, medications only blunt sensations and do nothing to resolve them or transform them from toxic agents into allies. The mind needs to be reeducated to feel physical sensations, and the body needs to be helped to tolerate and enjoy the comforts of touch. Individuals who lack emotional awareness are able, with practice, to connect their physical sensations to psychological events. Then they can slowly reconnect with themselves.

- Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

The sensation that you experience in the body, is your spirit, but it’s so attached, that it’s hard to imagine, that the sensation can ever be separated from the physical body. In long hours of meditation, you can separate your sensation from the physical body.

- Roshan Sharma

It’s the sensation that gives rise to ego or personal identity. All the external and internal experiences of life are experienced only with the sensation.

- Roshan Sharma

We treat desire as a problem to be solved, address what desire is for and focus on that something and how to acquire it rather than on the nature and the sensation of desire, though often it is the distance between us and the object of desire that fills in the space in between with the blue of longing. I wonder sometimes whether with a slight adjustment of perspective it could be cherished as a sensation in its own terms, since it is as inherent to the human condition as blue is to distance?

- Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

[O]ur percept is an elaborate computer model in the brain, constructed on the basis of information coming from [the environment], but transformed in the head into a form in which that information can be used. Wavelength differences in the light out there become coded as 'colour' differences in the computer model in the head. Shape and other attributes are encoded in the same kind of way, encoded into a form that is convenient to handle. The sensation of seeing is, for us, very different from the sensation of hearing, but this cannot be directly due to the physical differences between light and sound. Both light and sound are, after all, translated by the respective sense organs into the same kind of nerve impulses. It is impossible to tell, from the physical attributes of a nerve impulse, whether it is conveying information about light, about sound or about smell. The reason the sensation of seeing is so different from the sensation of hearing and the sensation of smelling is that the brain finds it convenient to use different kinds of internal model of the visual world, the world of sound and the world of smell. It is because we internally use our visual information and our sound information in different ways and for different purposes that the sensations of seeing and hearing are so different. It is not directly because of the physical differences between light and sound.

- Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design

Of real sensational journalism, as it exists in France, in Ireland, and in America, we have no trace in this country. When a journalist in Ireland wishes to create a thrill, he creates a thrill worth talking about. He denounces a leading Irish member for corruption, or he charges the whole police system with a wicked and definite conspiracy. When a French journalist desires a frisson there is a frisson; he discovers, let us say, that the President of the Republic has murdered three wives. Our yellow journalists invent quite as unscrupulously as this; their moral condition is, as regards careful veracity, about the same. But it is their mental calibre which happens to be such that they can only invent calm and even reassuring things. The fictitious version of the massacre of the envoys of Pekin was mendacious, but it was not interesting, except to those who had private reasons for terror or sorrow. It was not connected with any bold and suggestive view of the Chinese situation. It revealed only a vague idea that nothing could be impressive except a great deal of blood. Real sensationalism, of whichI happen to be very fond, may be either moral or immoral. But even when it is most immoral, it requires moral courage. For it is one of the most dangerous things on earth genuinely to surprise anybody. If you make any sentient creature jump, you render it by no means improbable that it will jump on you. But the leaders of this movement have no moral courage or immoral courage; their whole method consists in saying, with large and elaborate emphasis, the things which everybody else says casually, and without remembering what they have said. When they brace themselves up to attack anything, they never reach the point of attacking anything which is large and real, and would resound with the shock. They do not attack the army as men do in France, or the judges as men do in Ireland, or the democracy itself as men did in England a hundred years ago. They attack something like the War Office--something, that is, which everybody attacks and nobody bothers to defend, something which is an old joke in fourth-rate comic papers

- G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

We breathe too fast to be able to grasp things in themselves or to expose their fragility. Our panting postulates and distorts them, creates and disfigures them, and binds us to them. I bestir myself, therefore I emit a world as suspect as my speculation which justifies it; I espouse movement, which changes me into a generator of being, into an artisan of fictions, while my cosmogonic verve makes me forget that, led on by the whirlwind of acts, I am nothing but an acolyte of time, an agent of decrepit universes. (...)If we would regain our freedom, we must shake off the burden of sensation, no longer react to the world by our senses, break our bonds. For all sensation is a bond, pleasure as much as pain, joy as much as misery. The only free mind is the one that, pure of all intimacy with beings or objects, plies its own vacuity.

- Emil M. Cioran, The Temptation to Exist

I'm one of my sensations.

- Alberto Caeiro, The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro

You focus on telling stories,
we do everything else.