Don’t have the Sense I was born with…

April 29, 2011

So recently I’ve been a bit taken by the perceptual mechanisms that Adam and Eve might have had that we do not.  We see in Genesis 2 that there were trees in the garden (I know what those look like) and these trees had things like knowledge and life growing on the branches (I have NO IDEA what those things look like!).

  I think that several other reasons exist to believe that Adam and Eve could “see” and process the world around them through senses  beyond the standard five.

The difficulty is that if you are born without sight, then you really have no idea what “sight” is, or even what you are actually missing because you do not have sight.  If you are born without sight you are also born without the ability to develop multiple other skills that we all take for granted, such as color distinction, reading, design, art appreciation, or any activity that requires hand-eye coordination.  These and countless other processes all develop through our eyes and in our mind a whole way of interacting with reality that sightless people do not have.  And people born without sight have no idea that they are missing anything at all.  Try to describe sight to them.  Good luck. Any frame of reference to describe or comprehend sight depends on the ability to have been seeing.

So, what were we born without?  How would we respond if someone tried to describe to us “sensory experiences” for which we have no frame of reference? We might think they were crazy.  We might even crucify them.

And what of us?  What exactly did we lose in that garden? We know that we lost our life, but did we also lose our senses?  If we currently function with only five senses what other options exist? Let me ponder with you for a few minutes.

Discernment:  Visually we say that we “discern” shapes, figures, physical forms.  The Bible describes discerning in several ways.  One in particular says that the Spirit of God in us allows us to discern spirits.  It doesn’t necessarily say “seeing” of spirits, simply and ability perceive and recognize them.  Discernment is also way of reading situations, people, and environments.  Discernment allows us to function in an integrated world and interact with things that we cannot see with our five senses.

Faith: The substance of things not seen.  Is it possible that the main reason that it is impossible to please God without faith, is that it is virtually impossible to interact with God’s primary realm of existence based on our five primary senses?  Faith comes by hearing, but it is not hearing itself.  It is a way of perceiving an invisible reality. If God is creating matter when He speaks, our awareness of that speaking/creating can also be substance.

The Eyes of our hearts: “Were not our hearts burning within us…” said the disciples whose visual perceptions had been restrained by God, as they walked along the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).  This is how they described the vague awareness that something more than an ordinary conversation was taking place.  Sometimes it helps to close the eyes of our heads, so that we might be more attuned to the eyes of our hearts.

Revelation: Spiritual things are spiritually discerned or appraised, Paul told the Corinthian church.  Our ability to receive supernatural revelation is a “sense” that is essential in interacting with a supernatural God.

Wisdom: I believe it was Bill Gothard who defined Wisdom as the ability to “see through God’s eyes” .

Knowing: Usually we know things because we have been told, or we have “found them out”.  Jesus, we are told, “Knew their thoughts” without ever being “told”.

These are a few random thoughts of some possible senses that we may have left behind in the Garden of Eden.

Now I have to ask myself what Adam and Eve could see with these senses, that we cannot.

Could it be that it was visible to them that giving to others enriched their own soul?

Could they distinguish clear and specific evidence that anger always made them sick?

I wonder what it looked like to watch a heart shrink when it thought only of itself and no one else?

Could they see life pass from them to others as they loved freely and without condition?

Could they see a mind turn black if it were to conceive selfish gain at the cost of others?

And what of this:  For those of us who live now without those senses, how do we live? Well the obvious answer would be that One who CAN see should speak to us and guide us.  He should provide us with ways that we can interact with this invisible reality and not come to any harm because of what we cannot see.

In fact this is exactly what God did.  He spoke to His people and He provided them laws.  Commandments if you will.  His laws were not so much rules and requirements, as they were simply descriptions of reality.  He didn’t tell us a rule about honoring our parents, He told us that one way to avoid things, not going well, is to honor your parents.  This is the equivalent of telling the blind man, turn left, and take two steps.  Then turn right.  It will go well with your shins, if you DO NOT step that way.

God describes the nature of reality to us so that we might benefit if we listen and believe.

Now imagine the blind man deciding he is tired of this benevolent direction-giver always interfering with his fun.

“What if I want to walk quickly in this direction?” He might demand.  “What if I want to run to my left?”

“It will not go well with you on the earth” the benevolent direction-giver would say.

It would be ridiculous for that blind man to step in the opposite direction, and then reject the Giver-of-Directions, simply because he bruised his shin.

I am glad I would never do that.

Do you have any ideas for senses that we may have left behind at the fall of man?

 

 


  • http://www.photographybyamberg.com Amber

    Honestly- this gives me happy excited wonder chills. Talking (reading) about sensory stuff totally stimulates my brain. Wondering about how much more might be (was) available to us makes me all kinds of excited. Makes me wanna seek and know and learn and grow. So thanks for that :)

  • Josiah C

    Love it! My mind is a flurry of daydreams now! As I ponder your posits I began to wonder if the extra senses that Adam and Eve had were available to them simply because of their location. Their presence in the Garden of Eden where the Tree of Life was fully present and flourishing. Their Source was fully integrated into their lives. But after rebellion, they were expelled from the Holy, personal presence of the Source and as such lost their extra senses as well. Much like a campfire at night, when close to the fire you can see everyone’s faces and even read a book, but venture past the edge of darkness and it’s a totally different story.

    Some senses I think would be neat: When a child is born or adopted, can you see their heart strings knitting to their parents? Can you smell the stench of pride or the sweetness of a child’s laughter? Can you perceive prayers and what aroma they are producing for our Father? Here’s my wild-card, can we communicate at some level, more intelligibly than now, with animals? Donkeys and snakes seem to at least pose a likelihood of this… :D

  • Bryan

    Very cool, very thought provoking!
    But Jesus did restore what was lost in the garden, right? At least made available to us the restoration of those things. If senses were another thing lost, then they should be another thing restored to believers.
    Woa…………

  • http://www.bobhamp.com Bob Hamp

    Bryan..right on, although there are many things that Jesus has restored to us, that we do not access, or take advantage of. Even with the senses that I have had all my life, I still need to choose to use them. So we may have these senses available to us…try using all of these for a day!

  • Rose

    I believe the whole crux of the matter is that we are spirit and at the fall of man, we left behind our spiritual senses (pun intended). I think that is what can make the difference in how we see, perceive, hear, feel in this realm. Not so much maybe that we’ve “lost” these senses, but that our spirit became supressed or asleep and subservient to our flesh. We are of such magnificent design that when we lose one sense, another seems to increase to compensate. For instance, a blind person’s hearing and sense of touch are much higher than those that can physically see. They learn to “see” with their other senses. In the same way, as spirit beings, crucifying our flesh increases our spiritual awareness. For instance, fasting heightens our spiritual awareness to a degree where we can hear, think, see and feel what our flesh finds invisible. So I believe that if we spend time with God and begin to walk in the spirit more than the flesh, He will show us “great and mighty things that we know not” – witty inventions, depths of understanding, faith to move mountains, all our spiritual senses that can discern the invisible, quantum stuff, just waiting for an awakening!

  • http://www.bobhamp.com Bob Hamp

    Rose…I love this…this should be a post of its own, but we are totally thinking the same…..Thanks for your intriguing comment!

  • Reca R

    Wow! This is so true. How can we question His direction. What did those senses look like? What did they feel like to Adam & Eve? Did they feel what we feel or was it stronger? Or was it just a normal feeling because that’s all they knew? Great thoughts Bob! I will chewing on this, very deep yet simple!

  • Reca R

    Rose,
    I agree with Bob awesome word. Be in the spirit more you become more of the spirit than the flesh! Great words. I feel energized after reading this today praise God!

  • Cindy

    String theory, God and the Garden. Work with me here. Current string theory states there are 10 dimensions (some say more, up to 100, lets start with 10). So humans currently work within 4 of them: height, width, depth, and time. Perhaps, the Garden used all 10, whatever they are. Maybe Jesus was using a few of them when He appeared suddenly inside closed rooms or walked with people who knew Him but didn’t recognize Him. Just thinking, maybe even a little differently.

    On another note: should the second to the last line of your post be written in a font type called sarcastic?

  • http://www.jaymesdowner.com Jaymes Downer

    Very cool post Bob! When I began reading I thought I knew where you were taking me, but you took a sharp turn and blindsided me with some awesome thinking! I love the analogy of the blind man and the insanity in him refusing direction. Keep it up!

  • Jackee

    Well said!!! Love the accuracy & simplicity you bring to mindbending ideas like discernment, faith, etc. You are a vessel to express so many different revelations & yet you steward what God puts in you with awe & grace. I am excited to be a part of this ride.

  • http://marissastar.com Marissa Star

    Interesting discussion timing for me. I’ve been camped out on this scripture …

    Revelation 4:8 (Amplified Bible)
    “And the four living creatures, individually having six wings, were full of eyes all over and within [underneath their wings]; and day and night they never stop saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty (Omnipotent), Who was and Who is and Who is to come.”

    Thinking about all these eyeballs within and without … all this SEEING … all this spiritual eyesight and seeing that we may not see with our eyes … maybe we lost this oober super sight in the garden … all I know is if there is more to see in the Jesus Matrix ;) and … I want to see it … hear it … taste it … smell it … touch (experience) it …
    Hmm … this is got me up to some good thinking, pondering, praying about heightened senses.

    And if the Holy Spirit has more seeing for us, well I say … heck ya to that!!! :)

    thx Mr. Bob fun way to starting thinking this morning!

  • Anna Davenport

    I loved the post, and am laughing at Cindy’s question in her comment! I recall a discussion a ways back about that…

  • Denise W.

    ”Prayer enlarges the heart until is is capable of containing God’s gift of Himself.”
    Enlarge our hearts Lord and open the eyes of our hearts to see more of you and experience more of Your kingdom on every level Lord.

  • jacqueline

    hi bob,
    this is the only way of contact to you that i have found available to me.
    my husband and i just wanted to tell you, yes ALL GLORY TO GOD, thank you for the 5 freedom foundational classes that you did on the gateway church website! these teachings 1000% changed my/our life. thank you for being real and thank you for sharing and making these teachings free of charge for the public to hear. God is blessing you richly and i praise God that He will bless you even more!

  • Ted Crawford

    The Sense Of Being Unconditionally Loved And Loving Unconditionally.

  • craig

    it also wouldnt surpise me if they could see smells and taste colors.