Transcendental Senses





Another writer has drawn an interesting picture, which is based upon a

conjecture which is scientifically valid, as follows: "The late

Professor James once suggested as a useful exercise for young students a

consideration of the changes which would be worked in our ordinary world

if the various branches of our receiving instruments happened to

exchange duties; if, for instance, we heard all colors, and saw all

sounds. All this is less mad than it seems. Music is but an

interpretation of certain vibrations undertaken by the ear; and color is

but an interpretation of other vibrations undertaken by the eye. Were

such an alteration of our senses to take place, the world would still be

sending us the same messages, but we should be interpreting them

differently. Beauty would still be ours, though speaking in another

tongue. The birds' song would then strike our retina as pageant of

color; we should see all the magical tones of the wind, hear as a great

fugue the repeated and harmonized greens of the forest, the cadences of

stormy skies. Did we realize how slight an adjustment of our own organs

is needed to initiate us into such a world, we should perhaps be less

contemptuous of those mystics who tell us in moments of transcendental

consciousness they 'heard flowers that sounded, and saw notes that

shone'; or that they have experienced rare moments of consciousness in

which the senses were fused organs is needed to initiate us into such a

world into a single and ineffable act of perception, in which color and

sound were known as aspects of the same thing."





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