Waldorf Middle Senses

Waldorf Middle Senses

“Waldorf-ians” (take my mother, for instance) believe that a human being has more than 5 senses. In fact, they have 12 senses. These senses are divided and separated onto 3 different categories, Lower, Middle and Higher. Each category has 4 different senses inside of them, each with different functions and levels of sensitivity.

Apart from that, each sense has a quality linked to them. The qualities of these senses are a representation of the sense’s real life interpretation.

Well, earlier today, precisely in the morning, Bubi told me to translate some sheets of paper, filled with writings about the middle senses. So, since I do still owe this site and its dearest readers 5 writings during my… trip, I think it’s a good idea to save some writings by posting this.

Matter of fact. the italic stuff from the first Middle Sense discussed today would be my commentaries, and the rest are raw translations from Mother’s writing.

So, let’s just start sensing… stuff… by going to the article.

Smell

Children are born without the ability to differentiate smell. We, as adults should be the ones to take our children to things that smell good, and avoid those that don’t

Babies are born with a very sensitive sense of smell, based on research on children at the age of eight, their sense of smell will remain the same until they’re around the age of 15.

A research that was done by la leche leaque supports mothers to initiate early latch on breastfeeding, immediately after birth without doing any form of cleaning to the baby.

There has been an experiment that babies will have a sensor to smell their mother’s breast, when one of the 2 breasts are cleaned, 24 out of 30 babies choose the breast that wasn’t cleaned.

Children need lots of experience with a diversity of smells through exploration, with many different smells, a child can feel a life that is meaningful, giving life to soul.

Research also shows that there is a part of our brain that can only be stimulated by scent. Our sense of smell is playing a huge part in our memories and emotions. This is caused because the first scent that we could smell is caught by the olfactory bulb that starts from our ears, and runs through our lower part of the brain.

This olfactory bulb also has a direct connection with our emotions and memories that are controlled by our amygdala and hippocampus.

What’s interesting is that visual, auditory and tactile stimulations do not pass through this area of the brain.

The quality of our sense of smell is Compassion, which might seem less meaningful should we choose to translate it onto Bahasa Indonesia, so I won’t translate it.

Compassion is the feeling that drives us to do something, to help, or to act. Our sense of smell has a deep connection with our feelings, and is also our window that moves us to do something.

It’s a bit confusing. I still couldn’t quite completely understand this sense among the other 12 senses, and how its quality could be compassion. However I do understand that if we smell something that tastes bad, we’d basically avoid it, and sometimes we’d feel that that thing is literally pushing us away from it, purely because it smells bad.

So… the sense of smell really does trigger us to do something faster than other senses would.

Taste

The sense of taste are most easy to recognize through our mouths.

Through sensations that are felt by our tongue, we know sweet, salty, sour and bitter flavours.

The flavour sweet is enjoyed as something delicious and special. The bitter flavour on the other hand is commonly avoided and is deemed something that is less fun.

In our lives, we also know taste. The sweetness of life refers to the fun experiences, while the bitterness of life often describes bad things, those far away from fun.

Then we also know the saltiness of life, as an image of our lives that are filled with stories and full of diverse experiences.

We also accept taste as an image of what’s happening inside of us. Through tasting, we determine our attitude. Specifically with what we feel inside of us.

Taste awakens the “I” inside of us, or in fact, the other way around.

Kids are more sensitive with flavours, even babies, whose mother is feeling sad, then babies also tend to be more demanding and fussy.

Through breastfeeding, babies could taste the many flavours of food. Even kids should grow up enjoying the many flavours of food.

Taste is relative. Not only in food, because not everyone likes the same flavours of food. Some people like spicy food (which like I said before in this article, isn’t a taste, it’s a sensation), some people prefer sour foods, and actually its relative, like everything is.

Bubi told me that taste also determines what our people see in us, because of course, different people have different taste in clothing, color, and… girls (or guys). Well, taste is determined with a form of experience as well, I kinda guess… (not really sure, this form of knowledge is like philosophy, but a bit more complicated).

All and all, taste is what I deem an intriguing sense, because it really does correspond with both emotions and the physical realm, like… you know, the universal mind, and other philosophical stuff. Waldorf-ians (NOT AN ACTUAL TERM) really do know how to make me feel and sense stuff.

Sight

The quality from the sense of sight is Honesty.

The eyes are said to be the windows to our soul. Through staring at one’s eyes, we can start too believe, and feel whether or not he (or she) is honest.

The eyes are also the core of morality and they are capable to build ones character.

The eyes develop our consciousness, as we start judging. But out sight only functions as a superficial object, with limited capabilities. Oftentimes we judge something not by its truth, but what we saw.

Our sight is also very limited, if we focus our sights so quickly, everything around us will look like a blur.

Seeing might be thought of as believing, but it isn’t. Especially in Waldorf education, relying on your sight alone won’t be enough to detect emotions, there are many other senses to “convince” you to believe something.

Although questionable, seeing is believing isn’t really that incorrect, because you’d only actually believe something after you see it, and in terms of honesty, we do believe someone after seeing them. Note that this is still oftenly affected by other senses as well.

Warmth

We could easily recognize the temperature of an object. Our touch, and our whole body could recognize whether the object warm, hot or even cold.

Apart from the temperature that we touch, we could also know warmth through what we feel. When we enter a room, we can judge whether it feels warm (accepting our presence), or cold (rejecting our presence).

Of course we would be reluctant to enter a store that gives us a cold sensation, as if everyone inside that store rejects our presence. On the other hand we feel comfortable going inside a room whose warmth could be felt, making us feel more welcome.

It’s pretty obvious that if we feel more warmth inside of a room, we’d want to go in there, and we’ll actually enjoy the vibe. Although there are times that I think it’s a bit tricky to get the coldness and warmth ratio to be… just right

In Conclusion

In Conclusion… I am sort of out of words right now.

Well, I guess it really is up to us to conclude, because if I recalled precisely, Waldorf Education doesn’t really teach its students or future teacher the conclusion of a subject. It is all up to you to conclude, and no conclusion is right or wrong.

So, here we are, up to you what do you want to conclude from this article?

(This is DEFINITELY NOT! an excuse because I’m far too out of words to actually conclude something, definitely NOT)

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