“If a man had only one sense he would obtain but a one sense idea of the outside world. If another sense is added his knowledge is doubled, and so on. The best proof of the relation between increased sense perception and development is had in the study of the evolution of animal forms. In the early stages of life the organism has only the sense of feeling—and very dim at that—and a faint sense of taste. Then developed smell, hearing, and sight, each marking a distinct advance in the scale of life, for a new world had been opened out to the advancing forms of life. And when man develops new senses—and this is before the race—he will be a much wiser and greater being.” ~William Walker Atkinson
“If a new sense or two were added to the present normal number in men, that which is now the phenomenal world for all of us might, for all that we know, burst into something amazingly different and wider.” ~Prof. Masson
Sense and Senses
It is obvious, I think, that the more senses we have, the better we can comprehend the world around us. I doubt that the senses developed in exactly the sequence Atkinson suggests because I know there are primitive life forms that still exist with only touch, a limited sense of taste (if any), and a primitive eye spot capable of distinguishing light from dark, but little more. That seems to indicate to me that sight comes before smell and hearing, but it may vary depending on the environment the species develops in. It makes sense, though, that since sunlight is important to all forms of life, they would very early in the evolutionary process develop the ability to sense its location.
Of course, there is one “sense” that is greater than any of the senses, and that is the mind. It is up to the mind to take the information from the senses and interpret it. In a primitive tube worm, their sense of touch can detect a sudden change in water pressure which indicate something large that might want to eat them is approaching and causes them to pull themselves into their tube and become invisible. In a more advanced species with several senses, it gets much more complicated so they really have to rely on the brain-mind to sort it all out. For most animals, this works just fine. For humans, our minds can actually defeat our senses to some extent. Because of hard-coded beliefs, our minds may refuse to accept something clearly detected by one or more of our senses, we may be unaware of it. This happened when the Native Americans could not see the ships of Christopher Columbus because their minds could not accept the existence of such big boats. So the greatest of the physical senses is the mind.
Phenomenal World Perception
Each new sense that a species develops opens up a new world to them, a world they were probably unaware of before. The poet asked us if a rose by another name would smell as sweet. A better question is would we appreciate the rose as much if we could not smell it. Would we like soft, furry animals as much if we had no sense of touch? Would we love ugly, brown chocolate if we could not taste it? So each sense opens up a new world to us, but none as much as awakening those senses that let us “see” beyond the limitation of the material world. Yes, we can imagine spiritual worlds in our mind, but that is not the same as actually experiencing them.
Awakening Spiritual Senses
One thing I have to disagree with Mr. Atkinson on is his indication that this awakening of spiritual senses (or higher senses) is a matter of bringing new senses into existence as part of evolution. In fact, we have spiritual sense now, and always have. Even before we had a physical body and a mind, we had a spirit and a soul with spiritual senses. When we were born into a physical body, though, those faculties came with us, but in a dormant state, in a kind of coma. Your physical senses don’t function well when you are in a coma, and your spiritual senses don’t function when your spirit and soul are dormant. So they way to develop additional senses capable of comprehending that phenomenal world, or spiritual world, is to first awaken the dormant spirit and soul.
So awaken those faculties with the use of Spiritual Light and the techniques taught in reputable spiritual schools, and in doing so, began to experience and understand the phenomenal world of spirit which is their realm.