Oh, what a wonderful word and set of ideas to reflect on!
I sense you’re puzzled as to what this blog is about.
I see my laptop screen before me and hear the click of the keys as I write: my physical senses continually reporting to my mind what’s going on around me.
I sense an empty stomach and hear a gurgle from it: my senses tell me it’s time for breakfast.
In essence this blog is about the numerous ways in which we humans use the words sense and senses and others with ‘sense’ at their root. I’ll leave the linguists to tell us the origins and development of these words. This is just my sense, my understanding of what they mean.
I brush past a pot of dried lavender standing in my room: what a lovely essence. An essential oil for massage and general well-being.
If the oil is the essential essence of lavender, what is my essential essence? And yours? And humanities generally? What does it mean to be human? What is it about our lives that does, or doesn’t make deep and meaningful sense to you, to me, to any or all of us?
In my experience, life is about having presence. Is not being present in every moment to engage most deeply in the very essence of life?
Ah! I’ve only just realised: these are spelt with a ‘c’, not an ‘s’. Is that, lexically speaking, deeply significant or merely a quirk of historical language development?
I’m going to assume, because it makes good sense to me to do so, that the ‘sence’ in essence and presence has a similar underlying meaning to ‘sense’ . . . which would seem to have a lot to do with, well, underlying meaning!
So pre-sence implies that which precedes sensing (for example, at the physical level); i.e. an even deeper, underlying meaning!
And, is it not now widely accepted that many of the decisions made by the human mind happens much more quickly that the rational mind, acting in response to what the 5 physic senses tell it, is able to?
Thus, presence is that which we know; that is, sense at a deeper and more immediate level, before we have time to think . . . and before the rational thinking mind has time to get in the way of our innate essence having a deep presence in the world.