This entry was previously posted in 2008 and is an excerpt from the book, Awake in This Life: a guide for those climbing the Mountain of Spirit.
Just as the Eighth Sense is the felt sense of Awareness that is the Source of all things, it is also our ever-so-slightly contracted sense of this primordial Source. When we put our Witness to use, we see that it is the Awakened space that welcomes the very arising of all things. On the other hand, this Eighth Sense is not a thing at all. Calling it “ours” doesn’t express its true nature. Still, even though language can get in the way here, we do our best to give it a name in order to talk about it and point out that this Eighth Sense is the most fundamental link to the totally expansive, impersonal, singularity of Awakened Emptiness.
Perhaps calling this Awakened Emptiness the “Ninth Sense” is a creative, albeit limited, way of expressing its inexpressibility. But unless we recognize that the Ninth Sense can’t be “sensed” with either the body or mind, we can get in trouble, since the ego is just trying to turn Spirit into something it can grasp. Things are born out of the Ninth Sense and therefore can’t begin to adequately qualify or quantify its majesty. Since this Ninth Sense cannot be qualified or quantified by the body and cannot be categorized or understood by the mind, it really isn’t even a sense at all. In fact, any experience of the Ninth Sense only points us in its direction by reminding us of its constant presence underneath all creative expressions of the Universe. The subjective experience itself, in other words, is exactly not the Ninth Sense at all since the Ninth Sense can’t really be contained or objectified, just like none of us, despite our egoic efforts, can control or manage Infinity.
Yet this doesn’t mean that the Ninth Sense is missing. More than a feeling, a sense, or an intuition, the Ninth Sense is the fundamental quality of the entire Mountain of Spirit as well as its climbers. It is the exact Awareness in which all experience, including the Witness, arises and falls. It is the essential, impersonal, quality of feelings, sensations, and intuition, just like light is the essential, impersonal, quality of any image we might see projected on a movie screen. The Awareness that infuses itself into, and springs from, the Witness allows even the Witness itself to fall away. Nothing is outside of this Awareness. It is Truth. And it is the timeless origin of each and every moment of our experience no matter what our particular state of consciousness might be or how close we are to realizing its impersonal grace. Whatever name we choose to point to this awakened spaciousness that is infinitely inside and outside of all things, it is never anything other than the awakened totality, the Deep Singularity, of everything all the time. It is always available to us in each breath, at each tragedy, at each of our kids’ successes and failures, at each of our lonely moments, in darkness, and in the inextinguishable, blinding light of the expansive and clear Truth of Being.
The Ninth Sense is Spirit, and it expresses itself in everything and in every way as everything and every way.