“Everything is vibrating.”

                            --Hermetic principle

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the sense of resonance

The principal way in which a material object interacts with other objects is through resonance. 


Everything vibrates.  Vibration is a specific kind of movement with two characteristics: periodicity, and coherence.  Periodic movement is cyclic and temporal.  Coherent movement is synchronized.


Molecules within a lump of matter that is “at rest” are moving, but not vibrating until caused to do so.  Such lumps may exist in theory, but you may never encounter one because of resonance.


Resonance (re=again, son=sound, ance=state of being) makes vibration highly contagious.


The sense of resonance, of ones body vibrating in sympathy with its surroundings, is a basic form of sentience--perhaps the basic mode of awareness, and so it might be considered to be the very definition of sentience. 


It is common to all life as we know it.  Single-celled organisms, lacking brains, nervous systems, and sensory organs, can be observed reacting to vibrational stimuli, so are somehow aware of resonance. 


Eastern philosophy holds that all beings are sentient.  In the west, since the time of Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am,” (a misquote taken out of context) there has been debate about where the line should be drawn between “higher” and “lower” life forms. 


Perhaps this explains why the concepts of “sentience” and “cognizance” are so often conflated.  Sentience is sensory awareness, and cognizance is thought. 


Logical thinking isn’t the only kind of cognizance.  Consider observable examples of group-think possessed of insects, slime mold, etc.


Another wrong-headed yet widely accepted point of common wisdom since Aristotle is that human beings have five senses.  This idea leads people to live in ignorance of amazing possibilities that abound beyond the limits of those five senses. 


Modern neurology delineates over a hundred modes of human awareness, including the senses of temperature, balance, proprioception, etc. 


At the base of sensory experience is the sense of resonance, which gives every living thing the sense of inhabiting a physical body.  It connects us with our amebic brothers, the world, the universe. 


Applying cognizance to sentience presents an amazing world of possibilities to explore.  Practicing techniques for focusing cognizance on resonant sentience like the one I’ve described presents a way of moving in this direction.