The Sixth Sense

Laura Basha

Detail of Painting By Laura Basha

I am in the process of creating my next painting of which the above drawing will be a part, and the process has me considering something I think important to us all. It has me thinking of the question of “Balance”. Proportion and balance as depicted in the human form was considered the most elevated and honorable subject of Renaissance art, certainly by Da Vinci. In reading his notes, he talks about painting as:

“… [surpassing] all human works by the subtle considerations belonging to it. The eye, which is called the window of the soul, is the principle means by which the central sense can most completely and abundantly appreciate the infinite works of nature; and the ear is the second, which acquires dignity by hearing of the things the eye has seen. …”


In following the mathematical instructions of Vetruvius, and the elegant draughtsmanship of Da Vinci, the importance of balance became very apparent to me, and in combination with the above quote, I began to think of our five senses of taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing. But what if there were more senses? More senses might allow for us to cultivate a life experience of even more richness and equilibrium; a deeper resonance of Life might be available to us.

What if Balance was one of those senses? Balance is something we consider when “juggling” our schedules, when needing more time for relaxation and play to balance out work, more time for family. When we are out of balance, things fall apart, fall down, like a perfectly stacked tower of blocks until one tilts a little too much to one side.


It seems perhaps capricious, but what if we were to focus on balance as being a given sense – a sixth sense if you will? If we paid attention to balance like we do to say, hearing, would we experience more equilibrium? When we slow down and turn our attention away from the cacophony of daily life, we hear the birds, the breeze, maybe laughter in the distance. If we listened for balance, what would we hear? If we paid attention to balancing activity with rest, would we experience more pleasure in being alive? Much like sight is to the artist, balance may be to the fulfilled life.

If balance is available to us through simply reflecting on it – not having to make it happen or “create” it, how much of a contribution could it be? What would life experience be like if we knew balance was intrinsic, such as smell and taste and touch, and we just haven’t been paying attention?

Where in your life would more balance make a difference? And what could you realize if you reflected on it as one of our given senses?


You may also like to read this post on Intuition: The Seventh Sense.

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