I am soaking in the hot tub this evening. As my muscles relax, I muse about the five ways that I perceive the apparent world: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
The waxing crescent moon reflects thin light over me. We are told that the moon is 238,000 miles from the earth—but all I know of the moon is the seeing of it, and seeing occurs right here, closer than close.
I hear a car in the distance–rubber tires on the road. The sound seems far away, but all I know is the hearing of it, and hearing occurs right here, closer than close.
I touch my arm. This appears closer than the moon, but still a few inches away—but all I know is the perception of texture, and that takes place right here, closer than close.
A slight tang of rotten apples hangs in the air. Did we miss clearing a few from under our tree six weeks ago? The tree is about thirty feet away, but all I know of the rotting apples is the smelling of them—and smelling happens right here, closer than close.
I taste fresh mint after brushing my teeth. Tasting takes place right here, closer than close.
Distance is a useful tool—we need to use the concept every day to navigate life. I’m grateful for it. But in my direct experience, the whole apparent world is birthed within awareness, as are my perceptions of it. Immediate and intimate. Closer than close.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2014