Sense And Sense-ability

something from me:


By necessity, visual impairment imposes upon those of us living with it, the practice of drawing on all of our senses to inform our actions.  In the interest of self preservation, we are deterred from the instant, unconsidered action that 2020 vision might tempt us into.    


The world is increasingly becoming a place of unprecedented extreme events.  Both chronic and acute in nature.  A situation originally defined by the military and more latterly by business, as VUCA; Volatile, Unpredictable, Complex and Ambiguous.   It could be argued that this, situation, at least in part is the product of short termist, unconsidered action.  Whether this is the case or not, it is clear that if we are to develop resilience in this VUCA world and achieve a life sustaining future for all.  We must nurture our  ability to understand circumstances more holistically before acting.    


It is often said that the loss of vision brings with it the heightening of the remaining senses.  I’m not sure if it isn’t more the case that rather than our non visual senses being enhanced, it is our perception expanding to experience the universe through  all realms available  to  it.  For the world inhabited by the visually impaired isn’t one bereft of light and pictures.  On the contrary it is a multi-dimensional, richly textured landscape of subtle shading, of heat and cool, of space and pressure, of sound and silence and embodied knowing.  Which can render visible essential elements such as depth and density, hidden structures, natural patterns and rhythms  and systemic relationships.  But I don’t believe this heightened perception is exclusively the domain of the visually impaired.  As it is born from the practical necessity to develop the natural powers of attention available to all.  However, as the visually impaired are  active practitioners of heightened perception, we find ourselves in possession of a gift, the sharing of which, I believe could benefit our society immeasurably.  By enabling us all to more fully appreciate how to live and work with our VUCA world.


Andy Shipley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s