So the old tunes float in my mind,
And go from me leaving no trace behind,
Like fragrance borne on the hush of the wind.
— Sara Teasdale, Old Tunes
Information from the world around us is collected through our nervous system receptors located throughout the body. The experience that we call “bliss” is triggered by a combination of several of our sensory systems being strongly, pleasurably stimulated, particularly the sense that is our dominant one.
A person’s dominant sense emerges very early in life. Studies have shown that babies and young children soon begin to display a preference for a particular sense in ways similar to how they may be right or left-handed
While some people are visually dominant, others are more adept at hearing and listening. This does not mean they automatically become professional musicians. But often, music is like a second language to them, and brings them a powerful emotional and even physical impact. They hear subtle nuances in it that visual people understand better by reading the music.
Auditory people are often excellent teachers, storytellers and leaders with the “gift of gab,” as well as therapists and counselors. They easily learn foreign languages, they love poetry (read aloud, if you please!) and love to sing. This is the boss that almost never reads your reports and memos, but would rather discuss things, and holds lots of meetings.
Auditory people may like having a constant soundtrack of their favorite music in the background. But they can also be unusually sensitive about sounds – sudden loud noises, or the sounds of crying children, sirens and traffic, barking dogs, or dripping faucets can be almost physically painful to them. They may also need prolonged periods of quiet.
Your auditory friend, colleague or child is usually chatty, and often may be discovered talking, whistling or singing to herself. He is very likely to talk to his pets as if they are people. They are also deeply sensitive about the subtleties in peoples’ tone of voice and choice of words. The adage of “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is rarely true for the auditory person.
To the auditory dominant person, one of the most easily recalled experiences of bliss may involve being swept away by music, or poetry, or the joy of singing. Bliss is synonymous with harmony.
If neither visual nor auditory exactly describes your most personal experience of bliss, perhaps tomorrow’s discussion will more adequately describe it.