Our favourite quotes about the senses

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order".
John Burroughs

"There is no way in which to understand the world without first detecting it through the radar-net of our senses." 
Diane Ackerman

"We cannot create observers by saying 'observe,' but by giving them the power and the means for this observation and these means are procured through education of the senses".
Maria Montessori

We have five senses in which we glory and which we recognize and celebrate, senses that constitute the sensible world for us. But there are other senses - secret senses, sixth senses, if you will - equally vital, but unrecognized, and unlauded. 
Oliver Sacks

"Ours is a culture based on excess, on overproduction; the result is a steady loss of sharpness in our sensory experience. All the conditions of modern life -- its material plenitude, its sheer crowdedness -- conjoin to dull our sensory faculties."
Susan Sontag

"Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived." 

“Sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.” 
Rebecca Solnit


"Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language and the last, and it always tells the truth.” 
Margaret Atwood

"Sensory perception is the silken web that binds our separate nervous systems into the encompassing ecosystem." 
David Abram

"Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.
Jean Houston

"We can be ethical only in relation to something we can see, feel, understand, love, or otherwise have faith in."
Aldo Leopold

"I'm a visual thinker, not a language-based thinker. My brain is like google images." 
Temple Grandin

"The senses are a kind of reason. Taste, touch and smell, hearing and seeing, are not merely a means to sensation, enjoyable or otherwise, but they are also a means to knowledge – and are, indeed, your only actual means to knowledge." 
St. Thomas Aquinas

"The reduction of the sensorium into five senses was first determined by Aristotle, perhaps for neat numerological reasons rather than physiological ones; but Galen said there were six, Erasmus Darwin thought there were 12, and Von Frey reduced them to 8... Zen Buddhists say there is a sixth sense... but a different one from the Western notion of the sixth sense as extra-sensory perception... Recent authorities calculate that there are 17 senses."
Anthony Synnott


"Dance the orange. Fling the sultry climate far from you, permitting it to shine in its own native breezes. Glowingly reveal bouquet upon bouquet. Your own concordat create with the pure, recalcitrant rind and the ebullient juice beneath the peel!" 
Rainer Maria Rilke

"The five senses are the ministers of the soul." 
Leonardo Da Vinci

"Most people have used the medicinal_smelling artificial vanilla flavouring for so long that they have no idea what real vanilla extract tastes and smells like."
Diane Ackerman

"Hearing is a form of touch. I could hear less through the ears but more through the body."
Evelyn Glennie

"Live with all of your senses."
Sue Townsend

"Take note of what's around you and maximise sensory pleasure." 
Heston Blumenthal

"When you're sitting in front of a screen, you're not using all of your senses at the same time. Nowhere than in nature do kids use their senses in such a stimulated way."
Richard Louv

"1. A sense of place (grounding) 2. gives rise to a sense of identity (ego/head) 3. which carries with it a sense of values (soul/heart) 4. generating a sense of responsibility (action/hand)" 
Alastair McIntosh, Hell and High Water