I”ve been reading a book by Lyall Watson, Jacobson’s Organ and the Remarkable Nature of Smell. There is lots of food in this book for nurturing an awareness of our wonderful, mysterious, synergistic sensory abilities.
The organ of Jacobson is hidden away in the noses of almost everyone who has been examined for one. (While all of us do have hearts, apparently, a few of us may not have a Jacobson’s organ.) It was first noticed and described by scientists about 200 years ago, and was thought to be a vestigial, unused piece of out anatomy.
A few scientists, however, have recently reexamined this organ, and are finding that not only is it used and useful, but also it is a vital and literal “sixth sense”. Jacobson’s organ allows us to detect chemical signals that our noses can’t smell. Things like pheromones. It’s a very old organ, and has definitely been found useful in basic matters such as finding a receptive mate, but it seems that it also delivers other important pieces of information as well, and from an assortment of other species – including plants.
I had thought that hormones and pheromones (essentially little airborne hormones) were very species specific. Not! It turns out that the air is full of little chemical messages, available to any passing body with the proper receptors. Some of these are detected by our regular olfactory apparatus (i.e. noses), but much of it is picked up on by the Jacobson’s organ. From the truffles that mimic pig hormones, to the clover plants making estrogen mimics – and thus birth control – for sheep, to a rodent in Africa called Lophiomys whose skin glands produce a volatile, invisible mist with no noticeable smell that nonetheless leaves humans feeling dry-mouthed and uneasy, the air is often filled with subtle, chemical signals, a millions-of-years old communication system that dwarfs what’s happening on cellphones and the internet.
The thing about Jacobson’s organ is that because it’s such an old organ and system it’s not wired to the cerebral cortex, the “rational” brain, it is wired to the older, limbic, “primitive” brain. You will receive its messages and know, but you may not be able to say how you know.
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So now we are up to not just one, but two, physical pathways and rational explanations of human bodymind systems that feed us large quantities of information at non-rational levels, ensuring that we are all capable of “intuitive” insights into complex areas of life and timespace reality. Add to this the quantum, entangled state in which we actually exist and we’re ready to dive deeply into a fun, effective, and collaborative relationship with Nature.