Last week during a retreat here much was made of the sense of touch. The suggestion was that truth is accessed through touch. Truth is something we touch.
Jesus touched people and healed them – the woman with the bleeding problem touched the hem of his garment and was cured. Jesus touched the blind man and he saw.
Are we losing our sense of touch in a technological age – an age where the touch screen replaces touch itself?
Ever since Plato, touch has been the poor relation of the senses – for him sight and hearing were the intellectual senses while touch and taste were the animal senses. Touch was the lowest of the senses because it is too immediate and lacks objectivity. Sight gave us objectivity and control.
Aristotle, on the other hand, believed touch was the most universal and intelligent of the senses – it allowed us to detect difference and works long after other senses fail in old age.
Plato’s won the argument and sight has dominated the hierarchy of the senses in Western thinking for over 2,000 years. The eye continues to rule in our “civilisation of the image.”
We need to find our way back into the tactile world. We need to return from head to foot, from brain to fingertip, from iCloud to earth so that we can, once again, ‘touch truth’.