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How does a young child see the world around him? Odors, sensations, impressions


  

   How does a young child see the world around him?  What goes 
   through his mind?  I got a brief glimpse of that today when I 
   was on my noonday walk.  As I was walking I suddenly became 
   aware of the great variety of odors and scents that were in the 
   world about me.  And I was then immediately reminded of my 
   childhood.  For that was what the world was to me when I was a 
   child.  Odors and scents.  So many different kinds of them.  
   Interesting odors, intriguing odors, mysterious odors.  I 
   didn't know where they came from or what they were but they 
   gave color and feeling to life.  There were also impressions 
   and sensations coming to me from my other senses, too --- 
   sounds through the ears, images through the eyes --- but I 
   think the most powerful ones were the odors.  I never notice 
   odors anymore.  It is probably because my mind is always so 
   deep in reflection.  But as I was walking today I started 
   thinking.  Dogs and many other animals have a very good sense 
   of smell.  This must be exactly the way the world appears to 
   them also.  Life is just a great variety of odors, sensations 
   and impressions.  This along with desires, wants and bodily 
   impulses make up their whole world.  They don't think, they 
   just feel life.  And I think young children are the same way.  
   As they grow older they start using their ability to reason and 
   start thinking.  And then their thoughts and deliberations 
   start crowding out the sensations and impressions coming in to 
   them through their senses (at least it does, I think, for 
   reflective type people).  But I wonder if all the reasonings 
   and deliberations that take over the mind are worth as much as 
   the sensations and impressions that they crowd out.  The 
   sensations and impressions are gay and colorful and the 
   deliberations are all colorless. 

   Sept 1986


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