Here are some of the comments that came in about last week’s post, WHAT ARE GOOSEBUMPS? Thank you all for sending them in! (winnpost.org/2023/03/17/what-are-goosebumps/
Wanda Blumenthal wrote, “I don’t remember where I first learned about hair as an antenna – reading it somewhere, I suppose. I get those little tingles on my head at times. It feels like I’m being ‘touched energetically’ and it makes me aware that what I’m thinking, or the meditative state I’m in, is special and I need to pay close attention.”
Wanda also sent in a link to an article from ANCIENT ORIGINS about hair and sensory powers. (AncientOrigins.net, 18 November 2021) which said that in some Native American tribes there’s a belief that hair does act like, “…a sort of antenna, much like whiskers on a cat.” It described Choctaw and Navajo military scouts who crossed dangerous terrain trusted that their long hair provided subtle information. During the Vietnam War Native American scouts were sought out for this kind of work:
“The report claims that government testing institutes compared the behaviors and tracking performances of Native American trackers with and without long hair, and they found that the long-haired subjects outperformed those whose hair had been cut in the military fashion.”
Skeptics say that, “hair is nothing more than dead cells (keratin proteins) and as such transmits nothing.” But “…the follicle at the base is actually an organ that produces hair. Hair is connected to the tactile receptors in the skin that tell us that it’s cold or hot out, let us feel the slightest breeze, or the annoying bug that is about to bite us, (and) serves as a protective warning device.”
Carol Snarr let me know that she experiences what we are calling goosebumps as both physical and subtle “tactile information.” She notices chills around her spine that start at the back of her head, at base of her brain and go down to include her shoulders. She considers it a signal to listen for a deeper understanding of what another person is saying.
She finds that the sensations are not so much feeling a chill, but more a kind of warmth. It gets her attention and makes her ponder. She enjoys noting that the words silent and listen contain the same letters and she takes some time to be quiet, to listen, and to ponder. Carol believes that the experience connects her to the collective unconscious. She has learned not only to listen to other people but also to herself. Sometimes she wakes up with a song lyric in her head and then has to figure out its meaning in her life. She’s found this listening useful and profound.
At the end of the post on the website you can find three comments, one by Sally Hilton-Chalfen, one by Linda Myers, and the third by Nancy Wait. Here they are -Nancy Wait commented,
“I know exactly what you are talking about, but I don’t call it goosebumps. I say it ‘gives me a chill’ or ‘I felt a chill’ and like you, it’s tied to an intuitive feeling, something I know as a truth about myself or what I am seeing/experiencing. I would say it also comes from what I know as my sixth sense – a physical sensation alerting me to something I know in my psychic that hasn’t yet filtered down into my physical brain. It’s one of the myriad ways our inner being alerts us to the ‘something else’ that is going on either around us or within. Thank you for bringing this up! It’s usually one of those things we don’t talk about enough.”
Sally Hilton-Chalfen wrote – “You have given us another way to pay attention to perception and intuition. I will open to using that source.”
Linda Myers added –
“Thanks for bringing goosebumps up for discussion. As our consciousness expands and refines with contact in the higher realms so do the 5 senses you mentioned. I do agree with you that there is so much more to know and learn.”
We can experience the difference between walking under a branch where twigs catch in our hair and the sensations that come from some kind of invisible touch that creates tingles or little electric buzzes on the scalp. There are many forms of both physical and subtle touch. When it’s subtle touch, we can begin asking the questions that will help us learn more about what this kind of touch means for us. What do we experience, where do we think it comes from, what messages (if any) or information does it convey? And many, many more questions….
An issue of PREVENTION Magazine arrived after the post was published – (March 23, page 41) and included this,
The goosebumps “… are triggered by various stimuli, which includes temperatures and emotions. Goosebumps are also believed to be a fight-or-flight response. When many mammals are threatened or afraid, their hair stands up to make them appear bigger and more intimidating – which is why a scared cat inflates like a balloon (we just get goosebumps). Because humans have a wider range of emotions than other animals, we can also get goosebumps when we’re aroused or moved by something like hearing a beautiful song.”
As with our other senses it is important to recognize that there are both physical (as described in PREVENTION) and subtle causes for the range of sensations that people experience. Whether goosebumps are felt on the arms, whether we feel chills on our spines or tingles on our scalps, as Linda Myers wrote, there is “So much more to know and to learn.” We need to ask ourselves what we have already learned and what more we would like to know.
And, what standard research has been done on this?
Recently the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS) has been doing research on our “noetic signatures’ – the varied ways in which we each receive intuitive information. I hope that Helane Wahbeh, Director of Research at IONS, and her team will include goosebumps and tingles in their ongoing work.