The Sixth Sense | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 07, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 07, 2017

The Sixth Sense

1. Both Sigmund Freud and Jung studied the unconscious but did not strongly emphasize the 'Sixth Sense' or the Intuitive one, although there is sufficient evidence of the Intuitive in the works of Freud and Jung.

2. I personally feel the Intuitive or Extra Sensory Perception is quite common to both individuals and literature.

3.  In Shakespeare's Hamlet I feel Prince Hamlet could not fully believe his senses while encountering his father's ghost. Therefore, he arranged the play within the play and saw for himself the hurried exit of the usurper King. This was sufficient proof for Hamlet about what his father's ghost had told him.

4. The Prince of Denmark while haranguing his mother about her betrayal suddenly looks at the fluttering curtains, and without trusting his senses, intuitively, slays Polonius. This is one example of how the 'Sixth Sense' may not be reliable at all times.

5.  In Shakespeare's King Lear, the King is convinced by sycophancy and divides his Kingdom between the two older daughters: Regan and Goneril. He is unable to use his senses properly and becomes a victim of his intuition that could not inform his senses about the flattery of his two daughters.

6. In one of Humayun Ahmed's short stories, "Mrittur Gondho', a man visits a doctor's office and complains about his olfactory organ. The doctor is a renowned specialist who thinks the man is psychologically unwell and asks him to go to a mental asylum. The man says he's convinced about his ability to smell death; for, he did so when his wife went to visit her father. Later, he got the news that she jumped off the roof of her father's house and killed herself. The doctor was even more annoyed then and asked his assistant to return his consultancy fee to the man. As the doctor was hurriedly leaving his office the main quietly says, "I can smell death in your body!"  

7.  As I conclude I recall how a few weeks ago, late at night, I suddenly thought of one of my father's close friends who was still alive. I remembered many incidents involving him and our family, and I couldn't sleep that night. Early in the morning I received a phone call from my brother who informed me about the death of my father's friend who had passed away at about 3 am in the morning!

Golam Sarwar Chowdhury is Professor, Department of English and Humanities, ULAB.

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