“Close your eyes, listen to my voice.” That’s what a meditation coach says to a beginner of guided meditation. When we need to focus, we turn off our visual input, and let our minds do the work.

Sensory inhibition can liberate our minds in profound ways. Some of humanity’s greatest creators, from John Milton to Ray Charles, have flourished after losing their sight, demonstrating how our dominant senses, in this case, our visual faculties, are not required for even the richest mental experiences. The absence of visual stimuli can open up worlds of cognitive possibility, a truth that I believe underpins a momentous sensory shift underway in how humans interact with technology, each other, and the world.

As we approach a new decade, our collective

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