Topological segmentation 0x929b4a1cc2cdae85 selected for liminal manifold tessellation experiment. Set logging method to indigenous symbolics. Initiate transfer.
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I can symmetrify grass! Without any psychedelic substance! (Note I have never used psychedelics, so I don't have the reference experience of psychedelic symmetrification.) A report of my journey the past week.
It all started a few days ago. I was walking outside and feeling extraordinarily good. Like really good. Very comfortable, safe, warm, almost like a dream. Deep okayness.
I looked at a patch of grass, kept my gaze stable, defocused my vision a bit. The grass started symmetrifying, slowly becoming more and more periodic. It happened by accident. Basically the pattern that I saw in the center of my attention got repeated across the entire grass field. I don't know the exact symmetry group, when I focused too much the effect went away.
There were a few trees in my vision. The one that was the most asymmetrically positioned, off center from my field of vision, started to fade a bit.
If the Symmetry Theory of Valence is true, I think my ability to symmetrify will depend on my mood. In bad moods (low valence) I cannot symmetrify grass. In better moods, it should become easier.
Can I inverse the causality here? Maybe if I try to symmetrify patterns I will improve my wellbeing.
Next day I tried to symmetrify the same patch of grass. I was in a less good mood, but still okay. Symmetrifying the grass took significantly longer, something like 20-30 seconds of staring, while the day before it needed only a few seconds. However, I started feeling better while symmetrifying. It's a feeling of spacing out a bit, kinda like daydreaming.
Now I am symmetrifying everything around me. Quite fun. Works best on evenly disordered surfaces, like walls, brickwork, etc. If I have nothing in the immediate surrounding, just image search for "topview grass" on my phone.
When I close my eyes, I also see a kind of noise, which you can try to symmetrify. It's a difficulty level up, because it's dynamic noise and the mind projects patterns on it. But they can be made more symmetric when I space out in the right way.
Next level is symmetrifying any visual geometry. And I bet it can be done with disordered sound, like rain.
After that comes the best part: symmetrify your energy body vibrations.
Longer term meditators, especially those who read Rob Burbea, are familiar with the 'energy body'. It's basically where you feel all your emotions, roughly projected on top of the spatial location of your real body. And it's constantly vibrating! Let's symmetrify that! Then maybe I'll feel good?
I started meditating by staring at an image of grass on my phone and symmetrifying that. Then I tuned in to my body in the background. Slowly symmetrifying that, while keeping the image in front of me for feedback. Anything that arises, just symmetrify it. A feeling in the leg. Symmetrify. A feeling in the chest. Symmetrify.
Close the phone. Clone my eyes. See the visual noise. Symmetrify. The metta comes. Symmetrify. Piti comes. Symmetrify. (I made it a small mantra, like metta meditation, I gently repeat "symmetrify"). At some point the background noise of the vibrations rose above all other feelings. Symmetrify. This feels like a new kind of meditation. Symmetrify the vibrations. These vibrations became like a warm blanket that permeated the energy body. Wonderful.
If you encounter an object too solid or asymmetrical to symmetrify, try to symmetrify the area surrounding it, lightly, playfully. The noisy vibrations around it will begin to buzz. Slowly expand the symmetry. After a while the amplitude of the symmetric pattern may overwhelm the bigger object. You don't have to reduce the suffering, you can also enhance the valence, and let the suffering drown in an ocean of bliss.
Symmetrifying things is giving me high energy and difficulty falling asleep now. This happened in the past with other new meditations/insights, like discovering the Jhanas and Observing the Observer. I take this as a good sign.
Do annoying things feel asymmetric? I have been studying my headaches. First of all the pain feeling is pretty localized, this is a kind of an asymmetry. I've likewise noticed that pleasure is more pleasurable when it is full-body. Secondly, I used to believe my heachaches pulsated with my heartrate, but it seems slightly out of sync, enough to be rather annoying. Trying to symmetrify the headache helps to spread it out and bring it back in sync with my heartrate, thereby reducing the pain.
Walking around randomly symmetrifying things for a few days now. Most of the time the scenery is too complex to become symmetric, but the contrast changes and I see a kind of glow around sharp edges. So I sacrifice some visual accuracy for personal wellbeing. Seems like a good deal.
Harmony is one-dimensional symmetry. Right now during a short practice, I feel the muscles around the eyes move all the time, a light throbbing. While symmetrifying the movements they become 3x the heartrate frequency, so a higher harmonic. I don't know what all the other vibrations are, they might be physical or mental, but they become more harmonious and homogeneous.
With my eyes closed, when concentration levels rise, I start to see these swirly white and yellow patches. They move around like somekind of eddies in a fluid. Right Concentration mentions not to focus on those, but I think they are worth studying. They become more symmetric, smooth and homogeneous over time in practice. (In Jhana4 I remember it's almost entirely white.) After a while I can see concentric patterns, though they are constantly changing. An outlook for future investigations.
Novelty of this practice is beginning to fade. But whenever I forget the symmetrifying feeling I can now easily recalibrate by staring at a grassy image. The last few days I can summon the symmetrifying feeling within a few seconds. Wellbeing seems improved, but busy worklife starts again next week which may increase stress levels. I will monitor.
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