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Science Mysteries


Copyright 2008 by Christine Sterne
Presented with permission of the author

Contact Christine Sterne: [email protected]


Antiquity is bejewelled with oracles seeking esoteric guidance; opening a window [i] to the wisdom of the universe. Yantra connect to the macrocosm [ii].

“the divinatory act can create a "hole" in the "field of consciousness through which the autonomous dynamism of the collective unconscious can break in" [von Franz, 1982].

Alchemy, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Hinduism and Buddhism, are well-trodden paths to the same destination. Mandalas, alchemical-diagrams and tarot are enlightenment ‘flash cards’. Paradoxically, quantum mechanics confirms the alchemists were correct; consciousness can create and change reality. Consciousness is the philosophers stone, searched for since the time of Babylonian Hero Gilgamesh.

[i] Numerical procedures, such as cutting a tarot deck, rolling dice, or dividing yarrow stalks, are used to determine the kairos, the "key moment," for the constellation of a unique synchronous phenomenon. With proper preparation, so that an archetype is already activated by a sufficiently high "charge" of psychic energy, the divinatory act can create a "hole" in the "field of consciousness through which the autonomous dynamism of the collective unconscious can break in" (von Franz 227). (von Franz 44, 199). By bringing the eternal archetypes into temporal consciousness, the divinatory act creates a "hole in time," the alchemical Fenestra Aeternitatis (Window to Eternity). The alchemists also called this hole though which autonomous spirit passes the Spiraculum Aeternitatis, or Airhole to Eternity; it corresponds to the smokehole in the top of shamans' tents, through which they ascend to the heavens and return to the mundane world. (von Franz 260-1).
Available at http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/PT/Intro.html 


 [ii] "whereby ‘cosmic cross-points’ are created in the relative plane, at which the individual encounters the universal noumena" (Mookerjee, Tantric Way, p15, 1989); "within its perimeter a complexity of visual metaphors–square, triangle, labyrinthine patterns–represent the absolute and the paradoxical elements of totality"

Navajo Blanket ::. Artemis vase, Athens, 680 BCE (top row)
Buddha's Footprints (middle row)
Nazi Logo (bottom row)
"The word 'swastika' comes from the Sanskrit svastika - 'su' 
meaning 'good,' 'asti' meaning 'to be,' and 'ka' as a suffix,"

Throughout history symbols dramatically change meaning, notably the swastika, an esoteric Eastern symbol of the four elements perverted by the Nazis. This change in meaning does not exclude the existence of an ordering intelligence; perhaps it suggests a weaker connection to the collective unconscious, disconnection from the most resonant path.

If so an evaluation of human symbolic perception could be understood as an index of human esoteric understanding, a measure of our harmony with the unified field. If there is a collective unconscious there is presumably correct and incorrect, one shape is more syncopated than another, there is a correct pattern to meld toward.

[symbol] goes beyond the individual to the universal…It is the…lower, expression of the higher truth."   [J.C. Cooper. 1978, p.7]

Plato said literacy diminishes ontological awareness, impoverishing experience. Media-analyst McLuhan said all media is an extension of our senses; it affects how we think, the linear nature of the written word reduces conceptual creativity. He advocated an intuitive phenomenological, jazz 'grotesque' using symbols. Ironically, literacy may have prevented conceptualising a 3D-multi-hierarchical synergistic vision of reality; conversely, symbols encourage free-association.
James Kent hypothesizes radical free-association using psychoactive drugs.

'psychedelics "dissolve boundaries" by allowing un-inhibited crosstalk between previously unrelated (or even actively gated) patterns and ideas stored in the connective tissue in our heads.' [Kent, J. 2005]

Perhaps neural receptors occupied by hallucinogens short-circuit [1] our structural blindness to un-encrypt the true isomorphism [2] of our being. Vedic scholars ritually drank [i] haoma-soma [ii], which contains DMT, the chemical James Kent researched.

[1] The phenomena of the ‘savant’ suggests that underlying neurological structures contain an inherent knowledge of mathematics; this would explain the musical savant and the brain damaged twins who share conversations of otherwise incalculable prime numbers (documented in ‘The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat’) http://fora.tv/2007/10/21/Oliver_Sacks_Musicophilia 

[2] Isomorphism - elaborate ‘hidden’ or ‘buried’ mathematical or morphological similarities between previously unrelated patterns. Logical connections between pre-existing patterns or systems, with a statistical or mathematical relationship. 


[i] The efficacy of mantra and drugs for the attainment of perfection has been mentioned by Patanjali in his Yogasutra (iv. I). Antiquity of Tantricism By Chintaharan Chakravarti, in The Indian Historical Quarterly Vol. VI, No.1 March, 1930 pp. 114-126. Available at http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-ENG/chak.htm  Iyengar, B.K.S. (2002) Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Thorsons; New Ed edition (21 Oct 2002) 288 pages.


 [ii] The identity of the ancient plant known as Soma is one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in the field of religious history. Common in the religious lore of both ancient India and Persia, the sacred Soma plant was considered a God, the ancient worshipper who imbibed it gained the powerful attributes of this God. The origins of Soma go back to the common Aryan ancestors of both the Vedic Hindu religion of India and the Persian religion of Mazdaism. This common ancestry can be seen in surviving religious texts such as the Hindu Rig Veda and the Persian Avesta. A major connection is their use of a sacred plant, known in India as Soma, and in Persia as Haoma. From ancient descriptions, Soma/Haoma must have been a very special plant. The qualities of this sacred herb are given in poetic detail, and the love and admiration these ancient authors had for the plant can still be felt thousands of years after the texts were composed. Available at http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/3155.html    

Cymatic water pictures. With kind permission from Photo/copyright: 
Alexander Lauterwasser, homepage: www.wasserklangbilder.de 
The tower of Babel c. 3500 B.C. (top row)
The tower of Babel c. 3500 B.C  ::.  3D model of a chakra (bottom row).

In Channel 4’s Medicine Men Go Wild [Episode 4 [1] Jungle Tripping 27 Jul 2008] Chris and Xand Van Tulleken live with the Asháninka, the indigenous people of the rainforests of Peru. On taking ayahuasca Xand draws a picture of his vision, a perfectly geometric Mayan temple. This suggests the possibility that Aztec, Mayan and Babylonian ziggurats were constructed to the dimensions of drug fuelled Shamanistic visions. This experience reiterates numerous accounts of elaborately tiered temples envisioned by DMT subjects [i].

[1] http://www.medicinechest.info/episodes/4 


[i] most frequently they contained certain conventional religious images. I occasionally saw Buddhas and mandalas, but most of- ten I saw motifs that had to do with Amazonian Indian mythology. (8) This Article is from the Fall 1995 Issue of Shaman's Drum?A journal of experiential shamanism. Available at http://diseyes.lycaeum.org/fresh/yagmree.htm 
DMT - by "Gracie and Zarkov" The visuals were interlocking sinusoidal patterns arranged in a Japanese chrysanthemum pattern that filled my entire visual field. The pattern was ever-changing and the colors of the individual patterns changed independently of the underlying pattern. The colors were intense and came in a magnificent variety of colors: metallics, monochromes, pastels, each flickering in and out of existence as if obeying some undetected ordering principle.An idea came into my head that I was seeing the ‘true universe’ or universe as it really exists. That is to say, I was seeing ‘directly’ the vibrations of every particles in the universe that ‘I’ was somehow in contact with. ‘I’ was directly ‘seeing’ the universe without ordering it into an arbitrary reality tunnel -- i.e., perceived ‘solid, objective reality.’ The visual pattern seemed to be a sort of m-dimensional lissajous curve formed by the intersection of ‘I’ with the shock wave of space-time causality. The overwhelming sense of a ‘presence’ did not disappear when the vision changed to visual patterns, but remained an almost palpable entity as long as the visuals remained intense. I never felt the foreboding -- let alone the direct challenges -- I have felt under the influence of stropharia mushrooms whenever the feeling of contact with the presence has been strong. The presence was just there and ‘very’ powerful. I felt that I had glimpsed Whitehead’s god. Available at http://diseyes.lycaeum.org/dmt/howdmt.why 


Borobodur, Java C8       Prambanan Temple Java C9 
Ta Keo Temple Cambodia 975 CE     Angkor Wat Cambodia C9 
Gawdapalin Burma C12  

Dhammayangyi Bagan Burma C12 , Hill of Sanchi c.273BCE, Mahabalipuram 625CE, Shore Temple C7, Bhuvaneshwar  Mukteshwar Lingaraj C11


Kandariya Temple 1025CE, Shiva temple C12, Tiruvanamalai Arunachaleswar Zoser Pyramid Egypt 2778 BCE,  Ziggurat Babylon 2200 BCE

Ziggurat of Ur, Iraq - c.2125 BCE,    Tikal Temple 1, Guatemala c. 4th CE.
Kukulkan, Mexico c. 1050 CE.

Symbols crystallize concepts; disentangle paradoxes, rhythms and patterns that the conscious mind is unable to resolve, integrating different planes of reality to reveal transcendent truths. [Eliade, 1952]
The symbolism of a society reflects human consciousness at that time, a deep frozen mystical zeitgeist culture map and cryptography of intellectual and spiritual attainment.
The unified-field, the anima-mundi, the world soul, the astral-realm and the collective unconscious are one. Nature contains a selection of jelly moulds, the building bricks of organic life; an archived morphology contained within the database of the unified field - cymatics reveal the alphabet of this vibrating organizational intelligence. Systems theory encourages three-dimensional hierarchical thinking essential to visualizing new gestalts.
The ineffable [1] cyphers of the unified-field have great implications for art, sociology and psychology. 

[1] To say that something is "ineffable" means that it cannot or should not, for overwhelming reasons, be expressed in spoken words. It is generally used to describe a feeling, concept or aspect of existence that is too great to be adequately described in words, or that inherently (due to its nature) cannot be conveyed in dualistic symbolic human language, but can only be known internally by individuals. Available at http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/ineffable

Sound manipulation could generate geometry to advance genetic engineering and stem cell research. Architects and artists could create environments that intensify emotions and create synaesthetic [i] experiences or even raise consciousness. The Martial Art known as Ki-Ai uses the voice to vibrate water molecules within the muscle so violently it causes collapse, if the correct volume and pitch of sound is directed at the heart it can cause death. The Mozart Effect [ii] and Dolphin Therapy [iii] document the healing potential of sound.Sound can be used to hypnotise, charm and seduce; if this force were used with a knowledge of the correct pitch and vibration to shift consciousness or redistribute matter it has both exhilarating and terrifying implications…

"Pythagoras once cured a youth of his drunkenness by prescribing a melody in the Hypophrygian mode in spondaic rhythm. [iv]"

The Birth of the world, Nepal: ca. 1900-1925. 
Accordion style paper manuscript.

[i] Synaesthesia is a neurological condition in which one sense triggers another for example; when music is played colours are seen in sympathy with the harmony. The word 'synaesthesia' comes from the Greek syn (joining) and aisthesis (sensation).
Chroma, by Derek Jarman (1994) is a meditation on colour of music:??- ‘the painter Kandinsky who heard music in colours said: "Absolute green is represented by the placid middle notes of a violin"’?- ‘It was on a tortoiseshell lyre that Apollo played the first note. A brown note. From the trees came the polished woods to make the violin and bass, which snuggled up to the golden brass. In the arms of yellow, brown is at home’?- ‘You set the colours against each other and they sing. Not as a choir but as soloists. What is the colour of the music of the spheres but the echo of the Big Bang on the spectrum, repeating itself like a round’.? This an ancient theme, going back at least as far as Pythagoras and various occult cosmologies linking musical notes, colours and heavenly bodies in a cosmic harmony. The colour thought forms of Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater, attempted to show the colour forms they believed were left by different kinds of music, the music of Gounod hanging over a church for instance. More recently there have been attempts to scientifically ascribe colours to sound, based on analysis of the frequency spectrum to identify pink noise, blue noise and so on.
Available at http://history-is-made-at-night.blogspot.com/ 
Synaesthesia The experience of one sense as a result of the stimulation of a different sense; for example, an experience of colour may result from hearing a sound. Approximately 1 in 2,000 have the condition, and the majority are female. http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/synaesthesia 


[ii] New research has revealed a molecular basis for the "Mozart effect" - the observation that a brief stint of Mozart, but not other music, may improve learning and memory.Rats that heard a Mozart sonata expressed higher levels of several genes involved in stimulating and changing the connections between brain cells, the study showed. The team, including the researcher who first proposed the Mozart effect, hope the results will help them design music therapy treatments for people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.
The Mozart effect first came to light in a 1993 paper in Nature (vol 365, p 611), when Fran Rauscher, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, US, and colleagues showed that college students who listened to Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major for 10 minutes performed better on a spatial reasoning test than students who listened to new age music or nothing at all. Available at http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn4918


[iii] Dolphin therapy fights depressionA University of Leicester team tested the effect of regular swimming sessions with dolphins on 15 depressed people in a study carried out in Honduras. They found that symptoms improved more among this group than among another 15 who swam in the same area - but did not interact with dolphins. The study is published in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers have speculated that the ultrasound emitted by dolphins as part of their echolocation system may have a beneficial effect. Researcher Professor Michael Reveley said: "Dolphins are highly intelligent animals who are capable of complex interactions, and regard humans positively. "We need to remember that we are part of the natural world, and interacting with it can have a beneficial effect on us."
Shared brain system
Dr Iain Ryrie said that humans and dolphins shared a limbic brain system that plays a key role in regulating many of the body's physiological and emotional processes. "As humans we are hard-wired to need touch and to be connected to others… So it's possible for humans to make loving relationships with many different mammals because of this biological/social similarity." Available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4465998.stm 
The theory behind dolphin assisted therapy is based on two philosophies. One of these is that the unconditional love and support a dolphin has to offer can benefit children and mentally ill patients in many ways. As with most animals, a dolphin seems to have human-like emotions, so a deep trusting bond can develop between patient and mammal. Some proponents of dolphin assisted therapy claim that the compassion a dolphin displays increases the patient’s self-confidence, because the patient is never judged. Increased self-confidence can lead to better social skills and academic improvement. http://www.ulst.ac.uk/papa/dolphin.html 
The second part of the theory involves a more scientific approach. It involves echolocation (echolocation: a high-pitched sound sent out by the dolphin that bounces off an object and returns to the whale. The dolphin interprets the returning echo to determine the object’s shape, direction, distance, and texture). http://www.zoomdinasaurs.com/subjects/whales/glossary/Echolocation.shtml   Some say that the dolphins’ use of sonar and echolocation produce changes in the body tissue and cell structure of patients who associate with them. Others believe that sound waves emitted by the dolphins in communication and echolocation stimulate healing. http://www.idw.org/healing.html  A diminishing of anxiety and depression, enhanced learning in handicapped children, and pain relief are all attributed, by some researchers, to dolphin echolocation http://www.interspecies.org/dolphin.human/research . Echolocation is also thought to help increase attention span, develop motor skills, and develop better co-ordination in children http://www.ulst.ac.uk/papa/dolphin.html  Supporters of dolphin assisted therapy find powerful support for their position in these case studies. Deeply troubled children seem to develop greater self-confidence and improved social skills. The critics of dolphin assisted therapy point out that there is no scientific proof of the effectiveness of this form of therapy. Additionally, keeping wild creatures in captivity for an unproven purpose denies them a significant part of their natural existence in the open seas, with their own kind. http://www.positivehealth.com/permit/Articles/Animals/wolgro38.htm 


[iv] For the Pythagoreans different musical modes have different effects on the person who hears them; Pythagoras once cured a youth of his drunkenness by prescribing a melody in the Hypophrygian mode in spondaic rhythm. Apparently the Phrygian mode would have had the opposite effect and would have overexcited him. At the healing centers of Asclepieion at Pergamum and Epidauros in Greece, patients underwent therapy accompanied by music. The Roman statesman, philosopher and mathematician, Boethius (480-524 A.D.) explained that the soul and the body are subject to the same laws of proportion that govern music and the cosmos itself. We are happiest when we conform to these laws because "we love similarity, but hate and resent dissimilarity". (De Institutione Musica, 1,1. from Umberto Eco, Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages. p. 31). Available at http://www.aboutscotland.co.uk/harmony/prop.html 


A big thank you to …

Michael Aw for kind permission to use the following photograph - Mimic Octopus posing as a crinoid. Photo/copyright: MichaelAW.com

David McCarthy for kind permission to use the following photograph - Salt and Pepper.© David McCarthy & Annie Cavanagh http://www.pharmacy.ac.uk/542.html 

Robert Gendler for kind permission to use the following photograph - Galaxy NGC 4946. Robert Gendler, http://www.robgendlerastropics.com 

Jeffrey Jeffords for kind permission to use the following photograph - Leafy Sea dragon (Phycodurus eques). Jeffrey Jeffords, http://divegallery.com

Ted Kinsman for kind permission to use the following photographs: - Agate, Lichtenberg Figure, Nautilus, Sea Urchin, Snow Crystal 1, Starfish. Ted Kinsman, http://www.sciencephotography.com/

Ken Knezick for kind permission to use the following photographs-Mimic octopus as a mantis shrimp and Mimic octopus as himself. © Ken Knezick, http://www.islandream.com

Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc. For kind permission to use the following microscopic photographs: - red blood cells, star sand, spider spinneret, sunflower pollen on page 3, copyright Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc. * Dennis Kunkel Ph.D.?* Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.?* PO Box 2008?* Kailua, HI 96734?* 808-263-0583?* email - [email protected]?* web site - www.denniskunkel.com

Alexander Lauterwasser, for kind permission to use his cymatic images Photo/copyright: Alexander Lauterwasser, homepage: www.wasserklangbilder.de

Dr. Ralf Nötzel, For kind permission to use the following microscopic photograph: - diatom. copyright Dr. Ralf Nötzel, Zur Kempe 7, D-57250 Netphen-Eschenbach, Tel.: 02738 / 691165 E-Mail: [email protected]
Roger Perkins and The Virtual Fossil Museum for kind permission to use the following fossil photograph-Craspedites nodiger, Late Jurassic. The Virtual Fossil Museum,

If you wish to use any information from this research please include the citation as follows: Copyright Christine Sterne. (2007-8) Blueprints of the Cosmos, Ocean Geographic 2008. email [email protected]

Further Research Ideas

I. Do mandalas, yantras, kolam and chakras show causal relationships with other geometric structures such as platonic solids, fractals and the Lambdoma Matrix (which Pythagoras considered the essence of harmony)? Is there a relationship between cymatic pattern and mandalas, yantras, kolam and chakras?

II. Investigate the evidence that Hindu yantras & mantras and Buddhist mandalas are an ancient attempt to catalogue the unified field. (Lost or forgotten knowledge)

III. Do yantras and mandalas modify consciousness and do they have specific effects depending on the specific mandala/yantra or does each individual have an individual response, perhaps each individual has a unique synaesthesic experience.

IV. Human's love symmetry, is it an intrinsic aesthetic: do we have an innate love of geometry is the yantra/kolam/mandala satisfying a genetic need? Do irregular objects upset us, are our aesthetics based on predetermined morphogenetic preferences. Is humanity by nature attracted to 'sacred geometry'? Interestingly, the work of Jackson Pollock can be recognized by analyzing its regularity of distribution that conforms to a fractal pattern, he was instinctively employing chaos dynamics.

V. To create a codex of images illustrating the conceptual range of the blueprint contained in the unified-field, the morphogenetic formulae for life. To discuss the philosophical, sociological and design implications of this blueprint.


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Artificial Life is devoted to a new discipline that investigates the scientific, engineering, philosophical, and social issues involved in our rapidly increasing technological ability to synthesize life-like behaviors from scratch in computers, machines, molecules, and other alternative media. By extending the horizons of empirical research in biology beyond the territory currently circumscribed by life-as-we-know-it, the study of artificial life gives us access to the domain of life-as-it-could-be. Relevant topics span the hierarchy of biological organization, including studies of the origin of life, self-assembly, growth and development, evolutionary and ecological dynamics, animal and robot behavior, social organization, and cultural evolution. 
Available at http://www.mitpressjournals.org/page/about/artl 
Boundary Institute for the Study of Foundations. Boundary Institute is a non-profit scientific research organization dedicated to the advancement of 21st-Century science. Pursuing two major research themes, one concerning the foundations of physics, the other the foundations of mathematics and computer science. 
< http://www.boundaryinstitute.org/ >
Edge Foundation, Inc., The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society. 
< http://www.edge.org/ >
Wikipedia.org. < http://en.wikipedia.org/ >

Cosmic Blueprints:  
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