Laying inside my miniature ‘Star Dome’ for the first time I couldn’t help but feel what I used to feel when playing racquet ball, SICK! Racquet ball was my achilles heel after many years of steadfastly training in tennis. Tennis was easy because I only had to deal with what was in front of me. Leaping into the world of racquet ball where I had to pivot 180 degrees half the time to hit the ball coming from different directions was as close to hell as one could get. Being an A type control freak I relinquished my racquet ball dreams in pursuit of something easier, bowling.
My uber obsessive training model gave me a very narrow mental bandwidth. I didn’t like change. My brain really hated change. Come to find out most brains avoid things they don’t know in an effort to conserve energy after their formative years. Our grey matter can be extremely energy intensive when laying down new neural pathways. When I was lying in my dome looking up at all the vertices of the overlapping pentagons it was forcing my brain to consider utterly new information.
Star Domes are three dimensional mandalas that start off as different sized pentagrams that overlap at specific points. From a birds eye view they look like a 10 pointed star mandala that is quite simple. What they evolve into when you pop them up like a tent is a whole other story. All of those vertices are now concave from the inside. This is literally mind blowing because the brain had it’s imprint of all these rectilinear associations that have all become curved. Sitting with children in the middle of these structures is so much fun because they are mesmerized by angularity of the whole thing.
Apparently, Neuroscientists believe that consistently challenging the brain to adapt and learn new information is the key to keeping your wits about you. This is known as neuroplasticity. When ever you think of plastic think of something that has the ability to change shape, like Costa Rican mud during the rainy season. Our brain’s grey matter is essentially a big tub of insulator, cholesterol, that houses very fine nerves, synapses, that form networks that allow us to make associations. Learning something new is akin to hiring ICE to come and run wire to your off grid Finca. There’s ton of bureaucracy and excuse making and eventually a bribe or two will exchange hands before any real work gets done.
What’s great about sacred geometry and it’s brethren Mandalas is that your subconscious immediately is processing much more information than you’re aware of. Similar to Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and subliminal programming your brain get’s blasted with this extra ‘dimensionality.’ New electrical lines are being forged through all that grey matter. We have all been there, feeling our head hurt after puzzling over the unknown. My guess is that those crafty Tibetan Monks got heir Mandala cues from the even more crafty Dravidian culture to the south in India. The Dravidians loved what was known as Sidha Yoga, the yoga of cultivating sidhis, abilities that we would consider paranormal. The Dravidian Yogic tradition extensively used Mandala’s to increase sensitivity capacity. What’s the correlation between sensitivity and having extra brain power? Sensitivity can be seen as the heightened ability to process environmental signaling. Apex predators usually have hyper sensitivity conducive to their surroundings for a competitive advantage. Humans take this one step further with their ability to create three and four dimensional creations with their imagination. The cultures that used mandalas as training tools knew that human imagination was the pinnacle of evolution if used in a constructive manor. Mandalas were like an ancient ZIP file that your brain could deconstruct over time rewiring your synapses. (Am I ancient for using the term ZIP file?)
Mandalas are two dimensional depictions of three dimensional things. In a way they are sacred geometry on steroids or you could say advanced ancient emoji’s. They work on symbolic level by touching the limbic system. There have been many times I have had the Jody Foster moment from the movie Contact with mandalas. Her character is trying to figure out the cipher for an alien schematic when it’s brought to her attention, by her rich benefactor, that she has to look at the symbols from a three dimensional perspective. This was a Eureka moment in her research that allowed them to unlock the intelligence of the alien transmission. Ever since that movie I personally try to imagine planar drawings and symbols in space. This practice is amplified when their is a science behind these drawings.
It’s a weird thing but I don’t even see mandalas any more, I see building schematics. The same thing occurs when I look at hieroglyphs, they appear as electrical circuits. My belief is that there was advanced ancient cultures, much more so than we are led to believe, that left us tools to accelerate evolution. Yoga, Astrotheology, Megalithic Structures, and Mandalas are little morsels left by our ancestors that change our consciousness today. By consciousness I mean the proprioception of your soul. These things feed your Meta self, the perceiver of the doer.
In the west, the transition into more service based economies has led to greater rewards for those that are creative and strategic than the old model of being a day laborer. We have all seen the movies that depict all the internet nodal connections of the world like the brain of humanity. Keeping this model in mind the human brain that can learn new things has more layers and is less resistant to adding connections. The current popularity of adult coloring books exclusively featuring mandalas is evidence of humanities ever increasing interconnectedness. Plus it’s just fun to play with crayons! Mandalas engineer the brain to make more connections with less resistance. Remember, this is an energy intensive affair no matter what. Mandalas when absorbed fully can be quite a psychedelic affair and should be treated as such. If you ever get the opportunity to lie on your back and look at the clear night sky let your vision become broad and see the celestial dome in it’s entirety. I believe this was the first, organic, ever changing three dimensional mandala that inspired our distant ancestors into building what they did. It’s a wonderful practice that is sure to expand your horizons.