Cymatics - Decoding The Origins Of Life Through Sound Vibrations.
After a lifetime of studying matter, Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, one of the pioneers of quantum theories and the receiver of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918, discovered that the subject he had so painstakingly studied his entire life, did not actually exist. He told an audience of spectators in Florence that "all matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together." This is where cymatics comes in.
Cymatics is a way of studying this vibration – it is a process that allows us to visualize sound and the patterns that it creates. Cymatics is still an evolving subject but – as one of its current champions, Evan Grant, explains in his TED talk – its possibilities are immense.
As well as helping us to discover the language of dolphins by studying the images of the sounds that they emit, cymatics can bring the disciplines of art, science, mathematics, music, and spirituality together. Potentially, it can even give us insights into how our Universe came into existence.
Ever heard of sacred geometry? This field of study is concerned with the geometrical patterns and mathematical equations found in nature and inside each and every one of us. For example, the structure of a nautilus shell follows the same mathematical sequence that galaxies do (the Fibonacci sequence). This is just a snippet into sacred geometry but it suggests that the entire Universe is built upon geometrical patterns. And these patterns are manifestations of different sound vibrations.
Hans Jenny, the Swiss physician who came up with the term 'cymatics', believed that all matter found on Earth owed its existence to sound. In the 1960s, he conducted a cymatic video experiment called ‘Bringing Matter to Life with Sound’ that he used to visually demonstrate the effect that sound has on matter. He invited his viewers to picture this effect on a grand scale as the basis for the formation of continents and everything we see around us. While his ideas may stretch the imagination, they are as ancient as civilization itself.
Various religious texts have also alluded the creation of the world to the effects of sound. The opening verse of John's Gospel in the New Testament Bible reads that "in the beginning was the Word and the Word was God." Hinduism also draws parallels between sound and creation with the sacred mantra 'Om'. Pronounced properly, it actually consists of three syllables 'A-u-m'. According to the ancient Hindu text, 'Aitareya Brahmana', these three syllables correspond to the three stages of cosmic creation.
Believe it as you will, but if there is even a slight chance that the Universe came into existence and still evolves thanks to sound vibrations, can we use this knowledge to alter our subjective reality? Years ago, Einstein came up with the idea that "if you amplify the frequency, the structure of the matter will change." Popular motivational speakers and bestselling self-help authors, like Gabby Bernstein and Sonia Ricotti advocate that whenever you raise your own 'vibrational frequency', you will see positive changes in your physical reality. According to them, music is a great way to amplify your frequency. But what kind of music should you listen to in order to live a better life now?
Renowned meditation coach, Khurshed Batliwala, a postgrad in Mathematics and IT who eventually devoted his life to meditation, believes that the vibration that the mantra 'Om' creates in your body, can act as a tool to balance your creative, pragmatic and transformative energies. Some sources propose that "the frequency of Om is the same frequency as the Earth’s rotation around its own axis." By chanting this mantra, we can allegedly bring ourselves in sync with the various elements found in nature and the Universe.
We just plug an 'Om' mantra into our headphones and surrender to spiritual and physical alignment… Sounds like a dream cure in our hectic world, but is this idea scientifically founded?
A 1998 study by Telles et al. compared the lowered heart rate and the respiratory rate – the two indicators of relaxation – in two groups over three sessions. One was told to chant the mantra 'Om' while the other chanted a neutral word; 'One'. The study concluded that both groups displayed pretty equal indicators of relaxation. The only slight difference that the 'Om' group displayed was a reduced skin resistance that suggests a subtle change in the mental state. According to this study, it does help to chant a mantra, but it can be a mantra of your own choosing.
The Japanese photographer and researcher Masaru Emoto conducted some pretty cool experiments too. He froze water crystals and observed them in a microscope. He then said some positively loaded words to water (yes, he spoke to the water!) and some negatively loaded ones. He observed the differences in the formation of the water crystals and took photos of these. He found that when he said words like 'love' or 'thank you' the water crystals formed harmonious shapes that were pleasing to the eye. When he said things like 'I hate you' he found that disharmonious and chaotic shapes appeared. Although the validity of his photographs has come under some scrutiny, they have created a wide range of interest. It's worth noting, at least, that words and the sounds they emit could have an effect on your brain and body.
The aforementioned Hans Jenny claimed that "at every level, physical, subtle & causal, there are invisible patterns of unity and oneness interconnecting all the worlds." Some people claim that we can use specific sound frequencies to fine-tune ourselves to these and be more in-sync with the flow of the Universe. When you listen to any musical piece, it is likely to be tuned to the standardized A4 = 440Hz frequency that was set by The American Federation of Musicians. It became the worldwide ISO 16-standard in 1953.
However, some sources claim that this frequency is actually suppressive to our nature and does not harmonize with the sound vibration of the Universe. Composers like Giuseppe Verdi tuned his masterpieces to A4 = 432Hz frequency and actively opposed the standardization of 440Hz. In Mozart’s time, there was no standardized pitch, so musical pieces would have sounded differently from place to place. However, he is believed to have performed and written his masterpieces to a frequency only slightly lower than 432Hz. If you want to investigate the sound difference for yourself, take a look at this cymatic soundscape video by the sound healer, George of the LA Jungle. Spoiler alert: he found no difference in the geometrical patterns that the two frequencies create. Since the difference is only 8Hz, that may not be surprising. But what happens if you listen to 528Hz music, otherwise known as ‘the frequency of love’?
Dr. Leonard Horowitz, the bestselling author of, 'The Book of 528: Prosperity Key of Love', firmly believes, that whenever you feel love, you are vibrating at the frequency of 528Hz. 528Hz is also one of the six Solfeggio harmonics thought to have been used in sacred music to impart spiritual blessings when sung in harmony. According to Horowitz, 528Hz has healing qualities. Although his research may sound a bit kooky, it’s worth giving it a go. So next time you’re stressed out at work, try putting on your headphones and listening to some 528Hz soundscapes on Youtube (it’s full of them, so have your pick) and see if you feel any closer to the beating heart of the Universe.