Multi-dimensional Cymatics with David Schiermeyer
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“Frequencies are only patterns to their own surroundings, just like us. As beings we can only experience what our surroundings offer. What matters is how we use that experience. We tune into different channels just like a mixing board, our minds separating current and frequencies. We can auto-tune our mind by adjusting our tone, our thoughts, our actions. We are the living experience of cymatics. We are the experience of living information. We are the experience of our surroundings, and our surroundings are experiencing through ourselves. Once we grasp this as a species there will be a true evolution of being.” —David Schiermeyer
As a student of astrology, and a budding cymatics enthusiast with an increasing appreciation for the influence of frequency upon our environment, I’ve been pondering the parallels as I see them emerging on my Facebook timeline. Whilst astrologers may not agree about the precise moment that humanity meandered into the age of Aquarius, the majority seem to agree that we have nevertheless crossed the somewhat fuzzy marker into a new period. And whether you are skeptical about the art of astrology or otherwise, I’m willing to bet that a song has just been seeded in your head.
We might be intensely aware of the dark Plutonic energies that seem to be compelling humanity to contemplate its collective underbelly right now, but what better way to engage with the regenerative qualities of those same energies than through inspired creative ingenuity? That’s what Aquarius, and its planetary ruler, that great ‘shaker-upper’ and pattern disrupter Uranus brings, particularly at times when out-of-the-box ideas are ready to burst forward into our conscious awareness. This age represents a time to be curious, to experiment and innovate, to examine those things that aren’t working as well as they might and to try a fresh approach.
In the myth of creation, from Chaos emerged Gaia, Mother Earth, and her son Ouranus (Father Sky), who also became her lover and father to the twelve Titans. Although he was married to the earth, he was transcendent, associated with the heavenly, airy realm of visions and inspiration, a cosmic ambassador in touch with the furthest reaches of the greater galactic systems.
Electrical Uranus symbolises our potential to connect a part of our awareness to the power of the ‘universal mind’, that creative intelligence which many philosophers believe at some level organises and guides the process of evolution. This is the group mind – what the biologist Rupert Sheldrake calls the morphogenetic field – that connects humanity, and humanity with other species. It is through this part of the collective psyche that new ideas freely circulate, social and political revolution is often inspired, and through which revolutionary concepts can be developed. In traditional astrology, unpredictable, spontaneous Uranus won’t meekly adjust to the will of others, or conform to social norms, but instead pushes beyond existing boundaries, seeking the freedom to express his unique individuality. Archetypal Uranus teeters on that heady precipice between total genius and utter madness. Uranus, an alchemical antidote to crystallisation and an opener of gateways, will radically disturb the homeostasis in order to honour his insuppressible impulse for transformation. He yearns for progress.
Nowhere in my social media feeds is this spirit of the moment encapsulated so clearly than in the sharings of creative inventor David Schiermeyer, who is gaining a rapidly increasing group of avid followers. When he’s not juggling the demands of his day job and a growing family, David dedicates countless hours to sharing his numerous experiments with sound, frequency and cymatics online. A project co-ordinator by trade, and an artist, musician, sculptor and a meditator, he only started exploring plasma and frequency relatively recently, teaching himself through trial and error in an attempt to rewire his brain and heal himself from years of depression.
“I felt and saw function itself. In this I saw and felt function within me. Just the process of learning by experience changed my life, changed everything about me. Now I can just let intuition do its thing through me. These are not my experiments; they are a collective of living information in us all. I’m only a vessel, and my job is to document and give back for others to experience.” —David Schiermeyer
It’s blatantly obvious that he doesn’t want to just show us, so that we vaguely understand a concept. He wants to inspire us to find out for ourselves by doing our own experiments at home, and to share what we learn with one another. At times he seems a little overwhelmed by the level of interest his work has sparked in others, but he always takes the time to answer people’s questions, feeling that this connection and sharing is in many ways more important than the experiments themselves. His sense of purpose is palpable, and it’s hard to shake the notion that he is in some way acting as an agent of forces for the common good, transcending his own individuality. His approach may be playful, good humoured and spontaneous, but there is an intensity to his commentaries that leaves its mark. Just as you could sense the truth in the words of great orators such as Martin Luther King, the weight of them, somehow his conviction and excitement that he might just be onto something of immense importance is both tangible and convincing.
Modest and self-effacing, he constantly pushes the boundaries and his Facebook tagline of ‘a mad scientist’ lets us know he’s not afraid to own the label. Captivating his followers with regular flashes of genius, his written text is distinguishable by his reluctance to break the flow of his creative thought process in order to grapple with mere details such as punctuation. It is worth making the effort to stretch beyond conventional grammatical expectations, because the words he shares are frequently imbued with wisdom. Sometimes there is a hint of frustration that he isn’t adequately able to express what he innately understands, or that others can’t immediately see those things that seem obvious to him, but he is doggedly persistent with his sharing regardless.
He shares inexpensive experiments that people of all backgrounds and abilities can attempt, and he’s also successfully sown the grains of curiosity in his own family, as a home video of his young son experimenting with an oscillator with a photocell to control sound with light clearly shows. One minute he’ll be sharing handy hints about how to produce cymatics at home using nothing more than a $10 blue tooth speaker with a plastic shot glass glued on, or explaining how he uses a free audio function generator app to change frequency and his use of amplification to create waves and patterns. The next he’ll demonstrate how to create a more complex a home cymatics rig on a very modest budget, or be showing fellow enthusiasts how to wire up a Rodin vortex coil. The methods and material might be basic, but the insights they provide are profound.
“Water is a species that lives in many things, to connect them as one liquid consciousness.”
Sometimes he uses plain distilled water, on other occasions he will change the consistency of the liquid, thickening it with a little corn starch and adding copper mica or activated charcoal so that the movement of the material and the processes can be clearly visualised beneath the more obvious cymatics. On other occasions fellow cymatics fans watch mesmerised as complex 3-D patterns emerge from a seemingly lifeless ferrofluid, their manifestation into form triggered by a simple change of frequency or amplification.
Perhaps there should be a warning on his videos: “Try this at home, but don’t tell the health and safety experts”. His videos are punctuated by him chuckling to himself as he receives an electric shock, realises that something is at the point of catching fire behind him or he finds he has blown yet another set of speakers. In true Uranian form, it’s virtually impossible to anticipate what might happen next. David holds nothing back, everything is shared, even when things don’t work out as planned. And this ‘warts and all’ approach is often where the learning lies.
“I just broke my ultrasonic fogger. I was trying to make fog in a jar and when I added my plasma driver it shot out a lightening spark into the speaker”.
Perhaps my favourite are his experiments combining bubbles with cymatics. Cymatics is a rapidly evolving young science which enables us to make visible the sound and vibration which underpin all matter in the universe, often using a vibrating Chladni plate or a water membrane. It touches upon many aspects of our lives, from astrophysics and biology to musicology, oceanography, ornithology, physics, phonology and zoology, and offers huge potential in the future development of therapeutic modalities.
“It is based on the principle that when sound encounters a membrane such as your skin or the surface of water, it imprints an invisible pattern of energy. In other words, the periodic vibrations in the sound sample are converted and become periodic water ripples, creating beautiful geometric patterns that reveal the once hidden realm of sound. If we could see the sounds around us with our eyes, we would see myriads of holographic bubbles, each with a kaleidoscopic-like pattern on its surface.” —John Stuart Reid, acoustics physics researcher & developer of the CymaScope
In mythology, Cronus (Saturn) cut off his father’s phallus and threw it into the sea. This set-to between disruptive Uranus and his security-loving, self-limiting son represents much of our inner conflict when faced with change. This meeting of the vital force of the Sky God and the waters of the earth also perfectly encapsulates what is increasingly being made visible via cymatics. For several years now, I’ve longed to be able to see the moving geometry of cymatics in 3D, holographic form so that we are better able to visualise the unseen and silent processes that are constantly going on within and around us at all scales of existence. David’s experiments help us do precisely that. Using a variety of different shaped pans and structures and a bubble mix made of washing up liquid, baking powder, water and glycerin (to stop the bubble from bursting too readily) he allows us to get a tantalising, multi-faceted glimpse of the organising principles of our universe. Sometimes he will blow bubbles within the bubble, enticing us towards an even better understanding of nested systems and their interactions.
As we march forward into this new age it is perhaps worth noting that the glyph for Uranus looks not unlike a radio antenna and the house that he rules, the air sign Aquarius, the water bearer, is represented by two wavy lines which are variously interpreted as air waves or as serpents, symbols of knowledge. We should also remind ourselves that something good resulted from this clash between Saturn and Uranus. Venus was born, restoring equilibrium with her gifts of love, beauty, diplomacy in relationship, inner serenity and harmony. Evolutionary astrology teaches us that the time of Aquarius is associated with planetary archetypes such as the genius, the revolutionary, the truth sayer, the scientist and the exile, the misfit on the fringes, slightly ahead of their time. But what a time! A time, then, which offers the potential for revolutionary, divinely inspired science to restore balance in our lives in beautiful ways.
“I am trying to awake the energy contained in the air. These are the main sources of energy. What is considered as empty space is just a manifestation of matter that is not awakened.” —Nikola Tesla
“We will one day begin to adjust the geometric pressure fluctuations which underlie organisms via noise-temperature calibrations.” —JJ Hurtak, The Keys of Enoch
“It’s the evolution of consciousness itself which will evolve humanity.” —David Schiermeyer