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Mystical Aspects of Pendulum Patterns

Form Constants (Part 2 of 6)

A second clue came from this time from a scientific direction - the field of psychopharmacology and the subjective visions of those undergoing altered states of consciousness induced by psychoactive drugs such as LSD.

Subjects here report seeing geometric forms in their hallucinations. Because there are commonalities, or a constancy, between such forms irrespective of the particular psychoactive drug involved, they are termed "form constants".

Kluver & Siegel

Heinrich Kluver, an experimental psychologist at the University of Chicago was the first to explore form constants in the 1920s and his work was continued by Ronald K Siegel of UCLA in the 1960s. It was found that four basic geometric forms were seen: tunnel, spiral, cobweb and lattice (grid). It didn't matter what the particular psychoactive drug was - LSD, marijuana, peyote etc - the same forms were still seen.

The discoverer of LSD himself, Albert Hofmann, reports seeing form constants when he ingested LSD for the first time in April 1943.

Underwater ripples

"Now, little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals..." (Ref 2).

These form constants are nothing new - archaeologists report they are depicted in rock art dating back to Upper Paleolithic times (Ref 3).

I have found that pendulum patterns resemble or duplicate many form constants. In other words, subjects who have ingested psychoactive drugs and are experiencing altered states of consciousness may see hallucinations of pendulum patterns. It would seem that thought-forms, form constants and pendulum patterns may all be manifestations of the same phenomena - patterns created by vibrations.


Albert Hofmann: " LSD, My Problem Child", (Amazon book link) chapter 1 - How LSD Originated at
"The Signs of All Times" by J D Lewis-Williams and T A Dowson, Current Anthropology, V29, no. 2, April 1988