When it comes to my synaesthesia, I have made great efforts to evolve and develop this trait as much as I can. And I have reached many conclusions in regard to this topic. Mostly I have studied myself and experimented with my own trait, but I have also studied a lot of cases and anecdotal reports on the Internet and in certain forums to give myself a greater understanding of the trait, how it expresses itself and why it occurs. And while there are a lot of speculation and theories, I have painted a fairly clear image of it in my own mind. I will try my best to translate that image into written words here. How I experience it, in which ways I experience it and how I have evolved this trait by means of conscious development. But keep in mind that this is my own translation which works in tandem with my own experience and conclusions.
My most major area is sound. Hearing to me is like five senses of its own. That is how much I am able to extract
from sound. My hearing is crossed with several other senses, such as vision, somatic touch
(in terms of temperature, pain and tickling), inner vision, "intuition", balance and ideasthesia.
I believe this is the reason why I enjoy music so much, because music to me is far more than just sounds.
I can gather almost any sensation through sound, and even the most minor parts of my hearing synaesthesia such as
smell and taste can sometimes be affected depending on the sound composition. This has led me to experimenting a
lot with the concepts of ASMR, hypnosis, binaural beats and isochronic soundscapes. When I listen to the voice of
a person, I can extract so much out of that. To me it is like I am a television that interpreters a signal and
from that paints a picture inside my mind. And the more I listen to a certain person, the more I recognize the
color and structure patterns of that person, until I reach I point where I know exactly how that person feels,
what it truly means, if it lies, if it hides something, if certain feelings or states of beings is embedded upon
the carrier wave of sound. Most humans describe this, you know how you can hear when someone lies, how their voice
changes slightly. This is what I mean, only that in my case it is amplified about a thousand times.
My understanding of how this works is that sound is a carrier wave of information translated by human hearing, and depending on who is formulating the expression, different amounts of information is embedded upon it. I believe this is the reason why certain singers are experienced differently, and why some sound more 'authentic' than other. Whenever I hear someone sing truly, as in, there is genuine and true intention and feeling embeded upon the sound carrier wave, that is strong enough to kickstart emotional responses, give me shivers or even paint entire worlds of colors and structures in my mind. This is for example why I am a huge fan of Lana del Rey. Especially her later works as she obviously grows in her music. There are many more great singers out there, but her voice is absolutely amazing.
Whenever I learn to know someone, I trust my hearing far far more than I trust my vision. My eyes lies far more than my ears, I have come to 'see'.
The second most major aspect of my synaesthesia is vision. And this also works over and in tandem with several other senses. This is the sensory function I have most control over when it comes to using it for something. Which I have tried to explain in my AES-section. Whenever I see certain colors or structures, that sparks certain thoughts and/or understandings in my mind. So I can by painting certain images, color patterns or structures utilize visual communication on a level above average. Basically all humans works this way, as it is how the vision actually works. But to be consciously aware of it and see beyond the interpreted result of energetic structures is quite rare. Most people trust their vision blindly. I am able to detect visual details to a very high degree, especially in human communication. Since everything expressed is essentially a structure of energy that is transmitted and interpretered by the sensory functions. Looking at certain human expressions such as facial expressions and so forth can reveal a lot to me in the given context. It is not as efficient as my hearing and decoding of voice, but it still reveals a lot to me. If I use it in tandem with my hearing I can extract tremendous amounts of information about anyone in a very brief period of time. I know how to read mind tags fluently, and since my memory function is developed to work in relation to my synaesthetic perception, I have a very easy time documenting and memorizing expressions in the physical realm. My visual memory is very strong, as my visual thinking is the strongest way of thinking. Helping me to have a great local memory and sense of orientation.
Then there is the somatic aspect of my synaesthesia. It is very strong as well, but not as strong as my vision and hearing,
but still strong enough to affect several other sensory functions. But what this
means is that I can translate sensory stimulus of touch into internal experiences, and vice versa. For example sound.
If I look at a video without sound of someone hurting themselves, I can feel the pain in my body, hear the sound of it solely
translated from the input of vision. When I feel pain, which I do almost all the time, that has certain colors and structures
in my mind. This is why my pain is so exhausting. Because it causes a lot of mental activity to happen simply because
my mind translates the pain into other forms of sensory input. But when it comes to other forms of touch, I can extract
a lot from shaking hands with people. Every minuscule detail of the handshake translates into colors and structures,
which in turn tells me things about the person intuitively. If someone touches me I can almost immediately detect
intent and certain aspects of that person. Touch in and of itself is a language to me. And although it is not
as strong as hearing and vision, it works heavily in tandem with those in order to enhance the experience.
This is why it is very hard for me to separate my synaesthesia into different categories, or classes.
Because essentially they all work together in a huge neural hive, like the brain really is.
Although hypnosis does not really have any effect on me, since my self consciousness is too strong, I can have extremely strong experiences from it. If great imagery is combined with intricate soundscapes, that can have as strong effect on me as experiences in real life. Even more if I have put myself into an entranced state before the experience.
The thing people call ASMR is a mild form of synaesthesia. Where sound and imagery is translated into other forms of sensory experience. And while it usually aims for a somatic experience in the body, it can be of any nature over several other senses. At least that is what I have collected from anecdotal reviews.
The sense of taste and smell works mostly in tandem with vision. It is rare, but it happens. This is the weakest form of my synaesthesia, at least from the other end. However, taste can provoke a lot of vision. So can smell. Certain tastes and smells have a distinct color pattern to them. It simply does not work as strongly in the other direction - as to say, colors and structures rarely induce taste and smell. I have not put that much effort into the development of this aspect. But I can see the usage for it in the sense that is can definitely help in detecting harmful materials and edibles.
That was the physical aspect, or the result of external input. Which really is the smaller part, at least in terms
of usage. Because my mind is able to create without perceptional input. No input is impossble, but strongly deprived
sensory stimulus does not affect my mental activity. If external input is lacking, my mind starts to compensate by
lucid dreaming. It starts to structure internal scenarios in my mind. And internal reception works the same way.
As to say, what I see in my mind also triggers the synaesthetic function of vision. But also sound and touch.
This is something that has carried over a lot from my lucid dreaming. It is really hard to explain this so that
it makes sense. But when I travel my rendered dream world inside my mind, the things that happens in that dream
affects my sensory functions. So, a dream of mine can affect my somatic touch. I used to experiment with this a
couple of years ago where I could induce orgasm by only thought. Because by envisioning a certain scenario within
my mind that could affect my sense of somatic touch and have me orgasm. Although I did not move a muscle externally.
This is what I mean when I say that my internal synaesthesia is much more advanced than the ones that arises from external input. Because within my mind, in my lucid dreaming, I can do whatever my imagination allows and is able to render. As to say, I can experience scenarios and situations that is downright impossible in the physical realm. This is why I am able to amuse myself quite easily without having much happening in my life. Because I can literally 'live' inside my mind. And whatever happens inside my mind translates through synaesthesia into bodily reactions and sensory expressions.
This has always been there, but this is the aspect which I have worked really hard on in the later part of my life. By many different practices and techniques.
Then there is the concept of ideasthesia.
These are the symbolic structures I have built inside my mind. All the systems I know of has its own abstract structure in my mind. The pattern of colors. All the alphabets. The numeric system. The calendar. The structure of time. The sepctrum of tastes, smells, sensory impressions, sounds and so forth. The vocabulary. The memories of things that have happened in my life. Ideas I have had. Dreams I have dreamt. People. Everything is organized in abstract structures in my mind which I can navigate visually. It is like the inside of my mind is a library and I can navigate it in my internal visual thought. This is why I remember so much. Because I do not think in sound or symbols. I think in imagery, and everything, literally everything has its internal counterpart of visual thought, which I have organized in visual structures. That is also what I mean when I say that I translate the images in my mind into written text. Because that is essentially what I do. Writing to me is extremely simple, because written text is such a slow and outdated means of communication to me these days. I think visually and in imagery, and as they say, one picture holds more than a thousand words. So thinking in moving pictures, which my mind does - means that essentially entire books are flying by every minute in my mind. That is the reason why I, when I store memories externally rely on my synaesthesia as practiced in my AES-section.
When it comes to developing this trait, I have done basically everything. Many people love to claim that
I have gotten it from using drugs. But no, this has been there my entire life. Long before I even knew
what drugs were. And though I have experiemented with drugs, it has done quite little for my synaesthesia.
What drugs usually do is to enhance the reception. As to say, you perceive more. But if the synaesthesia
is not already there, it will not happen. Or as they say, you can buy the experience, but you cannot buy the talent.
The things which has trained my synaesthesia the absolutely most is different forms of sensory deprivation. For example, if I want to strenghten my inner vision, the best way to do that is to cut off outer vision. During a period in my life I spent several hours every day in a pitch black room. I could not see shit. At least not externally. But internally, I could dream up entire worlds. This trained my mind into starting to think visually.
The same goes for sound. I spent many hours every day for several weeks in almost complete silence. This in turn forced me to start imagining sounds. Sounds which I then added into the visual thoughts which I created. And at this point I more or less mastered awake lucid dreaming.
When it comes to touch, that is a little more complex. Since it means cutting out things that makes you feel things somatically. This is a huge area. And in my case it is hard due to the pain. But the more you cut out overstimulus of the body, the more you will feel from actual sensations. One thing which basically all humans can relate to is masturbation. Instead of increasing the sensory overload, you decrease it. You do not touch yourself, but instead imagine you do. Like with vision and sound. This will make you more receptive to touch in general, and you will feel more from any sort of touch.
Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is of utmost importance. I do not drink, because alcohol causes somatic desensitization. It actually makes you less receptive. So you will need to stimulate yourself more in order to feel something at all. This is why pain and temperature goes away when you drink. The same can be said about nicotine or caffeine abuse. Since synaesthesia works with sensory input, you want to be as sensitive as possible, since that will give you more material to work with. At a certain point you have enough material to start organizing it internally. And this is when you start to actually use visual thinking. And at this point the development becomes more or less exponential. When you are very good with visual thought you will want to expand it with sound and touch. At least that is how I did it. I already had this trait, although it was way weaker when I was younger. Since I lived like a normal person, drinking alcohol and smoking and whatnot.
The mind is a result of the entire body. So you cannot stimulate only the brain through drugs and get it. You have to work with the entire body. It is quite controversial, but I have found after years and years of experimentation with different diets, that a vegetarian diet greatly improves visual thinking. It removes a lot of the mental fog and makes it much easier to receive sensory input. It also makes lucid dreaming in the sleep state way easier. I can barely lucid dream in my sleep state when I deviate from a vegetarian diet. But that is up to each and everyone by themselves. I only retell what I did in order to improve it.
As for strenghtening memories creativity is the single most powerful thing I know. Yes there are memory programs and reading and whatnot. But actual creativity, where you have to navigate your mind and use what you have stored away there is what strenghtens the neural pathways the most. As for me I work mostly with visual art and writing. But any form of creativity works, as I have tried everything from podcasts to cooking. When you read you use the perception part of the mind the most. You may still practice creativity when you build an internal visualization of what you read. But if you yourself write, you use the entire spectrum. You use internal perception, you use creativity where you force the mind to create something new. And you use external perception when you observe what you create in the moment. Nothing can compete with creativity when it comes to training the mind. Perception practices may be great and strong, but not as strong as actual internal building of thoughts and ideas. Because that is how you organize your mind into abstract structures. Which is the essential concept of ideasthesia.