Muscle Memory Optimized Fractal UI, designs I did back in 2010

I want to share some old designs I worked on back in 2010.

Then I was designing a completely new type of UI based on fractality of everything, together with our company adHD Oy Finland, together with Jyri Hovila, Taina Peltola, Jani Salminen and Aki Tåg.

Our company didn’t really take off, but we did a lot of design and some simple prototypes. We had ambitious plans, but we didn’t get any further than the planning stage and implementing some simple UI prototypes.

Our idea was to build a Linux based operating system, that would have completely new UI paradigm. Jyri had the idea of the Linux based operating system, and I was thinking about the UI side.

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We were pushing away from the notion of computers having to imitate books, or other traditional media, like tablets and phones were doing back then. Where is the real intelligence in that? Or smart as in smart phone ?

It only smarts to use, trying to replicate old world paradigms like pages, tabs, files etc in a modern environment. We don’t have to anymore limit ourselves to something traditional with new digital platforms, so why cling onto old ways to think ?

We could create something for the purpose from the ground up, that is optimized for that use case, but instead it seems many just try to imitate already known analogue user interfaces, transferring those into the digital world, which to me doesn’t make much sense, except from the point of having familiar terms to work with and bring people in.

But those files, folders and floppies and all user interfaces paradigms we have been so used to back in the day in the physical world, are now dead. I mean, who uses folders anymore ?

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When was the last time you saw these? This used to be the universal icon for saving a document

They have went the way of the famous floppy disk as the save icon, young people don’t even know what a floppy disk is, and the same is with many UI paradigms we still stick to.

Fractal User Interface

Working together as a company, we had a problem, a problem all teams and companies have: how to share information efficiently? How to see at one glance how the project was doing and how the team was completing their tasks ? No current software we looked back then was able to provide that view, in a way that you could just see from a single page, a single glance, what was going on with your team and your project ?

I started wondering, why were so many team collaboration software (definitely back in 2010 at least) designed around the concept of books and pages and so on, that fit poorly in a web environment ?

Optimal situation would be to have an immediate visual overview of what is happening in your project, without having to go through different pages, tabs, issues and so on to see what is going on with the project. I wanted to have an immediate view onto how the project was doing, without having to dig any deeper in the UI.

I really wondered, why stick to old paradigm in the thinking of how things should be done ?

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So I started to think outside the box, designing from the get go what would an intuitive user interface look like,  for seeing how a project was doing. It would naturally be built around the people connected to a project, and people completing tasks for the common nominator in the center, the project, that everyone would be committing work for.

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I was starting to imagine this as a tree, taking something from the nature and starting to build around that concept in my mind. A traditional list, or box based UI didn’t feel like a natural choice, so we began from the very simple roots (ha!) of what it is to build an user interface and what would feel natural for the user.

The main UI was based around the idea of building an UI based around one usage paradigm:

Everything is Fractal.

Here we can see an design based around that concept, designed for a discussion forum app. It would use a fractal tree node based interface for displaying data:

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Design for a discussion forum app (click for full version)

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Branch detail from discussions

The idea was that all data displayed in our UI would be based around fractal tree nodes, and that same structure would be repeated for different data all over the system. In the picture above, we show a design for a discussion forum, but this same model could be used for contacts, messages, files and all the data you have on your phone.

 

This would mean that only one set of UI paradigm would have to be designed, and that same UI model could be re-used all over. No more re-designing every part of the UI, just design one part really well and repeat that!

No more multiple types of menus, drop downs, windows, whatever you need in traditional UI to visualize data, but only one set of really well working interface that would be replicated all over the place.

Fractality of Usage Patterns

We wanted to go further with the fractality of the design, and not just represent it in the visuals of the system. We wanted the usage of the system to be fractal in nature.

This means, that you only have to learn a set of certain hand motions to do any action. And you could use these same actions in every context in the UI. This is sorely missing from modern UIs, where you have to constantly change your muscle actions, leading into not being able to program the muscle memory efficiently, not being able to learn and remember different parts of the UI instantly.

For example, when you learn a sport, or play a game, first you think about it, but the main goal is to be in a state of not thinking about the action being performed, just do it, flow with it.

With modern computer UIs, this is very difficult if you are not using the keyboard, as with mouse and other position based UI’s, you constantly have to keep your attention on the screen, and figure out what does what. This is not optimal for storing the actions into your muscle memory, as the actions are constantly moving into different places, and you cannot just forget about the context and perform similar actions without thinking.

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Our UI was designed to be used primarly by hand motions, touch screens in mind back then. So that you would only have to learn a set of certain actions, and repeat those same actions in different contexts, all over the system.

This, I believe, would result in a UI where you can flow through the usage, without thinking about it too much.

Currently, for example, if I want to save this document, I have go through this thinking pattern:

  • What key is used to save this document ? Okay, ctrl+s in this app. Press that.
  • What if I don’t know or remember that key ?
  • Look through the menus. File ? Document ? Okay, it’s under Document in this app.
  • Go through the menus, that are always different for each app, so I have to move my focus into the menu and position my mouse exactly in the ‘Save’ position and click there.
  • Look at a message from the app, was my document saved or not ? Where is the application telling me this ? Oh, in the upper right corner in this context. Ok.

So many specific and accurate actions needed for such a simple action, if you don’t remember the keyboard shortcut. And keyboard shortcuts are perfectly fine, but in a mobile phone or a tablet, you don’t have a hardware keyboard to rely on.

So I have to constantly keep my focus on a simple action I repeat maybe hundreds of times a day, switching from app to app, then figuring out again where to exactly position my mouse cursor or my finger, and how to do that.

Why cannot there be a single paradigm and action to take care of this ?

The main problem is the changing paradigm, and the fact that I have to focus on the action to perform pixel perfect movements. This takes away from the main focus of performing whatever you are doing in a creative flow. It all can break the flow, and move you away from the state of creativity to a state of bafflement and possibly even forgetting what I was doing at all currently.

Universal Controller

In the center of our UI would be this controller, termed Chakana -controller, as it was based on this Inca Cross formation, containing within it the Golden Ratio and Pi, modeled after the Chakana:

 

This cross came to me from a south american friend back then, and we studied it and found that it contains within the ratios at least for the Phi and the Pi, so in a way it was information stored in visual formation. In traditional South American culture this formation was the basis for many architecture, music, design etc, and they had the idea that each direction represents some basic element of life.

So we took this design, and applied the idea that you could control the UI with 4 different major directions, each direction representing an universal concept, like ground, air, fire, water and other universal concepts, and then seek out how those concepts would map onto when working with documents or when sharing contacts, or other actions depending on the context you were working on.

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For example here you would see the chakana compass appear over a contact in your Today list, enabling you to share when selecting the upwards direction (Sharing, Air, Putting it out there, No-Time) modify when selecting down (Modify, Earth, physical action, the Now moment), see your call history (History, Past, Water) and also maybe see your future calendar contacts when selecting the right operation (Future, Fire).

Not all of these would of course map directly to these concepts, but we had the idea that if you remembered the general idea behind every major direction, you could then apply that to each operation in some sense, and you would always have an idea what direction you need to take in order to achieve some action that is related to that concept.

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Here you can see some idea what these major directions could represent. The main idea was to map your muscle memory in a way to one direction, and then you could know what that specific direction does generally in different contexes.

Resulting hopefully in a more natural user interface, where you don’t have to read and understand all the time what you are now operating on, but creating a flow state through the usage. We never got to the phase of testing this in action, except some prototypes I implemented later for GeoKone (now OmniGeometry), but which I never put into production yet.

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Solu Computers Implementation

I was kinda happy to see that Solu Computers were working on a similar user interface later. I actually worked there in late 2016 for couple of weeks, so I got to work on their UI for a bit too, but it just wasn’t my place to be at the moment, although their solution implements this fractal idea pretty much as I had visioned back then. So, hopefully Solu will get their computer and UI out :)

Future plans

I still have plans to implement parts of this UI, maybe for OmniGeometry or Geometrify in the future. Hopefully I will find somebody to help me implement this, so this is also part of why I want to share this information, so I can show people some of our plans.

Anyway, this was enough of past plans made in 2010, hopefully soon I will be able to implement these designs :)

This was inDigiNeous, aka Sakari, signing off!

Launched OmniGeometry :: Going native with GeoKone

Reached GeoKone version 1.0 ! ^_^

Realized I didn’t write anything in my blog about our new sacred geometry software website: https://OmniGeometry.com.

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OmniGeometry is the result of 6 years of work, culminating in what is we believe to be the ultimate sacred geometry software on this planet.
GeoKone 1.0.2

GeoKone 1.0.2

OmniGeometry is a package of GeoKone 1.0 + complete set of tutorial videos to help you get on speed on how to create your own sacred geometry.

 We’ve been working on this together with my partner in business, Gustavo Castañer. Gustavo found me last year, and asked me to teach how to use GeoKone. We did some private lessons, and after some time he convinced me to work on more tutorial videos to really make a product of GeoKone. We decided to start working on this together, as Gustavo saw the potential in the software and wanted to help create a commercial product together with me, and also as a means of  support us to continue working on this and future projects through income of selling the software.

Together with Gustavo we created the website, set of tutorial videos and the new base for what is to be the future of sacred geometry software. It was a real pain in the ass to combine GeoKone with a WordPress installation, but in the end the work was worth it. Go check out our website now: https://OmniGeometry.com to learn more!

Towards a downloadable desktop application

After the launch, the #1 request from users and potential users was: Is there a downloadable version ?

Currently GeoKone is implemented with Javascript + HTML5 & Node.js on the server side. This has many benefits, like being able to run on any operating system that runs a modern browser, anywhere, ubiquitously. No need to install anything, updates are automatic and so on. But this has downsides too. This means you have to have an online connection access the application, and also we’re not getting all the performance we could be getting with the browser being between the hardware and the application.

I was pondering whether we should just package the HTLM5 application with Electron, but decided that would take at least 2 months to implement, and I wouldn’t personally be happy with the results, as I’m already also pretty tired working with web technologies. Ultimately I decided, it’s finally time to start working on a native, downloadable desktop version of GeoKone.

Turbocharged, slick, beautiful native application

Since the beginning of GeoKone, I always had in mind to implement a proper desktop version. I had been looking at QT5 for a really long time, even learning it and doing some simple UI prototyping, but it just didn’t feel like the right thing to do earlier. Now the time feels finally right. Most of the problems have been solved with GeoKone 1.0, so it’s “just” a matter of porting to QT5. Happy and inspired to start work finally on a native, downloadable desktop version of GeoKone ! Target platforms are going to be Mac/Win/Linux desktops.

Also now I have experience to undertake this, after working over 2 years on the Geometrify 3D geometry engine. This native version will still be fully 2D, Geometrify will be the 3D version once it’s done, but that’s another story completely.

This is going to be one slick, beautiful, turbocharged version of GeoKone! Hope to release within 6 months at least a beta version for early users to test out.

Anyway, until then, work continues! We are committed to this, and will provide people with the best experience of creating sacred geometry.

Entheogenics and communicating with plant spirits

This piece is a continuation on my piece on dealing with depression, which you can read here.

Preface

I am tired of not speaking about this subject, as I have found these things to be very helpful for discovering myself and healing from deep trauma, and even physical illnesses.

I feel it is important to discuss things that are considered taboo, in hopes of breaking more of the blockages that surround discussing these topics. More this writing is about sharing my experiences, and hopefully shedding light into subjects of controversial matter, to help break them out of the realms of something that should be shunned upon.

And to cast more light into the deeper meaning of what is to communicate with plant spirits, as I walk the fine path between the spiritual and the physical, that is my role in a way.

Breaking communication barriers

George Orwell wisely said something along the lines of: “Control their language, and you control the people”.

This can be said about the topic of entheogenics (literally meaning “generating the divine within”), referring to plant medicine that is used in a healing and spiritual context. 

Many of which have been made illegal or patented by big medicine companies.

Making things illegal can effectively prevent discussion about these topics, as people are afraid to speak their mind in the fear of the consequences. This is a very effective form of mind- and nation control, as those things that cannot be discussed or thought about, could as well as not exist. 

I believe in free speech, free expression of anything and everything if its for the highest good. This is why I also feel it is important to discuss even those things which are taboo, illegal or just blocked by man made rules.

Rules that are completely made up by other people, people who are no more intelligent than you and are and in no way better than you. Rembering again the wise words of Terence McKenna: “Nobody is more smarter than you”.

With entheogenics, I feel the main reason these plants have been made illegal, is the fear of the controlling factions, of people discovering natural healing methods, our true connection to nature and each other, and ultimately, the fear of the realization that we all humans are one.

When we realize that we are all one, nations, rules, laws, politicians, kings and queens disappear, their power dissolves. It has been a very effective method in controlling our thoughts, but no longer can this method survive, as the truth is coming here more powerfully now, more enlightening and ultimately along it dissolving all that is un-truthful.

It is time to bring that to the surface which has been hidden and again reveal our connection to the nature and to the cosmos around us.

This writing is part of what has helped me re-member this connection to everything and all that is. Part of what has helped me discover who I am, to heal those wounds deep within me, and ultimately to remember who I am.

I also want to state out that currently the most powerful tools I have in my arsenal are meditation and living in the moment, and trusting the process of flow. Entheogenics have definitely helped me break down those shields inside me to see this way. Sometimes you need dynamite to break down hard walls.

‘Here be dragons .. ‘

I do not recommend anybody take any entheogenics without consulting somebody who knows more, as there is the very real possibility of getting more lost than finding yourself. I have had to find that the hard way, not with mushrooms, but especially later with cannabis, and seen also from friends around me that it’s very possible to lose part of yourself in the process, especially if you want to go too far and desire to know too much.

It’s not something you can easily do, as natural plants usually give you a warning if you are venturing too deep, or pushing it too much, but out of ignorance you can always not listen to the warnings and push deeper than is good for you. I’ve been on the edge couple of times, luckily my intuition has been in most cases sensitive enough to pull back and not venture too far, but I have sensed that there is the definite possibility of losing something, experiencing something that cannot be un-experienced and seeing “too much” at one time.

It’s beneficial to have humility and respect when approaching these plant teachers. Respecting these plants and their spirits, and looking into tradition for clues how to approach this healing, but not blindly following tradition either, as in the western world we don’t have the same context as many people who still natively use these in their culture have.

In this text, I am exploring and sharing experiences with my relationship with the plant that helped me realize that there are such things as truly spiritual experiences, and which helped me remember that I am the Universe, not just an powerless experiencer going through a ready made world.

Food of the Gods

I am talking about the children of the earth, those small mycelium rooted friends of us, known better by their street name magic mushroomsPsilocybin mushrooms, or Food of the Gods, as termed by the late Terence McKenna

My first experience with plant medicine was with mushrooms. One day a good friend came over, and told me he just happened to have some. I was 26 then, I didn’t have any experience of any mind altering substances other than alcohol and some cannabis I had tried with some friends couple of times, but not knowing how to inhale properly and not resulting in a proper experience.

I was intrigued, I had no idea what the effects of eating such things was. I felt a somewhat mystical feeling, I had heard that people eat them and feel funny, see colors and such stuff, so I was interested, why not, let’s do it.

We agreed to do this with a group of friends, most of who were first timers also. We did not really prepare in anyway, except we knew not to eat heavily before and had made sure we had nowhere to go that night.

Eating a small dose of dried mushrooms, maybe something between 1.5 and 2 grams, resulted slowly in a state where my whole reality was changed, and I could see things from a completely new angle. I’m not going to go into the details more, as other people have written much better about the effects, but I want to share one profound realization I had.

Universal connection

I found something very deep inside me. Something Universal, something that was connected to Everything. I felt that I was this Universe that I inhabited, instead of just living in it.

Blue Nebula

I still remember that moment vividly, what I saw and felt, a blue starry nebula with a dark starry background, filling my vision completely behind my eyelids, and realizing, “I am this”.

I was then still struggling with dark thoughts, thoughts of suicide and escaping everything, and I was this very rational person, relying on logic and my intelligence on most things. This realization gave me a grand feeling of hope, that I’m not just my thoughts, that I am not alone, that I am something greater than I was used to thinking,

That I am not just just this small human, but my existence has meaning and it is meaningful. The very profound action of just being able to exist felt very important and unique. That I don’t have to try any harder and that I’m perfect. Just by being, I am complete.

If I am all of this I am experiencing,  how can it not be perfect ?

Questioning everything

This was the most memorable revelation from that experience. That there is so much more than I had been told by everybody around me. It was like somebody had taken the veil off from my eyes for a while, showed me a glimpse of what is really true in this world and then put the veil back on.

This sparked the question:

‘What the heck is going on here actually ? How can I feel like I am the Universe, when I am just a human ?’ 

This was what I would call my first real spiritual experience. I got very interested in spirituality, religions and shamanism, read a lot of books and writings on the subject, scoured through online forums seeking answers to my questions and wrote down pages and pages of thoughts on the subject.

Now that I’ve had experience with other entheogenics also, and a more holistic view of the whole process, after picking up daily meditation and writing about these things, discussing, experiencing, reading and digesting the things I’ve gone through over 10 years, I’ve come to a sort of conclusion for now that psilocybin mushrooms are teacher plants.

Cap-hatted teachers

More teachers than healers, although great healers too, but their role seems to be more of a information carrier, presenting us a way to connect to their vast mycelia network of consciousness, and their deep knowledge they have developed over millions and millions of years of existing within the very soil of our planet Earth and even other planets and galaxies.

On what information do I base this ? On direct communication and discussing the topic with the various mushroom beings I have been in contact with.

I say beings, as they too are conscious lifeforms, like you and me. But they are very different, their physical body not resembling anything of ours, but more like a network of connections on a physical level, and we are just digesting their sexual organs, their means of reproduction that pops up to the ground level.

They have told me directly where they come from, shown me in visions. The spirit of the mushroom can communicate with you, and you can communicate with it. Something not really talked about in many places, but it is definitely possible and even preferable, as the dialogue helps the healing and teaching process.

Opening up the healing interfaces

By letting go and allowing the plant spirit to heal and teach on all possible levels, for the highest good of yourself, is a revelation that came to me later in my journeys.

First I was sort of a passive experiencer, communicating with the plants along the journey, but not doing it in a more conscious way right from the start of the experience.

Later I realized that by allowing consciously the plant to heal you, on all possible levels and interfaces, opening up all the methods that are for the highest best of yourself, by saying this aloud to the plant in the beginning of the session, miraclous things can happen.

By consciously opening up the interface and allowing the healing, the plant can work much more directly with you and let the healing through in much more efficient ways. It’s like opening up the firewalls of your body and soul, it requires trust and letting go of all the shields, but according to my experience it’s definitely worth it.

Different teachers

Some of these beings have shown me their intellect in ways that feels like they are much, much more intelligent beings than we humans, even thousandfold. I say some, as there are younger and older mushroom spirits, as there are young human souls and old human souls, with various levels of methods and experience under their belt so to speak.

The teaching and healing seems to also be relative to what you can accept and input on your own level, and also on what wisdom the particular mushroom spirit has gathered during it’s development as an soul. Some young souls can appear naive, trying to help you their best, but not really grasping the process, and some old soul mushrooms can be truly marvelous in what wisdom they can impart on you and what healing methods they use.

One particular old soul mushroom healed me from the very edges of my whole being, not only on a physical level, but I could feel it working on all of my astral bodies at the same time, starting from the very edge of the existence of my soul, and somehow this healing then reflected back to my physical body.

That felt truly amazing, as the mushroom being somehow transferred my whole consciousness to feel how it exists during this process, in order to achieve this. Encompassing my whole being in the way it felt life, allowing me to transform into this mushroom for a while somehow magically. I could see and feel the mushroom spirit directly in front of me, feeling like I was this spirit, not separated and experiencing, but becoming it, allowing the plant to directly take over for a while and seek out the places where it could help me for my highest good.

This particular experience felt very alien, very technological, like experiencing and transforming into a being one hundred thousand times more intelligent than what I’ve ever experienced, feeling directly what it felt to be this particular entity in some very direct and odd way.

I was totally humbled by the experience, and the realization hit me of how limited our human experience still is compared to those who have truly went beyond this physical dimension. I’ve never felt anything like that before or after.

Mushroom origins

Some of these beings have told me that they have travelled to this planet from a far away place, shooting through our atmosphere, and taking root within the soil of this planet at a time when there still was no human life even on our planet. Mushroom spores have been scientifically proven being able to withstand the high pressure, heat and coldness of being able to fly in here from space.

Explaining to me how their intelligence through the mycelia consciousness network spans multiple planets and even Universes. Showing me how these antennae networks are all connected, and can communicate telepathically, transferring information from the very edges of our galaxy. Spreading galactic wisdom and cosmic consciousness to humans and other living beings here on planet Earth.

Conscious communication interface

For this kind of direct communication be possible, my theory is that the mushroom has developed the psilocybin molecule, when ingested orally metabolizes into psilocin, which closely resembles the serotonin molecule, our natural neurotransmitter.

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The psilocin is thought to bind onto the same receptors in our brain as serotonin, allowing somehow a direct interface and way to communicate with us through the receptacles in our prefrontal cortex.

I speculate that the mushroom has developed this molecule also to communicate with other plants around it in nature, as it is highly dependent on trees, soil and other vegetation to give it food and the proper environment to grow. It has been proven also that mushrooms can clean up soil and remove toxins from their environments just by absorbing those into their flesh and transforming it somehow, so it is beneficial for the host plants also to let the mushroom to grow in their bodies and surroundings.

This interface, I feel, allows the spirit of the plant to communicate also with us, if we allow it, in a state of union, without the need for traditional spoken language. You can resist the experience of course, and that can lead to a frightening and bad experience, but if you work with the plant and allow the healing and coming together to happen, amazing things can manifest.

For example, one particular strand of mushrooms focused purely on healing my teeth and mouth area, working on that particular area for an hour or two, while I had to lay there in complete silence and acceptance, feeling how something that had stuck between my teeth was being removed, dark thoughts and dark words that had got stuck somehow inside my mouth. Using some sort of spiralling technology to pull out the heavy energies, I could see these rainbow spirals that the mushroom spirit was somehow utilizing to put the energy to movement and transform it into light.

In other examples, they have helped me to show how my brain works, given many direct teachings about how our society operates, how the universe is mathematically constructed and much more that I won’t go into too much detail here.

Revealers of truth

These plants can also teach you things that shake the foundation of our very western so-called-civilization, and can cast light onto the truth behind the very core structures that drive many religions and other control based organisations.

This is one of the reasons I believe, that the powers that be, have wanted to ban and kill paganistic and shamanistic mushroom rituals that have already existed for thousands of years in our cultural upbringing, and have possibly been even very closely knitted together with the whole evolution of our species as humans.

The reality is, that we have lived with these plants and their spirits for as long as we have existed. There can be found proof of ritualistic usage of mushrooms and other entheogenic plants from all around the world, in all cultures, in all times that we have proof from in forms of writings, images, songs and stories.

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Where ever there have been humans, there have been shamans, healers, people who communicate with the nature around the tribe, the plants, the spirits and with the galactic beings who work together with us.

This knowledge has been widely killed off by the major religions, instead offering in place control placed, fear based, monoteistic, un-natural belief systems with some truth in them but major factions twisted and darkened away from the original truth, modified to only serve the purpose of the control structures built around the need of people to seek the divine withim themselves.

The time for these factions is slowly coming to an end, and part of this process is the legalization, research and study of entheogenics to be used in healing and learning contexes.

Cost of banning discussion

I’ve gotten considerable help from my experiences with various other teacher plants and mushrooms, but not at all without a cost.

As speaking about these things has been made difficult, it can result to not knowing what to do, not having a tradition or a framework around the healing, easily resulting in not-so-optimal results sometimes and having to figure out things by yourself, without having a teacher showing how to do it properly and how to bring back those teachings into your life.

I would hope that by opening more about my experiences, and breaking through the barriers of communication, I can also inspire others to write about their experiences, and share their insights, so that we would have more knowledge and wisdom on how to approach this subject now and in the future.

Currently it can require considerable courage to see beyond the stigma, as we have been brainwashed to think that only medicine that comes in pill form from a doctor is the correct way, but as we are learning more and more, this not the truth also anymore.

It feels we are at an point in our evolution where we are looking back to nature for the methods on how to continue living on this planet, rational thinking alone cannot cut it anymore as we have seen from the results currently plaguing our society.

I see a bright future for us, and feel we are again remembering who we truly are. In this process, the natural healers can help us regain our connection to our true selves. It is not something that should just be dismissed and put to the side, as many people really need the help these teachers and healers can offer, in order for us to evolve again as a species towards something greater, more unified and even regaining back our cosmic connection.

Afterword

I hope this writing gives some insight onto what the mushroom plants can offer us. I plan to continue writing more about these subjects, from the only viewpoint I have, deep and to the core, discussing also about other teacher and healer plants.

I wish to encourage people to share their experiences, and open up personally, as this is the only way for us to break the code of silence.

By taking action and doing, you are always opening up paths for others, who think in silence, to take action too! ^_^

Dealing with depression

It’s easy to not talk about certain subjects. Depression is one of those subjects for me. This feeling doesn’t seem to go away, so I want to try writing about it, bringing it out. Maybe that will help. Lure that bastard out into the light.

I’ve lived with depression since I was 14 or 15, so about 20 years for now. At some point, my world started turning dark. I began to experience periods of times in my life I could do almost nothing else than lay down, or just cry and go into this slumber while being awake, laying in my bed just wanting to let go of it all. Slowly this transformed more into periodical states of just feeling depressed, but I still remember clearly those first stages of just laying down and not having the energy to do anything.

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The feeling of depression would come without any warning, the day before I could be feeling perfectly fine, fun, even enjoying life, then I wake up and nothing feels good, sorrow fills my whole being, usually accompanied by the immense weight of being crushed under all the feelings I have.

The overwhelming pain of just drowning into sadness, despair, death and the want to leave this place. The ever welcome feeling of being completely alone and that nobody cares. All social interactions become numb, difficult, non-relevant to anything. There is nothing but deep and wide blankness accompanied by not caring about anything or anybody else than just dealing with this state and surviving it.

All expectations from others and myself can go down the drain instantly, I couldn’t care less about finishing or doing something. Even things I feel passionate about, suddenly those don’t matter at all.

This has made it always difficult to go to work, or school, or meet people, as I have no idea any given day if I’m capable of even leaving the house or getting up from bed. Canceling meetings and scheduled appointments used to be a norm for me, and still to a degree is, which can lead to a spiralling feeling of shame for not being able to fullfill my duties.

This is part why I’m writing about this subject, to maybe let those around me see and understand what is happening to a person in depression, and also to share the feelings of what is going on to a person dealing with depression, as this topic isn’t publicly discussed much.

Realizing depression

Many times this feeling brings with it deep wanting of to leave this place, to completely be void of any feelings, while paradoxically the emotions seem to be all that exist in this state, taking me with them and ruthlessly dragging me into the bottom of that cold river where I am completely alone in my sorrow, not seeing any solutions to the situation and feeling like being drowned into the abyss of eternal sadness.

Where these emotions come from, there seems not to be any one source, they just come and go as they please, as if they had a life of their own, which makes the situation even more difficult to rationally understand or see how to avoid and how to deal with it.

It took me a long time to even realize I was being depressed. Nobody really talked about depression around me or in the culture I was brought up. The aknowledgement was there that a such thing exists, especially in Finland it’s a big thing, but it wasn’t really talked about.

Maybe it is somehow shameful, a taboo, a sign of weakness to be depressed, so you don’t talk about it, just suck it up and get better and do your work seemed to be the general solution on how to deal with this.

On my own

Nobody can fix depression for you. There is no way. This is how I’ve always felt. Somehow in this state there is no way to trust somebody else. I’ve always felt I have to fix this myself, by myself and with my own ways.

Somehow deep inside me a part had always known that depression medication was not for me, even though my mother many times tried to insist me on taking them, a part of me was very strong in not going down that path, some part of me somehow knows that medicating with these unnatural methods is not good for me.

During these times I had no idea about meditation, mindfulness or nothing that could be considered spiritual, except long distance running, which I only later realized was somewhat of a spiritual practice for me. I was constantly dealing with dark thoughts, thinking about killing myself, leaving this place for good and just wanting to get away
from it all.

Finding a way out

Today I am happy to say that I’ve started to find a way out of my depression, after dealing with it for nearly two decades. I’ve discovered methods of dealing with the feelings, and how to heal myself, and how to re-program my thoughts.

gunbatimi_masaustu_arkaplan_resimleri_sunset_desktop_wallpapers_tree_of_life_north_devon_england230-1280x800

The path has not definitely been easy, it has been one full of pain and unorthodoxical methods of seeking the root causes. I kinda wish somebody had been there for me to teach me, to show me how to do it better, as many of the paths I’ve taken have proven to be difficult and even hindering my progress. And I’ve had many teachers too, so I am thankful for that.

But I am who I am, and I wouldn’t be here without going through all that darkness. I am happy that light has grown immensively inside me during the past years and I’ve finally started to figure out what the root cause for my depression has been.

Mainly it has been doing with trying to adapt to my surroundings, and not being who I really am. I’ve now noticed that this pressure to be like others, and not fitting in, has been a great de-pressive force in my life. I can no longer succumb to the expectations of others, but be more brave, more open, more free, more sensitive, more powerful, more fearless and ultimately more honest to my self, of who I am and what I represent.

It has not been easy, as my true self is something that differs so much from the normal way of things. But I am happy I have found through the act of expression more those who resonate with the same frequency, and hope to find even more those people who express the same energy as I do through the act of opening up and being even more honest and brave.

Methods of healing .. to be continued

The various methods of how I’ve reached this state are something I want to write more about it in the upcoming posts.  Consider this posting as a preface for those writings.

Thank you for reading, this was Sakari for now, until later!

My Mission :: Awakening to Sacred Geometry

Video

Hello, time for something more personal this time.

I wanted to share something more personal, some of the motivation that has lead me to work with Sacred Geometry and motivation behind on my mission to continue bring people direct experience of what I believe is the creation language of our Universe.

From now on, I want to share more, be more truthful, more direct, not think so much about what I put out.  Bom shaka bom!

Progress update on my 3D Sacred Geometry Engine

Fully focused

For the past two months I’ve been blessed to focus fully on my 3D Sacred Geometry engine, called PsiTriangle Engine. This engine is going to be the basis for our upcoming 3D Sacred Geometry Creation program, called Geometrify: Creator.

Beginning of the year I was working at Vizor (http://vizor.io), for a while, but that lasted only for 2 months as it was not really something I truly loved doing.

But I got to learn ThreeJS (a javascript 3D framework) there and also how to build a 3D engine more, so this gave me good insight on how to continue with my own engine.

Getting closer to the metal

I’ve been now focusing on improving my engine since then, getting more performance out of the GPU and calculating as little as possible on the CPU.

The CPU -> GPU bottleneck is a real issue when working with dynamic geometry, optimally keep everything in the GPU memory and not transfer it from the main RAM to the GPU, as it’s a big bottleneck for performance.

Learning the tricks of GPU programming and getting to really feel the power of the GPU has been a marathon run, but I’m finally approaching the performance I’ve been looking for.

Doing complex things is easy, but just narrowing down to the simple essentials, the least amount of calculations needed, is difficult.

Putting my engineering skills to their use

I’m an automation engineer, and working with 3D equations and math is really an area where I’m starting to see use for that education. The education basis has given me the insight that I can understand and dissect any problem, if I just keep drawing and calculating on paper long enough.

Just draw it out

Just draw it out

I’m pretty happy now that I got that education, as without it I wouldn’t have probably have the system in place to work like this (*thx math teacher, Pirkka Peltola)

Fast line drawing

In the last weeks, I’ve been completely re-writing my line drawing algorithm to utilize the GPU as much as possible.

Previously I had ported an algorithm by Nicolas P. Rougier from Python code to C++ (based on his paper here: http://jcgt.org/published/0002/02/08/).

But this case was just too generalistic and did too many calculations, and took a long time to upload the vertexes from the CPU to the GPU, which really killed performance.

So I decided to just rewrite from the ground up. Good tool to prototype graphics drawing is http://processing.org, so I first implemented the algorithm with Processing, then when it worked and I understood the process, started porting it to GLSL shader code.

Tesselating Circular Polylines

Tesselating Circular Polylines with Processing

Getting to know the Geometry Shader

There exists geometry shaders on modern GPUs. With these, one can calculate vertexes completely on the GPU, utilizing the massive parallelism of modern GPUs.

I started my line drawing re-implementation using only the geometry shader. Here you can see results for that:

Here all the lines, segments and origo points for the circles are all calculated on the GPU, nothing is done on the CPU except the origo point sent to the shader.

This is pretty great, but there are limitations. First, the geometry shader has to re-draw all the shapes, calculate all the sines and cosines for each line segment, all the time, everytime, on each frame. This is slow.

Second, the geometry shader can only output a limited amount of vertexes. With my GPU, that limit is 256 vertexes of vector4 components. So it’s not really much, can’t do deep recursion with that.

Bringing in the Transform Buffers

There also exists a thing called ‘Transform Feedback Buffer‘, which basically means you Transform (calculate geometry) and put the results in a Feedback Buffer (store), which you then use to actually draw (read buffer).

These buffers are then only updated when changes occur, and not on beginning of each frame like with purely geometry shaders.

This got me already much better performance:

Much better, but I was still calculating stuff recursively, storing each circular formation as a separate copy of my base class.

This worked well with http://GeoKone.NET, as with software rendering all the data stays in the main memory. But with GPU rendering, we really want to minimize the amount of things calculated.

Drawing as little as possible

At this point, I decided that I know what I want to do achieve, and to get there, I really need all the perfomance I need, to make it as smooth as possible.

To do that, the current model of doing things recursively, ie. where a class instance stores num_points class instances and visits each of them to draw their data, continuing down the path recursively with a parent child model, really didn’t work anymore with the GPU.

With GPUs, what seems to work best is doing things in a linear buffer. We want to have all data in a continuous pattern, so you can just loop through it when calculating and drawing, with minimum amount of branching and changing buffers when doing that.

Basically we just want to blast the data to the shaders, so they can work on it as parallel as possible, because that’s the strength of the GPUs.

I’m still seeking the best way to do this, but with this model I could finally reach dynamic geometry in 3D space with similar performance as with GeoKone.NET. This is my latest update, showcasing dynamic manipulation of 2D plane sacred geometry in 3D space, that will be the basis for Geometrify: Creator.

Getting there  :)

I’m developing this engine on laptop GPUs, my faster Macbook Pro having a Nvidia GT750M 2GB card, and my home computer having an ancient Nvidia GT330M/512MB.

So I really also have to figure out how to make this fast in order to develop, which is a good thing :) But I can’t wait to test this out on modern beasts of GPUs, which are easily 30x faster than the one on my older laptop.

Anyway, development continues, if you are interested in more updates, follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/inDigiNeous, I’ll be updating there more frequently.

Now peace out, and bom! ^_^

GeoKone 0.99.66 released ::Set Background Image & Continous Tracing

GeoKone.NET was just updated to version 0.99.66.

Background Image Setting

This version (actually previous version already) brings support for drawing over a background image, like demonstrated here:

Remixing Geometry over a image from www.luminaya.com

Remixing Geometry over a image from luminaya.com

Using a gradient as the background

Using a gradient as the background

Saving the background image is not yet supported, but you can always load it again after loading the scene from a local file. The background image setting is smart, so you can import any size file as the background and GeoKone will automatically scale it to fit the best target, and you can select  how to fit the image to to your scene.

When exporting PNG images with background, the background images original resolution will be preserved, so you can set a high resolution image as background and then draw over it, and get same quality output if exporting a higher resolution PNG image.

One cool thing to try out also is exporting your current scene as PNG, then setting that image as your background and continuing drawing over it :)

Continous Tracing Mode

When the ‘tracing’ mode is set, toggling the animation will not clear the trace buffer anymore. This means you can pause the animation, modify your formations and resume animation to continue tracing over your previously traced buffer.

This enables to create this kind of beautiful images more easily:

This was created by tracing the original formation, pausing animation, re-scaling, continuing animation and repeating this pattern

This was created by tracing the original formation, pausing animation, re-scaling, continuing animation and repeating this pattern

 

Updated Help Page

Be sure to check out the updated Help Page also to get a better idea how to use GeoKone.

Changelog

Complete changelog for versions 0.99.65 & 0.99.66:

  • Fix bug with topmost buffer not always clearing when switching layers and
    toggling mod all on and off
  •  Update PDF download prices to be slightly more supportive toward development of GeoKone ^_^
  • Update help page
  • New dialog style login page
  • Update styling of signup and forgot password dialogs
  • Clean up the code a lot
  • Add buttons for animation and tracing on the top menu to make them easier to find
  • Remove the toolbar bottom indicators, replace with the led indicators
  • Style minor things to be more compatible with Chrome
  • Continous tracing drawing. Traces are now drawn by default continously, toggling animation will not clear the trace buffer now, only when you toggle tracing is the buffer cleared
  • ‘Help/Send Feedback’. Send direct feedback to me.
  • Fixed the right menu appear animation
  • Remove the stupid blue outline coming around the canvas on Chrome and Safari
  • Fix keyboard focus icon not showing with Safari
  • Fix export image to show proper preview when tracing off

Little bit closer to 1.0 again :) Go to http://GeoKone.NET and get creative!