Your Brain in Heaven

Yep, it’s me again. Back to write about yet another bizarre view I have on life. This time you won’t hate me as much, I promise. *wink*

(Click on links for more info.)

Little known fact: 25% of the world has something funky going on in their brain, known as synesthesia.

It is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.

Simply, synesthesia is literally the crossing of senses.  Research suggests that all babies are born with this ability and that all of the senses in the brain are connected.  Thus, seeing music and hearing color and tasting touch and adding personality to objects and letters, and so on, is present in all infants.  However, within the first year of life, the brain goes through and prunes these connections.  Therefore, the majority of adults don’t have a spatial coordination for music, or feel touch when they see someone else being touched, or see emotion as visible auras in the eyes, or many others.

Synesthesia held much stigma for a time.

Synesthetes” or “synnies” were pronounced crazy, drugged, or nonsensical when they brought up the different ways in which they experienced the world.  But modern research finds the brains of synnies actually lighting up in two or more sections at a time when a normal brain would not.  For instance, someone who sees music as having a color and shape would experience neurological activity in both the music-processing and vision parts of the brain.

My synesthesia is obvious. 

Whomever has actually met me in person and knows of my utterly useless superpower can attest to this.  I can read and speak backwards, on the spot.  Give me a sentence, a phrase, a sign, a word, or a paragraph.  I can tell it to you backwards instantly.

I epyt sdrawkcab ytfif sdrow rep etunim.  *wink*

This is because I have a muted form of “ticker tape” synesthesia, where I can choose to see words that I hear strung out in a line in front of me, and can flip them at will, as if they were dangling on a string and can be turned backwards by a flick of the fingers.  Reading them backwards is a cinch.  I can also do something different: write mirror writing (where the letters themselves are turned like when you look in a mirror) with my left hand and forward with my right hand at the same time.

I have eleven forms of synesthesia – most pretty muted and in the background of my brain.  My husband has two forms.  Two of my siblings have synesthetic gifts, and a few of my friends, as well.  This does not make us better than anyone else.  This just means our brains didn’t quite finish up their job clip-clipping.

However, I have a theory.  We are born with these sensory connections, and no synnie would ever give up the richer world they experience, deeming it a superpower or gift they have been given.  This makes me wonder if all humankind was supposed to be synesthetic.  If the brain wasn’t supposed to prune the connections at all.  But, if, in a sinful, fallen world, it gives us a bit of relief not to have our senses flooded, since there are so many negative things to see, smell, hear, taste, and touch.  The world is not as perfect as it was created to be.  Many wonder if extreme forms of synesthesia are even tied to autism and sensory overload – if autistic children are overloaded because they experience everything ten-fold.

BUT.

In heaven, the world will be perfect.  There will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more sin.  God in all of His glory.  Golden streets.  Beauty beyond compare.

I wonder if, in heaven, our new bodies will have fully synesthetic brains.

I have compiled a list of what I imagine are synesthetic Bible verses.  Just beautiful analogies?  Or a hint of what’s to come?  I think our lives in heaven will be a hundred times richer than anything here on earth, as we will be able to taste and see and smell and touch and feel and hear God in all of His glory.  And how amazing will that be!

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”  (Psalm 34:8)

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste!  Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know
the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”  (Ephesians 1:18-19)

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:1-4)

“After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”  (Revelation 4:1)

“And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints.”  (Revelation 5:8)

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal process in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?”  (2 Corinthians 2:14-17)

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”  (Matthew 6:22-23)

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire … and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Revelation 3:18).

“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7).

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2)

“Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”  (Proverbs 24:14)

“They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.”  (Psalm 19:10)

“The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.”  (Job 6:7)

Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.  While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.”  (Song of Solomon 1:3, 12)

“How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse!  How much better is thy love than wine!  And the smell of thine ointments than all spices  Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: Honey and milk are under thy tongue; And the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.”  (Song of Solomon 4:10-11)

“His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: His lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.”  (Song of Solomon 5:13)

“…And the smell of thy nose like apples.”  (Song of Solomon 7:8)

And, all of Job 37 – Click here.

 

Even if my theory isn’t true, although it’s pretty exciting to think it might be, we know this about heaven: Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)And this sure sounds like our five sense are going to get a revamping!

To see a full list of synesthesia types, click here: http://www.daysyn.com/types-of-syn.html

You may need to Google each type to see if it’s something you have.

Do you have any types of synesthesia?  Tell me about it!  Leave a comment!  Are you one of the few rare-brain creatures like me?  *smile*

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Your Brain in Heaven

  1. Interesting theory. Maybe I’m just a non-special skeptic, 😛 but I don’t see how most of these verses support the theory. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life” – that just talks about how Jesus was told about before He came, and after He came they were capable of seeing and touching Him; he was literally tangible! So that’s not a synesthetic statement at all. And a lot of them (like “after this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet…”) just talk about normal sensory perception. We look around and see things. We hear, and sometimes we compare voices to different sounds to help explain what they sound like. That’s not synesthesia at work; that’s just the senses. The verse you say “shows a revamp of our senses” doesn’t show that to me at all. It just says we’ve never seen such things before, or heard them. That doesn’t seem to indicate synesthesia to me.

    A few of them seem suitable synesthetic, though, like the one about words being sweet to taste. Do you think maybe it’s because the Biblical writers themselves were synesthetic, and this was showing in the way they described things?

    Just to bug you – isn’t it just as likely that in the new heavens and new earth our senses will all be properly chopped apart as they should be (“healed”, so to speak) – except enhanced so we can enjoy all of them more fully? 😉 I think it’s more likely that those who are synesthetic will stay that way and those who aren’t won’t be, just like now… But who knows? I guess we’ll have to get to eternity to find out! I certainly wouldn’t mind experiencing some synesthetic coolness. 😀

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    • I think you’re right about the one verse being about Jesus. However, “a voice like a trumpet” conjures up a synesthetic thought in me. I’m just curious why scientists think we’re born with all of the senses combined then. What would be the purpose of having them combined at all? And why so many poetically synesthetic thoughts? And by, “revamp of our senses,” I meant that it said no eye has seen nor ear has heard. We will have a perfected body, and heaven will be beyond imagination. 🙂
      I know that heaven will be perfect regardless, but it was a fun idea for me. 🙂

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      • Well, right, it conjures up synesthetic thoughts in you for sure because you’re synesthetic! 🙂 For me it just says the voice is loud and powerful, like the blast of a trumpet.

        That *is* interesting about why senses are combined at birth. Do scientists have any idea, or are they bewildered by this phenomenon?

        Boy, babies must be miserable if everything is amplified through all their senses instead of just one! No wonder they sleep so much. 😛

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      • Or in awe! At least they can’t see very far in front of their faces at first. But no wonder the world is an amazing place to them!
        I think scientists are confused by it. From what I read. There is new thought every year that I check up on it.

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  2. Your blog doesn’t allow nested comment any further so I can’t reply on the previous thread…

    It just seems like you’re saying that synesthetes are closer to how people ought to be, and the rest of the world is lacking and missing out on something amazing we should all have but don’t. 😦

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    • Well, I clearly said there was nothing better about us, and that our brains didn’t do what it was “supposed to do,” however, I think it’s a common thought, held among synesthetes, that everyone else is missing out on something exciting. But I also said that there are trains of thought that think that autistic children have many forms of synesthesia. Too much of a good thing becomes a difficult thing to cope with and not fun at all. I think the brain prunes the connections because we live in a fallen world and our senses wouldn’t be able to handle feeling everyone else’s pain, or smelling all of the foul smells that we could, or tasting all of the horrendous tastes, or seeing too much, etc.

      Not all of us can be INFJ and be a rare breed that has a uniquely huge imagination. Some of us are boring, undiscerning, and can’t see outside the box. So a bit of synesthesia is a nice trade. 😉

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  4. hey– so I have about 8 different synesthesias….i have friends around me who are also synesthetes, but don’t pay much mind to it. My emotion-color is my strongest type of synesthesia, where my emotion-taste is my weakest.

    I do wonder, quite often, what God’s plan was with this. …it doesn’t make much sense (no pun intended, haha) But it’d sure love to hear about your processing through this given gift…

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    • That’s fascinating! How neat!

      Do you do any form of art? I find that a lot of synesthetes like an art form of one kind or another to express themselves. 🙂 (Obviously, I love writing. 🙂 )

      Sorry I was so slow in getting back to you, Siana! Was gone for a week for Thanksgiving.

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  6. Wow, this is uncanny! I had a friend who had just read “Blood Mercy:Thicker Than Water” and commented about a character’s musical hallucinations. While musical hallucinations are a different matter than synesthesia, my friend commented on how perhaps in the New Heaven and New Earth, our brains and perceptions will be broadened and deepened and heightened more than ever to be able to process all of God’s glory in new and wonderful ways. I’m not sure how Scriptural that is, but it’s a cool thought! I know I couldn’t imagine life without my synesthesia.

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    • Oh, my synesthesia types are:

      mirror touch
      sound -> vision (shape/color)
      sound -> taste
      sound -> touch
      smell -> vision
      time -> spatial coordinates – many different kinds, I used to get so ANGRY at organizers because time doesn’t LOOK LIKE THAT
      time -> vision
      grapheme -> personification (I tend to start all my sentences with “A” because “A” is friendly and welcoming and stable and all-around awesome. Z is clever. “G” is evil)
      pain -> vision
      spatial sequence -> number forms (aka, consistent, immediate number lines which made it difficult to learn math – actually, I blame some aspects of my synesthesia for my aptitude in language arts and my lack of aptitude in math)

      There are probably more, but they all blur together after a while.

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