In very general terms, synesthesia is the ability to experience various senses simultaneously in deep, profound ways. Synesthetes are people who experience what is considered by the medical community as a psychological disorder where one sense perception creates a mental image of another sense perception. For example, music creates images of colors or the sounds of particular instruments can create a certain taste. Numbers are associated with mental images of particular colors. It is speculated that many of the greatest artists in history have been synesthetic in their ability to visualize the world in profound ways unachievable by the majority of the population. It is as if the walls between the sense perceptions in our mind have broken down and the senses spill into each other (psychedelic drugs such as LSD have been known to create this effect).
But all of us experience synesthesia to some extent as we draw upon stimuli from various mediums and I believe that all of us can expand this capability to better interpret the envirnoment and enhance our creativity. We can develop synesthetic experiences through directing the stimuli around us, creating metaphors, reconciling disparate images, altering our ratio of the senses in ways that create more cohesion and heightened awareness. Powerful works of creativity such as integrated musicals, sound cinema (recall the helicopter scene in Apocalypse Now) or video games can immerse us in synesthetic experiences. We can also ehance this by engaging in activities that integrate the senses:
I-podding during mundane tasks
Indeed, one can develop synethesia by walking through Times Square and absorbing the stimuli, enhanced by music from our mobile devices or the natural sound stimuli around us. By concentrating on the acceleration of the images and integrating this with sound stimuli, we will mentally experience a blending of the senses. This can be especially lucid on the magic spot on top of the grate on 46th Street above the sound sculpture and in front of the brightest and largest spectaculars. One can also climb the steps above the ticket booth and admire the lights while listening to synergistic music, such as "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" by Genesis or the Gym Dance music from West Side Story.