Evolution, Symmetry, and Sexual Selection

Wikipedia defines evolutionary psychology as attempting “to explain psychological traits — such as memory, perception, or language — as adaptations, that is, as the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection. Adaptationist thinking about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is common in evolutionary biology. Evolutionary psychology applies the same thinking to psychology.”

In Deciphering the Golden Flower One Secret at a Time, I wrote about bodily symmetry not only as an indicator of sexual selection, but also as a prerequisite to facilitating Kundalini activation:

“The goal of GFM (Kundalini meditation) is to standardize the outcome of the Kundalini-Life Force activation process. In other words, to make one Kundalini experience indistinguishable from another. And although this may not be 100% possible at the moment, I believe that GFM comes close to meeting this objective. Why? Because it’s based on the backward-flowing method, a technique perfected by the ancients over a long period of time, several centuries, in fact. Validation is simply a function of more individuals practicing GFM.

“GFM demands commitment, self-discipline and concentration of the kind you’d expect from a doctorate level program. How do you know if you’re ready? That’s the tricky part. Your state of readiness is not something I, or any other person, can determine. Only your body can tell you. And it will, if you know how to listen to it. To a degree, symmetry is the predictor.

symmetrical faces

“Symmetry means being the same, or evenly balanced, on each side. Over the last few years, biologists and evolutionary psychologists have looked at the animal kingdom, and they’ve made a few discoveries about symmetry, and how it relates to beauty and fitness."

“First, the more symmetrical an animal, the more likely he is to attract a mate. One scientist found that he could turn attractive male swallows into unattractive male swallows (and also ruin their chances of a good sex life) by clipping their tail feathers with scissors.

“Secondly, symmetry influences fitness. Horses that are more symmetrical run faster than horses that are less symmetrical. In one study, biologists measured some ten features on 73 thoroughbreds — features such as the thickness of the knee, or the width of the nostrils. The differences they could measure were quite small, and probably had nothing directly to do with how fast the horse could run. In fact, symmetry is probably a good indicator of general health and strength. Our imperfect world is full of nasty chemicals and germs. Only those individuals that are lucky enough to inherit a sturdy genetic makeup, and are also lucky enough to get good nutrition while they’re growing, will end up being more symmetrical.”

Mathematical Proof On Why Trying To Attract Women Fails seeks to prove that it’s not worth perfecting a line and/or a persona to attract female sexual partners. The best approach is to let nature take its course, in other words, rely on your natural symmetry that allows you to apply the mathematical concepts of symmetry to the faces of various movie stars.

For evolutionary psychologists this is serious business; for young men on the prowl, it’s another kind of serious. What happens if your features don’t conform to the strict mathematical requirements of physical symmetry as conveyed in this research?

Evolutionary Psychology – ISSN 1474-7049 – Volume 6(4). 2008. -614-

Developmental instability (DI) refers to an organism’s ability to develop the appropriate species-specific phenotype despite genetic and environmental perturbations that tend to disrupt development, such as mutations, interbreeding, toxins, parasites, injuries, and DI is often operationalized as fluctuating asymmetry (FA), a composite measure of an individual’s deviations from symmetry in traits that are symmetrical at the population level, without regard to side. Interest in DI stems in part from the wide range of studies demonstrating that humans with greater FA may show reduced fecundity, health, social dominance, and mating success. However, there is substantial variability in the strengths of associations across studies, and reasons for inconsistencies are poorly understood.

“To date, greater FA has been reported in a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders and has also been linked in humans with traits such as intelligence, jealousy, and physical violence. More specifically, individuals with greater FA have been reported to show relatively lower general intellectual functioning and to express more jealousy in mating situations. Furthermore, greater FA predicts fewer self-reported lifetime sexual partners and fewer episodes of physical violence.

“Given these behavioral correlates, one would expect FA to vary systematically with aspects of brain anatomy and/or physiology. Identifying specific neural correlates of FA would facilitate our understanding of the mechanisms linking the genetic and environmental determinants of FA with individual differences in behavior. To date, studies linking neural variation with FA in humans are sparse. In general, FA appears to be associated with atypical functional lateralization of the human brain.”

SO what if you suffer from Fluctuating Asymmetry? Are you SOL? Well, if you read my kundalini book, you know I lost my symmetry as the result of a childhood accident. I guess that's why I was never able to walk into a room and make heads turn, male or female. And yet, contrary to the findings of evolutionary psychologists, I experienced reasonable success with women. Did I feel insecure around beautiful women? Who doesn’t? But I never felt the necessity to develop a line. I was as successful with women, average to beautiful, as they were with me. What accounts for this?

I believe that there are certain men and women that don’t require the absoluteness of perfect symmetry in order to connect; they are able to go beyond what Chris Anderson describes in the following passages:

“I’m sure you’ve asked a female friend before what she looks for in a man and I’m also sure you were a bit puzzled by her answer."

“I just want a guy who’s real”
“All I want is a guy who treats me decent”
“All I care about is that he doesn’t cheat on me”

“Her response doesn’t make much sense on the surface because pretty much you and all the people you know pass these seemingly low-bar requirements. She might as well have been saying it’s so hard to find a guy who has 2 hands and 2 feet. We immediately dismiss what she said as crazy talk.”

Or, as George Roundy explains to Lester Karpf in Shampoo (1975), "What the hell I'm a gonna tell you about what they got against you. Christ, they're women, aren't they? You ever listen to women talk, man? Do you? 'Cause I do, till it's running outta my ears! I mean I'm on my feet all day long listening to women talk and they only talk about one thing: how some guy fucked 'em over, that's all that's on their minds, that's all I ever hear about! Don't you know that?"

100803-shampoo1975 med

Shampoo (1975) Hal Ashby, director; Julie Christie, Warren Beatty

Clearly, we’ve evolved quite a bit since this film was released. Statements like the above would be shouted down today. Nevertheless, it’s been my experience that some beings — men and women — are able to connect on a higher plane, right here on earth, as a result of higher consciousness or elevated spirituality. How often do these connections occur? Not very often. But when one does occur, it’s immediate and evident. It’s beyond physical symmetry; it's a kind of Karmic symmetry that enables two people to connect in spite of the laws of physical attraction, which, according to evolutionary psychologists, are the ultimate determinants of selection and therefore should be immutable Gattaca (1997)-type, DNA deal breakers.


"The greatest book in the world, the Mahabharata, tells us we all have to live and die by our karmic cycle. Thus works the perfect reward-and-punishment, cause-and-effect, code of the universe. We live out in our present life what we wrote out in our last. But the great moral thriller also orders us to rage against karma and its despotic dictates. It teaches us to subvert it. To change it. It tells us we also write out our next lives as we live out our present."

~ The Alchemy of Desire - Tarun J. Tejpal

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