Buildings can have a profound influence on our health and our psychic and spiritual state of being, Harmony and balance, light and colour, relationship to landscape, ecological sympathy, energy efficiency and geometric form are contributing elements of shelter which aspire to be nurturing rather than draining. We resonate at both cellular and consciousness levels with our environment.
By creating an environment around us that is supportive to both our inner and our outer senses, we can enhance rather than alienate our human links with nature. Architecture, when employed as a means of embodying principles of universal harmony can sustain us rather than drain us, so that our homes become our havens, and our work places support our creativity.
In the world of natural phenomena, it is the underlying patterns of geometric form, proportion and associated wave frequencies that give rise to all perceptions and identifications. Therein lies our fundamental capacity to relate, to interpret and to know. In the biological realms, replication, continuity and diversity are established through the vehicle of genetic coding and the substance of the gene, DNA. It is not just the molecules of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen that determine the replicating power of DNA, but its helix form and the geometric proportions and relationships within it.
The architecture of the buildings we inhabit as our dwellings, our work places, our healing and education centres, and our churches and temples, has similar impact on our senses as the architecture of nature. Certain intrinsic forms evoke similar responses that occur when in proximity with an harmonious natural environment. Perhaps they are the same building blocks that nature uses.
In understanding how this connection between nature and man made objects works, consider the meaning of numbers and their associated geometric forms. For responses and experiences within the physical world to be truly meaningful and fulfilling, it is important to have understanding, in this case of the symbolism and power contained within numbers. It is in the understanding, whether brought about by intuition or logic (preferably both) that opportunities become available for transcendence. Without awareness, opportunities may be lost, for God gives us the nuts but He does not crack them for us.
Be mindful here that it is not only the application of numbers and patterns that can stimulate the senses, but the intent that this be so. Within all matter is spirit. When spirit is suppressed the senses are dulled, and the potential for resonance at refined frequencies of existence becomes impossibly elusive. The intention behind architecture should be to not only to stimulate the senses, but to awaken the spirit within.
THE SYMBOLISM OF PI AND PHI
Both p (Pi) and f (Phi) are indeterminate numbers, ie they can never be expressed in a finite number of digits. And yet they both express specific geometric relationships – p = 3.141592…, the relationship between the diameter of a circle and its circumference and its area, and f = 1.618034…, the relationship between the side and the diagonal of a pentagon. f also derives from the division of a line into two lengths a and b (b being the larger) such that a/b = b/(a+b), then a/b = 1/f. f can be calculated by substituting a number (such as 1) for b (or a for that matter). In the Fibonacci series, f, in an arithmetic series beginning with any two numbers, can be approximated from the proportion between two adjacent numbers in the series. The further the series is carried to infinity, the closer one comes to the absolute value of f, but it can never be reached in absolute terms. Example – 1,5,6,11,17,28,45,73,118,191,309,500,809, … 500/309 = 1.618123
In this respect, both numbers represent the search for absolute truth, or love, or God. We can strive to get closer and closer to these abstracts, but we can never finally reach them or define them absolutely. In absolute terms they are unknowable.
ONE BEGETS TWO – THE ESSENCE OF DUALITY
If we look at the geometry that defines p, the circle represents God, the circumference being that which encompasses all that is, and the area being all that is. All geometric forms that evolve out of prime numbers are contained within the circle, for it is the circle that defines their symmetry. Implicit within a circle, and its most fundamental product or creation is its diameter. The diameter is a straight line – it defines two points (at its ends, which lie on the circumference), thus symbolising duality or polar opposites. One, in the sense of absolute exclusivity as distinct from one as a unit amongst many, is incomprehensible, and only God is absolute unity. Try to imagine that you alone existed within an infinite void – you would be incapable of identifying even yourself as there would be no datum point for recognition to occur. One therefore is meaningless, as only God is absolute unity, and one represents creation unmanifested.
The diameter of a circle could be perceived as one, but in reality is two, which demonstrates the hidden nature of duality. Two, however, gives rise to creation through the two opposite points, such as in a straight line, by which flow or recognition of something else can occur. Thus the diameter represents the most fundamental manifestation within creation. p represents, therefore, the relationship that exists between God and His creations. All geometric forms arise out of this basic principle, the straight line containing two end points.
THREE IS THE POWER BEHIND CREATION
The next step in creation, moving from 2 points on the circumference of a circle is 3 points. When these are in symmetry with each other, they define the equilateral triangle. Three linear structural elements connected together at their end points form a rigid frame – a fundamental engineering principle. The triad or trinity in esoteric terms expresses a rigid structure, and demonstrates the stability within creation by virtue of the principles of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All subsequent steps in creation contain triangles. The 3-dimensional version of the triangle is the tetrahedron, a solid object contained within a sphere, but one which is pure of form because it contains 4 faces all of which express the trinity. It has no diagonals, no shortcuts between its defining points. Although it appears to be a 3-dimensional object, it is really multi-dimensional, and represents consciousness on higher planes of reality wherein all manifestations are aware of their existence within the trinity. It also demonstrates how every single addition (point) in creation gives rise to another triangle as part of a larger rigid framework, the basis of construction of a stable universe.
FOUR IS MANIFESTATION INTO MATTER
Next we have four, the square, symbolising creation in matter. The square defines the four directions of north, south, east and west, and in its 3-dimensional form, the cube (contained within a sphere) defines the 3 directions of 3-dimensional reality. The square and the cube represent physical manifestation unevolved. The potential that lies within them is implicit. For example, the square’s diagonal implies another square, which in turn contains a diagonal with an even larger square. Continued on, this creates a spiral which is the dynamic energy within all creation, and symbolises involution and evolution, progress towards the infinite, both inwards and outwards. Four also represents the first product of the procreative process, that is of multiplication 2 x 2 = 4.
INVOLUTION – FIVE IS THE POTENTIAL CONTAINED WITHIN MATTER
The next step with five, brings consciousness into matter by virtue of f, the golden proportion. Five points equally spaced on the circumference of a circle give rise to the pentagon, within which lies the pentagram or 5-pointed star. This is generally accepted as representing man – the head, two legs astride, and two arms outstretched. The diagonal of a pentagon, in proportional relationship with its side, defines f. This is the purest form of proportion, and thus represents human consciousness in its greatest and most harmonious state. As such, it cannot be defined in absolute terms. Perfect consciousness in matter is something to be sought. An evolved consciousness recognises perfect harmony, but in the imperfect state it is given no status. All creative expressions that emanate from man can be evaluated to the degree in which they incorporate the golden proportion.
EVOLUTION – SIX HARNESSES THE POWER OF SPIRIT AND BRINGS IT INTO MATTER
Whereas 5 expresses the potential for harmony hidden within the world of matter, 6 is explicit in its representation of symmetry and balance. The hexagon has all its diagonals passing through the centre of the circle and equal to the diameter. Within it lies the hexagram (6 pointed star) and its 3-dimensional form the star tetrahedron. The hexagram is made up of two superimposed equilateral triangles, one inverted. The trinity has replicated itself in the world of matter as represented by the inverted triangle. The hexagram thus presents the challenge for mankind to recognise his own divinity.
A similar relationship between God and His creations in matter can be seen in the Vesica Piscis, where two circles overlap. A connection exists in these two symbols because the Vesica is the geometric basis for establishing the hexagram. The Vesica can also be seen as the two aspects of God within the material level of creation – masculine and feminine, the polar opposites in humanity arising out of duality. Two circles apart define separation between male and female, but in the overlapping they are integrated. The Vesica thus expresses the powerful potential in mankind to achieve harmony through the blending of the masculine and feminine qualities. The overlap area has traditionally been seen as a fish or the Piscean Christ.
When architecture incorporates these symbols, they need only be implicit as a theme out of which the design evolves. The power within the symbols is vibrational, and the way they are used should optimally be compatible with the inhabitants. This is the role of the designer, to identify that compatibility. Numerology can be a useful tool here. When vibrational symbols are used as a rigid format springing from the mind, their power is limited. The mind is a tool. Only when thought is coupled with intent arising from the heart, does manifestation occur.
This is the basic theory behind the influence that numbers have on our state of being. These principles are able to be incorporated into the architecture of buildings with profound results, but the effects they have are not the same for all people.
Adapted from an article by John Koch