In nature geometry, we find patterns, designs and structures from the most minuscule particles, to expressions of life discernible by human eyes, to the greater cosmos. These inevitably follow geometrical archetypes, which reveal to us the nature of each form and its vibrational resonances. They are also symbolic of the underlying metaphysical principle of the inseparable relationship of the part to the whole. It is this principle of oneness underlying all geometry that permeates the architecture of all form in its myriad diversity. This principle of interconnectedness, inseparability and union provides us with a continuous reminder of our relationship to the whole, a blueprint for the mind to the sacred foundation of all things created. The Sphere is one such example.
Starting with what may be the simplest and most perfect of forms, the sphere is an ultimate expression of unity, completeness, and integrity. There is no point of view given greater or lesser importance, and all points on the surface are equally accessible and regarded by the center from which all originate. Atoms, cells, seeds, planets, and globular star systems all echo the spherical paradigm of total inclusion, acceptance, simultaneous potential and fruition, the macrocosm and microcosm.
The circle is a two-dimensional shadow of the sphere which is regarded throughout cultural history as an icon of the ineffable oneness; the indivisible fulfillment of the Universe. All other symbols and geometries reflect various aspects of the profound and consummate perfection of the circle, sphere and other higher dimensional forms of these we might imagine.
The ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, Pi, is the original transcendental and irrational number.
(Pi equals about 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937511…)
It cannot be expressed in terms of the ratio of two whole numbers, or in the language of sacred symbolism, the essence of the circle exists in a dimension that transcends the linear rationality that it contains. Our holistic perspectives, feelings and intuitions encompass the finite elements of the ideas that are within them, yet have a greater wisdom than can be expressed by those ideas alone.
Design from Pattern to Detail
“The application of patterns on a design site involves the designer recognizing the shape and potential to fit these patterns or combinations of patterns comfortably onto the landscape” Sampson –Kelly. Branching can be used for the direction of paths, rather than straight paths with square angles. Lobe-like paths off the main path (known as keyhole paths) can be used to minimize waste and compaction of the soil.
The patterns found in the natural world are a source of inspiration for permaculture. ‘Pattern thinking’ can be used in a wide Variety of situations, by helping you to think about the overall pattern for a project by using a variety of design methods. It is about looking at the ‘big picture’ first. By stepping back we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs with the details filled in as we go.
Zoning is a good example of design method that is used to help generate an overall pattern for the site and ensure that it is designed to be energy efficient. Sector analysis is another deign method used to see how energy (wind, sun wildlife etc) flows through a site. Both of these tools help to give an overall shape to the design.
When designing it is important to gain an understanding of the local / regional patterning:
- landscape type, including hydrology
- underlying geology
- local biodiversity and common habitats
- social and cultural patterns – traditions, norms and values
At the center of a circle or a sphere is always an infinitesimal point. The point needs no dimension, yet embraces all dimension. Transcendence of the illusions of time and space result in the point of here and now, our most primal light of consciousness. The proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” is being validated by the ever-increasing literature on so-called “near-death experiences”. If our essence is truly spiritual omnipresence, then perhaps the “point” of our being “here” is to recognize the oneness we share, validating all “individuals” as equally precious and sacred aspects of that one.
Life itself as we know it is inextricably interwoven with geometric forms, from the angles of atomic bonds in the molecules of the amino acids, to the helical spirals of DNA, to the spherical prototype of the cell, to the first few cells of an organism which assume vesical, tetrahedral, and star (double) tetrahedral forms prior to the diversification of tissues for different physiological functions. Our human bodies on this planet all developed with a common geometric progression from one to two to four to eight primal cells and beyond.
Almost everywhere we look, the mineral intelligence embodied within crystalline structures follows a geometry unfaltering in its exactitude. The lattice patterns of crystals all express the principles of mathematical perfection and repetition of a fundamental essence, each with a characteristic spectrum of resonances defined by the angles, lengths and relational orientations of its atomic components.