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Archive for Thursday 21st March 2002 - The geometry of the Creation

At the beginning of the Bible, the first chapter of Genesis describes the stages by which the Creator fashioned the universe. First he brought it to order, then he divided it between the upper part and the lower part, and separated the land from the sea.

This story reflects a simple figure of geometry. Last week I promised more on geometry as an esoteric art - an art with hidden meaning. Genesis is a good place to start. And another ancient book that tells the same story, but with m ore geometric details, is Plato’s Timaeus.

The story, as geometers tell it, is that the Creator drew his plan of the universe with a ruler and fixed compass. He placed his compass point at the centre, and drew a circle to define the limits of the universe. That is what everyone does with their first geometry set.

He also drew the diameter of the circle through the central dot. Placing his compass point at one end of the diameter, he swung two arcs to cut the circle on either side of it. And he did the same at the other end. In this way he divided the circle into six equal parts, and went on to make those daisy patterns that everyone likes.

When you do that, you are imitating the material creation, symbolised by the number 6. Hexagonal geometry is beautiful but mechanical. Next week we will continue through other shapes and stages in creation.

John Michell

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