The link below opens in a new tab or window for you to listen to music of one of the great spiritual teachers, Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, while you read these words on sacred geometry. He encoded the proportions of the perfect human form into music, to bring deep peace and stillness within.
“The words and notions of different epochs change according to conditions of place and time; unity is eternal and immutable. The laws, acting in us, and producing the plurality assumed by us, are everywhere the same. From the most ancient times humanity has understood this, and by utilizing the language of symbols and formulas, more perfect than our contemporary language, has gone on handing its knowledge down to the succeeding generations. And everybody approaching the symbol and possessing a complete understanding of it, possesses a perfect synthesis of it.”
Georges Gurdjieff (Enneagram lecture)
Sacred Geometry is the art and science of understanding nature’s processes – most importantly for this website the creative (male) and regenerative (female) processes – through analysing pattern and form. This takes the shape of geometry (the study of forms) and algebra (the study of numbers and their relationships to each other). By studying the pure forms, the symbols upon which the universe is built, we begin to see the workings of all phenomena – we begin to glimpse our one true self. In the process, we begin to understand the inner processes and rhythms of the body, and where there is deficiency or stagnation that needs to be resolved.
The renowned mystic teacher Hazrat Inayat Khan once declared, “Living in the world without insight into the hidden laws of nature is like not knowing the language of the country in which one was born” (Schneider, The Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe, 1995 p.xxi).
In the following pages, you will read and potentially come to experience how there were ancient Chinese sages who were well versed in the hidden laws of nature, who knew how to use these ‘laws’ in practical ways, and that they were actively engaged in the practice of transcribing this experiential knowledge into pictorial, symbolic form – the practice of sacred geometry – to be rediscovered only by those with a mind willing to think outside of language. In this way, we are able to encounter a unique, individualised understanding of the laws of existence that becomes an intrinsic part of our every action. It is not exoteric knowledge that is encoded in these symbols (knowledge that comes to us from outside, that can be taught to us by another), but esoteric – the symbols lead the student to experience the laws of nature rather than developing a mere intellectual understanding – as happens between teacher and student; and the esoteric student consequently incorporates this realisation into the very fibre of his or her Being. This knowledge cannot be forgotten.
Schwaller de Lubicz (The Symbol and the Symbolique 1978 p49) wrote, “Whether it is a natural or combined image… the property of the symbol is to be a synthesis.”
In Esotericism and Symbol (1985 p68) he added “Pictorial writing is the only means of conveying a thought directly to intelligence-of-the-heart.”
It is through this non-linguistic contemplation of creation that they were able to evolve the concepts of dao, as well as qi, yin & yang and the 5 Elements – the “3 pillars of Chinese medicine” – the very cornerstone of the theory of Chinese medicine. In fact, it is in large part through this practice that the philosophy of dao arose, its roots based in the study of light and shade.
In Daoism, and in the mathematics before zero first appeared (in Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi’s ‘Keys of the Sciences’, 976 AD), number One is the biggest number, as it represents Unity, All, the parent and the container of all numbers and therefore of the universe itself. The philosophy of dao, just as in sacred geometry, sees no difference essentially between One and Nothing, between Everything and Nothing, between Nothing and Infinite Possibility.
The breakdown of the symbols as I have integrated them begins with One – Dao - the source of all.