Sacred Giametry

Sacred Gaiametry
Acrylic on Board, 32" x 26"

While interest in sacred geometry is as old as human history, the last two decades have seen these forms and ideas proliferate in popular consciousness. This is, I think, because sacred geometry reflects the convergence of human technology and our boundless desire to understand the underlying order of things.  This is all well and good, and there is every reason to celebrate the profound revelation of a hidden order to the mysteries of existence. However, it's also worth observing that this way of appreciating nature, of looking for what is behind it, rather than what is before us, is rooted in the ancient dualism of Plato's ideal forms.  In other words, we are appreciating nature by looking at the ideas it points to, rather than seeing it for what it is, here and now, growing raw and wonderful.

The actual frothing forth of human consciousness from our own natural forms is much more in line with the undulating patterns rendered by the Shipibo people of Peru, than the pristine linear mandalas produced by today's computer aided visionaries. As Alan Watt's put it more than thirty years ago, "Nature is wiggly." I propose that our modern interest in sacred geometry is largely a reflection of a culture that has learned to worship it's own mechanization of space. The world of straight lines is a world of machines and mass production, of copies and their endless rearrangement. Meanwhile, nature at the scale of human beings, is fuzzy, flexible, and flowing. It attains it's perfection, as do we, through the harmonious incorporation of its flaws.  

There is on the horizon, however, and especially in those areas where human activity is closely aligned with the earth, a renewed interest in these other qualities of natural design.  I think of permaculture in particular. Here, people work with the wiggle of nature to produce design solutions that are local rather than transcendental.  Instead of searching for a formula that is hidden beyond the specific natural form, this new vision seeks to find and empower the inter-relationships between specific living systems in particular places in time.  In so doing, the straight lines of industrial fields are reorganized into undulating waves that flow across the landscape. It is not sacred geometry, it is sacred gaiametry, a formal reflection of the spirit of the earth at the scale of the living creatures that celebrate it.  

Though we may pretend that it is so... even straight hair is not entirely straight.

Back to Top