Geometrically Ordered Design: Two to Tango

May 17th, 2012  |  Published in Features, May 2012

“So God created man in his own image.”

-Genesis 1:27

Madonna Enthroned

This is technically my second article pertaining to the design field and again it is necessary to distinguish between art and design. Design in essence cannot be accomplished without specific degrees of control, and almost always has a definitive point to make. How well the ‘point’ can be made is attributed to how well the design was carried out. This cannot be said about art. Art can be about anything or nothing at all, which makes design a subdivision of art. In this respect design can be seen as separate from other art forms, in that there is a singular goal in the mind of the designer. In order to understand any art form at its core, the viewer must understand visual acoustics on an elementary level. The level I have chosen to start with is numbers and their relationships with each other through geometry and proportion. Design cannot be truly understood without attaining this knowledge. Not only is this the basis for every art form, but it is also the architecture of the natural world. Also to aide the reader, I will be referencing specific visual instances where the number or geometry in question can be better understood.

As stated in my first article ‘Design Intervention’, the goal of these next articles will be dedicated specifically to understanding our numerical system through the process of Sacred Geometry. I will be breaking down each of the single digit numbers from 1-9, and end with zero. Of course, if we are talking about numbers, the best place to start is technically zero, but I think saving the best for last is appropriate for this kind of approach.

In this article the number two makes its introduction, and with it the idealism of polarity in its most elegant and simplistic form. Theoretically speaking two represents the first instance of self-replication through the monad (1 + 1 = 2) in which a division has taken place. The number one has basically made a mirror image of itself. What was once singular, as described in my previous article, is singular no more. Thus the number two can stand in as being the essence of pure duality. This idea of duality can be further pushed to imply infinity due to the fact that if you have more than one, you can have many. In this way the number two is the doorway through which all geometric ideals must pass to become a ‘reality’.

Birth of the Line through the Vesica Piscis

Now that we have a basic theoretical understanding of what two is, how can it be sensed or perceived. Geometrically speaking, a single circle gave us the ‘point’. Two circles give us the ‘line’ which is formed through the vesica piscis (meaning vessel of the fish in Latin for the obvious reason shown in the image included). The line is no more than two points connected together through space and time. However, this does not mean that the line has any physical qualities as we would perceive with the naked eye. The line is more of a conceptual relationship between polar quantities. Think of any dualistic relationship that comes to mind such as Black/White, Male/Female, Good/Evil etc. All of these relationships could not exist without the other and in effect are dependent on one another. They are the same but different. A good example of this is the two sides of the human body. They appear the same, but just try and put a left-handed glove on the right hand. With this idea of duality and polar relationships arises the concept of a middle-ground. For example, one cannot help when seeing a black and white composition to include gray, or when seeing a male and female to include the child. I will expand more on this when we get to the number 3 in the next article.

To anyone practicing the art of Sacred Geometry, the point/circle of the first article represents the curved or female nature of the universe whereas the line represents the angular or male nature. This can be symbolized by the females ovum (a circle) and the males sperm (a line). Anyone who has even a minimal knowledge of nature knows that nothing moving does so in a straight line (at least on this dimensional plane). Even if you were to draw a straight line with a ruler and supreme concentration, irregularities could be perceived easily through a microscope. There is a profound and hidden meaning to this finding. This implies that any given subject/object is drawn from its beginning to its end through curvature, and thusly angular momentum or spirals.

Where do we see this so-called angular momentum? Everywhere. The DNA and cells of organisms, planets, gyroscopes, a bullet fired from a gun, and countless other things utilize this kind of momentum. In a nut-shell this process is done by doubling or multiplying by 2. A specific example can be seen in the binary computing system that we have all grown to love so much. First we start out with 8 bits which equal one byte, and from then on each byte simply doubles (8, 16, 32, 64, etc…). This process continues on to infinity, or as close to infinity as nature allows.

"Heaven and Hell" M.C. Escher

Coming back to my main theme, there cannot be anything without the ‘one’, but there cannot be many things without at least two. This notion of duality seems to be an illusion created by the perpetual doubling of the one into many. Good seems to be merely a mirror image of Evil. Water, a mirror image of fire. This knowledge has grown on me greatly within the last year or so through my study of Sacred Geometry and meditative practice. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share some of my findings and realizations with those of you out there reading, and I will continue next month with the number 3, and the beginning of planar geometry.

–Dustin Pike

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