How the World Is Made

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-03-02
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Understanding the role of sacred geometry in cosmology and human affairs

• Explains how ancient societies that grasped the timeless principles of sacred geometry were able to create flourishing societies

• Illustrates the social and spiritual values in the natural progression of number

• Contains more than 300 full-color drawings showing the interplay of number and sacred geometry

Galileo described the universe as a large book written in the language of mathematics, which can only be read by those with knowledge of its characters--triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures. The laws of geometry are not human inventions. They are found ready-made in nature and hold a truth that is the same in all times and all places and is older than the world itself.

In How the World Is Made John Michell explains how ancient societies that grasped the timeless principles of sacred geometry were able to create flourishing societies. His more than 300 full-color illustrations reveal the secret code within these geometrical figures and how they express the spiritual meanings in the key numbers of 1 through 12. For example, the number 8 and its octagon are symbols of peace and stability, the holy 7 and its seven-sided figure are connected to the world-soul. He identifies the various regular shapes and shows their constructions; their natural symbolism; their meetings, matings, and ways of breeding; and their functions within the universal order. Some are musical and structural, others relate to life and humanity. In the process of making these discoveries, Michell helps us see the world in a new light. Disparate shapes and their corresponding numbers are woven together, resolving themselves into an all-inclusive world image--that “pattern in the heavens,” as Socrates called it, “which anyone can find and establish within themselves.”

Author Biography

John Michell (1933-2009), educated at Eton and Cambridge, was the pioneer researcher and specialist in the field of ancient, traditional science. He is the author of more than 40 books that have profoundly influenced modern thinking, including The Dimensions of Paradise, The New View over Atlantis, and The Sacred Center. Allan Brown is an illustrator who specializes in sacred geometrical figures. He lives in Brighton.

Table of Contents

Publisher’s Preface

The Hand and the Computer
A Note on the Illustrations

Part 1

1. How the World Began
And Why, and Why Worry?
- The Geometer’s Creator
- Creative Geometry: Introducing the Ratios
- Genesis and the Great Geometer
- The Number of the Universe

2. The Number 5040
Key to the World Plan
- Earth, Moon, and the Circle Squared

3. The Circle, the Square
And the Meaning of Pi
- Pi in Practice
- Pi in the Pyramid
- Pi Equals 3? An Antiquarian Fantasy
- The π Patterns
- Cosmological Revelations in Crop Circles
- The Revelation at Crooked Soley

4. Initiation
And the Vision of Heavenly Order
- An Initiate’s Vision: St John and the Heavenly Jerusalem
- Heaven on Earth: The Pattern of the Sanctuary
- The Numbers of the Holy City and Their Meanings
- 3168, the Number of Our Lord Jesus Christ
- 1080, the Lunar Number, the Solar 666, and Their Sum, 1746
- 864, the Foundation Number

Part 2
The Physical Creation

5. The Dodecad
A Summary of the Numbers One to Twelve

6. The One and Only
Symbol of the Universe

7. The Geometry of Two
Duality and the World of Paradox

8. The Geometry of Three
The Vesica Piscis and Material Creation
- The Vesica Piscis and the Marriage Made in Heaven
- The Net with 153 Fishes, a Geometer’s Parable
- The Triangles That Fill Up Space
- Pythagorean Triangles
- The Second Pythagorean Triangle 5-12-13

9. Four and the Square
Reason, Stability, Order
- The Rational Square and the Root-2 Proportion
- Doubling the Area of a Square: An Exercise in Recollection

10. Six and the Hexagon
The Perfect Number

11. Eight and the Octagon
For Peace and Justice

12. The Majestic Twelve
The Number of Universal Order and Harmony
- Twelve Tribes and the Revelation of the Heavenly Order

Part 3
The Creation of Life

13. Five and Ten
Numbers of Life and Growth
- Life and the Pentagon
- Five and the Golden Section
- Humanity and the Pentagram
- Pentagonal Dances
- Sex and the Pentagram: Meeting, Mating, and Breeding
- Pentagonal Marriages with Other Shapes
- Five and Seven

Part 4
The World Soul

14. The Holy Seven
Symbol of the World Soul
- Seven and the Mysteries
- Seven, Nine, and the Septenary Number
- Twelve and Seven: The Supreme Numerical Marriage

15. Geometry and Love
Approaching the Climax

Part 5

16. A Geometer’s Nightmare
Plato’s Pentagonal Allegory
- Atlantis: The Historical Record
- Atlantis: Its Foundation and Growth
- Squaring the Circle, Atlantis Style
- Atlantis: The Pentagonal Edifice
- Atlantis: The Basic Geometry
- Atlantis and the Golden Section
- The Meaning of Atlantis

About the Author


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