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Golden Section

28 29 Phi in huMan culTure sympathetic magic as above, so below A careful comparative study of cultures, their art, architecture, religion, mythology and philosophy, often reveals that, like phyllotaxis, the multiplicity and diversity of styles and types are underlain by strikingly simple universal principles. Plato maintained that the goal of aesthetics is not simply to copy nature, but rather to peer deeply into her, penetrating her tapestry to understand and employ the sacred ratios and proportions at work in her beautifully simple but divine order. Concerning this, Plotinus 205270 wrote The wise men of old, who made temples and statues in the wish that the gods should be present to them, looking to the nature of the All, had in mind that the nature of soul is easy to attract, but that if someone were to construct something sympathetic to it and able to receive a part of it, it would of all things receive soul most easily. That which is sympathetic to it is what imitates it in some way like a mirror able to catch the reflection of the form. The designers of Beijings early 15th century Forbidden City opposite used three equal and adjacent golden rectangles to frame their project, two of which enclose the moat. See if you can locate them. They then used the principle of rabatment to site and proportion further elements. In rabatment, squares are sectioned off inside golden rectangles to produce smaller golden rectangles, producing further guide lines see also the Tablet of Shamash, page 3. In the twelve pages which follow we examine in further detail some of the ways in which humanity has attempted to manifest, or craft, the divine forms of nature into the human environment.
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