As If the Universe Were One Single Organism

‘If we can see and understand nature as a harmony in which we participate, we’ll want to transform ourselves and our relationships to align with that harmony.

'We often act as if inner human nature was unconnected with outer nature … the geometry outside us shows us the principles within ourselves. It’s time we, as a global whole, relinquish old models of looking and learning and begin to cooperate. Literacy in nature’s script dispels the stereotype of nature as disorganized, unintelligible, and hostile. ... Learning nature’s language and reading its message helps abolish the attitude of separateness and encourages us to appreciate diversity. It will lead to nothing less than our own transformation as we find all nature’s principles within ourselves.

'To learn to resee the world in terms of its patterns requires a shift within us. But once this shift occurs and we see the familiar world in terms of its shapes and principles, a light turns on and the world brightens, comes into sharper relief. Everything speaks its purpose through its patterns. … All universal designs are found in human body proportions, which we have see can be repackaged to produce the proportions of a crystal, plant, animal, solar system, and galaxy. It is as if the universe is one single organism, motivated by a single power, developing in many ways to gradually become aware of itself through the awareness of the creatures and forces it produces.’ – Michael S. Schneider, A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe

Michael S. Schneider is a mathematician turned visionary educator, educating those who may be unaware of the ‘patterns that recur through the universe and underlie human affairs’. When I read A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe this Spring I was hardly one who needed convincing of the importance of ‘resee[ing] the world in terms of its patterns’; but still I learned a lot about number, geometry and nature's designs. I learned, for instance, that one reason cats' faces are so appealing to me (and apparently to witches) is because they display a pentagonal harmony. Thus the number 5 beautifully figures into the design of the feline face.

Schneider proceeds through the numbers one through ten and helps readers to see how number, form, art, myth, music and history are inter-related and how they can be seen as part of an inter-connected whole.

He closed the book with a quote from the founder of Integral Yoga, Sri Aurobindo:

Inaudible to our deaf mortal ears
The wide world-rhythms wove their stupendous chant

To which life strives to fit our rhyme-beats here,

Melting our limits in the illimitable,

Turning the finite to infinity.

- Savitri, Book 1, Canto 1

Though Schneider quotes Sri Aurobindo a couple of times in his book, he seems oblivious to the progress Sri Aurobindo's successors (the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet) have already made in the realm of sacred geometry, integral vision and world-rhythms and the divine design. Still I appreciate his knowledge and his understanding that living geometrical patterns have something to do with personal growth, with the expansion of consciousness and with establishing world harmony. The number of people with such an understanding is not large and I imagine his teachings will inspire many to reconsider what it means to be conscious of one's Self, one's World and one's Cosmos.


  1. I like this train of thought as I have definitely come to feel that we are all simply a divine manifestation, thus i would expect similarities between our makeup and the overarching patterns of the universe. The place that the skeptic in me gets caught is when i read statements such as "All universal designs are found in human body proportions." that seems more like a leap of faith. Examples don't necessarily lead to a "therefore" statement such as that. Can you find the universal pattern which describes our toenail sizes as they progress from small toe to large toe? Ankle circumference to foot length? How do you explain different finger length proportions between different people with a Universal pattern?

  2. Hey Ted, It is not so much a leap of faith ... it is actually a process of measuring and learning to appreciate relationships between parts of any whole (and of course parts of THE Whole). You should REALLY get a copy of and read the book mentioned in this 'As If..." post. Considering your artistic and architectural inclinations and your 'Explorations of Truth', I think some of your skepticism about such things will turn into amazement and joy. With regard to body proportions (say the body of a human, animal, plant, shell ... or solar system), the Golden Mean or Ratio (Phi)and corresponding Fibonacci sequence is the mathematical/geometric pattern that often applies. You can look those terms up on Wiki, but it is certainly discussed in depth in 'Beginner's Guide to the Universe'. The link below this paragraph is to a picture found in Schneider's book, it shows the role of Phi in the relationship between the various segments of the human body and also between the various segments of the hand. Of course there is some variation from person to person, and form to form as to how precisely it approaches the Golden Ratio, but the tendency of creation is toward the ideal rather than away from it.

    It seems that whatever variations that do arise are an expression of the individual soul with its own particular flare, purpose and circumstance/environment.

    The Phi ratio is ubiquitous in nature, as in the example of a cat's face ... because the design is pentagonal. The pentagram is replete with lines whose relationship expresses the Golden Mean.

    The Golden Mean is related to both the Square(4 sided) and the Pentagon (5 sided). Schneiders' book shows how EACH number (1-10 and also the number 12) expresses itself in forms throughout nature.


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