The seeds of my interest in sacred geometry were planted in my late teenage years, when I began studying comparative religion as a personal interest. I spent a lot of time hanging out in the religion and new age section of bookstores, picking through titles and buying those that piqued my interest of the moment, regardless of the origin of the tradition that produced a given text. I was in an exploratory mode, and knew it at the time, doing my best to simply expose myself to as many traditions and systems as possible, all with the goal of finding the kernels of truth that tied them all together. I can’t really say why I felt driven to do so, but I did.
I was blessed in that I wasn’t alone in my odd quest. My brothers and sister felt the same drive, and we continuously shared information on what we were reading with one another. They exposed me to systems and philosophies I likely would never have pursued on my own. All of our knowledge grew together.
That was in Portland, Maine, circa 1994. We were dishwashers.
At some point, in some random book shop, I came across Robert Lawlor’s “Sacred Geometry; Philosophy and Practice.’ I think it’s fair to say that was a seminal day. I still recommend that book as the first text any beginning student of sacred geometry obtain and study.
It became obvious fairly quickly that if I were ever to be able to teach others about the similarity of all religion and spiritual practices, the specific metaphors, stories, and cultural symbolism of each tradition would always interfere. Either pre-conceived notions of other cultures colors our understanding, or the cultural-specific symbolism within their mythologies are simply beyond our grasp. White is commonly associated with goodness and light in the West, yet in China it is associated with death… where do you go from there?
Sacred geometry finally gave me the metaphor that I could teach through, or more accurately, removed the need for a metaphor. Number is just number, understood and related to at its fundamental level in the same way around the world. Granted, some cultures have superstitious belief around certain numbers, but you’d be hard pressed to find someone who consciously had an active attraction or repulsion to, say, 1.732… unless of course, they are sacred geometers, or perhaps physicists. And then there is the fact that nature and physical matter itself present us with the system… very little room is left, or needed, for speculation and hyperbole (though some seem determined to add that regardless).
I ended up attending Goddard College for four years, studying comparative religion in their self-directed, low-residency Bachelor of Arts program, and gradually focused more and more on sacred geometry as my core topic. The Nature’s Word website was originally created simply as a means of conveying my school work to my professors, and much of the content herein is original to that period (1996 – 2000). The ‘Geometry of Life’ video presented in this site is my thesis from my final year at Goddard.
In the years since graduating from Goddard, I’ve focused most of my efforts on using sacred geometry, rather than talking about it (i.e., the ‘practice’ as opposed to the ‘philosophy’ in Lawlor’s title). Practicing sacred geometry is one of my greatest loves these days, and I engage in it whenever I have time… which is not often enough. Again, I can’t really explain why I feel compelled to do so, or express the odd joy I feel when I do… I think its just one of those things you have to do to understand. You can find sacred geometry hiding in many of the designs I present in my design portfolio at http://www.unitone.org. I hope to find the time to present more of my visual work here in the near future.
By the way, I got a D in my high school geometry class.
all materials copyright 2010, Aidrian O'Connor