Geometrically Ordered Design: Perfect Six
By Dustin Pike
“God produced the entire mass for the adornment of his majesty in six days. On the seventh day, he consecrated it with a blessing” – Victorinus (on the creation of the world)
This is my sixth article pertaining to the design field and its relationship with mathematics. 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 all art-forms. Art can be about anything or nothing at all, which makes art primary, and design secondary. In this respect design can be seen as separate from other art forms, because the designer has a precise goal. In order to understand any design language at its core, the viewer must understand visual acoustics on multiple levels. The level I have chosen to start with is numbers. I will show their relationships with each other through geometric and proportional means, and describe how numbers can be ‘seen’ and ‘produced’ through artistic expression. Design language cannot be truly understood without awareness of this knowledge. Not only is this the basis for every art form, but it is also the architecture of the natural world around and inside us.
In the last G.O.D. article (number 5) we discussed the initiation of movement into the design schema. Our tetrahedron, from the number 4, decided to get up and go somewhere. However there was never a hint at where it was going. This brings us to the pinnacle of equilibrium in our journey to the number 6. What has happened is that our original tetrahedron has mirrored or mimicked itself within the original sphere. In other words we now have 2 inverted tetrahedrons. From the two-dimensional viewpoint this could appear to be what has been called the Shield of David, Seal of Solomon, or what we now refer to as the hexagon (See Hexagonal Symbology). On a third-dimensional level it appears as a so-called star tetrahedron, whose outer points extend to establish the 8 corners of a cube (See Star Tetrahedron Image). Much mystery and speculation has surrounded this number over human history from the 6 days of creation and 1 day of rest in The Bible, to the Cube of Metatron in Judaism. Also many natural occurrences appear in six-fold symmetry including anything from the Honeycombs of bee’s, to the Giant’s Causeway of Northern Ireland (See Hexagonal Symmetry in Nature image). There is no doubt that this number contains certain clues of artistic and spiritual creation.
To describe this number as a familiar metaphor, it would simply be the awareness of one’s conscious body. There is a here and now without the presupposition of past and future, much like a newborn baby. In fact, this ‘new born baby’ motif has been rightly symbolized in countless manners by the artistic masters of old. In this manner consciousness is declared as the automatic and mechanical separation of individual and environment, body and mind, subject and object, etc. We experience this every time we look in the mirror. Yet this body, being fully aware of its presence, has not the need to alter anything. It is merely a spectator. Herein is the silence of Harpocrates, and the stillness of Buddha. Within this environment it seems that all is well and whole, at least for the moment.
Mathematically the number 6 is often referred to as the first perfect number. Since ancient times a perfect number has been defined as being the sum of its factors. In this case it is 1 + 2 + 3 = 6. 6 is also the product of its factors (1 x 2 x 3 = 6). Previously we were given the square root of 2 through the two-dimensional square by comparing the diagonal length with the side length. Now, since we have all 8 corners of the cube in place, we are given the square root of 3 by connecting the most opposing points across the volume of the cube and comparing that with any side length. To understand these technicalities further we must construct our own hexagon (See Construction of a Hexagon). The seven circle pattern given through this construction method is often referred to as ‘The Seed of Life’, and is packed with biological and systematic symbolism that I dare not delve into here. It is enough to say that this pattern is inherent in all levels of creation, and without it nothing could be said to exist. Even during birth our bodies all went through a repetitive cell division process which utilized this creative blueprint.
We have now finished creating the cubic egg of space and the residing star tetrahedron within 6 steps, and have been equipped with awareness and nothing more. This could be described plainly as our ‘essential body’; the Merkaba or ‘Chariot of God’ termed by the Jewish mystics. We have been made a driver of this so-called chariot. At this point we have merely but turned the key in the ignition and left the car in neutral. Our destination is undecided since we have not yet felt the need to go anywhere. As we will see in the next article on the number 7, there are many places to go and things to experience, far more than we could possibly imagine.