Ur Dream Home Article
Your Dream HomeIn the writing of this second article I was inspired and guided by the wise words of the great philosopher Winnie the Pooh, who simply said, “Simplest is Bestest”. It is a very good basis from which to begin to describe the underlying principles of Bio Architecture. Without this natural ‘Pooh Protocol’ we can easily become bogged down with abstract concepts, unfamiliar language and ultimately useless opinion based information. It can also be very beneficial here to incorporate the added wisdom of another great philosopher William Occam, the 14th century English logician and Franciscan friar, who formulated the often used principle which has become known as ‘Occam’s Razor’ – which states that ‘the solution or answer with the least number of assumptions is the one most likely to be right’.
In combining both philosophies it becomes possible to offer and share some timeless design principles with some very practical applications, and to do so with as few assumptions as possible. I am actively seeking to minimise the inherent assumptions on which these articles are based, but freely admit to one assumption; and that is that I believe we all share a common desire to come into balance in our environments and to express ourselves in what we think and say, in how we look and in how we create our worlds. This desire fuels an ongoing albeit sometimes subtle search for information, knowledge and wisdom that will allow us to grow and thrive. If you find yourself reading this, then know that this basic drive is at work, helping you in ways that would astound you!
In an age of shallow sound bites and surface level platitudes masquerading as expert advice, we may need to delve just a little deeper into the wisdom of the ages, with a fresh mind. We need to accept that if something is worth knowing or learning, than all that is needed is a little time, and a willingness to be open to new information. If it is information based on some basic truths then the ways in which we can apply this are truly limitless. So remember to breathe and smile, and get a glass of water to help the red pill go down!
Science has, in some ways, caught up with ancient wisdom, most notably in the now fully accepted understanding that everything in the Universe is ‘made’ of Energy. Atoms, once thought to be solid ‘things’ forming the basic building blocks of matter, are now considered to be more accurately defined as constantly vibrating patterns of energy. One physicist bemusedly noted that the more he studied the ‘quantum’ realm the more he began to see atoms less as ‘things’ and more as ‘thoughts’! In essence, and in the spirit of these articles, we can usefully describe the most fundamental nature of Creation as the energetic interplay of different vibrational frequencies.
This is where Winnie and William may frown at my choice of words, after all, I did commit to keeping this simple! Simply put – everything is energy, and energy expresses itself as a wave. A wave is a familiar pattern to us as we can see and feel them in our everyday lives, from raindrops rippling in a puddle and crashing waves at the seaside to the rising and falling harmonics of music and the up and down motion of a boat. If we extend this understanding a little further we begin to see that every aspect of our existence consists of waves waving! Our thoughts are waves, our breath is a wave, our heartbeat is a wave, and our sleep wake cycle is a wave, all nesting within the ‘larger’ wave cycles of the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun and beyond. Bringing this concept back into focus we can appreciate that if everything is energy expressing itself as a wave then it makes sense to develop some basic understanding of how waves interact with each other, in order that we can apply this knowledge to the creation of spaces that support us on every level.
To illustrate how waves meet we can begin by holding our hands out in front of us, with our elbows bent, palms facing down and our fingers facing each other. Increase the distance between both hands as much as possible and then begin to move them together slowly, tracing a wave-like movement. You will notice that as your hands move towards each other, they trace out a wave in the air with your fingers leading – known as the ‘wave front’. You can see that the waves have an up and a down, a ‘crest’ and a ‘trough’, and a rising and falling pathway between the two. When your fingers meet, and the wave fronts touch, they begin to ‘interfere’ with each other. It may be that the fingers of the right hand are moving downwards just as the fingers of the left hand are rising in which case we say that one wave ‘cancels’ or ‘destructively’ interferes with the other, and the result is that both waves meet their end so to speak. If your fingers meet when both are on an upward (or downward) movement then the interference is known to be ‘constructive’, and the resulting wave pattern is the sum of the two ‘parent’ waves.
This can be seen beautifully if you drop two pebbles into a pond or a lake. The impact of the stones when they hit the water, create a circular wave front pattern which radiates and extends out as a series of growing concentric circles, and when these two impact wave fronts meet there is a lovely ‘interference’ pattern, consisting of little peaks and valleys. It is worth stating here that there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ interference, there is just interference! But in the creation of matter, form and life itself, Nature likes it when waves meet and greet constructively, as this affords the possibility of the emergence of more complex living systems. This is where we begin to see the same natural patterns, symmetries and shapes being manifested and expressed at all levels, from atoms, molecules and cells, to landscapes, planets and galaxies.
So to recap – everything is energy expressing in waves, and these waves are constantly moving, meeting and interfering, and the resulting patterns give rise to everything we see and feel around us. When we observe and study living systems and healthy environments we see certain geometries and harmonies being expressed with a beauty and precision that is quite breathtaking. The word ‘Geometry’ means the study and measurement of the Earth and the sometimes used expression ‘Sacred Geometry’, (an older name for Biological Architecture) means the truly sustainable underlying natural wave symmetries and organic patterns that give rise to Life.
In school most of us would have had some exposure to basic geometry, learning about circles, triangles and squares. Much of this subject may have been presented to us in a rather sterile way, lacking real life context, and so it is no surprise that we may still harbour some resistance or even distaste for the subject. Knowing the maths behind the parabolic path trajectory of a spherical object is not a requirement when we play football! It is all about context and natural application. By becoming open to revisit some of the principles at work in how our world is shaped, and by supporting and upgrading our natural instincts and inherent knowing with this information we can develop wonderful new ways to express life and create sustainably.
When we observe a tree we do not see a triangle or a circle sitting on a thin cylinder – rather we observe a complex sequence of growth patterns that seem, with keen eyes, to follow some basic geometric harmony. This geometry, referred to as Fractal Geometry, was first popularised in the eighties, when computer technology afforded us the chance to see some stunningly beautiful natural patterns emerge on screen when we inputted certain mathematical equations that were derived from studying nature. Fractal Geometry displays shapes that continue to emerge regardless of the scale or magnification of the form. We can see fractality at work when we cut open a cabbage, and marvel at the fantastic spirallic forms all moving towards the centre like water cascading downs a plug hole. We see fractality at work in the opening of a rose, or the seed arrangements on a sunflower, or on a pine cone or pineapple. And of course we see in when we look again at our tree.
There appears to be a basic structure, anchored in the Earth, which continues to branch and divide in order to maximise expression, stability, distribution of food and energy, access to light, all with a minimum use of materials (a good example of sustainable development!). Our friendly waves are effortlessly interfering at all levels, utilising the same geometric symmetries to create such a beautiful life form. It is again worth noting at this point that it is not necessary to have or be able to express the apparently complex mathematics that gives rise to these forms, it is more than enough to be able to see and recognise them at play in the world both within and without us.
Ultimately, one specific number, expressing itself as a ratio, continues to emerge at every level. This number is called The Golden Ratio, or Golden Number, or perhaps more sustainably, as PHI, pronounced ‘fie’, or ‘five’ without the ‘v’ sound at the end. This number is observed to be the primary shaker and mover in virtually all natural processes and emergent forms, and this is the number that we will explore in more detail in the next article.