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Sacred Geometry-Sacred Nonsense?

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on November 21, 2008

Have you had your fill of nonsense for today? No? Well how about some Sacred Geometry! You have to read it to really get to appreciate it, but let me quote some howlers:

Sacred geometry is an ancient system of design and building based upon the harmonic relationship between man, nature and the universe. Virtually ignored by modern architects and designers, it was central to most ancient societies.

News flash, if it is ignored by modern architects, it is quite likely it is archaic and has outlived it’s usefulness, if it had any to begin with. And just what is this “harmonic relationship” between man, nature and universe? Sounds quite poetic, I’ll give it that.

The practice concerns a worldview of pattern recognition, producing religious patterns and structures involving space, time and form. By working with such forms, insight can come regarding the nature of all.

Hmm, I was not aware that patter recognition was a worldview! I thought that humans were pretty much hardwired to recognize patterns. Pareidolia anyone? And isn’t it just great that we can get insight regarding the nature of all? Too bad the author doesn’t seem to have received this insight. Either that or he/she’s unwilling to share. 

Pythagoras realized the importance of this, and also showed how such harmonies work also with music. Hence, sacred geometry is a holistic practice. Even in ancient cave art, it is now known that pictures were drawn at ideal places for sound amplification.

Sacred Geometry! Is a holistic practice! Just what does that mean? Up to today I had only seen the term “holistic” used in relation to alternative medicine quackery. And that claim about ancient cave art being drawn at ideal places for sound amplification sound exactly like the kind of unsubtantiated bullcrap new agey types like to make up to make their claims seem more plausible. And what does drawing have to do with sound anyway? I guess that harmonization thingie has something to do with this one.

However, an understanding of this harmonic relationship can often cause too much complication in just what sacred geometry is about. I say this because ancient man seemed to realize such relationships, and design accordingly, through instinct.

Oh I see, there goes the glorification of “the instinct”, the gut feeling. Bush has been governing from this gut for the past 8 years. Do we really want to pay homage to instincts so much? Oh, and of course don’t try to understand the sacred geometry…it’s too complicated. So if it SEEMS not to make any sense whatsoever, don’t worry, trust the cave man’s instinct, you’re in good hands there!

Oh, I can’t continue, read the rest for yourselfs and laugh, and laugh….and then go cry! Humanity’s future is really dim if it keeps looking longingly at the past and hoping it was able to turn back…to the cave times!


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  1. anthonynorth said, on November 21, 2008 at 9:18 AM

    So, where do I begin to answer this diatribe. How about with your inability to know whether it is written by ‘he/she’. When the name is on the post, you show a total contempt that colours your whole post. By the way, the author is me.
    You say:

    ‘And that claim about ancient cave art being drawn at ideal places for sound amplification sound exactly like the kind of unsubtantiated bullcrap … ‘

    Well, for a good, rounded understanding of that very concept, you could begin with Chapter Six of Richard Leakey’s ‘The Origin of Humankind’. As one of the world’s leading anthropologists, the book was good enough to feature in the ‘Science Masters’ series, along with Dawkins, etc. Please try to substantiate before claiming ‘unsubstantiated bullcrap’.
    Now please quote from my essay where I say I believe Sacred Geometry to be an actual reality. You won’t be able to do so. I am relating what is known of the BELIEF in its existence. Which brought me to the purpose of the essay, which you totally, and disgustingly, ignored.
    It is an essay about how sacredness is used in design as a form of control mechanism over a society. My main point is that this ability to control is still with us in our societies, and can be found in super-capitalism and many areas of science.
    Understanding of this process would have outed Bush for what he is years ago!
    Your automatic failure to properly digest such ideas actually allows people like Bush to continue. Still, I forgive you.
    Maybe you’d like to have similar ‘fun’ with my latest piece here:

    http://beyondtheblog.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/the-science-gene

    Finally, I’d like to thank you for publicising my post. I find sceptics do a marvellous job in promoting alternative ideas. After all, where would Geller be without Randi? You see, it is the nature of the fanatic to always end up with the opposite to what he intended.
    But please try to get your facts right in future.

  2. Skepdude said, on November 21, 2008 at 5:47 PM

    Tony, first of all “he/she” has no bearing upon what I am saying, it does not affect my thoughts either way if you’re a he or a she. Second, we all know how easy it is to portray yourself on the internet, so you could very easily be a female that likes to be known ans Anthony in teh intertoobes and that’s fine. It just is inconsequential to the discussion at hand. This sort of ad hominem does not do anything to advance your argument.

    Now on to the cave painting and sound amplification thing; please note that I said it is unsubstantiated, and you did not in fact link to anything or even mention where you got that from, so as far as you entry is concerned it is unsubstantiated, you don’t expect me to go searching the web to verify if you made it up or not, do you? In fact there are no links to anything you say, for people to go look at on their own. There isn’t even one link in your entire entry, and you know that blog entries are full of links to where the author got the information. That’s the beauty of blogging versus print writing. So before you start getting on my case about substantiating my disbelief in your claims, you should start by backing up your claims properly and not assume that every one has read the specific chapter of a specific book by a specific author that you have.

    Second, I did not say IT IS bullcrap, I said it sounds like bullcrap; and there’s a big difference there. When coupled with no linking or mention of where that fact comes from, I think I am justified in saying that. You are the one that made the statement so you are the one who should substantiate it. I merely pointed out the lack of said substantiation and thus went on to say that it ” sound exactly like the kind of unsubstantiated bull crap” (yes I misspelled it, but I wrote this entry late at night after a long day’s work, sorry!)

    I don’t think that saying that something sounds like, or looks like or feels like, or what have you, requires evidence on my part do you? That’s what it sounds to me and I am solely expressing my opinion based on the facts (or lack of) that you presented along with your claim. If I had said IT IS then you’d be correct in requiring something more, but I didn’t.

    Now if I misunderstood the purpose of your entry, I stand to be corrected. Nevertheless here is your opening paragraph “Sacred geometry is an ancient system of design and building based upon the harmonic relationship between man, nature and the universe. Virtually ignored by modern architects and designers, it was central to most ancient societies.” You say that IT IS not it is believed to be. You even make a point of the architects ignoring it. Well, how am I supposed to interpret you saying that something IS? How could I possibly interpret it differently than to say that you think it IS? Believe me I have no intention to ignore anything, it just is not obvious. If you’re talking about a belief that you do not hold, you should make it clear.

    You could have said something like “Sacred Geometry is believed by some to be……blah blah blah” not present it matter of fact manner. I think the fault there lies with you not me. You show to me where in your entry you made it clear that this is solely a belief that some people hold but you do not? I think most reasonable readers, after reading your entry, will come away with the same impression I did.

    I’m glad for your forgiveness and I would definitely take a look at your other writings. I have no problem advertising your writings as long as I advertise my own views along with it. If I have to advertise a view I do not hold, in order to have open discussion so be it. I think discussion is much more important.

    I see you have a thing against skepticism, which tells me something about who I am dealing with here. Where would Geller be without Randi? Probably where he is if not even more advanced. I thank Randi for his tireless work. Where would John Edward and Sylvia Browne be without Randi? Same place, suckers will still fall for their act regardless of how much people like Randi fight the charlatans. But you know what, the people on the fence may not, and that is what makes all our work worth. So enjoy the publicity, it bothers me none.

    By the way you may want to look up the definition of fanaticism before you throw that my way. I am not uncritically devoted to no one and no thing or idea, and even though I am enthusiastic about what I do, I don’t think I am excessive in my enthusiasm. I find it funny how you find me, or Randi, fanatical solely because we don’t buy everything you say. Hmmm, don’t you think that’s a sign of fanaticism in itself dear Tony?

  3. anthonynorth said, on November 21, 2008 at 6:28 PM

    If a person was explaining Christianity, say, they would not bother with ‘it is believed’ at the beginning of every sentence. The writer, and reader, would generally accept that, as a belief system, it exists, without necessarily believing what claims are made. The same is true of my interpretation of sacred geometry.
    I deal in ideas, not science per se, and my readers work on the ideas I propose, so I rarely ‘substantiate’ in the way you say. As a matter of courtesy I will accept your eplanation here. As for ‘publicity’, I’m not bothered whether you publicise me or not, I was simply making a point.
    As for scepticism, I have no problem with it at all, as long as it is balanced. I’m often sceptical myself concerning the unexplained. What worries me is the ease with which a certain breed of sceptic becomes so tunnel visioned that they miss most of what they are looking at – such as the actual message in a post.

  4. Skepdude said, on November 21, 2008 at 7:25 PM

    Possible, nevertheless if a believer was explaining Christianity he would make it clear by saying “the lord Jesus Christ” and if a nonbeliever was explaining it, they would make it clear either through the context or explicitly.

    I do not think it is necessary to start every sentence with it, just say it once so that it is clear where you stand. If you don’t you can’t blame me for interpreting an ambiguous statement differently from what you meant.

    Now on to skepticism, it is balanced by definition. People can get dogmatically skeptic however, I can certainly understand that. But let us not loose track of what it means to be skeptic. It means requiring appropriate proof for any given statement and it means being bound by the rules of logic (anecdotes are not evidence for example) and the scientific approach. In that regard skepticism is balanced.

    You know the idea of “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply to ideas. It would be irrational to say “true until proven wrong” don’t you agree? As such, ideas presented without evidence don’t carry any weight, until evidence starts accumulating to support the idea.

    That does not mean that we can’t discuss them, but I will not accept to be called “tunnel visioned” or “close minded” simply because I am not convinced by what you have to say, wouldn’t you agree with that?

    And speaking of the actual message in the post, my point is that the message seems to be that you believe and support those things. Your use of the word IS lends credence to that. The words you choose and how you use have a lot to do with the message the reader gets. And I will tell you again, the message is very ambiguous, it is not clear where you stand, it is not clear what you believe. Actually, I think it is clear in the post, you seem to imply that you believe everything you say in there to be true, but from your comments here a shadow of doubt has been cast.

    PS: Are you a philosopher?

  5. anthonynorth said, on November 21, 2008 at 10:46 PM

    I think we have a problem here concerning worldviews. I give clear hints that, as sacred geometry came into its own (it existed, yes, as a belief), it used math to reflect the universe. From here I make it clear that it was used as a power structure to gain control of a society, and this impulse still goes on, giving us a view of how we see ourselves as a society. And I make my own ideas very clear with the question:

    ‘Does sacred geometry reflect the universe, or does it create, in us, a universal image of ourselves, and what we aspire to be?’

    How you can make your claims in view of this sentence, I do not know. Still, we clearly won’t agree on this.
    Am I a philosopher? I like to think of myself as a thinker, yes, but I wouldn’t claim such a thing as philosopher. I am totally uneducated since leaving school at fifteen. Things happend which led me to educate myself, and in doing so I saw immense problems in both science and religion, and I have for the last 25 years been fascinated with our knowledge structures and where they go wrong, and am convinced that the answer can come from a wider, holistic form of knowledge to work alongside science and religion. Hence, I am in both camps and neither.
    This, I suspect, is where the ambiguity comes in. Neither a religionist nor scientist is used to thinking in such a way. All I ask is that each tries to stretch the mind to see if there can be a common ground.

  6. Skepdude said, on November 22, 2008 at 3:34 AM

    Well, I do agree that we seem to clearly have different world views and as long as we’re both sticking to those world views, inevitably our conclusions will be different. But I still don’t agree that you make that point in your entry. IF you read it carefully, the word control is only mentioned once, fleetingly at the very end. I still submit that anyone who reads it will come away thinking that you’re advertising this sacred geometry, unless this entry is one of many in a line of entries in which your thoughts have been previously expressed.

    However, I do like to ask you one question, what is this holistic form of knowledge you talk about? You seem to imply that religion is a form of knowledge. Is that a fair assumption? If yes, how is that? What sort of knowledge comes from religion that would otherwise not exist? In what sense is scientific knowledge incomplete, which you must think it is if we are to look for a wider form of knowledge.

  7. anthonynorth said, on November 22, 2008 at 8:25 AM

    Yes, this is one of hundreds of entries where my views are clearly expressed – as they are in this one. As well as the obvious quote in the last paragraph I have already pointed out, here’s a few more you missed:

    ‘ … could it be that there is a far more important psycho-sociological understanding to be had from sacred geometry?’

    ‘ … it is this sense of permanence that is primary.’

    ‘ … represents a system that is here to stay and is fundamental to who you are.’

    ‘In each case the prominent building reflects the society of the time …’ (NOTE: Notice the ‘you’ and ‘society’ in these two quotes – not a reflection of the universe)

    ‘… it suggests we are still, today, enslaved by the ‘sacred’ culture they instill in us.’

    No, there’s no room for doubt here. Basically, you’ve been caught out.
    As for your last comment, I’m certainly not falling into that trap. My views, and what knowledge I’m talking about is clearly expressed on my blog. As a hint, the road begins with the word ‘humility’.

  8. Vincent said, on December 19, 2008 at 4:22 AM

    Hi,

    I believe that the term “sacred geometry” was first used in the late 1800’s. New forms of geometry were introduced after the death of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was known for his own brand of logic. Before that time there was only Euclidean geometry and some said that the new geometries were useful and also complained that Euclids geometry was not sacred geometry.

    You might visit my website.

    Best regards,

    Vincent

  9. George said, on July 3, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Well, that’s some real vitriol we got going on here. What we call sacred geometry is as deeply fascinating and real as number theory. It’s what silly people do with it that can oftentimes be rather absurd. However, to say you are debunking sacred geometry is like saying you’re debunking number theory or, for that matter, calculus. It’s real, that is, the deep relationships between these geometries and mathematical concepts is real and may well be infinite. It is an amazing thing that this totally insular mathematical analysis reveals something of a world unto itself (as does number theory). How it relates to the physical world is very much debatable. It does, obviously–but how and to what extent. The ancient Greeks I think understood well that the perfect complexities of sacred geometry, while often exemplified here and there in nature, are a separate idealized realm in contradistinction to this very crude physical world. But, anyway, don’t knock the topic of sacred geometry–it is amazing in and of itself and any real mathematician would say so.

  10. Figment said, on November 30, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Skepdude, I think the title of your post is, with all due respect, infinitely stupid. To try and show you just how stupid your claim is, it is like an attempt to discredit Einstein. Saying that sacred geometry is debunked is like taking a hot piss on a whole belief system, if not, ALL belief systems. Not only is sacred geometry present in ALL ancient civilizations and their various types of remains (architecture, art, literature etc etc) in which they were kind enough to leave us messages and clues everywhere for something that we have unfortunately lost touch with -spirituality that is and by no means do I mean religion- and that we will hopefully re-open our eyes on, and virtually ALL religious symbolisms of different cultures and beliefs that are not necessarily related, and throughout history of the WHOLE world and the structures of societies, sacred geometry is present from the sub-atomic level to the shapes of galaxies, the orbit of the planets, the movement of celestial bodies, the stars and the whole freaking universe that we still do not know whether it is finite or infinite (skeptical much?). It is present in all dimensions, it is space, it is time, and brace yourself, it is the freaking sound !!!!! something you can’t see or touch can create perfectly proportionate pattens and shapes (sacred geometry that is) that for some reason show up on a thin surface with particles on it that vibrates to the frequencies emitted (you can try that at home, better yet, some wonderful people have tried it already and kindly uploaded their videos on youtube) . Have you heard about Fibonacci and his silly number? have you heard about the golden ratio that makes up the proportions of every bit of your (hopefully) proportionate body? or the structure of your DNA? what about something called ummmm…MATHS?? hello !!! I mean, I could dwell on your ignorance about the field all night, and I still won’t have finished the list of scientific discoveries that were brought to light in art, astronomy, physics, biology, quantum mechanics, genetic engineering and what have you that prove how REAL sacred geometry is. Your post is like pissing against the wind. you know you can be skeptical about anything in life, and I say that to believe requires harder work than to be skeptical, it is the easy way, it requires saying NO and not having to back it up, but what if there is no physical proof of things like the energy grid or emotions or the chakras or the SOUL !! does it mean that we should discredit those things and continue believing that we are empty shells wandering in a random world with silly life purposes and dependence on material things? to comeback to Einstein, this claim is like saying that e=mc2 is false and that matter is not equal to energy and thus that the whole universe is not pure energy !!!!! Believing is opening your eyes on things that the average person can’t see, and sacred geometry is a good start, I think I started with that…I don’t remember but anyway, I tell you that the world is fascinating, and the people who tell us more about it never start with skepticism. Educate yourself and open your mind, if you’re too lazy then just watch the Matrix, that movie is a masterpiece when it comes to describing the world we live in and how “unrandom” it is, the perfect matrix that is, the mother of mysteries, the mystery of LIFE itself. However if you want to “laugh, and laugh….and then go cry” I suggest you search the science of consciousness, yes it’s a science, and it will blow your mind.

  11. Paulo said, on January 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Figment, I think you are, with all due respect, an idiot. Your logical non sequiturs jump around like a hyperactive ballerina in a temporal non-locality. The problem with ‘Sacred Geometry’ are the words ‘Sacred’ and ‘Geometry’. The word sacred in front of the word geometry is an open invitation to all the non-rational thinking non-logical folks who want to talk about science as if they were some kind of pope ordained into the Church of How the Universe Works. It’s just another religion wearing the clothes of science which keep popping up for one reason- because God is dead, and I mean the religious God that people have used throughout history to control their societies- the common man has simply become too smart and informed to be manipulated by fear and guilt, so they use Science as their God to fill the emptiness created by the void of losing their ‘God’. But there is still the divine that can be glimpsed when looking at the world though open eyes and open mind, the logical mind trained to minimize it’s inherent self-delusion through the disciple of science, like your Einstein or Fibonacci. Do you think these men of science considered their discipline ‘sacred’? Sacred Physics? Sacred Mathematics? No, science is pure logic and reason with no place for the faith and emotionality of religion and the ‘sacred’, yet we are still awed by what we see as we look deeper into how the universe REALLY works. People who promote ‘Sacred Geometry’ most likely have very little grasp on basic geometry. ‘Sacred Geometry’ is just very basic geometry trying to come to it’s own grandiose, illogical conclusion. Then there’s still fractal geometry, non-Euclidian geometry, topology, n-dimensional geometry, etc. It’s all a glimpse into the mind of God, but I wouldn’t call it ‘Sacred’. That would just keep you from getting there. If you want to really blow your mind, dig deeper into the real science of geometry built on some of the greatest logic to come out of human thought for the past 2000+ years. Please don’t blow your mind on some pseudo-scientific drivel that will only distract you from real understanding. That would be sad. Oh, and since we’re dropping names, go ask Galileo what he thinks of mixing science and religion.

  12. Metatron said, on October 14, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    Paulo, I think you have a problem with the word Sacred and Religion itself and not what Sacred Geometry is. God or whomever a person wants to believe in as the creator of all life, created sacred geometry. It is a design, a pattern, whether natural or synthetic, it is, and it will always be. Whether you want to argue about how religious it is or not, It was here longer than any religion. The universe itself follows the laws of sacred geometry. It’s not a religion, it’s not a science, IT IS EVERYTHING. Sacred Geometry or whatever you want to call it is as old as the universe itself. The universe, galaxy, solar system, earth, atoms, subatomic particles, everything has a blue-print, everything has a design and that design is “God’s” work. Long before we were even a thought, sacred geometry existed. What is the earth? A sphere. What is a sphere? Why is it a sphere? Why does the galaxy spiral around a black hole in a perfect “golden spiral”? Do these things exist only because science or religion says so? Would they not exist without humanity? Would they no longer still be spheres? Would sunflowers no longer grow their seeds in a spiral pattern? I think it is something that nobody fully understands and people, especially skeptics refuse to believe any of it because it conflicts with their already apparent beliefs, because most people are afraid of what they don’t know or understand. That is part of our human condition. I think it’s much more complicated than any of us know or will ever know. Trying to discredit it by saying it’s not religious or it’s really just basic geometry coming to it’s own conclusion sounds to me like you don’t know or understand anything about sacred geometry and so you try to find any means possible to discredit the idea. Also I personally feel that Figment is absolutely correct and you call him an idiot because his belief directly goes against yours. Sadly this same kind of behavior is something we see throughout the world daily, when cultures wage war based on the differences in each others beliefs and the refusal to see that they are in fact, one and the same. The big picture, we are all brothers, we are all human, and we were all created in the same “likeness of god” i.e. sacred geometry. It’s a much bigger picture but unfortunately closed eyes will only ever see black.

  13. Angle said, on October 23, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I came to this site because it is supposed to be a debunking of sacred geometry. Instead there is no debunking, just a litany of stupid associations and content analysis that is not really an analysis. It is mostly crazy insults and it is quite apparent that you know nothing about the subject and are dancing around the subject without actually addressing it. I wanted a scientific refutation of sacred geometry and I come away with more respect for the new agers than the skeptics. That is not what I thought would happen when I came here

  14. JoeyR said, on December 28, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    I’m not surprised the new agers have accrued more respect from you. They have worked harder to incorporate sacred geometry into their belief system. It’s much easier for anyone to construct a cogent argument for either side if they have taken the time to understand the subject. In this case, the skeptic didn’t do his homework.

    • quackthehack said, on February 19, 2014 at 6:09 AM

      I strain to find a reason why people find belief in sacred geometry necessary. Yes, certain patterns emerge. Woopteedoo, the path of least resistance. It’s still here because that is what works best. What does this have to do with spirituality, collective unconscious, transcendance, and other such buzz words? I’d venture to say nothing. Your life experiences are not bound by some geometrical pattern. The seed of life isn’t even real. That is pseudoscience, quackery, and deception. You guys need to lay off the LSD, Mescaline, and DMT for a bit until you realize that this is all a predetermined conclusion on your part. Additionally, if you paid attention in your astro classes you would realize that the universe is finite in its period of existence, and most probably has a beginning and end. It is expanding at a rate that is constantly increasing, and will eventually be so diffuse and low on energy it will effectively cease to exist. This perfect interconnecting geometry nonsense started with Kepler and has persisted since. Anyone with enough math ability can write up self fulfilling prophecies related to the symmetry of some obscure mandala. Just because certain patterns emerge in nature doesn’t mean they inherently have merit, or any meaning at all. If the universe teaches us anything, it’s that we are meaningless and powerless in a vastness that is billions of times greater than our solar system, let alone our Earth, or that there is an entity that made it, and I’m not sure about the latter. Please don’t search the vastness for wisdom in your life. It is irrelevant, and won’t help you in your daily struggles except to distract you from them.

  15. aleXander hirka (@aleXanderhirka) said, on June 6, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    On Wittgenstein’s Skepticism of Sacred Geometry

    http://disinfo.com/2014/05/wittgensteins-skepticism-sacred-geometry/


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