A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe: The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art, and Science by Michael S. Schneider, Harper/Collins, 1994.

The author, a mathematics teacher and educator, addresses his book primarily to the teachers and students who are just entering the vast and seemingly formal and complicated realm of the subject of mathematics. But in my opinion this book might be of special interest to philosophers and physicists, botanists and doctors, artists and architects, musicians and designers, and to everyone who is building their universe in any field of knowledge.

In Schneider’s interpretation, we don’t need to know much to start building the universe – just numbers from 1 to 10. We actually can design the geometry of the universe with the help of the three simplest tools: the compass, the straightedge, and the pencil. And the book, methodically going from 1 to 10, is opening to us the harmony of the blueprints – the archetypes – on which the real universe is built.

It appears that the laws and rules of mathematics were at the beginning of the whole structure of our universe, of all of its matter, its shapes and acting mechanisms. The same archetypes are inbuilt in different plants, animal organisms and human bodies. The same rules apply to the building of music scales as to the building of temples. The author proves all of this with pictures, diagrams and examples, including the tales of ancient myths and religions from all the parts of the world.

Though Schneider doesn’t acclaim his belonging to a particular spiritual school or a spiritual teaching, he expansively applies knowledge and examples of artifacts taken from various spiritual schools, starting from the ancient Pythagorean mathematics and the Aztec art, towards the esoteric teachings, such as Numerology and the Kabbalah. And everywhere he provides the reader with detailed explanations of the essence of the example, and in many cases with a clear instruction of how to reproduce it.

After reading this book, the reader will not only understand what was the mathematical foundation of the buildings created by the Freemasons, and will know how the Fibonacci Sequence is leading to the Golden Mean geometry, but will receive some ideas on harmonizing the geometry of shapes and structures. The author himself designed the geometry for the harmonization of the statues at the entrance to the world’s largest cathedral which is currently under construction in New York. So now the only thing that separates you from actually being capable of constructing the universe is to read and enjoy this seminal book Roza Riaikkenen

Book Reviews