Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hands, society and the golden mean

The following was sent in by Joe Barry from The Power of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art & Architecture by Gyorgy Doczi.
When we share our own limitations with the limitations of others, as we do in the golden relations of neighbors, we complement our own and others' shortcomings, creating thereby living harmony in the art of life, comparable to the harmonies created in music, dance, marble, wood and clay. It is possible to live in this way because the proportions of reciprocal sharing, nature's own golden proportions, are built into our own nature, into our bodies and minds which are, after all, part of nature. The basic pattern-forming processes of nature, which have shaped the human hand and mind, can continue to guide whatever the hand and mind are shaping, when the hand and mind are true to nature.

Thus the best human creations are ageless and even holy, like a freshly opened flower. Looking back to where we started, with Buddha holding up a flower we see his hand first in the gesture of teaching (A). As it unfolds, the index finger moves along the same kind of logarithmic spiral that unfolds in the myriad forms of nature (B). The combined movements of all five fingers (C) create a picture of a thousand-petalled lotus, symbol of final attainment and wholeness. But this hand is not only the hand of the Buddha; it is the hand of every human being.

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