“The mind can’t do it”

Spiritual Architecture:

  • “Do you see this little turquoise piece,” art historian Abdulreza Soleimani. “How many of pieces like this one DOES you think, there are just on this wall?”
  • Image
  • He’s pointing to a piece perhaps one by two centimeters, one of the thousands upon thousands of slices of tile, larger and smaller, cut into odd shapes and put together like pieces of puzzle.
  • It’s called “moaragh”—the art of creating breathtaking mosaics by putting together odd-shaped pieces.
  • Sheik Lotf Allah Mosque, one of the components of the world-renowned Naghsh-i Jahan Square in Isfahan, Iran.
  • the mihrab—overlooking the 20-by-20 meter room around us. The tile walls led to the dome towering above, perhaps 30 meters high.
  • how do you suppose the artistan of 500 years ago put these pieces together without the aid of any modern technology, no computers, nothing?
  • “These men where in an irfani state of mind, something you might call a trance. Man can bring himself to such places in spirituality that the self is eliminated; the mind ceases to make decisions, and the heart takes over.
  • “Like Abu-Said Abul Khair prayed, as he was about to address a crowd waiting outside the mosque, ‘God, make it so Abu-Said is gone; that they hear not me, but you.’
  • “Don’t be surprised. We are surprised because we’re not connected to that mentality.
  • “Back then they lived in a kind of harmony between mankind, nature and architecture. Thus they were far closer to God.
  • “Therefore, for them the creation of such structures, so much beauty, was not fantastic; it was normal.
  • But that’s because we’re cut off from that culture. We’re lost our connection to the realm they lived in.”
  • Architecture begins with geometry.
  • Since earliest times, architects have relied on mathematical principles.
  • The ancient Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius believed that builders should always use precise ratios when constructing temples.
  • “For without symmetry and proportion no temple can have a regular plan,” Vitruvius wrote in De Architectura, or Ten Books on Architecture.
  • The proportion Vitruvius recommended was modeled after the human body.
  • He observed that all human beings are shaped according to a ratio that is astonishingly precise and uniform.
  • For example, Vitruvius found that the human face equals one tenth of the total body height. The foot equals one sixth of the total body height. And so on.
  • Scientists and philosophers later discovered that the same ratio Vitruvius saw in the human body – 1 to PHI (1.618) – exists in every part of nature, from swimming fish to swirling planets. This divine ratio, or divine proportion, has been called the building block of all life.
  • Sacred geometry, or spiritual geometry, is the belief that numbers and patterns such as the divine ratio have sacred significance. Many mystical and spiritual practices, including astrology, numerology, tarot, and feng shui, begin with a fundamental belief in sacred geometry.
  • Architects and designers may draw upon concepts of sacred geometry when they choose particular geometric forms to create pleasing, soul-satisfying spaces.



  • some church buildings were built to symbolize either the “vault of heaven” or “heavenly Jerusalem”.
  • In other cases, the model was the temple of Solomon or the liturgical calendar.
  • The pillars of the church were put there to symbolize the prophets and the apostles.
  • Proportions were sometimes considered important not because of their beauty but because of the numeric symbolism hidden in them.
  • During Renaissance, Palladio (IV,II) thinks circular forms are fitting for churches because they symbolize the unity, infinity and justice of God.

2 responses to ““The mind can’t do it”

  1. Pingback: PROPORTION | archiabyssniya·

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