Have you ever wondered why most credit cards measure exactly 86 mm by 54 mm? Playing cards, pens, books, bicycles, chocolate bars, soda tins – none of our everyday items are randomly shaped by manufacturers. It’s all about what has been known since ancient times as ‘the golden section,’ and all these shapes are directly related to analogies in nature.
Nature has a great mystery guarded in all its lifeforms, and we humans extract it for our convenience in our daily lives. Many of us walk through our lives numb to the exquisite order that surrounds us. But some of the greatest mathematicians followed a trail of clues that reveal the great secret of life. This path to secret of harmony, geometry, and cosmology stretches back into the mists of time leading to Egyptian, Babylonian, Indian, and Chinese cultures – even to the Mayas and Mesoamericans. But the great Pythagorean Greek philosopher, Plato, found the golden key of the mystery of lifeforms.
Plato (427-327 BC) posed in the Republic a simple instruction: “take a line and divide it unevenly.” The deep meaning revealed by this act was the ratio, the relation of one number to another, approximately 8:5, the proportion in the example of the credit card. In this way Plato raised the philosophical question of a continuous geometrical proportion. This proportion forms the most profound cosmic bond.
Translating into real lifeforms, there is order in diversity. Look closer the shape of a leaf or the arrangement of leaves in a tree. Even if it seems chaotic at first, there is a clear pattern we can see, even if we are not experts. Look at the tiny ‘leaves’ shaping a pineapple, you can see a spiral. Nature exhibits a variety of beautiful and remarkable lifeforms. From plants and insects, to our own body, there is a symphony of golden relationships, that makes everything extraordinary and beautiful. The self-similarity displayed by fractals is fascinating.
In the context of human culture, Plato proclaimed that the goal of aesthetics is not to simply copy nature, but to delve deeply into her, to penetrate her tapestry and veils and to understand the sacred ratios and proportions in her divine order. Human culture always had a divine order and until nowadays – the days of technology – we see something and think “how did someone make this so practical, beautiful, and convenient?” Architecture, art, everyday materials, all our stuff is shaped by nature, not us.
*The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira is an Agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD in Agricultural Economics, Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication.