BUILDING WITH THE
BREATH OF LIFE - Tom Bender - revised
draft text 8 Jan.1999
CHI IN A MATERIAL WORLD
Chu Hsi, in the early 1200's, developed one of the clearest articulations we have of the concepts involved with energetics of place. It begins with "T'ai-i", the Great Absolute, the primordial cause of all existence. Out of it emerge various aspects which in turn bring about material existence:
"In the beginning, before any being existed, there was only Li, then when it moved it generated the Yang and when it rested it generated the Yin. Upon reaching the extremest point of rest it began to move once more, and at the extremest point of motion it began to return to rest once more..."1
This brought about, of course:
YIN AND YANG - inhaling and exhaling, rest and movement, female and male, contracting and expanding, darkness and light, unifying and manifesting, death and life.
In that movement, the intention or underlying purpose:
LI - the laws or order of nature, universal principle of organization, principle of order; pattern, harmonious cooperation; intention, purpose; the fixed, immutable, and inscrutable laws of nature.
organized the primordial energy:
CHI - the breath of nature, the energy animating yin and yang; vital breath, subtle energy.
according to mathematical principles of relationship:
SO - the mathematical principles of nature, the numerical proportion of the universe.
to generate the outward forms of nature:
HSING - the outward forms of appearance of nature.
CHIH CHUNG - the invisible attractions between things at a distance.
Let's look a little more closely at how these principles influence the energetics of people and place, and ultimately affect how we design and use our homes, work places, and public places.
YIN AND YANG
RELATIONSHIPS and TRANSFORMATIONS
Yin and yang are a relatively familiar concept - of qualities of existence emerging as complementary dualities - essential polarizations of unity.
In their oppositeness and cross-definition, yin and yang are inseparable. Inherent in the concaveness of a spoon is the convexity of its backside. Darkness exists only in reference to its duality, lightness. Quiescence and motion are perceptible only in reference to the other. Male and female, high and low, open and closed, ascendancy and subsistence, emptiness and fullness are all aspects of this emergence into polarized characteristics of time, change, and existence.
Everything holds the seed of its opposite, and each gives way in turn to the other. Their distinctions mirror each other, their primal commonness enfolds them into unity. Both are inherent in completeness.
The yin and yang duality establishes a basic view of the cosmos based on relatedness and change, which is common to both ancient Chinese natural philosophy and modern physics. It introduces the concept of harmony - of coherent relatedness between different and mirroring characteristics. It also develops, as we will see below, into specific qualitative characteristics of various positions in cyclic rhythms of change.
Out of yin and yang, expansion and subsistence, exhaling and inhaling, movement and change comes another vital concept for our surroundings - that of rhythm or vibration. Repetition of cyclic movement over time - the ebbs and flow of chi - bring form into our material world.
As Thomas Lee says, "Time here is neither an independent object nor a measurement subject to human interpretation. Time only exists in the changing strength and direction of chi flow. In other words, if chi is stable, time seems to stand still."2
Vibration of material systems organizes them into dynamic geometric structures. These are configured by the frequency and power spectrums of the energy vibration and the nature of the materials involved. Change in the underlying vibration brings change in the geometric ordering of the material. Change the song, and it changes the dance.
The magnetosphere of our planet pulsates at 10 cycles per second. Our brain waves are entrained with that rhythm. Human DNA vibrates at a rate of 52 to 78 gigahertz (billions of cycles per second).3 Our sun vibrates like a bell, with 5 to 70 minute oscillations - a dozen octaves below the lowest note on a piano.4 Rhythmic systems interact, resonate, and entrain with each other.
Hans Jenny's beautiful cymatic studies of vibrating systems give a visual sense of the role of energy and vibration in the upbuilding of order.5 In particular, his videos of two- or four-lobed yin / yang structures give a wonderful sense of the material and energetic flows within and between the lobes and the fluidic interaction of the polarities.6
Vibration is iteration - repetition. Repetition generates geometries and structures of its own. Fractal structures are records of systematic micro-divergence of geometries in repetitive systems. The geometries result from repetition and ordered change. Their beauty is valuable as a visualization of systematic and interactive evolution of underlying relationships over time.
Material organization arises, then, out of sound, vibration, and iteration through least-energy geometries. The Aborigines were correct in their concept of singing things into existence on their Songlines! And all vibrating systems are interactive - developing harmonics, sympathetic vibrations; moving energy and information; and mutually transforming as their energies interact. All this results from the emergence of yin and yang and the manifestation of our material world from chi, li, so, and chih chung. [double yang Jenny] [fractals]
NUMBERS, RESONANCE and INJUNCTIVE EXPERIENCE
Numbers, in most traditional philosophies, are more than manipulative tools. They represent deep connectedness among things, and contain very different power than that of calculating quantities.
In our own overzealous use of numbers for quantification in everyday life, we tend to forget that there are qualitative, and even magic dimensions to numbers. That qualitative nature of mathematics was the heart of its use in Greece, in the Middle Ages, and in the world of Islam, as well as in China. As a representation of the nature of relatedness of things, it had a role in apprehending the sacred, and by extension in our surroundings in the rightful act of placement. Seyyed Nasr, in SCIENCE AND CIVILIZATION IN ISLAM, speaks of this power in the Islamic tradition:
"One might say that the aim of all the Islamic sciences....is to show the unity and interrelatedness of all that exists, so that in contemplating the unity of the cosmos, man may be led to the unity of the Divine Principle, of which the unity of Nature is the image."
"The Pythagorean number, which is the traditional conception of number, is the projection of Unity, an aspect of the Origin and Center which somehow never leaves its source. In its quantitative aspect, a number may divide and separate; in its qualitative and symbolic aspect, however, it integrates multiplicity back into Unity. "
"It is also, by virtue of its close connection with geometric figures, a "personality". For example, three corresponds to the triangle, and symbolizes harmony, while four, which is connected with the square, symbolizes stability. Numbers, viewed from this perspective, are like so many concentric circles, echoing in so many different ways their mutual and immutable center. They do not "progress" outwardly, but remain united to their source by the ontological relation which they always preserve with Unity...."7
The enriched central plan geometry of many temples in India contain this kind of "centered" relationship, expressing in their abstract or sculptured complexity the multitudinous unfoldment in Nature from that central Unity.8
G. Spencer Brown also notes in LAWS OF FORM that:
"A universe comes into being when a space is severed or taken apart. The skin of a living organism cuts off an outside from an inside. So does the circumference of a circle in a plane. By tracing the way we represent such a severance, we can begin to reconstruct, with an accuracy and coverage that appear almost uncanny, the basic forms underlying linguistic, mathematical, physical, and biological science, and can see how the familiar laws of our own experience follow inexorably from the original act of severance."9
Similar appearing buildings can actually be qualitatively quite different because of different kinds of relational patterns in their geometry. You can't dance or move things around the same way, for example, in a room with a column in the middle as in a room without. The column changes the room topologically from an egg to a torus. Warren Broday explains kleinforms - one type of topological geometry - in his "Biotopology 1972":
"Topology is a non-metric elastic geometry (more analogous to our perceptual geometries). It is concerned with transformation of shapes and relational properties such as nearness, containment, and inside and outside, which remain constant even when shapes are radically transformed.
The kleinform is a topological relationship in which the inside and outside are continuous. It is perhaps the simplest of topologies where context is an integral and essential aspect of all relationships . . . there is not just inside or outside, but infolding or intracontainment and a flow through each other through time and position. 10
If we acknowledge, as Broday hints, that context is an integral and essential aspect of all relationships, then it is probably important to design our buildings in such ways. Surprisingly, buildings actually do exist which embody such geometry, and which feel entirely different as a result. One of the most interesting is an old Japanese inn:
"The Kurashiki Inn was not designed as a kleinform in fact it was never designed. It was a collection of old plastered rice storehouses which was later adapted for use as an inn. But the way changes had been made and what they did, were reflections of a cultural development which had never dissociated thought and action from context, and which had never lost its triadic logic where subject, object, and context are continually related. What resulted, in the renovation of the old storehouses was an environment with a richness of information and variability of context which changed with every movement and position.
"The experience of the Inn is difficult to describe. The things that remain most strongly in my mind are feelings of my mental concepts being totally devastatedsuch as our common concept of Inside/Outside. At places in the building where we would think ourselves normally to be far and totally 'inside' the building we would suddenly feel raindrops on our heads. Or we would discover ourselves in an alley outside; or we might step up onto the verandah from the garden, slide the door shut, and turn around to find the other side of the verandah opening into another outside garden, but this time without any door or other enclosure! Things which were originally 'outside', between the storehouses, were now 'inside' the Inn and its corridors, yet in some ways they had only partially become 'inside'."11
More traditional Euclidean geometry held an important
role in sacred building traditions worldwide. It has been prominent in the
geometric ornament and vaulting in Islamic buildings, in the cosmology of
Chinese city layout, in the Egyptian pyramids,12 in use of the Golden Mean ratio of proportion in Greek
temple design, in the astronomical significances in Stonehenge13 and other Neolithic monuments
in Europe, in Native American cosmology and elsewhere.
Numbers, simple ratios, and geometry are practical everyday tools inherent in virtually all construction. What is difficult in regards to sacred geometry is separating out what was actually used in construction vs. that implied in retrospect; what was used for sacred vs. simple constructional purposes; and what was actually achieved through its use.
Nigel Pennick, in his excellent THE ANCIENT SCIENCE OF GEOMANCY, notes that existence of some of these geometrical systems is not speculative:
"The geometrical systems underlying late Christian architecture are not the subject of speculation, but part of a well attested and continuous tradition. Several sets of working drawings still exist, showing the principles of geometry involved in the layout of churches in the medieval period. One well-known source of information is the so-called sketchbook of Villard de Honnecourt, an itinerant mason who noted down various systems of design, and also individual examples.
Less well-known are the surviving scale drawings of several German master masons. Among these are the original elevation for the west front of Strasbourg Cathedral, drawn in about 1385 by Michael Parler. There are also the designs for the steeple of Ulm Minster, made by Matthäus Böblinger between 1474 and 1492. When the plan was rediscovered in the last century, the spire was completed from it...."14
The use of numerical and geometrical sacred geometry
systems clearly had value in the minds and spiritual practices of their
users. Their actual efficacy in the design of buildings from an energetic
standpoint is more in question, as the points of measure frequently appear
arbitrary, and usually there is little sense of resulting power.
In our example of the Chinese tradition, we find many other variations on the significance of numbers. In the Neo-Confucian cosmology of Creation we start with the Great Unknown, and from that emerges yin and yang. With yin and yang we have polarity, opposites, transformation. From them, we move outward into trigrams and hexagrams. These are an expansion of the yin/yang concept into the possible permutations of different combinations or transformation points between such polarities. Half yin/half yang; two yang over one yin; one yang between two yin.
What this ends up with is fine qualitative but numerical distinctions of change - between building orientations which represent yin and yang, seasons that represent the same, or topographic patterns reflecting such polarity. Put into words and symbols, we have the I-Ching. Put into our minds, we have qualitative characteristics of change. Put into physical, geometric terms, we have a framework for creating particular harmonies in landscapes, buildings and gardens embodying subtle balancing of different polarities.
Moving again outward, we come to the Five Elements - earth, air, fire, water, and metal. Such names are perhaps misleading if we're used to thinking materialistically. It is possibly better to think of them also in terms of the qualitative differences that develop as a transformation or morphing occurs from yin to yang through all the intermediate stages (or hexagrams).
RESONANCE AND INTERFERENCE
Paying attention to the qualitative aspects of intermediate points in a transition helps us understand the interactions that inevitably occur between an intention (li) and the heavenly and earthly circumstances it encounters in particular times, seasons, and conditions of place. The energy of certain times, places, or seasons will align with and give greater power to intentions with a particular energy. The energy of other times, places, or seasons may be in partial or full opposition to that particular intention. In such cases the intention becomes altered, diverted, weakened or destroyed, depending on the qualitative nature and relative power of the intention versus the conditions it encounters.
On a conceptual level that makes sense. In paying attention to timing and examining conditions of proposed actions, it can give us a clearer perception of forces at play and their potential interaction. It is something we subconsciously pay attention to in timing many public and private decisions. It underlies some of the astrological aspects of building placement and use. In terms of geomantic siting of buildings, it may normally be of small significance compared to other forces at play.
NEW PERSPECTIVES ON RELATIONSHIPS
We can imagine what excitement it was for early mathematicians in China, India, Greece and other cultures to discover new dimensions of mathematics, such as the "magic squares" of numbers. They found that, for instance, if the numbers 1 through 9 are laid out in a particular sequence in a grid of three numbers each direction, that the numbers in any row or column, or even the diagonals would always add up to 15! The immutability and wholeness of this complex and unexpected interrelationship gave power to it in their eyes beyond that for which we may find reason.
The Lo Shu (magic square) in particular was built upon by the Chinese into whole systems of application in their feng shui. The locations of the different numbers were given correspondence with the Eight Trigrams from the I Ching classification of the universe. The magic square was placed over the plan of a building or site, and the directions from which different kinds of energy corresponding to the trigrams would impact the site or building.
The question remains what, if any, effectiveness or real power such a schematization and application of apparently unrelated observations of nature ever held. [Lo Shu diagram]
In such ways, visible use of mathematics plays an ever-shifting role in energy of place. At every stage in the history of development of mathematics, the newest insights hold a special power and excitement in our minds as they open new dimensions of understanding of the inner operation and relationships that structure our world. The celebration of each of these new discoveries by incorporation in the planning, layout, geometry, ornament, and relationships in buildings, gardens, and city design affirms those new discoveries. As well, it brings our surroundings into conceptual congruence with the evolving sense of our universe we have developed. From an energetic standpoint, this affirmation of our ability to find ever-deeper understanding of some aspects of our universe appears to be significantly more important (or more variable) than the absolute and timeless relationships of mathematics.
We can see, looking at historical buildings, where the power of small numbers was discovered, where constructive geometry and perspective drawing15 were figured out, where algebra, calculus, topology, field theory, fractals and chaos theory became known. This is culturally valuable, and gives power to place. However, each stage of this kind of application of numbers and mathematics loses its power as the newness of each discovery wears off and is taken for granted, and as new discoveries take their turn in the limelight. Consequently, while a particular mathematics may have influenced the energy of place a millennium ago in China or Greece, it is unlikely to hold the same power today.16
We can also compare the theoretical numerical, "cosmic law" rules for city or temple design, for example, expounded in the Shilpa-prakasa17 or Vastu-Shastra18 texts in India to the actual plans of cities and temples. What we see there is that it was more common for the theoretical rules to be ignored than applied, even in the initial designs of the cities and temples. And it was even less common for subsequent generations to maintain such patterns. 19
We can more realistically look at most of these geometrical/mathematical rules for building as the "theory" books giving heavenly prototypes rather than exact patterns for earthly execution for the priests and geomancers guiding construction. Consequently, we can only surmise that the true power held by those theories to their users was usually relatively minimal - a mere intellectual underpinning or model rather than a true experiential or operative lever into the workings of the universe.20
THE REAL POWER OF NUMBERS
The real, as opposed to symbolic, power of numbers exists where it leads us to new and more profound experience, insight, and understanding of the inner operation of Creation. It has authority where it gives us ability to interact more deeply and wisely with our universe.
We are familiar with this in engineering and science. We are far less familiar with it affecting our consciousness, our energy interaction with the world around us, or our emotional sense of meaning and relationship with the rest of Creation.
Shape has significance when it grows directly from the structure or relationships which are inherent in a particular organism or situation. It is a circumstantial manifestation. Geometries, or numerical systems imposed from a different system can only be symbolic, and contain far less power and meaning.
G. Spencer Brown notes, however, in his LAWS OF FORM, that:
"The primary form of mathematical communication is not description, but injunction. In this respect it is comparable with practical art forms like cookery, in which the taste of a cake, although literally indescribable, can be conveyed to a reader in the form of a set of injunctions called a recipe. Music is a similar art form. The composer does not even attempt to describe the set of sounds he has in mind, much less the set of feelings occasioned through them. He writes down a set of commands which, if they are obeyed by the reader, can result in a reproduction, to the reader, of the composer's original experience."21
This injunctive dimension of mathematics
allows it to lead us to experiences far removed from numbers and calculation.
It makes possible the communication of "indescribable" relationships
and experiences. It also alerts us to the more than quantitative relations
inherent in mathematical relationships.
Energy and geometry are tightly interwoven in the evolution and upbuilding of life. There are "least energy" geometries wherein atoms, molecules, and biological systems inevitably fall and which guide transformations as scale and complexity build. We are close, today, to apprehending the real roles, relationships, and power of geometry and numbers in this interconnectedness of life.
Again and again, certain irrational numbers - in particular pi (3.14159...), the ratio between diameter and circumference of a circle; and phi (1.618...), the fibonacci ratio of the growth spirals in sunflowers, pine cones, or tree branches, and of the Golden Mean ratio of spatial proportions used in certain architectural traditions - appear in supposedly unrelated situations. The research of Anne Griswold Tyng, Buckminster Fuller, and Dan Winter collaborating energy and geometric interactions in layer after layer of energy, material, biological, and consciousness, appear s close to revealing the energy ordering role of geometry and numbers.
Tyng states in "Geometric Extensions of Consciousness":
"These five Platonic Solids...are involved, not only in the spatial organization of forms at the level of nuclei of atoms and molecules, but also in cells, organs, plants, animals, the human embryo, the psychic structure of man, the works of man and in the astronomical forms of the universe which pre-existed man. Previously invisible ordering of the primordial atoms within us, revealed by the electron microscope, gives proof of internal geometry in natural forms, while recent psychological insights suggest instinctual images of the unconscious mind as the profound biological roots of man-made forms."
"...Not only does there appear to be a progress in the life forms corresponding to the geometric progression toward complexity and increase in scale, but this progression can be seen as a repeating one with each new cycle building hierarchy upon hierarchy which indicate at each stage of development the record of its earlier evolution, the hierarchies of form and the hierarchies of energy evolving from the interplay of polarity and rotation."
"...Biological hierarchies built up out of the process of cyclic form intensification eventually lead to hierarchies of psychic structure. Psychic hierarchies evolved from cycles of energy-form tensions and synthesis lead to the principle of synchronicity....22
In their dynamic form, these same cyclic hierarchies
of geometric relationship occur in the research of Viktor Schauberger, Walter
Russell and others, as well as fractal geometry.23
Because of geometries and numerical relationships, there are certain repetitive points or harmonics where resonance occurs simultaneously on different levels of our inner organization. Here the elements of chi and so, yin and yang, rhythm and cyclic change come together. Within that, important resonances can occur which reinforce particular relationships.
The potentials of this resonance are real, and are referred to in the writings of many spiritual traditions. The RAMACANDRA KAULACARA, in the Indian tantric tradition, calls for yantras to be placed and consecrated below every part of the temple, and that all images, including decorative motifs, to be composed on yantras and visualized by the sculptors according to their dhyanas.24 The meditational wall sculptures in the teaching galleries at the Kailasanath at Ellora in India,25 have the ability to psychically imprint on the meditators minds and open their energy chakras, while in the process appearing to jump off the wall into three dimensions. At temples in the Orissan area of India, however, sculpture and temples better known to have been designed on the same principles appear to lack similar power.26
Quite different from their "quantitative"
aspect then, numbers play a variety of roles and potential power in place.
This power is sometimes weakened by inappropriate imposition. They have
more value in a qualitative mindset, and may have significantly
more power in ritual shamanic actions to connect us with non-material realms.
Mathematics also can have very powerful injunctive or resonative action.
In their long evolution, many cultures have shown a flair for enumeration that became more sophisticated, yet arbitrary and further removed from experience as time went on. What of those many numerological systems will prove out to have verifiable significance remains to be seen. With such broad and lengthy history, the amassing of chance positive anecdotal support for anything is inescapable. Significant correlation of their effectiveness remains an open but important question.
OUTWARD FORMS OF NATURE
This aspect of the Chinese energetic cosmology works inward from the material and manifested world around us to find its inner energy and meaning. It involves examining the outward forms and patterns of nature. An attempt is made to apprehend within them or examine believed correspondences of their forms with the underlying intention, energy, yin and yang, and numerical conditions. Then a determination can be made of potential harmony with proposed uses. [diagrams of mountain classification]
Traditional feng-shui practices classified shapes of mountains relative to the qualities of the five elements (or stages in cycles of change). They looked at the structural arrangement of mountain chains to see if their organization was coherent, broken, or jumbled. They looked to see if faces, shapes of animals or birds could be imagined in rock outcroppings or prominences; or if the topographic arrangement of landforms looked like a tortoise escaping a trap, or a happy dragon.
Some of these images work on our minds or cultural beliefs. Others were believed to correspond with qualities and strength of chi in the place. The inner geological complexity of a landform does not necessarily correspond with the outer shapes caused by wind and water erosion, glaciers or other geological processes. Considerable documentation would therefore appear necessary to demonstrate that actual energetic correspondence with landforms consistently exists.
There are, as usual, technical, intellectual, and intuitive means of apprehending inner energetic conditions of shapes of nature. Sitting darshan, an Indian term for being in the presence of something or someone in full attention and openness, is one technique. Meditation, trance, dowsing, or use of intuition are others. Aerial sensing of various energies may become viable.
From an intellectual perspective, categorization of known relationships - pointy mountains have fire type energy, interrupted mountain chains have bad chi, etc. - allow the less skilled practitioners to achieve some success. Correlation of forms of hills and watercourses and their correspondence with believed differences in energy, elements, and other astrological aspects have historically been widespread, as have rules for their uses.
A quick look at another cultural tradition suggests that more lies beneath the forms of nature than even the Chinese discuss. There is, obviously, the outer beauty dimension of place, and also the flows of earth energy or chi which the Chinese sought. In addition, however, it appears that connection with the primal forces of creation of the universe can be possible though association with specific natural places.
The world of the Australian Aborigines suggests that great complexity, meaning, and importance lies in the connections possible with the energies, consciousness, and personalities indwelling in places. As some of the commentators on Aboriginal cosmology and culture have noted:
"According to Aboriginal thought, every force, form, and substance, every creature and thing, is considered to have its own intelligence, its own spirit, and its own language. Whether animate or inanimate, perceivable or imperceivable, everything in the creation possesses, as do we humans, an interior invisible consciousness as well as an outer form."27
"Aborigines associate [these] ancestral powers with specific land formations and natural features, and they do not consider their inner psychic landscape to be fixed by generalized collective archetypes. ... For the Aborigines, however, the knowledge and understanding gained and reiterated as metaphor derives from an intelligible energy actually emanating from the observed form - the seed, tree, or stone - to which subtle sensory centers in our body respond.
"....The Aborigines are inwardly transfigured by the vibrational energies intrinsic to the numerous sacred sites they travel to and from, and they manifest very different characters according to the role they play in the ceremony associated with a particular earthly place."28
"When one's familial or social relationships fail to reflect those of the metaphysical and natural world, the underlying ongoing powers of creation are prevented or blocked from sustaining humanity and nature, and a cycle of disharmony, disintegration, and destruction ensures."29
Like societies in Africa and other parts of the world, the Aborigines are able to make connection with the energy realms of our universe and their inhabitants. But they, possibly to a greater degree, make access to the wisdom available from those dimensions through the inherent nature of specific natural places and patterns. This represents clearly a source of value and meaning that is absent in our culture's past relationship with place.
RELATIONSHIPS AT A DISTANCE
One last concept from Chinese philosophy is important to mention here, that of chih chung. It loosely translates as magnetism, but deals more directly with invisible attractions between things at a distance. It is an acknowledgment both of the invisible web of connectedness among all things and that specific significant relationships exist where we have little rational or visible reason to expect them.
There are many kinds of invisible attractions between things at a distance, such as gravity, light, magnetism, or plasmas, which even our sciences acknowledge but do not understand. A whole realm of psychic experiences still lie outside of our current scientific understanding and therefore cultural acceptance. Instantaneous communications across vast spaces, cellular communications with infinitesimal energy, and connection with non-material realms of existence similarly remain unexplained today, though they have occurred and been acknowledged in cultures worldwide.
We are no closer to clearly understanding such things today than the Chinese, 2000 years ago, who acknowledged the similarities between something like magnetism and many of these occurrences. For now, we can only acknowledge that there are yet many things in the universe which we can't clearly explain.
It is difficult to conceive that gravitation or other forces as minute and from as far away as the outer planets in our solar system and from other heavenly bodies can exert enough force to significantly affect our lives. Yet time and distance are not turning out to be as simple as we once thought, and our connections to the spirit world and other energetic dimensions of existence suggest we have much yet to learn in this area.
Astrology has had strong acceptance in virtually every culture in history, and more people than will openly admit find strong correspondences between a person's birthsign, their character, and their prospects. Astrological components have been important in feng-shui and other energy of place traditions, dealing with influences from heavenly bodies immense distances away.
Some aspects of astrology might be explained as providing a vehicle for non-rational reading by the practitioner of what is within a person. Some effects of the heavens addressed in astrology may be that the heavens do not necessarily and independently cause changes in chi on Earth, but that, by entrainment, they are in phase with such changes.
However, we've found already, perhaps to our own surprise, that aspects far stranger than astrology do exist and have significant impact on energetics of place. If, as many energetic traditions assert, astrology does play a significant role in our lives, then there may well be other forces at play than minute gravitational tugs. It's probable then, that we might find some other unsuspected and interesting forces at play in our universe.
To even begin conceiving of what such forces might be requires a major stretching of our minds. The work of writers such as Gregory Benford, Greg Bear, or David Brin are good exercise for our minds in this area. Similarly, work such as Barbara Hand Clow's THE PLEIADIAN AGENDA30 presents a mind-stretching but coherent framework for exploration and testing of dimensions in our universe which could account for the influences involved in astrology and geomancy.
Though described from concepts of Chinese philosophy, the various elements of energetic universes we've looked at in this and preceding chapters have been used in numerous cultures and in a great variety of forms. Taken together, they give a sense of the breadth and depth of energetics of place and people and what it can, and has, contributed to the well-being of people throughout time. Their correspondence, from culture to culture, and from ancient times to newly emerging concepts in contemporary physics and healing is astounding, and their applicability to how we relate to our surroundings of vast importance.
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© 8 Jan. 1999