Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds Video Transcriptions
Part 2, The Spiral
The Pythagorean philosopher Plato hinted enigmatically that there was a golden key that unified all of the mysteries of the universe. It is this golden key that we will return to time and again throughout our exploration. The golden key is the intelligence of the logos, the source of the primordial OM. One could say that it is the mind of God. With our limited senses we are observing only the outer manifestation of the hidden mechanics of self-similarity. The source of this divine symmetry is the greatest mystery of our existence. Many of history’s monumental thinkers such as Pythagoras, Keppler, Leonardo da Vinci, Tesla and Einstein have come to the threshold of the mystery. Einstein said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause wondering and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead. His eyes are closed.”
We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. Every scientist who looks deeply into the universe and every mystic who looks deeply within the self, eventually comes face to face with the same thing: The Primordial Spiral.
A thousand years before the creation of the ancient observatory at Stonehenge, the spiral was a predominant symbol on Earth. Ancient spirals can be found in all parts of the globe. Thousands of ancient spirals such as these can be found all over Europe, North American New Mexico, Utah, Australia, China, Russia, and virtually every indigenous culture on Earth. The ancient spirals symbolize growth, expansion and cosmic energy embodied within the sun and the heavens. The spiral form is mirroring the macrocosm of the unfolding universe itself. In native traditions, the spiral was the energetic source, the Primordial Mother. The Neolithic spirals at Newgrange, Ireland date back five thousand years. They are five hundred years older than the Great Pyramid at Giza and they are just as enigmatic to modern observers.
The spiral goes back to a time in history when humans were more connected to the Earth, to the cycles and spirals of nature. A time when humans were less identified with thoughts. The spiral is what we perceive to be the torque of the universe. Prana, or creative force, swirls Akasha into a continuum of solid forms. Found at all levels between the macrocosm and the microcosm, from spiral galaxies to weather systems, to the water in your bathtub, to your DNA, to the direct experience of your own energy. The Primordial Spiral is not an idea, but rather that which makes all conditions and ideas possible.
Various types of spirals and helices are found throughout the natural world. Snails. Sea coral. Spider webs. Fossils. Seahorses’ tails. And shells. Many spirals appearing in nature are observable as logarithmic spirals or growth spirals. As you move out from the center the spiral sections get exponentially larger. Like Indra’s Net of Jewels, logarithmic spirals are self-similar or holographic such that the characteristics of every part are reflected in the whole.
2400 years ago in ancient Greece, Plato considered continuous geometric proportion to be the most profound cosmic bond. The Golden Ratio, or divine proportion was nature’s greatest secret. The Golden Ratio can be expressed as the ratio of A + B to A is the same as the ratio of A to B. To Plato, the world’s soul binds together into one harmonic resonance. The same pentagonal pattern that exists in a starfish, or in a slice of okra, can be seen in the path of the planet Venus traced in the night sky over an eight year period. The intelligible world of forms above and the visible world of material objects below, through this principle of geometric self similarity. From the self-similar spiral patterns of the Romanesco broccoli to the arms of galaxies, logarithmic spirals are a ubiquitous and archetypal pattern. Our own Milky Way galaxy has several spiral arms which are logarithmic spirals with a pitch of about 12 degrees.
The greater the pitch of the spiral, the tighter the turns. When you observe a plant growing in time-lapse video you witness it dancing with the spiral of life. A golden spiral is a logarithmic spiral that grows outward by a factor of the Golden Ratio. The Golden Ratio is a special mathematical relationship that pops up over and over in nature. The pattern that is observable follows what is called the Fibonacci series or Fibonacci sequence. The Fibonacci series unfolds such that each number is the sum of the previous two numbers.
The German mathematician and astronomer Keppler discovered that self-similar spiral patterns are observable in the way leaves are arranged on stems of plants. Or in the floret and petal arrangements of flowers. Leonardo da Vinci observed that the spacing of leaves was often in spiral patterns. These patterns are called “phyllotaxis” patterns or leaf arrangement patterns. Phyllotaxis arrangements can be seen in self-organizing DNA nucleotides and in everything from the family trees of reproducing rabbits, to pine cones, cacti, to snowflakes and in simple organisms such as diatoms. Diatoms are one of the most common types of phytoplankton; single celled organisms that provide food for countless species throughout the food chain.
How much math do you need to know to be a sunflower or a bee? Nature doesn’t consult the physics department to grow broccoli. The structuring in nature happens automatically. Scientists in the field of nanotechnology use the term self-assembly to describe the way complexes are formed such as in the initial hexagonal phase of DNA formation. In nanotechnology engineering, carbon nanotubes are comprised of a similar arrangement of materials. Nature does this type of geometry over and over, effortlessly. Automatically. Without a calculator. Nature is precise and extremely efficient. According to the famous architect and author Buckminster Fuller, these patterns are a function of time space.
DNA and honeycomb are the shape they are for the same reason a bubble is round. It is the most efficient shape for requiring the least amount of energy. Space itself has shape and allows only certain configurations for matter, always defaulting to what is most efficient. These patterns are the strongest and most efficient way to build architectural structures such as geodesic domes. Logarithmic spiral patterns allow plants maximum exposure to insects for pollination, maximum exposure to sunlight and rain and allow them to efficiently spiral water towards their roots. Birds of prey use the logarithmic spiral pattern to stalk their next meal. Flying in a spiral is the most efficient way to hunt.
One’s ability to see the spiral of life dancing Akasha into material form is related to one’s ability to see beauty and symmetry in nature. Poet William Blake said, “the vegetative universe opens like a flower from the Earth’s center, in which is eternity. It expands from stars to the mundane shell and there it meets eternity again both within and without.”
The study of patterns in nature is not something that is very familiar in the West, but in ancient China, this science was known as “Li.” Li reflects the dynamic order and pattern in nature. But it is not pattern thought of as something static, frozen or unchanging, like a mosaic. It is dynamic pattern as embodied in all living things. The arteries of leaves, the markings of the tortoise and the veined patterns on rocks are all expressions of nature’s secret language and art. The labyrinth is one of many Li patterns. It is found in coral structures, mushrooms like the morel, cabbages, and in the human brain. The cellular pattern is another common pattern in nature. There are a myriad of different cellular structures but all have a similar orderliness defined by their purpose and function. It is easy to be mesmerized with the constant play of forms, but what is most interesting is that certain archetypal forms seem to be woven into the fabric of nature at all.
The branching pattern is another Li pattern or archetypal pattern that is observable at all levels and in all fractal scales. Take for example, this incredible image of a supercomputer simulation known as the “millennium run” showing the distribution of dark matter in the local universe. It was created by the Max Planck Society in Germany. Dark matter is what we previously thought of as empty space. It is like an invisible nervous system that runs throughout the universe. The universe is literally like a giant brain. It is constantly thinking using a type of dark or hidden energy that science is only starting to understand. Through this immense network, unfathomable energy moves providing the momentum for the expansion and growth of the universe. Nature creates branching patterns automatically when we set up the right conditions. Nature is an art generating machine or a beauty-creating engine. Here, electricity is being used to grow silver crystal branches. The footage is time-lapsed as they grow over several hours. The crystals form on the aluminum cathode as ions are electrodeposited from a silver nitrate solution.
The formation is self-organizing. You are seeing artwork generated by nature itself. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe said, “beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever.” In this sense, everything in nature is alive, self-organizing. When higher voltage is used the fractal branching becomes even more obvious. This is happening in real time. In the human body, tree-like structures and patterns are found throughout. There are, of course, the nervous systems that Western medicine knows about. But in Chinese, Ayurvedic and Tibetan medicine the energy meridians are an essential component to understanding how the body functions. The “nadis,” or energy meridians form tree-like structures. A post mortem examination will not reveal the chakras or the nadis, but that does not mean they do not exist. You need to refine your tool that you use to look. You must first learn to quiet your own mind. Only then you will observe these things first within yourself. In electrical theory, the less resistance in a wire, the more easily it can carry energy. When you cultivate equanimity through meditation it creates a state of nonresistance in your body.
Prana, or chi, or inner energy is simply your inner aliveness. What you feel when you bring your consciousness within the body. The subtle wires within your body that carry Prana, the nadis, become able to move more and more pranic energy through the chakras. Your wiring becomes stronger as you use it, as you allow energy to flow. Where ever consciousness is placed chi, or energy, will begin to flow and physical connections blossom. Within the brain and nervous system, physical wiring patterns become established by repetition. By continually placing your attention within and lowering resistance to the sensations you are experiencing, you increase your energetic capacity.
In Taoism, the yin yang symbol represents the inter-penetration of the spiral forces of nature. The yin yang is not two and not one. The ancient concept of the “hara” is represented by a yinyang or spiral swirl. It is the power center located within the belly below the navel. Hara means literally sea or ocean of energy. In China, the hara is called the lower dantien. In many forms of Asian martial arts, the warrior with strong hara is said to be unstoppable. In the Samurai tradition one form of ritual suicide or seppuku was hara kiri, which was often mispronounced as “hairy cairy”. It means to impale one’s hara thereby cutting off one’s chi or energy channel. Moving from this center creates the grounded graceful movement that you see not only in martial arts, but in great golfers, belly dancers, and Sufi whirling dervishes. It is the cultivation of single-pointed, disciplined consciousness that is the essence of hara; the stillness in the eye of the hurricane. It is the gut instinct in connection to one’s energy source. A person with good hara is connected to the Earth and to the intuitive wisdom that connects all beings. To think with your belly, “hara de kanganasaii” is to tap into your inner wisdom.
The ancient Australian Aborigines’ concentrated on the same area just below the navel-where the cord of the great rainbow serpent lay coiled. Again, a representation of the evolutionary energy in humankind. It is no accident that it is in the hara where new life begins. The enteric nervous system, sometimes referred to as the “gut brain” is capable of maintaining a complex matrix of connections similar to the brain in the head, with its own neurons and neurotransmitters. It can act autonomously, that is with its own intelligence. You could say that the gut brain is a fractal version of the head brain, or perhaps the head brain is a fractal version of the gut brain. A healthy bear has strong hara. When a bear knows where to forage for herbs, it follows the movement of chi through its senses, centered in the hara, or belly. This is the bear’s connection to the dream lodge; the place in native traditions where all knowledge comes from – to the spiral of life.
But how did ancient peoples know about the spiral if modern science is just starting now to recognize its significance? Ask the bees, for they have not forgotten how to love. Bees have a special connection to the source as part of a symbiotic system helping beauty and diversity to flourish. They are a bridge between the macrocosm and the microcosm. There is one heart that connects all, a hive mind if you will. Like an open brain, the hive sends out its dreams to the world to be manifested. In nature many creatures know how to act unison, to move with one spirit, one direction. But not all benefit the other species around them. For example, the locust will devour everything in its path. A locust has no choice but to act like a locust. It will never make honey or pollinate plants the way a bee does. A locust’s behavior is rigid, but a human is unique in that we can act like a bee or we can act like a locust. We are free to change and manipulate the patterns of how we interact with the world. We can exist symbiotically or as a parasite.
Today humans try to understand the spiral with the rational mind but it was never thinking that connected us to the spiral of life. We have always been connected. Thinking has been what keeps us in the illusion of separateness, within our own identities. Thinking IS the creation of separateness. The experience of limitation. The more we align with thought, the more removed we become from the source. Ancient cultures that were less thought-oriented aligned themselves with the spiral in a more direct and personal way than we do today. In ancient India, Kundalini is a representation of one’s inner energy which moves in snake-like or helix-like pattern up the spine. In the ancient yogic traditions of India the inner worlds of people at that time were comparable to those of hara centered cultures. To balance the power of the spiral with the stillness of your witnessing consciousness is to align with your full evolutionary potential.
To blossom into the unique multi-faceted being you were designed to be. “Ida”-the feminine or moon channel is connected to the right brain and “pingala” the masculine or sun channel is connected to the left brain. When these two channels are in balance, energy flows up a third channel, Sushumna, along the center of the spine, energizing the chakras and unlocking one’s full evolutionary potential. The word “chakra” is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning energy wheel. Kundalini is nothing less than the primordial spiral that dances your human life into existence. It is a different order of energy than we normally understand. Like a bridge from “gross matter” to the most subtle energies. You are that bridge.
Kundalini is not energy that can be forced by will, effort and friction. It is analogous to growing a flower. All we can do as good gardeners is prepare the soil and proper conditions, and let nature take its course. If you force a flower to open prematurely, you’ll destroy it. It grows with its own intelligence, with its own self-organizing direction. The egoic mind which fixates on the outer world is what keeps you from experiencing your true inner vibratory nature. When consciousness is turned within it becomes like the sun’s rays and the lotus within begins to grow. As Kundalini awakens within one’s self, one begins to see the signature of the spiral in all things. In all patterns within and without. This spiral is the link between our inner worlds and our outer worlds.