Books to Read
closed book “The true University of these days is a Collection of Books.”
— Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), The Hero as a Man of Letters
open book
Sacred Geometry Books: poetry & proportion in nature's geometric forms...
Robert Lawlor, Sacred Geometry: Philosophy and Practice Robert Lawlor, Sacred Geometry: Philosophy and Practice (1989), Thames & Hudson, ISBN: 0500810303— Saint Bernard of Clairvaux wrote in On Consideration: “What is God? He is length, width, height and depth.” This lovely 112-page book explores numbers, shape & proportion that determine the dimension and form of both man-made and natural structures, from Gothic cathedrals to flowers, from music to the human body. The author covers the theories of the ancient geometers, and involves the reader in practical work doing geometric constructions using only a pencil, compass, straight-edge and graph paper. These simple exercises lead us from first principles to a grasp of the dynamics of logarithmic spirals and the Golden Proportion. The nine workbooks include Golden Section, creation of spirals, squaring the circle, geometry and music, and the Platonic Solids. The book has 202 illustrations and diagrams with 56 in color. The cover shows Fra Luca Pacioli, the great Renaissance master of sacred geometry. The student's focus on the transparent solids was a discipline to assist in seeing the metaphysical reality beneath all appearance. Avg. Review (2): 5 stars
Jill Purce, Mystic Spiral: Journey of the Soul Jill Purce, The Mystic Spiral: Journey of the Soul (1980), Thames & Hudson, ISBN: 0500810052— Jill Purce's book is insightful and illuminating with hundreds of illustrations and photographs of spirals in every field of life. The spiral is the natural form of growth, and has become, in every culture and in every age, man's symbol of the progress of the soul towards eternal life. As the inward-winding labyrinth, it constitutes the hero's journey to the still center where the secret of life is found. As the spherical vortex, spiraling through its own center, it combines the inward and outward directions of movement. From the spiraling tracks of subatomic particles to the DNA double helix to the spiral galaxies of the universe, you'll find this book a breathtaking journey from the microscopic to the macroscopic and beyond. Read ten raving reviews at from artists, architects, authors, editors, and poets about this wonderful book of the spirit.
Avg. Review (1): 5 stars
D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, On Growth and Form D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, On Growth and Form, 1116 pages Complete Ed. (1992), Dover, ISBN: 0486671356— Why do living things and physical phenomena take the forms they do? Analyzing the mathematical and physical aspects of biological processes, this historic work, first published in 1917, has become renowned as well for the poetry of its descriptions. In On Growth and Form, Thompson examines the curve of frequency or bell curve (which explains variations in height among 10-year-old schoolboys, daisy florets, darts on a cork board, thickness of stripes along a zebra's flanks, shape of mountain ranges and sand dunes) and spirals (which turn up everywhere in nature: seashell curves, swirl of water boiling in a saucepan, sweep of distant nebulae, strand twists of DNA, labyrinth turns where the Minotaur lived). English biologist and Nobel Laureate Sir Peter Medawar called Thompson's book “beyond comparison the finest work of literature in all the annals of science that have been recorded in the English tongue.” Avg. Review (1): 5 stars
Angeles Arrien, Signs of Life: 
Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them Angeles Arrien, Signs of Life: The Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them (Reissue 1994), Penguin USA, ISBN: 0874779332— The author of The Tarot Handbook offers a new study of the five dominant images (circle, square, triangle, spiral, cross) that play central and spiritual roles in art, mythology, and our personal lives. Shapes have significant psychological and mythological meanings embedded in our minds. Understanding their messages and our attraction to them opens up a door to the secret workings of our inner selves and to a fuller appreciation of the art itself. Arrien has developed an effective tool to determine the connection between a person's preferences for certain shapes and the same person's inner, subjective states. Readers of this book will experience the universal processes of growth embodied in images and myths. Life, we discover, is art, and through Arrien's fascinating journey in Signs of Life, we gain a new perception of everyday patterns and symbols that surround us. Avg. Review (2): 5 stars
Alan Holden, Shapes, Space, and Symmetry Alan Holden, Shapes, Space, and Symmetry (reissue 1991) Dover, ISBN: 0486268519— Space provides no three-dimensional blackboard. We learn about space only by living in it.
A child climbing in his jungle-gym will learn more about space than from his books made of two-dimensional sheets of paper. Plato honored stereometry (space visualization) as one of the four branches of mathematics together with arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy. The mathematical elegance and beauty of the Platonic solids have inspired the imaginations of artists, architects, chemists, crystallographers, engineers, and sculptors. Alan Holden's book explains the structure of the 9 regular solids— tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron among them— as well as many semi-regular solids. He demonstrates how they can be used to explain mathematics visually rather than by symbol systems. Instructions for constructing cardboard models of each. Over 300 photographs and drawings. This is a great book for parents to spend quality time with their children learning and constructing beautiful geometrical solids using only scissors, cardboard, and glue. Avg. Review (1): 5 stars

Buy Now from— click on book cover or author-title line. Thank you.
In Association with | Top of Page | Books to Read | Peter's Books | Sages | A-Z Portals | Wisdom Portal | 100 Influential Books |
BOOKS: | Alchemy | Art | Astronomy | Biography | Children's | Cosmology | Dance |
| Enlightenment | Entrepreneur | Film | Graphics | HTML | Internet | Investments |
| Literature | Music | My Favorites | Mythology | Names | Nature | NewAge | Numbers |
| Patents | Philosophy | Poetry | Psychology | References | Romance | Sacred Geometry |
| Science | Spirit | Symbolism | Web Design | Web Glossary | Web Marketing | Wisdom | Women | Zen |

© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (4-21-99, updated 11-27-99)