“Teachers in the centers of education throughout the ancient world, such as that founded by Pythagoras at Croton, understood that is is impossible for anyone to learn anything until he has experienced its truth for himself, and therefore set their pupils to practice the arts of dynamic geometry and numerology in order to exercise the faculty of intuition, through which may be apprehended the essential laws of cosmic motion. In these institutions personal opinions and systems of belief, however ingeniously contrived, were disregarded. The conflict of ideas was seen as one manifestation of the perpetual interaction of elemental forces, and decisions were not reached simply in accordance with the expediency of the time; every feature of existence was determined by reference to a living canon of proportion, formed after the perfect model of the cosmos, and also reflecting the structure of the human mind.” ~John Michell
Teachers of Experience
The primary function of the teachers in the ancient mystery schools was to show their students how to learn truth through experience. For the most part, the students were not taught spiritual facts, but instead were taught to awaken their own spiritual faculties so they could learn those facts through experience. There are two primary reasons for doing it this way. First, the student is more likely to accept the truth if he experiences it for himself. Second, the words to properly express the truth simply don’t exist. Language was created to deal with the world of matter, not spirit. When you try to explain spiritual things in language that doesn’t fit, you get distortion and misunderstandings.
What does Michell mean by “dynamic geometry”? How can geometry be dynamic? It is dynamic when it is more than just a branch of mathematics.
In the Pythagorean school, geometry was studied as a spiritual subject as well as a physical one. The shapes of geometric figures was considered to be the language of the soul. Viewing certain shapes helped waken the dormant spiritual faculties in man. These faculties, in turn, often communicated with the brain-mind using geometry.
I remember having dreams where the sky was full of flying saucers and they were forming groups in basic geometric shapes. I had that dream several times, which is usually an indication that the dream is conveying important information. Yet they all happened long before I learned that geometry is the language of the soul. The earliest known symbol for God uses two simple geometric shapes. Its a circle representing the sun with a simple cross over it. Ancient writings often mention various shapes, and few realize that it is an attempt to communicate something to the soul.
We can exercise our intuition in many ways. Understanding the meaning of geometric shapes is just one of them, but an important one. Understanding how these basic shapes relate to the structure of the universe and the forces that control it is even more important. Intuition helps us understand dynamic geometry and dynamic geometry helps strengthen intuition.
Mr. Michell correctly notes that we must rid ourselves of old and inaccurate beliefs if we are to learn the truth. There is no are where that is more true or important than in the knowledge of spiritual realms. There is so much nonsense that is being taught by schools, governments, and churches that it is not surprising that most of us have many beliefs that are far from truth. The idea that just by dropping dead you can advance to the highest state of consciousness called Heaven. Or the idea that if you don’t want to bother developing your spiritual faculties in this lifetime, don’t worry! You will reincarnate many more times until you do. The dark ones who know the truth love how successful that one has been.
The primary point of Michell’s writings, however, is that there were ancient civilizations that we know nothing about. That history and the development of civilization is not linear, not continuously advancing, but cyclical. Great civilizations grow, become powerful, then fade away. Some are destroyed by natural forces like disease or floods, others by war and man’s folly. But whatever happened, they existed and some had technologies every bit as advanced, though different, as what we have now.