How can the ancient esoteric knowledge of Sacred Geometry be put to use in the healing of Earth, the damage wrought by suburban sprawl, and the creation of more beautiful and lovable places through which we can move with awareness and ease? We interact with the built environment intimately and daily, but rarely if ever think in terms of sacred space beyond church or temple. Yet the crises we face today, of climate change, environmental destruction, and dramatic urbanization, almost demand that we think of entire cities and regions as sacred space. As Jung said, “The process of individuation is impossible without relation to one’s environment.” How can we develop such a new attitude toward place?
This presentation will give an overview of Sacred Geometry, and touch on the understanding Jung had of it, particularly through the concept of the Mandala. Sacred Geometry is an ancient and fundamental practice of discovering patterns in the physical world and making use of their imbedded metaphors for spiritual development. It may be thought of as a method of making visible those truths which are invisible. Yet it does not fulfill its potential unless it affects how we perceive the world and how we live and move in it.
To find its potential to influence our daily experience, an understanding of the built environment will be discussed, particularly the distinction between traditional urbanism and the American experiment with suburban sprawl. Finally, a presentation of an experiment in urban design will be given. This will include the redesign of a conventional auto-oriented shopping mall into a traditional pedestrian-focused walkable town, using the concepts of Sacred Geometry to create an immersive environment of community, sustainability, our place in the world, to create a realm of meaning and memory.
Will Selman, CNU-a, is principal of Mandorla Land Planning and Development. A member of the Congress for the New Urbanism for over 20 years, he has focused his professional work on the creation of traditional, walkable mixed use communities, the repair of suburban sprawl, and assisting communities in the transition to more sustainable and lovable patterns of development. He has an undergraduate degree in Religion and holds a Masters degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, and is a Knight Fellow in Community Building at the University of Miami. He is a former chair of the Lancaster (PA) City Planning Commission, and served as founding board president of the Pennsylvania chapter of the CNU. In his spare time he enjoys bike riding, sailing, tai chi, cooking, and exploring various approaches to psycho/spiritual development.