Platonic Solids – The Genesis Project
I thought in continuing with The Genesis Project I would ask one of the most fundamental questions of creation, what are we made of? This question was asked almost 2400 years by the philosopher Plato in the treatise called Timaeus. In this work he described five regular solids, now know as the Platonic Solids which some believe Pythagoras discovered. Platonic solids are three dimensional objects comprised of an equal amount of polygons meeting at a vertex. From these shapes Plato created a “theory of everything” where each solid is assigned a element. Tereahedron – Fire, Octahedron – Air, Hexahedron (Cube) – Earth, Icosahedron – Water, Dodecahedron – Aether. Using these solids he linked mathematics, numerology, the macro to the micro and the divine to the necessary. I don’t agree with this all encompassing ‘theory of everything’ (not that I’ve read it all) but it does bring some interesting points to light.
In the 3D renders I’ve created I’ve wanted to highlight symmetry (and mathematical beauty) by including the dual (or polar) forms rendered as the gold wireframes. The dual is created where the faces and vertices are interchanged to create another Platonic solid, each one mirroring the other. These objects have raised some deeper questions in my mind that Plato himself has pondered upon.
So, what is the purpose of the Platonic solids? I don’t know, but what I observe is that these solids have a beauty like that of sculpture, but different in the sense that it doesn’t appeal to our worldly/fleshly/consumeristic lenses but carries intrinsic beauty and in turn reveal the intrinsic beauty of our creator. They are perfect forms (or as close to my understanding of a perfection as humanly possible) and in turn reflect a perfect ‘craftsman’ or creator.
Jeffrey Wattles summarises the Timaeus very well: …Every structure that science discovers may be philosophically interpreted as serving the Creator’s purpose… Plato’s teleology proposes that seeking to appreciate the purpose of the Creator is the philosophic key that leads beyond mathematical materialism to unlock a vision of what is eternal.