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A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe [Paperback]

Michael S. Schneider
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 11.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

12 Nov 2003

The Universe May Be a Mystery,
But It's No Secret

Michael Schneider leads us on a spectacular, lavishly illustrated journey along the numbers one through ten to explore the mathematical principles made visible in flowers, shells, crystals, plants, and the human body, expressed in the symbolic language of folk sayings and fairy tales, myth and religion, art and architecture. This is a new view of mathematics, not the one we learned at school but a comprehensive guide to the patterns that recur through the universe and underlie human affairs. A Beginner's Guide to Constructing, the Universe shows you:

  • Why cans, pizza, and manhole covers are round.

  • Why one and two weren't considered numbers by the ancient Greeks.

  • Why squares show up so often in goddess art and board games.

  • What property makes the spiral the most widespread shape in nature, from embryos and hair curls to hurricanes and galaxies.

  • How the human body shares the design of a bean plant and the solar system.

  • How a snowflake is like Stonehenge, and a beehive like a calendar.

  • How our ten fingers hold the secrets of both a lobster and a cathedral.

  • And much more.

  • Frequently Bought Together

    A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe + Sacred Geometry (Wooden Books Gift Book)
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    Product details

    • Paperback: 384 pages
    • Publisher: Avon Books (12 Nov 2003)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0060926716
    • ISBN-13: 978-0060926717
    • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 18.7 x 2.7 cm
    • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    More About the Author

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    Product Description

    About the Author

    Michael S. Schneider is an educator developing new perceptions of nature, science, art, and mathematics, holding workshops for teachers, artists, architects, and children concerning nature's numerical language. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and a Master's Degree in Math Education from the University of Florida. He was a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar in India and taught in public schools for eleven years. An education writer and computer consultant, he designed the geometry harmonizing the statues at the entrance to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, where he lives.

    Inside This Book (Learn More)
    First Sentence
    In the fourteenth century Pope Benedictus XII was selecting artists to work for the Vatican, requesting from each applicant a sample of his ability. Read the first page
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    Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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    Customer Reviews

    4.6 out of 5 stars
    4.6 out of 5 stars
    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    67 of 67 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational! 14 Sep 2000
    By Sulis
    Once every few years you come across a book which is genuinely life-changing, and this is one of them. In its simplest form it's a book which makes numbers interesting - completely different from the usual dull stuff you did at school. But it goes way beyond that, to open up a whole world of cosmic geometry which you'd never noticed before. It explains the principles of number and sacred geometry with extraordinary clarity and applies them to architecture, religion, ancient art, modern design, science, the natural world, etc, on the basis that all forms of construction and creation work on those same principles. It covers everything, from the reason why manhole covers are round to the divine emanations of the Qabalah, and links the physical with the spiritual in ways you would never have thought of. The book has a wide format and very clear layout, with lots of illustrations, and assumes no previous knowledge of - or interest in - the subject.
    I notice in Mr Schneider's comments that it took him 20 years to research the book. Well, it certainly shows, and I can assure him it was very well worth it. This is truly a revelation, an amazing book which will completely change the way you look at the world.
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    46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Very accessible "sacred geometry" book! 10 Dec 1995
    By A Customer
    I'm quite biased because I'm the author. Just thought I'd mention that it took over 20 years of research and 2 years to write & illustrate (500 illus!), plus hundreds of relevant quotations in the side margins.
    The numbers 1-10 (&12) are the key to the code of nature's designs, and are the basis of an ancient symbolic language used to design the arts, crafts & architecture worldwide.
    Each of 10 chapters looks at that number & its related shapes, as they appear in nature's beautiful forms, in art, in symbolism, and as archetypes of our own spiritual nature.
    Shapes are the characters of the alphabet in which the Book of Nature is written, and this is a "math" book with no math (the kind of cold "math" we were shown in school, anyway). Some people call it "sacred geometry".
    This book will save you years of research, and show you how to appreciate the shapes of nature as a symbolic language familiar to our deepest self. Every shape has a "meaning" and this book shows you what they are. Reviews (Parabola Journal Winter 95, New Age Journal 8/95, etc, all remark how "accessible" it is.
    I hope you enjoy it. If you read it, write me, if you like.
    Happy Trails!
    Michael S. Schneider
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    37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars An Esoteric Feast 30 Aug 2002
    By A Customer
    The title is grandiose, the book's layout makes you travel sick when you read it, Michael's brain is clearly on over drive. I loved every line, enjoyed every quote, was intrigued by all the images. It helped me unify many thoughts I had in this field. He has presented sacred geometry in a non-pretentious and easy-to-understand way. He will stimulate you to look further in the subject and you will surely start to see the world in a different way. Why can I not find any other books by this man?
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    24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A quintessential presentation. 11 Aug 1999
    By A Customer
    I have always been mesmerized by mathematics and its infinte implications; one could call it impassioned. Many people do not share my zeal. Some of these people are my family, friends, and associates. FINALLY I have a book to recommend that can open each and every one of them to unsuspected dimensions of this absolutely fascinating subject; the presentation alone will, I am sure, compel them to read on and on and on. I am awed at the scientific authenticity and gentleness with which Schneider creates such a sensible, spiritual, and harmonious synthesis. Utterly awed...and so very grateful. I'd love to see an index in the next edition.
    It was difficult to put the book down long enough to type these comments!
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    37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
    I cannot rate this book too highly. When I ordered it, I presumed from the cover artwork (and the title) that it would be a kind of "Sacred Geometry for Dummies". I was, in fact, looking for a relatively easy primer to help me grasp the basic principles of this hugely deep and densely arcane subject, but what I did not anticipate was that it would be both exceptionally accessible as well as intellectually satisfying. Our culture has no innate understanding of "the mathematical archetypes of nature, art, and science" (the sub-title) and in fact, our culture, being so hamstrung, so crippled by left-brain dogma, does not even consider that nature, art and science could have any possible common denominator to even discuss! That the author could express ideas that are really so beyond our normal Western rationale, and moreover, does so with such intelligence and yet with such a light touch, is quite an extraordinary feat. The text is profusely illustrated with diagrams and drawings that precisely explain all that is required, and is also littered with hundreds (this I really appreciated) of superbly chosen quotations from all the great minds of history, from all cultures. I do not believe that there exists a better introduction to this deep and wonderful wisdom, and I would gladly give it 9 stars.
    Even after an hour browsing through it, I felt that I had absorbed levels of knowledge, of perception, that were not there previously. This book is about a level of mathematics that, shamefully, is not taught in our educational system. So much for our so-called "progressive' modern culture, that the real pearls have been disregarded in favour of something that has had all knowledge, life and magic stripped away. All spiritual qualities, in fact.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Love it!!!
    Published 1 month ago by P CARRARO
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Beginner's Guide to the Universe
    A good buy for all the family. A brilliant read, explaining the maths of the worlds nature, clearly and entertainingly.
    Published 4 months ago by Rosie Elliott
    5.0 out of 5 stars Maths will never be the same!
    I was recommended this book and though I have found it tough going, it is superb. Forget your maths at school, this brings numbers and nature to life, this is real knowledge. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Guy M. Hall
    5.0 out of 5 stars recommended
    I saw this at a friends house. Picked it up and looked at it, and I had to own one. - thoroughly recommended.
    Published 6 months ago by trelissa
    5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB
    Another favourite book of mine. It discribes the construction of different shapes. A must for kids as well. Very good.
    Published 15 months ago by Omega Martinian
    4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent content
    This book is a treasure, the information is deep, extensive and very high caliber. The only negative aspect to the book is the paperback edition is printed on newsprint, very... Read more
    Published 20 months ago by Namaste Love
    1.0 out of 5 stars CAUTION TO CHRISTIANS
    I would seriously caution any Christian thinking of buying this book. The maths may be sound but the author's personal spiritual opinions may damage your faith if taken... Read more
    Published on 27 Dec 2011 by Eliza
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
    I have a master's degree in mathematics, and I find this book absolutely fantastic. It is the only book I have read that goes beyond the applied mathematics we learned at school... Read more
    Published on 9 Aug 2010 by A reader
    5.0 out of 5 stars An addictive adventure in the history of natural math.
    It was very difficult to put this book down. Not only does Schneider evince a love and profound knowledge of his material, but he communicates his passion to the reader with a... Read more
    Published on 28 Nov 1998
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