Vitruvian Man

Vitruvian Man

          Humankind has long tried to reconcile the dualistic nature of existence; the material and spiritual aspects of life in the universe. It is said that Leonardo Da Vinci attempted to correlate these two natures with this drawing of the Vitruvian Man, the square symbolizing the material and the circle symbolizing the spiritual. The drawing itself is often used as an implied symbol of the essential symmetry of the human body, and by extension, to the universe as a whole. Vitruvian Man remains one of the most referenced and reproduced artistic images in the world today. This may be because people innately recognize the inherent truths of the universe contained in this drawing, as it reflects fractal theory, the golden ratio and elliptic philosophy on different levels.

     Fractal properties in the human form can be seen in the fact that there are five extensions to the torso: the four limbs and the head, with five digits on each limb and the five senses of the head, (although the sense of feeling is also in other parts of the body.)
golden ratio is reflected in the proportions of the ideal human body, as seen on the chart of the divine proportion on the other page. Since there are no universal set of proportions that pertain to each body, the golden ratio is implied here.
     Elliptic philosophy
can be seen in the circle and square, an attempt at depicting the material and spiritual nature of life. If one were to merge these two geometric shapes into one, the result would be an ellipse. When humankind views the spiritual and material separately, the result is a distortion of true reality.

     Science cannot provide evidence of the spiritual. Religion, on the other hand, cannot objectively manipulate the material. It is only when we realize that true reality is elliptical in nature, both spiritual and material, that we can create a philosophy that can effectively negotiate the many challenges of life and fulfill the potentials of body, mind and soul. Attempts in the past have been more of a balancing act, counter weighing one deed with the other. True elliptical philosophy would seamlessly merge the two, creating acts that would be neither purely material or spiritual, but both. True art is such a merging.


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