Finding a key to reading Life through Aristotle’s Golden Mean (Balance & Phi 1.618)

Ancient Greeks believed that there is a close association in mathematics between beauty and truth. According to them there are three "ingredients" to beauty: symmetry, proportion, and harmony. What if we applied the recipe to our Human Existence?

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The Golden Mean Spiral: it is very similar to the Fibonacci spiral but is based on a series of identically proportioned golden rectangles, each having a golden ratio of 1.618 of the length of the long side to that of the short side of the rectangle. The Fibonacci spiral gets closer and closer to a Golden Spiral as it increases in size because of the ratio of each number in the Fibonacci series to the one before it converges on Phi, 1.618, as the series progresses.

On Purposeful Living. Many times I look up at the sky, imagining True and Pure Love. Stress comes from not fully grasping the meaning of our Human Existences, unsure on how to interpret all the signs in a technological world, where Whatsapp messages reign. Liquid Spirits come and go. The recipe I am finding is to be sure of oneself and use my feet to touch the ground more often. More reality is needed and community can help me to stay balanced, holding firm my values of respect, dignity, sacred time and independence of one’s lifetime.

According to the Ancient Greeks, Beauty was an object of love and something that was to be imitated and reproduced in their lives, architecture, education (paideia), and politics. They judged life by this mentality. The three Life ingredients to beauty were symmetry, proportion and harmony. For them the key to reading life was Balance.

As I am always in awe when I travel and I contemplate spectacular oeuvres d’art as buildings representing homes, temples, religious places, the perfect symmetry I see, the harmony and the proportion should also be applied to human’s personalities, starting from us as individuals.

The Parthenon is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, built in the mid V Century BCE and dedicated to the goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their patron.  In the photo you can see the Golden Ratio in architecture.
Another example of the Golden Spiral ratio: The artwork “The Great Wave” is a woodblock print by the Japanese artist Hokusai. It was published between 1829 and 1833. It is Hokusai’s most famous work, and one of the most recognizable works of Japanese art in the world. You can see the Golden spiral ratio in the Great Wave of the Ocean.

In Life as I see it, Aristotle’s thoughts revolved around the idea of Golden Mean as a balance between two excesses: too much or too little. For example, he explained that, in between recklessness and cowardice, there is courage, which is the middle good way. In between humility and pride, there is modesty. In between secrecy and loquacity, there is honesty. In between impulsiveness and indecisiveness, there is self-control.

If this was a recipe, the ingredients should all be marinated with time, temperance and patience.

My father used to tell me that “A calm character is the virtue of strong people”: teaching your mind to stay calm and clear, in all life situations, is indeed a virtue.

I am still in the process of finding a right balance and self-control in my personal life, especially when it comes to strong feelings and emotions towards people: I am a natural people-person, i love interacting and showing my affection and care towards them. However, this can often mis-read as too friendly or too needy, which i do not think it is the case for neither of them. I get a spontaneous attraction and interest towards people’ life stories, I enjoy listening and learning from experiences, which I take as examples- to be inspired or to stay away from, if it does not apply to my life story.

I see people – and all of us as Humanity- as already superheroes to be born in this lifetime and do something to contribute to the Goodness of the world in which we live, showing kindness, protecting the planet and studying about our history and cultures. Understanding ourselves and others are great challenges, but, as Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say, Peace and Happiness start with a person’s Smile. Therefore I can say that, although I do not know all the life answers (I wish I knew!) I rely on spiritual prayers, the Greek Wise Philosophers, as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and a good dose of Smile per day!

Ciao! @GaiaParadiso

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