The Math and Magic of Muqarnas

A style of architectural ornamentation that dates back to the middle of the 10th century, originating in Iran and North Africa, Muqarnas compositions are 3D manifestations of 2D Islamic geometric designs, meaning these insanely complex designs were made using nothing more than a humble compass and ruler.

In our world of digital manufacturing, it’s hard to imagine these intricate, perfect geometries were made by hand, one unit at a time, hundreds of years ago.

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In this picture, you can see the wood scaffolding and cement used to piece one style of Muqarnas together:

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And what the finished product would look like:

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Each Muqarnas composition has five common qualities:

1. A three-dimensional shape that can readily be flattened into a two-dimensional geometric outline (and begins as such)

2. The depth of design is variable and determined entirely by the maker

3. Simultaneously architectural and ornamental by nature

4. No intrinsic logical or mathematical boundaries so can be scaled ad infinitum

5. Consists of stacked tiers made up of cells, each of which has a facet and a roof of sorts

UK-based author, educator, and artist Eric Broug is a renowned scholar on Islamic geometrics who has made it his mission to spread the knowledge and joy of muqarnas through his workshops, lectures, books, and tutorials, all housed under the School of Islamic Geometric Design.  Be sure to check out the Resources page, which features tutorials as well as a teacher guide. 

 

Broug has also created a fascinating TED-Ed video on the complex geometry of Islamic design that’s definitely worth a watch.

His “Practical Introduction to Muqarnas” gives a great, illustrative overview:

It’s all about carefully arranging the pieces of the composition.

Watch three minutes of Nhari assembling a Muqarnas composition and realize how incredibly painstaking the process would be for a large-scale area:

How to hand-carve each of the pieces, as artisans have done for centuries:

The 2D Behind the 3D

For example, here’s the Iwan (the large, arched entrance) of the Jameh Mosque in Yazd, Iran:

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And Takahashi’s line drawing:

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And a closeup of the Iwan ceiling:

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Infinite Material Possibilities

The beauty of such intricate designs based on classic geometries is that they’re infinitely scalable in a vast array of materials.  No picture can capture how amazing it is to physically be standing under a giant muqarnas composition.  Each material inspires a different effect.  The most surreal, perhaps, are the mirror-encrusted muqarnas, most often found in mosques and shrines.  Even though you’re surrounded by mirrors, the angles and small size of the individual pieces make it so you never see a reflection, only brightness, and light.

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Fatimah Masumeh Shrine in Qom:

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Water Museum in Yazd:

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Hand-painted, in one of the luxury suites at the Abbasi Hotel in Isfahan:

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The Shah Mosque in Isfahan:

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Be sure to take a look at Nevit Dilman’s super-high-resolution image on Wikipedia, where you can really zoom in and see all the glorious details.

The Jameh Mosque in Yazd:

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Poet Hafiz’s Shrine in Shiraz:

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Brick

Jameh Mosque in Yazd:

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Mirrored

Fatimah Masoumeh Shrine in Qom:

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Chehel Sotun Palace in Isfahan:

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Shah-e Cheragh Shrine in Shiraz:

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Wood

The Music Room of the Ali Qapu Palace in Isfahan (photographed by Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji):

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A great assembly shot from a style of wooden Muqarnas on this site:

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Gold

Fatimah Masumeh Shrine in Qom:

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Modern Rendition: Gadeken’s Roshanai

Great things happen when makers incorporate ancient designs into modern works.

Bay Area artist Charles Gadeken recently incorporated metal Muqarnas compositions in the entryways of his latest large-scale piece, entitled Roshanai (meaning illuminate), a 108-ft long tunnel of light and sound.

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Here’s the 3D rendering of the entryway:

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The flattened Geometry:

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A section of the metal Muqarnas:

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And the finished product at night:

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We’ll wrap up with one more Muqarnas just for the sake of eye candy.

I’d love to see the Alhambra, particularly the Muqarnas, in the Hall of the Two Sisters.

Wow!

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Check out one of our Secret Energy courses to learn about how classic geometries relate to the building blocks of life.

Go on a Mandelbulb / Mandelbox Trip here!

 

The Meru Blueprint

We all remember that they were planning to build a Mosque 2 blocks from the World Trade Center.  Well, they pushed those plans to be completed in 2017, or did they?

I had read William Henry’s book last year “The Illuminator,”  where he had a picture of the Meru rod from a 2nd-century Chinese manuscript.  He had worked with digital artist Jack Andrews, who rendered the Meru drawing in 3-D by computer.  A detail of the base of the Meru pillar rendered in 3-D appears to create a vortex.

William Henry writes, “Relaxing after a presentation on this subject in Florida a few years ago, a scientist approached me.  He told me he was asleep through most of my presentation… until I put up that blueprint”.

“Blueprint?  What blueprint?”  I asked.

He fished through my slides until he came to a 2nd-century drawing of the Meru pillar or tower.  In my talk I had presented it as an example of a possible “Grail tuner” and a candidate for the rod shown in Jesus’s hand in early Christian art.

“That blueprint,”  he responded.

Studying the drawing, the scientist told me that he designed particle beam weapons for a living.  Laser Cannons.  Lightsabers. “You know, Stars Wars-type weapons,” he said.

“Your Meru drawing is a blueprint for a particle accelerator,”  he said knowingly.  Squeezing his thumb and forefinger together to mimic a pincer, he said “the weapon is designed to rotate on the circular platform, the “horns” modulate the pulse emanating from the weapon”.

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Presented here is a comparison of the base of the Meru drawing with a plan for a cyclotron; an early 20th-century particle accelerator designed by Ernest O. Livermore in 1929 and developed in the early 1930s (coincident with America’s shift to a technologically based society).

The cyclotron was a necessary technology used in the splitting of the atom and the development of the A-bomb.  One can see that the Meru drawing is an axis that resembles an antenna (or a microwave weapon from Star Wars).  There’s a reason for this. 

One well-known scholar of Buddhism quoted by Victoria LePage, Lama Anagarika Govinda, says Meru is, “the seat of cosmic powers, the axis which connects the earth with the universe, the super-antenna for the inflow and outflow of the spiritual energies of our planet.”  “Today, scientists call these spiritual energies‘ high energy cosmic rays.”  – William Henry

When I read and saw the very likely explanations and diagrams of the ancient Meru rod by William Henry and the 3-D digital drawing by Jack Andrews, it occurred to me that I had seen this antenna before on top of the Freedom Tower.  Which not only resembles the Meru rod/particle accelerator but also resembles a Muslim Minaret.

A minaret is a feature of Islamic architecture and is the place from where the call to prayer is sent out.  They are also known as a manār or manāra in Arabic, meaning place of fire or light (nar or our).  Minarets have been described as the “gate from heaven and earth”.

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Mount Meru is a sacred mountain (same as Mount Olympus) with five peaks in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cosmology and is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes.

Meru (Sanskrit: मेरु), also called Sumeru (Sanskrit) or Sineru (Pāli) (Tibetan: ཪི་རྒྱལ་པོ་རི་རབ་), to which can be added the approbatory prefix su-, resulting in the meaning “excellent Meru” or “wonderful Meru” and Mahameru i.e. “Great Meru” (Chinese: 須彌山 Xumi Shan;Pāli Neru; Burmese: Myinmo).

Many famous Hindu and similar Jain, as well as Buddhist temples, have been built as symbolic representations of this mountain.  The highest point (the finial bud) on the pyatthat, a Burmese-style multi-tiered roof, represents Mount Meru.

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Today, an evolutionary leap is unfolding.  Scientists imagine using giant, advanced space-based particle accelerators that resemble the Meru drawings to open gateways in space called wormholes; in order to allow travel to galaxies billions of miles away, such as Cern.

Coincidentally, these wormholes are symbolized by the Meru symbol.  Is this also merely coincidence?  Are we on the brink of rebuilding a bridge to the heavens; a new gate?  Or are we being subject to mind control via vaporized metals in chem-trails using the frequencies being emitted from these high tech antennas; or both? 

Either way, I believe we are living on the “New Atlantis”.

Source: Maggie’s Holistic

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