The origins of this work are closely connected with the traditional symbolism of the Five Regular Solid Bodies. Fra Luca Pacioli describes them in his treatise, "On Divine Proportion," illustrated by his friend and disciple Leonardo da Vinci. In the Neoplatonic manner, Fra Luca demonstrates mathematically that the Dodecahedron corresponds to the Quintessence, while the other four regular bodies -- Tetrahedron, Hexahedron or Cube, Octahedron and Icosahedron -- correspond, respectively, to the four elements -- Fire, Earth, Air, and Water -- of which Nature is composed.
Likewise, symbolic geometry, which is a part of many traditions, interprets the Circle and the Sphere as symbols of the Sky, while the Square and the Cube symbolize the Earth, an expression of their perpetual and complementary duality.
Based on the double symbolic relationship that exists between the Earth and the Cube -- expressed in the duality of Sky-Earth as well as in the fact that the elements are four in number --it was thought that a cube could be postulated and found in the core of the planet. It was a cube whose eight vertices would emerge from the Earth at points located in that very same element, Earth, or in other words, on solid land.
A simple and effective instrument was created to carry out this search. Called the AMQ or Soul of the World Searcher, this simple device consists of an earth globe inside a frame, upon which are marked the eight vertices of the three-sided angles of a hypothetical cube drawn within that sphere. Because it does not have a defined rotational axis, the freedom of this sphere in the interior of the frame permits us to see the infinite number of positional combinations possible for these vertices on the face of the globe.
Initially, an attempt was made to have some of the points coincide with places chosen for their associations with legends or for aesthetic or historical reasons. It was soon clear that the vastness of the oceans --7/10 of the total area of the planet-- made this a futile attempt. For this reason, we had no choice but to respect the natural distribution of seas, islands and continents on the Earth's surface.
After an exhaustive investigation, we found, surprisingly, that there was only one possible combination on the whole planet that would permit the eight vertices of the cube to emerge on solid land. (The results of the investigation made with the AMQ were later corroborated in a study carried out by highway engineer D. David Fernándes-Ordóñez.)
The crucial places in that combination were the Cocos Islands (Indian Ocean) and the Corn Islands (Atlantic), antipodes of each other and the end points of the first diagonal of the cube. Turning the globe on this axis, we find the other six vertices situated in the following areas: Baikal (Asia) and its antipode, Tierra del Fuego (America); the Kalahari Desert (Africa) and its antipode, the Hawaiian Islands (Pacific Ocean); and, finally, Santiago de Compostela (Europe) and its antipode, New Zealand (Oceania). This means that there is one vertex in each of the three oceans and five continents that make up the surface of the Earth.
During this first stage of research - and at a moment when we had little idea of the importance of the pyramid shape in the project - a chance reading of Cornford suggested the title of the sculpture. Cornford writes that "Plato takes the Pyramid and the Cube as figures of the opposed elements, Fire and Earth. Based on this, he gives two geometric progressions (1,2,4,8 and 1,3,9,27), which he regards as the bases of the harmony of the Soul of the World."
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