Pyramids: Models of the Spacetime Matrix
By Will Hart
When we look at pyramids and try to comprehend why ancient cultures built them, why they chose this particular shape and what it means, it is usually not through the lens of science. We seem to assume or have been conditioned to presume that the depths of the pyramid civilizations are too mysterious for us to penetrate and too alien for our logic to unravel. But is this mindset warranted? Might it be that it is our attitudes that are preventing comprehension and not the pyramids or their ancient builders?
At this point we are going to take a clinical, architectural approach to the shape of the physical structure and leave out symbolism or metaphysics. A pyramid or step-pyramid has several obvious structural features: 1) a square or slightly rectangular base and 2) four sides that have a tetrahedral shape that slope inward toward an apex or a truncated platform instead of an apex.
Right away we note that there is nothing mystical or occult about a quadratic structure, which the pyramid surely is. Most buildings have a square or rectangular base or foundation today and far back into the past as well. This 4-cornered foundation and four-sided building is so common we take the structure for granted and never examine the phenomenon. However, there is every indication that the ancients conducted serious studies of this issue. They appear to have determined that the earth and cosmos have a quadratic foundation at least in the material realm.
Let us move together slowly and patiently and not leap ahead into unproven conclusions.
The theory of relativity tells us we live in a 4-dimensional universe, 3 dimensions of space and 1 of time. The three spatial dimensions are simply length, breadth and height. Super string theory, which posits many additional mirco-dimensions aside; 3-D is the reality of architecture and of the coordinate system used in map making and the basis of ordinary experience.
Was this reality any different for the ancient pyramid-building civilizations? No, it was not and the evidence suggests that the pyramid shape was their acknowledgement of the nature of the space-time continuum. Even more specifically the pyramid was their answer to the problem of local conditions on planet Earth. What does the author mean by that statement?
When we carefully examine the view of the universe that modern physicists give us it is really rather simplistic. What does living in a 3-D spacetime continuum mean? In fact, on earth we need to know more exact information about space just to function and carry on the business of survival. Stop and consider the reality. We are always at a point, a position on the map, and in order to function and get from point A to B we have to know where we are and where B is in relation to our current position. In other words, you have to orient yourself to the 4 directions and fix A and B in that context.
In modern civilization mapmakers and surveyors have done all this for us. They have laid everything out for us on maps and road builders have constructed highways and posted signs that we then follow, no problem. But if you ever venture into a wilderness area and head off the trail into the bush or are in a jungle where there are no signs, the ancient reality will hit you. If you do not know how to use the sun (or stars) to orient yourself to the directions, you will probably get lost very quickly.
It is not enough just to know the 3 generic spatial dimensions. In order to function in the world we have to know how to orient ourselves to the four directions. Since this has already been done for us, in most modern contexts, it has become another basic fact that we are afforded the luxury of taking for granted. But the ancient pyramid builders could not and did not take this fundamental reality for granted. In addition to acknowledging the 3 dimensions of space with a structure that had a square base and four sides they focused attention on the 4 directions of space.
This would appear to be a more practical and realistic grasp of the conditions we find ourselves in on earth than the imprecise, generic vision of modern physics. The spatial dimensions of length, breadth and height are not going to help me get from where I am to where I need to go. I must have some sense that this 3-D spacetime continuum, which has a curved shape, also contains a directional orientation.
The author submits that the ancients took all of these factors into consideration when they selected the coordinates for the pyramid sites. In fact, their grasp of the actual complexity of the problems posed by fixing coordinates and directions in space and time on a sphere
were indicated in their cosmological conceptions. We can assume that they worked out their cosmology prior to building pyramids.
In the sacred book the Chilam Balam of Chumayel, the Maya priests begin by sketching out how the world was created and they quickly establish the need for orientation, the concept that directions and reference points need to be established in space.
[When the world was created] a pillar of the sky was set up . . .that was the white tree of abundance in the north. Then the black tree of abundance was set up [in the west]. . .. Then the yellow tree of abundance was set up [in the south]. Then the [great] green [ceiba] tree of abundance was set up in the center [of the world].
As we outlined above as soon as we are manifest in the world of 3-D space we need to know where we are and become quickly adept at orienting to the directions. The concept of space without a sense of the 4 directions is not detailed or specific enough to be of much practical use. Now, does the quadratic base of the pyramid, the foundation with four anchor points and 4 sides start to make more sense?
The author will propose that when the ancients thought of space they immediately included the four directions. The sense of orientation in space was so integral and so crucial to the Maya that they depicted four brothers holding the earth together. The Bacab Brothers were given the duty of holding up the four-corners of the world. This task was considered so important that when a cataclysm destroyed the earth in a remote epoch, only the heroic Bacabs stood their ground and survived. That allowed the human race to become re-established on earth.
Is this just a poetic view of the universe that has no basis in scientific fact and no utility in the modern world? Study it carefully and you will find that those ancient priests were not only describing the local spacetime conditions on earth for human beings, they were pointing to a central feature of human consciousness. Our spatial world can only be navigated using a system of coordinates that must be oriented to the four directions. We are soon lost without this basic frame of reference.
The Maya made it very clear that this was a central principle in their cosmology. Their creation account begins with it and the tale of the four Bacabs further emphasizes this core concept. Now, exactly what is the central paradigm they were portraying? The nature of our material world, the three dimensions of space and one of time as manifested on earth includes a dimension of direction or orientation. That dimension also contains the fourth dimension, time.
Wait a minute you may be saying how did I make that leap and that connection? Think of the real world. We have already said that most buildings have a square or rectangular base that has four foundational points. Now, consider the structure of four-legged animals. Why do they have four legs, why not five or seven? Long ago nature determined that four legs are the most economical way to provide locomotion and balance, form follows function. What about automobiles, why four wheels?
The questions almost seem absurd because the answers seem obvious but that is only because we take granted the fact that a structure with four anchor points is solid and balanced.
The quadratic structure of the pyramid was not an arbitrary choice it had to do with the essential properties of matter and the spacetime continuum. Perhaps examining the Pyramid of Kukulkan located at Chichen Itza in the Yucatan will help illustrate what the author is getting at.
First, let me start by establishing that the Maya had a very advanced understanding of the coordinate system modern surveyors and cartographers use to make accurate maps. Authors and earth-grid researchers Carl Munck and Charles Johnson have established that the ancients positioned their sites at precise geodetic points around the globe. In fact, the sites are aligned and appear to form a global grid pattern (Please see “The Geometry of Ancient Sites “ by Charles Johnson).
There are several principal alignments in Mesoamerica, 89-90 degrees W. longitude and 19-20 degrees N. latitude. Strings of pyramid sites run along a north-south axis along the former and along an east west meridian defined by the latter. The Pyramid of Kukulkan was built at 20 degrees N. latitude, 88.2 W. longitude. Now, we have the specific coordinates and can locate the exact position of the pyramid. It is the author’s contention, borne out by the evidence of the grid pattern found in ancient Mexico, that the builders deliberately selected this position.
With the coordinates established we can investigate the structural features and how they reflect the cosmology, consciousness and worldview of the builders.
Analyzing the Pyramid of Kukulkan
The quadratic shape of the structure, four triangles set on a square base suggest the cardinal points and the four seasons. .
Photo (©2005 Copyrighted by Will Hart)
A square base is needed to reflect the 4 cardinal points and orient the structure in the directional coordinates of space as we have described. In addition, this also establishes the fact that there are four seasons. Here is where the fourth dimension of time enters the picture. As we have established the Maya cosmology was centered on the quadratic structure of the spacetime continuum and the Bacab brothers stood as the anchor points of the four directions.
They also realized that this structure was reflected in the four seasons that made up the year. This automatically brought the passage of time and their calendar system into the equation. Let us closely analyze how these features were embodied in the base. Each of the four seasons extends for 91 days. The Maya built this fact into the pyramid. As you can see each face contains a staircase comprised of 91 steps, so this is not an idle or speculative conjecture. Now, we see that each of the 4 sides not only represents a direction but it also represents one of the four seasons.
The corners of each face reflected the two equinoxes and two solstices. So we can then see that from one corner to another is 91 days, then a 90-degree turn, as for example when the spring equinox arrives and we move through that season for 3 months until the summer solstice. The corners represent this shift of seasons on the horizontal plane; the angles and staircase embody it on the vertical axis.
From this we can appreciate that the ancient pyramid builders built these structures to embody their conception of the properties of the spacetime reality on earth. In fact, they built many additional features into these complexes including astonishingly sophisticated design elements that reflected important astronomical events.
The Pyramid of Kukulkan is a prime example. The site was laid out and the dimensions chosen were so accurate that at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, at the rising and setting of the sun, the corner of the structure casts a shadow in the shape of a serpent – (Kukulkan/ Quetzacoatl) – undulating down the side of the staircase
That is a graphic depiction of all that we have covered, the movement of time woven into the dimensions of space.
As the author suggested at the beginning of this essay, if we shift our thought processes just a little, the truth about the pyramid civilizations comes into focus. We are looking at an example of an ancient science, which had a surprisingly sophisticated view of the universe. It was only last century that Albert Einstein showed that space and time are interdependent and yet the Maya demonstrated this understanding long ago…
© 2005 Copyrighted by Will Hart. All rights reserved.