Anna offers an introduction to mathematics as a quality instead of only a quantity; a discovery of “the magic underlying simple shapes”. We construct geometrical figures, relate them to their number and character and learn to recognize them in ourselves and our surroundings. This activity develops into building in nature and theater performances. From a first point, we create worlds.
Nature’s Theater is an ongoing exploration, creation and research project.
In Nature’s Theater we play with points and lines. From that first point we construct our first shape, the circle.
Children feel naturally attracted by the circle, are full of magic and have an intuitive understanding of the language of shapes, lines and points.
For a lot of children mathematics is difficult to comprehend. By introducing number as a quality instead of only a quantity, we make them alive; we become them, make them an experience, they are part of us and everywhere around us. They can help us discover that the whole Universe is built up out of lines and shapes, and experience that all what is around us is related to our self, that we are part of a harmonic whole and all has its place and function. This results in a feeling of belonging and joy which gives positive life energy. To experience that we all have our place, that our actions can be used for the benefit of all, creates harmony and mellows down the competitive attitude. When struggle reduces, our abilities are nourished and have space to develop. Each individual in its own unique way. When this environment is provided we learn how to move within it in harmony with ourselves and with others.
Playing with shapes, relating them to our self, our surrounding and our language helps to prepare the mind for understanding.
Our journey in Nature’s Theater
Nature’s Theater wants to create a safe and inspiring environment where each individual can make its point and create its space to follow its own unique path. With each group we start from nothing, a blank page and experience the magic of making a first point on an empty space. A first point contains an infinite sea of possibilities.
Our journey begins with a story, “1,2,3 and a star We-be” . The stars take us on a journey where we prove that we are all just like a star. We learn to work with the compass, in this case two sticks and a rope. Each participant uses its own body measures for this construction. We make our first point and pull from there a never ending line, the circle. Within that line our star is born. We are uniform in our shape but no point is the same and each star has its own path to follow. Together we make a constellation. At that point the facilitator follows the stars and creates the space to let their story evolve.
My observation is that once we have constructed the shape and played with our compass, the participants get inspired to design and create. With children, this mostly results in creating a world together and play within it.
I share with you some photos from the first sessions with different groups.
Creation and play are the foundation of Nature’s Theater. While we create, we build a world, while we play in that world, we create the objects needed to manifest that world.
- Games: geometry is used in our language especially in expressions. There is no point in what you do, you go around in circles which does not make you happy. Maybe you concentrate on your own unique point and feel where your star wants to shine on. My point of view, your point of view, etc. When we can relate those words to our constructions we make it visible, easy to understand without a lot of words. They show us the path towards harmony within and in the collective so that we can shine on our path together.
- Art: we create the props we need to build the world we want to play in. Nature is an unending source of inspiration. When we experience the birth of shapes, they lead us towards an endless flow of creation.
- Garden of creation: the place outside in the garden where we play and build with mud, sticks, stones creating temporarily art. We create in nature with nature.
“A universal beauty showed its face:
The invisible deep-fraught significances,
Here sheltered behind form’s insensible screen,
Uncovered to him their deathless harmony
And the key to the wonder-book of common things.
In their uniting law stood up revealed
The multiple measures of the up building force,
The lines of the World-Geometer’s technique,
The enchantments that uphold the cosmic web
And the magic underlying simple shapes.
On peaks where Silence listens with still heart
To the rhythmic meters of the rolling worlds.”
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri: Book II, The book of the traveller of the Worlds. Canto
XV. The Kingdom of the Creator Knowledge.
“Peace through human unity;
Unity through uniformity is an absurdity.
Unity must be realized through the union of the many.
Each one is part of the unity; each one is indispensable for the whole.”
The Mother [oct.1969; CWM 13;208]
It is a shame that children are exposed to numbers merely as quantities, instead of qualities and characters with distinct personalities relating to each other in various patterns. If only they could see number and shape as the ancients did, as symbols of principles available to teach us about the Natural structure and processes of the Universe and give us perspective of human nature.”
From “Beginners guide to construct the Universe“ by Michael S. Schneider
We listen to the story and follow the stars, 1. 2, and 3. Each star gives us a part of a tool, the compass and explains us what to do with it. With the use of this tool we will make our first construction and prove that we are all just like a star.
We make our point and with the use of our own body we measure our width and height.
Star 3 offers us the last part of our tool and shows us how to work with it. From that point we made, using the size of our loop, ½ our width and ½ our height we pull a line,
Where the beginning meets the end and just goes on forever..
We lay inside and…..
Within that line our star is born.