Dr. Scott Olsen interview – “The Golden Ratio” – #108

This episode is an interview with Dr. Scott Olsen titled "The Golden Ratio" and is being released on Monday, March 21, 2011. My interview with Scott was recorded on March 19, 2011.

SCOTT A. OLSEN, Ph.D. Professor of Philosophy & Religion at the College of Central Florida, Scott first received international acclaim by successfully decoding the geometric mysteries of Plato. His book, The Golden Section: Nature’s Greatest Secret received rave reviews, and in 2007 was awarded a 1st place for design by the Bookbinders’ Guild of New York. A life-long student of the Ancient Wisdom, he has studied under physicist David Bohm, world religion expert Huston Smith, sacred geometers Keith Critchlow & John Michell, and esotericist Douglas Baker. A member of the Theosophical Society in America, Scott lectures widely on the Perennial Philosophy (in both its ancient and modern forms) with special emphasis on the Divine Proportion and transformative states of consciousness. In 2009 he assisted Alexey Stakhov with his highly acclaimed book, The Mathematics of Harmony: From Euclid to Contemporary Mathematics and Computer Science. Today he is working on his new book, Divine Proportion: the Mathematical Perfection of the Universe, due out in the Spring of 2012. Scott will be giving a lecture and workshops in New York in May on Nature’s Divine Proportion and the Canon of the Human Body. Then in June he will travel to the Bibiotheca Alexandrina, Egypt where he will present a workshop on The Philosopher Mathematicians of Alexandria: Euclid and Hypatia for the New York Open Center’s “Esoteric Quest for Ancient Alexandria: Greco-Egyptian Birthplace of the Western Mind.” Applying his knowledge of proportional symmetry in physique competition, Scott won 1st place as Mr. Minneapolis, Mr. Twin Cities, Mr. Gainesville, Mr. Northeast Florida, and the prestigious New York open title, Mr. Apollo. A member of the Florida Bar, he resides in Ocala, Florida.

Education: 1983: Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Florida;
Dissertation: The Pythagorean Plato and the Golden Section:
a Study in Abductive Inference
1982: JD, University of Florida
1977: MA, Philosophy, University of London, Birkbeck College;
(philosophy of science thesis: The Collapse of Continuous Space-Time)
1975: BA cum laude, Philosophy & Sociology, University of Minnesota;
Senior Honors Thesis: Platonic Aesthetics

NY Open Center Esoteric Quest for Ancient Alexandria that I mention in my bio: http://www.esotericquest.org/egypt/

And here is the site for my upcoming sacred geometry workshop in New York:


Theosophical Society in America lecture on The Golden Section and the Roots of Theosophy (March 10, 2011): http://www.theosophical.org/online-resources/video/recent-webcasts

  40 comments for “Dr. Scott Olsen interview – “The Golden Ratio” – #108

  1. March 22, 2011 at 1:37 am

    What a great topic!

    • laura
      November 6, 2012 at 5:21 am

      Im very interested in reading more… I wish there was a sort of gourp study group to get more into the works of our worlds we share with alot more than anyone could possibly believe.. Walt Disney not just for kids or fairytails …now is it hence a good study group .

  2. Bobby
    March 22, 2011 at 7:56 am

    this was extreamly intesting, though my head just exploded

  3. Gene
    March 22, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Put this in mind “all” plant, animal and insect are unique expression of vibration or to put it more simply the unique notes in the greatest symphony ever written/woven in a single thread. But as it is instead of enjoying the beauty of it we try and cut it and explain it, instead of just going for the ride. And yes the clever can note the patterns but claiming ownership of that pattern and profiting from nature, brings the chaos and death/destruction!

    A side note and this should ‘strike the mind’ as I stated above “taking credit for and trying to claim ownership of nature brings the death or the, God inference in the form of the Holy Mushroom”! Ever really wonder why a massive explosion looks like a mushroom? It is the expression of nature to not destroy golden ratio/balance or more simply nature kicking the offenders of nature in the ass!

    • phebe
      March 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      my oh my! gene/matto my good friend, now you, seem to me anyway, do access that greatness of yours; or mine; or ours :)) thanks!

      once again seems, alan has already beat us to it

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPdq0X10aoI&feature=related (in 3 parts)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLJLgrCSt9c&feature=related (in 3 parts)

      • Gene
        March 22, 2011 at 8:47 pm

        As for the comments they are mine, but before me, there were many who put it in there own words as well but you point to Mr. Watt’s, before him there were those like Sitting Bull and before him”?” well get the picture plebe. Again nothing new under the sun/son. We have no connection save for my putor. But may be you are a brother”?” in your lodge “the perfumed halls of allah?” as Masonry is Semitic trashed copy of what came before, it!

        “and sat beneath the palms on the warm afternoons and drank the wine, with Fitzgerald and Huxley, they coined a fighting phrase from tongue’s hot with blood, and drained their pens of bitter ink, vainly reaching for bottle full of empty ooze, branded specially for the ones, who came with high expectations, to the perfumed halls of allah” Don Henley / may not be exact, been a while since I last heard the song.

        Also as in my response to Wow”?”, am not your buddy, pal, friend, mate etc. Wow! But thanks for the links enjoy the eurythmics sweet dreams link >;)!

        Again you are with out a doubt a _____, well pick your own word then, with work you can get access, to your greatness, I’m sure you can 🙂 🙂 >;)!

        • Jan Irvin
          March 22, 2011 at 9:35 pm

          Would you both please stop arguing on my website. This is a forum for intellectual discussions. Please go to the links tab above, click on my Youtube channel, and watch the videos on Non-Violent Communication.

          Any more spats and I’ll start banning people from posting.

          • Gene
            March 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm

            Done, and well frankly I am surprised you haven’t interceded already! I apologize, for my part in it. Can’t chop off my horns though might need them. Guess no lessons learned, on ignoring others, something else to work on.

          • phebe
            March 22, 2011 at 10:41 pm

            sure bro! but i really meant it. if one knows greatness in buddhism or even bother to listen to the link and to see that what it really is about.
            perhaps one can’t change the nature of racism, monkeys, sons of whores, dogs, allah …???? specially when it was in reference to someone elses’ comment.
            anyway you decide if you wish to publish this comment.
            take care Jan!

          • laura
            November 6, 2012 at 5:31 am

            Looks to me both have not fully understood what they have been so trying to undwrstand nieth are wrong but prove to each other how easy it was to control each others threw simple words …and that is a big point …stop trying and just let your inter peace driver lead you! Give it a sjot ,cant hurt

  4. red
    March 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Jan, will you interview Dan Winter?

    • phebe
      March 22, 2011 at 6:13 pm

      is he not another haramein/rodin-like scam/con-artist, stealing from the genius mr. 10-en and his genius language of origin? the language that hidden with in it inCORPORATEs all liberal arts and much more.
      if in doubt, am being sarcastic 😀
      i do apologize for my uncivilized behaviour (please someone bomb me to civilization with tactical nuke) in advanced , or is it in retrospect.

      • Gene
        March 22, 2011 at 9:03 pm

        I think that is being arranged, by your friendly wall building settlement makers, who came from Asia! But then your your kind came from Asia, slaughtered off the indigenous people of “middle earth”, or at least drove them off and said what they built was your kinds doing. And we are all about to get green with nuke soon so eh, who cares for your and their envy, and yes who does care, not me! Specially for a monkey, like your greatness! This, is why your kind were hunted for sport you know being a “son of whore and dog” jackass! My ancestors did enjoy it too! You see I can push buttons TO!

  5. Cha Sea
    March 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Listening to this outside on one of the first sunny days of spring, fascinating, definitely one of my favourites, thank you so much Jan!

  6. phebe
    March 22, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    oh i almost forgot these works of art by cristobal vila

  7. logan robertson
    March 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    thanks jan, loved it. as suggested, i watched dr. olsen’s presentation on The Golden Section and the Roots of Theosophy at the Theosophical Society and found it most helpful as preparation for the podcast. The cosmic triad (“as above, so below” with the addition of a hinge or geometric mean) well illustrated by the divine section of a line helps me greatly to visualize and understand the essence of what these ratios represent. I’m moved to the edge of a more grand understanding of nature (i get a sense of what this is pointing to), but to what end? as suggested above by gene, what are we to gain from understanding nature/reality/ourselves as a reduction to a “divine” number/ratio? is there a use which transcends direct application? ( such as using proportions to design and build, etc..)…a meditation?..does the use, knowledge and understanding help to move us beyond our own narrow conceptions and limitations? does this knowledge function as an inductive/direct teaching, similar to entheogens? simply by exposure and reflection? ..or simply, what are we to do with this beyond intellectual grasping? presumably, the ancient mystery schools provided something as a next step..

    • phebe
      March 23, 2011 at 3:52 am

      perhaps it is like this:
      for some entheogens are shortcuts that throw them of balance so they think that they are in charge of universe. that they are better than others even though we are all gods/universe.
      no group is homogeneous right? and there are primaryly 2 groups fighting each other much like saruman and gandalf except not as clearly defined good and bad.
      one of those group have used this knowledge that never really was lost but well hidden. and keeps the world hostage. think about it who gets away with genocide and murder.

      this of course could be wild imagination, who knows. tall buildings sometimes do behave strange. what do i know, i’m after all just an animal like birds and bees and dogans. and just as important or non-important as them.

      do you see a nebula in one of links i posted above?

      • Gene
        March 23, 2011 at 10:29 am


        Do you see the cycle, and well “racism” is a false dichotomy. This is to say all species “rightfully” seek to be with their own kind. And all species have been controlled in many different ways, this false dichotomy of “racism” being one of them. Have also been trained to impose their own “imposed?” “culture?” upon others and have done so through out history. This is part of the cycle I refer to. All specie are “unique” and “rightly so”, our origin and reason for being is what, many are in search of, in fact. Yes I think Jan had stated this himself that without education enthoegens are of little use to anyone, so do agree with you on that note.

        As for myself, of those that have tried have never had the same effects on me that others had tried to explain to me. Nor have I had any disorientation, confusion from their use. Have yet to find explanation so I have not sought out the use of them for 16, years until last year someone had tried salvia and given the same “tout” of a “mind opening experience”, so tried it and had the same slight rise in already experienced vibration and a second later nothing did not see anything any different then already have without it so eh, to quote from the movie ‘a christmas story’ “be sure to, be sure to what, be sure to drink your ov–tine, a crummy commercial, ah skunked again”!

        Although am quite envious of those who claim great mind bending effects of these substance in fact wish they did affect me profoundly! 🙁 But sadly to avail, miss out every time so far.

        But then my own feeling is everyone is meant to be unique/different and will never have the same life or experiences so guess it is moot for me, to even try. And as you stated have no arguments as have come to see arguing as a useless time waster, but give what I receive right back as do not want it and reject it. Have read up on the concept of the spiritual/magic mirror or mirror tree? It is in many cultures teachings and there fore have found it a “part of the truth”.

        It’s a stupid movie but the symbolic explanation is quite true! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFv0AitSIvg&feature=related

  8. Tony Myers
    March 23, 2011 at 1:42 am

    My favorite topic and a wonderful interview. This was extremely moving for me as a lot of personal research I’ve done into this area of inquiry was laid out very succinctly by Scott Olsen. I’m excitedly anticipating his next book. So, just how deep does the Trivium and Quadrivium go in regards to the rabbit hole, and just how much is truly being ‘occulted’ therein…?;)

  9. readthis
    March 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Mohamed El Naschie certainly is a controversial character:


  10. March 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    This was awesome stuff, Jan! I think the value is understanding, and ultimately gnoing, the elegant simplicity and truth that is All. A revelation that our spirit, thoughts, and actions expand outward and reduce inward to a single principal. That the forms and relationships of the planets are fractal brothers of our own genes. That we are all one.

    Perhaps the evils of life can be thought of as breaking from this elemental natural law. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the golden rule is a manifestation in human action of the golden ratio.

    I don’t know about you, but I get an incredible sense of wonder and peace pondering this. And that’s without coming close to actually grasping the mathematics, which I fear may be beyond my feable mental abilities. But I find the call and the challenge enthralling.

  11. shawn bellina
    March 23, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Fantastic! I Appreciate the great work.

  12. prometheus
    March 24, 2011 at 5:51 am

    An amazing interview, Jan. Scott transmits the harmony he is describing in his way of speaking.

    This indeed seems to be the age of the Apocalypse or Revealing as it really means. Everything seems to be coming together (and falling apart at the same time.)

  13. Jan Irvin
    March 24, 2011 at 7:04 am

    Dave, I think you’re exactly right that the “golden rule” is the golden ratio.

    And we can all thank Gene Odening for bringing us on the last year and a half of this journey – without the trivium and quadrivium, we wouldn’t have been able to put all these pieces together.

    Thanks for the compliments, all.

  14. Luis
    March 24, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Ohhhhhhh! I get it. I think. So when the bible says “God made us in his image,” they were referring to the divine proportion?! It’s not that “God” looks like a man, but that the universe or “everything” functions on the golden ration 1.618… and we humans do to. Our bodies are at that proportion, like what Scott was talking about. So we physically show the golden ratio on a superficial level. God math is amazing. And this is only the physical, who knows about the way the body works or the mind, and how the golden ratio is incorporated into that. For all of you who figured this out long time ago, sorry for being such a late comer, but at least I made it. Now what to do with this new found insight? Thanks for all the amazing work Jan.

  15. Troy
    March 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Extremely interesting and attention grabbing. This is gold for artists! Thanks Jan.

  16. Mark B
    March 24, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the soulfood Jan. Nice work Scott. This stuff comes into focus under a psychroscope. It seems the more truth(natural law) we grasp in the “ordinary” state the better foundation we have in a state of quantiousness where the archetecture becomes multidimentional and gnowledge uh…mushrooms…all the rust falls away leaving reflections in the chrome lustre of the cleansed gray matter…or something. Order is not perfect. Perfect is death…which isn’t real either. It’s all patterns in transition…IMO.
    @Peace with chaos.

  17. quint
    March 26, 2011 at 5:46 am

    What might be neglected or forgotten as essential in this discussion? Possibly the following:

    The PRIME Ratio — the exacting ratio of 1:1 — the Law of Cause and Effect.

    For every Effect there is one Cause; for every Cause there is one Effect.

    This is the basis of that which is, the Monad: the one Natural-Law/Objective-Universe. It is expressed in the Dyad; that is, not only a description of the Effects, but also as an understanding of the underlying Causes.

    Jan, thanks for the thought provoking interview.

    • Jan Irvin
      March 27, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Quint, a very important point you raise. Thank you.

  18. Brian Kerr
    March 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Awsome…grey matter splattered all over the place. I saved this one for future listening.

  19. April 22, 2011 at 1:01 am

    This was one of the most boring, pointless and useless techie talks I have heard in a while. I’ve stopped listen to Scotty at 77 minutes. Then, without hesitation, I removed the interview from my hard drive. Let me know when he has anything interesting to say … or anything new. And, by the way, the law of cause and effect is not an important point to raise, but the greatest banality of all.

    • Jan Irvin
      April 22, 2011 at 7:30 am

      Tosco, thanks for the constructive remarks – and for listening.

      • April 22, 2011 at 7:07 pm

        Sorry, Jan, but this had to be said, and as long as nobody else won’t dare to do it …
        Tell me, what does Professor Olsen care about except his faculty specialties? Because, in case you’re still wondering how it can be that you are living in a corporation right now instead of a democracy, while being a corporation yourself and being, of course, governed as such, or why skyscrapers are suddenly erupting like volcanoes while the whole world watches helplessly, being completely unable to understand the strategy behind this step, even ten years after it happened, he would be the exact right man to insist on some clarifying statements about at least the physical oddities of this long-planned murderous military frontal attack, wouldn’t he? Or won’t he have any “divergent” questions in the first place? Well, I didn’t hear anything. You gave him the same uncritical forum like any other radio station.
        Must I be the one who brings up the Cube theme or topics like loyalty, opportunism, and servile spirit? I don’t think so. So where is your sense of synchronicity gone? And since when are you falling for academic titles that are prestigious only for camp followers like the oh so noble culture-political Nobel Prize?

  20. pacal
    June 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Good stuff Jan

    Do you happen to have a link to a website for the artists opening music?

  21. Paul
    June 27, 2011 at 12:58 am

    On first listen, I was interested enough to poke around on the computer for more about the golden section. There is an awful lot, and it was helpful in understanding what Mr. Olsen was talking about.

    After arming myself with this background, the second listen was almost…thrilling. Especially the pure math. Imagine that.

    The math world needs guys like this, who at least have some vision, even if it is a wrong vision or a carried-too-far vision.

    As it is, math tends to be taught as a series of unrealated facts that lead to nothing in particular and come from nothing in particular. After listening to this lecture, I could envision starting with the golden ration and spinning out the whole of mathmatics just from there. It also made me start wondering what else would be out there in math that would have the same kind of resonance.

  22. Tim
    December 4, 2011 at 3:14 am

    First listen was rough, yet I went through it anyway. I have been reading “How to Read a Book” and followed Mortimer’s guidance of not stopping just because you do not understand everything. Timeless advice. Followed up by watching the lecture at the Theosophical Center, twice! Will be going through interview a second time this morning with one of my favorite things… a big mug of hot coffee with real cocoa and cinnamon. Happy days!!

    • Jan Irvin
      December 4, 2011 at 11:30 am

      Be aware that he falls into the quantum physics trap pointed out by David Harriman’s interview.

      • Tim
        December 11, 2011 at 1:22 am

        Starting the David Harriman interview now.

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