By Patricia Kingswell 2:15 pm PST

There’s a “divine” ratio that appears to be a kind of built-in numbering system to the cosmos—the Fibonacci sequence.

In 1202 AD, Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci wrote the sequence in his book “Liber Abaci” and spread it to the West, but the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, and the Indian mathematicians in the 6th century knew about it.

Many Renaissance artists studied the sequence extensively. Called the “Divine Proportion” by Leonardo Da Vinci, the mathematical sequence starts 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55… and continues ad infinitum, with each number being the sum of the two preceding numbers (1+2=3; 3+5=8; 21+34=55, etc.).

“The wisest and noblest teacher is nature itself,” said Da Vinci.

The vast majority of flower petals follow the Fibonacci sequence–the lily has 3 petals, buttercups 5, delphiniums 8, corn marigold 13, chicory 21, daisy 34, pytethrum 55 …

Look at the way a tree grows—again, the Fibonacci sequence. The main trunk produces a branch, which creates two growth points. One of the new stems splits, while the other is dormant. The pattern of branching repeats. 1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55… Same with root systems. This arrangement allows for the best possible exposure to sunlight or nutrients.

“Without mathematics there is no art,” said Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli, who lived, collaborated with, and taught mathematics to Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci in turn, illustrated Pacioli’s book “The Divine Proportion” (1497).

“What this number pattern does is it gives perfect balance to the structure as it’s growing. Not as a static structure… It’s balanced through growth and change,” says writer Michael Schneider.

Many of us find change hard to deal with, but looking at nature, we can see that balance and growth spiral around transformation.

View the original manuscript “The Divine Proportion” here: