On Education

I was listening to Ted Talks on NPR the other day and got into this interesting discussion on education that I thought was really eye-opening and yet, so obvious to anyone involved in education, that it was hard to rectify. The conclusion seemed to be that our global educational system (the new technologies have spawned this) is still based in a corporate, industrial model which blatantly favors conformity and rule following, rather than encouraging the creativity we need to engender in future generations, if we are going to be able to deal with the problems we are facing as a bio-system on the face of a finite planet.

I find that, especially here in Costa Rica, where so many kids are home schooled, that the creativity seems to flourish but sometimes the other areas that our current cultural background appears to value are neglected. All too often this tradeoff puts the home schooled student at a disadvantage, lacking what are deemed “validation” by industry; degrees and certifications which were largely designed to maintain control over labor costs by the upper classes.

Consider this. What if what I am proposing here; that there is a 4th dimension and that it is what nature uses; and what if we could teach children how that system works. They wouldn’t have to give up anything but, the possibility of what those children could do with the new level of understanding offered them, is limitless.

An invitation to the 4th Dimension

A true 4 dimensional space

I am going to ask you to believe a few things here right at the outset of this proposal. Not that they aren’t true, it’s just that I can’t prove them. The reason I can’t prove them is that they are at a scale that is beyond the limits of our senses. Now keep in mind that science has been asking us to do exactly that since the mid-20th century. We were told, “It’s too complicated”, “beyond comprehension”, “doesn’t make sense but…”. Well, I have never quite been able to buy into that idea. I’m not alone apparently. Oh, and the other little catch to the established sciences; every time we discover the “answer” (the Higgs Boson is one of the latest) it leads to another 20 years of study to figure out what it all means.

So, these few things I am going to ask you to believe are no more than others; family, church, culture, ask you to believe. The difference is that, once we get these few things out of the way, we don’t have to do it again, ever. Everything else is built on these few beliefs. So, if everything turns out to be incorporated within this frame of reference, can we fail to accept these basic beliefs? The really good news is that we will get to do exactly that. I am proposing a way of looking at things, the way nature actually works, by using the same coordinate system that nature uses throughout the Universe. This system was called Synergetics by its discoverer/inventor, Richard Buckminster Fuller.

The minimum structure in Universe with an inside and outside.

I have studied Synergetics since it first came out in the mid-70s. Basically, what it said was that our 90º X,Y,Z coordinate system was flawed and not what nature uses and he proposed that nature used a 60º 4 dimensional coordinate system based on the closest packing of spheres.

3 dimensional, 90 deg (right) and 4 dimensional, 60 deg Synergetic System (left)

Stephen Hawking in A Brief History of Time states, “…maybe there are no particles, but only waves.” Fuller states early on that science has never demonstrated a particle and contends that there only waves. Hawking also states that, “When we combine quantum mechanics with relativity, there seems to be a new possibility that did not arise before; that space and time together might form a finite, four-dimensional space without singularities or boundaries,” (both required to make the current theory work) “like the surface of the Earth with more dimensions.” I contend that Fuller’s Synergetics  describes that very space. So, there you have it, from the top guy. Sir Isaac Newton Chair of Astrophysics, Cambridge University. No particles, only waves and 4 dimensions. Stephen Hawking thinks that that might be a possibility. So, this is what I am asking you to believe. There are no particles only waves and these waves tie together in little knots and these are hydrogen atoms and they are openings into a background energy we’ll call the aether. I’m even going to show you what I believe they look like. I can’t prove anything but, it doesn’t require any wild imaginings either. Consider the Sun; where does that energy come from? Then consider all the visible stars, all pumping energy into space. Science says it all came about as the product of a big explosion which took place millions of years ago and scattered this energy randomly in clusters throughout the known Universe to coalesce into matter.

Here’s the problem with that; if we accept this instantaneous explosion and we see ourselves within this expanding Universe, it must be expanding from a point. The catch is that the Universe appears to be expanding from wherever we measure it. Let me repeat that, it’s really critical. The Universe is expanding (accelerating, actually) from whatever point we/I measure it. If I look out from here, it is expanding uniformly…from here. If you measure it from where you are, that’s the center. This is what you are being asked to swallow by modern science. They know all about the background energy, how long the energy needs to cool down, density of matter out there, but it just doesn’t add up!

“No matter,” says science, “We’ll make up ‘dark matter’ to explain it.”

And we may ask, “What is dark matter?”

And, the answer is, “We don’t know but, we need it to explain this accelerating expansion.” So this is what I was asked to swallow, a circuitous line of thinking at best, and I did… until I read Synergetics, because Fuller gives us a way of looking at these most basic of beliefs in a way that makes sense.

Here’s another way of looking at a 4 dimensional space with the axes through the center of the triangular faces of a Vector Equilibrium.

The 4 dimensions of Syneretics are represented by the pairs of triangular openings in the VE

Another contradiction we are asked to swallow in particle physics is the dual nature of light. Light exhibits some qualities of a particle (mostly, it can travel through a vacuum) and of a wave (can pass through another solid and exhibits diffraction patterns). I will present here another possible view of what we are being asked to believe by modern science. Not another belief , to be swallowed, just a new approach to an existing problem. We’ll get into more detail presently.

Just to keep it real, let’s see how our tetrahedron/Synergetic space works as a model of minimum reality; a hydrogen atom. Most plentiful element in the Universe, main component of our stars and the source of all energy. Here’s where the 4th dimension, as physical reality, begins.

Finally, let’s put out a few hypotheses to start thinking about.

First, to address the issue of the expanding Universe, let’s try this view. Instead of “us” as points in an expanding Universe, consider that we are shrinking within an energy background. Keeps “me” at the center of my Universe and you at the center of your’s with no complications from physical laws. Relativity allows for just such a scenario. Now, in that context think of this second hypothesis…that we, as consciousness, are dark matter. pulling in energy, causing synergy (opposite of energy), knitting our own Universes out of the unlimited background energy of the aether. Any reason it wouldn’t worK?

Words of Wisdom

We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.


Richard Buckminster Fuller

Spiral Dynamics

One of the later influences in my research came from Spiral Dynamics and while some of the concepts are controversial I think the model proposed by Beck and Cowan may suit our purposes. One of the reasons many of these competing theories have trouble getting accepted is that, while they all have concepts to contribute, they are lacking a coherent focus and none of them can stand on their own. As we so often do, we look at pieces and try to divine the “big picture”.

I believe that by applying Synergetics’ 4 dimensional framework to Spiral Dynamics we can, perhaps bring a portion of the spectrum of human consciousness into focus. For now, if you’re interested, just look over the basic meme colors and the idea of “second-tier thinking”. Specifically, I see Synergetics being able to incorporate the concept of second tier thinking with Holons to give a means of, not quantifying, but evaluating choices. To make it easier to envision real choices and not have to rely on second-hand sources.

Everyone has his or her own window to the Divine; for some it’s a stained glass window in a cathedral, for some it’s an electron microscope, for some it’s a blank canvas or sheet of paper or a stage but, we’re all looking at the same thing.


Music provides a wonderful common ground as an entry into Synergetics. In the introduction to Hesse’s Magister Ludi, the “Glass Bead Game” is described as having been derived from musical notation, a system in which, anyone adept enough, can look at a musical score and hear it in his or her own mind. The Glass Bead Game gave the participants that same ability but to use it not only for music but for art, science, even philosophy.

Now, in music, we have 8 notes in an octave, the first note being repeated at the octave point. We can think of this as a plus 4, negative 4 with Do in the middle. This also gives us some insight into the concept of quanta, with certain frequencies of vibration blending, or harmonizing, better than others. This 8 step pattern repeats indefinitely and yet, the multiplicity of combinations of frequencies and their arrangement in time, gives us the incredible range of human music which is still being explored.
Later we will show that this concept is not only useful in music but, is pervasive, throughout nature. It is simply another aspect of the holographic nature of the Universe which we see repeated from one end of the spectrum to the other.

As we proceed we are going to show how these 4 “events” map onto the vertexes of the tetrahedron. Music then gives a great way to demonstrate this +4-0-4 “jitterbug” as Fuller calls it. I’ll put up a model shortly. We’ll then show how this same simple, basic model can have any manner of applications or event series mapped onto it, from philosophy to chemistry to astronomy.