Precessional Effect

by Limbic on January 17, 2006

“Scientist, inventor, and philosopher Buckminster Fuller talked about the precessional effects that issue from just getting started in the service of humanity.

Fuller explained precession by pointing out that the honeybee’s seemingly primary objective is to obtain nectar to make honey, but while going after the nectar, the honeybee is unwittingly involved in a much bigger purpose.

As it flies from flower to flower in search of more nectar, it picks up pollen on its wings and thus ends up cross-pollinating all the rooted botanicals in the world. It’s an unintended by-product of the bee’s nectar-seeking activity.

Think of yourself as a speedboat moving through the water. To the sides of you and behind you is awake of activity caused by the sheer force of your forward motion.

Life is like that, too. As long as you are actively in motion in the pursuit of your goals, you will create precessional effects that will turn out to be far more important than you initially were capable of understanding or intending. You just begin, and the path of opportunities just keeps unfolding in front of and to the side of you.” Jack Canfield, “The Success Principles

This idea comes from his 1983 book “Critical Path”

“At the 1927 outset of project “Guinea Pig B” I assumed that humanity was designed to perform an important function in Universe, a function it would discover only after an initially innocent by-trial-and-error-discovered phase of capability development.

During the initial phase humans, always born naked, helpless and ignorant but with hunger, thirst and curiosity to drive them, have been chromosomically programmed to operate successfully only by means of the general biological inadvertencies of bumbling “honeyseeking.” Therefore, what humans call the side effects of their conscious drives in fact produced the main ecological effects of generalised technological regeneration. I therefore assumed that what humanity rated as “side effects” are nature’s main effects. I adopted the precessional “side
effects” as my prime objective.” [Found this quotation here].

Simon Mitchel, writing in the Gaias-cafe mailing list quoted Fuller above and said

Fuller reports that in prioritising ‘nature’s main effects’ over his (and his large family’s) income that as long as he served ‘nature’s main effects’ he was financially cared for, often unexpectedly and invariably at the last minute.

Does anyone in the network have experience of working like this?

…If we just ‘bite the bullet’ and dedicate ourselves to serving ‘nature’s main effects’, does it care for us? Is there any way that we can predict what these ‘effects’ might be?

I think the answer is a resounding “yes”. This concept is a central tenet of the Perennial Philosophy. You can find it articulated in works as diverse as Marcus Aurelius’ Stoic classic “Meditations” and Haruki Murakami’s “Dance Dance Dance” as well as thousands of spiritual works in every culture.

For more on Buckminster Fuller see Disinfo’s Buckminster Fuller dossier and Wikipedia.

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