EIK - Session 2 Part 4
Then thinking a little more about what you and I just reviewed about compression and tension, I will notice then, that when I load a column I must try to stay on neutral axis so that it will not tend to bend one way or the other. Then I see that in loading that compression column it tends to be more and more of a cigar; and I find that if I keep loading it, under pressure, it's finally going to get to be a sphere; and something extraordinary happens because any axis is a neutral axis. Up to this time there has been only one neutral axis, but suddenly any axis is a neutral axis, so that we find that ball bearings, spherical steel balls, became the best compression members that man has ever invented, for they carried this enormous load and continually distributed their loads so that any aspect is a neutral axis so any aspect will do. They are continually serving as you roll them around. So I found, then, Nature was compressionally optimal in the spherical. So then I said, here's a scheme here the Earth is a sphere, and the moon is a sphere, and the sun is a sphere, and you've got atoms all what nature has is islands of spherical compression in a sea of comprehensive tension.
So we have then what we call discontinuous compression and continuous tension. There is the scheme of nature. And man was not building that way. Man is building entirely compression on compression brick on brick, and doesn't seem to think with any other kind of logic. This made me wonder whether it would be possible to make discontinuous compression, continuous tension structures that was really what opened up this whole field. There are a great many people now dealing in these structures, but I call them tensional integrities. The integrity is in the tension, because it is continuous, it comes back to itself. It is always a closed system. Open then it will make trouble, it must be a closed system. And so, and then I shortened the words tensional integrity down to tensegrity. So we call these tensegrity structures. (He strums some of the tension components, and says) absolutely even distribution, so they have the same sound with anyone you're playing. If you tighten one of them, they'll all tighten absolutely evenly. And it's like any pneumatic ball when you fill the whole ball, all the load is distributed absolutely evenly all absolute enclosure. Now, these are balls, but you can see the holes in them. All balls do have holes in them, and they're too small for the gases and molecules to get out, but they're full of holes. So, this is simply, really, a pneumatic structure. We're going to get back to this a little bit more, but mainly I want to get to nature's scheme of discontinuous compression, continuous tension. Nature is using tensegrity. And I find then, nothing could really make clearer to me the degree of inefficiency that is imposed by man's non-synergetic thinking and his feeling you have to have brick on brick or stone on stone.
This taught me that I could possibly do much more enclosing, and be much more effective structurally, employing the omni-triangulation paying attention to all the things I have gone into with you about quantums of energy in the structures the six vectors, doing that with each one being push and pull, the twelve are always there. They are both positive and negative, each one of the six. So there is a fundamental twelveness there.
Now, I'm going to go into another mental exercise with you regarding schemes of structuring of Universe. And, I began to think then about, for instance, I always find social insights that seem to accrue to terminal information such as I am giving you. We do find out, what is the optimum? and the sphere then, gets to be the optimum then for compression. And the tension going unlimited no cross sections at all. And this is really the whole scheme of our Universe. That is our gravitational interaction.
I find, then, for instance, it is very interesting that in the regeneration of human life, the general design of the human beings, of the female and the male. I find the female, then, having the eggs within her, and the eggs are fertilized within her. The new life of the female continually comes out of the female. She opens up, and a new life comes out of that life, and a new life comes out of that life. This is not dissimilar, in fact, it is the same principle that was discovered by Goethe the German poet-scientist, very much of an expert in a number of scientific subjects. But he was the first to point out that the vegetation that the tree, is a wave phenomena.
I am going to bring together several things now that Goethe did not, but you and I can put together from the experiences we already had in this room, where we came to the discovery of a tetrahedron being the simplest structural system in Universe. And, I want you to think now about, say for instance, a Greek column, and think about putting a piece of stone on a lathe and revolving it in order to get it round. They had different tricks for making it round. So the top of the column is the same diameter disc as the bottom of the column. I'm talking about any one piece of that stone.
Now, the fact is, that stone has very high compressive capability. Actually we found that it has 50,000 pounds to the square inch. Supposing our 50,000 pounds that is 25 tons. I would like to carry a 25 ton load, and I have a great section of a Greek column one piece of stone made as a cylinder a cylinder of stone. And I find that what I can do is to have a load of 25 tons, so I just mark off in the center of the top of the cylinder, a diameter that has an area of one square inch. Then I am going to take that stone from that top, and then I am going down to its base, I can keep shearing off, until I get a cone a cone of stone, and there is at the top there enough cross-section there to take care of the 25 tons. All the rest of it gets stronger and stronger, but because it has, the base is stable, as the tetrahedron is, a three-point landing. This is very important really. You've got to think about that a little.
If I have this standing by itself it tips over like that, but two of them standing they can tip over towards each other, they might tip anyway, but I can let them tip towards each other, and if I do that, I wish I had another stick. Maybe I can just do it with my arms. Here's another column and another column on my knee and they fall towards each other. Now they have two points on the ground and they act like a hinge they can fall this way or that way, but only in a plane. Before they could fall in any direction, now they can only fall articulate in a plane. Now I'm going to have a third column the third one's kind of loose like that, two of them fell together, and the third one fell towards them and suddenly they come together and you get that tripod and for the first time we have stable. That is we cannot have that stability until we get the three of them. Those are then, the three legs of our tetrahedron, but they, as you load them they want to thrust and come apart. So we find we have the three tension members are a finite or closure. You must actually close the ring at the bottom and they can't come apart anymore. So, we have the three compression thrust and the three tension keeping them from thrusting.
So we have in that stone cone, now, I have enough compressive strength for he 25 tons, which is a whole lot it could be a 25 ton truck is a very big truck. And can chisel away simply all the rest of that stone all the rest of that stone is unnecessary. The base is wide enough then to give me that three-point stability. So it's a cone, and I find that I can go even further. I pick three points on the base 120 degrees apart and I can then massage away cut away the cone and have left the tetrahedron, and I have all the stability and all the compressive strength. It finally gets down to the tetrahedron. Now, the Greek column, you realize, in a sense, emperically that's deep in with you, and human beings just fooling around with sticks, and coming to tripods and so forth as they did long ago, at camp fires and so forth, what they could do with pieces of wood and these twigs.
Then, there is a necessity from time to time for the load which you are going to carry is more than just that 25 tons, so you want a wider section. So we really could get that with an octahedron. Remember the tetrahedron then had a beautiful wide base for its stability, this way; but the octahedron has an equal triangle at the top. So if we had a full load which you wanted to use this much of the cross section, we'd use the octahedron and it would take care of both, because then we find in the octahedron a very interesting set of conditions. Here is a load, these two are falling towards each other, you have all those set of hinges in there, and everything is in optimum position of comfort about the thrust, so that we really have two cones or two tetra, come point to point producing this kind of inter-stability.
Now, I want to introduce then the stabilization of columns and the tetrahedron and give you a little feeling about, I said, the poet Goethe introducing wave phenomena into the concept in a tree; and Goethe didn't talk about the tetrahedron, but I point out to you that all trees grow, there is actually then, the top of the tree of this year, and we have the cambium layer. So each one is a cone around, so the next year is a cone on the outside of that cone. A series of cones. And in fact we find that if you were to pare away, the tree dies, many of the tree you find is literally the tetrahedron there. The three main roots going out like that and there are three facets here coming really to a cone, so the next year is a little larger tetrahedron on top of it, and another tetrahedron on top of it. We get, then, to where the branches are also tetrahedra has something called a wing root. And the bottom of the wing you have two parts, the top are the hinge part; and then the member coming down here to the bottom the wing root. It's just the tetrahedron. One points down and two on the top for the hinge. As is the wing root of all great branches of trees. So we have a cone coming out from the cone. So we have coming out of this total surface here, the cambium layer suddenly breaks open into a new tetrahedron coming out of this branch. And on that branch breaks open a new tetrahedron again keeps opening up. The inside is coming out, and it gets to be a twig. And then on the end of that twig you see a bud. And the bud keeps opening up and the leaves coming out, and out of it then comes the blossom. And then suddenly the blossom gets fertilized there is the fruit. Finally out of the fruit comes a seed. And finally it goes off. But, Goethe pointed out, this whole thing is a wave thing opening from the inside out.
I want to bring back then, I spoke about the female, and the new life is on the inside continually coming out and the new life comes out of the next female; it is a continual opening up wave. I also then point out to you the difference between the male and the female.