|[ To Contents ]|
The introduction to vector equilibrium is now complete except for one philosophical consideration. It is important to realize that the whole discussion is about conceptualnever actualbalance; equilibrium in any physical form can only be an approximation. No matter how exactly centered the hub of the bicycle wheel seems and no matter how tight the spokes, gravity's pull on the hub will always exert more tension on the upper spokes, leaving the lower spokes ever so slightly slack and imperceptibly curved. The balance is imperfect. Moreover, energetic motion never ceases. The air molecules in the living room do not stop their vigorous motion once the temperature is consistent. The floor and fallen object press together in a persistent dynamic exchange, encompassing furious activity at the atomic and molecular levels.
There is always motion in real systems: some (however minute) residual springiness in tension materials, as well as ever-present invisible bustling activity on the atomic scale. We cannot see the energetic motion in most systems, and so our perception is that of a state of perfect equilibrium. And indeed, for all practical purposesthat is, for a given level of resolutionwe can have a stable balance.
But Fuller cannot in good conscience leave it at that. He reminds us that real equilibrium would mean an end to all, or "Universal death." An end to aberrations and imperfections is an end to motion and energy. All physical realitylife and nonlife alikeconsists only of energy. Hence there is no absolute equilibrium:
Nature is said to abhor an equilibrium as much as she abhors a perfect vacuum or a perfect anything. ... The asymmetric deviations and aberrations relative to equilibrium are inherent in the imperfection of a limited life... . Despite the untenability of equilibrium, it seemed to me that we could approach or employ it referentially... . A comprehensive energy system could employ the positive and negative pulsations and intertransformative tendencies of equilibrium. (420.041)
The vector equilibrium is a condition in which nature never allows herself to tarry. The vector equilibrium itself is never found exactly symmetrical in nature's crystallography. Ever pulsive and impulsive, nature never pauses her cycling at equilibrium: she refuses to get caught irrecoverably at the zero phase of energy. (440.05)
All events, all systems exist as a result of their constant fluctuation in and Out of ideal equilibriumfar too rapidly for perception. Fuller's goal was to develop a model for what that theoretical ideal must look like, in terms of spatial properties. But vector equilibrium is not a structure; he is quick to point out the distinction: it is a systemto be "comprehensively" grasped by "metaphysical minds":
Synergetics... accommodates Heisenberg's indeterminism of mensuration inherent in the omniasymmetry of wavilinear physical pulsations in respect to the only metaphysical (ergo, physically unattainable) waveless exactitude of absolute equilibrium. It is only from the vantage of eternal exactitude that metaphysical mind intuitively discovers, comprehends, and equates the kinetic integrities of physical Universe's pulsative asymmetries. (211.00)
The concept of imperfection can only be held relative to the mind's grasp of theoretical perfection. In other words, "pulsative asymmetries" require a frame of reference in order to be defined and registered.
Time is responsible for these asymmetries. Separate time out of the picture, and you are left with the absolute perfection of timelessness. Absolute equilibrium exists sub-time or meta-time; the passage of the shortest instant of time will reveal "pulsative asymmetries." But metaphysical mind has an all important need for timeless models, through which to understand Universe.
|[ To Contents ]|