The World of Cycles
The science of predictive cycles deals with events that recur with reasonable regularity.
Such events may be in nature, business, or anything else. The important thing about regularity is that it implies predictability. And if you know an event is coming, you can often prevent it or avoid it if you wish.
Or if you cannot prevent or avoid it, you can at least prepare for it so that its effect on your life is lessened.
Most people do not realize the extent to which cycles and regularities exist in the world. Here are only a few examples of predictive cycles:
Atlantic salmon vary in abundance in a cycle that averages 9.6 years from peak to peak. Starting with the year with the heaviest salmon population, the fishing gradually gets worse and worse for four or five years.
Then the fish start to increase in numbers. Fishing improves each year for four to five years, so that eight to ten years from your starting point the fishing is excellent again. These years of good fishing have come at intervals averaging 9.6 years apart for as far back as there are records.
In Illinois chinch bugs vary in population in a cycle that averages 9.6 years.
The abundance of snowshoe rabbits in Canada varies in a cycle of the same 9.6 years. So does the population of lynx, marten, fishers, owls, and hawks.
Heart disease in the northeastern United States has been found to fluctuate in a cycle of the same duration. The average of wheat harvested in the United States varies according to the same cycle.
After this, it would probably not surprise you to learn that grasshopper outbreaks and mouse plagues come in cycles that have a duration of 9.6 years. But they don’t. Grasshopper plagues come 9.2 years apart. Mouse plagues come four years apart – in Presidential-election years.
Pine cones are more plentiful in cycles. People join churches in cycles. Prices of every commodity so far studied rise and fall in cycles. Women are more amorous in cycles. Sunspots erupt in greater numbers in cycles. Poets are more creative in cycles. The weather fluctuates in cycles, and so do the fashions in clothes.
The consumption of cheese fluctuates in cycles. The number of international battles fluctuates in cycles. The number of earthquakes fluctuates in cycles. Real-estate activities fluctuate in cycles, as do the prices of common stocks.
Male emotions fluctuate in cycles, as do industrial accidents. The sales of every company so far studied fluctuate in cycles, as does the incidence of many diseases.
Cancer recurs in cycles, glaciers melt in cycles, and the levels of lakes and rivers rise and fall in cycles. Advertising effectiveness fluctuates in cycles, as do human intellectual activity and the cattle population. Even political landslides and the number of infants born per day fluctuate in cycles.
In many instances the regular rhythm is undoubtedly the result of chance.
But are all these cycles, some of them recurring time after time for hundreds of years, merely chance phenomena?
Can we arbitrarily blame them all on chance when we discover that many of them, in phenomena completely unrelated to each other, have their highs and lows at the same time – as if their rhythms were all being controlled by a single gigantic metronome?
Somewhere Out There
Many cycles in nature seem to have the same wavelength as cycles in human affairs, and some cycles found on earth seem to have the same wavelength as cycles found on the sun.
The other planets may even be involved, and the implications are strong that the solution to the mystery of the cause of cycles will be discovered somewhere in the universe – “somewhere out there.”
The dimensions of the stage on which this search will take place are awesome. Stand anywhere on the earth and you will be able to see approximately 2,500 stars on a clear night. Imagine for a moment that each star, actually a flaming ball like our sun, has been transformed into a grain of rice. If this were so, you could hold all 2,500 visible stars in a single hand.
But there are over 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone – and if every star were only a grain of rice you would need more than forty railroad cars to hold them all! And our galaxy is only one of 100 million galaxies, each rotating slowly in a cycle of its own, each following its own path in the universe.
Just as grains of rice help us to visualize the star population, let us borrow a few fruits and vegetables to reduce heavenly distances to a scale we can understand. We will begin with one large pea, a quarter-inch in diameter, as our earth.
A small seed, one quarter as big, placed only nine inches away, is our moon. Using this scale of dimensions, our sun would be a giant melon, about thirty inches in diameter, almost the length of a football field away.
Mercury and Venus would be peas spinning around the sun between the sun and earth. Now 423 feet from our sun let us place another pea, Mars. Then we walk a quarter of a mile and drop an orange, Jupiter.
We travel another quarter of a mile and place down another orange, Saturn. A mile from our sun we drop a plum, Uranus; Neptune, another plum, is dropped at a mile and a half; Pluto, a pea, at two miles.
Merely to lay out our own solar system (remember, the size of our earth on this scale is a pea) would require a field four miles square.
Then, of course, to make things complete you would have to add dust to represent the 1,500 asteroids, the comets (more than a thousand of them), and various moons, each with their cycles of rotation and revolution.
Now the true immensity of our task is upon us, for in order to position accurately the nearest star to earth we must leave our four-mile-square field and travel 14,000 miles!
To continue until we have covered only the stars in our own galaxy on the same scale we must travel 3i/2 times the real distance to our sun!
And yet evidence is mounting that there is “something out there” – some force, or forces, that affect every living thing on earth, and it does so with rhythms that have taken man through cycles of war and peace, prosperity and depression, optimism and despair, discovery and isolation, morality and degradation, creativity and ignorance, famine and plenty.
– Edward R. Dewey from “Cycles – The Mysterious Forces That Trigger Events” (1970)