Cycles are everywhere!
From weather patterns to the migration of birds – to our body rhythms to animal populations – as well as market prices.
A cycle is a non-chance rhythm. A cycle can be relied upon to happen again and again into the future.
For over a million years man has been trying to predict his future. He has always failed – and his failures are buried in the dust of history. Legendary fortune tellers, prophets, oracles, medicine men, astrologers, numerologists, mystics, charlatans, and seers, all claimed possession of supernatural and occult powers that enabled them to see into the future.
Wars were fought, kingdoms fell, and civilizations were altered as a result of their pronouncements and predictions. We are not without their counterparts today. They invade our homes through the media of television, radio, and the press, claiming hidden and mysterious powers that enable them to solve murders, foretell earthquakes, and blueprint our days in advance.
They play on latent superstitions within all of us, piously predicting the next political assassination, the next airline tragedy, the next Hollywood divorce. But, working quietly behind the scenes, thousands of scientists in fields as unrelated as history, botany, anthropology, mammalogy, terrestrial magnetism, sociology, and economics – to name only a few – are accumulating facts and figures that promise to make this age-old dream of foretelling the future at least a partial reality.
A new science which deals with the behavior of events recurring at reasonably regular intervals throughout the universe may ultimately enable us to predict, scientifically and accurately, the events of tomorrow. The consequences and responsibilities represented by this embryonic science are almost too staggering to comprehend.
Try to imagine a world where we will know, in advance, the probabilities of when the next war will begin, when the next civil unrest will erupt into a riot, when the next panic will descend on the stock market, when the next flu epidemic will strike, and when the next great flood or earthquake will occur. And what of lesser events?
How would the Parisian salons operate if all of us could forecast what the fashions for milady will be next year? How would Detroit’s auto makers react if they could accurately forecast that our choice in automobile colors for the next model year will lean toward a variety of blues instead of this year’s popular greens?
Would movie makers abandon pornography and turn to musical comedies if it could be predicted that the latter will be our preference eighteen months hence? We are just beginning to probe one of nature’s basic secrets-rhythmic repetitions of events. And when we unlock the last door to our quest we will have the answer to what may well be the greatest mystery in the world – cycles, and their cause.
What Is a Cycle? Place your hand on the left side of your chest. Feel your heart beat? You are feeling a rhythmic cycle – something that occurs again and again at a more or less uniform time interval, a rhythm. Our world contains hundreds of similar cycles, occurrences that repeat with predictable regularity. Tides ebb and flow every I2y2 hours.
There is the twenty-four-hour alternation of day and night. The moon reappears every twenty-five hours. Woman experiences a twenty-eight-day menstrual cycle. The seasons come and go on schedule. All these cycles, and countless more, are understandable and explainable. There is no mystery. But there are thousands of rhythmic cycles in our world for which there is no logical explanation, no known cause.
At present we know little more about cycles than was known about chemistry in the days of Boyle, Cavendish, Priestley, and Lavoisier, the fathers of modern chemistry, who made their pioneering discoveries only a brief 175 years ago. We know little more about cycles than was known about germs before Anton van Leeuwenhoek, in 1675, looked through his famous microscope at a drop of rainwater and saw his first microbe.
Until that marvelous day no living man had seen these little wriggling creatures. No man knew that there was a whole sub visible world existing under his very fingernails! There is much in common between the new world discovered by Leeuwenhoek and the new world discovered by early cycle pioneers. In 1838,
Dr. Hyde Clarke, of England, was the first to notice rhythmic ups and downs (cycles) in business activity Ernest Thompson Seton, the American naturalist, was one of the first to call the public’s attention to the rhythmic variation in the population of animals Samuel Benner, in 1875, was the first American to recognize rhythmic cycles in prices.
These men, and many others, noticed regularities caused by something, they knew not what. But they glimpsed a hint of forces abroad in the universe – forces surrounding us and influencing us – that had hitherto been as unknown as Leeuwenhoek’s bacteria. Their discoveries opened up a whole new world in which to adventure.
When these forces and their laws have been removed from the realm of the unknown it should be possible to throw light on the coming of epidemics, on future weather conditions, on the future abundance of wildlife, and on hundreds of other natural mysteries. But far more important, if these unknown forces affect the behavior of human beings as they seem to, we find ourselves at the very core of the problem of wars and depressions.
For if wars and depressions are not caused by generals, businessmen, or politicians, as the mass of the people believe, but are the results of – or at least are triggered by – natural physical forces in our environment, we are on the threshold of a completely different and extraordinary way of life for all mankind. The World of Cycles The science of 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:
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 chins 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 acreage 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. Why? 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. Why? 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. Why? 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.
Why? 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. Why? 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.