Imagine if our goals are not the point. What matters most is what happens when we intend to achieve a goal or reach a target. The side-effect, not the goal itself, holds the precious gift.

This is the Principle of Precession. It applies to everything, like it or not.

Precession is a tool that informs my life. It has very powerful applications for business, work and life. I continue to learn from precessional effects.

What is precession?

defined precession as the effect of bodies in motion on other bodies in motion.

Taken from Latin – to go before or preceed. Applied to astronomy – the slow, conical motion of the earth’s axis of rotation, caused by the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon, and, to a smaller extent, of the planets, on the equatorial bulge of the earth; or mechanics –

Applied to a spinning top – the motion of the rotation axis of a rigid body, as a spinning top, when a disturbing torque is applied while the body is rotating such that the rotation axis describes a cone, with the vertical through the vertex of the body as the axis of the cone, and the motion of the rotating body is perpendicular to the direction of the torque.

“The Sun and the Earth are both bodies in motion. Despite the 180-degree gravitational pull of the in-motion Sun upon the in-motion Earth, precession makes Earth orbit around the Sun in a direction at ninety degrees- i.e., at a right angle to the direction of the Sun’s gravitational pull.” Critical Path by Buckminster Fuller, page 142.

Precession in water – Similarly, if we drop a stone into water, we get the ripples going out at ninety degrees to the direction of the dropped stone.

The precession of bees – One of Bucky’s favourite stories regarding precession was the story of the honey bee. Seemingly inadvertently, the honey bee goes about his business of gathering honey. At ninety degrees to his body and flight path, his legs gather pollen from one flower and “accidentally “ take this pollen to the next flower, resulting in cross-pollination. This seemingly inadvertent accidental activity results in the bee contributing enormously to life on earth. We get pollination, the growth of crops, and the sustaining of life for humans and animals.

Precession is the action that occurs at ninety degrees to bodies in motion.

“Nothing Happens Until Something Moves” Albert Einstein

Why is precession important?

When anyone sets out to achieve a goal, there is always a precessional effect, mostly unpredicted by the original action.

Therefore, if we want to achieve something, we can go for the goal and get the precessional effect, or we can choose to go for the effect and get the goal. Let me explain.

Humans have been money-seeking beings for a very long time. Like the honey bee, we go after money (honey). When we do this, what is our precessional effect? Or, more specifically, what is your precessional effect? What falls out, at ninety degrees, from your pathway of seeking money? (Or whatever goal you are going for?)

For example, the military-industrial complex has created many weapons to kill and destroy. The precessional effect of these weapons research, development and creation has led to an incredible increase in the technology available for man in society. The internet, mobile communications, and energy efficiency advances are just some of the few precessional effects that have come out of weaponry.

I was at a car race on the Gold Coast a few years ago. As I was walking down pit lane, watching the teams of 10 or so people, all of the equipment, tires, and computers added up to a very expensive set-up, and there were 24 teams. The car was just the focal point of a massive backroom support structure. It occurred to me that the precessional effect of motor racing is the motor vehicle technological advancements that occur during racing. The aim is to win, and at ninety degrees to that, the engineers need to extract the maximum efficiency and speed from the car.

When viewed through a precessional lens, the pit lane is simply a laboratory for producing cars that go faster, better, and longer using less fuel by applying the best technology. Of course, this has changed with EVs, yet I suspect the precessional effects of motorised advancement will stretch well beyond vehicles.

What does precession mean for you?

One way that I often teach the precession tool is as follows.

Let’s say you are the manager in charge of a team, and your team’s task is to achieve a 10% profit uplift every half year. You focus is on producing money and getting the best outcomes from your team. The precessional effect is something other than money or profit. It could be learning smarter, more innovative ways to retain, service and gain customers.

Now, let’s suppose that we flip this and instead create a goal far bigger than the 10% uplift, that if we achieved that goal, 10% would be a part of the precessional effect. For example, we could choose to focus on becoming the very best, without exception, at customer service. If we achieved this, would a 10% uplift be a likely precessional effect?

In Bucky’s language, he assumed that what humanity rated as “side effects” are nature’s main effects.

He, therefore, adopted the precessional side effects as his prime objective. He used this model as part of his self-discipline, resolving to only ever do the greatest good for the greatest number of people, to demonstrate that if he did so, there would be money precessionally to finance him.

Just as the honey bee did not need to earn a living, humans working at adding value to the healthy survival of humanity, doing what they were uniquely designed to do based on their Pattern Integrity () would not need to earn a living. Universe would provide for them. In line with Kate Raworth’s Donut Economics model they would have their primary needs met, and certainly the needs to complete the unique task their Pattern Integrity invites them to invest themselves in.

Even though we are always in motion by nature of being on earth, which is zooming very fast through space if you are not actively choosing, if you are paralysed by fear, depression or illness, then precession will have a much smaller, or even insignificant effect.

We simply must be in motion. In times of crisis and panic, it is easy to be petrified. Simply getting up, into motion, and doing something, will create a precessional effect. It often doesn’t matter what the doing is, as long as it is positive. Small or big, is also not so important. Cleaning out the desk, garage, or closet will create motion to instigate a precessional effect. And the act of getting into motion will break the paralysis.

A Steward Leader, building a Syntropic Enterprise, will consider precession as part of the overall strategy, which also includes other Principles of Nature, such as , ephemeralization – doing more with less – and Multiplication by Division. We teach these Principles in the , with Nature’s Laws informing how we create enterprises for a world with a future for Earth and all her creatures.



First published 2019

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