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Lesson: The Circle Of Life

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Exploded View of the helical heart

Welcome to the lesson: The Circle of Life. This lesson is about the most misunderstood component of life: The role of Math and Science in everyday life. The circle of life is far more complex than it at first appears.

For example, did you know the human heart is a circular muscle? The heart is not just the neuro-muscular, electrochemical “blood pumping organ”. It is a wrapped circle, often called a Gordian Knot.

In this lesson we explore the human heart as a metaphor for a deeper understanding of nature itself. We all think we know what something “does” we understand it. There are deeper truths exposed when we examine the structure, purpose, and function and form to determine why nature evolves systems.

Not a Pump; Not a Machine; A Spiral Wave

When we reframe the what, why, how, when, where of any heart we are able to see nature and her precious sacred geometry in action. You like many people, probably imagine the heart as a very complex structure of rooms, like this:

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello The traditional understanding of the heart as a series of chambers

This system is accurate, but it’s proposed function is out of line with the way nature and the reality of life itself evolves and creates things. It is useful metaphor, but it requires a human way of thinking of things that is often not supportable by fact. What’s missing in this conception of the heart is the role of the SPIRAL.

Would it surprise you that the heart is a spiral? Further would it surprise you to learn that all blood vessels – arteries, veins and capillaries use ridges to cause blood flow to spiral? or that the very shape of the blood cell, flat, with rounded edges and a depressed middle area is optimized to spiral through the spiral of the blood stream?

Panta Rhei (Everything Spirals)

It is not always intuitive, but nature does love the spiral, and it appears everywhere in nature. Another misunderstood fact is that nature builds complexity from smaller forms, and the most common and dynamic form is a spiral – usually one of five or a combination of spiral forms:

  1. Phi – a transcendental number represented by the ratio 1:1.618 [The golden spiral]
  2. Pi – a transcendental number represented by the ratio 1:3.14 [What is Pi?]
  3. e – a transcendental number represented by the number 2.71828 [Exponential Growth]
  4. Fractals: [Link]
  5. Euler’s Identity: e^i π + 1 = 0
Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Euler’s Identity
Jim Bruner | Mezzacello Electromagnetic Waves

Transcendental Numbers

Why do transcendentals exist? We do not know, we only know they do – across time and cultures. Where we fail in our science is when we try to ignore them in the general application of science and technology.

Tell me right now, three places you see spirals in nature. I will challenge you to follow that to infinity.

Jim Bruner

We can find transcendentals in every field, INCLUDING math. Disease, sociology, psychology, materials science, astronomy, engineering, biology, civic design, aerodynamics, energy, field theory, forever. So what does all of this have to do with the heart?

Lesson Challenge: Make a Heart

The heart is a circle of life that is also defined as a knot; a gordian knot to be precise. A knot that wraps through and around itself and using electrical impulses and the structure of the knot to push, contract, propel and flatten it pulses so that the pressure of the BODY propels the heart, NOT the other way around.

Let’s explore where we see the five transcendental ideas above in the heart.

Materials

  • Computer
  • Wifi
  • Display
  • Speakers
  • Whiteboard
  • Ropes

Instructions

  1. Using the Links on this page start a discussion about how one thing can be reframed as another.
  2. For instance, the heart is not an empty organ, it is a muscle that has topography.
  3. Discuss topography and mathematics in general.
  4. Math is a language that nature uses to help us make sense of the way reality assembles itself.
  5. When you have introduced the Transcendentals and watched the videos begin building a heart.
  6. Have each team of students work with the thick rope.
  7. Challenge them to fasten it into a Gordian Knot that wraps into itself.
  8. Have them explain how the system brings in and expels the energy wave.
  9. Give them 10 Minutes to better understand this feature of maths, topology, and anatomy.
  10. Ask them to use one of the transcendental numbers to support their claim.

Learning Integration

Rarely in nature are things always as they appear. Larger ideas can always be broken down into smaller ideas that will generally relate back to discreet mathematical concepts. Review a simple object and ask students to break into the SIX simple Machines:

The Six Simple Machines
Jim Bruner | Mezzacello The Six Simple Machines
  1. Lever
  2. Fulcrum
  3. Pulley
  4. Screw
  5. Inclined Plane
  6. Wheel and Axle

Give them 10 minutes to do this exercise.

This integration of mechanics and Math is useful in problem solving and in identifying both problems and their solutions. This also gives students agency to recognize, reframe and react to problems on their own!

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