The Golden Ratio: A Principle of Energy Flow
In nature, the golden ratio governs objects as large as galaxies and as small as the DNA. The golden ratio has for centuries represented perfect harmony, or the most attractive proportion in almost all things. Adrian Bejan, a Duke University engineer, has found it to be a compelling ratio for a single law of nature's design. In numerous papers and books, Bejan has demonstrated that the constructal law (www.constructal.org) shows how all shape and structure in nature arise to facilitate flow. Furthermore, Bejan mentions how his constructal law provides a greater scientific context for nature’s efficiencies such as the golden ratio (Bejan, 2009). The designs in nature accomplish specific goals with the minimum of resources and energy, and the golden ratio is the form of the natural movement of energy.
The golden ratio creates a form which can increase in size indefinitely without altering its shape. This way, across size scale, from very small to very large, the same form arises again and again. The golden ratio enables flow optimization because it follows a path of least resistance, so that a maximum result can be achieved with the least amount of effort. The golden ratio explains why falcons fly in a golden spiral path when approaching their prey (Tucker, 2000). For falcons, the golden spiral is the energy efficient flight path of least resistance. Fibonacci spirals are the configuration of least energy and experimental results also provide a vivid demonstration of this energy principle in phyllotaxis (Li, Ji, & Cao, 2007)
The Purpose of Life: Flow
The Constructal Law shows there is indeed an actual purpose to all life as well as meaning of individual life something that reconciles modern science with ancient scriptures and spiritual writings. It suggests we consider how everything in the universe is ultimately comprised of energy. One of the most important principles of energy is that it doesn't like differences and works out ways to reduce and balance them. This is why energy flows from where it is concentrated (like the sun) out into the colder universe.
The Constructal Law shows the ultimate purpose of all life is to help energy flow and balance. The same laws of energy indicate that a meaning of your own life is to find how your energy flows best. While the 25 chemicals that comprise your body are the same as those in everyone else, the way energy is mixed with them is different in each of us. We all have bodies with similar brains with a similar number of nerves in each, but the way those nerves are connected is different in each of us. The experiences, learnings and resulting nerve connections are unique and are what makes you who you are - makes your character and personality.
When your energies are flowing together, focused in one direction, you may experience what in the psychological literature are called flow or peak experiences (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990; Maslow, 1964). This sensation is like being carried along by the flow of an effortless current of some type. The elements associated with the flow state can be classified into the three areas: Causes of Flow, Characteristics of Flow, and Consequences of Flow.
1. Causes of Flow
2. Characteristics of Flow
3. Consequences of Flow
What does your energy enable you to do best? This can be as simple as discovering what you are truly passionate about or your individual talents. How you use energy best varies for everyone. When you sense your energy flowing well, this can provide a good indication of who you really are and what you do best—and your individual meaning in life. We each have unique energy patterns, as individual as your fingerprints. Science, and your own personal experience, shows that when your energy flows well you perform best, are happiest, most passionate, most content and even at your healthiest. This is your energy reinforcing your individual purpose in life.
Bejan, A. (2009). The golden ratio predicted: Vision, cognition and locomotion as a single design in nature. International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, 4(2), 97-104.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Harper and Row, New York, NY.
Li, C., Ji, A., & Cao, Z. (2007). Stressed Fibonacci spiral patterns of definite chirality. Applied Physics Letters, 90(16), 164102.
Maslow, A. H. (1964). Religions, values, and peak-experiences. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press. (Original work published 1940)
Tucker, V. A. (2000). The deep fovea, sideways vision and spiral flight paths in raptors. Journal of Experimental Biology, 203(24), 3745-3754.