The Rotating Blade of Meaning (6)


Bell_30 sm St(Above: the original Bell 30 which established commercial helicopter technology, and was invented and developed by Arthur M. Young. Picture Wikipedia, public domain)

In our last post, we looked at those most frightening objects: numbers which are squared and cubed. This exercise in cruelty was an attempt to remove the fear of these things in order to put them in a very special place: Arthur M. Young’s conception of how consciousness worked – and its simplicity.

Arthur Young discovered that how the human mind grasped ‘meaning’ could be represented in a very simple graphical figure; one which gave greater depth to our understanding of consciousness. As well as being a scientist and famous inventor (the Bell helicopter was his creation) Young was a master astrologer – a very unusual activity for a scientist. He did not feel that astrology was antithetical to science, and admired the way the ancient science tried to encompass the whole of mankind’s experience rather than just the workings of the material world.

Young reminded us that our picture of the ‘world’ is our own; and is formed as a composite of information from our senses and our mind. This includes the way we react to it, as well. Let’s absorb this. There is no world, except the one we make. We are incapable of a full consciousness of the ‘out there’. That is not to say that we will always be limited in this way, but the present development of our species forms a very subjective picture: what I think, as opposed to what is. And we need to remember that it is very much a picture, though it has more dimensions than the area of the ‘picture’ we constructed in last week’s blog (Part 5).

There are certain things that have always been with mankind. A good example is the sky with its sun, moon and the mysterious planets – those ‘wanderers’ in the night sky that behaved very differently from the constellations around which ancient peoples spun their stories.

Arthur M. Young had determined that there were four stages, or aspects of how the pictures formed by our consciousness. Now, we must bear in mind that all of these are projected by the mind onto what we paint as ‘out there’. These stages have been carefully constructed during the course of our evolution, so Young felt justified in placing them at the centre of things.

One of the drivers of evolution was how we reacted to the motion of objects, friends and predators. To Young, the motion-related issues of distance covered, velocity and acceleration were related to three of the four aspects of meaning that we humans need to fully comprehend what is happening to us, and how we should interact with it. We examined this in Part Three and Part Four, like this:

(1) Distance travelled is seen to be the baseline of motion. It is analogous to our simple line of blocks in the last blog. The diagram is reproduced below:

Arthur Young line alone

(2) Velocity (or more commonly Speed) is Distance divided by Time, as in miles per hour. In other words, it’s a rate of change. With a constant speed (as in car staying at 70 mph on a motorway) the motion is at a constant rate and there is no acceleration, until we ‘speed up’ or brake. In our simplification of the formula we saw that Velocity is equal to Distance divided by the Time taken to cover it. in the diagram below, the distance is simply the length of the top line of blocks.

Arthur Young 3+3 +RightAA

3) Acceleration is the rate of change of the previous aspect of Velocity. In a car travelling at a constant 70 miles per hour is not accelerating.  If our car, which had been travelling at constant 70 miles per hour, suddenly accelerated to overtake a wagon, there would be an increase in not only the distance, but also the velocity. This equates to the distance divided by time squared. We have seen that anything squared is equal to a square. Here’s our square from last week:

Arthur Young Nine Full wallAA

In each case of the above aspects, we have evolved our understanding by creating a ninety degree (a right angle) turn. We moved from a line (1+1+1) to an area, a square, by turning our evolving shape through ninety degrees and extending all of it by the same length.

Have we finished what we can know? Our blocks have been carefully drawn to show that another transformation is possible. One more turn through ninety degrees is, effectively, extending all the squared blocks backwards into the diagram three times (1+1+1) as we hinted in the final diagram from last week, reproduced below:

Arthur Young Nine Full27cubeAA

Do we know this figure? Most certainly – it is a cube. We got to it by dividing distance by time cubed. We live in a world of cubes; that is , we live in a three-dimensional world. Arthur M. Young proposed that there is a missing type of motion related to this final transformation of the aspects of motion.

In the next part of this story, we will look at the nature of this third derivative of distance and time; and the vital link it provides between a scientific world of ‘only matter’ and the presence of the observer as an intelligent part of creation…

To be continued…

{Note to the reader: These posts are not about maths or physics; they are about a unique perspective on universal meaning created by Arthur M. Young. If you can grasp the concepts in this blog, your understanding of what follows will be deeper.}

Previous posts in this series:

Part One,   Part Two,   Part ThreePart Four

Part Five

©️Stephen Tanham

Stephen Tanham is a director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit organisation that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.

The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.

Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at

You’ll find friends, poetry, literature and photography there…and some great guest posts on related topics.



9 thoughts on “The Rotating Blade of Meaning (6)

  1. When we get into discussions involving math, even if it is not math exactly, I get totally lost like wandering endlessly in a labyrinth. Years ago, I took some testing that showed that I was high in analyzing, but very low in synthesizing, and this feels like synthesizing to me. But it might come to me later on. At least I feel good that now I am able to admit when I am confused, or when I cannot think the same way others are thinking. Before, I would have been ashamed to admit that.

    Years ago, I remember a course somewhere in which the lecturer was saying how in language, we might use the same words, but we might all have a very different interpretation of how those words look to us. For example, if we were both talking about something as simple as a tree, I am sure each of us would have a very different image of the word “tree.”

    So concepts like these could be interpreted in different ways, and I have not figured mine out yet. It might take me a while. I am a very visual thinker, but not the kind of visual images as this – this is abstract to me, but I can definitely figure out things in nature images, etc. Thank you very kindly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Anne. Most people are terrified of maths in any form. Once in a while I like to include some – perhaps, like here, attempting to teach them differently – to give that quantitative picture that is often lacking in mystical texts. It’s not always successful!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are making a lot of sense, Steve, and I understand what you are saying here. I agree that it is good to look at things from different perspectives, and perhaps this is something that each of us must find within, for we are, although all alike in some manner, very different within and we have different visions of what this world and the outer world consists of. So it is not that it is not successful, for I am sure that some of the good folks get it immediately. It does not have to be seen equally by each of us. And that is a good thing about all that we are studying. Seeing things differently is what ends up opening up new windows and doors, or perhaps opening up some old ones for another view once again. To me, there is no such thing as failure, only the failure to even try. When I think of quantitative, I think of something that is so incredible that it is difficult to confine it to a number or a size. But I suspect that it is human nature to want to be able to define things in a way that when we talk of it, we can envision its relationship to the rest of the universe and to ourselves. Thank you most kindly. And we all change everyday; it one thing we can be certain of. Who knows? Tomorrow I may comprehend all of the math models.


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