Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Divergent Thinking

Divergent Thinking - noun, thinking that moves away in diverging directions so as to involve a variety of aspects and which sometimes lead to novel ideas and solutions, associated with creativity. 

I’ve tried to avoid that well-worn phrase, ‘think outside the box’, and offer some ideas of how to do that.

I note the interesting point in one of the comments in a recent blog, about how the researchers into this subject seem to be in one of two camps, those who seek Johann Bessler’s solution and those who seek any solution and not necessarily Bessler’s - in fact some try to avoid any of Bessler’s clues.  I think that’s ok although some might see little difference, especially if both succeed, and the end result is the same.

For myself having become immersed in everything Bessler, it is no surprise that I should try to use my knowledge about him to aid me in my research, however I have, from time to time, diverted my attention to areas away from Bessler’s wheel and not just other wheel makers but the science of possibilities. (I borrowed the title of a book by Jon Freeman). 

Having found what I believe to be coded information about his wheels, I’m bound to try to use that information to recreate his wheel, but that still leads to confusion as recent events show, so even though I’m a firm believer in Bessler’s solution I continue to try to approach the problem in new innovative ways.  

I read that we tend to use the left brain for its logical thought processes, but we ignore the right brain for its creative abilities, at our peril. Something that can bridge the gap between the two halves of the brain is, for instance, poetry. I have written poems about the problem and the search for the solution over the years and maintaining the use of the right, creative half of the brain by writing poetry can help us see things more clearly.  You don’t need to show anyone your poem, it’s there to help you.  I have written dozens of poems over the years but I’ve published no more than two or three.

Alternatively draw a picture of the problem, again you’re working the creative right side of your brain. Working the problem backwards starting with the working wheel can help too, anything that helps us to look with fresh eyes may lead to a solution or part of one.

I also read a lot and I sometimes think of something while my eyes are fully engaged in reading but the old right brain is quietly ruminating on the problem and it might be nothing to do with what you’re reading, but something can occur that takes your attention away from the book and you may find yourself gazing into space thinking along a new thread that looks promising concerning the problem.

But is it possible that Bessler’s solution is the only one or might there be another way to get a working gravity wheel? My thinking is this, if Bessler found a concept, a design which worked for him, it seems to me that that might be the only concept that works, but there may be more than one way to incorporate such an action by means of a mechanism which achieves the same concept in a different way. 

I also note that his explanations of how his wheel worked are so full of ambiguity that the right interpretation may only become known once the secret is revealed in a successful wheel.


Friday, 20 November 2020

The Mystery of Johann Bessler’s Codes

To us, Johann Bessler’s thoughts and actions seems to suggest he was slightly paranoid, but given that his invention of the amazing gravity wheel, or perpetual motion machine, was the end result of more than ten years of intensive research, experimentation and trial and error, it’s not surprising.  He was obsessively determined to keep the secret of its construction to himself until he had been paid in full by anyone who wished to buy his machine. 

But the  negotiation was fraught with difficulty.  He told prospective buyers to put the cash on the table and they could take the machine away.  They insisted on checking that the machine was genuine by viewing the interior.  Bessler could not allow this because they could note the design and then walk away and build their own.  Despite the evidence of the only person ever allowed to see inside the wheel, the highly respected Karl, Landgrave of Hesse, who validated his claims, no sale was ever finalised.  Bessler designed a number of tests which he hoped would prove his claims and even though we cannot imagine how he would have managed to fake it, without an internal inspection no one accepted the evidence presented.

Bessler would not have wanted to die without having sold his machine; and thus his claims dismissed and his books forgotten. But....he implies more than once that if he fails to sell the secret he would rather die than give his secret away.  He also says that if the reader has questions he should study ‘this little book’, Apologia Poetica.  His suggestion on the front of Maschinen Tractate to study ‘more than one drawing’  which will eventually lead to the answer. He says he was given much information of an esoteric nature and was taught, for instance ‘the language of angels’, which was an occult language used by John Dee in the 16th century in Prague, where Bessler lived for a time.

This led me to conclude many years ago, that Bessler intended right from the beginning, probably before he even found the solution to his wheel, to plant information about his wheel in future publications and had already learned about a number of ways of hiding it. So once I suspected that there might be information to be found, it became obvious that it was there but disguised behind a veil of innocent looking, uninteresting and easily dismissed pages of text and drawings.

Bessler’s first clue was the strange pseudonym, Orffyreus, achieved through use of an ancient and well-known cipher.  This simple code was so obvious that one might wonder why he used it. It led one to look for other different codes but also equally well-known. This feature was developed extensively throughout his books and letters but the significant fact about all of them is that none of them seem to be helpful towards understanding his secret, which begs the question why?

The work done by Øystein reveals additional layers of mystery, Rosicrucian and Masonic codes. I have my own ideas about why this was done.  If we accept that Bessler planned to hide instructions for building his gravity wheel in his publications, but deliberately hid it within an exceedingly complex code, so that it was very unlikely that anyone would manage to decipher it during his life, how could he be sure that someone would eventually find the code and decipher it?  The answer would seem to be that only those people steeped in the subject of codes, such as the practitioners of Øystein’s Rosicrucian and Masonic codes, and perhaps some acquaintances of the Jesuit priest and the Rabbi, in Prague.  They would be attracted into studying his books by the presence of apparently purposeless codes, recognise and decipher them.  The knowledge that the more complex codes might be heralded by the simpler more obvious codes would attract the attention of certain members of semi-secret societies, the acknowledged experts on ancient codes.

Aside from the many graphic codes to be found in the Apologia Poetica book, there are the 600 plus ‘etc’s, previously identified as ‘x’s, but later revealed to mean ‘etc’ in Fraktur font.  There are far too many of them to make sense other than being part of a code and there are none in his subsequent books. Then there are the 55 rhyming couplets in chapter 55 of Apologia Poetica, containing 141 Bible references, the same number as used in the Toys page, also numbered 141. Some Bible references are repeated, others cannot be found. Bessler also exhibited an apparent obsession with chronograms, providing numerous examples both in his private documents  as well as his  annual panegyrics to Karl. All of this suggestive of hidden information.

Bessler sought and received permission to build a tomb for himself and his family in the garden of the house he occupied during his final years in Karlshafen.  It was an unusual request at the time and it is interesting to speculate on the possible reasons why.  If we accept the two kinds of coded information I have surmised is buried within his publications, then it could be that Bessler left additional clues on his tomb. I think there might be some curious people who would like to visit his tomb and there they might read an inscription giving some extra information either about the wheel or the codes which lead to a description.  Sadly the tomb has long since been destroyed.  There is now a tarmac carpark covering what used to be part of his garden.

There is so much more, too much to go into here, but plenty to occupy the mind of a cipher expert. Perhaps we need the help of the Bletchley group from the Second World War, or better still, some modern equivalent.

I think this explains the reasons for the simple codes as well as the more complex ones.


Thursday, 12 November 2020

Why Do We Keep Trying To Solve Bessler’s Wheel?!

I ask this question because a discussion on the Besslerwheel forum touched on it. I know when I first encountered R. Gould’s account of the legend of Bessler’s wheel, I became certain that the maid had lied describing her part in a deception designed to convince people that Bessler’s wheel was faked.

In a court of law the defence tries to discredit an important witness i.e., the maid, and proving that they lied might lead to the case being thrown out.  Add to that the word of a just and reputable witness for the defence, i.e., Karl the Landgrave,  who saw the interior of Bessler’s wheel, and it becomes certain.  Generally one adds the support of a respected character witness, i.e., Gottfried Leibniz, and huge damages might be awarded too the accused,

So my first thought was, how wonderful it would be to prove wrong, all those complacent teachers who dismissed my questions about the possibility of building a perpetual motion machine with scorn and laughter. Later, once I had added absolute certainty to my earlier naive self by researching the history of the inventor, I began to think in terms of financial reward, and add to that the enormous enjoyment in proving the experts wrong, plus acknowledgement that I was right and they were wrong.

Latterly the need for high financial returns have been mitigated by two things, firstly the growing need for something which will reduce the effect of climate change, pollution and the lack of any realistic economic solutions to the energy crisis. I think that is far more important - and secondly my granddaughter, Amy’s need for strong financial support once she comes home from the neurological rehab unit, although she’s an extremely determined young woman who won’t be tamed by a waist-downwards paralysis!

Returning to the emotive term which we all use, ‘perpetual motion’, ever since I started on this journey, my questions, ideas and beliefs have been met with instant dismissal, scorn or laughter or sometimes I think they are humouring me out of politeness.  This reaction can generate mild paranoia in your mind and you get so you don’t want to mention it for fear of an unwanted response.  But of course they may not be humouring me, perhaps they are really interested, but we all want to be liked or respected and we tend to play safe and say nothing.

Bessler seemed unhappy with the term, (I’m calling it PM to save me time) calling his wheel self-moving and arguing that it couldn’t be perpetual anyway because nothing lasts for ever, wood rots, metals corrode, wear and tear and break downs occur.  The word, perpetual, implied infinite and without end, whereas, continuous, does not.  

We refer to steam engines, petrol engines, diesel engines, water wheels etc, because those names refer not to the energy source but to an important ingredient without which they cannot function.  Electric cars rely on stored energy from their batteries.  They each depend on something which is not an energy source but which can be used to create an energy source and which they use to produce motion.

The engines I’ve mentioned use fuel which has to be converted into an energy source. Wood, coal, oil, petrol, gas all kinds of fuel which need to be burned to produce heat, hence the term burning fossil fuels.  Other kinds of fuel provide energy in different ways but all of them require an intermediary, such as fuel ignition system, hydroelectric and water wheel systems need flowing water, courtesy of gravity, in fact they rely on it.

Which leads us to the Bessler wheel, which in my opinion relies on the presence of gravity without which it cannot function. It’s intermediaries are the weights. The logical name for it is either gravity wheel or gravity engine.

My answer to the question in the title of this blog...I JUST WANT TO KNOW HOW HE DID IT!


Friday, 6 November 2020

Simulators versus Hands-on Building for Me

I have taken a long hard look at sim software but I have reluctantly come to the conclusion I’m too old to start learning how to use a new piece of software just now when a solution is urgently required.  I hope people don’t think I didn’t take the task seriously because I did and I read many of the comments about simming on Besslerwheel forum.  I was initially determined to take the advice offered but in the end I realised it was going to take too much time to understand and learn to use it and trust what I was seeing. I think my time would be better spent building my new wheel.  Despite the seeming setback that wubbly’s sim presented I am still feeling positive and optimistic that I can succeed in this venture. 

Those of you who build will probably know how, at one or more points during a build, you may be considering two or more options about how to proceed.  Which ever path is taken can sometimes prove wrong or not as efficient as the alternative one you dropped.  Which ever path you take can lead to more choices to make.  In my case I followed one path which led me via several branches, to the wrong conclusion literally, resulting in my faulty sim.  My selfconfidence over-rode the analytical part of my brain and in hind sight I can see where I went wrong......I hope!

So hands-on building works for me, well I enjoy it, even if it hasn’t worked yet. Someone suggested it’s the journey I enjoy, but I’m not sure I agree, I look forward to reaching my goal and not having to work with pieces of metal and wood that have been used many times.

Back in mid 1990’s, having spent more than ten years researching his life, I was writing my first book, a biography of Johann Bessler called, “Perpetual Motion; An Ancient Mystery Solved?” I wrote it on an early Amstrad, a nightmare of utter slowness but it was incredibly popular and I thought it was just amazing at the time.  We played computer games on the ZX  Spectrum which was basic compared to a calculator today, Jetset Willy I remember fondly.

My point is I had to teach myself about computers, publishing and subsequently self publishing, the internet, print on demand and arrange radio and magazine interviews at a time when all of the above was just beginning.  Such information was hard to find, usually in the local library.  All this, while holding down my job at Rolls Royce Aero-engines, but although I’m getting older, I still have all my faculties, and I’m sure that after I’ve finally solved or stopped trying to solve Bessler’s wheel, I’ll take a more leisurely look at the sim software, and learn all about it.

I would understand if many people think I’m deluding myself because I believe I can still solve this puzzle and that’s fine, I have a number of tricks up my sleeve that I shall explain later, but for now I must press on and finish this wheel. I’m also still writing my book detailing all of the clues I have actually deciphered. I accept that there may be some scepticism about my interpretation, but my previous post about the pentagon hidden within the Apologia Poetica wheel certainly seems to have gained acceptance for the logical explanation even if not my interpretation of its meaning.

I like to busy and ever since I began writing my bio of Bessler I used to get up at 5 am to write for an hour or so before getting ready for work.  Unfortunately that habit of waking at 5am has never left me, so I still wake at 5 every morning, and have done so ever since.  Plenty of time for thinking!


Divergent Thinking

Divergent Thinking - noun,  thinking that moves away in diverging directions so as to involve a variety of aspects and which sometimes lea...