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VISIONARY MASTER OF STRUCTURE
Category : October 1991

VISIONARY MASTER OF STRUCTURE

R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER



ABROAD SPACESHIP EARTH 1895-1983

"It was in 1927 that I had this really extraordinary experience, the only one that ever happened to me that was really and utterly mystical. At that time Henry Ford was exhibiting his Model A down at the Armory, having switched from the Model T. So I walked down from Belmont Avenue to Michigan Avenue when suddenly I found myself with my feet not touching pavement; I found myself in a sort of sparking kind of sphere. I couldn't believe it. And heard a voice, such as I had never heard ever before, saying, "From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth." I couldn't believe I was not touching the ground that I was hearing this extraordinary thing. It was after that I started writing feverishly. I said, "I think I must write everything down because I was thinking the truth."

The man is R. Buckminster Fuller - half-blind, near-deaf inventor, mathematician, historian, planetary architect, visionary and one of the few souls on the earth who talked with Albert Einstein on that intimidating mathematical wavelength where mass divinizes at the speed of light. He visited India several times, befriended Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi and relished the esoteric teachings of yogic seer Sri Aurobindo. Hindus who dialogued with him personally, such as architect Vyom Akhil, happily welcome the sagely octogenarian as an "honorary Hindu." Fuller, to them, was one of the few great science minds that unequivocably insisted on the Vedic view that God, creation and energy are one.

To most though "Bucky" remains that infatuated lover of the triangle. It was he who sired those unearthly-looking, sky-bubbles called "geodesic domes," made from four-sided crystal-like triangles called tetrahedrons, "nature's purest shape," he insisted. Famous for "enclosing the greatest volume with the least surface." 300,000 domes have mushroomed up around the world - from the Arctic tundra, to downtown Moscow, to Hawaii where a 120-footer was assembled in 32 hours.

By the time he died at 87 in 1983, this salty New Englander was something akin to what the Japanese claim as a "national living treasure," a person of such extraordinary worth - such as a great monk or calligraphy master - they are deemed irreplaceable. Bucky became an international treasure, prized as an oracle of sorts. Nation jealously ballied him about the globe like the Kohinoor diamond ever desirous for his dazzling ability to diagnose their economic dilemmas as though he were a hundred years in the future advising them where advanced intelligence and technology would best lead them. He talked spontaneously - in nuclear-charged thought clusters - with ever the look of a giant dam about to burst. Sometimes, so inspired by his own ideas, he would carry on until one person was left and the sun was rising.

Through glasses uselessly thick, he squinted before halls of world leaders commanding they trash medieval building designs - especially the cube - that exacted criminal waste of resources and labor. For structural support, use the triangle more - employ tensegrity (tension integrity) geometry instead of primitive right angles. The sun, sea urchin, crystal and universe use the efficient tetrahedron. Wake up! Be economical. He told nations to re-envision themselves synergistically part of a larger organism, earth. He tutored them to give up laying down bigger concrete roads. Use the air more, and accelerated rail technology like Japan. Cities as we know them - underoxygenated, swarming bogs of human mass - are obsolete, created by a manufacturing frenzy that needed everybody at ear and eye range. Sophisticated communications have obviated that need; factories and assembly plants can return to rural settings, allowing the human instinct to congregate for educative/cultural ends.

Education is the future industry on the planet, he saw. Invest in it. Specialization - insular, myopic and distorting - will give way to cross-bred engineers. "Scientists who once said they brought order out of chaos," will discover that all that was chaotic was their own mind, he repeated. Science will again glorify the "exquisite orderliness and comprehensive integrity of nature." To individuals he advised to guard against organized religion and all forms of dogma; listen instead to the inner voice fearlessly. He prophesied all major enlightened change on the planet will come from private initiative - unencumbered individuals who dare manifest inner calling - and not from government, which he saw in its present form suffocated by self-serving inertia. Women, more intuitive than men he felt, will emerge as the guiding influence in a warless world awakened from an eon of aggression mentality, male-dominated. He insisted there was no energy crisis - "The only crisis is an ignorance crisis" and saw wind and solar power would emerge the best energy sources.

Past and Present Life Asian Link

He felt a deep affinity with Asia, studied and wrote about it extensively, especially in his final treatise, Critical Path. "Humanity and civilization came from Indonesia," sailed northward up to India and Japan and around the globe, he taught. He studied Sri Aurobindo, excitedly underlined his most stirring cosmic passages and read them to Western audiences. He met India's dignitaries and Kashmir's heir prince Karan Singh. Nehru once sat in Fuller's presence for an hour and a half and never spoke a word until the end when he numaskared and confided, "I read everything of yours I can find," Indira Gandhi cried at Fuller later said she Einstein were the only two people so devoid of selfish ambition that he could see they received help from Higher Force. He believed in telepathy. His daughter, before she died at four, would speak out his thoughts. "There is something like telepathy going on around us which I am convinced will ultimately be identified as ultra-ultra-high frequency electromagnetic waves." To a Melanesian island chief. Fuller confided that he remembers being a Maori navigator/priest in a past life. (A keen sailor in this life, he named his sloop Naga after the Indian snake god.)

When he passed from earthscape in 1983, he was giving a major keynote address every three days, had been in print, radio or on TV 90,000 times, had indelibly etched his "spaceship earth" global-family mentality into the hearts of the children of the dawning millennium and gifted the planet thousands of drawings, inventions and visions of how to practically rebuild and pattern itself when it commits to livingry, not weaponry, intelligently sharing, not fighting for, the world's manifold resources.

"God is a Verb, Not a Noun!"

Born in Massachusetts to a rugged line of individualists, abolitionists, Transcendentalists - his aunt was editor of Emerson's writings - "Bucky" was eight when the Wright Brothers flew their plane at Kitty Hawk, "environment" still meant your home and the universe was divided into Euclidean cubes. Numbers came easy to Fuller. He could orchestrate symphonies of digits in any key - calculus, vector geometry or quantum physics. Harvard added little to his mathematical mind. Bored, he left - actually got himself dismissed for rendezvousing with a beautiful showdancer in New York City during exams. Meeting Einstein was thrilling. "He had an aura, an almost mystical aura around him," Fuller recalls and revered E=MC2 more than the mass=energy master himself. E=MC2 to the young, rebellious engineering maverick was sunlight direct from God, finally come to burn into oblivion a moldy and nescient Newtonian world, paralyzed by a belief that "a body persists in a state of rest unless it is compelled to change..." Nonsense! Fuller, like Einstein, had wormed into the core of matter with the numbers screw and found that at the center of molecular life, light, atomic energy, was in furious motion. "Newton was a noun and Einstein a verb," Fuller yodelled. "Non-simultaneous physical universe is energy and energy equals mass times the second power of the speed of light. No exceptions. Fission verified Einstein's hypothesis. Change is normal! Thank you Albert," he barked with a bit of the pit-bull aggression that gained him a quarterback spot in high school football.

Mass. accelerated at the speed of light, energizes. "There are no solids!" Fuller fumed. All form is pure energy particles dancing at various speeds - rocks are slow dancers, gasses faster, thoughts faster. God the fastest. Einstein told friends his E=MC2 Close Encounter with God imparted a "cosmic religious sense," as he politely phrased it. Fuller teased the shy math rishi for so timidly tailoring such an earth-shattering realization. Fuller wasn't afraid of the scientific materialists or God-is-an-old man-in-the-sky Christians. If God dances, say it! "God is a verb, an abstract love-momentumed gyrocompass, not a noun - proper or improper," he bellowed to a deaf world just diving into World War II. To sense God gyrating at the core of form in titanic mechanical precision, speed and horsepower was explosive - an appreciation that Fuller, once a cotton-mill millwright, could totally appreciate. "...God, loving, not the abstract in love commanded or entreated, is knowledge dynamic, not legislative code, not proclamation law, not academic dogma, nor ecclesiastic canon. Yes, God is a verb, the most active, connoting the vast harmonic reordering of the universe from unleashed chaos of energy." His God-in-furious-motion universe clearly resonates the image of Shiva Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer who pulsates all form from inside the atomic core of form.

Fuller sometimes referred to God as "the greater integrity" and especially liked the word synergy - cooperative action of a whole organism not predicted by the local behavior of its parts - and found it as applicable for the God/universe as for a new chrome/nickel/steel alloy, alluding to his Navy days as a creative shipbuilding engineer. "The universe is the comprehensive apriori synergetic integral, aggregate system embracing all men's consciously apprehended and communicated experiences and continually operates in comprehensive, co-ordinate patterning," he wrote in No More Secondhand God. Basically, the entire universe is interconnected, permeated by a harmonizing principle, rita (universal) dharma, in Hindu parlance. "The common man ascribes all behaviors unpredicted by his statistical probabilities to "luck' and "miracle,'" Fuller noted. To him this was caveman ignorance. His God-synergized universe operates strictly on the sophisticated mechanics of karma, action and reaction, not luck - a generator of an action ultimately but faithfully receiving its reaction because the action never fully disconnected from the sender.

Two years before Fuller died, he wrote this heartfelt epistle to his fellow humans: "The effective decisions can only be made by the independently thinking and adequately informed human individuals and their telepathetically intercommunicated wisdom - the wisdom of the majority of all such human individuals - qualifying for continuance in Universe as local cosmic problem-solvers - in love with the truth and in individually spontaneous self-commitment to absolute faith in the wisdom, integrity, and love of God who seems to wish Earthian humans to survive."

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.