Every time I have cause to dip into the mind, personality, and world of Buckminster Fuller I ‘fall in love all over again’. And so again – while viewing the video below.
“R. Buckminster Fuller was a renowned 20th century inventor and visionary …. Dedicating his life to making the world work for all of humanity, Fuller operated as a practical philosopher who demonstrated his ideas as inventions that he called “artifacts.” Fuller did not limit himself to one field but worked as a ‘comprehensive anticipatory design scientist’ to solve global problems surrounding housing, shelter, transportation, education, energy, ecological destruction, and poverty.” (Buckminster Fuller Institute)
I regret my life path never happened to bring me into contact with him or his teaching. (Fuller was born 1895, and died in 1983).
Well – I don’t really regret – my life path has taken its own course. I’ve been able to stay curious, notice problems, and try to ‘do what seems to need doing’ to solve them.
But honestly! The man was such a remarkable combination of uniqueness and ‘everyman’!
What was his uniqueness? I’d say one characteristic is that he never lost a child’s innocent curiosity.
He seemed to sustain an ability to look at the world around him with relatively little fear or judgment. Most of us don’t escape a certain amount of egoic pressure to conform, rebel, judge, or dread of guilt and shame by judgment. Most of us feel enough social or performance anxiety that these reduce our capacity to seek and welcome ‘inclusive to all humanity’ solutions. Somehow, Buckminster Fuller managed to ‘slip through’.
And in so doing – he retained not only a perpetual child-like curiosity. He also retained an honest, clear-minded, awareness of community, human need, human foolishness, and suffering.
Even more wonderfully, because he was relatively free of social anxiety and need to ‘prove’ himself in a competitive world, he simply didn’t bother competing! This in turn allowed his full intelligence to stay curious, interested, and focused on “noticing problems and trying to design/do what seemed to need design/doing.”
He was also unique in that – despite being born into at least ‘comfortable’ circumstances – he managed to develop and deliver talent and gift without presuming it was his right and obligation to manage affairs of others. There is something about him that is “quintessential modesty” – modesty at its best, personified.
Fuller did, however, share. He was a student of the ever-unfolding dynamic nature of the universe, and of earth/life’s place and opportunity within that dynamic. He offered what he discovered and concluded to all who were interested, (as many continue to be). The film offered here is only one brief exposure to functional invention, valuable insight, and vision of potential that Fuller made available to all of us.
As you watch the film “Reflections: R. Buckminster Fuller (1977)”, you will meet a person who speaks from the heart, (without a trace of sentimentality), about where his inventive mind takes him. He doesn’t mention ‘love’ or concepts we frequently associate with compassion and ‘doing for others’.
That’s part of what’s remarkable about him. He simply “is”; he simply “thinks”; he simply “does”. But always with an orientation of inclusive solution for all humanity, the world over.
Although labeled a ‘visionary’, he is not overtly ‘spiritual’ and does not mention ‘religion’. He neither seeks ‘disciples’ nor does he – in a more ‘modern materialist way’ – ‘market himself’.
His solutions lie in creative thinking, creative design, and attention to resource use. He explains how observing a ‘typical and normal’ situation triggered questions for him that informed his creative mind. He presents his vision of what could be – if we choose to ‘make it so’. He expresses confidence that IF we so choose, we’ll find ourselves ‘freed up’ from deprivation and fighting. Once ‘freed up’ we’ll enter humanity’s next range of possibilities.
Since it’s my belief that a ‘Fuller type’ of intelligent, compassionate, modest, creative human is available with each child born, anywhere on earth, I also perceive the ‘ordinariness’ of Buckminster Fuller. His ‘everyman’ persona exemplifies the potential of ‘every person’.
Fuller himself might say so. He observed, “Every child is born a genius.”
I especially found myself ‘falling in love over and over’ during the film’s last 20 minutes, as I heard Fuller speak of humanity’s potential – (or of our demise – should we continue to fight over resources, ignore or deny needs, and not work harmoniously with dynamics of life).
There is a notice as the film opens: “It may take some special attention to follow the strong current of Fuller’s ideas in all their enthusiasm and complexity.”
“No copyrights claimed, sharing for posterity. Producers: Robert Snyder, Jaime Snyder. Rated: G (General Audience). Studio: Masters & Masterworks. Run Time: 60 minutes.”
My Best! -MaggieAnn
(See also – search box this site for ‘Buckminster Fuller’ posts with other information and quotes.)