R. Buckminster Fuller: Spaceship Earth

Can one be spiritual, if that means just being in awe in the vastness of existence?

Staring in wonder at the scale of planets, stars and galaxies?

At the mysteries of quanta, and wonders that lurk at edges of event horizons…

Can’t this be a form of rapture that borders on religious ecstasy?

Visions that span from the Celestial Chambers of Creation,

To the Temples at the End of Time…

And settle in between,

On the Sacred Shores of

Spaceship Earth?

*

Let’s change our pace:

This is from the website of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, describing one R. Buckminster Fuller:

R. Buckminster Fuller was a 20th century inventor and visionary who did not limit himself to one field but worked as a ‘comprehensive anticipatory design scientist’ to solve global problems. Fuller’s ideas and work continue to influence new generations of designers, architects, scientists and artists working to create a sustainable planet.

So, who was this man, and what does he have to do with Cosmic Rapture?

*

Richard Buckminster Fuller was an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist, whose life was shaped by an epiphany.

This came after the death of his daughter, and the loss of his job as president of Stockade Building Systems, a business which aimed to provide affordable, efficient housing.

So a 32 year old Fuller walked aimless around his hometown of Chicago…

He didn’t have much.

He did have life insurance….

And there was Lake Michigan…

Always willing to swallow another lost soul…

*

In his meditations, something happened…

He floated up, in a sphere of white light, and heard a voice:

From now on you need never await temporal attestation to your thought. You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.

*

What do you do with a direct message from Universe like that?

Fuller decided to embark on:

“an experiment, to find what a single individual could contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity”.

Part of this meant defending Spaceship Earth

*

Spaceship Earth:

What is Spaceship Earth? Here are some descriptions:

Henry George, Progress and Poverty, 1879, book IV, chapter 2:

It is a well-provisioned ship, this on which we sail through space. If the bread and beef above decks seem to grow scarce, we but open a hatch and there is a new supply, of which before we never dreamed. And very great command over the services of others comes to those who as the hatches are opened are permitted to say, “This is mine!”

George Orwell, the Road to Wigan Pier, 1947:

The world is a raft sailing through space with, potentially, plenty of provisions for everybody; the idea that we must all cooperate and see to it that everyone does his fair share of the work and gets his fair share of the provisions seems so blatantly obvious that one would say that no one could possibly fail to accept it unless he had some corrupt motive for clinging to the present system.

Adlai Stevenson, speech to the UN, 1965:

We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate, half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave—to the ancient enemies of man—half free in a liberation of resources undreamed of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.

*

Buckminster Fuller contributed to the discussion:

This is from Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, 1968:

… we can make all of humanity successful through science’s world-engulfing industrial evolution provided that we are not so foolish as to continue to exhaust in a split second of astronomical history the orderly energy savings of billions of years’ energy conservation aboard our Spaceship Earth. These energy savings have been put into our Spaceship’s life-regeneration-guaranteeing bank account for use only in self-starter functions.

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The take away?

All thoughts worth reflecting on…

Until next time, enjoy the ride on Spaceship Earth

 

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