A Simple Sidetrack

In my last post I shared about the effect the first or second Whole Earth Catalog had on my life—how it pushed me out of  the ennui of life in a small town and into becoming a mature, hopeful individual at the ripe old age of twenty-one.

Upon further investigation, it seems that some of Buckminster Fuller’s ideas and insights are what helped to initiate the Whole Earth concept.

Richard Buckminster Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) as we all remember him, was an American visionary, designer, architect, poet, author, and inventor. Throughout his life, Fuller was concerned with the question “Does humanity have a chance to survive lastingly and successfully on planet Earth, and if so, how? Most of us remember him as the creator of the DOME structure (and who didn’t want to live in one during the late sixties and early seventies).

Also in my post, I ended with a biblical direction as I have done in many previous samplings. So, I was more than intrigued when I read a poem written by Fuller that was taken whole or in part as the impetus for the Whole Earth concept.

Please enjoy this rabbit chase. There is more to this than meets the eye.

   I see God in
the instruments and the mechanisms that
work
reliably,
more reliably than the limited sensory departments of
the human mechanism.
And God says
observe the paradox
of man's creative potentials
and his destructive tactics.
He could have his new world
through sufficient love
for "all's fair"
in love as well as in war
which means you can
junk as much rubbish,
skip as many stupid agreements
by love,
spontaneous unselfishness radiant.

The revolution has come--
set on fire from the top.
Let it burn swiftly.
Neither the branches, trunk, nor roots will be endangered.
Only last year's leaves and
the parasite-bearded moss and orchids
will not be there
when the next spring brings fresh growth
and free standing flowers.

Here is God's purpose--
God, to me, it seems,
is a verb
not a noun,
proper or improper;
is the articulation
not the art, objective or subjective;
is loving,
not the abstraction "love" commanded or entreated;
is knowledge dynamic,
not legislative code,
not proclamation law.
not academic dogma, not ecclesiastic canon.
Yes, God is a verb,
the most active,
connoting the vast harmonic
reordering of the universe
from unleashed chaos of energy.
And there is born unheralded
a great natural peace,
not out of exclusive
pseudo-static security
but out of including, refining, dynamic balancing.
Naught is lost.
Only the false and nonexistent are dispelled.

And I've thought through to tomorrow
which is also today.
The telephone rings
and you say to me
Hello Buckling this is Christopher; or
Daddy it's Allegra; or
Mr. Fuller this is the Telephone Company Business Office;
and I say you are inaccurate.
Because I knew you were going to call
and furthermore I recognize
that it is God who is "speaking."

And you say
aren't you being fantastic?
And knowing you I say no.

All organized religions of the past
were inherently developed
as beliefs and credits
in "second hand" information.

Therefore it will be an entirely new era
when man finds himself confronted
with direct experience
with an obviously a priori
intellectually anticipatory competence
that has interordered
all that he is discovering.

[No More Secondhand God]

Ideas and Integrities of Buckminster Fuller 1963; 318pp

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2 Responses to A Simple Sidetrack

  1. ded says:

    I enjoyed the poem very much. Bucky’s theology is fairly sound. “God is a verb” ties in very nicely with I John 4:8, “God is love.”

  2. Terry Henry says:

    I thought you would…as I read it I couldn’t help but think that he is a member of your tribe.

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