Thursday, December 11, 2008

The world according to Bucky


Went to the Bucky Fuller show at Center Stage last night and left inspired, with my thinking deepened and affirmed.

My father pointed me towards Buckminster Fuller years ago, and like a lot of things, I wasn't ready for it. His name intimidated, it sounded serious.

The story I remember, though, was Fuller standing at the edge of Lake Michigan in his thirties, husband, father and business failure, ready to take his life, when he realized that he could not let his success be defined by other people, that he must listen to his own voice. From then on Fuller life's work was built around a single question: Does humanity have a chance to survive lastingly and successfully on planet Earth, and if so, how?

Ephemeralization
, he called our task. Progressively doing more and more with less and less. (He'd support my leaf chart, I think!)

Bucky believed that we currently have enough material and intelligence for everyone on earth to live at a higher standard than ever in history - but we are undermined by our belief in two fallacies about the human condition: separation versus wholeness and scarcity versus abundance.

It's too bad Bucky isn't alive to see the transformational shift happening on Spaceship Earth right now, the reach towards connection and nourishment, visible in so many places: Eckhart Tolle, Oprah, Obama, the local food movement, the birth of the green economy, etc. We are evolving, stepping forward towards the who-knows-what, and it's happening so fast.

This morning I caught a glimpse of it in my son's kindergarten class.

When someone in the class has a classroom or playground problem that they cannot solve, they tell the teacher, who puts it on the agenda, and then at the end of the day they meet in a circle to discuss it. The problem gets put on the board, and everyone has a chance to offer a solution.

Problems are heard, solutions offered and discussed, people are held responsible for choices, and there is an identity built around We vs. Me. It's like some kind of advanced space ethics and they're all 5-year-olds.

I don't think any of us know where this is leading. A better time for questions than answers. Who we are? What do we value? What is our purpose? What makes for a good life? Who deserves to live a healthy and productive life? How do we expand the story of self-made, individualistic Americans? What happens when a culture & economy based on separation/scarcity goes through a spiritual transformation?

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