Saturday, 27 January 2007
Where would we be without our heroes?
It’s 2002, I’m working on a project to create a portable skylight, called the SunCatcher, and that’s a long story I’ll not get into now. But it’s relevant because it’s where my state of mind was at, inventing.
My wife (now X and one of my heros still) Yvette, buys us tickets to a play for my birthday,
OF THE UNIVERSE
It’s a play about some guy named R. Buckminster Fuller.
I haven’t a clue what I’m in for.
The show was put on by Foghouse Productions run by Jeff Rowlings, Brett Metzger, and Rich Baker, who are three great guys, and took place in San Francisco, which is where I was living at the time.
So we get to the play, and please don’t think I’m that cosmopolitan cause I’m not. In fact in my 20 years in the city, I think this was the third play I had gone to.
I won’t tell you about the man the play was about, yet. Two amazing things happened though when we went to this play. One was that within the first ten minutes of this play, a one man show, the one man playing it, I realized I knew from back home in Santa Monica. It was driving me crazy to figure out who he was because he was deep in character, until it hit me that he was a fellow actor in the Actors Gang, a group my brother Cam helped found with Ron during his 20’s. His name is Ron Campbell, and if you ever get a chance to see a play with Ron, be prepared to be blown off your feet. Dedicated entirely to theater acting, Ron is a master of his craft able to morph in to any character whatsoever, and in the case of playing Bucky Fuller, I know Bucky if alive would only comment how he might wish he could have had such good stage presence (sadly, a shortcoming of Bucky’s). Here’s a link to his site soar feat (get it) and the acting workshops he’s doing. He doesn't know it, but besides a good friend, he's another hero of mine.
Seeing Ron was great and made the play special. But in the next 2 hours, I was a spectator to learning that humanity was designed to be successful, and that here was a real person in history who had decided to walk out on earning a living, and spend his life to help humanity.
That’s special, but there are millions of people in history that have made the same decision and lived interesting lives doing so. What made Bucky (what he preferred to be called) different was HOW he acted once making the decision.
He started with a blank slate, to mean, he would not accept what definitions had been defined before as fact. He felt, if he was going to help humanity, he needed to first understand what he called Universe, and not what men before him had defined as Universe. With over 24 books written by him, Not including many articles, and countless other books about him, it’s difficult at best to summarize the results of just what he discovered during what he called a 50 year experiment to see what one human being could do for humanity if he devoted his life to it. But as an example I’ll give you just a taste.
“There’s no such thing as up and down.”
Think that’s nuts? Doesn’t that just pluck your very stings of what you would deem loony? But you know what, if you take the time to think it through, giving up all preconceptions, you will find he is 100% scientifically correct. And there were thousands of these. Thousands, and they were just the beginning of what he said throughout his life, which was to always question reality. To stay vigilant against all the forces of history and others, that continue to declare that humanity is made to fight and squabble to get ahead.
And more importantly, when you question everything, and see what lies underneath, it’s nothing short of a dramatic spiritual awakening. Not a religious one based in faith, or following another’s viewpoint. Not one to make one feel superior over others, and in fact, if anything, it sends you in the other direction there, showing you just how interdependent on each other and our world we all are. It’s an awakening that gives you a new pair of glasses to see the world through. Its seeing the world behind the world our eyes deceive us with every moment of every day. And like the curtain being pulled back to Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz exposing the wizard, it’s an amazing transformation of sorts, which can leave you both exhausted, elated, and impossible to return to your life from before where things were clear cut and understood.
Yet with his quest to help humanity, he had such a large message, going so very deep to our core beliefs, involving science every step of the way, that it was quite common that after hearing a lecture by him which many times went on for over 14 hours, people would come out dazed and confused but changed stating things like “I’m not sure what he was talking about, but It moved me.” And for so many, that is where the questioning ended. Very few in fact have studied his work to a degree that they not only understood but chose to continue the dialog of what he was really talking about. And make no mistake, it was and still is an ongoing dialog needing our input, not simply understanding what his message was. Most who have done so, have tried in their own way to write books about him so as to make more palatable his ideas.
If you would like to start to learn about a man the United Nations called A Global Emissary of Peace, I’ve always recommended the book-
Buckminster Fuller's Universe: His Life and Work
An excellent introductory book to his life, his work, and I feel really touches on the core of his message, which was this questioning, and how to go about doing it.
If you wish to find information online, the wiki on him (he would have loved wikis and what they’re about) go here-
It’s a little dry compared to the book, but at least you’ll get some idea of the man.
Me, I was quite lucky. With live thearter I walked in to a play I knew nothing about, played by a family friend, about a man that changed the idea of what it could mean to be human. Nothing short of a serious electric shock could have hit me harder than this combination.
I left the play shaking. Shortly after, I gave up my career in graphic design, and went back to school. My own school, which Bucky would have approved. I read every book ever written by or about Bucky, and trust me that is no small task. I studied and continue to study all the sciences, which are the tools to clear understanding.
I was a also lucky because so much of my design work (inventing) was similar in thought to what he promoted though far less complex. I choose to call it Base Thinking, because you start by solving any problem with zero preconceptions, enabling you to design more free and clearly. I’ll explain Base Thinking later…This gave me an advantage in that his sometimes bizarre language made perfect sense to me.
So what’s my point to all this? Just what the title says, that it’s our heroes that can at times transform us to be better people, and we in turn may do it for others, often without ever knowing it. You are without a doubt a hero to someone, and more than likely don’t even know it.
So where would we be without our heroes? I believe we wouldn’t.
This chapter I’m going to add more and more people to, just some of my other heroes, some come back again. Tell me about yours.