Sunday, July 27, 2008

How to think like Buckminster Fuller?

(The following discussion, assumes that you will find it very worthwhile to learn How to "think" like Buckminster Fuller?, because even the great Dr. Albert Einstein said this to Bucky, "Young man you amaze me. I have no idea of the practical implication of my discovery E=MC2")

Think like Buckminster Fuller??

Okay, so I've been researching into this phenomenon called Buckminster Fuller since around June 1994....and if I've done my due dilligence......... on second thought, I'm not sure if this would be the best question to ask! Huh?

3 main reasons!

1. Our "Thinking" imprisons us.
In his final book, Cosmography, in the opening chapter "Dawn of Einstein's Universe" Bucky said that "We're still living in the Dark Ages. We're are still living in "prisons". These prisons have no chains, no bars, no walls, no locks. As I thought about what he said, I realized that we are locked in by the very way we think, perhaps by the very thoughts, the concepts, the words we use. We're trapped, "locked" in the box, unable to get out. We're locked in by our culture, our education, the beliefs, the hidden assumptions that we are unaware that we're living in, by our reflex-conditioned behavior.

So "Thinking" in this sense may not get us out of the many quandaries that the humanity and the world in general is trapped in.

2. When we think, we are somebody else.
Bucky also felt that, when we think, we're not original, not who we truly are, not unique!
He said, and I quote "A lot of people think or believe or know they feel - but that's thinking or believing or knowing: not feeling.
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you're a lot of other people: but the moment you feel , you nobody but yourself."

So our thoughts originated from our accumulated knowledge, through our formal and informal education, through somebody else's thinking. Bucky would prefer that we be ourselves. Looked like we have abdicated that role to others, or that the world had seemingly conspired to think for us.

To be ourselves, and to "think" originally, we must feel. Nobody can teach us how to feel. In Feeling or sensing. we may be closer to ourselves, and to the truth.
(Bucky was born with poor eyesight and he relied on his feeling or sense. For example he relied on his sense of smell a lot, with regard to people.)

3. Do your own thinking

Yes Bucky said. Do your own thinking!
Don't follow his thinking, don't think like him.

Bucky felt that he had not been effective in his endeavours in his life, because he was always following someone else's exhortations. He was always living the beliefs foisted on him which he accepted half-heartedly, because some well-meaning elder had told him so. Generally the elders, the so-called authorities of our life have always dismissed us from doing our own thinking. They claim to know better. However this is not necessarily true.

Bucky then decided to discard the beliefs, the thinking of others, he decided to start afresh, he chose to live his life base on his personal experience, and discover for himself his own truths.

When he did so, his life turned around from that of "failure" to "success"
How so?
His first daughter Alexandra had died in his arms at the age of 4. and his business of building houses was bought over and he was sacked as it's President, he was bankrupt.
He was on the verge of committing suicide on the shore of Lake Michigan, when the thoughts came to him: "You need not await temporal attestations to your thoughts, you think the truth."
In other words, you need not wait for others to give you permission to think, you do your own thinking.

Looking back at his life, at his chronofile, a diary, a journal, a log-book of his past, and Bucky saw the changes happening around him. He saw his life in relation to the changes, the world going from the visible materialistic world to the invisible world of electronics. He observed the changing behavioral patterns of our environment, he began to feel and sense "things' differently, he began to perceive "things" differently, he began to operate from direct experience.

He began to question and relook at things, which we had taken for granted.

He observed Nature and he realized that Nature was not only efficient, nature was also effective. He saw that Nature was Doing MORE with LESS! He began to discover principles operating in the Universe, in Nature.

His life turned around and became productive,

He decided to commit his life to humanity, by making the environment more favorable to the new life yet to be born, probably because of his 4 year old daughter who died in his arms.
He decided to redesign houses, not so much from the point of re-design for the sake of it, but because he saw the need to improve the living environment by apply the Ship building Arts to the home-front. He came up with his Dymaxion house, a house that literally that hung from a pole, which were Dwelling Machines

If Think like Buckminster Fuller mean don't follow his thinking, then in what way can my above question "How to think like Bucky help us?"

2 ways:

Bucky shared: I never try to reform man, it's too difficult, I re-form the environment. Bucky saw that it is extremely difficult to change our mindsets, our thinking, which have been quite set through many years of life experiences. It's difficult to change people's thinking by telling people my ideology is better than your ideology. My way is better than your way. I'm right you are wrong!" Your "opponent" will dig-in and stand his or her ground. "What do you mean? Who say you got it right? They won't change their thinking.

1. Re-forming the environment?
How so?
Bucky used to say that if you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don't bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.

A more effective way to "change" Thinking and behavior is to develop a new tool for use which no one would quarrel with, which they can use. A new tool to work with Re-forms the environment.

2. Another better strategy to "think" is to "see" things differently. Perception! Bucky had an amazing way of shifting his perception. Again, it's due to the fact that he was born with very poor eyesight. Paradoxically Bucky was of far-sighted, he could not see near. He was born crossed-eyed and could see into the distance. So he relied on his coke bottle bottom glasses, and his other senses. And so he perceived and sensed things differently from 99.99999% of us.

So it's really about PERCEPTION!

Perception is better than thinking. Perception is seeing. And when we perceive or see differently, we think differently, then we can do differently.

Perception can help us get out of our prison, out of our box.

We've discovered some powerful Buckian Strategies here.
Which is?
1. Go about living life, discovering your own truths, based on direct experience. 2. Re-look at things around us. 3. Ask Questions. 4. Change thinking and behavior by changing environment with TOOLS, 5. See differently, Perceive differently.

So the better question instead should be "How do we "see" or perceive like Bucky?" Or how do we sense/feel like Bucky?

This may be the most important Question you'll ever need to ask in your life!

1 comment:

Dymaxion said...

I will be looking forward to further postings. I have always been fascinated by Fuller's ability to think far into the future.