Intuition. R. Buckminster Fuller.
If you have ever doubted the vastness of human potential, while simultaneously finding comfort in the scientific and mathematical advances made by human knowledge thus far, I urge you to read this book.
In 170 pages of epic poetry, Buckminster Fuller takes the reader on a journey of proof that the Earth and its human inhabitants are playing an integral and yet far less than efficient part in the actualization of a brilliant but necessarily mysterious evolutionary plan. He begins by explaining the difference between the generalized principles we have the genetic ability to grasp and the special-case designs through which we concretely employ them. He goes on to chart the cummulative impact of increased scientific understanding and increasingly advanced mathematical designs noting, in each case, that the sum of what we continually discover in the behavior of whole systems is inherently unpredicted by what we may apprehended in observing each part. This is what Fuller calls “synergy” — and describes to us as intuition consistently and progressively manifest.
Fuller argues, quite convincingly, that not enough of us understand synergy and its relevance to our purpose on Earth. If we did, he says, we would not be so inclined toward inefficient use all of our earthly resources. We would instead be compelled to maximize our knowledge at every turn, with the natural and logical consequence being benefit for all of humanity. Over one third of the epic poetry in this book is devoted to an explanation of synergy in action and the importance of nurturing the intuition that reveals it. The majority of the rest of the poetry describes the complementary operations of brain (the computer-esque processing center of knowledge gained by experience) and mind (the seeker and receiver of metaphysical wisdom and insight) in the evolutionary process of becoming more and more conscious of the purpose for our existence.
Fuller’s writing in this book is sparse and dense but simultaneously conversational and clear. It builds upon itself with a strict logic, interweaving abstract concepts with concrete examples into a holistic cosmic design. He describes, with equal mastery, theories of relativity and the physics of falling in love. He illustrates his complex metaphysical thoughts as easily with sailing ships, as with fireworks, as with television broadcasting, telepathy and hands-on experiments with rods and ropes. It is not always easy to follow his words and images, but it is immensely rewarding to try.
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