Thus the metaphysical took the measure of, and mastered, the physical.

from Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (1969)

Portrait of Richard Buckminster Fuller

Richard Buckminster Fuller

Architect, Inventor, and Systems Theorist
July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983

Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller was an American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, and inventor, renowned for his comprehensive perspective on the world’s problems. For more than five decades, he developed pioneering solutions that reflected his commitment to the potential of innovative design to create technology that does “more with less” and thereby improves human lives. He published more than 30 books, coining or popularizing terms such as “Spaceship Earth,” “ephemeralization,” and “synergetic.” He also developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, and popularized the widely known geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as fullerenes were named after Buckminster due to their structural and mathematical resemblance to geodesic spheres.

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Amherst Press Conference

Mr. Fuller and Maharishi came from different traditions of knowledge, but both talked about the universal basis of life, the individual, and the cosmos.

Cover image for Cosmography: A Posthumous Scenario for the Future of Humanity

Cosmography

A Posthumous Scenario for the Future of Humanity

An ambitious synthesis of Fuller’s lifetime of interdisciplinary work, spanning geometry, systems theory, design, and cosmology. He outlines synergetic principles underlying natural structures, sustainable architecture like geodesic domes, and humanity’s potential through whole systems thinking and technologies in equilibrium with the universe’s finite resources. Dense but visionary, it encapsulates Fuller’s goal of developing a “Cosmography”—a coordinated model for all knowledge.

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Critical Path

Critical Path is Fuller’s master work—the summing up of a lifetime’s thought and concern—as urgent and relevant as it was upon its first publication in 1981. The book details how humanity found itself in its current situation—at the limits of the planet’s natural resources and facing political, economic, environmental, and ethical crises. The crowning achievement of an extraordinary career, Critical Path offers the reader the excitement of understanding the essential dilemmas of our time and how responsible citizens can rise to meet this ultimate challenge to our future.

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Earth, Inc

This book collects some of R. Buckminster Fuller’s most important recent writings on the subject of spaceship Earth: the big, interconnected, total system that is “the only one we’ve got.” These articles stress the need for considering our planet as a whole, rather than breaking it into its parts—as most of us continue to do. This theme is crucial to the thinking of Bucky Fuller, who, in addition to his many other appellations, has been called the “godfather” of the Whole Earth Catalog.

Cover image for Everything I Know (Session 01)

Everything I Know

Session 1

Visionary inventor Buckminster Fuller explores humanity’s evolution and role in the cosmos in this far-reaching lecture. He celebrates the human mind’s ability to grasp universal principles, contrasting this with the brain’s focus on discrete data. Fuller champions a "synergetic" systems perspective focused on wholes rather than parts. He examines patterns in civilization, especially relating to travel and geography. Throughout, Fuller aims to inspire an eternal, all-encompassing understanding of our existence.

Cover image for Everything I Know (Session 02)

Everything I Know

Session 2

In this talk Richard Buckminster Fuller contemplates humanity’s cosmic purpose. Rejecting assumptions like the need to earn a living, he sees humans as empowered problem-solvers with the ability to employ principles and participate in the universe’s flow. Fuller advocates fully dedicating oneself to assisting humanity and nature’s overall aims. He shares his personal journey, trusting the universe’s integrity and coordinating with its intellect. Fuller encourages examining beliefs, focusing on lived experience. He envisions humanity awakening to its cosmic purpose, consciously evolving in harmony with nature’s symphony, our full potential realized through unity with the universe’s aim.

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Everything I Know

Session 3

Like an omniscient sage, Fuller weaves an epic tapestry tracing technology’s ascent from ancient days when muscle reigned to modern times where mind ascends the throne. With synergy’s secret wisdom, he foretells an era free from want, where loving logicians lead, and politics and war recede into obscurity’s abyss. Yet this new day tarries, tangled in tradition’s tenacious tendrils. So with urgent eloquence, Fuller implores enlightened minds to sever these bonds and share synergy’s symphony, that all may know life lifted to its zenith through tool and thought’s triumphant tryst.

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Everything I Know

Session 4

This session is all about technology’s promise to lift humanity. Like a captain navigating toward undiscovered lands, Fuller charts how innovations—from ships to refrigeration to medicine—brought new worlds into reach. Now technology beckons us to uncharted abundance. If employed for life, not war, it can free all people to pursue their highest aspirations. Fuller inspires us to reclaim technology’s power and unleash humanity’s potential.

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Everything I Know

Session 5

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Everything I Know

Session 6

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Everything I Know

Session 7

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Everything I Know

Session 8

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Everything I Know

Session 9

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Everything I Know

Session 10

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Everything I Know

Session 11

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Everything I Know

Session 12

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I Seem To Be a Verb

Buckminster Fuller’s explorations as an architect, engineer, philosopher and futurist are here extended into experimental book form. Packed with utopian plans, clever insights and light-hearted musings, all aimed at reminding us that we are verbs, not nouns, and that we are never, ever, stuck with life as it is as we can create things.

Man in Universe

Through cosmic timescales, humanity has voyaged in its vessel Earth, navigating by the star-charts of knowledge. Now we enter unmapped seas, led on by curiosity’s compass. Though frail, our minds pilot mighty technologies, taming invisible forces to reshape our world. If we attune to the celestial rhythms resonant in matter’s deepest reality, we may yet fulfill our odyssey’s purpose—to be worthy stewards of the living jewel suspended in the eternal darkness.

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Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

In this essay on man, Mr. Fuller expresses what may well be his penultimate view of the human condition. Here, in a mood at once philosophical and involved, Mr. Fuller traces man’s intellectual evolution and weighs his capability for survival on this magnificent craft, this Spaceship Earth, this superbly designed sphere almost negligible in dimension compared to the great vastness of space. Mr. Fuller is optimistic that man will survive and, through research and development and increased industrialization, generate wealth so rapidly that he can do very great things. But, he notes, there must be an enormous educational task successfully accomplished right now to convert man’s tendency toward oblivion into a realization of his potential, to a universe-exploring advantage from this Spaceship Earth.

Progress Through Fear

A talk on the impact of science and technology on man’s role in the natural world.

Technology and the Human Environment

Perhaps no futurist has been more energetic, more vocal, more popular, or more optimistic than a seventy-six-year-old engineer-visionary, poet-philosopher named R. Buckminster Fuller. Fuller’s planetary perspective has won him zealous converts the world over. Even those who disagree with his technological transcendentalism share unbegrudged admiration for the world’s youngest old futurist.

Mentioned in 17 documents

Robert Anton Wilson

Acceleration of Knowledge

Throughout history we hairless primates have been jumping higher, living longer, and getting smarter every century. From Thai stir-fry to Roman roads, knowledge doubled faster as it drifted West—till now it jumps each year! Space migration? Check. Intelligence increase through yoga, drugs, or machines? You bet. Genetic tinkering? It's coming. And indefinite lifespans? We're on the yellow brick road to divinity, to roam the stars forever, to boldly go where no ape has gone before. The future's so bright I gotta wear shades. Keep hope alive and party on!

Alan Watts

Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown

Over the course of nineteen essays, Alan Watts ruminates on the philosophy of nature, ecology, aesthetics, religion, and metaphysics. Assembled in the form of a mountain journal, written during a retreat in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais in California, Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown is Watts’ meditation on the art of feeling out and following the watercourse way of nature, known in Chinese as the Tao. Embracing a form of contemplative meditation that allows us to stop analyzing our experiences and start living into them, the book explores themes such as the natural world, established religion, race relations, karma and reincarnation, astrology and tantric yoga, the nature of ecstasy, and much more.

Barbara Marx Hubbard

Conscious Evolution

Barbara explored the ideas of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and the possibilty of humanity gradually giving birth to a new planetary-scale consciousness, which she called Homo universalis.

Alan Watts

Cosmic Network

Alan takes us from the very small to the very large, explaining the interrelatedness of all things in the universe as a vast network which weaves us into a united yet unnamable divinity.

Alan Watts

Do You Do It Or Does It Do You?

Alan explores the meaning of personal free will in the context of core tenets in Eastern mythology: how is it possible to control anything when preexisting conditions outside of our influence determine our present situation? It is a realization of the hidden unity behind our apparent diversity and a relinquishing of obsessive control that enables us to unlock a pathway leading out of the conundrum and towards a celebration and reverence of life.

Alan Watts

Ecological Awareness

When Alan Watts talked about the ‘mystical experience’ among scientific circles, he preferred to call it ‘ecological awareness’—referring to a state of mind in which a person ceases to feel separate from the environment in which he or she exists.

Terence McKenna

Evolving Times

This evening address is one of Terence’s funniest, in which much is said about monkeys, mushrooms, plants, and people. The question and answer session gets good and lively, with his unique analysis of UFOs, governments, and possible evolutionary pathways for us and the planet.

Tyler Volk

Metapatterns

In the interdisciplinary tradition of Buckminster Fuller’s work, Gregory Bateson’s Mind and Nature, and Fritjof Capra’s Tao of Physics, Metapatterns embraces both nature and culture, seeking out the grand-scale patterns that help explain the functioning of our universe. Metapatterns begins with the archetypal patterns of space, both form-building and relational. Tyler Volk then turns to the arrows, breaks, and cycles that infuse the workings of time. With artful dexterity, he brings together many layers of comprehension, drawing on an astounding range of material from art, architecture, philosophy, mythology, biology, geometry, and the atmospheric and oceanographic sciences. Richly illustrating his metapatterns with a series of sophisticated collages prepared for this book, Volk offers an exciting new look at science and the imagination. As playful and intuitive as it is logical and explanatory, Metapatterns offers an enlightening view of the functional, universal form in space, processes in time, and concepts in mind.

Alan Watts

Reality, Art, and Illusion

Join Alan as he expresses the meaning of life through the Hindu-Buddhist idea of reality as a divine game of hide-and-seek. "Life is not ultimately serious," Watts argues. By embracing the fluidity of identity and recognizing our interconnectedness, we can creatively engage with existence as impermanent, unified, and filled with playful potential. Accessible yet philosophically rich, these decades-old lectures offer timeless insights on the nature of reality.

Paolo Soleri

The Bridge Between Matter And Spirit is Matter Becoming Spirit

This volume brings together the essays of Paolo Soleri in which he sets forth his philosophy of arcology (architecture ecology) and pleads for a new stage in the evolution of human society—a move toward compactness, or miniaturization, of our cities. To do so we must build solids rather than veneers; we must flee from a “flat” cityscape that debilitates and suppresses the individual. Arcologies, three dimensional macrostructures, are for populations of thousands or of millions.

Francis Heylighen

The Global Superorganism

The organismic view of society is updated by incorporating concepts from cybernetics, evolutionary theory, and complex adaptive systems. Global society can be seen as an autopoietic network of self-producing components, and therefore as a living system or “superorganism”.

Alan Watts, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder

The Houseboat Summit

An extended conversation between Alan Watts, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and Gary Snyder on the problem of whether to “drop out or take over,” conducted on Alan Watts’ houseboat in 1967.

Alan Watts

The Myopic View of the World

Alan Watts argues that we spend most of our life in a sort of myopia; that is, only perceiving a microscopic subsection of the reality which we occupy. By mentally “zooming out,” humans can begin to see (and enjoy) the marvelous universal dance that has been unfolding since the Big Bang—and which now expresses itself in and through us at this very moment.

Barbara Marx Hubbard

The Vision of a Better World

Two visionaries, Tom Munnecke and Barbara Marx Hubbard, engage in an uplifting dialogue exploring the emergence of human creativity and consciousness. They trace inspirations from mentors like Jonas Salk, who recognized futuristic possibilities in Hubbard, and Buckminster Fuller, who affirmed humanity's potential. Together they shine light on the crisis of our times as the birth pangs of a new civilization, calling us to connect with the creativity arising globally. Their exchange weaves threads of hope and positivity, envisioning a future where all people actualize their gifts in service of our world.

Marshall McLuhan

Understanding Media

When first published, Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media made history with its radical view of the effects of electronic communications upon man and life in the twentieth century. In Terrence Gordon’s own words, “McLuhan is in full flight already in the introduction, challenging us to plunge with him into what he calls ‘the creative process of knowing.’” Much to the chagrin of his contemporary critics McLuhan’s preference was for a prose style that explored rather than explained. Probes, or aphorisms, were an indispensable tool with which he sought to prompt and prod the reader into an “understanding of how media operate” and to provoke reflection.

Kevin Kelly

What Technology Wants

One of today's most respected thinkers turns the conversation about technology on its head by viewing technology as a natural system, an extension of biological evolution. By mapping the behavior of life, we paradoxically get a glimpse at where technology is headed—or "what it wants." Kevin Kelly offers a dozen trajectories in the coming decades for this near-living system. And as we align ourselves with technology's agenda, we can capture its colossal potential. This visionary and optimistic book explores how technology gives our lives greater meaning and is a must-read for anyone curious about the future.

Alan Watts

World as Play

Watts presents a core Eastern philosophy of the world as a dramatic illusion, and that it exists for no other reason except to be experienced in a playful manner.