BUCKYQUOTES from Critical Path

R. Buckminster Fuller
(1895 - 1983)


Nobody is born a specialist. Every child is born with comprehensive interests, asking the most comprehensively logical and relevant questions. Pointing to the logs burning in the fireplace, one child asked me, "What is fire?" I answered, "Fire is the Sun unwinding from the tree's log. The Earth revolves and the trees revolve as the radiation from the Sun's flame reaches the revolving planet Earth. By photosynthesis the green buds and leaves of the tree convert that Sun radiation into hydrocarbon molecules, which form into the bio-cells of the green, outer, cambium layer of the tree. The tree is a tetrahedron that makes a cone as it revolves. The tree's three tetrahedral roots spread out into the ground to anchor the tree and get water. Each year the new, outer-layer green-tree cone revolves 365 turns, and every year the tree grows its new, tender-green, bio-cell cone layer just under the bark and over the accumulating cones of previous years. Each ring of the many rings of the saw-cut log is one year's Sun-energy impoundment. So the fire is the many-years-of-Sun-flame-winding now unwinding from the tree. When the log fire pop-sparks, it is letting go a very sunny day long ago, and doing so in a hurry." Conventionally educated grown-ups rarely know how to answer such questions. They're all too specialized.


Society likes the idea of a bank as a safekeeping device.  People have always believed that when they put their money in the bank, it stayed there. They had no idea it went out on loan within minutes after it came in. They were completely hoodwinked by the appearance of the banks as safe, fireproof, and robberproof depositories of their earnings. Even today, in the last few years of the twentieth century, people know little more about banks than they did during the 1929 Crash or at the depth of the Depression in 1932, when all they knew was that they had lost their deposits in most of them.


ONLY COSMIC ACCOUNTING accounts for the entirely interdependent electrochemical and ecological relationships of Earth's biological evolution and cosmic intertransformative regeneration in general. Cosmic costing accounts as well for the parts played gravitationally and radiationally in the totality within which our miniscule planet Earth and its miniscule star the Sun are interfunctionally secreted. Cosmic costing makes utterly ludicrous the selfish and fearfully contrived "wealth" games being reverentially played by humanity aboard Earth.

Fortunately, the Sun does not demand payment for all the energy that it delivers by radiation to Earth in the overall cosmic scheme, which is trying to make humanity a success despite our overwhelming ignorance and fear. The stars are trying to tell humanity to awake and prosper and to consciously assume the important cosmic responsibilities for which it was designed. Since realization and fulfillment of that responsibility involve evolutionary discovery by humanity of the cosmic stature of its mind and the inconsequentiality of its muscle, the planting of humans on Earth may not bear fruit... The first manifestation that humanity may make good on this planet will be the serious introduction of cosmic costing into the mainstream deliberations of Earthians.


There are no solids. There are no things. There are only interfering and noninterfering patterns operative in pure principle, and principles are eternal. Principles never contradict principles. Principles can interaccommodate one another only in noninterfering frequency ways. Principles can interaugment one another if frequency is synchronizable.

Acknowledging the mathematically elegant intellectual integrity of eternally regenerative Universe is one way of identifying God.

The synergetic integral of the totality of all principles is God, whose sumtotal behavior in pure principle is beyond our comprehension and is utterly mysterious to us, because as humans - in pure principle - we do not and never will know all the principles.


Our most prominent present local Universe problem is how to wean humanity from metabolic sustenance only by exploiting nature's local Universe energy savings account - energy being locally imported by cosmic evolution design to produce a new star ten billion years hence. How can we convince those in power the world around that we can live handsomely as supplied only by our daily income of cosmic energy? The answer is we can't convince them. Only the cosmic wisdom manifest in inexorable evolution can cope with such matters.


When I was twenty-seven years of age [in 1922] Earthian humanity knew of only one galaxy - our own Milky (Latin: Galactic) Way. A year later astronomer Hubble discovered another galaxy. During the subsequent fifty-seven years, human astronomers and astrophysicists have discovered two billion more galaxies, all doing their galactic acts within the eleven-and-one-half-billion-light-year-radiused sphere of humanity's present limit [1981] of omnidirectional observing.


The would-be exploiters of atomic energy on board our planet Earth will in due course discover there is no way for them to solve atomic-energy- radiation waste-disposal problems save by rocketing it all back into the Sun, where it belongs. Humans will then have to learn how to keep all humans and their ecological support system operating successfully on our vastly adequate daily income of solar atomic energy.

Cosmically acceptable and effective decisions of humanity regarding such matters will not be made by leaders single or plural, political or religious, military or mystic, by coercion or mob psychology.

The effective decisions can only be made by the independently thinking and adequately informed human individuals and their telepathetically intercommunicated wisdom - the wisdom of the majority of all such human individuals - qualifying for continuance in Universe as local cosmic problem-solvers - in love with the truth and in individually spontaneous self-commitment to absolute faith in the wisdom, integrity, and love of God, who seems to wish Earthian humans to survive.


Nine Chains to the Moon (J.B. Lippincott, 1938; Doubleday, 1982)

Untitled Epic Poem on the History of Industrialization

Ideas and lntegrities

No More Secondhand God (Southern Illinois University Press, 1963)

Education Automation

Utopia or Oblivion (Pelican, 1968)

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (Southern Illinois University Press, 1969)

And It Came To Pass - Not To Stay (Macmillan, 1976)

Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking

Critical Path (St, Martin's Press, 1981)