Ron Campbell as R. Buckminster Fuller
  • Ron Campbell as R. Buckminster Fuller
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Does anyone remember who R. Buckminster Fuller was? I must admit that my knowledge of him was limited to remembering that he was something of an innovative thinker from the past.

Just the other evening I was introduced to “Bucky” Fuller down at The Lyceum Theater in Horton Plaza. R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe, produced by San Diego Repertory Theater ran through April 3.

This one-man show is more than an impersonation of Buckminster Fuller. The show is an exegesis of Fuller’s thought disguised as a biopic. I heard echoes of Eastern Thought expressed in a Western dialect. The mysteries of Egypt came to my mind as 20th-century geometry drew me into a narrative that I couldn’t have possibly been interested in before entering the theater. Yet there I was on the edge of my seat watching in awe as the grandeur of the cosmos descended upon me. Or did it ascend from the quantum field? Did Fuller discover in this century something that was merely forgotten? Why was the square considered the basis of geometry when clearly it’s the triangle (illuminati confirmed)?

I say “clearly it’s the triangle” as if I knew that going in. I did not, but it was one of those “of course” ideas — kind of like ketchup in a squeeze bottle, or two wheels on the stable side of a suitcase instead of four on the wobbly side.

What I didn’t expect was any kind of an emotional experience. I was expecting a TED Talk. What I got was an intimate chat that turned my thoughts and feelings inward toward the nature of consciousness.

Fuller made a distinction between “brain” and “mind.” His distinction was not new. This version of dualism goes back to Descartes in the 17th Century and ever further back in philosophies such as Taoism where Yin and Yang represent a duality.

Fuller’s distinction is probably most similar to that of the Samkhya system in Hindu thought. Samkhya dates back to as early as 1500 B.C. and makes a distinction between Purusa and Prakiti. Purusa is pure consciousness in which Prakriti arises. He is the mirror in which her reflection dances. Prakriti is the physical world but also includes what we might consider to be nonphysical elements such as thoughts and emotions.

Buckminster Fuller asked the eternal question that many of us never take the time to consider. What is consciousness or, to use his term, mind? What is it? What is it that is behind our eyes looking out?

Take your time answering that one, we’ve had at least 3500 years to crack the nut of consciousness, and we’re still waiting.

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Comments

eastlaker April 7, 2016 @ 9 a.m.

Really wish I could have seen this. Thanks for the review.

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eastlaker April 9, 2016 @ 6:46 a.m.

The good news is that some performances were added on to the run, and I was able to see this last night! Great show! Amazing view into the mind and heart of this original thinker!

One person shows are always astounding because of the enormous amount of material that is covered, and this one is no exception.

I wish all high school and college students could see this, because it has the wit and energy to spark something, even (and perhaps especially) in those who wonder 'what is it all about', 'why are we here', 'what can one person do'.

Magnificent. I think there are still two performances to go--so please go and see this!

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Garrett Harris April 11, 2016 @ 7:39 p.m.

There was so much in that show. I was surprised by the emotional content surrounding his family. Very moving--for me at least.

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dwbat April 9, 2016 @ 7:53 a.m.

Bucky's Dymaxion car was very cool, too.

None

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eastlaker April 9, 2016 @ 9:05 a.m.

Footage of this car in action was part of the performance--it really could turn on a dime!

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wrscpmd April 29, 2016 @ 11:12 p.m.

A great space with Bucky artifacts based on the life and times of Bucky is hidden at 1088 3rd Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101, the World Resources SIMCenter (www.WRSC.org), and Bucky's highest priority project for the planet, www.GENI.org (or Global Energy Network Institute).

Visit the office from 10a-5pm M-F or visit the sites to learn more about their Bucky heritage!

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