As with all Buckminster Fuller’s writing, every word in Critical Path was scrutinized intently to make a precise statement. Thus, Fuller’s Foreword is as essential as any other portion of the book. In uncharacteristic fashion, Critical Path’s foreword is short, but it follows Fuller’s constant way of working:
“Start with Universe.”
In other words, start with the whole and work your way into the smaller parts. In this case, the whole is the necessity of complementarity for the existence of sustainable physical reality or as the Buddhists label it relative reality. We can’t have darkness without light, concave without convex or male without female.
Fuller begins his foreword with the fact that “the words good and bad are meaningless” because they express opinions and are not based on scientific fact. He argues that “since complementarity is essential to the success of eternally regenerative Universe, the phenomenon identified as the opposite of positive cannot be negative, nor can it be bad …” In other words, positive and negative must “always and only coexist” if we are to have “the 100-percent success of eternally regenerative Universe.” And that is only the first three paragraphs of Critical Path’s Foreword.
Although most people do not know Bucky as a poet, he goes to quote from his friend e. e. cummings’ “A Poet’s Advice.” In that essay, cummings admonishes the reader that if he or she decided to be a poet, that they will be lucky to write one genuine line of poetry after ten or fifteen years.
Bucky had written tens of thousands of lines of poetry in expressing the mission he recounts in Critical Path’s foreword when he writes,
“You and I didn’t design people. God designed people. What I am trying to do is to discover why God included humans in Universe.”
That statement, like much of Critical Path, is poetry. The book is also the template for each of us becoming genuine global citizens who make a difference with our lives in the same way Bucky did.
Since the Zeitgeist Movement declared Critical Path to be it’s Book of the Month for October, we can join with our fellow crewmembers on board the planet Bucky named Spaceship Earth in sharing his message, warnings and poetic verse. Then, perhaps, we will take yet another step toward manifesting his vision of “a world that works for everyone.”