Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sea Changes/See Changes

Buckminster Fuller came back into my life in a big way last year. I was invited to portray Bucky in a solo play written by D.W.Jacobs called "R. Buckminster Fuller, The History (and Mystery) of the Universe." (Doug is the former Artistic Director of San Diego Repertory Theatre - one of many strange synchronies to this business.)  Bucky's words and insights have great relevance and immediacy to them. I will write more about him and my involvement with his work over time. This thought of his about seeing changes keeps coming back to me lately. In his book, Critical Path, Fuller writes:
"Most of the important trend patternings are invisible - ergo, their eventuations are unanticipated by society [...] When humans cannot see something approaching to destroy them, they do not get out of the way.
"Question: Is there not an instrument that can inform humanity about its invisibly trending evolutionary challenges - and do so in time to allow them to satisfactorily anticipate and cope with inexorable events?"
Bucky's answer is the Geoscope, a brilliant effort to create a full view of our Spaceship Earth employing his Dymaxion Map and a Geodesic Sphere coupled with all current data on Earth processes such as energy consumption, enivronmental change, population, etc..
[As a relevant aside, the National Climatic Data Center is located here in Asheville, NC, and providing the National Climate Service and many useful data streams.]
Out of this concern, Bucky developed the World Game.
All of these projects and efforts address the physical changes we are facing and attempt to bring us to see the invisible "trend patternings" approaching us. BUT Bucky often spoke of common structures to both Physical and Metaphysical reality. Can we answer his question in regards to Metaphysical "trend patternings"? If so, how?
What comes to my mind is: Storytelling. What do I mean by "storytelling"? The word is too easily thrown around and has many uses. Here is what I mean: Story + Tell. While that is obvious, what we often overlook is the meaning of "Tell." Tell is related to Tally inasmuch as it involves counting and recounting. The physical data streams accessed above are tallies. A narrated story likewise requires a tallying - recounting - of events. But Tell has another, less denotative, more connotative, meaning. Discern. This is how we use the word when we watch for the "tell" on the face of a poker player or when we ask a doctor to "tell" the cause of our suffering. Storytelling, then, is the recounting of events AND the discerning of those events. When we tell history, we are not merely reporting the data count of events, but we are attempting to tell it - that is, to understand it.
So my answer to the metaphysical half of Bucky's concern is: Tell Stories. Tell Histories, personal, social, and global. But also tell myths, legends, fairy tales and fantasies. For these are all made up of patterns which will help us to perceive (discern) the "important trend patternings" approaching us to change not only our physical experience, but our souls.