The Center's miniature Earth dome illuminated at night, straddling the 90th meridian

The Center's miniature Earth dome illuminated at night, straddling the 90th meridian


by R. Buckminster Fuller

Go In To Go Out

Lying in the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri, USA, the Edwardsville Religious Center of Southern Illinois University stands with surveyor-certified mathematical exactitude. Symmetrically astride the true planet Earth’s “90th” western meridian of longitude. The 40-foot diameter three-quarter sphere dome of the Religious Center is a transparent miniature Earth. Our planet’s continents can be seen accurately outlined against the transparent blue oceans. As they would be seen by X rays if one descended by elevator from Edwardsville to the center of the real earth, always keeping Edwardsville directly overhead. The continental shapes appear reversed, but soon become as easy to read as mirrored images.

The miniature Earth dome’s “90th” meridian West and the real Earth’s “90th” meridian West and their respective North-South polar axes, as well as Lhasa, Tibet, Bangladesh and Calcutta on the real Earth’s “90th” meridian East, all lie in exactly the same geometrical plane, which vertically cleaves the tangent Edwardsville miniature and the real Earth spheres. All the polar great circles’ East-West meridian degree completions add to 180, “80” West continues beyond the poles as “100” East. However only “90” West continues as “90” East and can be referred to combined as the “90th”. The “90th” runs through the demographic center, not only of North America’s 9% of humanity, but also through the integrated demographic center of Russia and the Orient’s 60% of humanity. Look north along the “90th” to two-thirds of all humanity. Look north and south along “90” to all humanity. Existing less than five jet hours distance, away overland from the “90th”. The “90th” is our planet’s great circle main street. The “90th” meridian’s East and West hemispheres are those which uniquely identified Kipling’s “East is East and West is West” Which “Twain” he said, shall “never meet.” But Kipling was thinking only of East-West ocean voyaging. And the twelve thousand watery miles distance that seemingly interposed six months’ travel between the East and the West as an insurmountable human multitudes barrier only two-thirds of a century ago. During the year 1961, three jet airplanes carried more passengers across the Atlantic than did the Queen Mary in one-tenth of the crossing time. And at a competitively devastating cost reduction. East-West, world oceans’ surface, passenger transportation became obsolete overnight. And with it withered all its East-West transcontinental harbor-to-harbor railway interlinkage as well as the transient travel and commerce significance of all the world’s great harbor cities. This economic demise of the world’s harbor cities remains for the moment unrecognized because hidden by the convention and amusement industries’ momentum and far more importantly by the farm-into-cities migration of the farm machinery displaced three-quarters of humanity, who until yesterday lived on and worked the world’s farms. But now flying the “90th” over the North Pole, 90% of humanity can reach each other in half a day on the shortest great circle air routes without going near the Atlantic, Pacific or Indian oceans.

Suddenly, the world’s oceans’ tortuous surfaces have become obsolete as the prime-human intercourse medium. Awareness of this brings us abruptly to other epochal realizations such as discovery that in order to accomplish the now feasible task of supporting all humanity at a sustained level that will permit every living being and all generations of them to come mutually and successfully to enjoy all the Earth-without depleting and despoiling resources. And without any human’s profiting at the expense of others, and without onerous interferences with one another’s complex interpatternings of individual freedoms and initiatives-vast quantities of extra-terrestrially emanating power must be harnessed and safely distributed around our Earth planet. This vast energy is needed to actuate the additional bio-industrial metabolic regeneration technology. Now eminently feasible, but not yet accomplished by the Earthians’ design revolution, the realization of which total physical success is now mandatory upon humanity if it is not only to survive, but is also to fulfill its cosmic function as consciously competent and majorly responsible participant in local Universe’s regenerative problems solving. To accomplish the bio-industrial metabolic regeneration, while maintaining chemical balance in terrestrial ecology, while also accomplishing that system’s energy distribution. There is no way of transporting large quantities of energy from here to there so swiftly and safely as by ultra-high-voltage underground electrical networks. By comparison with the energy transporting capability of ultra-high-voltage, long distance, super conductive, underground electric power transmission inaugurated and developed since 1961, pipelines, supertankers, railway gondolas are snail-rate pygmies, ergo economically obsolete.

The “90th” meridian is also central to the North-South of the world’s people and their continents, which will be accomplished first via Bering Strait and later by Arctic ocean-bottom cables and later yet by beaming techniques. The “90th’s” North and South broad skyway not only obsoletes the ages-long East-West travel, but it also inherently integrates humanity, even as humanity was heretofore mutually remote and inherently divided against itself by the oceans. Equally obsolete to the physical east-westing traffic is the metaphysical practice of universal specialization, which characterizes not only all education, but all business and bureaucracy as well. Specialization, unlike geographical isolation, was arbitrarily imposed and humanly aggravated by the “divide-and-conquer” strategy paramount to the armed monarchs of yesterday. Specialization was imposed by the monarchs upon the 90% illiterate world occulation to facilitate the monarch’s or ruling minority’s minding everybody’s business, at large, while forcing all others subserviently to mind their own individual business, at small, thus guaranteeing a general blindfolding of society where the ruling minority’s own ambitions were to be gratified only at the (slow or swift) mortal expense of the uninformed many.

In the “90th’s” East-West to North-South reorientation of humanity, evolution unexpectedly accomplishes both the mutual inter-advantaging of all humanity and its emancipation from its inherently self-divided East-West remoteness and selfishly emphatic history. This reorientation revolves centrally about the education revolution of young world society which is rejecting specialization while intuitively cultivating its long dormant, innate synergetic comprehensions of eternal generalized principles transcendentally governing the omni-inter-relevancy of all experiential phenomena which invisible metaphysical revolution is epochally abetted by the invisible electro-magnetic revolution in self-educative electronic search and retrieval of relevant video documentaries. All of which non-violent revolution will eventuate in spontaneous universal cooperation self-started by the common realization of the feasibility of total human success and its obviously sequitur peaceful acquisition procedures. Returning to the knowledge to be gained from it, we find the miniature Earth’s axis is exactly parallel to the real Earth’s. And the precise center of the Edwardsville miniature Earth is only four thousand miles distant from the real Earth’s center. This distance is astronomically negligible, being less than one-billionth of the distance to the nearest star beyond the Sun. When standing on the mobile observation platform with eyes at the marked center of the miniature Earth’s North-South axis, the true celestial North Star will be seen on a clear night. Shining brightly at the miniature Earth’s north pole center and looking outwardly through the dome’s transparent shell. Any stars seen at any location on any of the continents or oceans are at that moment exactly in zenith over those very geographical points on the real Earth—which can be verified instantly by long-distance telephone.

The Religious Center’s dome is a true planetarium. A sense of orientation of each human individual within the profound magnificence of Universe is provided by the Religious Center’s miniature Earth. One goes inside to go outside one’s self and into the center of the Earth and thence outward to the stars in seconds. The Edwardsville Religious Center becomes at once the cathedral of universal reality and cathedral of universal mystery, in which is simultaneously revealed the macro-dome designing integrity. Whose infinitely inclusive, detailed and tireless concern and competence are overwhelming manifests of the eternal, timeless, cosmically regenerative, love-intellect governance of Universe. Which inherently transcends human comprehension because of the infinitesimally limited locally and myopically over-emphatic experience inventory always inadequately informing human consciousness and reason.

Einstein said, “What a faith in the orderliness of Universe must have inspired Kepler to spend the nights of his life alone with the stars.” Which inadvertently revealed Einstein’s own faith and that of the billions before him in the integrity of Universe which has every inspired human to commit themselves in an all-out love, hopeful thereby of increasing human understanding of the every comprehensively embracing yet micro-cosmically permeating omni-exquisitely concerned eternal integrity.