Big Picture Thinking

THINKING DISCIPLINE

Fuller: I am going to review two or three ways in which I discipline myself to try to get myself thinking in a little more adequate manner concerning what we know of our Universe and what may be going on in a larger way, and to try to get things a little better proportioned. As for instance, I would like to have a picture of our Milky Way galaxy may I have that picture please?

MILKY WAY

We're looking at an array of stars—you can see the Milky Way running through the stars. The number of stars you are looking at is about 18,000, and they comprise approximately 1/6,000,000 of all the stars in our Milky Way galaxy. We now know, and we have been able to get our great telescopes trained on other galaxies and so forth; we now have taken photographs and are aware of a billion such galaxies of a hundred billion stars each*.

LITTLE EARTH

We're looking at an exploding phenomenon. I spoke about those hundred million galaxies* of a hundred million stars each. 99.9% of them are invisible to our naked eye, but their sizes are of great, great magnitude. To get a little idea, our own star Sun—our Earth is 8,000 of miles in diameter and the diameter of the Sun is just a hundred times that, so our little Earth looks very tiny against that enormous big ball.

OUR SMALL SUN

But our star Sun is a small star. Most of you are familiar with Orion's Belt. In Orion's Belt, one of the two bright stars is reddish in color and this is Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse's diameter is greater than the diameter of the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. So that's a good size star.

HUMANS ARE INVISIBLE

So, we are a little planet of a rather inferior star which is one of a hundred billion stars in our galaxy and we know of billions* of galaxies. So you get an idea of our little planet, and you and I are utterly invisible on it. We take pictures of our planet coming in from the moon, when you can see through the cloud cover, you can see the blue of the waters and brown of the land, but you can't make out a human being. You can't even make out a mountain, let alone a human being.

MOUNTAINS ARE INVISIBLE

There's absolutely no visibility of a mountain because the aberration of the deepest water — five miles below sea level, five miles above to the mountain top—ten miles aberration in 8,000 miles is so meager that a polished steel ball is probably rougher than that.

WE ARE REALLY SMALL

So we are absolutely invisible on a really negligible little tiny planet of a rather negligible star, which is one member of a hundred billion of known million billion such stars. So you multiply the billion times a hundred billion and you'll get an idea.

BURSTING PHENOMENON

As we look at things at great distances, this picture that I have of the -- this is of a bursting phenomena in the heavens which looks like a tiny little light and it keeps remaining like a tiny light. It's such a distance, and the distances involved are so great. This particular phenomenon is expanding at a velocity of 3 million miles an hour. For instance, the distance between the earth and the sun is 92 million. So in 30 hours, just a little over a day, this expands the complete distance between the earth and the sun. Yet it remains for the thousands of years we may be looking at it like a little tiny speck there in the sky. You get a little sense of the size and deceptiveness to us in the magnitude of the information we are really dealing in today.

SEEING 11.5 BILLION TIMES 6.5 TRILLION MILES

I am quite confident, this is as far as you and I have been able to -- when I say you and I, I mean all our fellows -- the human beings who have been born naked and helpless and finally discovered principles of the refraction of light and developed the telescope, and have been able to make a sweep-out. We are getting information -- tiny as we are, we have information of an approximate spherical sweep-out of observation of eleven-and-a-half billion light-year radius. A light-year is six and one-half trillion miles; when you get to eleven-and-a-half billion times six-and-one-half trillion, you get a little idea of the distance you and I are getting information from -- reliable information. We get the rate at which this thing is expanding.

SPECTROSCOPE

And through the spectroscope we learn about refraction of light. Through the spectroscope we are able to take the light from all those observations. And each chemical element has its unique frequencies when incandescent, and we have been able then to -- little human beings on our planet have been able to take inventory of the relative abundance of chemical elements in the sweep-out of eleven-and-a-half billion light-year observation.

SIGNIFICANCE OF HUMAN BEINGS

That we have that kind of capability, despite our absolutely negligible magnitude physically, that we can we deal with our minds in such magnitudes and do so quite reliably gives us a hint that human beings must have some very great significance in the scheme.

INFORMATION INCREASE

Just making a little jump in information. As humanity on board of our planet entered into what it called World War I, the scientists around the world had ways of reporting to one another officially. Chemists have what they call chemical abstracts. Chemical abstracts are methodical publications of anything and everything any chemist finds that he publishes information regarding, it becomes a chemical abstract. As the world entering World War I, in what we call the 20th century (which is a very arbitrary kind of a counting matter), we had some 100 - I'm doing this off the top of my head from my memory - about 175,000 known substances, possibly almost a quarter of a million substances, by the time the United States came into the war, known to chemistry. But we came out of World War I with almost a million substances known. By the time we entered World War II, we were well up to 10 million and we've come out of it now, where the figure is really getting to be astronomical. We can't really keep track of the rate at which we are discovering more, just talking about differentiable substances, chemically distinct from one another.

ACCELERATION OF INFORMATION AND EXPERIENCE

Those are typical of the information release at a bursting rate now, I'm speaking now in relationship to my own life. One life in the extraordinary numbers of lives there must have been on board of our planet. That the information is multiplying at that rate during just one lifetime indicates that something is going on here right now that is utterly unprecedented.

TRANSITION TO A NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH UNIVERSE

And there is such an indication of an acceleration of experiences of human beings, the integration of the accelerated experience to produce awareness that are indicative of humanity going through some very, very important kind of transition into some kind of new relationship to Universe, I'd say, the kind of acceleration that occurs after the child has been formed in the womb, taking the nine months, then suddenly begins to issue from the womb out into an entirely new world. I think we are apparently coming out of some common womb of designedly permitted ignorance.