I seem to be a verb

“I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category, I am not a thing—a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process—an integral function of the universe.”

Quote by Buckminster Fuller in Stanford Magazine “I seem to be a verb” article July/August 2012 written By Cynthia Haven

There are no reports in Europe of the Crab Nebula supernova outburst of July 4 1054. This titanic stellar explosion was reported in China, Korea, Japan and America. Why not in Europe?

The Aristotelian dictum that the sky is perfect and unchanging had been incorporated by the Church. Those Europeans were in mortal danger who between July and September 1054, recognized a brilliant star that had not been there earlier, a luminary so dazzling it could be seen in full daylight and read by at night. For the inquisition was just begining. The safest course was to ignore this evidence of the mutability of the heavens. In Asia and North America there were no religious proscriptions against observing and reporting nature, and there the supernova was noted.

In the same way, it is important for us today to see the world as it really is, and not as we wish it to be. In the eleventh century the ecclesiastical authorities believed that they were doing good by advocating under extreme penalty th immutability of the heavens. Today we profess to know better.

But today there are still doctrines advocated by political, social, economic, racial and religious groups as if they were unquestionable truths. We should remember the lesson of science: Everything must be questioned, the point first clearly enunciated by Descartes. It is the essence of the error-correcting aspect of science – and the secret to its success

Buckminster Fuller from his book “I seem to be a verb”

The Problem with Faith

Beckum sisters
Ursula [Urfel]van Beckum was a Dutch Anabaptist who was burned at the stake for heresy in Delden, the Netherlands. Her sister-in-law Maria van Beckum became a follower of David Joris and was sent out of her house as an Anabaptist. She fled to Ursula who took her in. In 1542, the Anabaptists were declared heretics in the Netherlands. Maria was arrested and Ursula accompanied her out of pity. Both women were then interviewed, and later were sentenced to death by burning.

David Joris
According to the Mennonite Encyclopaedia he was persecuted for his beliefs. He was placed in the pillory, had his tongue bored, and was banished for three years. “He was an influential figure in Anabaptism’s consolidation period following the fall of Münster.” For a time he was a theological combatant with emerging leader Menno Simons. Menno considered Joris a compromiser; Joris thought Menno excessively literal. In fear of his life Joris went into hiding in 1544 and protected himself by living under the assumed name Johann van Brugge. For his writing David Joris was posthumously convicted of heresy, and his body exhumed and burned on 13 May 1559.


November 2023 up late copying out a page of I seem to a verb I have held onto for 40 years.