foreground: ussr pavilion; background: usa pavilion (Montreal 67)

Exploring the New Bucky Bio

Kirby Urner
10 min readAug 9, 2022


Right around the time Alec’s new Bucky bio showed up from Powell’s (shipment to my home address vs the local branch was somehow mandatory if I used PayPal) I had gone back into studying Ouspensky + Gurdjieff in earnest, again through a Jungian lens, although this time not that of Maurice Nicoll, whom I’ve featured a few times on my YouTube channel for his Psychological Commentaries.

I’d earlier blogged I didn’t expect the new bio to get into any Bucky-Gurdjieff relationship, but I was wrong, it did. Apparently they met in Greenwich Village, at Romanie Marie’s restaurant, then a gathering spot for Bohemian intellectuals.

I’d already found the note to Claude Bragdon, to go with Bucky’s first major foray into promoting his own brand of futurism: 4D Timelock (1928). The 4D meme was already hot back then (1920s). Ouspensky had written about it, in Tertium Organum (1912), a book Fuller considered important.

Fuller’s note to Bragdon thanked him for bringing this latter work to his attention. Linda Dalrymple Henderson’s book, on the fourth dimension in modern art, relays a few more of these details.

According to Alec, Bucky later came to see Gurdjieff as a fraud (page 123). I plan to follow up on that (Alec cites Shoji Sadao’s monograph, page 82). What implications would that have had regarding his respect for the Ouspensky corpus I wonder?

Here’s the most relevant card (#7115) from the online Synergetics Dictionary:

Shall we say of Fuller’s emerging metaphysics that it was Russian flavored? I’d think Bucky’s later connection with Erhard and est might resonate at this level (including Bucky’s not having been a disciple of the latter, so much as a collaborator and acknowledged teacher thereof).

Ouspensky, on the heels of Gurdjieff, held the somewhat unromantic, unflattering view that human beings were mostly straitjacketed by their own robotic, machine-like programming, and that the key to self awareness (or “self remembering”) was to wake up to that fact.

Ouspensky was never a communist, but then nor were many Russians. Membership in the…



Kirby Urner