Monday, 16 April 2007

More Than Just Haircut

More than Just A Haircut

People who Inspire

You know, there are times when you meet the most unusual people in the most unlikely of places. I met Joo Hock in a hairdressing salon a dozen or so years ago in Centerpoint, I think that's where it was.
It's a funny thing about life, that she throws your way gems and jewels when you least expect it. My hairdresser Joo Hock must count as one of these.

Quite apart from the buzz I get from my neat & streaky gold coiffures, I get oodles of new ideas and perspectives from my talks while in the chair. Joo Hock is an avid fan of the teachings of R. Buckminister Fuller. For those of you who haven't heard of the man. Bucky was a philosopher, thinker, visionary, inventor, architect, engineer, mathematician, poet, cosmologist.

Probably one of the first futurists and global thinkers,

it was he that coined the term
"Spaceship Earth". The creator of the geodesic dome , his work inspired and paved the way for many who came after him. In fact Spaceship Earth is an attraction at Epcot, a theme park at Disney World in Florida, USA.

The building was designed with the help of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury.

The sphere itself and the attraction's name was inspired by the work of Bucky, but he was not given credit.

And, apparently I'm not the only one who gets more than a cut & wash at Joo Hock's. Another customer, Jek Kian Jin, an IT expert who use to write for The Straits Times, wrote this in an article that was published in April 2000 entitled


"Instead I went to get a haircut. My hairstylist Joo Hock is an enthusiastic promoter of the ideas of Buckminster Fuller, who, although best known for the invention of the geodesic dome, was also one of the truly original thinkers of the 20th century.
Not only will I get a good haircut, I didn't mind having my head expanded as well."

I was going to tell you Joo Hock's story but no. ...he tells it better. So here goes.

" In 1993 I attended this seminar called Money & You, which featured the principles uncovered by Bucky. The facilitator was touting Bucky's book entitled "Critical Path" which had the awesome reputation of being a pretty challenging book to read. It was said that you have to have another book beside it to read it, called the dictionary. True to its reputation many, after the first 2 pages usually gave up on it. (**Kampung Girl comments... I has exhausted after 4 paragraphs.)

Browsing through the pages, I have to admit it did look intimidating. I passed it up.

However another fellow participant came to me and offered it to me. "Hey Joo Hock, you want to read Critical Path? Here take it. When I need it, then return it." True to who I am, I never refuse a good offer. Nothing to lose after all.

Strangely though, (Bucky's one sentences: a ten to twelve line paragraph) I seem to be able to make out what Bucky was saying.

As I checked out his Self-disciplines of Buckminster Fuller, I was awestruck when he shared about his direct experiential evidence of God. I felt that here was someone, who is in my opinion,was a first rate scientist. Someone very meticulous in how he described things, and this guy was saying he had direct experiential evidence of God. Wow!!

Quite uncharacteristic of me, (normally I shy away from talking about God) I went around telling my friends about this. Look, what this guy Bucky is saying. I've not come across any scientist who has come upfront to say so.
Since some of my friends were also keen to read Critical Path, we kinda got to reading it as a group. In fact to read his "Critical Path" what is really needed, is a group, not the dictionary.

As I read further, I began to share the content of his book to anybody who would listen. Though I cannot say I got it all correctly immediately. I just went back to his book, ever so often, to clarify my learning and understanding of his book.

Hah! I always had a captive audience, my customers, as I worked on their hair. I give them not just a haircut, I gave them what I called "metaphysical therapy" heh heh!

Fortunately, nobody challenged my audacity to talk about and explain Bucky.

It was very encouraging.

In June 1994, while preparing ourselves to go for Business School (a Money & You Boot Camp), my friends and I began to go to MacRitchie Reservoir to run/jog. We decided to combined the two, jogging together with the reading and discussing Bucky's Critical Path. We have been doing so, ever since then.

We seemed to have found the formula that worked for us. We not only enjoyed the fresh morning air of MacRitchie, we had the physical exercise, plus the mental gymnastics of figuring out Bucky's writings. And of course, good natured teasing and ribbing each other. There was lots of laughter, which as they say, is the best medicine.

We've been at it since then, even through the blizzard-like rainstorms here in Singapore!! Yup, a very committed bunch. Who would be crazy enough to turn up in this kind of inclement weather? Members of the PSBC Bucky Group Singapore!!!

PSBC? Pak See Buay Chau!!
Perhaps, we're an idealistic balance for the seemingly materialistic Singapore. Surely there is more to life then chasing the what? 3Cs? Car Cash, Condo.

We dared to reach out for the sublime, to spiritualize, to philosophize... and decide what we are about..... life makes more sense this way.....then the crass materialism.... no regrets then on the day I lie in the box."

Joo Hock has just started his own blog with more relections, stories and inspirations from bucky. Congrats Joo Hock!

It may be found at

1 comment:

Joo said...

Perhaps the abovementioned Story about the Singapore Bucky Gp, begs the question: Why Bucky? What's the big deal about him? What can he mean to you and I, ordinary people?

Precisely! Bucky enables ordinary people like myself, to really understand what's really going on in Universe. Life began to make sense for me. Bucky in that sense gave me a new lease on life.
When I began to explore "Bucky" and share my changing perspectives, things" began to change, for me. I began a new life-long journey of learning, made life infinfitely more fun, Ever since, I've done things which I'd never quite imagine myself doing (experiencing the Principle of Precession, aka side-effects. Though many found "studying Bucky" a challenge, I've found it to be the Mount Everest I had to climb. One never quite know what adventures lurks around the corner.
I conducted my "Bucky" workshops,
and soon got invited to conduct workshops on Creativity and Innovation, and also on many other topics. They beautiful thing about Bucky is you can go off in many different directions, into different fields.
Bucky was a great observer of Nature, in fact, as he put it, he has uncovered Nature's co-ordinate system. If that is so, one can really go "wrong" with him as a "tool" to work with. I see Bucky as a multi-purpose Swiss Army Jack knife.