In “Cosmology is not Geography” (please read it first) I argue that we need a new form of religion, based on awesome cosmic visions and enlightened spirituality (cosmology), without “provincial” mythologies and rituals (geography) and petty lifestyle prescriptions (zoning norms).
The most compact personal cosmology that I have formulated so far is:
– We will go to the stars and find Gods, build Gods, become Gods, and resurrect the dead from the past with advanced science, space-time engineering and “time magic.”
– God is emerging from the community of advanced forms of life and civilizations in the universe, and able to influence space-time events anywhere, anytime, including here and now.
– God elevates love and compassion to the status of fundamental forces, key drivers for the evolution of the universe.
(This is WIP – Work In Progress)
Longer version: “Ten Cosmist Convictions.”
Do you share this vision?
I would be interested in starting a network of individuals and groups with a shared cosmic vision, loosely defined and with room for different interpretations and extensions. I see our Cosmic Religion (to be developed) as a galaxy of ideas in constant cooperation/competition (instead of a single monolithic belief system), with room for many approaches and angles. Let a thousand flowers bloom!
Other important features of the Cosmic Religion / network:
– Open to: everyone.
– Central authority: none.
– Lifestyle prescriptions: none.
– Ethical prescriptions: just one, “Try to act with love and compassion toward other sentient beings.”
– Official rituals: none – it’s up to participants to develop their own rituals, alone or in groups.
– Name: none yet. Of the tentative labels that I have used in the past, perhaps “Cosmic Engineering” is the best because it captures the core ideas.
This is a minimalist, open, extensible Cosmic Religion. Minimalist, because it is a simple, compact cosmology, deliberately open to interpretation, and without geography or zoning laws. Open, because it is a minimalist foundation to build upon, and also because it’s open to everyone and doesn’t impose zoning laws. Extensible, because it can be used as a framework or library and extended vertically – in particular, it can be extended with suitable geographic and even zoning elements for those who like or need these things.
Extensibility is important. The open minimalist Cosmic Religion is my ideal religion, but I am acutely aware that it’s too ethereal and “weak” compared to traditional, uncompromising and “strong” belief systems, painted with vivid heroic colors. Please feel free to add your strong colors – I will be interested and try to participate, but personally I feel more at home among the pastel hues of the open, minimalist Cosmic Religion.
Of course, compelling extensions already exist. The best example is Mormon Transhumanism (and, according to Mormon Transhumanists, Mormonism itself). I am an active member of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, and I will join the new Christian Transhumanist Association. The belief systems of the Society for Universal Immortalism and Terasem are compatible with the open minimalist Cosmic Religion, to which they add a special focus on, respectively, cryonics and mindfiles. Terasem adds also yoga and nice New Age -like rituals. The beliefs of Alison Gardner and the late Dan Massey (see Sex and the Art of Cosmic Governance, on Venus+X) fit nicely in this framework. Recently, the Russian Cosmist scientific, philosophical, and spiritual movement of the late 19th and early 20th century has been revived by Ben Goertzel in A Cosmist Manifesto, and Dirk Bruere has proposed a new, compatible religion that he calls “The Praxis.”
Some otherwise spiritual persons find the geography uninteresting and the zoning norms arbitrary and unpleasant, and so they reject every aspect of religion, including the cosmic core of enlightened spirituality. But they could find answers to their spiritual needs in the barebone, minimalist, open Cosmic Religion.