Technological resurrection concepts from Fedorov to Quantum Archaeology

“[Nikolai Fedorov]’s idea that space travel might be part of a larger transhuman evolution is a familiar one today, from both science fiction and science speculation,” notes an essay titled “Resurrecting Nikolai Fedorov,” by Nader Elhefnawy. “This means not only achieving immortality, but restoring all the people who have ever walked the Earth to life so that they may share the gift as well, making the heaven of the afterlife a physical reality.”

In his film “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” filmmaker George Carey shows how Fedorov’s ideas inspired Russian scientists and provided a powerful mystique for the Russian space program. Fedorov himself had an enigmatic personality. In his book “The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and His Followers,” George Young describes Fedorov, with his his “active, forceful, masculine Christianity,” as “a man with a twenty-first century mind and a medieval heart.” In fact Fedorov combined a patriarchal form of Russian Christianity with a radically futurist scientific vision and (almost) Marxist emphasis on practical engineering over theoretical science.

Fedorov’s writings, published after his death as “Philosophy of the Common Task” (in Russian), haven’t been entirely translated, but many appear in “What Was Man Created For?,” translated and edited by Elizabeth Koutaissoff and Marilyn Minto.

“The human race, all the sons of man, through the regulation of the celestial worlds, will themselves become heavenly forces governing the worlds of the Universe,” said Fedorov. He thought that future science would be able to resurrect the dead from the past:

“The gathering of the scattered dust and its reconstitution into bodies, using radiation or outlines left by the waves caused by the vibration of molecules.”

Other translated excerpts are in “The Religion of Resusciative Resurrection. “The Philosophy of the Common Task” of N. F. Fedorov,” by Cosmist philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev. I pasted below some key passages about technological resurrection and how it relates to the Cosmist vision of space colonization.

“We propose the possibility and the necessity to attain through ultimately all people the learning of and the directing of all the molecules and atoms of the external world, so as to gather the dispersed, to reunite the dissociated, i.e. to reconstitute the bodies of the fathers such as they had been before their end.”

“Insufficient for resuscitation is the sole discipline of the molecular ordering of particles; but, since they are dispersed within the expanse of the solar system, within perhaps other worlds, it is yet necessary to gather them; consequently, the question concerning resuscitation is tellurgic-cosmic.”

Fedorov’s words seem naive to us today.  Some scientists dare imagining technological resurrection, but they use different scientific concepts and language, which didn’t exist at Fedorov’s time.

Frank Tipler expects that the human race, including artificial intelligences and human mind uploads, will eventually move out into space and ultimately take over the universe. Then, intelligent life will be able to steer the entire universe into a series of patterns that allow intelligent life to continue to exist. “As we approach the final singularity, the laws of physics also dictate that our knowledge and computing capacity is expanding without limits,” says Tipler. “Eventually it will become possible to emulate, to make a perfect copy of, every previous state of the entire universe.”

We will be brought back into the future, brought back into existence as computer emulations in the far future.

Tipler’s vision of resurrection at the end of time by agencies with total knowledge and control of the universe has nice parallels with traditional religions, but perhaps we won’t have to wait that long. In “The Light of Other Days,” a science fiction novel written in 2000 by Stephen Baxter based on a synopsis by Arthur C. Clarke, neat-future scientists discover that the fabric of space-time is full of micro wormholes, and develop technology to establish wormhole data links to anywhere and anytime.  By combining past viewing and neural sensing technologies, the scientists will find ways to copy the dead from the past and upload them to the present, achieving Fedorov‘s vision.

Time scanning technologies similar to those described by Clarke and Baxter are often called “Quantum Archaeology” (QA), which reflects the assumption that time-magic tech would use weird quantum effects. Quantum reality could be weird enough to permit connecting every space-time pixel to every other space-time pixels by information conduits that, perhaps, future engineers will be able to exploit to bring the dead back. Current speculations are centered on the mysterious instant correlations of quantum entanglement and proposals for extending the current quantum physics framework in ways that could permit instant data channels between different places, different times, and different universes.

These contemporary technological resurrection ideas dressed in warped space-time and weird quantum fields seem very different from Ferdorov’s “naive” ideas of technological resurrection by finding and reassembling the molecular dust left behind by the deceased. But Fedorov formulated his ideas using the science and language of his time – just like contemporary scientists formulate modern ideas using the science and language of our times. I guess contemporary ideas will seem naive to future scientists, just like Fedorov’s ideas seem naive to us.

Perhaps – and why not? – the universe spontaneously provides immortality and resurrection, embedded in the fabric of reality. Perhaps we and all persons (and animals, and ETs) who ever lived are stored in “Akashic records” in some still hidden dimension of reality. If Akashic records exist, I am sure future science will find them and learn how to read them. Perhaps our reality is a “simulation” computed in a higher-level reality by extra-dimensional scientists, and someday we will find ways to break free. Time, as always, will tell.

I don’t know future science, but I think Shakespeare’s “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy” could remain true forever. Our scientific understanding of the universe could grow without bonds, but always find new fractal depths of unexplained phenomena, in a big infinite fractal onion universe to be explored by future scientists.

Back to Fedorov, it’s worth noting that he argued against mysticism and based his universal resurrection ideas on science and technology alone.

“Mysticism, if also it should allow of an uniting for resurrection, would have this uniting to be wrought mystically, i.e. by means incomprehensible, not subject to investigation… And the resurrection itself in this case is accomplished not through the knowledge of nature and the directing of its blind power, not by the way of experience, by experiential knowledge, knowledge of the mundane, but by the way of mystery, of the obscure, which perhaps can assume the guise of magic… Mysticism is the attribute of yet immature peoples, weak in the knowledge of nature, or else of peoples having worn themselves out, despairing of reaching the path of the knowledge of nature by the deciding of the question ‘of life and death’, i.e. mysticism does not grant actual means for the deciding of the question about returning the dead to life.”

I agree with Fedorov, but with one important qualification – often today’s mysticism becomes tomorrow’s technology. To our ancestors, lightning was a mysterious phenomenon that they could only discuss in mystical instead of scientific terms, but today we understand lightning scientifically end know how to exploit electromagnetism for practical engineering. I think, and I am sure Fedorov wouldn’t disagree, that many unexplained phenomena that are mostly discussed in mystical terms today – perhaps including telepathy, remote viewing, akashic records, and reincarnation – will be brought into the domain of science and engineering.


Image from Wikimedia Commons – New Planet, by Konstantin Yuon.

  • People who die will be brought back not once but many times. This could give rise to cycles of re-iteration of famous or renowned people. That would imply the emergence of the einsteins and the schwarzenneggers – whole populations of emerging and consecutively cyclically reborn branches of people, not once but many times. You;d have Einstein’s designated per year of being brought back, and successive rebirths of the rebirths, i.e. Einstein{Chulhu;6/2/2361} For an iteration brought back on Pluto in the year 2361. Such Einsteins would then live lives of relative immortality in computronium substrates, and branch per lifetime in to conceivably millions of subsets, and later on subsets might merge again, aeons later, in cyberworld running at thousands to millions the existential clock speed of reality, each lasting subjective centuries. You might then find mergers of Einsteins and Bostroms, or Sandbergs and Angelina Jolies, plural, and all permutations of those. This would evolve to be a Matrioshka brain identity soup of personhood with very little meaningful demarcation, all the time bring back aspects of itself, using the cosmological substrate as storage disk. It would quickly evolve to states I certainly don’t have meaningful words for.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Sounds like fun! I want to be merged with my doggy.

  • magnus

    I’m impressed by the visions of Nikolai Fedorov, escpecially considering
    the historical context and his country, that I love and at the same time
    ‘don’t love’. (When, for example, waiting for a bureaucrat, who SLOWLY brings a
    small piece of paper with the right imprint, just to save me from trouble at
    the border and at the same time remember, that this country brought the first
    human into orbit around our planet makes every visit there interesting.)
    Naive, yes and no. Like all our visions. And still, that’s the way to go, from wishes,
    from naive visions to more detailed and not so naive visions, to plans and hopefully
    to solutions.

    Well, as always, I’m conserned with the task of replicating our visions to the far future,
    in the meaning as seeds for further thoughts and work.

    In this perspective, we can say:
    Yes, Fedorov message has reach us! It survived Lenin and Stalin, it survived
    the cold war. This is true communication through time.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Re “Naive, yes and no. Like all our visions. And still, that’s the way to go, from wishes, from naive visions to more detailed and not so naive visions, to plans and hopefully to solutions.” – VERY WELL SIAD! Every solution begins with a naive dream.

      There are worse bureaucracies in Russia, you know.

      It could be argued that Fedorov’s ideas not only survived Lenin and Stalin, but actually thrived in Soviet Russia. The religious aspects of Fedorov’s ideas were ostracized, but the heroic engineering aspects of Cosmism (also found in the works of early Marxists) were appreciated, and directly inspired Russian science and space programs.

      • magnus


        Re “It could be argued that Fedorov’s ideas not only survived Lenin and Stalin, but actually thrived in Soviet Russia.”

        I had to read more about this. And when you say it, I have a flash of some pictures from my views of Russia, for example their thriving mathematics, especially (?)topology,
        in the 1930:ies, during the great expurgations. And of course some masterpieces of literature ‘Master and Margarita’ and artwork.
        And I was told rumors about ‘forgotten’ zones, islands in the big swamps with small villages residing there, undisvovered. Well…
        It’s never black and white. And there are s o m e
        t h i n gs to say about another Big country, but that’s of topic.

        By the way, there must be other oasis, or communities residing inside dictatures, like the old monasteries, preserving literature and knowledge during more ‘barbarian times’. Conclusion light: There is hope fore the replicating of our dreams until the
        distant days, when science is undisjoint from magic, even during bad times.

        About spreading and preserving ideas, I stumbled over a website dedicated to the task of preserving smaller amounts of information for a very long time in a physical sence, t.i. carving messages in sustainable material. This is interesting in the case of some apocalyptic scenario on the level of not destroying all humans, but throwing us
        back to some technological stone age level.


        Making a kind of Rosetta stone is a challenging task. Working with pictograms would be a way. But it is a little like trying to communicate with possible existing aliens.



      • spud100

        I have mentally toyed with the idea that all events, actions, people, places, and things, might get saved as Bit Streams to blocks of Planck Cells, comprising our local universe. I have no background to assert that this must be so, but in a read-write computationalist, way of thinking, I wonder if this might not be so. This would maybe give logical reasoning to Hindu Askashic Records. Additionally, is Goertzel or anyone else, pondering this?



        • Giulio Prisco

          Hi Spud. Everett’s multiverse can be seen as a quantum substrate for the Akashic records. In Everett’s MWI, other times – which are special cases of other universes – exist in parallel branches of the multiverse. Same for the inflationary cosmology version of the multiverse (ref. Tegmark’s book).

          But if the Akashic Records exist in this theoretical sense, the real question is how to access them to read and copy the information.

          We are all pondering this, including Ben, but pondering isn’t good enough…

          • spud100

            Beyond pondering, what else do we do? We could find somebody with deep pockets that might hire someone to sketch out how, a variation of QA, or whatever we wish to name it. Something in keeping with the knowledge we already know, but beyond that, I don’t know where else to turn? The Templeton Foundation? This is a primary reason why I turn to philosophers, instead. A few are surprisingly, good.

          • Giulio Prisco

            Good idea. Note however that a funding request to the Templeton Foundation, or to any other funding agency (including wealthy individuals) must describe a project – how the money will be spent, what is the deliverable, and why the project is important. What would you write on the grant request?

          • spud100

            Of course, someone of my personal intellect, and broad, background in physics and neurobiology, and computer science, could demand millions! (Please insert deafening laughter here!). Templeton funded a project in 2010 for philosophers, which essentially dealt lightly, with NDE’s and concluded nothing usable. I would end up absconding with the cash and heading for Brazil (Chika Boom Chika Boom!).

            For those who qualifies, scholastically, I am suggesting pursuing funding to outline the “Physics of Resurrection,” This would include hiring a team, to go through science papers, for discoveries and observations (especially in physics) that lend themselves to positive conclusions on the plausibility of resurrection. It would be an attempt to address the How questions and not the Why questions, which are best left to theologians. This would be how I would propose such a project.

          • Giulio Prisco

            OK Spud, you seem to have clear ideas, and it wouldn’t be the first time that the Templeton Foundation funds this kind of studies. So how about we get started? Let’s discuss this in detail in a couple of weeks when I am back from the Modern Cosmism Conferecce.

            I and some friends applied for a Templeton grant (unsuccessfully) a few months ago and I know how the submission process works. They ask for an outline funding request first, which can be completed in a few weeks. We could participate in the 2016 funding cycle (dates not announced yet).

          • spud100

            Yes Guilio, I viewed the Templeton site yesterday, and followed onward to the FQXI site. I am not certain what the directors of Templeton are looking for and are not looking for? They are accepting applications for 2016 in February. Based on your experience with Templeton, I am wondering if there should be another source of funding? I am not thinking that Martine Rothblatt, might know of someone interested in the Cosmist path? Is it the presentation of the project? Who knows?

            You do have a great idea in letting Oct 10th come and go and view what the documentary team does, and what ideas are promoted? What concepts are exchanged?



          • Giulio Prisco

            Re alternative sources of funding, a group I am in contact with is thinking to launch a Kickstarter for (initially) a book project. Let’s discuss a Templeton request in detail in a couple of weeks.

  • R Michael Perry

    I’m very interested in the possibility of a technological resurrection, not just of people well-preserved through such means as cryonics (though certainly that too) but others who are not so preserved. Conventional scientific wisdom holds that it is unlikely for the latter case, because it appears that the loss of information that accompanies postmortem deterioration cannot be reversed. However conventional wisdom has not always been right, for example, with heavier-than-air flight, finding the chemical composition of stars, space flight, etc. Still, I am skeptical that the information loss can be reversed through a straightforward, even if ultra-sophisticated, data-mining process or advanced (“quantum”) archaeology. (And I am not hopeful about mystical or metempirical approaches.) Yet that would not end the chances of resurrection in my view. There are nonmystical ways you might do it even if archaeology by itself proves inadequate. I’ve written some things about this, the most recent, which is to appear in Charles Tandy’s Death and Anti-Death series, vol. 13, is at https://mega.nz/#!gNtAjJJY!9pvV6RSWBnH8hgIlmfGaoUwHeEA7EqTaJVGfOLkNjSQ

    • Giulio Prisco

      Hi Mike, ultra-sophisticated tech wouldn’t be straightforward. I guess we are talking about science and tech that we wouldn’t be able to begin understanding at this moment.

      Thanks for “Scientific Afterlife,” looks very interesting. By the way, when do we get the promised new version of your book?

    • Giulio Prisco

      Mike, I went through your “Scientific Afterlife” paper – great work, I hope you will discuss it at MTA 2016 in April.

      You imagine a co-operative universal resurrection project (Multi-Common Task? spread among different branches of the Multiverse, based on the assumption that a person may leave more/better traces in specific branches. For example (my example) there are branches of the multiverse where I write an autobiography or build a rich mindfile (I am too lazy for that in this branch).

      I think this idea makes a lot of sense, with the caveat that our language and science in the early 21st century might be too primitive to express it well.

  • Nupur Munshi

    Another inspiring article .This one and the recent developments here at Turing Church moved me so much that I’ve written another essay on my journey with you all here.Durga Puja celebrations round the corner in India,I have been given a small place for the article “Durga Durgatinasini” in the India Future Society by Avinash Singh who happens to be a member of this group as well.Just a nod from you Sir.
    Please give another month’s time for the quotes from Swami Vivekanada ji.
    Thanks and regards Nupur.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Hi Nupur, good to hear from you. I am always happy to publish your thoughts here. I am still in New York where I presented the ideas in the article at the Modern Cosmism conference (videos coming soon I hope). I am going back to Europe today, and this website and related discussion spaces will gradually become much more active.

      • Nupur Munshi

        Thank you .Eagerly waiting for the videos and congrats for your successful presentation at the conference.
        I want my article that “India Future Society” accepted to publish to feature here as a media report. Thanks once again.

        • Giulio Prisco

          Great! Send me the article or its url when it is published by India Future Society.

          • Nupur Munshi

            “Shubho Vijaya” to all of you and my “pranam” to seek blessing from you, Sir in this happy time of triumph of good over evil.I am also very happy that my article “Turing Church Manifests Durga’s symbolism of Good over evil” has been published at the India Future Society . Here is the link http://indiafuturesociety.org/turing-church-manifests-durg…/.
            Can we publish it here as a media report . Thanks and Regards Nupur,once again seeking for your blessing.

          • Giulio Prisco

            Hi Nupur, nice article, and thanks for the nice words. Note: the correct URL is:

            I will repost the article here with a link to the original. Which if these cover images do you prefer? (or if you have a favorite picture with a license that permits reuse send it to me).

          • Nupur Munshi

            I find the first picture very interesting . Thank you.

          • Giulio Prisco

            Posted here:

            Only thing I changed is the spelling of my first name. ;-)
            I will write a comment.

          • Nupur Munshi

            I am extremely sorry for that mistake.I have reported it to the site for rectification.Thank you.Thanks for the publication too.Your comment to the article needs a lot of study and understanding . It will take time to comment back.Thanks once again.