Author Topic: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.  (Read 41166 times)

Kai

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I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« on: July 04, 2009, 04:57:41 pm »
Not quite sure where to put this so I'll put it here for now. If it fits better elsewhere then please move it to the appropriate place.

Ever since I first wrote The Process of Sustaining in mid 2006, I've been working towards a cohesive and coherent personal religion that I could share with other people. It was and will never be meant as a joke or as a passtime. I mean to build this, practice it, and write and speak about it in the same way that other religious folks do so about their religions. This is a lifelong endevor, and will probably take that long to produce anything on the scale I'd like to create.

I don't have a name yet, so for now I'm calling this the Church of the Process of Sustaining, after the original document. The tradition so far draws heavily from Religious Naturalism and mystic traditions (in the sense that the sacred or spiritual is immediately available rather than somewhere apart from everyday experience). Since learning about emergence in late 2008, I've incoporated those ideas into my thinking. Most recently I've been reading about the tradition of the Great Story or Epic of Evolution (wikipedia) and incorporating these ideas as the central myth.

In his book Religion is not About God, Loyal Rue writes about the evolutionary reasons for religion as a source of social cohesion and personal fulfillment. In his deconstruction he lays out a religion as a central myth which is continued through ancillary experiential, aesthetic, ritual, intellectual and institutional strategies. This deconstruction from an anthropological standpoint is my starting place for construction.

Here is a bibliography of works I've read so far in relation to this project, either that I have drawn from directly or that have been helpful in this:

Tao Te Ching - Lao Tse (The style of writing in The Process of Sustaining was largely influence by english translations of this work)
Middle Ground - Tom Montag (A collection of poems from my favorite poet, somewhat of a farmer mystic)
Slanted Truths: Essays on Gaia Symbiosis and Evolution - Margulis and Sagan (an book I read in highschool that influenced my ideas about global ecology and evolution)
A Sand County Almanac - A Leopold (my favorite book and possibly the most influential book as far as environmental ethic I have ever read)
Environmental Ethics: Duties and Values to the Natural World - H Rolston III (another book on environmental ethic I read in undergrad, similar to Leopold's ideas)
Reinventing the Sacred - S Kauffman (THE book that turned me on to Emergence)
The Sacred Depths of Nature - U Goodenough (Epic of Evolution with reflections and conclusions from a Religious Naturalist perspecitve)
Dancing with the Sacred - KE Peters (Another RN perspective; god as the interaction between creative emergence and selection)
Religion: The Basics - Numeroff (A textbook on religion and culture anthropology)
Angel Tech - A Alli (Consciousness demolition and reconstruction; Ratatosk suggested this to me and I'm loving it)

Its also good for me to recognize my influences of roman catholic ritual, Taoism, Buddhism, irreligions such as Discordianism, UUism, and religious naturalism perspectives in putting this all together.

If there are other books anyone would like to suggest to me, or you would like to talk with me about this project, OR if you are interested in working on this project with me, you can post her, PM me, contact me by email at xelnagan_1 at hotmail.com, contact me through IRC or through IM (MSM: through the above email). I welcome any perspectives and arguments on this, because I've thought enough about it that I feel quite confident in my experiences and am also constantly editing what I have worked out to make it as close to the ideal as possible.  Thanks be to the Progenitor from which all Life has continued, to the creative metaforce of Emergence, and to the Process of Sustaining, of which we all take part.

~Kai
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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2009, 12:02:24 am »
That's pretty cool. You could just call your religion Sustaining.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Kai

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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 12:17:38 am »
That's pretty cool. You could just call your religion Sustaining.

Thanks. :)

I'd thought of Church of the Process but then I heard there was The Process Church of The Final Judgement and I DON'T want to be confused with that.  :lulz: I like your idea. One word is simple. Sustaining, or in longer, the Fellowship of Sustaining. Kinda like the Religious Society of Friends. :)
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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2009, 04:23:21 am »
Kai, interesting concept.

I do have a question, though. With the eternal balance, how do you explain enthropy? Just curious.

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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2009, 01:09:11 pm »
Kai, interesting concept.

I do have a question, though. With the eternal balance, how do you explain enthropy? Just curious.

I largely don't have to. Emergence takes care of entropy long enough to sustain the different levels (systems) in the emergence complex. A completely nonscientific way of saying it could be an emergence system traps energy just long enough for other levels to come about.

So, thoughts. Apparently at the begining of the unverse there were no particles in the first very small amount of time. If there had continued to be no particles the energy involved probably would have just dissipated. However, particles are energy (via E=MC2) in a packaged form, thus keeping it from immediatly dissipating. Thats the first level of emergence, and with it the basic processes of physics. The second level is chemistry, interactions between atoms. You've got fusion then, and molecules, and bodies of high numbers of atoms (stars, and those objects associated with them, fusion reactor or no). The third level is molecules interacting with molecules. You've got biochemistry, and biology. Theres the self replicating molecules in this, and cells. You can keep building on this with more levels, but you get the idea. Emergence only requires just enough time for it to happen. In our case, fusion is a primary source of energy (so second level emergence sustains third level emergence). Theres enough energy coming in for the issue of entropy to not be an issue for life to continue, at least for now.

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2009, 02:29:55 pm »
Thanks for this, Kai.
I know you're doing it for your own edification, but thanks for sharing the articulation of what you have come to believe.
My own beliefs are similar (if less manucrafted) and i'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
Soon after abandoning my given faith, I developed some homebrew pseudomathematical mysticistic gumbo that satisfied myself, which I later found seems to line up somewhat with pythagoreanism (from what little I’ve read about it.)
Does your philosophy attempt to address first cause at all?  Or do you find it to be out-of-scope?

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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2009, 03:05:14 pm »
Thanks for this, Kai.
I know you're doing it for your own edification, but thanks for sharing the articulation of what you have come to believe.
My own beliefs are similar (if less manucrafted) and i'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
Soon after abandoning my given faith, I developed some homebrew pseudomathematical mysticistic gumbo that satisfied myself, which I later found seems to line up somewhat with pythagoreanism (from what little I’ve read about it.)
Does your philosophy attempt to address first cause at all?  Or do you find it to be out-of-scope?


My creation myth ie the story of how the universe got to where it is and how it continues with focus on development of life and human existance, is a story version of what science has revealed about the universe. As far as I know, physicists have not yet determined the cause of the beginning of the universe, though most agree on a rapid inflation/expansion event from a very dense point of space-time.

Since I'm unable to address first cause scientifically at this point, I've been working from the assumption that, well, something like this:

In the Beginning, there was the Void,
And the Void was Nothing.
There was no Space, no Time,
No Mass, no Acceleration,
No Particles or Forces,
And no Happenings,
As there wasn't any place for happenings
To happen in. There was Nothing.

Something Happened.

(Beginning, 1:1-3)


So, thats sorta my rough interpretation of that first part of the story. Something happened, because if it didn't then this would all still be Nothing. Physicists still deal with this great mystery, so I don't see why I can't let it be a great mystery as well.

If I've got any concept of god, is one of god as creative metaforce of Emergence. I guess I could see emergence as the first cause but that seems weird to me, so I'm going with Emergence coming about in that first instant as an intrinsic property of energetic interactions. Ie "god" wasn't the first cause, but is the continuing cause.

So...maybe its out of scope, or not. Its all speculation and stories now, even for physicists. Goodenough calls this a "covenant with mystery", a mystery as to why there is anything at all rather than nothing, and why the physical properties of this universe are the way they are. Mystery leads to wonder leads to awe, either terrifying or liberating. Goodenough chose the later and I think I do as well.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2009, 03:18:21 pm »
I am gonna think sideways on this for a second.

As I love to point out, Cause and Effect exist because we humans create a partial model out of a subset of data. Cause - You ran a red light, Effect - You hit a car... in reality, though, there are many, many causes which led to the accident and effects are likely to extend well beyond that intersection. Could looking for the First Cause be a broken premise to start with? Instead of a First Cause, might there simply be a first 'INTERACTION'? In an emerget system, would the First thing to be interested in be the Big Bang, or the first transmission of Information, the first combination of electrons and company to form elements? That is, if we seek a 'Emergent Spirituality' , might the Big Bang itself be pre-causal. If God and DNA, Life  the Universe and Everything are all children of emergence, what caused (what causes, effects, events) led to the first emergence, the first interaction between causes and effects? When did the first Information get shared, in some sense.

Maybe, an emergent system wouldn't worry about how the building blocks first showed up, but rather how the building blocks first emerged from independent bits of flotsam to the start of a Universe... or something.
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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2009, 03:32:47 pm »
I am gonna think sideways on this for a second.

As I love to point out, Cause and Effect exist because we humans create a partial model out of a subset of data. Cause - You ran a red light, Effect - You hit a car... in reality, though, there are many, many causes which led to the accident and effects are likely to extend well beyond that intersection. Could looking for the First Cause be a broken premise to start with? Instead of a First Cause, might there simply be a first 'INTERACTION'? In an emerget system, would the First thing to be interested in be the Big Bang, or the first transmission of Information, the first combination of electrons and company to form elements? That is, if we seek a 'Emergent Spirituality' , might the Big Bang itself be pre-causal. If God and DNA, Life  the Universe and Everything are all children of emergence, what caused (what causes, effects, events) led to the first emergence, the first interaction between causes and effects? When did the first Information get shared, in some sense.

Maybe, an emergent system wouldn't worry about how the building blocks first showed up, but rather how the building blocks first emerged from independent bits of flotsam to the start of a Universe... or something.

Well, I think some people would argue that looking for the first cause isn't broken  :lol: some scientists I can think of. But yeah, I like the idea of a first interaction.

If we think of emergence as "when interactions go on, stuff happens that follows a new system of interactions", then a first interaction makes sense. If life is chemistry versus chemistry and chemistry is matter versus matter, the perhaps matter (and less specifically, space time forces, all the things required for the state of matter) is the interaction of energy versus energy. So, emergence could be said to come from that first interaction (someone will ask where did the energy come from, but then you could claim energy is precausal).

I said earlier something about the emerging systems being packaging for energy. Without some sort of packaging (particles, whether stable or temporary) energy would immediately disperse into nothing. This may just be nonsense, but on the other hand it seems sort of self evident (Cf. mass = energy).

Kai,

is full of pseudoscientific bullshit today :/
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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2009, 03:42:30 pm »
hmm...
I guess i am using the term 'first-cause' as a convenient and accepted term even though i don't really think of it strictly as ‘cause’….
I guess I think of it as void implying lack of void.  The inevitability of bifurcation in existence.  zeroness implies oneness.  this distinction defines twoness. And on in a bootstrapping fashion.  From this fundamental geometry of ideal emerges the material world.  I don’t know the details between this conceptual existence and matter, but….
That’s what I have pinging in my careenium….

Do you have an 'end days' myth?

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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2009, 04:00:22 pm »
hmm...
I guess i am using the term 'first-cause' as a convenient and accepted term even though i don't really think of it strictly as ‘cause’….
I guess I think of it as void implying lack of void.  The inevitability of bifurcation in existence.  zeroness implies oneness.  this distinction defines twoness. And on in a bootstrapping fashion.  From this fundamental geometry of ideal emerges the material world.  I don’t know the details between this conceptual existence and matter, but….
That’s what I have pinging in my careenium….

Do you have an 'end days' myth?

Iptuous....
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No end days myth though, except that the sun going red giant is inevitable. Aesthetically I like the big crunch idea, where long after everything goes dark all the matter re condenses via gravity and another universe comes about, but I think an end days scenario is really not that useful except maybe in reference to stardust The carbon that is blown off of red giants is the primary source of carbon in the universe, and therefore a source for possible new life even after the death of our star. Continuation and rebirth is just more INTERESTING than an end of days scenario where everything is the same forever and ever afterwards (Cf. Revelations of John), and far more satisfying.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2009, 04:03:46 pm »
Oh, I totally agree.
Unlimited stasis seems like a hell of boredom!  As self-defeating as ‘utopia’….

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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2009, 04:07:49 pm »
I am gonna think sideways on this for a second.

As I love to point out, Cause and Effect exist because we humans create a partial model out of a subset of data. Cause - You ran a red light, Effect - You hit a car... in reality, though, there are many, many causes which led to the accident and effects are likely to extend well beyond that intersection. Could looking for the First Cause be a broken premise to start with? Instead of a First Cause, might there simply be a first 'INTERACTION'? In an emerget system, would the First thing to be interested in be the Big Bang, or the first transmission of Information, the first combination of electrons and company to form elements? That is, if we seek a 'Emergent Spirituality' , might the Big Bang itself be pre-causal. If God and DNA, Life  the Universe and Everything are all children of emergence, what caused (what causes, effects, events) led to the first emergence, the first interaction between causes and effects? When did the first Information get shared, in some sense.

Maybe, an emergent system wouldn't worry about how the building blocks first showed up, but rather how the building blocks first emerged from independent bits of flotsam to the start of a Universe... or something.

Well, I think some people would argue that looking for the first cause isn't broken  :lol: some scientists I can think of. But yeah, I like the idea of a first interaction.

Well, I meant in terms of this model of Emergence as Spirituality or whatever you want to call it... First Cause seems unnecessary to the model if we're focused on interactions and emergence... I think.


Quote
If we think of emergence as "when interactions go on, stuff happens that follows a new system of interactions", then a first interaction makes sense. If life is chemistry versus chemistry and chemistry is matter versus matter, the perhaps matter (and less specifically, space time forces, all the things required for the state of matter) is the interaction of energy versus energy. So, emergence could be said to come from that first interaction (someone will ask where did the energy come from, but then you could claim energy is precausal).

Or that the it's in some pre-emergence model which isn't covered by the emergence model... ;-)
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2009, 04:23:24 pm »
I am gonna think sideways on this for a second.

As I love to point out, Cause and Effect exist because we humans create a partial model out of a subset of data. Cause - You ran a red light, Effect - You hit a car... in reality, though, there are many, many causes which led to the accident and effects are likely to extend well beyond that intersection. Could looking for the First Cause be a broken premise to start with? Instead of a First Cause, might there simply be a first 'INTERACTION'? In an emerget system, would the First thing to be interested in be the Big Bang, or the first transmission of Information, the first combination of electrons and company to form elements? That is, if we seek a 'Emergent Spirituality' , might the Big Bang itself be pre-causal. If God and DNA, Life  the Universe and Everything are all children of emergence, what caused (what causes, effects, events) led to the first emergence, the first interaction between causes and effects? When did the first Information get shared, in some sense.

Maybe, an emergent system wouldn't worry about how the building blocks first showed up, but rather how the building blocks first emerged from independent bits of flotsam to the start of a Universe... or something.

Well, I think some people would argue that looking for the first cause isn't broken  :lol: some scientists I can think of. But yeah, I like the idea of a first interaction.

Well, I meant in terms of this model of Emergence as Spirituality or whatever you want to call it... First Cause seems unnecessary to the model if we're focused on interactions and emergence... I think.


Quote
If we think of emergence as "when interactions go on, stuff happens that follows a new system of interactions", then a first interaction makes sense. If life is chemistry versus chemistry and chemistry is matter versus matter, the perhaps matter (and less specifically, space time forces, all the things required for the state of matter) is the interaction of energy versus energy. So, emergence could be said to come from that first interaction (someone will ask where did the energy come from, but then you could claim energy is precausal).

Or that the it's in some pre-emergence model which isn't covered by the emergence model... ;-)


I think that a universe before emergence would be beyond my ability of comprehension. I live in a universe based in Emergence, so I can't really comprehend anything outside of it. How would I think about energy without particles or forces? Its just impossible for me. Maybe thats why the idea of the Void works, void of our comprehension and impossible to understand, a great mystery.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: I'm making a religion based on Emergence.
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2009, 04:32:57 pm »
I am gonna think sideways on this for a second.

As I love to point out, Cause and Effect exist because we humans create a partial model out of a subset of data. Cause - You ran a red light, Effect - You hit a car... in reality, though, there are many, many causes which led to the accident and effects are likely to extend well beyond that intersection. Could looking for the First Cause be a broken premise to start with? Instead of a First Cause, might there simply be a first 'INTERACTION'? In an emerget system, would the First thing to be interested in be the Big Bang, or the first transmission of Information, the first combination of electrons and company to form elements? That is, if we seek a 'Emergent Spirituality' , might the Big Bang itself be pre-causal. If God and DNA, Life  the Universe and Everything are all children of emergence, what caused (what causes, effects, events) led to the first emergence, the first interaction between causes and effects? When did the first Information get shared, in some sense.

Maybe, an emergent system wouldn't worry about how the building blocks first showed up, but rather how the building blocks first emerged from independent bits of flotsam to the start of a Universe... or something.

Well, I think some people would argue that looking for the first cause isn't broken  :lol: some scientists I can think of. But yeah, I like the idea of a first interaction.

Well, I meant in terms of this model of Emergence as Spirituality or whatever you want to call it... First Cause seems unnecessary to the model if we're focused on interactions and emergence... I think.


Quote
If we think of emergence as "when interactions go on, stuff happens that follows a new system of interactions", then a first interaction makes sense. If life is chemistry versus chemistry and chemistry is matter versus matter, the perhaps matter (and less specifically, space time forces, all the things required for the state of matter) is the interaction of energy versus energy. So, emergence could be said to come from that first interaction (someone will ask where did the energy come from, but then you could claim energy is precausal).

Or that the it's in some pre-emergence model which isn't covered by the emergence model... ;-)


I think that a universe before emergence would be beyond my ability of comprehension. I live in a universe based in Emergence, so I can't really comprehend anything outside of it. How would I think about energy without particles or forces? Its just impossible for me. Maybe thats why the idea of the Void works, void of our comprehension and impossible to understand, a great mystery.

That seems entirely reasonable to me
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson