Deplorable New Age Myths

Rick Knight (
Tue, 10 Jun 97 10:06:33 CST

Mark Crosby wrote:

"This sounds no different to me from the Christian Apocalypse &
Resurrection. We're supposed to regress back into the womb, the void,
from everything back to nothing, renouncing our worldly 'sins'! Isn't
that wonderful? This is the death wish most whimpish religions aspire
to rather than the rough and tumble, creative destruction of a truly
pluralistic extropian universe. (It's also why I sometimes hanker for
heroes and am eager to believe in boundaries for borganisms, and for
creepy nanofog clouds of grey-goo clones out to consume the

Rick responds:

Not to make a pun, but playing the "devil's advocate" here, I can draw
a few parallels to regular old existence that render the whimpy
regression archetype fairly innocuous.

First of all, I maintain that order and novelty seem to ongoingly
emerge across the millions of years of cosmic time. Or at least
that's how it seems. First there was nothing (or something we call
nothing), then basic elements and gases, crude matter, hot stars,
cooling planets, water, vegetation and microscopic organisms, fishes,
etc.. all the way to hefty brain-stemed HOMO SAPIEN (this one, BTW,
takes issue with all the flap about training apes for their
rudimentary service potential and agree that it is probably their
level of intelligence and curiosity that renders them slave-exempt).

Anyway, so the ongoing evolution that we have theorized has brought us
to the threshold of human transcendence may just be one long
inhalation in cosmic time. There are so many metaphors for cycle, the
on and off, the to and fro of things. Granted, some of these cycles
may be so vast as to not warrant our attention. But then that begs
the question as to why it's even necessary to spend an ounce of energy
despising myths or religious doctrines.

The only reason I know of is unresolved stuff from an oppressed
upbringing (mine was Southern Baptist but not ANAL WHACKO Southern
Baptist, just quaint and inconsistent Southern Baptist). It certainly
did a number on me determining where/how I fit in and took a number of
years to figure out that sexuality choices do not equal an eternity in
some corner of the universe where I'm destined to suffer in pain.
Like I said, "quaint".

Certainly, such cosmic cycles (if they exist at all) give extropian
thinking plenty of elbow room to expand into unimaginable creatures.
Still, I can't help but have some connection to the LILA myth since a
psychedlic trip I had several years ago. In this dream state, I was
pulling away layers of space as if they were wallpaper. I *knew* that
once I got to the last layer of space, all the answers would be on the
other side. As I tore at what I were sure were the last layers of the
farthest regions of the known universe, I had tremendous anticipation.
I ripped away the final layer and whadaya know, ANOTHER UNIVERSE!
This is going to take an exhaustively long time I thought and I was
very disappointed. At that point I asked myself (or was it
communicated to me), "why would you want to know all the answers, what
point would there be then?"

Frankly, thinking too much and too often makes me rather tired and
despondent. That's why I perceive it important to keep balance,
breathe in and exhale out. Quest then rest. If the Universe is just
a big organic (?) diaphragm of cycling energy, then I'm okay with
that. But I still get a little annoyed with the fundie that thinks my
"lifestyle" is going to make eternity a hot and unpleasant prospect.


Rick Knight