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Paradise Found David Miller www.mauiarts.com

Resplendence is a new domain to further an utterly innovative idea. A site to cherish and replenish the Earth and its living diversity throughout the generations. This is a small wiki for initial discussion about the idea.

You are invited to join the resplendence wiki as a co-creator within small consensus community of people who can form a social network to give creative expression to the process. Select the membership menu at the top of the page to become a wikidot member and seek membership of Resplendence. The aim is to form a core group who can give diverse expression to what resplendence means in our lives and the diverse creative ways of expressing it in the closing circle of the biosphere.

What is Resplendence?

Resplendence means many things. We usually think of it as a glorious state of natural splendour, but its root meaning re-splendere is to "shine brightly" or "shine again". See our site at at resplendence.org

It is thus both the full overflowing abundance of paradise, and as a global movement, it is the light of the world.
But it has a deeper meaning, as the true immortal condition of humanity and is hence the natural paradigm successor to religion.

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Paradising the Planet poster

Science, Resplendence and Religion in a Nutshell

Science

Cosmic Evolution: Symmetry-breaking of the forces of nature leads to the physical and biological structures in the universe. Gravitation causes collapse to form galaxies full of stars radiating through the nuclear forces  in turn forming planetary systems, with gravitation causing collapse to black holes, also modulated by the effects of dark matter and dark energy.

Biogenesis: There is strong evidence that life is an emergent property of the laws of nature, ubiquitous throughout the universe. Biomolecules, including amino acids have been found in gaseous nebulae, on meteorites and in primitive lab syntheses. The process has a cosmological basis. Stellar radiation leads to the formation of complex molecules, including the organic precursors of life. In interaction, these from fractal structures constituting the most complex interaction of the forces of nature. Under favorable conditions, these can lead to cellular life, which evolves at the edge of chaos to form ever more complex life-forms.

Complex Organisms: Symbiosis between the two main branches of life then existent on Earth, bacteria and archaea, has then led to the complex nucleated eucaryote cell that forms the basis of complex animals, algae  and fungi, with further symbiotic events involving photosynthesis leading to the land plants. 

Sexuality is essential to the evolution of complex organisms because it creates an almost endless variety of viable complex  organisms which can manifest new evolutionary features and resist catastrophic epidemics from diseases and parasites. Humans are one of the most sexually polarized mammalian species. The reproductive strategies of men and women are thus in a state of strategic conflict.

Sentient Consciousness arises as an emergent property of complex organisms through sexual evolution, as their interactive behavior creates new survival crises requiring a field-of-view anticipation of the world in real time. While science has made great progress in identifying brain regions giving rise to certain kinds of conscious experience, how objective physical processes could in principle give rise to subjective experience, remains one of the deepest unresolved enigmas of science.

Cognizant Culture: The evolution of intelligence ultimately leads to a species developing culture and with it a capacity to describe and understand the nature of the universe around it. This runs a significant risk of planetary crisis and a mass extinction of life, as this species multiplies, and appropriates a disproportionate share of the planet's resources. Critical is the active symbiotic relationship between such a species and life as a whole, so that the biosphere retains fecundity and robustness to external crises.

Resplendence

Resplendence complements scientific cosmology providing three existential raisons d'etre for humanity as a climax cultural species: 
(1) To cherish and replenish the diversity of life on the planet so that the immortal passage of the generations will continue 
(2) To facilitate the unfolding illumination of all conscious beings
(3) To support a caring community to realize resplendence as a creative process.

Replenishing Planetary Paradise: Our primary goal in life is to sustain Earth as a living paradise so that the generations both of humanity and the other diverse lifeforms including those on which we co-depend shall continue to flourish. 

Mortality and Sexuality:  We experience mortality as individuals because fertilization contributes only half our genes to make up  each new individual, with half coming from our sexual partner, our most altruistic act, resulting in the almost endless variety of sexual individuals. Since we arise from the fertility process, we redeem our individual mortality by giving our energy and creativity back to the flow of life in our creative life expression..

Female Reproductive Choice: In the fertility between the sexes, due to a high degree of sexual polarization, women have a primary place as the live bearers of the next generation, enduring a massive sometimes risky pregnancy, lactation and long periods of early child-rearing.. It is thus essential, both genetically and socially, that women retain the right to reproductive choice. 

Conscious Transcendence: As a climax species, we experience subjective consciousness, in several forms - waking life, dreams, contemplation and visionary and entheogenic states, which may in turn be a manifestation of cosmological principles and may thus have transcendent properties . We need to keep this quest completely free of religious doctrines, so that we can explore it in an unfettered discovery process.

Autonomy and Personal Responsibility: Replenishing life is an existential necessity providing our central meaning in existence, not a moral imperative. It is however a fulfilling ethic.  We are autonomous beings and so we need to take responsibility as autonomous agents. What each of us do as individuals of a  climax cultural species will affect the future viability of the planet. This is the only meaningful response to the existential condition. 

Religion

Traditional religions are  in fundamental conflict with both scientific cosmology and human survival.  Monotheism  is particularly dangerous, because it invokes a violent End of Days, leading to conflagration, triage of all life and destruction of the Earth in favor of a heavenly kingdom. 

Creation by Command: Monotheism conflicts with the generative nature of the physical universe by claiming that the Earth and heavens were ordered by a creator deity out of formless chaos in six days by verbal command. The heavens are a firmament, or great dome over the flat Earth in with the stars are placed. The plants are made before the sun and moon. and the animals of the sea  air and land created complete and fixed for all time, designed much as we shape our artifacts. Finally man and woman are made male and female in the likeness of the 'Elohim, to be fruitful, and multiply, to replenish the earth and subdue it: and have dominion over over every living thing that moveth.

Mortality and God's Curse on Women: But then in the paradisiacal garden of Eden a falling out occurs which has corrupted history ever since. Woman seduced by the serpent for seeking wisdom, eats of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and persuades man to do likewise, making them both sexually aware. YHVH then withdraws the tree of life which could have made them immortal and throws them out into the wilderness to struggle by vanquishing the thorns and thistles, with woman cursed with the pain of childbirth, to be ruled over by her husband and both doomed to mortal existence.

Jealous Conflict and Apocalypse: The entire biblical paradigm becomes a moral cosmology reinforced with fire and brimstone against the whoring of the unfaithful wife Israel by the jealous God Jehovah. Jesus referred to the loving father God, but this deity is claimed to have sacrificed him as his only begotten son in the crucifixion leading to centuries of martyrdom, Crusade and Inquisition. Rolled into this toxic mix is apocalypse in the End of days - a time of tumult and triage of all life, annihilating all in a day of judgment leading to a heavenly Jerusalem.. 

Dominion over Nature: Christians throughout history, have thus regarded it as our sacred duty to have dominion over nature, while women became the 'Devil's gateway', to be seen but not heard, or burned at the stake as witches. Although some denominations, now advocate responsible stewardship to address climate change and species loss, the basic influences remain those of a desert religion regarding nature as an inferior realm to be conquered.

Jihad, Repression of Women and Genocide: Islam adapted the same end of days desert tradition to the patriarchal tribal law of Muhammad's day, turning the violence outward in jihad, partitioning the world between the domain of submission to Allah and the domain of war, in conversion by the sword.  In addition to beheading 700 Jewish men in the souk of Medina, taking their wives and children into sexual slavery, Muhammad adopted the invocation to stone women for adultery, discarded for centuries by the Jews, so that it continues to this day in Sharia as a cruel homicidal punishment for female reproductive choice. Women are only half the value of men, forcibly veiled, chaperoned and sequestered as instruments of male control of female fertility. Religion is compulsory, with death for apostasy and blasphemy, in contradiction to the claim that Allah is compassionate and merciful. 

Reproductive Domination: Both Christianity and Islam attempt to out-populate their competitors at a time when overpopulation is stressing the planet's resilience.

Nirvana and Samsara vs Nature: Buddhism is an atheistic meditative religion based on the renunciation of egotistical desires and the ensuing fear of mortality, through escaping the round of birth and death in the emptiness of nirvana. However samsara and its karma of rebirth remains a morally causal mind-over-nature cosmology in which the animals are assigned to the inferior status of ignorant or corrupted sentient beings. It thus tries to solve the existential dilemma by negation without the key redeeming life purpose of replenishing living diversity, although both Buddhism and Upanishadic Hinduism invoke an autonomous path of contemplation in which individual consciousness can ultimately gain transcendence.

Religion versus Science

Religion according to Augustine and others comes from re-ligare to "bind again" or "bind fast". Religions bind together spiritually-minded people into mass movements, but religions are also contaminated with the notion of bondage to a potentially oppressive utopian moral order. This is a fascist notion that makes traditional religions dangerous and harmful to world futures. The fasces is a bundle of sticks, sometimes with a protruding axe, or labrys, whose strength bound together is greater than the sum of the parts.

In the scientific revolution, the skeptical principle of inquiry, seeking verification from nature, rather than imposing preconceived beliefs, means that descriptions of reality only remain stable over evolutionary epochs, called paradigms. When a new theory, or description of reality, emerges, which generalizes, or replaces a previous one, a new scientific paradigm is born.

Religions have resisted natural paradigm evolution because they seek permanent ascendancy. Thus Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad remain fixed male entities impeding the natural evolution of human insight and world guardianship of nature. Buddha has become a symbol of perfection unattainable in the round of birth and death. Muhammad is claimed to be the last prophet under pain of execution. Jesus is claimed to be going to return in the 'second coming' as the avenging Lord. This prevents natural evolution, even though our understanding of the world, and the closing circle of the biosphere have been transformed, both by science, and human impacts of our burgeoning planetary technological society, leading to climate change, ecocrisis and potentially irreversible risks to human and natural survival.

Resplendence is the natural paradigm successor to religion, in which we cherish and replenish the Earth throughout the generations of the diversity of life, no longer seeing through a glass darkly, but now face-to-face, coming into coherence with our sexually-immortal condition, becoming the source of a collective illumination of enlightenment, both scientific and visionary, to flower the future generations and sustain the epoch of paradise on Earth.

To learn how this process began see Chris King's article: The Resplendence Codex

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