Astrotheology and Worldbuilding

My friend Aphrodite on Twitter introduced the term “astrotheology” this morning, and I totally love it. My schizotypal brain immediately began compiling examples many my favorite comics by Grant Morrison:

Niburu, or Planet X is Nancy Lieder’s revealed alien knowledge that in 2003, this planet/satellite would cause the earth’s rotation to cease. Then, there would be a pole shift, a displacement of earth’s crust, and we all die.

Also, Zecharia Sitchin’s Mesopotamian mythological Marduk / Niburu was a giant planet populated by Anunnaki from Sumerian mythology, the forerunners to humanity’s gods. Every 3600 years, the planet crosses through earth, and the gods interact with humanity.

See also Grant Morrison’s Vimanarama, in which the Islamic folklore characters Ultra-hadeen return to earth to engage in battle with their enemies.

Nameless , in which the alien satellite Xibabla (Aztec and Mayan mythology) is the gateway to the evil anti-universe, and will collide with earth and everyone will kill each other. There’s a lot of John Dee’s Enochian angel language. You protect yourselves with religious symbols, which insulate you against “free range thoughtforms.” Like the Exorcist, “the power of Christ compels you!”

I found “Nameless” interesting for a number of reasons. One of them is the misanthropy expressed by God throughout the Bible, especially in the Old Testament.

For example, “And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.” (Leviticus 26:27–29 King James Version)

One of the themes in my writing is the Bible. It’s ubiquitous in American culture, and so seemingly familiar. Yet it’s a deeply weird text with an incredibly diverse mix of messages and writing styles. Characters that would have been well known to readers or listeners when the text are written are unknown to us now, and much of the context is missing from what we have. It’s one of the reasons I’m trying to read the gnostic texts; it’s a really valuable ancillary source of context for Christianity.

Full Fathom Five #5 introduced Bruno’s role as the savior of humanity through his seed: he has to fuck as many women in the community of Anwyn as possible to sire a generation that can survive the coming cataclysm. Yes, it’s a male fantasy. Yes, it’s a structure to allow me to write several sex scenes that drive the narrative. Yes, I’m planning to use it to explore a naive eighteen year old’s journey of sexual initiation and allow him to explore multiple levels of physical and spiritual enlightenment through many sexual encounters set in a mystical, magical + sci-fi dystopian context. OK, this could be really fun to write.

But, it’s also the command given to Noah and Abraham in the Old Testament. Noah’s seed was meant to be the surviving DNA of humanity. Abraham’s seed was meant to found a mighty race that would be God’s chose people. Same idea, different context.

Barbelith is the savior counterpart of the evil stars above. In Morrison’s “The Invisibles,” it’s a satellite that communicates psychically with human beings to connect the hologram that is their consciousness to the overall hyper-reality of space and time, helping humans to realize their true potential.

I snorted a high dose of Ketamine when I was in medical school, entering the k-hole, a realm similar to this hyper-reality. I’ll have to tell this story in a future post.

I should say, I do not recommend this; I did it because I’m curious and a little nuts. If you are unsupervised while intoxicated on ketamine, you can die. My friend and med school classmate was with me when I was intoxicated, and was sober by comparison.

There’s also Philip K. Dick’s VALIS, which is a Vast Active Living Intelligence System, a psychic mind communicating with humanity to draw them to a higher level of consciousness.

Terrence McKenna had an idea about how there are these beings who exist outside of time, and we’re baby versions of them. We can only grow to our potential in a world where time exists. When this corporeal existence ends, we enter into the timeless fulfillment of our potential.

“It kind of explains what is happening, that it isn’t the old-style religion, that it isn’t the sterile steady-state of science, it’s that the universe is actually evolving some kind of process of self-metamorphosis, and human beings indicate that we have crossed some boundary into some new era, a new epoch of ever greater acceleration into this process of self-revelation. …[P]eople can only deal with it through images that they know … you know, Marshall McLuhan said we drive into the future using only our rear view mirror, and that’s sort of what it is. But I call this thing the transcendental object at the end of time, and I think in a sense, religion, Christian revelation, it will all be fulfilled in a way none of us ever suspected, because nature has this appetite for novelty and acceleration into novelty.” (McKenna goes on to talk about time travel in the interview I’ve linked to above).

This is how I conceive God, the cosmic Christ; an Omega Point, a being outside space and time who sends an aspect of himself, Jesus, into time to sow seeds of enlightenment and then guide us to fulfillment, pleroma.

Noosphere is a concept by paleontologist and Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

“As a paleontologist, de Chardin looked across Earth’s history and saw the critical transition Earth made billions of years ago from a dead planet to a world dominated by life (the “biosphere”). As a mystic, he believed the next step was going to take us from a “mindless” biosphere to a world ruled by intention — by “mind.” Evolution, he claimed, was taking us toward what he called the Noosphere (“nous” is greek for mind) — a global unity of consciousness, a ” ‘thinking’ sphere circling the Earth above the biosphere, which [would comprise all] human reflection, conscious souls, and love.”

Noosphere is also my shorthand internet and mass communication, the electronic zeitgeist. I mainly interact with Twitter currently. Some people refer to it as internet hivemind. Consider organizations like Anonymous, Antifa, or the “weaponized autism” of 4chan. In the US, we have a president who hold power thanks to shitposting. We’re swimming in the waters of the Noosphere.

“Cancel culture” is a form of online shaming based on someone’s behavior. It’s a very old idea, explicitly shunning a person because they’ve committed violence to individuals, and the hivemind in total. I wrote a post last week about JK Rowling, and how she used a shitty mixture of bad science and bad logic to make a statement that upset sincere people and hurt her brand.

Commentators will make statements like “people aren’t TV shows,” which is incorrect. To reference outdated media, every one of us in our online persona is a tiny TV show. I’m essentially publishing my own magazine in my blog, with my fiction and essays. Grant Morrison, of course, predicted all of this: he said that when you put surveillance cameras everywhere, people will all act like they’re celebrities photographed by paparazzi. Of course, we don’t even need CCTV cameras anymore, because we’re all filming ourselves constantly and posting the results. The chips in our phone make any subcutaneous tracker unnecessary, because we can’t live without our phones anymore.

Am I only a gif library, trying to make you see the same reference I do?

Gaia “living systems on Earth, as a whole, were capable of steering the planet toward conditions that were favorable to life. … [The] biosphere was a kind of thermostat keeping planetary conditions in an optimal range for the maintenance of … the biosphere. [Gaia could represent “Earth Systems”) the strongly coupled interplay of atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere and biosphere.” (Quote from the NPR article associated with “Noosphere.”

Medea, the theory, that earth, as a collective life form, was conspiring to commit suicide. Microbe-triggered mass extinctions had killed life on earth by methane poisoning, oxygen catastrophe, snowball earth, and hydrogen-sulfide poisoning. Human produced global warming is the current suicide attempt.

As a side note, microbes manipulating organisms that manipulate humans to kill each other is a much more satisfactory explanation of the current mass stupidity than any other. Basically, “The Happening,” which was a weird movie with some interesting ideas.

In Full Fathom Five #5, I introduced the Morrigna, the triune goddess of death coming to bring the end of Cronus. Anand is the black star, the satellite that would come to bring about an end to all things. This is me playing with some of the ideas described above. Also, there’s Radiohead’s Black Star from “The Bends,” which was pretty rad.

There’s a few examples I didn’t get to, which I’ll list for a possible future post: Solaris, the tyrant sun from Superman. The Forge, a world turned into a power source in Fantastic Four. The Phalanx and the Worldmind from X-men, Powers of X. The Singularity, the union of human and machine consciousness.

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