Archive for April, 2010

NoetiTaoism™ as Cosmic Religion

April 23, 2010

One of our frequent blog readers pointed out that Dr. Albert Einstein discussed something that he called “cosmic religion,” and that NoetiTaoism™, as presented in several of our blog posts, might be something like that. So, we obtained a copy of the Einstein material, as published by Covici-Friede in 1931 (variations of the thesis exist elsewhere). The following will present the pertinent aspects of Dr. Einstein’s thesis in words that reflect our understanding of his apparent perspective. We will then proceed to compare that to NoetiTaoism™. 

Dr. Einstein identified two primary motivations for forming a religion: (1) fear of death, and (2) desire for societal stability, and he pointed out that the Gods of such religions are always envisioned as super-human—i.e., anthropomorphized. In addition to those two motivations, Einstein asserted that there is a third and higher sort of religious sensibility that he called “the cosmic religious sense”—i.e., divine inspiration. This third kind of religious sensibility, he said, does not arise from human fear or desire, nor does it involve an anthropomorphized God or dogma; instead, it arises from feeling at-one with the marvels of Nature in its workings within the minds and experiences of certain “exceptionally-gifted individuals.” 

Einstein said further that because the third kind of religious impulse involves neither dogma nor a bipedal concept of God, it does not lend itself to the development of doctrines and houses of worship. That is why, Einstein surmised, individuals “inspired by the highest religious experience” have often been perceived as anti-establishment atheistic heretics when, in fact, they are more “religious” than either the motivational leaders or motivated followers of organized faiths. The challenge, then, is: How to communicate this high level of religious experience if not through dogma and churches? The answer, as Einstein saw it, was that art and science could “keep alive this feeling” in the hearts and minds of others who may attune themselves to it. 

With reason, he advanced the idea that science and religion—the one believing in causal law, the other in a God that rewards and punishes—although seemingly irreconcilable, are reconcilable by virtue of earnest research scientists who are driven to achieve pioneering breakthroughs by “the cosmic religious sense” and by deep faith in rationality regarding the world’s structure. In fact, he considered such scientists to be the only credible priesthood for this age where science overshadows religion. He also asserted that ethical behavior can be based on sympathy, schooling, and social pressure with no organized metaphysical linkage to conjoin the individual and Ominiverse. 

NoetiTaoism™, by contrast, focuses on a higher level of Reality: the inseparability of the Creator and Creation that both science and religion—cultural constructs—have failed to grasp. In truth, the separation of science and religion was never more than a delusion, the product of an ingrained perceptual handicapping promoted by political forces operating in both domains. While we agree with Einstein’s thoughts on the “cosmic religious sense,” we do not see the elements he set forth as being viable foundation blocks for ethical assurance, let alone a Cosmic Religion. To our surprise (because it was never a goal of our quest), NoetiTaoism™ actually does have the makings of such religion. NoetiTaoism™ involves no dogma, preaching, or houses of worship; it is guided by a spirit of enlightened liberation and supported by a non-Cartesian New Science (Enhanced Human Perception™), a technology for practical applications (Noetitek™), and a unique genre of inspir-educational art (Meta-Naturalism™).

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