At their core, these ideas represent an alternative view of various faith-based concepts; all the while, it’s also very much a view that remains all but nonexistent in today’s world – no matter where, to whom or for what one might themselves turn. Likewise, they represent beliefs that are nothing I myself see as exceedingly revolutionary, nor anything quite so bizarre as to defy either categorization as or harmonious coexistence fitting within previous such religious thought.
Rather, I feel all of this to be only a natural evolution of our most fundamental questions or cultural/societal tenets. Somewhat crudely stated? With aspects of religion, science, technology and philosophy, it works to take what came before, along with what currently is, and to blend them both together; allowing our present understandings and level of advancement to inform, transform and, just perhaps, even somehow redefining things decidedly ancient or apocryphal in nature.
Indeed, perhaps the most important question for us to start off with considering…? Why is there a complete absence of anything remotely approaching these sorts of ideas – despite our now going on a century or better since first we might’ve begun to inch ourselves toward such (quantum) leaps forward?
Or posing it somewhat differently, why is it that our path toward asking the age-old existential “Why?” & “How?” strictly drawn from things many thousands of years old (no less, with the entirety of what we look towards here coming from things that are one and all of that same age!), each one of which being in nearly an identical form as what those living beneath ancient Imperial Roman rule themselves would’ve thought and believed about our world?
As much as we’ve learned since, as far as we’ve all come, and as greatly as our world has changed, I wholeheartedly believe that it’s inconceivable to think we can’t put assorted existential “puzzle pieces” together -those spread across various fields of thought, belief & study- in order to yield additional insight into the divine, along with something of a better understanding about our own existence as such. But… this is certainly something that hasn’t happened as of yet!
Now to be sure, different sects and subsets of those most ancient of faiths have gradually emerged over time (meaning from out of slightly more recent days than those of the Roman Empire’s heyday). We especially saw this happen around the time the Americas were being colonized, whereupon Protestantism spun out of a schism with the Roman Catholic church as Europe’s kingly royalty began to demand ever more power – including, just for starters, not having to kneel before a Pope placed over and above their own royal selves.
Then, Puritan settlers seeking religious freedoms on a far more widespread basis further took that “ball” and ran off with it; being of the sort who almost exclusively focused on bringing theological change from/to the perspectives of the average soul, rather than some mad elitist-centric power grab taking place between the thrones of unabashed autocrats.
This example does have another insight to be drawn from it, as well: The dawn of Protestant beliefs rather nicely demonstrates that any such innovation religiously need not necessarily involve “creating” some separate, completely different system of belief for oneself – throwing out the babes along with the bath water, to coin a phrase. Instead, we can (and should) continually turn towards all such sacred works one personally holds to have come to mankind from divinity. Much as those Protestants proved was possible so long ago, there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever as to why more contemporary thought and/or newly made discoveries can’t be incorporated around those ancient sacred words & Godly teachings, such as to arrive at something distinctly new and different in so doing.
That being said, anything fitting the bill quite like so? A truly new or genuinely different style of religious beliefs – one that openly embraces and incorporates modern scientific discovery/exploration, regardless of whether it’s as a part of or, instead, completely separate from existing theological thought?
Once again, regrettably no such thing has come to exist upon this Earth as of yet. Now then, I’m certainly not saying that any aspect of this here work remotely approaches that kind of thing… because it’s surely nothing anywhere close!
Instead, this represents only my own personal beliefs (a point that I feel compelled to repeatedly emphasize in these still early goings) – what I found myself literally, unequivocally forced to “come up with” in the absence of something that’s anything like the preceding (a religion both celebrating and worshipping a divine Creator, yet, at the same time, is also grounded in modernity and fully accepting of all our natural understandings made through scientific study over the past several centuries).
In other words, a faith which cherishes God, but that also doesn’t treat the all of humanity and human civilization like it’s some static, utterly unchanging “creature”; anything that doesn’t seem like it sees our world and ourselves as individuals to be 100% identical to the world and average person two or three thousand years ago… or merely even sharing in just 20% of the same characterstics with the world of those millenia old ancestors!
Because today we need only look back two or three centuries to see the unimaginable transformation the world has undergone in the time since. Specifically, looking to the year 1900 as the event horizon for when there was a most glaring & undeniable “before and after” point.
For it was back then, right around the time of the Victorian era, both the World Wars, and that Industrial Revolution, which collectively ushered in the electrical + nuclear ages to our civilization… and things shall never again be the same!
Furthermore, however, beyond 1900 itself? These past few decades have brought along almost as startling of a revolution to our way of life/daily existence as the same number of centuries previous up ’til that point in time. The new millennia: Good ‘ol Y2K! Much the same way that 1900 brought with it a totally different world through electricity and our various new modes of transport, 2000 saw the dawn of digital days with computing technologies transforming our whole wide world (one now with a “web” being newly tacked on to it, no less!).
Trying to envision just how magnificent of a transformation our world today has undergone is a fantastically daunting task for any to undertake, a world becoming wholly unrecognizable from what one encountered only some century and change previous. The age of electricity, fostering revolutions in transportation that transformed the globe into a much, much smaller, interconnected world. What with World Wars gifting nuclear eras of space races with men and women travelling the stars, ultimately rewarding us with that much celebrated digital dawn: Marking the start of our many computing technologies, something that’s rapidly racing into the future ever more and more quickly. Of late, every few years now finds a totally transformed new world that’s as dissimilar to what was the case only a decade prior as one could *ever* hope to imagine.
From computers the size of small buildings, then taking us on to the Moon and back again, before rapidly becoming available in our very own homes; as laptops become tablets and various different mobile devices. We’ve gone from those rudimentary calculating machines (abacus or what have you) to a crudely linked networked world; from radios to teletypes to faxing and ultimately cellular phones, now merging them all together as those same portable phones also serve as our own personal (quite complex) computers… wherein through them, we may have the entire world directly at our fingertips! Mobile technologies beget social media, and the world around us would (will) never again be quite the same!
Just right now, here today? We find tablets further simplifying and streamlining our computers; gadgets ensuring they can now go wherever we ourselves do: No longer being tied down to chairs, sitting before immovably bulky desktop PCs.
All of that, and yet it is those technologies whose arrival is now imminent that amount to the very most startling things of all! Much as our computers start hearing and seeing -understanding our vocal commands, comprehending our gestures and movements- devices are already long since in the works that’ll serve as actual ‘Universal Translators’ providing us all with instantaneous vocal translations; or else, through Augmented Reality means, a sign or page will have the words translated on the spot, overlaid in whatever the desired language of one’s choosing may be!
Or what of increasingly microscopic gadgetry, ultimately begetting nanotechnology? Where 3D Printing will again transform human industry, far more than even the Industrial Revolution hoped to manage – when we can “print” (at home!) anything our minds might fancy, where any industrial factory can pump out a car on the spot one moment, then a complex biomolecular medicine the next before producing computers, foods and goods, and so much more. All of that, using the same exact machinery with nothing being altered or changed by a single human hand, without any additional costs required for those automated transitions! It’ll truly be a world of “One (Factory) Size Fits All” with a “Jack (the Machine) of All Trades.”
Soon enough we shall bear witness to 3D display technologies improving the immersiveness of our many various digital environments – virtual reality doodads or gizmos attached to our heads alongside holographics and holograms; all kinds of wearable devices, of all shapes, sizes and types, for literally any purpose or functions imaginable!
As medicine and technology so improves further and further along, we could very easily attain actual immortality for ourselves -in many of our own lifetimes, no less! Wherein the first human being never to die is most likely a soul already having been born this very moment!
With integration in all our own homes themselves now rapidly becoming more commonplace with each passing day, as someone can turn a bedroom light on and off from their phone. No less, we find ourselves able to do so from anywhere on the entire planet – instantly! Someday soon, robotics and androids exploiting true artificial intelligence shall become machine sentience as our technology continues gaining the downright inconceivable ability to see and hear, both understanding as well as communicating directly with us all.
While the applications for such computer technologies at first were limited to the most basic of things – relatively simple math equations, often each taking many hours of time simply in order to process. As they so advanced, the development of digital networks soon arrives! The Internet, our World Wide Web itself, enabling an interconnected planet with mobile devices to and fro gifting us so-called “cellular” telephony.
Where today, right now, one can order a pizza without speaking a word, nor by having to interact with a single other person: The new dawn of online shopping and web-based marketplaces, as those Amazons and eBays revolutionizing the basic act of human commerce -transforming the all of everything economic and market-based in the process. In so doing, they suddenly allowed us to purchase at the comfort of home near abouts anything we can possibly imagine, from anyone located anywhere, and all without a single piece of metal or paper currency getting exchanged! Rather, they are transactions solely involving the rapid exchange of countless many invisible ones and zeroes at lightspeed; a Paypal deal, all achieved by way of tapping directly into our bank accounts, credit cards and/or otherwise.
All too soon, even the very last dwindling human element to the now relabelled act of e-commerce will be utterly removed, on the delivery end of things: Automated drones buzzing about the airways, as Amazon continues their forceful push ever onward towards unleashing a fleet of such high tech robotic aircrafts to compete with the birds for flight space high above all our heads.
In wrapping up this particular posting, let’s look only a quarter century into our past – back at the now far distant past world of 1990. Let us indeed go ahead and compare it with what we find today!
It’s really something of an incomprehensibly unrecognizable reality for us to behold, isn’t it, though? There certainly wasn’t any mobile universe “back then,” absent any social networking and so forth, or even so much as a basic World Wide Web (which wasn’t spun+woven until 1993!) Nor did most anyone possess a home PC at that time – not of any type or kind! Rather, our “personal” computers were all limited to the rarest few technophiles and isolated forward thinking visionaries (ones who were quite well-to-do, no less! What with the average PC back in those seemingly far removed days running folks anywhere from $4k to $5k… and up!!) not instead found as a commonality in every locale, spread across every corner of the globe whilst costing relative pennies on the dollar to what they once required from out of our pocketbooks.
Video tapes? They still used reels of real magnetic tapes (Those long ago days of “Be kind, rewind!”). Audio cassettes also did likewise, while movie theatres still used actual reels of film run on behemoth projectors – that even required a dedicated human projectionist simply to operate things!
As for computers, themselves…? Massive “floppy” disks (itself most archaic, even spelled still with an antiquated, outdated k, and not the contemporary c found in our “compact discs” and the like) and where various RAM memory meant kilobytes… at the very absolute best!
Today, however, finds optical media housing incomprehensible amounts of gargantuan digital binary data -plus USB thumbsticks and flashdrives of all kinds. Now, that very same RAM not only comes in at truly blazing speeds with every new iteration of DDR, its increasing capacity still grows exponentially: Kilobytes become megabytes becoming gigabytes (each one representing a growth of some 1,000 times over – a kilobyte being 1024 bytes, thusly making a megabyte 1024 kilobytes, and a gigabyte all of 1024 megabytes, so on and so forth; whereby, in the years still to come, this will keep progressing onward+upward to having RAM containing entire terabytes worth of all those impossible, countless many ones and zeroes!)
Having barely but scratched the surface despite this post’s endless wall of words, suffice it to say that our world irrefutably stands an entirely different construct with the form it exists in today. Once upon a time, these advancements were somewhat gradual and slow paced in nature. Now, however…? The rate of progress is truly breathtaking to behold. Just how breathtakingly fast is it, you may wonder? That’s precisely what we’ll be delving into – next time around, that is!