Thursday, October 11, 2012

I am an Agnostic, and a Transhumanist. I am also a Mormon.

"I do not take seriously any Liberal who is not a Christian, nor any Conservative who is not an Agnostic or Atheist." — Stanczyk

You cannot truly understand Mormonism unless you embrace heterodoxy, that is, until you stop allowing others to define truth for you. It is with this in mind that I put forth the following:

What is Transfiguration?

Doctrine and Covenants, section sixty-three, verse fifty-one reads that one day, “...children shall grow up until they become old; old men shall die; but they shall not sleep in the dust; but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye.” This is what is known in Mormonism as Translation, or permanent Transfiguration.

I believe the transition from a telestial or stellar (scattered, isolated) state of consciousness to a terrestrial state (see Doctrine and Covenants, Section 76 for the most important and illuminating text in all of Mormonism) also implies a moral transfiguration. Additionally, I believe this shift is possible for some of us—but not all—preceding the anticipated physical transfiguration during the so-called Millennium. I do not see this transfiguration as necessarily overcoming physical or moral weakness, but rather overcoming egoism—or death, in a figurative or spiritual sense—which is in many cases the source of our weakness. I believe figures like Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, et cetera were all able to undergo this transfiguration without an accompanying physical transfiguration. In that sense they and others attained "Christ" despite being mortal (I believe in the "legendary Jesus", but strictly as a legend and not historical fact).

Being in a terrestrial or lunar (unified, enlightened) state of consciousness means "knowing the knower", even though we have not yet obtained a "fulness". This is where the proper but largely misunderstood concept of grace comes into play. As Christians and Mormons, we personify the "Light of Christ"—which is known in many different religious and philosophical traditions albeit by other names—as the corporeal Jesus and set him up as "the Way". I do not mind this as long as we acknowledge that this Light illuminates all religions and, in fact, every aspect of our lives. Furthermore, the transition from a terrestrial to a celestial or solar (emanating, whole) state of consciousness means "being the knower", that is, having a fulness of knowledge and love. This is what it means to become a god in Mormonism.

It is in this way that I have a deep and enduring testimony of Mormonism while simultaneously being an Agnostic and a Transhumanist. In other words, I submit that all religion is merely self-fulfilling prophecy—a dim outline—adding that Mormonism is particularly effective at arousing and pointing the mind to the loftiest of possibilities, thereby provoking the "strenuous mood", so to speak—even to the extent that it arouses fear and disgust in others. This is why I believe it is not impossible that Joseph Smith and other mystics throughout the ages have literally mingled with post-humans, the evidence being that Joseph did not always seem to comprehend the nuance or profundity of his own revelations.

From this religious inclination sprouts art, (then) philosophy, (then) science, and "humanity" itself. For the record, this is why I consider the New Atheist movement short-sighted and ignorant despite that fact that it renders the invaluable service of removing the stumbling blocks of dogma and blind faith that beset us all, thereby helping religion to "shed its skin".


  1. dang - just commented but lost the comment in trying to publish.

    "all religion is merely self-fulfilling prophecy- a dim outline..."

    i love this line. i've been studying evolution of consciousness lately, mindfulness (as scientific intervention and as way of being), and versions of epistemology. this statement resonates with me. i think we could take it to be critical at ourselves as a species "why are we prophesying ourselves far short of our potential?" uchdorf talked about this a few years ago. my idea of divinity holds both the challenging critique and the loving acceptance of where we are at (the long suffering of our becoming trials and errors). god's work will be done. we will self-fulfill ourselves to zion. not as passive non-participants. but as awakening engagers who do not kick against the pricks but who do awaken and expand to hold all the fullness that exists. all the suffering and all the joy. our hearts and minds will swell in collective atonement and god's will be done. the question i want to pose to myself - over and over - am i prepared and willing to become the zion that is here and now. in every moment and repent (retain in mindful rememberance) and reconcile continually. and can i let go of the natural man (fear and reactivity) that return to me and pull me from zion into caring about the matrix of my "providing for my family" life? i want to awaken with the world. she is awake and i am hesitant.

  2. I like very much that you identify the fundamental differences/distances between Telestial, Terrestrial, and Celestial. Have any LDS church memebers reading this blog ever stopped and looked at their children, in particular babies? Have they ever considered the perfection, innocence and even the deep knowing of babies? Have "active", "born in the covenant" Mormon readers of this blog ever paused and considered how as little children in "primary" they were coaxed backwards from their innate Celestial qualities as Sunbeams down the scale of glory to Telestial Stars? No, of course they have not considered such things. No reason to break with the false traditions of the fathers or question anything, especially when it comes to the treatment of our little ones. Right?