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Seed2009 > Agenda > TheDestiny


From the SolSeedCreed

TheDestiny of SolSeed
is to take root amongst the stars.*

There is no moral imperative except that which you choose for yourself. If you choose to Join the SolSeedMovement you are choosing to believe that life and all that helps life thrive is precious. We believe that the next logical step in helping life thrive is to "Take root amongst the stars," which means literally to send life from our solar system out to settle in other star systems and grow new living worlds. In terms of the Gaia metaphor, those worlds would be Gaia's children, and we would be the seeds that plant them in new soil.

We call this TheDestiny to evoke the supreme value we place on this goal, not because we claim to know for certain that it will be achieved. As a TruthMovement, we understand that the future is uncertain and that this Destiny could be thwarted. But it inspires us to live within an epic story in which humanity can move away from its present destructive path and toward a path of creating more space for life, possibility, and wonder.

*TheDestiny as articulated in the SolSeedCreed is taken directly from Octavia Butler's Earthseed science fiction novels, Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. Indeed, the SolSeedMovement borrows a great deal both directly and indirectly from the religion of Earthseed as presented in Ms. Butler's books.

Why TheDestiny?

Negative reasons

Most scientists agree that our planet is experiencing its Sixth Great Crisis, and that humans are largely responsible for the outbreak of extinctions. The same goes for the climate crisis, which also poses an existential threat to the human race, or at least to civilization as we know it, and is part of the reason why so many species are going extinct. We have the power to prevent catastrophes of our own making, but for now there is no telling whether we will succeed.

And there will always be more dangers, because we live in a complex cosmos full of powerful forces. Large meteors, which have caused previous extinction events, are always a threat. And Sol is getting warmer, over a period of billions of years; it may render Terra uninhabitable within the next billion. Finally, at some point in the distant future, the sun will expand to the point that life as we know it may not be able to exist anywhere in this solar system. If we really believe that life is precious, we should move decisively to nurture and protect it. Life is vulnerable here ... all our eggs are in one basket.

In addition to the desire to create more "baskets," we might also eventually consider space as a safety valve for human overpopulation. It will take quite a while to develop enough space colonies and space-lift capacity to make this feasible (possibly requiring a space elevator or other hyperadvanced technologies), but ultimately we may be able to move enough humans to other outposts of life to significantly reduce resource pressures on Earth.

Positive reasons

Life is wonderful. As far as we know, its endless ability to create more diversity, complexity, and possibility in the face of universal chaos is unique in the universe. That alone is more than enough reason to try to bring life to worlds beyond Earth. That is the main reason why being worthy of and fulfilling TheDestiny are the two ultimate goals held by members of the SolSeedMovement.

Other positive reasons to expand into space include the potential for moving industrial activity into high orbit to prevent pollution, possible development of new clean energy sources like space-based solar power and helium-3 fusion, and the simple lure of exploration and going where no one has gone before. Here's one more:

What humanity actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of us . . . not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by us. -- Victor Frankl

This paraphrase of Frankl somewhat answers the question "Why TheDestiny?" For those that value SolSeed, nurturing and protecting the precious things we find in our Solar system is a moral imperative with great potential meaning. Having that kind of meaning in one's life is valuable in and of itself.

What TheDestiny Means in the Present Day

"The Destiny is important for the lessons it encourages us to learn while we're here on Earth, for the people it encourages us to become. It's important for the unity and purpose that it gives us here on Earth."
- Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

At this stage of TheDestiny the most important responsibility of the SolSeedMovement is helping humanity mature into its role as protector of SolSeed. This maturing process includes improving the quality of life for all of SolSeed everywhere in the world, including all humans. SolSeed is not about some elite group of humans building starship-shaped pyramids on the backs of an enslaved underclass, as a means of fleeing the world after we finish destroying the biosphere. Instead, the future we strive for is one where Earth is one of many healthy, thriving worlds that are home to civilizations that treat all humans and other creatures with respect and compassion.

Nevertheless, at first blush, TheDestiny can turn off some humanists. The vein of thinking goes:

"I don't want MY time and money going toward building big expensive spaceships that won't be finished in 100 years! My life could do so much more right now by bringing CleanDrinkingWater to a village that has never had this basic neccessity."

The paths that people take toward TheDestiny are, and should remain, as diverse and creative as the human race. So by all means, honor SolSeed and serve TheDestiny by bringing CleanDrinkingWater to those without! Follow your passion.

While some scientist types may feel that they are "least bad" at researching interstellar travel, many humanist types will discover that they are "least bad" at helping people out from under oppressive regimes or pursuing other traditional humanist goals. The comparative advantage principle of economic theory suggests that we can accomplish our goals with least waste when everyone does what they are "least bad" at.

Discussion at Seed 2009

Questions: Is TheDestiny absolute? Problematic? Essential? Optional? Are we space travelers?

What is "destiny?"

  • Ted: We make up our own destiny!
    • Lion: At the same time, TheDestiny really is the destiny of life on Earth; even if we resolve not to, that resolve will eventually crumble
      • Amber: But what about if we end up as brains in boxes?
        • Lion: What if a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly?
  • Amber: Destiny might be a feeling that can't be named

Brandon: We already are in space, among the stars

  • Amber: The Internet is like space, it expands
    • Brandon: and Life expands to fill it

Is destiny the right word?

  • Kevin: We have a tension between the poles of "Taking root/deepening roots" and "Flowering"; both should be considered part of TheDestiny
    • Roots are about healthy communities and a healthy, productive biosphere; seems to appeal more to women
      • Tied to ritual, tradition, down-to-earth, the sacred
    • Flowering is bringing life to space; seems to appeal more to men
      • Tied to challenging norms, transcendence
    • In between the two poles:
      • Regula: the gay and lesbian community is a vision of a different future, accepting the in-between
        • ex. kids who have to live on bridges in Zambia, supporting each other
      • Brenna: Bringing life encompasses both of those poles; "My Destiny is to bring life!"
        • Bonnie: SolSeed could exist to support all of us learning from each other about our different passions for bringing life
          • Lion: "This is what I mean by a non-totalizing society"--synthesis rather than compromise
            • But going to space is still essential to the uniqueness of SolSeed
            • The spaceships are for everybody
      • Julie: Bringing together "being here in the present moment" with "go way beyond"
    • Shelley: Having a Destiny broader than just going to space will help to reach more than just a few
      • We'll need more than just those few to build the spaceships!
        • Lion: No, goal should be to concentrate people whose mission is to build the spaceships; that's SolSeed's uniqueness as a potential society
    • Ted: Limits that we live within are artificial
      • "The idea of blowing past limits really moves me"
        • Ben: But some limits are important to live within and even "fall in love with" in the same way we're in love with freedom
  • Lion: If we're building a society, it's unusual in that it doesn't seek to be totalizing, instead seeking to serve humankind
    • The idea of having a vision of the future came to be seen as totalitarian in the 20th century
    • View SolSeed as like an organ within the body of all life; don't seek to make it as big as possible and consume the whole
      • Brandon: SolSeed was originally defined as the body of all life on Earth
        • Possible goal: help the different "organs" realize who and what they are
  • Julie: Start with bringing life to yourself, then your family, then your friends, etc. before you try to bring life to other worlds
    • Regula: Start by looking at "the seed of one's soul" and its roots, so we can grow faster
  • Bonnie: "The word Destiny is limiting for me because it implies a specific destination"
    • But if TheDestiny is to bring life, "that's perfect--not limiting"
  • Lion: TheDestiny is the mythic-level word for people who are sacrificing for a great task (space colonization in our case) and ask "Why am I doing this?"
  • Brandon: "For me bringing life is how we draw people in, whereas TheDestiny is 'mystery'"
  • Amber: This (implementation of the word Destiny) is a new idea, which means it may seem alien and strange at first, as are all ideas that are truly new. *There is a high level of activation energy in bringing a truth, vision, or idea from one's own mind into the mind into focus. Often, that focus only occurs during brief periods of time, and if one meditates on those periods of time, the periods of time can become more robust.
Then the second task begins -- and that is in bringing an internal mental concept or idea into the live of another. One that thinks differently than another needs a common denominator of understanding so that the idea can transit itself correctly from one person to another -- across a boundary that is less conductive than the neural networks in the mind -- across the boundary that separates one person from another.
  • But there is another boundary -- that of action. Getting an idea into action works in Architecture, but plans must drafted out correctly, so that the entire vision is seen by all, and each participant in building the structure has a different function. Not all are the same. Some are builders, others strategists -- some plant the trees, and others put art inside the building and carry furniture into the offices. But it is not fair to others to build a structure that harms many at the benefit of some. Constructing a part.
The goal is not to get as many people into this as possible, but to provide services in a form that is useful to others, like a building serves as a place for people. Each can contribute in a different way.
  • We need wider interfaces, higher resolution interfaces, higher bandwidth interfaces, with those not in our community, in order for them to understand the particular goals and interests of our community, our ideas and trials. Currently, people feel very different from each other, but we are all very similar in that we are human, and that we are united by the fact that we live on the same planet.
  • Not everyone is devoted to life, and to seeing broadly. Not everyone is a warring person or a philosopher king. But we all have a shared interested in maintaining life (our lives), but as a whole we comprise one life.
    • Start with bringing the idea from your own mind into the real world, then find ways to share it with other people who can use their own tools to understand it
  • Bram: This discussion is a recurring pattern with the others, approaching the same problem in different ways

Three-Level Identity was a follow-up to this discussion from Lion.


TheDestiny of SolSeed is a CreatedDestiny through which we practice and deepen our Creatorship.


TheDestiny of SolSeed is to send life to other star systems.


TheDestiny of SolSeed is Now. And Now. And Now. And ...

SolSeed has already taken root amongst the stars on a spaceship called Terra that orbits a star called Sol.


TheDestiny of SolSeed is inevitable. Life in its exuberant Creatorship of new life has always and will always overflow and transcend the old boundaries. The current frontier will someday be the base camp for the next frontier. Interstellar travel is simply an inevitable consequence of Life being Life. Deeper and more nourishing roots are simply an inevitable consequence of Life being Life.


TheDestiny of SolSeed is transcendent. By beholding TheDestiny, we become changed. If we can break through enough to send life to other star systems, then surely the artificial limitations we place upon ourselves and our communities around feeding and caring for everyone can also be transcended. By considering the transformations necessary to accomplish the most difficult thing we can imagine, we place our other desired transformations into a context in which those transformations seem manageable and possible now.

EitherOr Destiny

TheDestiny of SolSeed will either be a wimper or a celebration.

We are going to leave the planet to live in space. How do we want to leave the planet? As fugitives from the death we have wrought? Or as ambassadors of the fecundity we have nourished?

We are going to leave the planet to our children when we die. How do we want to leave the planet? As fugitives from the death we have wrought? Or as progenitors of the fecundity we have nourished?


TheDestiny of SolSeed is to flower in ever more complex and transcendant ways.


TheDestiny of SolSeed is to grow ever more nourishing roots.


TheDestiny of SolSeed in its literal and metaphorical forms is Mythic in Proportion. The Truths it provides access to and the selves it calls into being are the stuff of legend.


The taking of special varieties of roots that destine one to have sensations of being "among the stars."


I put this light out there and it calls me toward it.


Make a goal big enough and inclusive enough ... superordinate ... groups often bond when they have to work together to solve their tasks.


It's big enough and leaves room for enough interpretations that anyone who wants to can find a way to come on board.


If we are focused outward on solving a problem that requires all of us, we don't have time to create squabbles and other problems whose solutions don't exercise our creatorship.

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