GaiaEarthseed and the SolSeedMovement

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In 2005, the inspiration for SolSeed, the fictional religion of Earthseed central to the science-fiction novels Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler, independently gave me (Ben Sibelman) the idea to invent another real-world institution to be called "the Church of Gaia/Earthseed" (CoGE for short). Like Earthseed, this "religion" would not make reference to anything supernatural, instead basing its "theology" around James Lovelock's Gaia theory. The reason for keeping the framework of a religion was clear to me at the time: religions are capable of lasting for thousands of years, and long-term thinking is what humanity desperately needs in order to heal our living world and carry life to other worlds.

When I discovered SolSeed, I originally had the notion of adding CoGE as its "religious branch." But I gradually came to realize that by founding any kind of "religion," even one based on the scientific worldview, I was a) setting myself up to be ridiculed as a crackpot cult leader, and b) setting an absurdly high barrier to entry by asking people to "convert," i.e. give up their most deeply-held beliefs and replace them with my own. This kind of megalomania is completely against the grain of my personality, and I can only justify my blindness to it by saying that all my writings about CoGE were only notes toward a rough draft.

Instead of a scripture, I'm now merely seeking to contribute to the rough draft of the charter for SolSeed, an organization that could one day be capable of carrying a basic ethic already shared by almost everyone--that of valuing life--forward into the distant future, supporting the eventual goal of TheDestiny. To this end, I am proposing a reorganization of the existing content on the SolSeed website, to clarify that the idea of SolSeed is multifaceted and more than just a movement. It is still not a religion, but can be viewed through one "facet" as a scripture that is compatible with any kind of faith. It is also a philosophy and a community.

--Scifiben 23:40, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

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