GaiaEarthseed and the SolSeedMovement
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 creating the text for any kind of religion, 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)