Karmatom is offered as an alternative to traditional religion, fostering rational awareness, contemplation and action to preserve the continuum of life that evolved on Earth. As the alpha species with the power to preserve or destroy, we must correct the traits that brought us here or we will cause our own demise. Time is running out to reconcile the consequences of obsolete behaviors. A new epoch lingers just beyond our grasp–an age where we choose rationality over reflexive overindulgence–a self- improved homo sapien that’s somehow able to overcome pervasive base emotion-driven delusions. This is our path and choice of self determined evolution.
1. The Humanity Paradox
Dictionaries state that “humanity” is the quality or state of being human, linked with kindness to other humans and animals. The term also carries the meaning of an overarching empathy and commitment to reducing harm and pain in living things. “Humanity” and “humane” tend to be used interchangeably in this way to connote sweeping compassion, but this is view is inconsistent with the sum of human behavior.
We call out all humans collectively for their role in falling short of these ideals. We must redefine humanity and foster a better mental framework. As a species, we have demonstrated broad ineptitude: we’ve failed to protect this planet from the extremes of our exploitation and we’ve neglected to elevate humanity to act consistently with compassion. These are clear indications of malfunction and there’s ample evidence that our delusions loop through most networks in society.
Societies are the products of the institutions that direct them. How then, can so many individuals anticipate better outcomes while supporting institutions that suppress corrective measures? If we indeed prioritize humans, should we not universally accept deeper limits to the indulgences that exploit? Invalidating, removing or reinventing institutions is needed more than ever. Destroying the cradle of life is contrary to our long-term existence is a paradoxical disconnect. This is what society programs us to do through excessive consumption and expansion. To counter this, enlightened minds must organize stronger counterpoints that disrupt default programming.
We strive to correct the human condition through gatherings and a culture that compels deeper introspection about our place and role in the universe. This is the only planet where life as we know it can exist. We must redefine humanity in concept and practice.
2) Deep Humanity
We control everything in the world except ourselves. If we were to invoke our full potential and highest ideals, both individually and collectively, how would our actions manifest in the purest, most reductive form?
Deep Humanity is the process of awakening and defining our high purpose in preserving life while reducing suffering as stewards of this world.
The path of Deep Humanity cultivates:
- Rational and expansive awareness of the structure and history of the universe, solar system, and earth.
- Comprehension of the evolution of life, geologic and climate history and extinction events.
- Understanding our anthropological roots, formation of societies, and mentalities including the role of delusion.
- Adoption of self-mediated and collective best practices for overcoming the human condition (our inclination toward oppression, negative disruption and destruction).
3) Karmatom is the foundational belief system. Karma is real, not exactly in the religious sense, but within the universe and nature itself. Exploring the Humanity Paradox and vision for Deep Humanity establishes the foundation. For atheists, this can become a rallying point; a source of solidarity. There’s a place for agnostics, for science opens more unanswered possibilities to ponder. There’s a place here for religious converts who align with religious principles designed to quell violence, but were corrupted by institutional power and their contradictions of rational thought.
Karmatom is reverence for the universe. Atomic infrastructure is the foundation of our existence.
Everything in the physical universe is composed of atoms, many of which have existed for centuries and are constructed from subatomic particles that have been with us since the beginning of time. Atoms are the moderators between these fundamental particles and molecules that form animate and inanimate objects.
The atoms in our bodies were once part of something else: a star, comet, dinosaur, fungi, worm, insect, bird, a plant. Within us there are atoms that could have once been part of anything that ever existed, cycling to maintain a platform for consciousness. Our minds are electro-chemical patterns expressed from this collection of atoms in the form of a human for a brief time, existing as a mind that’s self-aware. We’re literally, as Carl Sagan noted, a manifestation of the universe contemplating itself. We came from atoms and will return to atoms. Where life exists, atoms will recombine as life again. If intelligent life is sustained to a distant future, your atoms will one day–once again–be part of a mind wondering where it came from and what its purpose is.
A species capable of creating a civilization where information can transcend individual lives and be conveyed to future beings generates legacy automatically. A problem emerges when such a species lacks universal purpose beyond reproduction and domination. Our current mode of existence answers primarily with a chaotic juxtaposition of irrational belief systems contrived long before scientific inquiry and mass communication were understood.
For the past half century, humans lingered on the cusp of failing The Great Filter, the theory of why no other intelligent life has been detected in the universe despite overwhelming statistical odds that there should be. The Great Filter consists of a number of existential threats that inhabitants of a planet must overcome in order to survive long enough to be detected by other intelligent life. Some of these tests, such as escaping cosmic collisions are beyond our current technology. Other tests, such as avoiding self annihilation through nuclear war, we’ve narrowly averted, though the threat looms greater now than ever before. Other tests in the Great Filter involve balancing population resources with ecosystems, preserving atmospheric balance and sustaining diverse speciation. The latter are problems we not only created four ourselves, but seem to be inept at resolving. This is the Anthropocene Era–a mass extinction in process–triggered not by cosmic collisions or volcanoes, but by our inability to overcome ourselves.
At a basic level, the desire to leave a legacy motivates us to guard and expand our familial genetic presence. Evolution encoded the procreation trait into all living things while nature designed a system to correct any species that unbalanced an ecosystem–until humans came along. We over-ruled the natural order and gamed nature’s system through ingenuity, collectivism, and resource consumption. Did we win this dominance as if evolutionary competition was designed to reward the winner with stability, or did we merely trap ourselves within the rubric of our grand self-importance? As long as we continue to be driven by genome-encoded animal traits, our position of dominance dooms our own existence. This is a key area where humanity fails itself, for we constantly promote the selfish and ultimately self-destructive traits of evolutionary programming, often without consciously realizing we are doing so.
Consider the meaning of genetic legacy: It’s a sense of continuity expressed as DNA in offspring, and the conveyance of information, knowledge and other assets that we think preserve the continuity of what we feel we’ve accomplished in life. The self-destructive limitation inherent in this view rests in DNA expansion being the basis of purpose. At one time it was righteously so, but we failed to correct ourselves at a benchmark we’ve long passed.
Once we attained global alpha species status and developed other forms of information continuity (printing, electronic communication and storage), we crossed a threshold. The time behind us established our dominance within a system that restricted our species and from that point we became the system of oppression. It’s not that nature couldn’t stop us, for it eventually will, even if it must collapse to rid the planet of humans. As the ruling elite we must surpass the programming that enabled our rise. Prioritizing expansion dooms the planet we think we control, and most certainly our ruling of it.
DNA legacy is paradoxically irrelevant to a civilization causing its own collapse. Resources are finite and we’re long past sustainable equilibrium. An answer to this dilemma lies in the notion that continuity remains the ultimate objective, but not through procreation. Legacy becomes the continuity of thought outcomes from our efforts in life. We must develop and strengthen how we validate this fact to ensure that future combinations of our atoms will support a form of sentience that marks our existence. This is the only way we’ll transcend the Great Filter at this stage of development.
Everything is connected, everything is one, and everything affects everything else. The atoms that find their way into higher, mobile life forms impact what happens to inanimate and lower life forms, all of which have the potential to recombine into a controlling life form through atomic reconstruction. This is cyclical karma on atomic scale. If some religions compel followers to care for life because doing so advances their standing through reincarnation, we can embrace our high purpose in fulfilling reverence for all things, any of which may contain our atoms. This is more than self-interest for what our atoms will become, for awareness and contemplation of our atomic synergies serves to alter the course of our existence in positive ways. Translation into a belief system becomes our contribution to society.