394. Retreat (X)
Reality is an animal, the cosmos; in short, we inhabit an animal as a sub-system within it and the sub-systems that constitute us are, in turn, replicated at higher levels—the macrocosm and microcosm. When we speak about a universe, we tend to think about a situation that is entirely mechanistic and, if you like, “dead”; the cosmos, by contrast, lives—it is a live animal—and we can find its traces within us in endless recursion; as the esoteric thinkers say: as above, so below.
Our role, as man, could be said to be to bear witness to the organism: we are the material universe knowing itself; and as we know it we turn it into the living cosmos—so completing the loop. As previously noted, the view neatly joins science and religion, since these are simply different sides to the same loop; as with the Möbius strip, the sides touch but the locations at which they join are not immediately apparent; although if you unfurl the strip—endlessly unfurl it—then the places where the two meet become apparent.
This situation could be termed cosmo-cyber mysticism; and it explains why Spengler was correct to posit Russia as the coming cultural force in this century. As with esoteric thought, the cybernetic system is built from small processes to complexity; from microchip switches to AI or from Pythagorean tetractys to Mandelbrot sets; and, in turn, the simplicity beneath reasserts itself at the highest level, usually through stories or symbols. Soon we will build machines that will be very much like us, for we are built on the same principles; at a certain point—when matter and consciousness mesh in a strange loop—we become imitation machines, we reflect the reality around us. The Russians are the ideal people to thrive in this cybernetic world because they think in cosmic terms; the Russians have cosmonauts, after all.
Their major space station was called Mir; the word means both “peace” and “village”—it reflects the way, unlike Western Faustian man, the Russians conceive reality as enclosed and comprehensible. Faustian man reaches for the distant stars—American astronauts—but Russians, through Orthodoxy, see the Hermetic view; in a cosmos where microcosm and macrocosm are apparent everywhere, then you are never not in “the Mir”—the village is everywhere (even in the largest space), just as the larger process is apparent in the smallest and vice versa; the Russian is never not in “the cosmic animal”.
Indeed, before the Bolsheviks took power the lead Russian rocket scientist, Tsiolkovsky, a man who later inspired Korolev—father of the Soviet space program—developed a quasi-religious belief system called “cosmism”; Tsiolkovsky annoyed the Soviet authorities because he posited that there is a hidden intelligence that pulls man about as if he is a marionette. The view is basically Gnostic: Tsiolkovsky identified the cosmic trickster demiurge, Pepe. A believer in panpsychism—entirely consistent with a living cosmos—Tsiolkovsky thought space travel needed to be developed because science would eventually literally resurrect the dead, fulfilling the Christian promise, and so more room would be required on other planets. This philosophy informed the Soviet space program—whatever official Communist ideology said—and again points to Russia, the first county to develop space travel, as a land where cosmo-cyber mysticism will come to full fruition.
The Chinese, supposedly the coming power, have no space program as such; this was a country that burned her exploration fleets centuries ago—the Chinese are far too self-satisfied to explore beyond their own bounds. Consequently, it is the Russian viewpoint—instantiated in a renewed Orthodoxy—that is best equipped to deal with the new mystical cosmo-cyber world where we gno through uncanny paranormal acts and relate to matter, machine-men, that has come alive. The Western worldview is too mechanistic and rigid to deal with this new world, whereas Russia, with her onion domes, is prepared: the onion has many layers, just like the recursive shapes that constitute our strange new geometry.