Sunday, 23 June 2013

Virtual India: Avatars in a Hindu Future


Today I attended a conference that included a discussion of Futurism and Spirituality.  It did not surprise me that most of the images in the power point that cover spirituality used Hindu images.  There is something attractive to post-humanists and futurists (who flock to Second Life) in Hindu Mysticism.

Unlike most of the other religions there is something very Science Fiction about Hindu Myth and Art, about the discussion of other planets, the idea of progress from base material forms to higher forms of consciousness.  The futurist idea of evolving and perfecting consciousness does not fit well with the concept of life and death in Western traditions where one life is a test for eternity.

Ian M Banks book Surface Detail showed a futurist image of technology deployed to create the Christian afterlife: a terrible hell.

When you really think about it the eternity of Christian faith is not very well worked out.  When I rise from the grave to Heaven will I look as I did when I died?  If I am in hell say 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years for something I did as a child, will I maybe get a second chance?  For technologists Christianity and Islam concepts of spiritual dimensions seems like a poorly worked power point.

Hinduism, with is planets, with it re-incarnations and transmigration and its concepts of multiplicity, avatars and evolution are all more attractive to a futurist: and perhaps most is rather than presenting, as the Jewish Bible presents a book of laws the Hindu scriptures provide manuals for using the human technology.

So the future has a religion: its Hindu/Buddhist in nature though.

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