Sunday, November 14, 2010


Cyberpunk As Religion

Technically there is the movement of cyberpunk and it does not call itself a religion. Cyberpunks are of various ideologies including agnostics, atheists, or neo-pagans, and even skeptics who don't believe in any supernatural phenomena. Most are intelligent free-minded technocrats and artisans, They hold in common the values love their free life and love of tools, machines, and much ore more.
Believe in technology, for what it creates also becomes the new cyberpunk religion, or the synthesis of techno paganism and techno shamanism.
Dogma for the cyberpunk era is simple. Yet , the grand challenge as modern Pagans all the world over, is to balance our exploding technology with the forces of nature.
There is a definite strain of mystical, almost Gnostic sensibility that shows up even among those cyberpunks not actively involved with neo- or techno-paganism, Discordianism, or Zen. For example, hacker folklore pays homage to `wizards' and speaks of incantations and demons. It has too much psychological truthfulness about it to be entirely a joke.
Those cyberpunks who identify with a religious affiliation tend to be relaxed about it, hostile to organized religion in general and all forms of religious bigotry in particular. Many enjoy `parody' religions such as Discordianism and the Church of the Sub Genius.
Those who are religious, are seldom Christian. They tend to lean towards Zen Buddhism and to a lesser degree to Taoism. Often more than one religion is found in a single cyberpunk
Techno paganism - The Unification of Mysteries
Deep inside all of us, we feel a spirituality. Some of us are forced into a belief system which allows us to deal with our spirituality, but hinders our expression of real humanity. Christianity plays crazy games with sexuality. Atheism locks us away from our very need for spirituality.
But the new techno-magick is no longer is simple, serving us in the fields or in battle. It allows us to study the very nature, the goddess, we come from. It has become the new metaphysical magick and mystery school of today.
The force is great, and especially the programmers, laser jocks, scientists, and silicon architects can feel it. The technology has a spirit of its own, as valid as the spirit of any creature of the goddess.
This is the spiritual force we, those who are called technopagan, feel and must express. Not surprisingly, we find ways of bringing technology into our worship.
There is a strong spirituality within many of us we cannot hide from any more. It is as new as computers, but the force behind it is as old as humanity itself. We, as humans, are tool-makers. Magick has long been associated with the making of precision tools, axes, swords, goblets, fire.
Wicca is one path that many have found connection with.
Wicca is the modern worship of the nature goddess in her many robes, based upon old European religions. Wicca does a very good job of accepting what is means to be human, to be social, to be sexual, to be a woman, or to be a man. Wicca makes few dogmatic claims, indeed, it is a free-flow religion, with most formalities, if any, worked out by local covens. Many also have our ceremonies...our Raves, our Ham Fests. But we must seek further balance with the goddess...the Field Days, the Winnebiko, and more worship which mixes the tech with the nature.
Techno shamanism - An Introduction to the Universe
The shamanic worldview usually involves a belief in supernatural forces that can be accessed to cause alterations in "external reality". These supernatural forces are usually accessed through appeals to various "spirits", which live in a "spirit world" that can be accessed through dreams or other consciousness alteration methods (sweat lodges, psycho-actives, chanting, ecstatic dancing, etc.).
When the community has a problem that "mundane" means cannot solve, they go to the shaman for supernatural assistance. The shaman also orchestrates the rituals which bind the community together.
These spirits are amenable to interaction in the same way humans can be interacted with - threats, bribes, appeals, etc.
The shaman employs a mode of operation known as bricolage from the French word bricoleur or handyman. Unlike the engineer, who has some idea of theoretical principles which underlay a given practical implementation. The bricoleur has a set of techniques from which they pick and choose the appropriate tool to be used in the situation at hand.
It is not necessary to understand why something works, only that it does work. The shaman's set of tools include a set of symbolic associations to help determine how to affect certain spirits. For example, eagle feathers would be useful in contacting the archetypal Eagle.
Drug use, ecstatic dancing, and trance music are well-established in today's techno-shamanic subculture, as is their use in ritualistic events to bind communities together.
One can easily see a mapping between computer networks and the spirit world, and between computers and the powerful entities the traditional shaman interacts with.
Also shamans traditionally are associated with a community. Serving as the community's mystic, healer, sorcerer, and psychologist. The techno-shamanic worldview is an extension of this. It involves a belief that humanity's technological infrastructure has become so complex and vast that it cannot be entirely understood through use of an engineering-type theoretical construct.
Technological infrastructure obviously has a direct impact on how we live our lives. The techno-shaman serves the community by accessing the technological infrastructure, not as a tool-user ordering their machine to do something, but as one sentient being negotiating with another for the performance of a service.
These are the foundations of the religion, or not that is known as cyberpunk.
Read more:
" Those who said yes she classified as sheep, those who said no were goats. The results of the test showed that the sheep scored significantly above chance, which was interesting enough. What was even more extraordinary was that the goats somehow managed to score significantly below. That is to say, they were quite unconsciously 'cheating' to support their view..."
- From Mysteries by Colin Wilson


  1. That is a MOST Fantastic picture for this post, Blake! *thumbsup* I have no idea why I like it so much - I just do... something about contrasts, I suppose -

  2. Thanx MB. I felt that way to, it just struck me, like a virtual window with a little of an Islam flavor about the whole thing. Glad you appreciated it.