The Russian Cosmists
The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and his Followers
By George M. Young
Suppressed during the Soviet period and little noticed in the West, the ideas of the Cosmists have in recent decades been rediscovered and embraced by many and are now recognized as essential to a native Russian cultural and intellectual tradition. Although they were scientists, theologians, and philosophers, the Cosmists addressed topics traditionally confined to occult and esoteric literature. Major themes include the indefinite extension of the human life span to establish universal immortality; the restoration of life to the dead; the reconstitution of the human organism to enable future generations to live beyond earth; the regulation of nature to bring all manifestations of blind natural force under rational human control; the transition of our biosphere into a "noosphere," with a sheath of mental activity surrounding the planet; the effect of cosmic rays and currently unrecognized particles of energy on human history; practical steps toward the reversal and eventual human control over the flow of time; and the virtues of human androgyny, autotrophy, and invisibility.
The ideas of Nikolai Fedorov, as well as his disciple Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, are explored in the Museum of Jurassic Technology film, Obshee Delo (The Common Task) and the permanent exhibition, Dreams of Earth and Sky: The Ecstatic Journey of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.
Oxford University Press, 2012, hardcover, 296 pages.
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