On the tours I often mention that Teilhard de Chardin’s influence on Soleri is revealed by the fact that he wants to name a building at Arcosanti after him.
While his influence on Soleri’s Arcology vision and philosphy is unmistakable it is a bit confusing to consider the links between an aethist philosopher and one who was religious. Yet in seeing the Arcosanti video that tourists view before the tours it is also evident that Soleri has attracted many spiritual thinkers such as Harvey Cox of Harvard Divinity School.
In the article “The Cosmos, the Psyche & You” by Carter Phipps we see many interesting connections such as the mention of The Acquarian Conspiracy by Marlyn Fergerson. Fergerson was one of the panelists at Paradox III in 2001. The book is seem as popularizing the new age movement according to Phipps.
Yet he attributes the real relevance of New Age Thought to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Carl Jung.
Since Chardin is the focus of Soleri we will focus on him here. Arcology would not be Arcology if it were not for Soleri’s discovery of Chardin. The key components are all there Interiorization, complexity and meta-evolutionary theory – that is seeing Darwin’s evolution as part of a larger universal process of development that transcends the neo-Darwinists reductionistic understanding of life as revolving around Selfish Genes. Indeed what we see is a conscious universe in communication with itself through subtle means. Hence the term Noosespere. It was de Chardin he saw the evolutary process as indicating an emergent point that he called the Omega Point. Soleri then followed up on this with his book the Omega Seed seeing Arcology as the vessel or container upon which to germinate that seed and bring it forth as part of common and dominant human experience. As in a previous post I note the Technology Singularists and their notation of patterns emerging within technology development which seem to be converging in a synthesis that will fundamentally alter the human experience of reality as human beings and as living creatures.
Yet the question comes back to an essential understanding of the universe. Are pheonmena connected and links together in a holistic system that we little understand because we are bound by the conventional scientific understandings of the day that are based on the philosophy of modern reductionism? And while Soleri’s polemic against animism continues unabated, it seems that the very notion of noosesphese is saying that there is a life force around the planet that consists of energy flows between conscious beings. Possibly for monothests the idea of consciousness applies only to human beings and thus for Soleri Monothesism is the lesser of two evils (Animism being the greater evil). And yet why do we have to close our minds to the possibility that humans do not have a universal or even an earthly monopoly on consciousness?