Written from a cosmological and millennial perspective, Howard Cook's Be Done on Earth takes a radical view of the current plight of territorial human conflict and proposes that a deeper philosophical reading of Jesus' statement in the Gospel of Luke, "Suffer little children to come unto me" offers justification for the church to take on the role of a "real mother-father of real children," to give birth to a new noble human star species.
Mixing genres with postmodern abandon Be Done on Earth starts off like a novel, calls itself an "encyclical," begins with an "Introduction" four chapters long that develops into an interview, before launching into a "manifesto" with an "abstract" like a physics paper, then launches into a series of chapters that swing between formal philosophical discourse, social criticism, gospel critique, and ominous prophecy.
Presented as the work of "Pope John the Beloved" -- seemingly fictional-- the abstract reads: "Recently, in less than one circuit of the solar system around the galaxy - a new species, Homo sapiens, has appeared on Earth. Within the past 60,000 years two genes involved in determining the size of the Homo sapiens brain have changed significantly. That factor plus the present burgeoning of technology and the empirical sciences indicate that the species is evolving at an accelerating rate. In the third millennium CE the pace of Homo sapiens evolution may reasonably be expected - in a socially stable global environment -- to become asymptotic.
"From childhood games to geopolitics, from families and street gangs to nations and empires Homo sapiens are characteristically preoccupied with marking and defending territorial boundaries. Biologists and anthropologists discredit the theory that "the territorial imperative" is genetically determined. Is it, then, a cultural development? Is Homo sapiens devotion to marking and defending territorial boundaries an expression of "instinct" - an inborn recognition that terra firma is the source of its sustenance?
"To date Homo sapiens have generated 21 civilizations, 19 of which are dead or moribund. In their struggle for territorial dominion, all these civilizations have found tribal cohesion and sanction in religion. Civilizations are generated and sustained by religions. And a civilization dies when its religion dies. Nietzsche's observation that "A nation that believes in itself will hold fast to its own god." is applicable not just to nations but to entire civilizations.
"Homo sapiens are presently polarizing around two tribal centers, militant Islam and decadent Christendom, competing for territorial dominion on a global scale. When a tribe whose members are not disposed to die for its preservation is under attack from a tribe that is so disposed the tribe under attack is not likely to be the victor. "The destruction which has overtaken a number of civilizations in the past has never been the work of any external agency," Toynbee tells us, "but has always been in the nature of an act of suicide." In its present state of moribund decadence Christianity is suicidally poised between order and chaos. It can recover its spiritual poise and hegemony by resolving the conflicts between its science and its theology.
"Under the stimulus of blows from militant Islam, Western civilization , can set its religious house in order and recover its messianic mission: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel."
"Unlike empirical science the Judeo-Christian myth carries memes of socially creative significance. Previously more intuitively felt than rationally understood, myth, memes and morphic resonance, are now accessible to rational analysis. The cosmology of Judeo-Christian myth and the cosmology of the final anthropic principle, FAP, are compatible. The final anthropic principle does not, however, offer proof of the existence of "God." But it does shift the tropes of religious faith.
"Homo sapiens are presently at an evolutionary dead end. With the Jesus narrative as a cryptic information code for human evolution, Homo sapiens can be replaced in the third millennium by their transhuman descendants. These are presently appearing on the scene, and have been given the label Homo nobilis stellaris.
"The Gospel According to Luke, rightly understood, establishes scriptural precedent for a genetical engineering program to implement and facilitate that process. A tiny enlightened minority radiating memes and morphogenetic fields of immense creative potency can move into the evolutionary vanguard, take direction of Christendom's universal church and turn the myth of the Virgin birth from theoria into praxis. In deference to the principles of eugenics eroticism and procreation under ecclesiastical auspices will be disjoint. For eroticism is an individual problem. The problems of procreation are collective."
Be Done on Earth (ISBN 1-4241-2558-8) is available from Barnes & Noble or from Amazon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With a double major in philosophy and comparative literature Howard E. Cook received his BA from the University Tennessee, and went on to earn an MA in English at the City College of the University of New York City before purusing advanced studies in French language and literature at the Alliance Francaise and Schiller International University in Paris. He has worked for some of the major publishing houses in New York City, plus TIME, LOOK, and Fortune magazines and taught both French and English in private and public schools from K through college.
Cook is the author of SWIFTER THAN EAGLES, a non-fiction novel telling the story of an insurrection on 1946 in Athens, TN, where he was born and now lives and writes. SWIFTER THAN EAGLES, a non-fiction novel published in a limited edition of 2,500 copies at $15 a copy, was a runaway best seller locally. Out of print but still in demand, SWIFTER THAN EAGLES has been offered on Amazon and eBay at prices above $600 a copy. The limited first edition of his novel THE WEED & THE WINTER SOLSTICE, with dust jacket art by José Argüelles, is also selling as a rare book.
BE DONE ON EARTH is a radical manifesto calling for a complete reformation of Christianity. Cook's present work in progress is a sequel to BE DONE ON EARTH. The title: COGS, The Church of the Second Coming. COGS is an acronym standing for three different terms: 1) Church of the Global Salvation, Church of the Galactic Salvation, Church of the Gay Salvation, three inseparable modes of universal salvation. BE DONE ON EARTH is radical; COGS is a program for a eugenics center world revolution.