Through an evening lecture in the fall I got familiar with Russian Cosmism. They were a mixed group of philosophers, scientists, doctors, artists and authors, that emerged in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The group was lead by Nikolai Fedorov and they were united in the conviction that humanity was entering a new stage of evolution in which it must assume a new, active, managerial role in the cosmos.
One that especially caught my interest was Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. His ideas and thoughts laid the ground for the russian space program. With the notion of becoming cosmic he believed that humanity should inhabite space to become immortalized. According to Tsiolkowsky on earth as in space everything is made of atoms and the ultimate aspiration that these atoms are happy. All the atoms in our universe are continuously recycled across all existing material and organisms, plants, animals and humans. In term atoms can only be happy when being a part of the human body. In order to achieve this divine situation with an environment of total atom happiness, Tsiolkowsky’s solution is to eradicate all evil and suffering. To make every last atom happy an extermination of all deleterious and useless forms of plant and animal life is essential, thus declaring a “battle against the procreatic of defective people and animals.” To bring it to the point – we should destroy and eliminate all plants and animals, humans excluded.
Tsiolkovsky’s space program was supposed to open the cosmic way to the transfiguration and perfection of humanity, and finally to eternal salvation. The advancement into space was intended not merely to expand human powers and capabilities but also to rebuild the human body to accommodate it to the conditions of life in the cosmos. This development was supposed to bring forth a generation of superhuman who would be to us what we are to a unicellular organism. Ultimately, the human race would lose its corpereality and individuality and turn into a kind of radiation, “immortal in time and infinite in space.” The cosmists ultimately sought to spread humanitys noocratic rule over the universe, where the universal cosmic plan (turning humanity into an almighty importal organism) would be fulfilled.
The notion which is implied in Tsiolkowsky’s beliefs although some parts rather radical – has an esoteric part to it. Human beings eventually evolving into rays of light, waves of radiation and in that sense reaching immortality. On the other hand the notion of evolving into a superhuman being capable of living in space may also have had an influence on the emergence of cybernetics.