User:Jeremygbyrne/Xianity

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Xianity is a eumetic orthopraxy developed in the middle-noughties by Sarah Ellen Bennett (aka Sylvia Roslyn La Some). At its height in the early twenteens, Xianity claimed upwards of 45 million adherents.

Name[edit]

Xi'an is the name of the city in Shaanxi province, China. Bennett chose the city as the focus of her nascent religion both because of its cultural significance and because the name means Western Peace. La Some has also admitted ([1]) that X-ian could be seen to imply Christ-ian.

Although variant pronunciations are de rigeur within Xianity, the "official" pronunciation is very similar to the English "sane".

Origins/Inspirational Writings[edit]

Early in her career Bennett, a graduate anthropologist and social theorist, published a "pop-science" book entitled The Monkey Riders of Terra, in which she fictionalised her personal theories about the origins of human culture in a (nomadic, matriarchal) Golden Age brought to a close as a result of the meddling of the remnants of an intelligent species antedating humanity. This book, published originally as fiction, evolved into an informal cosmogony for much of mainstream Xianism.[citation needed]

Bennett's later alternate histories, published in part as The Alchemy Cycle, were seen by most within Xianity as something between meritorious works of allegorical fiction (albeit with strong spiritual and philosophical overtones) and mythopoetic noble lies in the eumetic tradition, and by Bennett's many detractors as something between apologetics repositing unpopular elements of Xianist dogma and wishful ego-fantasies.

History[edit]

Philosophy and Theology[edit]

Xianism is a dualist pantheism incorporating elements of the Abrahamic religions, New Age beliefs and (in later manifestations) a range of other traditions. Its founder considered herself a follower of Universal Sufism, but Xianism teaches that "all roads lead to the Heart [of the universe]", and instructs converts to incorporate Xianist beliefs and practices into their original faiths. Despite this, much of Xianity's foundation texts repudiate "paternalist Monotheism" (referred to in 2008's Rite to Life as "The Fear").

Xianity specifically encourages its adherents to trust in "The Heart" (a coinage intended to convey a conflation of "emotional conscience" and "universal mind") rather than in reason (although she contradicts this several times in her writing, such as when, in Xian, she discusses the memetic utility of the Kalama Sutta). Its Christian philosophical influence emphasises the Two Commandments over the Ten Commandments (cf. Doukhobors), and its "aggressive ecumenism" led it to affiliate with a range of similar movements (eg. Lovarchy) in its early years.

Healing[edit]

Xianity teaches that the body is the physical aspect of the consciousness (or, the agent via which the consciousness interacts with the physical universe, depending on the text in question). As such, the sect's practical evangelism includes the teaching of a range of therapeutic techniques intended to maintain and improve the health of the body. Such techniques include muscle release, deep tissue massage and physiotheraputic exercises as well as yoga and Tai Chi. Some "shards" have also focused on complex dietary and allergen analysis, and the prescription of highly individualised diet as a key to health. Xianity teaches a total encompassing healing system that maintains control of mind activities and bodily functions.

Theory of Consciousness[edit]

Classical Xianism is panpsychist, embracing a dualist electromagnetic explanation for the origin of mind. In The Monkey Riders cosmogeny, the firing patterns in neurons of Homo erectus related to primate grooming, stimulated into a kind of critical synchronicity by the rhythmic nature of its footfalls during high-speed bipedal locomotion, produced an em-wave based bio-feedback mechanism. The "brainwaves" induced a sensation of numinosity — of "connectedness" and of "imminence" — by altering neuronal electrochemical potentials in the relevant regions of the physical brain. The resultant incentive mechanism led to the early stages of sapient self-awareness, to music and particularly to singing — as well as to a special form of long-distance running.

Language — which supposedly developed a mere 40,000 years ago and is selected for partly because its rhythms are able to deprogram traumatised amygdalae (where fears are remembered), partly because the time-structures in narrative create inter-hemispheric resonances (see Bicameralism) and partly because language acts as an aural "grooming" — piggybacks on this em-wave phenomenon (and the hominids' musical nature) and, in what is obviously a reference to Burroughs' famous quote, Bennett's protagonists discover that an ancient ophidian virus made use of the "consciousness field" to take control of the course of human development in an invasion event in the Northern Caucasus 9,500 years ago. In a figurative sense, as it develops from a simple sense of wonder into a fully-fledged sapience, Bennett's non-material consciousness interpenetrates its biological substrate, colonising and transforming it in a way redolent of hermeticism.

Hypnosis and self-hypnosis are central elements of dogma, reflecting the belief in the power of the pre-linguistic em-wave (cf. Snow Crash).

Allegory and metaphor aside, Xianity suggests that the source of philosophical and psychological turmoil in human society is ultimately traceable to the pathological dominance of the conscious mind over the unconscious ("Head over Heart" [2]), leading in turn to "sociopathic individualism" and the dismantling of the group dynamics responsible for the success of the species.

"Drug" Controversy[edit]

In mid 2010, under La Some's direction, Xianism adopted "a positive official position" [3] on the pseudo-anandamide chewing-gum Happiness. Despite the results of the 2008 UN Special Session, Xianism was as a direct result banned in the US, Singapore, Israel and Mali in October 2011.

Xianist Writers[edit]

  • SRL (aka. "the messenger")
  • Co Thanh of Xian (an early "convert")

Famous Xianists[edit]

Vermillion[edit]

The official colour of Xianity is vermilion, which is found naturally as cinnabar, or synthesised from sulphur and mercury. The related colours amaranth, alizarin and carmine are also featured in Xianist vestments.

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]