I have been working on an ‘ecological’ version of Mormon theology. This is a doodle of what I think is important to include. My apologies to the ghost of Wittgenstein.
1.We are embodied.
1.1 Our embodiment is not incidental. It was not merely to take a particular shape.
1.2 Our bodies engage with other forms of mater. Our bodies structure our thoughts through physical processes—through neurology.
1.3 Our physicality is part of a divine process. A divining process.
1.31 We have a mother and a father.
1.32 They are divine and have been through this process.
1.4 Our bodies will be redeemed.
2. Our body is not a single thing. It is an ecology.
2.1 Our bodies are made with deep dependencies on multiple relationships.
2.2 These dependencies are best described as multiple and ecological. They include dependencies of scale that include multiple independent agents acting together to maintain and structure the body.
2.3 Our bodies are composed of at least three kinds of agents.
2.31 First, agents that grow and reproduce true to type, but are limited to a finite number of generations, which depend on the life of the body for life. Our cells are an example.
2.32 Second, agents which have the capacity to create generations that exist beyond the current life of the body, and can create further bodies. Gametes are an example.
2.33 Last, agents that the body depends on, but can either exist independent of the body like essential bacterial commensals, or are integrated completely into the body and form an essential part of the body, such as mitochondria agents.
2.34 These agents live at different scales of integration and include cellular organelles, cells, organs, commensal organisms, and those organisms upon which the body depends.
2.4 One of the ecological components of the current human body is a spiritual agent.
2.41 This spiritual agent, like a soil Mycelium, infuses the body, changing its nature, but in turn is changed by it.
2.42 Some of these spiritual agents can be termed the children of divine parents, call these S-agents.
2.5 The body is an emergent community, that is it is more than the sum of its parts. The parts can only be explained by reference to the whole and visa-versa.
2.4 The redemption of our bodies is an ecological redemption.
3. Evolution is an a priori principle for all objects having the following relationships: variation, inheritance, and selection.
3.1 Temporal objects having the quality, ‘life’ on this planet have these three properties and have evolved and continue to evolve.
3.12 Our bodies are evolved objects.
3.2 Our bodies have come out of the dust of this Earth.
3.21 The Earth is rightly called, “The Mother of Men*.”
3.3 The evolution of our bodies, and all earthly bodies took time.
3.4 The evolution of our bodies imposes many ad hoc structures. For example, the brain is built in layers, with primitive reptile-like components undergirding the more advanced structures.
3.5 Our bodies evolved in an ecological context that have deep roots in Earth’s physical and biological processes and have been structured by this long process.
3.51 Like an island ecosystem, which begins with the invasive seeds of grasses that prepare the soil in order for it to receive more complex biological communities after a long process of multiple ecological successional stages culminating in a climax community type, the human body is not ready to receive the S-agent “mycelium” until later successional stages.
3.6 The first bodies to receive S-agents where called Adam and Eve.
3.61 It should not be inferred that other sorts of possible spiritual agents cannot form ecological relationships with other types bodies or earlier stages in the evolution of our bodies.
4. Human agents form relationships with one another.
4.1 These relationships form societies.
4.2 These bodies, relationships, and societies form relationships with other agents in ecological relationships.
4.21 These ecological relationships are multiple, complex and form emergent larger-scale processes.
4.3 These societies can be redeemed.
5. Christ redeems us from the fall into this ecology.
5.1 The Fall of S-agents into this ecology, produces restraints and opportunities. It is fortunate in that it provides new emergences which god desires, but its effects come with consequences that forever change spirits.
5.2 Ecologies are always vulnerable. Processes can arise that will destroy the ecological integrity of ecologies, pushing them out of kilter.
5.21 A depauperate ecosystem is one in which essential ecosystem requirements are missing. They are unstable, chaotic, lack diversity, and ultimately collapse.
5.22 S-agents always form a depauperate ecology with earthly bodies. This is manifest as sin.
5.3 Christ atonement allows Him to heal and make whole all physical and spiritual ecologies.
5.31 Those willing to form a relationship with Christ form a stable embodied ecosystem.
5.32 This stability is only possible by choosing to form a relationship with Christ.
5.4 This is redemption.
5.5 Christ’s redemption extends to all agents. It will ultimately include all ecologies, agents, and the Earth itself.
5.51 Entering into a relationship with Christ imposes engagement and stewardship in these ecological relationships, with other children-agents, and with all agents in Christ’s ecosystem.
5.52 These take the form of caring for the poor, helping others enter into Christ’s ecology, caring for the Earth and its creatures.
5.53 Christ’s ecology is Zion.
6. This Earth will be the final resting place of all earthly agent types, harboring a whole and complete ecosystem including spirits, physical components, hierarchies, and emergences. Our bodies having arisen from the earth, formed and structured here, both spiritually and physically, will form a lasting and eternal ecosystem, with the Earth and her creatures, our spiritual parents, and will through Christ form a thriving ecosystem which scales from the smallest agents to the Earth herself.
‘Treatise on the Body and the Natural World’ Title translated for me by BCC’s own Kevin Barney!
* Moses 7:48