CosmoErotic Humanism

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= "CosmoErotic Humanism ... is rooted not in a secular humanism, but (in) acosmic humanism, as well as nondual humanism. This is a humanism of apotheosis ... where the Field of Divinity and the field of humanity are realized to ultimately participate in the same indivisible fabric of Reality". [1]

Contextual Quotes


"We are presenting CosmoErotic Humanism not as a mere theory but as a transformative intellectual movement foregrounding new First Principles and Values. It is to be understood as part of a broader trajectory of intellectual currents that are emerging and flourishing during the current historical juncture. Da Vinci and his cohorts in Venice during the Renaissance stood on the brink of a time between worlds, and their synoptic and innovative humanism would be shepherded through a period of tremendous turmoil and transformation throughout Europe, until the modern revolutions began in earnest during the seventeenth century. The movement included those oriented to changing the dominant mood and metaphors underlying culture itself in particular directions—specifically towards a new story of the self, the community, and the universe that includes the best accounts of what was known about nature, the psyche, and power. So it is that again today we clearly stand in a time between worlds, seeking an unprecedented way forward. However, the stakes are now much higher, the picture bigger—and the way through to a new world even more promising."


"We distinguish between the first and second shocks of existence. Briefly, the first shock of existence is the fear of death that lives in the individual human being. The second shock of existence is a fear of the self-induced extinction of all human beings, a fear that now lives in every reflective human being , and in humanity at large."

- David J. Temple

Source: First Principles and First Values of Evolving Perennialism. Forty-two Propositions on CosmoErotic Humanism. Post-Tragic Memories of the Future (Review Draft). David J. Temple. Center for World Philosophy and Religion, Spring 2023

3. the Infinity of Intimacy

"So what emerged was this notion that the God you don’t believe in doesn’t exist; that God is not a dogmatic occurrence, God is a realization of a particular dimension of spirit, which is intimate, and infinitely powerful. We began to talk about not just the infinity of power as an incarnation of the Divine, but the Infinity of Intimacy. I remember that Cynthia Bourgeault, when she read about the Infinity of Intimacy, she called and was excited. She said, that captures exactly what I’ve been trying to say. We feel reality, but both based on realization, and based on the integration of the best of what we might call the exterior and interior sciences, we feel reality as incepted by this Infinity of Intimacy. The infinite desires the intimate, and the intimate infinitely desires the infinite. We’ve understood reality, especially in the last four or five years here at the Center, as what we call the progressive deepening of intimacies. This is core to the fundamental project of the Center, which is to articulate a new Global Story, based on First Values and First Principles that can be the matrix for a global ethos for a global civilization. We call this New Story, CosmoErotic Humanism."

- [[Center for Integral Wisdom [2]


By David J. Temple:

(an evolving collaboration between Zachary Stein, Marc Gafni et al.)

"CosmoErotic Humanism is a philosophical movement aimed at reconstructing the collapse of value at the core of global culture. This movement emerges in response to the meta-crisis, understanding existential and catastrophic risks as rooted not only in failures of economics, government, and technology, but in failed worldviews. The core of CosmoErotic Humanism is a system of First Principles and First Values that recasts cosmic evolution as a story of value in which humanity plays a unique role. These First Principles and First Values ground a comprehensive set of theories, including of self and psychology, epistemology, scientific metaphysics, education, theology, mysticism, sexuality, and value. CosmoErotic Humanism thereby offers a new Narrative of Identity (who am I?), a new Universe Story (where am I?), and new vision of Ethics (what ought I do?).

These are some of the first words on the possibilities of a world philosophy adequate to our time of civilization transformation. What is offered by CosmoErotic Humanism is a new story of value—eternal yet evolving value — and a universal grammar of value that can serve as a context for our diversity, finally allowing us to speak of humanity as part of a shared story of evolving cosmic value."

Source: from an as yet unpublished draft review of the Center for World Philosophy and Religion, signed by the fictional author David Temple which will stand for evolving collaborations in the Center.


  • Forty-Two Propositions on CosmoErotic Humanism

1. A New Set of First Principles and First Values Must Be Clarified in the Context of the Second Shock of Existence and the Meta-Crisis

2. The Source Code of Culture Involves Evolutions of Superstructure, Social Structure, and Infrastructure

3. Our Species Faces Two Forms of Existential Risk: The Death of Humanity and the Death of Our Humanity

4. The Meta-Crisis Has Both an Exterior and an Interior Dimension

5. We Live in a Time Between Worlds, a Time Between Stories

6. The Gap Between Interiors and Exteriors Now Involves Exponential Technology, Resulting in Global Civilization Failure and Multiplied Existential Risk

7. The First Shock of Existence Is About the Death of the Human Being

8. The First Shock of Existence Activated Inner Gnosis

9. The Second Shock of Existence Is About the Self-Induced Extinction of Our Species

10. The Second Shock of Existence Further Activates Our Inner Gnosis

11. Humans Must Learn to Move from a Pre-Tragic to a Post-Tragic Relationship to Existential Risk

12. The Generator Functions for Existential and Catastrophic Risk Have an Underlying Root Cause: A Global Intimacy Disorder

13. Thirteen Expressions of the Global Intimacy Disorder Can Be Understood as Thirteen Forms of Alienation

14. Pre-modern, Modern, and Post-modern Understandings of Value Must Be Integrated into a New Story of Value that Responds to the MetaCrisis

15. God Is Stories: Narrative as First Principle and Value

16. There Have Been Four Big Bangs

17. There are Identifiable Plotlines in the Universe Story

18. The Plotlines of the Cosmos Become Self-Aware in the Human, Creating the Conditions for Conscious Evolution

19. There Has Been a Collapse of Intrinsic Value at the Center of Culture

20. Two Views on Value Characterize Modernity

21. There Is a Set of Common-Sense Sacred Axioms that Undergird Modernity

22. It Is Reasonable to Propose at Least Eight Common-Sense Sacred Axioms

23. The Common-Sense Sacred Axioms Have Not Survived the Postmodern Collapse of Value: A Reconstruction of Value is Necessary

24. Everyday Anecdotes Display the Deep Impact of Post-Modernity’s Deconstruction of Value

25. The Culture Must Change from Implicit Common-Sense Sacred Axioms to Explicit First Principles and First Values

26. Evolving First Principles and First Values Must Be Embedded in an Evolving Story of Value

27. It Is Possible to Make a Partial List of First Principles and First Values of Cosmos

28. The Constitutive Cosmic Order and the Dynamic Field of Cosmic Evolution: First- and Second-Order Values and Principles

29. First Principles and First Values Go Beyond the Categories of Natural or Supernatural

30. Continuity and Discontinuity Characterize First Principles and First Values at Every Level of Emergence, from Matter to Life to Mind and Beyond

31. The Problem of Evil and Pain Must be Faced, Ultimately Demonstrating the Reality of Value, Paradox, Polarity, and Mystery

32. First Values and First Principles Are the Plotlines of Reality, Beyond Contingency and Design, Revealing a Conversational Cosmos

33. First Principles and First Values are Based in Anthro-Ontology, Not the Universal Epistemologies of Natural Law

34. Anthro-Ontology and Evolving First Principles and Values Takes Us Beyond the Naturalistic Fallacy

35. The Anthro-Ontological Method Can Be Specified and Evolved

36. We Must Recover and Renew the Eye of Value

37. The Collapse of Value Leads Inexorably to Existential Risk

38. An Evolving Perennialism Allows for the Naming of Subversive Categories of Value

39. The Hidden Alignment Between Surveillance Capitalism and Its Critics Serves as an Example of the Collapse of Value and Its Implications

40. Subversive, Empowering Vocabularies of Value Are Needed

41. TechnoFeudalism Is Our Default Future

42. CosmoErotic Humanism Is a Response to The Possible Death of Our Humanity

(source, draft review Spring 2023)


"David J. Temple:

"A response is needed to the likely self-induced extinction of our species (the “second shock” of existence), and it must be found in the context of cascading and interrelated crises across all major sectors of civilization (the “meta-crisis”). A profound return to reality is at hand, as humanity is once again brought back in touch with how the universe works, for better and for worse.

For now, suffice to say that we understand from complexity theory and evolutionary biology that a simple, limited set of First Principles can generate an emergent self-organization of highly complex systems with a virtually unimaginable number of parts. Basic patterns establish the possibility space into which chaotic emergence evolves, as seen in everything from cellular automata to game theory. In other words, we realized many years ago that just as simple First Principles and First Values organize exterior realities into complex and coherent wholes, so too do interior First Principles and First Values organize the realities of value and consciousness into complex and coherent wholes.

In effect, First Principles and First Values are the plotlines of evolution’s conscious unfolding. Conscious evolution, as we have reframed it, is not when evolution becomes conscious of itself through us. There is much scientific data that ascribe intelligence and consciousness to evolution, well before humanity. Rather, conscious evolution is when a species becomes aware that evolutionary processes live in it, as it, and through it — and can then choose to align with the inherent First Principles and First Values embedded in the larger evolutionary story of value. This new understanding of conscious evolution serves as the key to our CosmoErotic Humanism."

A strategy for change

David J. Temple:

"This model animates the strategic drive of our writings on CosmoErotic Humanism, which are an attempt to help lay a new superstructure for society. CosmoErotic Humanism is a philosophy that offers a new story of value capable of reorienting our faltering civilization. We are seeking to spark and inspire a broader movement of culture, much like Existentialism or Romanticism in their day. This is our hope, anyway. We add our voice to those co-operating to steward humanity’s cultures through what will likely be their most perilous times.

We naturally recognize that superstructure, social structure, and infrastructure are mutually interdependent and continually co-arising. At the same time, it is our view that superstructure—the story we tell about the universe, how we make our identities and communities meaningful—must be understood as the root cause of society’s formation. This means that if one truly desires to change the trajectory of society to avoid suffering and to realize the greater good, then the most effective away to achieve that goal must be to evolve the culture, the story that animates society.

To evolve the story is to evolve the source code that works through all three layers."

The longstanding co-evolution of interiors and exteriors has dramatically broken down

David J. Temple:

"From the beginning of recorded history, and arguably before that, humanity has evolved both interior (subjective) and exterior (objective) aspects. But at some point, through the emergence of modern science leading to the industrial and information revolutions, a gap developed—an ever-widening chasm between interior (cognition, awareness, emotion, value) and exterior (technological) capacities.

The longstanding co-evolution of interiors and exteriors has dramatically broken down, and we no longer have a story of value equal to our power. This gap between the wisdom of a civilization and its power has greatly contributed to the existential challenges threatening the future of our social systems.

The challenges that resulted in the failure of classical civilization are now compounded through exponential technologies, which created a vital global civilization as well as existential risk. As scholars have pointed out, all civilizations generally fail due to the same set of causes, most of them rooted in some version of rivalrous, win/lose dynamics and unsustainable resource extraction. We have not yet solved for any of those causes.

But if our civilization unravels it will be a failure of an entirely different order, a global failure. And because of weaponizable exponential technologies across multiple platforms, the failure of our global civilization may very well be an extinction event."



Integral Publishers:

"CosmoErotic Humanism is not one metatheory but more a worldview, or said even more precisely, a world story, much like the way existentialism or romanticism or rationalism integrate validated information and wisdom streams across multiple domains.

CosmoErotic Humanism integrates the validated information and wisdom of the leading-edge world stories in premodern, modern, and postmodern thought. It aggregates key data, validated insights, and metatheories from each of these periods into a larger story of value, rooted in evolving First Principles and First Values.

These include

  • Unique Self Theory,
  • Tenets of Intimacy,
  • Value Theory,
  • the Faces of Eros,
  • developmental theory,
  • Integral theory,
  • Evolutionary Love Principles,
  • Conscious Evolution,
  • the Phenomenology of Eros,
  • educational theory,
  • evolutionary theory,
  • attachment theory,

... and more."


More information

The spiritual doctrine was first developed through the books of Marc Gafni, in particular:

  • Radical Kabbalah Book 1: The Enlightenment Teaching of Unique Self, Non-Dual Humanism and the Wisdom of Solomon – The Great Teaching of Ethics and Eros from Mordechai Lainer of Izbica
  • Radical Kabbalah Book 2: The Wisdom of Solomon as the Matrix of the Enlightenment Teaching of Nondual Acosmic Humanism and Unique Self – The Great Teaching of Ethics and Eros of Mordechai Lainer

Source of some of the quoted material

  • Document: First Principles and First Values of Evolving Perennialism. Forty-two Propositions on CosmoErotic Humanism. Post-Tragic Memories of the Future (Review Draft). David J. Temple Spring 2023