Notes on Russian Cosmism

Published 21/06/2019

#books #cosmism #philosophy

Russian Cosmism, Edited by Boris Groys, The MIT Press 2018


(p2) Georges Bataille, that 'accursed share' is wisely squandered by birds of prey, the essential necessity of waste.

(p2) Chizhevsky, that solar maximums coincide with mass revolutionary movements

'Victory over the Sun' - seek this out.

(p5) The 'Common Task' to resurrect everyone who has ever lived, by means technological, sociological and political - Fedorov

(p6) "An exploitation of the dead by the living..." in realising socialist aims for the present and future generations, but not past ones - outrageous.

"The museum is at odds with progress", and this is technology which looks to the past.

Divine grace replaced by curatorial decisions, the preservation of things, not souls.

The state must become the museum of its population.

(p6-7) Foucault's inversion "to make live and let die", as appeal to sovereign "take life or let live". Former is a 'biopower' for mass growth, but takes no position on death. for Fedorov the "biopower must become total".

(p8) Heidegger, technology is a way to interrupt time and remove dependence on the accidental beneficence of Nature. It's not artworks that museums exhibit, but the taste of the curator. In this way, it is not the artworks one (views), but the viewer. Their subsequent contemplation reinforces and legitimises these arbitrary choices.

(p9) Yes, an anarchist claiming 'rights', rights are gifts from your ruler, in return for your service. Meaningless in anarchy. See Alexander Svyatogor.

Ah, on the alignment of immortality as a goal, yes who wouldn't fuse with such a state (that, for all).

(p10) Batielle, Deleuze

Valerian Muravyev, "mastery over time" in Soviet powers - the artificial production of eternity. Immortality, no - resurrection, through copying, with no distinguishing.

(p11) Guaranteed resurrection of the dead through technological means; for secularisation remains partial if it negates the hopes and desires of eternal life promised by religion.

(p12) Tsiolkovsky, in the problem of objects "thinking creatively", suggesting that the processes of the brain are the processes of the whole universe...


...that we are whole, differing only in our power of resolution.

(p12) That the smallest things (atoms) can experience happiness, and that such a small thing as society would therefore be a cosmic event (that, being happy).

Tsiolkovsky, on the extermination of plants and animals which can never attain happiness (lacking the power of reason).

(p13) Proletkult, "non-professional" works by ordinary people.

See 'Red Star'.

Dracula as a model of "total biopower" - society of immortality, but importantly, a society with values and goals; not just animals meandering forever.

"The World-Historical Cycles," from The Earth in the Sun's Embrace, Alexander Chizevsky

(p19) "human psychological apparatus".

(p20) "It is as though a 'societal solution' has been saturated, which in time yields crystals which begin to grow, by this I mean that when one's environment is saturated, one need only to introduce into it an organising principle, and all around, ideologically identical stratifications will form."

(p31) "Historiometry", the measure of history in units of concrete physical phenomenon, in this case the ~11 year solar cycle.

(p46) 1916 was a solar maximum, 1922 a minimum.

Astronomy and Architecture, Nikolai Fedorov

(p56) On transforming the Earthship into a temple, the idea of art as a primary pursuit, justification and occupation.

(p57) That biology becomes the science of how things die, bit by bit.

Art is the resurrection of everything destroyed by that blind force which destroys as it creates, it is the intelligent force.

The progression of life timescales, one day/year -> infinite. Hence becoming an astronomical concern.

(p58) That man learns to recreate himself out of elementary material compounds, just as stars are synthesised from 'celestial chemistry'.

Our Affirmations, Alexander Svyatogor

(p62) The relation between Biocosmism and Religion (mysticism) is irredeemably negative. The former seeks immortality of the individual in "the real cosmos" with "all its spiritual and physical powers"

The Doctrine of the Fathers and Anarchism-Biocosmism, Alexander Svyatogor

(p64) The psychology of anarchism, as weak and repressed and hence subservient and utterly dependent on authority.

(p73) Interesting, that anarchism has a 'one-sided' tokenistic view of the individual, which does not consider dynamic creativity, something which would be essential for a biocosmist.

That the anarchists never objected to the authority of natural death.

Biocosmist Poetics, Alexander Svyatogor

(p85) A thought has occurred to me, on the matter of form and content - a film which uses 'fugue' arrangement of frame layout, synchronising regularly so that the content can 'occur'.

We are not bearers of images but creators of series.

(p86) The creation of series of words represents the transformation and ressurection of words.


Verbs.. the rheomode

A new syntax to deal with the parallelism, intersection and parabolism of Biocosmist series.

A Universal Productive Mathematics, Valerian Muravyev

(p92) Interesting perspective on the 'application' of thought to nature, transforming it, and recursively continuing the process, with greater or lesser accuracy but non-zero effect.

Interesting, and obvious now, that the 'numerology' of the natural world, as a projection of order, is an ancient and habitual human activity.

(p94) "Mathesis Universalis", see also logical algebra.

(p95) Interesting, activity of catalysis, transforming cosmic 'nervous' energy into another environmental form - manipulating via consciousness as symbols, words and names.

(p96) "No motion without meaning, and no words or names without motion", this is an interesting way to connect speech with action, most directly, words and hand movements.

(p97) "Establishing such a project is tantamount to organising mental labour" - a common project related to the "universal cause". I completely agree with this, from my own very limited experience.

Egregore, interesting perspective on culture as a crystallised manifestation - no not that - as the actual products of that society, collectivised and made available for the use of all in furthering its aims.

(p98) "Culture is the world, altered by man according to his mind's ideals"

(p99) Interesting, that the division of thought and action was brought about by the feebleness of early man to assert power over the natural world. Now that this limitation is being removed, thought and action can unify once more.

(p101) "Thus the task of organising all forms of human endeavour or culture consists in organising life's symbolism and its practice simultaneously"

(p103) "Homo creator" as an evolution of Homo sapiens.


(p107) Interesting idea on time and the control of constructive and destructive events which operate on mathematically considered elements (in this case, water and its atomic constituents). Perhaps, but the true challenge of time is the volume and scale of these interactions, a formulaic reduction is entirely that, loss of information, or death. In order to transform the thing, the greater part of its character must first be destroyed.

The future of Earth and Mankind, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

(p123) This is all quite mad, even if it does have a certain appeal.

Pansychism, or Everything Feels, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

(p133) "Not a single positivist could be soberer than I am. Compared to me, even Spinoza was a mystic. If my wine makes you drunk, at least it is natural."

(p135) "If a white speck of dust lands on a black piece of paper, it would not be grounds for calling it white. The white speck is like the sensitivity of the dead."

"The more organised the being, the farther the notion of future and past extends"

(p136) On the thought of all the mental gymnastics of physics alongside the 'outer' philosophies where there exists more than a single mind can grasp. You work at the former to rest in the latter. In this order initially, but subsequently, perhaps you realise neither is needed.

(p148) Interesting, subjective time vs absolute time, the latter being non-existent and the subject of chronometry; the former is variable and sometimes imperceptible.

"They have a feeble conception of time" - the lower animals, and middling ones perhaps perceive time as we do when sleeping.

(p149) Interesting, the 'sum' of all living subjective moments of life, taken infinitely, make a single never-ending experience of happiness, even though these 'beats' are separated by billions of years of non-existence. The latter is simply not experienced - just as I don't experience the vast space in this table, only the minuscule atoms sparsely scattered amongst it.

"So death puts an end to all suffering and provides, subjectively, immediate happiness." In that the atom sleeps for millions, billions of years, where no time passes, only to awake once more in a greatly improved form of life.

Theorems of Life (as an Addendum and Clarification on Monism), Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

(p165) Interesting, that the agony of death will be experienced by wholly different atoms than the ones which currently constitute you, so you do not need to dread it. The counter fear is that death may strike any of us at any moment, and we all must bear some of this burden between our various atomic arrangements.

"The rational organisation of an animal demands, as does the good organisation of the state, a single management, a single will, to which animals and society will submit themselves."

Goals and Norms of Life, Alexander Bogdanov

(p167) "Spontaneous conservatism" as a response, a defence, originating in primitive life and carried with us to the highest expressions of history.

(p168) Norms only become necessary when relations are complex and contradictory, primitive life knows nothing of this - it is free of contradiction.

(p181) "In this regard, compare the flexible character of an urban proletarian worker with the rigid and lumbering psyche of a peasant from a backward village".

(p183) Of course, capitalists are the most extreme anarchists.

(p186) "a socially coordinated struggle for happiness"

(p187) Interesting, a 'right' only exists where the real force of its opposite is still prevalent in society, that is, the right to free speech exists because freedom of speech is suppressed, or commonly controlled. In a society which practices freedom of speech truly and naturally, no such right is needed, just as there is no 'freedom of thought' today - it is so intrinsic as to be beyond, or behind, consideration. So all rights are signals of painful growth.

(p188) On "natural laws" - freedom is not a law, but rather a rejection of 'laws'.