Koreshan Science and Theology
How would it affect the popular theology – what has astronomy to do with a concept of the Creator? All through the ages past astronomy and theology have gone hand in hand. All systems of theology have undertaken to incorporate an idea of creation and consequently the nature and extent of that which has been created. Wherever changes have been made in general astronomical systems they have resulted in changing the popular beliefs concerning theology and the processes by which the world was created and its existence maintained. The Koreshans say that if we admit for a moment that the modern scientific theories are untrue the conclusion is inevitable that to whatever extent the teachers of theology have been influenced by a false scientific theory, to that extent they have been led astray concerning the Creator; in such case they would understand neither the Creator nor his works. The influence of the prevailing system of science has been universal. Perhaps no one has attempted to form a mental picture of the remote habitation of deity which the usual astronomical theory imposes without attempting to form some idea as to distance – the mind has endeavored to reach out into infinite space to touch the heart of the Creator, it has wandered into a great circumference of space. Koreshans maintain that God is the center and heart of creation instead of being its circumference.
Thus it would seem that the popular idea of God has been largely influenced by the prevailing theories concerning the immensity of the universe and the infinity of space. If the concept of the universe be so radically modified and revolutionized as to maintain the limitation of the universe to the dimension of 8,000 miles diameter, it is obvious that a corresponding change of concept of the Almighty must necessarily follow. Because of this Koreshans say that their system of science and their theology are inseparably connected and related – that in the discovery of the fact of the cellular form of the universe there has come to the world a definite knowledge of the laws of creation and consequently the laws of perpetuity of not only the universe as the effect of causes, but, also the means of existence of that cause. It is claimed that the physical universe is the natural and outermost expression of the divine mind, and that if the natural universe and its laws are understood they unmistakably indicate the character of the mind which expresses it.
Koreshans attempt to explain the great mystery of Deity scientifically. Hence the claim that the scientific theory of Koreshanity is the foundation or basis of its religion, which is claimed to be the revival of the primitive Christian system as it was taught prior to the declension and apostasy of the church. Koreshans claim to defend the Bible – that the Bible teaches that the world is a hollow sphere, the outermost metallic strata being the “firmament” of the old Testament – and that the Bible is scientifically correct in all its expressions. They hold that in the demonstration of the earth’s concavity the inspiration of the scriptures is scientifically proved and demonstrated. They teach that the two great forms of expression of the mind of the Almighty – nature and the Bible – are to be read in harmony, because originating in the same divine mind. The argument is that nature is the result of cause, and is true – a true and tangible index to all knowledge of all life in all domains of the universe.
Scientific men are yet on the voyage of discovery and research, from which it follows that they have not yet definitely located the secret of the great cause of existence, nor yet satisfactorily explained the real purpose of the world. The founder of the Koreshan theory claims to have discovered that for which the thinking world is looking. If the leaders of the prevailing theories could be induced to critically examine the claims to such a discovery, or to come in contact with its advocates in open field of contest, so that a definite and satisfactory test could be made of the facts, as embraced in the possible determination as to which way the earth curves, it would undoubtedly reveal that either the scientists of today are greatly mistaken or that the Koreshans are promulgating the rankest and most absurd fallacy of modern times.
What Benefits Would Follow?
What is claimed to be the benefits to be derived to humanity through acceptance of such a system? It is one of the doctrines of Dr. Teed, its founder, that there is not a law in the universe that man cannot apply to himself when understood; that man is a microcosm, or small world, involving the functions of the world at large, and that to the extent that we mistake or apprehend what are the laws of the universe we fail to apply them. That when man can comprehend what are the laws and principles of universal construction and perpetuity he can adjust himself to universal being and become immortal. Man is held to be mortal and that he will continue to be so until he has so applied and fulfilled immutable laws as to overcome death and perfect himself mentally, spiritually and physically. The very kernel of the system seems to be the claim to the discovery of the long sought for “philosopher’s stone,” the science of transmutation, which is looked upon as the key to all knowledge.
In accordance with this promise, a great system of organic unity of human and divine co-operation is hoped for by the adherents to the Koreshan views. The laws of universal existence are sought to be applied to human affairs in the definition of the true science of government and political economy – it is claimed to be the beginning of the supreme theocracy expected by all Christians to be made manifest in what is termed the “second advent,” and hence, the man originating system of Koreshanity has some personal claims as to knowledge of divine law, and consequently a mission to perform in the world looking to the establishment of a system of salvation of humanity from the present conditions of evil and mortality through the institution of a new order of life, an organic system correspondingly fashioned after the general universal order of the great cellular form which is held to incorporate all there is. Koreshans say many people have misunderstood the claims of Dr. Teed. His system is intricate, necessitating study and investigation to comprehend his mission: it is insisted by his followers that his claims are the rational claims of the true scientist. Those who have been engaged in the work of scientific experimentation hold that in the practical proofs of the correctness of the Koreshan cosmogony all the scientific, religious, ethical and economical principles of the entire system are conclusively demonstrated to be true.
- Charles Hoy Fort – Bibliomancer Extraordinaire
- Functional Thinking, an Interview with Eric Dollard by Tom Brown