Zoeticism
"All life is sacred"
     — Zoe of Hibbert
Major biocentrist memeticity established throughout much of the Zoeific Biopolity. The roots of Zoeticist doctrine go back to Zoe of Hibbert's own teachings, but there have been innumerable additions and developments since.

Like many of the hyperturing and archailect memeticities, Zoeticism developed for a dual purpose: as the primary strategy of a major empire, and as a genuinely altruistic means of helping sentient beings. Inevitably, the first element is always the primary one, but it would be cynical to reject the second component out of hand.

The roots of Zoeiticist doctrine go back to Zoe of Hibbert Herself, but there have been innumerable additions and developments since Her seminal pronouncements, following upon Her clique's overthrow of the previous Board, and taking office as CEO of the Associaton of all Life (soon to be renamed the Zoeific Biopolity).

Elements of Zoeticism can be derived from earlier bioist religions, philosophies and ideologies such as Deep Ecology, Gaianism (both original and reformed), Penglaist Neotaoism, Genettekerist Tantra, Sophism, and Cosmopaganism. But it was Zoe of Hibbert's posthuman talents that shaped these earlier traditions into an aggressive memeticity that even up until the present date has been able to hold its own against the rival memeticities of the other archailect memeticities.

As with Negentropism, Zoeticism is based on a series of fundamental axioms. Unlike Negentropism, these axioms often display a fuzziness that can be disconcerting to the analytical mind, due to the extreme and often deliberate and pozen-like ambiguity of many of the key concepts.

The axioms are
1. All Life Is Sacred
2. The Zoei is more precious than the a-zoei
3. It is the destiny of life to expand throughout the universe
4. Biospheres are to be nurtured
5. The Warrior defends the helpless
6. Industrialisation and Life in non-contention
7. Through Zoei to the Divine
These require further explanation.

The utterance All Life Is Sacred is known as the Great Saying. It contains the entire Zoeiticist doctrine - both theoretical and moral, secular and numinous - enshrined within it. To say "All Life Is Sacred" is to treat an organic being with reverence, to see it as infinitely precious, as an element and expression of the Divine Life, to avoid killing wherever possible, so that even an insect is not to be harmed, and to nurture biotic and alife ecologies wherever they may appear, regardless of whether they are natural (as on a Garden World) or artificial. It is not hard to see Buddhistic, Deep Ecology, and generalized bioist elements at work here, but these have been developed and refined, and given a ritual ceremonial element as well. The Great Saying should ideally be announced in a quite and sensitive voice, with arms crossed over the chest, head slightly bowed, eyes closed, mind in a contemplative state.

The Great Saying is also a common salutation throughout the Zoeific Biopolity and among those clades sympathetic to Zoeticism. Virch-messages and pronouncements are almost always preceded by it

The Zoei is more precious than the Azoei is rather more difficult to explain. In fact, this is the most obscure of all the axioms, because it is never quite clear what Zoei is. It has been various translated as "life", "ecosystem" (whether biological or alife), "organism", "ch'i", "prana", "formative field", "emergent complexity", the experience of being alive, zest for life, the presence of the Blue and Green Goddess, and so on. It has elements of all these, but no one definition encapsulates it. Among outsiders in general "the Zoei" has become a term for anything vague and lacking in conceptual precision. e.g. "that is the most zoei idea I have ever heard!" For proponents of this memeticity, such an attitude only proves their superiority, for they are the only ones with the insight to understand such subtleties

It is the destiny of life to expand throughout the universe. This is an idea widely held in the civilized galaxy, and goes back to the Interplanetary Age terraformers, deep space ecologists and cosmogainists.

Biospheres are to be nurtured. Again, an old concept, derived from Information and Interplanetary Age Deep Ecology and Gaianism, especially as a reaction to the rampant ecological destruction of the atomic and early information ages. The term "biosphere" is sometimes extended to nanecologies, virchworlds, and so on

The Warrior defends the helpless. This is a bioborg aphorism, especially the more militant Bioborgs like the Guardians of Bios League, and flows naturally from the previous aphorism. Not only must biospheres be nurtured, but they must be defended as well. The "helpless" in this context refers to those sentient beings that cannot defend themselves, or have no voice or say in matters, not only disenfranchised sophonts but also higher animals, insects, plants, subsophont alifes, etc

Industrialization and Life in non-contention. Because of this axiom, many primitivists are very hostile to Zoeticism. But the Zoeific Biopolity has never shirked from industrialization and ultra tech, as long as these do not harm the local natural and artificial ecologies. Because of this, it has been able to hold its own in the modern galaxy. Indeed, some bioprimacist military forces are among the most feared in the galaxy. Yet at the same time bioprimacist polities are militarily isolationist. By avoiding major conflicts and remaining neutral they escape the loss of innocent life in their region that would inevitably occur. At the same time, even more than the Utopia Sphere, Zoeific and other Bioprimacist forces will attack mercilessly, without regard to any civilized rules of warfare, any invaders that attack or harm any of their biospheres or sentients.

Through Zoei to the Divine. The Zoei, in addition to everything else, is also a spiritual and mystic path. Here nature mysticism meets neotaoism and neotantra. There are innumerable different Zoeiticist sects, religions, and yogas; indeed the diversity boggles the imagination. Some sects claim that zoei is prana/ch'i/ki and present neotaoist-based exercises on that basis. Others consider it as mother nature, others as the mathematic process of emergent complexity, the zone between order and chaos, the dendro-toposophy of posthuman animants, the Cosmic Sophia or the the Tao. Indeed, it is due to the fuzzy logic of Bioprimatism that - like life itself - such a rich diversity of concepts and ideas can develop from it.

 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 18 April 2001.