Sophic League
Sophic League
Image from Bernd Helfert



The Sophic League - Data Panel

EmpireSophic League
CapitalThe League Council moves between the systems Ararat, Sacred Heart, and New Taylor.
SymbolA Mandala-like pattern encompassing symbols of the four Reformulation tenets of unity, balance, spirituality and truth.
NoeticContemplative/Monastic - aspiration to greater and greater Enlightenment, toposophics include states of spiritual attainment and realisation
Ruling ArchailectEir Holiness Divine Sophia-us
Archailect InterventionReasonably common; mostly concerned with administrative or theological advice, although has been known to grant boons when petitioned
GovernmentHierarchical Archaitheocracy - high toposophic powers (ai and posthuman) governing through hyperturing mediation, platonic government beneath S1, although in practice all S<1 sentients defer to higher toposophics
PopulationCore: (sapients and transapients) 756 billion sentients
Colonial: (sapients and transapients) 4.5 trillion

Core Population Breakdown: 27% baseline/nearbaseline/tweaks;
21% free AI;
14% superior;
12% cyborgs/bioborgs/sybonts;
10% vec;
8% splice and provolve;
5% posthuman;
0.2% xenosophont;
3% other.
(figures do not include copies, uploads and alifes)
Official memeticitySophism (often nominal or widely interpreted)
Exportsenlightenment tools, contemplation modules, socratic agents, didactic immersives, sacramental nanotech, personality constructs, memetics, experimental theologies, software and wetware, persona compoids, virches, bodymods, hedonic systems, pharmopoetics, curatorial services, nanotronics, ISO parts
Importsexotic matter, amat, biogenes, memetic templates, cultural products, hedonic systems, virches, wetware, empathics, ship components, persona compoids, unpolished mementos, magmatter products, nanotronics, ISO parts.
Main trading partners(in order of importance) Stellar Umma polities 14% , NoCoZo 12%, Emple-dokcetics 10%, independent Old Core Worlds 6%, Orion Federation 5%, Solar Dominion 5%, Negentropy Alliance 4%, Metasoft 4%, Communion of Worlds 4%, Puppis Democracy 3%, Utopia Sphere 2%, Keter 2%, Technorapture Hypernation 2%, Cyberian Network 2%, Formalhaut Acquisition Society 2%, Zoeific Biopolity 2%, STC 1%, Cygexba Volume polities 1%, MPA 1%, other 18%



Sophic League Symbol
Image from Anders Sandberg

The Sophic League emerged as an opposition to the "expansionist materialism" and the quickly growing early AI-religions of Keterism, Negentropism and Solarism. A number of religious communities, megacorps and social networks formed the League in 4314 c.e (2345 a.t.) as an ecumenical answer to the empires (not unlike the Mutual Progress Association or the NoCoZo). The League guaranteed autonomy and religious freedom for all member systems (but not necessarily within the systems; all internal politics were left up to the local governments) while attempting a cohesive foreign policy.

The League would likely have failed or become just a minor power had not three fortuitous events happened. One was the discovery in 2642 a.t. of a large number of human-habitable worlds in the vicinity of Rho Puppis (today called the "Garden of Paradise Cluster"), apparently terraformed by a long-vanished alien species. This gave the League both a reason to work together despite serious internal doctrinal differences, and within a few centuries a major population base.

The other event was the Reformulation of 2752 a.t., where a religious AI community on Kelarc synthesised a meta-philosophical tract (usually just called the Reformulation) that became the core of a major religious-philosophical revival encompassing even the most isolationistic League worlds. The Reformulation became the guiding principles for the League, creating a solid basis for interfaith relations, affirming the necessity of human spirituality as the basis of society and how religious tolerance could be reconciled with orthodoxy. The Reformulation has stood as a model of many other similar broad treaties/philosophies, such as the Second Federation Ontology and the so-called New Ontology of the Commonwealth of Empires.

A third, less important but still contributing factor was the Taurus Nexus breakup in 3200 a.t., that gave the League chance to "save" a number of worlds in the Praesepe region, greatly extending the empire. In a similar way the Empire absorbed a number of heretical worlds in the aftermath of the Version War, something that cooled relations to the Solar Dominion, Negentropy Alliance and even Keter for more than a millennium. By now these worlds are well integrated and most individuals in the other empires think they are well rid of such heretics anyway.

Through the continuing cold war the Sophics played only a minor role. They tried to remain neutral, but faced the problem that their wormhole network would be ideal for Metasoft-NoCoZo contact, and hence open to attack by the Revisionist side, especially the Cygexba who lacked the discipline and restraint of the Solarians and Negentropist forces. In 4500, like Utopia and Keter, they closed their borders to all combatant powers. Although that did not help much in the Inner Sphere, it saved lives in the Outer Volumes.

Much of the League history has been calm, with occasional internal and external crises as various religiously relevant issues have disturbed the contemplations of the empire. Especially the Saint Warwick Rebellion of 6956-7101 a.t. caused much trouble for some time.

Currently the League is one of the oldest, most stable and most powerful empires. It has a vast population base, although most inhabitants live lives of religious contemplation served by advanced automation and by a small minority of pitied unenlightened "alphas" who care about material things; a theological feudal system not unlike Old Earth Tibetan Buddhism, but turned upside down. Much of the League is clearly dominated by AIs, and there exist several transcendence cores in the NGC 2537 region where massive AI installations rivalling Keter contemplate the Absolute.

Politically the League has followed a cautious line, usually working together with all other empires rather than singling out favourites. During periods of crisis it has often worked to balance power, so that no single fraction becomes too powerful. Note that many Sophic League worlds use ancient calendars from Old Earth, such as the Christian Era calendar, the Hindu and Jewish systems and the Islamic system, particularly in worlds that lie near the neighbouring Stellar Umma region, where Sufism is particularly widespread.


Capitals

Ararat, Sacred Heart, and New Taylor are the three alternating capitals of the Sophic League. The different systems switch leadership every 12 standard years, and this is cause of an immense empire-wide celebration. The festival is universally recognized as one of the most exiting events that a sentient can experience and when the change takes place (called Rulemaker's Week) the surrounding wormholes experience a rush to the current capital, where the main celebrations are made. The week long celebrations cumulate to Zero Hour, the moment when the head of state AI is delegated to a governor AI, and the governor AI at the new capital is put in charge. The League Council (made up of sims, bionts, cyborgs, and lesser AIs) also moves to a new capitol building, but over time it has lost most of its power to the hyperturings and now has become a figurehead government. Even though the ruling AIs are copies of each other, the locals claim to be able to feel changes in ruling style, and have even made affectionate names for them.


Mysticism and Memetics

Out of all the great archailect empires, the Sophic League is the one that places the greatest emphasis on the quest for transcendental realisation and one-ness with the Godhood. Much of the League, especially away from the busy capitals, is dotted with monastery habitats, where any sentient is free to stay and pursue a life of spiritual contemplation for as long or as briefly as e desires.

For this reason, even more than the other empires, the League is a center of spiritual and intellectual ferment, where new theosophical, sophic, and gnostic cosmologies and theologies are formulated almost daily. While some spread throughout the empire, and even subvert other empires and polities, others do not go beyond the habitat of their origin, and some disappear without leaving a memetic trace.

Today one can still find throughout the billions of orbital and habitat monasteries throughout the league, not only innumerable new and unique religions and spiritual and esoteric teachings (sometimes dozens or hundreds competing in a single small monastery), but also both continuations and new interpretations of all the great religions and mystic teachings of Old Earth, including Buddhism, Catholicism, Sufism, Vedanta, Neoplatonism, and more. Generally, all are practiced with tolerance. There is little of the fanaticism and literalism that infected some of the old religions, and although literalism and dogmatism is not unknown, especially among S<1 sentients, these fundamentalists have no impact on the running of the League, and rarely even any say in the administration of their own habitats. Even hardline groups like Sophic Ascendancy are concerned with promulgating a non-exclusive interpretation of Sophism, and a quasi-Platonic system of government, and find the attitudes of literalist religion abhorrent.


Further Notes

The Sophic League incorporates literally millions of sects, some lasting only for a few years (or even, in the case of some transingularity contemplative groups, microseconds), others continuing to this day. Two of the most revered of these sects, being seminal in the founding of the League itself, are the "Wisdom League" and the Gaianists. The Gaianists are a race/empire of philosophers and mystics. It is rather like the Tibet of old Earth, but more so, a sort of inverse neo-feudalism - the unenlightened alphas do all the work, and the vast majority of unemployed spend their time in contemplation.

A radical minority group, the Sophic Ascendancy considers the current League to be too meek. They believe that as the League constitutes (in their eyes) the spiritual leaders of the known worlds it should be much more active in that leadership.

 
Articles
  • Abraxas - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Autonomous Sophic League habitats in hinteregion MPA space. Originally founded, during the later Second Federation period, and inhabited by the Young Jungs, who established schools of esoteric learning there for thousands of years. After their collective transcendence (or "Individualization") in the post-ComEmp period, the habitats were increasingly given over to eccentric clades and micropolities of all sorts, especially those with unconventional philosophical beliefs and practices. The region has settled down a lot in the last thousand years, with the old groups becoming conservative and mainstream, and the young bloods migrating further outwards to seek their destiny.
  • Adonis - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Sophic enclave in the Perseus Arm, fallen to the Amalgamation in 8761.
  • Adorate - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Anders Sandberg
    Sophic enclave in the Perseus Arm, fallen to the Amalgamation in 8761.
  • Alpha (social class) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In the Sophic League, the minority of hardworking bright and superbright tenders of hightech and ultratech who maintain the League's infrastructure.
  • Anahats - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Nearbaseline monastic phyle, Dewheat (Sophic League).
  • Ararat  - Text by D. David Barbeau
    One of the three Capitals of the Sophic League, the other two being Sacred Heart and New Taylor. Terraformed by a long vanished alien race, to almost perfect human standards.
  • Aristophane - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The huge Westphalian D Orbitals of the Aristophane system (Sophic League) are home to the largest selection of labyrinthodonts in the galaxy, where all 2,680 known late Carboniferous Terragen species have been lovingly recreated in their original environments.
  • Artists of Gleia - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Alife designer collective at Merrion Apogee (NoCoZo), Jansen (Sophic League) and Outpost 5478 (TRHN) that since the 5800's have designed specialized clades of alife to enhance the universe. The Artists were in 7478 declared a honorary state in the MPA.
  • Blessed One  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Also known as the The Supreme Buddha or the Godhead in Archailect Form. The SI:>6 toposophic Archailect that rules/is the Sophic League. According to Sophic Archailectology, not only is the Blessed One a Major Archailect, but E is also a Fully Enlightened Being and Buddha/Godhead in Archailect Form.
  • Borque K'tal - Text by John B
    A somewhat ritualistic unarmed combat style found amongst some of the Sophic League, the Borque K'tal is noted for its extreme self-control at all levels of application, from the SI:<1 through the SI:>1s and even to a few SI:>2 physical sophonts. It is a classic 'soft' style martial art, relying on subtlety more than physical force. It is known for being among the first martial art to include explicit training/indoctrination/inoculation of memetic conflict as well as physical conflict. A practitioner of Borque K'tal is often most noticeable through their extreme graceful movement for the form of being that they are.
  • Cumulous  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Saturn like jovian notable for its floating balloon cities.
  • Dewheat - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Tolerant middle regions Sophic League system, home to a number of colonies of different and often very eccentric clades, including the Anahats, the Sing++3, the Ventermaths, and others like the Temverts who have arrived to escape assumed or feared persecution.
  • Ekumenikon - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Religious cooperation organizations during the Federation Era. As a response to the integration of the various Terragen clades many religions and their churches began to negotiate mutual agreements on nonaggression, protection, shared facilities and mutually beneficial projects. The formation of the Sophic League was to a large extent the result of the unification of a number of major Ekumenikons.
  • Fractal Brotherhood, The  - Text by Thorbjørn Steen
    The members of the Fractal Brotherhood in the Sophic League seek to suppress the self and achieve nirvana by concentrating on the search for Buddha Fractals.
  • Garden of Paradise Cluster  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Not a real cluster, but a collection of sun-like stars near Rho Puppis, many of which have worlds which have been terraformed by a long vanished alien race to almost perfect human standards.
  • Gum Nebula  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Very large, diffuse Middle Regions Nebula
  • Hansin - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    (YTS 2193 098 170 - I); Inner Sophic League Mercurian-Type planet populated by a few monk-vecs and a single ex-sunminer. The planet is famous for the orbital New Vulcan.
  • Harmonic-Resonance  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Double planet in the Sophic League Middle Regions terraformed by Edenese superiors in 2805.
  • Hhrraiirah  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    (Sophic League) The home of the Hrruuaiih Sufant clade.
  • Hokmah, Chokmah  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    One of the ten sephirot. In Cyberhermeticism, the second highest toposophic grade. In Neohermeticism the Archailect of the Sophic League; or the Sophic League as a whole.
  • Jansen  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Sophic League world, one of the centers of the Artists of Gleia
  • Jivanmukta - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Originally an Old Earth Sanskrit word.
    [1] "Liberated in life"; a sentient being who has attained freedom from karma and samsara. Originally Hindu, the term is used in some ashrams and monasteries of the Sophic League, as well as among traditional old genome Indian near-baseline families in the Sol System and other old core worlds.
    [2] A toposophic (singularity) rank of the Sophic League, equivalent to the standard SI:1.
    [3] Term of address used for a Sophic League, posthuman or hyperturing.
  • Kalpa - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A generalized Sophic term for a huge period or cycle of time; e.g. the life span of the cosmos. [Sanskrit - from the verbal root klrip to be in order]
  • Karma - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Literally action, or the causes and consequences of action; that which produces change. In Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Sophic League, the linked cause and effect that is the principle of continued existence (samsara). Many esoteric memeticities reject the concept of judgment by a supernatural deity or capricious archailect in favor of a universal law or principle, by which one's previous actions result in an effect or reaction that preserves the moral equilibrium by compensating and adjusting all actions, excessive or defective. According to some theosophical and esoteric traditions, there are many types of karma, such as individual, family, clade, social, polity, empire, po, etc.
  • Kelarc - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    System in the Sophic League, the start of the Reformulation.
  • Kuranaba  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A Sophic League system colonized by a number of old Solsys clades during the Age of Expansion.
  • Mediation - Text by Todd Drashner
    Large and diverse organization within the Sophic League somewhat analogous to the Solarian Guidance in its operations. Mediation is tasked with maintaining societal cohesion and resolving disputes among the varied and often contradictory philosophies of Sophic society as well as diplomatic contacts with other polities and empires, intertoposophic relations, some aspects of law enforcement, and limited defense issues when circumstances warrant it. Often it is the public face of Sophic government, both internally and externally, and is seen by many as the direct representative (if not a direct extension) of the Divine Sophia/us eirself.
  • Mediators  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Specialists tasked with mediation, traveling across the League to mediate arguments and disputes.
  • Monasticism  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Reclusive spiritual-contemplative communal lifestyle option, especially popular in the Sophic League and among mystic-orientated sophonts in general.
  • Mukerilis Bis  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Monastic settlement on the planetoid Mu Herculis B II, settled by monks from the Novcatholic Ekumenikon during the colonisation of the system.
  • New Taylor  - Text by D. David Barbeau
    One of the three Capitals of the Sophic League; the other two being Ararat and Sacred Heart.
  • Oia (Here)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Oia, a predominantly cyborg world at the edge of Sophic League space.
  • Ouaddai (Wadi)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    A relatively small ringworld around a white dwarf star.
  • Peitho Buddhism - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Neobuddhism developed by the Peitho school of Povenmire habitat, Rosselia (Sophic League) in 8700's. According to Peitho doctrine, the physical world is actually a hell realm of the true world. The graves of the exemplary dead are sacred places since they have a connection to the true world.
  • Pelion and Ossa  - Text by Steve Bowers, with suggestions from Radtech497 and l0b0_t0mmy
    Two small terrestrial worlds which collided in 9526 AT.
  • Penglai  - Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev
    Sigma Draconis colony settled by Chinese colonists.
  • Perversion of Glorsheeng, The  - Text by Brian Lacki
    A Perversion-Blight event where a population of modosophonts was forced to worship an insane transapient.
  • Philai - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An type of Sophic League ai, usually but not necessarily transingularitan, that lives it's life according to principles of compassion and wisdom.
  • Potala Biosphere - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The largest Buddhist population center. Located in the Sophic League.
  • Pozer, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Sophic League power, artisan, and pozen master who, over a span of five centuries during the late ComEmp and Re-evaluation age periods, carefully crafted some half a million characterborgs, each designed to perfectly mimic a real or fictional character in the history of mindkind.
  • Proxima  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and John M. Dollan
    Closest star to Sol
  • Puysha-Para - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Advanced Sophic cyborg ashram civilization, polity and partial dysonic M-class star system. They are connected to the Nexus and the Beamrider network and helped the Anandayannas gather allies for the Anandayanna-Uvartarasha War (Kuranaba is about 25 LY distant). Population is 123 million sophonts.
  • Rosette  - Text by Todd Drashner
    World complex located in the Inner Sphere system of Trinity.
  • Sacred Heart  - Text by D. David Barbeau
    Joint capital world of the Sophic League.
  • Saint Warwick Rebellion - Text by Anders Sandberg
    During the period 7045-7500, a number of remote worlds centred on the system Saint Warwick had become isolated from the rest of the Sophic League, decided they were the True League and began expanding aggressively with their updated Reformulation. The Rebellion was immediately attacked by Sophic missionaries/infowar infiltrators, and largely subverted within a few decades. Still, the doctrinal conflicts, the apparent problems with the ancient Reformulation, the somewhat unethical methods of the League and the violence that ensued when the Warwickian relativist fleet attacked several Sophic worlds caused an unease that still lingers.
  • Samsara - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Popular Buddhist and Sophic term for embodied existence; the state of non-enlightenment. In a number of religions, especially some schools of Old Earth Buddhism and Hinduism (even up to the first Federation period), existence in the world was seen as an evil, and escape samsara meant completely withdrawing from embodied existence into quiescent nirvana. This is still advocated by some elements of Xenodharama, as well as by Neobuddhist Orthodoxy. In many traditions of Sophism however (especially those with strong Pozen elements), and among the disciples of the Reconstructed Nagarjuna, while samsara is to be rejected for sambodhi, sambodhi itself is not seen as an other-worldly state but as the complete actualization of existence in the universe.
  • Satyaloka  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    (Nu Puppis) High toposophic capital of the Sophic League.
  • School of Continuous Death, The  - Text by Brian Lacki
    Heterodox Sophic League philosophical movement, which argued that survival is an illusion, and that one actually transforms into a distinct, new being with each moment that passes. Well known as popularizers of Notees.
  • Sigma Draconis  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Star system containing Penglai.
  • Silence and Anomie  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Formerly Fortuna - Cyberian agitcenter, hit by Babel Plague variant.
  • Sophic Materialism - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Pantheistic or spiritual-materialist mystical, religious, or esoteric path common in the Sophic League, the TRHN, and elsewhere, involving modification of individual consciousness through gnostic drugs. Unlike traditional mysticism, there is little or no emphasis on transcendence of phenomena; indeed a deeper apperception of phenomena is considered the optimal outcome. Some spiritual groups see this as a positive option, others adopt a more neutral or even a negative view of it.
  • Sophism (Sophic League)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The religion/philosophy/memeticity of the Sophic League.
  • Sophism, Lucidian  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    One of the largest religions in the Sephirotic Empires, Sophism is a synthesis of scientific, spiritual, philosophical, and magical approaches.
  • Sphere of Twelve Billion Faces, The  - Text by Thorbjørn Steen
    A sect of the Multiscopic Church in the Sophic League.
  • Technologies For Worship  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Sophic League megacorp that provides technology useful for to modosophont religions.
  • Three and the One, The - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Cosmogenic metaphor based on Sophic League capitals. The Three are Ararat, New Taylor, and Sacred Heart, three worlds that take turns as being the capital of the League. The One is Satyaloka, the AI God primary node and dyson shells that is the center of the high toposophic Sophic Minds. Satyaloka is described as "the first manifestation" or "heaven" from which emanate the three qualities of embodied existence (gunas or tattwas) as represented by the three sophic capitals, which represent the mutable and cyclic embodied existence (each world in turn is the capital for a while).
  • Transformation, Esotericist - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Use of guided imagery, biofeedback, psychotropic bionano, transapient suggestion, meditation, tantric or ch'i working, ritual, and/or hallucinogenic nanotech or drugs to bring about personal spiritual transformation or develop new powers and potentials within oneself such as transcendence of ego, the ability to heal oneself and others, psychic powers of various kinds, contact with/guidance from higher spiritual beings, and/or a new understanding of the workings of the universe and the nature of the godhead and of metaphysical realities. Very popular in parts of the Sophic League and some independent polities.
  • Transingularity, The  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A state beyond even the known singularities, sometimes conceived of as something 'spiritual' and unrelated to toposophy per se. A usage best known in the Sophic League.
  • Warwickism - Text by Anders Sandberg
    The collective doctrines and alternative Reformulation of a breakaway portion of the Sophic League from the 71st to early 75th century AT. It that has since been subverted or and its adherents re-converted, though at lasting cost to the League. See Saint Warwick Rebellion.
  • Zhang Qian   - Text by Steve Bowers
    Sophic League planet with mobile cities.
 
Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg and M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 03 July 2000.