The Neoplatonic Core of Transhumanism

Techno-Theurgy is currently being written.

Theurgy was a system of ritual activities in the late Roman Empire. Theurgy developed in the context of Roman Neoplatonism. It was a kind of practical Neoplatonism. It was the he telestike techne, the craft of self-perfection. The theurgists thought of human animals in terms of mathematical forms. By purifying and perfecting the numbers of the body, the theurgists aimed to arouse divine powers in human bodies. Before we were able to quantify our selves, they conceived of self-knowledge through numbers. Their goal was to enable humans to participate in the divine lives of the gods. Their goal was the deification or divinization of human bodies. To change humans into gods, they used a variety of primitive technologies, based on the best science of their day. The ancient theurgists practiced astrology; the reading of entrails; the consultation of oracles; divination by channeling deities; and the animation of statues. The ancient theurgists were the first body-hackers. But their primitive methods didn’t do much.

Ancient theurgy lives on in modern transhumanism. Modern transhumanists also think of bodies in terms of mathematical forms. We are genetically programmed biocomputers. They share the same Pythagorean and Platonic metaphysics with the ancient theurgists. Transhumanists also seek to purify and perfect the numbers of the body. Through the study and modification of the numbers of the body, modern transhumanists also seek to change humans into gods. They share the same goals as the ancient theurgists. The ineffective practices of the ancient theurgists did not disappear. On the contrary, as our best science improved, they evolved into effective techniques. The old magical practices in theurgy evolved into rational-technical practices in transhumanism. The ancient Neoplatonic theurgists were the first transhumanists. Transhumanism is neither gnosticism nor nihilistic materialism. Transhumanism is techno-theurgy. Ancient Neoplatonic metaphysics is the best way to understand transhumanism.

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