The Syntheist Movement – The Facebook Forum Description

Religion (Latin for “re-connecting”) is the most productive, creative, intimate, and also the most provocative and controversial form of social activity. This historical fact is beyond doubt. Our longing for belonging with “the Other” and need to “freeze the chaos of the world and pretend it is an orderly cosmos” to stay sane makes it impossible to refuse metaphysics without resorting to intense depression and madness.

It is a common misunderstanding that Religion must be preoccupied with either the belief in God (monotheism), gods (polytheism), the dualism of natural versus supernatural. However mistaking Religion (the longing for belonging with The Other) with theism (the construction of gods and sagas precisely as to keep us stupid, controlled, and infantile) is “The Great Lie” under whose bitter shadows we have lived far too long. Re-ligion has to be re-interpreted. This is why we speak of Syntheism: The position that the question “Does God exist?”, the position of theism vs atheism, is irrelevant!

From Zarathushtra to Nietzsche, it has been widely known – often under the guise of “religious mysticism” – that while religious theater produces endless amounts of gods and sagas, True Religion is the art of “knowing that which we did not know that we know”.

There is something rather than nothing, there is undoubtedly a Universe within which we exist. Regardless of whatever attitude this Universe has towards us, we have to adapt to this divinity; it gives birth to, controls and ultimately defeats us. What is the Universe if not a god, Pantheos, the God of Everything that exists.

Inside The Sacred Room of the temple, overloaded with baroque amounts of art, jewelry, and other forms of eartly wealth, lies The Most Sacred Room: empty, dark, cold. This is where the true god recides, the god of priests and mystics. This is Atheos (Greek for “the god who does not exist”) or The Black Void.

The Syntheist Movement is seriously, intensely, uncompromisingly, decicated to Georges Bataille’s suggested atheological exercise: The art of nonknowledge, an exercise beyond both Science and Philosophy. So while Jehovah may be the god of unpredictable mood swings, Allah the god of obedience and reward, and Jesus the god of masochism and mercy, Atheos is the god of utter and complete silence from which Agape springs.

“The objectivity of science separates human beings from their world, wheras Bataille is interested in an impossible ecstatic connection with the world. Bataille is interested in another kind of consciousness altogether: A consciousness of nonknowledge, a consciousness of the absence of consciousness.”

When you as a modern atheist enter a beautiful cathedral: What makes you so castrated it prevents you from building something similar? Syntheism is the answer!

Alain de Botton

Recommended viewing: Alain de Botton’s Ted Talk on his book Religion for Atheists.