Concerning the Spiritual in Cyberspace

Published in Roetto, Michael (Ed.), Seventh International Symposium on Electronic Art, Rotterdam: ISEA96 Foundation, 1997. p. 31-36. ISBN: 90-90 10 13 0-6 ISSN 0024-094X,

Cyberspace technologies provide new opportunities and questions concerning the spiritual. This paper looks the spiritual in 20th century art and science as the basis for examining the spiritual implications in cyberspace, itself the outgrowth of art and science. This is followed by a discussion of the virtual worlds of William Gibson and Frank Tipler. The emerging discipline of studies in consciousness is introduced as a link between the spiritual and the digital, and the prophetic work of the Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin discussed for his concept of the 'noosphere'. The spiritual implications of a conscious Internet are then examined.

Keywords: spiritual, cyberspace, consciousness, Gibson, Tipler, Teilhard de Chardin, artificial life, virtual cosmogenesis.

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