I’ve recently found myself fascinated with the surviving fragments of Heraclitus and his philosophy, especially what he has to say about what we may call religious expression. What follows is a brief exploration of his ideas and an application to religion generally, especially my own native Mormonism.
I’ve known about Harold Bloom since I first read The American Religion (1992, 2013) in 2015, but about two months ago I discovered for the first time what may be called (despite Bloom’s own wishes) the spiritual successor to that previous book: Omens of Millennium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams, and Resurrection (1997). In reading Omens, I was captivated afresh with a topic that I had known about since I was a teenager, but which Bloom himself seemed to capture and articulate in ways I never could: namely, the ancient spiritual traditions collectively known as Gnosticism. Instantly intrigued, I devoured Omens, reread American Religion, and set out for more books by Bloom (I’ve attached a list of suggested reading to the end of this post, in fact).
Recently (for the past couple months, in fact) I’ve been down quite the rabbit hole. More or less, it can be described as an as-in-depth-as-I-can-manage exploration of “multiverse theories.” I’d like to give a relatively brief synopsis of my findings thus far, with the caveat that none of these descriptions of various theories will be exhaustive (though I’ll provide links to further reading, if you’re interested), hoping to arrive at a point that rang a little truer for me recently: speculation is healthy, sometimes even necessary, in order to more fully grasp the concrete and actual. That’s not at all to say speculation can’t be outlandish, especially when it becomes masturbatory speculation for speculation’s sake; but when it remains rooted in the actual and concrete, when it moves from the mortifying realm of “conspiracy theories” to something more like mapping possible upcoming roads, I believe it’s quite useful. I believe the immediate use for writing will be apparent, but this perspective seems to me to be broadly applicable to other fields as well.