The Nessyahu Conjectures
While studying physics and philosophy at the Hebrew University Mordechai Nessyahu began to formulate the worldview he eventually called Cosmotheism. He exchanged several letters on the subject with Albert Einstein. In 1953 he published a booklet in Hebrew entitled Mada Ha'Cosmos vey Hevrat Ha'Mada (Cosmic Science and the Scientific Society) which became the foundation of his eventual Cosmotheistic formulation. Moshe Sharett, soon to be Israel's second Prime Minister, was so impressed by the booklet he shared it with Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. As a result, Nessyahu was appointed Director of the Research Department of the Israeli Labor Party. He remained in this position until his death in 1997.
We met in 1968 and I became his assistant at the Research Department. This meeting triggered a renewed interest in Cosmotheism with me as his collaborator and translator. Numerous English-language drafts of the idea were produced over the years and sent to hundreds of thinkers around the world to solicit their opinions. The year he died Nessyahu finally published his thinking in book form in Hebrew.
Since several racist groups had co-opted the name Cosmotheism, I decided to rename Nessyahu's hypothesis Cosmodeism, which paradoxically is a name closer to the tradition of Natural Theology and Natural Philosophy which Cosmodeism best reflects. I am presently writing a book entitled Cosmodeism: A Worldview for the Space Age.
Nessyahu viewed his life work as a product of his Jewish identity and his particular interpretation of Jewish history. He assigned a special place for the Jews and the Jewish outlook on life in the realization of his vision. I often argued with him that this marriage of his ideas with the Jewish collective (as an all-Jewish project) was not necessary: that it would be met with disdain or indifference by a Jewish collective preoccupied with its physical survival and would limit its appeal to non-Jews; that the fact that his being a Jew was more than sufficient. I could not think of one Jewish philosopher that saw his own thinking as a collective Jewish enterprise. But my objections were to no avail.
For a basic understanding of Nessyahu's concept, click here.