WE OFFER A DIVE INTO THE DEPTH OF THE UNIVERSE AND THE SELF. FULFILLMENT OF THE SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF RATIONALISTS, SKEPTICS, AND ANYONE WHO IS NOT ENGAGED WITH RELIGION.
Prepared June 2016
Gatherings for the non-religious that invoke profundity, investigation of the mind, and provide a context in which to better oneself do not exist.
Spacetime Sanctuary is a place that takes elements from a planetarium and a temple, where people can connect with the depth and seriousness of the cosmic drama to which we belong, and also train the mind through guided meditation experiences.
What We Offer
Guided Meditation Services. People take a seat in a dark, aesthetically stimulating, round stage. A sound-engineered deep voice leads a guided meditation. These meditations are based around investigation of the sense of self, understanding the experience of consciousness, and also the cultivation of beneficial mind-states like equanimity and loving-kindness. An extra source of scripted help and context are provided by a trained assistant that stands behind each individual.
Surrounding Interactive Screen. Uses projections of the users own bodies to provide an unforgettable experience in which you are free to interact with a story of evolution, of death, of history, and others. Microsoft Kinect is used to digitally capture the shadows.
Sensory Deprivation Tanks. These can be used by adults 18 or older, and carry a charge.
Opening the Gates of the Deep. “Sermons” are offered that are precisely calibrated to stimulate the mind’s connection with the mystery of the universe. The informational content is the same as that which would be garnered from a physics documentary or an episode of Cosmos. But quantum physics, the history and future of the universe, the history and future of humans, the Fermi Paradox, simulation hypothesis, string theory, the multiverse, space-time, the nature of matter and consciousness, and other hauntingly beautiful science and philosophy questions are presented in such a way so as to send chills down the spine and make every member of our congregation feel like a small piece of something much bigger. Film is shown in the digital screen and the “sermon giver” speaks.
Who We Service
The primary market for Spacetime Sanctuary is the non-religious population. Between 2007 and 2014, Pew Research Center says that the share of non-religious Americans increased from 16.1% to 22.8%. And a growing number of Americans, from 39% in 2007 to 46% in 2014, feel a deep sense of wonder about the universe at least once a week. As the Millennial generation enters adulthood, its members display much lower levels of religious affiliation. This trend is only expected to continue with universal access to the internet that allows for people to see the beliefs of their parents in a historical and global context. And this will be further exacerbated as younger school teachers become more unapologetically clear about scientific and historical facts.
Millennials and younger are our main target market.
1. They are mostly uninterested in the religious services on offer, only between 27 and 28 percent attend services at least weekly.
2. Depression is a growing disorder for young people. Psychology Today says that high school and college students are five to eight times as likely to suffer from depressive symptoms as were teenagers 50 or 60 years ago. Mindfulness meditation, has been shown to increase brain matter in the temporo parietal junction, which is associated with perspective taking, empathy and compassion. It has also been shown to decrease the size of the amygdala which is important for anxiety, fear, and stress.
3. Younger generations are interested in learning. Khan Academy has a total of 845,987,914 downloaded views. Ted-Ed has 331,958,882. And channels like Vsauce, with relatively heavy science or mathematics content presented in an accessible way, get millions of views per video.
4. There also appears to be interest in a more methodical religion/philosophy that can be readily applied to daily life. In the U.S., Christianity is decreasing, Islam and Hinduism are increasing but this is largely due to migrants. The only major religion that is gaining Western converts percentage-wise is Buddhism. This might suggest that people are interested in more practical life-improvement. We can take the useful elements of Buddhism that don’t require belief/faith in order to appeal to a wider audience aside from appealing to the Buddhist audience.
5. Older people are more conservative on the whole, but some adults that are college-educated or that have always been interested in science are likely to also seek to benefit with this.
• Meditation centers
• Religious organizations
We offer an inspirational, other-worldly experience that enhances the best of religion (the connection to mystery, the love, the heroic idols, the understanding of our place in the universe, the aesthetic) but replaces the irrationality and divisiveness with intelligent scientific content and precise meditation proven to change the mind by restructuring the brain.
• Writers/Public Intellectuals – popularizers of science or skepticism or meditation who sympathize with the project
• Creative Designers/Architects/Artists – the aesthetic appeal is very important
• Programmers/Film Directors – to create the visual and interactive experiences
• OMA, IMAX, or Dolby – for the immersive screen
Marketing & Sales
Our marketing strategy seeks to optimize our advantage of timing. We want to appeal to the now millions of non-believers who do not yet have an option for gathering to experience things such as: transcendence, the transient and stark beauty of mental phenomena, the profound grace of nature, awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and powerful for words. Many are caught in the tediousness of mundane routine and need an outlet. Many also pay attention to public figures who popularize science like Richard Dawkins and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. It will be essential to get public figures like these to initially endorse this.
We are here not just to educate or entertain, but to provide deep connection with truth. This intention will manifest itself in how the experience is designed and also in our general communication with the public.
Our marketing programs are online focused, where we can reach our main target market.
Everything from in depth explanations of our philosophy and what we offer, to hours and dates and costs. We will make it easy to donate in order to allow a teen free entry for one month, or to donate in general. We have contact information for talented individuals seeking to donate their time out of passion for the cause. And we will also provide a list of book recommendations that we have discerned to contain yugen – that subtle cosmic awareness that cannot be easily expressed with words. A portion of what is spent in these books will go towards our funds.
Our sales channels include:
Selling the experience – payment will be made on entering The Sanctuary. (Exceptions or aid will be provided for low-income persons including those under 18 based on level of funding available.) Extra charges for using sensory deprivation tanks.
•Adult — $19.69
•Youth (ages 10-17) — $16.69
•Sensory Deprivation Tank — $45 an hour
Aside from time donation, there will be the option to donate in person or through our website. There will be the option to donate specifically for the sponsoring of a teen.
Corporate Giving and Sponsorship:
Businesses can provide cash or grants. We are willing to promote certain businesses that resonate with our image.
Wealthy individuals can fund this and rid us of the necessity to sell the main experience — sermons and meditations. We will then operate more like a church, with voluntary tithing.
Author Partnership Program:
Spacetime Sanctuary receives a portion of what is spent in books bought through the site.
Locations & Facilities
Our locations are meant to open based on online demand. Surveys will be conducted online through the social network pages of secularists and through our own website after gaining some awareness. Initial awareness will be gained through attending skeptic and scientific conferences, and by giving talks on popular platforms like TED. For technical reasons, the site cannot be less than approximately 10,200 square feet.
Surround screen, the software, Kinect, and voice modifier for speaker to help create otherworldly experience. Sensory deprivation tanks to come in direct, undisturbed contact with the strangeness of existence. We will have grants and financial aid applications set up online with the intention of helping young people abide in our facilities with continuity. Young people will be transformed and able to use what they learned from the Spacetime Sanctuary in their college and university applications.