John Stewart

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In existographies, John Stewart (208-133 BE) (1747-1822 ACM) (IQ:#|#) (SN:15) (FA:102) (CR:5) (LH:5) (TL:10) was a Scottish-English peregrinating philosopher and colonel, aka “Walking Stewart”, characterized a "slightly unhinged genius" (Quincey, c.1792) and “modern Pythagoras” (Anon, 1937), noted for his 1790 Moral State of Nations (AB:11), wherein he outlines an atheism-inclining pantheistic matter and motion theory, the goal of which being to increase the ‘utility’, defined as well-being + happiness, of all ‘animated matter’, in the great ‘integer of nature‘, in which he introduces a "religion of nature", comprised of eight tenets, its own dating system, the ‘self’ defined as a wave-like thing that arises from matter.


Stewart has been characterized as the black sheep of an eminent Scottish family of drapers based in London, who had been a reluctant pupil at Harrow School (Ѻ) and Charterhouse School (Ѻ). He was said to have been “keen to break the shackles of European education”, and desired to set off to India to seek his fortune.[1]

In 1767, Stewart, aged 20, was working as a writer and or clerk in Madras, India, for the East India Company. Shortly thereafter, however, he resigned in a letter of “juvenile insolence and audacity”.

In 1765, he served under Hyder Ali, going from interpreter to General; amid which he was wounded, and escaped to become Prime Minister to the Nawab of Arcot.


In late 1760s, Stewart left and “took to travelling” on foot in Persia, Ethiopia, Abyssinia, across Arabia, through France and Spain, to England, from Calais to Vienna (1784) and visited North America, during which time he focused his efforts on studying the "morality" systems of each country or state. Stewart, in sum, seems to have traveled to the following key locations: England, Scotland, Ireland, Arcot (South India), Persia, Ethiopia, Abyssinia (Ethiopian empire), Arabia, Calais (Northern France), Vienna (1784), Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Danish, Swedish, Russia, Poland, and North America; supposedly among others.

He eventually became know as: “Celebrated Walking Stewart” (Ѻ), “General John ‘Walking’ Stewart” (Ѻ), “Walking Stewart” (Ѻ), or "the traveler", among other variants.


In 1789, Stewart, after walking around the world to nearly every country, to study their dietary systems, religions, and moralities, published volume one of his two-volume Moral State of Nations (1790), wherein, building on Holbach's System of Nature (1770), he outlined a universal moral motion of animated matter theory. He eventually went on to publish close to thirty philosophical works.

Stewartian calendar

The title page of Stewart's 1790 Moral State of Nations, dated in the year of man's "retrospective Knowledge" (RK) 5000, by astronomical calculation [1790 CE]. Based on the capitalization usage, this would be an "Anno Knowledge" (AK) dating system.[2]

In 1790, Stewart published his two-volume Moral State of Nations, which he dated as follows:[3]

In the Year of Man's Retrospective Knowledge, by Astronomical Calculation 5000. Year of the Common Era, 1790

In this dating system, aka "Stewartian calendar", as compared to the standard: Dionysian calendar, which he objected to, Stewart's zero year is "3210" BC, determined by "astronomical calculations".

Stewart dates the publication of his Moral State of Nations to the year 5000 RK or ‘in the year 5000 Recorded Knowledge’ (RK), a date he ascertains from astronomy found in some Chinese tables of eclipses, that he learned about while walking around China, which he refers to has humankind’s year of ‘Retrospective Knowledge’ (RK), according to which is zero year, or 0 RK = 3210 BC, and that his publication is dated as follows:

5000 RK = 1790 AD

which equates to 165 AE in Thimsian calendar years.[4]

Reaction end

On 20 Feb 1822, Stewart, the morning after his 75th birthday, was found "dead" in a rented room in Northumberland Place, near present-day Trafalgar Square, London, with an empty bottle of laudanum (opium) beside his body.



Stewart was influenced by: Baron Holbach.


Stewart associated with: Thomas Paine, William Wordsworth, John Oswald, and Thomas de Quincey.


Quotes | On

The following are quotes on Stewart:

“This ‘Bible of Nature’, by Stewart, a ‘modern Pythagoras’, exhibits a stupendous scheme of pantheism; not a contradiction, but a confirmation, of all that is good in existing morals, on every branch of which it abounds with original and lucid views.”
— Anon (1937), “Advertisement” (pg. viii) [2]
Stewart expounds what might be described as a ‘panbiomorphic universe’, it deserves an entirely new term just for itself, in which human identity is no different in category from a wave, flame, or wind, having an entirely modal existence.”
David Fairer (2009), Organising Poetry: The Coleridge Circle, 1790-1798 (pg. 53)[5]

Quotes | By

The following are quotes:

“Present identity concerned, and interested to procure pleasure for future ‘identity’, which may have separated from and consequently forgot its antecede, represents the interruption of identity in the dissolution of life; for by the labor of the identity in life interrupted by death, as a part of nature it must assume other identity, though it must have forgot its antecedent identity of life. If the mind is once brought to a great force of internal operation or reflection, it can conceive with the utmost facility its internal and immortal connection with nature. Self, under all its changes and combination must ever be a component part of that integer, or universal mass of matter; and it is impossible in conception, to separate self as a part from its whole, notwithstanding the sudden interruption or dissolution of identity, whose connection being broken cannot remove its interest in the future good and evil of the aggregate mass of matter assuming new identities. Some part of me was probably [?] some part of Alexander. If he had humanized instead of barbarizing mankind, the universal happiness of animated matter being the operation of his identity as Alexander, he would now enjoy under my identity, and his virtuous remembrance would serve to unite the two identities.”
— John Stewart (1789), Enlightened State of Nature: the Source of Moral Motion (pgs. 15-16)
“The liberty of the press is the holy source. The publishing house is its temple. It is the high priest is ‘truth’, the god I adore.”
— John Stewart (1790), Moral State of Nations (pg. 65)[2]
“The ‘religion of nature’ considers the cause of motion as incomprehensible, and studies only the effect as being interesting and important, and sanctioned by ‘utility’, which is the ‘god of nature’. When hunger propels, does the wise man hesitate to eat till he has discovered the cause of that passion? No, he earnestly sets about procuring its gratification. So does the child of nature, with moral motion or action; he considers not its cause but studies to conduct it to its end, or the well-being of self, as the centre of the great system of animated matter, which, like the celestial systems of planets, move in the order of unitary influence, and no part of the one can lose its gravity or attraction, or the other its sympathy or rectitude, without communicating disorder or pain to the whole; and the moral world must remain in its present chaos, till wisdom has gained the first combat over coercion, and confined it to the succinct law of restraining the will of violators; and in this state it would soon exhaust its own element and dissolve.”
— John Stewart (1790), Moral State of Nations (pgs. 78-79)[2]
Self is a material something arising from the aggregate mass of nature and dissolving by separation of the parts into the same mass, which sends forth in other combinations the same something or indestructible matter, eternally connected with its integer as heat is with fire, or any other effect with its cause; the mode of this connection, human intellect cannot comprehend, but must assent to its existence. Its ‘utility’ is alone sufficient to inspire this idea, as the happiness of man could not be perfect without it; for though the virtuous and benevolent idea, to will for yourself, might establish a system of temporal happiness, yet the mind would want grandeur and expansion to support that simple truth without the comprehensible doctrine of immortality, in the indissoluble connection with nature, which gives us an eternal interest to remove all evil from the course of nature, in which we ever have, and ever shall continue to exist.”
— John Stewart (1790), Moral State of Nations (pgs. 81)[2]
“The effect of moral motion, which is to procure happiness or well-being to all ‘sensitive nature’, through the volition and intellectual faculty of man, proves ‘self’, or the moral system, the instrument of that motion, to be the only god or intelligence that ought to command the veneration of mankind, and recognized under the unitary attribute of utility to the moral system, or recognized self.”
— John Stewart (1790), Moral State of Nations (pgs. 82)[2]

End matter

See also


  1. Stuart, Tristram. (2006). The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times24: John ‘Walking’ Stewart and the Utility of Death”, pgs. 347-). Norton.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Stewart, John. (1790). The Moral State of Nations: Travels Over the Most Interesting Parts of the Globe, to Discover the Source of Moral Motion; Communicated to Lead Mankind Through the Conviction of the Senses to Intellectual Existence, and an Enlightened State of Nature. In the Year of Man's Retrospective Knowledge, by Astronomical Calculation 5000. Year of the Common Era, 1790 (god, 13+ times). Evans, 1837.
  3. Dating system – Hmolpedia 2020.
  4. Thims, Libb. (66AE). Abioism: No Thing is Alive – on the Defunct Theory of Life, the Non-Existence of Life, Life Terminology Reform, and Concept Upgrade (§:6.2, Stewart: Animated matter) (pdf). Publisher.
  5. Fairer, David. (2009). Organising Poetry: The Coleridge Circle, 1790-1798 (Amz) (pg. 53). Oxford.


  • Stewart, John. (1790). The Moral State of Nations: Travels Over the Most Interesting Parts of the Globe, to Discover the Source of Moral Motion; Communicated to Lead Mankind Through the Conviction of the Senses to Intellectual Existence, and an Enlightened State of Nature. In the Year of Man's Retrospective Knowledge, by Astronomical Calculation 5000. Year of the Common Era, 1790. Evans, 1837.
  • Stewart, John. (1795). The Revelation of Nature. Publisher.
  • Stewart, John. (1803). Opus Maximum: the Great Essay to Reduce the Moral World from Contingency to System; In the Following New Sciences: Psyconomy: the Science of the Moral Powers (part one: Discipling of the Understanding; part two: Discipline of the Will); Mathemanomy: the Laws of Knowledge; Logonomy: the Science of Language; Anagognomy: the Science of Education; Ontonomy; the Science of Being. Ginger, 1903.
  • Stewart, John. (1812). The Revolution of Reason: the Establishment of the Constitution of Things in Nature: Of Man, of Human Intellect, of Moral Truth, of Universal Good: from the Era of Intellectual Existence or the Publication of the Apocalypse of Nature, An. 4. Or 5000 of Recorded Knowledge, Ascertained by Astronomy in the Chinese Tables of Eclipses. Ridgway.
  • Stewart, John. (1818). The Book of Intellectual Life: the Sun and the Moral World. Gosnell.

External links

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