To make Esperanto your primary language.
What would be some tips for doing this that you have? Is it even possible to the same extent one could make Russian or French their native language? Could one actually use Esperanto in school, science, theology, philosophy etc to the same extent? Or is the language’s main purpose basic conversation?
I only ask because I’d love to have a second primary language and I’m trying to figure out which is deserving of my attention.
Well, it's not possible - by definition - to acquire a second native language once you're old enough to think about such things. That's what native means. Esperanto is a broadly developed language usable for quite a variety of situations - such as the ones you mentioned.
My experience speaking Esperanto daily for 20 years is that it's possible to get very good indeed at Esperanto, but once you get to a certain point, there are fewer and fewer people to talk to at that level. I've had more success with Esperanto than with any other language - including German , which I've known for years and invested countless hours into - but there are moments where German just seems so much simpler. Have a question about the right way to say something - ask a native speaker. If you're looking to reach C2 fluency in Esperanto, there are only so many people who can mentor you once you get close to the goal.
It seems to me the more important question is whether you enjoy Esperanto. Does the history spark your interest? Is the community attractive to you? Do you like the idea of learning ONE language and then having a few people everywhere you can talk to?
After speaking it daily for 20 years I’d assume that you are C2 or know a few people who are C2? Is it even common after speaking for that long to have a question of how to form a sentence or phrase?
I’ve explored so many languages that at this point they all look the same to me. In the sense that Esperanto peaks my interest just as much as Hebrew or Kurdish would. So that isn’t really a problem. In regards to the community I do wonder how diverse the opinions of people are. I’ve seen quite a lot of left wing ideologies.
Theology and philosophy are my main interests so those indeed would be the two main subjects in which I’d love to be able to talk about. Ethics is an eternal interest and something we’ll be discussing until our extinction.
I'm a native English speaking and sometimes need to ask another native how to form a thought coherently in English ;)
Esperanto is suitable for communication on as many levels as those of any national language. I guess, as Salivanto points out, the trick is finding enough speakers at whatever language level you're seeking (and also who have the same interests) to form a community of like-minded Esperanto speakers. So to the same extent? Probably not in numbers, but if you were using, say, Russian for the same purpose, how many Russian speakers would you be able to actually communicate with in any meaningful way? Certainly not thousands.
So in a very practical sense, I am answering "yes" to your question. But you'll probably have to seek those people out. They won't just be hanging out at your local university or cafe.
You can also read the published science, theology, philosophy, et cetera, of Esperantists to get a taste of that kind of communication in Esperanto.
As far as making Esperanto your primary language, if I understand the intent of your question as full immersion 24/7 in a community of Esperantists, you can always try visiting Herzberg-Am-Harz, a community in Germany that has declared Esperanto as an official language. I think so far it has attracted mainly Esperanto tourists, but it would be interesting to see if any people actually settle there and use Esperanto as their primary language.
Travelling using Pasporta Servo may be another approach. Use Esperanto as your primary language with your hosts and use other languages for details like buying train tickets or a meal in a restaurant. Restrict yourself as much as possible to Esperanto speakers while you travel.
So I think this is all possible but it would have to be arranged by you. Esperanto speakers are not concentrated in one place enough for you to be able to fall into it.
I learned Esperanto the year I turned 30. I've been to too many Esperanto meetings where people come out to see the "denaskuloj" as if it's some kind of freak show. Some of my fondest memories in Esperantujo were at the Renkontiĝo de Esperantistaj Familioj where people can just hang out with other people without this happening.
I gave it an upvoted and some lingots that can't be taken away by trolls ;).
You don't need to be at a native-like level to understand what you listed. Not even close to.
By the way, there are schools and universities that use Esperanto. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Academy_of_Sciences_San_Marino
There are more though.
And there are native speakers of Esperanto. Probably most of them are bilingual. There is a lot of Esperanto literature, both, originally written in Esperanto as well as translated into Esperanto.
To reach a high level it is important that you speak, write, read and listen to the language a lot. You also need to expand the variety of topics and to increase the difficulty of material you are dealing with to continue learning new things. Live through Esperanto as you would through any other language you're learning. Primary it language to communicate orally and written and to consume as much as you can (newspapers, magazines, books, conversations, radio, movies, YouTube videos, podcasts etc.) All that can be found online. But try to make it an offline experience, too. Also, be creative in the way you use it and fill any idle time with Esperanto.
I'd also like to add another point. If you learn Russian to a level where you can have discussions about philosophy, politics, semantics, science, whatever (or even mundane topics covering day-to-day life), you will be able to speak with Russians, most of whom will have been raised in the Russian culture. That's wonderful!
But if you learn Esperanto, you can speak with people from many, many different cultures and hear of their opinions filtered through many different points of view. I've experienced this myself and learned an awful lot about the world and the individual people in it. I was able to ask and discuss quite personal feelings as the "instant lifelong friend" thing that can happen in Esperantujo really does exist.
This may be something you will also want to consider in your decision.
The International Academy of Sciences in San Marino is the only university I know of where the instruction is in Esperanto, so studying there would be a good idea if you want to immerse yourself. It seems like if you wanted to make Esperanto your primary language, you would have to seek out like-minded people and form a community. It would be quite an undertaking, but a cool thing to do.
Lasu min diri tion en esperanto: mi pensas ke la sola vojo al plena posedo estas komenci krei esperanton memstare evitante erarojn. La nivelmezurado en esperanto estas iomete dubinda cxar vi povas atingi ofte malsamajn formojn de samsignifantaj frazoj se vi esperantigas ilin ekde diversaj lingvoj. Ekz. vi povas diri: "tio estas plezuro al mi koni vin", vi povas ankaux diri: "plezuras vin koni". Vi povas diri: "mi volas pisi", sed ankaux: "mi volas maltrinki". Esperanto havas nemezureblan potencialon sed oni devas esti vigla.
Hebrew was «revitalized» when Ben-Yehuda started teaching his son only in that language, making the child the first «native hebrew speaker» in a few centuries. This, of course, is more symbolic than real and the revival needed many other factors in play, including the need for a common language of peoples who had lived apart for many centuries and needed to come together not only geographically but also culturally. Perhaps is some esperantists start doing something similar, we will get some native speakers! But I have to say that the fact of Esperanto not having native speakers is probably one of the things that prevents it from «evolving» in my opinion. Language tends to change (regardless of reason and/or objective) as people «own it». Unfortunately, many people also consider that democracy is a factor in language evolution (see what happens to most languages spoken outside their original birthplace, when such places have more people or more cultural domination, as is the case with most european languages these days). Esperanto should - again, in my opinion - remain free from that process so it can retain its uniqueness and strengths that make it such a powerful language and an incredible tool for international communication.
I gave birth to three personally. Well, not personally. I just drove two personally to an Esperanto event where they brought the house down with a self-choreographed Irish-Tap dance battle. Speculation (on the part of LuisS_PT or anybody) is all well and good - but get out there and enjoy Esperanto. It's a big Esperantujo out there.