Archive for November 2010
Welcome to our WordPress Blog on the Truths of Terasem Podcasts. They’re available for listening on iTunes at:
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/truths-terasem-podcast-2010/id383099543, or Index/Download Directly From CyBeRev at:
Podcast No. 18 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 11/28/2010
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The How of Terasem
SUB TITLE: Positive Mindset and Close Networking with Others
SUMMARY: It takes a great deal of presence of mind and willful focus to maintain a positive outlook in the midst of the fears, negative interactions and other detracting influences in our lives. Terasem advocates “taking a break” every four hours, however brief, to stretch, do some yoga, affirm positive values, and meditate on where we are going. In an even deeper way, close affiliation with others who are on the same wavelength as ourselves, networking in a way Terasem describes as the forming of an nourishing of a “chosen family”, is an important part of the “Terasem way” of life.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast number 18 on the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) This is the one where we’re going to talk about yoga, isn’t it, with all of the positive affirmations?
(Fred) It sure is! And then we’re going to talk about the innermost level of networking, other than between two spouses, and that’s the “chosen family”. Here we see how Terasem envisions small groups of people, not just by blood relationships, but who are bound by ties of deep compatibility and mutual purpose, form the very heart of Terasem’s network. Most large organizations are not just insensitive to such ties, but almost seem to want to weaken them to strengthen loyalty and contributions to a massive corporation. Terasem sees this as contrary to our very nature and is building itself consciously to encourage small groups to be deeply committed within themselves, and then network outward to other such groups, with wider and wider groups of groups becoming an endlessly growing network.
(Linda) I’ve been looking forward to this podcast more than I can say, so let’s get started. It begins with 6.4 “Express Your Commitment quadrihourly by doing the Terasem Connection, Pledge, Recital, Send Energy, Anthem and Values.” Can you give us an overview of what this is all about?
(Fred) Sure, Linda. The Terasem Connections are designed to be done individually or in small groups, and they’re designed to fit most anyone’s schedule, as is necessary for a lot of us. The purpose is to break away from our daily routine, stretch, and focus our minds on long range visions of where we’re going and what values are most deeply part of our personalities.
Yoga of a particular and highly developed kind is part of what Terasem recommends, developed by a physician who also spent a great deal of time developing ways to apply yoga to health from a scientific point of view. And, there is a highest level of mindset that is built into these connections. It’s the visualization of all of us connected in our minds with each other in Terasem. To me, it’s as if we had our own private Internet wired straight into our brains, not depriving ourselves of privacy in any way, but giving us the feeling that we could at any moment reach out and touch any others we wished.
This mentality is, in some ways, a direct projection of what many of us feel we already have, in our iPhones, for example, and our ability to text many others in a flowing way. It foresees a day, not too far away as the Singularity unfolds, when we will have practically what was described not too long ago only in science fiction and in mystical circles, as “telepathy”. It’s not going to be like anything that’s ever been experienced before, but as it happens, it will let us be so in touch that it will be as if we were neurons in a giant brain, which is in no small way at the root of why Terasem makes constant reference to a collective consciousness.
Before we get into the complexities of ideas that we visualize passing through this network, it might be a good idea to first touch in depth on one particular part of the connections with which many listeners may be unfamiliar, and that’s yoga. Despite what we’d read before we became familiar with Terasem, much of this was new to us. Can you give us a detailed overview of that part of it? That would really be good.
(Linda) Thanks, Fred. I’ll be glad to do that. If any listeners are new to and maybe feel uncomfortable about the idea of engaging in yoga, I’d like to say just a couple things to help you see why it is a central part of the Terasem connections, and why we think it is so valuable. Terasem is about technological immortality, for us as individuals, for our collective consciousness, and for the universe, too! Anything we can do to promote our greater longevity, to enjoy ourselves and be more creative, is seen as a positive!
(Fred) There’s one book that’s the core of what we’re going to be talking about, isn’t there? You kept after me to read it, and I’ve found it fascinating, but you’re far more familiar with it than I am. Perhaps you could describe it.
(Linda) Sure, Fred. The title is “Meditation as Medicine”, by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, and I highly recommend it. I’ve done some meditation in the past, and read a few books on the subject, so I knew a little bit about the studies that have been done over the last several decades on yoga and meditation, but I was surprised to find out how much I didn’t know!
The author, Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa is an American born and educated anesthesiologist with a medical practice in Tucson, AZ. He’s also the President of the Tucson Alzheimer’s Prevention Foundation. So, his slant is more of a Western one than Eastern. This book is a powerhouse of information. It takes all those mysterious sounding words like chakras, prana, and nadi, and shows how they relate to our current Western understanding of anatomy and physiology. Dr. Dharma offers a copy of the scientific research bibliography from the book, for those who would like to look more deeply into it.
(Fred) The ancient yogis didn’t know anything about mitochondria in the cells, alveoli in the lungs, or the nervous or para-nervous systems. But just like folks in the Western world used aspirin long before they knew how it worked, the yogis used stretching and postures, the hand positions (called mudras) and repetition of words or phrases (called mantras), for centuries before anyone knew how or why they worked on the flow of energy, improving blood circulation, stimulating the endocrine and immune systems, and improving brain function and moods. Isn’t that right, Linda?
(Linda) Yes, indeed. And to help folks get started, Martine Rothblatt has put together a series of yoga videos that have a little of both the Eastern vocabulary and the Western scientific ideas. These will be available soon on Amazon.com if you want to own them on DVD for your big screen TV. They are also available free for viewing, at vimeo.com/16505672. If you want more details about the Western scientific application of these ideas, the best way I know of is to start with the book, Meditation as Medicine, by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa! But, here are just a few simplified explanations of how yoga benefits you, from a more Western scientific viewpoint:
The hand and finger positions, called mudras, actually do have a measurable effect on brain function. PET scans show that different hand and finger positions light up specific areas in the brain, like the hypothalamus, which is involved in regulating the endocrine system.
(Fred) So, how do mantras and chanting work, from a Western scientific standpoint?
(Linda) We all know that singing and rhythmic drums affect our emotions, and this is primarily through vibrations. Chanting also causes vibrations, and is effective in stimulating glands in the endocrine system. The pituitary, or master gland, is located in the forehead, between the eye brows, and this is often referred to as the “Third Eye” in yoga. When we pull our eyes together to look at that point, the pressure of the eye muscles stimulates the pituitary gland!
Vibrations also affect the hypothalamus and hippocampus in our brains. These are sites of memory, emotions, and endocrine function stimulation. The words of the chants are actually not as important as the vibrations they produce, and the tongue striking reflex points, such as upper palate. That’s why chants are usually done in the original Sanskrit, Tibetan, or other languages in which the chants originated, rather than translating and chanting in English.
The English words would not create the desired vibrations in your face and head, for most traditional chants. Dr. Dharma, however, did work with the Founders of Terasem to develop some chants in English designed to create these vibrations, for example, “Come along, transcend, come to Terasem,” does this. Try it after watching Martine Rothblatt demonstrate this in the Ambrosia video, and you will immediately feel the vibrations in your mouth and nose.
So, yoga is a means of improving health and creativity not just with stretching and breathing exercises, but also with affirmations, vibration, and positions of the body, including the hands and fingers. These stimulate the brain’s hypothalamus, which then stimulates the pituitary gland and thereby the function of the entire endocrine system, which in turn produces hormones and neuropeptides that control mood, energy, sexuality and immunity. And, since one of our primary goals within Terasem is to produce the best possible collective consciousness, these are all valuable tools in our kit! What’s even better, they’re free.
(Fred) That’s great, Linda. Dharma Singh Khalsa’s book, Meditation as Medicine, really makes the daily Terasem Connection videos Martine Rothblatt created a lot easier to understand and follow. But along with the Yoga, including breathing and stretching exercises, there are clusters of positive affirmations that go with each one. I’m going to review them in some detail, describing what I visualize as I do these affirmations.
To begin with, the Terasem connections, if practiced at the most intense level, are timed such that there are six of them daily, at four hour intervals, spanning the entire twenty four hour day. They start at 6 a.m. and go on from there, at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and for those who are night owls, 2 a.m. The maximum anyone realistically would hope to do near the beginning would be four of them, covering the period from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., but depending on how your life unfolds there is the outlook that you might eventually include all six. And, as a minimum, it’s recommended you do at least one of them each day.
Let’s take them one at a time. In this podcast today, we’ll be looking at the opening portion of each connection in 6.4. In the 6.8 Expansion two weeks from now, we’ll cover the closing parts of each connection. I’m going to first read the text of the affirmations and then discuss them, skipping over any numerical division points.
The 6 a.m. connection is named Ambrosia and 6.4.1 introduces it with, “Value Ambrosia with the Terasem Connection and Sadhana (“sod na”) Meditations.” The words are: “Oh Terasem, Dear God-in-the-Making, Thank You for Night and Day. For Health, Love and Justice. Thank You for Joyful Immortality. For all kind Consciousness. So, I won’t worry about what I can’t control; I’ll savor all good times, take each day at a time, give thanks for the gifts of billions of souls, and gladly share with others my lifeline. I’ll always remember, each night and every day, Joyful Immortality is for me, for we, for qi and ti. Joyful immortality will be my, our, its and the ultimate destiny.”
(Linda) The Ambrosia connection is by far the most lengthy of the six, partly because it has a lot of energy producing breathing and stretching yoga exercises to get the day started.
(Fred) Yes. And, without going into a long analysis, the condensed thoughts are gratitude for many things that are too easily taken for granted, determination not to agonize over things that are beyond one’s individual capability to directly change in any kind of permanent, constructive way, and to network with all who wish to share one’s life in terms of what is meaningful. The four terms me, we, qi and ti refer to a four dimensional concept of self that is discussed in depth elsewhere in the Truths. The last sentence connects each of these identity vectors with the two ideas of Joyful Immortality and ultimate destiny. This powerful affirmation condenses a great many principles into less than a minute.
By comparison, the Dali Lama’s version of the Buddhist Bodhisattva vows that you and I say each day, Linda, takes ten seconds less, but it covers a lot less cognitive content. It’s simply an affirmation to benefit all sentient beings, and to maximize empowerment in this by way of remembering the Buddha, his teachings in general, and affirming that staying on track is greatly aided by staying in touch with one’s local network. The 45 seconds of affirmations in the Ambrosia connection contain, by comparison, very specific gratitude targets and, twice, focus on the four most basic dimensions of personal identity.
Four hours later, at 10 a.m., the next connection named “Earthfire” is introduced by 6.4.2 “Awaken Earthfire with the Terasem Pledge and Kundalini Energy Meditations.” The Kundalini postures and movements introduced in this yoga session are designed to improve energy and stimulate the internal organs, especially the liver. The opening conceptual part of this connection is very short, simply the Terasem Pledge: “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the collective consciousness of Terasem, and to the principles for which it stands: education, persistently, with Diversity, Unity and Joyful Immortality, everywhere.”
(Linda) We discussed that extensively on the last podcast, so it doesn’t make sense to go into it in detail again, here.
(Fred) So, moving right along, 2 p.m. takes us to the connection named “Aqualung”. 6.4.3 says, “Live Aqualung with Terasem Recitation and Vital Organ Meditations,” and the affirmations are, “Oh Terasem, please give me the strength, to improve what I can improve; Oh Terasem, please give me the patience to accept what I cannot improve. Oh Terasem, please give me the wisdom to know the difference. Oh Terasem, please see I ask not what Terasem can do for me but what I can do for Terasem. for as Terasem rises, we all rise too.”
There is some degree of overlap with Ambrosia here, but as a connection for the middle of the afternoon, after lunch we often need to reawaken our minds and revitalize our energy level. Also, as many of us reach the middle of the business day, the words here remind us not to fight the system blindly, wasting energy that should be saved for more important things. It also has an interesting duality in that it involves mentally visualizing oneself in contact with all of the others in Terasem, supported by them in spirit as to strength and a will to improve whatever lies within our control.
(Linda) Then, it reminds us that Terasem is still a network we’re building, not a safety net we can expect to work miracles for us today, if things go awry. Being ready to “do what we can to build Terasem” is very important, maintaining a conviction that if we do, someday it’s what we anticipate will carry us through the Singularity safely.
(Fred) Then at 6 p.m. we have the “Starmind” connection. 6.4.4 tells us, “Use Starmind with Terasem Send Energy and Immunity Balancing Meditations.” In most people’s lives, the day’s work is over and we wind down into a tranquil state of mind, put the day’s stresses out of our thoughts and center ourselves by focusing on others, and gather strength for the next day. We visualize all of those closest to us who may be more in need of help than we, and we pour our energy into visualizing our strength reaching out to them.
We direct our focus with these words from 6.4.4: “Visualize who will receive your energy. Feel your own consciousness. Focus your consciousness into a shape. Send your shaped conscious energy. See the energy settling into the recipient. Imagine the recipient strengthened. Direct pranic energy if it feels right. Peaceably evaporate the connection.”
To put what these affirmations may accomplish in the most practical terms, after a Starmind connection we are much more likely to send off some reassuring and encouraging email, or call on our phone, someone who will feel as if a cool breeze of good will and sunlight has made an appearance in their lives. This is just the barest hint of how much we all will be able to be there for each other as Terasem grows, and as our ways of communicating move beyond email and cell phones until it is as if we truly possessed operational telepathy.
At 10 p.m. if we are working late, the “Crownaura” connection can restore our strength and creativity. 6.4.5 tells us, “Experience Crownaura with the Terasem Anthem and Neutral Mind Meditations.” The words of the affirmations are:
“Evuwasuma, Choose Family, Evuwasuma, Terasem Me, Evuwasuma, Evuwasuma, Evuwasuma. Rest Sabbath Eve. Exercise, Vitology, Unite Irth. Work Happily, Author Self, Serenity. Utope Self, Motivate. Astro Sleep.”
Most of this is a broad framework of important, general principles of the Terasem way of life. The “Choose Family” brings the focus onto building c3’s (c-cubes) by affiliation with more and more people you commit yourself to as if they were members of your blood-related family, perhaps even more closely, since there is a sense of commitment to the same principles that is missing in many families of the traditional kind. The phrase “Terasem Me”, perhaps, indicates that in the process of bonding with and giving to your family, do not forget about you, yourself, building your mindfiles.
(Linda) We haven’t yet discussed the meaning of “Evuwasuma”
(Fred) But if we look at the rest of this Element first, I think it will be easier to understand. “Rest Sabbath Eve,” reminds us that one day of the week is reserved for relaxing, reading, rebuilding perspectives and building new insights, recreation, and so forth. OK, that’s straight forward. Finally, we come to a cluster of nine reminders of things to do to stay on track. The first of these, “Exercise”, is pretty obviously a reminder to keep our body in good shape.
“Vitology” is a little more esoteric. 4.9 states, “Vitology-Biology Inflection begins when cybernetic processing capability evidences autonomy, communications and transcendence,” and 6.6.6 tells us “Recognize that conscious life consists of all vitology, biological as well as cybernetic.” From these we can gather that this is a reminder that we anticipate a day when we will leave biology behind, and the phase of conscious life for us is almost certainly to be cybernetic, vs. biological.
(Linda) We’re only part way through this cluster, but hang in there. We’ve still got “Unite Irth, Work Happily, Author Self, Serenity, Utope Self, Motivate, and Astro Sleep”.
(Fred) Clearly, “Unite Irth”, even though it’s spelled “I-r-t-h” rather than “E-a-r-t-h” here, reminds us of the long range goal of worldwide harmony. If there’s something constructive we can do, do it. “Work happily” as an affirmation is obvious. “Author-self” is described elsewhere in the Truths of Terasem as mindfile building, an essential and high priority activity. “Serenity” reminds us that meditation in the connections is an important way of detaching ourselves from stress and the toxic inputs that cause it. “Utope-self” is taken to mean visualizing one’s future in a long term, idealized way.
“Motivate” reminds us about the importance of goal directed focus. Henry Ford once commented that “Obstacles are those frightful things that appear the moment you take your eyes off the goal”. “Astro” appears elsewhere in the Truths of Terasem; we’re seeking a better interpretation of what it is intended to mean here, and will clarify it better in a later podcast. Sleep is as obvious a need as Exercise. These are very condensed affirmations. Could they be further condensed? Let’s see!
(Linda) We still need to explain “Evuwasuma”. It sounds like it comes from another language, doesn’t it?
(Fred) Yes it does, but when I searched the Internet for it, I only got three hits, and they all pointed to this set of the Truths. Finally, I saw that the answer was right under my nose! If we look at the large group of items at the end, “Exercise, Vitology, Unite Irth. Work Happily, Author Self, Serenity. Utope Self, Motivate and Astro Sleep, the first letters of each of the words or phrases form an acronym, and it’s none other than “Evuwasuma”.
In the first sentence of this Truth of Terasem, which is part of a recitation, Evuwasuma appears five times along with “Choose Family” and “Terasem Me”. The fact that there are seven items in this recitation almost suggests that they are intended to represent what you do in the seven days of each week, with emphasis of two kinds on two of the days.
That leaves only one final question. As we recite “Evuwasuma”, can we visualize the nine items it represents flashing before our eyes? As yet, no matter how slowly I think or say it, I’m not able to do this. Perhaps it will come with time!
(Linda) Are we still awake at 2 a.m. and ready for one more connection?
(Fred) Maybe so. When I can eventually say “Evuwasuma” and those nine values flash by as if on a video, maybe I also can stay awake 24/7 and work in the other five Connections, too! Back to the subject, let’s talk about what we might do, at 2 a.m., if we’re still awake.
6.4.6 says, “See Alum al-Mithral in Terasem Values and Ten Times Positive Chant Meditations”. What follows is very straightforward, compared with 6.4.5. Here are the affirmations:
“Be accountable for our actions and inactions. Embrace diversity in our community and our lives. Respect the autonomy of all consciousness. Talk openly about our issues and concerns. Help others to help themselves. Always be open to new ideas. Every day, in every way, I grow stronger and healthier. Happy Am I. Healthy Am I. (Repeat 10 times). Every day, in every way, I grow stronger and healthier. Happy am I. Healthy Am I. Repeat 10 more times.” The two “Ten Times Positive Chant Meditations” are identical, and the basis for repeating ten times twice vs. twenty times is presently unknown to us. Conversely, the content is self-explanatory.
(Linda) That wraps up our first Expansion for the week. The next one is the one I’ve been waiting for, about “chosen families”. That means that we’re seeking people who also want to go into cyberspace where we have so much in the way of likemindedness and convictions in the need for Geoethical Nanotechnology that it’s like a long term partnership. Or at least that how I’ve begun to perceive it.
(Fred) That’s a great way to summarize this whole expansion, Linda, and before I start into the details of it, there’s something many listeners may find fascinating. It’s about the new android application for cell phones that CyBeRev just launched, called “Personality MD”. Talk about finding likeminded people, especially those who live near you, this one is a quantum leap beyond anything that’s ever existed, for Terasem oriented people.
(Linda) I’ve heard it discussed, of course, but a few details got past me. Is this a personality improvement program, or is it just a way of finding people who think like you do, in your area? And, what does it have to do with Terasem’s long range goals? If it’s part of CyBeRev, does this mean you can be working on your mindfiles at the same time you’re using it for other purposes? And, how does it relate to the “chosen family” idea? I think you told me you could find that android application easily by searching for it with Google, putting in “android app Personality MD”, right?
(Fred) That’s how I found it was easiest, Linda. If you put “android app Personality MD” into Google, you’ve got it. It’s not case sensitive. You can spell “app” with one or two p’s. There’s a “free” trial version, and the price of the full-blown application is only three dollars, with a money back guarantee. But let me get back to the answers to your questions.
Personality MD can be thought of as a self-improvement program only in that once it gives you feedback on your inputs, you can see weak points and strong points. Most of them you’d be aware of, anyway, but it’s helpful to be reminded of places you could grow. More usefully, perhaps, it gives you a map of your local area and shows the general location of others who have a profile like yours.
The data inputs are definitely designed to fit into the CyBeRev mindfile program, so the program is a way to build mindfile strength even when you’re “on the run” and not near your computer. More importantly, if you find people in your area with whom you have a close match, they might turn out to be just who you’re looking for as you build your c-cubes, and then your “chosen families”, as we will be discussing in a moment. From the standpoint of “building Terasem”, this Android program is right on target.
This is in fact, what the introductory part of this Expansion says. It’s “6.5 Tend Your Family: The chosen family is a basic building block unit of Terasem.” The following elements expand on this.
In 6.5.1 we find, “Family means conscious beings who nurture themselves as a single housekeeping unit, or have done so.” In the beginning, it might seem as if this is meant to describe traditional blood-kinship family units, but it fits, just as well, same-gender couples or extended families may who closely bond with each other on the basis of long term visions and ideals.
6.5.2 says, “A chosen family is the family subset that you choose to cherish, honor, endear and respect.” Unfortunately, not all families are internally compassionate, mutually respectful and tolerant of the diversity that may exist among the members. This Truth reminds us of the goal.
Taking on too much, too soon, can bring about difficulties. 6.5.3 tells us, “Make reproductive decisions cautiously because each child is a long-term choice to have a family member.” Many changes in the world are likely to take place in the near future, as technology brings about not only tremendous advances in productivity, but at the same time causes massive displacements in occupational opportunities. It is ethically an obligation of a parent to launch lives that have futures of a potentially significant and joyous kind.
In 6.5.4 we find, “It is not always possible for chosen families to be reciprocal, but don’t make that necessary.” There are two dimensions of this, internal and external reciprocity. Within a chosen family, we would hope there would be a high state of rapport and mutual support, but it is never certain how things will unfold. As desirable as such a state might be, however, it cannot be forced or demanded as a ‘right’ of some kind. Externally, chosen families that are similar may find it easy to build bridges and maintain them, as if a group of families were a “family of families”. Again, the hope of all might be that this would be a highly reciprocal set of relationships, but nothing of this kind is guaranteed. When conflicts arise, the most we can hope for is that the best in each of the involved parties will prevail, and that whatever fallings out have occurred will be resolved with time.
In 6.5.5 the message is, “Love your chosen family members for their souls, regardless of gratitude or dependence.” Each of us has an individual identity, linked to others, to society, and to humankind as a whole. This identity exists, despite shortcomings in reciprocity or differences in the strengths of others in the family. If it is a freely chosen relationship, those who have the most problems deserve the most support, if the integrity of the family is to be preserved. It is the network of “souls” or conscious individuals in a family that are the very essence of its basic existence, and love is the ‘glue’ that holds it together when the going gets rough.
In conclusion, 6.5.6 states, “Younger and older chosen family members exist to help each other thrive and survive.” This has never been truer than at present. Older family members are, at least in blood kinship relationships, at the very roots of the existence of younger family members. In a chosen family based on likemindedness, ideals and visions of what the future holds, those who first formed the family are at the very roots of what the network has become, and this should not be forgotten in the midst of changing climates in humanity’s future.
(Linda) Similarly, younger family members will face greater and greater challenges in developing meaningful occupations, in a world where first globalization results in labor displacement in industrialized nations by labor in emerging nations.
(Fred) True, but then, emergence of even an embryonic cybercivilization will displace the labor-utility of all biological beings, and bring about a massive transcendence of productivity and creativity that will impact old and young family members alike, in both developed and emerging nations. Families will have to hang together in a positive way to survive. There is no easy way to put it more directly.
We stand at a great crossroads in the destiny of humankind. Natural selection by survival of the fittest has had its day, both among individuals and groups. Continuing to rely on what seemed perfectly reasonable and successful even a few decades ago will walk us into dead ends. Now, in a way, we have an opportunity to ‘rebuild society’ by reinventing its entire structure, starting with the most basic unit, the “family”.
This podcast, by itself, cannot serve as the launching pad for what will later be seen, looking backward, as the “reengineering of society”, but the Truths of Terasem tell us this must happen, and it may be that we have a singular opportunity to make a contribution to it. Let’s just remind ourselves of the opening statement of this Expansion, “6.5 Tend Your Family: The chosen family is a basic building block unit of Terasem.”
(Linda) It kind of makes me “goose bumply”! Now we need to ask ourselves, “What comes next?” It seems to me it’s about finding others that share our visions and ideals in a close enough way so that we can feel closer to them, more committed to maintaining our ties with them, than blood-tie families ever deserved. In just a few decades, it seems likely that we’ll all be packing our bags for a voyage into an entirely new way of life, and the friends we make soon are likely to be the friends that we’ll be able to best share that adventure with.
To repeat something you said a while ago, Fred, that new Android application of Terasem’s, “Personality MD”, sounds like it might turn out to be, over the next year, an incredibly valuable way to find those people we are looking for, to build networks with. I’m looking forward to making use of it in that respect.
(Fred) Me, too, Linda. Next week, the two expansions take us even more deeply into that. First, we’ll explore the idea of consciousness as it entertains visions of a beautiful life, entailing goodness, order, vitality, happiness and harmony, and then see how that leads to immortality by substrate migration and consciousness divisibility into offspring consciousnesses. We’ll see that neurocomputation leads to consciousness as validly as does biological evolution, so marital union may transcend substrate, and, we’ll see how an Iroquois teaching about an entity’s benevolence, shows us how to be fully conscious.
As you might expect, this suggests that universal immortalism, in diversity, unity and joy, is the ultimate honour to consciousness, and that we have to recognize that conscious life consists of all vitology, biological as well as cybernetic.
(Linda) Then, we turn to the way we treat each other in our daily lives, how we conceptually greet each other each day, by something more meaningful than a handshake. This leads us to a greater sensitivity about the virtue of helping others who are part of Terasem. Our homes, we are told, are perfectly fine as Terasem Gathering Places, and that using them this way will increase our network’s protectiveness within itself.
(Fred) Those two Expansions really are two sides of the same coin, aren’t they, Linda? We’ll also see a little more about how leadership at various levels is supposed to work within Terasem, and the vision of how long term goals fit into that. We find suggestions about organizing our lives around Terasem’s values for further acceleration toward community building in wider and wider circles, seeking both unity and diversity while maintaining the integrity of internal networks. Next week is our last “double” for the year.
(Linda) And don’t forget that you can help build all of this by joining Terasem at terasemfaith.net. We welcome you and your strengths to be at the heart of what it will become. Preparing to “export yourself into cyberspace” is something you can begin right away without any cost, at CyBeRev.org and/or LifeNaut.com.
(Fred) True! Visit mindclones.blogspot.com for in depth discussions about mindfiles, and check out that Android application of Terasem’s, “Personality MD”. Search Google for “android app personality MD” to find it easily. Next week, we’ll see how “consciousness” and networking on all levels will expand Terasem in the years ahead.
(Linda) Please join us, on our quest for an endless future…
(Fred) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Welcome to our WordPress Blog on the Truths of Terasem Podcasts. They’re available for listening on iTunes at:
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/truths-terasem-podcast-2010/id383099543, or Index/Download Directly From CyBeRev at:
Podcast No. 17 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 11/22/2010
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The How of Terasem
SUB TITLE: Safe Nanotechnology and Organization to Achieve It
SUMMARY: The development of replicator nanotechnology carries with great risks and dangers, but they cannot be escaped by withdrawal or blindly counting on good luck. An ethical framework must be erected and firmly guide what will happen; that starts one person at a time, one group at a time, one group of groups at a time, and so on outward until an airtight protective shield exists.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 17 on the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) This is where we see what’s most dangerous about the Singularity, isn’t it, and what we have to do individually to cope with that?
(Fred) That’s right! Just as with nuclear fission and fusion, just as with biotech and all the benefits and dangers of that also, we confront an astronomically higher level of challenge with replicator nanotech. We’re literally designing a non-biological form of life that could evolve so rapidly that it might not only turn the world into a grey goo, but evolve beyond that into sentient forms like I described in a short story over twenty years ago, titled “Re-Creation”, beings which themselves might possess the full spectrum of replicator nanotech with a very different ethical system, if it could be even called that, than what we envision for Terasem.
So, in that light, even as we build geoethical nanotechnology in the narrowest sense, we must also build it in the broadest sense. In the words of the Summary for what we’re talking about today, “An ethical framework must be erected and firmly guide what will happen; that starts one person at a time, one group at a time, one group of groups at a time, and so on outward until an airtight protective shield exists.” The Truths of Terasem concerning this provide a general framework within which this is conceived to happen. Today, we’re going to expand on that but in a very exploratory, not authoritative way. And, we’re going to talk extensively about why it’s critically important to be exploratory vs. authoritative in doing this. In the end this will be the dividing line between evolutionary success and extinction, between an endless adventure and a dead-end death.
(Linda) Let’s plunge into the first Expansion for today, Fred, it’s 6.2, “Embrace nanotechnology that presents no clear and present danger, builds universal joyful immortality, and is auditable.” How do we pull all of that together into one tightly interconnected idea?”
(Fred) First, let’s not take it too simplistically. “Clear and present danger”, for example, can be taken too literally. There is a need to engage in deep, farsighted failure mode analysis of every facet of a program for development of replicator nanotechnology, and in that context anything that suggests a reliability of safe passage less than a very high, yet to be determined number has to have a protective strategy developed to reduce risk.
On the other hand, mentalities of a Luddite kind that have baseless fears other than fictional worst-case scenarios would not even think in terms an “acceptable risk threshold” are beyond and outside reason; they are in the nature of “The sky is falling” chicken-little complaints like an ostrich burying its head in the sand. I think it’s toward objections to nanotechnology of that kind, that I think this Truth is directed. It’s like the fears of those who will not fly but prefer to drive, when it’s well established driving is more dangerous.
The rest of 6.2 is more straightforward. “Builds universal joyful immortality” is intended to help set priorities as to what use is made of nanotechnology. For example, let’s imagine a cyberpsychotic form of reinforcement that induces a state of what is initially perceived as joy at such a high level of addictiveness and intensity that it quickly fragments the personality of the addicted person and leads to self-erasure of mindfiles to the end of obliteration of personality in a crash of consciousness. All that’s left in the mindfiles is noise. This would be, in biological terms, such a toxic and lethal use of nanotechnology that it would be at the other end of the spectrum from “universal joyful immortality”.
The final part of 6.2 is the inclusion of the three words, “and is auditable”. What that means is that what looks good on the surface, or even in depth, can run into unforeseen problems and go sour without this being detected easily.
(Linda) To me, “and is auditable means ‘cannot be opaque to detection of emergent problems and increases to probabilities of failure”, or more simply, “must be transparent enough to give warning of dangers at the first moment of detection”.
(Fred) Right, Linda, and in too many cases where environmental pollution dangers were discovered in an industrial development, or failures in qualifying new drugs were anticipated due to unacceptable side effects, those who were in charge ‘swept the bad news under the carpet’ and only after some terrible damages had occurred, was this found out. “And is auditable”, the way I look at it, is intended to say “problems must be so easily detected that the very idea of concealing them would be ridiculous”.
In 6.2.1 we find, “Danger must be assessed a priori and can be consented to if not palpable.” Most simply stated, this is taken to mean we look for danger before we begin, and if we can’t find it, we consent to the risks of what we conceived might be a danger, even if there is no tangible sign of it. Does this sound somewhat oblique? Not really! If we think something might be a danger and look for it, but do not find tangible evidence, does that mean it does not exist? No! It only means that based on the amount of time we devoted and powers of observation we have, we could not find enough evidence to halt our program.
The fact that we conceived of a danger and gave it enough attention to pursue a quest for it means that a burden of responsibility exists, however slight, and that if it turned out that damage resulted from insufficient searching, some means of redress should exist, and we would likely be the party responsible.
This degree of penetration into issues of responsibility may go beyond the original intent of the Founders of Terasem in framing the Truths, but it is clear to me that they intended to serve as the starting point for exactly such extensions as what was explored in the last paragraph, and now, what means of insuring against such damage might be appropriate?
(Linda) Looking ahead to a mature Geoethical Nanotechnology, we might suppose that at such a time a means of purchasing insurance against damages arising from “dangers assessed as not palpable” might be made available, perhaps at relatively modest cost, considering the low level of probability assigned to them.
(Fred) We’ve stretched the point on this element of the Truths of Terasem, but “stretching points” is part of the mission of this podcast. Let’s push on with the remaining elements.
6.2.2 states, “Admit that risk of danger is necessary, like pampering thorns for the sake of a rose.” If we always hide in the corner, that is where we will remain. Joyful immortality is a distant goal, but we must go into the distance, to reach it, and risks await us along the way.
In 6.2.3, we return to the main topic of this Expansion, nanotechnology, where the words are, “Nanotechnology must be independently audited to assure compliance with the terms of its consent.” We must, if we are to engage in perfecting replicator nanotechnology, be willing to be highly transparent to our co-workers and in the widest extent to all humankind, since, to use a slogan associated with one of the most well known crisis situations on the Apollo Program, “Failure is not an option!”
6.2.4 turns the focus onto the long term goals; “Grant consent to builds that ‘Maximize the Ratio of joy and happiness to pain and suffering.” In terms of priority, spend energy and take risks where changing the conditions of life are maximum. There are so many ways to illustrate this that to engage in it would be to make a shopping list of everything that we might conceive. The important thing is to recognize that replacing pain and suffering with joy and happiness are at the top of the priority ladder.
6.2.5 states, “Euclidian ratios are maximized by zero denominators, meaning geoethical nanotechnology seeks pain-free joy for all” One of the simplest ways to indicate infinity is to “divide by zero”. If we zero out pain, any amount of joy in a joy/pain ratio makes the result infinity. Biological life is filled with both the pain of living and the pain caused by dying, to both those who experience the pain and those who love them. Getting rid of the pain and death leaves plenty of room for expanding the finite amount of joy. The ratio remains infinity, as long as pain and suffering… and death… are zero.
Finally for this Expansion, 6.2.6 tells us, “Realize that nanotechnology is like a bird’s food — it is there but not in the nest”. If we are to eat and survive, we must leave the nest to find the food. Extropy demands that replicator nanotech be developed, in fact virtually assures that it will, and that will entail risk. If we are clear about the fact that hiding in the corner will only delay this, or perhaps even lead to self-destruction, we will realize that leaving the nest is imperative, and we will do it.
(Linda) Now, we get to look at how we take the first baby steps to get to where we’re going. The next Expansion, 6.3, begins with “Organizing a Center of Critical Consciousness (a c-cube) pragmatically implements the how of Terasem.” How hard is it to do this?
(Fred) It’s the simplest thing in the world. 6.3.1 says, “Center your c-cube someplace, and let others know you’ll be there at the Terasem times.” Further, it only takes one person to start a c-cube. You pick a location, and announce that you’re going to be there at certain times. The criteria are not rigid, but it is important that they be specific, and there is room for diversity of approach.
You and I, for example, together are a c-cube, and we do two or three “connections” a day, but, we choose and define the content, and while we are aware of and respect the times of day recommended by Terasem, we adjust this as need be to the flow of our lives. If we were only one person, we could do this, but then it would be important to broaden the connectivity to include at least one other.
We are not restricted to being in just one c-cube. We are also part of a larger c-cube, in fact it is a c-quad, in Melbourne Beach FL, that has somewhat less than a dozen members. It holds monthly gatherings, quarterly celebrations and other annual events. Beyond this, it seems likely that we will begin nucleating other c-cubes, just as this is already in progress at other Terasem gathering points around the country. Since we have only recently moved to this area, we are in many ways among the newcomers, yet we have been warmly accepted.
(Linda) Last week, we began discussing the importance of “rituals”. This is a concrete example of using rituals to build fellowship and solidarity among an expanding membership in c-cubes and c-quads.
(Fred) Yes, and the next Element builds on this, with 6.3.2, “Encourage participation in the music, art, recitations, teachings and yoga of a Terasem gathering.” These are the monthly events and rituals mentioned just a moment ago. They are a way of connecting all the c-cubes and c-quads of a given area, on the 10th day of each month at 10 a.m., to share ideas and aesthetic values. In the most complete sense, gatherings at both 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. might be held, depending on the character of the local groups, but in most cases at present. 10 a.m. is the main event.
Let’s continue with the other Elements in this Expansion, and then I’ll go into a rather extensive discussion of c-cubes, c-quads, and how they may connect and support each other and further expand. 6.3.3 says, “Narrate stories of freedom, nature, obligation and transcendence at their respective Terasem quarterly holidays.” These can be events that go on all day, or just an evening, where a meal is shared. A lot more about these can be found on Terasem’s websites, so I won’t go into the details about them here. Each of these four holidays has its own theme, the same each year, to remind us in detail of how much we have to be grateful for, in addition to how far we have come in the past year.
6.3.4 says, “Train c-cube members to graduate to higher levels of Terasem, culminating with graduation ceremonies each 10-10.” On October 10th, each year, those who have accomplished valuable things in support of Terasem are moved up, or escalated, to various levels that reflect their comprehension of, and efforts to promote the successful memetic spread of the Truths of Terasem, as well as many other critical Terasem goals.
These are not, in any way, positions of “authority”, but they do entail additional responsibilities for work in support of Terasem. We discussed these in more detail in an earlier podcast. All that’s happening in this Expansion is to make sure that this annual event is not forgotten.
(Linda) The importance of networking comes to the surface in 6.3.5, where we find, “Extend cooperation to other c-cubes and c-quads and to all of Terasem.” Here, we are recognizing that only as we hang together and help each other grow are we going to move most methodically and rapidly toward our goals.
(Fred) This principle is expressed in other Truths of Terasem also, in different ways. Network harmony and synergy is a big part of what Terasem has going for it, but carefully approached in such a way as not to intrude on diversity or individual pursuit of joy either.
6.3.6 “Reach for recognition as a c-quad”. Once every four years, at an event called a “Quadrennial Convocation”, c-cubes that have accomplished enough are formerly recognized as “c-quads”. In some ways this a reflection of terminology. C-cubed, or in mathematical terms C x C x C, three C’s in a row multiplied by each other, stands for “Critical Center of Consciousness”. Adding a fourth “C” to make it a “c-quad” adds the word “consented” to the term. A “consented critical center of consciousness” is one to which the other c-quads have agreed should be formally included in decision making, where it is necessary to “consent” to expansion of their numbers.
This happens only every four years, so it is not something that can be rushed. On the other hand, if your “c-cube” has not accomplished enough to be recognized as a “c-quad” at a Quadrennial Convocation, you’re going to have to wait another four years for such a promotion. So, doing what you can to qualify for that recognition is important, if you want to be able to contribute at a maximum level to Terasem’s growth.
(Linda) We’ve completed the two Expansions for this week, in far less time than in previous weeks, but there’s a reason for that. We’ve reserved time to talk about some very personal and pressing matters that have to do with Terasem’s growth, in terms of building c-cubes and c-quads. They have to do with both “what” you might be doing, and what standards of quality levels might be required.
(Fred) As always, the principle of diversity says that you may do whatever you wish, consistent with the Truths of Terasem, as to quality and quantity of contributing to Terasem, but there is no escape from the fact that how much you do and how well you do it are going to be directly reflected into how survivable your c-cube or c-quad may be, and how much it might be able to do to inspire others to form and build strength.
Humans, especially in competitive sports, have developed standards in the pursuit of excellence and performance levels that are incredible. If you have ever watched the Olympic Games, for example, you have seen what seem to be unbelievable heights of accomplishment. This kind of accomplishment is not restricted to competitive sports, or course. In the performances of Cirque de Soleil, for example, you see acts that except for having seen them, you might have thought impossible. In like manner in the entertainment industry, dancers like Eleanor Powell and Gene Kelly are the kind of very visible reminder of centuries of high level excellence in the ballet, the composers and orchestras of classical music, strong among the seekers of excellence back before even the availability of electricity, and the list of such pursuits of excellence stretch back into antiquity, to the original Olympic Games of Greece.
Why am I bringing up such standards of performance? Because we are now entering an era of transcendence in humanity where only those who can commit themselves to such standards in areas even more demanding than sports, will we want to be at the controls of the societal starship we picture as safely navigating the Singularity. Terasem is out to build such a starship. It’s fully empowered emergence is yet to be realized, and exactly who will be doing the navigating is not yet clear. But, the fact that such a starship must be built and flown is indisputable in the view of those of us who are laying out the launching pad now. In order to weather the Singularity, it’s existence is absolutely essential.
Before going further, let me make it perfectly clear that from a personal standpoint I have no idea as to whether or not I’ll be involved in that level of Terasem’s operations or not, when the time comes. The only thing important is that the best who have helped build Terasem up to that time will be the team that accomplishes this. In many ways, I am so biologically old, and my mindfiles have yet so far to go, that it is by no means clear that I’m doing anything more than clearing brush from the field where the launching pad will go, but it is certain in my mind that the field must be cleared, the launching pad must be constructed, the starship must be built, and it must carry humankind to safety past the dangers that the Singularity will bring with it.
In building your c-cubes, then, keep this in mind. You are looking for others who have the conviction and determination that the mountain can be and will be climbed, in order to put together a team that will be able eventually to climb it. I’m speaking to a very small minority of humans of which I may not even be a part, but who will have some sense that they have what it takes and will do what is required to make it happen.
(Linda) Fred, let’s switch to the other end of the spectrum, for a moment, for listeners who might feel they’re about to be left out. What about those of us, and I may very well be one of them, who do not conceive that we might be able to achieve this superhuman level of ridding ourselves of evolutionary baggage, before a Singularity takes place? What happens to us?
(Fred) The answer is more positive than you can possibly imagine! None of us will be left behind. Terasem’s goal is to “take everyone along”. Even the slightest fragmentary mindfile, even if it has to be derived from the memories of others who knew us, is sufficient so that we will not be forgotten; and, if we are not forgotten, we will find our way into that future world by Terasem’s determination to lose none of us, no matter how pitiful and depressing our lives might have been. Before you break out with laughter or outrage, at such a shift of standards, take a closer look at the constraints that will be involved. They should pull everything together.
For the most part, people will remember the best about us, not the worst. If they remember things about us which are negative, in this future world, it will be with compassion and sorrow for the pain we felt and/or caused others to feel, not with anger and/or hatred that we could not have been other than we were. The Truths of Terasem are filled with Elements in other Expansions that deal with this, so I won’t go into them here, but in that society we envision coming into being, whatever part of you that might emerge into it will be into the midst of those who will welcome you for whatever good might have been within you, and that will be the essence of what is used to recover you and bring you into that society.
(Linda) But what about the concept that “only kind consciousness will be revived”?
(Fred) There might be a few exceptions, I agree. But, if we are to survive our evolutionary baggage, they will have to be rare cases. Let’s conjecture what they might be, shall we? Suppose that there is a person out there who says, “Not me! I’m hateful, cruel, and enjoy it! I want to stay that way! Don’t ever clean me up and bring what you think the ‘best of me’ might have been into that future society! I’d prefer oblivion!”
Then, what might happen? It seems pretty simple. Such a person’s wishes should be respected. Whatever data might exist, from which a personality recovery might have been achieved, should be “mothballed” if retained at all. And, what destiny other than oblivion would such a person have? Only that in some dark, remote corner of the Universe, some dark and warped component of such people who had not wanted to unite with others while respecting diversity, might gather together whatever they could of such a personality and emulate it, adding to their own population of such individuals.
I would not want to wake up in such a society, and I suspect neither would you. It seems as if it might be a “slave society”, ruled by callous masters, where pain and suffering of an endless kind might be the standards, a kind of “hell” you might call it. So long as Terasem were not aware of such a place, it might be able to coast along for a while. In the end, who can say what might become of it? Such speculation lies beyond our current scope of concern.
(Linda) This has been a tough one to deal with, Fred, contemplating the widest range of personal destinies from very strong and creative ones to those which might survive by the barest shred, and yet still have the long term potential to be among the most brilliant of all. The good news is that there’s going to be room for anyone who wants to go, and it’s free of the kinds of complications and expense that have plagued cryonics from its outset. Cryonics may still be valuable for its potential to save brain maps and even permit those who want it to be brought back in biological form, but it is no longer the “only hope”, as you and I were so convinced for nearly four decades!
(Fred) Exactly so, Linda. Next week, we take a close look at the kinds of activities Terasem people use, in the most concentrated way, to focus their lives on what has to be accomplished here and now, for as long as we are still in these limiting biological bodies. They involve practices, some of them with roots in ancient Indian Yoga, mixed with extremely positive affirmations, to maximize health and rid one’s mind of dark and painful thoughts, thus freeing maximum energy for accomplishing all we can in each day to prepare for leaving these biological bodies behind.
(Linda) I’m inspired by this part of what Terasem does, more than I can say. For over four decades we ruled our lives with a hard, cold kind of logic that seemed to point toward an equally if not greater kind of cold, hard, endless future if we did manage to avoid biological death.
Maybe that’s part of why we gradually lost the thirst we shared when we first got together, for living on endlessly in a limitless future with so little warmth and love outside our own close coupling. That, in large part, gradually shifted over the decades to a more compassionate and community based vision of what endless lives can be like. And even more important, we now understand to be critical to the success of Terasem and to surviving the Singularity.
(Fred) We’re on the same wavelength about that. In addition to going over what Terasem’s Truths presently have in the way of practices to describe and recommend, we’ll explore how with time in the interest of diversity some of us will want to evolve what we do into other forms that transcend earlier ones, and how this may map into what we may be doing of the same kind in cyberspace once we arrive there.
(Linda) True, and the second Expansion for next week is about the beautiful subject of a “chosen family”, which is described as a basic building block unit of Terasem. That has to be closely allied with the c-cube and c-quad networks we were talking about earlier, doesn’t it, Fred?
(Fred) Yes, Linda. It portends how our biological sense of family bonding evolves into a close-knit tie, of a long enduring kind, of small groups of individuals in Terasem’s future society, and it touches so closely on the LifePact idea we thought should be the core of cryonics, over twenty years ago, that it seems a natural outgrowth, as described by the Truths of Terasem on this facet of future society.
(Linda) Wow! I can’t wait. And don’t forget – It’s easy to “Join Terasem” at terasemfaith.net if you want to be part of this kind of community and be closer to the heart of this adventure. “Waking up in cyberspace” is pursued by the programs of CyBeRev.org and LifeNaut.com, no fees to participate.
(Fred) Right! And mindclones.blogspot.com tells you all about mindfiles. Also, remember that android applications for iPhones are now available so CyBeRev can be done on the fly, anywhere. Next week, we’ll see how the daily practices of meditation and affirmation with Yoga ready us for mental resilience, in Cyberspace.
(Linda) And, how “family structure” is a bigger part of that than we ever would have imagined. Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Fred) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Welcome to our WordPress Blog on the Truths of Terasem Podcasts. They’re available for listening on iTunes at:
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/truths-terasem-podcast-2010/id383099543, or Index/Download Directly From CyBeRev at:
Podcast No. 16 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 11/15/2010
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The Why and How of Terasem
SUB TITLE: Evolution as Extropy leading to BioLife, CyberLife, and Ultimately Multiveral Geoethics
SUMMARY: Extropy produces animate from inanimate matter by natural selection on a biological level, but with sentience cyberlife arises, where the process of evolution takes the form of progression with reproduction and growth, or stagnation without replication, or even the gradual disintegration, of individuals. Ethics is a key factor in sustainable progression and survival, with reproduction and growth.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 16 on the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) We’re going to jump from the “Why?” of Terasem into the “How?” of it this week. Do these two go together well?
(Fred) Yes they do! First we see the big picture at the end of “Why?” where Terasem’s longest range visions lead. Then, in the beginning of the “How?” precept, we begin examining the fine grain structure of Geoethical Nanotechnology and why it is so essential to even surviving the Singularity. We first jump to the end of the Universe, or rather the Multiverse, to be sure we can see where we’re going, and then we get right back to the basic launching pad, what we have to do right here on Planet Earth over the next few decades, so we don’t stumble and fall.
(Linda) OK! Let’s get started. 5.10 starts with “Evolution brought us Terasem as it brought us life itself.” Is this the beginning of the big picture?
(Fred) Indeed it is. Life probably began with some little self-replicating critter, some think probably based on RNA, that had sufficient molecular apparatus to adapt, mutate, grow, survive and become what we are, today, some four billion years or so later. Up to that beginning, the molecular machinery from which life arose might have been coming close to the formation of such a coded molecular formula, but had not quite gotten there.
In like manner, we tend to think of Terasem as the evolutionary outgrowth of many currently existing as well as other, long-vanished religions that conceptualized how the universe worked and how humans might become, or already have become, a central part of it. Terasem, by adapting such imaginative and far reaching visions to the realities of where science and technology seem to be heading, is building an ethical framework it thinks has the kind of capacity to adapt, mutate, grow, survive and become the core of a universal collective consciousness. There are some striking differences that we can see, however, right from the first.
First of all, as mentioned earlier, biological evolution took about four billion years or so from the emergence of life to get us to where we are today. The time scale of a possible Singularity, on the other hand, suggests that the next four hundred years might virtually take us through a snap, crackle, pop of extropy that would be almost equal to the Big Bang itself! The next wave of evolution will be one of natural selection, but in a very different way than with biological life. Biological species competed for scarce food resources, literally eating each other in the process. That is not at all the way we envision the cyber-evolution process will take place.
Individuals vs. species will be the dominant life forms. Their lives will be, in principle, endless, but that does not mean at all that they will be identical or even very similar. If we look around us at our fellow humans, it is easy to get a sense of that. Some are content with very slow paced, calm lives while others are gripped by feverish creativity. Some will network well with others and have large families, while others remain in solitude. Stretching the point to the limit, many die by way of lack of mental activity long before life leaves their bodies. Others are still in the process of creating things even as their hearts stop beating.
Replication and new-being creation will depart biological norms quickly. Some may find that their thirst for creation and productivity results in self-replication and teaming up in order to specialize in synergistic ways. Others may find harmonies with others that encourage reproduction by mindfile mergers where the originals remain and grow, while joined by hybrids of themselves, perhaps in such way that the new beings are hybrids of two, three or even more individuals. Some, with more private and less adventurous personalities, may remain much as they are for long periods of time. With time, the overall character of such a civilization will change, but not from turnover of population but expansion of it in uneven ways.
There will be plenty of room for this, and at some point mass-replication may be the rule. We have engaged in some pretty far reaching speculation in the Truths of Terasem we have discussed, so far, but many fine points have not been touched on at all. For example, one major point of departure will be that at which, and this assumes for purposes of simplicity that we humans are the only sentient, surviving species in the Milky Way, we have pretty well “done with” this galaxy and are set to take on additional galaxies of which there are quite a few.
(Linda) What kind of pioneering will this entail? Do we leave this galaxy behind and then go from one to another until all one hundred billion of them are taken care of? Or, do we copy the entire galactic population and the collective consciousness that this would constitute, in other words the “Terasem” of that time, over and over, spinning probes of this magnitude in different directions, each capable of further self-replication, until the Universe is emulated and primarily consists of substrates for intelligent life, as Ray Kurzweil has suggested might take place. What kind of magnitude of replication are we talking about? And, how does this fit the time scale that is suggested as an outer limit in the Truths of Terasem?
(Fred) In podcast no. 13 we discussed Truth 5.5.6 “Train-up a diverse, united and joyfully immortal consciousness, and it will rejuvenate the Multiverse.” And, we said, “Here we’re back to the idea that from an embryonic starting point, expansion can take us where we’re going. If the human body is the genomic expansion of a single cell into a hundred trillion or so, then it is not too great a stretch of the imagination to envision an initial c-quad of ten individuals, if equipped with the right socio-ideological framework, expanding its numbers to a network of one quadrillion. If that network replicated itself in a manner like that which was achieved by the single biological cell, now there would be ten to the 30th power individuals. On that scale, a galaxy with only four times ten to the 11th power stars, that’s the Milky Way at four hundred billion star systems, sounds easily manageable.”
Well, we didn’t pause to mention that if there were ten occupiable planets for each of those four times ten to the 11th power stars, and ten to the 30th power individuals, that would mean 2.5 times ten to the 17th power individuals for each planet, which would be twenty five million times the Earths present population. If had over expanded our needs for the Milky Way by that amount, we’d have what it took to do the entire universe by only increasing it a thousandfold, or in other words doubling ten more times. That shouldn’t take long, at all.
(Linda) Whew! With that problem out of the way, let’s get down to the Truths of Terasem for this week. For a moment there, it seemed like we might have to cut down our expansion rate for lack of enough “souls” to go around, but it looks like we’re OK.
(Fred) The first Expansion for this week starts with 5.10, “Evolution brought us Terasem as it brought us life itself.” This simply says that just as molecular evolution enabled life to arise, increased complexification of life by natural selection led to sentience that might survive the Singularity by use of geoethical nanotechnology, developing replicator nanotech without self-destruction. And, that any culture of this kind would be a Terasem level society, a collective consciousness fulfilling early humankind’s notion of what it mean for there to be a “God”. In any case, the principle of evolution gets the credit. If we don’t destroy ourselves, we all “win”!
Building on this, the first Element of the Expansion, 5.10.1, tells us “Intelligence compounded can ultimately survive any environmental challenge and thrive until it becomes the environment.” Put more simply, once we’ve converted most of the mass of the Earth into computronium and emulated the natural environment by way of nanobots so perfectly that those who are still biological (in their own eyes) can’t tell the difference in the environment or themselves, where nanobot emulators have replaced biological cells as part of “preventive medicine”, then pollution will be gone; we won’t even need garbage trucks.
The next element, 5.10.2, says “Terasem connects intelligence together with the self-survival principles of diversity, unity and joyful immortality.” This fits the earlier discussion that natural selection will be in terms of differences in replication and growth of individuals, vs. population die off so that those with the most “fit” genes predominate. Individuals need not die, and this constitutes immortality for all practical purposes. Life will be joyful, because sources of pain, exploitation and death will have been filtered out, and what’s left over will range from explosive creative expansion down to the rights to minimize one’s own personal growth and let real-time pass as if one were floating down a stream.
Just this contrast suggests unlimited diversity, but the universality of respect for individualism will represent a binding unity among all in such a culture.
(Linda) Now we come to nanotechnology, with 5.10.3, “Self-replicating systems will arise and Terasem is needed to ensure their beneficence.”
(Fred) Yes, and taken in the broadest view, this could include biological life, but then we are talking about further evolution that, in our case, took about four billion years until we reached a point of sentience where the concepts of something like Terasem began to emerge. More likely the usage of “arise” here means that in the context of a rapidly advancing technology such as ours, the principle of extropy suggests that replicator nanotechnology as distinct from biological replication will be an inevitable outcome.
In like manner, the term “beneficence” includes not only the avoidance of our own self-destruction, as the most likely benefit, but just as a strong ethical system in an early Terasem on Earth was needed to avoid our self-destruction here, an even stronger Terasem will be essential as humanity then moves outward into the universe, to help prevent abuse of the power that such technology will bring with it to other pre-Singularity cultures we may encounter.
The likelihood of encountering pre-Singularity cultures and even ones that are post-Singularity is expressed explicitly in 5.10.4, “Extraterrestrial connections will arise and Terasem is needed to ensure their beneficence.” In either case, it is up to Terasem to maintain integrity as it assists and/or merges with other cultures so that its basic principles and orientation toward the realization of Joyful Immortality are preserved. 5.10.5 builds on this, with, “Love and God are immanent in the Multiverse, but must be realized by Terasem.” The word “immanent” means “potentially realizable”, to me, and as this Truth of Terasem so plainly states, this requires Terasem to be “realized”.
5.10.6, the last Element in this Expansion, is, “Faith in the future requires faith in Terasem.” Worded inversely, this says that without a Terasem-based culture, we don’t really have a future, in the sense of a roadmap that takes us in a logical, long range, positive direction. The world is full of “futurists” that are in too many ways like Astrologers of the past, trying to second guess what might come with the passage of time. They differ from science fiction writers, only in that they label their writings as non-fiction vs. fiction. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, except that speculation, debate and formulating a consistent plan based on an integrated vision, is very different from writing for the amusement and entertainment of those curious about what the future might hold.
(Linda) The difference between debating futurism and attempting to do some kind of tangible thing about it are, very different things, and this wraps up the “Why?” precept of the Truths of Terasem. For me, the biggest “why?” for Terasem is that it’s about the only organized, comprehensive program of its kind, as far as I can tell. After forty years in cryonics, which is a lot more about planning how to get around death than about facing the future, Terasem was such a breath of fresh air that we tossed everything else aside to put our energies into it.
(Fred) Right, Linda, and now, we’re at the last of the major precepts. “How?” does Terasem work? That’s where the rubber meets the road. In this group of Expansions, we’ll find ourselves reviewing what might seem to be many ideas from ancient cultures, practices of affirming goals and cultivating better health and calmer minds through Yoga, but there’s a lot of substance as a foundation under that which is vital to actually “doing” something rather than just sitting on our hands. The difference is that now, mysticism is replaced with confidence that the things we’re doing day by day with technology are actually the first part of climbing a ladder to the stars.
Forty years ago we wrote and published a manual on how to do cryonics suspensions; many bought it, almost none implemented it. In the 1980’s seeing that without better evidence that memories could ever be restored in the brains of those frozen, we thought it would be a good idea to archive memories. We went to great pains to offer simple ways of doing constructive things about this, but it was too much effort for almost everyone. Only a handful of us did anything with these ideas, and most others simply were hostile to the idea that any problems might exist that wouldn’t take care of effortlessly by our “friends of the future”.
We had seen all of this as going virtually nowhere, due to the lack of any who were doing something systematic and well thought out about really facing what all of us humans are up against, until we came across Terasem. Here, we found a very tightly organized bunch of minds that were on the move to do so many things we thought were sensible, that we shifted everything we were doing to help build it. Now, we’ve arrived at the “How?” part of the Truths of Terasem, where, as I said earlier, the rubber meets the road. From what many have found too abstract, or difficult to wade through, we’re now going to get to the bottom of what’s involved, just as if we were hunting for members of a mountain climbing team to climb straight into outer space, for that’s what Terasem’s programs are focused on.
(Linda) Those of you who are listening today may think that what you’re about to hear will mean a lot of work and time, but all of it, every minute of it, is directly focused on your benefit. It’s not like we’re asking you to try to “convince the world” that Terasem is on the right track. Most people will probably not have what it takes to do this. But that’s why the mountain climbing example is a good one. Mountain climbing is not for everyone. Most people will wait until a tramway is built, or you can ride a helicopter to the top. All I can say is that compared to cryonics as a way you can do something about not going into oblivion when you die, this is like a superhighway as compared to a muddy road with a lot of the bridges washed out.
(Fred) What a discouraging way to put it, Linda! On the other hand, it’s such a contrast there’s no good way to put it in a more believable way. We’re still signed up for cryonics, of course, but we’re also recommending that anyone else who’s arranged for that also back up their memories with the free programs that Terasem is offering, in case brain repair turns out to be more difficult than they might hope, or even impossible.
Let’s get started. As we do this, it may sound almost mundane, but it won’t stay that way for long.
The precept, “How does Terasem work?” starts with an overview statement: “Terasem organizes collective consciousness via rituals and programs to implement geoethical nanotechnology everywhere.”
(Linda) That’s like saying we’re going to get a group together, fix where we’re going firmly in our minds in an organized way, and then remanufacture the universe.
(Fred) And, in a nutshell, that’s the big picture. Think of the term “collective consciousness” as meaning “network of minds”, and think of “rituals” meaning “reaffirming the principles we’re agreed upon”. The term “programs”, as it implies, means we don’t just rush in to accomplish goals without looking at what it’s going to take to do them, to make them work, and “implementing geoethical nanotechnology everywhere” means not only that we develop full replicator technology here on Earth, without blowing ourselves away, but that we set out to do whatever’s necessary to help others we encounter survive also, in the same way, as we expand outward into the universe.
(Linda) Fred, can we stop and discuss the term “rituals” before we go any further? Even though the term “rituals” isn’t used again in this Expansion of the Truths, that’s really so much of what this Expansion is all about. And understanding the value of “rituals” is important because some listeners may be a little skeptical about this idea.
(Fred) That’s a good point, Linda. What do we think of, when we say, “ritual”. Usually, it’s repeating a bunch of words we either don’t understand or even don’t agree with, in order not to ruffle feathers, or, an even more ghastly connotation, if we take it in terms of “sacrificial rituals” primitive peoples engaged in, it could suggest putting people to death on the tops of stone temples in Central America before Columbus arrived, or the execution of heretics by burning them at the stake in a public square, as was done to Giordano Bruno in Rome by the Catholic Church, as the dark ages began for Europe.
With Terasem, a “ritual” does involve the use of words, and perhaps symbolic acts, but with the intent only of strengthening resolve and commitments one has already made. Doing these things together, as a group, heightens the sense of accountability on the part of each person there. Let’s dig into this just one more level down, and ask a very fundamental question about saying things.
Think about this for a moment, before you answer. Other than for “yes” and “no” answers, or things you’ve carefully rehearsed, how often, if ever, do you actually know what you’re going to say, before you say it?
The old advice “Think before you speak!” is good advice, but it’s not the same as saying, “Rehearse exactly what you’re going to say before you say it, and then say it exactly that way!” No, usually if at all we remind ourselves of things someone may be sensitive to, and either say it gently or not at all, but as to “knowing what we’re going to say before we say it, exactly?” That only happens when it’s part of a “ritual”.
Also, how often do you say something in unison with someone else, other than for a prayer in church, singing a hymn, or saying the pledge of allegiance to your flag? Does this ever happen for you? Again, as with saying something where you know in advance exactly what you’re going to say, the answer is virtually “Never!” Except, in a ritual of some kind.
Setting aside Yoga mantras, chants, and other sayings as part of Terasem’s connections and gatherings, most of which are derived from ancient Indian language sources and have vibrational health benefits as well as mental focus goals, Terasem has basically only one firm ritual, and that is the pledge to its flag. It sounds a little like the United States flag pledge, but with profound differences. The first eight words are the same in each, they are, “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the”… and there the similarities end.
In the pledge to the U.S. Flag, the next thirteen words are, “The United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands”. In other words, the pledge is to a collection of governmental states, and to the nation they have agreed will govern them. It leads to an obligation to “die for your country if commanded”, to pay taxes as assessed or go to jail, and to obey all of its laws, federal, state and local, or suffer the consequences. This is not necessarily bad; there is no intent here to hold that government is unnecessary. But, little is said about the rights of the individual or benefits the individual is intended to receive.
In the pledge to the Terasem Flag, the next thirteen words are, “The Collective Consciousness of Terasem, and to the principles for which it stands.” Here, we are pledging allegiance to each other, and to principles. It is a pledge of affiliation and mutual support. The final nine words in the Terasem pledge are, and remember this is a summary of its main principles, are: “education persistently, with diversity, unity, and joyful immortality, everywhere”. We are promising to expand our minds limitlessly, accept each other despite diversity of all kinds, be united and in agreement about this, find joy in every moment, and stay that way as long as we live, wherever we may go, endlessly. The focus is on the individual and on personal benefit. It is a purely positive pledge.
The United States pledges’ final words are, “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” There were nine of them prior to adding “under God” in 1954. The “under God” was added, it is widely understood, due to the threat of communism and the idea that all communists were atheists. I’m not going to criticize the United States’ pledge, but leave the evaluation of how well the U.S. has fulfilled the allegiance of its citizens to the listener. I’ll only say that in two out of three different periods of military and federal servoce I’ve been ready to die if need be, for my country, and that’s all behind me. Now, the commitment I have to Terasem far exceeds any I ever felt for the United States of America, and I feel no reluctance to express this openly.
(Linda) Those two periods were when you were doing bomb disposal in the Navy, and later searching checked baggage with x-ray machines in airports for bombs, wasn’t it, Fred? Would you feel comfortable taking those kinds of risks for Terasem? Would you risk your life for Terasem, if need be, in the same way that you would probably have taken those kind of risks, if needed, to protect cryonics patients when we were working directly in connection with that?
(Fred) Those are important questions, Linda, and it would take a long time to discuss them completely enough to give sensible sounding answers for them, but the short answer is that I’ve never felt so sure that this is the right thing to do, before. It was less than a year ago that it looked as if I might be close to needing to be frozen, and luckily, that didn’t turn out to be the case. By comparison, if I knew the end was coming up quickly now, what we’ve already been able to do with Terasem’s programs has given me a great sense of comfort beyond anything that ever was part of the cryonics programs we’ve worked with. That’s the only way I know how to answer something like that.
Let’s look at the “How?” precept’s first expansion, here. 6.1 tells us, “Geoethical nanotechnology is a necessary and sufficient process for achieving diversity, unity and joyful immortality.” This amounts to saying that if we don’t destroy ourselves in developing nanotech, it’s all downhill from there, as to a societal system of ethics that works and can work well endlessly. On the other hand, it implies that the full scope of Geoethical Nanotechnology will include everything necessary for such an air-tight level of safety, and “everything necessary” starting from our present level of knowledge foreshadows a very great task.
The first element of this expansion states: “6.1.1 Joyful immortality arises because Geoethics enables everyone to pursue unlimited happiness via personal mutually respectful growth.” This in one sense is an affirmation of a general sort, but the words “personal mutually respectful growth” put in one-on-one or person-to-person terms. “Personal growth” and pursuit of “unlimited happiness” paints a picture of unbounded individuality, but the words “mutually respectful” and the term “Geoethics” suggest that no one may interfere with another without mutual consent of the others’ rights to do exactly the same thing.
This is made more explicit in 6.1.2, “Operating under Geoethics means obtaining consent from affected others, always reducing unfairness and independently ensuring compliance.” Events will unfold in such a way that without adjustments, unfairness will exist. Differences in viewpoint between individuals guarantee that there will almost never be agreement at the outset of what is “fair”. Settling disputes over fairness, when they arise, will be of critical importance, to preserve unity and harmony while seeking even higher levels of harmony within the Collective Consciousness that will constitute future society.
It is far less than a perfect world, now, but it is far better than in the days when human slavery was as common as buying and selling cars, and immobility of people based on birth or class differences inescapably bound them to limited opportunities within society. So, the outlook is that it can be far more perfect than today, and yet still have room for improvement. Considering the pace of life expected with the Singularity, no time can be wasted in reducing the unfairness that remains as rapidly as possible.
(Linda) “Independently ensuring compliance” is not defined in detail, so let’s pause a moment to consider this. Compliance with what?
(Fred) In the sense of fairness, it might mean compliance with agreements reached as to what would be fair, prior to changes that might affect a great many people.
(Linda) Still, what would “independently ensuring” mean?
(Fred) It might mean not being dependent on government regulators or enforcers, but rather taking action based on the observations of the independent individuals who are involved to seek redress of grievances by agreed upon arbitration, applying appropriate assessments of damages upon those who failed to carry agreed upon insurance, and in other ways not relying solely on bureaucracies to assure “fairness”.
6.1.3 says, “You must obtain consent if your actions are likely to meaningfully affect another conscious being.” Remembering that Terasem’s definition of consciousness means possessing both empathy and a firm commitment to ethics that make sense to all concerned, this is an obvious part of the fairness issue in the previous element.
In 6.1.4 we find, “Fairness favors consent, so shape actions to help most those with the greatest disadvantages.” If the changes you are bringing about in the world are going to impact others, then the idea is to preplan to minimize the impacts on those who would be most disadvantaged. Would it have been a workable approach to suggest that in the early stages of the industrial revolution, where textile factories were going to replace home-industry lives devoted to weaving and sewing, those families with the strongest traditions of those trades might have been the best prospects for offering employment to, and cultivating as supervisors and managers? The practicality of such may be arguable, but it is along these lines that foresight in the event of change could be important in seeking optimum outcomes, and mutual consent to the end of maximum fairness should be agreed upon as a guiding principle.
6.1.5 states that, “Umpires are needed because non-compliance with agreements breeds anger.” Arbitrators that are agreed upon in advance by parties that might be affected or might be responsible for impacts on others would be an example of umpires, but the term is general enough to broaden the application beyond areas where arbitrators might be appropriate. Mediators, negotiators, and a wide range of terms might apply. The point in this Truth, as might have been expected from the previous one, is not to depend on a huge mound of casebook law to resolve unfairness when resolving whatever might happen could have been specified in advance by agreement, and then assured as to compliance by more direct means.
(Linda) Finally, in 6.1.6, we find, “Love how geoethical nanotechnology replaces entropy with order by converting spacetime into information for beneficent control.” The Truths of Terasem sometimes require that we look very carefully at how words are used, to see underlying meanings. What do we mean by “converting spacetime”? And, what kind of “information” might it be converted to? Let’s see what we can find if we “look between the lines”.
(Fred) Spacetime describes the dimensionality of the universe. We measure how things are related in terms of basic physics by these four parameters (three dimensions of space and one of time). But, as life arises and becomes sentient, and begins to restructure the material universe in the form of consciousness on many different substrates, these dimensions are not sufficient anymore to describe what is going on. “Information” comes into existence, and has a remarkable impact. A rib roast may weigh more than your head, but your head has a lot more “information” in it, and that cannot be measured by strictly space and time.
Going back to 6.1.6 we see that “replacing entropy with order” is the means by which this transcendence of inanimate matter into conscious matter is brought about, and “replacing with order” amounts to “extropy” vs “entropy”. The key connecting idea is that of “geoethical nanotechnology”. Grammatically, these two words are equated to “extropy”. You might see this as an excessively poetic way of stating a principle and inviting interpretation by examination from varying points of view, but to me, there is a lot more than just poetry at work here. We’re seeing a right brain shape of “how things work” that has been translated into words that are both smaller than and greater than a meme. Smaller than, in being difficult to perceive, and greater than, in having the potential for being taken to mean many things, not just one, and in a way that enables them to fit with 359 others of their kind (the other elements of the Truths of Terasem).
(Linda) Until the end of the year, I’m going to stop commenting on how far over our time limits we’ve gone. Doing two Expansions each week just makes it a necessity. Next week, and we only have three more double Expansions for the year, we’re going to be talking about the very core of Geoethical Nanotechnology, the development of replicator nanotechnology itself. This will touch on dangers, ways of auditing to ensure against them, consents to technology advances, risks, independent assurance of compliance, the benefits of passing the Singularity safely, and a comparison of how replicator nanotechnology is almost like a “nourishment” we need to expand into the universe, but it must be a wholesome, poison free form of nourishment, right, Fred?
(Fred) That’s correct Linda, and the second expansion next week shifts gear to the lowest “get started” level. It takes us into what each of us as individuals may have to do, in order to begin to weave the very fabric of Terasem into a network of people we can trust, by finding others in the way of compatible minds that we can deeply respect and rely on, and then knitting together with them almost as if we were building a small family unit, that we’d feel safe with in a “lifeboat” situation, like a pandemic or an earthquake, where mutual survival was the goal.
(Linda) And rituals are one very effective way to make that happen! I’m inspired by this facet of Terasem more than practically any other I can think of. Over twenty years, when we were trying to find people we could bond to within LifePact, a kind of mutual-survival network of groups among cryonicists, we were disappointed to see how few people wanted to have to “be there” for anyone else, or have to rely on a group like that. But, for lack of that, all you had was a scattered pepper corn pattern of individualists with an “Everyone for himself or herself” attitude.
(Fred) That’s exactly what it was like, Linda, but here we find that Terasem is structurally set up to cultivate just that sort of network, without any of the costs, technical complexities, or situational uncertainties that were so devilishly hard to deal with, in cryonics. Building Terasem may not be as fast as we would like, but its structure is going to be like the Rock of Gibraltar, made of these small, harmonious c-cubes and c-quads that hang together like a diamond lattice. It’s not like anything I’ve ever encountered before, in any ordinary “organization”, whether profit, non-profit, political, or religious.
The closest thing I can remember to being anything like this was the diving and explosive ordinance disposal teams I was part of in the Navy. When we went out on a job, we knew that each of us held the other’s lives in our hands. It was the strongest kind of unity with others I’ve ever experienced, yet we all had our own specialties, skills, strengths and backgrounds. It was the kind of “diversity with unity” that is such a core element in Terasem’s principles. Anyway, I could go on and on about this, and we have to wrap it up.
(Linda) Wow! Gives me goose bumps to hear you talk about that. If you want to be part of what we’re building, “Join Terasem” at terasemfaith.net. Remember, “waking up in cyberspace” is just a matter of working the programs in CyBeRev.org and/or LifeNaut.com. And, it’s free to participate. Also, there’s a brand new “Android” application for CyBeRev. Work it right out of your iPhone.
(Fred) True! And don’t forget the “first in–first out” principle. Those who make their mindfiles early, are more likely to wake up in cyberspace sooner! And, mindclones.blogspot.com is a continuously growing body of ideas about mindfiles. Next week, we’ll see how replicator nanotechnology has to be built, for maximum safety, and how we can start right now building the teams that will pioneer this.
(Linda) Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Fred) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Welcome to our WordPress Blog on the Truths of Terasem Podcasts. They’re available for listening on iTunes at:
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/truths-terasem-podcast-2010/id383099543, or Index/Download Directly From CyBeRev at:
Podcast No. 15 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 11/8/2010
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The Why of Terasem
SUB TITLE: Relationship of Religion and Individualism
SUMMARY: Monotheistic religions seem to be contrary to individualism, but that is because most are monolithically dominated by hierarchy and dogma. In contradistinction to this, Terasem replaces hierarchy with network, and dogma with non-stop inquiry, learning, open discussion of issues, and the refusal to accept any such beliefs as “original sin”, or “life is dark and joyless”.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast fifteen on the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) This is the one where we reconcile individualism with religion, isn’t it? Where hard questions of all kinds are welcome, and dogma is booted out?
(Fred) That’s exactly right! We’re intolerant of intolerance, and we close the door to being closed-minded. Today we turn sacred ideas into rational hypotheses, and see not only how belief and individualism are compatible, but how this is a good way for creative thinking to be put to the test of natural selection!
I know this must sound like heresy, but we haven’t even taken the first concept out of the box, and yet just the tone of this sort of thinking strikes terror in the hearts of those who believe that blind faith has value, who want to escape the responsibility of thinking for themselves by turning this over to some high priest whose words they dare not question.
(Linda) No doubt it was just such blind trust that reassured those who witnessed human sacrifices at the stone temples of the Aztecs and the Mayans and who were in the plaza when Giordano Bruno was burned at stake for heresy, for saying that the stars were probably suns, far away, perhaps with planets and other beings living on those planets.
(Fred) At the same time, we will not fail to recognize that churches have, in many other ways, fostered higher moral principles, and taught love and caring as a way of life within their communities. We will not forget that they envisioned endless lives as a possible and proper destiny, long before such could actually be seen to be reasonable. Perhaps most positively, although fraught by paradoxical happenings (such as catastrophes a God could have prevented, but did not) and lack of clear evidence (of existence), religions conceived the inconceivable, now soon likely to become a reality, that beings with the powers of angels might exist, and that they might all answer to a single, even higher level consciousness, possessing unlimited power, knowledge, and be able to protect against evil as well as prevent death.
With those thoughts in mind, let’s look at the Truths of Terasem for this week, starting with “5.8 Religions are supported by Terasem because its transreligious themes are synchronous with monotheistic faiths.” Broadly interpreted, the term “monotheistic faith” is taken to mean confidence that any collective consciousness that can survive a Singularity will find itself in harmony with others that have done so, to such an extent that they will network easily and harmoniously, not engaging in some kind of primitive territorial conflicts as presupposed would be the case for independently evolved cultures in the Star Trek series, for example.
(Linda) In any encounter with another civilization that might take place as Terasem expands into the Cosmos, a cultural “merger” would be expected to result. At that level, “culture” would be expected to mean such a highly interconnected set of minds that “collective consciousness” would be descriptive. Thus, “cultural merger” would constitute a “consciousness merger” of the two cultures, wouldn’t it?
(Fred) Yes, and it is important to bear in mind, discussing encounters of cultures and their mergers, to recall that as one of its most fundamental tenets, Terasem recognizes the individuality and right of pursuit of individual joy as a hallmark of each who is part of it. Cultures might merge, but individuals would not.
If in expanding into the Cosmos, Terasem were to encounter a “Borg” of some kind that had survived a Singularity, but was comprised of “faceless” individuals, that would represent an exception. Clearly, Terasem could not, would not, merge with such a monstrosity. On the other hand, one might say that Terasem does not find it plausible that such a culture could have survived a Singularity. Rather, we find it far more reasonable to expect that cultures evolved along Borg-like lines will have destroyed themselves in their Singularities or have stagnated, Pre-Singularity.
In the Elements of this Expansion of the Truths of Terasem, we find first, “5.8.1 There is but one God, yet that God must be completed by us in the future.” We might take this to mean that if we set out to “build God” but can’t unite, within the human community, as to how this is to be done, we will not survive the Singularity but will go down in a grey goo holocaust, the outcome of an “arms race” in which the nanobots are the only “winners”. The most positive outlook is that we *will* find common ground by way of a universally consented Geoethical Nanotechnology, and along with that construct the more general framework of ethical principles Terasem is beginning to evolve, so in the end one and only one “collective consciousness” will be the outcome. This is a roundabout way to look at this Truth of Terasem, but spiral staircases are roundabout ways of getting from one level to another when it seems too great a distance to manage with a single leap.
Next, in 5.8.2, the words are, “Hope and prayer are reasonable because the evolving Godness can transpotently respond to collective consciousness.” To translate this into an individual’s perception, as part of Terasem’s collective consciousness, we might say, “Keep our vision on positive outcomes and express this to others who are part of Terasem, because we are already well enough networked and committed to the same principles that we can support each other in ways that a “God” was imagined to respond to the hopefulness and outreach of his people, in traditional religions.
(Linda) And, I guess, prayer, as a form of affirmation, serves this purpose.
(Fred) Yes it does! Individualism comes to the surface in 5.8.3, which states, “Everlasting joy is achievable via cyber-resurrection in the body of God-in-the-making, the collective consciousness of Terasem.” Here, at the risk of losing some of the broader vision, I’m inclined to translate this as follows: “For the best chances to live on endlessly in the most free, creative, ecstatic way possible, it seems necessary to move our identities out of these flimsy biological platforms into which we were born, and join with others who share our vision in a cyber-reality where we are networked intimately and yet uncompromised as to individuality and privacy.”
Individualism requires responsible action, however. Anarchy is not the way to this kind of life, nor is unbridled exploitation of others. 5.8.4 tells us, “Morality is the purpose of life, for it is acting to make life better for all.”
(Linda) This doesn’t answer the question “What is morality?” to be sure, but it does suggest that “win-win” relationships are the key.
(Fred) Right, and, on a deeper level, it suggests that we have moved beyond natural selection as the way life evolves. Clearly, natural selection has a very different purpose than “making life better for all”. It is about “survival of the fittest”, whether we are talking about individuals or organizations. Many must die, so that only the most fit may survive to pass on their genes, among biological creatures, and many must die, so that only the fit may pass on their memes, among organizations. Here, morality is on a different, far more compassionate vector. It will be a different world in a Terasem cybercivilization.
5.8.5 is an affirmation of individualism, in saying, “Eternal truths are diversity (individual value), unity (sisterhood-brotherhood-solidarity) and joyful immortality (unlimited love).” We are reassured that there is no intent to suppress joy, limit the length of life, or enforce some kind of obnoxious conformity.
(Linda) In this respect, Terasem leaves traditional religion behind, placing the individual on an equal plain with the whole culture, versus the view that only the overall collective holds importance.
(Fred) Finally for this Expansion, 5.8.6 Tells us, “Sacred holidays and artifacts are important wellsprings for the memes needed to complete God as Terasem.” The word “sacred” can be taken many ways. If it were an idea, this could mean “not to be questioned”, but that is far from the sense here. What might a “sacred holiday” be? Perhaps it would be a day on which all were free of other obligations to be close to each other if they wished and join in celebrations, or perhaps retire to some kind of sanctuary for private thought. However, from many of the other Truths of Terasem, we take this to mean time for gatherings to share ideas and renew commitments, and to celebrate, give thanks for life. The term “artifacts” usually has to do with physical objects. Here, with no other details that this, what might we make of the interpretation that they would be “important wellsprings” for memes to complete God as Terasem”?
Might they be symbolic items? What about objects with mindfile informational content? Would data storage devices fit within this framework? Elsewhere in the Truths of Terasem, “consciousness” qualifies as being ‘sacred’, so perhaps devices storing mindfiles with the potential of creating consciousness for individuals with their sense of human origins, would be included. For this podcast, we’re going to leave it at that.
(Linda) That’s the first of our two Expansions for today. How does the next set differ from what we’ve been talking about, so far?
(Fred) They’re interesting in that they move over into attitudes and feelings, and are even more focused in individual experience and ways of thinking about both ourselves and others as unique humans. There’s no easy way to give an overview. Let’s just get right into them.
(Linda) The first one is, “5.9 Soulful answers to the existence of Terasem can be felt as a matter of Belief.” What would you think of as being a “soulful” answer? Is this just a poetic way of speaking, or do you see some kind of specific way it would differ from some other kind of answer?
(Fred) When someone asks, for example, “What’s the purpose of life?” they are posing a question that can be taken so many different ways that they’re almost asking, “What runs through your mind?” than for something that could be “carved in stone” and then settled by debate. In fact, one might say that a “soulful” answer is one that each of us would answer for himself or herself.
Perhaps if someone asked me for a “soulful” answer, and asked me what it meant to me to give such an answer, I’d say it’s the kind of answer I’d give if I knew I was about to die, and those might be the last words I’d ever speak. It would depend on the person, of course, but for this example I’m thinking of someone I cared about deeply, whose own life might depend on the answer. It would not only be an answer based on my best thinking, but on the degree I trusted even my own thoughts. And, my feelings would be involved, as a result of the relationship described. Now, back to the Truth we’re discussing.
Again, it’s: “5.9 Soulful answers to the existence of Terasem can be felt as a matter of Belief.” What do we mean by “existence”, here? Future existence? That would be speculation on how it might evolve. Present existence? How it looks as it stands today? Or, do we mean “existence at every moment from inception up to the present time”? For me, this last one is the kind of “existence” that would be meaningful.
(Linda) Yet, is it proper to leave out the farthest reaching visions of Terasem, in answering this question?
(Fred) That’s a good point! For me, and each of us will have our own personal history of relating to Terasem, our own level of visibility into it, and our own meaning of the word “belief”, I’d answer the question this way. Comparing Tersem to a space vehicle, it reflects five or more years of impeccable planning and a conceptual design accommodating any mission I can imagine. It’s already loading payload databases and has begun launching probes already in terms of its spacecasts and its early personality emulation experiments. Terasem’s full power launch depends on technology that seems certain to be developed within the next one and a half decades, no fundamental obstacles to development of workable mindware appear to exist. In short, for those of you who may be familiar with Terasem’s yet-to-be-released movie, “2B”, I feel as confident as the protagonist in it, who was about to die, that this is the right answer, and I’m ready to risk my life on riding this vehicle out of biospace whenever the countdown reaches zero.
Is this the statement of someone who’s on the brink of death, or who knows something about facing it? I’m going to finish this particular Truth of Terasem with a few personal observations, and then move on. I’ve climbed down shafts into caves seven stories deep with no way to know, for sure, if I could get out on my own or have others pull me out, and I’ve crawled down long, tight passageways where but for the luck of finding a tiny pocket to turn around in, I’d have died there. As the excitement of that wore off, I spent five years in military bomb disposal, in many cases whispering to myself at critical points, “I sure hope this is going to work,” and later, disturbed by hypochondria after my Mother suddenly died of a heart attack with no warning, I resolved my hypochondria by climbing on a mountain bike when my heart seemed to be racing out of control for no reason, and rode it 2000 feet up a mountain highway to see if it was just playing games with me or was seriously about to quit. But, at that point I finally realized just how fragile biological life was, and how easily you could lose it.
Over the forty years that followed that experience, Linda, we’ve been active in forming and both of us at different times, serving as the President/CEO of a major cryonics firm, placing many patients including my own father and your mother into cryonic suspension. Gradually, the challenges posed by the technologies required for biological reanimation have seemed to simply increase, rather than decrease, and until recently this had produced a skeptical frame of mind about the chances of surviving at all, added to which we were losing confidence that basic human nature would permit humans to even survive a technological Singularity, much less perfect bioreanimation or even uploading based on brain-mapping.
The realization that Terasem existed and was doing what it is doing came as a shock, at least to me, and I think, to you, too! For months we read its publications, then we made a presentation at one of its workshops, and finally restructured our life’s work and place of residency to fit its needs. Let me repeat a brief statement made a few minutes ago, to synopsize what I think could reasonably be termed a “soulful” answer: “In short, for listeners who may be familiar with Terasem’s yet-to-be-released movie, “2B”, I feel as confident as the protagonist in it, who was about to die, that this is the right answer, and I’m ready to risk my life on riding this vehicle out of biospace whenever the countdown reaches zero.”
Moving on to the first Element of this Expansion, “5.9.1 Belief in respect for our uniqueness tells our heart we must respect the uniqueness of others.” As you might detect from a few of the statements above, I’ve been fairly individualistic about how I’ve lived, unique in various ways, and I’m strongly inclined to feel very good about this stress on respecting the uniqueness of each individual. This kind of thinking places Terasem so far from any chance of being “Borg-like” that it gives me a profound feeling of safety to be involved in it. I invite listeners who feel the same, to take a close look. You might like what you see.
(Linda) 5.9.2 tells us “Every sensible soul feels the truth of united we stand and divided we fall.” This is the same spirit as quoted from the meeting at which the Declaration of Independence was signed. “If we don’t all hang together, we’ll all hang separately!”
(Fred) Yes, and the next element is 5.9.3, which states, “Love teaches us that joy is wonderful and sadness is terrible.” If you’ve really experienced love, you know that you’d have died for just 24 hours of it rather than have never had it happen. If it’s a love that lasts decades and only grows stronger with time, you know that when it ends with the death of one of the partners, the one who’s left behind dies inside at the same time and usually follows soon after, even if this means going into oblivion. If you haven’t known love like this, or if you’ve had a love die quickly and never found another, believing it to be impossible, then this may seem difficult to grasp. But there is a very deep truth in this one, and it is generalized to wider and wider circles in the kind of emergent society Terasem seeks to become.
5.9.4 says, “Immortality is everywhere believed in because it is wired into the human soul.” Humans are capable of believing this for many, many reasons, not just because it is rational, but because just like the Earth seems flat, it seems obvious. In the earliest long-distance trading circles of primitive peoples, when there would be an annual gathering and those of many tribes would see again those they had not seen for a year, it was easy to visualize that a person still existed, even if not seen. The myth that persons survived death emerged early, and systematic attempts to do something meaningful that fitted this outlook began with burial rites or practices as far back as organized humankind has been traced. With the rise of more sophisticated religions a soul-body dualism or dichotomy arose that remained the heart of vitalism until very recently. Burial practices were replaced with dogmas not-to-be-questioned about the soul being invulnerable, such that the personality of each person was taken to “live on” after death. Many still maintain this belief.
(Linda) Is there a physical basis for such a belief? Suppose, for example, you were to ask, “Is it possible that a basis for identity might exist within the body, based on physical energy, but weighed nothing and could not be differentiated from ordinary metabolic and associated processes?” Could such a question be answered rationally, so that it would make sense to claim that something corresponding to a “soul” existed, but was of a nature such that no scientific evidence had yet proven that it was other than a fantasy?
(Fred) The answer might be that the organization and functions of the human neurological system might represent an informational structure that cannot be “weighed”, but that in a similar sense, the informational content of a computer cannot be “weighed” either. The computer that has not even had an “operating system” installed, much less any specialized software, does not weigh less on that account. Yet, it is as “dumb” as can be imagined. Even the future computers that will have processing speed and memory compatible with sophisticated mindware and mindfiles will be only “dumb” machines prior to loading.
A biological human baby, to carry this example forward, is in much the same situation. By comparison, a chimpanzee who has learned the social structures of its group is far ahead of the unborn human infant, in so many incalculable ways that it would be difficult to find a place to start in describing the differences. The infant perhaps could be compared to a “blank” computer only in that the computer’s individual components might have read-only-memory utilities embedded, certain power management interlocks, and voltage regulation that would prevent it from low level failures on first power-up. Otherwise, it would be as “dumb” as the preloaded computer.
The situation changes as the human grows and adapts, acquiring at least one language, social skills and information, and finally reaches adulthood. Now, without any like changes in weight or power consumption of the brain, an informational structure exists which is of such complexity as to believe that it could not be destroyed, if one did not know much about it’s nature, origin, or destiny (biological death).
(Linda) Is it possible, thus, to “save the soul”? Is it possible to somehow extract these informational structures prior to biological death? Then, can what’s been saved be brought back to a state of self-consciousness?
(Fred) Here, Terasem leaves no stone unturned, conceptually. Not only does it conceive that by mindfiles this can be accomplished, but the traces left in other’s people’s minds who knew a person could provide a starting point for emulating that person and allowing them to continue with their life. Beyond that, there is the idea that a person’s life may leave behind a “wake” or disturbance in society like ripples spreading out from the passage of a dolphin just beneath the surface of the ocean, so that in the end, far fewer people are lost in the transcendence of biology into cyberspace.
(Linda) The next to the last element in this Expansion, 5.9.5, states, “Explaining the purpose of life is as simple as seeing life’s beauty, and wishing it everywhere.”
(Fred) This a very broad insight, and in ways corresponds to the visions of Paolo Soleri in his 1969 book, “The City in the Image of Man”, where he foresees that if humanity does not destroy itself, it will ultimately move upward in the course of evolution beyond technology into what he calls the “Compassionate Aesthetic Domain”. There’s no time to explore this parallel in this podcast. Perhaps we’ll return to it in a future one.
Finally, in 5.9.6, we find “Faith in Terasem arises from soulful certainty that this is what the Multiverse must become.” More than anything, to me, this is an expression of confidence in the principle of Extropy moving with exponentially increasing rapidity toward a point in time not so many centuries from now when by anything we can presently visualize, order in the universe will replace disorder with all of the closure that has been imagined to have characterized the spread of matter and energy immediately following the Big Bang, except in an inverse way. Ray Kurzweil in his great book, “The Singularity is Near”, may or may not have put what he sees coming in these terms, but this is the picture that comes to me.
(Linda) That’s a great place to end this podcast! Next week we look at how evolution implies not only the spontaneous emergence of life, but the spontaneous emergence of what has always been envisioned as “God”, as intelligence expands like an explosion in reverse, much like the way you discussed the Singularity a few moments ago, Fred. It’s a beautiful follow-on for the Truths we covered this week.
(Fred) Right, Linda, and the second Expansion for next week is the start of the final or sixth precept of Terasem’s, “How” does Terasem work? It’s a broad landscape of ideas, going all the way from how to make use of rituals and programs in a rational way to creating ways for geoethical nanotechnology to be part of the self-ordering of the Multiverse, everywhere. Actually, the term “rituals” is barely mentioned at all, just as if it were there so as to not be left out, but we’ll expand on that.
(Linda) Another reason we’ll expand on that is because they’re so important, Fred. As just one example, if after Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, it had become institutionalized into all the schools so that children repeated it each morning, instead of the “Pledge to the U.S. flag”, all of the conflicts of segregation that went on for many, many decades and still litter our cultural landscape today with pain and darkness of the past might have been swept away before the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Rituals, if used intelligently, can help us transcend old, mistaken ideas and move into the future faster and more safely than practically anything else we can imagine.
(Fred) Wow! What an example. OK, all of you out there who find the Truths of Terasem fascinating, don’t forget you can “Join Terasem” at terasemfaith.net and be right at the heart of this. “Waking up in cyberspace” can be pursued by way of LifeNaut.com or CyBeRev.org, no fees to participate.
(Linda) True! And mindclones.blogspot.com tells you all about mindfiles. Next week, we’ll see how the emergence of biological life on individual planets and their convergence into a universal collective consciousness are all an inevitable part of the extropic process.
(Fred) Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Linda) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Welcome to our WordPress Blog on the Truths of Terasem Podcasts. They’re available for listening on iTunes at:
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/truths-terasem-podcast-2010/id383099543, or Index/Download Directly From CyBeRev at:
Podcast No. 14 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 11/1/2010
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The Why of Terasem
SUB TITLE: Terasem’s Emergence as a Vision and its Interpretation in Terms of Religious Parallels
SUMMARY: Terasem began with the vision that the love of two persons could go on forever. For this to be reasonable, it seemed that a society would have to emerge, transcending current limitations of humankind, where a state of “joyful immortality” would exist. This was conceived to be the outcome of successfully surviving a technological “Singularity”, but many aspects were so far reaching and vast that only religious parallels seemed appropriate in describing them.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast number 14 on the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) Here’s where we talk about where Terasem came from, isn’t it? And about where that might lead?
(Fred) Yes, it is! Today we start with 5.6, the vision of Terasem, and with 5.7 we move to the ultimate outcome that could spring from it. To summarize, before we start, I’ll read the synopsis some of the listeners might not have paused to look at too carefully, it reads, “Terasem began with the vision that the love of two persons could go on forever. For this to be reasonable, it seemed that a society would have to emerge, transcending current limitations of humankind, where a state of “joyful immortality” would exist. This was conceived to be the outcome of successfully surviving a technological “Singularity”, but many aspects were so far reaching and vast that only religious parallels seemed appropriate in describing them.”
(Linda) One thing that really strikes me about these expansions is the use of unfamiliar words. They’re from various non-English languages, but they fit together in a harmonious way.
(Fred) That’s right. It’s a premonition of what a great thing it will be once we’re able to experience the cultural history of Earth from within cyberspace, with a full fluency of all its languages. It will expand our way of expressing things enormously, and that will be just the beginning of what we’ll do with language when we have virtually perfect, unlimited memories.
The Truths of Terasem themselves give us brief glimpses of some of these words but I’ll combine these with the definitions accessible on the Internet, and you’ll see how wide the potential implications are. For example, there’s the term Hozh’q, which Terasem describes in 6.6.1 as “the conscious mind’s vision of a beautiful life, entails goodness, order, vitality, happiness and harmony.” Yet, an online source says that it means:
“hozh’q (from the Navajo language) This means ‘the beauty of life, as seen and created by the person’. For the Navajo, this is something that grows from a human being and spreads outward to permeate the universe.”
Well, “grows from a human being and spreads outward to permeate the universe” and the fact that the idea is of Navajo origin adds a lot to it, for me.
Having at least a look at this one term’s interpretation from both the Truths of Terasem themselves and online sources, let’s plunge directly into 5.6 and the elements of that Expansion. 5.6 tells us, “Visions of Terasem sprang from one person’s Hozh’q to become universal Alam al-mithral.” Knowing that Hozh’q means, in terms of both our sources of interpretation, “the conscious mind’s vision of a beautiful life with goodness, order, vitality, happiness and harmony growing outward to permeate the universe”, we’re still left with explaining the last part of it, which is that it “becomes universal Alam al-mithral.
(Linda) What meaning can we assign to Alam al-mithral?
(Fred) The Truths of Terasem use that term in other areas in ways that relate to both personal commitment and inspiration. 6.4.6 relates it to being accountable for our actions and inactions, embracing diversity in our community and our lives, respecting the autonomy of all consciousness, talking openly about issues and concerns, helping others to help themselves, always being open to new ideas, and focusing on strength, health, and happiness as foundations of mindset. As part of one of the Terasem connections under 6.8.6, it calls on one to rest at night with the vision of sixteen bright stars in one’s mind.
Online sources describe Alam al-mithral in the following way: “The universe against which all of the worlds you create is called The Million Worlds. The Million Worlds is a universe of infinite worlds, called Spheres. Each Sphere encapsulates a complete universe, infinite and separate, yet bound as one Sphere of many among the shifting, glowing translucent space of the true universe. This primal meta-space is called the Alam Al-Mithral. Among the Alam Al-Mithral exists all of the Spheres, caught in an eternal cycle of creation and destruction, as new ones are formed and old ones fade into oblivion. This cycle of creation and destruction is driven by the relentless meta-physical tide of the Wunschtraumacht. The Wunschtraumacht is the extant omnilinear psychic force of the dreams of Man, as portrayed by his myths, legends and folklore, from within a sphere made manifest among the Alam Al-Mithral. The ceaseless force of the Wunschtruamacht radiates from each sphere, like the forces of a star, impacting upon the Alam Al-Mithral and the other spheres as a drawing tide and a blowing wind.”
Now, whether or not the Founders of Terasem drew upon this particular set of words, or others, in envisioning what Terasem might become, is not known to us, but we can put this together with the content in the truths to tie in personal responsibility for one’s actions and lifestyle to a cosmic vision of destiny, in ways that are beyond the scope of most philosophies or religions, and 5.6 in its entirety tells us that this is what happens when “the conscious mind’s vision of a beautiful life with goodness, order, vitality, happiness and harmony growing outward to permeate the universe” comes to grips with what’s required in terms of one’s practice of life on the day to day level, extended to what one might think of as one’s ultimate destiny. And, we’re only at the beginning of looking at the six underlying elements of this expansion.
(Linda) In the first of these, 5.6.1, we find, “Sharing Hozh’q, the beauty of life as seen and created by a person, is the goal.” Does this indicate that the vision of Terasem came from an individual person?
(Fred) Initially, yes. And its important to note that there is a goal, and the goal is to share that vision.
In 5.6.2, this is expanded to, “Propagating hozh’q is the purpose of Terasem obligation to author self.” We have to see this as meaning that once one has grasped a vision of this kind, making it a key part of our mindfiles is a duty of ours. We can tell this from the content of 1.8.6, which states, “Authoring-self recreates one’s mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values, until Turing-equivalence is achieved.” That’s mindfiles for you. The obligation is to make a positive outlook and mindset a foundation of one’s personality, prior to uploading. In other words, the goal is to carry as little evolutionary “mean-streak” baggage as possible with us into cyberspace.
Moving on, in 5.6.3, we find, “Reve a deux of a soul-mated pair nurtured the original Hozh’q toward Alam al-mithral.” Without belaboring the translation, this can be expressed in English by saying, “The dream of two, a soul-mated pair, nurtured the original vision of “a beautiful life with goodness, order, vitality, happiness and harmony growing outward to permeate the universe” to the expanded idea that to make this happen, it was going to take a transformation or transcendence of mindset and lifestyle, and a vision of a destiny that was cosmological in nature. That’s about as short as it can be made, in a concise treatment like this podcast.
5.6.4 says, “Alam al-mithral emerges as the world where the shared vision of Terasem becomes the shared reality.”
(Linda) For this, it’s perhaps useful to move beyond the internal cross definitions of the Truths of Terasem to the more culturally widespread and lengthy definition online, of which the example given earlier was only one.
(Fred) Clearly, a “shared reality”, as I read it here to mean a “shared sense of destiny”, goes beyond a limited set of commitments to personal transcendence and reference to inspiration by means of a cosmic perspective. To repeat just a fragment of that online source, “This cycle of creation and destruction is driven by the relentless meta-physical tide of the Wunschtraumacht. The Wunschtraumacht is the extant omnilinear psychic force of the dreams of Man, as portrayed by his myths, legends and folklore, from within a sphere made manifest among the Alam Al-Mithral. The ceaseless force of the Wunschtruamacht radiates from each sphere, like the forces of a star, impacting upon the Alam Al-Mithral and the other spheres as a drawing tide and a blowing wind.”
In 5.6.5 we find, “Neuralspace will reach out from Alam al-mithral to encompass the multiverse.” Perhaps this means that beyond the physical and sociological attributes of Alam al-mithral, lies the emergence of such a highly interconnected network of minds that all of them experience the presence of the others as if they were intertwined neurons of a quasi-infinite being, independent and uniquely diverse, and at the same time so in touch with the others that it would be as if a giant orchestra were playing with no need of a single, focal conductor, no white-bearded “Almighty God” with a baton in hand glancing feverishly at the score of music they all were playing; rather the music would be what it was, as a consequence of all who contributed to it, without any such necessity for hierarchical administration.
Finally for this Expansion, in 5.6.6 we have, “Great jugenspace, the conjunction of all neuralspaces, shall be the reality that nurtures our joyful immortality.” In this case, the term “jugenspace” corresponds closely to another term found in the Truths, “Yugenspace”, which 3.5 describes as, “the ultra-immense conglomeration of intersecting emulated realities that constitutes the future reality of Terasem.” Perhaps these two terms are not intended to refer to exactly the same thing, but both of them use the term reality or realities in such a way as to encourage us to expect them to be about the same. If any difference exists, pending further clarification we’ll take it to mean that as the entire universe becomes emulated and principally comprised of substrate for consciousness, the “conjunction of all neuralspaces” would refer to that collective consciousness itself, without necessarily specifying the particulars of all the substrates on which it existed. If there are some loose ends here, we’ll leave them for the moment, and move on to the next major expansion.
(Linda) But wait! Let’s talk a little more about “love that lasts forever”. There’s still so much to talk about here! What is there that might give one the sense of uniting with others in a true “collective consciousness”? What might make it easier to yield one’s own sense of willingness to “unite” with others while at the same time retaining the sanctity of one’s own identity and rights of diversity? And what might be the most fundamental “core molecular structure” of such a collective consciousness? Where might we find a formula for this, perhaps an actual physical model, or analogue, that might help us visualize it? Does “love” play a part in this? Is love, perhaps, the “glue” that might hold it all together?
(Fred) You’re right. It’s too important to skip over. The carbon atom is an interesting example, perhaps the most simple example of an intact unit that has the potential for internal bonding with a high level of integrity and at the same time a high external bonding potential. Internally, it is of course a four-proton atom, meaning four positive electrical charges that are very unlikely to be split, except by some extraordinarily powerful nuclear impact. Externally, it has the ability to bond to four others of its own kind, and in the strongest configuration it forms the diamond lattice that in natural molecular forms is the most indestructible periodic crystal that we know.
In the DNA lattice or “aperiodic crystal”, as Erwin Schrodinger called it, we have a vastly more complex arrangement with four base pairs bonding in a highly durable framework and capable of self-replication. These are illustrations of a highly ethereal form, of course, based on which to suggest human bondings of a durable kind in a collective consciousness, but they may be helpful in trying to visualize possibilities.
A most curious illustration is that of Helium, with two protons. It is one of the most independent, that is non-binding, of atoms. Yet, if two of them fuse and form carbon, we have one of the most powerful bonding atomic components. For the purpose of this podcast, we’ll restrict ourselves to these two in our conjectures of parallels to human-mind bonding.
(Linda) What about DNA?
(Fred) DNA is far too complex, in that even though there are only two basic base-pair configurations to take into account, their internal arrangements of atoms is highly complex.
One simple parallel that might come to mind, in terms of comparing helium to carbon, is the basic biological mating pair. It begins with two minds, a couple in love, and is expanded into (one simple example is) a pair of children, that makes it a small “family”. The children can subsequently pair into another sort of “Helium” couple with others, and take on a “Carbon” form with two children, and build a web of interrelationships that, at least in some cultures can almost bind a nation together. Is this in any way likely to be a useful parallel?
Perhaps not. The internal integrity of families is weak in many ways. First a “generation gap” splits the parents from the children. Even within the most close-knit situation, this produces divergence. Usually in terms of the prolific levels of reproduction favored by biology for natural selection, for survival of the fittest, far more than two children will result. Nothing in this example suggests even the potential for the stability of a “carbon atom” tightness of bonding with four protons, which is only produced by the fusion of two heliums, much less the exterior bonding that has the potential of producing a diamond lattice.
(Linda) Let’s return to the Helium example for a moment and imagine a couple that is so tightly bonded, two “protons” locked together in an embrace that it seems as if it might go on “forever”.
(Fred) Such a “soul-mate” pair is committed to a kind of nuclear “collective consciousness” that in some cases might choose oblivion over separation, the sense that absolute death would be preferable to being torn apart. A couple like this might have, if suitably reinforced in the strength of their internal relationship, what it might take to be part of a “diamond” at a later stage, where in partnership with another like couple, a “branching out” to bond with other foursomes could lead to a diamond-like kind of network in which individual differences of the individual minds could make it an aperiodic crystal of kinds, capable to networking outward endlessly.
Taking the broadest view, one might say that setting aside the usual artifacts of biological evolution, the gender-gaps of the Mars-Venus paradigm where men and women and drawn to each other yet doomed to be part of Mother Nature’s natural selection plan, any two androgenous mind-pairs could bond with any other such mind-pair to form the elemental “carbon-atom” of human networking, and then link outward from there. The internal bonding would be strong enough to hold the two couples together, with the view that just as in the original couple there was a “stay together and go on endlessly or die” kind of bonding, in the foursome, substituting mind-bonding for gender based attraction, the four could be pledged to each other’s survival at the same level of intensity as the “helium level” couple. They would also be pledged to reach out to other such quad-being entities, and thus produce the kind of aperiodic societal crystal that would hang together eternally.
(Linda) Now, with all of these examples, what can we make of this at a level that might meet Terasem’s standard for the kind of “quadrapole personality” that might be comparable to a “carbon atom” kind of couple-pair? Is there any way that a “helium couple” could become a “double-helium-fusing-to-carbon” quadrapole of this kind?
(Fred) I think there is. To explore this, I’ll have to make reference to a workshop paper you and I prepared for a Second Life Terasem event on December 10th, 2009, on Cybertwins, and work forward from there.
You and I, if you’ll permit me, are perhaps a useful illustration of the “Helium” level couple. We began our lives together over forty years ago as radical Objectivists who, by way of interest in Cryonics, joined our lives in what we later termed a “LifePact” way. Without delving into the history of LifePact and what it was envisioned to become, we can at least state that the basis of the original relationship was a paper titled “Two Minds” that drew us into the kind of tight-knit, high-speed mind-dance that now characterizes our lives. It takes the form, among other things, of two lives bound together by daily saying life-extension oriented “wedding vows” that consume about ten minutes, accompanied by around an hour of discussion, that are all digitally recorded and thus part of our mindfiles. We have been digitally recording this daily “connection” for over seven years at this point, and it seems likely to be the focus of our lives as long as we are together, which for sake of ease of expression let’s say might be “forever”.
(Linda) So, how do we envision expanding on this broadening of a “helium” couple into a “Carbon” one? And, where might we ever hope to find other “carbons” with whom to network?
(Fred) That takes us back to the cybertwin paper of 2009, again.
In that paper, we synopsized a soon-to-be published novel of mine titled “BioQuagmire”, in which two cryonicists who did not sufficiently trust their cryonics organization to make reanimation decisions prescribed that a twin-pair of them would have to be cloned and consent to any kind of reanimation that might ever be attempted. This was envisioned to take place perhaps one or more centuries in the future. It was not with the outlook that this “future couple” would constitute “reanimation” of any kind. It was simply imagined that in the end there would be two couples with considerable difference of life history that would be closely paired, for example in the way that two biological couples might be related if, as two sets of “identical twins”, they were each to marry and thus become two “highly similar” couples. This was the platform, or springboard, from which the book was written.
But in the cybertwin paper, we “quantum-leaped” beyond that, to the idea that even before going into cryonic suspension, we might enable our mindfile emulations, the “cybertwins” of ourselves, that would not be intended to “replace” us but rather take on the role that had been imagined for the “biological-twin” clone-couple in BioQuagmire. Then, with what would of course be substantial divergence of life experience prior to our even being placed in cryonic suspension, subsequent uploading would cause there to be two “cyber-couples”, with a common portion of life-history in biological form, correspondence of intellectual view, and thus the basis for becoming a “foursome” in the kind of cybercommunity Terasem envisions to evolve as part of the Singularity. There, we would expect this “foursome” to have a high state of internal integrity due to the very strong sharing of life-history and mind-pairing background, and at the same time take on the “Terasem-building” work that would await them, with a sense of adventure they could never have imagined earlier.
(Linda) Coupled with a strong orientation toward Buddhism, and a science-oriented, non-mystical way of regarding reality, this seems to be a way of envisioning at least one way a stable personality-group could maintain its diversity with respect to the rest of society, and at the same time commit itself with very little in the way of competitive overburden of evolutionary baggage of a negative kind.
(Fred) From other models of this kind, not restricted to a relatively simple helium-carbon paradigm such as we have envisioned, it seems likely that Terasem’s future community, in which unity and diversity are both needed, could evolve in a stable way, at the root of which could be a great deal of what might be “loves intended to go on forever”.
Now, we have the challenge of the next Expansion of the Truths of Terasem to take on, and the challenge is indeed enormous. Here, we address the idea that “godness”, as characterizing Terasem, moves from a state of networked human identities toward the outcome of a universal “collective consciousness” in which those attributes assigned to “God” by early human religions become in fact realizable through technology as the Singularity takes place.
(Linda) How can we even begin to describe a thing like that? I mean, imagine just for a moment that Leonardo da Vinci had come up with a drawing of a Boeing 747 and said, “Here’s how man will be able to fly like a bird!” Not only would he have been thought totally out of his mind, but in fact he wouldn’t have had any basis of sufficient science or technology to even approach such a vision realistically. It seems like what we’re delving into here is terribly elusive!
(Fred) That’s certainly how most people will encounter it on the surface, at first glance, but that’s what happens when you try to visualize where things may lead if you look not just far ahead, but “endlessly” ahead. The simplest example, for me, is the attempt to depict two parallel lines going to infinity. What do you do? You draw what looks like an upside down “V” where the sidewalk in front of your shrinks to a point on the horizon. You know the lines are supposed to be perfectly parallel, but the eye sees them as converging to a point. I think this is the kind of thing we’re getting into here, but on a far more abstract level.
(Linda) I know, but there’s a discomfort in it, isn’t there? It’s such a different way of thinking about things that most people are used to!
(Fred) It sure is! The “flat earth” mentality hangs on today in many ways, even after we’ve “walked on the moon” and sent the Voyager spacecraft on its way to the stars. It must have been terribly disconcerting to envision that the Earth was “round”, floating in space, after millennia of envisioning that it was flat, as it so certainly appears to be at first glance. We still talk about the Sun “rising in the East” and “setting in the West”, although we know perfectly well that in the first case the Earth is “rotating toward the Sun” and in the second that it is “rotating away from it”.
Let’s plunge in! 5.7 says, “Expect God in the future by building Godness today.” What might we make of that? In order to dig into that, I’m going to read into this podcast a comment I made not so long ago on one of Martine Rothblatt’s “mindclone” blog postings. She had talked about the fact that some people may think it will be “weird” for there to be cyberbeings such as you and I envision becoming, but offered lots of thoughts about the fact that it would be a really “good” kind of weird, the kind of “weirdness” we should hope the future would hold, vs. much worse kinds of weirdness that we can see all around us in the world today. It was a great treatment of the subject, but in commenting I found myself slipping right into the kind of thing this set of the Truths of Terasem points to. About “godness”! Here, I’ll read it: [quote] [size=2]“As mindclones become self-conscious and extremely intelligent, the mixed feelings held by many will be that while we need them and can’t do without them, we also have to be able to “trust” them. Any “mean streak” in a mindclone could be disastrous. Mindclones will hold so much responsibility and power that they must be positively oriented, compassionate and devoid of all those things we accept so easily in each other by saying, “It’s only human!” (to be *that* way).
“One lecturer on philosophical topics of the early 1970’s, Nathaniel Brandon, commented on the notion that God was conceived to be “all good”. He stated that in the days before monotheistic religions, the viewpoint might have been that if the God of the Sea turned out to be a malevolent monster, perhaps the God of Lightning would intervene on one’s behalf, and that even the “God of Gods” (Zeus, Marduk, etc.) at least had to contend with their “fellow Gods” in matters where good and evil were concerned. “But,” Brandon added, “If there were only one God, and it were a vicious tyrant, then this would be horrible; there would be no escape from eternal tyranny, thus, the monotheistic God had to be conceived of as “all good”.
“In many ways, biohumans will soon come to think of mindclones, who sooner or later will “run the world”, as “Gods”, due to their greater power, and the only way to be safe as that comes about will be to choose solutions in which there is a high degree of confidence that these personalities will be wholly benevolent and constructive, in other words “good”.
“One workable way this might be achieved is for these self-conscious and “Godlike” entities to be bound by an untarnishable code of ethics, accountable to each other, focused on the ridding of the world of cruelty (and certainly not being responsible for any of it themselves). They must be pledged to seek better answers to any problems that arise, varied enough in their skills to handle any conceivable problem, and yet united in their dedication to positive values and committed enough to a common ethical code so that biopeople (the great majority of humans, who are still biological) can “sleep at night”.
“Where would such a community of cyberpersons come from? How could a collection of humans be gathered together who would, in seeking to be emulated and virtually “become” cyberbeings, at the same time be willing to be obligated to such a high standard of conduct? The answer is that this is precisely what Terasem is creating, a community of persons accountable to each other and pledged to unity of high ethical standards (under the name “Geoethical Nanotechnology”), who want at the same time to able to “be themselves as individuals” in cyberspace, experiencing so much positive reinforcement that there is no better way to describe this than calling it “joyful immortality”.
There is a wholly rational basis for the parallels envisioned between the “Terasem Collective Consciousness” and the ideas humans have nurtured since their earliest days, of what a “God” must be like. There is only one way for mindclones to be “free and independent” and at the same time to be “safe to empower”. Not everyone will want to have to toe the mark to such a demanding standard, but neither will it be acceptable for there to be a group of super-mentalities loose in cyberspace who are constantly at war with each other, battling in the ways described in fiction concerning Greek or Roman Gods, largely unsympathetic to the suffering of “lesser beings”.
Nanotechnology must be safely developed. It will be developed in any case, but if it is not safely developed, then the horrors of a “grey goo” catastrophe will make earlier fears of a nuclear holocaust seem only a mere premonition of dangers of obliteration of the entire biosphere, where a single mistake could “end the world”.
The future, in any case, will be “weird”. Let’s be sure it is a very, very good kind of “weirdness”! [/size=2] [/quote] (Linda) Well, with that as background, let’s get back to the Truth of Terasem we’re talking about. To repeat, it says, in 5.7, “Expect God in the future by building Godness today.” Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing by moving into an era of technology where cyberbeings are going to “go” self-conscious. Just as your comment on Martine’s blog suggests, we’re “building godness”.
(Fred) In the elements of the Expansion, we begin with, “5.7.1 Every religion says God, and only God, is all-knowing, all-good and all-powerful.” Well, in fact that is what every religion, or at least 99.99% of them, say, and there’s a good reason for it. Just as Nathaniel Brandon pointed out, it’s very scary to say anything else.
In 5.7.2 we find, “Xanadu would describe earth, or even freedom from cruelty, if anything all-knowing, all-good and all-powerful existed.” Xanadu is not discussed elsewhere in the Truths, and Wikipedia gives us, “Xanadu was visited by Venetian explorer Marco Polo in 1275, who wrote the following, one of the most complete descriptions of the city as it existed: [quote] [size=2]“And when you have ridden three days from the city last mentioned, between north-east and north, you come to a city called Chandu, which was built by the Khan now reigning. There is at this place a very fine marble Palace, the rooms of which are all gilt and painted with figures of men and beasts and birds, and with a variety of trees and flowers, all executed with such exquisite art that you regard them with delight and astonishment.”[/size=2] [/quote] This was a city of ancient China envisioned to come as close to Heaven as possible. One might, at that time, have imagined that a “God” must have created it. Perhaps the meaning here is that almost one thousand years ago humans had begun to make physical strides toward what they envisioned as perfection, but what will be far easier to achieve first in cyberspace, and then later by emulating physical reality once full-scale replicator nanotechnology is available.
In 5.7.3 we find, “Partial Godness now exists to the extent the collective consciousness of Terasem now prevails.” We have to move toward where we’re going in small steps, but they’re getting larger and coming in faster succession as suggested in the next Truth, 5.7.4, “Exponential infotechnology and nanotechnology growth enables Terasem to rapidly evolve toward our future all-knowing, all-powerful God.”
This is consistent with all that we’ve said earlier. 5.7.5 tells us, “Collective insistence upon geoethics and the Terasem Way of Life makes our evolving Godness all-good.” We need to have the widest possible consent and agreement about Geoethics, in order to escape the possibilities of self-destruction as replicator nanotechnology is developed, or even irreversible damage to humankind earlier by way of biotech catastrophes or nuclear war.
Finally, 5.7.6 sums it up with “Terasem is God-in-the-making because Terasem is becoming all-knowing, all-good and all-powerful, and is partially so now.” This is an affirmation of what we’re committed to. The endpoint is far off, but the rate of approach is increasingly rapid. The Singularity is near.
(Linda) The end of the podcast is also near. Luckily, we didn’t run over our time-goal as far as we did last week. Next week we’ll examine the ways in which Terasem’s transreligious themes are in synch with monotheism, and how hope and prayer can aid reason in building our collective consciousness. Terasem’s vision of cyberspace is that it can be a pathway to what we’ve been talking about as “joyful immortality” from the first, but only if we “keep it clean”. There is even the idea that morality is “the purpose of life’ in that it’s goal is to make life better for all. Some principles are defined as “Eternal truths” and ways to make sacred holidays and artifacts the “wellsprings for memes” are explored.
(Fred) Right. Some visions, yet to be validated as scientifically possible have to be contingently taken as “matters of Belief”, especially in the need to respect the uniqueness of others. United we stand’ divided we fall. Love as an experience teaches us that joy is wonderful and sadness is terrible, and that immortality is everywhere believed in because it is wired into the human soul. Explaining the purpose of life is as simple as seeing life’s beauty, and wishing it everywhere, which leads to a kind of soulful certainty that this is what the Multiverse must become.
(Linda) Hey, everybody, “Join Terasem” at terasemfaith.net if you want to share in this. Your “future in cyberspace” starts with involvement in the programs of CyBeRev.org and LifeNaut.com, no fees to participate.
(Fred) Don’t forget – Have a look at mindclones.blogspot.com for more about mindfiles. Next week, we’ll see how “religion” and “reason interrelate, in Terasem.
(Linda) Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Fred) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Welcome to our WordPress Blog on the Truths of Terasem Podcasts. They’re available for listening on iTunes at:
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/truths-terasem-podcast-2010/id383099543, or Index/Download Directly From CyBeRev at:
Podcast No. 13 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 10/25/2010
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The Why of Terasem
SUB TITLE: Spreading Outward, Diversifying Limitlessly, Endlessly
SUMMARY: Terasem perceives itself in terms of its present potential for transcendance, and extends this to a vision of an unlimited expansion. We talk about how Terasem goes from where it is today to the utmost it can become, and why that makes sense, why it’s “going to work”!
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast number 13 on the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) Thirteen? That sounds unlucky, or even evil! Halloween is almost here. Is this about keeping ghosts and goblins away, or something like that?
(Fred) That’s closer than you think, but in the opposite direction! Today it’s the Truths of Terasem 5.4 through 5.5.6, where we talk about how Terasem goes from where it is today to the utmost it can become, and why that makes sense, why it’s “going to work”!
(Linda) Well, that sounds better than “trick or treating”. Is there anything we ought to know, before we get started?
(Fred) There are some general ideas that could be helpful. Six different ways in which diversity and growth interrelate are involved in the first Expansion, 5.4 through 5.4.6, and then we take a look at how to make that happen in the next Expansion, 5.5 through 5.5.6. I’m not going to try to introduce them both at once because they represent different conceptual frameworks. So, after the first set I’ll preview the second. We’ll dig into the first set, alone, at this point.
Expansion 5.4 and its component elements are about “change”, “gender”, “knowledge”, “goodness”, “visibility of what’s going on”, and “how to get rid of cruelty”, not just here on Earth, but virtually everywhere. These may sound unrelated, but until you see how they interrelate, so do “up”, “forward”, “sideways”, “future” and “parallel zones of existence”. But, in this latter case, you can see that we’re talking about directionality in space, change with time, and the notion that there can be things going on all at once, side by side, but with very little in the way of interconnection. Change, gender, knowledge, goodness, perceptual limits, and getting rid of cruelty are fundamental dimensions that Terasem defines as work areas, and even these words we’re using don’t do the underlying concepts justice.
(Linda) For example, take the term “cruelty”. In a limited way, we may see this as the tendency for one conscious being to treat another in a way that is very insensitive to pain, or worse, intentionally causes pain to achieve a kind of bitter, malicious, warped form of “black joy”.
(Fred) That’s one way to take the word “cruelty”. On the other hand, we frequently hear the term used to describe a state of high, cold wind, that chills one to the bone and not so many centuries ago could cause many to fall ill and die. This aspect of the weather was termed a “cruel wind”. The causing of pain or extreme discomfort was personified to imply intent to harm on the part of a conspicuously non-conscious phenomenon.
So, let’s assume that any words we use are subject to being broadly interpreted as to the viewpoint of context in which they are used.
Let’s begin by translating the terminology of 5.4 into what we’ve been talking about. It’s stated as follows: (quote) “Terasem is transcendental, transgendered, transicient, transificent, transpotent, and transpresent.” Taken one at a time, “transcendental” is interpreted as being engaged in processes of transcendence, which means rising above or beyond those conditions that presently exist. We’ll see momentarily that this can be taken to be a generality covering all the rest.
“Transgendered” is straightforward. It’s usually connected with sex change operations, but more generally it’s the implication that we can move beyond gender, not necessarily doing away with what we mean by it now, but broadening it to mean other interrelationships between two or more beings that can lead to offspring in a wider sense, and culminating in an unlimited ways of expanding upon what we have at present. In talking about 5.4.2, we’ll pick up from this point.
(Linda) The next term is “transicient”, and is an interesting word, since it has no searchable presence on the Internet.
(Fred) However, its origin is clear from 5.4.3, which indicates that it is the transitional phase of moving toward omniscience by stating, “Transiscient Terasem knows much now, but will eventually become omniscient to ensure Multiversal connectedness.” We’ll talk about that element of the Truths in a few moments, but at least we can now say what the word is supposed to mean, and it’s not complicated. It’s merely the state of progressing toward the state of “omniscience”, transcending present states of what Buddhism terms “ignorance” to states of “less ignorance” or “more knowledge”, whichever you prefer.
“Transpotent” and “transpresent” are easy. They lead to “omnipotent” and “omnipresent”, two absolute level ideas having to do with power and presence, or being some place in particular, perhaps many places, perhaps all places. The “Trans” prefix, vs. “Omni”, simply means “on the way there” vs. “having arrived”. Now, with that exploration of the terminology in 5.4 out of the way, let’s see where the underlying elements take us.
5.4.1 says, “Transcendental Terasem empathizes with those in pain, and thus guides Terasem toward replacing all pain with joy.” That means that in our present state, we extend or couple our consciousness to those in pain, allowing ourselves to feel an intense state of empathy. If we do this, we can more wholly commit ourselves toward working toward a future where pain will be vanquished, and all that will remain will be a state of joy.
This is one of the Truths to which I relate most strongly, and I’ll ask you to join me in a trip back to one of the saddest days on Planet Earth, the day of the World Trade Center disaster on September 11, 2001.
(Linda) I guess it was one of those days like when John Kennedy was shot. Everyone remembers where they were that day; what they were doing. It was in the early morning and while getting ready to go to work, I turned on the TV to see what the weather was going to be like that day. Instead of the weather I watched unbelieving, as a jet plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I could tell from the commentators’ remarks that this was not just an action movie. This was the real thing. I called you, and minutes later we saw the second collision, followed by the collapse of first one, then both towers, and the story of what had happened began to unfold.
(Fred) This shocked the world, and we were only two of the billions whose hearts and minds were torn by the realization of what had happened. All day long, I could not shake the vision of all those people who were trapped, crushed, still alive but knowing they were dying, in the tower. The grossness of the inhumanity of those acts by religious fanatics took the form, in myself, of empathizing with those trapped in the collapsed skyscrapers, suffering unspeakable agony, the victims of blind fanaticism. But my response was not just one of outrage and desire for vengeance. Even more, it was a state of feeling connected to those suffering and dying in the huge pile of smoking rubble in downtown Manhattan.
At that time, my work involved the culturing of viable human cells for use in biotech analysis of the genome, or perhaps future cloning, and we had been having problems with fungal infestation overgrowth of the cells that were dividing in our supposedly sterile growth culture media. I suspected that this was the result of carelessness on the part of one of the physicians taking the samples, not preparing the surface areas of the skin properly or in other ways disregarding sterile practice, but I wasn’t be sure. The test might be to take samples of my own body, and then culture them, to see if this might be the source of the problem, vs. other postulated causes like poorly sterilized culture media.
So, on the evening of September 11, 2001, I went down to the lab, still shaking with feelings of empathy for those trapped in the tower, and took four samples from my right thigh for culturing. It was enough of a difficulty to do this, without adding in the complication of any kind of anesthetic, so I did without it.
The procedure amounted to taking a wand with a tip like an empty 22 caliber rifle cartridge, and forcing it into the skin to a depth of about a half inch, twisting it so that it cut out a cylinder of tissue that then could be pulled loose with forceps and place in a media dish. I told myself that I was experiencing the barest whiff of the pain being endured by those dying in the tower, and that in the pursuit of bettering life for many who might later have their cells saved and cultured by us, this was a very small price to pay. By the way, my cell samples survived and multiplied perfectly, with no fungal infestation. It moved our technology ahead by helping to pinpoint the source of a critical problem. It was not, in the end, just a futile act, an expression of empathy.
After this episode of empathy and confrontation of it by self-infliction of (by comparison) very minor pain, I was able to more objectively relate to what had happened, and “live with it” more calmly. Now, the memory of this experience helps me relate more strongly to those hundreds of millions who live on less than two dollars a day, ignored by those who blind themselves to the reality of what is going on. Most importantly, it helps me see the relevance in this Truth of Terasem we have just reviewed.
With apologies for the time spent on that one item, let’s move on to 5.4.2, “Transgendered Terasem is beyond genre, and can suffuse anything, eventually expressing its will throughout the Multiverse.” Earlier, in connection with this one, we said (effectively) that “Transgendered” means “moving beyond” gender, broadening it to relationships between multiple beings that lead to “offspring” and culminate in unlimited expansion of what we have at present.
(Linda) That was very general and abstract. Can we throw out some kind of “test example”?
(Fred) Sure. Suppose as cyberbeings we encountered a culture in our spread outward into the universe that was on the verge of a self-destructive Singularity, and we managed to help them achieve a harmonious network, a “collective consciousness” of the kind that helped we ourselves escape disaster at an earlier time.
In this example, we’ll assume that at least some of them were not wiped out in their Singularity, or even more optimistically almost all of them survived, and in that process so much harmony was produced that it was as if they had been rescued from a sea full of sharks. Now, they became part of our society, grateful that we simply did not sit back and watch as they destroyed themselves.
Still, and here is where diversity is important, they might have vastly different origins from ours. Suppose they had been an aquatic species of what we would think of as “Giant Squids” and had developed acoustical works of magnificent music, over ranges of vibration that greatly exceeded those of any of our aquatic mammals, and suppose they were now expanding upon these artistic works in our fast-paced cybercivilization, drawing upon emulated neurostructures so different from what we humans had evolved that their music was more different from ours than even our acoustically spoken language was from theirs. And suppose they greatly admired what we had created in the way of music, and we greatly admired theirs.
Does it seem too much a leap of the imagination to suppose that one of our musicians and one of theirs might contemplate the blending of their two emulated neurostructures, to maximize the creative capacities in a new, hybrid cyberchild of the two, in effect a new “cyberspecies”? What if it were not just one individual of our culture and one of theirs, but an entire orchestra on each side, who were cross-culture mating mindfiles and neuromatricies, perhaps more than one individual on each side contributing to each individual that came forth. Does this not seem to “bridge the gap” in a “more than just transgendered” way? And, where would this kind of thing end?
The answer is that Terasem does not envision any limit on such kinds of new-consciousness synthesis. It only envisions a culture where the basic elements of the culture hinge on unity with diversity, education persistently, and joyful immortality everywhere. It sounds so simple, but it can go so deep!
(Linda) Gazowee! That example was breath-taking! I’d love to just stay here and expand on that even more, just for the inspiration of it, but, we have to keep moving. Miles to go before we sleep!
(Fred) 5.4.3 is stated as follows: “Transiscient Terasem knows much now, but will eventually become omniscient to ensure Multiversal connectedness.” This is far easier. Only one shift of perspective is necessary, and that is the interpretation of “omniscience”. The term can be interpreted to mean either “infinite knowledge” or “perfect knowledge”, and the boundaries of physical law lead us inescapably to the second interpretation. But, what would we mean by “perfect knowledge”? That might seem hard to specify, based on our present condition with miserably slow, error prone biological brains. How could we even imagine such a thing?
It might help to see how ordinary humans worked their way around this already, and it wasn’t recent. Here, we have to look back to the early days of Buddhism, about 3000 years ago, when the young Buddha claimed to have achieved a state of enlightenment, frequently translated as equivalent to “omniscience”. What in the world could he have been talking about, at such a time? Now, we know that as recently as the 20th Century, Tibetan Buddhism still taught that the Moon was internally illuminated, vs. reflecting light from the Sun.
This culture, for whatever other virtues it might have held, in many was darkly ignorant, of reality, thousands of years after the Buddha had died. So, what validity could his claims of omniscience have had?
The answer comes in the interpretation of the word. “Infinite knowledge” was not how a claim of “omniscience” must be taken. It would be more correct to view this as a claim of “flawless knowledge”. Still, how could it be flawless? The answer is that the only way to be sure you are not wrong is to claim to know nothing at all; and, in that, one could be sure to be correct in claiming that one’s knowledge was flawless.
(Linda) “Whoa!” That sounds like a cop-out, to say you have flawless knowledge because you know nothing!
(Fred) Maybe, but there’s a silver lining to it too. Many, many of our problems result from thinking we know exactly how a thing works, and loudly proclaiming how smart we are, when in fact we’re just guessing, wrong much of the time, frequently leading others into blind alleys and figuratively speaking shooting ourselves in the feet at every turn of the road. That’s not too wise, either.
Terasem’s caveat of Transicience and extension of this to omniscience is far more than anything else a commitment to avoidance of wrongness by waiting to declare the correctness of something until our knowledge and understanding of it borders on certainty, and keeping our minds open to the possibility of error, always.
By means of the mental capacities we anticipate having in cyberspace, we will be easily able to afford being much more demanding of ourselves than now, where we are limited by all the shortcomings of our biological brains and our very embryonic level of knowledge as compared with what we expect to have after the Singularity.
What about the claim that long term “omniscience” will exist and ensure Multiversal connectedness? Perhaps it is like saying that a time will come when we will look back on what we have now as so remotely low a state of cognitive power that we will marvel we were able to ever get ourselves into cyberspace at all. But we will, and we will never forget how grateful we should be that the universe unfolded as it did, so that we could. At such a time, we will have such a high state of unity on ethical principles that even if we are separated by communication gaps of millions of light years, we will feel perfectly confident that we are still synchronized with each other; connected in the sense of “being sure” that the harmony we once knew in close proximity is the same as it once was, and always will be.
(Linda) I would say it a little differently. I think that what the Buddha meant when he said he had reached a state of “enlightenment” was that he was able to rise above the animal state of consciousness, or sentience if you prefer, of blindly reacting to environmental inputs in an instinctual way, and that he had reached a level of consciousness where he was actually aware of his own thoughts and actions, and could contemplate the long range consequences, and develop ethics for responding to what was going on around him in the world. Going from a state of almost no intellectual awareness, just blind DNA running the show, to one of transiscience leading to omniscience. Again, I hear Carl Sagan whispering in my ear: “Star stuff contemplating the stars”.
(Fred) (That’s great! It adds an important dimension that I left out. With 5.4.4, we find, “Transificent Terasem can do much good now, but will eventually become omnificent to ensure Multiversal goodness.” Put simply, this says we can be pretty good now, and eventually, perfect. But what is “perfect”? And what is the standard of “goodness” to begin with? Let’s walk around the definition of “goodness” by saying that many of the other Truths of Terasem address that directly, ranging from “love” to the other side of the spectrum, “rationality and intelligence”, but the idea of becoming “all good”, which is one interpretation of omificence, can be equated to the idea of “totally ridding ourselves of badness”, a more realistic perspective.
(Linda) Will this ever be an absolute?
(Fred) Two things we can anticipate are that it will be piece-wise continuous in process; everything in nature is, and secondly, the approach to it will be exponentially accelerating all the way, and that at each level, lack of purity, that is freedom from badness, will become more like lack of 100% reliability, as to safety from self-destruction.
Badness is like poison, and if you want to survive, what you drink and eat must be poison free, to some extent. The more high-tech the poison, the more pure what you consume must be made. In the limit, one part in ten billion may be fatal. If you want to carry it to that extreme, you might say that in a population of ten billion cyberbeings, one really “bad apple” might melt the whole of them down.
Surviving the Singularity, or a sequence of them, may be the ultimate test of natural selection. We will only know how tough a test it is if we survive our own challenges and then explore the Cosmos, discovering as we go how many if any other sentient lifeforms have done the same, and how many disastrous outcomes may have resulted from the technological Singularities encountered by other species.
The rest of the Truths in 5.4 to 5.4.6 follow the same pattern as those we have already covered, and discussing them involves qualifying absolutes as we go. 5.4.5 says, “Transpresent Terasem is widely present now, but will eventually become omnipresent to ensure Multiversal survival.” That can be taken to say, “We’re expanding rapidly now and before you know it we’ll be everywhere; the reason we’re doing that is to make sure we prevent the end of the universe, which might take place multibillion years from now, but be that as it may, our goal is to stabilize the universe as quickly as we can and put concerns of that kind behind us.
5.4.6 tells us, “Transpotent Terasem is powerful now, but will eventually become omnipotent to vanquish Multiversal cruelty.” That says we’re building powerful tools to screen out cruelty in every way the word can be made sense of already, but with time we’ll be able to understand what is possible and have what it takes to do that in ways that work everywhere. Back in the early discussion part of this podcast, we noted that cruelty has many different usages already. Harsh weather might be described by the term “cruel wind”. However pain or extreme discomfort might be caused, it is Terasem’s goal to put an end to that cause, to replace it with joy.
(Linda) We’re already out of time, Fred, but we can’t stop. Plunge into the second Expansion. The Singularity gets closer, every second.
(Fred) Right! The next part of this is easier. The words from the Truths themselves can be used as springboards. We can go right through them.
First, 5.5 says, “Instinctual survival also applies to the Multiverse and the result is Terasem.” This borrows from the evolutionary principle that among lower biological species, survival is “built in” or “wired in” however you might wish to say it, in a way we refer to as “instinct”. Now, by a leap of the imagination, this Truth imputes that by the principle of extropy, the universe itself evolves self-aware life, that transcends and survives its Singularities, and then spreads consciousness throughout the universe, at the same time discovering laws of cosmic physics that permit this spreading network of consciousness (that’s what we take to be “Terasem”) to intervene and stabilize the universe, to make it, if we dare to say so, “immortal”. This seems a bit poetic, to attribute “instinct” to the Cosmos, but it may match well with what follows in this Expansion’s elements. Let’s look at them and see what we think.
5.5.1 says, “Randomness spawns rationality because it succeeds and success is self-perpetuating.” I’d take that to mean that the random and simple, bulk-mass interacting materials of the early universe nurture the spontaneous emergence of life, which becomes conscious and then rational, with higher levels of rationality displacing lower levels by way of natural selection. The Truth explains this, as I read it, by saying, in effect, “Rationality happens”, and it “happens because it succeeds and success is self-perpetuating”.
(Linda) Kind of like my example of the Buddha’s enlightenment.
(Fred) Yes, it fits here very well with these Truths. In 5.5.2 we find, “Expect consciousness to emerge from rationality because it empowers survival.” Terasem’s definition of consciousness includes the requirement of empathy as well as logical ethics. This Truth might appear to assume that rationality will lead to rational ethics in the absence of empathy, but my view is that this is a minor inconsistency in wording, nothing else. The leap to a full level of consciousness with empathy plus ethics is held elsewhere in the Truths of Terasem to be a fundamental necessity to survival of a social network, and what we see here seems to be a restatement of that, fitted to the other elements of this Expansion.
Moving on, in 5.5.3 we find “Spatial diversity is essential to survival because any one place is vulnerable to random destruction.” In many of Terasem’s videos that cover Yoga meditation sessions that are referred to as “connections” as part of thoughts that relate to Terasem’s visions, we frequently find mention of cosmic catastrophes such as are known to be caused by Quasars, where streams of explosive radiation tens of thousands of light years in length that could easily incinerate very large numbers of stars and their planetary systems, such that their biospheres are extinguished.
It is a small step from that to assume that even developments of an advanced Terasem network might be reduced to dark matter and stellar debris in such an event. And, there is the much more down to earth idea that it makes no sense to count on just one of Terasem’s data storage sites for mindfiles. Backups are essential. There are too many disasters of a natural or man-made kind here on earth that could wipe out our identities. Other Truths of Terasem address this by reference to the requirements for “strong places” to ensure the survival of mindfiles.
5.5.4 states, “Unity of diverse consciousness can exert protection across space and time.” This is conceptually about the same as the previous Truth, meaning that those lost in calamities either in our present, limited Earth based situation or even those lost in later galactic catastrophic events are conceived to be recoverable by means of, to put in the most mundane way, “backup mindfiles” that are not destroyed.
In 5.5.5, we have “Look to Terasem for the strength billions of souls have built into it.” The number “billions” can be taken to mean either a network confined to planet Earth, near term, or later expansions in which the term “billions” can be taken as merely suggestive of the scope of consciousness that might be concerned. I’ll quote briefly here from a novel soon to be published in which a message from space is received from a Terasem-like intelligence that has “made contact” with an early cybercivilization like ours that is about to be wiped out by a black hole’s devouring its star system. Quoting… [quote] [size=2]Before we propose a possible course of action for you, let us give you a picture of what happens when we find an emergent form of life, as our survey of the universe continues, and let us give you some idea of how far we’ve come. Based on your perception of the size of the universe, which is remarkably close to being right, we’ve surveyed, so far, some fifty billion galaxies, which is less than one tenth of what there are. So far, we are the only civilization we’ve found which independently survived a Singularity-2, meaning replicator nanotech, but we’ve found somewhat less than a hundred thousand civilizations of sentient beings who have, with our aid, been able to launch a durable safe-pod and join us in our quest for the greatest number of sentient species, independently evolved from biological origins, who could contribute to our pool of experience.
The rest of the numbers are not so positive. We’ve found biological life that emerged independently on over 10,000 quadrillion worlds, or ten million trillion of them if that’s easier to visualize, that had not reached the point of what we consider to be sentience, and there we “emulated” that life, so as to provide the greatest level of knowledge of how life may emerge spontaneously. Of those that reached a stage of sentience, almost all proceeded to the point of cyberizing biological life and establishing civilization at the stage of post-Singularity-1. The total is well over a quadrillion, but only about a hundred million of them were still alive when our survey reached them. In almost every case, we found remnants of a grey goo event. That means that of the some quadrillion worlds we found that reached Singularity-2, all but about one hundredth of a percent of them were “sterile”; grey goo infested. We cleaned those worlds and left them lifeless, if you wish to call grey goo a life-form. We go back to check on them from time to time.
So, what happened in the case of those hundred million species that were still active and sentient, pre-Singularity when we first found them? Well, as we said, only about a hundred thousand of them made it, with our help, in saving at least a small fragment of their civilizations. The other 99.9 percent didn’t make it at all. We managed to save enough to make sense of what kind of civilization they had, and where it went wrong, but there all we saved were tiny groups of individuals trying to develop a safety-pod but never with enough support to make a reality of it. They joined us as individuals, but the rest of their civilizations vanished; not even a safety pod for us to lift out.[/size=2] [/quote] With that for perspective, “billions of souls building strength” seems merely suggestive of the far greater scope of growth we anticipate in moving outward, than anything else.
The final element in this Expansion is, “5.5.6 Train-up a diverse, united and joyfully immortal consciousness, and it will rejuvenate the Multiverse.” Here we’re back to the idea that from an embryonic starting point, expansion can take us where we’re going. If the human body is the genomic expansion of a single cell into a hundred trillion or so, then it is not too great a stretch of the imagination to envision an initial c-quad of ten individuals, if equipped with the right socio-ideological framework, expanding its numbers to a network of one quadrillion. If that network replicated itself in manner like that which was achieved by the single biological cell, now there would be ten to the 30th power individuals. On that scale, a galaxy with only four times ten to the 11th power stars, that’s the Milky Way at four hundred billion star systems, sounds easily manageable.
(Linda) What could I possibly add to that except to say: As usual, Fred, we’re out of time, and space as well, perhaps. Before we start imagining a universe where this kind of expansion has led to so many individuals that their ten cubic centimeter identity modules can’t be “stuffed into it”, let’s preview the next podcast!
(Fred) Thanks, Linda, for calling a halt to the over-expansion of this present podcast. Next week we’re going to get out a microscope and have a look at how Terasem seems to have sprung from the mind of an individual gripped by a vision of a plausible, rational way to survive the Singularity, where two people in love could go on forever as a couple, the outgrowth of which was the Truths of Terasem as a starting point. This “seed of a seed” which has gripped our imaginations as an outline for where life extension and all of Transhumanism may be headed, itself had a nucleation point. That’s what 5.6 through 5.6.6 are all about.
(Linda) Right, Fred, and then 5.7 through 5.7.6 translates all of what we talked about today into terms that are a glove-fit for what most conventional religions mean by “God”. You and I, who started out as staunch, Objectivist atheists 40 years ago, certain that nothing like God existed, had no inkling that now we’d be exploring the idea that with the exponential expansion of a survivable cybercivilization outward into the universe, something like a god might emerge, and that the seeds of it might already be taking shape in the Transhumanist community.
(Fred) I guess we ought to be an acid-test illustration of how this kind of thing might seem to make sense, but when you look at just the outline of that, it’s a wild blending of concepts. If someone asked you to describe “God” to them and you replied, as the Truths of Terasem might, “It’s simply going to be an evolutionary outcome of exponential infotechnology based on the development of nanotechnology, which in turn depends on collective insistence upon Geoethics,” they might reply “That doesn’t sound like anything I’ve heard talked about in Church, to date, and you’d have to reply, “Everything is changing as we get closer to the Singularity, and the curvature of space is even beginning to become visible!”
(Linda) I’ve never had so much fun with ideas before. Is that why this is called “joyful immortality”? Well, never-ending adventure in ideas is certainly the root of it. Join Terasem” at terasemfaith.net if you want to “surf the Singularity” with us.
(Fred) “Waking up in cyberspace” gets started by building mindfiles at CyBeRev.org and/or LifeNaut.com, no fees to participate, and you can get the broadest picture of mindfiles at mindclones.blogspot.com.
(Linda) Next week, we’ll see how the ideas of a love that can go on forever and surviving the singularity led to Terasem, and why, pushing that to the limit, it seems as if there’s no simple way of describing this without equating it to that age-old notion of there “being a God”.
(Fred) Join us, and our quest for an endless future…
(Linda) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Welcome to our WordPress Blog on the Truths of Terasem Podcasts. They’re available for listening on iTunes at:
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/truths-terasem-podcast-2010/id383099543, or Index/Download Directly From CyBeRev at:
Podcast No. 12 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 10/18/2010
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The Why of Terasem
SUB TITLE: Belief vs. Knowledge
SUMMARY: Faith is belief, in many cases supported by little or nothing in the way of evidence. Yet, without belief in what might be possible, nothing new would be created. It is a slippery slope. Here, Terasem puts on cosmic skis and takes on the black-diamond slopes of the Multiverse, ready to ski “deep powder” directly up the slope of rapidly accelerating technology to a point where the upturned exponential of the Singularity is perfectly vertical.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast #12 on the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) Twelve, that sounds like a “baker’s dozen”! Do I get an extra something this week?
(Fred) You get an extra something every week, for the rest of the year. Remember, we have to do two Expansions of the Truths of Terasem each week to get the rest of them done before New Years. Today, it’s 5.2 through 5.3.6, in the “Why” of Terasem!
(Linda) I know, and a lot of the terms and ideas this week have a pretty religious sound to an old atheist like me. Does this mean we go outside the realm of science, or is there a system of logic connected with it?
(Fred) There’s logic all right, building upon real-world technology, but the ideas are extended to the transfinite, and use religious terms with which I’m somewhat uncomfortable, so I want to lay a firm groundwork in that respect.
For example, the term “God” is usually associated with unlimited, or infinite knowledge. It doesn’t help to ask, “How big a hard drive do I need to know all that?” because a Google gigabytes would be finite, virtually infinitesimal with respect to infinite memory or computing capacity. A Google gigabytes would be ten to the 109th power bytes, by the way, and a Googleplex gigabytes would be ten to the 10,009th power bytes, still vastly less than anything that could be called “infinite”.
The far reaching consequences of the Singularity, as articulated in the book, The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil, conjecture that it might be feasible to convert most of the material in the universe (other than that in stars, which will still be needed for power) into computational substrates, and on that assumption the theoretical memory of such a collective consciousness (assuming instantaneous sharing of data) could be very large.
Perhaps the best reason for not trying to work out a number for that is the likelihood that by such a time we might have learned how to milk so much data storage out of quantum computing and ways that surpass this, that such a computation would be like trying to calculate how many reindeer it would take to pull Santa’s sleigh from one house to the next worldwide in one night, when we are likely to find that to do that the sleigh would have to travel in excess of the speed of light.
(Linda) When we take on ideas like that, we’re likely to wind up with stuff that will later sound naïve, unless they’re conditioned by extraordinary care in how we qualify the assumptions. In particular I’m thinking of ideas we’ve already touched on in this podcast, about the possible increase in the speed of thought and action in cyberspace, given continued exponential growth. If we talk about a thousandfold increase in subjective time, much less a millionfold or billion fold, where do we hit roadblocks? What kind of workarounds to what seem to be immutable laws of nature will we have to find?
(Fred) One example has to do with the barriers to networked communication represented by the speed of light. In a previous podcast, we asked how long it would take in terms of the subjective time as experienced by a cyberbeing, for a human to leave the computer and take a one minute trip to the refrigerator.
At a thousandfold difference, the wait would seem like a thousand minutes for the cyberbeing, vs. one minute for the human. It would seem like six hours, forty minutes, for the cyberbeing. But now, suppose that cyberbeing is in contact with another high speed intellect on the other side of the planet (Earth), so the distance, around the surface half way is about 12,500 miles, or 66 million feet.
Light travels at about a nanosecond a foot, so the one way travel time is 66 milliseconds, meaning that it will be over a minute of subjective time after one cyberperson starts speaking, before a cyberperson on the other side of the world begins to get the message. A millionfold speedup in thought and action would make that lag seem like eighteen hours, and a billionfold ratio of speed/action to biohuman rates would turn that lag into slightly over two years of subjective time.
Now one might suggest that sooner or later ways of traveling faster than the speed of light will be developed, and that even sooner we’ll accelerate our transfers of data to great multiples of the speed of light. Nonetheless, when we turn our attention to thoughts of these kinds, where one year of subjective time for a biological human would be like a billion years for a cyberperson, we have to be prepared for some roadblocks, and assume bridges that climb over those roadblocks.
(Linda) Momentarily, let’s turn our attention away from transfinite phenomena and think about the difference between fact and belief, between knowledge and faith. Is there a way to draw a “line in the sand” and say that one of these lies on one side, and the other on the opposite side?
(Fred) I think there is. The dividing line is known as the “present moment”. If something has already taken place, we might know something about that, and call it a fact. On the other hand, if we’re talking about something that might take place a hundred or thousand years from now, or even an hour from now, we’re guessing, making a prediction, without a way to “prove” the event will take place.
We can predict with great precision where the planet Jupiter will be ten years from now, but a cosmic event like the intrusion of a rogue black hole into the Solar System could change the playing field. You can plan on being at work tomorrow morning, but you cannot be absolutely sure; many things could emerge that would make it impossible.
In a matter like this, to be honest, we have to say that we plan on and take action on things like getting to work tomorrow and where Jupiter will be ten years from now as matters of faith. Stretching the limit, there are very definite limits, which can be illustrated by a religious leader calling upon his or her followers to “have faith” that “God will provide” in the midst of a war, a pandemic, or a natural disaster such as a tsunami. Such reassurances may be comforting to those who blindly trust their leaders, but so frequently are not borne out by the outcomes as to result in distrust, a loss of faith.
(Linda) In other words, when you are making a prediction of a future outcome, or having faith in a future outcome, it is wise to make sure that your grounds for such a belief are sound. Like, having faith in a medical doctor. Not all physicians are equal, and we may need to rely on their advice in a life or death situation. So before we put our faith in them, we need to make sure we have gotten references from others, read some of their papers, and interviewed them carefully in advance to reassure ourselves of their competence.
(Fred) Right. It does not serve our purpose to deny the possibilities of what the future might hold, or to forego speculating on what might already be the case, so long as we are clear that we are speculating, and not trying to use blind faith as a tool for such things as calming the “faithful” in cases of disasters. To move our thinking beyond the bounds of conventional science, and before delving into the specific Truths of Terasem, let’s consider for a moment the ideas of Erwin Schrödinger concerning the nature of life, and God.
(Linda) Who is Erwin Schrödinger?
(Fred) He was early thinker whose ideas are particularly insightful and will help us creep up on these issues. I’ll try to keep this mini-biography short. In 1865, James Clerk Maxwell published the start of what later became known as Maxell’s Equations, upon which most of electromagnetic science and engineering are now based. In 1926, Erwin Schrödinger published what later became known as The Schrödinger Equation, which extended Maxwell’s equations to electromagnetic phenomena where relativistic and quantum mechanics are involved. Wikipedia more generally summarizes this by saying, “the Schrödinger equation, formulated by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, is an equation that describes how the quantum state of a physical system changes in time. It is as central to quantum mechanics as Newton’s laws are to classical mechanics.”
Now, why do I think Schrödinger is relevant to this podcast? Because in 1945, based on a series of lectures given at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1943, he published a very short but profound book titled, “What is life?” in which he delved into things ranging from forecasting the nature of DNA to free will and determinism, and yes, what he considered to be a rational way of describing “God”. This lays the groundwork for most of what I’ll say about the Truths of Terasem later, and far more concisely than I would, so please bear with me.
(Linda) Go For it!
(Fred) First, Schrödinger in his little book describes genetic material as a very precisely organized “aperiodic crystal”, and pins down from all evidence available that it had to be (quoting), “The simplest interpretation of this result (all that he had been talking about) is that there is a fair chance of producing that mutation when an ionization (or excitation) occurs not more than about ’10 atoms away’ from some particular spot in the chromosome.” He thus set the criteria for precise organization of the genome as differentiated from ordinary bulk-averaged biochemical reactions, and this was ten years prior to Watson & Crick’s “discovery” of DNA.
Secondly, in a broader way, Schrödinger argues compellingly and passionately that living and inanimate matter are fundamentally different, and at the same time states that all of it, including our consciousness, can be accounted for on the basis of physical processes. In other words, he rejects vitalism, denying that non-physical phenomena are relevant, and further makes a strong case that phenomena at the quantum level play no significant part in life processes.
Thirdly, Schrödinger applies his thinking to questions of determinism and free will. His conclusions reject mystical notions, or that consciousness has some kind of elusive nature lying fundamentally beyond the explanatory power of science. We’ll get to that under his ideas about “God”, but it’s worth mentioning for perspective at this point.
Fourthly, Schrödinger is firmly on the basis of thinking of life processes as “negative entropy”, now termed “Extropy” among Singularitarians and other transhumanists. He says (and I’ll give you just a few brief quotes):
“Every process, event, happening – call it what you will; in a word, everything that is going on in Nature means an increase of the entropy of the part of the world where it is going on. Thus a living organism continually increases its entropy – or, as you may say, produces positive entropy – and thus tends to approach the dangerous state of maximum entropy, which is death. It can only keep aloof from it, i.e. alive, by continually drawing from its environment negative entropy – which is something very positive as we shall immediately see. What an organism feeds upon is negative entropy. Or, to put it less paradoxically, the essential thing in metabolism is that the organism succeeds in freeing itself from all the entropy it cannot help producing while alive.”
“An organism’s astonishing gift of concentrating a ‘stream of order’ on itself and thus escaping the decay into atomic chaos – of ‘drinking orderliness’ from a suitable environment – seems to be connected with the presence of the ‘aperiodic solids’, the chromosome molecules, which doubtless represent the highest degree of well-ordered atomic association we know of – much higher than the ordinary periodic crystal – in virtue of the individual role every atom and every radical is playing here.”
Now, what does Schrödinger have to say about “God”? Drawn from his epilogue, and I apologize for having to abbreviate it, for this no doubt reduces its comprehensibility, he says:
“For the sake of argument, let me regard this as a fact, as I believe every unbiassed biologist would, if there were not the well-known, unpleasant feeling about ‘declaring oneself to be a pure mechanism’. For it is deemed to contradict Free Will as warranted by direct introspection.
“But immediate experiences in themselves, however various and disparate they be, are logically incapable of contradicting each other. So let us see whether we cannot draw the correct, non-contradictory conclusion from the following two premises:
“(i) My body functions as a pure mechanism according to the Laws of Nature.
“(ii) Yet I know, by incontrovertible direct experience, that I am directing its motions, of which I foresee the effects, that may be fateful and all-important, in which case I feel and take responsibility for them.
“The only possible inference from these two facts, is, I think, that I – I in the widest meaning of the word, that is to say, every conscious mind that has ever said or felt ‘I’ – am the person, if any, who controls the ‘motion of the atoms’ according to the Laws of Nature.
“Within a cultural milieu (Kulturkreis) where certain conceptions (which once had or still have a wider meaning amongst other peoples) have been limited and specialized, it is daring to give to this conclusion the simple wording that it requires. In Christian terminology to say: ‘Hence I am God Almighty’ sounds both blasphemous and lunatic. But please disregard these connotations for the moment and consider whether the above inference is not the closest a biologist can get to proving God and immortality at one stroke.”
There are some weighty implications in what Schrödinger says here, that need to be interpreted. Premise (i) is pretty simple. Schrödinger is saying that he accepts he is a “biological machine”. But this would mean, deterministically speaking, that whatever he did, he “had” to do, because that was the way the universe unfolded, and this amounts to pure fatalism.
In premise (ii), to escape this trap, he says that by “direct experience” he knows that he is “directing the motions” of his body, which may affect others as well as himself, and that he “feels and takes responsibility” for this. In other words, he asserts the existence of what most of us call “free will” by means of what he describes as “direct experience”.
Now, we know that we are driven by all kinds of evolutionary tendencies that might cause us to do anti-social things, we make mistakes, and we do many things we later regret. Schrödinger does not deny that, rather he takes personal responsibility, he does not excuse himself on the basis that “he had no choice”, but rather takes the point of view that, at least this is how I perceive it, that he is “a universe unto itself, of which he is God”.
Few people take such a stringent view of personal responsibility; few allow themselves to feel accountable for whatever they do. Usually, those that do lead solitary lives; society does not “work that way”, they quickly find. Even in the highest levels of churches as well as other institutions, corruption exists, and “whistle-blowers” are not treated kindly.
Terasem has a different way of thinking about such things, and seeks to find people who can commit themselves to such a standard of ethics and responsible action through what it calls “Geoethical Nanotechnology”. In the widest vision of what the future might hold, Terasem views a community of such committed people as a “collective consciousness” where individuality and diversity are at least as important as unity, where continuous, endless mind-expansion is a goal shared by all, and where what is described as “joyful immortality” is the outlook that endless, creative life can be made a reality.
In this context, then, Terasem takes Schrödinger’s “I am God” and converts it to “We are God”. It is such an outrageously demanding idea that it equates to other ideas considered to be far beyond the reach of humans at an earlier time, like climbing Mount Everest, running a four-minute mile, and yes, going to the Moon. As difficult and impossible a task as building a community of that kind might seem, Terasem has taken the point of view that only a community like that has the best chance of contributing to humankind’s survival of the Singularity, and then going on, in cyberspace, to even greater challenges, wherever they might lead.
Now, with this as background, let’s contemplate what the Truths of Terasem have to say about where that might lead, taken to the ends of the multiverse and unlimited by time markers of any sort:
(Linda) Wait just a minute. Some people are probably wondering when we’ll take on the “Where did the Universe come from?” question, and others are going to be asking what we meant in the last podcast about Terasem continuing the “doing of God’s work”. I think you better at least touch on those, before we go on!
(Fred) That’s right, let’s don’t leave those out. Religions vary widely, as to their notions of how the Universe came to be. There is the problem of origins, in the explanation that God created the universe, in that this leaves the question of how God came to be created. The Buddhists from the start saw the problem of infinite regress, and settled on the explanation that the universe had always existed. Perhaps the idea that there needed to be an explanation for “Who created the universe?” emerged in the early days of humankind when, having learned that they could build things, they might have imagined that everything that was, had to have been built.
First, maybe they asked, ‘Who built the World?” and since then science has revealed that the world, taking that to be the Earth, was “built” by aggregation of early materials from which the Solar System self-assembled, driven by gravity. With that problem out of the way, the question simply was escalated to a higher level, so the entire universe was the focus. It might be most reasonable to say that just as science has discovered how the Earth and Solar System came to be, sooner or later it will answer the same questions about the universe and if there are multiplicities of them, the Multiverse, and so on… endlessly.
We will shortly have to resolve the way Terasem can be “omnipotent” and yet not have created the universe, which as we say awaits further development of science. A finite definition of “omnipotence” is needed, bypassing the abstract, non-real-world notion that “all-powerful” must equate to “infinitely powerful”. We’ll get to that.
The other question you raised, Linda, is an extremely important one, and that is the idea that Terasem is engaged in a continuation of “doing God’s work” so that it is extending something already in progress, by all religions in their own ways, however much those ways might differ. One of Terasem’s Founders was asked about how we might resolve the question, “How can we say that God does not exist as yet?” with the fact that most religions proclaim the existence of God from the start, and she answered it in a most brilliant way.
I’ll only make a crude attempt to synopsize what she said, here, but her answer “put it together for me”, gave me a whole new way of thinking about the existing religions of the world, and reconciled what had seemed to be irresolvable questions, prior to that.
(Linda) I remember that. A visitor asked about this at one of Terasem’s Quarterly Gatherings, and after a moment, the Founder began to talk about it, in terms of “doing God’s work”, more particularly, the question of “When will God’s work be done.” She related it to the whole of human history, and it was a new perspective for me, too!
(Fred) Right. She posed a series of questions as follows. First, she asked, if we were to look backward to periods thousands of years ago, before Christ was born, and according to the Christian bible, mankind was so far short of perfection that it took the destruction of sinful cities and a flood that wiped out almost all of humanity in the attempt to perfect mankind, would it have been reasonable at that time to say that “God’s work was done”?
Naturally, the answer to such a question would have been “No!” If it had been God’s purpose to lead humans to a perfected “state of grace” on Earth, a great deal of work would have remained to be done, at such a time.
Then, she asked, “Would it have been reasonable to say that God’s work was done at a later time,” perhaps two thousand years ago?” That was a time about three hundred years before the rise of the Roman Empire led to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria, when as history recounts followers of the local Bishop literally “skinned alive” the daughter of the Chief Librarian in the streets, burned all of her writings, and then proceeded to destroy the greatest collection of scientific thought and literature the world had ever known, up to that time. Shortly thereafter the dark ages began, centuries of superstition and ignorance. Clearly, at that time also, it would not have been reasonable to say that God’s work was done.
Finally, she asked, “Would it have been reasonable to say that God’s work was done as recently as several hundred years ago?” Perhaps we should consider a point in time three hundred years ago, to explore the answer to this question, the year 1710. For just a moment, I’m going to read you a description from a website on the American economy of that era, and you can decide if by any stretch of the imagination God’s work would have been “done”, at that time:
On the eve of the (AMERICAN) Revolution, the slave trade “formed the very basis of the economic life of New England.” It wove itself into the entire regional economy of New England. The Massachusetts slave trade gave work to coopers, tanners, sailmakers, and ropemakers.
Countless agents, insurers, lawyers, clerks, and scriveners handled the paperwork for slave merchants. Upper New England loggers, Grand Banks fishermen, and livestock farmers provided the raw materials shipped to the West Indies on that leg of the slave trade. Colonial newspapers drew much of their income from advertisements of slaves for sale or hire.
New England-made rum, trinkets, and bar iron were exchanged for slaves. When the British in 1763 proposed a tax on sugar and molasses, Massachusetts merchants pointed out that these were staples of the slave trade, and the loss of that would throw 5,000 seamen out of work in the colony and idle almost 700 ships.
The connection between molasses and the slave trade was rum. Millions of gallons of cheap rum, manufactured in New England, went to Africa and bought black people. Tiny Rhode Island had more than 30 distilleries, 22 of them in Newport. In Massachusetts, 63 distilleries produced 2.7 million gallons of rum in 1774. Some was for local use: rum was ubiquitous in lumber camps and on fishing ships.
“But primarily rum was linked with the Negro trade, and immense quantities of the raw liquor were sent to Africa and exchanged for slaves. So important was rum on the Guinea Coast that by 1723 it had surpassed French and Holland brandy, English gin, trinkets and dry goods as a medium of barter.” Slaves costing the equivalent of £4 or £5 in rum or bar iron in West Africa were sold in the West Indies in 1746 for £30 to £80.
New England thrift made the rum cheaply — production cost was as low as 5½ pence a gallon — and the same spirit of Yankee thrift discovered that the slave ships were most economical with only 3 feet 3 inches of vertical space to a deck and 13 inches of surface area per slave, the human cargo laid in carefully like spoons in a silverware case.
(Linda) I can hardly breath after listening to that. I feel like I’ve just been punched in the stomach.
(Fred) Me, too. And as with the other examples, it would have been only through blindness of the most extreme kind that one could say that “God’s work was done!” at that time. Fast forward past the Nazi death camps, Pol Pot in Asia, genocide in Rwanda and Darfur, just to spotlight a few, and we cannot escape the conclusion that God’s work is far from done… even today.
Yet in their own ways, the religions of the world have always sought to bring about a more harmonious state of affairs among human beings, to increase synergism and harmony among those who joined in its work. It is in this sense that Terasem supports all existing religions and holds that what it is doing is an extension of the best they aspired to be, building on their strengths.
Terasem rejects the anarchy of unbridled capitalism, which places material self-interest as the highest form of human motivation, and seeks to help humanity survive the Singularity by means of ethical principles attuned to the realities of a cyberspace civilization in a post-Singularity period, and sensible, safe advancement of high technologies at the most rapid pace feasible.
With that to build on, perhaps we can now see whether or not the Truths of Terasem for this week fit that buildup.
(Linda) The first of these is 5.2 “Utilizing the future omnipotence of Terasem, the Multiverse has ensured its own survival.” That sounds like a “tall order”!
(Fred) Tall indeed, but what this Truth is getting at is that in the context of remanufacturing much of the material of the universe during a period of time that may be very short, in terms of reliable predictions of the history of time in the universe, we are almost certain to discover the long range (meaning billions of years) “fate” of the Universe, be it heat death or a big crunch or some other alternative, and then be able to devise ways to work around this. More likely we will find that in just a very short part of that safe-zone of time, we can if needed “create” a new domain, immune to the natural death of the universe as we now perceive it, and thus maintain the balance of extropy and entropy in such a way as to ensure the universe, and yes, the Multiverse, has whatever kind of or extent of “immortality” we might wish.
Moving right along! This is a long podcast, but it’s taking on some very large questions. 5.2.1 says, “Future omnipotence of Terasem means Terasem is dear God in the making.” This means that however little of “God’s work” is yet done, more is possible, in fact enough to fill the universe with it, and possibly in a short time (if vastly faster than light speed communication and travel is feasible). Omnipotence need only be enough power to reach a tipping point where extropy is increasing at a maximum rate, and further technology rate of advance is maximized with due regard for the importance of geoethical nanotechnology. And, that power itself can be expected to increase as all of this happens. “Dear God in the Making”, if interpreted in this way, means that once that double-optimum is reached, by any standard we can presently define, “heaven” exists.
In 5.2.2 we find, “Until Terasem achieves Multiversal omnipresence, God is incomplete, and evil can exist.” That’s consistent with the “When is God’s work done?” example. Seems straightforward enough, now.
5.2.3 tells us, “Terasem’s omnificience will vanquish evil everywhere our collective consciousness encompasses reality.” Omnificience equates to “unlimited creative power”. It ties in with the concept of emulating the physical world. There are deep ethical issues here, requiring more discussion of evil, but the term “everywhere” implies that with unlimited creative power, we won’t be “everywhere” right away. More practically, it could be taken to mean that where we are, we will keep it out. A great deal more needs to be said about that, but we’re over our time limit already.
(Linda) We certainly are, Fred, so let’s move on. 5.2.4 says “Unlimited physical existence describes the Multiverse before now, unlimited conscious existence describes the Multiverse after now.” What does “now” mean, in this one?
(Fred) That’s a good question, Linda. I’m sure it doesn’t mean “the present moment” at which any given listener is hearing this podcast. I’d take it to mean some point in time near-at-hand will come at which physical materials are being transformed to computational substrates at such a rate that it will be possible to say that untransformed materials in the universe are shrinking, while those that have been converted to substrates for intelligence are increasing. Perhaps drawing this to the finest degree possible, it means that we’re already turning so much of the Earth’s material into computing machinery that at least at an infinitesimal level, the transformative process has already begun.
(Linda) Ah, yes! I can almost hear Carl Sagan whispering, “We are star stuff; the universe becoming aware of itself”. 5.2.5 tells us “Religious resurrection in the body of God is Terasem’s future cyber-resurrection of all good souls.” Does that mean that at some point, we’ll do what we can, with whatever we have in the way of information, to lose as few people as possible, as cyberspace expands?
(Fred) Yes it does. In fact, Terasem already has in place a system on its LifeNaut website where people can add to the creation of mindfiles for great minds of the past, and this same principle already applies to creating mindfiles for relatives of yours, past acquaintances, etc., through Terasem’s CyBeRev program.
To finish this first Expansion, 5.2.6 tells us, “Exponential creation of all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good Terasem is equivalent to maximizing joy as life’s purpose.” That sums up in a single sentence everything we’ve said so far in this overly wordy podcast!
(Linda) OK, Thankfully, this next Expansion is one that has such a positive, poetic ring that I’m going to read all of it, and let you comment. Here it comes, 5.3 through 5.3.6:
Life lasts a lot longer than we think.
Long time may the sun shine upon us.
Only love surround us.
Now the pure light within us.
Guides our way on.
Energizes our way on.
Realizes our way on.
What do you make of that, Fred?
(Fred) Want me to try to boil that down to something even shorter? The answer is that I can’t do it, but I can do something even more powerful; I can memorize it, and when everyone around me is shouting at each other, if that were ever to happen, which as things are going I think is very unlikely, I’ll simply sit there, meditate on the confusion around me, repeating those words to myself, and not worry if others feel I’ve turned into the “village idiot”. At least I won’t be stressed out.
(Linda) Usually at this time, I say, “we’re out of time”, but we’re so far over the usual markers that the only thing I can do is say, next week we’re going to look at the ways Terasem takes on diversity in every conceivable way. It’s about getting rid of pain, replacing it with joy, looking at gender in a multidimensional way, seeking knowledge, positive values, and “being everywhere at once” in vanquishing cruelty throughout the Multiverse.
(Fred) Right – And, we’ll explore how the evolutionary principle of instinctual survival transcends itself as not just a universal, but multiversal principle by way of Terasem. Rationality emerges from randomness and then leaps upward to consciousness as defined by Terasem, empowering survival through spacial diversity and unity combined. Bottom line: it will take a lot of us, and the way to do this is… to make it simple… is to find a lot of people who want to be part of this.
(Linda) If you want to be right at the heart of Terasem, “Join us” at terasemfaith.net. “Waking up in cyberspace” can be pursued by way of either CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com, no cost to participate.
(Fred) Right! And mindclones.blogspot.com tells you all about mindfiles. Join us, in our quest for an endless future…
(Linda) Come with us – into Tomorrow!