Podcast No. 9 – Posted on iTunes 9/27/2010   Leave a comment

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Podcast No. 9 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 9/27/2010

 (Text used to record podcast)

TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The When of Terasem

SUB TITLE:  Rituals as Mind-Strength Builders

SUMMARY: The Truths of Terasem incorporate periodic events, some with rituals, that are oriented toward strengthening mind and body.  Borrowed largely from the Yoga of India, the participants are encouraged in the interests of diversity to adapt these to their own ideas and beliefs.  Those who tend to think of rituals as relating to dogma and traditional religion are encouraged to see the rituals of Terasem as transcending the limitations and negative aspects of what, in the past, amounted to methodologies of brainwashing the “flock”.

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 9 on the Truths of Terasem.

(Linda)  You say almost the same thing every time.  Is that some kind of ritual, or something?

(Fred)  Sounds like it, doesn’t it?  But we can get away with it at least one more time, because today we’re talking about 4.8 through 4.8.6, rituals and how these relate to preparing our minds for high speed operations during the Singularity.

(Linda)  Rituals?  Like something religious or mystical?  Why would we want to do something like that?  Isn’t that like shaping your mind with blind dogma, without thinking about it?  A lot of people may not feel comfortable with the idea of “doing rituals”?

(Fred)  On the surface, many people will feel that way, and I admit it took a while for me to see it differently.  In fact, a number of atheists have told me they feel very uncomfortable with the idea of any kind of ritual!  But, there’s an entirely different way of looking at rituals, and that’s why I suggested we look at how it relates to “preparing our minds for high speed operations during the Singularity”.

(Linda)  We’re going to have to explain that in some detail.  I don’t think most people will see any connection of that kind, at all!

(Fred)  That’s why we’re doing these podcasts, to look beneath the surface.  Rituals can be rational.  They can serve our ethical goals.   We’re trying to do things with our bio-brains which are anticipatory of our emergence into cyberspace.  Rituals can improve our ability to take giant conceptual steps more easily by allowing us to use a conceptual spiral staircase.  Until we can augment these slow, spongy, biological brains with advanced technologies, ritual is one of the few proven ways of programming our minds so that we can free ourselves from the evolutionary baggage that weighs us down, impedes our progress and tends to foster negative, self-defeating behaviors.  Rituals have for centuries and across all cultures, been used to increase the mental discipline that has allowed us to train our minds, and to accomplish the mechanical and creative tasks that have brought us to the point in human history where star stuff is about to trade biology for more robust substrates with processing speeds millions of times faster.

Now, let’s think about how rituals might have come about originally, and what purpose they might have served in primitive societies.  The first rituals were probably somewhat magical, and those who devised them might have occupied the same positions in their tribes as our scientists of today.  Early creation myths, and the gods and goddesses who granted life, fertility, protection, etc., were the first, struggling attempts to make sense of reality.  How would members of the tribe ever come to be united by these views?  How would they remember them long enough to even pass them on to later generations?  Only by way of rituals, repeated at regular intervals, could enough periodic reinforcement be attained to embed these primitive memes in the consciousness of members of the tribe, in effect to institutionalize them, and serve the purpose of bringing unity to the tribe, and foster cooperation over competitive drives.

Rituals were also probably used to systematize codes of ethics which might seem barbaric to us today, but had the purpose, for example, of preventing young males from killing each other over mating conflicts.  It’s one thing for large cats to claw each other competitively until one retreats, or for even prey animals like moose to compete with their horns until one clearly was the victor, but spears and clubs were more lethal.  The march toward our present day nuclear arsenals and remotely piloted vehicles, where collateral damage and acceptance of the deaths of innocent victims were taken for granted, had already begun.

(Linda)  We find rituals of all kinds in our daily life.  There’s a ritual we do each year called “filing taxes”, and we stop at traffic lights as reliably as savages might have learned to avoid areas declared to be taboo.  Some of these rituals make sense, some are obsolete, yet we cling to them.  Why?

(Fred)  Natural selection may have strongly favored those who assimilated rituals easily!  Tribes whose members strictly adhered to their socially prescribed rules and blindly followed their leaders into battle, ready to thoughtlessly die, were more able to compete with other tribes.  By comparison with the practices of Buddhist monks meditating on negative ways the human mind can be easily corrupted by evolutionarily programmed reactivities, much of what we don’t even recognize as rituals, but practice nonetheless, are about as useful as our vestigial tailbones.

We are hard-wired for ritual; it has served evolution well.  None the less, those who struggle to rise above dogmatism can easily find rituals to be repugnant.  But, let’s exercise caution and not throw out the golden nugget with the river water!  In escaping from the strait jackets of social confinement, by rejecting ritual altogether, we disconnect ourselves from others, and move toward anarchy, where lack of unity in the interests of unrestricted diversity goes against the very hardwiring of our neurological systems.  How do we get to eat our cake and have it too?  The answer is that we invent rituals of our own that make sense to us and join with others who share our visions.

With this in mind, perhaps we are now ready to discuss the way Terasem puts ritual to work without inhibiting our individuality in any way.  Today’s Truths simply outline time intervals and subject categories.  Elsewhere in the Truths of Terasem there are very detailed suggestions for starter-rituals, but we won’t go to that level this week.  For that reason, a few more background ideas may be helpful, foreshadowing future discussions.

If you have looked comprehensively through the entire set of the Truths of Terasem, you will have encountered sets of words denoted here and there as chants, recitations, send-energies, and so forth.  You may have wondered if you were looking at some kind of dogmatic meme-set.  But that is not the intent.  These are just sample frameworks around which to adapt other thoughts you might find more suitable.  It’s a way to get started.
(Linda)  One of the most delightful and joy producing rituals we Terasemers enjoy is daily yoga.  This ancient mind building tool recognizes that our minds and bodies both work better when they are exercised and infused with life giving oxygen.  The breathing, stretching and aerobic exercises are designed to do that, and the meditation part gives us greater control of our own minds and emotions, making us more creative and productive.  We may not have nanotech or cyberconsciousness yet, but we can still work to be the best we can be, which in turn makes us happier, and helps us create the world as we want it to become.
(Fred)  For example, if you are browsing the Truths at terasemfaith.org, at 6.4.1 you will find words phrased as a prayer, but with conceptual content familiar in completely non-religious frameworks.  The words of through illustrate this: “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. (and lastly) Always be open to new ideas.”
After becoming even partially familiar with the Truths of Terasem, you may find yourself wanting to modify existing rituals, to something you feel even more positively guides your life.  I have, and it might be of interest.  It might be instructive, as an example of what could be done.

In a daily “ritual” known as “Ambrosia Connection”, one of the yoga meditations designed to still our mind of distractions, and give us greater control over our own thoughts and emotions, it is suggested that we visualize, as we breathe in and out, that some part of the Universe moves into and back out of us.  To augment the breathing and visualization, the ritual suggests repeating the following words, “I am the breath; the breath is me”. But, that wasn’t quite right to keep my mind occupied.  I needed something different.

So, as I listen to the Terasem recording by Martine Rothblatt that suggests what words might be used, at the same time I focus my mind on a brief, poetic set of words that reconcile causality and free will.  I remind myself that the universe is unfolding in an orderly way obeying the laws of causality, and both I and all others around me are part of this unfolding, just as are all planetary bodies in their orbits about the Sun.

I reflect on the fact that what most people think of as “free will” is like a navigational system that all self-conscious beings may use to make independent choices, if they are sufficiently aware of what is happening to intervene by choice rather than blindly react, and with sufficient “presence of mind” I never need be caught by surprise by an unforeseen emotional state that might take me out of control.

My mind hovers in mid-air, these ideas flowing through it, the way a seagull might float in the air, above the waves.  I do this for ten minutes, and it is refreshing and relaxing.  The audio portion of the DVD by Martine Rothblatt, suggesting various mantras, is to me like a series of whitecaps on a rolling sea below, simply adding to what could be described as full relaxation.
(Linda)  The bottom line is that neither this ritual named “Ambrosia” nor any other meditation yoga that Terasem describes in such detail restricts our individuality of choice of what to think about in any way.

(Fred)  In fact, it simply gives me a feeling of deep connectivity with all others in Terasem who are experiencing something of the same kind at the same, or some other time of day that better fits their lifestyle, whether or not in the same time zone as mine.  And, this experience deepens my own sense of being aware, moment to moment, of what is going on, and how I can manage to respond to what happens in each of those moments.

Let’s jump into the actual Truths for this week.  They start with: “4.8 Involve yourself in daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual and quadrennial Terasem rituals.”  This simply tells you how often these practices or events might occur, and the first sub-truth is “4.8.1 Weave time daily for (1) Exercise, (2) Vitology (3) Unite-earth, (4) Working happily, (5) Author-self, (6) Serenity, (7) Utope-self, (8) Motivation, (9) Astro, and (10) Sleep.”  Depending on how much time you want to devote to these subjects, or are able to free up, this at least gives you some idea of the types of values to which Terasem assigns importance.

Truth 4.8.2 continues this with “Except between your Sabbath Eves only rest and relax, including reading, exercise, sexercise and transcendental meditation.”  Terasem does recommend, although not all of us are able to manage it, to simply kick back one day a week.  The more you are able to incorporate this routine, the healthier and more creative you will be, to say nothing of being happier!

In Truth 4.8.3 we find opportunities to network with others; it’s “Every Month Gather, on the 10th, at 10, for music, art, recitation, teaching and yoga.” and a little less frequently, there’s 4.8.4 with “Keep quarterly Holidays of Freedom, Nature, Obligation and Transcendence with ceremony on last month’s 10th day.”
The next Truth, 4.8.5, recognizes another very special annual day.  It says, “Love the annual Graduation on the 10th Gathering (that’s October), by reading all Truths and escalating Terasemers upward.”  Here, the meaning is that on that day each year those who have done particularly good things that year may have opportunities to do even more for Terasem during the next one.

Truth 4.8.6 wraps up this Group of the Truths of Terasem by “Years divisible by four hold the Quadrennial Convocation, from the 60th day to March 4th.”  This very infrequent event is one that goes from February 29th to March 4th.  How would we know that this is the way it is?  Because those years are always (at present) leap years, with twenty nine days in February.  Thus, the 60th day of every leap year will always be the first day of the Quadrennial Convocation.  If you’ve learned nothing more about Terasem in this podcast than this, you’re ahead of many others who have seen this Truth but have not thought about it in this way.

(Linda)  I’m glad the specific truths went so quickly, Fred.  As usual, we’re nearly out of time.  Next week we’re into far more than sequences of events.  It’s about that fascinating period when a lot of biology-based persons may be moving to higher level substrates, especially those in cyberspace.  We even get to the point of predicting how fast computers have to run, for that to happen.
(Fred)  Right, Linda, and the earliest timeline for that to begin is set only ten years from now.  The two of us might even live that long!  The wording suggests that cyberizing brains may become common in 40 years, multiple bodies for individuals running in parallel will be the next step, and biobodies will be virtually obsolete by the end of this century.  The last truth even gets into what the fate of the biosphere might be like, by that time.
(Linda)  Kowabunga!  All that stuff about how many times a day we should be doing things gets easier and easier, as subjective time compresses.  With minds that work a thousand times faster, we’ll have 24,000 hours a day to “get it all done”, at least until we get caught up…or  by the year 2100, right?
(Fred)  Right!  We’ll get into as much depth as we can on that next week, still at less than a thousand words per minute, and don’t forget to “Join Terasem” so as to be part of this exodus into cyberspace without being at the back of the line.  The launching pad is CyBeRev.org, no fees necessary to participate in this research!
(Linda)  Remember, mindclones.blogspot.com has discussions on mindfiles, and terasemfaith.net has all the details about joining Terasem.  Next week, we’re going to look at jumping right through the Singularity.

(Fred)  So, join us, in that adventure, and our quest for an endless future…

(Linda)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!


Posted November 13, 2010 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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