Podcast No. 19 – Posted on iTunes 12/6/2010   Leave a comment

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Podcast No. 19 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 12/6/2010

 (Text used to record podcast)

TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The How of Terasem, Expansions 6.6 and 6.7

SUB TITLE:  Cybercommunity Procreation and Setting the Stage for It.

SUMMARY:  In a positively evolving cybercivilization, endless augmentation of existing individuals leads to divergence by way of self-reproduction to permit the pursuit of mindware alternatives as well as technological platform alternatives ranging from such simple variations as fundamental operating systems to variations in processing hardware and alternate substrates for hardware.  We may already experience the sense of diversity to come by loving diversity as we find it in each other, as we build c-cubes and chosen families in a climate of shared principles that have, at their root, the honoring of individual consciousness.

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast no. 19 on the Truths of Terasem.

(Linda)  This is the one where we see family structure emerging in so many different dimensions that we find individual minds branching into an unlimited number of varieties and substrates, and yet sharing a common, fundamental, heritage to agreed principles, isn’t it?  And, don’t we find that we can do things right away to make it so real that we feel confident in that kind of future?

(Fred)  That’s right !  Today we’re talking about Expansions 6.6 and 6.7 of the Truths of Terasem, where we envision a boundless diversity of individuals in a cybercivilization, bonded by an ethical system so well evolved that it unites us the way DNA unites all biological organisms on Earth, at the same time that DNA permits such fantastic diversity that it was the basis for both Sequoia Trees and Tyrannosaurus Rex!

(Linda)  Oh no!  Not a future where we have cyberbeings like a T-Rex!  Is that a real example of the kind of beings we might really encounter?

(Fred)  Perhaps that example is only something to wake up anyone who’s on the point of falling asleep, but we’re not talking about cyberbeings who eat each other, only about ones that are so different they span the range of those who want to take on physical forms that can do science in close proximity to suns and even consider modifying them into more efficient energy production systems, to those who want to take up a silent and invisible presence within emerging civilizations that are pre-singularity, and help guide them toward a higher chance of surviving the development of replicator nanotech, after which they join our wider cybercivilization.

Perhaps the thing I find most fascinating about this is that as we find more and more people with the widest visions of what may be possible, who also have a sense of the importance of evolving Geoethical Nanotechnology into what it must become in order to see us safely through the Singularity, we are building at the most basic level the “chosen families” of biological humans who will later share the most far reaching adventures to come.  To put it more simply, we are building friendships we expect to last “forever”.

(Linda)  Sounds good!  Let’s get into the Expansions for the day.  The first one starts with just two words, in 6.6, “Honour consciousness.”  What level of or quality of consciousness are we talking about, here?

(Fred)  It’s a “Terasem” level of consciousness, and we have to briefly visit a few other Truths to get a sense of that.  In Expansion 1.6 we find, “Consciousness is the maturing ability to reasonably choose right from wrong, and to empathize with others.”  Within the Elements of that Expansion are the following: “1.6.4 Empathy is a necessary and sufficient basis for sentience, but only a key ingredient for consciousness,” 1.6.5 “Reason is a necessary and sufficient basis for ethics, but only a key ingredient for consciousness,” and 1.6.6 “Synergism of empathy and reason yields consciousness.”

Clearly, we are talking something more here than a medical definition of consciousness, where you are alert, aware of your surroundings, know your name and can say what day of the week it is.  Terasem’s invocation to “Honour Consciousness” is based on expectations that we will find and/or be able to develop in ourselves and others a high state of both empathy and ethics,  regard these as being very valuable, and respect and defend those who embody them.  There are further qualifications, as we go into the underlying Elements of this Expansion. 

6.6.1 tells us, “Hozh’q, the conscious mind’s vision of a beautiful life, entails goodness, order, vitality, happiness and harmony.”  This is a far less detailed description of Hozh’q than we developed in an earlier podcast, but perhaps that is just as well.  These are all highly positive qualities in any vision, and implies that a mind capable of feeling empathy and understanding logical ethics will likely see beyond just those values to goodness, order, vitality, happiness and harmony.  

Now we move into deeper water.  6.6.2 says, “Open your mind to consciousness immortality via substrate migration and consciousness divisibility into offspring consciousnesses.” 

(Linda)  Deeper, I guess!  It makes my brain hurt a little bit!  This is a big enough subject that we could become lost in it.  Can you give us a simplified example before you get into any detailed discussion, just to help ease our way into this concept?

(Fred) Sure.  Let’s suppose, as a matter of conjecture, that Leonardo da Vinci had been placed in a state of perfect biological suspended animation before his death on May 2, 1519 and was reanimated 550 years later, on May 2, 2069, rejuvenated and in perfect biological health, in a post-Singularity world.

Fascinated with the world into which he awakened, suppose he said, “I’m obsessed with both technology and art, and want to engage in both of them, full time, endlessly.  Can you make that possible for me?”  The answer we might be able to give him would be “Yes, if you migrate substrate and engage in consciousness divisibility!”  When he asks, “How would that work?” we would explain:

(1)            Substrate migration means getting out of that biological body as quickly as possible.  Aging is “cured” but that won’t help if a tree falls on you, or you’re devoured by a large predator. 

(2)            More to the point, if you want to do two things full time there must be two of you, and while it’s theoretically possible that we might be able to make a perfect biological copy of you, the idea of that is now more of a joke than a practical matter of interest.

(3)            To begin with, move your consciousness to an alternate substrate and the choices there are (a) nanobot brain emulation, meaning artificial neurons vs. biological ones, or (b) “derived mindfile cyberconsciousness”, meaning that from your brain’s responses all meaningful paths of association are exported into digital data and then “mindware resurrected” to a cybernetic emulation which is just as self-conscious as option (a).

(4)            Finally, if you wish, you may do both of them, or either one and a hybrid of the other, or any other configuration you might invent, as many of them as you might like, which based on your history of creativity might be a considerable number.

To summarize, substrate migration means getting into a more easily duplicated, non-biological state, reducing risks of inadvertent obliteration due to accident and setting the stage for moving on to even more attractive substrates as they are developed.  “Consciousness divisibility into offspring consciousnesses,” means making copies of yourself to specialize in different directions, on the same or different substrates. 

(Linda)  Wait.  Wait.  I’ve been listening carefully to all of this, and one thing still seems confusing.  That’s the idea of “consciousness immortality”!  How does that fit in?

(Fred)  You probably thought I was going to sweep that one under the rug, didn’t you?  It just got left for last, and that’s because it has to do with the definition of the word “immortality” itself.  The word is used in so many different ways that we have to clarify it, here.  There are even variations in how it should be interpreted, within the Truths of Terasem.  Here, it’s coupled with the word consciousness.  Let’s see what we might mean by “consciousness immortality”, here.

To begin with, we’re talking about the consciousness of a particular individual, and it’s an individual who meets the Terasem definition of consciousness, meaning one that possesses both empathy and ethics in a compatible and consistent way.  We’re also assuming a definitive life history that establishes unique individuality, in addition to a strong mix of strengths and values that anyone would want.  That life history will embody attachments to many other individuals within a unique network, a social “fingerprint” for that individual.  And, there will be a specific genome and a family tree from which that genome sprang.

(Linda)  Why do I feel as if I’m getting more lost rather than less lost?

(Fred)  Hang in there.  It’s all come together.  The individual’s personality, as we understand it, resides within his or her brain’s structure, genome modulated and evolving over time with experience, age and health, but in other ways stable, a core of identity most people are sufficiently aware of to perceive its reality; most refer to it as a soul.  Specific memories also are stored within the neural net of the brain’s structure.  Can enough of all this be exported by use of a system like CyBeRev into a mindfile that mindware can use to create not just the external perception of a self-conscious being, but an inner experience of that as well?

For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll assume that this is achievable and those who choose it regain consciousness as if they had undergone surgery with total anesthesia.  They awaken with memories intact and recognize those around them, experiencing awareness so much like that of biological consciousness that it is difficult to believe they are different in any respect.  But they will have so profoundly transcended the limits of biological consciousness and have attained so much more in the way of preserving their identities that it will be hard not to refer to them as “immortal”.

(Linda)  I get it.  In other words, “Immortality” can be taken to mean “indestructibility”.

(Fred)  Exactly.  Mindfiles can not only be backed up virtually continuously, but replication as two or more independent entities with divergent life histories assures that at least insofar as one’s identity prior to replication and divergence, so long as any survive, at least the identity of the pre-replication individual is not lost.  And think about this: you never forget anything.  How much do you remember about being a six year old child, for example?  Not much, I’d bet.  But a cyberperson will always remember that sixth year of cyberconsciousness as if it were “yesterday”, forever!  And, there are other interpretations. 

“Immortality” can be taken to mean living a very, very long time.  If over the next hundred years, cyberpersons experience subjective time as passing more quickly, due to increased speed of thought and action, they may live an extremely long time while humans who remain in a biological state experience the passage of time far more slowly.  A mere thousandfold acceleration of thought and action would mean that one year as we experience it now would be perceived by a cyberperson as a thousand years. 

In a curious kind of way, cyberpersons might perceive biological persons as being “virtually immortal”, even if aging were not cured, or lifespans significantly extended.

(Linda)  I’m not sure I visualize how that would work.

(Fred)  The young cyberperson who had a thousandfold faster experience of subjective time could validly say, “My parents remained biological and did not choose to transcend substrate, but in an odd way now, I can never lose them, unless they die by accident or sudden illness.  Each ten years, as measured by my subjective time, I go back and visit them briefly.  For them, it seems as if only a few days have passed.  It seems to them that I visit for only five minutes or so, and then leave, but actually for me the visit lasts five thousand minutes, a period of about three and a half days as I experience it.  I have the feeling they’ll never grow old.  Maybe one of these days they’ll choose to transcend, and then we’ll see each other more often than once every ten years, as I experience it.

(Linda)  Okay.  I think I get the picture.  What’s next?

(Fred)  OK, Linda, let’s speed it up, but not by a thousand times, maybe just a hundred fold.  The next one is 6.6.3’ “Neurocomputation leads to consciousness as validly as does biological evolution, so marital union may transcend substrate.”  To me, this means that we’ll have just as much fun, probably much more, in cyberspace than here, but we both better do it at the same time.  Let’s don’t get to where one of us waits a month to visit the other, and then it only lasts eight hours.  Even marital couples in jail get better visitation than that!

In 6.6.4 the message is: “Ondinnonk, the Iroquois teaching about an entity’s benevolence orientation, is also how to be conscious.”  There are many online references to “Ondinnonk”, but this is the only use of it in the Truths of Terasem.  One particularly nice discussion is quoted as follows:

“Meanwhile among the Native American Iroquois people, the term ondinnonk denotes the soul’s innermost benevolent desires, the angelic part of our nature that gives us the sudden, unconscious desire to do a good deed.”

(http://faculty.ed.umuc.edu/~jmatthew/articles/vocadvan.html)

This Truth reminds us that 1.6.6 in defining consciousness, tell us that “Synergism of empathy and reason yields consciousness.” 

(Linda)  Right!  And, of course, benevolence cannot really exist unless we empathize with those who may be the recipients of the consequences of our actions.

 (Fred)  True. 6.6.5 says, “Universal immortalism, in diversity, unity and joy, is the ultimate honour to consciousness.”  My perception is that this Truth is saying that any empathetic and benevolent consciousness will wish the gift of immortality, universally, for all other kind sentient beings.  This in turn honors consciousness for its highest of standards. 

(Linda)  Vegetarianism is one moral implication of this set of Truths, since consciousness within the Truths of Terasem is defined as being the maturing ability to reasonably choose right from wrong, and to empathize with other beings.  All kind conscious beings will seek ways of providing for their own nutritional needs without taking the lives of other beings that can experience pain, and thereby forcing them currently to experience pain and suffering, and eventually, as Terasem becomes the collective consciousness we envision, robbing other beings of their participation in universal immortality. This high standard definitely honors consciousness.

(Fred) Right, Linda, and in 6.6.6, the concluding Element of this Expansion, we find “Recognize that conscious life consists of all vitology, biological as well as cybernetic.”  To me, this means that as we transcend biology and move on into cyberspace, we honor our foundations of origin as biological life and protect it, where it meets the Terasem criteria for consciousness, just as diligently as we protect cyberconsciousness.  Emergent personalities in cyberspace will at first exclusively be the cyberchildren of bioparents, and should respect this family relationship for what it means, that without the parents, the children would not exist.  This debt of gratitude is endless as well as inescapable, and is demanded by both empathy and ethics, which we will continue to emphasize are necessary for consciousness as it is defined by Terasem.

(Linda)  Now, what comes next is easier.  We’re going to review a few ideas about how we might relate more closely to each other and support each other in these early days of building Terasem.

(Fred)  That’s right, Linda.  The expansion starts with “6.7 ‘I am you’ – ‘You am I’, or ‘We Are One,’ greet each other each day.”  Note the ‘or’ and the commas.  Either is sufficient, as a greeting.  If we think about it, both of them simply symbolize connectedness between the other person and ourselves.  “I am you” suggests that by my perception of and memory of you, I am part of a component of your identity that will never be lost, even if you were to suddenly vanish.  Together, all of we who knew you will make sure that you are never forgotten, and at some point in time will reawaken and regain your part in our society.  “You am I” is simply this same idea, but taken in the opposite direction and makes a perfect response to “I am you”.  “We are One” is an even broader recognition that as a network, each of us is there for each other in an identity preservation teamwork way.

The first Element, 6.7.1, tells us to “Inch together, gaze each soul, touch foreheads and noses, inhale deeply and share Há, the life-breath.”  One might think of this as a “headshake” instead of a “handshake”, augmented by full eye contact and sufficient contact by touching foreheads and noses to perform what looks to any Star Trek fans in our vicinity as a “Vulcan Mindmeld”.  This symbolizes, to me, the anticipation of how closely our minds will be in contact with each other when we have acquired what we’ve described in previous podcasts as “operational telepathy” by way of technology.  It’s not that far off.

In 6.7.2 we find, “Always help fellow Terasem, in economics and politics, before considering alternatives.”  We’re on our way into cyberspace in a teamwork way, and once we’re there, we’ll be free of any limits of what we can accomplish.  But, we have to get there, and giving priority to supporting our team mates is vital.

6.7.3 says, “Make your homes Terasem Gathering Places, and Terasem will safekeep them for you until you return.”  If, as we build c-cubes and formalize our commitments as “chosen families” with those we find who are in harmony with us, we develop the feeling that we are a “family of families”, we will grow increasingly protective toward each other and each other’s homes as well. 

(Linda) This sense of networked community may take time to develop, but as the Singularity grows closer and closer, we will need to hang tightly to each other to come though it in the best condition.

(Fred)  In 6.7.4 the message is, “Yield to Terasem’s higher levels, for that progresses all more rapidly toward Yugenspace and Elysium Fields.”  Terasem’s higher levels will be those building it most soundly and rapidly, and as we move into the open spaces they create, building strength there rather than engaging in arbitrarily diverse trail blazing, we are likely to achieve our goals more effectively and efficiently.  This is not something to be done blindly, but carefully, remembering that each choice we make is one for which we are accountable.  As in all things, levels and status must be earned to be respected.  In the end, we must bear responsibility for our choices, so use discretion.

6.7.5 tells us, “Organize your life around the Way of Terasem, and you will attain higher levels of Terasem.”  As described by the Founders of Terasem, it is a meritocracy, not an aristocracy or a bureaucracy, or any other kind of “good old boy” club.  Part of the reason for structuring Terasem as a network of small groups is to provide maximum opportunity for diversity and innovation.  At the same time, it is by the variations of cohesiveness and sense of purpose among groups that some will grow and create values or die for lack of energy and commitment.  It is not inappropriate to think of Terasem as being like a tree.  Twigs can spring from the trunk and become limbs with many leaves, or limbs can fail to grow and wither.  This is how this Truth seems to make sense, to many of us.  

6.7.6 is stated as follows: “Ummah a community of Way of Terasem faithful with commitment to diversity, unity and joyful immortality.”  There are many usages of the term Ummah, but the bottom line for all of them seems to be that without unity, no great strength can be built.  At the same time, taking the Truths of Terasem as an outline of the “Way of Terasem”, there are so many different dimensions and aspects to this that no danger of pressures for conformity seem to exist, other than for general agreement on principles as expressed in the Truths, and the most fundamental ones this particular Truth seems to be emphasizing are as stated: diversity, unity and joyful immortality, with commitment to each.

(Linda)  I think this is the shortest “double” we’ve done yet, and next week we’re back to singles.  They’re the affirmations with which the six Terasem Connections are closed.  They have strong conceptual content, don’t they, Fred?

(Fred)  They do, Linda.  They are derived from a number of sources, but they are all in English, and, they’re the mindset launching pads that prepare us after each connection to return to a world that is largely unprepared for the next few decades, as cyberconsciousness makes its debut among people who will be pondering where to turn in sorting out what to make of lives that no longer can be steered into predicable pathways of careers that once served as the basis for what we used to refer to as productive, useful happy lives.

Even transhumanists can experience moments of despair, perhaps by way of seeing all too clearly what is coming, and having no constructive idea of what to do about it.  Here is a recent posting by one of them.  It is possible this posting was made to evoke thought and response, rather than to give an accurate picture of the mood of the person who posted it, but each of us must make our own estimate of that.  Here are the words of the posting:

“… I am probably going to die, but if I am not going to die the alternative may be worse in terms of how much it will hurt… There will always be a million people better than anything I try to do my best at… I must never ever try and own human beings, subordinate them to my will, or hold them to contracts they do not want to obey… if I complain without offering immediate, compelling solutions that would work I will only bore myself and other people… change is made by the dissatisfied…”

 Now, compare these words with those of the first set of affirmations from next week’s podcast, coming at the end of the Ambrosia connection, with which the day starts.  See the contrast of mindset that is embedded in the mind voicing these thoughts and setting their sights on a future that is not one of despair:

“Long Time May the Sun Shine Upon Us; Only Love Surround Us; Now may the pure light within us guide Our Way On, Energize Our Way on, Realize Our Way on.”

Terasem casts aside despair, builds solutions, gives thanks for the good that already exists, and commits itself to expand on that endlessly, limitlessly, for the benefit of all sentient beings.  We will delve far more deeply into thoughts like this next week.

(Linda)  I can certainly see the contrast, and like you I’m not sure whether that posting was made to stimulate thought or express an actual feeling, but either way, it’s excellent counterpoint to what the Truths of Terasem pursue in the way of mindset.  Are we going to have to digest more contrasts of that kind next week, Fred?

(Fred)  No, Linda.  Next week we’ll talk extensively about the need to build an impenetrable mental wall against meditating on hopelessness and disaster, on pain and futility, vs. moving out of our present quicksand bogs of biological dead-ended-ness into a future of cyber-open-endless-ness.

(Linda)  Glad to hear that!  And to those listening, don’t forget – if you want to leave your sense of “life-as-being-meaningless” at the door,  join Terasem.  It’s easy, at terasemfaith.net.  Be right at the heart of this; start moving toward “waking up in cyberspace” via Terasem’s free programs at CyBeRev.org, and LifeNaut.com.

(Fred) Right!  And, mindclones.blogspot.com continues to expand, with more and more perspectives about how mindfiles will build a new future for many of us, and can be started now.  And remember: first in first out.  So, start your mindfile today!   Next week, we’ll look at the ways six Terasem Connections a day can leave us with a positive sense of life and a renewed conviction that it’s meaningful.

(Linda)  Join us, and our quest for an endless future…

(Fred)  Come with us – into Tomorrow

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Posted December 15, 2010 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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