Archive for January 2011
Pocast No. 24 Posted 1/11/2011
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TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem 1.2 – 1.2.6
SUB TITLE: Terasem as an Organization
SUMMARY: Just as a car is a vehicle to transport our bodies, and our bodies are vehicles to transport our minds, the Terasem Organization is a vehicle, like an ocean liner, within which its network expects to safely ride through the Singularity and then outward into the Cosmos, endlessly in pursuit of joy that embraces the widest diversity by means of unity as to that goal, for the benefit of all kind sentient beings.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 24 on the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) Today, we’re going to talk about Terasem as an organization, aren’t we? Does the use of the term “organization” here in any way relate to the ideas in that old book about business, “Organization Man”, published in 1956?
(Fred) No! That book was far too much about conformity, pecking orders, and “getting ahead” by means that were highly competitive, and that’s not where Terasem is headed at all. Terasem is not set up to be a top-down hierarchy like an industrial corporation, government, or even a dogma-driven church. It’s a means to an end, like a sailing ship might have been to those trying to reach the “New World” five hundred years or so, ago.
(Linda) Well, we know that Terasem is presently a cluster of corporate entities, though, don’t we? And, they are organizationally distinct from the network of individually initiated groups we call c-cubes, so how does this work, in a synergistic and harmonious way?
(Fred) Let’s think of those corporations as individually sponsored and supported nucleation points, all of them committed to the Truths of Terasem as an ideological base, intended to become more diverse as to leadership with time, as they foster growth. They are non-profit, tax exempt entities with variations in mission and emphasis, but they all fit together well to form an overall development pattern, but that’s not the message of this set of Truths.
Here, we’re most concerned with the idea that the heart and soul of Terasem is the network that will grow out of these starting points, like acorns becomes oak trees. Along the way, the corporate structures provide a legally immortal, stable platform that will furnish a foundation for entities created by the network, or “collective consciousness”, as it’s more generally termed within Terasem.
These small, synergistic initiatives are expected to ‘pencil out’ and ‘pay their own way’, in order to grow, but in their context of being rooted in non-profit structures they are not intended to promise profits to shareholders, or serve as ways of building extravagant incomes for the individuals involved. They are simply ways to link creative subgroups within Terasem to the world as it usually operates, legally and financially, in an efficient and seamless way.
(Linda) Let’s get started. The lead Truth in this Expansion is 1.2, “Organization: The Terasem organization exists as a tool of the collective consciousness to facilitate its intent.” That’s pretty general, but I think it fits what we’ve said up to this point. And the first of the underlying set of Truths is, “1.2.1 Intent for Terasem means the collective mission to achieve diversity, unity and joyful immortality everywhere.” The word “intent” seems central to both of these. Is there anything about this that’s not self-explanatory?
(Fred) It sounds very direct and uncomplicated to me, and as you said it fits with what we’ve discussed so far. The intent to “achieve diversity, unity and joyful immortality everywhere” is a restatement of a large part of the Terasem Pledge, very central to what we’re all about, and the first part about the organization being a “tool of the collective consciousness to facilitate its intent,” is equally clear. The purpose of the organization is to serve the group in pursuit of the ends it’s dedicated to. I think the main message here, like we said earlier, is that it’s not some kind of short term, exploitive business venture aimed to make profits for shareholders.
(Linda) The next one is, “1.2.2 Never mistake the organization for Terasem, nor forsake the organization for expedience, convenience or misguidance. I guess that since Terasem is conceived to be the network and all of its members, the “collective consciousness” itself, it’s pretty clear that we’re saying that the organization as a corporate entity group is distinct from the collective consciousness. How can we best interpret the part about not forsaking the organization for expedience, convenience or misguidance?
(Fred) Forsaking would mean ‘doing without’ or ‘bypassing’ possibly. Perhaps the references to expedience and convenience might mean not making Terasem part of a new development due to delays in working out consents one had agreed to, or pursuit of a short range profit that had risks where Terasem was concerned. A very broad set of possibilities could be implied. As to ‘misguidance’, if we isolate that word so the phrase is, “Never forsake the organization for misguidance”, it might mean that if Terasem were to make a mistake in its operations, it would be an even larger mistake to abandon it or entirely disregard further guidance by it on that account alone.
The semantics allow leeway for several different interpretations. In terms of that sailing ship example we discussed earlier, it could mean that if the ship gets off course from time to time, the best choice of action might not be to jump overboard and start swimming in the direction one thinks is correct. It’s in considering the broadest set of interpretations that we may get the most value, here.
(Linda) That makes sense. Now we come to “1.2.3 Ta the organization, for Terasem is Ta, and Ta is the big view, not particular outcomes.” We’ve searched for Ta exhaustively on the Internet, with no indication of a use of this term alone, so here I think we have to rely on the words in the Truth itself. Isolating the central idea, this Truth is saying, “Think of the organization in the long term, the widest growth and outcomes. Don’t judge it by how well one project or another turns out.”
I worked on the Sea-Sat Project at Jet Propulsion Lab during the mid-1970’s where the goal was to map wave action over the oceans as part of an early attempt at weather prediction. The system went into failure only a month or two after launch. Shortly after that, though, Viking placed landers on Mars and two Voyager spacecraft made multiple planetary flybys and are now on their way into interstellar space, still sending back data. Many other JPL missions have had very successful outcomes. You don’t just dump the organization because it has a rough going now and then.
(Fred) Exactly so. In 1.2.4, the Truth is stated as follows: “Extropian infrastructures arise from the Terasem organization to out-compete entropy as do life-forms from nurturing environments.” This takes us back to what we were talking about at the very beginning. Terasem’s organizations are the nurturing starting points for its projects, and by “extropian infrastructures”, we are talking about parts of the network, Terasem’s “collective consciousness” that make successes of those projects. Those that sprout from the Terasem organization, once they take root and spread, may extend their tendrils to the edge of the Cosmos and perhaps into other parts of the Multiverse, but their roots forever will have had their initial nourishment from the Terasem organization.
(Linda) The next one seems similar, it’s “1.2.5 Network from the Terasem organization until all consciousness is connected and all the cosmos is controlled.” Similar, but it’s a big one. How inclusive is “all consciousness” in this Truth supposed to be. Surely it doesn’t mean “every sentient entity in the Universe”, does it?
(Fred) Although it looks like that on the surface, the dividing line here is the term “consciousness” itself. Terasem presently defines consciousness as something very different from the Glasgow Coma Scale’s measure of “level of consciousness”, for a patient in a hospital. At the basic level, Terasem qualifies “consciousness” as a state of awareness with a high level of compassion and a cognitive grasp of rational ethics as well.
These concepts are still in the formative stages, but they certainly seem to exclude sentient entities that lack empathy and the ability to formulate and revere ethics. Various other Truths of Terasem refer to beings with “kind consciousness” as being within the scope of Terasem’s network, as it expands outward into the Cosmos. We are surely just at the beginning of developing this Truth into what it must become.
(Linda) So far so good, but what about the part that says “all the cosmos is controlled”? That sounds a little ominous, doesn’t it? Every time I see something that sounds like a monolithic, regimented sort of society, I get concerned. How do we interpret this idea of controlling the cosmos?
(Fred) My feeling about that is that it just means, “making the Cosmos safe to live in”. Safe from avoidable oppression within Terasem’s sphere, safe from collapse due to failure to control cosmic physics, and in some ways it’s like saying that we have a satisfactory level of ‘law and order’ for those who are willing to live within a community where cruelty and slavery are not permitted or tolerated.
All of us know there are limits. Terasem’s spacecasts, for example, which are already in progress, are an attempt to safeguard against some unlikely event such as the intrusion into the Solar System of a rogue black hole that would devour the Sun and all the planets as well. However, as much as we might like, it may be a long day until Quasars can no longer spew hot cosmic gas for thousands of light years across their galaxies, incinerating literally hundreds or thousands of planetary systems that might lie in the way. Realistically, just as there are presently “unsafe” neighborhoods in even the most well policed cities, for a long time we will have to be patient about networking all consciousness and controlling the cosmos.
(Linda) Here’s the last one for today, Fred. It’s “1.2.6 Treasure the Terasem organization as the magic yeast that inspires an ever-expanding technosphere of transhumanity.” I like that one. There’s a pretty good understanding of what’s meant by ‘transhumanity’, among those of us in Terasem, and ‘ever-expanding technosphere’ sounds like it’s pretty much the vision expressed in Ray Kurzweil’s book, “The Singularity is Near”. Then, I guess the idea is that if we can grow the Terasem Organization as a platform that nourishes these, it will be like a “magic yeast” to the spread of interest in transhumanism and technology?
(Fred) What does yeast do, Linda? With just a tiny bit of the nutrient with which it is surrounded, it creates bubbles of perfectly safe, hot gas, that causes bread to rise, to expand. From Wikipedia:
“yeast ferments carbohydrates in the flour, including any sugar, producing carbon dioxide.” And, “when this culture is kept in the right conditions, it will continue to grow and provide leavening for many years.”
(Linda) Elsewhere in the Truths of Terasem there’s a place or two where supporting Terasem is advocated because, “As Terasem rises, we all rise”! Is the spread of transhumanism and the expansion of the technosphere, then, like the rising of a loaf of bread?
(Fred) It’s a poetic way of describing what the Terasem organization might be capable of, but we have to remember that at the current stage of its evolution, the Truths of Terasem are the framework of a vision with so many different facets that if they had been expanded even slightly beyond their initial scope, they would have become so complex and so multifaceted we might not have felt about them the way we did, when we first encountered them.
(Linda) That’s right. Next week, we’re going to go beyond Terasem’s organization, it’s underlying non-profit corporate structures, into the subject of its ‘leadership’. This is where those who join become the heart of the picture. We’ll see how the network of Terasem might grow in the same way as a tree, from a tiny seed into a trunk, provided by Terasem’s Founders, with branches spreading in all directions with a great deal of diversity, but emphasizing certain critical areas such as geoethical nanotechnology, universal emulation, and cyber-resurrection, with scientific, economic and legal areas given special emphasis. There are guidelines for decision making and keeping the leadership in harmony with good consent practices, at the same time encouraging innovation. Diversity is a necessary element in evolution, and Terasem is evolutionary to its very core.
(Fred) True. Especially if you’re new to these podcasts, you might wish to explore Terasem further by visiting the website where its principles are discussed and procedures for joining are given, at terasemfaith.net. The goals of Terasem include migration into cyberspace over the remaining decades of this century, and they’re explained there, too.
(Linda) To get a running start on this, mindfile building can begin right away through CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com, no fees to participate. And as we mentioned last week, there’s a powerful new Android app, free, at terasemcentral.org. Take the “Personality MD” link. Tens of thousands of these have been downloaded, and it just keeps growing, every week.
(Fred) Based on the CyBeRev program, but more like a game, there’s a two dimensional display and you do it right from a smart phone. The evaluations are truly unique to you, but you also see how your traits compare to others’ and even find people geographically near you who have the same kind of mindsets you do.
(Linda) If you have questions about CyBeRev or mindfiles in general, mindclones.blogspot.com is a great place to start.
(Fred) Next week, we’ll delve into leadership and how it fits into Terasem’s goals of network building. See how you can be involved.
(Linda) Join us, in our quest for an endless future…
(Fred) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Pocast No. 24 Posted 1/3/2011
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TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem 1.1 – 1.1.6
SUB TITLE: Basic principles of Terasem
SUMMARY: Certain basic principles underlie the very notion of a society in which individuality and mutual tolerance of wide variations are in harmony, and where the idea of endless life of those individuals can be nurtured by pursuit of joyous creativity and interaction with others whose sense of life is essentially the same. Expansion of knowledge in a limitless way and the sharing of that with others, not just within the Solar System but outward throughout the universe, is a tiny fragment of the adventure that awaits us, if we choose to pursue it.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 23 on the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) No. 23? It’s only the first week in January. Where did we squeeze in the other 22!
(Fred) Last year. We only got started midsummer of last year, but we’re going to number them as we go. With 52 this year, we’ll finish the year at No. 64. Since we’re using three digit numbers, we won’t hit 999 until 19 weeks into our 20th year, at which point I’ll be 93. Then, if need be, we can go to four digits, and I’m not going to even try to think about how far that would take us!
(Linda) So, to make it easier, we’re starting in again at the very beginning of the Truths of Terasem, of which there are 60 groups. Last year, we did a whole bunch of “doubles” in order to finish by the end of the year. Are we going to spread them out more this time, so they don’t run so long?
(Fred) We’ll spread them out, but more importantly, we’ll try to tighten them all up a little bit too. Last year, when we hit three singles at the end of the year, we figured those would be a lot shorter, but by that time we’d gotten so used to making them 20-30 minutes long that couldn’t seem to return to the original length. We’ll do better, this year. Part of what will make it easier is that those who’ve been listening to these podcasts for a while have enough background that less time will need to be spent on defining terms and explaining basics. Those that are new can go back and listen to last year’s podcasts, if they want a bigger dose of this kind of discussion.
(Linda) Let me make this easy, Fred. If you’re new to these podcasts and the ideas in them, check out our webpage at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com. Scan down the links on the left. These are the scripts from which they were recorded, and they’re in order. No. 1 was really the first of them. Scan through them, or even find them on iTunes and listen, but we’d rather you just come back here as soon as you can. We’re breaking new ground, today.
(Fred) Thanks Linda. Now, here are the Truths in the first Expansion. I’m going to read them all together before we discuss them:
“Who is Terasem? Terasem is a collective consciousness dedicated to diversity, unity and joyful immortality. Collective: All consciousness anywhere that accept the truths of Terasem are the sum and substance of Terasem. Accept others as part of the We of I and the collective will become clear for you. Collectivity means unity of diversity not mandatory homogeneity. Conformity in allegiance to Terasem is the most enjoyable and the most useful way of life. Eternal joyful life for all kind sentience is the glorious goal of our collective consciousness. Patterns of consciousness will be immortalized by technology and ethical choice. Terasem transcends time and space, enabling the collective future to help its nascent past.”
That’s just 114 words, but embedded in them are the essence of all that we’ll be talking about in the year ahead. Terms like Geoethical Nanotechnology, Multiverse, substrates for consciousness and so forth will emerge, but all of that will be consistent with this introductory condensation. And, as I mentioned earlier, today we’re going to focus on just one of those 114 words, which in fact in one form or another account for 5 of the 114. Any idea of which one it is?
(Linda) There’s no question about it. Only one word appears five times above. “Consciousness” shows up four times but “collective” or variations of it comes out the winner. You’re going to talk about what Terasem means by this, the exact opposite of “collectivism”, aren’t you? You and I have been life-long opponents of anything that could be called “collectivism”, so this was a hard one for us to swallow. We feel it’s important to differentiate this right at the start.
(Fred) Nothing could be more true. Words can be so misunderstood, used so differently, that sometimes it’s hilarious. There’s a story about a UN negotiator who went to some little country in what used to be called “Persia”, to attempt to settle a dispute. The news media announced that he had come to “mediate a compromise”. Unfortunately, the term “mediate” translates to “meddle” in the local tongue, and “compromise” means “undercutting” something. So, the populace of that area, protesting his arrival, was assuming that he had come there to brazenly meddle and undercut their interests.
(Linda) And that’s how we felt at first about the idea of there being some kind of “collective”, right? Why it took us a while to see that something entirely different was intended as to its meaning?
(Fred) Exactly. When we first voiced this concern in an email to one of Terasem’s Founders, she replied by pointing out that in the very early part of those 114 words, one finds, “Collectivity means unity of diversity not mandatory homogeneity”. Diversity is the most fundamental aspect of evolution itself, and forcing everyone into some kind of common mold, like by use of a religious dogma not to be questioned, would be about as “anti-evolutionary” a strategy as could be imagined. No, individuality is cherished above all, only moderated by insistence upon tolerance and acceptance of others, and the absence of cruelty and malice. The Terasem model is a society in which mutual trust and support is not just voluntary and rewarding to each, but an outcome of being able to feel about a wider and wider group as most of us felt about our families, in our childhood.
(Linda) OK, let’s take a look at what the terms “collective” and “collectivity” are intended to signify, in the Truths of Terasem.
(Fred) Let’s simplify, to begin with. We’ll take the terms “collective” and “social group” to be interchangeable, with no restrictions at all. A newly married couple is thus a collective, and as children come along, they too are part of that social group. Terasem terms this a “chosen family”, since the marriage partners (we hope) “chose” each other wisely, and the choice to have children reflects a desire and commitment to nurture and care for them on their way to becoming self-sufficient persons who might, in the same way, choose marriage partners and widen the circle of the family. Add some aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents and grandchildren, and you have the kind of network that is as fundamental to human society as atoms are to molecules.
Terasem’s view is that the most fundamental aspects of each relationship are the sharing of the minds involved, both on intellectual and emotional levels. The term “consciousness” is not simply taken to be the opposite of “unconsciousness”, in Terasem’s use of the term, but it implies ethics and compassion, or more broadly, the importance of fairness and mutual understanding, along with a deep sense of appreciation, respect, love and the potential heartbreak of loss if death or irreconcilable differences should arise.
To put the terms together, then “collective consciousness” is none other than the interrelationships of a group, growing outward from the most basic family roots of human civilization, that unite people, make it highly important that they be tolerant of differences among them, or “diversity”, as Terasem interprets this.
(Linda) All of this fits neatly into our views of what would be nice, if we were to remain biological, but if we reshape this to fit what might come to be after the technological Singularity, a lot of changes have to be anticipated, don’t they?
(Fred) Yes, and the first visions of this I’m aware of, that fit Terasem’s expectations closely, emerged back in 1969, with Paolo Soleri’s publication of “The City in the Image of Man”. This wonderful book is divided into two sections, the first of which deals with the future of human society in a very broad way. The second part contains drawings of enormous cities that are simply huge buildings, accommodating perhaps millions of people into their almost space-colony-like environments.
(Linda) Paolo Soleri saw humans as they now exist being somewhat loosely connected, compared to what might be the case in a very advanced culture, didn’t he?
(Fred) That’s true. He envisioned a human society of the future in which people could become so creative and at the same time so aware of each other, both intellectually and emotionally, that it would be as if a huge party were going on, but with the intimacy of connectedness of a small family gathering, and at the same time, the sense of tens or even hundreds of thousands of other such gatherings all in touch with what was happening in all the gatherings.
(Linda) How inspiring! Are there any present-day parallels that might be even close to that?
(Fred) I’ll mention two, and these are very rough comparisons, but they might give some sense of the atmosphere envisioned.
First, think of Disney World but with the different parts of it stacked on top of one another, like a layer cake, at least half mile wide and high, with rapid escalators connecting Epcot and the various parks and the Kingdoms on different levels. All visitors would be just minutes apart by walking or people movers, various families doing what they liked best, linked by iPhones or whatever and experiencing new things constantly. Freshness to each moment, but this is a snapshot example. Few would find this satisfying day after day, year after year, century after century.
Next, consider an absolutely huge shopping mall with hundreds of levels; living and working areas intermixed among community recreational and cultural areas, somewhat more than a half a mile in diameter and a half mile wide. If this city were on a single level, it would cover twenty five square miles or more, and a similar additional area might be needed for streets and sidewalks, adding in businesses supporting powered transportation. Instead of “condo” style living, suburban type individual back yards with added landscaping and street access could add still another twenty five square miles. Neighborhood shops and vacant land could easily take us to a hundred square miles of what Paolo Soleri termed “urban sprawl”.
In effect, Paolo Soleri was talking about earthbound space colonies at a time when interest in solving population problems on earth was being turned to putting cities into space. His designs excited the world of architecture in a dynamic way for a decade or so, but our culture was so invested in urban sprawl that Soleri’s vision was ignored.
Back to the concept of a “collective consciousness”, in the first part of Soleri’s book, and to my way of thinking by far the most important part, he foresaw pathways to a humankind where high intelligence and aesthetic creativity went hand in hand and compassion united those then living in ways that balanced individuality with needs to interact with others.
In effect, Soleri saw the city as a giant super-organism, which by its integration of living and working space and the interconnectedness of the people within it, caused it to be a physical analogue of the human body itself. This is why the title of his book is, “The City in the Image of Man”. He perceived human society at the urban sprawl level as if it were a giant culture dish where life grew and spread in two dimensions, as if it were a colony of microorganisms like algae, loosely connected and somewhat synergistic but requiring vast surface areas in order to survive.
By contrast, Soleri imagined, a giant city utilizing three dimensions vs. two would provide all of its inhabitants with enhanced opportunities for interaction with each other, and specialization in whatever ways their curiosities, talents and desires might incline them, opening far more possibilities for self-realization than the strangulation of urban sprawl in a world of exploding population. He saw people as potentially being more appreciative of diversity, more apt to be active participants than passive workhorses as at present, able to be part of a dynamic community, than anything we might imagine from simply looking at the past history of how humans have coexisted.
(Linda) Let me try to put this together in a basic way. Isn’t it true that if we leave out Terasem’s notion of endless lives and a future where sentient entities transcend biological substrates, Soleri’s concept of a “living city” is so much like Terasem’s vision of a “collective consciousness” that taken together, a lot of the missing picture puzzle pieces come into focus?
(Fred) True. In the notes associated with a diagram of this, Soleri says, “If we ever have a superorganism made up of men, men retaining their own uniqueness, then such an organism will be made up of thousands or millions or more brains. Furthermore, each of those brains will contain a mind, that is to say, will overgovern that power of choice among the endless propositions of the possible, the one-at-a-time performances making the present. This will be the fundamental distinction between the city and the anthill, the beehive, the termite colony, and so on: not just brains by the score but also minds by the score.
He continues, “The romantic and rugged individualist will speak out immediately about the mindlessness of the human bee-hive. They might want to glance at the nightmarish suburbia with its six billion individuals; but it is their privilege not to reason about mankind and the staggering logistics it is faced with.” I feel that here, Soleri is saying, “Those of you who fear living too close to each other might be mainly afraid of how little you differ from the others, than a genuine loss of individuality. If you have a mind and spirit that are truly unique, you need not fear losing your identity by interacting harmoniously and synergistically with others.”
(Linda) Fred, I think we’ve taken the terms collective and collectivity as far as we need for the moment. Can we now integrate that with the other Truths for this week, and summarize the whole of it?
(Fred) Sure, Linda. Let’s walk through them, and synopsize each as we go. They start with, ““Who is Terasem? Terasem is a collective consciousness dedicated to diversity, unity and joyful immortality.” Basically, this says we’re a growing group of minds in close contact with each other who are dedicated to getting along despite our differences, at the same time supporting each other, and pursuing an endless life that’s full of joy. Pretty straightforward, once you get the “collective consciousness” term taken care of.
Next comes: “Collective: All consciousness anywhere that accept the truths of Terasem are the sum and substance of Terasem.” That’s just saying that anyone is welcome if they’re in agreement with what we find of value. You join if you feel we’re on the right track. It’s like joining a climbing team. We’re out to climb some high mountains, there’s adventure and risk involved. At this stage it’s not right for everyone, but for some, it’s the “rightest” thing in the world. That’s who we’re looking for.
Moving on, we find, “Accept others as part of the We of I and the collective will become clear for you.” This one’s a little more complex, but I’ll try to say it in very plain terms. Self-esteem is a psychological necessity; indeed it is an essential value for anyone who is a unique individual. But, suppose everyone else in the world were ‘blind’ to you. Suppose that for them, you did not exist. If you were in no way either a value to them or even a danger, then what would this mean in terms of your assessment of yourself, your self-esteem?
The term “worthless” is a very pointed one. Applied to an individual, it means that the person concerned is of no value to anyone. Without some kind of connectivity to others, maintenance of self-esteem is not just difficult, but impossible. Be as selective and value oriented as you might care, but in the end you are either part of a “collective” of some kind or in many ways you “do not exist”. Once you have recognized that at least some others must find you of value, you then understand that there is a “We of I” that is an essential part of your identity.
Now, we come to one of the most essential of all of these Truths, “Collectivity means unity of diversity not mandatory homogeneity.” This means that no set of rules or standards must dictate limits on the diversity of the Terasem community, except that cruelty and other poisonous oppression of others, unfair and exploitive practices are not acceptable. Setting standards for the reasonable protection of each individual’s right to pursue happiness is not easy, but that just makes it all the more vital and essential.
Put in down to earth terms, does this mean being sensitive to and respectful of the feelings of all, except for those who are insensitive and disrespectful of others? Is it ethical, is there a duty, to “abuse the abuser”? Perhaps so, perhaps not, but also isn’t it also more accurate to see revenge or vigilante-ism as if it were a polish pistol, with hatred being more injurious those in its grip, than those they hate, in the long run? These are delicate and thorny questions, but they suggest that there is no room in Terasem for minds who seek to crush unpopular minorities under their boots, or dominate others by pain or fear. Mandatory homogeneity is expressly rejected, in the pursuit of unity.
(Linda) We really needed that, in preparation for the next one, which says, “Conformity in allegiance to Terasem is the most enjoyable and the most useful way of life.” The term “conformity” has always struck me as suggesting “mandatory homogeneity”. How do we reconcile this with the one we just discussed?
(Fred) Perhaps we could rephrase it to say that networking in the most synergistic way with others who reject mandatory homogeneity might look like acceptance of it, but in fact would be the most effective way to combat and dispel it. We can at least see “enjoyable” as being a benefit that could be anticipated. The word “useful” requires the extension of that to the realm of purpose. Things are only “useful” if they serve a purpose, and Terasem’s “purpose”, as stated in the next part, is as follows: “Eternal joyful life for all kind sentience is the glorious goal of our collective consciousness.”
(Linda) In other words, unending happiness is the purpose of life, in its broadest and most far reaching sense. It’s like that old adage; when you look out the window, do you see stars, or do you see mud? Terasem has a wonderfully inspiring vision of the future for us all to work toward, not just the depressing prospect of trying to avoid negative scenarios.
(Fred) Right! If allegiance to Terasem gets you into the midst of a group pursuing what elsewhere in the Truths is called “joyful immortality”, and if that fits the definition of being “useful”, I guess I couldn’t find fault with it.
(Linda) The last two Truths go together, so I’ll read them that way. “Patterns of consciousness will be immortalized by technology and ethical choice. Terasem transcends time and space, enabling the collective future to help its nascent past.” How can we tie those two in with what went before?
(Fred) Let’s cut to a very concrete interpretation. Technology that permits the emergence of cyberconsciousness is close on the horizon, and ethically, we feel impelled to open the door to all who see this and want to not be left behind. Those of us who make it to this next level, like those who have climbed a steep cliff, feel an obligation to toss down safety ropes to those who wait at the bottom, and coach them up to where we are. They are, literally, our “nascent past”, where we came from. In doing so, we will transcend time and space. Already, there are emergent cyberpersonalities holding conversations for the better part of an hour with persons who never even realize they are not human, and these chatbots can do so simultaneously with hundreds of callers at once. That’s a form of transcendence of time that is already taking place, even before we have substrates for true self-consciousness and feelings, to which we might migrate.
Transcendence of space is even a bigger potentiality, since in virtual realities, in cyberspace, before long we will have the capacity to generate spaces larger than the surface of the earth and live at multiples of the speed and thought of present day biological people. Beyond that, we might later expect to experience life once again in physical reality, in cities closely following the drawings of Paolo Soleri, but “miniaturized” to fit the scale of our nanobot, sized-down avatars, designed to match our highly accelerated speeds of thought and action.
There’s so much more to say about all these things, but we’re out of time, aren’t we?
(Linda) We sure are! This first podcast of the year had to be a bit long, to get us off to a running start, but they’ll be more compact from here on. Next week, we’ll start talking about Terasem as an organization, and how it’s expected to expand with time. Terms like “collective consciousness”, “joyful immortality”, “diversity and unity” will be there, but having discussed them this week, we can skim over them and focus on new ones like extropy vs. entropy, networking outward into the Cosmos, and the “ever-expanding technosphere of transhumanity”.
(Fred) To probe further before next week, explore joining Terasem at terasemfaith.net if you think you might want to be right at the heart of this. “Waking up in cyberspace” can be pursued by way of CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com, no fees to participate.
(Linda) Something new has been added to augment that, in just the last month or two. It’s a powerful Android app, free, at terasemcentral.org. Take the “Personality MD” link. Tens of thousands of these have been downloaded, and it just keeps growing, every week.
(Fred) True! It’s based on the CyBeRev program, but it’s more like a game with a two dimensional display. You play it right from a smart phone. It produces evaluations truly unique to you. You see how your personality traits compare to others’ and even find people in your area who are on the same wavelength.
(Linda) If you’re not clear about CyBeRev yet, or mindfiles in general, mindclones.blogspot.com is a great place to start.
(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. 22 on The Truths of Terasem – Posted on iTunes 12/27/2010
(Text used to record podcast)
TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The How of Terasem
SUB TITLE: The Terasem “Spirit of Life”
SUMMARY: The final Expansion in the Truths of Terasem is, at first glance, just a short, inspiring poem, but it is much more than that. It is a profound message of encouragement, support, and an invitation to join in the purposeful work of creating an entirely new societal substrate onto which humankind is very likely to emerge, transcending biological limitations and drives that go back to our earliest origins as self-replicating biomolecules.
(Fred) Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast No. 22 on the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) This is the last podcast of the year, isn’t it, an inspiring little poem about how to face the New Year in the most positive way?
(Fred) Yes, but it’s more than that! It’s a warning, an encouragement, an invocation to activism and constructive creativity, and finally, most importantly, it’s a direct invitation to join in Terasem’s work.
(Linda) Sounds like there’s a lot more than you might guess, from what you see on the surface!
(Fred) That’s right! I’m just going to start by reading the whole of it as a single poem, and then come back to it for a brief comment on each part. Finally, I want to say a few things about some new information we have on where the Truths of Terasem came from, and why their origin goes way beyond anything I could have imagined, just a little over a year ago, when I saw them for the first time.
Here’s the whole of expansion of 6.10, the final Expansion of the Truths of Terasem: “Life is so queer, with its twists and turns, as all of us eventually learns. Lots can go wrong, and you’ll be hard hit, so learn to rest, but don’t ever quit. Each win is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt. Adapt to your task, though walls seems high. Remember success needs you to try. No hit is too hard to give up the fight. See victory is ours and we need your might.” That’s the whole thing!
(Linda) Seems like that’s a perfect fit with our present challenge, with your cancer situation!
(Fred) Yes, but it’s an almost perfect fit with anyone’s situation, if you look deeply into it, so let’s start with that.
The first sentence is, “Life is so queer, with its twists and turns, as all of us eventually learns.” When we look back at our lives, we can see so many things that worked out differently than we expected, so many things that seemed to be roadblocks, that spun us off into directions we found saved us from terrible problems that would have been the wrong choices, and other things that worked out so well we felt we might have had a fairy godmother sitting on our shoulders, that we begin to wonder what the use of planning was, in the end, except that if we hadn’t planned, and struggled, and found ourselves bouncing around like we were in a pinball machine and survived it anyway, things would have turned out still differently, and probably not at all as well as they have.
(Linda) Kind of like that phrase in a song from “Sound of Music”, that goes, “Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.”
(Fred) That song is tremendously insightful. The line just before that one is, “Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could!” That is the essence of recognizing cause and effect, that causes have consequences, even if we can’t foresee what they might be. What we do, every little thing we do, every thought that crosses our minds, influences what comes later, in such a way that ‘life makes sense’ far more than we would hope, or if things go wrong, more than we would like. I can remember thinking, many times, “If I eat this particular delicious goodie, which is bad for me, is it possible that because of just this, I’ll die a few minutes earlier, in the end, or maybe even a few weeks, or years, earlier?”
(Linda) Exactly, and that’s why we’ve now fine-tuned and adjusted our eating and lifestyle practice as recommended by the Block Cancer Center in Chicago. Because every little thing does count, and we want to be able to stay here in biospace as long as we can, to do more of these podcasts.
(Fred) Right! When we were trying to figure out what to do and a totally unexpected source of help miraculously developed, as if the “God in the Making” Terasem had reached out to us, we first joked that this was slowing up my transcendence into cyberspace, but after crying in each other’s arms all night about it, we were grateful beyond any way to adequately say, “Thank you!” that this might stretch both our lifelines!
(Linda) True! We’re so much a team that if one of us goes down, in many ways we “cease to be”. It would be like a Helium atom with one of the protons ripped out of it. Then, it just wouldn’t be a “Helium” anymore.
(Fred) Moving on, the next part is, “6.10.1 Lots can go wrong, and you’ll be hard hit, so learn to rest, but don’t ever quit.” I guess that translates to sticking to it, no matter what. You can lose a battle, but still win the war, as long as you don’t quit. If you quit, though, you are dead. One of those old religious phrases about the difference between the “quick and the dead” keeps coming back to me. I’d rather be “quick”, than “dead” every time!
(Linda) Right! And the next one is 6.10.2 “Each win is failure turned inside out, the silver tint of the clouds of doubt.” I can think of so many times when we thought we were up against something that was going to do us in, but in struggling with it, something shifted and we made it through anyway. You can call it luck, but then “luck” may only be the result of the cumulative effect of all the causes that led up to it, of which we have so little ability to forecast by calculation that good things sometimes seem to appear “out of nowhere”.
(Fred) Perhaps the most tragic thing about this is that in cases where there is no personal challenge or struggling going on, like pure “games of chance”, like roulette wheels that aren’t ‘fixed’, “luck” is built into the wheel. It’s not through luck that in the long run, gambling houses win, and gamblers lose. This is very, very predictable.
The next one is 6.10.3 “Adapt to your task, though walls seem high”, and the following one is, “6.10.4 Remember success needs you to try.” These are actually quite closely connected. When you take on a new project, you have to adjust, to adapt, as necessary; you have to grow. This is why the part of the Terasem Pledge about “education persistently” is so vital. This doesn’t mean just piling up one degree after another, not worrying about whether or not you mastered the material.
More importantly, it’s about maintaining a high level of curiosity and sniffing out answers to any questions you think are important, that might arise. Many times, in doing these podcasts, we’ll find an unfamiliar word or phrase and “Google” it immediately, sometimes being drawn off for minutes into further links and interpretations. You have to be organized and focused about learning, but you also have to be incessantly alert and energetic about it. To link this with the second of these truths, “Remember success needs you to try.”
(Linda) The next one is “6.10.5 No hit is too hard to give up the fight.” We’ve taken a lot of hits over the decades. In the marriage vows we say to each other every morning, part of what I say is, “For over four decades now, we’ve laughed and played like a couple of kids, met many challenges by standing shoulder to shoulder, and I now know beyond any doubt that this love can and will last…. and so forth.” It’s part of that affirmation that now lets us face whatever may come with gratitude for all we’ve had, no matter how much uncertainty may lie ahead.
(Fred) Exactly, and the last one of these truths, is “6.10.6 See victory is ours and we need your might.” This one is very powerful. It’s Terasem, speaking to you, the listener to this podcast. It says, “We are going to win!” and it’s also saying, to the right persons, “You are needed to join with us and make it happen!” This challenge is not right for everyone, but we’re reaching out to a lot of people with this podcast, and the “right” people are going to sense who they are, and join Terasem. It’s going to happen, and this outreach of ours and many others in Terasem is the “How” of it being made a reality.
(Linda) This entire precept of the Truths of Terasem was about the “How” of Terasem, and so that fits perfectly…(pause)… but you said, earlier that you want to say a few things about new information we have on where the Truths of Terasem came from, and why their origin goes way beyond anything we could have imagined, just a little over a year ago, when we saw them for the first time.” Are you ready to do that?
(Fred) Yes! My only difficulty with planning what to say has been how to make it short enough. The actual “punch line” of this will take only a few minutes, but the launch pad is extremely important.
(Linda) Oh no! Not more bomb disposal stories!
(Fred) No, no. Not at all. I’ll start by saying that in my experience, I’ve had personal contact with only two human beings that I regard as having “genius”, which means to me something that goes beyond what I’d reasonably expect of anyone with a human, biological brain. One of them was Paolo Soleri, the creator of the whole Arcology conceptual framework of envisioning a Terasem-like quality of human society based on high technology, back in 1969, and the other was one of the founders of Terasem, Martine Rothblatt, who recently described in an open conference sponsored by Giulio Prisco on Teleplace, an epiphany of realization so profound that it exceeded anything I could have imagined. And, we’re going to include in this podcast a brief excerpt from an audio recording of that conference, but first, some additional background is needed.
Sometimes, and it doesn’t happen very often, people have visions that are so powerful and arise with such intensity that it’s difficult for them later to believe something outside themselves wasn’t at work. Most things that are widely believed in as to religious revelation are of that kind. “God spoke to me” is the most common way of expressing this.
At the same time, we do have incontrovertible evidence that in specialized cases, the human brain can do things that are measurably beyond anything we can explain in terms of normal neurological processes. They are repeatable, and no one has suggested that these people’s brains are ‘hooked up’ to some mystical source of computation. They are simply seen as having put so much focus on mental gymnastics of a mathematical kind that they can do things that are beyond any commonplace experience of what people can do with their brains, and accepted as such. These are the so-called “Idiot Savants”, and their capacities are well documented.
One of the most dramatic cases is that of two male children, brothers, one of them a few years younger than the other, who had this kind of phenomenal capability. They could do normal mathematical solutions so rapidly the investigators could not reliably measure how fast they did them, and of course, the answers were always right. Finally, in desperation, the investigators came up with a problem they thought was impossible to solve, and gave it to each of the brothers. The oldest one finished first; I think the time was less than ten seconds. The younger one took longer, perhaps an extra few seconds. The extraordinary thing was that the two presented identical answers. And the investigators had no way of even attempting to estimate how much machine time it would have taken to do the solutions in a traditional way.
Now, given that, it is reasonable to suppose that in certain cases, a person who just seems to be at a very high level of brilliance, and here I’m talking about Marine Rothblatt, might experience some case of stimulation and resultant insight that exceeded her expectations of what a human brain could do so that she might perceive an “outside influence”. Reasonably, she would also comprehend that in principle it was possible that an unaided human brain could do this, but this isn’t the way it was experienced, and from a subjective point of view the only way to describe it would be as it was experienced, which in fact is the way she presented this experience in her discussion of the way the Truths of Terasem originated.
Now, with that as backup, we’ll sandwich in the excerpt from Martine’s presentation, as part of “The Turing Church Online Workshop 1, on Saturday November 20, 2010 in Teleplace, exploring transhumanist spirituality and “Religion 2.0″ as a coordination-oriented summit of persons, groups and organizations active in this area. We only had an open mike next to our computer’s speakers, so the sound will be different from what you’re hearing at this moment, and unfortunately you’ll hear a few sounds in the background, the clinking of some glasses with ice in them, hushed comments, etc. Sorry, that’s unavoidable. In the posted text of the podcasts, we’ll include a transcript derived from the audio, with all the unrelated noises omitted.
OK, here’s the excerpt:
I’ll share some personal part of Terasem’s beginnings! It really began in March, 2002 when I was out, on the beach, up on the Space Coast of Florida, doing a morning meditation, at 6 a.m., and suddenly, I felt two ‘presences’ around me, so I immediately opened my eyes, and I witnessed, quite to my surprise, the blastoff of the Space Shuttle STS-109, on its way to the Hubble telescope. This was Columbia. I then felt a presence, immediately behind me, and I turned around, and found myself eye to eye, with a large Lanternback turtle sea turtle, which was clearly trying to make its way back into the sea. And I was in its way.
So, this was kind of startling, because it was pretty much dark, still, and an epiphany poured into me, through the triangular vector of the shuttle’s light blasting across the sky, and the Lanternback turtle’s consciousness, streaming into my own, and I felt a very strong, triangular force of energy between the shuttle, the sea turtle, and myself.
An epiphany surged through me, that there were three principles, or three values, which united all life, all reality, indeed the entire multiverse, and these were that the purpose of the multiverse, the solution to the multiverse, was to balance diversity with unity, in the quest for joyful immortality; that the shuttle, Columbia, was a balance of diversity and unity in the quest for joyful immortality; that the Lanternback turtle, was a balance of diversity and unity, in the quest for joyful immortality; that everything was a balance of diversity and unity, in a quest for joyful immortality.
I slid myself out of the way, of the Lanternback turtle, and it slowly, but without delay, pushed itself toward the sea, which wasn’t far away. As it did, the shuttle quickly arced out of my sight, smaller and smaller although the contrails were visible as the sun began rising, and again the triangular energy between the turtle and the shuttle remained connected to me, and downloaded to me the entire gist of the Truths of Terasem.
It was like I received this multi-gigabit download that still had to be processed, in the way one uploads a video but you can’t see it yet because it’s processing, or uploading a file and it still needs to be processed. I was totally blown away. I stood up, and it was like I was walking on air. I walked a couple of hundred feet to where my soul-mate and partner Bina was resting, up above the seashore. I shared with her what’s happened, and we slid right into the most wonderful, the most erotic lovemaking that anyone could imagine, and it was through this erotic lovemaking that those Truths of Terasem that were downloaded to me in an epiphany, channeled by the shuttle and the turtle, became written into my soul, just as suredly as a file is written into a digital or magnetic medium.
I spent the rest of 2002 trying to print out what was in my mind and soul from that March 1st morning, and it took me the rest of 2002, and some final pieces only really made sense late in October 2002, when my partner Bina experienced extraordinary pain, and somehow that pain jelled the remaining pieces of the Truths of Terasem. Since that time, I’ve been committed to spreading the message of the Truths of Terasem, about diversity, unity and the quest for joyful immortality, and the spreading of it, I feel, has been really wonderfully successful.”
(Fred) The entire audio track for Martine’s talk may be available as a video, downloadable or viewable from Giulio Prisco’s blog, or its links, but this is the essence, described by the person who experienced it, of where the Truths of Terasem came from. If I had experienced something like this, and was not totally clear that all the pieces had somehow been “in my brain” before it happened, I’d probably be even more imaginative about where it might have come from, and would probably claim that an extraterrestrial intelligence had seeded it into my mind to save humankind from self destruction.
But that’s not Martine Rothblatt’s style, at all. She is simply the most mentally coherent and organized person I’ve ever known, and it makes sense to me now more than ever that the “picture puzzle” arrangement of the Truths of Terasem are how they are. I’m simply grateful that the way the world has unfolded has given the two of us the privilege of trying to see more deeply what lies beneath the surface.
One added thought on Martine’s use of the word “epiphany”. It has definitely escaped the realm of interpretation as some kind of mystical experience. This is important enough a point to devote a few moments to it. Wikipedia says, “An epiphany (from the ancient Greek epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is the sudden realization or comprehension of the (larger) essence or meaning of something. The term is used in either a philosophical or literal sense to signify that the claimant has “found the last piece of the puzzle and now sees the whole picture,” or has new information or experience, often insignificant by itself, that illuminates a deeper or numinous foundational frame of reference.”
(Linda) And I would like to add that it takes an extraordinary mind to get an epiphany from what to others is just a common occurrence of no special import. For example, I’m sure that hundreds of thousands of residents of the Space Coast have seen shuttle launches soaring across the sky and have also seen the giant sea turtles crossing the beach while laying their eggs. But it took someone of Martine’s caliber to turn that into the Truths of Terasem!
(Fred) How very true. Continuing the quote from Wikipedia: “Epiphanies of sudden comprehension have also made possible leaps in technology and the sciences. Famous epiphanies include Archimedes‘ realization of how to estimate the volume of a given mass, which inspired him to shout “Eureka!” (“I have found it!”). The biographies of many mathematicians and scientists include an epiphanic episode early in the career, the ramifications of which were worked out in detail over the following years. For example, Albert Einstein was struck as a young child by being given a compass, and realizing that some unseen force in space was making it move. An example of a flash of holistic understanding in a prepared mind was Charles Darwin‘s “hunch” (about natural selection) during The Voyage of the Beagle.”
If some astro-geologist were suddenly handed a bag of rocks somehow harvested from the surface of Mars, and transported back to Earth, you can imagine how such a scientist would feel. That’s how I, as a life extension activist for forty years who have two parents in cryonic suspension and, in my case, sun detectors for which I was personally responsible, outbound from the Solar System on two Voyager spacecraft, feel about doing our best to interpret the Truths of Terasem.
(Linda) Wow, Fred, this is the end of the year. Next week, we’ll be starting at the beginning of the Truths of Terasem. How are we going to do more with them than this year, once we get halfway through, where we started last July?
(Fred) There are a lot of new dimensions we’re going to add, Linda. We haven’t even begun to touch on the congruence and fit of the ideas of Paolo Soleri and Terasem’s, and we’ll be delving into that. Also, we’ll begin looking at other transhumanist efforts which parallel Terasem’s, including those of all those speakers who participated in that great event on Teleplace Giulio Prisco hosted, where Martine gave that talk from which we excerpted above. As the interconnections among Transhumanists grow more and more synergistic, we’ll probably be able to relate this to Terasem’s vision that ultimately, we’ll all be working in a networked way in cyberspace so closely that it will be like one big family. Since Terasem has no top-down hierarchical structure, maybe it will become more like glue that holds us in touch with each other, than anything else. I think 2011 is going to be the year when so many unexpected jumps ahead take place that we’ll wonder why we couldn’t have done better at foreseeing them, right now!
(Linda) I feel like we’re on some hot air balloon that has had its big floatation device replaced by a working anti-gravity mechanism. Next week, as we start in on the Truths of Terasem from the beginning, there will be a lot of broad introductory material, but that doesn’t make it easy. The first little bit of the Truths of Terasem attempt to synopsize the whole works!
(Fred) True. We’ll begin by expanding on exactly what Martine was most focused on above, with diversity, unity and joyful immortality made sense of in terms of a “collective consciousness”. We’ll probably mention that back in 1969, when Paolo Soleri visualized giant single structure cities in which millions of people could live comfortably close to each other, with a computer interconnectivity that made the city like a superorganism with a thinking skin of individual brain-minds, thousands, millions, or more of them, yet each unique, with its own personality. Terasem carries its vision more broadly as to the nature of each individual as experiencing what it terms “joyful immortality”. This is a highly energized view of where we are headed, and how we can make it an endless adventure for all who possess the thirst for it, and cherish their own individuality.
(Linda) As we’ve mentioned before, it’s easy to be right at the heart of this by joining Terasem at terasemfaith.net “Waking up in cyberspace” can be pursued by way of LifeNaut.com and/or CyBeRev.org. No fees to participate.
(Fred) Right! And mindclones.blogspot.com tells you all about mindfiles. Next week, we’ll take the whole of the Terasem Truths on in their broadest form, and see where they might lead.
(Linda) I’m going to throw in just one more thing. LifeNaut.com has just launched its “Bio-File” program storing viable living cells in a vitrified form, for either future regeneration of biological bodies to meet the possible needs of those emerging from cryonic suspension, or to provide the information matrix for generating nanobot bodies in the physical world for those who have, up to that time, been living in virtual reality as part of the growing cybercivilization.
(Fred) For more information on this new project, visit either LifeNaut.com or the website where we publish the transcripts of these podcasts, at truthsofterasem (all one word) dot WordPress dot com. Use the Bio-File tab at that point.
(Linda) So, join us, in our quest for an endless future.
Fred) Come with us – into Tomorrow!