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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!