Podcast No. 28 Posted 2/7/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 28 Posted 2/7/2011

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TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem  1.6 – 1.6.6

SUB TITLE:  Consciousness at Higher Levels

SUMMARY:  Consciousness, in terms of the most general interpretation of “awareness”, has been imputed to apply to everything from physical objects impacting other physical objects, to some undefined presence of a “god”, omniscient, able to “foretell the future” without disturbing the free will of the beings it has created.  A more rudimentary definition is provided by the Glasgow Coma Scale paramedics use to judge “levels of consciousness” in the patients they’re treating.  Terasem goes beyond this to levels of consciousness in which empathy and reason with regard to ethics are essential, for those in a network of individuals where unity and diversity are in balance and joyful immortality is the common goal.

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 28 on the Truths of Terasem.  We’re going to be talking about “consciousness” today.

(Linda)  Consciousness is one of those suitcase words:  it means so many different thing to different people.  In the Truths of Terasem, does it just mean “awake” and “alert”?  Or does it include being self-aware, like has recently been proven to exist even in macaque monkeys?

(Fred)  Terasem goes way beyond either of those, Linda, but the macaque monkey is a fascinating example.  Traditionally, scientists have assessed mirror self-recognition abilities in animals based on their performance on the “mark test.” In this test, marks are placed on an animal’s face and, subsequently, its behavior in front of a mirror is observed. If the animal spends increased time touching the marks or looking at them in the mirror, then it passes the mark test and is assumed to possess at least a rudimentary form of self-awareness. Select chimpanzees, orangutans, elephants, dolphins, and even magpies pass the mark test while gorillas and some monkeys do not.  Now, by use of a variation of the mark test as recently reported in “Wired Science”, Macaque monkeys have been added to the list.

(Linda)  Magpies?  Really!  I always thought there was something really special about them!  But OK – Terasem is looking for something beyond whether or not you can tell what tribe you’re in by the war paint you’re wearing, right?  After plastic surgery, some people say, “It’s a whole new ‘me’!” but still I’d suspect Terasem is after something more than that.  Let’s get into those higher levels we need to discuss.

(Fred)  It’s higher than magpies or just getting rid of your wrinkles, for sure!  As the Summary for this week points out, in part, “Terasem holds that consciousness requires levels of awareness where empathy and reason with regard to ethics are not just present, but in a high state of harmony.”  This is essential in a network of individuals where unity and diversity are in balance, and joyful immortality is the common goal.

We start with 1.6  “Consciousness: Consciousness is the continuum of maturing abilities, when healthy, to be autonomous and empathetic with others.” Let’s say that one is connected to others by empathy and yet is an individual and to some extent apart from them, by way of autonomy.  Further, let’s characterize healthy abilities as those that would seem to be synergistic and mutually supportive of others vs. harmful or parasitical with regard to them.  The terms continuum and maturing suggest that just as all things are, except at the finest level in nature, piecewise continuous, an infant human starts out totally dependent on its mother, at least from fertilized ovum to birth, during which is has almost no autonomy or empathy except at levels of the lowest species.  From there, during maturation in both biological and psychological ways, the child either progresses to a high level of harmony and balance in its autonomy and empathy, in its individuality and connectivity to others on a social level, or it falls short.  In today’s culture, most fall short.  To survive the Singularity, we must improve.  How’s that for an overview of Terasem consciousness, Linda?

(Linda)  It will have to do, for the moment!  Let’s dive into the underlying Elements.  They start with 1.6.1  “Others determine your consciousness because We is one of the four dimensions of I.”  Isn’t “determining” something like “controlling” it?  What about free will?

(Fred)  Perhaps “determine” doesn’t mean “to shape and mold, in every respect”, but rather to “strongly influence”.  If you grow up in an impoverished “gangland” environment, there will be a tendency to group together in wolf-packs for survival.  If you grow in up a very high income family dominated by a male parent who runs the family like a prison camp, you might develop a “prison guard” style of behavior, of thinking that this is the proper order of social behavior.  If you develop in a warm, empathetic family setting where individuality and creativity are encouraged, the outcome may be very, very different.  This business of mentioning “We” as one of the four dimensions of “I” implies that it is just one of four.  Let’s briefly glance at the others.  Some of them are going to make an appearance in the later Elements of this Expansion.

The easiest one to deal with is a totally contained concept of self.  Truth 1.8.1, which we’ll come to three weeks from now, states “The ‘Me of I” is one’s totality of mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values.”  To me, this is like saying that from a mindfile standpoint, “I’m the database, before the input-output process starts, and from a state-of-being point of view, every point in time is the start of a new “moment-of-being”.

OK, that’s pretty self-explanatory.  Now, skipping 1.8.2 about the “We of I”, 1.8.3 tells us “The ‘Ti of I is the time-cone of a being’s existence.” and that leads straight into the next Element of this expansion, 1.6.2 “Time is important for consciousness because life occupies time as well space.”  Together these two tie into the “continuum of maturing abilities” that we talked about earlier.  Just as each future experience builds on what we learned from past experiences, each future moment builds on all the past ones, and the past moment as a “state of being” largely determines what will happen in the next moment, stabilized only by those patterns of response we have so fully integrated into our way of approaching new situations that we take into account the long term as well as the short term, in each instance.

(Linda)  Isn’t there one more dimension of being, where 1.8.4 tells us that “The ‘Qi of I’ is the unique pattern of a being’s energy flows?”

(Fred)  For completeness, let’s don’t forget that one.  We make waves, that is to say, what we do affects more than just who we are with at the moment.  It’s like we were radiating information in all directions on a continuous basis.  An unkind comment about person “B” while talking to person “A” may not make its way through the social network for a long time, but ultimately, it may reach its apparent target.  Your energy flow may ultimately touch far more people than you might suspect.

One of the most memorable examples of this for me took place ten years or so ago, probably in connection with some kind of political flame war on the Internet, when a friend of mine mentioned a comment posted earlier by someone we both knew ‘on the other side of the issue’, that he thought the world would be a better place if I were dead.  Since we were all cryonicists, this remark seemed pretty tasteless, but I responded as if just amused by it, with “I guess I missed that one!”  The point is – that I never forgot it.

(Linda)  People get upset and say things they don’t really mean, but this does leave scars.  As you point out, these things aren’t forgotten.  In 1.6.3 we have, “Haphazard thinking, without capability for improvement, is equivalent to a lack of autonomy.”  How do you take that one?

(Fred)  I take it constructively.  Let’s first see what we make of the phrase “haphazard thinking”.  One of Ayn Rand’s favorite sayings was something like, “If things don’t add up, check your premises!”  Some people are far more insistent on “making sense of things” than others.  They know that by and large, principles underlie everything that happens, and when they are faced by confusion, they make great efforts to sort it out.  Others just “go with the flow”, following their feelings and hoping things will work out despite the fact that they seem senseless.  By comparison, they are like leaves in a strong wind, going where events take them, with no sense of navigating their own lives.

If that’s a reasonable starting point, then the phrase “without capability for improvement” suggests situations where it’s unlikely this “drift along” mentality will improve.  It’s too ingrained as a mental posture, a quicksand bog that draws one down and down in a spiral of hopelessness, confusion, depression and resignation with life as incomprehensible.  Ayn Rand, being an extremely logical person, couldn’t understand this, and kept talking about the ‘choice to think’ as one’s greatest power.  From this, she came to regard an inability to escape one’s haphazard thinking as a “refusal to think”, and declared it to be “evil”.  That’s one of the few times, I imagine, that Ayn Rand let herself engage in what could be taken to be a religious pronouncement, but that’s how she seems to have perceived haphazard thinking.

(Linda)  The next one is, 1.6.4 “Empathy extends sentience and self-awareness to understanding the feelings of others.”  It seems to me that this is saying sentience and self-awareness would enable one to know the experience of pain that is felt by oneself, but empathy allows one to make an estimate of pain felt by others, not logically, but by emulating what they perceive might be going on inside that other. They virtually “feel the pain” themselves.

(Fred)  Right!  There’s also the perception that empathy as opposed to compassion can reach dangerous levels, where one is so immersed in the pain of the other that the sense of whose pain it is gets lost.  It’s like the way you and I feel when the other is in pain.  Compassion, at least as some Buddhists regard it, blends reason with empathy so that one can do the very most possible to relieve the pain of the other, without losing control.  It’s like a lifeguard rescuing a drowning victim.  In order to save the drowning swimmer, you have to keep the victim from grabbing you and drowning you both.

(Linda)  That’s true, but in this case I think it’s not intended to reach that level of integrating emotion and cognition.  Terasem’s point is that the capacity to sense what another feels and be as fully aware of it as possible is a strength, a vital strength, as an asset of consciousness.

(Fred)  No question about it.  Next we come to 1.6.5 “Reason, morality and personal independence are the key elements of being autonomous.”  There, I think, we get to a place where compassion gets involved.  To rescue the drowning swimmer, the lifeguard must maintain a high state of personal independence, at the same time maintaining a sense of morality as to the tremendous value, virtually to the point of being a social duty, to save a life when it is possible to do so without drowning the both of you.  Reason certainly comes into the picture at that level.

(Linda)  Here’s the last Element, 1.6.6 “Synergism of empathy and autonomy yields a continuum of consciousness.”  For this, I think we have to go a step or two beyond the lifeguard rescuer example.  The Terasem core values of unity and diversity come into play.  Empathy, the ability to feel what someone else feels, means you can literally “feel” the joy that someone with an entirely different sense of life might feel, appreciating that and honoring it, even though it might not fit one’s own values.

The artist who can painstakingly devote thousands of hours to painting or sculpture might not feel the slightest inclination to put that kind of effort toward cultivating the physical skills and conditioning to become an Olympic class athlete, but might be able to deeply appreciate the athlete’s perception of achieving unbelievable heights of performance as an “artistry” of its own.  The athlete in the same way might be able to look at the work of Michelangelo and feel the same level of admiration as the artist experiences for the athlete, in a reciprocal way.

If, through this, they could be said to “love each other”, not in a romantic way, but in the deepest “sense and appreciation of life”, then their individuality or autonomy as very different kinds of artists, together with their empathy for each other’s joyfulness in very different pursuits, would  enable a unifying bond, building a networked “continuum of consciousness”, which in other parts of the Truths of Terasem is referred to as a “collective consciousness”.  This Truth could then be taken either way, as describing what might go on within a single individual, or go on within a network of individuals within Terasem.

(Fred)  Great way to wrap it up, Linda.  Next week, we’re going to talk about Terasem’s flag.  It’s a beautiful collection of symbols, where form and color in an amazingly simple arrangement signify values ranging from accountability and interconnectivity to embracing diversity and respecting autonomy.  Such basic principles as “talking openly” and “helping others” are extended to visions of infinity’s multi-dimensionality and the idea that realities are part of larger realities.  Our only limitations will be that we’ll be unable to visually communicate what we’re talking about.  We’ll have to paint pictures with words.

(Linda)  I’ve got a way around that.  Go to the webpage where we post all the scripts of these podcasts, the flag is floating in a star-field next to a huge galaxy.  This is at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com/

(Fred)   Thanks, Linda.  Visit terasemfaith.net if you’d like to see what’s involved in ‘joining’ Terasem.  And, even without joining, you can begin setting up mindfiles at CyBeRev.org and/or LifeNaut.com in anticipation of making the jump to cyberspace, no fees to participate. mindclones.blogspot.com tells you all about mindfiles.

(Linda) Right!  And the powerful new free Android app, accessible at PersonalityMD.com, continues to gain popularity.  In the first week of 2011, the number downloaded was approaching 25,000.  After seeing the details at PersonalityMD.com, link to download at Google marketplace.

(Fred)  The graphics continue to evolve, based on CyBeRev’s mindfiles applications, but it’s very much a “mind-game”.   Speed of entry and navigating the graphical brain neuron by neuron go hand in hand on your Android smartphone, with your unique profiles visible in comparison with others’ in your area.

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

(Fred)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

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Posted March 8, 2011 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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