Podcast No. 39 Posted 4/14/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 39 Posted 4/14/2011

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TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “What” of Terasem  2.7 – 2.7.6

SUB TITLE:  Bridging the gap between ritual and reality-based belief.

SUMMARY:  This week, we examine how we bridge the gap between ritual and reality-based belief, how we expand the idea of life extension and life expansion to encompass immortality as envisioned by traditional as well as more recently developed religions.  We will look at how the concept of afterlives, as were believed in at the time of a pre-scientific world, may be a possibility now, as an outgrowth of technology.  Can we fit our visions of a post-Singularity future to the expansive hopes of myth-based religions?  What role does faith have in emulating and controlling the universe?

Music  – “Earthseed” fades out, as the voice recording begins.

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 39 on the Truths of Terasem.  This expansion goes back over ideas that have already been covered in earlier podcasts on the “Who” of Terasem.

(Linda)  So, this week we’re going to do something a little different.  Fred wrote a wonderful poem about Terasem.  For those of you who may be listening to this podcast while driving, he’s going to read it.  For those of you who are at a computer, go to http://vimeo.com/15954132 to hear the poem and also see a beautiful cosmic background.

(Fred)  Great idea, Linda, and it carries with it the emotional tones of how deeply I feel about Terasem. But to lay the foundation for that, I’d like to first delve a bit into the wording of the Truths for this week, because it seems to me there’s a profound interconnection of the poem, with them.  Will that be OK?

(Linda)  Absolutely!

(Fred)  We start with 2.7  “Transreligion is us because we ritualize our belief in a supernatural, metaphysical, collective consciousness future God.”  At first glance, this appears to have an appeal to mysticism, but I don’t think it has to be taken that way.  Let me go through it word by word.

The first word with substance is ‘Transreligion’, but that’s what we’re trying to define, so it’s like the “X” in a simple mathematical expression, such as “X = 2 + 3”.  “X is the ‘unknown’,” proclaimed my first algebra instructor, after writing it on the blackboard.  It’s like that old saying, “By asking the right question, you’re half way to the answer!”  For the moment, then, let’s slide by the word “Transreligion”.

“Ritualize” is next, and it’s followed by the word “belief”.  In the last podcast we talked in some detail about belief as a rational process of dealing with speculation vs. fact, or about future uncertainties, so I won’t go into that word again,  But I’ll take the term “ritualize” to mean that we do something with our belief to organize it and concretize.  We do this for two reasons.  First, we want to be sure we clearly articulate our belief, so that it is expressed in a way that makes sense to us.   Second, so that by always saying it the same way, we continually deepen our focus on what we are in pursuit of, in the way of understanding that in which we say we believe.

For example, I might say, “I believe that I exist and that you exist, and in particular I believe that you are not merely a random fantasy of my mind, but an independent, sentient being, capable of free will in the way that I have defined it to my own satisfaction, and further that you are entitled to your own pursuit of joyful immortaliy.”  By saying that, I have affirmed your existence and your entitlement to retain your individual preferences as to life extension and happiness.  If I say this to you every day, in the same way, I not only reinforce this belief in my own mind, but I also reinforce your confidence that I will reliably ‘be there for you’ in this way, over the long term, and particularly through the Singularity.

This may not the same thing at all as if I were to say, “I believe in God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ, his Son” and so forth, as I was taught to repeat each week in the Episcopal Church, but they are both rituals, that reinforce beliefs and confidence in others as to the persistence of those beliefs in the minds of the believers.  So, in that sense, they have an identical psychological effect and power.

Why do I believe this is important?  Let me contrast this with the state of mind of a person who holds no stable beliefs and thus has nothing to say to his or her peers, to establish confidence in their future relationships.  How would you feel if I were to say to you, “I don’t have anything in which I believe strongly enough to say it to you day to day, since I don’t have a clue about what I will believe tomorrow, and I can’t give you any other hint as to what to expect from me next week, next month, or next year either.  I reserve my prerogative to be an unpredictable, unreliable and thus untrustworthy colleague of yours, yet I still expect you to treat me with respect, as if you had some idea of what you could expect from me in even a moment to moment way.”  How would you feel about that?

Not so good, I’d expect.  This is part of why, at least to the extent it gives people some sense of what to expect from each other, they engage in rituals.  They also do it for the comfort of some sense that they know at least to some extent what to expect of themselves, day to day, what they are going to be loyal to conceptually, and what expectations they have for the future.

(Linda)  That’s a very powerful description of the value of rituals!

(Fred  I hope others will think so, too!  I hope those that find themselves uncomfortable with being forced to mouth sayings they don’t believe, simply to maintain conformity with others, may not make a big deal of it within their church or political party, or whatever group they may be in which has a slogan they treat as being ‘sacred’, or ‘holy’, but they will at least have the comfort of saying to themselves, “I’m less of a zombie than I used to be; maybe I might feel even more comfortable if I invented some rituals that met my own view of things, or searched out others who felt it was vital to not say things with such firmness or confidence unless they really felt that way”.

The people who will feel most uncomfortable with this way of thinking  about rituals may be those who are accustomed to using them to intimidate and control others, and who feel their power to do so might be threatened by an open realization of what’s going on.  Those who blindly assert the superiority of males over females, and even more, those who would claim that those of a different nationality or skin color are inferior to themselves, in essence, any who rely on blind acceptance of dogma as expressed in the form of rituals, are not going to like this view at all.  But that’s their problem, not ours.  We have to keep moving.  So far, we’ve only dealt with the word ‘ritual’.  Now, it’s on to four other words or terms, ‘supernatural’, ‘metaphysical’, ‘collective consciousness’, and ‘future God’.

What do we mean by “supernatural”?  Well, if we carry this to the extent of reliance on definitions, we might come to something like, ‘beyond any possible explanation by natural law’, but those who attempt to argue such a position quickly shoot themselves in the feet or wind up in an infinite regress of an embarrassing kind.  More commonly, there are appeals to magic or mystical concepts which are equally distasteful, if not quite so conspicuously flawed, intellectually.  The word ‘magic’ might be best, since it refers to the illusion of something that appears beyond the scope of natural law, but in fact is not, at all.

There’s a well known saying attributable to Arthur C. Clark, that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and here by magic, we’re back to that implication that it’s beyond the scope of natural law. This view of the supernatural lies at the root of every kind of scientific discovery and invention we know of, that at first something appears to be impossible, yet, ultimately it can be done.

An awesome kind of first step in this direction, I imagine, might have been the discovery of how to start a fire by rubbing or rotating wood pieces together until the ignition point of tinder was reached.  For endless generations, a tribe or even a large region of evolving humankind might have relied on the ‘keeping alive’ of the flames harvested from a lightning strike.  Would it have pleasantly amazed the tribal leaders when some ingenious one of the tribe’s people discovered how to ‘make fire’?  Would they have showered this individual with recognition and honors?

Probably not!  They may have taught, in their tribal cultures, that lightning strikes were caused by their God, and only their God could make fire.  To have it reduced to a simple physical procedure might have been embarrassing in the extreme, calling into question all the priests who had been relied on to know who caused what, and how?  The simplest solution might be have been to conceal the discovery, and literally ‘burn the discoverer at the stake’ on the basis of he or she having had to have been a ‘devil’ to do it.

This in no way diminishes the human capacity to imagine what might seem beyond the scope of ‘natural law as presently understood’, and thus ‘imagine the unimaginable’, to the end of discovery and invention of that which had formerly been thought to be beyond human comprehension or the possibility of human creation.  All of science and engineering, as it now seems destined to take us to the stars, is founded on the capacity to think of the ‘incredible’ as ‘supernatural’.

(Linda)  Let me say something about this next one, 2.7.1 “Beginnings differ amongst religions, but we bridge them all by focusing on everlasting life.”  The common ground here is the inclusion, in all religions, of immortality.  By transcending the idea that this must be a domain reserved to the supernatural, and providing a technological route to it, Terasem points the way to a destiny for all, that is in principle ‘endless’; virtually a ‘heaven’ that transcends all heavens as imagined by all religions, and thus helps unite all Humankind in the end.

This is even more focused in the next one, 2.7.2 “Everlasting life realized via digital emulation in a joyous cyber-heaven bridges all Western and Eastern religions.”  Isn’t that implied by the previous one?  And continuing with 2.7.3, where it says “Life is what can be conceived, believed and achieved,” haven’t we basically said about ‘life’ itself just what you earlier said about ‘fire’?  Except that now we live in a society that has pretty much cast aside vitalism and readied itself for scientific approaches to life extension already?  All of this seems to fit together very well, from my point of view.

(Fred)  You’re ‘running rings around me’.  I’d just barely gotten through with the word ‘supernatural’, and still had three more to go, ‘metaphysical’, ‘collective consciousness’, and ‘future God’.  Let me polish those off.  The word ‘metaphysical’ is often used to refer to the ‘supernatural’, and this is the way I’d take it here.  Having dealt with ‘supernatural’, we can go on to “collective consciousness”, which is none other than saying as our minds become more and more closely connected, as is presently happening by way of  the Internet, a day may come when we ask a question in our minds and it is answered so quickly and convincingly, with so much latitude for us to review and confirm that we lose nothing in the way of individuality.

This is the way I already feel every time I put a word into Google and auto-search throws tens of thousands of hits back, even before I complete typing.  Add a couple of more characters, and Google is already trying to see where you’re going.  When you know you’ve got the second word all the way in, you look down, and it’s as if a magic genie had anticipated your thoughts.  As the years roll by, now, and we virtually couple our minds into this kind of interconnectedness, I don’t doubt that this phrase will simply become more and more comfortable.

‘Future God’?  In some ways we’re so close it only takes a baby step of imagination to see an ‘angel on your shoulder’.  Picture this: As with the Google example of responsiveness, suppose Medic Alert offered a service where you could carry a little implant that would monitor your body and respond; you could take action or not, and specify a few emergency acts that you would find acceptable.  After eating too large a meal, you began to feel digestive discomfort.  Your implant cell phone rings with a call from an advice nurse, warning you to go to your medicine cabinet and get something like a nitroglycerine tablet.  As you rise to do so, you feel a pain in your chest.  The cyber-nurse, still on the line with you, says, “I’m alerting 911; walk very slowly to the bathroom, and breathe deeply.  I’m initiating a release of I.V. aspirin.  You’ve ignored our advice to have a nitro-release module installed three times, so I’m posting an alert on the 911 board to have your doctor discuss this with you after your ER visit.”

We are as if standing upon a needle, atop a flagpole extending upward from the tip of an iceberg, of ‘being cared for’ in a pre-Singularity period that before the end of the Century will change how we live, where we live, with whom we live, and so much more that the idea of a ‘Future God’ that will only achieve the unimaginable powers we attribute to such a being after a quasi infinite period of time seem pitifully pale, by comparison to what we may realistically expect over the next decade or two.

Those who cannot see all of this coming will be more pleasantly surprised than they can possibly imagine, at this moment.  What do you think, Linda?  Are we ready to move on to the last few Elements, before I say that poem?

(Linda)  I’m ready, for sure.  Here we go – 2.7.4 says “Insistence on the rituals of Terasem exponentiates the rate of advancement toward joyful immortality.”  Here, I take the word ‘insistence’ to mean moment to moment mindfulness or self-motivation.  And, I take “the rituals of Terasem” in a generic way, not to imply that everyone is being invoked to do them in exactly the same way, at the same times, as if they were robots or zombies.

The word ‘insistence” can too easily be taken to mean an externally imposed, dictatorial influence.  I prefer to think of this Truth as saying to me, ‘The more you structure the moments of your life, ever mindful of where we all are headed, the more rapidly will you move in that direction and expand your options.’

(Fred)  in 2.7.5 we find, “Every religion shares our belief in becoming part and parcel of God, which we call Terasem.”  The transcendence of religion by Terasem, as stated in many other places in the Truths, is the unflinching declaration that ‘God’ as envisioned by virtually all other religions, does not as yet exist, except as the first, tiny, baby steps in that direction, and will only become more than that through efforts which, in the end. will be highly technological.

The last Element for today, 2.7.6, states: “Faith that we have a purpose in emulating and controlling this universe also makes Terasem a transreligion.”  This, to me, is the most compelling of all, in this Expansion of the Truths of Terasem.  It is in almost every way the same kind of faith that Leonardo da Vinci had, that man could fly, the faith that Edison felt as he pursued electric light, that Robert Goddard felt as he conducted early rocket experiments in the Arizona desert, that Humankind could ‘go to Mars’.

It is only by way of faith that soon we will realize God beyond our wildest hopes and expectations, that we can make it happen most rapidly, with the most safety and compassion, and then move onward to what Carl Sagan forecast decades ago, that ‘if we do not destroy ourselves, we will go to the stars’.

(Due to the spacing limitations of editing in this webpage, the poem is “double lined”, two lines vs. one on each vertical position, with spaces between each line.  So, it is poorly formatted.  Sorry!  Not sure how to make it look right!”)

Terasem, now I see you, You who are what we will be,

Calling back through time to we here, Saying “Come and join me”.

It seemed crazy, so bizarre, When at first, seen from afar,

Your name, “God, in the making”, Suggested an invisible star.

Yet so soon now, you shine bright, A highly multi-colored light,

Now I reach through time myself, Speaking to you in the night.

We see tiny infants who, While struggling to walk,

Cling to “mothers”, giant beings, Magically able to walk and talk.

Understanding, comprehending, Powerful beyond belief,

They protect us if we’re hurt, Say they love us, share our grief.

Why should we be so surprised then, When we find that many do,

Believe a still more powerful being, Might exist and be a being who,

Might be all-good, all-wise too, Perhaps hidden in the sky,

Who would always be there for us, Making sure we’d never die?

Still, observation tells us, If we’re honest, open minded,

That no god as yet exists, and, Yet we must not then be blinded,

To the fact that when death threatens, People rush in, and persist,

As if suddenly merged as one, While any chances still exist.

Here we see the vast potential, Of what humankind can be,

A collective consciousness, Always there and always free,

If we nurture “godness” now, In our attitudes and acts,

Build a network strong and sound, Based on science and on facts.

Then post-Singularity, That network will endlessly,

Expand its work and then reach outward, Save all kinds of sentiency.

Terasem, I speak to you now, So I won’t forget you may be,

Only several decades hence, Humankind’s reality.

Do not fear you’ll be forgotten, Every culture prays you’ll be,

What they’ve dreamed of when they need you, And with time they’ll clearly see,

That already they are doing, What you’ll someday do far more of,

Saving lives of those around them, Trying to spring free, rise above,

Evolution’s competition, Mysticism’s superstition,

Miserably low cognition, Egocentric, cruel ambition,

These will vanish as dark memories, As we move into the light,

We can create, for each other, As we emerge from this night,

Into that future, close at hand, In which you are sure to be,

What we now see as so certain, As extropic destiny.

Terasem, we see you, we see we, Becoming all that we can be,

Till someday we link our minds, And you attain full sentiency,

Then you’ll replicate yourself, As you spread throughout the stars,

We the “neurons” of your mind, Helping bend all finite bars,

That stand in the way of making, Universal harmony,

Multiversal presence of, A Joyful Immortality.

Diverse and yet united we’ll be, Mind-expanding endlessly,

On substrates of every kind, That we conceive and cause to be.

Terasem, you’re our baby, and we’re yours, This is how it’s meant to be,

Ever moving onward, outward,  Through time toward Eternity.

(Linda)  Next week, we look at the fascinating subjects of protecting lives by copying them, and resurrecting all good lives as copies of forever joyful data emulations.  We’ll talk about why the fidelity of emulations will yield ethical emulations and faithful resurrections.  We’ll also see how we can assure paradise for posterity by modifying data emulations to delete tortuous aspects of lives.

(Fred)  Find out more about joining Terasem at terasemfaith.net. “Waking up in cyberspace” can be pursued by way of CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com, no fees to participate.  And if you want to preserve your DNA very inexpensively, you can do that at LifeNaut.com, too.

(Linda)  Again, as we said last week, but can’t say often enough, big kudos to Mike Clancy, at Terasem, who created the new maze based game for the Android that you may find surprisingly addictive.  You can get it at PersonalityMD.com.  It works very well on a touch screen device and, in fact, it’s a very natural match for the new Android tablets coming out – it will take advantage of the larger screen resolutions to generate bigger and even more intricate mazes. Right now, the difficulty ramps up pretty quickly with multiple layers, “motor neurons”, plaques that obstruct your path and macrophages to hunt you down.

(Fred)  Here’s the premise from the introduction to the app: “You are an artificial intelligence charged with controlling a nanobot inside a human brain. The brain belongs to a person who has just been resuscitated after being cryonically stored for almost 50 years. You have been chosen because, ironically, the person being restored to life is the same person on whom you (the AI) were based! Their mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values were recorded and stored with the CyBeRev project and later coupled with mindware to create your digital persona.”

(Linda) And if you still need to blow a few more of your neurons, go to   mindclones.blogspot.com for fascinating discussions about mindclones, mindfiles and mindware.  And if you want to read the text of our podcasts, to help to dig deeper into the details, and maybe find websites that you weren’t able to write down, go to truthsofterasem.wordpress.com.

(Fred)  If you’ve been enjoying the music that we use on this podcast series, it’s called Earthseed.  It’s the Terasem Anthem.  It was written by Martine Rothblatt, who also plays the flute and the keyboard.  If you’d like to experience that music in a video, with spectacular astronomical artwork, go to the Join! tab on the terasemfaith.net website.

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

(Fred)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

Closing music – no fade – full length.

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Posted April 24, 2011 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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