Podcast No. 41 Posted 4/25/2011   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 41 Posted 4/25/2011

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TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “What” of Terasem  2.9 – 2.9.6

SUB TITLE:  The immanent potential of the future.

SUMMARY:  Terasem sees the unfolding of the future very differently from traditional religions.  There is no doomsday scenario at the end.  We will delve into the idea that resurrection is to souls what remembering is to memories.  And we will explore how the growth of the soul is best described as emergence with immanent potential and that this requires experiences that will exist forever.

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

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 41 on the Truths of Terasem.  Today, we’re going to contrast the unfolding of the future as envisioned by Terasem, with that of traditional religions.

(Linda)  The key word is “eschatology”, isn’t it?  There are many ways in which that term is used, and in some cases, it almost has a secular ring to it, but those are the minority of cases.

(Fred)  Yes!  Particularly in the case of religions, a ‘doomsday’ of some kind is predicted, when God decides that it’s time to move to a higher plane and call the work on Earth done.  It’s usually the vision of a collapse of civilization on Earth, a destruction of all that went before, and you can see why this simplifies the whole picture of the future.

If this weren’t part of it, some of the faithful might ask, “Who will stay behind to keep the lawns mowed, feed the domestic animals left behind, and so forth?”  The shopping list of what it would take could be endless.  It’s a little like that humorous saying, “The end of the world has been postponed due to a shortage of trained trumpeters!”  Without great fanfare and a ‘saving all of the souls of the faithful’, a fundamental transition would be hard to proclaim.

(Linda) (laughing)  But isn’t the idea of a Singularity a few decades from now envisioned as an ‘end to life as we know it’ by some?  Isn’t the goal of Terasem to ‘save all kind consciousness’ like ‘saving the souls of the faithful’?  The primary Truth of this expansion, 2.9, says, “Eschatology doesn’t apply because souls emerge from life’s experiences, and they transcend death via resurrection.”  This seems like an important thing to clarify!

(Fred) It is important to make sense of this.  First of all, the use of the term “Singularity” in many ways leads to a difficult analogy.  Black holes, often described as ‘singularities’, possess an ‘event horizon’ where what happens inside cannot be seen, because any light there falls back into the black hole.  But, this is a geometrical horizon, not a temporal one.  In the use of ‘singularity’ as a cultural horizon, the usual  thought is that things are happening so fast they can’t be predicted, or seen coming, as in the case on a mountain road where you’re driving so fast you can’t see around the curve far enough to stop if the road were washed out, and so forth, but these are spongy parallels.

Also, the religious views of an eschatological nature about saving souls seems to foresee some point at which if you’re not on board, it’s ‘too late for you’, like saying that if you don’t catch a freight train before it reaches a certain speed, you get left behind.  Terasem doesn’t see this kind of limitation at all.    We expect to be able to help people see what’s coming by speeding up their processes of thought, and that the transcendence to cyberconsciousness from bio-consciousness will be progressive, over a rather considerable length of time, decades at the very least.  So, in that sense also, there’s a profound difference.

(Linda)  All right.  The underlying Elements of this expansion do imply a gradual transition vs. a sudden ‘step function’.  In 2.9.1, we find “Emerge best describes the growth of the soul because even in substrate it has immanent potential.”  The word ‘immanent’ means simply ‘still within the same domain’.  We’re saying a ‘soul’ can change over time, prior to transcending state, right?  Aren’t there parallels here that unite traditional religions and Terasem as a Transreligion?  Just as a Catholic can ‘repent and be saved’ before dying, aren’t there similar ways in which a transhumanist can make a change, perhaps deciding to build mindfiles before being put into cryostasis, instead of relying just on perfected biological reanimation to restore memories?

(Fred)  Well, yes, but more broadly, Terasem’s concept is that the ‘soul’ is the same thing as our consciousness, and that the preservation of our consciousness also preserves our soul.  As Martine Rothblatt has said so beautifully, in her blog Mindfiles, Mindclones and Mindware, dated Friday, October 23, 2009 with the title, What is Techno-Immortality?, quote:

“Cyberconsciousness implies techno-immortality. Immortality means living forever. This has never happened in the real world, so we think of immortality as a spiritual existence (as in heaven) or as a non-personal existence (as in ‘Bach’s music will live forever’). With cyberconsciousness it will be possible, for the first time, for a person to live forever in the real world. This unique, technologically empowered form of living forever is called techno-immortality.”

(Linda)  Right!  And others who have contributed to Terasem’s idea pool on consciousness and identity likewise foresee connections like that.  Lawrence J. Cauller, Ph.D., in his article “What it Might ‘Feel’ Like to be Connected to Devices That Will Expand or Enhance Human Function With Cyber Abilities”, published in The J. of Personal Cyberconsciousness, Volume 2, Issue 1,1st Quarter, 2007, gives us a wonderful illustration of emergence into cyberconsciousness as being like the experience of a human infant as it slowly develops consciousness.  That description, as rich and informative as it is, is too long to quote here.  But don’t miss reading the article!  Fortunately, Dr. Cauller gives us another beautiful description of emergence that is short enough to include here. Quote,

“If you talk to people that teach driving, they describe a critical point over the course of this learning process that all students must reach when they suddenly go from being ‘in the car’, to being ‘out there’, as if the car becomes a natural extension of their body, an integral part of one’s self. From then on, they’ve got it.

“We can expect that anyone empowered with enhanced neuro-cyber abilities will experience the sort of scary exhilaration we went through while learning to drive when we reached this critical point, self-expansion. In fact, enhancement is likely to amplify such feelings with the greater thrill of flying as one masters the controls of neuro-integrated aircraft, or cyber-crafts to zip about through the virtual worlds of cyber space.”

(Fred)  For those who want a broader picture than one with quite so much focus on technology, here’s an inspiring passage from Michael Perry’s, Forever for All, quote

“Our future development will be a sort of feedback process. We will pursue the interests we have, while also keeping in mind the interests we ought to have and adapting accordingly. This adaptation, I conjecture, will focus much attention on the very survival process itself and what sort of world we ought to shape for ourselves. Our wish to have a meaningful, happy, immortal existence will logically dictate that we put our efforts in that direction. It is reasonable, then, that contemplating the problem of immortality and making progress on it in one form or another will become part of our self-interest and largely an end in itself.

“Of course we ought to become immortal! We ought to find joy and meaning in a life that has no end. We ought to strive for the abolition of the sentence of death that has been our lot here on Earth but which we now may hope physically to overcome. Properly handled, our aspirations to more-than-human status can ennoble as well as empower us and make possible our deliverance. In our striving we will make use of whatever means our technology can provide. But individually we must have the will to succeed and must act accordingly. Immortalization must be self-immortalization, an effort of each person separately, though hopefully a happy one, enriched and enlivened by contact with others.”

(Linda)  That’s great!  Next is  2.9.2, “Manifesting potential with unique actuality requires experiences, and these experiences exist forever thereafter.”   Following that, we have 2.9.3 “Emulation enables experiences to re-emerge, and with them comes their soul.”  These two go together.  There are footprints of the earliest human beings in stone, in Africa, and artifacts of the earliest cultures in caves, that tell a story of who lived there, what they did, and how they survived.  From that, much can be deduced, and as our science of recovering more and more about those stories moves forward and more deeply into revealing those stories, the more completely can we recover or emulate at some level those who lived there.

(Fred)  True! In Thomas Donaldson’s short story “Travelling” in the LifeQuest series, he points to this, and the intent of an advanced culture, far short of the Terasem of the future we envision to take the spirits of those past epochs along, in the form of living personalities.  To quote from this story:  quote

“The fragments had been found in a tropical swamp and stored in a museum for study. They had spent 20 years inferring everything they could about him.  Not only that but they could prove to him, quietly and with regret, that every thing else had vanished into cosmic noise.  By inference they could discover a few words and an elementary grammar of his old language.  They could say a little about how this man had lived.  They knew his complete genetic plan.  They knew the common tools these people used to scrape their living.  All this information they added to Tupac’s memories, since he must have known these things.  So that he needn’t wander in ignorance, they also gave him all the common knowledge of their own time, their language, how they lived too. Finally, because all people must have names, they had given him a name.

“It certainly wasn’t his old name.  They could not even give him a name like those of his old people.  They named him Tupac Amaru after an Amerindian mythic hero. He had been an Amerindian, whatever that meant or was.”

A far more complete picture is painted of this individual, newly awakened in a far distant future, in a space colony in some other part of the galaxy, in his first days of a life destined to be endless.  The last paragraph of the story is as follows:

“Ek also had to rise and go elsewhere, to meet another associate. They had things to discuss about their joint obsession.  Tupac watched him walk away into the crowd too, wearing his kasu.  “I see” Tupac said to himself, with the single picture of his father in the canoe coming back to him vividly again.  “I am Tupac Amaru.  That is exactly who I am.  The Resurrectionists revived me.  Very long ago I was a boy looking up at his father in a wooden canoe, standing so tall in the rain.  I am alive now, in this time, which is MY time. I am not forgotten, not yet, not ever.”  He drank another tharwa, smiling softly at the crowds, and thinking over the shining infinity lying before him”.

(Linda)  That is a poetic vision of just the tip of the iceberg of what Terasem imagines may lie ahead.  We’re close to the end now with 2.9.4   “Resurrection is to souls what remembering is to memories.”  This, along with the two before it, can be beautifully summed up with a couple pages from Michael Perry’s book, Forever for All.  It is all too wonderfully written to just take excerpts, or to paraphrase.  I hope you’ll enjoy listening to it here, as much as I do, every time I read it:  (quote)

”A future immortal, we may imagine, will have three principal interests: contemplation, creativity, and community. I think the three can encompass essentially all that life has to offer, whether past, present, or future. (Community, for instance, refers to our relations with others, which today might emphasize family members, friends, employment, and so on, but in a more distant future could expand to a much larger sphere of interest.) But the subdivision seems especially appropriate in view of how an immortal existence might be expected to unfold.

“Let us now take a flying leap. In our mind’s eye, we will journey to the moderately distant future–perhaps a few hundred years from now. Biological aging and diseases have long since been conquered; indeed, we have carefully modified our housing and the processes that support our thoughts. We are not Homo sapiens anymore but something better, smarter, more knowing, with near-perfect memories, provision for backups, and so on. Perhaps we spend a lot of time as programs in a large computer but also have the freedom to upload into individual computerized bodies when called for. (Though there were many misgivings and problems at first, by now our artificial constructs are so perfected that no one seriously doubts they are rather better for us than the original stuff we were made of.) We are well oriented toward our immortal existence, which means we care about both ourselves and all others in our civilization and want to further what is best for us all, without end.

“Among other things, we recognize the value of our fellow beings, all of whom are “like ourselves” in some ways but fascinatingly different too. Most of us by now are superhumanly old and wise and have had lots of time to develop along our individual pathways, something no one else is likely to have trodden for very long for there are too many branching possibilities. We are quite well versed in our respective fields. Indeed, each of us is a world expert at something, a superstar unmatched by anyone else–though we do not spend time gloating over it. We have lots of exciting information to give others, in return, of course, for a reasonable exchange, which the others are also able and willing to give.

“Yet despite our venerable antiquity, in another way we are ever fresh and youthful too, for again we have learned to manage quite well the technical problems of advancing years, the accumulation and backup of valued information, maintaining our sense of wonder. We know what we have to do to keep ourselves going indefinitely and we do it, along with ever expanding our capabilities and knowledge. We are eternal, developing children. (Naturally we hope the expanding or otherwise developing universe can at least minimally accommodate our growing needs.) Sometimes we get a chance to put our skills to use. There are information-threatening disasters now and then that require coping, and psychological problems come up, some of them quite puzzling, but in all such matters we proceed as best we can with good will and perseverance.

“In addition to our peers we are interested in sentient beings more generally, including younger ones who are not so accomplished or venerable. Such “schoolkids” (some of them less than a century old) can be entertaining just as they are but will develop in time in their own interesting and unique, advanced ways and be “part of the gang” like the rest of us. Just recently, in fact, an ancient spacecraft was located in the cold interstellar depths that contained that greatest of treasures–a load of well-preserved cryonics patients! Now they are resuscitated, all but a few who were too badly damaged. Though babies by our standards, they each have most interesting experiences to relate of the long-ago times that spawned them, plus they are developing into “adults” who can be expected, as usual, to be still more interesting. They in turn are much surprised by many things in our world but being cryonicists are glad they made it to this the future and are eager to go on from here.

“As for those who were too badly damaged to resuscitate in the usual way, whose remains are missing crucial identity information, we are not giving up on them, of course. We are going to reanimate each and every one of them too, in appropriate settings. The information they are missing will be reinvented. We have long since recovered most of the relevant historical information from the earth and surroundings. (The spacecraft itself, in fact, was probably the last major information-bearing relic we had not discovered, though we want to be sure.) We know how to create and place information that will be needed to fill out a complete person in each case and to make the knowledge base consistent with the historical record.

“Some time ago, of course, there was much skepticism about such an approach, but by now the multiverse is such a well-established part of our scientific worldview that few give the matter much thought. Our resuscitees, as usual, will be authentic people who really lived, even if lacking some historical ties that better preservation would have maintained. Our love of sentient beings in general, based on rational, enlightened self-interest, demands that we do our part to recover these people and nurture them with wisdom and kindness so they can take their rightful places among us.”  End quote.

(Fred)  That really helps to get the picture across.  In 2.9.5 the next Expansion tells us, “Geoethics proscribes the resurrection of nightmares,” and here’s what Michael Perry, again in Forever for All, has to say about that,

“Persons are not simply bad or good as part of their identity or nature but can reform.  In one sense they are the same individuals as before, except that they have now undergone a process of growth and change for the better.  This I submit should be extendable even to the most reviled figures of history.  Such despised villains as Hitler and Stalin must not become objects of permanent hate—we must ask how even persons like these might be healed and redeemed.”

Finally, in 2.9.6, we come to, “Exponentially expanding consciousness will not require resurrection as death is a historical but not future reality.”  There’s a hidden aspect to this.  As individuals, we can go on, forever, unlimited as to the diversity of how we pursue that, but it is in the very nature of extropy that the degree and number of intelligences in the universe will not be static, zero sum, grow in a linear way only, or limit itself.  The way we expand our consciousness in the future may be all too much like the way giant Internet hubs build upon a framework of servers, but with each increment of consciousness having its own uniqueness and self-determination, beyond anything we would usually think of as acceptable in terms of personal freedom.

In the last podcast, there was a brief scenario near the end about briefly generating eight ‘you’s’ from one, either to coalesce back into one or go on as a team, but that is the barest beginning of what can be imagined.  Picture a musician in our future cyberciviliation, familiar with musical instruments, who becomes fascinated with about a dozen or so early cultures on Earth that evolved symphonic class works with orchestras of up to one hundred performers, each of which used their own culture’s instruments.

Suppose this musician then, as a composer, wrote a symphony that united the best of each, requiring four hundred performers using that many different instruments.   We don’t have to imagine that this composer would have to rent a huge orchestral hall; virtual reality would take care of that, but where would the musicians come from, and who would conduct the orchestra.  Can we not imagine that rather than seeking out world class performers from our entire civilization, this composer might not set out to self-duplicate and master all of them himself or herself and serve as conductor as well?

And, having self-duplicated and then specialized in many cultural traditions and instruments, just in composing the symphony, would such a musician simply fold up the entire entourage at the end of the first symphony and take up writing novels as a hobby?  Isn’t it more likely that he, she, or it perhaps multi-gendered to permit all forms of interrelationships within the orchestra, would then expand on that initial symphony in a limitless way?  This example, however trivial it might seem, is only to illustrate that we cannot begin to imagine how we will reshape or self-duplicate ourselves as time unfolds.  We are only at the very beginning of thinking about such things.

(Linda)  I’m all goose-bumply, just envisioning something like that… How I would love to hear such music!….. Next week, we get to delve into the fourth dimension: time.  We’ll also look at such related subjects as the multiverse, existence, beginnings and endings, virtual time-sharing, and time-space-energy.

(Fred)  In anticipation of that, let me invite listeners to find out how easy it is to join Terasem and be part of this future.  Simply go to terasemfaith.net.  Start building your own mindfile, without even any costs, at either CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com.  You can preserve some of your DNA,too, very inexpensively, at LifeNaut.com.

(Linda)  Are you an Android user?  Do you prefer the excitement of a game, over filling out questionnaires?  Then, go to PersonalityMD.com and download Mike Clancey’s new maze-based game as the fun way to build your mindfile.  A word of caution, though, it can be addicting!

(Fred)  And for those of you who crave a mind expanding blog, you can’t beat mindclones.blogspot.com.  I guarantee you that Martine Rothblatt will stretch your neurons with discussions about mindclones, mindfiles and mindware.  Oh, and don’t forget, you can find the text version of these podcasts at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com,where you’ll also find tabs relating to storing DNA with LifeNaut, a “city of the future” in Second Life named after the great innovator Paolo Soleri, and you can download a copy of Dr. Perry’s book, Forever for All.

(Linda)  If you like the music we use on these podcasts, it’s the Terasem Anthem, called Earthseed, written by Martine Rothblatt.  She also plays flute and keyboard.  For a video version of Earthseed, go to the Join! tab on the terasemfaith.net website.

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

(Linda)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

Closing music – no fade – full length.


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

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