Podcast No. 87 Posted 01/31/2012   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 87 Posted 01/31/2012

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

SUB TITLE:  Consciousness at Higher Levels

SUMMARY:  Terasem defines consciousness as being the continuum of maturing abilities, when healthy, to be autonomous and empathetic with others. If we equate diversity with autonomy and unity with empathy, we see that these core values are another way of defining consciousness.  And, of course, education persistently is required if our reason is to endlessly mature as we transcend biology and become immortal beings living across many substrates.

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

 

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 87 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 things 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)  In fact, Terasem goes way beyond either of those, 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, too.

(Linda)  Okay, but 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 Macaques or just getting rid of your wrinkles, for sure!  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.

(Linda) We start with 1.6:  “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 most things biological are piecewise continuous.

(Fred) A human starts out totally dependent on its mother, at least from fertilized ovum to birth, during which it has almost no autonomy or empathy.  From there, the child progresses to higher levels of harmony and balance in its autonomy and empathy, in its individuality and connectivity to others on a social level.  This requires continual maturation in both biological and psychological ways.

(Linda)  The underlying Elements in this set of the Truths look at some of the more important aspects of the continuum of human consciousness.  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 up in a family dominated by a male parent who runs the family like a prison camp, you might develop a ‘prison guard’ personality, thinking that is the proper order of social behavior.  If you develop in a warm, empathetic family setting where individuality and creativity are encouraged, the outcome will be very, very different.

(Linda) This business of mentioning “We” as one of the four dimensions of “I” implies that there are three more.  Let’s briefly glance at the others.  Some of them are going to make an appearance in the later Elements of this Expansion.

(Fred) 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.

(Linda) A couple weeks ago, we discussed briefly the concept of the Ti of I, or the time cone of a being’s existence which might be visualized as a cone starting at birth and expanding endlessly into the future, perhaps becoming endless in time and boundless in space.

Now, in 1.6.2 we find: “Time is important for consciousness because life occupies time as well as space.”  Together these two tie into the ‘continuum of maturing abilities’ that we talked about earlier, and highlights the importance of ‘education persistently’, as one of the primary values stated in the Pledge to the flag of Terasem.

(Fred) There is one more dimension of being (that we’ll elaborate on more when we get to 1.8.4) which tells us that “The (chee) ‘Qi of I’ is the unique pattern of a being’s energy flows.”  For completeness, let’s not forget that one.  We make waves, that is to say, what we do affects more than just who we are with at the moment.

(Linda)  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 eventually, it will reach its target.  Your energy flow ultimately touches far more people than you might suspect or choose.

(Fred)  One of the most memorable examples of this for me took place oh, about ten years 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 – I never did forget it.  Too many people fail to recognize how the ripple effects of their words and actions can have lasting effects on others.

(Linda)  It’s a feedback dance that we all engage in, we all influence each other continually.  In 1.6.3 we have: “Haphazard thinking, without capability for improvement, is equivalent to a lack of autonomy.”  We’re working our way toward understanding consciousness as a much grander concept than just awareness.  As we will see, ethics play an important part in the Terasem definition of consciousness and both ethics and the ability to think for yourself… require critical thinking skills.

(Fred)  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.  They stand on their own feet, make their own decisions, they are autonomous. Others just go with the flow, follow their feelings and hope things will work out.  By comparison, they are like leaves in a strong wind, going where events take them, with no sense of navigating their own lives.

(Linda) The phrase “without capability for improvement” suggests situations where it’s unlikely this “drift along” mentality will improve.  Where haphazard thinking is ingrained as a mental posture, like a quicksand bog that draws one down in a spiral of hopelessness, confusion, depression and resignation with life as incomprehensible.

(Fred) Ayn Rand, being an extremely logical person, upheld the ‘choice to think’ as one’s greatest power and virtue.  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’.

(Linda)  The next one is, 1.6.4: “Empathy is a necessary and sufficient basis for sentience, but only a key ingredient for consciousness.”  Many people, unfortunately, use the terms sentience and consciousness interchangeably.  By pointing out that empathy is a necessary and sufficient basis for sentience, but only a key ingredient in consciousness, it is clear that the Truths of Terasem do not use these two terms interchangeably.

(Fred)  In his book, How the Mind Works, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker refers to sentience as “the most interesting sense of all: subjective experience, phenomenal awareness, raw feels, first-person present tense, ‘what it is like’ to be or do something…”.  1.6.4 tells us that awareness and self-awareness are not sufficient to define sentience.  Awareness must be coupled with the ability to empathize in order to qualify as sentience.  But to be conscious requires even more.

(Linda)  1.6.5 tells us:  “Reason is a necessary and sufficient basis for ethics, but only a key ingredient for consciousness.”  Now we’re getting closer to the big picture!  As Tweedledee said in that wonderful Lewis Carroll book Alice in Wonderland, “Contrariwise, if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic!”  We use both inductive and deductive logic in creating our codes of ethics.  But as this Truth points out, even that is only a part of a greater whole we call consciousness.

(Fred)  We finally get to put all the parts together with 1.6.6: “Synergism of empathy and reason yields consciousness.”  In other words, to be conscious as defined by the Truths of Terasem, you need a combination of mature reasoning, the ability to be autonomous and think for ourselves, and to not just be cognitively aware of ourselves and others, but also to empathize with those others.

(Linda)  In light of all that, I see an even deeper meaning to the core Terasem values of diversity and unity.  If we equate diversity with autonomy and unity with empathy, we see that these core values are another way of defining consciousness.  And, of course, education persistently is required if our reason is to endlessly mature as we transcend biology and become immortal beings living across many substrates.

The pledge the flag of Terasem says it all, doesn’t it: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Collective consciousness of Terasem, and to the principles to which it stands:  education persistently, with diversity, unity and joyful immortality everywhere.” 

(Fred)  Great way to wrap it up, Linda.  Next week, we’re going to talk about the Terasem’s flag itself.  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 for our listeners.  Go to the webpage where we post all the scripts of these podcasts.  You’ll find the flag floating in a star-field next to a huge galaxy.  This is at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com/

(Fred)  In anticipation of that, let me invite listeners to join us in building the kind of future Terasem envisions.  It is easy to join Terasem. Simply go to terasemfaith.net.

(Linda) Start building your own mindfile, without even any costs, at either CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com.  And you can create your personal history or autobiography, to be uploaded to CyBeRev.org by using the LifePact interview form.  Go to Terasemfaith.net and look for  Mindfile Building, about half way down the page.

(Fred)  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 Clancy’s new maze-based game as the fun way to build your mindfile.  A word of caution, though, it can be addicting!

(Linda)  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.

(Fred)  If you like the music we use on these podcasts, which runs full length at the end of each of them, it’s the Terasem Anthem, called Earthseed, written by Martine Rothblatt.  She also plays flute and keyboard.  For a visually stunning video version of Earthseed, go to the Join! tab on the terasemfaith.net website.

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

(Fred)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

Closing music – no fade – full length.

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Posted January 31, 2012 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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