Podcast No. 89 Posted 02/14/2012   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 89Posted 02/14/2012

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TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “Who” of Terasem  1.8-1.8.6

SUB TITLE:  The Four Components of Identity

SUMMARY:  What does it take to awaken that “you” so many fear will be lost upon death, even after cryonic suspension if reanimation is not carried out in such a way that one has firm memories and a sense of orientation of where one once was as well as where one is now?  Does this in any way interfere with the potential of individuality in your life, or might it be even more vivid and real, as well as indestructible and endless, in simpler terms, immortal?

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

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 89 on the Truths of Terasem.

(Linda) In this podcast we’re going to explore what makes you ‘you’ and how that implies that you may find yourself existing in time virtually endlessly, despite your concerns that this may be absolutely impossible.

(Fred) This view of human identity is so vast, yet so plausible, compellingly in tune with religions and yet so deeply rooted in logic and science that it might be taken as a fantasy both by those immersed in mysticism and those convinced that surviving through technology is the only thing that has any chance of practical realization.

(Linda)  Some people worry that if, after they die, something that looks like them and has their memories and personality, wakes up and resumes consciousness, there may be a problem.  Even if they are surrounded by people they remember as being their family and friends, they are not sure it would really be them.

(Fred)  A lot of people worry about that.  Yet, taking examples from medicine, we know that there are many present day cases where living persons suffer severe brain injury or compromise, but continue to live despite any imagined loss of personal identity.  People do adjust and get on with their lives after experiencing even total amnesia.

(Linda)  I can really relate to that!  When I was about 13 I was in a car accident that left me paralyzed and in a coma.  When I came out of the coma, I had lost most of my memory.  I could understand spoken English, and I recognized my family, but I had to have my memories of specific events ‘reloaded’ by family members.  To this day, I’m never sure if something I remember about my childhood is being reconstructed in the normal way our brains do that for us, or if it is an implanted memory.  By implanted memory, I mean, some story I heard others in the family tell, rather than something I actually experienced myself.  None the less, as a child recovering in a hospital bed, I never questioned whether or not it was really me in that bed!  And, I have never once wondered about that since then; just like I don’t wonder if it is really me, when I open my eyes each morning.

(Fred)  That’s a wonderful example!  The question of personal identity turns almost upside down, to a conviction that, given the slightest indication that it’s you, barring contrary evidence like a seemingly better qualified competitor you claiming to be the real you, how could it be anyone except you?  If everyone around you believes you’re you, and if every fact you can turn up indicates that there are no other you-s around, what basis would you have to argue it was otherwise, aside from fear based conjecture such as those that might arise once you’ve been told that you actually have an artificial brain with your memories implanted in it?

(Linda)  Fred, that was unkind!  Just when we almost had them sold, you blew it!  Why couldn’t you have left out the part about the artificial brain?  I mean…

(Fred)  I know, Linda, and that was really just to wake up anyone who might have been on the verge of falling asleep.  Actually, there’s a great explanation of this issue in Forever for All by Dr. Mike Perry that is so good we’ll quote briefly from it later, but first we must introduce the term he uses and give an illustration for why it is a useful one.  The term is “continuer”.

Perry contends, in great detail and after considering many alternatives, that a less than perfect replica of you, in particular of your brain, is, notwithstanding those imperfections, sufficiently the same you (as you once were) to constitute the real you, from every aspect of personal individuality, social connectivity, and satisfaction that what has been created is not just something that thinks it is you, but is in fact you, yourself.

(Linda)  I’ve read reams of arguments that claim that a perfect copy, no matter how perfect it may be, is still not you, even if all the relative positions of the atoms are accounted for, and one goes to the trouble of putting the actual atoms used by the former you, back into the exact same places and states, nonetheless as the argument goes, it still wouldn’t be “you”.

(Fred)  Dr. Perry might ask the one objecting to define what would constitute a real you, but he would also know that most people who raise such objections are rarely able to come up with any kind of consistent, integrated concept of that at all, much less one that makes any kind of sense.  So he introduces the concept of the “continuer”.  He points out that even though the replica may not be exact, it can functionally continue for the person it replaces, to the satisfaction of all who have relationships with that person and to the satisfaction of the person himself or herself, with the qualification and admission that it need not be exactly the same person.

(Linda)  Let’s take that one step further and suggest that even if there are imperfections, the continuer as defined by Dr. Perry, is more like the original person from whom she or he is derived, than a person who awakes tomorrow after a normal night’s sleep is like the person he or she was the previous night.  In effect, each of us who falls asleep wakes up as a copy.  Upon awakening, such a copy has far less fidelity even than a future continuer who had been in cryonic suspension and whose brain was rebuilt by replicator nanotechnology.

(Fred)  I know a lot of people in the cryonics and anti-aging communities who would argue with this, but let’s look at this idea a little closer.  When you fall asleep, you literally lose consciousness and then awaken with no sense of most of what has even gone on within your own mind (except for the occasional dream), much less any sense of what has gone on in the outside world.

(Linda)  Exactly.  During sleep, unlike cryonic suspension, your neurons continue to metabolize.  Short term memory is biochemically converted to long term memory, with the loss of tremendous amounts of detail.  Axons project and fall away from former synapses, and dendritic spines on the receptor neurons grow and recede from lack of use, huge numbers of neurons die and their functions are taken on by other neurons.  When you awaken, you think you are the same person, but physically you are not.   Much has changed.

(Fred) Now, imagine a person in cryonic suspension who is one day repaired by replicator nanotechnology and restored to normal function, where the pathways between neurons were all replaced by functionally equivalent, non-biological replicas and great care is taken to prevent error and change.  This repaired version is more like the original before they were frozen, than any of us are like the person we were the previous night before falling asleep.

(Linda)  With all that in mind, we can get back to the question of whether or not the continuer idea makes sense.  Dr. Perry doesn’t restrict this concept to repaired frozen brains, in spite of the fact that some will argue that the repaired brain is not for all intents and purposes the same as the one which was frozen.

(Fred)  On the contrary, Perry contends that if a completely new brain were created that had essentially the same memories as an earlier one, a closely matching personality profile, perhaps even having the same genome, then that new brain would, for all practical purposes, be the same as the old one.

(Linda)  Those that argue against this concept may choose not to pursue it.  Those who take it as a valid idea are likely to have no trouble with it.  How does Perry address the question of ethics where the person making this decision rejects the idea altogether?  Is that person then lost forever?

(Fred)  Not necessarily.  A continuer of such a person, upon awakening and acquiring the advanced knowledge then available, would be acquainted with the fact that the person from whom she or he was derived would in no way have accepted the idea that the continuer was in fact the same person.  Then, the continuer would be asked how he or she felt about that in the context of their up-dated view of the issue, based on current information.  If the continuer still held to the original position, she or he might think of himself or herself as being more like an identical twin with a high degree of knowledge of the personal history of the person from whom she or he came.

(Linda) On the other hand, if a continuer awakening from cryonic suspension found the idea (of being the same as the original person) plausible, then that person would have reversed or ratified a change of position, and the former friends and family could then welcome that person back into their midst.  All of this of course is subject to the cultural ethics of a time we can scarcely imagine now, so we can only guess at what might happen.  We can only conclude that people are not necessarily lost to us forever, on account of having lost their biological viability.

(Fred)  I’d like to wrap up this discussion by reading a short quote from a novel you and I just read, Trans-Human (Post Human), by David Simpson.  The protagonist is faced with transcending biology and wondering if it will still be him or not, and he concludes:

“I won’t be like other people anymore,” James observed, “but that’s the point, isn’t it?  I don’t have to be.  The future should never have made people more and more alike—it should have increased our individuality.   I will be the first, but everyone will be able to be as they wish to be from now on.”

(Linda)  I love that quote.  It’s a great read.  Very Terasem.  With that discussion as a background, let’s plunge into the Truths of Terasem we are covering this week.  The Expansion for this week starts with, 1.8: “ ‘I’ Has Four Dimensions: Terasem is comprised of individual souls, each with four complementary dimensions, at least one of which always exists.”  In other words, we don’t have all our eggs in a single basket!

(Fred)  That’s abstract enough, and the rest of them are short enough, so I’ll just go through the whole of them, and then we can expand from there.  1.8.1  says “The ‘Me of I’ is one’s totality of mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values.”  1.8.2:  “The ‘We of I’ is the image of ourselves in the minds of others.” 1.8.3: “The ‘Ti of I’ is the time-cone of a being’s existence” and 1.8.4:  “The ‘Qi of I’ is the unique pattern of a being’s energy flows.”

(Linda)  The next two Elements are, 1.8.5:  “Each dimension of I may serve as a template for cyber-resurrection of Me of I” and 1.8.6 tells us:  “Authoring-self recreates one’s mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values, until Turing-equivalence is achieved.”

(Fred) The first and last of the Elements essentially say that your mindfiles, created by a process known in Terasem as “self-authoring”, captures the ‘Me of I’, all of your  mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values, to the point where a Turing Test can confirm your unique identity.

(Linda) That’s easy enough to grasp.  If we implant someone’s mindfiles into their otherwise amnesia-level brain, like my experience after my accident, we’ve accomplished enough to produce a sense of “Who they were” and “who they are now”, perhaps in not quite the same way as in the original mind, but with so much additional detail as to produce an impression of, “I never knew my memory was so good!”

(Fred) The second element is equally simple, “The ‘We of I’ is the image of ourselves in the minds of others,” suggesting that if nothing else, the joint recollections of others accomplish at least two things:  (1) The details, directly implanted, could impart a very rough sense of identity, and (2) the family and friends could also help the person learn more about those past relationships and associated details.

(Linda)  Again, that’s exactly what I experienced when I came out of my coma.  Now we come to two more Elements that are somewhat more elusive, “The ‘Ti of I’ is the time-cone of a being’s existence” and “The ‘Qi of I’ is the unique pattern of a being’s energy flows.”  The first of these, the time-cone, represents a widening level of exposure to one’s environment that can be recaptured from a composite of all the historical knowledge of the period in which one lived.  This can be shaped to emphasize events in the localities one lived as well as on a wider basis, and the general character of what one might have paid attention to most closely, based on one’s education, career, known interests, etc.

(Fred)  General knowledge about the unique pattern of one’s life through time and space might yield a sort of informational fingerprint that no one else would have.  Any personality that were to emerge with this level of recollection of the past would in that respect be unique, and any specific memories of having lived earlier would be enriched by this virtual memory of what went on and what one might have noticed and remembered.

(Linda)  For example, if a person were given a hunter-gatherer mindset but they originally lived in the 20th Century, and most of their mindfile information reflected that, they would experience an uncomfortable discontinuity, a feeling that this is not really them.

(Fred)  The second Element of these two is: “The ‘Qi of I’ is the unique pattern of a being’s energy flows.”  ‘Qi’ is the idea, most frequently associated with oriental practices of yoga and medicine, that within one’s body certain patterns of responsiveness to electric charges and biochemical endocrine flows are uniquely individual and are as predictive of how one feels physically and emotionally, how one might react in certain circumstances, as the time and locations in which one might have lived.

(Linda) It could well be that this “Qi of I” could be so closely imputed from one’s DNA as to enable emulation of one’s sense of physical being into one’s continuer, and thus impart an even higher sense of having lived before and being the same self as one once was.  Or, for those who find the idea appealing, to have one mind that experiences life across more than one body… and perhaps across more than one substrate.

(Fred) There are other interpretations that we’ve explored as to the “Qi of I” in earlier podcasts, but because we have finally developed sufficient context, this is perhaps closer to the way the Founders of Terasem might have intended this Element than we’ve suggested in those earlier discussions.  It does point to one more way a fingerprint of one’s sense of life and individuality may be characterized and differentiated.

(Linda)  Yes, as a physically and mentally active person, I would be very disappointed to find I’d been reanimated as a couch potato!  I would know something was wrong!  I’d be yelling, “This isn’t me!  Look at my Lifepact and CyBeRev videos again, and make the necessary corrections!”

(Fred)  That takes us to the next Element, 1.8.5: “Each dimension of I may serve as a template for cyber-resurrection of Me of I”.  Any one of those may be so individual, so unique a fingerprint of who one was as to serve as a valid starting point for reemergence into a social network.  But of course, the more we have of all these dimensions available to us, if and when we need to be reanimated, the better!

(Linda)  Now we can now finally read that quote from Dr. Perry’s book Forever for All, to sum this discussion up:

“…The changes in a person that occur over time involve the assimilation of experiences and a learning process. A later person-stage thus will be a more developed version, or continuer, of an earlier stage. Forgetting or erasure of past information can also occur, of course, and strictly speaking does not yield a continuer of all that was present in an earlier stage, though it may still be a continuer of what was important.

“Meanwhile it is important to make clear that the notion of a continuer, like that of survival itself, depends purely on psychological connectedness, not on how the person-stage in question came into existence.

“It is the interactive functioning of various components that make up an individual, not some other entity or gestalt–the whole is the combined effects of the parts. The parts themselves, however, have no significant intrinsic properties–it is just the way they interact, how they function in the whole individual, that is important.”

(Fred)  Remember, Dr. Perry’s entire book is online under the tab Forever for All, at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com. It is, of course, also available on amazon.com.  Next week, we explore the transcendence of biology into cybernetic consciousness.  We will also expand on the concepts of diversity with unity as they affect individual consciousness, and the open-endedness of what awaits us in an endless future, living across a boundless variety of substrates.

(Linda)  Find out more about how you can be part of this exciting future by joining Terasem at terasemfaith.net. Waking up in cyberspace can be pursued by way of CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com, and there are no fees to participate.  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 then go to Mindfile Building, about half way down the page.

(Fred)  Terasem’s powerful Android app is available at PersonalityMD.com. It’s a system for mindfile building, but more like a game, with a two dimensional display on a smart phone that results in personality profiles that are truly unique to you, and you also see how you compare to others geographically near you, with mindsets like yours.

(Linda)  Still have some unanswered questions about mindfiles?  Go to Martine Rothblatt’s blog at mindfiles.blogspot.com.  And, don’t forget that these podcasts are available in text form, too, at truthsofterasem.wordpress.com, where you’ll also find a copy of Dr. Perry’s book, Forever for All, that we quoted above.

(Fred) To learn about preserving your brain or your whole body through cryonic suspension, check out both alcor.org and cryonics.org.  For those who can’t afford cryostasis at this time, the most practical approach to identity preservation is to have a mindfile plus a biofile (your DNA).  You can preserve your DNA very inexpensively at LifeNaut.com.   Go to truthsofterasem.wordpress.com and take the BioFile tab for additional information on their cell storage program.

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

(Fred)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

Closing music – no fade – full length.


Posted February 14, 2012 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

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