Archive for April 2012

Podcast No. 100 Posted 04/24/2012   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 100   Posted 04/24/2012

Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:


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

SUB TITLE:  The immanent potential of the future.

SUMMARY:  Terasem envisions the unfolding of the future very differently from traditional religions.  There is no doomsday scenario at the end.  We will delve into the ideas that resurrection is to souls what remembering is to memories and how the growth of the soul is best described as emergence with immanent potential.

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


(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 100 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”.  Particularly in the case of traditional religions, a doomsday of some kind is predicted.  It’s usually the vision of a collapse of civilization on Earth, a destruction of all that exists except to save the souls of the faithful.  It’s interesting that many people view a technological Singularity a few decades from now as also leading to an end to life as we know it

(Fred)  Or, as a beginning of life as we are to know it!  One of the goals of Terasem to ‘save all kind consciousness’.  That sounds a lot like ‘saving the souls of the faithful’.  But, 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.”

(Linda) It is important to make sense of what might look like a contradiction.  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 observed from without, because gravity is so strong that no light can escape.  But, this is a geometrical horizon, not a temporal one.  When the word singularity is used to refer to a cultural horizon, the usual thought is that things are happening so fast they can’t be predicted, 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.

(Fred) Also, the religious views of an eschatological nature about saving souls seems to foresee some point at which if you’re not already 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 cyber-consciousness 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)  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  Catholics believe they 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?

(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?:

“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, 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!

(Fred) Fortunately, Dr. Cauller gives us another beautiful description of emergence that is short enough to include here:

“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.”

(Linda)  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:

“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.”

(Fred)  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.”

(Linda) 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:

“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 everything 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.”

(Linda)  That is a poetic vision of just the tip of the iceberg of what Terasem imagines may lie ahead.  Number 2.9.4 expands on that with:   “Resurrection is to souls what remembering is to memories.”  This, along with the two before it, can be beautifully illustrated by that same short story by Thomas Donaldson. The last paragraph of the story gives us a far more complete picture 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:

“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”.

(Fred)  That really gets 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.”

(Linda) Finally, in 2.9.6, we come to: “Exponentially expanding consciousness will not require resurrection as death is a historical but not future reality.”   Historically, we have always had a single body.  When that body ceases to function, we die.  Cryonics is an attempt to keep the biological body in stasis until a future medical technology can make repairs and restore function.  This will no longer be necessary when our consciousness is spread over multiple bodies.

(Fred) 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.

(Linda) In the last podcast, there was a scenario near the end about briefly generating eight duplicates of you, 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 cyber-civilization, 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.

(Fred)  I see where you’re going!  Suppose this musician then, 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?

(Linda)  Right!  In fact, we can imagine that rather than seeking out world class performers from our entire civilization, this composer might set out to self-duplicate and master all of the instrumental parts herself and serve as conductor as well.

(Fred) And, having self-duplicated and then specialized in many cultural traditions and instruments, just in composing the symphony, would our composer/musician simply fold up the entire entourage at the end of the first symphony and take up writing novels as a hobby?  Not likely!  I’d guess she 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 yet begin to imagine how we will reshape or self-duplicate ourselves as time unfolds.

(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 fascinating future.  Simply go to  Start building your own mindfile, without even any costs, at either or  You can preserve your DNA, too, very inexpensively, at

(Linda)  Are you an Android user?  Do you prefer the excitement of a game, over filling out questionnaires?  Then, go to and download Terasem’s 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  I guarantee you that Martine Rothblatt will stretch your neurons with discussions about mindclones, mindfiles and mindware.  Another blog you don’t want to miss is by Pastor Gabe of the Satellite Beach Ashram in Florida.

(Linda) Oh, and don’t forget, you can find the text version of these podcasts at, 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.

(Fred)  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 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.


Posted April 25, 2012 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

Podcast No. 99 Posted 04/17/2012   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 99   Posted 04/17/2012

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TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “What” of Terasem  2.8-2.8.6

SUB TITLE:  Assuring paradise for posterity.

SUMMARY:  This week we look at the fascinating subjects of protecting lives by copying them, resurrecting all good lives as copies of forever joyful data emulations, why the fidelity of emulations will yield ethical emulations and faithful resurrections and how we can assure paradise for posterity by modifying data emulations to delete tortuous aspects of lives.

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


(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 99 on the Truths of Terasem.  Today, we’re going to talk about identity emulation and what that means for all of us regarding immortality, or identity survival.

(Linda)  I really like this part, Fred.  Forty years ago when we got together and were excited about the prospects for saving lives through cryostasis, it was a thrilling time.  The only down side to that was that we couldn’t see any alternative to remaining biological, with all the limitations and inconveniences that represents.  Now, with the prospects of transcending biology, it’s even more exciting than ever!

(Fred)  I agree.  So let’s jump right in. I’ll begin with, 2.8:  “Resurrection is promised to all good lives, which shall be copied as forever joyful data emulations.”  Because they are so closely related, this can be coupled with 2.8.3:  “Paradise for posterity is assured by modifying data emulations to delete tortuous aspects of lives.” And in this regard, Michael Perry, in Forever for All, says it very well:  

“In particular, evil beings will be resurrected along with everybody else and cured of their unfortunate tendencies, to join the others in advancing to unlimited heights.  (For I regard propensity to evil, rather than being an innate or identity-critical property of certain “lost” natures, as a treatable ailment.)” 

(Linda) I think Perry takes on the broadest perspectives here, addressing the serious question about those whose personal histories are laden with dark choices.  Can we, should we, even think about leaving them behind?  Or, should we bring them along?

(Fred)  I’m going to say a few kind words about the Catholic Church here, because I think it is so important.  Their practice of confessions and forgiveness has been unfairly labeled as unjustified coddling of criminal impulses, such as was so well portrayed in the “Godfather” movies. But the other side of the coin is that this kept the door open for such individuals to experience a ‘change of heart’ and backpedal out of the misery they had created both for themselves and others.

(Linda)  Good point!  Such people might even become strong supporters of helping others find cures for their own negative behaviors.  An important issue, for sure, and we will look at it again next week.  For now, let’s go back and pick up 2.8.1 “Copied lives are protected lives.”  As long as there’s a genome  and biographical information, there’s a way to go on, in one way or another.  And, in all the more diverse ways in which we now picture mindfiles or brain-map uploading, being backed up is even more of a protective shield against being lost, for lack of such backup.

(Fred)  In her fascinating blog, Mindfiles, Mindclones and Mindware, dated February 20, 2011 and titled: “What If My Mindclone Wants To Be Me?”, Martine Rothblatt opens with:

“Your mindclone will want to be you because your mindclone will be you.  I know this is tough to swallow, so with a nod to former President Bill Clinton, let’s say it all comes down to how you define what makes ‘me’ me.)”

“Much of philosophy and psychology grapples with the meaning of me.  Yet there is little that is agreed upon.  To most people, ‘me’ is a first person pronoun for a consciousness.  There is also general agreement that no two consciousnesses are the same, so  ‘me’ is equivalent to personal uniqueness.  To such people, if they came upon someone exactly like themselves, they would have to conclude that ‘me’ was a two-body self – still unique, but spread across two bodies.  We never have that experience, so we feel strongly that me is a totally unique entity, both in consciousness and embodiment, and it is that very uniqueness, that makes ‘me’ me.”

(Linda) After the subheading “Unique-Entity Definition of Me”, Martine continues as follows:

“Now this unique-entity definition of me does not require that me’s uniqueness be static.  Everyone realizes we are constantly forgetting, and more-getting, thinking good thoughts on one day and bad thoughts on another.  Hence, me’s uniqueness really means a unique stream of connected conscious states.  I am ‘me’ because I have pretty much the same (but not exactly, as I know they are subtly changing) mannerisms, personality, recollections, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values as previously, or at least I remember once having them and evolving from them.  This is what is meant by ‘connected conscious states.’  I am me because, for starters, when I wake up each morning, I remember (ie, I know) where I am, who I am, when I am, what I should do, why I’m doing it, and how I got to these states of being.  It’s not like I need a user’s manual.”

(Fred) In the next Element, 2.8.2, we find “Original lives can be replicated with the same fidelity as analog sounds can be digitally duplicated,” and here again, from Martine’s blog:

“Part of the unique-entity view of me is the perspective that ‘me’ is kind of a fiction.  In this philosophical-psychological theory, the concept of a ‘me’ is something the immense neural web in our brain naturally makes up (greatly assisted by language and social conditioning).   A constant ‘me’ is an effective organizational axis for a brain that receives blizzards of input.  A body that does what ‘me’ says will usually be a happier body.   ‘Me’ is not an organ in my brain.  It is simply a term for a neural pattern that associates its connected body, and its safety and even survival, with relatively consistent personal characteristics.   In the same way that the brain interprets the jerky images sent to it by the eye as a stable image, the brain interprets the jerky thoughts arising in it as a stable identity — me.  Brains that did not do this did not pass on that survival-threatening dysfunction to many offspring.   Something in our genetic coding predisposes neural patterns to construct a ‘me.’  Perhaps it is related to our propensity for language.”

(Linda)  In 2.8.4 we have: “Introspection plus computation, growing double exponentially and supported with self-replication, yields ethical emulation and faithful resurrection.”  Here again, Martine’s blog so well addresses these that quoting from it is our best choice:

“At most presentations I give about mindclones, I can count on one of the following questions:

“Come on, if either me or my mindclone is forced to choose one of us to die, who do you think will get the slug to the head?   Proof that we are not one person is that I would fry my mindclone and my mindclone would fry me.”  A variant of this challenge is as follows:

“Suppose I have a mindclone, but I then find out that I have a fatal illness and will die.  You know that I’ll be very sad to leave this good green earth.  That sadness alone is proof that I’m not my mindclone and my mindclone’s not me.  If we were one person, then I wouldn’t be sad.”

“These two challenges fail to realize that making a choice that favors part of you, or being sad about losing part of you, is a natural aspect of our composite me-ness.   Those choices or sadness are not proof of different identities.  Any composite being will have different feelings about different parts.”

(Fred) And a little further into her blog:

 “The answer to the “Your Life or Mine” challenge is that making a larger me, via mindcloning, implies different mental biases with respect to decisions, as well as both more possible sorrow over loss and more possible comfort over survival.  The software substrate of you will think, if there must be a choice, that you will be more happy as IT substrate than as flesh, and the flesh substrate of you will think the opposite.   This doesn’t make them different people.  They are both trying to make the best of the situation for YOU, taking into account their substrate biases.  But there is a continual stream of conscious states that transcends substrate.  That continual stream is YOU.   Each manifestation of YOU is trying to make the best decision for YOU.  Let’s give our conversational skeptic another visit:

(Fred and Linda alternate with the two voices.)

(Linda) “I get the point about one ‘me’ transcending two forms.  But the fact remains that if the flesh ‘me’ is killed, then I will no longer have all these flesh sensations I appreciate.  The mindclone continuation of me will never reprise my flesh feelings.  That ‘me’ is gone.”

(Fred)  “Losing your flesh body would be a humongous tragedy, no doubt about it.  But suppose you lost just your legs.  Would you still be you?”

(Linda)  “Of course.”

(Fred)   “How about paralyzed from the neck down?  Still you?”

(Linda)  “Horrible, but yes, still some shrunken form of me.”

(Fred)    “Then you have agreed that if all that is left is your mind, you have suffered a terrible loss, but it is not the end of your ‘me-ness.’”

(Linda)  “Then at what point is my me-ness totally gone?

(Fred)    “It is partly a matter of fact, and partly a matter of philosophy.  Objectively, your me-ness is gone when observers could not find evidence that your unique pattern of thoughts and memories responded to events in the world.”

(Linda)  “Such as if both my mindclone and flesh body were gone?”

(Fred)    “Yes.  But it could still be hypothesized that your unique pattern of thoughts and memories were responding to events in the world as interlaced subroutines within the minds of other people who knew you.”

(Linda)  “Wow.  That would mean that I continued to live as kind of a fractured self embedded in others?”

(Fred)    “Exactly.  Advanced psycho-metric techniques might even be able to detect this, and extract it back into a mindclone.”

(Linda)  “Whoah, that’s wild!”

(Fred)   “And philosophically, if your unique pattern of thoughts and memories are simply expressions of a deeper, underlying humanity-wide mindspace, then nothing has really been lost at all.  You live on in the global mindspace, although you don’t feel like you any more.”

(Linda)  “I rather like me, so I think I’ll stick with my mindclone.  At least I know that’s really me.”

(Fred)    “There you go.”

(Linda)  That was an interesting journey!  We have two more elements to go.  They are: 2.8.5: “Emulated lives are existential lives.” And 2.8.6: “Duplication of a life makes it durable, not diminished.”  These, when you look at them closely, are virtually self-evident.  The first of these says that if a life is emulated, it exists, it’s real.  That is to say, if it walks and talks like a duck, and lays duck eggs, it’s a duck.

(Fred) The final Element about a duplicated life being durable, and not diminished, is similarly pretty obvious.  Let’s say, while using my nanobot swarm body, I’m walking down a dark rooftop, and I’m confronted by four muggers.  By an act of will, the one of me turns into eight, each of them equal in size and armament to the muggers.  As a group, we’re not only more durable, but as a team, we each know each other so well, that if I picture myself pushing one of the muggers toward the edge of the roof, the other eight me’s likely have the same picture in his mind, and in defending ourselves, we may be like fingers on two hands playing a piano, rather than how it might be if I had turned myself into eight strangers instead of eight exact duplicates.

(Linda)  More likely, with the surprise appearance of eight of you, the muggers would have parachuted off the roof quickly (rooftop muggers always wear parachutes), after which the eight Freds would chuckle about it for a moment, re-coalesce into one, and continue the stroll, or, you might find yourselves in such an immediate conversation about how to complete all of the projects you were working on in one eighth the time or less, as a team, that you’d elect to stay eight vs. one, or even duplicate one more time into sixteen.

(Fred) Who knows?  What seems impossible today may seem so easy and sensible tomorrow that everyone will be doing it.  If we could split into sixty couples, we could knock out 120 podcasts every week!

(Linda) Sounds like a perfect time to invite listeners to find out how to join Terasem and be part of spreading these fascinating and life enhancing memes.  It’s as easy as going to And if you like the idea of being part of this sojourn into the future, without even any cost, start building your own mindfile at either or  Plus, if you want to preserve your DNA very inexpensively, you can do that at, too.

(Fred)  For those of you who love games, Mike Clancy, at Terasem, has created the maze-based, mind-file building game for the Android. It’s addictive because the difficulty ramps up quickly with multiple layers of challenges.  While you are trying to build motor neurons inside a brain, plaques are obstructing your path and you have to avoid macrophages that are hunting you down!  Check it out at

(Linda) We had a lot of really great quotes for you today from Martine Rothblatt’s blog.  If you would like to read more, go to:  And you can find the text version of these podcasts at

(Fred)  And we have a new blog to mention that we think will inspiring to say the least.  It’s by Gabriel Rothblatt, Pastor of the Satellite Beach Ashram.  The first posting is about transhumanism.  Check it out at 

(Linda)  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 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 18, 2012 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

Podcast No. 98 Posted 04/10/2012   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 98  Posted 04/10/2012

Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:


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 expand the idea of life extension and life expansion to encompass immortality, the concept of afterlives, a vision of a post-Singularity future and what role faith has in emulating and controlling the universe?


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

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 98 on the Truths of Terasem.  This week we’ll expand on ideas that have been introduced in earlier podcasts.

(Linda)  So, this week we’re going to do something a little different.  We are going to discuss each of the Truths, but then Fred is going to read a wonderful poem he wrote about Terasem.  I think the poem captures the beauty of these concepts more than any other words we could share with you.  But first, let’s touch on each Truth for this week.

(Fred)  This group starts with 2.7: “Transreligion is us because we ritualize our belief in a supernatural, metaphysical, collective consciousness future God.”  And then the Truths for this week expand on that with 2.7.1 which says: “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 humanity in the end.

(Linda)  This is even more focused in 2.7.2:  “Everlasting life realized via digital emulation in a joyous cyber-heaven bridges all Western and Eastern religions.”  Technology is the differentiator, here, and what lays the foundation for 2.7.3:  “Life is what can be conceived, believed and achieved.”  This is basically telling us that we live in a maturing culture ready to cast aside Vitalism and move on to science and technology.

(Fred) 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.

(Linda)  2.7.4 says: “Insistence on the rituals of Terasem exponentiates the rate of advancement toward joyful immortality.”  The word ‘insistence” can too easily be taken to mean an externally imposed, dictatorial influence.  I prefer to think of this Truth as saying, ‘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.

(Linda) 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’.

(Linda)  So, having looked briefly at this week’s concepts through the left brain, now we’d like to engage your right brain as Fred reads his poem.  If you’d like to hear the poem as a video with a beautiful cosmic background, go to

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)  Thanks, Fred.  That was wonderful!  Next week, we look at the fascinating subjects of protecting lives by copying them, resurrecting all good lives as copies of forever joyful data emulations and why the fidelity of emulations will yield ethical 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)  We need your strength to help build this vision into a reality.  Martine Rothblatt recently expressed the importance of joining Terasem this way: “The most important reason to become a Terasem Joiner is to know that you have voted with your dignity to march with those who are pursuing one of the most useful paths toward preserving the sanctity of human life via (a) techno-immortality and (b) a civilization-nurturing credo of diversity and unity.  I would want to wear that badge proudly on my sleeve for as much of my life as possible, and I think that is the most compelling reason to become a Terasem Joiner”.

(Linda) Find out more about joining Terasem at And the most important thing you can do to insure that you are a part of this exciting future, is to start building your own mindfile with the free tools at either or There are no fees for building or storing your mindfile.  Don’t procrastinate! Those who join earlier and have good mindfiles are most likely to make the jump to cyberspace sooner.

(Fred)  For those of you who would prefer to build your mindfiles by playing a game, Mike Clancy, at Terasem, has created the exciting maze-based, mindfile building game for the Android.  It’s addictive because the difficulty ramps up quickly with multiple layers of challenges.  While you are trying to build motor neurons inside a brain, plaques are obstructing your path and you have to avoid macrophages that are hunting you down!  Check it out on

(Linda)  If you want to dig deeper into the ideas of mindclones, mindfiles and mindware, go to that intriguing and challenging blog:  Martine Rothblatt will treat you to fascinating discussions about these subjects that will take you far, far beyond what we are able to just sample lightly in these podcasts.

(Fred) Another blog that you don’t want miss is the new blog by Pastor Gabe of the Satellite Beach Ashram in Florida. You’ll find fascinating discussions about all things Terasemian. If you would like to read the text version of these podcasts, you will find them at 

(Linda) 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 website.

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

(Linda)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

Closing music – no fade – full length.


Posted April 12, 2012 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

Podcast No. 97 Posted 04/03/2012   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 97 Posted 04/03/2012

Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:


TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “What” of Terasem  2.6-2.6.6

SUB TITLE:  The Theology of Terasem

SUMMARY:  The Terasem theology is divided into six areas of study.  These are Terasem’s immortality theology, creation theology, reality theology, meaning-of-life theology, behavioral theology, and moral theology.

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


(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 97 on the Truths of Terasem.  This week we will look at the different theological aspects of Terasem as a body of principles.

(Linda)  Okay, those of us who are atheists, or secular in our approach to the ideology of Terasem, will find this session to be a challenge.  But let’s hang in there with an open mind and look for value rather than cling to old prejudices.

(Fred)  I agree. There is one very positive thing I think we can say about things that are religious or traditional.  They have common grounds with each other in many areas.  Very strong, ethical common grounds with respect to internal rules of behavior for their members, most of which are benevolent in nature, gauged to maximize harmony and synergism between individuals.  In that sense, it seems as if traditional religions and beliefs foreshadow Terasem’s highest expectations of what an ideal society might be like.  This is why I think these Truths were devised, and why we should take them seriously.

(Linda)  Okay, we start with 2.6:  “Theologically the Multiverse includes joyful immortality via data emulation of a diverse and united universe.”  That seems perfectly straightforward.  As we can easily observe, the universe is very diverse, but we can also imagine that with a sufficient ethical system it can be united.  And, we can assume that we’re talking about uniting sentient, conscious beings, regardless of biological origin or the substrates of consciousness to which they might have moved as they transcended biology.

(Fred) Data emulation suggests consciousness of a cybernetic kind, probably beyond what we would call bio-cybernetic where we’re speaking of axons firing in biological brains.  Once biology is transcended and data backup is possible, a virtually endless existence will be ours, meaning immortality can be assumed.  And who would want to live forever in pain and anguish?  The Terasem view is that our immortal existence not only will be filled with curiosity, adventure, and discovery, but freedom from pain and death.

(Linda)  Ah, yes!  That’s why I chose Alegria as my name in Second Life.  Alegria is Spanish for joy.  The first underlying Element is 2.6.1: “Unending life, the belief that once life arises it will last forever, is Terasem immortality theology.”  This one is even easier.  Immortality is clearly equivalent to unending life, and endlessness is far easier to deal with than the idea of living forever, which can only be demonstrated by finding an end to time and proving that you can transcend it.

(Fred) The term theology is undeniably an admission of this being a matter of faith and belief, not yet proven, and that’s fine.  Just as we have faith that our evolving technology will eventually produce a god, so we have faith that our evolving technology will result in unending life.  Our reasons for these positions have been expanded upon in other podcasts, so we won’t do it again here.

(Linda) The only phrase that is a bit uncertain is the three words ‘once life arises’.  That could imply that as soon as self-replicating biological life manifests itself on a formerly lifeless planet, survival is assured.  This ignores existential possibilities such as black hole ‘gobble-ups’, incineration by local supernovae or Quasars, a disaster produced by our own technology (such as a grey goo event following the advent of nanotechnology), and so forth.

(Fred) A more resilient way of looking at it is the outlook that once biological life gets started on a planet, extropic evolution pulls it inevitably toward sentience, then onward into what eventually becomes kind consciousness, transcendence of biology, survival of singularities, and an outward ‘Earthseed’ that may even encounter other conscious entities with which it finds common ground, unites, and then expands further.

(Linda)  Elsewhere in the Truths of Terasem we are, however, reminded that growth is not always straight up and forward.  We have to expect that there will be times of backsliding.  Next we come to 2.6.2:  “Never-ending creation, recycling and growth is the Terasem creation theology.”  Homo sapiens have been engaged in creation, ever since they learned how to start fires, sharpen tools and engage in the artificial selection of other living organisms, in this way accelerating natural selection in a meaningful vs. chaotically competitive and unconscious way.

(Fred) Social organization itself, a creative, extropic process, makes better and better use of intellectual resources until transcendence of biology is achieved, and then outward spread into the Cosmos as the anticipated outcome.  Belief that this is not just an inevitable process, but a process that may be ubiquitous throughout the universe, is undeniably theological. We don’t have proof of that, meaning it’s a matter of faith and belief.

(Linda)  Or, perhaps, a calculated guess!  Next is 2.6.3:  “ ‘I think therefore I am’ is at the core of Terasem reality theology.”  Self-consciousness is implied by this well-known philosophical precept introduced into Western thought way back in the 16th century by the French thinker, Rene Descartes.

(Fred) The next step upward might be: since we understand each other, at least a little, we each know the other exists, and that broadens into the idea of a collective consciousness in which the network is the higher reality, so long as it does not extinguish individuality at lower levels.

As a perfect example, if a beehive were so intolerant of diversity that no diversity of worker bees were permitted, they would all die before the first winter was over.  Among humans, the same is true.  The communist revolution of 1918 was so intolerant of individuality and motivational incentives that it was like a social cancer from the start.  It lasted for a while, like any organism, but its doom was spelled out in its insistence of mandatory homogeneity, which Terasem finds to be intolerable as a characteristic of higher level social order.

(Linda)  in 2.6.4 we find: “Teleological belief in diversity, unity, and joyful immortality forms Terasem meaning-of-life theology.”  Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about teleology:

“A teleology is any philosophical account which holds that final causes exist in nature, meaning that design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also in the rest of nature. The word comes from the Greek words for “end  purpose.” The adjective “teleological” has a broader usage, for example in discussions where particular ethical theories or types of computer programs (such as “teleo-reactive” programs) are sometimes described as teleological because they involve aiming at goals.”

(Fred) Terasem’s goal is, succinctly stated, joyful immortality, which we’ve already discussed extensively.  That’s the end purpose, or meaning of life, to put it in teleological terms.  The blending of diversity and unity in the highest way, denying neither and maintaining the most perfect balance between the two, is the means to the end, again consistent with the idea of teleology as a philosophical way of speaking about one’s belief.

(Linda) The next Element is 2.6.5: “Euthenics, improving the well-being of extant life, is Terasem behavioral theology.” The word extant simply means ‘still existing’ or ‘not extinct’.  In the glossary at the end of the Truths of Terasem we find euthenics defined as improving our lives by improving the environment we live in.  In other words, improving humanity by altering external factors such as education and the controllable environment.

(Fred) So, improving the well-being of life, by means of an external social environment, can be taken to mean helping those who are cyber-resurrected to transcend the biological evolutionary baggage that might stand in the way of their having the maximum opportunity to expand their individual beings, by immersion in a culture reflecting a higher standard.

(Linda)  Putting all of this together, behavioral theology means we believe that we can best help others by creating a society in which they will feel comfortable and unthreatened, where people are virtually immune from being hurt by those who have not yet adapted.  We have an obligation to create such a culture.

(Fred)  Such a society is depicted in a short story by Thomas Donaldson named Birth Scars, and it’s online at  If you really want to have a vision of a circumstance in which this could sound achievable, that’s where you will find it.  I wish it were possible to read it into the podcast, but that would add at least ten minutes.  Sadly, we can’t do it that!

(Linda)  There’s one more Expansion for today, 2.6.6, and it tells us: “Deontologically weighted decision-making is the basis of Terasem moral theology.”  Here we go to Wikipedia for a definition of deontology (for those who are not philosophy students), where we find a few observations that help illustrate the complexity of this Truth.  It’s a very intertwined one.

First, Wikipedia says, “Deontological ethics or ‘deontology’ is an approach to ethics that judges the morality of an action based on the action’s adherence to a rule or rules. Deontologists look at rules and duties.”  Then, we find, “Deontological ethics is commonly contrasted with consequentialist or teleological ethical theories, according to which the rightness of an action is determined by its consequences.”  However, there is a difference between deontological ethics and moral absolutism.   Deontologists who are also moral absolutists believe that some actions are wrong no matter what consequences follow from them.

(Fred) We could follow on with this kind of reasoning into such labrynthian depths that in the end we would have to block diagram it to even know how we got to where we are, or how to find our way out, much less to know how to reach some sound conclusion.  So, I’m going to cut through the red tape here and observe that in everything we choose to do, or omit doing, we either measure our actions by some standard or we do not, and the most chaotic way of choosing actions is to simply act blindly on feelings, with no thought given to principles at all.  At the other end of the spectrum, we choose actions based on pure logic and deny all impulses that cannot be integrated into the reasoning.

(Linda) To put this into the context of the original Star Trek series, we can either choose our actions like Mr. Spock, using only cold logic, or we can be like Captain Kirk and rely primarily on instinct.  Each of us has to choose to what extent to decide based on principles, and to what extent feelings must be taken into account.  Modern socio-biologists tell us that feelings are really just another kind of thinking, an instantaneous response to previously learned lessons.

(Fred) Literally interpreted, this Truth’s words, “Deontologically weighted decision-making”, implies that we must balance feelings that are derived from empathy with logic and ethical principles, and that it is no easy matter.  Then, moral theology can be interpreted to mean doing what we believe is right based on a combination of logic and empathy, meaning that neither of them may be excluded.

(Linda) This last Truth for today, then, can be seen as a challenge, and an awesome responsibility, to neither trust purely in logic, nor completely in our feelings, but to find a middle ground.  If anything, it alerts us to how slippery a slope we may confront in terms of Geoethical Nanotechnology, as we evolve that.

(Fred)  Next week, we examine how to 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?  By comparison with this week’s Truths, next week’s seem still more daunting!

(Linda)  Find out how you can join Terasem at Be part of this inspiring undertaking.  One of the most important things you can do to insure that you will wake up in cyberspace is to start right now to build your own mindfiles.  Terasem provides free tools to help you do this at both and  There are no fees to use these resources.

(Fred)  The new maze-based game, created by Mike Clancey, at Terasem, is another way to build your mindfiles.  It’s fun and can be surprisingly addictive! Check it out at

(Linda)  And if you still need to blow a few more of your neurons, go to 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

(Fred)  That wonderful music that we use at both the beginning and the end of 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 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.




Posted April 4, 2012 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

Podcast No. 96 Posted 03/27/2012   Leave a comment

Podcast No. 96  Posted 03/27/2012

Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:


TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “What” of Terasem  2.5-2.5.6

SUB TITLE:  Consciousness is the “Who” of Terasem

SUMMARY:  In this podcast we discuss why Terasem holds consciousness to be sacred, and why the philosophy that science will conquer death, is a basic Terasem belief.  Since current science has yet to settle on an agreed upon understanding and definition of consciousness, we look at some of the prevailing ideas in this area.

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

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 96 on the Truths of Terasem.  Today, we take a look at consciousness – what makes those of us who are alive and aware of ourselves and each other, so different from other entities in the universe.  Also, we’ll talk about why the philosophy that science will conquer death is a basic Terasem belief.

(Linda)  Well, the first part of that isn’t going to be easily done in 20 words or less since current researchers in fields like neuroscience don’t even have a basic definition for consciousness that is generally agreed upon.

(Fred)  True.  But since we start this expansion with 2.5: “Sacred is consciousness, above all else, says Terasem” we do need to bring at least some kind of closure here so we can make sense of the rest of Truths for this week.

(Linda)  Okay, when I was in my early twenties and grappling with the question of consciousness, I was most impressed by the ideas of Ayn Rand.  Even though that was nearly half a century ago, and neuroscience has made major strides toward understanding this mystery since then, I can’t think of a better place to start.  So, speaking through her protagonist, John Galt, in her great novel Atlas Shrugged, here’s Ayn Rand’s view of this concept:

“Existence exists—and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms:  that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.

“If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness:  a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms.  A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms:  before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something.  If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness.

“To exist is to be something, as distinguished from the nothing of non-existence, it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes.  Centuries ago, the man who was—no matter what his errors—the greatest of your philosophers, has stated the formula defining the concept of existence and the rule of all knowledge:  A is A.  a thing is itself.  You have never grasped the meaning of this statement.  I am here to complete it:  Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification.”

(Fred)  Aw, yes.  Inspiring, indeed.  But Jeff Hawkins, who founded the Redwood Neuroscience Institute and started the Palm hand-held computer back in the 1990s, with a more modern view of how the brain works, reminds us, in his book On Intelligence:

“The brain is an organ that builds models and makes creative predictions, but its models and predictions can as easily be specious as valid.  Our brains are always looking at patterns and making analogies.  If correct correlations cannot be found, the brain is more than happy to accept false ones.  Pseudoscience, bigotry, faith, and intolerance are often rooted in false analogy.”

(Linda)  That is definitely a must read book!  In fact, I’d like to quote a little from it, too.   Hawkins recounts a casual conversation with other scientists at dinner after a conference as a way to portray the difficulty any one, including neuroscientists, have with even discussing the subject of consciousness:

 “A British scientist was holding forth on her ideas about consciousness and said, “Of course, we’ll never understand consciousness.”  I disagreed, saying “Consciousness is not a big problem.  I think consciousness is simply what it feels like to have a cortex.” 

“A silence fell on the group, then an argument quickly ensued as several scientists tried to educate me on my obvious error. I don’t think I changed anyone’s mind about the existence and meaning of consciousness.  But I was trying to get them to realize that most people think consciousness is some kind of magical sauce that is added on top of the physical brain.  You’ve got a brain, made of cells, and you pour consciousness, this magical sauce, on it, and that’s the human condition.  In this view, consciousness is a mysterious entity separate from brains.  That’s why zombies have brains but they don’t have consciousness.  They have all the mechanical stuff, neurons and synapses, but they don’t have the special sauce.  They can do everything a human can do.  From the outside you can’t tell a zombie from a human.”

“The idea that consciousness is something extra stems from earlier beliefs in elan vital—a special force once thought to animate living things.  People believed you needed this life force to explain the difference between rocks and plants or metals and maidens.  Few people believe this anymore.  Nowadays we know enough about the differences between inanimate and animate matter to understand that there isn’t a special sauce.  We now know a great deal about DNA, protein folding, gene transcription, and metabolism.  While we don’t yet know all the mechanisms of living systems, we know enough about biology to leave out magic.  Similarly, no longer do people suggest it takes magic or spirits to make muscles move.  We have folding proteins that pull long molecules past one another.”

(Fred)  Okay, here’s another good thinker.  In the introduction to the book Daniel C. Dennett co-authored with Douglas Hofstadter, called The Mind’s I (like “me”, not the little round things on your face) Dennett tells us, quote:

“You are a center of consciousness.  But what in the world is consciousness?  Consciousness is both the most obvious and the most mysterious feature of our minds.  On the one hand, what could be more certain or manifest to each of us than that he or she is a subject of experience, an enjoyer of perceptions and sensations, a sufferer of pain, an entertainer of ideas, and a conscious deliberator?  On the other hand, what in the world can consciousness be? 

“So far there is no good theory of consciousness.  There is not even agreement about what a theory of consciousness would be like.  Some have gone so far as to deny that there is any real thing for the term “consciousness” to name.

“The mere fact that such a familiar feature of our lives has resisted for so long all attempts to characterize it suggests that our conception of it is at fault.  What is needed is not just more evidence, more experimental and clinical data, but a careful rethinking of the assumptions that lead us to suppose there is a single and familiar phenomenon, consciousness, answering to all the descriptions licensed by our everyday sense of the term.”

(Linda)  Yes, as important and central as this very concept of consciousness is, it is definitely wrapped in a shroud of confusion!  Next, let’s look at what Martine Rothblatt has to say about all this in her wonderful blog on Mindfiles, Mindware, and Mindclones, the specific issue is dated July 14, 2009.  Martine discusses consciousness at great length, not just the physical attributes, like the folding of proteins, but the philosophical significance of consciousness.  I wish we could read that whole blog to you today, but we can’t!  We can only dredge out some of the best jewels.  But, by all means, do go to that issue and read it.  Even though we’re not reading the whole blog, thiss is a long quote, Fred, so let’s alternate.  Why don’t you start off:

(Fred) “The biggest problem with discussions of consciousness is that people are not sure what they are talking about. This is because consciousness is what Marvin Minsky calls a “suitcase word.” Such a word carries lots of meanings, so there are constant problems of comparing apples to oranges in debates about consciousness. For example, most people speak of consciousness as if it was one thing, self-awareness. Yet, surely baby self-awareness is different from adolescent self-awareness. The self-awareness of an octopus (if it exists) may well be quite diminished – or advanced — compared to that of a cat (if it exists).”

(Linda) “To determine if software will become conscious we need a tighter definition for consciousness than self-awareness. We also need a definition that requires sentience, but is not satisfied with it alone. Most people will not be satisfied that a software being is conscious simply because there is something “that it is like to be” that software being – any more so than we think a fish is conscious because there may be something “that it is like to be a fish”, or a bat, or any other being. Experience, per se, is not what most people really mean by consciousness. There must also be an independent will – something akin to what is thought of as a soul – and also an element of transcendence – a conscience. Finally, we need a definition that can span a broad range of possible forms of consciousness.

(Fred)  The next section title is:

“The Continuum of Consciousness

A comprehensive solution to the consciousness conundrum is to adopt a new approach – “the continuum of consciousness” — that explains all of the diverse current views, while also pointing the way for fruitful quantitative research. Such a “continuum of consciousness” model would encompass everything from seemingly sentient animal behaviors to the human obsession with how do others see me. It would provide a common lexicon for all researchers. Hence, the definition of consciousness needs to be broad but concrete:

(Linda)  “Consciousness = A continuum of maturing abilities, when healthy, to be autonomous and empathetic, as determined by consensus of a small group of experts.

Autonomous means, in this context, the independent capacity to make reasoned decisions, with moral ones at the apex, and to act on them.

Independent means, in this context, capable of idiosyncratic thinking or acting.

Empathetic means, in this context, the ability to identify with and understand other beings’ feelings.

Feelings, in this context, mean a perceived mental or physical sensation or gestalt.

Small group of experts means, in this context, three or more individuals certified in a field of mental health or medical ethics.”

(Fred) This definition says a subject is a little conscious if they think and feel a little like us; they are very conscious if they think and feel just like us. It is a human-centric definition because when people ask “is it conscious?” they mean “is it in any way humanly conscious?”  In other words, conscious is a shorthand way of judging whether a subject “thinks and feels at all like people.”

(Linda)  Great!  We finally have a useful definition of consciousness.  So now we can move on into the rest of the expansion for this week.  The good news is that with all the time we’ve spent trying to develop a definition and an understanding of what consciousness is, the following truths need little further elaboration.  2.5 tells us: “Sacred is consciousness, above all else, says Terasem”.  And 2.5.1:   “Sacred consciousness is respected by Terasem’s commitment to diversity, unity and joyful immortality”.  Some may feel more comfortable by replacing the word “sacred” with the word “revered” removing the implication of being beyond examination.

(Fred) In 2.5.2 we find: “Athanophy, the philosophy that science will conquer death, is a basic Terasem belief”.  This is the hub or cornerstone of this podcast.  A couple of podcasts back we read a quote by Allison Ward that covered beautifully how nanotechnology will accomplish this.  We’ll simply take it as self-evident that in a constructive sense, nothing that has ever been conquered has been conquered any other way.

(Linda) Martine Rothblatt’s blog on Mindclones together with Michael Perry’s explanations in Forever for All of a “continuer” as a valid form of identity survival also contribute to filling out this picture.  Some listeners may feel more comfortable with the words “rational conviction” than “belief,” for the idea that science will conquer death.  I’ll add only what I think may be the most profound, reality-based philosophical position I’ve ever seen, on the nature of life.  I go back again to Galt’s speech in Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged:

“There is only one fundamental alternative in the universe, existence or non-existence – and it pertains to a single class of entities: to living organisms.  The existence of inanimate matter is unconditional, the existence of life is not: it depends on a specific course of action.  Matter is indestructible, it changes its forms, but it cannot cease to exist.  It is only a living organism that faces a constant alternative: the issue of life or death.  Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action.  If an organism fails in that action, it dies; its chemical elements remain, its life goes out of existence.  It is only the concept of “Life” than makes the concept of “Value” possible.  It is only to a living entity that things can be good or evil.”

(Fred)  Ayn Rand’s entire series of novels pointed to the human mind as the creative furnace from which everything of value would come, and death itself being conquered, by the philosophical position of the above quote, would be its ultimate achievement.  Perhaps this, among many other ideas about life and death, will help to illustrate why the idea of death being conquered by science is such a fundamental belief, or rational conviction, of Terasem’s.

(Linda) 2.5.3 tells us:  “Commitment to diversity ensures the precious individuality of consciousness”.  Again, we have stressed the importance of diversity vs. homogeneity many times.

(Fred) 2.5.4 says:  “Regulated unity gives us the strength to protect consciousness against the many forces of chaos”.  Even though diversity is one of Terasem’s highest principles, it is still understood and appreciated that such mechanisms as affirmations, celebrations and goal directed gatherings help us to grow conceptually and not lose sight of our principles and our goals.  Processes like yoga and meditation keep our minds and our physical bodies in their peak condition.  These are all discussed at length in other podcasts, too.

(Linda) 2.5.5 tells us:  “Eupsychic joy arises from the sacredness of consciousness, which forges an ethical society devoted to self-actualization”.  Since eupsychic means having a good mind and soul, I can’t think of anything else I could add to that beautiful wording.

(Fred) 2.5.6 says:  “Distributed intelligence, via dividualization and universal self-replicating systems, honors the sacredness of consciousness with immortality”. That takes us full circle, to 2.5.2   “Athanophy, the philosophy that science will conquer death, is a basic Terasem belief”.

(Linda)  Next week, we’ll discuss Terasem’s immortality theology, creation theology, reality theology, meaning-of-life theology, behavioral theology, and moral theology.

(Fred)  Join Terasem today and be part of this joyful future.  Find out how at Start building your mindfile at either or, no fees to participate.

(Linda)  Again, as we’ve said many times, but can’t say often enough, big kudos to Mike Clancy, at Terasem, who created the maze-based, mind file building game for the Android that you may find surprisingly addictive.

(Fred)  And if you still need to blow a few more of your neurons, go to 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

(Linda) 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 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 2, 2012 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized

Podcast No. 95 Posted 03/20/2012   1 comment

Podcast No. 95  Posted 03/20/2012

Download Directly or Listen via CyBeRev at:


TITLE:  Truths of Terasem – The “What” of Terasem  2.4 – 2.4.6

SUB TITLE:  Terasem is a transreligion.

SUMMARY:  The continuing theme here, building upon the last few podcasts, is that Terasem is not just another religion, but a movement to find sufficient common and valid ground to unite all religions that have fundamental merit.  And, rather than dispute any for lack of merit, leave it to science and natural selection to settle the differences.

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

(Fred)  Hi, we’re Fred & Linda Chamberlain, with podcast 95 on the Truths of Terasem.  The continuing theme here, building upon the last few podcasts, is that Terasem is not just another religion, but a movement to find sufficient common and valid ground to unite all religions that have fundamental merit.  And, rather than dispute any for lack of merit, leave it to science and natural selection to settle the differences.

(Linda)  That doesn’t sound very “religious” at all, to me.  It sounds like the Roman coliseum where the gladiator who survives is the victor.  And yet in the heading to this Truth, we find 2.4: “Exclusively a transreligion is Terasem, so don’t leave your religion, for there is no battle.”  What am I missing?  It sounds like a battlefield, to me.

(Fred)  I know, and perhaps the confusion is in the word “transcend”.  In one of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos episodes, Number Three to be specific, he describes the life of Johannes Kepler, who he describes as the last of the prescientific astrologers, and the first of the scientific astronomers who later have brought us to the understanding we have of the Cosmos.  From even a brief review of religions, we can see strengths they all share, and areas in which they have vast, conflicting, underlying dogmas.  The same was true of astrologers in that they all did make careful observations of the stars and planets, but they each had their own, in most cases secretive, cookbooks for how to interpret what they saw.

(Linda) The website says the following: “Terasem is a transreligion because it transcends all other religions. This means it is consistent with them, and you don’t have to leave any other religion to be a part of the Terasem Movement Transreligion. Also, if you do not feel comfortable with any existing religion, you can still be part of the Terasem Movement Transreligion. This is because Terasem is beyond the scope of all existing religions.”

(Fred) Terasem sees the common ground of merit, the focus on devising ethics which bring about unity, and building warm networks of interrelationships among their members.  These are principles that are at the roots of what we call civilization, and they have deep roots in human nature.  Terasem’s approach is to encourage all to find common value and let that override the differences, with a view to encouraging all to reexamine their own foundations of belief and update them in terms of current scientific knowledge.

(Linda) Many religious people staunchly resisted the idea of evolution as discovered by Darwin and Wallace.  Some still do, but many others can accept these findings of science and thereby expand their common ground.  In like manner, Terasem’s goal is to promote the retention of belief where common ground is most likely to exist, with the idea that the more of this we find, the less reliance will be placed in areas where age-old dogmas stand in the way of sharing value.

(Fred))  Okay, let’s move right into the first Element in this expansion, 2.4.1: “Battle disbelief, and battle discord, but do not battle the forest that protects us all.”  In other words, don’t give up on seeking cures for fatal diseases, just because it has not yet been accomplished, but at the same time keep the door open to all other possible avenues for pursuing endless life, even where in the past there have been strong debates about which of them are likely to be possible, disputes that simply divide us.

(Linda) In a way, isn’t there something a little like a religious level of belief in the idea that we will someday repair biological brains that have been in cryostasis?  And isn’t there an equivalent paradigm about uploading patterns in scanned brains, bordering on belief vs. proof of concept at this point?  I know we’re supposed to be talking about religions that are more widespread and large scale, like Catholicism and Mormonism, but aren’t a lot of transhuman ideas more similar to beliefs yet to be validated, than they are to arguments over reliability and safety?

(Fred)  Sure, there, the “forest that protects us all” is the network that allows us to retain our beliefs, accept the diversity of them, and still maintain unity of recognition and synergism toward a common goal.  If you want to compare current differences of belief among life extensionists and transhumanists, with differences of belief that brought about the holy wars of the past, stretching back to the days of the pharaohs, you’d find those conflicts very civilized, in many cases a lot more so than still-existing disputes between traditional religions.

(Linda)  The next Truth here is 2.4.2: “Adopt Terasem as your transreligion and you will experience the pull of joyful immortality”.  There is a passage in Michael Perry’s book, Forever for All, that fits very well, here:

“As a scientific enterprise aimed at conquering death, the modern immoralist movement is largely a product of the twentieth century, but it has far earlier precedents.  These reveal the persistence of a dream, an enduring vision of life’s potential, which must be realized by whatever means will work.  The findings of modern science do not destroy this dream, but, as we have seen, may at last furnish the means of its realization.

“Humankind wants to be immortal.  Roots of immortalism stretch well into prehistoric times, as is suggested, for example, by the burial of artifacts such as hunting implements with the dead.  In more recent though ancient times, the feeling flowered into major religions that promised the sought-for immortality and a happy future existence.  More advanced thinking resulted in Universalism – the opinion held by some that all would be saved and restored in the end, evil natures being cured and rendered benevolent without altering them into different identities or subjecting them to eternal punishment.”

(Fred)  That’s great.  Moving on, in 2.4.3 we find: “Treat all great religions with respect for they teach monotheism, individualism, solidarity, goodness, afterlife and Sabbath.” and in 2.4.4 there is something very similar: “Treat all great prophets with respect for they were touched by the future Terasem.”  The above two can be taken together, for the purpose of this podcast, and there is another quote from Mike Perry’s Forever for All that pulls it together:

“The philosophical system offered in this book is no bolt from the blue but has precedents that are recognized under various names (Supramoralism of Federov, “natural salvation” of C.A. Stevens, and the Omega Point Theory of Frank Tipler).  Essentially, the stance of these and others, which I have adopted also, is to recognize the great strengths contained in traditional religious views of the significance of life and of what ought to be our destiny. 

“At the same time, however, we also acknowledge the weakness of the religious position on how the vision of our destiny, so extravagant yet so necessary, is to be realized.  What their writings suggest, and I affirm more boldly – paraphrasing Gerald Gruman in his study of the prolongevity hypothesis – is to replace the important promises of traditional religion with equivalent promises based on science and progress.”

(Linda)  There’s a wording in 2.4.5 that seems a bit abstract, it’s: “Links from the future Terasem to the past and present help to accelerate our progress.”  This is similar to the one you just finished, but it also means that a firm understanding of what we envision Terasem becoming will better prepare us to bring that vision into being, more quickly.  It is the very fabric of society as it now exists, to the extent that this fabric has value, that must survive into the Singularity.  It is not sufficient for only individuals to survive, or individuals who get there only by casting aside all of their earlier networks, within one, huge undifferentiated Terasem collective consciousness.

(Fred) The very groups which are our extended families, every facet of our affiliations with others that retain meanings, right down to a sport fan’s attachment to one team vs. another, we must take all of that along with us into the cyber-communities that we will someday inhabit, to the extent that these sub-networks can be meaningful there.

(Linda) Terasem does not desire in any way to replace one’s existing affiliations.  It simply seeks to help unite them and build higher harmony, to the extent it can contribute to that.  The future Terasem, that we are now just starting to build, will not merely help carry us into cyberspace as people who know who we are, as individuals, but it will help us create a harmonious future civilization that retains all of our links to others as well as our former organizations, including our religions.

(Fred)  That makes sense.  And, it’s beautiful.  In 2.4.6 the message is: “Expect not all religious leaders to understand Terasem, for even bright lights leave some shadows.”  In the context of what we were just talking about, it may be that some religions feel that they are the only true religion, and the idea that their specific beliefs and dogmas are the only ones that can be tolerated by their god, may stand in the way.  And, it isn’t only the religious leaders who will resist Terasem; it is the greater mass of thinking beings.  Michael Perry fills many pages of his book Forever for All with discussions of this problem.  He asks the question: “How can people be so little interested in scientific approaches to eliminate death?” and he continues with:

“Here I think we should suspect a selection process –natural or biological selection coupled with social and cultural tendencies that favor certain attitudes and behavior over others.  Paradoxically, it would seem that indifference to the prospect of physically addressing the problem of death has historically promoted survival of the human species, and of certain cultural subgroups especially.  Research in social psychology supports this conclusion, particularly the terror management theory of Sheldon Solomon and associates.  This theory, on which some of the following discussion is based, explains a wide variety of social behavior and has interesting experimental support. “

(Linda) It’s hard to condense the terror management theory to just a few sentences.  We highly recommend that listeners go to, click on the Forever for All tab, go to Chapter 3, and get a far better and complete introduction to this theory than we can give you here.  But just to give a very concise idea of what the terror management theory is about, here are a few more short quotes from Perry’s book:

“It is hard to play (any game) at your best if you are certain you will lose the game, that your defeat must be so total and final you will never play again.  It is especially hard when the game is no passing fancy but is literally the whole of your existence.  The knowledge of mortality thus becomes a major stumbling block for the human species, a unique problem created, paradoxically, by the most powerful instrument of survival that ever evolved, the intellect.  As a problem it transcends the powers of the individual, so that forces outside oneself must be brought to bear.  Historically these involved surrounding society or culture.

“Culture plays an important role in the problem of anticipating one’s own death, establishing an anxiety buffer to shield against terror and despondency.”

(Fred)  The quote continues: 

“The cultural anxiety buffer – the shielding sense of self-worth provided by participation in one’s culture – typically draws on religious or philosophical systems.  These offer survival – in some form – beyond the biological limits, or a worldview in which one’s endless survival is not so important and death is not to be feared.  With such a psychological bulwark, people are relieved of much of the burden of concern over their own mortality.  When the unpleasant subject does intrude, a natural response is to strengthen the anxiety buffer by defending or upholding one’s culture.”

(Linda) And Perry concludes with this:

“In the case of a religion, for example, the culture serves as an authority figure to legitimize and lend confidence to whatever beliefs of an arbitrary character (belief in specific deities for instance) that vary widely from culture to culture.  Belief can be more strongly held within a group than by a lone individual.  Thus most people are strongly dependent on their culture for the anxiety buffer that guards them against the terror of death and makes life worth living.”

(Fred)  Those quotes from Perry’s book help us better see the delicacy of how individual minds relate to the groups with which they interconnect.  The balance between being an isolated individual and a “me-too” conformist is difficult to maintain, and therefore it is of the greatest importance.  For an equally powerful treatment of this subject, go to our website and take the link at the top of the page that’s worded “Fearless in the Face of Death” by Greg Jordan.

(Linda)  That is a great article!  Next week, we’ll launch into discussing why Terasem holds consciousness to be sacred, and why the philosophy that science will conquer death, is a basic Terasem belief.

(Fred)  To find out more about joining Terasem go to Your adventure into cyberspace can be pursued by way of or; there are no fees to participate.

(Linda)  If you have an Android, be sure to check out the powerful app developed by Mike Clancy at Terasem, described at  The number of downloads of this Android app are truly amazing, and it’s one of the most highly rated programs on the system.

(Fred)  And if you still need to blow a few more of your neurons, go to 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

(Linda)  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 website.

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

(Linda)  Come with us – into Tomorrow!

Closing music – no fade – full length.

Posted April 2, 2012 by Truths of Terasem - Podcasts in Uncategorized