Podcast No. 100 Posted 04/24/2012
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TITLE: Truths of Terasem – The “What” of Terasem 2.9-2.9.6
SUB TITLE: The immanent potential of the future.
SUMMARY: Terasem 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 terasemfaith.net. Start building your own mindfile, without even any costs, at either CyBeRev.org or LifeNaut.com. You can preserve your DNA, too, very inexpensively, at LifeNaut.com.
(Linda) Are you an Android user? Do you prefer the excitement of a game, over filling out questionnaires? Then, go to PersonalityMD.com and download 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 mindclones.blogspot.com. 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 Terasemian.wordpress.com 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 truthsofterasem.wordpress.com, where you’ll also find tabs relating to storing DNA with LifeNaut, a “city of the future” in Second Life named after the great innovator Paolo Soleri, and you can download a copy of Dr. Perry’s book, Forever for All.
(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 terasemfaith.net website.
(Linda) Join us, and our quest for an endless and Joyful future…
(Fred) Come with us – into Tomorrow!
Closing music – no fade – full length.