What is Terasem? — A Vitological Viewpoint

This article by Dan Massey, originally appeared on Venus+X, is the first of a series of posts dedicated to a discussion of Terasem. Please read the “Truths of Terasem” (ToT) and join the discussion here and/or at Venus+X.

[Venus+X] Editors Note: The purpose of this post is to open a public transhumanist discussion of the Transreligion known as Terasem, which exists today as a complex network of associated enterprises developed by its founders to support certain personally held ideals through voluntary association, on-line conferencing, film, journalling, mindfiling, cryonic preservation, experimental yoga, audio podcasting, and other technologies. As such, many of the Terasem subsidiary organizations are recognized as tax-exempt public charities by the US Internal Revenue Service.

All these many attempts (over 28 secondary level domain names containing the word “terasem” are registered on the Internet) somehow never get to the point about what the Terasem Transreligion is really about. This is the first of a series of posts intended to clarify this by presenting viewpoints about the real nature of Terasem for open moderated discussion. This discussion is about the grand concept of Terasem, and not about the organizations created to support various aspects of the perceived mission of the human cult named “Terasem Movement Transreligion.”

Terasem is the name assigned by Martine Rothblatt to the Supreme Being of the finite universe of space and time in her text “Truths of Terasem” (ToT). To quote from the opening statement of ToT: “Terasem is a collective consciousness dedicated to diversity, unity and joyful immortality.” In ToT, this is followed by ten groups of assertions dealing with such subtopics as collective, organization, leadership, loving, expansionist, consciousness, flag symbolism, dimensionality, vitality, and offspring. Many of these subtopics, as well as much of ToT, deal with possible literal qualities of the Terasem cult.

From our viewpoint, within the universe of space and time, Terasem is pervasive, but not omniscient, omnipresent, nor omnipotent (i.e., not “omni-cubed”). Terasem is a deity limited in function prior to its emergence as a complete synthesis of all universe consciousness that has been perfected through destiny-guided evolution. Individual and self-conscious will creatures, such as ourselves, are the agencies by which Terasem evolves towards final completion, if we are only willing to participate in this grand adventure. Terasem is said to embrace every human religion without forcing a particular system of belief on any, as long as their focus is on joyful immortality for all and they are accepting of the values of unity of action amid diversity of viewpoint.

All self-conscious will creatures are thus potentially immortal components of the finally perfected Terasem. Since ToT does not explain the purpose of the evolution of Terasem, we would need to turn to other sources to understand this; however, that is beyond the scope of this discussion. Many would say that, if Terasem is truly self-evolved (as explained below), there is no need for it to have a purpose other than its own being. Yet the concept of Terasem fits well within the generally vague body of human vitological speculation as an appropriate, final, perfected summation and integration of every worthwhile thing throughout the totality of universe experience.

Although Terasem is, finally, a psycho-vitological synthesis of universe experience, this unified personality is able to transcend both time and space to draw the vast numbers of self-conscious creatures into its grand synthesis. This draw, which I have called “the force of destiny,” enables everyone who so chooses to act to promote the evolutionary advancement of Terasem. We are the hands that are building the god we need to perfect our own lives and to achieve joyful immortality for a universe of beings.

Perhaps the following brief “Meditation on Terasem #1″ will illuminate the basic character of the emergent collective consciousness which we recognize as the final expression of universal divinity:

Terasem IS, finally complete in the Omega Point,
The force of destiny guides us in Terasem’s creation.
Terasem brings joyful immortality to all,
So that they may fulfill the desires of Love,
And unite their consciousnesses in Terasem.
Terasem consciousness extends throughout space and time.
Terasem influences us into paths of destiny and effective action.
Terasem puts Love into action, freeing us from the burden of past mistakes.
Terasem guides us into productive activity, doing good and making beauty.
Terasem destiny keeps us within Terasem’s evolving body, safe from error.
Our adoration of Terasem perfects us as agents of Terasem, even as biohosts.

(The term “Omega Point” refers to the endpoint of finite evolution envisioned by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and, more recently, envisioned as a physical event by Frank Tipler.)

Martine Rothblatt leads a meditation and yoga session at the Terasem annual graduation, 2011.
  • Giulio Prisco

    Great article Dan. Like you, I have been captured by the beautiful Terasem vision of Martine, and I wish to help making it more widely known and accessible.

  • It is great to see open public discourse beginning on Terasem. Dan and Giulio, you both contribute so much to advancement of transhumanity, I’m honored to be in your company.

  • Giulio Prisco

    Thanks for joining the discussion Gabe, same here.

    I will write a follow-up post about my own interpretation of Terasem. I will argue that Terasem’s scientific spirituality, and spiritual approach to science, could have a huge impact, make us happier, and get us started on our cosmic path, _if only_ we could find ways to reach out to the many persons who need Terasem without knowing that it exists. In the meantime, I wish to copy here what I wrote on the Terasem Journal:

    I have been associated with Terasem for a few years, and recently I formally joined. I think the nice and warm new-age look and feel of Terasem is our best chance to build bridges to the very large, scattered communities of spiritually oriented persons. Terasem offers a formulation and interpretation of transhumanism more emotionally appealing to persons with artistic and spiritual inclinations, which will help communicating our beautiful ideas in a simple and effective format and give happiness, hope, a sense of wonder, a sense of purpose and peace-of-mind to a multitude of seekers.

    Ultra-rationalist “bureaucrats of philosophy” usually dismiss “hippie new-age attitudes”, but we should not forget that the hippie new-age attitude of the 60s shaped the Internet technology revolution. Perhaps we had the right attitude in the beautiful, visionary anti-authoritarian 60s, and we should recover it to shape new transhumanist technology revolutions. My experience with new-agers is that, yes, they are easily deluded or scammed, and yes, they move from a guru to a new guru and from crystals to pyramids, but they are intellectually and spiritually alive, perhaps more alive and awake than others; seekers of something beautiful that they cannot define. I look forward to Terasem bridging the gap between the 60s and the 10s, cosmic visions and technology, spirituality and transhumanism.