What is the Function of Terasem? — Projecting to the Near Future (1/3)

This article by Dan Massey, originally appeared on Venus+X, continues 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 continue a public transhumanist discussion of the Terasem Transreligion. Our previous post “What is Terasem — A Vitological Viewpoint” spoke of the transcendent vision of Terasem as a deity, evolved through creature effort, and addressing universal creature needs for joyful immortality and unity in diversity.

A complementary topic is the nature of Terasem as a constructed, ideal deity, understood by an examination of the past, present, and future of the human effort to begin the realization of Terasem in planetary affairs. The founders of the human cult named, “Terasem Movement Transreligion” have being working to develop Terasem’s world mission that supports their cosmic vision of joyful immortality. This post begins this review of the evolving Terasem “organization” today, named the “Ta” of Terasem in Truths of Terasem.

Terasem is the evolving deity of finite space and time. Essential ideas of this evolutionary deity previously appeared primarily in writings about the Omega Point, ranging from Teihard de Chardin to Frank Tipler. This transcendent deity has been an active participant throughout all human affairs, growing in influence as human consciousness has learned to reach out to the future beyond immediate needs of simple survival. It draws the vital expectations of individual humans towards their destiny as contributors to and agencies of the deity called Terasem.

In 2002, while viewing a Space Shuttle launch from a Florida beach, Martine Rothblatt found inspiration in a remarkable vitological vision, which she subsequently composed in writing and published as “Truths of Terasem” (ToT). You can hear her describe this experience and her own thoughts about the development of Terasem at Telexlr8, starting 40 minutes in. You can also read and download the entire ToT.

ToT itself includes both the conceptual framework for a final, unified universal consciousness (ToT Section 5.0) and an organized vitological cult, potentially devoid of partisan doctrines, special pleadings, and other abuses of privilege so often seen in human religious cultures.

In the eight years since initial publication of ToT, the founders have established and endowed a number of organizations for management, continuation, and preservation of various Terasem activities. Currently much of the focus is on cryonics and mind uploading R&D, as well as spacecasting of mindfiles. Terasem also supports unique products of technical craftsmanship, such as David Hanson’s Bina48, a demonstration of state of the art control of facial expressions combined with an affective chatbot based on the person of Bina Aspen Rothblatt, the co-founder. In addition, Terasem supports serious academic and legal debate about the rights of synthetic persons (clones, robots, uploaded mind simulations) through its Journals.

Terasem maintains physical centers of activity in Melbourne, Florida, and Bristol and Lincoln, Vermont. A new wilderness property has been under development in Stratford, New Hampshire for the past four years. A number of Terasem “Joiners” live in these areas. In addition, Terasem formally recognizes locations in varying stages of development include New York City; Washington, DC; and Magog, Quebec — all locations where the founders and other joiners have an established personal presence. In general, any recognized location or committed individual or group is considered a “center of critical consciousness” and a potential formal part of the Terasem Ta.

These physical and economic arrangements, which continue to expand, are laying a very strong foundation for the future work of the Ta of Terasem, although it remains to be seen just what that future work will be and what sort of organization will develop to support it.

This completes Part 1 of our overview of the function of the Ta of Terasem. In Part 2 we we will examine the founders’ apparent and expressed intentions for growth of the Terasem vision and the ongoing realization of joyful immortality as a central part of this “transreligion.”

End of Part 1

Terasem Home in Bristol, VT
  • Giulio Prisco

    Great article Dan. I hope these articles will make Terasem better known. We shouldn’t keep Terasem to ourselves, but offer it to the world.

    I think the world needs a new, powerful spiritual vision compatible with the scientific knowledge and attitude of our times, and the times to come.

    Terasem may be the answer to the question that so many people ask themselves, without ever knowing what the question is. I think it is a much better answer than “42” !

    Re “In 2002, while viewing a Space Shuttle launch from a Florida beach, Martine Rothblatt found inspiration in a remarkable vitological vision, which she subsequently composed in writing and published as “Truths of Terasem” (ToT).”

    See also the annotated transcript produced by Fred and Linda Chamberlain (pasted below):
    It is also available as an audio podcast, with the other 100 episodes of Fred and Linda’s Truths of Terasem podcasts, which are the most comprehensive writings about Terasem so far.

    “I’ll share some personal part of Terasem’s beginnings! It really began in March, 2002 when I was out, on the beach, up on the Space Coast of Florida, doing a morning meditation, at 6 a.m., and suddenly, I felt two ‘presences’ around me, so I immediately opened my eyes, and I witnessed, quite to my surprise, the blastoff of the Space Shuttle STS-109, on its way to the Hubble telescope. This was Columbia. I then felt a presence, immediately behind me, and I turned around, and found myself eye to eye, with a large Lanternback turtle sea turtle, which was clearly trying to make its way back into the sea. And I was in its way.

    So, this was kind of startling, because it was pretty much dark, still, and an epiphany poured into me, through the triangular vector of the shuttle’s light blasting across the sky, and the Lanternback turtle’s consciousness, streaming into my own, and I felt a very strong, triangular force of energy between the shuttle, the sea turtle, and myself.

    An epiphany surged through me, that there were three principles, or three values, which united all life, all reality, indeed the entire multiverse, and these were that the purpose of the multiverse, the solution to the multiverse, was to balance diversity with unity, in the quest for joyful immortality; that the shuttle, Columbia, was a balance of diversity and unity in the quest for joyful immortality; that the Lanternback turtle, was a balance of diversity and unity, in the quest for joyful immortality; that everything was a balance of diversity and unity, in a quest for joyful immortality.

    I slid myself out of the way, of the Lanternback turtle, and it slowly, but without delay, pushed itself toward the sea, which wasn’t far away. As it did, the shuttle quickly arced out of my sight, smaller and smaller although the contrails were visible as the sun began rising, and again the triangular energy between the turtle and the shuttle remained connected to me, and downloaded to me the entire gist of the Truths of Terasem.

    It was like I received this multi-gigabit download that still had to be processed, in the way one uploads a video but you can’t see it yet because it’s processing, or uploading a file and it still needs to be processed. I was totally blown away. I stood up, and it was like I was walking on air. I walked a couple of hundred feet to where my soul-mate and partner Bina was resting, up above the seashore. I shared with her what’s happened, and we slid right into the most wonderful, the most erotic lovemaking that anyone could imagine, and it was through this erotic lovemaking that those Truths of Terasem that were downloaded to me in an epiphany, channeled by the shuttle and the turtle, became written into my soul, just as suredly as a file is written into a digital or magnetic medium.

    I spent the rest of 2002 trying to print out what was in my mind and soul from that March 1st morning, and it took me the rest of 2002, and some final pieces only really made sense late in October 2002, when my partner Bina experienced extraordinary pain, and somehow that pain jelled the remaining pieces of the Truths of Terasem. Since that time, I’ve been committed to spreading the message of the Truths of Terasem, about diversity, unity and the quest for joyful immortality, and the spreading of it, I feel, has been really wonderfully successful.”

  • Khani


  • Giulio Prisco

    @K. ??

  • Peter Christiansen

    How does one become a Terasem “joiner”?

    Are there any Terasem “joiners” or potential joiners in the San Francisco Bay Area?

  • I think Khani forgot a dot there between the o’s.

    o.O would be my reaction, but, you know, it’s hard to be surprised at this stuff anymore. You know, the Internet, et cetera.

  • Giulio Prisco

    @Peter, I see that Dan replied to you by email. There are no Joiners in the Bay Area that I know of, but if you join there will be one, and then others!