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