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.
In Part 1 and Part 2 of this discussion we explained some of the factors which contributed to the current development of the Ta (the organization) of Terasem and raised the question of whether and how Terasem, as a transreligion, might be seen as attractive by parts of the transhumanist community.
The Joiners and supporters of the Terasem philosophy and vision now must deal with the realities of a developing Ta. Specifically, what really needs to be done by the Ta to advance the cause of the Terasem Transreligion or to bring consciousness of the cosmic reality of Terasem to greater public attention? Or should the joiners and supporters be trying to do anything in this regard?
At present, the founders largely control the direction of material development of the Ta, but have declared themselves open to new visions of joyful immortality beyond the materialistic. What should be the role of the Ta in advancing awareness of Terasem as a universal transreligion? Or is any form of outreach desirable or appropriate? Martine Rothblatt (in her talk to the Turing Church Workshop) warned against overly rapid development as unlikely to produce a lasting result.
One might ask “how lasting a result?” Given the scope of the Terasem vision, as revealed in ToT 5 and many other materials, the answer must clearly be “eternal”—and that is a very long time!
Small, extremely secretive cults guarding fragments of truth (e.g., Hemetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Argentium Astrum, Ordo Templi Orientis, Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, Great Brotherhood of God, Thelema, etc.) have tended to flourish only as long as their founders remained in agreement on the direction and objectives of the organization, and as long as new recruits were readily available. While the theologies of such groups have had great influence in modern transhumanist thought, the groups themselves are but historical footnotes in the advance of human enlightenment. Close-held secrecy regarding great truths does not work but adoption of fantastic mythologies (as possessed by human evolutionary religions) does not seem to hinder the spread of ignorance, bigotry, and confusion .
If we define Terasem by exegesis from ToT 5, then Terasem gives us an opportunity to develop a Ta consistent with its principles that will endure forever and uplift the planet. In short, the total vision of Terasem is a universal cosmic reality (once Terasem is fully developed). By comparison, the Ta today is the result of large investments of time, energy, and assets by the founders and early joiners, but is necessarily small in relation to the vast size of the task at hand. How might or should this small community of seriously committed supporters take direct, intentional action to advance the grand vision of Terasem?
As increasing numbers of transhumanists are considering and speculating on the religion-like aspects of tranhumanist beliefs, the Terasem Transreligion stands at a major crossroads in examining belief and approach. Is one aspect of development (the material support systems) of greater or lesser importance than the complementary aspect of educating humanity about the true potential and significance of the Terasem vision?
If you care about the future of transreligion on this planet, I hope you will join us in exploration of these issues.
Martine Rothblatt at Stratford, New Hampshire