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but not part of the original 1971 Man in the Telesphere text;
rather, this is a decades-later circa 1994 attachment thereto.
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Polymathy / Transcend / Supradation

For a summary of Raymond Spencer Rodgers' innovative contributions in economics, government, law, planning, and various other conventional subjects see "Research Note" UBC Reports 3 Apr 97 p10; and for his publications prior to 1971 see Telesphere notes.

The first half of the present document discusses his thought about transcending the food cycle; the second half his speculations - and a subsequently confirmed hypothesis - in neurology.

Raymond - in a passing comment in Telesphere (1971) - gently stated the most profound paradigm-shift in the entire history of humanity. He suggested that humanity - perhaps more 'easily' in the future on locations other than the surface of Earth - deliberately seek to transcend the food chain and directly manufacture nutrition from inert materials, for meta-ethical reason. [The motivation given here is intrinsically different from mere space-exploration convenience (and predates the Star Trek replicator). Although not mentioning nor probably even thinking about nutrition at the time, Raymond first suggested the underlying concept of machines to fabricate all human-needs material objects and substances in an article in the April 1957 issue of the Montreal Social Democrat]. In years subsequent to 1971, he has tried often to get people to think about supradation - moving beyond the present fundamental basis of life, the "cruel and nasty" food chain; but other than a letter published in Shared Vision (Jan 1993), print editors and columnists etc have been simply stunned when this epiphany has been presented to them - as stunned as when in 1970 he tried to explain an "electronic web" and consequences. [In December 2000 the Sunday Telegraph (UK) published an interview by Gyles Brandreth with Arthur C. Clarke, further reproduced in various other dailies (e.g., Vancouver Sun, 30 Dec pA13). "We'll be able to synthetize all our food quite soon," Clarke is quoted as saying. "All it will take is water, air and a few basic chemicals." In fact, the production of a nutritious diet from raw chemicals will be very complex. And when did Clarke come to this perception? Prior to 1957? Prior to 1971?].

Life as we know it, says Raymond, is marvellous and weird - it counters and transcends entropy. Unfortunately, however, it is predicated on a system - the food chain - in which plants and animals murder one another. Murdering living vegetation is as much a form of predation as any other, he says. Humans glorify the predator - the eagle, the lion - and tend to despise the scavenger. If, says Raymond, merely pruned - as distinct from murdered - vegetation truly feels no 'pain', then respectful pruning of vegetation - the foraging of seasonally and structurally 'offered' plant material (fruit, berries, ears of corn, etc) - is acceptable. But all other nutrition should be directly manufactured from inert matter. We presently have no choice about it, but the murdering of plants and animals is equally wrong says Raymond.

Nature is ecologically efficient - even if cruel - but now human technology both grossly disrupts Earth's natural environment and provides the opportunity to "morph beyond it". Doing so involves great challenges, and may take centuries rather than decades, but it must be done.  Gautama tells humans not to eat other animals and, assuming reincarnation, not to return to another life;  Raymond, beyond Gautama, and assuming nothing about reincarnation, says try to change the fundamental structure - if not on earth, then in space!  Jesus says the meek shall inherit the Earth; Raymond says - not until the predation system is transcended!   Raymond during his lifetime has been variously invited to join Buddhism, Christianity, etc.  Raymond humbly invites Christians, Buddhists, and others to join with him.

Meanwhile, he says, the entire universe has two features: one insignificant and the other significant. The insignificant includes the birth and death of galaxies; the changing shapes of clouds in the sky; the competition of crabs on the beach, business rivals, nations and empires; etc. All such phenomena - almost everything we know of on earth and in space - is a backdrop. But when a creature (anywhere) truly helps other creatures (individual or collective), without being primarily motivated by a knowing (or genetically programmed unknowing) benefit to self or kin, then that act is significant. Why significant? Because, being intrinsically differing from merely physical - even if galactic - events, it also fundamentally counters and transcends the underlying daily nastiness, bullying, and cruelty of present life.   (Raymond makes no assumption that humans and other creatures are genetically programmed to help non-kin members of their own species, there being plenty of evidence that a trend to biological radiation is as strong with humans as in other species).

But transcendental acts unfortunately must be rationed.  The forever-giving, forever-helping creature in our world is ripped to pieces as fast as a morsel of food thrown to a flock of seagulls. And the saver of a life should not be surprised when some prosecution-reward scavenger alleges having instead witnessed an attempted murder - the rose of Sharon being suddenly grafted with thorns! Significant helping and caring thus unfortunately has to be the exceptional event in the way of the world as presently structured. Nevertheless, these exceptional acts - whether it be saving another creature's life at risk to one's own, or donating significantly to a charity, or a woman consciously relinquishing maternity for higher cause, etc - are more significant than the exploding galaxies, the profits of business giants, the wars of conquerors, the construction of pyramids, etc.  If this so moves you, and you have no other preference, your donation by cheque or anonymous bank draft may be sent to the Vancouver University Colleges Society  (charity status, IRS and Revenue Canada)   548 Beatty Street, Vancouver, Canada V6B 2L3. It will be used to support Early Childhood Education or other challenges.  Attractive and functional buildings to house such programs - but no need for a pretentious palace - are also appreciated!

Neurological circumstance - individual and social impacts

Raymond has for decades also written and spoken extensively about some other controversial topics. Amongst these, he has suggested a possible relationship between genetics, individual brain structures, and metaphysics - including that perceptions of reincarnation, memory of former life, and other such phenomena may reflect past realities carried forward through generations by DNA "flotsam"; and that the "echo" of sperm merging with ovum may account for a particular type of mystical experience. He also has suggested that humans have for millennia subconsciously realized the existence of parasitical viruses and bacteria, and the fact that these pass from one group to another. This profound subconscious awareness may be a factor in the societal tendency to scapegoat perceived dangers - witchcraft hysteria in the Middle Ages; the creation of a caste of untouchables in India, etc. Raymond has long suggested that the same subconscious awareness may also prove to be a factor in paranoid psychosis and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Others have subsequently suggested that viral, bacterial (including herpes), or parasitic physiological impact per se - on brain neurology / metabolism - may directly trigger a psychiatric condition. In response to such suggestions (R. Yolken - John Hopkins, F Torrey - Stanley Foundation) with respect to T.gondii and borna virus, Raymond hypothesizes that a family's intergenerational habit of keeping cats or horses may thus have as much to do with the repetition of the condition as any narrowly-genetic disposition per se.

Also in neurology, a substantial 1989-published Raymond hypothesis was confirmed a decade later.

Raymond's interest in these various topics originated in part from having a 'mystical' experience around his twelfth birthday, upon clambering up Mount Cader Idris in Wales. In an unpublished (but selectively distributed, as is usually the case with his unpublished manuscripts) paper written in the early Eightees, he explored the possibility that consciousness is related to the "suspended reverbation" of messages between brain hemispheres, and whether that process could be replicated in a digital network. [Which is not to suggest that merely alternating current produces an alive wire!]. In one of the few remaining print library (Langara College) copies of Telesphere, a reader (not Raymond) underlined the p.81 global electronic-Noosphere reference and scribbled next to it the words "electronic mysticism!".

Return to present-day Introduction Page 1 (website welcoming page).

Return to Introduction Page 2 (and present-day language [terminology] index to original 1971 text).

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