Euvie: Welcome to Future Thinkers podcast episode number 54. Today our guest is Toni Lane Casserly, an entrepreneur who co-founded CoinTelegraph and the platform called CULTU.RE. We saw Toni speak at the blockchain economic forum in Singapore and also met her at the coin agenda in Puerto Rico. Toni is also an investor, recording artist, and the founder of Immaterialism, an art movement where she uses consciousness as a medium. In this interview, we talk about cultural shifts, how blockchain technology can help advance human rights, [00:00:30] and how to increase our self-sovereignty. For all the links and show notes from this episode, go to futurethinkers.org/54.
Before we get into the show, we want to say thanks to Marcus for sending us a donation recently. We have a travel announcement. Mike and I will be in Oslo, Norway from May 26th to the 31st for Oslo Freedom Forum conference and will be moderating a panel on investing in a decentralized future. Come join us if you’re around or, if you’re in town, [00:01:00] send us a message. We’d love to meet up. This episode is brought to you by bitguild.io. Bitguild is a new gaming platform built using blockchain technology.
Their mission is to redefine the relationship between gamers and game developers. On the Bitguild platform, gamers maintain full ownership and control of their virtual items, which are stored on the blockchain. They can transfer items and progress between compatible games and they can make in game transactions safely, and sometimes free. [00:01:30] Developers who join the platform will get a direct link to an established player base, a strong community, and a network of like minded developers building on the same platform. Developers will also have the potential for direct game development funding from Bitguild.
The first version of the Bitguild portal is now live. You can log in with Meta Mask by the Plat token and play Bitguild’s first game, Ether Online. They now have a full inventory wallet system for in game items. In the coming weeks, the marketplace will be implemented [00:02:00] and several independent developers are going the site to bring their unique games to the Bitguild family. Go to futurethinkers.org/play to start playing and join Bitguild’s official Discord channel to connect with the team. Alright, let’s get into it.
Mike: Welcome to futurethinkers.org, a podcast about the evolution technology, society, and consciousness. I’m Mike Gilliland.
Euvie: And I’m Euvie Ivanova. If you’re new to the show and you’d like a list of our top episodes and resources, go to [00:02:30] futurethinkers.org/start.
Mike: If you like our podcast, leave us a rating and review on iTunes and elsewhere. It really helps others find the show and we really appreciate it. Toni, thanks for joining us on the show, I’m really excited to have you. I’ve seen a few of your talks. Euvie’s actually had the chance to talk to you in person. Seems like we’ve got a lot of alignments and a lot of things to talk about. Welcome.
Toni: Hey, thanks for having me.
Mike: Why don’t you start by just giving our audience a bit of an introduction about what you talk about and what you’re passionate about.
Toni: [00:03:00] My name is Toni Lane Casserly, or TLC. Yes, those are actually my initials. My parents literally picked my name out of a hat because they wanted me to be the embodiment of tender love and care – try and live up to it. I’ve been in the blockchain industry since about 2011. I co-founded a media organization called CoinTelegraph, it’s the one with the articles that have the cartoons on it. Essentially, it’s the idea that Bitcoin is anything but sketchy, [00:03:30] haha, tehe.
After the media, I’ve been spending the last about four years working on a project called CULTU.RE in different forms. There have been a lot of learning experiences with this, because it’s legitimately a world changing idea. CULTU.RE is essentially the future of governance [inaudible [0:03:46] society. It’s the idea that the core of the way we think about ourself and collective organization over the next century is going to shift so drastically that the institutions [00:04:00] we have once seen as valuable are going to shift and their ownership over people or human rights.
Mike: You said shift. I way too often take an apocalyptic approach when I talk about the future. You said a shift, not a collapse. Maybe you can explain that. Why do you think it’s going to gradually move instead of the old systems collapsing violently and dangerously?
Toni: We have new technology. Change happens in two different ways. When I was in college, I was reading an [00:04:30] unhealthy amount of Žižek. I’m not sure if anyone reads Slavoj Žižek. His book Living in the End Times actually made me, at a certain point, not that he would ever recommend doing this, this is one of the ways that I found Bitcoin. I just started having… It’s not even paranoia, it’s just a realization that our system was so close to collapse that I went to the bank when I was still in college, in my undergrad, and I literally took every dollar out of the bank that I owned and I put it in a fireproof box and hid it.[00:05:00] Because I just thought, “The bank is essentially stealing money from my account. Instead of earning interest, it’s taking debt out of my account. They’re taking money to pay their own personal bets, instead of actually giving me interest on me using their service. Not only is the business model broken but I’m not certain that I have faith that our economic systems are going to continue to propagate in the way that they have. I think those things are naturally because we all sense that a change is coming, but we sense this for a reason beyond the current constructs of what we perceive to be our systemic intelligence. [00:05:30] There’s a broader consciousness that exists, right?
Earth is a consciousness, humanity is a consciousness, space is a form energy which is its own form of consciousness, at least in the research that I’ve done and in my perspective. It’s really the idea that if you look at the Hindu perceptions of times, they’re called the Yugas and in these series of Yugas you have the Kali Yuga, which is the end of the age, which can also be identified culturally as the Mion’s narrative of 2012. 2012 doesn’t actually mean the end of the world, [00:06:00] what the Mions were studying when they were looking at 2012 is the end of the era of time.
The end of the Kali Yuga is 2012, around 2012 to 2018, and it is the beginning of the Satya Yuga. Now, the Kali Yuga has been identified in different kinds of historical texts, a popular example being the Golden Calf. The Satya Yuga is effectively the Garden of Eden. We’re entering the phase of Eden. [00:06:30] History repeats itself and if we look at time as a broad concept, the reason why I don’t fear collapse is because if you look through the entire series of human history, that’s not exactly how that’s worked.
Something will start to collapse though. But, like I said before, earth is a consciousness as well. If you play different music to plants, they will react affirmly, they will even grow differently because they sense the vibration. It’s really the idea that earth took the hit of the collapse [00:07:00] so the human race wouldn’t destroy itself. I firmly believe that planet earth being our mother, the source that gave us life, this endless source of giving and creation, I think that she took the hit for the human race. I think we will see massive effects from climate devastation and a reorganization not only of our human race but potentially every organization of some of our geography.
We’re starting to see this with the race of what I call the Hippy Modernist movement or the global nomad, [00:07:30] where you have a ton of people that are doing non-linear jobs, they’re serving as contractors, they’re living in economies that are tropical but have been completely depressed by the United States, like Bali or Indonesia where the United States essentially tried to destroy the quote unquote Indonesian threat of democracy. Indonesia was rising up and this wasn’t something that the US was happy about.
There are a lot of people moving to these areas and there is a huge rise in this nomadism because of college debt and a ton of other factors. Climate, [00:08:00] I believe, is what’s really going to transform our perspective on universal citizenship. That’s one of the core applications we’re creating at CULTU.RE.
Euvie: We’re talking about a phase shift, a planetary shift in consciousness perhaps, culture, in how we operate. How do you see that happening exactly?
Toni: The cultural shift?
Toni: It is going to happen in a myriad of ways. There’s never one solution that beats all and I think that if we had one solution that took over everything then we would fundamentally be in an embodiment [00:08:30] of a defeatist prank, especially considering the movement of decentralization. What we really need is for there to be a multitude of solutions. We need for the solutions of the future to embody, in some ways, the way we’ve dynamically grown as an ecosystem of earth.
It’s not going to be one person and it’s not going to be one thing, it’s going to be a host of many different things and many different ecosystems that all thrive in different ways, coming together to accomplish the broader goal of growing an interplanetary consciousness. We’re a part [00:09:00] of that. What our role in this really is to bring together these systems that are creating these projects. It’s our job, essentially, to play well with others, to bring together systems that are actually creating a ton of value towards the end goal of this movement and the reorganization and economic liberation and freedom from political oppression of the human race.
Bringing all of those solutions into one place and giving people a platform that allows them to have political freedom through ubiquitous access to human rights; [00:09:30] and financial freedom through the sovereign ownership of digital and physical assets; and creative liberation through their own ability to create sovereign economies from the solutions I’ve just mentioned and from their own token class that can allow people and communities to create economies that entirely base the value of their underlying economic system on things like reciprocity.
Our systems are changing and shifting and I don’t think there should be one person who takes the whole pie. It’s the idea that [00:10:00] we should all be able to plant our own garden. But if we want everyone to be able to grow their own garden, we first need to provide everyone with land. That land is actually ownership of our digital assets, starting with our data.
Euvie: Let’s roll back to what you said at the beginning of this, that everybody should have access ubiquitous human rights. How do you see that happening?
Toni: Ubiquitous access to human rights is an idea inspired by the foundation of blockchain technology, which is [00:10:30] essentially immutable ledgers that need no third-parties for verification have the ability to eliminate trusted middle men like banks or, importantly, governments. The original function of government was jurisdiction; government was effectively established so we could say, “We have a record of who owns what property,” because after we shifted out of this reign of kinds and queens where all of the property was recorded, because you had one royal family that owned everything and into [00:11:00] the idea where, “Okay, now people actually own their own land.”
The job of the government was essentially to keep record of that. It obviously evolved into its own system with different principals and settings, essentially, as things will evolve in the future. It’s really the idea that blockchain enables us to create legal infrastructures that exist outside of the nation state, which means that you can have a public or an anonymous identity. If you want to own the rights to any legal contract, whether that [00:11:30] contract is your identity, whether that’s a marriage contract, whether that’s ownership of your land, you have the ability to verify that contract through your social networks, whether publicly or anonymously, and essentially own the rights to your own sovereign jurisdiction, your own sovereign legal jurisdiction, your own sovereign legal rights outside of the bounds of the nation state.
If you live in a country where your life could be at risk for being in an LGBTQIA+ union, which there are I think [00:12:00] about 17 countries or different forms of religious law where your life could seriously be at risk but you want to enter into a union with another person and you guys are thinking of potentially immigrating to a country where that would be completely legal and you wouldn’t be threatened, you could register that contract anonymously on the blockchain, you could have it verified by a series of your friends who all validate that, even though you’re anonymous, you are who you say you are and that this union is valid.
Then once you move to a place like Canada, who accepts your rights if you decide to do that, you could [00:12:30] present that Canadian government with this documentation and this record and actually have your union honoured when you become citizens of a new culture and/or nation state. Not all nation states are trying to cause harm and I don’t think that the idea of dismantling a system chaotically is the right decision. I think we need to hospice out of systems the elements that are not working and give people the opportunity to explore and interact with their freedoms in a way that also [00:13:00] preserves fundamentally at the deepest more core level their privacy.
That’s an open source standard that we’re working on it, it’s actually an entire community. This is even what I mean by culture’s job is to play well with others is that I bring together, as a platform, we bring together all of these different communities with all of these different series of infrastructures and we get them to play nice with each other to allow people to essentially use whatever kind of services they would like to use as the foundation of creating [00:13:30] their own cultural entity. Web of Trust is an open source standard, it’s a community that is stewarded by elder Christopher Allen.
Christopher Allen is the co-author of the TLS standard, which is if you go into your email and you click the little drop-down arrow next to the person’s name who sent you the email in Gmail, you’ll see a little lock and then you’ll see standard encryption TLS. Christopher Allen was the co-author and the steward of that community for a very, very, very long time. We’re taking a [00:14:00] essentially – this is a global standard across the entire internet – taking this standard… Web of Trust is a project that’s been in the works for the last 20 years.
We are just helping to steward this into its proper timing, using blockchain technology and, fundamentally, the Bitcoin blockchain as the Bitcoin blockchain is, from technical perspective, right now not only the most insecure but also the only blockchain that has launched a satellite that allows people without WIFI access to communicate with this network [00:14:30] if they have a satellite phone. It’s an incredible community that’s being built but the project is fully open source. It has to be this way, this isn’t something that culture owns or takes ownership over. All of our work is about transforming the process of ownership to a process of stewardship. We are just really stewarding the Web of Trust community into its own fruition.
Mike: It sounds like you’re the type of person that looks at the biggest problems and asks [00:15:00] yourself, “How do I solve this problem?”
Mike: It doesn’t sound like you have any fear when you’re approaching these problems.
Mike: Two questions related to that. What makes you so fearless when it comes to attacking those things, and what are you actually spending the most time on right now when it comes to solving these problems?
Toni: Why am I so fearless? I think because my heart is in the right place. When you are centred in who you are… I would never attack someone. I think the other reason why I’m so fearless is because [00:15:30] I don’t feel any need to create conflict or cause violence or cause further harm, I think I am personally so at peace because I know that I approach everything that I work on with an open mind. I approach these situations understanding that, at the end of the day, regardless of the role that we may choose to identify with in our own subjective existence, that we are all just one consciousness.
I don’t believe that there’s one dominant [00:16:00] consciousness in, at least, the Satya Yuga, right, and at least this era, the re-emergence into Eden. I don’t believe that there will be one dominant consciousness, I believe that the dominant spectrum of consciousness will be our understanding of the connected nature of our own quantum consciousness. I don’t really approach things having time or need to be afraid because this change is happening and it’s too important not to. I would never try and create unnecessary conflict, [00:16:30] it’s that we have the tools available, systems are changing and I’m open to listen to any kind of feedback that anyone has on what’s right or right, because I don’t think anyone’s perspective is inherently wrong.
I just want to give people the tools that they need to be able to create the world that they would like to live in, in a way that actually generates and inspires more opportunity. I think that a lot of these systems will be that could feel [00:17:00] afraid or any of these other things. When we have greater opportunity for economic generation, we will see a rise in innovation that will continue to create more wealth for all in a system that is actively geared toward the principles of blockchain of a more even distribution of the capital and wealth that is generated from within a system.
I guess that the other reason why is a bit more rational than me just saying, “I have heart, so I fear less because I live from a place of love.” It’s actually [00:17:30] that this future is coming. It is an inevitable future. I believe it’s our job to figure out how we can best support and be of service to steward that future into reality. Being of service, I think you… Were leaders of peace ever really afraid? I’m not certain that they were if they were truly a leader of peace, because if you live as the embodiment of what you are attempting [00:18:00] to create then I believe you understand, regardless of what happens in your own subjective life, it’s not about you, it’s about the mission.
I think I feel less afraid because I don’t have my ego wrapped up in a bunch of stuff, right? I’m just present and here and attempting to create a better world for the human race, using the tools that I have available, that the world now has available, and the skills that I personally have to help steward this mission [00:18:30] into reality.
Mike: You said something about being digital nomads at the very beginning of the conversation and then you were talking about sovereignty. I think the fact that we’re digital nomads and we have been since 2012, and that’s really contributed the big picture scope and vision that we have with Future Thinkers and everything. I think that’s really been the result of having that sovereignty and freedom and income independence that has allowed us the freedom of time and income to actually focus on what we want. I think that’s a big step into envisioning the future [00:19:00] is that you have a taste of it already, you have a taste of that freedom and what everyone else could have.
Mike: Have you been a nomad for a while, as well?
Toni: I wouldn’t call myself a digital nomad necessarily, I would think I identify a bit more with the Hippy Modernist movement. I think the bigger difference is that I go with my community. Oftentimes, digital nomads are doing contracting work, they’re doing things on their own and this is why there’s this big market [00:19:30] opportunity and why I have so many friends that are building these coworking spaces in these beautiful locations where the economies are depressed, so people can come from this area and work and have a sense of community. The difference with me and why I believe I identify more with Hippy Modernism is that I go with a pack.
I go with a pack who shares my belief. When you’re working with a tribe, you have a different sense of inclusion, you have different access to resources, there’s just a different dynamic of participation [00:20:00] that’s involved because of the incentives at play. Although I have a lot of friends who are digital nomads and I certainly travel all the time. I never started traveling because I said, “I just want to go randomly see this tropical place.” For me, I’m not driven by anything beyond the sum of the mission I have dedicated my life toward. That is why I live and that is why I get up in the morning and that is why I travel to different locations and that is why I get on stage and speak [00:20:30] and this stuff and that is why I am doing this interview with you, is because my life is merely an extension of the mission.
That is why I lead a life that is inherently global in nature. Hopefully, in the future, if we get there within the course of this lifetime, regardless in the way in which it is or is not extended, hopefully an interplanetary citizen. Although I think there are some huge implications with that that we have to consider in a serious way, like the idea that I’ve [00:21:00] heard people suggest that we should put a United Nations in space and I just find that to be the most disturbing thing that I’ve ever heard. Why would you want to take the violence that exists on this earth and the incentives that exist on this earth and take those incentives, why would we want to propagate that and take those incentives into space?
We don’t need the old world to carry into our future and I believe that there are enough people who are intelligent enough that they can get beyond their ego [00:21:30] and understand that that would not be for the benefit of not only the human race but for the evolution of our future forms of consciousness. I think it’s really the idea… and interplanetary not only means the idea that we will physically transport ourselves beyond this planet, but I also believe that there’s another dimension. I’ve talked about consciousness a lot or I’ve said that word a lot, so let me explain a little bit. I also believe that there’s another dimension of consciousness that we will connect with over the course of this next [00:22:00] century.
I say that lucid dreaming is the gateway experience into these different states of consciousness, in that when you are actively engaged in whether it is a lucid dream, a collective dream, an out of body experience, astral travel, exploring the [inaudible [0:22:18] records, that you are engaged in an out of body experience, you are able to explore consciousness with a different level of dimensionality, with a different form of [00:22:30] speed. Because you are exploring the nature of consciousness as a form of energy, rather than exploring the nature of the world as a material form. It is our relationship to that form of energy that I believe will also be transformative throughout the next century.
Mike: This is why I’m so excited to have these kinds of conversations is because people with the kind of clarity and force of will that you seem to have are also bringing to light [00:23:00] the possibility that consciousness and our reality is nothing like what the common thought process is about it, about materialism and about we only believe in what we can see. Thank you for that.
Euvie: It’s really exciting to actually be seeing a revival of this in recent years, psychedelic research, consciousness research, and more serious scientists coming out and saying, “Yeah, we don’t understand consciousness but it’s likely to be non-local.” I think we’re living in an amazing time.
Toni: [00:23:30] Absolutely.
Mike: What are you spending most of your time on now? What are you thinking about mostly on a day to day basis? What are you most excited about about what you’re working on?
Toni: I’m spending every moment of my day building culture. It is really the evolution of our principles back to things that we’ve seen more formatively and indigenous in first nations. Really that’s what I spend all of my time. I believe the other element where I spend a lot of my time is being a good friend, I think that’s the [00:24:00] area where a lot of my energy is dedicated toward. It’s really my work and then my heart of service. My heart of service is really to my community and the people around me. I think there are so many people in this world who forget how important it is to just be there for someone who needs you.
That is my other – I wouldn’t say job – it’s my other form of dedication to what I love and who I love. I spend the other half of my time helping people grow as human beings. [00:24:30] Whether that’s someone’s going through a hard time and they need support, or they need advice, or someone has a problem they feel like they’re unable to solve. Just being of service to other forms of people, even people I’m not close with. Sometimes I see people walking down the street and I know they have a bad day… I’ll actually give you an example of something that happened the last time that I was in Los Angeles. We were all at this event and I was in the elevator with my friend. We kept pressing the button and it wouldn’t come. I was like, “Why is the elevator taking so long?”
Then we got in [00:25:00] there and there was a woman who was sitting in the corner of the elevator. She was sobbing. She was weeping. She was terrified and she as afraid. Apparently, she had gotten into the elevator and she has some fear of elevators or claustrophobia, there was some other thing that had happened. She was just hiding in the elevator making it go up and down because she couldn’t figure out how to get out of the box essentially. I just instinctually just ran into the elevator and I sat on [00:25:30] the ground and she was just crying. I just held her until she felt that she was secure.
Once she felt that she was secure, she looked at me and she was just like, “It’s going to be okay.” I said, “Yes, it’s going to be okay. Someone’s here, someone is supporting you. Let me ground you in your sense of reality.” She was just having a panic attack, then she regrounded and we helped her up. We got her a car and walked her home and made sure that she was able to get to where she was going safely. Being a good [00:26:00] human being, it’s not just being a good person, it’s being a good human to the rest of our human family to the extent of the human race.
I think that that is the most important quality that we can possess for each other, because without that, what are we really? Darwin never said – this is my favourite thing, I just found out about this pretty recently because I had read more Dawkins than I had Darwin and [inaudible [0:26:29], [00:26:30] as well. Darwin never said survival of the fittest. What Darwin actually said was that species, forms of life, with the highest capacity for sympathy – qualities we now identify as altruism, compassion, empathy, and reciprocity – that those species would be the most likely to survive during times of hardship.
Euvie: [00:27:00] I really agree with you that we are evolving more ways to communicate with each other on different levels, but not everybody’s like that. As we can see in our world today, where sometimes we’re like children playing with very destructive toys and we don’t understand what we’re doing. How do you deal with that? How do you reconcile with the malevolence that actually exists? Do you think we’ll ever be able [00:27:30] to transcend that?
Toni: We are all like that. That is the beautiful truth about it all. Underneath everything, underneath our experiences and our pain, is a greater truth. It is a human truth. Underneath it all, at a biological level, we are all like that. The challenge is that, in many instances, it has been suffocated as [00:28:00] people have believed that resources are scarce and that is what we need to do to survive as a species. However, if we look at this from an economically rational perspective, we have evolved past that point. If we repurpose the food that we wasted in the United States alone, we could cure world hunger.
The resources are available, we just have to distribute them properly. [00:28:30] I believe blockchain will be instrumental in allowing us to do that. It’s about understanding really, for me, that underneath all of the things that you see in this life that appear to you to be evil, evil is really just pain in a grotesque disguise. It is always pain in a grotesque disguise. Different people have learned to deal with that pain in different way. Some people mask it with wealth, [00:29:00] or attention seeking, or vanity, or any of the deadly sins that you would like to outline. All of those masks are masks of ego to prevent that person from re-experiencing the trauma that life has taught them – their life has taught them – is an inherent property.
I believe when you see the pain for what it is, you acknowledge it and give it the opportunity to own its [00:29:30] own voice. If you feed into someone else’s evil or their insecurity, then you are telling it that it is okay to exist. If you respond to that fear or insecurity with compassion you are able to, in some ways, disarm it and, hopefully, gain greater insight into the series of drivers – however simple or complex they may be – that have created that [00:30:00] behaviour in the first place. If you give that pain a safe space to release itself… We don’t often give people that kind of space, we don’t often give people that kind of emotional attention.
We just tell people, “Swallow that pain,” especially young men. Especially young men. You’re not allowed to cry, “Be a man,” stand up and fight. Swallow your pain, hide your pain, suffocate it until it’s not real [00:30:30] anymore. But it is real and it will continue to live through people and they will continue to create it in an endless cycle if it’s not released from their experience. Now, a lot of people deny pain, so that can make it a bit more challenging. At a certain point, it will want to acknowledge itself for what it is. Whether or not that pain becomes its own demon, demons can all be angels in disguise. Sometimes it takes an angel to fight that off or to dissuade [00:31:00] that kind of an energy from existing.
I believe that if we all hold the space for each other and really, more than anything, give people the security to feel that they can be genuinely vulnerable around you. If we allow people to be vulnerable and we create a safe space for people – this is another reason why I’m very passionate about the reorganization of a lot of our societal structures into communities of 400 or less, is because when you have that kind of connectedness with community you create a [00:31:30] greater sense of intimacy.
That greater sense of intimacy allows for people to be more vulnerable, so if you’re struggling with something or if something happened to you or, let’s say, you went through a really bad break up, or you went through a really bad career experience, rather than feeling like, “I went through this bad situation and now I’m all alone and there’s no one else that’s here for me and I have to do everything on my own,” you’re placed in a situation where you’re able to say, “I’m supported by my community. Even though I may have had this [00:32:00] negative experience with a job or a relationship or a family member or whatever, trauma comes from so many different places. Maybe I just I had some bad experience with some random person on the subway and that really affected me deeply.”
It’s the idea that if you have a community you actively have a safe space where you can express these things, they can be acknowledged, and you can immediately begin the process of growth and healing, rather than feeling that the human experience is the idea – I don’t know if you ever [00:32:30] read [inaudible [0:32:31] or any of these things – the idea that when you look into someone else’s eyes, the mirror that you see, you’re just seeing merely a reflection. The idea that the existence is so solitary that the experience of human connection is only our seeing of the eye. That is no longer a paradigm we need to embrace, and we have the technology to understand that that paradigm is shifting and will be shifting drastically.
I firmly believe that [00:33:00] the only way we will ever achieve world peace is not through abundance of resources, because I know people who have absolutely nothing, literally nothing, living in poverty, missing their teeth, bathing in puddles of rainwater in the street. They are happy and they are full of laughter and they are full of joy. Also, I know people who are children of trust funds and they [00:33:30] have every resource in the world, they were just born into an abundance of wealth. They went to the best colleges, they have all the right connections, they have all the best friends, they have all of the capital in the world to do anything they would like to do for the rest of their lives.
And they are addicted to drugs and struggling with depression and they feel that they have no real friends. Resource abundance is not what will create world peace. We will genuinely have [00:34:00] peace outside of ourselves when we are first able to understand the experience of having peace within. That is what we have to incentivize for the human race to effectively evolve.
Euvie: Can you tell us a bit of your own story about how you arrived at this? Your meditation experience, for example.
Toni: My first college was art school, I went to Savannah College of art and design. I was studying, [00:34:30] for lack of a better word for a major, I was studying performance art. I changed my major multiple times but that was what I was effectively interested in. I think that your field of study is not related to a major that a college can prescribe for you but where you focus your time and energy while you are there. In studying performance art, there was a lot of philosophy, a lot of ego disillusion, and I reached a place of fear actually. I reached a place of fear in that I had a realization as I was [00:35:00] watching a computer intelligence paint that I felt all art was going to become meaningless.
This was such an existential crisis for me, because it was as though seeing the purpose of my life that I had lived for thus far was not only economically undervalued, that the entire creative class has been effectively ghettoized, but that every form of art that we have ever [00:35:30] used or generated would become obsolete in itself. In the same way that the variant of a computer solving a math problem and a human solving a math problem with increasing complexity are incomparable, I saw that same shift happening in the process of 3D printing and artificial intelligence for the disillusion of mediums that have used material form to create, whether that is sculpture, or painting, or photography, [00:36:00] that there was this beautiful gift that we had been given and that all of this work was now becoming available to the commons.
But in becoming available to the commons, it was actually losing its own reason for being. The form was losing meaning. As I realized the form of art was losing meaning, because I had connected this so deeply to my own sense of self, I felt my experience of my own personal sense of self began to, [00:36:30] in that same way, dissolve its own meaning. Understanding what was happening and the process that I was going through, I ended up spending three months in silence to process and transcend my perception of my own human experience.
In this period of meditation, I was also studying things like lucid dreaming and out of body experiences and consciousness fundamentally, not as a philosophical tool; consciousness as an [00:37:00] experiential phenomenon of what is directly tied to our nature of being. In my first hand experiential exploration of consciousness, I was able to understand and reform my understanding of my knowledge of media. In more ways than one, that is actually a pun because the first business that I created was obviously the media network, but what I mean by media or medium is that [00:37:30] I realized that the future of art was going to exist in two parts. Part one was that every person in the world would become an artist, every job would become creative, education would become non-linear in our future economy.
We would enter into the everyone talks about the creative economy in the blockchain, we now see really, I believe, how this will be real, that the future of everyone’s life will be art. [00:38:00] On the other hand, I realize that the future of form, the future of medium for my own art movement was consciousness, that the medium of the next generation of our evolution into art is effectively consciousness as a form, using consciousness as paint, as a master work of sculpture. That is when I began to [00:38:30] curate the entire movement’s post-art or immaterialism. That is when I started to curate this movement and I started to work with empaths and I started to work with weather shamans and practitioners of consciousness to learn more about this study, and how we can open this study up to the world in a way that does more than merely speak about it.
You can speak about something as long as you like but people won’t actually understand what you mean until they [00:39:00] experience it first-hand. Those are the experiences I set out to create and that’s been a work in progress, that’s another element of my life’s work. Once I had this realization, I went back to college and I began to study non-linearly the knowledge that came to me. Sometimes I would sit in the library and just simply meditate and I would open my eyes and I would just get up and I would walk along the bookshelves, [00:39:30] I would run my hand along them until I felt that there was something I was supposed to touch, or there was a book I was intended to read. It’s a process of being tuned into your own intuition.
That lead me to study the disillusion – what I call my disillusionment – with political theory, economics, and political philosophy, that we were no longer this idea of an Aristotelian citizen in state. That idea had actually [00:40:00] and effectively become obsolete as we had more power voting with our credit car than we did in a national election. I realized in turn that our patterns of consumption were structured on the thesis that Keynesian economics was the proper way to structure society, which Keynes, even at the end of his life, questioned his own theory. Because this theory of consumption was the driving force, I searched for, “Who is the driver of our theory of consumption.”
That happens to be a man named Edward Bernays, [00:40:30] who was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, who essentially created the word ‘public relations’, which was the politically correct term for his original thesis and his original work, which was propaganda. Propaganda was used to create grassroots psychological insurgency at a mass scale – now it’s happening at a far more granular scale, which I can get into with you all – created grassroots psychological insurgency at a mass scale, which effectively [00:41:00] used performance art to structure public opinion to shift stock prices. I don’t know if you know this but he also overthrew the Guatemalan empire using Chiquita banana. If you ever wonder why all those early cartoons, like the Three [inaudible [0:41:18] and all these things with women dancing with fruit, right, there’s a whole underlying economic subtext behind why we see these cultural means appear for a short period of time [00:41:30] and then, suddenly, they’re no longer relevant in our popular culture.
People wonder why that is. It’s strange to me that more people haven’t seen the patterns. In understanding that this was the system that existed and that we had been printing nationally more debt over the last 50 years from a process of nation states than we had been generating wealth, I looked at this situation and just said, “Not only is this unsustainable, but we have to build a new system. There’s no way [00:42:00] this can continue. I have to talk about this, because there must be an answer somewhere out there. These are the tools. I have a voice, so let me use it.”
I just went out and any time I could find a forum that I could speak in I would just get up and speak on these topics as often and as frequently as I could, because it consumed me, right. I had dissolved my entire construct of reality, so when I came back to reintegrate into a state of reality, what I wanted to [00:42:30] discern was what is reality as it existed. What I realized is that our current state of reality was not based on what was real, it was based on using illusion to propagate information asymmetry to consolidate resources. That model has to end, it had to end. If it did not end, the entire world was coming together to show us that this is no longer serving human interest [00:43:00] and hadn’t been for years and years and years.
One day when I was speaking, I had someone come up to me… I am the kind of person who my friends used to make this joke about me, they’d say – I’m not this way, this hard core anymore – they used to say, “Here’s Toni and her army of stray cats.” They would say this because I would go around and I would essentially find people – I was the person who was assigned to take new students around and introduce them to [00:43:30] everyone was their friend. I really carry that with me into my life and that, if I ever saw someone that I felt looked social awkward or maybe a bit introverted or not super comfortable, I would immediately go up to them and I would befriend them, because what I wanted really from a social environment is that everyone would just feel comfortable and that everyone would be happy.
I would always take those people under my wing. I saw this guy who obviously looked like he [00:44:00] not only looked like he had social anxiety, it just looked like he didn’t go out of his house really almost at all. I was interested to see him there. He looked really nervous. I could tell he wanted to come over and talk to me. I was surrounded by a bunch of people that were asking me questions about my talk. I see this super nervous dude and I’m like, “Hey nervous guy, come be my friend.” I wave him over, I call him over and he just looks at me and he really quickly says, “Have you heard about Bitcoin?”
I said, “No, what is Bitcoin?” [00:44:30] He put a USB into my hand and, as he did that, I had another friend grab my shoulder and say, “Hey Toni, come with us, we’re going to go eat.” I turned around, I had a conversation with them, then when I turned back around to talk to his guy he had just left. That was how I found out about Bitcoin and blockchain. It was just a simply remarkable experience, because once I went home I put it in my computer and thought, “Oh God, please don’t let this be a virus.”[00:45:00] Thankfully, it wasn’t. I put it in my computer and then I was linked to the white paper and all of these forums. I just said, “It has come, the answer has appeared. This is exactly…” I knew immediately this is what I had been searching for. I knew immediately that this was the future and that this is what I was being called toward. I packed my car full of my belongings a couple of years later and I just literally drove out [00:45:30] to San Francisco and had a crazy experience where the house I was supposed to move into, apparently the woman who I signed the agreement with, her son owned the house not her. I got there and the first night that I was in San Francisco – I drove in from Texas, which is a 17 plus hour drive – and the first night that I got there I ended up sleeping in the front seat of my car, which I couldn’t even recline.
Then had this crazy experience of me just literally coming on a [00:46:00] mission that was based on nothing more than my intuition that this was something real. I followed that intuition and it was the smartest thing I’ve ever done.
Euvie: You talk about propaganda, me magic and all these global forces – or people, rather – trying to manipulate these global systems to their won advantage. How do you see people currently having more sovereignty in their lives? How can they resist that and regain a sense of control of their [00:46:30] lives? Other than the structural obvious answer of blockchain and cryptocurrency, but consciously and spiritually how do you see people doing that?
Toni: I think it’s a natural evolution for many people, especially many people living in areas who… I’m going to specifically speak on the United States, because this answer’s completely different for someone’s first generation Taiwanese. Just to speak directly on the United States for a moment, all of the graduating class of our generation’s [00:47:00] college is so in debt that the money they would have normally spent on a mortgage and a car when they were 25 has now been completely exhausted on receiving an education at the promise of them having a job in an environment where no jobs are available.
I believe this is a natural process of people just, this is the changing of the tides. It’s legitimately a natural process of people saying, “Well, I’m probably going to spend the next 50 years of [00:47:30] my life working off my college debt, I might as well go out there and explore because I would rather do that than spend the next six years of my life working as an intern. I remember when I was at the University of Texas, there were people that were in a graduate program that were still working as interns at ad agencies. Unpaid interns. That is absolutely insane. [00:48:00] You’re a graduate student. That was, at the time, the market for jobs.
If we want to speak about global – that’s just in the United States. I believe the reasoning for that is economic. I believe it’s our own failure to really take care of our system, in a sense, if we want to speak of us as a United States. But I believe that reclaiming our global spiritual consciousness is something that will happen based on something I’ve brought up before, [00:48:30] which is this shifting of the age but also, that’s really a personal journey. You really have to be seeking it to find it. He who seeks will find.
If you want to seek that out, you’ll certainly find it – I don’t believe that’s something that’s in my hands or anyone else’s hands, I believe your sovereignty, whether that be spiritual, political, personal, financial, is directly in your hands. It will happen differently for every person, [00:49:00] there are economic factors and political factors that are enabling this shift. But fundamentally, it’s up to the individual. All of this is up to the individual to accomplish.
Mike: I think we’ll wrap it up here. I just want to say thanks for joining us. This has been a lot of fun. We’ve obviously hit a lot of broad subjects and I’m looking forward to diving in deeper in the future.
Toni: Me too.
Mike: Thanks for joining us.
Toni: Thanks for having.
Today on the show we have Toni Lane Casserly, an entrepreneur who co-founded CoinTelegraph and the platform called CULTU.RE. Toni is also an investor, recording artist and the founder of the “immateralism” – an art movement where she uses consciousness as a medium. In this interview we talk about cultural and consciousness shifts, how blockchain technology can help advance human rights, and how to increase our self sovereignty.
Cultural and Consciousness Shifts
According to Toni, we are experiencing a number of cultural shifts, which will culminate in humanity becoming an interplanetary species. Toni also believes there is another dimension of consciousness that we will connect to over the course of the next century.
Commenting on the malevolence in the world, she argues that evil is actually pain in disguise. World peace would not be accomplished through the abundance of resources alone, but also through the experience of inner peace.At the end of the day, regardless of the role we may choose to identify with in our own subjective existence, we are all just one consciousness. [email protected] Click To Tweet
The Role of Blockchain Technology in Self Sovereignty
Toni speaks on the disconnect in our current systems between our perception and reality.
She sees Bitcoin and blockchain technology as the paradigm shift that would put this model to an end.
Reclaiming our self sovereignty is a personal journey, and while there are economic and political factors that are enabling this shift, it is fundamentally up to an individual to accomplish it.
Toni sees her project CULTU.RE as something that can steward the transition into the new paradigm by provide functional models for self-sovereignty. The goal is to bring technological and structural solutions into one place and give people a platform to increase their personal, political, financial, and creative freedom. The Web of Trust is the open source standard CULTU.RE is currently working with.
In This Episode of Future Thinkers:
- What is the mission of the CULTU.RE platform?
- The role of blockchain technology in self covereignty
- What is the Web of Trust?
- The difference between digital nomads and the hippie modernist movement
- Connecting to different dimensions of consciousness
- Being a good person vs. being a good human
- Consciousness as an art medium – the base of immaterialism
- How to regain sovereignty in our lives
- CULTU.RE – Crypto-Consciousness
- The Web of Trust open source standard
- Do we need Nation States? | Toni Lane Casserly | TEDxBerlinSalon
- BEF 2018 Governments on Blockchain
- Toni Lane’s website
- Blockchain Economic Forum
- Coin Agenda
- Euphoria Speaking by Tony Lane Casserly
- Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson
- The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe by Lynne McTaggart
More from Future Thinkers:
- FTP051 – Vit Jedlicka: Liberland – Prototype for a Decentralized State
- FTP049 – Daniel Jeffries: Decentralized Governance and Identity
- FTP048 – Jordan Greenhall: Sovereignty in Chaos
- FTP036 – Daniel Schmachtenberger: Global Phase Shift
This Episode is Sponsored By: