2009.11.18 01:00 - Meeting a syncretist

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Bolonath Crystal. The comments are by Bolonath Crystal.
    Today I had the pleasure to meet Calvino and learn about his way of seeing the nature of reality.

        Bolonath Crystal: hello calvino :)
        Calvino Rabeni: Hello! (scrambles to grab keyboard)
        Calvino Rabeni: May I ask, how did you come to PAB?
        Bolonath Crystal: i was invited by bertram jacobus to join in
        Calvino Rabeni: Friend?
        Calvino Rabeni: in RL
        Bolonath Crystal: yes, i know him since a number of years

    Problems to attend the sessions

        Calvino Rabeni: Ah, I have a couple of people like that who I think would like it.
        Bolonath Crystal: well, ask them if they like to meet us here :) it is always interesting to meet new people and learn about their way of thinking
        Calvino Rabeni: There are various somewhat odd barriers.
        Calvino Rabeni: Even though they'd like the chats.
        Bolonath Crystal: what barriers, may i ask?
        Calvino Rabeni: :)
        Calvino Rabeni: Person (A): not confortable with technology. Person (B) has computer usage disabilities with keyboarding. Person (C) has a full time job (unlike myself :) ). Person (D) has a wife who is convinced he will meet wayward women and carry on an affair on the "porno internet".
        Calvino Rabeni: What can one do.
        Calvino Rabeni: (shrug)
        Bolonath Crystal: hm
        Calvino Rabeni: Interestingly, I "skype" with all of these.
        Bolonath Crystal: i'm not very comfortable with technology as well, but i got a lot of help from ppl here
        Bolonath Crystal: computer usage disabilities may be a real problem, but maybe there is a technical solution. i am not familiar with those things
        Calvino Rabeni: That seems the hardest to work with, of these things.
        Bolonath Crystal: time shouldn't be a problem. we have 4 sessions each day, so maybe person c can attend one of these on weekends
        Calvino Rabeni: Text chat has advantages, but hard for some people to get thru.
        Bolonath Crystal: person d can bring his wife also ;)
        Calvino Rabeni: Right, that would work, they can come once or twice a week, if that fits in with the notion of this group.
        Calvino Rabeni: I mean, does it?
        Bolonath Crystal: of course. nobody can join the sessions every day. most of us are full time workers, i suppose
        Calvino Rabeni: I've had lots of time, but it won't last, I think.
        Calvino Rabeni: The wife could chaperone, look over the shoulder for awhile.
        Calvino Rabeni: Another technique might be handy, if someone needs tech help for a while, they could use Skype as a back-channel to talk to a friend / mentor at the same time.
        Bolonath Crystal: *g* nicely said
        Bolonath Crystal: in the beginning i have had bertram in IM, explaining everything to me
        Calvino Rabeni: What time zone are you?
        Bolonath Crystal: gmt
        Bolonath Crystal: i'm in germany
        Calvino Rabeni: I'm in pacific, same as SL time. Easy to remember.
        Bolonath Crystal: :)
        Bolonath Crystal: half a world away...


    Syncretism as post-modern approach

        Bolonath Crystal: how did you come to PaB, calvino?
        Calvino Rabeni: Through friend-of-a-friend in RL, someone who knows Stim and Pema
        Calvino Rabeni: I already knew SL, but hvent used it since 2007
        Bolonath Crystal: ic
        Calvino Rabeni: I am still trying to figure out, by a kind of induction, what it is supposed to be about.
        Calvino Rabeni: However I read the web site :)
        Bolonath Crystal: we all have our own approaches of discovering the nature of reality (though many ppl here are buddhists). i like it very much to share experiences here
        Calvino Rabeni: I have my own way, and it is very interesting to have it in the mix with everyone elses to create a synergy.
        Bolonath Crystal: do you like to tell me about your way?
        Calvino Rabeni: I am open to doing that, but I think it's not easy to apply labels, like "buddhist" or whatever.
        Bolonath Crystal: sounds good :)
        Bolonath Crystal: i'm not easily labeled as well ;) spirituality is something very personal in my eyes
        Bolonath Crystal: can you try to figure out your philosophy in a few lines?
        Calvino Rabeni: That would be a poetic challenge.
        Calvino Rabeni: Fun to try and see what fits / misses.
        Calvino Rabeni: Have you tried that?
        Bolonath Crystal: well, yes, but i missed the 'few lines'-part *gg*
        Calvino Rabeni: heh
        Calvino Rabeni: did you do a big writeup or something more formal than talking?
        Bolonath Crystal: i gave some theme sessions on advaita vedanta
        Calvino Rabeni: Here, I think.
        Bolonath Crystal: yes
        Calvino Rabeni: So advaita vedanta is a code term that kind of encompasses your philosophy?
        Bolonath Crystal: yes. it emphasizes on the point, that all separation is illusion. our 'true selves' are identical, so we are all connected and parts of a big completeness
        Calvino Rabeni: ok I see.
        Calvino Rabeni: (thinking)
        Calvino Rabeni: I've never been able to fully subscribe to any philosophy to the point where I identify with it enough to say - this is how it is.
        Calvino Rabeni: And there are other kind of complex reasons, besides feeling right about a metaphysic sense, to associate with a group or way
        Calvino Rabeni: But basically I'm a syncretist. Widely (but not deeply) read and practiced.
        Calvino Rabeni: I have not found any school that kind of sums it up for me.
        Bolonath Crystal: oh, that's new to me. what is a syncretist, please?
        Calvino Rabeni: Although I have sympathies and disagreements.
        Calvino Rabeni: A syncretist - as I meant it - is someone who kind of synthesizes many philosophies into a larger system. Earlier in the history of religion that may have been regarded as a bad thing - a sign of ideological impurity. But in these post-modern times I don't think it necessarily has that sense.
        Bolonath Crystal: ah, thank you. that is interesting. so which parts in particular did you actually manage to merge?
        Calvino Rabeni: It is a challenge to summarize, but thank you.
        Calvino Rabeni: A couple of years ago I started trying a bit more to formalize it reflectively.
        Calvino Rabeni: I started organizing my notes / books and doing some writing.
        Calvino Rabeni: And created a thematic list (with tags) of internet references that stand in for ideas important to me.
        Bolonath Crystal listens
        Calvino Rabeni: I have a sense it is starting to converge. But to any professional philosopher it might seem hopelessly vague.
        Calvino Rabeni: So for example, I'm interested in methodology, and meta-methodology, but I think I'm able to ground it fairly well.
        Bolonath Crystal: what are important ideas to you?
        Calvino Rabeni: Good question. When I study something, I usually deconstruct the ideas, but then try to reconstruct them in a way that connects multiple perspectives.
        Calvino Rabeni: For example, neurophysiology, phenomenology, history of religion.
        Bolonath Crystal: i'm not sure if i really got that... can you give an example?
        Calvino Rabeni: Well, a recent PAB discussion was about dreams.
        Calvino Rabeni: So it's interesting to consider dreams as the activity of a brain, but also dreams as a kind of mind at work, and dreams as a kind of narrative. The narrative takes place in a realm of personal meaning and also in a larger context of culture, perhaps.
        Calvino Rabeni: So those perspectives can qualify any model of "what is dreaming" that comes from one single perspective.
        Bolonath Crystal: ah... personal messages are formulated in a way that depends on cultural circumstances?
        Calvino Rabeni: Yes, they have to be coherent to it. And that is more than just a kind of matching correspondance.
        Bolonath Crystal agrees with that
        Calvino Rabeni: Not just cultural, but other contexts, such as global.
        Bolonath Crystal: or even universal, maybe?
        Calvino Rabeni: Because you can't say that any dreamer is ignorant of the state of the world, even if they only feel it implicitly.
        Bolonath Crystal: that seems to be a point, where you are very close to advaita vedanta :)
        Calvino Rabeni: The vast majority of knowledge is tacit, and not localizable.
        Calvino Rabeni: I'm fishing for kind of formulations about it.
        Calvino Rabeni: I have Taoist influences. The Tao that can be Tao-ed is not the Tao.
        Bolonath Crystal: :)
        Calvino Rabeni: That formulation was interestingly ambiguous using Tao 3 ways.
        Calvino Rabeni: And I like that.
        Bolonath Crystal: i think, that words can never cover the whole of truth. only create a model
        Calvino Rabeni: Yes, that is a familiar idea, but we might be able to go beyond it, do you think?
        Bolonath Crystal: i hope so :)
        Bolonath Crystal: i have to start working in a few minutes. so i am very sorry, but i have to leave. i hope we can continue on that issue next time
        Calvino Rabeni: Yes, love to. If you name it, pretty sure we could pick it right up again when we have the opportunity.
        Bolonath Crystal: thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. very nice meeting you, calvino :)
        Bolonath Crystal bows
        Calvino Rabeni: I enjoyed the talk, Bolo. See you again. Havea good day!
        Bolonath Crystal: om shanti
        Calvino Rabeni: bye, namaste

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