2010.05.16 13:00 - Varieties of now

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Maxine Walden. The comments are by Maxine Walden.  This session had Bertram Jacobus, Wol Euler, Liza Deischer, Arabella Ella and Maxine Walden participating.  The discussion moreless revolved aroumd aspects of time, perhaps some lingering thoughts about Pema's posting on Time earlier in the day.  Wol took the lead in terms of considerations of varying aspects of now including an experiment right in the session on when 'now' become 'then'.  For me, the shift of attention seemed important in demarcating 'now' from 'then'.  And conversation continued about an ongoing now, like an underlying tone, over more momentary bits of experience might occur.  There are other considerations about time and now; a lovely summary might be found in the last portion of this conversation between Liza and Wol, just following the last 'bell'.



    Maxine Walden: it can feel peaceful with few people, or a bit lonely
    Liza Deischer: hey Max, Bert
    Bertram Jacobus: hello liza ... ;-)
    Maxine Walden: hi, Liza
    Bertram Jacobus: lonely ... i feel more when i´m totally alone . and here - with the option always that others come - more peaceful then (!) ... :-)
    Liza Deischer: never lonely :-)
    Maxine Walden: ah...
    Bertram Jacobus: also because when many are here - i can´t follow all often anymore sadly ...
    Maxine Walden: hmm, in terms of following all the conversation, Bert?
    Bertram Jacobus: yes. could one express that better please ?
    Liza Deischer: often too many threads are going on
    Maxine Walden: yes, does Liza's comment express what you were thinking, Bert?
    Bertram Jacobus: not only - because one topic also can be more then i can follow when many persons write much to it fastly ...
    Liza Deischer: include the pace and the english expressions that are used unkown to me, and it can become a mess in my head :-)
    Maxine Walden: yes, I know what you mean, Bert and Liza. It can be difficult even for an English speaker
    Bertram Jacobus: in german i´m better with that ...
    Liza Deischer: Especially Eliza and Sharon are using a lot of expressions
    Maxine Walden: or for someone speaking primarily English
    Maxine Walden: ah...yes
    Maxine Walden: It takes a lot of energy to then try so hard to follow such a flurry at times of expressions, etc
    Liza Deischer: they probably don't know it, but they read the logs, so now you know :-)
    Maxine Walden: yes, I had not noticed so much; thanks for telling me
    Bertram Jacobus: i wonder also how many seem to be able to read all the logs - how is that possible ? i feel i hadn´t the time for that (!) ...
    Maxine Walden: I think it probably takes a very great committment and lots of time available to read all the logs. Many just do not have that available time, or so it seems to me
    Bertram Jacobus: hello wol ! ... :-)
    Liza Deischer: it is too much for me
    Wol Euler: hello maxine, liza, bert
    Liza Deischer: hey Wol
    Maxine Walden: hi, Wol, wow, little kitty/leopard
    Liza Deischer: yes, Im not sure if Wol is a nice puscat or is having dangerous teeth, probably both :-)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Wol Euler: quite tame, I assure you
    Liza Deischer: :-)
    Maxine Walden: ahah :) Have to ask her!
    Liza Deischer: but beatiful blue eyes
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Bertram Jacobus: yes : VERY cute little - leo ... (?) ... :-)
    Maxine Walden: a purrfect little kitty
    Wol Euler purrs
    Bertram Jacobus: heyy ara :-)
    Maxine Walden: hi, Ara
    Wol Euler: hello ara
    Liza Deischer: hi Ara
    Liza Deischer: and I have a soft spot for wiggling tails :-)
    Maxine Walden: hmm :)
    Wol Euler grins.
    arabella Ella: How sweet Wol ... purring
    Wol Euler: don'T let me interrupt, what was the topic?
    Maxine Walden: not interrupting at all, Wol, we were speaking about how difficult it can be to follow all the threads and all the expressions during these conversations, especially if one is not a native English speaker
    Wol Euler: ah, true
    arabella Ella: yes
    Bertram Jacobus: but even more when many people are here
    Maxine Walden: and the time it can taketo read all the chatlogs...issue of time (thinking of Pema's notations re Time in the note this morning, but think that is a little different from what we are pondering)
    Liza Deischer: it is mentioned
    Liza Deischer: but when you came in Wol, we just concluded that
    Maxine Walden: maybe there are some other topics...
    Liza Deischer: you have until tomorrowmorning?
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Wol Euler: what happens then?
    Liza Deischer: just joling
    Liza Deischer: joking
    Wol Euler: ok :)
    Wol Euler: (well, you never know ...)
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Liza Deischer: true
    Liza Deischer: good to ask
    arabella Ella: after all tomorrow morning will be here in only two hours for some of us
    Liza Deischer: to me that is the middle of the night I'm afriad
    Maxine Walden: time is so relative...
    arabella Ella nods
    Wol Euler: it would be quite a shock if one found oneself *really* in tomorrow ...
    Wol Euler: not just a later "today"
    Liza Deischer: but indeed Maxine has some time to go :-)
    Liza Deischer: hmmm, right Wol :-)
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Maxine Walden: you mean that ongoingly, Wol? that you would be shocked if it ever really became tomorrow rather than 'now'?
    Maxine Walden: or am I misreading your comment?
    Liza Deischer: brb
    arabella Ella: i think Wol means some thing similar to grabing the 'present' as by the time you do so it is already past
    Wol Euler: yes, if one somehow found oneself in a day that truly was "tomorrow" rather than "today"
    Wol Euler: not quite sure how that would look, but I am prettyt sure it would feel different
    Maxine Walden: (wondering about our focussing on Time in some way during this next 90 sec pause)
    Maxine Walden: agree, Wol
    Liza Deischer: back
    Wol Euler: wb
    Maxine Walden: wb
    arabella Ella: wb Liza
    Liza Deischer: extension of time
    Liza Deischer: travelling iwth the universe
    Liza Deischer: *with
    Maxine Walden: found myself pondering time as a container of all the voices, thoughts, birdsong, within the flowing now...
    Liza Deischer: hmmm
    Wol Euler: I was wondering how long "now" is, and when it becomes "then"
    Wol Euler: trying to see that happening
    Maxine Walden: :) wp;
    Maxine Walden: wol
    Liza Deischer: now is alsways :-)
    Wol Euler: I think it takes about two or three heartbeats
    Wol Euler: but perhaps that depends on how much is happening around you
    Maxine Walden: what do you mean, wol?
    Wol Euler: well, I sit and I breathe, and those things are happening "now"
    Bertram Jacobus: now i experience as a moment or consider it in this way. and then seems to be in future or past ...
    Wol Euler: which is a present time, right now
    Wol Euler: it's also a continuous past-now, the time since I lastdid something differnet
    Wol Euler: but when does that breath I last breathed, turn from a "now" breath into a "then", into my history
    Wol Euler: have-been-doing-X-since-Y is a kind of long now
    Wol Euler: which stops when something new happens
    Maxine Walden: may it vary with the focus of your attention, wol?
    Liza Deischer: I realise that there is not then, only a changing now
    Wol Euler: say a deeper now, then
    Maxine Walden: when you shift your attention perhaps that seems to demarcate now from 'then'
    Wol Euler: perhaps if I could hold my breath, I could have a longer now
    Maxine Walden: :))
    Liza Deischer: but when we are defining now, it can be much shorter then a few heatbeats
    Wol Euler: absolutely, yes, it depends what is happening
    Liza Deischer: some poeople shift attention about 32 times a second
    Maxine Walden: I heard someone suggest that the length of a second may have been shaped after the length of one heartbeat (in a fit person)
    arabella Ella: gtg good night all
    Wol Euler nods. That is about right, too, statistically
    Liza Deischer: hmm :-)
    Maxine Walden: ah, bye ara
    Wol Euler: 'night ara, take care
    Liza Deischer: bye Ara
    Bertram Jacobus: "now" i experience as a moment or consider it in this way. and "then" seems to be in future or past ...
    Wol Euler: okay, let's try that as an experiment, shall we?
    Bertram Jacobus: so the change is in the perspective
    Wol Euler: let's start sitting,breathing, whatever, and feel the now of doing it, now.
    Bertram Jacobus: yes please ! :-)
    Maxine Walden: experiement, Wol?
    Bertram Jacobus: already doing ;-)
    Wol Euler: and watch that now, and see when / if it turns from present, happening to me right now, to past, happened to me
    Bertram Jacobus: i wrote it already : when my perspective changes
    Wol Euler: that's teh experiment, though :)
    Wol Euler: without changing perspective, watch the now and see if it really remains one single time-thing
    Bertram Jacobus: can´t avoid that change
    Liza Deischer: it isnt :-)
    Liza Deischer: isn't
    Bertram Jacobus: do you have explanations , solutions , answers wol ?
    Wol Euler: no :)
    Wol Euler: sorry :)
    Bertram Jacobus: ah !
    Bertram Jacobus: np !
    Wol Euler: just questions and curiosities
    Bertram Jacobus: for me it´s solved :o)
    Bertram Jacobus: or - to me ?
    Liza Deischer: if you take breathing.....
    Liza Deischer: a breath is coming in
    Liza Deischer: starting to expand your loungs
    Liza Deischer: when the breath get deeper, a lot of changes already occured
    Liza Deischer: the longs and belly expanding more
    Maxine Walden: maybe our experience at least in part depends upon how spacious or embracing we can feel our attention to be, whether it can feel embracing of several momentary events as one, or whether it shifts from moment to moment
    Liza Deischer: the oxygen taken in
    Liza Deischer: all thos steps
    Wol Euler: shifting attention definitely marks a new "now" for me
    Maxine Walden: think I can agree with that, Wol. Seems so for me right now as well
    Wol Euler: as do cycles turning over, as Liza said, when the outbreath becomes anohter inbreath, the previous breath is "then"
    Bertram Jacobus: sry - i leave - ty for bein here and that i may be here ! and have a nice time all please - may all beings be happy please
    Wol Euler: bye bert, take care
    Maxine Walden: bye Bert. Thanks for coming
    Liza Deischer: you try to contain something that can't be contained
    Liza Deischer: the now is timeless
    Liza Deischer: bye Bert
    Wol Euler: I had an image just then, to illustrate this
    Wol Euler: there are two ways to see the now and timelessness
    Wol Euler: there is the "now" that I live in, which is permanently here, and moves with me
    Wol Euler: and there are the events that happen during my many little "now"s, which all turn into history nad flow out behind me
    Wol Euler: think of Pema's favourite image of hte film being projected
    Maxine Walden: hmm, interesting
    Wol Euler: the strip of film that flows past the projector is a series of little "now"s
    Wol Euler: moments, mnemories, events, breaths
    Wol Euler: and when you think of your history, you consider the frames of the film
    Wol Euler: but you could also be the projector itself, standing still!
    Wol Euler: that is the permanent now
    Wol Euler: when you are in flow, or meditating well, you become the projector and step outside of the flow of time that is the frames of film
    Liza Deischer: I guess the question is if the past exists?
    Liza Deischer: or is it something we keep in the now, trying to remember ?
    Maxine Walden: hmm, yes, Liza, lives in our memory
    Wol Euler: what is the now-ness of me calling up a memory and examining it? :)
    Liza Deischer: or do we want it to be?
    Liza Deischer: the picture or sound or whatever there is in your head
    Wol Euler: I have a very vivid memory of many things, I can let it completely overrule my sensory perception
    Liza Deischer: happened or not
    Wol Euler: for that moment I am really ther, I do not see or hear or smell what is physically around me
    Wol Euler: so which "now" am I in at that time?
    Wol Euler: perhaps a "used" one :)
    Liza Deischer: the now you create
    Wol Euler: if I let the recreation of that memory take over my sensorium, I would say that I am not here, my "now" is 1968
    Liza Deischer: our memories changes over time, so that can't be a past now
    Liza Deischer: it is here right now
    Maxine Walden: many levels of now, perhaps? The now of the memory (frame of film) which may be 1968 or whatever but also many other aspects of now, bodily sensations, position of the sun, etc, all of which pertain..?
    Liza Deischer: I think I understand what you mean Wol, but I don't think that now can change into past
    Wol Euler: you had a thought just then, Liza
    Wol Euler: are you still having it now?
    Wol Euler: or are you thinking something different, like the answer to my question?=
    Liza Deischer: no, but it is still somewehre
    Wol Euler: right, but that is where I started :)
    Wol Euler: I still have it, but it has changed slightly, it is no longer my "now", it has become separated a little from the bubble of active me
    Liza Deischer: I mean, I lost it, but it is still somewhere
    Liza Deischer: but not for me to use anymore
    Liza Deischer: I can have a memory of that thought, the memory being part of the now
    Liza Deischer: am I too pushy :-S
    Maxine Walden: Afraid I will have to go; seems you two are into a deep conversation; I will look forward to reading it more as Ipost the log.
    Maxine Walden: take care and great discussion.
    Wol Euler: bye maxine, take care, and thank you
    Liza Deischer: thanks Max, bye
    Liza Deischer: that was for the record :-)
    Wol Euler nods.
    Wol Euler: "then" isn't lost, it isn't .... well, hard to say.
    Wol Euler: obviously it is not here.
    Wol Euler: the cookie that I ate is not still on my desk
    Wol Euler: but it exists only in my memory of the past, and the taste in my mouth
    Liza Deischer: no it changed in your stomach
    Wol Euler: and that :)
    Wol Euler: but soon that too will be gone, and only my memory will remain
    Liza Deischer: to me memory is something from the now
    Wol Euler: you asked whether the past exists?
    Liza Deischer: but I am going to back you up in your argument
    Liza Deischer: because I also have a question about it
    Liza Deischer: I think in processes
    Liza Deischer: smooth changing events or whatever
    Wol Euler nods.
    Liza Deischer: processes and projects have a natural flow
    Liza Deischer: in that case there seems to be a series of things, 'nows' or not that influences each other
    Liza Deischer: and that is where I get stuck
    Liza Deischer: beause there seems to be a past then
    Liza Deischer: but not knowing if this past is a series of past 'nows'
    Liza Deischer: am I making any sense?
    Wol Euler: I think so, I'm considering slowly
    Wol Euler: is a "past now" for you different to a "then"?
    Wol Euler: wondering why you used that expression
    Liza Deischer: I suppose so
    Liza Deischer: a past now is still in the now in a different form, so isn't the same as now
    Liza Deischer: and then is past, gone, not interesting any more
    Liza Deischer: to the individual that is
    Wol Euler: okay, yes, I think I see whatyou mean.
    Wol Euler: that is what I think of as the deeper now
    Wol Euler: continuous action, which is still continuing
    Wol Euler: when I go to a concert, for example, while I sit there the music is flowing past me
    Wol Euler: there is a true now which consists of a note, another note, another note, another note, one by one
    Wol Euler: but I also have a kind of continuous now of what I have been doing and still do
    Wol Euler: my memory of hte beginning of the piece of music, while I listen to it,
    Wol Euler: is different in some way to my remembering my holiday in 1987
    Wol Euler: is that what you mean?
    Liza Deischer: well, the only thing that I have no feeling with is the now as a container of time
    Liza Deischer: the rest I recognize
    Wol Euler: hmmmmmmmm
    Wol Euler: is now a container?
    Wol Euler: I'm not sure
    Liza Deischer: one note is somehow a container
    Wol Euler: memories are containers
    Wol Euler: so "then" is a bunch of containers, I can take one and open it
    Liza Deischer: and you can make that container smaller and smaller, but you can't reduce it to nothing
    Liza Deischer: something like, the beginning of the note, the middle of the note and the end
    Liza Deischer: especially with a guitar of even better a violin, those three things can be very different
    Liza Deischer: memories i agree are containers
    Liza Deischer: it work like that yes
    Liza Deischer: and memories are really containers of time, but when we open them, they have changed, maybe a little, and suddenly become part of the present
    Wol Euler: yep
    Wol Euler: a recycled present :)
    Wol Euler: have your cake and eat it again
    Liza Deischer: no thanks :-)
    Liza Deischer: (joking)
    Wol Euler: yes, memories change. We edit them, mostly unconsciously, and sometimes we understand them much later on
    Liza Deischer: right
    Liza Deischer: but I need to say that this discussion makes me wondering more about the now
    Wol Euler: is that good? :)
    Liza Deischer: always :-)
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Wol Euler: My work is done
    Wol Euler: *done.
    Wol Euler: bah. spoiled my own joke
    Liza Deischer: :-)))
    Liza Deischer: your joke arrived here anyway :-)
    Wol Euler: good :)
    Wol Euler: \o/
    Liza Deischer: because I start to be convinced more and more that the now isn't time, but what is it then
    Liza Deischer: or is time making us aware of the now?
    Wol Euler: now is not time, yes, now is outside of the measurement of time
    Wol Euler: future is time, because we count it off: "four more sleeps"
    Wol Euler: past is time, because we have put it in containers and indexed them
    Wol Euler: but now is a tiny little bubble of pure Being, life moves past it
    Wol Euler: as it stays still
    Wol Euler: and us in it
    Liza Deischer: or maybe now is the whole being
    Wol Euler: it took me ages to realize that this is what they mean by "no time". Living in the right-exactly-now
    Wol Euler: or perhaps that is just my elaborated mis-understanding :)
    Liza Deischer: :-)
    Liza Deischer: I think you made a good summary :-)
    Wol Euler: thank you :)
    Wol Euler: I have to admit, sometimes I listen to what I say and wonder whether it's true or just pure horseshit.
    Wol Euler: it feels true as I say it, but then sometimes I look at the words and am not sure
    Liza Deischer: :-) sometimes it is good to hear you own horseshit, because then it becomes part of your awareness
    Wol Euler grins and nods
    Liza Deischer: and then it is ready to be played with :-)
    Wol Euler: anyway, I fear that in the Now that is right-now, I must move on. My future is catching up with me.
    Liza Deischer: me too
    Liza Deischer: thanks for the discussion Wol
    Wol Euler: it was my very great pleasure, thank you.
    Liza Deischer: :-)
    Liza Deischer: see you, sleep well
    Wol Euler: you too
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