2012.01.20 06:00 - Regarding Reality: the shadow of absence and loss

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    The guardian at this session discussing themes from Maxine's book Regading Reality is Maxine.  The comments etc are hers.
    The main topic was the impact of absence and loss on the personality.  Several points of view were expressed as well as a TED talk about fetal memory (link below)
    Bleu Oleander: hi Maxine :)
    Maxine Walden: hi, bleu!
    Play as Being 15 minute bell: Thank you.
    Maxine Walden: having trouble rezzing :)
    Bleu Oleander: seems very laggy
    Maxine Walden: as there!
    Maxine Walden: for me too
    Maxine Walden: how's things?
    Bleu Oleander: wonderful, you?
    Maxine Walden: OK, thanks. End of disruptive snowy week in rl
    Bleu Oleander: I saw that!
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Bleu Oleander: unusual for that area?
    Maxine Walden: We aren't used to 'real' wintry weather
    Maxine Walden: but likely to be more usual with global change
    Bleu Oleander: we of course, are having sunny 70's
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Maxine Walden: sounds really nice right now
    Maxine Walden: !
    Bleu Oleander: it is ... why we live here i suppose :)
    Maxine Walden: ah, yes, can imagine. Weather pretty steady there?
    Bleu Oleander: yes, hot and hotter ... our 2 seasons :)
    Bleu Oleander shouts: hi boxy
    Maxine Walden: :) ah! that might be a problem for me after awhile
    Bleu Oleander: hi Sam :)
    Maxine Walden: hi, O
    Maxine Walden: and hi, Boxy
    Maxine Walden: seems laggy for us all
    Bleu Oleander: yes
    oO0Oo Resident: Hi Bleu, Maxine, Boxy :)
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Bleu Oleander: ntsy Sam :)
    oO0Oo Resident: likewise Bleu :)
    Maxine Walden: I've really been appreciating your contributions to these discussions Bleu and O, artistic and meditative considerations about 'reality'...so
    Bleu Oleander: :)
    oO0Oo Resident: :) ty Maxine
    Maxine Walden: hoped we might continue the conversation today, if it suits, in considering the role of 'absence' in our experience...absence, which leaves memory traces of a previous presence...appreciate your thoughtful insights :)
    Maxine Walden: Maybe just to say a few words re my thoughts:
    Maxine Walden: it seems to me that absence, or the shadow of 'what was' as noted in memory is vital to our creative process.
    Bleu Oleander: vital to almost all our processes ... memory
    Maxine Walden: Absence is necessary for memory traces to be laid...and then for the instigation of a thought about what used to be here
    Maxine Walden: agree, Bleu
    Bleu Oleander: even need memory to think about the future
    Maxine Walden: indeed
    Maxine Walden: and memory needed for the development of thought and language...symbols of 'what was' or what is longed for
    Maxine Walden: hi, Eliza
    Bleu Oleander: each time a memory is recalled present perceptions are re-saved with it ... so maybe what was and what is
    Bleu Oleander: hi Eliza :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Maxine and everyone sorry to be late and I might pop out early but glad to make it for a while :)
    oO0Oo Resident: Hi Eliza :) I'll make you up a notecard.
    Eliza Madrigal: ty very much
    Maxine Walden: your arrival reminded me that I needed to grab the chatlot, Elliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, I've got it Maxine :)
    Maxine Walden: my memory was failing me :)
    PaB Listener Master: Eliza Madrigal has just claimed the session and will receive link to the log after the session is done. This replaces any previous claim.
    Bleu Oleander: :)
    Maxine Walden: (we have been talking about absence and its impact on memory and other essential elements in our mental/emotional lives)
    Eliza Madrigal: ty
    Maxine Walden: so just wanted to put out there this notion of the role of absence: can think of it as vital for the establishement of inner/mental space: for memory, for language, for self reflection.
    Maxine Walden: and for developing our capacity for delayed gratification (which is sometimes painful)
    Bleu Oleander: hiya Zen :)
    Zen Arado: Hi all
    Maxine Walden: but the emphasis, maybe for us is the impact of absence upon the creative process and of our perceptions of reality
    Eliza Madrigal: Interesting, as ability to table/forget?
    Maxine Walden: hi, zen
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Zen :)
    Bleu Oleander: not sure how you mean absence Maxine, could you say more?
    Zen Arado: yeh absanse of what?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Vector!
    Bleu Oleander: hi Vector :)
    Zen Arado: absence needs ab object?
    Zen Arado: Hi Vector
    Zen Arado: an*
    Vector Marksman: Hi all. I will listen
    Maxine Walden: sure, Bleu. By absence I am thinking of the experience of 'after the presence of something meaningful' such a a beloved person, good care, pleasure, gratification. Then there is the experience of absence when that ceases. And our reaction to that loss.
    Maxine Walden: hi, Vector, nice to see you
    Bleu Oleander: so absence as loss?
    Eliza Madrigal shares the notes she was given
    Maxine Walden: I am speaking of course of the young personality, but it seems to me that we continue to utilize patterns set early on
    Maxine Walden: absence and loss are very connected as you suggest
    Bleu Oleander: not necessarily though?
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Maxine Walden: say more?
    Bleu Oleander: can absence just mean not in the present?
    Bleu Oleander: depends on the emotions we attach to it
    Zen Arado: absence/presence of relationships?
    Zen Arado: or emotions attached to relationship?
    Eliza Madrigal remembers a curious phrase Eos sometimes uses 'nostalgia for the present'
    Maxine Walden: exactly what I was thinking, the emotions involved, so maybe better to say absence or loss of an important/meaningful experience, yes usually involving relationship with meaningful other
    Zen Arado: longings, hurt feelings
    Maxine Walden: hmm, :)
    Zen Arado: missing other
    Eliza Madrigal: could it be that something is always there, that kind of feeling of absence, and change/shift uncovers it ?
    Zen Arado: = attachment?
    Maxine Walden: and that the missing might develop our minds, our hearts
    Maxine Walden: say more, Eliza?
    Bleu Oleander: time can add more distance to the absence
    Eliza Madrigal: hadn't thought of it before but there seem emotions or sort of base feelings of need, uncovered when a change or loss occurs... bringing that to the fore
    Bleu Oleander: perhaps even change the emotions associated with it
    Maxine Walden: yes, Zen
    Maxine Walden: as if a shadow of loss/absence puts the emotion into higher profile?
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Maxine Walden: :)
    oO0Oo Resident: Watched TED talk that spoke of foetus remembering so much prior to birth... amazing
    Play as Being 15 minute bell: Thank you.
    Maxine Walden: ah!, O sounds fascinating, remember which TED talk?
    Zen Arado: what kind of things Sam?
    oO0Oo Resident is Offline
    Maxine Walden: :) oh oh! we lost O
    Zen Arado: Oh!
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: absence of O, hopefully temporary :)
    Maxine Walden: yes, yes, have a distance from O so we can 'remember him'
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Maxine Walden: think about him, in his absence...:)
    Zen Arado: wonder how it could remember without concepts and language?
    Vector Marksman: :)
    Zen Arado: unless they were added retroppectively
    Maxine Walden: could it be that language develops out of symbols for the absent other...
    Eliza Madrigal: life begins with a trauma, in a way
    Zen Arado: sorry for my bad typing
    Maxine Walden: say more, Eliza?
    Eliza Madrigal: considering birth memories... it is a dramatic separation...
    Maxine Walden: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: as a mom remember the kids feeling millions of miles away when first born, even if just next to me
    Maxine Walden: hmm
    Eliza Madrigal: so considering we all go through this dramatic loss first thing
    Eliza Madrigal: (in a way)
    Maxine Walden: nodding
    Zen Arado: loss of womb?
    Bleu Oleander: unknown how a new born feels the experience of birth?
    Zen Arado: wb Sam
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, true... no way to tell for sure but it is plausible that we may tap into that with other losses in a sense
    Eliza Madrigal: as one idea
    Bleu Oleander: maybe not having fully developed brains saves us from the trauma?
    Zen Arado: no language no labels just sensations
    Maxine Walden: guess we can conjecture the 'birth' experience, and maybe find traces in preverbal 'rumblings' 'earthquakes' of a sort
    Eliza Madrigal: nods
    Zen Arado: one wit evering
    Eliza Madrigal: wb O :)
    Vector Marksman: Sets up a longing for what once was
    Zen Arado: then we learn labels and objectify things
    Zen Arado: separate them
    Maxine Walden: longing for the pre-birth 'uniion'? Vector?
    Maxine Walden: yes, zen
    Vector Marksman: union which was a kind of paradise perhaaps
    Eliza Madrigal: mmm
    Zen Arado: taught that we are a separate being
    Vector Marksman: roughly ended by birth
    Bleu Oleander: we might be projecting a mature thought process on to a very immature being?
    Maxine Walden: :), yes, I wonder about that paradise sense which I nearly always attribute the uterine experience, but then toward the end of gestation it might feel rather pressured inside, cramped...hard to know, feels like my projection
    Maxine Walden: agree, bleu, we just do not know, and our effort to know is likely mainly our projection
    Bleu Oleander: :)
    Zen Arado: wonder if it can be cramped if we don't know hat 'cramped' is?
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Zen Arado: it just is as it is
    Maxine Walden: reminds of a study I read about years ago:
    Vector Marksman: can we have experience wtihout the words - feel very constricted?
    Bleu Oleander: that said, new research points to very important time in development
    Maxine Walden: in Italy where they do not have as great restriction on imaging the fetus: uterine imaging of the fetus, say holding the umbilical cord was very similar to the post birth tendency to hold onto cords or pillows (if the fetus was in close contact with the placenta)
    Bleu Oleander: life line
    Zen Arado: a new born baby can register displeasure though :)
    Maxine Walden: :), yes and continuity of patterns across the threshold of birth
    oO0Oo Resident whispers: [for the record: Annie Murphy Paul on TED RE: Foetal memory etc. http://is.gd/fefY8f ]
    Maxine Walden: so personality/character begins in the womb? maybe?
    Bleu Oleander: some genetic, some experience
    Eliza Madrigal: OK... have to poof... friend has arrived...
    Eliza Madrigal: Lovely to see everyone, hope my leaving not too traumatic, lol
    Maxine Walden: thanks, Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: bfn
    Vector Marksman: bye
    Bleu Oleander: bye Eliza ntsy!
    Eliza Madrigal is Offline
    oO0Oo Resident: Bye Eliza
    Zen Arado: bye Eliza
    Maxine Walden: some of us may be listening to the TED talk
    Bleu Oleander: will listen later, thank you Sam :)
    Maxine Walden: yes, thanks sam
    oO0Oo Resident: Interesting to think about what is absent. Thought of Thich Nhat Hanh talking about appreciating our "lack of toothache", about how a toothache is something we focus on. But for all that time when there is no toothache.. we could appreciate that too. So many absent things in past and future.
    Vector Marksman: When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten - Chuang Tzu
    Zen Arado: :)
    Bleu Oleander: hi Luci
    Zen Arado: we think in the negative I guess
    Zen Arado: Hi Luci
    Maxine Walden: very interesting, Vector. the impact of the 'toothache' as it were, or the non-toothache, actually
    Lucinda Lavender: Hi Zen, Maxine,Sam,VectorBleu
    oO0Oo Resident: Hi Luci !
    Maxine Walden: yes, zen
    Maxine Walden: hi, luci!
    Vector Marksman: We would be overwhelmed and couldn't focus on what is important if you were thinking about feet that didn't hurt i supoose
    Vector Marksman: JIO
    Bleu Oleander: perhaps nature's way of letting us know we need to deal with the tooth :)
    Vector Marksman: yes
    Vector Marksman: pain is that
    Bleu Oleander: :)
    Maxine Walden: we are just finishing a session thinking about aspects of absence and loss, sort of shadows of previous experience
    Lucinda Lavender: ah...thanks ...
    Lucinda Lavender: I heard some thing about toothache...
    Bleu Oleander: nice to see you all ... must get to work ... bye for now :)
    Maxine Walden: bye, bleu, thanks so for coming
    Bleu Oleander: thanks Maxine
    oO0Oo Resident: ntsy Bleu tc
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Zen Arado: bye Bleu
    Vector Marksman: Bye - great to come - I read all the chat logs..:)
    Zen Arado: Ihave to go too
    Zen Arado: byee
    Lucinda Lavender: bye Bleu, Zen, Vector
    oO0Oo Resident: Bye Zen, Vector
    Maxine Walden: I have to go soon as well. Really appreciating all these thoughts; they are very stimulating.
    Lucinda Lavender: I enjoyed your synopsis that came in email Maxine
    Maxine Walden: hope to see you next week. Luci, take care, and stay warm and safe (it is snowing, or just past so here in Seattle where Luci and I are)
    Maxine Walden: ah...see you again soon
    oO0Oo Resident: Bye, and Thanks Maxine (oh dear.. lag is ferocious.. struggling to keep up, but tc everyone)
    Lucinda Lavender: ok Maxine same for you
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