2012.02.04 13:00 - "Try to be the plant" - An exploration of imagination and "reality"

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    The guardian for this session was Bruce Mowbray.  The comments are by Bruce Mowbray.

    Bruce had earlier sent out a notecard that suggested a topic for today's discussion:

    Ever since Aph got the ball rolling by suggesting possible topics of discussion for her Sunday 1 p.m. (SLT) PaB sessions, I've been thinking of doing the same with "my" Saturday 1 p.m. session.

    Recently -- probably due to political and Super Bowl monopolies of the air waves - I've been thinking about image, "fantasy" and literalism.

    Although I am, of course, completely open to other suggestions for today's topic, I'm putting out the following "resolves"  -- in case anyone else would care to join my madness:

    1.  Fantasy IS reality.  Whatever we believe is "real" in our experience, is only "real" because our fantasies about it make it so.

    2.  Fantasy creates "reality" through imagery.  There can be NO apprehension of reality except through imagery.

    3.  The entire (100%) of religious/spiritual experience is a diverse circus of image manipulations.

    4.  The entire (100%) political campaign arena is a diverse circus of image manipulations.

    5.  The entire (100%) Super Bowl drama, and its infinity of sub-dramas, is a diverse circus of image manipulations.

    6.  The entirety (100%) of human sexual identification and involvements is a diverse circus of image manipulations.

    etc. etc. etc. . .  (Of course, I am intentionally manipulating your "imaging" of these statements by using the image-evoking word "circus" in each of them.)

    My point:  The entire (100%) psychic life of the personality is governed by our awareness of, exploration of, and ordering of images.

    Care to join in the fray?  I'll hope to see you TODAY at 1 p.m. SLT at the Pavilion.

    - - -  Bruce Mowbray


    Bruce: Hey, Multi!

    Bruce: How ya doin' today?

    Multiverse1: hiya bruce

    Bruce: Hey, Stevenaia!

    stevenaia Michinaga: hi Bruce, Multi

    Multiverse1: and stevie

    Bruce: I just gave both of you the email-notecard I sent out earlier. . . (but have no intention of railroading today's discussion with it.)

    stevenaia Michinaga: been busy, waiting for friends to go a jazz club tonight

    Multiverse1: I believe in the one day, philosophy, merely 97 increments away from the last day, and how are you?

    Bruce: Cool, steve! In RL or SL?

    stevenaia Michinaga: RL, actually

    Bruce: doubly cool.

    stevenaia Michinaga: in a few hours

    Bruce: I am OK, I guess.

    Multiverse1: railroading? hmmm

    stevenaia Michinaga: local seedy bar has excellent Jazz

    Bruce: yeah, my way of saying that anything whatsoever is up for discussion. . . not necessary what I gave on you the notecard.

    Bruce: Coolllll. Bruce loves seedy jazz.

    Multiverse1: nice, live music is always a powerful force for me.

    Bruce: oh yes.

    stevenaia Michinaga: nods, interesting question, what is fantasy, if not reality

    Multiverse1: gets me moving in all sorts of directions

    stevenaia Michinaga: Like something from my profile (let me look)

    stevenaia Michinaga: If life is a meditation, what is not meditating

    Multiverse1: brb, absorption process

    Bruce: Yes, - - - and from my profile: "SL is a campfire around which we gather, dance, and share our diverse tales.  All distances are near."

    Multiverse1: the old campfire tales

    Multiverse1: had one that was called 3 finger Willie.

    Bruce: ha ha ha

    stevenaia Michinaga: everything is simply what it is, everything else is a label

    Bruce: Hey, Eliza.

    Multiverse1: label the what not is then please?

    stevenaia Michinaga: waves to Elixa

    stevenaia Michinaga: Eliza, too

    Multiverse1: hi ya Eliza!

    Eliza: :))

    stevenaia Michinaga: is that a question, Multi?

    Multiverse1: Bruce, your note is well prepared indeed. The fantasy of our realities, lie in each other?

    Eliza: Hi Bruce Multi, Stevenaia :)

    Multiverse1: Elixa, I like that one!

    Eliza smiles

    Bruce: Not sure what you mean by "lie in each other" -- You mean "containers inside containers"?

    Multiverse1: well, without a reference point does it exist?

    Bruce: The flow of psychic energy IS fantasy, and fantasy is ordered imagery. - - - I think that's what I'm saying.

    Multiverse1: or is that then, true fantasy?

    Bruce: Imagery is "released" by fantasy. Disordered fantasy is toxic, but only if taken literally.

    Eliza: fantasy = mere reflection?

    Play as Being 15 minute bell: Thank you.

    stevenaia Michinaga: brb laundry (my fantasy)

    Eliza: :)

    Multiverse1: so chaos becomes simplicity? A different campfire and a marshmallow cupcake?

    Bruce: Actually, my "view" is stronger than that: Our "reality" IS fantasy.

    Bruce: Hey, Zon.

    Eliza: Hi Zon :)

    Zon Kwan: heya

    Multiverse1: stronger word than stronger, hmmm, trying to dig

    Multiverse1: Hi Zon

    Bruce: mmm. (I had that same challenge, Multi -- and decided to go with stronger.)

    Bruce: Imagination is the primary instrument of survival.

    Bruce: We imagine positive futures and call them "hopes."

    Bruce: We imagine negative futures and call them "fears."

    Multiverse1: bruce "The Stronger" then, I shall refer to you.

    Bruce: We imagine heroic rescuers and call them "Presidents," saints, gurus, angels, and gods.

    Bruce: We imagine entities that would bring disorder to our hopes. We call them criminals, degenerates, demons, sinners, and devils -- all are fictional characters within our own imagined contexts.

    Bruce takes a deep breath....

    Eliza: There is this spontaneous practice I've gotten into which is a bit of 'apapb' in that taking very concrete things in environment, I stop to question it like something I've never seen before, because it is

    Multiverse1: the hero with a thousand faces, joe campbell

    Zon Kwan: super bawl is not real ?

    Bruce: sort of like asking, What else is true, Eliza?

    Bruce: or Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind?

    Eliza: yes very much so... a way of seeing the game level of things and also other levels, in a way, though levels are still reflections in a sense...

    Eliza: so I can engage but not buy in...

    Eliza: and also this in turn questions the I engaging

    Bruce is glad Zon mentioned the Super "Bawl"

    Eliza sits on hands in case she's in a different topic stream

    Eliza: hehe

    Bruce ponders "engaging but not buying in..."

    Eliza: nods, better :)

    Zon Kwan: what is real then ?

    Bruce: I found it interesting to note that James Hillman defines "reflection" (aka 'reflexion') as "bending back [again] into our images." -- Bending back into them for another look.

    Eliza: immediacy itself?

    Multiverse1: I bid 73 cents now

    Zon Kwan: all is real and nothing is

    Bruce: Our perceptions -- immediate though they are -- must always be rooted in the images of our root metaphors. -- otherwise, even experience is without meaning.

    Multiverse1: the truest statement, is the simplest

    Bruce: ? Mmmmm. . . . worth thinking about, that.

    Multiverse1: dig up the roots, and replant elsewhere?

    Bruce: But I find that my simplest statements quickly become complex images.

    Bruce: or are grounded in complex imagery.

    Multiverse1: yes the multitude

    Bruce looks for his roots.

    Bruce: All stories -- all explanations of what's "real" -- rely upon archetypal assumptions and agreements.

    Bruce: When images seem to be universal, necessary, and repetitive through the centuries, we might call them "archetypes."

    Zon Kwan: but what is real really ?

    Multiverse1: I always look for the roots, I cannot see, but can visualize

    Bruce: Sounds really good, Multi. . . Perhaps you could give us an example of that?

    Multiverse1: yes, amongst our history and culture

    Bruce: example?

    Multiverse1: when I see a plant or bush

    Multiverse1: I look at what is it's entity or world

    Zon Kwan: history is a story ..a series of images

    Multiverse1: try to be the plant, and actually partially succeed

    Bruce: Is history, then, the stories told by those who write it? -- Those who prevail, in other words?

    Multiverse1: then take the water it is drinking

    Bruce ponders "try to be the plant."

    Bruce: and partially succeed.

    Zon Kwan: to know is to be

    Multiverse1: and the sun that cast upon it's leaves

    Eliza: history seems snapshots, thinner and thinner over time

    Zon Kwan: changing images

    Bruce: Empathy with the plant, Multi?

    Multiverse1: then continue on and on and on, until it's death, then back to its birth

    Multiverse1: best I can say it

    Multiverse1: any entity

    boxy: hi :)

    Play as Being 15 minute bell: Thank you.

    Bruce remembers Jung: When images seem to be universal, necessary, and repetitive through the centuries, we might call those images "archetypes."

    Bruce: Hey, Boxy!

    Eliza: Hi Boxy :)

    Bruce wonders if The quickest and most accurate way of finding out what's "really happening" with someone (including our finding out about ourselves) is to explore our fantasies (the stories we tell through images.)

    Multiverse1: could be a stone ,even

    Bruce: Remembers "Teaching a Stone to Talk"

    Zon Kwan: but isn't archetype just an idea an image ?

    Multiverse1: pet rocks anybody?

    Bruce: can't remember her name. . . the essayist -- OH! Annie Dillard.

    Eliza: the play is the thing

    Bruce: or, perhaps, the image is the thing. . . in which we'll catch . . What?

    Bruce: ourselves?

    Zon Kwan: so we are playing the game of comparing things with archetypes ?

    Eliza: :) seeing where hooks arise...

    Multiverse1: I am a rock, I am an island?

    Bruce: or "The story [play, fantasy, or otherwise] is the thing. . . .

    Bruce loves "noting what hooks arise."

    Multiverse1: simon and the other guy

    Zon Kwan: garfunkel

    Bruce: Garfunkel. . . . (or am I merely imagining that?)

    Eliza: every appearance may be seen as a play which contains a kind of mirror or is a mirror?

    Multiverse1: fishing today, bruce

    Bruce listens carefully for more from Eliza.

    boxy: a mirror?

    Multiverse1: always

    Eliza: considering reflections, and the way a film or play or the way we see something...

    Eliza: tells us about our own hearts

    Multiverse1: have to have an observer

    boxy: ah

    Eliza: conscience of the king and all that

    Eliza: ala Hamlet

    Bruce: Perhaps our "realities" are actually collections of useful fictions....

    Bruce: All stories -- all explanations of what's "real" -- rely upon archetypal assumptions and agreements.

    Multiverse1: your fantasies will do, bruce

    Bruce: haha!

    boxy: who is crying while watching a drama movie? :)

    Bruce: May I give an example of a recent experience?

    Multiverse1: no

    Multiverse1: haha

    Eliza: which is why we should be careful when we attribute things to others based on history we may know 'about them'

    boxy: :)

    Eliza: please do Bruce

    Bruce: I have recently had to have FOUR MRI's....

    Multiverse1: oh yes

    Bruce: and I am pathologically claustrophobic.

    Bruce: However. . .

    Bruce: In each of the MRI experience, I visualized myself and my dog walking in the field under the stars...

    boxy: :)

    Bruce: or else, I took all of the members of the Original Face group with me inside the MRI "tube."

    Bruce: (because they gave me their permission to do that).

    Eliza smiles

    Bruce: and each of the MRI's was a real blessing. . . No claustrophobia whatsoever.

    Bruce: I call those "Useful fictions"

    Bruce: Maybe even Healing Fictions.

    Multiverse1: I recall you were going to approach this from a certain avenue

    boxy: well done, bruce

    Bruce: TY!

    Zon Kwan: the word "real" should be first defined before we can ask if something is real or not

    Eliza: wonderful, Bruce

    Eliza: I have to admit I do something like that all the time, rarely asking permission... hm...

    Multiverse1: yes it worked well then, applause here!

    Bruce: What I'm trying to put out there is "Images are the ONLY reality we apprehend directly."

    Zon Kwan: why call them reality..just images

    Multiverse1: we see the reflection, that we want to see then?

    Bruce: Images have the power to override our sensory experience.

    Eliza: maybe bruce points to the way we give the images reality

    Bruce: "Time" itself is an imaginary concept. It is impossible to conceive of time without imagery.

    Multiverse1: spacetyme

    Zon Kwan: so realty is seen as relative ?

    Zon Kwan: to the one who perceives it

    Bruce: Otherwise we fall into literalism.

    Bruce: Well, I do hope that our images are always relative...

    Eliza: for me I wouldn't say that, because it isn't *just* a matter of will .. there does seem an exchange

    Bruce: and literalism is suicide, in my view.

    Multiverse1: that is why I sometymes spell tyme that way. you can't have one without the other

    Bruce listens for more from Eliza.

    Bruce loves Multiverse's "imaginary" and creative spelling of time.

    Eliza: though I feel we impart , in a sense there does seem something else which is or may not be receptive...

    Zon Kwan: time and space are the way the mind perceives its projections

    Multiverse1: tyme+spacetime, my dictionary

    Multiverse1: =

    Zon Kwan: way to perceive =

    Bruce: I agree , Zon. . . but what exactly are we projecting that we then feel OK in calling "real"?

    Eliza: :) Multi, I always think of fragrance when you write that... thyme and space

    Eliza giggles

    Zon Kwan: real is like god

    Multiverse1: projecting the mirror image

    Bruce: ;-)

    stevenaia Michinaga: tyme to go :)

    Zon Kwan: bad words

    Bruce: Loves tyme the herb.

    Eliza waves

    Bruce: Bye, steve!

    Bruce: Thanks for joining us!

    Bruce: "Synchronicity" is an alignment of individual experience, image, and archetype at a particular "time."

    Eliza: but to those who 'love god' god is anything but a bad word... what about love...

    Zon Kwan: do animals or plans ask if this is real

    Zon Kwan: ask

    Multiverse1: just my little protest to the current dictionary

    Play as Being 15 minute bell: Thank you.

    Bruce: "Do animals or plants ask if this is real?" --- The only way we "know" instinct is through imagery. To suppose that instinct exists apart from image-patterns would be to regard instinct as "blind" behavior. Are animals "blind" to their own instincts? Are we?

    Zon Kwan: i meant bad words in that respect they have multitude of meanings depending on who is talking

    Multiverse1: and easier to type

    Bruce: so, context is always relevant and vital?

    Bruce: Zon?

    Eliza: unless we all speak from our hearts ... personally... and hear others as doing the same

    Multiverse1: we are not "the animal"

    Zon Kwan: we are part of the universe

    Zon Kwan: like the rest

    Multiverse1: reflection in Eliza's mirror here.

    Bruce: Regarding instinct to be anything at all means to apply images of necessity and vitality to it.

    Bruce: Humans are, perhaps, unique, because we can put other priorities on top of instincts.

    Multiverse1: vitality forever?

    Bruce: perhaps....????

    Multiverse1: necessary?

    Bruce: I feel that it is our images that make our ideas "vital" -- and perhaps our instincts that give "vitality" to our images.

    Bruce: Necessary, to me, means a sense of priority and consuming urgency.

    Bruce: Like, in the MRI. . .

    Zon Kwan: images are ideas

    Bruce: "necessary" would have meant GET OUT OF HERE!!!

    Multiverse1: yes but it is vital for you to eat, but I will starve here

    Zon Kwan: how do they reflect reality ?

    Bruce: if I had not used other images to rescue myself.

    Zon Kwan: images are tools

    Eliza: synchronicity and alignment is so interesting here... for me I experience this as time flowing from within my experience or engagement rather than as imposed from outside, and in a sense, thereby transcending inner/outer

    Bruce: I am saying that Images ARE reality. That fantasies ARE reality.

    boxy: bruce, what is real for a person blind from birth?

    Bruce: and the only reality that we are in connection with.

    Bruce: You're asking the wrong person for that, Boxy.

    Zon Kwan: so all is fantasy

    Bruce: What would you say?

    Bruce: Yes, all reality is fantasy.

    Multiverse1: we create our own realities, do we not assume to do so, helplessly perhaps

    Zon Kwan: agreed

    Bruce: The quickest and most accurate way of finding out what's "really happening" with someone (including our finding out about ourselves) is to explore our fantasies (the stories we tell through images.)

    boxy: i'm testing your theory of images, bruce :)

    Bruce: I love it!!

    Bruce: kk.

    Eliza: and I think of so many times where I 'tried' to do what you describe Bruce and it simply wasn't there... it didn't work... then other times I wouldn't have asked and something kicks in... so, for me, can't be just a matter of our imposition

    Zon Kwan: which fantasy is good and which bad then ?

    Bruce: sensory experience is what it is... but it is perceives and given "meaning" through fantasies and images.

    Multiverse1: bruce's are good, bad Zon

    Bruce: My fantasy of walking in the fields at night when I was "actually" inside the MRI tube -- was healthy!

    Multiverse1: lol

    Multiverse1: was a joke

    Eliza: and someone with amnesia or no memory still experiences ?

    Zon Kwan: but a good one

    Zon Kwan: is my fantasy equal to yours ?

    Bruce: I doubt that amnesia can rob someone of his/ her root metaphors -- that always come in images.

    Multiverse1: bruce the stronger has arisen!

    Zon Kwan: what if our fantasies clash

    Bruce: Don't know how to judge images. . . except for myself, of course... but not always even then.

    Bruce: Behold fantasies clashing: Super Bawl.

    Zon Kwan: is the might the right

    Bruce: Super Bawl.

    Bruce: American politics -- clashing fantasies, indeed.

    Zon Kwan: is this a world where billions of people have each their own fantasy

    Eliza: football / American politics = same... though, the latter is more like some kinds of wrestling where they pretend to be on diff sides...

    Eliza: play is the thing :) and big money generator :)

    Zon Kwan: and each is right

    Bruce feels that both "might" and "right" are fanciful notions.... that will differ in their "reality" to different folks.

    Bruce: I would agree with that, basically, Zon.

    Multiverse1: I am left today

    Zon Kwan: are Nazis as right as opposing forces ?

    boxy: 13:56 - nazi's reference :)

    Bruce: Otherwise, we'd have to postulate a "higher" Truth that determines what "right" might me.

    Bruce: If Nazi's had won the war, then their [fanciful/imagined] histories would have portrayed them as "right."

    Multiverse1: I am you right side in the mirror now, which is in reality, my left

    Zon Kwan: so no direction, no common ground foe all ?

    Bruce: "Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." ~Ronald Reagan (and he should know, being a wizard of image manipulation.)

    Multiverse1: yes, a prism!

    Eliza: heheheh

    Bruce: We imagine heroic rescuers and call them "Presidents," saints, gurus, angels, and gods.

    Eliza: I'm going to have to go, but thanks so much Bruce

    Bruce: I also have to go.

    Eliza: and Multi, Zon, Alfred

    Bruce: THANKS to all of you!!!

    Multiverse1: byeya Eliza

    Zon Kwan: bye Eliza

    Bruce: I am imagining you happy, safe, and well fed.

    Zon Kwan: bruce

    Eliza waves, be well

    Zon Kwan: gtg too

    Bruce waves, also.

    Multiverse1: be expansive Bruce

    Zon Kwan: see ya
    Multiverse1 Resident: byeeee
    Multiverse1 Resident: and I and the box remain
    Multiverse1 Resident: arfff!
    Multiverse1 Resident: bye boxy


    Twenty minutes later, Bruce returned to the Pavilion to see why the auto-logger had not yet sent him the log - and he found Boxy there alone (perhaps afloat in doggie fantasies?)


    Bruce: Yikes! You're still here, Boxy!

    boxy's nose: Bruce slowly strokes boxy's wet nose

    boxy: hi :)

    boxy: sort of

    Bruce ponders, perhaps Boxy is taking a doggie nap.

    Bruce: Oh HI!

    boxy: that too :)

    Bruce: Don't mean to interrupt.

    boxy: back for the log?

    Bruce: nope. The auto-logger will eventually send it to me, I hope.

    boxy: ok

    boxy: any meetings today?

    Bruce: never had any troubles with it before.

    Bruce: No mtgs for moi.

    Bruce: How about you?

    Bruce: Do you have time for a quick story?

    boxy: don't know of any

    boxy: sure

    Bruce: kk.

    Bruce: thanks.

    Bruce: Well, after the PaB session,

    boxy: robo pup is hear to listen in any case :)

    Bruce: my typist's dog and he went for a walk.

    Bruce: And on the walk two things happened:

    Bruce: One, he realized how his own lack of imaginative empathy has caused me to be less than compassionate throughout life.

    Bruce: and

    Bruce: Two, his dog and he BOTH were limping due to left hip pain.

    Bruce: and (that's actually what caused me to think about empathy/compassion)...

    Bruce: and he wondered if he was just imagining that..

    Bruce: but BOTH of us had to stop walking and return to the house because of the pain.

    Bruce: (him first, then Bruce's typist).

    Bruce: so....

    Bruce: what do you think of my imaginal-fantasy life now?

    boxy: i think it works for you (re: MRI tube) and i'm glad for that :)

    Bruce: Thanks, Boxy. You are truly One Compassionate Dog.

    boxy: :)

    Bruce: :)

    Bruce: Now I shall retire to the kitchen and see if I can imagine a supper for my typist.

    boxy: good plan :)

    Bruce: (unless you had something you wished to say....)

    boxy: eat well and let your hip get better. and the dog's.

    Bruce: kk.

    Bruce: Bye for now, then.

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