2012.08.06 19:00 - Theme Session: Quality and Consciousness

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    The Guardian for this theme meeting (the 6th in a series of 8), was Pema Pera. Eliza posted this session. 


    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Raffi
    Raffila Millgrove: Hi Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Myna, Twitchy, Prim
    TwitchyEars Resident: hi everyone
    Raffila Millgrove: Hi
    Pema Pera: hi everybody!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Pema
    TwitchyEars Resident: hi pema
    Raffila Millgrove: hi
    Pema Pera: (still getting my internet connection stabilized)
    TwitchyEars Resident: stop chewing the wires ? o.O
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: few rodents here . . .
    TwitchyEars Resident: were having a thunder storm if it gets bad i might have to poof
    Pema Pera: we'll keep our fingers crossed!
    TwitchyEars Resident: on the bright side it wont be 40c in my bedroom
    Eliza Madrigal: the luxury of continuous connection....
    Eliza Madrigal: when going smoothly it is easy to forget how choppy SL once was
    Pema Pera: yes!
    Pema Pera: easy to get used on things going well
    TwitchyEars Resident: i havent been here that long to have seen that
    TwitchyEars Resident: i think we get used to it and get spoiled
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    TwitchyEars Resident: hi claire
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Claire
    Pema Pera: hi Claire!
    Claire Maskelyne: Hello, everyone. It's nice to see you all.
    Claire Maskelyne: ^-^/
    Pema Pera: good seeing you too!
    Eliza Madrigal: you too... though wish I were on firestorm to see some of the pretty clothes (have gaps in phoenix)


    Pema Pera: today is going to be the sixth of a series of eight theme sessions, but we have few of the original participants here, so I'm not sure whether to continue or not, or to just chat
    Claire Maskelyne: What did you have in mind?
    Pema Pera: a while ago I volunteered to organize eight meetings over four weeks
    Pema Pera: this is the sixth
    Pema Pera: Last time we talked about Quality and Presence
    Pema Pera: would anyone like to report about their explorations?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Kori
    Korel Laloix: Heya
    Claire Maskelyne: Welcome, Korel.
    Raffila Millgrove: hi Kori
    Pema Pera: or discuss the general topic? Or do you prefer to chat about other things?
    Pema Pera: hi Korel!
    Korel Laloix smiles
    TwitchyEars Resident: hi korel
    Raffila Millgrove: I found the link to the interview.. with the Author of Ignorance that Eliza mailed us to be very helpful in understanding how you structured this ... seires.
    Claire Maskelyne: What does everyone think? Planned discussion, or chatting?
    Eliza Madrigal: thanks Raffi - friend of Pema's, and Bleu had passed that along... took me over a week to finally listen to it but was inspired by its spirit
    Eliza Madrigal: wb Myna
    Raffila Millgrove: i think my husband is going to recommend the book to his book club.
    Myna Maven: See if I can stick around this time. :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pema Pera: hi Myna!
    Myna Maven: Hi. Hi everyone.
    TwitchyEars Resident: hi myna
    Claire Maskelyne: Hello, Myna. ^-^


    Raffila Millgrove: wb Myna
    Eliza Madrigal: I love that analogy from the author, of the black cat in the dark room, that doesn't exit... hah
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: let me get the link for everyone here :) brb
    Raffila Millgrove: i read the transcript. very informative. easy to understand.
    Raffila Millgrove: how did you meet this guy Pema?
    Raffila Millgrove: the author?

    Pema Pera: he invited me to give a talk in his series, Raffi
    Raffila Millgrove: from columbia U
    Raffila Millgrove: oh!
    Raffila Millgrove: wow. tell us about it?
    Eliza Madrigal: (link to interview: http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/20...drives-science )
    Eliza Madrigal settles in for story....

    Pema Pera: he set up this course in which once a week he invites somebody else who, like him, thinks way out of the box, and is interested in not-knowing
    Claire Maskelyne: Oh! Is that why you're taking a trip in September?
    Pema Pera: and sees the value in that
    Pema Pera: no, this was a couple years ago
    Claire Maskelyne: Ah, I see.
    Pema Pera: I'm taking too many trips, almost any month :-)
    Pema Pera: hi Ewan
    Raffila Millgrove: so.. what did you talk about. did you mention us? at Pab. or your 9 seconds?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Ewan
    Pema Pera: not directly, no, I didn't mention any groups or authors or anything
    Pema Pera: in such a setting I prefer to talk from scratch
    Pema Pera: no references
    Ewan Bonham: Hi Folks..
    Raffila Millgrove: hey San and Ewan
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi San

    Pema Pera: I pointed to a wall and asked them what they saw
    Raffila Millgrove: wow no notes? what did you discuss then?
    Pema Pera: that kind of thing :-)
    Santoshima Resident: hello everyone
    Pema Pera: hi San!
    Raffila Millgrove: ah!
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe... you have to say more Pema
    Raffila Millgrove wonders if the listeners were receptive and go "into it".

    Pema Pera: well, I helped them see a bit of what it means to become aware of the sea of consciousness we are swimming in, or better, are part of
    Pema Pera: I told them "I have consciousness" is a sentence that doesn't make sense
    Pema Pera: while "consciousness has me" makes at least some sense, potentially
    Pema Pera: and I asked them to take some time to check for themselves
    Pema Pera: (that's a lot more effective, I feel, than quoting Husserl or other philosophers or scientists etc)
    Claire Maskelyne: Who is Husserl?
    Pema Pera: a philosopher
    TwitchyEars Resident: learning by doing is very effective
    Pema Pera: who also talked a lot about consciousness and appearance
    Eliza Madrigal: (link for Husserl: http://www.ids.ias.edu/~piet/publ/ot...erlcircle.html )
    Pema Pera: yes, indeed, Twitchy!
    Claire Maskelyne: Thank you, Eliza.
    Eliza Madrigal: yw :)
    Pema Pera: real philosophy ought to be explainable over coffee -- or beer
    TwitchyEars Resident: sorry brb gotta fix something on my sim

    Pema Pera: why not ask the question here: what could it possibly mean to say "I have consciousness'? What is this "I" that is supposed to have consciousness?
    Eliza Madrigal: containers ...
    Claire Maskelyne: A series of ideas, feelings, impressions and states, which we imagine to be attached to a discrete body that's really 90% bacteria?
    Pema Pera: but all of that are things we are aware of within consciousness
    Claire Maskelyne: Yep.
    Raffila Millgrove: i think it's 90 percent water? but i see your point Claire.
    Pema Pera: so how can any of that own the consciousness that we use to be aware of it?
    Eliza Madrigal: a false either / or - that one has to 'contain' the other ?
    Claire Maskelyne: Yes, but I meant in terms of cell count, Raffila.
    Pema Pera: yes, most of our cells are alien :)


     Claire Maskelyne: But when a lot of people talk about consciousness, I think they see it as something localized in and produced by the brain.
    Pema Pera: actually, when I asked whether anyone had anything they'd like to report, early on in this session, I hadn't realized that there were two reports on the wiki page already:           [link removed by Eliza since comments are on this very page]
    Pema Pera: I had not scrolled down far enough, sorry
    Pema Pera: I enjoyed just reading Eos' and Eliza's reports there
    Pema Pera: about quality and presence
    Eliza Madrigal: "warm perception" ... interesting
    Raffila Millgrove: i liked your thoughts on reading eliza.

    Pema Pera: if I were to distill both, I'd say: "quality and presence as extra dimensions of experience, not easily caught or projected into content"

    Eliza Madrigal: ty Raffi ... was a case of 'drop right where you are and see what you're seeing'
    Eliza Madrigal: apologies, brb
    TwitchyEars Resident: im not sure qualities like that can be accurately described. just felt
    Pema Pera: yes, descriptions fall short, but interesting to try to see how far you can get
    Pema Pera: in our digital age, we are so very focused on content
    Ewan Bonham: Nodding
    Pema Pera: while quality and presence are at right angles to that, so to speak
    Claire Maskelyne: What would you describe as 'content'?
    Pema Pera: different like form and color
    Pema Pera: information content, Claire
    Claire Maskelyne: Ah, thank you.
    Pema Pera: what is, rather than how

    Raffila Millgrove: do you see dualism playing into this, Pema?
    Pema Pera: in what way, Raffi?
    Raffila Millgrove: well it seems .. like that inability to be both here and there.. is a form of dualism.
    Pema Pera: here and there . . . you mean focus on content and quality?
    Raffila Millgrove: i was referring to the inability to focus on content.. while trying to stay inside something.
    TwitchyEars Resident: there is no outside when you are part of everything

    Pema Pera: perhaps it will help to take a concrete example, to be more clear
    Pema Pera: like this morning I enjoyed my walk to work
    Pema Pera: in what seemed like a series of nano meditations, so to speak

    Pema Pera: each fraction of a second I was struck by something else
    Pema Pera: and each snapshot felt deep and complete
    Pema Pera: yet there was also a kind of flow to it
    Pema Pera: while normally continuity and snapshots seems opposite, dual in some sense

    Pema Pera: it reminded me of the 9 seconds pauses that PaB began with
    Pema Pera: as micro meditations
    Pema Pera: but this was far shorter, fractions of a second each
    Raffila Millgrove: yes. thank you. good example.
    Claire Maskelyne: That sounds beautiful, Pema.

    Pema Pera: and quality and presence were two ways of trying to put into words what jumped out so strongly
    Pema Pera: also, after staying with that for a while, I could catch my normal thinking mind taking over again
    Pema Pera: and make everything foggy and muddy in comparison
    Pema Pera: and as soon as I noticed that it was very easy to get back to the continuity and vividness in particularities


    Pema Pera: getting "into" such a state is actually not so hard -- remembering that it is possible to stop/drop and do so is far harder, I feel

    TwitchyEars Resident: han shan said it was possible to find nirvana and lose it again. i think the ebb and flow is normal. one of the things i read about controlling my nightmares was to ask yourself awake when you pass thru a door - touch it and ask am i awake or am i sleeping ? awake youll say no im awake. eventually asleep, youll say sleeping and then alert yourself to being in a dream. i think it s possible to train our minds to let go of parts we dont need. the filters we use to keep things out. some are good to keep out. others we need to experience
    Pema Pera: yes, that's a nice practice, Twitchy, and it works; I've played with that quite a few times

    Raffila Millgrove: i have too. i learned by studying the hands before going to sleep. and looking at hands in the dream. as a way to change a dream.
    Raffila Millgrove: they called it controlled dreaming. was a long time ago.
    Eliza Madrigal: ah, I've heard of that technique... does it help Raffi?
    Raffila Millgrove: yes. particularly good if you have nightmares.
    Pema Pera: (btw, I'll have to leave a bit early today; lunch at noon sharp a few buildings down the road)
    TwitchyEars Resident: all i have is nightmares
    Raffila Millgrove: try it twitchy.
    TwitchyEars Resident: i will :)
    Pema Pera: sorry to hear that, Twitchy!
    Eliza Madrigal: k, Pema, thanks much
    Raffila Millgrove: when you get scared in dream.. look at your hands in the dream.. and use them to change it.
    Claire Maskelyne: Take care, Pema. :)
    Raffila Millgrove: study your hands first. tho. awake. to remember them.
    TwitchyEars Resident: happy nomming :) bring us back something
    Raffila Millgrove: thank you Pema..
    Pema Pera: see you all soon again; our next theme session in this series will be Thursday evening, 7 pm SLT
    Pema Pera: c u
    Ewan Bonham: Bye Pema..
    Eliza Madrigal: there is one technique that worked for me to stay alert in a dream, but change scene a bit if disturbing, which is 'spinning'
    TwitchyEars Resident: oh
    TwitchyEars Resident: is o k

    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Stevie
    stevenaia Michinaga: waves
    TwitchyEars Resident: hi stevie
    stevenaia Michinaga: sorry I;m late (came from a Joe Cocker concert)
    Eliza Madrigal: we're a bit quiet atm, were chatting about quality and presence, then micro medictation and mini moments and lucid dreaming :)
    Claire Maskelyne: Hello, Steve. ^06
    Claire Maskelyne: Blah, ^-^
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: nice concert?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I was actually monitoring the bicycle parking, but it was close enough felt like it was backstage
    Eliza Madrigal: :)) highlight?
    stevenaia Michinaga: the warm up band was Huey Lewis and the News
    Santoshima Resident: bedtime .... 'nite
    Eliza Madrigal: Nite San
    stevenaia Michinaga: night San
    Raffila Millgrove: wow what fun Stevie.


    Raffila Millgrove: well i got my important tv show now.. hehe. see you all laters. have a good one.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I sponsor the Bycycle parking every year at a local 10 day music festival in town, and volunteer, so there are perks
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Raff
    TwitchyEars Resident: nini
    TwitchyEars Resident: hi pila
    Ewan Bonham: Thank you... really interesting stuff... bye for now...:)
    stevenaia Michinaga: hu Pila, Bye Ewan
    stevenaia Michinaga: Hi
    Pila Mulligan: greetings
    Myna Maven: Hi Pila
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Raffi Claire, Twitchy, Prim
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Pila
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Ewan (belated)
    TwitchyEars Resident: gonna go finish my textures i was making take care everyone
    Claire Maskelyne: Good night, everyone, and have a pleasant tomorrow.
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: creatives among us
    Eliza Madrigal: :D
    Pila Mulligan: bye
    Myna Maven: Goodnight all.
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Myna
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Eliza Madrigal: nice to see you Pila, all well?
    Pila Mulligan: yes, thanks, ELiza, and you?
    Eliza Madrigal: am ok, thanks :) bit scattered, but found tonight's session settling
    Pila Mulligan: what was the topic tonight?
    Eliza Madrigal: quality and presence, then moving onto micro moments and lucid dreaming a little
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pila Mulligan: nothing on Curiosity?
    Eliza Madrigal: not too much - touching on ignorance though :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: I am sorry I will miss Saturday's meeting as I will be in FLorida, Pila
    Pila Mulligan: oh, maybe you can meet with ELiza
    Eliza Madrigal: we may :)
    Pila Mulligan: cool
    stevenaia Michinaga: I read that interview, ELiza, interesting thoughts on ignorance and science
    Eliza Madrigal: I have been chained to my son's virtual school but really hope to work things out
    Eliza Madrigal: nice interview, huh? bleu passed that along originally but I think it got buried in many emails
    stevenaia Michinaga: hoping for his breakthrough
    Eliza Madrigal: Pema was saying he gave a talk at an event organized by that author...
    Eliza Madrigal: 'out of the box' thinkers :)

    stevenaia Michinaga: nods, he does though a monkey wrench into conventional scientific thinking
    Eliza Madrigal: and suggests that should happen more and more :)
    Pila Mulligan: hi Paradise
    Eliza Madrigal: maybe many scientists feel they've pushed the method vehicle to near its limits
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Paradise :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: if you can't keep redefining a process, everything stays frozon
    Paradise Tennant: hiya pila so nice to see you :)
    Paradise Tennant: hiya eliza stev korel :))
    Pila Mulligan: same :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes ... evolution
    stevenaia Michinaga: hi Paradise, Korel
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pila Mulligan: Eliza said the earlier session was on quality and presence
    Pila Mulligan: can you give a brief re-cap please?
    Paradise Tennant: been working on appreciation :)) all week .. stopping to notice just how beautiful everything is :))
    stevenaia Michinaga: hmmm I assume you aren;t typing that thing about the Transaltion failing


    stevenaia Michinaga: seems even the bell... has issues
    Eliza Madrigal: well one thing that comes forwawrd is that when we run out, presence arises..
    Eliza Madrigal: that isn't a quote from the session.... but sophiasharon described being in auto pilot last week, and hm, well I understood her to be pointing to insight arising
    Eliza Madrigal: so when we run into dualisms and either or, if we don't choose between, what happens?
    Korel Laloix: Caio all.
    Korel Laloix: Take care
    Pila Mulligan: bye Korel
    Paradise Tennant: nite nite korel :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Korel
    Korel Laloix smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: night Korel
    Pila Mulligan: we pass between the poles?
    stevenaia Michinaga: when we don;t choose, a choice is made non-the-less

    Pila Mulligan: Hegelian Dialectic suggests a synthesis will arise anyway
    Eliza Madrigal: between the poles... that's an interesting phrase ...
    Pila Mulligan: between the thesis and ahtithesis to maintain the subsequent reference :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/05/dialectic.htm
    Eliza Madrigal: I listened to a kabbalah teacher recently, who described a 'will to receive' contrasted with 'will to bestow'... and the sense that when we are looking to receive we set up choices/preferences ... I sort of liked this way of describing the familiar ego trip
    Eliza Madrigal: ty Stevie... click
    Pila Mulligan: that website seems to be obsessed with Dialectical Materialism, the Marixst view of the Hegelian Dialectic
    stevenaia Michinaga: is there a better one?
    Pila Mulligan: the original one :)
    Eliza Madrigal: The Hegelian dialectical formula: A (thesis) versus B (anti-thesis) equals C (synthesis). For example: If (A) my idea of freedom conflicts with (B) your idea of freedom then (C) neither of us can be free until everyone agrees to be a slave.
    Pila Mulligan: the latter example is the obsession, easier one: ice meets sun = water
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: depends on how close it gets ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: am getting silly.... think it is time to close these stingy eyes
    Eliza Madrigal: nice to see you Pila, Para, Stevie
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegelia...lian_dialectic
    Paradise Tennant: smiles nite nite eliza sweet dreams :))
    Pila Mulligan: bye Eliza

    Paradise Tennant: In the Logic, for instance, Hegel describes a dialectic of existence:
    first, existence must be posited as pure Being (Sein); but pure Being, upon examination, is found to be indistinguishable from Nothing (Nichts).
    When it is realized that what is coming into being is, at the same time, also returning to nothing (in life, for example, one's living is also a dying), both Being and Nothing are united as Becoming

    stevenaia Michinaga: night eliza, talk to you soon
    Eliza Madrigal: ty sweet dreams too (will enjoy reading the log)
    Paradise Tennant: we are everything and nothing it seems :)
    Pila Mulligan: One important dialectical principle for Hegel is the transition from quantity to quality, which he terms the Measure. The measure is the qualitative quantum, the quantum is the existence of quantity
    Paradise Tennant: this reminds me of my first night at PAB ;))
    stevenaia Michinaga: it's always the first night here
    Pila Mulligan: "The identity between quantity and quality, which is found in Measure, is at first only implicit, and not yet explicitly realised. In other words, these two categories, which unite in Measure, each claim an independent authority. On the one hand, the quantitative features of existence may be altered, without affecting its quality.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: time is an illusion :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: but time to sleep is not
    stevenaia Michinaga: night my dear friends
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Paradise Tennant: smiles nite nite stev sweet dreams :))
    Pila Mulligan: bye Steve
    Pila Mulligan: have a nice visit to Florida
    stevenaia Michinaga: good to see you both
    Pila Mulligan: same :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: thanks
    Paradise Tennant: enjoy the holiday !
    stevenaia Michinaga: should be perfect to see the meteor shower over the ocean
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    stevenaia Michinaga: I think it;s Saturday night
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Pila Mulligan: hope you have a good view of the sky
    Paradise Tennant: hope you get a spectacular view :))
    Pila Mulligan: :)


    Pila Mulligan: did you watch the Curiosity Rover landing?
    Paradise Tennant: no I didn't read about it :))
    Paradise Tennant: must have been compelling
    Pila Mulligan: I watched it live, it was quite exciting when it landed
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Paradise Tennant: It was late at night for me but history making .. is worth staying up for .. just didn't have the gumption
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: it was not late here :)
    Paradise Tennant: how have you been pila been a while since I have seen you:)
    Pila Mulligan: I have been fine thanks, and I hope all is well with you also
    Paradise Tennant: yes all is well .. just coming off a long weekend :) and I afraid I did not do as much as I planned but it was lovely nonetheless
    Pila Mulligan: nice -- this year I have mnade a small greenhouse and begun to grow my own fresh salad stuff
    Paradise Tennant: I remember :))
    Paradise Tennant: you were growing tomatoes lettuce .. hmm cucumbers :))
    Pila Mulligan: yes, and basil and eggplant
    Paradise Tennant: all safe from the vog :)
    Pila Mulligan: yes, and from the incessant rain too
    Pila Mulligan: so they don;t drown :)

    Paradise Tennant: has it been a rainy summer there ?
    Pila Mulligan: and the fruit flies :)
    Pila Mulligan: yes, very rainy
    Paradise Tennant: so everything must be very lush and green
    Pila Mulligan: lush, green and mushy
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: shall we turn off the recorder?
    Paradise Tennant: we have had an amazing summer all sunshine .. sure :)) if you like :)
    Pila Mulligan: I think you need to do it
    Pila Mulligan: please
    Pila Mulligan: it needs a Guardian

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    Viewing 2 of 2 comments: view all
    One little experience report: First, pause. Noticing tenseness, letting that go a bit, resting. The space is warm with perception. That warmth seems somehow the third place between this and that. Interior or exterior event, same space. Presence not so much of something/someone there, or of me here, but of what's left as those come and go. Just an attending, an openness, to. The bird chirping is very loud, right inside my head. Then I make a motion, reach for the hot water - which also moves inside the pause space, inside the openness, like the bird call.
    Posted 19:32, 6 Aug 2012
    observation of 'reading' ... something automatic, permeating my days yet slowing to notice that I am 'reading' and what the process entails: effort, extension, relationship, layers and layers of past/present/future perception, location shifts, all 'going' so fast. I can't really will the process to slow down, but if I add more attentive breathing, slowing down happens.

    There are some writers able to hold my attention similar to the way Sophia described openness when driving a car - it is almost a magic trick - persuading giving up a controlled part long enough to impart an entirely 'novel' experience... and one comes away knowing it as their own, changed. edited 01:49, 7 Aug 2012
    Posted 01:45, 7 Aug 2012
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