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    December 10 - 12, 2009.  This scribe log is by Calvino Rabeni.

    As a new PAB scribe, I find it a little weird to review / edit dialogues that included me as one of the participants.  I try not to go all postmodern and self-referential, and turn back a bit to the more traditional mode - and I think, more effective one, of storytelling. 

    So here's the story...

    A group of fairly intrepid explorers gathers in a circle at regular intervals with no set agenda, and engage in an age-old activity - telling stories.

    In this case the circle is the Play As Being pavilion, and at this time of year it has a ring of virtual ice around it, and beyond that, the safe, smooth horizon of a virtual world.

    The surround is pretty predictable and familiar by now, although on occasion, there have been surreal and unexpected virtual appearances taking place at the Pavillion.  I'm visualizing, however, the effect of switching the virtual crystal pool with a virtual campfire, and trading the arctic-light twilight of Second Life for some real darkness.  Darkness that would make these avatars huddle a little closer, and think twice about stumbling out into the unknown.

    But as it happens, the darkness is the unknown factors of each avatar's life and circumstances relative to the others.  The light is the bright circle of the Play As Being discussion and the glowing text and avatars found there four times daily.


    2009.12.10 01:00 - Food for Thought

    The late-night slot (relative to SL, that is) is sometimes quiet, sometimes turns into a long wide-ranging discussion, and often has a kind of "off duty" feeling, in that the 90-second pause is gaily disregarded.  I'm not sure why that is, exactly, because it's only really 1AM in the USA Pacific Time zone.

    We've been talking customs, culture, politics, economics, philosophy, ecology, language, habits... no one's said anything about Being :)

    It's interesting how many of the above topics have to do, in one way or another, with food.  Some say we're all part of a great chain of being in which everything eats and is, in turn, eaten.  So it looks like we're exploring Being after all.

    Of course, the above topics are interesting in themselves - click on the link for more.


    2009.12.10 07:00 - Lonely mountain sunrise

    In which an intrepid Guardian finds his watch uninterrupted by other sentient beings, and has opportunity to keep his own counsel.


    2009.12.10 13:00 - feeling no-time?

    It begins with a story of a strange teleportation - if your viewer or sim crash, you can end up who knows where.  We kind of relish the breakdowns in an artificial world.

    Then out of the blue comes a "beginner's mind" question - among the very best type of question, according to local customs:

    Lia Rikugun: I may have a question
    Agatha Macbeth: We may have an answer
    Bertram Jacobus: please, ask lia !
    Lia Rikugun: :) I hope so

    how do I feel no-time?

    Lia Rikugun: I was thinking about time today
    Lia Rikugun: and trying to feel no-time
    Lia Rikugun: to lose the sense of linearity

    The group kicks this idea around for a while.  Where to go, how to do it, what's it like metaphorically.

    how can we shift our experience of time?

    Calvino Rabeni: A question is, what can you do that shifts your experience of time in some way?
    Lia Rikugun: hm, you could see everything as appearances :)

    The "Bell" provides an opportunity for first-hand experience.  I am wondering if anyone will venture to describe things directly, subject to cross-examination - "So, Mr. Rabeni, you say that on the afternoon of 2009/12/10 you claim to have had a direct experience of No Time.  Can you describe for the jury precisely what transpired?"

    Not today, I'm afraid.  But we have a lot of supporting testimony from guest witnesses:

    • Floating in the ocean puts in an appearance.
    • The idea of going where nothing is happening puts in an appearance.
    • Phenomenology puts in an appearance.
    • Battling samurai and Wild West gunslingers put in an appearance.

    Alfred Kelberry: the funny thing about pheno, it starts like a scientific method, but ends up with the world the opponent :)

    Note to self - got to watch that, Grasshopper.  Opponent can chop off head with samurai sword.

    Wol Euler: Calvino reminded me of one of my favourite films, The Yakuza; I'd been reading the wikipedia article about it
    Agatha Macbeth: Japanese mafia, yes?
    Alfred Kelberry: i mean, the movie
    Wol Euler: yes, and no
    Wol Euler: it's a Western :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Most of them are....
    Wol Euler: in that it addresses the Western themes of duty and honour and comradeship.

    That could have been a juicy topic after "no-time", but unfortunately, there was no time for it.


    2009.12.10 19:00 - "Faith Just Is"

    Things got rolling right away

    Paradise Tennant: does anyone have a topic they would like to explore this evening :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: it was a very busy 1:00 sesson, I was just happy to listen
    Paradise Tennant: what was the topic
    Archmage Atlantis: How about the topic of whether a topic is required.....just joshing
    stevenaia Michinaga: it was complicated and I arrived late, whcih is why I just listened :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Actually I just watched a good PBS show in 4 episodes using Netflix download
    Paradise Tennant: what was it about arch
    Archmage Atlantis: About the history of the Isrealites, from Abraham to just before modern day
    Archmage Atlantis: quite interesting study of the evolution of a faith
    stevenaia Michinaga: awww, a short history :)
    Archmage Atlantis: I'd love to see the same for other faiths, especially Buddhaism
    Paradise Tennant: well faith is an excellent topic

    Converging on the topic of faith - which affords many interesting perspectives, and people have learned to treat them a bit gingerly.

    Archmage Atlantis: How the Torah and the Talmud came to be were especially interesting
    Paradise Tennant: well we evolve it is natural that our faiths evolve too

    Historical, comparative religion...

    Paradise Tennant: Huston Smith and Philip Novak wrote a very readable history and introduction to Buddhism ..just entitled Buddhism quite enjoyed it

    Paradise Tennant: Huston Smith also penned The World's Religions would like that too I would bet
    stevenaia Michinaga:

    Linguistic ... although I was waiting for someone to take the plunge toward first person...

    Archmage Atlantis: Faith, another word with many meanings and implication, and especially influenced by persception
    Paradise Tennant: yes
    Paradise Tennant: sigh
    stevenaia Michinaga: faith is influenced by perception? not sure how
    stevenaia Michinaga: faith is devoid of perception
    Paradise Tennant: hmm yes and formed by abstract thought a bit of a conumdrum but there is the leap in faith .. that i think is very similar to perceptual shift

    Perhaps going in that direction - this could be a first person viewpoint; or a third-person ontological statement.

    stevenaia Michinaga: faith just is

    Short and sweet.  On the other hand, having the following experience could present faith as "tested" and/or "very nice to have":

    Paradise Tennant: life is an interesting journey .. we spend decades assembling the tools that work for us .. to somehow never quite getting the job done .. only to start anew with an empty toolbox

    I was glad the topic came up, and would like to hear more of it.


    2009.12.11 01:00 - Nothing Happens

    ... Another lone guardian bearing witness.  I am fairly sure your own experience of nothing happening would be more of a thrill to you, than reading the contents of the above session.


    2009.12.11 07:00 - Appreciating Hajj (A Bedtime Story)

    Eliza Madrigal: Well, what were you thinking about today? That might help...
    Pema Pera: oh, let's see, differential equations, uhh, . . . .
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, I definitely do not have differential equation stories...
    Pema Pera: . . . how pleasant the rain sounded on my umbrella . . .

    ... That was fresh to hear about, Pema, and I can easily imagine there were little bits of "no time" between the individual droplets of rain.

    doug Sosa: yes, i've really taken the 9 sec as a kind of rabbits foot i can stroke at any time.
    Pema Pera: I have a quote from 2009/11/30 7 pm:
    Pema Pera: doug Sosa: i am in an intense converation withtwo othrs. try the 9 sec. suddenly it is not me and two of them, it is three of us.
    Pema Pera: that is nothing less that Being Seeing !

     ...  I knew this 9-second thing would come in handy at some point!

    Then we get a Topic Of Substance:

    Pema asks Sophia what she's been up to, which leads us into the rest of this session...

    Pema Pera: Sophia, it's good to see you again! How have you been?
    Eliza Madrigal: And if you walk through the piles, the snow scatters about :)
    sophia Placebo: good to see you too , im still alive thankfully
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Pema Pera smiles too
    Pema Pera: did you travel for a while?
    sophia Placebo: :) i went to Hajj hmm 10 days in mekka
    Pema Pera: that must have been an extraordinary experience!
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, will you tell us about it, Sophia?
    sophia Placebo: on all levels
    sophia Placebo: oh Eliza you need to be there to feel it right

    ... (some very physically evocative descriptions of the event itself) ...

    sophia Placebo: yep so it is a spiritual journey that is represented or acted physically in short

    The rest of the session involved what seemed to me, a kind of inter-religious dialogue that I found poignant and thought-provoking, perhaps motivating.


    2009.12.11 13:00 - long friday session

    As the title suggests, this was a long session.  And also "smooth" in quality, moving back and forth between light and deep topics with a feeling of flow.  I've excerpted a lot from that session here.

    I notice how themes are often carried between sessions.  This appears to be aided by metaphors:

         "Let's talk about 'no-time' again!' <-- somewhat unlikely.

         "Hey, how about those samurai and cowboys!" <-- more likely.

    What makes a good retreat?  (Answer - mountains).  What is the definition of a mountain? (Answer - something that affords remoteness, a grand perspective, a change in feeling).

    There's a curious remark about "Jewish buddhism"- which I think is common and am interested to hear more about; a discussion of the point of view of tourists versus locals; remarks on the purpose and value of travel; discussion of the age (and presumably, experience) of avatars; and then one popular idea:

    Exploring reality in Second Life with intelligent people beats TV seven ways to Sunday!

    ... with Wol providing articulate arguments and facts to back the sentiment.

    And then a recipe that involves putting a shot of whiskey in the microwave (don't try this at home);  some remarks on the ephemeral nature of "friendship" in Second Life, along with its actual RL value:

    Agatha Macbeth: We're an antisocial lot at heart, i guess
    Wol Euler: a different definition of sociality, rather.
    Wol Euler: and it rubs off into RL.
    Wol Euler: I've become much more adept at talking to strangers since being in SL
    Wol Euler: and can report that almost everyone has been delighted to be talked to.

    ... skeptics, take that!

     A newcomer arrives to shake things up a bit:

    Wol Euler: basically we are a meditation group, we meeet here to discuss our practices and matters arising from them
    pablito Steampunk: hehe, yes this is the problem with the information age
    pablito Steampunk: too much INFORMATION!!
    Agatha Macbeth: Hence the name :)
    pablito Steampunk: hehe
    Wol Euler: I have to ask: We record these meetings (this is the tail end of the 1pm meeting btw)
    pablito Steampunk: we should change it to
    Wol Euler: and we publish them on our website. May we have your permission to include your name adn comments in the published record?
    pablito Steampunk: TOO MUCH INFORMATION AGE

    ... and gets right down to business:

    pablito Steampunk: how do you become a guardian?
    Wol Euler: basically by hanging around, fitting the group, taking part in conversation in a way that fits
    Wol Euler: and then being invited to join.
    Agatha Macbeth: Best o' luck!
    pablito Steampunk: i see
    pablito Steampunk: so its down to conversational contributions
    pablito Steampunk: and frquency of those contributions
    Agatha Macbeth: I'm buggered then :)

    Soon the soft spot emerges:

    pablito Steampunk: ever been to Hikari?
    Wol Euler: "god gave us two ears and one mouth so that we could hear twice as much as we say"
    Wol Euler: yes, I know it well.
    Agatha Macbeth: And that from an atheist! :)
    pablito Steampunk: that is my favourite sim so far
    Qt Core: read the name in several profiles, never been there
    pablito Steampunk: so peaceful and beautiful
    Agatha Macbeth: Mieum is really nice too
    Wol Euler: it's Moon's sim, most of the building and landscaping is his work
    pablito Steampunk: and the guy who owns it is so nice

     Followed by a more balanced blend of Yin and Yang:

    Agatha Macbeth: Captain Teddy Bear
    Agatha Macbeth: Fire all phasers Rupert!

    Avatars use "/me" to speak of themselves in the third person; in this case using an internet-age term for Beginner's Mind, or in samurai argot, shoshin:

    Eliza Madrigal is an eternal noob

    Light banter continues for a while, and then effortlessly shifts to the more thoughtful and poignant.  Perhaps still on the theme of balance, Eliza recalls a previous session and shows how these influences can linger, becoming part of the simmering cauldron of one's background thoughts:

    Eliza Madrigal: Wol said something the other day that knocked me right off my chair.... about sensitivity I think... one moment....
    pablito Steampunk: looking forward to this..
    Agatha Macbeth: Drum roll.....
    Eliza Madrigal: Somehow it was a tremendous comfort...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: giggles
    Eliza Madrigal: here I found it:
    Eliza Madrigal: Eliza Madrigal: that's something that keeps coming up... balancing intensity of focus, with lightness...both Wol Euler thinks of watching children playing. They are very serious, intent, utterly immersed in what they're doing, and enjoying it, Geoff Baily: ;) Maxine Walden: perhaps we could watch ourselves lightly during the next pause, sort of as Wol has suggested... Alfred Kelberry: wol, well, a broken house from cubes is a tradegy to them :) Geoff Baily: ok Wol Euler: perhaps they're right, alf; perhaps it is, and it's a weakness in us that we don't cry with them over it.
    Agatha Macbeth: Mm
    Eliza Madrigal: I don't know... maybe just me but I found that incredibly moving... have thought about it so much

    The cauldron is slowly cooking the Yin and Yang ingredients:

    pablito Steampunk: when you say soft, do you mean passive?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: hmm
    Agatha Macbeth: Or receptive?
    pablito Steampunk: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: funny this comes up a few times over the last few days... maybe holiday season is more sad for some
    SophiaSharon Larnia: a bit of both, really, ill have to think about that thanks
    Agatha Macbeth: Well that's me all over
    Eliza Madrigal: receptive Agatha?
    Agatha Macbeth: Yes, too much sometimes :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: seeing what is.... not ascribing my personal judgement on it
    pablito Steampunk: well, whats the difference between being passive and receptive?
    Agatha Macbeth: Maybe there isn't a difference?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm... passive/receptive are fine qualities...maybe it is just about feeling imbalance...
    Agatha Macbeth: Imbalance?
    Eliza Madrigal: that there is an ebb and flow... time for each and perhaps harmony hides sometimes
    SophiaSharon Larnia: passive to me means helplessness, even if its temporary, or illusory
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah
    SophiaSharon Larnia: receptive to me feels more'seeing' accepting'
    Eliza Madrigal: receptive as in open... which may not be weak...

    SophiaSharon Larnia: much stength needed to be open
    Agatha Macbeth: Yes
    Agatha Macbeth: Courage too
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    pablito Steampunk: being passive is taking things in but not as consciously as being in a receptive state?
    Eliza Madrigal: pablito, yes, interesting angle
    Eliza Madrigal: And just taking things in means they will perhaps not be faced.. acted on, etc...
    pablito Steampunk: its like your in the fully awakened state, and taking nthe data in, processing it
    SophiaSharon Larnia: watching a play vs being in the play
    Eliza Madrigal: so becomes shadow land... whereas receptivity allows yes... processing.. engaging, appreciation
    pablito Steampunk: or even worst
    Eliza Madrigal: YES Sharon.... nods vigorously

    The cauldron simmers for a while yet, turning briefly to playful themes of building things in SL, before turning back to deeper topics, in particular, depth itself, in literature and group process:

    pablito Steampunk: most eastern literature is dense
    Eliza Madrigal nods...layered
    pablito Steampunk: yes, very layered
    Eliza Madrigal: There are wonderful lines in the Tao... and some ideas PaB dwells on...
    Eliza Madrigal: like wu wei...
    pablito Steampunk: you can read just one analect and be totally overwhelmed by it
    pablito Steampunk: wu wei yes
    pablito Steampunk: remind me
    pablito Steampunk: i remember Alan watts writing about that
    Eliza Madrigal: Well its funny for me to summarize... but my understanding right this moment is of a non-effort 'state' in which everything arises completely....
    Eliza Madrigal: or maybe place would be a better word than state...
    pablito Steampunk: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: and we've had conversations about whether it is possible to work that way as a group... allowing Being to operate, in a sense....
    pablito Steampunk: nice

    And the session still won't stop!  Another jewel is a metaphor about reality as a special type of jewel:

    Eliza Madrigal: Here from wiki: Indra's net symbolizes a universe where infinitely repeated mutual relations exist between all members of the universe.[5] This idea is communicated in the image of the interconnectedness of the universe as seen in the net of the Vedic god Indra, whose net hangs over his palace on Mount Meru, the axis mundi of Vedic cosmology and Vedic mythology. Indra's net has a multifaceted jewel at each vertex, and each jewel is reflected in all of the other jewels:[6]
    pablito Steampunk: ah yes nice
    Eliza Madrigal: So the jewels would be holographic ... in a sense... each resonating in all
    Eliza Madrigal: and visa versa
    pablito Steampunk: yes, and its all intereconnected
    pablito Steampunk: like a net
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    I liked the sense of challenge in the following (whether or not it was intended) - it reminded me of a line from a samurai movie:

    pablito Steampunk: i like zen
    pablito Steampunk: because it is so simple
    Eliza Madrigal: think so?

    Eliza effectively uses SL and the Web together as a form of contemplative media, using the venerable Finger Pointing At The Moon technique:

    Eliza Madrigal: I want to give you a link to a recent session on one of my favorite topics here... since you're coming back especially... YS_BS_and_ES


    2009.12.11 19:00 - The Limits of Empiricism

    A two person session.  These dialogues often afford good focus for a more in-depth discussion of a particular issue.  In this one, I really enjoyed getting on the hobby horse and playing amateur philosopher.  I was delighted to find an informed dialogue companion for that activity.

    Having attended the Kira Phenomenology Workshop a couple times, Calvino launches into a foolhardy critique of phenomenology, hoping the semi-ironic tone comes through:

    genesis Zhangsun: so what has been said about epoche?
    Calvino Rabeni: We're not quite there yet - this stage is kind of hygenic.
    Calvino Rabeni: You have to wash your mind of having concepts, in order to start with things in pheno
    genesis Zhangsun: in what way :)
    genesis Zhangsun: ah okay
    Calvino Rabeni: You look around for a chair, and then pretend you don't really know what it is.
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: lol and in your opinion how succesful has the cleansing been?
    Calvino Rabeni: I consider it an impossibility from the start
    Calvino Rabeni: However it is worth a try.

    genesis aids and abets this endeavor, although not without what seemed a proper degree of pragmatism:

    Calvino Rabeni: A lot of meditation has an idea of "bare awareness" in it.
    Calvino Rabeni: And as a step towards it advise to cultivate the ability to take a stance of observation of thoughts and impressions
    genesis Zhangsun: and have you yourself experienced this type of "bare awareness"

    They kick around phenomenology and perhaps tease it apart from the idea of empiricism; meanwhile referencing the "H-name" philosophers (Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger, now Haiku).

    genesis Zhangsun: and you think empiricism is too narrow?
    genesis Zhangsun: it leaves no room for...
    Calvino Rabeni: which kind of casts doubt on whether pheno really strays very far from cartesianism
    Calvino Rabeni: If you separate subject from object - even if the object is "phenomena" - you still have a detached, separate subject
    genesis Zhangsun: ah I see so because it is limited to experience of the senses it leaves no room a reality beyond the senses
    Calvino Rabeni: and I think a lot of the critique of cartesianism was about that
    genesis Zhangsun: yes I think we are in agreement about that

    Understandably, the discussion winds around to the parallels between pheno and meditation, and the way that theory and practice come together in people who practice what they preach:

    genesis Zhangsun: perhaps this is why meditation is really about practice not about describing reality merely through words
    Calvino Rabeni: In fact, I had a teacher who did this
    genesis Zhangsun: yes there are some "realized" people out there
    genesis Zhangsun: not necessarily "enlightened" but certainly "realized"
    genesis Zhangsun: I think Rota- the lectures I am reading on pheno
    genesis Zhangsun: I read his words and I see someone who is speaking beyond words
    genesis Zhangsun: and knows it
    genesis Zhangsun: and is attempting to describe exactly how he is doing it
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, the good communicators are speaking way past the words
    Calvino Rabeni: They could say "cream puff" and it would mean the right thing
    genesis Zhangsun: yes but few people can actually describe how they do it
    Calvino Rabeni: That is really true, the precision is there also
    genesis Zhangsun: Heidegger understood I think this idea of going beyond language- he wrote a book I very much enjoyed on the subject- On the Way to Language

    genesisZhangsun: interesting conversation Calvino

    genesis Zhangsun: I have to get going
    genesis Zhangsun: perhaps we can pick up here?
    Calvino Rabeni: :) yes, any time.


    2009.12.12 01:00 - Theories of everything

    The session started out with a discussion of the philosophy of Biocentrism. which was new to several people.  The PAB group is like a selective filter that brings in a wide variety of new ideas, which all carry some personal interest or passion.

    Gaya's avatar is a flat, pixellated "cat" icon, like an early 16 by 16 video game sprite.  Only the one pixel tip of the tail moves, back and forth, but it seems to animate the entire "cat." 

    A new person shows up.  They go through the "we record the chat - is that all right with you" protocol, a kind of ritual.  One of the regular attendees lends a helping hand:

    Archmage Atlantis: Ryker, this is a good group, and a good place to explore philosophy and the meaning of does center around a practice, ....the note Scathach gave you should give a good idea
    Ryker Foxclaw: yes, i got lost in the second paragraph
    Ryker Foxclaw: i read it all though


    A visitor starts from square one, with fresh perspectives, and no idea of what the norms and customs are in this strange gathering.  People know how to create relationships - it feels like "out of nothing" but there are recognizable signposts along the way.

    Ryker Foxclaw: what's with the silence?
    Scathach Rhiadra: a time-out sort of, to just stop and be:)
    Bertram Jacobus: it´s a idea to experience being without any clinging ...
    Ryker Foxclaw: Ok

    ...tests the waters by venturing a "yes, but".

    Zon Quar: yes.. all theories are just theories
    Ryker Foxclaw: yes, but we must have opinions about them
    Bertram Jacobus: oh. i think, it could even be boaring (!) - sorry : so simple, so easy - or unnessecarily

    Ryker Foxclaw: christianity?
    Ryker Foxclaw: is that one?
    Bertram Jacobus: nice
    Bertram Jacobus: yes
    Zon Quar: yes
    Bertram Jacobus: i guess so
    Ryker Foxclaw: oh cool. phew
    Zon Quar: u like that most ?
    Ryker Foxclaw: yes
    Zon Quar: i like most the indian thoughts
    Ryker Foxclaw: how about you guys
    Ryker Foxclaw: like hedonism?

    ... and starts to probe the limits of the space, like a person in a dark room with a stick.  Probing both the topic space and the space of rituals...

    Ryker Foxclaw: thank goodness for that silence, i can go to the bathroom
    Zon Quar: freedom from authorities experience.. attitude of ecploring
    Bertram Jacobus: :-)
    Zon Quar: exploring urself
    Ryker Foxclaw: i see
    Zon Quar: kind of scientific attitude...
    Bertram Jacobus: i find it interesting : in this group, my impression is, always new people bring the most fresh wind ...
    Zon Quar: yes
    Zon Quar: and different views
    Bertram Jacobus: openness !

    Let's get a little personal then, and recognize one another...

    Ryker Foxclaw: i have never been to this kind of sim before
    Ryker Foxclaw: i am grateful for the welcoming atmosphere and at the same time nervous
    Bertram Jacobus: but i appreciate your contributions very much ryker
    Ryker Foxclaw: and i appreciate your encouragement, both of you

    ..and let the "value domain" come into play in a second-person kind of way...

    Bertram Jacobus: and you are interested in spiritual topics ? ethics and so ? :-)
    Ryker Foxclaw: yes, there has to be more to SL than sex and shopping
    Bertram Jacobus: yes. and - it exists ! :-)
    Ryker Foxclaw: yes. i think i will come back here

    Followed by some chat about personal ground - where one lives, works, travels, has for friends, and so on.  Places, distances, numbers.  It is not just about philosophy around here - who you are in particular matters.

    And the session winds up with expressions of mutual regard:

    Ryker Foxclaw: but also, i have to go lol
    Ryker Foxclaw: :(
    Bertram Jacobus: ah :o)
    Bertram Jacobus: okay ... all is limited, all relative ...
    Ryker Foxclaw: without a doubt we shall meet again
    Ryker Foxclaw: yes
    Bertram Jacobus: i would appreciate it very much
    Ryker Foxclaw: excellent
    Ryker Foxclaw: Be well Bertram
    Bertram Jacobus: have a great time ryker !


    2009.12.12 07:00 - Cold Weather

    Hello, then an unusual request creating a new sense of proximity:

    sophia Placebo: can you just stand next to me for a second
    sophia Placebo: from pillow side

    Trusty talk about the weather - and its coldness - virtual as well as real...

    And an invitation to get focused - I liked the "warm"  continuation and reversal.

    sophia Placebo: if anyone has great observation he like to share , please warm us
    sophia Placebo: even non great observations :)

    Which results in PAB going "reflexive":

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i just posted the log of yesterdays session which was 4 hrs long, i left after 1hr so i just noticed when i saw the logfile
    Eos Amaterasu: !
    stevenaia Michinaga: can you give us the link
    sophia Placebo: 4 hrs !
    stevenaia Michinaga: time tends to easilly get consumed here when conversation continues
    sophia Placebo: true
    Yakuzza Lethecus:

    followed by mixed talk, centered around the theme of design, but trying to converge on language, perhaps as a proxy for awareness.

    Yakuzza Lethecus: it´s simple, i see language as one of my main issues, but it´s not about foreign languages it´s to expand my vocabulary on what i percieve, feel and conclude
    Yakuzza Lethecus: people around here are often more capable to reflect themselves and to describe the phenomena they see in their reality
    Eos Amaterasu:
    Eos Amaterasu: A nerd's delight
    Eos Amaterasu: language as the "clearing of Being"

     Searching for essentials, struggling with language.

    sophia Placebo: the best of thoughts that insipres me from poepel who are around me were the sipmlist yak
    sophia Placebo: i mean their words were of the siplist words used
    Yakuzza Lethecus: i try to loose an emotional atteachment on ,,terms"
    Eos Amaterasu: Sophia, can you offer some such words for the next 90 secs?
    sophia Placebo: i was looking actually eos
    Yakuzza Lethecus: in fact i try not to think about words as complicated i don´t know how to express myself and someday i might find just simple words, i can´t express myself very well in simple or complicated terms thats why i am sitting silent most of the time


    Yakuzza Lethecus: just when there is no topic i sometimes feel pressue to say something
    Eos Amaterasu: "nothing to say, but it's okay -- good morning!"
    Yakuzza Lethecus: :)
    sophia Placebo: well then yak , it is not language issue
    Yakuzza Lethecus: when you don´t know how to reflect urself with words ?
    sophia Placebo: hehe Eos , good morning
    sophia Placebo: yes it is not words issue
    Yakuzza Lethecus: so describe it :)

    The challenge, the eternal quest!  Don't go for it!  It may be better to continue to flirt and wink with the Ineffable! 

    Eos Amaterasu: it is finding the right words for the wordless
    Eos Amaterasu: for that silence
    Eos Amaterasu: for those sounds in that silence
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hm, i didn´t say anything to break a silence i said why i am basically around here often
    Eos Amaterasu: best is to communicate silence :-)

    That may or may not scratch the itch...

    Yakuzza Lethecus: it just happens that i said that because of the silence what doesn´t mean that what i said was nonsense crap for me.

    Some intriguing and useful-sounding advice from the moderator of the group, perhaps about how to speak straight and authentically.  I like the part about making the "happier" choice:

    sophia Placebo: try the direct way , what you say to yourself ? when you say what you say ? how the topics you discuss with yourself differ , which one is the most happier topic to you ? think about it and rethink about it , try to write your thout like you are ready to publish them , then you would find the words
    sophia Placebo: it is easier to find the words while not under social pressure i guess

    Another approach to the same end, apparently favoring detachment over decision:

    Eos Amaterasu: yes, if you no longer care, or are care-free, with humour, and can afford to care
    Eos Amaterasu: I suggest one word for the next 90 secs: "freshness"
    sophia Placebo: ah i was thinking of some one liner
    Eos Amaterasu  listens
    sophia Placebo: thats what i understood from your words when you said singles , it came to my mind you meant oneliner
    Eos Amaterasu: yes
    sophia Placebo: ok
    Eos Amaterasu: do you have a one-liner?
    sophia Placebo: no , i was looking


    Eos Amaterasu: how about doing a one-worder, then: freshness
    sophia Placebo: ok
    Eos Amaterasu: How was that?

    Instant impact, apparently. That's the way we like it. :)

    sophia Placebo: refreshing :)
    sophia Placebo: just to think about it
    Eos Amaterasu: some qualities of "just arrived"
    Eos Amaterasu: a little moist
    Eos Amaterasu: not going anywhere: just looking
    Eos Amaterasu: wonder before commentary

    A fresh face appears; unfortunately the collective effort to design an effective new "mantra" and put it into play seems to be fading on the vine.

    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey widget

    sophia Placebo: fresh means in my language : new , young , inexperienced , pure , clean , actually we dont have equavalent to the word fresh in arabic
    sophia Placebo: hello widget !

    Widget Whiteberry: 'Fresh'?

    Eos Amaterasu: we were trying a one-worder, "freshness", as 90 secs framing

    sophia Placebo: hmm gift of time

    Some goodbyes, and that was all.



    2009.12.12 13:00 - Living is Creating all the time

    The notion of creativity and flow have come up in several recent sessions.  In this one we discuss the concept - and experience - of flow, starting with whether SL itself provided opportunity for a creative practice with "flow".

    Calvino Rabeni: The end result could express some creativity - some people have done wonderful art in SL
    Calvino Rabeni: but I miss the ease of immediacy and embodiment
    Calvino Rabeni: Embodiment
    Calvino Rabeni: My creative moments are in the planning and imagining, but when I go to do the building and scripting, it just seems like work
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes
    SophiaSharon Larnia: the grounding bit I hadnt considered... the actual work part does that for me
    Liza Deischer: I still imagine when Im building
    Calvino Rabeni: Which is why I am getting more attracted to oral arts - like spoken word - because the doing and being are together
    SophiaSharon Larnia: smiles
    Liza Deischer: I play piano
    Liza Deischer: that includes a lot of layers
    SophiaSharon Larnia: nice :)
    Liza Deischer: from conentratrion, embodiment
    Liza Deischer: different kinds of memories
    Liza Deischer: my whole body antipates

    Whether that last word was supposed to be "anticipates" or "participates" - it seems true that in the experience of flow, those become one and the same:

         Play As Being coins a new word in the lexicon of conscious experience!

    We move on towards examining creativity from a transpersonal perspective:

    Calvino Rabeni: Sometimes it is nice for an alternative to present itself forcefully, almost
    Liza Deischer: yes, i agree


    SophiaSharon Larnia: can you say more about an alternative presenting itself forcefully Calvino?
    Calvino Rabeni: It feels like, we don't really control creativity
    Calvino Rabeni: OK
    Calvino Rabeni: an alternative might seem like an idea, like - "I know I could do better, or differently"
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes ive been inspired at the 'worst' times, when in the middle of something :)
    Calvino Rabeni: but sometimes it seems to come from outside oneself
    SophiaSharon Larnia: nods
    Calvino Rabeni: and it might be a creative impulse that seems "not me"
    Calvino Rabeni: There are lots of myths, of course
    Calvino Rabeni: Muses for example
    Calvino Rabeni: But as modern people we can also give that some credit
    Calvino Rabeni: And not feel all the time completely responsible for what happens
    Calvino Rabeni: in the creativity department
    SophiaSharon Larnia: the devil made me do it
    Calvino Rabeni: Does this make sense ?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: oh yes definately makes sense
    Calvino Rabeni: A benign spirit, not necessarily a devil
    SophiaSharon Larnia: sorry sometimes creativity comes out of nowhere, like a flash, no not like a devil
    Liza Deischer: the 'not me' I do understand, I think
    Calvino Rabeni: It could come from other people
    Calvino Rabeni: Even if they think they are saying something different
    Liza Deischer: but to me, that is like all the parts of me, the consious and unconsious one are somehow working together
    Calvino Rabeni: That seems like a valid idea to me too
    Calvino Rabeni: Sometimes, according to one theory, people "dream up" something for others around them
    SophiaSharon Larnia: that feels like the basis of the matter actually


    Calvino Rabeni: I don't think I've ever had a dlalogue before about this - inner sense of discrimination
    Calvino Rabeni: Do people have an inner compass?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes i think so
    Calvino Rabeni: As in, how to know when going the right direction
    Calvino Rabeni: since it isn't defined by externals and objects


    Calvino Rabeni: You start in one direction, and it appears to be right
    SophiaSharon Larnia: an inner compass to me is emotional, if something feels right... but this is judgemental in a way
    Calvino Rabeni: later going in the same appearent direction, doing the same thing, it is no longer right
    Calvino Rabeni: something important has changed, without noticing it


    Liza Deischer: I think context is imported here

    Not sure if that was "imported" or "important", although both would work.

    SophiaSharon Larnia: very ephemeral
    Liza Deischer: I think then when you take an action...
    Liza Deischer: of anykind....
    Liza Deischer: you influence yourself and/or your surroundings....
    Liza Deischer: so you change the context....
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes an ongoing process
    Liza Deischer: which means you cant do the same thing twice....
    Liza Deischer: and expect it to work again
    Liza Deischer: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: never exactly the same again
    Calvino Rabeni: true action can't be made mechanical I would say
    Liza Deischer: I certainly realise that this is for me one of the most intriguing and interesting thing about life
    SophiaSharon Larnia: that's what creativity feel like to me, never the same
    Liza Deischer: exactly
    Liza Deischer: thank you for making me realise
    Liza Deischer: it can't be mechanical, I agree
    Calvino Rabeni: it is a subtle thing, following a delicate thread
    Liza Deischer: life requires movement
    Calvino Rabeni: in a way, continually re-created
    Liza Deischer: true, I think
    Calvino Rabeni: that is creativity, in a microscopic way
    Liza Deischer: yes, you could say living is creating all the time :)
    Liza Deischer: nice
    Calvino Rabeni: It reminded me of a poem I heard

    The Way It Is - By William Stafford

    There's a thread you follow. It goes among

    things that change. But it doesn't change.

    People wonder about what you are pursuing.

    You have to explain about the thread.

    But it is hard for others to see.

    While you hold it you can't get lost.

    Tragedies happen; people get hurt

    or die; and you suffer and get old.

    Nothing you do can stop time's unfolding.

    You don't ever let go of the thread.

    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)
    Liza Deischer: like the poem
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I have to log off, nice talking to you :)


    2009.12.12 19:00 - Flow2009.12.12 19:00 - Flow

    This was another long session - over two hours.  Some themes have legs in PAB.  This session has the same themes as the previous one, although with mostly different people.  The theme of flow, flows on.  Creativity creates itself anew.  I really like the way Eden initiates this one:

    Eden Haiku: Went floating on this beautiful stream at Kuan Yin Terraces.
    Eden Haiku: Why don't we talk about flow?
    Pema Pera: please do, Eden :)
    Eden Haiku: Hum hum... coughing..
    Eden Haiku: Wondering what she could say about flow...
    Eden Haiku: her mind completely blank...
    Eliza Madrigal thinks of the man with the long name who wrote the book "Flow"...
    Eden Haiku: Yes Michalealy something
    Eliza Madrigal: yes :)
    Eden Haiku: Hungarian I think.
    Eden Haiku: You understand flow when you have a name like that, you have to.
    Eliza Madrigal: haha
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes imagine the patience needed when signing things... or spelling for others...
    Eden Haiku: I remember reading it and living by it for a while.
    Eden Haiku: yes, that is so true Eliza!
    Eden Haiku: That is one of the books I kept when I moved.

    Pema Pera: btw, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the name none of us could remember, not surprisingly . .
    Eliza Madrigal: I had his "creativity" for the longest time... I was interested in alternative education then, and in the idea of radical unschooling... though never brave enough to raise my kids that way :)

    SophiaSharon Larnia: like Calvino was saying earlier today, you can feel it when it happens, and when you are out of sync
    Eden Haiku: Yes, both, that is true.
    Pema Pera: it seems similar to the idea of being "natural" in Taoism
    Pema Pera: responding to the situation in the most natural way, without doing/forcing, wu-wei
    Eden Haiku: Yes, natural.
    Pema Pera: and it is interesting that "natural" is translated into a term indicating motion
    Pema Pera: like not getting stuck in any particular situation or pattern

    As it may happen, however, the discussion was suspected of doing just that.  Luckily PAB has a secret weapon for use in that circumstance:

    Fox Monacular: onigokko
    SophiaSharon Larnia: giggles
    Eliza Madrigal laughs

    We briefly discussed the Five Rhythms Dance practices of Gabrielle Roth, which is an experiential discipline exploring the felt dimensions of embodied movement.  Naturally there is more on the menu than "flow" and "sit there like a lump":

    Eden Haiku: Rhythms. My friend was a dancer and she taught rythms.
    Eden Haiku: And stillness was one of them.
    Eden Haiku: Strong and flowing.
    Calvino Rabeni: 5 rhythms ?
    Eden Haiku: Staccato.
    Eden Haiku: Chaos.
    Eden Haiku: Light and Lyrical
    Eden Haiku: And stillness

    Pema and Eden took some time to do the important "work" of PAB, that is, playing host to new or infrequent visitors. 

    Then we turned to an important practical matter - whether the "9-second pause" approach is useful in "real life":

    Fox Monacular: it's interesting: my life's so chaotic right now, that I welcome the 9 sec breaks but also I'm intimidated by them
    Eliza Madrigal: intimidated?
    Pema Pera: in what way, Fox?
    Fox Monacular: like I get a glimpse of something that I know I cannot explore quite yet
    Fox Monacular: often simply because of time constraints
    Pema Pera: glimpses are our guides
    Fox Monacular: but also because I am not ready yet
    Fox Monacular: I recognize it when someone speaks of it, but am hesitant to go there myself
    SophiaSharon Larnia: nods
    Calvino Rabeni: short of going out the door, i can open the window and let in fresh air
    Eliza Madrigal: Calvino, Hm, yes :)
    Fox Monacular: yes, I do that too:)
    Calvino Rabeni: 9 second ventilation fore a refreshing feeling
    Calvino Rabeni: too bad I can't can it
    Pema Pera: :)

    Pema left, and the discussion forged ahead.  Your scribe learns a new bit of PAB tradition.

    Eliza Madrigal: I have been trying to take notes for apapb... but truly... these excercizes have become so a part of everything/me, I guess.... that it can be tricky...
    Eliza Madrigal: I often can't tell the diff. between apapb and ysbs
    SophiaSharon Larnia: hmm
    Eliza Madrigal: and that's quite new, actually...
    Calvino Rabeni: what is apapb - new to me
    Eliza Madrigal: like it takes me over, rather than my instigating
    Eliza Madrigal: appreciating the presence of appearances as a presentation of/by Being...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Appreciate the presence of appearance as a presentation by Being
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: This helps with the phenom, too, Cal...
    Calvino Rabeni: I understand, thanks.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: appreciating.... you seeing, being seeing hmmmm
    Eliza Madrigal: Being presenting... and appreciating, unfolding "everything" given...
    Calvino Rabeni: Is there a glossary somewhere ? :)

    There wasn't then, but one shortly appeared, thanks to the modern wonder of "wiki" (meaning "quick!").

    A couple of quasi-religious topics followed.  I think it best to avoid the easy, traditional words, but hope to import the essential idea into the "normal attitude" (thereby changing it).

    The such first topic had to do with the possible personhood or subective dimension of reality.

    Calvino Rabeni: I am interested in another angle on it
    Calvino Rabeni: Which is seeing reality as person - as Thou rather than It.
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you think this line of inquiry could be compatible with PAB?
    Eliza Madrigal: This actually does have a little glossary, but not long definitions or background
    Calvino Rabeni: Because I realize it brings in some religious sensibilities
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm..interesting question Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: And wonder if it can be addressed outside the religious frameworks
    Eliza Madrigal: Well, let's see....
    Calvino Rabeni: This comes form a conversation earlier with a RL friend
    Eliza Madrigal: Dropping religious frameworks, Being does surprise... definitely like a person
    SophiaSharon Larnia: interesting, i dont see being as thou, but as a something i am a piece of, only seperated by an ego
    SophiaSharon Larnia: in theory, it is what i feel
    Eliza Madrigal: well, we relate to one another as beings...
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe that is because you haven't tried it. Not a suggestion, by the way. I think that is true for me.
    Eliza Madrigal: with faces.. expressions...
    Calvino Rabeni: It does seem natural for humans
    SophiaSharon Larnia: have not tried what, seeing being as something different than myself?
    Calvino Rabeni: Seeing as person looking back at you
    Calvino Rabeni: rather than as it.
    Eliza Madrigal: Knowing as face-to-face
    Calvino Rabeni: Subjectivity over there, not "in here"

    Eliza Madrigal: I think the biggest surprise on the little retreat was that Being seemed to be like a person who wanted far more for me than I could want for myself....
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: and yet the word god would be limiting
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i think that is what I saw most of my life

    Eliza Madrigal: I was talking with someone about Indra's net here yesterday... and combined with that holographic kind of sense of resonating from all/one.... lila is a powerful idea
    Eliza Madrigal: an expansive one...
    Eliza Madrigal: Yet, still not quite as radical
    Eliza Madrigal: as I think we scratch sometimes :) What do you think?
    Calvino Rabeni: Scratch, as in touching themes of seeing being?
    Eliza Madrigal: yes :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Starting from the end
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't have a very radical feeling - I just reach out from where I already am.
    Calvino Rabeni: Path as goal is a related idea
    Eliza Madrigal nods... for me it is related to glimpses
    Calvino Rabeni: There is always an edge, a horizon
    Calvino Rabeni: I know what is there, partly seen
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes glimpses
    Eliza Madrigal: In appreciating the glimpses there is a peace... so finding glimpses in everything... yes.. seems unfolding edges somehow..
    Eliza Madrigal: finding peace in everything
    Eliza Madrigal: which is really just us
    Calvino Rabeni: Can you speak about the edges, like, specifically?
    Calvino Rabeni: As in, here's one, there is another, this is what it looks like.
    Eliza Madrigal: That's part of what I'm learning to do here...
    Eliza Madrigal: Like...
    Calvino Rabeni: It is very interesting to be around people who will do that
    Eliza Madrigal: noticing someone in a store... and not turning away... and really seeing them until you see layers of expression....
    Calvino Rabeni: I know that one
    Eliza Madrigal: and dynamics of instances....
    Eliza Madrigal: and dwelling until you feel like you've gone on a journey with them...
    Calvino Rabeni: mmhmm
    Eliza Madrigal: so maybe you talk with them about something simple...
    Eliza Madrigal: but you hear so much more...
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: eggs and potatoes are and are not eggs and potatoes...hehe
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: And even there still so surface level...
    Eliza Madrigal: So yes definitely something I'd like to learn to relax into more...

    Eliza then turns the tables, so I advance the next topic, something like "faith", but mixed in with perception and choice-in-the-moment aspects. 

    Eliza Madrigal: Your turn!

    Calvino Rabeni: heh
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, one thing - an edge -
    Calvino Rabeni: an idea toward it is looking at the word "happiness"
    Calvino Rabeni: which comes from "hap" for luck, chance, fortune, happenstance
    Calvino Rabeni: And - I got this idea from a story I heard recently
    Calvino Rabeni: what is a superficial ide
    Calvino Rabeni: I mean - it is contingent
    Calvino Rabeni: but something else as a possibility would be joy - which is not contingent
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: as an experience to have regardless of what happens
    Calvino Rabeni: so it gets into the word faith. And I have no religious background of that
    Calvino Rabeni: but as a creative act, perhaps one can go in that direction
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, I like linking faith and creativity, a lot!
    Calvino Rabeni: when people say faith, sometimes it lacks the creative aspect
    Eliza Madrigal: a leap!
    Calvino Rabeni: then it is just like, a placeholder until something "really true" comes along
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, listening closely
    Calvino Rabeni: But the creative aspect of it happens anytime and is not conditioned on happenings
    Calvino Rabeni: but at some level seems like a combination choice and attention
    Calvino Rabeni: in that it can be influenced by will
    Calvino Rabeni: All very subtle words and often used differently
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm, subtle will?
    Eliza Madrigal: attention...ah, okay
    Eliza Madrigal: as in "I will attend"
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes like that
    Calvino Rabeni: an element of the epoche, perhaps but maybe more active.

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