Act One - The Stage

    The curtain rises.  The lights shine on space.  The stage is empty except for a solitary figure.  There are similar stages in a line from left to right, stretching to infinity.  Of these many universes, three stand out and offer their parameters to whosoever may be reaching forth to receive...

    2010.03.10 01:00 - Emptiness

    This one had a nice session with emptiness as a focus.

    2010.03.12 19:00 - Quiet

    This one passed the time in private conversation with friends.

    2010.03.10 07:00 - Vacant

    This one sits facing a glowing surface on which the following words appear:

    You say I am repeating
    Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
    Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
    To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,

    You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
    In order to arrive at what you do not know

    You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.

    Act Two - Gathering

    2010.03.10 19:00 - Changing Seasons

    Old friends meet unexpectedly.

    There is celebratory mutual recognition.  Many emoticons are exchanged, plenty of :) and _/!\_ all 'round.

    These are Zen Master Beat Poets


    perhaps seeing in the darkness of eyes and mind also allows you to see differently

               the "small" things also need attending too

    often also spoken of that tiny part; sized like a finger nail, in the motor of the car
              even a cheap part
    if it gets broken the motor does not run

    2010.03.11 01:00 - Hour of the Wolf

    I am always having two conversations at once

           its very lyrical, as far as I can tell

    Someone is reading a great book called "The Book Of Not Knowing".  We will all stay tuned for what might be unlearned by this endeavor.

    Wouldn't it be great if at night we could sleep 4 hours, then wake up and talk to our familiars

           wander around the house in the dark, the time of in-between,

           surrounded by the greater mystery from which day is reborn

    and then sleep another 4 till the fowl cry out at the rosy fingered dawn and we arise refreshed?

    But say no more - this possibility is vetoed by the electric light, not a council of poets or sleep therapists.

    2010.03.11 07:00 - Peripatetic no more

    We know what to do, encountering the buddha on the road, but what is appropriate upon discovering a naiad in a pool?

    Even into Second Life a little rain may fall - accompanied by sounds of thunder and wind.

    This has a salutary effect:

    Eden Haiku: Now Calvino is floating around! Shoot him with lemmings Yaku!

        I forgot how profound our discussions here can be...;-)

    Yakuzza Lethecus: actually i the hard thing is to really get deep into topics
    Calvino Rabeni: I recommend making the pool here quite a bit deeper
    Eden Haiku: Let us pick one Yakuzza!

         This place has become quite virile!

    So say we all:)

    2010.03.11 13:00 - unconscious & self

    One group member is watching a DVD learning course on great philosophers.

    Archmage Atlantis: But the quote is, best I can recall it, "A life unexamined is not worth living"

    Eliza Madrigal: I suppose 'how' one examines life would make it worth living or not...

    Indeed - and it also seems reasonable that how one lives one's life would make it worth examining or not.

    But does this classic philosophical ideal mean an ideal life is an affair fully accounted for and transparent?  Perhaps not.

    A question would be what drives us to choose what we do?
          sometimes advertizing, sometimes environment, sometimes where we were born, etc.
    Calvino Rabeni: A constant question is motivation - without getting too prescriptive or moral
    Bleu Oleander: i don't think we always have direct access to what drives our attention
    Eliza Madrigal nods to Bleu... lots of hidden agendas and reasons and triggers!!
    Calvino Rabeni: Indeed, the unconscious does all the heavy lifting and clerical work
    Eliza Madrigal thinks meditative practice can help us catch some of those things but still things there (possibly dormant) that may not factor
    Calvino Rabeni: Nice to discover the artists on the "staff" of the unconscious.

      If we trust the "staff" then we can send them messages and look forward to good things happening

    In fact, what is this "Self" thing we keep hearing so much about?  A recent book says the Self doesn't really exist.  For some values of "really".

    Bleu Oleander:

    Calvino Rabeni: However, for me, what the theory really says is "self is a process, not a Thing"
    Calvino Rabeni: Which seems a lot different than saying "it doesn't exist"
    Calvino Rabeni: So my question is why to put it that way?
    Bleu Oleander: yes, that's right Cal
    Eliza Madrigal: well surely self as distinct and independent/solid seems questionable...
    Calvino Rabeni: Agreed, he makes a case for "it is not what you think it is"

    Act Three - Going Forth

    2010.03.12 01:00 - Cookies for Avalokiteshvara

    Avalokiteshvara (sometimes AKA Kwan Yin) puts in another appearance at PlayAsBeing, followed by a discussion of Global Warming, and then avatars, alts, and the way they resonate with or express different factors of ones identity.

    Wol Euler: Almost everyone I speak to says that their alt is more relaxed than their original av
    Wol Euler: calmer, more open, more experimental, braver
    Liza Deischer: yes, I have been trying to understand why, but actually it is obvious
    Wol Euler: I think that our first av here is *ourselves* projected into the world
    Wol Euler: the second (third fourth …) is free of that baggage
    Wol Euler: it doesn't have the burden of being us, as it were
    Liza Deischer: exactly, my thoughts too
    Liza Deischer: but it is nice to see that if you 'split' that part from yourself, how strong it can be
    Wol Euler: I would never have suspected the strength and the depth, and the joy, of my other-gendered personality side without SL
    Wol Euler: splitting, yes, like taking a shoot from a crowded pot and giving it a pot of its own to grow in :)
    Wol Euler: it allows us to focus on that other bit, which in the normal daily life is such a small voice
    Wol Euler: Maxine talks about "minority personalities"
    Wol Euler: that is what a successful alt is, the expresssion of a minority personality

    2010.03.12 07:00 - The Art and Language of Not Knowing

    This was a nearly blissful session wherein we discussed phenomenology and art, not-knowing and Knowing. Then we took a field trip to Bleu's guardian spot in the village, which led us to Zen's offsite gallery. The only thing missing was the wine but well, for some of us it was morning. ;-)  

    Reenter a character from Act Two:  The Book of Not Knowing

    Zen Arado: I am reading a book called 'The Book of Not Knowing'
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bleu Oleander: ha!
    Bleu Oleander: great title
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Zen Arado: by the time I finish it I won't know anything :)
    Eliza Madrigal: hahahahahahha
    Bleu Oleander: Ha!!
    Zen Arado: but it takes 579 pages for that
    Bleu Oleander: wow
    Eliza Madrigal: the thing is... immediacy and a way of 'not knowing' IS what these intellectual discources are about... as much as anything else - direct experience
    Zen Arado: yes - before you know you have to 'not know' - like the epoche
    Eliza Madrigal: you have to get comfortable in the anxiety

    Discussion then turns to the related idea of Epoche from phenomenology, and then on to the broader kind of "knowing" that functions within as well as beyond fixed concepts and patterns.

    Bleu Oleander: can we know something without using our language to describe what we know?
    Zen Arado: apparently we can
    Eliza Madrigal: well the next second we begin to articulate... to add on...
    Eliza Madrigal: but we can get more and more comfortable with that 'instant' perhaps
    Bleu Oleander: how would we know then?
    Zen Arado: like there is a deeper kind of knowing
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, not knowing of 'some thing'
    Zen Arado: like an artist gets creativity from a deeper place
    Eliza Madrigal: awareness aware of itself
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm, nods
    Bleu Oleander: I articulate my thoughts on my art while I'm creating it
    Eliza Madrigal: we're always going to fall short... so that's the anxiety
    Eliza Madrigal: of articulating/understanding... Knowing would be something 'else'...?
    Zen Arado: but real creativity seems to be not from rational mind
    Eliza Madrigal: and in working with a piece isn't there a kind of back and forth communication...
    Bleu Oleander: why do you say that Zen?
    Zen Arado: or like Einstein haing inspiration from somewhaere
    Eliza Madrigal: room for surprise beyond what one thinks or intends...
    Eliza Madrigal: so that room then... ?
    Zen Arado: just feel that real creativity isn't a rational process
    Bleu Oleander: I think the rational mind can be very creative
    Zen Arado: of course we can rationalize it afterwards
    Eliza Madrigal: when flexible, agreed.... why these discussions are so interesting

    2010.03.12 13:00 - Teaching,sillyness and a good sleep

    The next session discussed education in SL.  I'm still pondering how the "space" and "not knowing" themes might be applied in the world of educational practice.  Meanwhile we have:

    Eliza Madrigal: Ara, to your point about education in SL... I'd imagine that refining the process would be very powerful.. Just thinking about the concentrated potential ...
    arabella Ella: oh yes Eliza ... but i tend to think that the potential is not being realised

    arabella Ella: may i describe my best experience so far?
    Eliza Madrigal: yes please!
    Qt Core: or if they are usingskype to chat away ;-)
    Bleu Oleander: sure
    arabella Ella: ok it was run by an irish masters student as part of her research
    arabella Ella: and we were a group of five volunteer avis
    arabella Ella: and she had a brilliant sim ... must have been quite expensive ... with stuff with notecards and pictures and stuff
    arabella Ella: and she asked us to create a Think Book in pairs
    arabella Ella: and it was a great learning experience for me
    Eliza Madrigal: Think Book?
    arabella Ella: it involved collaborating with another avi and putting together information on a topic
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, nice
    arabella Ella: ThinkBook is something you use to prepare a sort of small book / presentation with text and pictures
    arabella Ella: actually i may be using the wrong name ... for the think book ... some similar name though
    Eliza Madrigal: so something to take away from the experience...
    Eliza Madrigal: and dialoging engaging one's participation without it being just question/answer/comments?
    arabella Ella silently nods
    arabella Ella: it was very much like project work
    arabella Ella: learning by doing
    Eliza Madrigal: utilizing peer-to-peer.. that does seem dynamic

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