2008.05.06 07:00 - Inner and outer priorities

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    The guardian at this meeting was Pema Pera and the comments are his. 

    When I walked up to the tea house in the morning, I did not see anyone there, so I sat down on the wooden board sticking out from the floor of the tea house. At some point I noticed that Maxine had entered the house. I was wondering whether she knew I was outside. I remembered the first weeks and months that I was in SL, during which I often did not know much of what was going on around me. There is quite a steep learning curve for getting really comfortable with all the tools, especially the camera tools.

    Pema Pera: Hi Maxine!
    Maxine Walden: good morning (here) Pema
    Pema Pera: I just noticed you had teleported already into the tea house
    Pema Pera: so you probably did not see me outside ;>)
    Maxine Walden: oh, yes, I usually do, oh no I did not see you out there
    Pema Pera: this is a good exercise in spotting avatars!
    Maxine Walden: so early I just come right in.
    Pema Pera: fine!
    Pema Pera: and please stay inside
    Pema Pera: this gives us a great chance to practice
    Maxine Walden: Yes, I guess there is a lot for me to learn, but first things first
    Pema Pera: avatar spotting
    Pema Pera: oh sure
    Pema Pera: I had to learn it all too
    Pema Pera: not to worry
    Maxine Walden: hope you are getting rested up after your long journey
    Maxine Walden: well, your typist that is
    Maxine Walden: I’m sure there is a lot tugging at your sleeve even here in SL
    Pema Pera: yes, I got some sleep, thanks!
    Pema Pera: yes, indeed
    Pema Pera: but okay ;>)
    Pema Pera: so how do you think you can become aware of what is happening around you in SL? That is important when you are the guardian. Can you guess?
    Maxine Walden: well, I think you are suggesting to try avatar spotting, I had thought we were
    Maxine Walden: focussing upon what is occurring in our inner experience re PaB
    Maxine Walden: so that has been my priority
    Pema Pera: yes, that is fine too!
    Pema Pera: Okay, I’ll come in then.
    Pema Pera: hi!
    Maxine Walden: feel I may have dampened your …
    Maxine Walden: hi
    Pema Pera: oh no, no problem!
    Maxine Walden: spirits, asking you to come inside
    Pema Pera: always many options ;>)
    Pema Pera: what would you like to start with, today?
    Pema Pera: concerning inner experience?

    There is always a trade off between focusing on the core of an activity and focusing on the infrastructure around it, and I was happy to switch back to the core.

    Maxine Walden: perhaps I am very much in the minority, but I have remained a bit cautious about widening the boundaries of
    Maxine Walden: our concerns (the magnificent acquistions) in terms of clarity of inner experience
    Maxine Walden: becoming second to the splendors of SL
    Pema Pera: no not second
    Pema Pera: content and context are both important
    Pema Pera: with one and not the other nothing can be done
    Pema Pera: content though is something you can always work on
    Pema Pera: while context depends on the world around you, and offers itself through opportunities
    Pema Pera: so we had some great opportunities to buy land
    Pema Pera: and I focused on those opportunities — but I definitely want to get back to content and keep a balance, for sure!
    Maxine Walden: that may well be, great opportunities seem to present themselves when the time is right, and the ‘gods’ seem to smile and nod, ‘yes’, but in my
    Maxine Walden: experience it can be head-turning and destabilizing to the inner space
    Maxine Walden: needed for clarity of thought…I think you and I may differ
    Maxine Walden: slightly on this matter, and it may be something we can discuss
    Maxine Walden: for some time.
    Pema Pera: Two extra reasons to focus on context, besides opportunities appearing: 1) in order to make a contiguous forest, we need to start as early as we can, since we don’t have control about who will sell what; it is important to devise a strategy, and once we have that, we can keep an eye out for pieces that come up for sale, so that we know what to buy quickly when it becomes available; 2) by focusing on action, we create great group energy, which then can translate into more focus on the content of what we are doing — notice how excited people have become recently! So to sum up, context and content are like two sides of a coin, I think.
    Maxine Walden: You are helping me to see how important it is to loosen the boundaries of assumption…and that is being very meaningful…but I also have found that the balance between that and protecting clarity…can be very important…know we have covered this in previous conversations…
    Pema Pera: yes, both are needed, and I appreciate you reminding me of that!
    Maxine Walden: yes, just reading your last paragraph, my main concern is not to get lost in the acquisiton, in that it can be very alluring, I know that well…
    Pema Pera: I agree.
    Pema Pera: The history of all spiritual movements shows this tension, and great debates about it!

    In fact, I have been almost surprised so far about the relative lack of friction and internal struggles in our newly found PaB community. I know full well how it seems to be unavoidable in any group of volunteers that expectations and opinions well start to diverge. And without a business model or academic structure, which could assign specific roles and duties, the odds are for any group to diverge and dissolve rather soon. Indeed, in the short time that I have been frequenting SL I have already heard various stories about enthusiastic initiatives which petered out before too long. One example, which Peter Ludlow brought to my attention, can be found on http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2005/08/post_mortem_a_b.html. On the other hand, there are success stories as well: the International Space Museum is a striking example.

    Maxine Walden: but I agree it is wonderful to see the energy being generated around amongt all the folk ; my, after last evening’s 7pm session I almost thought of dressing in SL a little less conservatively!!
    Pema Pera: hahaha, there will come a time . . . all in due time!
    Maxine Walden: Yes, it is difficult to maintain the ‘discipline’ which becomes a negative word, but the connotation of regard and protection for the inner space…
    Maxine Walden: so for me the balance between that and loosening the boundaries increasingly in creative ways
    Pema Pera: Here is the problem, as I see it. Each good side has a shadow aspect. Let me expand a little
    Pema Pera: One good side is focusing on inner experience. But the shadow side is that doing so can lead to a lot of talk, all well intended, but it may have the shadow side of putting off people who are more doing oriented rather than talking — and for them, building things is a great way to express themselves. And in fact, it may be well be just as possible to express your inner experience in terms of creating a forest scene as to summarize it in words and analysis of inner experience — it really depends on the person
    Pema Pera: Another good side is to create the context for inner experience by building, and there the shadow side is exactly what you described, it can lead one to loose sight of the primary goal.
    Pema Pera: So there are two sides, each with their shadow
    Maxine Walden: that is a very good point, yes, I do agree, and I will keep that in mind…I really appreciate the notion of shadow to each side
    Maxine Walden: that seems to be an important aspect of being human, even perhaps Being human, the shadow side
    Pema Pera: The beautiful thing is that the members of our group can keep each other in balance, rubbing off each other like the emotions do inside one individual ;>) Together we are simulating, you could say, the journey of some kind of collective being
    Maxine Walden: but it also perhaps aptly describes the fitting of opposites in all of nature…and maybe Being…have not really thought of that clearly
    Maxine Walden: yes, a collective being…nice image…reminds me when I ran beehives, just a few
    Maxine Walden: not really a good analogy, cannot take it very far because
    Maxine Walden: the scope of each bee certaintly does not correlate with each being in our group…but the group’s functioning as a vital hive was awesome to behold…
    Pema Pera: haha, we have been busy bees, haven’t we!
    Pema Pera: but I see your point
    Pema Pera: yes, we function collectively

    We continued to talk about various aspects of the interactions of RL and SL and finally we wound up.

    Pema Pera: I think we are clearly on the same page here, but again I appreciate you reminding me to keep a balance
    Maxine Walden: oh, bingo, think something is becoming clearer…
    Pema Pera: yes?
    Maxine Walden: the multiple immersions? or blending of immersions…SL and RL
    Maxine Walden: which may allow one to feel the wider immersion? Something like that?
    Maxine Walden: I had been feeling a need to restrain RL experience while in SL…
    Maxine Walden: but think you are suggesting a spectrum, natural blending if we can allow it
    Maxine Walden: (Might have to go in a moment…)
    Pema Pera: traditional religions say: Wake up!
    Pema Pera: We also say that here.
    Pema Pera: Traditionally, images are used of waking up from a dream
    Pema Pera: We can wake up from the constraints that are so seductive in both RL and SL
    Pema Pera: life is like a dream
    Pema Pera: we die but it is okay
    Pema Pera: it is a dream
    Pema Pera: a very convincing one
    Pema Pera: SL can help us see that both RL and SL are not real
    Maxine Walden: well, Pema, this possiblity suggests that there will be even more emotions to deal with in SL and perhaps within the group here than I had thought…but Oh, have to go, hate to leave this conversation…can we come back to it sometime?
    Maxine Walden: my appointment is here. bye for now
    Pema Pera: yes, many emotions will rock us . . . in interesting ways!
    Pema Pera: see you later, Maxine
    Maxine Walden: I will look back…bye
    Pema Pera: and thanks again for all your contributions!
    Maxine Walden: thank you.!!!

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