2008.05.15 19:00 - Waving Her Frying Pan

    Table of contents
    No headers

    The Guardian for this session was Pema, and the comments are his.

    That evening, when I arrived at the tea house, rezzing was slower than usual, for me and as I figured from the conversations, for others as well. I saw big grey objects falling from the sky, but they didn’t seem to hurt me, so I walked into the tea room, where Maxine was already seated. I kept talking with Dakini and Thorberg, who came in a little later.

    Dakini Rhode: did you see something falling from the sky?
    Pema Pera: yes
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello, Dakini
    Pema Pera: but I was still rezzing
    Dakini Rhode: me 2
    Pema Pera: so couldn’t see what it was
    Dakini Rhode: hi Thor
    Pema Pera: rain perhaps?
    Dakini Rhode: nor could I
    Dakini Rhode: big rain !
    Maxine Walden: hi, Pema, nice to see you
    Pema Pera: Hi Maxine!
    Maxine Walden: here comes Thor
    Pema Pera: Dakini and Thor, hi there!
    Maxine Walden: Hi Thor, and Dakini
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello
    Dakini Rhode: hi Max and PP
    Pema Pera: Nice new appearance Dakini!
    Pema Pera: Tibetan inspired?
    Dakini Rhode: old appearance :-)
    Maxine Walden: still nice
    Dakini Rhode: wild mountain nun :-)
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: you make us all seem tame
    Thorberg Nordlicht: wild!
    Maxine Walden: hard to imagine, well, then again maybe not

    Dakini had come in clad in dark red robes with various ornaments hanging over it.

    Dakini Rhode: o you didn’t see my big hiking pole
    Maxine Walden: no, how big was it
    Maxine Walden: oh, there it is
    Thorberg Nordlicht: nice! is it scripted?
    Dakini Rhode: no :-(((
    Pema Pera: wow!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: I want a walking stick that keeps me walking forward even without holding down the forward arrow key :-)
    Pema Pera: Do you every hit your poor zen students with it?
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Thorberg Nordlicht: thwak!
    Dakini Rhode: no only with the frying pan
    Pema Pera: ahahaha
    Pema Pera: a frying pan!
    Pema Pera: wow
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hmmm, hadn’t heard of that
    Pema Pera: out of the fire into . . . .
    Maxine Walden: yes, into the…

    Indeed Dakini had materialized a shining new frying pan, after her big staff had come and gone. She moved around with it in one hand, while typing with the other.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: which Buddhist tradition uses a frying pad? :-)
    Pema Pera: combining bell and stick
    Pema Pera: with one boing
    Thorberg Nordlicht: *pan
    Dakini Rhode: hmmm the wild forest nun tradition
    Pema Pera: I like frying pad Thor
    Dakini Rhode: can cook with it too
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i see; i think i’ll steer clear of them
    Pema Pera: cooking up a Storm soon?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, frying pad, too
    Pema Pera: sorry, couldn’t help myself
    Thorberg Nordlicht: :-)
    Dakini Rhode: lol no need for that :-)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hey, Friedrich!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: knock knock. good evening!
    Pema Pera: Hi Fred!
    Dakini Rhode: I’ll just wear my Arhat title haha
    Maxine Walden: here comes Friedrich, hi Fred
    Dakini Rhode: Hi Fred!

    Friedrich must have wondered what Dakini was up to, when he walked in.

    Pema Pera: hahaha, does Arhat really bug Storm?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: ’sup
    Dakini Rhode: hey you’re not blogging yet right?
    Pema Pera: weeeeellllll
    Pema Pera: that’s still to be seen my dear
    Dakini Rhode: oh i don’t know if anything REALLY bugs Storm
    Dakini Rhode: Storm is cool
    Maxine Walden: a cool Storm
    Dakini Rhode: Pema is cool
    Maxine Walden: everyone is cool
    Dakini Rhode: Max Thor and Fred are cool
    Maxine Walden: we all are cool, the coolest
    Thorberg Nordlicht: :-)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, is SL a hot or cool medium…
    Dakini Rhode: lol
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn blushes
    Dakini Rhode: brb - laundry
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hmm, mutual admiration society, huh?
    Pema Pera: well, Storm can cool us all down with his rainstorms
    Pema Pera: was that rain that was falling outside?
    Pema Pera: I was still rezzing . . ..
    Pema Pera: big grey blocks
    Pema Pera: or flower petals?
    Pema Pera: Ah, I see a drizzle still outside now, must have been it I guess

    We talked a bit more about the weather.

    Maxine Walden: it does look like its misting rain out there; in my part of the country we have 47 names for rain
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: chortle
    Pema Pera: in Holland we have quite a lot too
    Maxine Walden: birds don’t seem to mind the rain
    Maxine Walden: nor the frogs nor crickets
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: isnt holland mostly below sea level?
    Dakini Rhode: hello agin
    Pema Pera: half of it is below yes
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: yeah, one thing i like about the rain is that it alleviates the pressure to be cheerful. sunny days demand it, but w/ rain, you have the option
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Dakini Rhode: haha Fred
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: gloomy entitlment
    Maxine Walden: ’tis so, isn’t it; on the other hand when it is raining and you have to be inside it is not as taxing as when it is lovely and sunny
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: right. similar idea.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: oh wait - i thought we were agreeing ;-)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: violently agreeing
    Pema Pera: hehe
    Dakini Rhode looks for her big violent staff
    Pema Pera: Seeing Dakini in her wild form, swinging around poles and frying pans, I feel I should say something about my own PaB practice . . . .
    Maxine Walden: please
    Pema Pera: . . . before she summons me
    Dakini Rhode: you weren’t here for the demo Fred
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: rock, paper, scissors, anyone?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: whoa. i think that beats all 3

    I remembered Dakini’s earlier attempts to get me to talk about my practice, and in her current semi-wrathful form, I did not want to take any changes.

    Pema Pera: I’ve started doing PaB almost two months ago now
    Pema Pera: shortly before we started these sessions on April 1, and my main report is one of surprise:
    Pema Pera: surprise at how different each new 9-sec session is,
    Pema Pera: even though I have done so many now, in the last 60 days . . . . .
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: I’d better keep going
    Maxine Walden: please do, Pema
    Pema Pera: saw that there frying pan flying just over my had
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: eek - your skirt is in the fire!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Pema, i forget,do you also have a more formal meditation practice, in addition to your 9sec/15min practice?
    Dakini Rhode: no prob PP, my hands are occupied with folding laundry
    Pema Pera: each time when I stop I have absolutely no idea what will pop up in my mind
    Maxine Walden: really?
    Pema Pera: and sometimes I feel like making a type of guess
    Pema Pera: but then often what actually comes up is totally different
    Maxine Walden: anticipatory?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: I haven’t made it too far past my immediated visual (sometimes emotional) stimulus
    Pema Pera: My normal mind wants to anticipate
    Pema Pera: but then that doesn’t work
    Pema Pera: the opening created lets in something different

    At that moment Janmont stopped by, for the first time.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Janmont
    Pema Pera: Hi Janmont
    Pema Pera: please join us!
    Maxine Walden: interesting my experience is slightly different, I rather know the approximate area of my experience to come
    Janmont Pinklady: Greetings! I’d love to - for a little bit!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: evenin’
    Maxine Walden: hello, Janmont
    Pema Pera: have you been here before, Janmont?
    Janmont Pinklady: I have never been here.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: have a seat, Janmont
    Pema Pera: we gather here four times a day
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((right-click a cushion and select “sit here”)
    Pema Pera: to talk about many things, including the nature of reality
    Pema Pera: but then very informally
    Pema Pera: I was just talking about my experiences with a type of micro-meditation we are doing
    Janmont Pinklady: Thank you.
    Pema Pera: 9 seconds at a time, four times an hour
    Pema Pera: http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/ gives the background
    Thorberg Nordlicht: “micro-meditation”; we haven’t used that term before; i like that
    Pema Pera: to answer Thor’s question:
    Pema Pera: at the moment I am not doing formal meditation
    Pema Pera: though I have been doing that for many years in many forms
    Pema Pera: right now coming here three times a day and writing the blog is my practice
    Pema Pera: probably takes me, oh, six hours a day or so ;>)
    Janmont Pinklady: That’s a lot of work.
    Pema Pera: will have to reduce that a bit to make it sustainable
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: and you introduced this cause you didnt have the time to meditate ;-)
    Pema Pera: yeah, but worth it

    We talked more about various approaches to practice.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: the reason i ask is that — in the soto zen tradition, at least — it’s expected that formal practice will extend into all other aspects of your life; and i think that influences the micro-meditation technique
    Maxine Walden: that is a lot of time…
    Pema Pera: haha, Fred
    Pema Pera: yes, Thor, traditionally you let meditation extend into real life
    Maxine Walden: I have found Thor that the PaB practice has extended into most all areas for me
    Pema Pera: but here we do it the other way around
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: janmonth: I was kidding. that’s just the elevator pitch. thinking you dont have the time.
    Pema Pera: we “seed” real life and take it from there
    Thorberg Nordlicht: as i hear people talk about their experiences with micro-meditation, i make a distinction between those who do “micro” exclusively and those who have a formal practice
    Thorberg Nordlicht: what you’re describing about your micro-mediataion — surprised what comes up — is also certainly true of a formal practice
    Thorberg Nordlicht: in the soto tradition, we’re taught to expect anything/everything and just observe whatever comes up
    Pema Pera: I’m not sure whether such a distinction would cut across all the personalities and backgrounds — everybody is so different
    Pema Pera: but yes, of course, formal practice helps
    Pema Pera: but life experience and/or natural talent helps too
    Dakini Rhode: what you say Thor is so true
    Thorberg Nordlicht: not suggestion enforcing such a distinction, just noticing the difference
    Pema Pera: yes, I agree Thor

    Various strands of conversations started to intertwine.

    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: on the topic of the nature of reality and undisciplined practices, i had a provacative encounter thiw weekend
    Dakini Rhode: In long retreats I think I ‘ve run the whole gamut of emotion and experience…. just sitting on a cushion
    Maxine Walden: Fried, what was your experience?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i atttended a retrospective on albert hofman, and hung out w/ the psyched=elic enthusiasts
    Maxine Walden: oh?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i’m always surprised what come up for me, like “where the heck did THAT come from?”
    Maxine Walden: know what you mean…
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: very similar themes, but i reacted differently to the conversation than i might have a few years ago
    Maxine Walden: that’s also interesting to observe
    Dakini Rhode: My surprise is that I thought emotions and thoughts originated with something “out there” haha
    Thorberg Nordlicht: maybe another distinction to take note of is “meditation practices specifically intended to achieve a specific state of mind” vs. “practices to simply observe what comes up”
    Dakini Rhode: which merely seems to be a prop
    Dakini Rhode: ah yes Thor
    Pema Pera: btw, Thor, if I may interject another point: you mentioned that it was not very efficient to re-explain PaB each time someone new comes in — but I do find that I am explaining PaB slightly different each time, as you saw now with the “micro meditation” — so I’m not sure whether verbal explanation might still not be the best, above note cards — or perhaps we should do both
    Maxine Walden: a real discovery, that the out there is more a reflection of what we bring to it, at least for me
    Dakini Rhode: both maybe
    Maxine Walden: the notion that the mind and perspective of the observer affecting the data observed at one level sounds obvious but at another, at least for me it is profound
    Thorberg Nordlicht: even if there is only one objective reality, we all have our own perception of it? is that what you mean, Maxine?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i think it is rather difficult to take seriously the proposition that we are activley co-constructing reality w/ our (inter)subjectivity
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i think folks pay lip service to that idea, but when followed to its logical conclusions, the implications are quite serious
    Janmont Pinklady: Thanks you for allowing me to enter. I might like to visit again if you’ll allow. What hours do you meet?

    At this moment I lost my internet connection. Afterward, Maxine sent me her chat log, from which I took the following missing part.

    Pema Pera is Offline
    Maxine Walden: yes, I am not so sure there is only one objective reality, I rather think that each of us with our different minds/observations ‘create’ (not quite the right word but it will do) a part of reality, the notions of parallel universes comes to my mind re this
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but, even setting aside any “mystical” implications for the moment, physiologially a great deal of processing takes place between the raw data of experience and what we actually “see” in our conscious mind
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: janmont: I think its 1, 7, 1, 7 SL Time
    Dakini Rhode: are we speaking of reality as “stuff” or as our evaluations, opinions, judgments, etc. … which I have to say make up more of experience than just dealing with”matter”
    Dakini Rhode: yes what Thor just said
    Janmont Pinklady: OK. Thank you!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: are you leaving us, Janmont?
    Dakini Rhode: Matter doesn’t “matter” to us all that much
    Maxine Walden: I agree, with that Dakini
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: “language” probably does though, perhaps
    Maxine Walden: I actually think that our inner states affect how/what we perceive ‘out there’
    Dakini Rhode: i find i inhabit a world of thought… which is apparently self generating
    Dakini Rhode: self feeding
    Dakini Rhode: and self supporting
    Maxine Walden: yes, agree there too
    Dakini Rhode: very interesting to “see” it
    Maxine Walden: (where did Pema go?)
    Maxine Walden: yes,

    I managed to regain my internet connection.

    Pema Pera is Online
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, my reality is likely built on metaphors - pretty hard to return to pure sensory experience
    Maxine Walden: oh, crashed perhaps
    Maxine Walden: is that so Fried, built on metaphors?
    Maxine Walden: over sensory experience?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: implicit and explicit
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: probably.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hey Pema, welcome back
    Pema Pera: internet disconnect, sorry
    Maxine Walden: yes, thought that must have happened
    Thorberg Nordlicht: we solved all the philosophical problems of the ages while you were gone; too bad you missed it :-)
    Pema Pera: my cell phone connection is not too reliable
    Pema Pera: ahahaha
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: yeah, i think so. pattern recognition, perception, the works. All based on implicit metaphors

    I asked a predicted question.

    Pema Pera: can someone send me the chat log, so that I can add the missing piece?
    Maxine Walden: yes, agree
    Dakini Rhode: now he’ll ask us for the transcript :-P
    Dakini Rhode: o i see he already did
    Thorberg Nordlicht: sorry, it was too profound for the chat log; you just had to be here :-)
    Maxine Walden: sure, I’ll do that, Pema
    Pema Pera: thanks, Maxine!
    Pema Pera: so I am predictable, hey?
    Pema Pera: hahaha, Thor
    Maxine Walden: Thor, shall I take out the good stuff from the chatlog?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: we’re actually not sure you aren’t a bot…
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Maxine, i’ll leave that up to you
    Pema Pera: wait till I triple myself
    Maxine Walden: OK, will use my best judgment
    Maxine Walden: triple yourself, Pema?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: funny PaB game. trying to interpolate missing lines.
    Dakini Rhode: Let your alts take some of the load Pema
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so, were we talking about “objective reality” vs. “individual perception”
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i’ll bet in 30 seconds we could hop across the galaxy in associations
    Maxine Walden: some of us raising the question whether there really is an objective reality
    Maxine Walden: or whether our thoughts, moods, perceptions create the reality we inhabit
    Pema Pera: perhaps neither

    From here on the conversation heated up, with sometimes multiple thread interweaving.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: certainly a good question, but i’m also suggesting we all have our own perception regardless of whether there’s actually an objective reality or not
    Pema Pera: perhaps we are as much part of the dream as what we see around us
    Dakini Rhode: i think the 2 are not mutually exclusive
    Pema Pera: objective is always a question of context
    Pema Pera: with respect to what
    Maxine Walden: yes, agree
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i think, sometimes, philosophical discussions like this get hung up thinking we have to solve the “objective reality” problem first, when i fact we can make progress regardless
    Dakini Rhode: exse phone
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: before i weighed myself down w/ jargon, i meant to point out that many folks claim that reality is a social construct, but rarely follow that line of thought all the way through
    Thorberg Nordlicht: well, isn’t there a “consensus reality” that influcences our perception?
    Pema Pera: Hi Johnson!
    Pema Pera: Feel free to join us
    Pema Pera: in the tea house

    I had seen Johnson walking by and I invited him in. A while later he would indeed join us.

    Maxine Walden: so many perspectives, all of which have some validity
    Maxine Walden: and Pema keeps bringing us back to the notion of the dream or movie
    Thorberg Nordlicht: for example, we all sit here assuming we’re having a shared experience of avatars sitting in a tea house in SL, when in fact, I’m just looking at pixels on my computer screen :-)
    Dakini Rhode: in fact i’m just folding laundry
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, perhaps its important to point out how seriously we seem to take experience as a legitimate form of evidence
    Thorberg Nordlicht: before I was enlightenened I folded laundry, and after i was enlightened I folded laundry
    Dakini Rhode: and how practice can cut through that
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i mean, i trust my experience, but not sure i could easily convince a skeptic that this is anything but a bunc of pixels on a computer sreen
    Pema Pera: well, there are two interesting and very different sides to this discussion: the theoretical and the experiential one — like in physics: theory and experiment, and if you don’t take both into account you can’t figure anything out. I don’t know whether we have time to get into both now, but perhaps I can summarize each in one sentence . . . .
    Pema Pera: Hi Johnson, welcome!
    Maxine Walden: hello, Johnson, nice to meet you
    Thorberg Nordlicht: I agree Friedrich; the problem is the sceptic must agree to “immerse” in this virtual reality to see it
    Johnson Euler: Hello all.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Johnson
    Pema Pera: theoretically, any conclusion that anything is objective, and independent of us is suspect — who is to take a view from nowhere?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: if the sceptic insists on remaining “sceptical” he can’t immerse in the consensus reality that what’s going on here is avatars sitting in a teahouse
    Pema Pera: experientially, if you really walk around seeing everything as a reflection of your mood and sensitivity that can then help shift your sense of who you are
    Pema Pera: and those two approaches can then be combined
    Pema Pera: letting theory and experience inform each other

    The discussion rolled on.

    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, if we’re making it up as we’re going along, let’s make up a happier ending ;-)
    Dakini Rhode: .
    Dakini Rhode: (i did that to stop the typing animation)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: ah, but how to teach that sensibility/capacity/awareness (never mind develop it more fully w/ in)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((thinking about Friedrichs comment: is what we’re saying the same as “makeing it up as we go along”?))
    Pema Pera: Johnson, you’re dropping into a conversation about the nature of reality, something we do here four times a day, 1 am 7 am 1 pm 7 pm SLT; see http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/
    Dakini Rhode: well here’s where the idea of “making up reality” falls apart….
    Dakini Rhode: Thor, did I make you up?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: colloquially….
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i’m not sure we’re saying that we’re “making up reality”
    Dakini Rhode: Pema, did I make you up?
    Dakini Rhode: right
    Pema Pera: well, a character in a movie does not make up the movie
    Pema Pera: the projector and the director have roles
    Pema Pera: very different ones
    Pema Pera: and the ticket sales person
    Dakini Rhode: But my experience of you could be essentially fabricated
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: surely it gets more complicated when there is more than one subject around making things up, but if it were just you alone in the world, that might be a very teneble position to hold
    Pema Pera: and the cleaning lady
    Maxine Walden: But Dakini, the you I see comes probably more from my experience and inferences about you than the objective you
    Dakini Rhode: yes i agree Max
    Maxine Walden: Poor Johnson, maybe he wonders what kind of a discussion he came into
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: psst, Johnson: we’re confused too ;-)
    Maxine Walden: interesting how passionate we all seem to feel about some of these things
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, like this practice is somewhat inverted, i think these conversations ordinarly start on the other end
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: at least in my experience. that is, with a bit of theory, framework, and some shared langauge
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: here, we just jumped right in
    Maxine Walden: ah
    Maxine Walden: yes we rather did, didn’t we?
    Dakini Rhode: well speaking of the practice, the practice can create a gap, and in that gap, we may allow “objective reality” to inform us
    Maxine Walden: interesting thought, Dakini
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i suppose friends do that all the time, but not necessarily about these topics

    Johnson joined the conversations.

    Pema Pera: And Johnson, please feel free to jump in — we have no rules here, all very informal (^_^)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: for me, this is an exploration of what’s possible to communicate in this SL virtual medium
    Johnson Euler: I have a pretty down to earth view. We are what we are. That’s where it begins. Then on top of that we layer on our human sensibilities.
    Dakini Rhode: rather than constantly projecting onto it
    Dakini Rhode: ?
    Pema Pera: but what are we?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i find text chat to be very limiting, but then am amazed at how much we actually DO seem to be communicating in spite of the limitations
    Dakini Rhode: imagine if we were all TALKING at once lol
    Pema Pera: chat can force us to focus on the core of what we want to say
    Maxine Walden: with some rim of silence which actually enhances it for me
    Pema Pera: hahaha, Dakini
    Pema Pera: you would then really need your frying pan!
    Johnson Euler: Here we’re anything we want to be. We are our dreams.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i do like to see how far i can take the idea that our inner and outer worlds are one and the same. identical, in some way.
    Pema Pera: yes, Johnson, but is that so different in RL? I mean, we normally take for granted a whole lot in RL, but perhaps SL can show us that much of that can be loosened . . . .
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: which, is one answer to the question what we are, but elliptical
    Dakini Rhode: so many good thoughts here…
    Maxine Walden: yes, many good thoughts…
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: someone should be taking notes!
    Pema Pera: since these thoughts will go into the blog, we can later pick them up again
    Johnson Euler: In RL, we are what we are. Then on top of that, each of us decides what game we want to be in. A victim’s game, a warrior’s game…..
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: (phew)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((taking notes == pema’s blog))
    Maxine Walden: right!! guess the chatlog may be the notes

    I was intrigued by Johnson’s starting point.

    Pema Pera: can you say what you mean, Johnson, when you say: we are what we are?
    Pema Pera: I don’t know who I am
    Pema Pera: I do know what roles I play
    Pema Pera: but not who I am
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: sorry - just my sense of humor. yes, that is one significant advantage to texting. transparent note taking
    Maxine Walden: I will have to go soon, and can take the log with me or leave it for someone else who stays longer
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: what if - you are the summation of the choices you have made in your lifetime
    Johnson Euler: I think our base existance is simple, like all animal existance. Then we try to layer on additional meaning.
    Pema Pera: Maxine, if I don’t crash again, your log so far is sufficient for me to fill the gaps
    Maxine Walden: great, I will take it when I go then
    Johnson Euler: Why do we exist? What is our purpose? Did God create us? Will we go to Heaven?
    Johnson Euler: Those are things we layer on to our base existance.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: Multiple choice?
    Pema Pera: bye Max!
    Maxine Walden: I can stay for a minute more or so
    Pema Pera: Yes, Johnson, that is one perspective, and I agree that it is a valid one — but not the only one
    Dakini Rhode: speaking of a base existence, what is the base? where are “you” located?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: well, guys, sorry to leave right when Johnson poses so many new questions, but it’s 8:00 and I have to get back to RL
    Pema Pera: bye Thor!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: bye bye for now

    Thor left us, while the discussion continued.

    Pema Pera: we can add and subtract
    Pema Pera: add as you explained
    Pema Pera: but we can also excavate our base
    Pema Pera: our understanding of it
    Pema Pera: subtract
    Pema Pera: and re-evaluate
    Maxine Walden: bye all
    Johnson Euler: Bye Max
    Dakini Rhode: nite Thor
    Dakini Rhode: bye Max
    Dakini Rhode: I’m seriously lagging
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i totally just ended up in another universe trying to move seats
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: this teahouse is from another dimension
    Dakini Rhode: yes! it happend to me as well!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: nice touch! even if it was accidental.
    Dakini Rhode: Max has disconnected
    Pema Pera: probably wanted to save the log
    Pema Pera: becoming a log herself ;>)
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: heh.
    Dakini Rhode: what a sacrifice :-)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: a be-log?
    Dakini Rhode groans

    Johnson posed some pertinent questions, and we responded in different ways.

    Johnson Euler: What if we have no significance? What we were some kind of arts and craft project for a God that’s long since forgotten us. Would that change anything?
    Pema Pera: Friedrich and Johnson, if you like, I really would be interested in probing further our prior assumptions as to where we start: we are what we are is on the one hand a very sensible starting point, on the other hand it excludes a lot from investigation, and perhaps we have then already built in what we can possible conclude
    Pema Pera: and that affects all questions about God and meaning
    Pema Pera: If we start with too limited assumptions
    Pema Pera: we may limit possible meaning we can find
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, our trust in experience as a valid form of evidence/inquiry is reasonable to me, but i think is where this project might lose alot of people
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: that’s one assumption, no? central?
    Pema Pera: experience — we often use that words as a package for theory-laden experience . . . .
    Pema Pera: so how to cleanse experience?
    Pema Pera: a male chauvinist pig experiences feminism as nonsense . . . .
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: try on alternate points of view? recogize the boundaries of your own?
    Pema Pera: or drop all points of view
    Pema Pera: it may or may not be possible
    Pema Pera: only one way to find out , to try
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: you can gesture at it.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: still, i still feel we’re stuck. hermetically sealed in a conversation others don’t have access to. or don’t think they do
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i meant, that’s the crux. there is no rational way to get here, stepwise, is there
    Pema Pera: no
    Pema Pera: but there are alternatives to pure rationality, as we call it
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: cause it itself is the starting point
    Pema Pera: there are forms of seeing — nothing mystic or esoteric
    Pema Pera: just the kind of seeing like seeing a mathematical proof
    Pema Pera: aha!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, this also runs smack into the wall of why its so important to convince anyone else of anything. accept things as they are.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: quite an ethical conundrum, this balance between acceptance and intension

    I could see Fred’s points, but I also wanted to show that there is a much more direct way to see what is real, beyond intellectual reasoning.

    Pema Pera: if someone wants to give up smoking, they can reason for years but there may be a point where someone suddenly really SEES the addiction he/she is trapped in, and then it may be possible to push out the last cigaret and drop the habit completely — reasoning doesn’t have that poewr
    Johnson Euler: I perceive lots of things young people do as nonsense. Like showing off butt cleavage. But that’s perception. If I strip all my perceptions away I’m left with my essential animal. Then I can decide which perceptions to layer back on.
    Pema Pera: are you sure?
    Johnson Euler: Am I getting the point?
    Pema Pera: if you reason about what will happen when you strip everything away
    Pema Pera: then you reason: I will become an animal
    Pema Pera: but if you really try to do it as an experiment
    Dakini Rhode: folks i’m going to call it a night
    Pema Pera: perhaps something else can happen
    Pema Pera: Bye Dakini!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: g’night dakini.
    Dakini Rhode: be well!
    Pema Pera: happy dreams!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: snicker
    Johnson Euler: Goodnight Dakini.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: yes, we can continue this another time too, if you all prefer.
    Pema Pera: we probably should keep these sessions to an hour, yes
    Pema Pera: much as I’d be happy to continue forever ;>)
    Pema Pera: since these are the most important questions I can think of
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: heh. we do have eternity
    Pema Pera: But given that we started at 7 pm
    Pema Pera: we probably should continue next time
    Pema Pera: Thanks for stopping by Johnson!
    Pema Pera: I hope we’ll see you at other sessions

    Given how interesting the discussion had become, it was hard to stop.

    Johnson Euler: Pema, before you go, I have a question.
    Pema Pera: sure
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i will just say that i want to tread more carefully here after hearing some of the ways the psychedelic astraunuts dealt w/ similar themes… to be continued
    Johnson Euler: How many ways are you able to approach this discussion?
    Johnson Euler: I fear I may be locked into one way.
    Pema Pera: infinitely many ways I think ;>)
    Pema Pera: which is your way?
    Pema Pera: the one you are locked in?
    Johnson Euler: Just a thought process I’ve been working on since youth. A particular view of the way things are.
    Pema Pera: I very much appreciate your clarity
    Pema Pera: that is absolutely necessary to start a dialogue
    Pema Pera: but then there comes a point where you can use that clarity to investigate your basic assumptions
    Pema Pera: that is what happened in physics and mathematics in the 20th century
    Pema Pera: in the 18th and 19th very clear systems were built
    Pema Pera: classical mechanics and classical mathematics
    Pema Pera: but then came quantum mechanics and Goedel
    Pema Pera: and both turned out to be only approximations
    Pema Pera: reality was far more rich
    Pema Pera: even though of course in daily life
    Pema Pera: bridges are still bridges and arithmetic is still arithmetic
    Pema Pera: does that make sense?
    Johnson Euler: Do you have a solid belief paradigm? Or does yours shift?
    Pema Pera: life is a circle of learning: you take the best base you can find, built your understanding on that, then use that understanding to critically investigate your base — wash, rinse, repeat
    Pema Pera: nothing solid
    Pema Pera: only openness
    Pema Pera: I am not a Buddhist
    Pema Pera: but I appreciate the notion of emptiness
    Pema Pera: though I prefer to call it openness
    Pema Pera: quantum mechanics tells us that even in matter there is nothing solid
    Pema Pera: only probability waves, information that is partly potential partly actual
    Pema Pera: so why should mind be more solid than that?
    Pema Pera: or any “basic” assumptions?
    Pema Pera: what is called a base is often an umbrella — attempts to protect ourselves from rains of doubt

    Again, Johnson made a valid point, Fred elaborated, and we continued our discussion.

    Johnson Euler: Speaking of that, I think a lot of our beliefs are rooted in what makes us feel good.
    Pema Pera: yes!!
    Johnson Euler: But is that reality?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: so?
    Pema Pera: no
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i’m in the odd position of having western analytical philosophy drive me to faith.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i took the skeptical hypotheses quite seriously
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: and realize, there is tons of stuff i believe in, on faith, that i could never prove
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: so, i get to decide what i want to believe in
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: sorry, i should have said, have taken on the responsibility of recognizing that i need to be explicit about what i choose to have faith in
    Johnson Euler: If we decided to believe in human decency without expecting reward, would that be okay?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: with who?
    Pema Pera: well, it would be one start — it is the follow-up which is most important, much more than the choice of start
    Johnson Euler: The idea of eternal reward I think makes life here seem less urgent and precious.
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: so better to drop that
    Johnson Euler: It also makes acts of kindness less sincere.
    Pema Pera: yes
    Johnson Euler: If eternal reward happens, that’s great but not great as a feeling of entitlement.
    Pema Pera: yup
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: and, talk about undecidable…. I have no idea how we would ever have insight into the afterlife
    Pema Pera: so if I were a traditional believer, you would ask me to drop that ; and then I would ask you what you would want to drop in return — what would you say?
    Pema Pera: Fried, true believers may think they have answer for that
    Pema Pera: but I am not interested in their argumetns
    Pema Pera: much more in the question of what can be dropped
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i don’t really understand why i am so willng to drop or bracket that conversation too.

    Johnson responded to my question.

    Johnson Euler: I don’t know what I’d drop. I don’t have expectations.
    Pema Pera: but many assumptions . . ..
    Pema Pera: . . . starting assumptions
    Pema Pera: results of being born in a particular culture, and place and time
    Pema Pera: you would surely have different convictions if you would have been raised totally different
    Pema Pera: so reflecting on that, how much of your convictions do you think are really universal?
    Johnson Euler: I live a certain way because it’s comfortable. But I don’t believe I live righteously. Or that I’m entitled to what I have.
    Pema Pera: I am constantly questioning that too, yes
    Pema Pera: for myself
    Pema Pera: but the most efficient way to question that, I think, is to go back to the foundations on which I tend to build my understanding
    Pema Pera: if I make mistakes there, they will color everything else
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: I’ll say that I desperately want to live in a world that contains Love, Beauty, Peace, and Meaning.
    Pema Pera: I have been totally amazed by how much I have been able to toss from what I thought was my base
    Pema Pera: and how in return at each step beauty and love could shine through more
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: you sure you wanna toss those?
    Pema Pera: yes, Fried
    Pema Pera: no
    Pema Pera: they shine through
    Pema Pera: when you toss the rest
    Pema Pera: genuinely
    Pema Pera: yes was for your earlier remark ;>)
    Johnson Euler: I think there’s a lot to be gained by tossing the notion that I’m right or good or decent.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i’ll buy that. but, we do play an active role in noticing htem. I think some peoeple do live in realities that are abscent of those values
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: heh. i figured that out!
    Pema Pera: yes, Johnson!
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: reading between the lines here is an art
    Pema Pera: quite fun actually
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: bad lag tonight though. its been harder than normal

    I found it hard to express in words what was on my mind, but the word `innocent’ seemed to fit best.

    Pema Pera: I feel that year after year I am learning to be more innocent . . . .
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: anyway, its driven by desire. so shoot me. bad buddist. (Johnson: kidding. that came up earlier this week)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: reassuring. I’m getting older too!
    Pema Pera: . . . .they more I drop, the more I sense a kind of naturall innocence
    Pema Pera: people talk about a “disarming attitude”
    Pema Pera: the more I drop, the less I am afraid or concerned about how I come across
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: innocently subversive?
    Pema Pera: not even sub ;>)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: heh
    Pema Pera: versatile
    Pema Pera: more
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well versed
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: each base we assume gives us something to defend
    Pema Pera: Johnson, you spot that so clearly in religious fanatics
    Pema Pera: but I would say: it holds for all of us

    The conversation moved back to the RL/SL connection.

    Johnson Euler: Ah, I see from your profiles that your inner selves are what you project in SL.
    Pema Pera: how so?
    Johnson Euler: I think we’re all younger here than we are in RL. For one thing.
    Pema Pera: well, you and I may be, ;>) I’m 55. Fred actually is a young turk ;>)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i’ve been told I hvae an old soul….
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: 7432 years old, i think, to be precise
    Pema Pera: but yes, SL and RL are not that different . . . . on the level in which we express ourselves
    Johnson Euler: I’m 46. I was showing my wife my avatar and told her I tried to make him look like the real me.
    Johnson Euler: She laughed and said Johnson doesn’t look like me, he looks like Brad Pitt.
    Johnson Euler: I said, what’s the difference?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: Fried is )
    Pema Pera: I happen to be in Kyoto for a couple months to come, for my work
    Pema Pera: time for lunch
    Pema Pera: but good night to you both!

    Tag page (Edit tags)
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core