2008.06.12 01:00 - Fish Bone

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    That night, at 1 am SLT, the area around the tea house was unusually lively. Fael, Hotaru were both present, and soon Sky would ariive, so there were four of us.

    Fael Illyar: Hello Pema
    Hotaru Myoo: Hi Pema!
    Pema Pera: Hi Hotaru and hi Fael!
    Hotaru Myoo: three points on the globe converge!
    Pema Pera: ah, yes!
    Pema Pera: But soon you’ll be in Japan
    Hotaru Myoo: true
    Pema Pera: We’ll have to find a way to get Fael to Japan too!!!!!
    Hotaru Myoo: and keeping ‘regular’ hours
    Pema Pera: funny that all three of us speak Japanese . . . .
    Hotaru Myoo: wait…mine is very limited
    Hotaru Myoo: Hi Sky!
    Fael Illyar: I’m thinking of changing the way I do PaB explorations a bit. I’m thinking of not trying to drop everything but selectively leave something.
    Fael Illyar: Hi Sky
    Faenik: ah :)
    Hotaru Myoo: lol
    Sky Szimmer: hi all
    Hotaru Myoo: kind of like sloughing off dead skin cells?
    Fael Illyar: Yes
    Hotaru Myoo: unwanted hair?
    Pema Pera: Hi Sky!
    Hotaru Myoo: fingernails?
    Sky Szimmer: what will you keep Fael
    Sky Szimmer: not time no see Pema. Stayed up late just to give you a visit : )
    Pema Pera: thank you, Sky!
    Pema Pera: Wonderful to see you here
    Pema Pera: as always!
    Sky Szimmer: Thx!

    We talked more about what Fael had brought up, concerning dropping.

    Pema Pera: Fael, about dropping, perhaps the metaphor of a dream is helpful here
    Fael Illyar: Although, I examined doing that a moment ago instead of my normal meditation. I’m not sure if it ended up all that different though.
    Pema Pera: In order to wake up from a dream, the idea is to “drop” the whole dream
    Pema Pera: not the elements in a dream
    Hotaru Myoo: ah…
    Hotaru Myoo: leave it behind
    Pema Pera: You don’t drop the houses and clouds and trees of a dream
    Hotaru Myoo: shedding the insight
    Pema Pera: or parts of your dream identity
    Pema Pera: it is far more radical
    Pema Pera: having said that, it may still be interesting to drop parts, like playing scales on a piano
    Pema Pera: as long as you realize that that is not the ultimate idea
    Pema Pera: the MOST difficult thing here in PaB is to convey how terrible radical PaB is . .. .. .
    Hotaru Myoo: it is part ofthe process tho
    Hotaru Myoo: as in free radical?
    Pema Pera: more free :-)
    Pema Pera: more radical (^_^)
    Fael Illyar: Well, partly it’s because I started thinking the way I’ve done them is a bit reckless. Just drop without regard to what.
    Hotaru Myoo: more is more
    Pema Pera: Fael, it is great to experiment, so please continue in any possible way you can think of!
    Hotaru Myoo: ah…so you want to give it a name?
    Pema Pera: I’m just pointing to the horizon
    Pema Pera: but you can still wander around exploring the landscape
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Pema Pera: but if you don’t know about the horizon you can explore forever
    Pema Pera: so I suggest you do both
    Pema Pera: explore here and there AND keep in mind how radical the horizon is
    Pema Pera: and more and more you will get glimmers of the horizon
    Pema Pera: and you will recognize them
    Pema Pera: and/or when you talk about them here, we can push them a bit to make them more recognizable

    I was getting into one of my more radical moods :-).

    Hotaru Myoo: I would agree to have a vision of sorts….something to project and bounce off of…
    Pema Pera: well, it has a name, Hotaru, Being :)
    Pema Pera: more than a vision . … .
    Pema Pera: even more than a vision . . . .
    Hotaru Myoo: what about bouncing …instead of dropping
    Pema Pera: sure, you can use many pointers
    Pema Pera: how do you see bouncing?
    Hotaru Myoo: the elastic band
    Pema Pera: dropping has the implications of a radical cut, a waking up, a jumping of a cliff
    Hotaru Myoo: stretch it …and realx/reflect
    Pema Pera: without bouncing back ;)
    Hotaru Myoo: stretch…relax/reflect
    Pema Pera: really going beyond
    Hotaru Myoo: trying to
    Pema Pera: again relaxing is good to!
    Pema Pera: but not the ultimate
    Hotaru Myoo: no
    Hotaru Myoo: need tension
    Pema Pera: in fact, the ultimate is beyond relaxation and stress
    Pema Pera: and can be found in both, yes
    Hotaru Myoo: stasis?
    Pema Pera: beyond any dualities, like stasis and out-of-equilibrium
    Sky Szimmer: so once you are beyond, realizing you are out of the dream, do you still get held back, or are you free forever and ever
    Hotaru Myoo: to include the wobble?
    Pema Pera: ah, there you bounce!
    Pema Pera: in fact, Sky and Hotaru
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: let me describe how it is for me
    Hotaru Myoo: drum roll

    Hotaru knew how to set the stage.

    Pema Pera: one moment I clearly feel in touch with Being
    Pema Pera: hahahaha, LOL Hot
    Pema Pera: and then very briefly thereafter I realize I’ve falling out of it
    Pema Pera: (different use of falling dropping, sorry :)
    Pema Pera: so then I have various options
    Pema Pera: I may just “bounce” back as soon as I realize not being in touch with Being
    Pema Pera: or I may feel a bit stuck
    Hotaru Myoo: the elusive nature of Being
    Pema Pera: carried along by the current of everyday concerns
    Pema Pera: so then I have a variety of techniques that I can use
    Hotaru Myoo: freeze frame?
    Pema Pera: and many of them I use for just a split second or a few seconds or perhaps longer
    Faenik: なるほど^^
    Pema Pera: basically an arsenal that I have built up over decades of experimenting with various approaches
    Pema Pera: like having very many friends to call upon
    Pema Pera: and there are always a few around
    Pema Pera: so getting back into Being can take many forms
    Hotaru Myoo: tools you pull out to jump start…?
    Pema Pera: and in fact, the most beautiful thing is the knowledge that you’ve never fallen out of Being
    Pema Pera: Once you have begun to really see that, everything becomes so very much easier
    Hotaru Myoo: welll….you truly can’t can you?
    Hotaru Myoo: even in a vegetative state
    Pema Pera: yes, but you have to see that
    Pema Pera: knowing it is not enough
    Hotaru Myoo: lose Being?
    Pema Pera: intellectually knowing something is almost useless . . . .
    Hotaru Myoo: quite

    There is always the tension that I feel between wanting to share what I see clearly, and yet not wanting to give the impression that I see more than I see :>). What I see clearly, I want to share. What I see dimly, I want to explore together with all my peers here in PaB. What I don’t see yet, I want to hear more about, so that I can begin to explore that, too. But in order to explore together, we need a base, a starting point, some kind of seeing at least.

    Pema Pera: Time for a disclamer here:
    Sky Szimmer: what is the difference between seeing and knowing
    Hotaru Myoo: 2mm
    Pema Pera: what I say about seeing Being and feeling clearly in touch with it is correct, but there are very many ways of seeing and feeling that much more clearly, so
    Pema Pera: on the one hand I am a total beginner still
    Pema Pera: but on the other hand I have seen enough of it that I feel qualified to at least point to it.
    Hotaru Myoo: it is always full circle..
    Pema Pera: Sky, seeing is something direct
    Pema Pera: like seeing a math proof, or just seeing an object in front of you
    Hotaru Myoo: don’t you think
    Hotaru Myoo: seeing is forgetting what one sees
    Pema Pera: I really recommend strongly to all of you to use the opportunity to ask very pertinent questions about all this to Stim
    Pema Pera: because Stim sees all this quite a bit more clearly than I do
    Pema Pera: but you may have to prod him to talk about it :)
    Hotaru Myoo: bring him on!
    Pema Pera: he is less talkative than I, partly personality, partly probably because seeing IT better may make it even more difficult to try to talk about it authentically . . . . .
    Pema Pera: you bring him on Hot!
    Pema Pera: just keep asking
    Hotaru Myoo: oki

    We got a deal here! I’m counting on Hotaru, next time she meets Stim.

    Pema Pera: the problem is most people ask one or two questions and then don’t continue
    Pema Pera: you have to drill
    Pema Pera: keep going
    Hotaru Myoo: sure
    Pema Pera: really wanting to know
    Hotaru Myoo: that is the same with anything
    Hotaru Myoo: it has to have relevance
    Hotaru Myoo: …once it does…
    Hotaru Myoo: drilling is a no brainer
    Pema Pera: yes, Hotaru but there is one big difference here . . . . with anything else
    Pema Pera: With anything else you can see some progress, while you go along
    Pema Pera: Here anything that seems like progress in fact becomes a hindrance (almost)
    Faenik: ah :)
    Pema Pera: Faenik got it!!
    Pema Pera: :)
    Hotaru Myoo: lol
    Fael Illyar: Nah, he’s just faking :P
    Pema Pera: well done in that case :)
    Sky Szimmer: sometimes with this stuff, it is hard to know the questions to ask.
    Pema Pera: actully, Fael, PaB is faking
    Pema Pera: So Faenik is on the right track!
    Hotaru Myoo: sure…
    Hotaru Myoo: because it names it…
    Hotaru Myoo: bottles it
    Hotaru Myoo: ah…
    Hotaru Myoo: ummm
    Pema Pera: Being is playing us, in some sense, so we are faking to be Being, and while playing as Being, we’re luring Being out of the Being tent, to show us how Being plays Being

    From faking to questioning, we kept circling around the hot potato of Being.

    Pema Pera: Yes, Sky, asking the right questions is more than half of the answer . . . .
    Pema Pera: in science as well as contemplation
    Fael Illyar: Why I haven’t said much is mostly because I tend to need to understand to some degree to be able to ask questions.
    Pema Pera: yes, Fael!
    Pema Pera: And here is where note taking comes up
    Hotaru Myoo: I think the point is tho to not try to understand….
    Hotaru Myoo: because that kills it
    Pema Pera: lab journal style in PaB
    Pema Pera: when you write down how you don’t understand, what you don’t understand
    Pema Pera: and you try to be really precise, you can learn a lot
    Pema Pera: right there and then
    Pema Pera: Hotaru, yes,
    Pema Pera: in some way that is right of course,
    Hotaru Myoo: hmmm
    Pema Pera: but how do you see that in practice?
    Pema Pera: Not trying to understand?
    Pema Pera: How do you do that?
    Hotaru Myoo: that is not forgetting what one sees but rather…
    Hotaru Myoo: seeing through it to the farside
    Hotaru Myoo: looping forward

    The intersections of the comments and questions by Sky and Fael and Hotaru formed a kind of focal spot that had heated up the conversation, or so if felt.

    Pema Pera: Fael and Hotaru’s questions are interestingly similar, pointing to the same problem with the same answer
    Pema Pera: if we don’t know what to ask
    Pema Pera: we may begin to find a handle on stopping
    Pema Pera: seeing through, yes Hotaru, that is another way of saying stopping
    Pema Pera: As long as we can find questions to ask
    Pema Pera: we are still in the dream
    Pema Pera: even very clever and pertinent questions
    Faenik: ah :)
    Pema Pera: are almost certain to led us further into the dream
    Pema Pera: by the time you’re beginning to exhaust questioning
    Pema Pera: you’re getting closer
    Pema Pera: or something is getting closer
    Hotaru Myoo: sure…as long s the questions don’t damage the membrane of the dream
    Pema Pera: it is not you . . . .
    Hotaru Myoo: would it be the accumulation of the detritus?
    Faenik loves wells!
    Pema Pera: zen questions may poke holes in reality, Hotaru
    Pema Pera: although membrane and holes are too limited, they may give some taste of the idea
    Fael Illyar: you mean Zen stories? Koans?
    Pema Pera: yes!
    Pema Pera: you stand on top of a 100 feet high pole, and you have to take a step — now what?
    Pema Pera: you have to drink a river in one gulp, how do you do it?
    Pema Pera: in science the same thing
    Pema Pera: it is called a working hypothesis

    One of my favorite expressions, to describe the role of faith in explorations of reality, is to introduce the notion of a working hypothesis, something we use in science all the time: put aside belief and disbelief, be totally open and totally critical, and then explore, while putting on hold all of the usual prejudices you may have — even the prejudice that there is a you and that there is time and space in which the you and the world appears!

    Hotaru Myoo: same questions
    Hotaru Myoo: that’s the horizon
    Pema Pera: what is the horizon, Hotaru?
    Hotaru Myoo: the Hypothesis
    Hotaru Myoo: ??
    Fael Illyar: Clever to call it horizon :) Implies you can walk towards it but never reach
    Hotaru Myoo: yes…
    Fael Illyar: I guess the implication is then “don’t walk”
    Hotaru Myoo: run!
    Pema Pera: yes, Fael
    Fael Illyar: same with run
    Pema Pera: the working hypothesis starts with a paradox
    Pema Pera: like a koan, very much so
    Fael Illyar: looks like a paradox but is it, really? (yes, rhetoric)
    Pema Pera: good question!
    Sky Szimmer: never understood koans, didn’t understand the working hypothesis, good thing there are many different roads to rome
    Pema Pera: perhaps I can give one example
    Pema Pera: of a working hypothesis in science
    Fael Illyar: Sky I doubt you can understand those with one reading :)
    Pema Pera: perhaps too technical but let me try
    Pema Pera: (Fael: Sky has been struggling with this for many years)
    Sky Szimmer: : )
    Pema Pera: (I have the advantage of backround RL knowledge :)
    Pema Pera: (unfair advantage, sorry :)
    Fael Illyar: Oh, many years … then what I said might not apply.

    I thought about clarifying the notion of a working hypothesis a bit, by giving an example, but that was probably not necessary.

    Pema Pera: So an example would be: physics tells us that microscopically everything is time reversable
    Hotaru Myoo: love it!
    Fael Illyar: I don’t understand all Koans but some feel like I’m getting something out of them.
    Pema Pera: so there is not difference between the motion of a ball flying forwards or backwards, same type of trajectory
    Sky Szimmer: no Fael, what you say is true for me indeed. I read a koan once, my eyes get crossed and I turn the page..
    Pema Pera: but when you stir cream in coffee you cannot unstir this
    Pema Pera: for a long time, throughout the nineteenth century
    Pema Pera: this was a paradox
    Fael Illyar: Sky, sounds like some sort of mental self defense mechanism
    Pema Pera: for physicists
    Fael Illyar: your current mind shielding itself from whatever the koan is suggesting
    Faenik: could be
    Sky Szimmer: hmmm…
    Sky Szimmer: and then?
    Hotaru Myoo: reflecting on it as a mirror might
    Fael Illyar: can you remember any of the Koans?
    Sky Szimmer: Pema… and then? or is that it
    Pema Pera: no, there is more, but I didn’t want to interrupt you and Fael :)
    Sky Szimmer: no can’t remember Koans. Not my thing.
    Sky Szimmer: which is ok.
    Pema Pera: perhaps it is your thing, Sky
    Sky Szimmer: maybe
    Pema Pera: You often say “I don’t get it!”
    Pema Pera: that’s EXACTLY he right approach for koans, haha!
    Sky Szimmer: not after our last conversation!
    Pema Pera: what changed?
    Hotaru Myoo: maybe he is dropping it
    Sky Szimmer: I realized that it was a huge impediment.
    Fael Illyar: Pema, exactly the right approach would be “I don’t get that, yet” I think
    Sky Szimmer: thanks to you!
    Hotaru Myoo: ye!
    Pema Pera: I’m glad to hear that, Sky, and what came in place of that?
    Sky Szimmer: nothing
    Pema Pera: Fael, yes, but that then should not sap the energy of the question
    Pema Pera: so you have to be careful with the “yet”
    Pema Pera: Koans are hopeless!
    Hotaru Myoo: maybe create more questions
    Pema Pera: no hope
    Pema Pera: no yet

    We circled back to the “don’t get it”, a tough nut to crack . . .

    Fael Illyar: I get the feeling that Sky reads, decides “I don’t get this” and stops trying.
    Sky Szimmer: no. that is not it.
    Sky Szimmer: when I say to myself I don’t get it. Then there is a presumption on my part that there is something to get
    Sky Szimmer: or that there is a picture or a goal to reach
    Hotaru Myoo: something ‘yet’ to ‘get’
    Sky Szimmer: so it was a block
    Pema Pera: and yet, Sky, it is also not a question of shrugging it off…..
    Sky Szimmer: no.
    Pema Pera: has any of you ever gotten a fish bone stuck in your throat?
    Pema Pera: really stuck, for hours?
    Sky Szimmer: no.
    Hotaru Myoo: of course!
    Sky Szimmer: i swallow rice.
    Pema Pera: can’t swallow it, can’t get it out either
    Pema Pera: really stuck?
    Sky Szimmer: what’s ya point?
    Pema Pera: well, that feeling
    Faenik loves wells!
    Pema Pera: helpless hopeless, stuck
    Sky Szimmer: and then?
    Pema Pera: paradox
    Pema Pera: koan
    Hotaru Myoo: panic/release
    Fael Illyar: I remember getting something like that with Koans :)
    Pema Pera: you don’t get it
    Pema Pera: and yet you can’t let go of the question
    Fael Illyar: Can’t stop wondering about them, can’t really wonder about them either
    Pema Pera: you can’t shrug it off, and you can’t answer it
    Pema Pera: yes, Fael
    Hotaru Myoo: yes Fael!

    The key point with koans is to get a sense of how impossible they are without giving up working with them . . .

    Pema Pera: you want to wonder about them, but don’t know how
    Pema Pera: I wonder how to wonder :)
    Hotaru Myoo: lol
    Hotaru Myoo: look at the horizon
    Pema Pera: and you can do it playfully AND still feel stuck!
    Sky Szimmer: what are we talking about? I am lost!
    Pema Pera: so here you are with the bone in your throat, you can look at yourself and laugh!
    Hotaru Myoo: reminds me of hairballs
    Pema Pera: and yet you are stuck
    Pema Pera: a hairball you can spew out
    Pema Pera: not a bone . . . .
    Fael Illyar: talking about the effect Koan has on us.
    Pema Pera: btw
    Pema Pera: I have to leave for dinner now!
    Hotaru Myoo: k
    Sky Szimmer: chao
    Sky Szimmer: chow
    Hotaru Myoo: I ae the transcript
    Fael Illyar: Ok, see you Pema :)
    Pema Pera: but I’m really enjoying this discussion
    Pema Pera: I feel that we’ve come quite a bit further
    Pema Pera: relatively speaking of course
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: with PaB
    Pema Pera: looking forward to continue!
    Hotaru Myoo: don’t choose the fish for dinner

    Lol, Hotaru!

    Pema Pera: ah, before I forget
    Pema Pera: I’ll be careful Hotaru
    Hotaru Myoo: lol
    Faenik: なるほど^^
    Pema Pera: thanks for playing along and with each other here :-)
    Hotaru Myoo: Pema…I got the transcript
    Pema Pera: thanks, Hotaru, do you want to comment or shall I or Sky or Fael?
    Pema Pera: I’m happy to do it
    Pema Pera: since Hotaru already went out of her way to come her
    Pema Pera: see you all soon!
    Pema Pera: c u !
    Fael Illyar: See you :)
    Hotaru Myoo: ciao!

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