2008.07.01 01:00 - Harbinger Experience

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    That night, right at 1 am SLT, I met Bertrum in the pavilion, when I entered.

    Pema Pera: Hi Bertrum!
    Bertrum Quan: Hi Pema
    Pema Pera: How’s life?
    Bertrum Quan: Just fine…
    Pema Pera: That sounds nice!
    Bertrum Quan: I had a couple of questions…
    Pema Pera: please go right ahead!
    Bertrum Quan: I wondered how to get the landmark to the place Storm has written about.
    Pema Pera: which place?
    Bertrum Quan: It’s the sandbox…where the guardians build. He also sent an e-mail referring to a map.
    Pema Pera: It should be one of the choices on the teleport station here. Let’s have a look.

    I moved my camera position to what looks like a large bulletin board near the entrance of the pavilion. No need to get up from our comfortable position, sitting down on our cushions, given that we can easily move our camera positions around. Wish we could do that in daily life!

    Pema Pera: Yes it is there
    Pema Pera: Do you see it?
    Pema Pera: There is a wooden wall with nine tiles
    Pema Pera: if you click a tile, you get teleported to the place that is written above it
    Pema Pera: the second one is “Play as Being sandbox”
    Pema Pera: It is to your right
    Pema Pera: outside the pavilion
    Bertrum Quan: Okay, I’ll look for it. Is it also at the Zen Retreat?
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: you can look for it right now :-)
    Pema Pera: Do you know how to use camera control to see it?
    Pema Pera: it is just to your right
    Bertrum Quan: No
    Pema Pera: ah, that is an essential skill to learn
    Pema Pera: otherwise you cannot be really aware of your environment

    I was happy to show Bertrum how to move the camera position around. I myself learned this from others when I had just arrived in SL. Most people learn from each other, rather than from books or manuals. It is a friendly way to share knowledge.

    Pema Pera: there are a few different ways
    Pema Pera: one of them is to use the little blue dashbord with the two circles — do you know that one?
    Bertrum Quan: Yes
    Pema Pera: the other is to use alt/option and control keys
    Pema Pera: Do you have the blue little HUD up right now?
    Bertrum Quan: No…
    Pema Pera: or window I guess you could call it — you said you were familiar with that one?
    Bertrum Quan: Yes, I can pull it down from the menu… it’s on my screen
    Pema Pera: view->camera controls
    Bertrum Quan: yes. I have it in front of me.
    Pema Pera: so if you use the lift and right arrows on your keyboard, or equivalently the left and right arrows on the left circle of the blue dashboard,
    Pema Pera: then first rotate the scene so that your viewpoint is straight behind your avatar
    Pema Pera: looking at the table in front of you being exactly in the middle
    Pema Pera: after doing that, use the right most arrow in the right circle of the blue dashboard
    Pema Pera: and hold your left mouse key down
    Pema Pera: while you hold the left mouse key down, your field of view will pan to the right
    Bertrum Quan: okay. got it. it took me right there! (using the touch pad on the laptop and the arrows)
    Pema Pera: and after a while you will see the big wooden bulletin board like structure with the nine tiles on it for teleportation
    Pema Pera: can you read the signs?
    Bertrum Quan: Yes, I saw the signs. so I know where to look. I’ve returned to the conversation view now.

    In some sense the blue arrows are the simplest to use, given that the present a kind of dashboard with fixed options. However, in practice many of us find it more flexible and versatile to use some key-mouse combinations directly.

    Pema Pera: The other way to navigate starts with the alt key
    Pema Pera: click on any place in front of you while holding the alt key down
    Pema Pera: and then hold the left mouse button down and move the mouse away from you or towards you
    Pema Pera: then will cause you to zoom out and in
    Pema Pera: Can you try that?
    Pema Pera: moving the mouse left and right will rotate the scene around the point where you clicked
    Bertrum Quan: Using the laptop without the mouse… but I’ve made progress. Thanks.
    Pema Pera: ah, in that case, move your finger on the trackpad
    Pema Pera: away from you and toward you
    Pema Pera: while keeping both the alt key and the left click button down
    Pema Pera: that is by far the fastest way to take in your sourroundings
    Bertrum Quan: Yes. It takes a bit of coordination. I’ll work on it. I appreciate the tutorial! Second question: Some of the participants in the PaB confuse me.
    Pema Pera: in what way?
    Bertrum Quan: They constantly interrupt the conversation, make sounds and strange motions. In your blog you referred to it as compic relief…
    Bertrum Quan: comic relief…
    Pema Pera: oh, there was this one person, Caspian, he is an exception :)
    Pema Pera: other than that, are there other examples?
    Pema Pera: We generally allow anyone to come here, unless they really disrupt the meetings
    Pema Pera: If Caspian would become disruptive, we would ask him to go too.
    Pema Pera: He came close a few times, but generally didn’t stay long
    Bertrum Quan: I was in two session where I found it very confusing to track the comments. I guess when thinking about it now, one of the other participants was engaging him.

    Fael joins us.

    Fael Illyar: Hello Pema, Bertrum :)
    Pema Pera: Caspian has been here less than an hour in total, I think — if and when he would come back, we’ll see how to deal with that
    Faenik: indeed?
    Pema Pera: Hi Fael!
    Bertrum Quan: Hi Fael …Okay, that answers that question.
    Pema Pera: As for our conversations, normally we switch between being orderly and disorderly . . .
    Pema Pera: hard to please everyone :-)
    Pema Pera: it is nice to be playful sometimes
    Pema Pera: and to be very focused and serious sometimes
    Fael Illyar: you were talking about caspian?
    Pema Pera: Yes
    Pema Pera: Actually, I have to get out of SL for a bit, to change batteries
    Pema Pera: I hope to be back in a few minutes!
    Pema Pera: Fael, could you keep the chat log for that intermission?
    Fael Illyar: Ok :)
    Pema Pera: c u soon again!
    Pema Pera: in a few

    I exit SL, to swap batteries. Here is Fael’s chat log for that brief period:

    Faenik loves wells!
    Pema Pera is Offline
    Fael Illyar: Bertrum, would you mind giving me a short version of the topic?
    Bertrum Quan: We hadn’t begun that process yet. I had a couple of questions…
    Fael Illyar: Well, I was mostly interested in the one that was going on when I entered :)
    Bertrum Quan: Oh. I just wondered about the interruptions, noises, and strange movements of some of the participants during some of the conversations…
    Faenik: could be
    Fael Illyar: ah that, yes.
    Fael Illyar: I’m, myself, increasingly seeing caspian as white noise.
    Pema Pera is Online
    Bertrum Quan: Well, I don’t know.

    From here on, I’m back again, and at that time Libby is joining us as well.

    Bertrum Quan: Pema, earlier today Fael described something quite profound and I wondered if we could discuss it.
    Fael Illyar: wb Pema :)
    Fael Illyar: Hello Libby
    Pema Pera: I did not read the transcript yet
    Bertrum Quan: Hi Libby
    Pema Pera: Hi Libby!
    Pema Pera: Can you summarize?
    Libby Sohl: hello Fael, Pema, Betrum
    Bertrum Quan: Fael was talking about meditation.
    Bertrum Quan: She at first entered a very “deep” one– like sleep withut dream. After that, though, it was hard for her to return to that state.
    Bertrum Quan: *without dreams
    Pema Pera: yes?
    Bertrum Quan: I wondered if you discuss your take on that…
    Pema Pera: oh, I’d be happy too :-)
    Pema Pera: it sounds like a great experience, the way you described it.
    Pema Pera: Do you or Fael have any question or comment about it?
    Fael Illyar: I was talking about things that happened around one week after I started meditating.
    Fael Illyar: I’m not completely sure if I’ve been back in that after the first time and the couple of times after that when I set out to do it.
    Pema Pera: btw Libby, good seeing you again — just noticed that you were born in SL on the day that our Play as Being initiative was born, April 1 this year :-)
    Faenik: ah :)
    Libby Sohl: just an idea fael, but maybe the reason you cant get to the same place is the fact that you hold an expectation that you should
    Pema Pera: It often happens, Fael, that when we start something new, that we get a harbinger experience, as Stim likes to call it

    Only later would I read that Stim had indeed used that same word, six hours earlier.

    Pema Pera: a preview like for a movie :>)
    Pema Pera: and then when we get really into it, it may take a long time to regain that kind of experience
    Pema Pera: I have many encountered examples from my own practice
    Pema Pera: and also from before I started any kind of formal meditation
    Fael Illyar: Libby, no, I don’t think I care about getting there anymore.
    Faenik: could be
    Pema Pera: sometimes rather profound experiences, sometimes more brief flashes or encounters
    Fael Illyar: I might be in that “deep” meditation often without actually knowing it’s the same. I’m not sure, that’s all.
    Pema Pera: An interesting possibility, Libby, and for many people that is definitely a factor
    Pema Pera: and even when we are not aware of it, when we get more “into” some activity, we tend to narrow
    Pema Pera: thinking “ah, this is it”
    Pema Pera: whereas a total beginner may have a wider field of view, so to speak
    Bertrum Quan: Fael described in a way that resonated as metaphor for me…
    Fael Illyar: resonated?
    Bertrum Quan: Resonated: many powerful associations,,,
    Pema Pera: Oh, hi Caspian!
    Caspian Inglewood: hai
    Bertrum Quan: You described as a room without light… you agreed it was like sleep without dreams
    Caspian Inglewood: how is everyone?

    Caspian came in, and I indicated that we were in the middle of a conversation. Bertrum asks me a question and at the same time Fael asks Bertrum a question, typical for the way our conversations are sometimes interleaved. Caspian immediately started a third thread.

    Pema Pera: fine, in the middle of a conversation
    Libby Sohl: Hello Caspian
    Bertrum Quan: Those images also suggested death to me… were a little disquieting…
    Caspian Inglewood: well gon…go on
    Bertrum Quan: Pema, how would you describe your meditation…
    Pema Pera: well . . . that is a veeeery big question :>)
    Pema Pera: can you be more specific?
    Fael Illyar: Bertrum, in a way I guess they’re related to temporary death (more like sleeping I guess) of this thing called “I”.
    Caspian Inglewood: see your own death in the death of others
    Caspian Inglewood: do not put your trust in this body
    Libby Sohl: more like realese than death maybe
    Libby Sohl: the shutting down of distractions that allow you to focus
    Caspian Inglewood: just do not waste a moment
    Bertrum Quan: Okay, perhaps the feeling…. your feeling when you meditate…
    Caspian Inglewood: Libby
    Faenik: indeed?
    Caspian Inglewood: may i ask question?
    Libby Sohl: yes Caspian
    Caspian Inglewood: please define distractions
    Caspian Inglewood: I am curious
    Libby Sohl: surely distractions are individual to everyone
    Bertrum Quan: Pema, how would you describe the feeling…?
    Caspian Inglewood: this is so
    Caspian Inglewood: but are they outside or inside?
    Libby Sohl: inside
    Caspian Inglewood: okay
    Caspian Inglewood: tyvm
    Caspian Inglewood: this is a #1 answer, btw
    Libby Sohl: the things that occupy your mind more than is neccesary i guess
    Pema Pera: Bertrum, meditating and living are not so different. What we call “meditation” is a very broad term for learning to live better — so asking how meditating is for me is like how life is for me. Hard to give a short answer, unless I know a bit more of the why and what of your question.
    Caspian Inglewood: so maybe it is thinking, not the sound of a dog bark?
    Libby Sohl: yes it is
    Caspian Inglewood: ah, okay
    Caspian Inglewood: I would like to pass something I heard along then
    Caspian Inglewood: clear mind is like the full moon in sky
    Caspian Inglewood: sometimes clouds cover it, but the moon only shines
    Bertrum Quan: Okay, meditating can mean many things. And it has been described many ways.
    Caspian Inglewood: do not worry about clear mind, it is always there
    Caspian Inglewood: when thinking comes, behind is clear mind
    Caspian Inglewood: when thinking goes, only clear mind
    Libby Sohl: yes but i often find that because my day to day life is busy my thinking often clings to things it doesnt need to
    Caspian Inglewood: so cling
    Caspian Inglewood: do not worry about clinging
    Caspian Inglewood: it is like old age or sickness
    Caspian Inglewood: do not wish away
    Caspian Inglewood: go in

    Bertrum posed a question, concerning levels, a tricky notion, and I am trying to respond.

    Bertrum Quan: Fael’s description was striking. I wondered if the room without light or the sleep without dream is descrptive of an advanced level…
    Caspian Inglewood: thinking comes and goes
    Pema Pera: oh, I think we have to be very careful with analysis in terms of levels . . . .
    Pema Pera: sure there are differences
    Caspian Inglewood: do not be attached to the coming nor the going
    Pema Pera: in aptitude and intensity of practice
    Libby Sohl: i dont think it matters as long as it is a place she feels comfortable
    Pema Pera: but I don’t think we should focus too much on that
    Pema Pera: certainly that is not what we are trying to do here
    Caspian Inglewood: ah, Tibetan
    Caspian Inglewood: ha ha
    Caspian Inglewood: no offense, but always talk about levels
    Pema Pera: we compare notes, and we discuss what we experience
    Pema Pera: and we give each other our own angles
    Pema Pera: but to judge which level is more advanced is a very tricky thing to do . . . .
    Pema Pera: Also, I am not a meditation teacher
    Caspian Inglewood: what is the level of this?
    Caspian Inglewood: katsu! pay attention!
    Pema Pera: Stim would be the right person to answer
    Fael Illyar: tricky, even without the handicap of words.
    Pema Pera: but I cannot guarantee that he would answer :-)
    Pema Pera: yes, Stim may say “I have to meet you in RL to make sure”
    Libby Sohl: everyones journey is so personal that i think levels is a difficult concept
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Caspian Inglewood: levels are like titles
    Pema Pera: Having said all that, we also should not do as if it is all the same — like in everything, a true master deserves great respect, and we can learn a lot by paying attention to that person
    Caspian Inglewood: guest and host
    Caspian Inglewood: same or different?
    Pema Pera: One danger of SL is that anyone can proclaim to teach about anything . . . . a lot of nonsense is produced that way
    Bertrum Quan: Shakespear’s “sleep without dream” — Playas Being… we’re still discussing the nature of reality…

    An interesting question comes up: are there more false claims being made in SL than in RL? The possibilities in SL may be larger, but what about the actuality?

    Caspian Inglewood: ha ha, SL is the same as real life in that way then Pema
    Pema Pera: more so than RL
    Pema Pera: For one thing, there are more ways to fake here than in RL
    Caspian Inglewood: reality is not what is, but rather whatever that you say that it is
    Caspian Inglewood: Anthony de Mello said that once
    Pema Pera: for another, people feel bolder here, without their true identity revealed
    Caspian Inglewood: it is like this everywhere online Pema, no?
    Caspian Inglewood: forums, chats…
    Caspian Inglewood: everywhere you go
    Libby Sohl: im unsure that more people pretand to be experts it is just a smaller space where people can target audiences easier
    Bertrum Quan: We are exploring, in part the different perceptions… that comprise reality….
    Caspian Inglewood: that is limitless Quan!
    Caspian Inglewood: what a daunting task
    Caspian Inglewood: like counting into infinity
    Pema Pera: I’m not sure whether there is more misrepresentation in SL than in RL
    Pema Pera: An interesting question
    Pema Pera: there is a lot of misrepresentation in RL for sure
    Caspian Inglewood: ha ha, I have become invisible
    Pema Pera: I just think that the room for doing so in SL is even larger
    Pema Pera: but on the other hand many people here are very serious and dedicated
    Fael Illyar: It certainly is easier to find misrepresentation in SL but then, almost anything seems to be easier to find here.
    Pema Pera: I don’t know what wins
    Libby Sohl: another intresting question i think is how many of those people believe what the profess is true
    Libby Sohl: people who misrepresent themselve do not always have bad intentions
    Pema Pera: yes, Libby, many ways . . .
    Caspian Inglewood: because everyone wants to know everything, they dismiss everything “else” as nonsense
    Caspian Inglewood: or “been there done that-isms”
    Pema Pera: lots of room for psychological and sociological investigations, for sure
    Pema Pera: by and large I have been very impressed by what I have seen in SL
    Pema Pera: dedication, seriousness,
    Pema Pera: general good will
    Libby Sohl: if anyone claims to know everything its a sure sign they know very little
    Pema Pera: but my impression may have been biased, I’ve seen only a small part

    Different aspects of SL are being discussed.

    Caspian Inglewood: oh, they never will claim it
    Caspian Inglewood: it is in their demeanor
    Caspian Inglewood: dismissiveness
    Caspian Inglewood: back talk
    Caspian Inglewood: behind backs
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Caspian Inglewood: it is very much like kindergaten in SL
    Caspian Inglewood: people whispering about others
    Libby Sohl: it does seem to make people regress to a certain level
    Caspian Inglewood: because they do not have guts enough to speak mind
    Caspian Inglewood: ha ha ha
    Libby Sohl: im a teacher and i see a lot of behaviour i would expect to see in the classroom
    Caspian Inglewood: yes
    Caspian Inglewood: much clicking Libby
    Caspian Inglewood: there are those in
    Caspian Inglewood: and those who are out
    Caspian Inglewood: just like everywhere
    Fael Illyar: it removes the inhibitors that people normally have in place because they’re afraid of consequences.
    Libby Sohl: i guess its human nature
    Libby Sohl: to form alliances to help them survive
    Caspian Inglewood: yes
    Libby Sohl: but the ego tends to break friendships easily
    Caspian Inglewood: like bands of monkey
    Caspian Inglewood: ha ha
    Caspian Inglewood: and on and on it goes still
    Caspian Inglewood: ahem
    Pema Pera: Most people I have met in SL are not like that, though
    Pema Pera: but again, I have met mostly people here in this area and in my astrophysics groups
    Libby Sohl: i think it depends where you find yourself
    Libby Sohl: people join sl for different reasons
    Caspian Inglewood: this is true
    Caspian Inglewood: you seek out certain areas
    Caspian Inglewood: and avoid others
    Fael Illyar: We somehow naturally tend to mostly just meet people who are in some ways similar to ourself.
    Faenik: could be
    Pema Pera: I’ve also met people playing go, who seemed all very decent, and I’ve spent some time in the Japanese sims where I’ve met really nice people
    Pema Pera: Yes, Fael, great point!
    Caspian Inglewood: yes
    Caspian Inglewood: Little Yoshiwara, in particular
    Caspian Inglewood: wonderful place
    Fael Illyar: at least in SL, that is
    Libby Sohl: I must run now but thank you all for your time and conversation
    Fael Illyar: Ok, Bye Libby :)
    Caspian Inglewood: goodbye Libby
    Pema Pera: bye Libby!
    Pema Pera: thanks for joining us

    Libby takes off, and then I have to leave as well.

    Caspian Inglewood: we will talk about you after you go
    Libby Sohl: I’m sure i will see you all again soon
    Bertrum Quan: bye Libby
    Libby Sohl: lol im sure you will :-p
    Caspian Inglewood: I do not understand SL romances
    Pema Pera: well, I have to go too
    Caspian Inglewood: lol
    Fael Illyar: Ok, see you later Pema :)
    Pema Pera: take care, everybody!
    Caspian Inglewood: goodbye Pema
    Bertrum Quan: bye Pema
    Caspian Inglewood: we have attention spans of cocaine addict
    Pema Pera: And Fael, you’ll send the missing snippet, right?
    Fael Illyar: Ah, yes

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