2008.07.03 13:00 - Be-a-holics Anonymous

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    That afternoon, Storm was the guardian, again. He sent me the following chat log, with his comments.

    You never know what these discussions will bring. I arrived a few minutes early to find a Play as Being sign decorating the Pavilion. I felt some unseen urge to touch it. And instantly regretted it. Sparks and sirens! Argh!!! Meanwhile, Fael and Moon sidled over.

    Fael Illyar: Hi Storm :)
    Moon Fargis: hi sorm
    Moon Fargis: storm
    Storm Nordwind: Hi guys
    Storm Nordwind: I just had a “make it stop” experience with the sign! :)
    Fael Illyar: :D
    Fael Illyar: better not click it again if you want it to stop :)
    Storm Nordwind: I found that
    Moon Fargis: haha
    Storm Nordwind: I also found the door vaporised and I could only get it back with ctrl-alt-T
    Moon Fargis: its some kind of wakeup signal for napping people :)
    Storm Nordwind: I promise not to sleep. I promise!
    Moon Fargis: hmmm
    Fael Illyar: it’s 20 seconds per click
    Moon Fargis: lets make sure
    Moon Fargis: haha
    Fael Illyar: Hi Stevanaia :)
    Moon Fargis: hi steve
    Storm Nordwind: Hi
    Storm Nordwind: Oh I Lifted it 100m in the air

    I found I had some modify permission on it. I shot it into the clouds and silence reigned again! Meanwhile stevenaia and Stim joined us.

    stevenaia Michinaga: hello, this is my 1st 1:00
    Storm Nordwind: You are joining a select group!
    Moon Fargis: well its the same as the 7:00 :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: only lighter
    Moon Fargis: yes
    Fael Illyar: Hi Stim :)
    Moon Fargis: hi stim
    Stim Morane: Hi Moon
    Stim Morane: Fael, Storm
    stevenaia Michinaga: I have a friend here who is waiting for her SL confermation so she can join us in SL sometime, she is interested in this group…. say hello to Lynne in RL
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Stim. And your new haircut! :)
    Stim Morane: Yes, thanks for that!
    Fael Illyar: Hello Lynne :)
    Storm Nordwind: “Hello Lynne in RL”
    Stim Morane: Hi Lynne

    Delani arrived. She didn’t recognise me in cargo pants and with hair!

    Storm Nordwind: Delani! What a pleasant surprise!
    Delani Gabardini: hello everyone
    Stim Morane: Hi Delani
    stevenaia Michinaga: sounds like she is at a Be-a-holics annonymous
    Delani Gabardini: is that u storm????
    Storm Nordwind: haha!
    Delani Gabardini: very cool
    Storm Nordwind: You have never seen the non-monk before?
    Delani Gabardini: no I only hang with monks
    Delani Gabardini: sorry back to business
    Storm Nordwind: We had only just started
    Storm Nordwind: I temporarily confiscated a noise generator! ;)

    Delani told us where she’d been recently.

    Delani Gabardini: is there a topic or free flow
    Storm Nordwind: free, unless you have a topic Delani
    Delani Gabardini: no I am kind of zenned out
    Delani Gabardini: just did a 4 day zen retreat
    Storm Nordwind: What are the symptoms of being “zenned out”?
    Delani Gabardini: empty mind
    Storm Nordwind: I get that at work each day - and get paid for it!
    Delani Gabardini: haha

    And we started talking about dreams. Quilty arrived while Delani started to share a startling experience in fascinating detail. Meanwhile, I silently dropped the sign from its place in the clouds, hoping that no one would activate it.

    Fael Illyar: Stim, you mentioned in your email that you had a lot more you’d like to say about my “puppet and awakening” dream.
    Fael Illyar: Although, I’m not sure if I should call it a dream.
    Stim Morane: Yes … but I can only stay for a few minutes, so perhaps we should pick that up again later …?
    Fael Illyar: Sure
    Stim Morane: Good
    Delani Gabardini: i was saying today that I have had some dreams where sl avatars visit me - very real
    Storm Nordwind: Are you an SL avatar in those dreams? Or can you not tell?
    Delani Gabardini: ino I am having a “rl” type dream and all of a sudden an AV that is a friend pops into my dream for a short while - then leaves and I go back to my rl type dream
    Delani Gabardini: usually with a short message
    stevenaia Michinaga: do you hear the message or is it typed?
    Delani Gabardini: i think that is rather unusual - I can understand having sl dreams
    Delani Gabardini: i hear it
    Delani Gabardini: the messages are usually very important
    Delani Gabardini: at least to me
    Storm Nordwind: In what way important? Or is that private?
    Delani Gabardini: i just got permission
    Delani Gabardini: ok
    Delani Gabardini: i was partnered with an av - I thought was a Buddhist
    Delani Gabardini: but he would never sit with us
    Delani Gabardini: he met all my friends but did not seem friendly with them
    Delani Gabardini: I had no idea what my friends thought of him
    Delani Gabardini: so one night Moon popped into my dream
    Delani Gabardini: he had a black panther with him and i knew it was danger and about the av that was my partner
    Delani Gabardini: he said he thought i should have it
    Delani Gabardini: as it turned out the av was not really a very good person and we are no longer partners which I am happy about
    Fael Illyar: Hi Quilty.
    Delani Gabardini: I never told this to Moon but today I told him
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi all.
    Delani Gabardini: and Moon told me he was always worried about the relationship but did not say anything
    Delani Gabardini: Hi quilty
    Delani Gabardini: then Moon left the dream and my rl dream resumed
    Delani Gabardini: it has happened several more times with other av friends
    Fael Illyar: different message each time?
    Delani Gabardini: yes
    Delani Gabardini: different msg and diff avs

    Wow! A really useful as well as fascinating experience. What was really happening? If we found out, was it something we could replicate and use too? Was it a message from an individual subconscious? Or an act of telepathy?

    Storm Nordwind: That’s a great story. What do you think this ‘Moon’ was? Where do you think it came from?
    Delani Gabardini: he was so very real in the dream
    Delani Gabardini: so I know Moon could have been a representation of an aspect of my personality and intuitively I knew there was a problem
    Delani Gabardini: but it seemed to be really him
    Fael Illyar: We’re all supposed to be able to have around 150 other people running around in our heads ;)
    Moon Fargis: well , i belive that we all are connected together, and that in dreamphase the mins is more open for messegaes from other beings. Wich doesnt require the other being to be aseep aswell..
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Delani Gabardini: well we certainly are all connected
    Delani Gabardini: we all found each other
    Storm Nordwind: It may be spontaneous, but I think it can possibly be trained too
    Delani Gabardini: interesting
    Moon Fargis: yes i think pema did some research in this
    Moon Fargis: “dreamcontrol”
    Moon Fargis: +l
    Delani Gabardini: so we can train ourselves to communicate in dreams?? is that it?
    Delani Gabardini: or even in rl
    Moon Fargis: well atleast i know we can train us to controll our dreams
    stevenaia Michinaga: communicate with who?
    Storm Nordwind: I believe we can train ourselves to communicate telepathically. This is just one manifestation of that
    Delani Gabardini: yes I agree - suppsosedly we had this ability but lost it
    Storm Nordwind: We did? When did we have it originally?
    Moon Fargis: ive saw many examples for thought transders already, I think we all got his ability but we are just not good enought to do it exept in our subconsciousness
    Moon Fargis: d=f
    Delani Gabardini: primitive man had it
    Storm Nordwind: How do we know?
    Delani Gabardini: that is how they survived
    Stim Morane: This looks to be a very interesting line of discussion. But … Time to go… sorry I couldn’t stay longer.
    Storm Nordwind: Cu Stim
    Fael Illyar: Bye Stim.
    Moon Fargis: ah ok see you soon stim
    Delani Gabardini: sorry stim - bye
    Stim Morane: Bye all!
    Delani Gabardini: i am trying to get Zato to come to a PaB - he is a long time Dharma teacher
    Storm Nordwind: That would be good. Although all people are welcome
    Delani Gabardini: i am sure he could contribute significantly to our meetings
    Storm Nordwind: I think everyone here has made significant contribution at some time or another! :)
    Delani Gabardini: yes
    Storm Nordwind: That is not to belittle your friend. Rather to bolster everyone else!
    Delani Gabardini: i did not take offense
    Delani Gabardini: i know what u meant
    Fael Illyar: These primitive men being able to use telepathy … if so, it makes me wonder how would one lose that.
    Storm Nordwind bows and smiles
    Delani Gabardini: well - I think we are so busy with talking that we don’t stop to listen
    Storm Nordwind: Well I’m not sure what would count as evidence that they had it. Have there been studies? It sounds interesting
    Moon Fargis: fael: well maybe we never lossed it
    Moon Fargis: we just forgot how to use it
    Delani Gabardini: i have no idea - I don’t know who could have studied primitive man - it sounds mostly like speculation but makes sense to me
    Fael Illyar: Moon, well, that’s what I meant sort of.
    Quilty Bookmite: There have been many studies on telepathy but they pretty much all show nothing at all.
    Delani Gabardini: animals have high development of 6th sense
    stevenaia Michinaga: lynne says…. modern environmental distractions could easilly mask your connection with your intuative slf
    Delani Gabardini: very good
    Storm Nordwind: I have trained in telepathy before. I know it works but it is often quicker to pick up a telephone! :)
    Quilty Bookmite: I think intuition is not quite the same as telepathy.

    Magdalena joined us, and Quilty decided to take a risk… which spurred me to suggest our discussion take a interesting turn.

    stevenaia Michinaga: welcome MAgdalena
    Moon Fargis: hi magdalena
    Delani Gabardini: hi mag
    Fael Illyar: Hi magdalena
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Magdalena.
    Magdalena Colclough: Hi Moon, Steve, all
    Storm Nordwind: Welcome. Please join us
    Magdalena Colclough: thanks :)
    Delani Gabardini: well - this is so much possibility - we use such a small portion of our brain
    stevenaia Michinaga: Lynne sees it as two sides of the same thing
    Delani Gabardini: steven who is Lynne
    stevenaia Michinaga: lynne is a person sitting nect to me waiting to join SL (waiting for a confirming email)
    Quilty Bookmite: I’m going to risk upsetting people here…
    stevenaia Michinaga: I work with Lynne
    Delani Gabardini: hi lynne
    Magdalena Colclough: Hi Lynne :)
    Storm Nordwind braces himself
    Quilty Bookmite: I find talk of such things as telepathy and magic …. err…. difficult.
    Magdalena Colclough nods
    Moon Fargis: well magic?
    Delani Gabardini: why do u put telepathy and magic in the same sentence
    Quilty Bookmite: Why not?
    Storm Nordwind: I wouldn’t personally class them together. But please go on
    Delani Gabardini: is not magic tricks
    Delani Gabardini: i don’t think telepathy is a trick
    stevenaia Michinaga: Interesting as I find talk of anger and sadness equally dificult.. as I don’t belive in those either, but they exist
    Moon Fargis: isnt magic just a term for things we dont understand?
    Quilty Bookmite: Do you understand telepathy?
    Delani Gabardini: who r u addressing
    Moon Fargis: quilty: well i know how it works.. but i cant use it:)
    Quilty Bookmite: Magic is one term for things we don’t understand but it has connotations.
    Storm Nordwind: Yes I understand it enough to be able to increase the chances of it happening
    Moon Fargis: liek i know how a thom reactor works:)
    Moon Fargis: atom
    Storm Nordwind: But I don’t understand how water divining works. Yet it is completely reliable
    Delani Gabardini: they have done studies with remote viewing which is a form of telepathy
    Quilty Bookmite: Have there been studies to show the reliability of water divining?
    Delani Gabardini: the US gov used remote viewers during the cold war
    Storm Nordwind: Water companies use diviners. I have used it reliably myself
    Delani Gabardini: that is wonderful Storm
    Quilty Bookmite: I think I will shut up now in the face of such overwhelming anecdotal evidence. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: It is an easy thing to learn too. I found that around 50% of people can do it, crudely at least, within 30 minutes of tuition
    Storm Nordwind: It is something else I used to teach
    Delani Gabardini: Storm u never cease to amaze me
    Storm Nordwind: I’m just an old man with an open mind!
    Delani Gabardini: the best thing u can be and u are not old
    stevenaia Michinaga: I think a skeptic is perfect for this group
    Magdalena Colclough: hear hear
    Delani Gabardini: we have the skeptical buddhists
    Quilty Bookmite: Well, I am certainly that. :-)
    Delani Gabardini: I used to be very skeptical also and then I realized it closed too many doors for me

    Skepticism is often misinterpreted and misunderstood. Often it is confused with other things. I started to relate an incident from the 1970s to illustrate this point.

    Storm Nordwind: I had a wonderful experience with a skeptic once with dowsing (a.k.a. divining)
    Delani Gabardini: now I like to open doors
    Fael Illyar: Quilty, I had slight judgemental knee-jerk reaction upon first hearing about magic in a PaB meeting but I decided that there is no sense deciding in advance if I believe in it.
    Delani Gabardini: it is not that I believe everything but I like to say I give it a chance
    Quilty Bookmite: I think people often have a picture of what a Buddhist is and that they would believe in a lot of new age things. In my experience Buddhists are no different from any other cross section of the public.
    Storm Nordwind: That I agree with Quilty
    Delani Gabardini: well I am Buddhist but I don’t consider myself New Age although I guess New Age is OK
    stevenaia Michinaga: I find them more angry than most… but try to be compassionate
    Delani Gabardini: skeptics or Buddhists???
    Storm Nordwind: Let me briefly tell you about my divining story if I may
    stevenaia Michinaga: Buddists
    Quilty Bookmite: Go ahead Storm.
    Delani Gabardini: oh
    Delani Gabardini: yes go storm
    Storm Nordwind: I had been practising in a forest…
    Quilty Bookmite: I don’t think I am angry. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: and I met someone from work out walking with his wife
    Storm Nordwind: This was about 30 years ago. They asked me what I was doing
    stevenaia Michinaga: I don;t now you, maybe them you will be angry
    Storm Nordwind: So I told them straight out
    Storm Nordwind: The guy I worked with was… politely interested in a “laddish” sort of way
    Storm Nordwind: and he wanted to have a go
    Delani Gabardini: ah
    Storm Nordwind: He was - how shall I say - as subtle as a charging rhinoceros!
    Storm Nordwind: But I briefly taught him and set him out on a practice course
    Storm Nordwind: With of course no reaction
    Storm Nordwind: I was used bent coat hanger wire as a tool (these tools are only mechanical amplifiers after all)
    Storm Nordwind: And he handed them to his wife and said “Here, you have a go Mavis!”
    Storm Nordwind: So she had a go. And got an instant reaction in exactly the right place walking away from me
    Storm Nordwind: and in the same place on the return
    Storm Nordwind: She went as white as sheet!
    Storm Nordwind: She said, “I never want anything ever to do with this again”
    Storm Nordwind: She was very upset
    Quilty Bookmite: :-)
    Storm Nordwind: She had just witnessed herself reacting to something she didn’t understand
    Storm Nordwind: and to have acknowledged it would have been meant she would have needed to rewrite all her mental models
    Storm Nordwind: So best to be in denial it seemed for her
    Delani Gabardini: sad
    Storm Nordwind: Yes
    Storm Nordwind: And naturally talented
    Delani Gabardini: ty for sharing that with us
    Storm Nordwind: Some deny ahead of time. Some only deny what they have seen! :)
    Quilty Bookmite: That is a shame.
    Storm Nordwind: You are welcome. Thank you for your patience in listening!

    Quilt’s next reaction was what I would have said myself.

    Quilty Bookmite: I think I would be keen to explore it and find out more.
    Delani Gabardini: it is a tragedy to deny your gifts
    stevenaia Michinaga: damn, lost another skeptic
    Storm Nordwind smiles!
    Quilty Bookmite: Skeptical doesn’t have to mean you are afraid. :-) And I know for sure that there are many things in the world I don’t know about.
    Fael Illyar: stevanaia, does skeptic mean someone who has decided, without anything to base it on, that some things just can’t be?
    Storm Nordwind thinks that’s a good question
    Delani Gabardini: ditto
    Quilty Bookmite: One of my interests is astro-physics. The origin of the universe and what makes it tick. I know from what I have read that the more we find out the less we know.
    Storm Nordwind nods
    stevenaia Michinaga: no, just not open and needs to be convinced in order to accept things, usually it means a questioner of things, to me
    Quilty Bookmite: A skeptic doesn’t just believe something on face value. They would need proper evidence.
    Delani Gabardini: sometimes there is no tangible evidence
    Quilty Bookmite: Indeed. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: Do you think skeptics ever have faith?
    Quilty Bookmite: I think all people have faith in something.
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Quilty Bookmite: Many skeptics are scientists and science is a faith.
    Quilty Bookmite: :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: But skepticism itself isn;t really a faith.
    Storm Nordwind: sure
    Delani Gabardini: hi adams

    Adams joined us. This was proving to be one of those discussions that you just want to go on and on. And there was yet more to come!

    Fael Illyar: Hi Adams :)
    Storm Nordwind: Welcome Adams
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Adams
    Moon Fargis: hi adams
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Adams.
    Quilty Bookmite: i once did a course in massage therapy…
    Adams Rubble: Hello everyone :)
    Quilty Bookmite: It is often classified as alternative medicine.
    Quilty Bookmite: But it has a lot of strong medical evidence to back it.
    Delani Gabardini: yes as does accupunture, biofeedback and many other modalities
    Quilty Bookmite: There is a lot of alternative medicine that doesn’t and some of it actually seems quite flakey to me.
    Quilty Bookmite: Indeed Delani.
    Delani Gabardini: well both of those I mentioned worked for me
    Delani Gabardini: and massage therapy
    Storm Nordwind thinks some conventional medicine is a little flakey too
    Quilty Bookmite: Accupuncture works for many people.
    Quilty Bookmite: I think you are probably right Storm. :-)
    Delani Gabardini: it is all a matter of believing - some people need to hold on to their sickness
    Storm Nordwind: Oh yes Delani. How true is that!
    Quilty Bookmite: Also true. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: Take faith healing. I believe this works through the placebo effect.
    Fael Illyar: need to hold on sickness?
    Delani Gabardini: yes - some people embrace their illness
    Quilty Bookmite: The placebo effect is a very powerful force to cure people and underrated by the medical profession.
    Delani Gabardini: ever hear them - that is all they talk about
    Storm Nordwind: Yes it is. Although if that’s all it is it can have miraculous effects in my experience
    Quilty Bookmite: I know several people like that. I think it is driven by fear.
    Delani Gabardini: i had a young friend who had a form or cancer that was in most cases curable
    Delani Gabardini: but she believed she would die and she was dead in 8 months
    Delani Gabardini: i am sorry I have to leave
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste
    Delani Gabardini: ty everyone
    Quilty Bookmite: I think cancer is particularly reactive to how people think.
    Fael Illyar: I wonder if there are any studies of mortality rates correlated with whether or not the patient believes they will live or die.
    Quilty Bookmite: By Delani.
    Quilty Bookmite: I mean Bye.
    Delani Gabardini: i wish I could stay but farewell
    Fael Illyar: Bye Delani :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: Bye Delani

    Delani had left us with an interesting thought. And somewhere I knew I had an answer to Fael’s question - I was sure this had been studied - but I could not cite the reference offhand.

    Fael Illyar would be interested in seeing how it would go.
    Quilty Bookmite: I don’t know Fael, but I think there have been studies to show that if someone really wants to get better they have a better chance,
    Fael Illyar: Yes, that sort I recall seeing articles about
    Storm Nordwind: Can the placebo effect instantly cure a chronic headache I wonder?
    Quilty Bookmite: It probably depends on the cause of the headache.
    Fael Illyar: Yes, I’d agree with Quilty
    Storm Nordwind: I mention that because I’ve seen it happen more than once, though I do not know the original cause.
    Quilty Bookmite: I think the placebo effect is more than just a phychological effect. I think it can have a real physical impact.
    Quilty Bookmite: What was the “placebo”?
    Storm Nordwind: In the cases I mention you mean?
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes.
    Storm Nordwind: Oh it wasn’t intended to be a placebo
    Storm Nordwind: This was spiritual healing
    Quilty Bookmite: Ah right.
    Storm Nordwind: Instant effect

    To me this boiled down to important thing.

    Quilty Bookmite: Do you think it was a placebo?
    Storm Nordwind: I am enough of a pragmatist not to care!
    Quilty Bookmite: Good answer. :-)
    Fael Illyar: You’re wondering if it in fact is the same thing as placebo that in fact cures the patients?
    Storm Nordwind: If I do A and B is more likely to happen as a result, and B is desirable, then I will do A!
    Quilty Bookmite: I think Storm makes an excellent point. If it works, why question it?
    Fael Illyar: The only reason to question would be to gain better understanding and perhaps be able to do more with that.
    Quilty Bookmite: And that is what scientific investigation is for.
    Storm Nordwind: Sure. On the other hand, sometimes all you can do is refine the method to make things more probable
    Quilty Bookmite: If that investigation shows that the treatment has no effect then I would suggest people don’t waste their money.
    Fael Illyar: That is still a gain :)
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes.
    Quilty Bookmite: On the other hand, there is such a proliferation of alternative therapies that science would have its work cut out for a long time!
    Storm Nordwind: From my experience, most purveyors of alternative medicine have honest intent
    Storm Nordwind: They are not trying to cheat people

    Even these wonderful discussions come to an end, and one by one we started to leave.

    stevenaia Michinaga: bye all, thanks
    Storm Nordwind: By eSteve
    Fael Illyar: Bye steve
    Quilty Bookmite: True Storm, but when people are desparate, they will pay out a lot of money.
    Moon Fargis: ok i also also to go back now nice talk as always see you soon
    Quilty Bookmite: Bye Steve.
    Quilty Bookmite: Bye Moon.
    Fael Illyar: Bye Moon :)
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Moon
    Quilty Bookmite: Sorry to have hijacked the conversation.
    Storm Nordwind: You did no such thing!
    Storm Nordwind: It was wonderful :)
    Quilty Bookmite: I don’t intend to set myself up as an antagonist.
    Quilty Bookmite: thank you. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: You are an open skeptic. That is good!
    Quilty Bookmite: Most of this was simply sharing my thoughts.
    Storm Nordwind: Then please come as often as you like and repeat the process!
    Quilty Bookmite: I’m sure I will. thank you. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: I had better go too. I’m actually pretty tired - again. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: And i have to write up this for the blog
    Fael Illyar: Ok, bye Quilty :)
    Quilty Bookmite: Good luck. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: Bye.
    Storm Nordwind: Bye
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste
    Fael Illyar: Bye Storm :)
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Fael. Thanks for everything! :)

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