2008.07.24 13:00 - Experience and change

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    Storm was guardian at the Pavilion. The comments at the end are Fael's the others are by Storm.

    I arrived at an empty Pavilion, one minute before the hour, after checking a new build on the Kuan Yin Terraces. I sat down and Adams walked in as the bell chimed.

    Storm Nordwind: Hi Adams
    Adams Rubble: Hello Storm :)
    Adams Rubble: I had a powerful experience of my own
    Storm Nordwind: Wonderful. Did you blog it yet?
    Adams Rubble: yes
    Storm Nordwind: I will read

    Usually I have time to do this before I arrive. Not today though. I spend a few minutes catching up. It seems that great changes have swept through both our awarenesses over the last few days and we have both been writing publicly about them.

    Storm Nordwind: Wow :)
    Adams Rubble: I am still a little weak from it :)
    Storm Nordwind: That is understandable
    Storm Nordwind: The effects of these things can last for hours, even days
    Adams Rubble: I think I didn't know what to see when I got there which is a little funny :)
    Storm Nordwind smiles
    Adams Rubble: So I borrowed Pema's first God
    Storm Nordwind: Yes. I love that phrase of yours: "When God smiles, it is contagious" :)
    Adams Rubble: I still feel it :)
    Storm Nordwind: That is a deep blessing my friend :)
    Adams Rubble: You have had so many experiences in the past couple of days
    Storm Nordwind: Yes. Though today it was rather lightweight at work. And I had no time to read your blog - usually a must for me
    Adams Rubble: I have kept yours open and periodically updated it the past couple of days
    Adams Rubble: to see what happened next
    Storm Nordwind: Like a soap opera!
    Adams Rubble: At first I think I WAS a little intimidated
    Adams Rubble: but then it begin to free me I think
    Storm Nordwind: I had hoped for the latter but feared the former
    Adams Rubble: You mentioned we would have different destinations :)
    Storm Nordwind: We might. There is so much assumption about the opposite in modern literature
    Adams Rubble: Please explain
    Storm Nordwind: Sometimes assumptions are like shackles
    Storm Nordwind: Many modern books presuppose that all religions lead to the same goal...
    Storm Nordwind: and likewise other spiritual practices

    Cal joined us.

    Adams Rubble: Hi Cal :)
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Cal
    Caledonia Heron: :) hola!
    Storm Nordwind: But quite often these books do not justify there premise, at least not believably
    Adams Rubble: It is funny, I might have felt that at one time and now I just intuitively feel very differently
    Storm Nordwind: I've decided not to make assumptions, and try to encourage others to see beyond their assumptions too. It's usually only habit after all
    Adams Rubble: I will try to remember that advice :)
    Storm Nordwind: Have you heard the absolutely HORRIBLE mnemonic about assumptions?
    Adams Rubble: I find the idea of choosing my own bus a very exciting proposition
    Adams Rubble: no Storm
    Storm Nordwind: Please don't attribute it to me but...
    Storm Nordwind: ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME
    Adams Rubble: :)

    We had talked about the idea of a bus in email, likening it to a path one might follow. I had suspected that many people start from different places and just don't know what bus of many they want to catch. Many get on buses without even looking at the destination sign on the front!

    Storm Nordwind: But I love the idea of being excited about choosing your own bus!
    Storm Nordwind: So often they are chosen for us
    Adams Rubble: Yes, thank you for introducing that analogy
    Adams Rubble: Right now I feel like I would like to ride as many as possible :)
    Storm Nordwind chuckles
    Storm Nordwind: Sure!
    Adams Rubble: I will have to get a monthly pass
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Storm Nordwind laughs!
    Storm Nordwind: I think there is a difference between a questing mind and a flirtatious mind
    Adams Rubble: ?
    Storm Nordwind: I have heard that the butterfly mentality is frowned on by spiritual masters
    Caledonia Heron: the pranksters had a saying, you're either on the bus or you're not
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Storm Nordwind: Though you have to go through a time of searching
    Storm Nordwind: Eventually staying on one bus, at least for an extended time (if not forever) can have the most benefits
    Adams Rubble: Oh yes, I understand that
    Storm Nordwind: But finding the right one is important first
    Adams Rubble: yes, exactly
    Adams Rubble: I feel like I recently have been freed to seek out in new directions
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Adams Rubble: This experiment seems to be shortcutting through things
    Adams Rubble: I don;t really understand it but it is powerful
    Storm Nordwind: Sometimes we get involved with powerful things. We don't know how they work, only that they are beneficial.
    Adams Rubble: I wonder if it is a little like skipping to the last chapter of a book
    Caledonia Heron: no
    Storm Nordwind shakes his head
    Adams Rubble: then later going back and finding out you got there
    Adams Rubble: no?
    Storm Nordwind: Cal?
    Caledonia Heron: no, I don't think it's like skipping to the last chapter of a book

    I remembered when I used to re-read Lord of the Rings. I had a strange habit of starting in the middle and reading about my then favourite character Theoden. Then I would read to the end of the book, go back to the start and read to the middle again. (I never said I wasn't strange!) However, I decided not to mention it right now!

    Storm Nordwind: My personal opinion is, that if Being or God or whatever - if it has intelligence, if it is worth of our investigation to this level, will lead you to explore any missed avenues that otherwise you might fast-track past
    Storm Nordwind: That's a mind of faith and trust, rather than anything more rational
    Caledonia Heron: it doesn't have anything
    Caledonia Heron: it doesn't care
    Storm Nordwind: But in all honesty, where you find yourself IS your next step!
    Caledonia Heron: yes, you're right where you are :)
    Storm Nordwind: I'm interested, Cal, on what has formed your idea that "it doesn't care". Could you expand on that?
    Caledonia Heron: there's nothing out "there", there's no burning bush...it's all stuff we make up, the constructs we build ...if there is nothing then it can not care
    Storm Nordwind: Do you mean nothing as in "all thing are this and there is no separation"? Or that there is nothing at all, there is only the separation we see?
    Caledonia Heron: gosh
    Caledonia Heron: think of the place you go when you see....you don't even know you're "there" until you come back, until your mind brings you back
    Caledonia Heron: that "there" is nothing....
    Caledonia Heron: the nothing that is no thing, not a thing....
    Caledonia Heron: and that no thing, that not a thing doesn't care ...it's just being it's not thingness
    Caledonia Heron: hard to explain, sounds like gobbledygook
    Adams Rubble: Hi Rajah
    Storm Nordwind: ok. Words are easy to trip over. Thank you for that!
    Rajah Yalin: hi Adams
    Caledonia Heron: hi Rajah
    Storm Nordwind waves
    Rajah Yalin: hi Cal, hi Storm
    Adams Rubble: Sadly I must go; I will read the rest with interest. bye :)
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Adams
    Rajah Yalin: take care Adams
    Caledonia Heron: bye Adams :)

    Adams, very prompt on both arrival and departure, left us. But Rajah had arrived. This was starting a pattern... And for a long while we just sat and enjoyed the bells and the birdsong.

    Rajah Yalin: hmm, so today's discussion?
    Storm Nordwind: Has already been wide ranging!
    Storm Nordwind: But has stalled a little.
    Caledonia Heron: yes, my bad ...
    Storm Nordwind: Oh no... that was fine!
    Caledonia Heron: I think we are seeing two approaches meeting each other :)
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Caledonia Heron: but perfectly finding themselves at the same place perhaps :)
    Storm Nordwind: That is not something I'd assume, and I'm not sure it matters!
    Caledonia Heron: lol
    Caledonia Heron: ok
    Storm Nordwind: That sounds very dismissive - sorry about that!
    Caledonia Heron: yes it did, but that's fine

    So easy to make a faux pas in chat when, unlike email, there is little time to review before sending. Fael appeared, standing on the table in the centre of the Pavilion. And then proceeded to fade in and out of Second Life like a thread through fabric.

    Storm Nordwind: Our table dancer has arrived!
    Caledonia Heron: this will be hard to believe....no hurt or bad feelings but I have to go :) please take it at face value....very interesting discussion....just putting some ideas out there :)
    Fael Illyar: Hello Everyone :)
    Storm Nordwind: Always good Cal. Thank you!
    Caledonia Heron: :)
    Caledonia Heron: hi Fael
    Caledonia Heron: bye Fael :)
    Storm Nordwind: Bye for now!
    Fael Illyar: Hi Cal, Bye Cal :)
    Caledonia Heron: see you :)
    Rajah Yalin: bye Cal

    The pattern continued as though one guest were finishing their meal and another was replacing them!

    Storm Nordwind: So we are enjoying a little quiet. The session started with busy discussion and has gone towards silence :)
    Rajah Yalin: tep
    Rajah Yalin: yep
    Storm Nordwind: Fael has crashed it seems
    Rajah Yalin: yep
    Storm Nordwind: How are you today Rajah?
    Rajah Yalin: hmm
    Rajah Yalin: hungry
    Storm Nordwind: haha!
    Storm Nordwind: And what would assuage that?
    Rajah Yalin: I'm eating laplap and bananas all the time now
    Storm Nordwind: Cool! When I was in Malaysia I would eat the local fruit. I hardly bother in Scotland.
    Rajah Yalin: where at in Malaysia
    Storm Nordwind: I worked in KL. Only occasionally would I venture elsewhere.
    Rajah Yalin: tough city I hear
    Storm Nordwind: tough in what way?
    Rajah Yalin: very bustling
    Rajah Yalin: police in all spots
    Storm Nordwind: Sure. Very busy. Full of energy
    Storm Nordwind: Ah well that's different
    Storm Nordwind: You've not seen Glasgow on a Saturday night! :)
    Rajah Yalin: no, I haven't :P
    Rajah Yalin: Faelooks like shes having difficulties
    Storm Nordwind: Yes she is. Well unless you have a thing for cold and damp, then you haven't missed much!
    Rajah Yalin: hehe
    Storm Nordwind: Hail Avastu!
    Rajah Yalin: they are not bad here, they let tourists slide on everything
    Avastu Maruti: hello again my friends
    Rajah Yalin: hi Avastu
    Fael Illyar: Ok, maybe I'll not crash this time. My friend went to sleep so I'm using his computer now.
    Rajah Yalin: good
    Storm Nordwind: Sorry to hear of (and see) your problems
    Rajah Yalin: well I have to go
    Rajah Yalin: take care, Namaste
    Storm Nordwind: Perhaps those magnificent wings are too much for your computer Fael!
    Storm Nordwind: Take care Rajah
    Fael Illyar: it didn't mind them yesterday for a whole hour :)
    Avastu Maruti: good bye
    Fael Illyar: now it seems to be crashing almost the moment I enter
    Storm Nordwind nods

    Finally we had some stability. How ironic that we started to talk about change!

    Storm Nordwind: This session has been like a fast food place today!
    Storm Nordwind: People coming and leaving at odd times
    Storm Nordwind: Just floating in and out like thoughts
    Fael Illyar: Yes, it sometimes is that.
    Storm Nordwind: And of course, in your case, in out x 8
    Fael Illyar: Well, I'd have preferred it to have been inx1 so far :)
    Storm Nordwind smiles
    Fael Illyar: Hello Avastu :)
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Fael Illyar: I've recently noticed that my "self" differs noticeably when I'm interacting in RL than in here.
    Storm Nordwind: Interesting. In what ways?
    Fael Illyar: (here being SL)
    Fael Illyar: easier to be at peace, I react differently to similar things.
    Fael Illyar: Most of the reactions I have here would work better in RL too.
    Fael Illyar: I tend to be more considerate in SL. More sensitive.
    Storm Nordwind: This kind of implies that you are less sensitive in RL. Do you think this has always been the case?
    Storm Nordwind: Is the contrast developing or are you just becoming more aware of something that was already there?
    Fael Illyar: Yes, I was thinking SL has had an effect of making me more sensitive but for the most part that seems to stay within SL
    Fael Illyar: I'm sort of a hermit in RL so I didn't really have a chance to realize this before.
    Storm Nordwind: Ah... I see
    Fael Illyar: I'm visiting my sister for this week
    Storm Nordwind: Perhaps there will be some spill over
    Fael Illyar: There is, very noticeable amount but still, not complete
    Fael Illyar: very clear it's not complete
    Storm Nordwind: If this is your only avatar, you still are relatively new to SL - 5 months or so. There is plenty of time for things to develop much further. Be more complete, perhaps.
    Fael Illyar: Always possible. I've spent the 7 weeks I've participated in PaB with quite little contact with others in RL so I hadn't really noticed the spillover is not complete.
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Fael Illyar: But yes, so far this is my only avatar
    Storm Nordwind: I find it's a constant adventure and exploration
    Fael Illyar: Well, it's been quite a hurricane :)
    Storm Nordwind: haha!
    Fael Illyar: more so after starting PaB but still.
    Storm Nordwind: yes it has. actually for the whole two years I've been here in one form or another
    Storm Nordwind: I've been divorced and re-engaged in RL in that time, for example!
    Fael Illyar: That's quite drastic :)
    Storm Nordwind: Er... yes... and SL has played a big part in that. I'm grateful to say!
    Fael Illyar: It seems the changes that affect my RL the most are the ones that are the more central ones.
    Storm Nordwind: Hmmm
    Fael Illyar: I sort of lack a good way to describe that though
    Storm Nordwind: I think I merged the two - SL and RL - some time ago.
    Fael Illyar: I guess there are changes in self and some of those seem to have stayed in SL only. I feel like there might be changes that can't be described as changes in self though.
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Storm Nordwind: But are you enjoying the ride? Are these changes troubling? Or exciting? Or neutral?
    Fael Illyar: It's also possible, I guess, that it's just the habits I've with specific people that are making me think the changes aren't complete.
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Fael Illyar: I don't find the changes troubling or exciting (anymore) but I somehow feel like neutral doesn't quite match either
    Storm Nordwind: I see
    Storm Nordwind: I think that the phrase "complete change" may be an oxymoron! :)
    Fael Illyar: well, it's rather hard to figure out what that means :)
    Storm Nordwind smiles mischievously
    Storm Nordwind: Perhaps change is never complete. Any that appears to be complete is just making way for more change.
    Fael Illyar: Yes, you could interpret that as the end of change.
    Fael Illyar: which would be rather absurd :)
    Storm Nordwind smiles and nods
    Storm Nordwind: So... I think I need to complete this session. Otherwise it won't be posted tonight. And I am away to a festival tomorrow and won't have time then.
    Fael Illyar: Ok, talk to you some other time then :)
    Storm Nordwind: Yes. My apologies for an abrupt ending
    Fael Illyar: No problem :) Bye :)
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Avastu. Bye Fael
    Avastu Maruti: good bye my friend
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste

    From here, comments are Fael's.

    After Storm left, I realized there was something I had been wanting to ask Avastu, so I asked.

    Fael Illyar: Avastu, I'm curious, is there a self in your mind? And if so, do you ever let it out?
    Avastu Maruti: is there a man in the moon?
    Avastu Maruti: the "self" of which you speak is only a thought, an image
    Fael Illyar: Yes, mirage, but is that mirage there?
    Faenik loves wells!
    Avastu Maruti: the mirage is part of the natural functioning - it is inherent in language and useful in the appearance
    Avastu Maruti: yet it is ever only an appearance
    Fael Illyar: I haven't seen you use the word "I" in it's usual form. Do you ever use that word?
    Avastu Maruti: of course I do
    Fael Illyar: So, it's only when teaching when you don't?
    Avastu Maruti: there is no teaching - there is nothing to be taught
    Fael Illyar: I can't think of a better term for this :)
    Avastu Maruti: teaching is assuming there is something to learn
    Avastu Maruti: you are already what you seek
    Avastu Maruti: it cannot be taught or gained, only recognized
    Fael Illyar: So, what it is that you call what you do here?
    Avastu Maruti: being
    Fael Illyar: How do you decide when to use this "I"-word or not?
    Avastu Maruti: who is there to decide?

    There was a 10 minute pause here as I pondered how to continue. Finally, I figured something I could ask that would not draw Avastu's attention to the words instead of what I'm asking.

    Faenik: ah :)
    Fael Illyar: when is this "I" appearance useful?
    Avastu Maruti: communication
    Fael Illyar: Why is communication useful?
    Avastu Maruti: it isn't
    Faenik: could be
    Avastu Maruti: life IS
    Avastu Maruti: to say there is an "I" talking to a "you" is only a convention
    Avastu Maruti: a way of thinking
    Avastu Maruti: it is only life
    Avastu Maruti: all of it
    Avastu Maruti: life seeing life
    Avastu Maruti: life apparently communicating with life
    Avastu Maruti: if all is life, is anything really happening?
    Fael Illyar: yes and no :)
    Avastu Maruti: yes!
    Avastu Maruti: perfect answer
    Fael Illyar: no meaning, only being, then what is doing?
    Avastu Maruti: if all is one life, who is to stand apart and point to "doing"/
    Fael Illyar: no-one and everyone

    this could perhaps also be answered Being, but that leaves room for interpretation.

    Avastu Maruti: yes!
    Avastu Maruti: so are the words "no-one" and "everyone" even necessary?
    Fael Illyar: mu
    Avastu Maruti: bark
    Avastu Maruti: all words are meaningless
    Avastu Maruti: the word is never the thing - can the word "fire" burn?
    Avastu Maruti: what is the actuality of present experience?
    Avastu Maruti: without words?
    Faenik: indeed?
    Avastu Maruti: what we call the "world" appears in the still, silent knowing "space"of awareness
    Avastu Maruti: then the mind comes with it's labels, which seem to make distinctions, separations
    Avastu Maruti: the mind creates the subject and object, the seer and object seen
    Avastu Maruti: the mind creates the ownership of thoughts and actions
    Avastu Maruti: "I am hearing a bell"
    Avastu Maruti: reality is only the ringing
    Avastu Maruti: only pure knowing

    For some reason, this question came to mind. It's something I first remember having heard in high school.

    Fael Illyar: if a tree falls in a forest and there is no-one to hear it, does it make sound?
    Avastu Maruti: there is no tree
    Avastu Maruti: "tree" is a distinction
    Faenik loves wells!
    Avastu Maruti: reality is one solid block, only the mind knows of "trees"
    Avastu Maruti: yet "mind" appears in this pure seeing/knowing
    Avastu Maruti: and the idea of "ME" appears in thought
    Fael Illyar: Yes, it is and isn't.
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Avastu Maruti: yes! like a dream
    Fael Illyar: thoughts that keep appearing and disappearing, each one "ME".
    Avastu Maruti: "I AM" is the root thought
    Avastu Maruti: yet that thought "I AM" is a translation in the mind ofthat sense of awareness and existence
    Avastu Maruti: that empty "space" in which all thought appear
    Fael Illyar: Well, that's enough for tonight. I need some sleep soon. Talk to you again some other day, Avastu :)
    Avastu Maruti: good bye my friend
    Fael Illyar: Bye :)

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