2008.08.16 07:00 - From Making to Being

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    Having been busy meeting many a guardian in RL this week, I (Pema) haven't had much of a chance to attend SL PaB meetings. But this Saturday morning was one of my guardian slots, and I was happy to return to the familiar pavilion, where I met Avastu, Doug, Gaya and Wol.

    Wol Euler: morning pema
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    doug Sosa: morning:)
    Wol Euler: hello gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Pema Pera: Hi Avastu, Gaya, Wol, Doug!
    Pema Pera: hi fish swimming around Gaya :)
    Wol Euler smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    fish: smiles
    Wol Euler: has the redecoration commitee been practicing here?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pema, I was just about to reply to your email

    I had asked Gaya by email whether the names of the sim we are currently in, Rieul, and the names of nearby sims, are all Korean. At this point, Adams joins us, as a male avatar.

    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes those are in Korea, referring to Korean alphabets
    Pema Pera: ah, alphabets!
    Pema Pera: Don't know about the committee, Wol
    Pema Pera: each name is a letter?
    Wol Euler: hello adams, please join us.
    Pema Pera: or syllable?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Nice pose this cushion...
    Pema Pera: Hi Adams!
    Gaya Ethaniel: More relaxing...
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    doug Sosa: hi adams..
    Adams Dubrovna: Hello Everyone :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: No each alphabet as Rieul is this one 'ㄹ'
    Pema Pera: yes, it is a nice pose! But after a while I may want to switch legs . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Wol Euler: lol, yes
    doug Sosa: yes, i feel it. awkward for long.
    doug Sosa: not good on the virtual spine.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods and smiles at doug

    My comment refered to the fact that we are now sitting on our cushions with our legs to one side, relaxing for sure, but perhaps not for too long?

    Pema Pera: sorry, Gaya, Rieul is one syllable of an alphabet?
    Gaya Ethaniel: yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: So Bieup is 'ㅂ'
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: So our PaB land is alphabet soup!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Seems these names are just consonants rather than vowels
    Pema Pera: alphabet forest
    Gaya Ethaniel laughs 'yes seems that way'
    Pema Pera: also Mugunghwa?
    doug Sosa: alphabet for rest.
    Pema Pera: and Baikun?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Ah Mugunhwa is written as 무궁화 and it's Korean national flower
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Wol Euler: oh
    Pema Pera: So the beach areas have more interesting names
    Wol Euler: who assigned these names, I wonder?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Baikun... I need to say it for a few times in case people who names these lands use different pronounciation systems, which there are many. Will come back to you on that in a few minutes
    Pema Pera thinks: good he is the guardian today: he can capture the unicode for the Hangul on his Mac :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: There must be a Korean working in LL
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Pema Pera: ah, it is spelled BaikUn (Baik Un) does that help?
    Pema Pera: broken down that way?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Baikun is someone's name... 백운
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pen name perhaps
    Gaya Ethaniel: Of old literati
    Pema Pera: Do you know how to find the map of the PaB land, Gaya?
    Gaya Ethaniel nods 'yes Google group file'?
    Gaya Ethaniel notices new clothing on AdamsD
    Pema Pera: yes, and then under files, on URL http://groups.google.com/group/playasbeing?hl=en
    Pema Pera: you know, it would be wonderful if you could take the names of all the sims that are on the map
    Pema Pera: and give us the meanings
    Pema Pera: no hurry, but when you have some time
    Pema Pera: we can put that in the wiki somewhere, or as a separate page on the Google group
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sure, I will. It'd be a pleasure. One day I was just looking at in-world map around Rieul. It suddenly came to me... hm... these are Korean alphabets

    We are all looking forward to finally knowing the meaning of the names of our gathering places, thanks to Gaya!

    Pema Pera: First, when I only knew about Rieul, I thought it was French . . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: Since then Rieul meant something else everytime I typed it <smile>
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah
    Pema Pera: Adams, may I ask, you are "our" Adams, right?
    Adams Dubrovna: Yes
    Wol Euler: :-)
    Pema Pera wondering to explain the question if Adams is another Adams . . .
    Adams Dubrovna: haha

    My next question refers to me having met Adams' typist twice earlier this week.

    Pema Pera: nice meeting you in yet another form in one week -- third one!
    Adams Dubrovna: :)
    Adams Dubrovna: We're working on this one
    Pema Pera: How does it feel to be present here as Adams Dubrovna!
    Pema Pera: We means both Adamses?
    Adams Dubrovna: Well the seats are better for the other Adams :)
    Adams Dubrovna: We'll all find about the other question
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera: Dubrovna sounds more classic than Rubble though :>)
    Adams Dubrovna: While Doug is here I wanted to thank him for his observation on time yesterday
    doug Sosa: I always put on another self here, "I am awake". I am paying attention". I am not double tasking."
    Pema Pera: Hi Genesis!
    doug Sosa: Adams, more..:)
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Wol Euler: hello gen
    Gaya Ethaniel: /me
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    doug Sosa: hi gen
    Adams Dubrovna: Doug yesterday mentioned that rather than not having enough time we should think that we do have time
    Adams Dubrovna: Hi Gen :)
    genesis Zhangsun: Hi Adams!
    Wol Euler: yes, taht was good.
    genesis Zhangsun: Hey Pema!
    genesis Zhangsun: Hey Everyone!

    Genesis arrives, and Doug rephrases his inspiring notion.

    doug Sosa: I was saying, if you do just as you do but replace all the "I am busy and don't have time" wiht "Ihave lots of time," all goes better and actually you do have the time.
    Adams Dubrovna: Yes, I mangled it a bit :)
    doug Sosa: "People are actually afrid to say "I am not busy."
    Pema Pera: and we all know people who spend a lot of time explaining that they don't have time :-)
    Pema Pera: there is this saying: if you want to get something done quickly, give it to a busy person.
    Pema Pera: (who has no time to wonder whether or not he/she has time to do it -- just does it)
    Wol Euler: hello kristn
    Pema Pera: Hi Kristen!
    Wol Euler: *kristen, sorry
    Kristen Lefevre: hi
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Adams Dubrovna: Hello Kristen

    Kristen joins us, is new to PaB, but fits in very quickly.

    Kristen Lefevre: where is this
    Pema Pera: we are chatting with a group of friends
    Pema Pera: feel free to sit down!
    Kristen Lefevre: am i coming in on something
    Pema Pera: that's fine!
    Kristen Lefevre: ok, i will listen
    Kristen Lefevre: ty
    Pema Pera: our conversation goes in many directions
    genesis Zhangsun: Seems like there are two aspects of busy being busy=having a lot to do and business=which is all of the energy spent around the doing
    Pema Pera: we talk about the nature of reality and everything else :) see our blog on http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/
    Kristen Lefevre: thanks
    genesis Zhangsun: if you get rid of the latter seems like much more time can be spent on the former
    Gaya Ethaniel: gen. I don't quite follow...
    Wol Euler smiles. Oh Kristen, you're brand new, born today. Welcome to Second Life!
    Adams Dubrovna: and more than the time, there is simply the negative way of looking at it
    Adams Dubrovna: I like the positive approach of just having time
    Kristen Lefevre: yes, was looking for buddhism and this came in search
    Kristen Lefevre: i've been looking around other places some
    Gaya Ethaniel: Welcome Kristen
    genesis Zhangsun: weclome kristen :)
    Kristen Lefevre: thanks everyone

    Kristen is new not only to PaB, but to SL itself, having been born only hours before this sessions.

    Pema Pera: Gaya, I think Gen talked about the difference between "doing" and "not-doing"
    genesis Zhangsun: well Gaya I guess I just mean there is actually being busy and then there is business as a concept which the mind attaches itself to
    Gaya Ethaniel: not-doing but explaining that one is busy?
    genesis Zhangsun: preventing the work from actually being accomplished
    Wol Euler: yes!
    genesis Zhangsun: exactly Pema :)
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles 'ok got it thanks'
    Pema Pera: and oh, Kristen, we collect our conversation on our blog. Do you mind having your name appear there too?
    Adams Dubrovna: ...and then having to waste time proving one is busy too
    Pema Pera: :)
    Kristen Lefevre: i don't know
    Kristen Lefevre: not my real name
    Pema Pera: no no
    Pema Pera: just Kristen Lefevre :)
    Pema Pera: many of us don't know the real name of others
    Kristen Lefevre: oh, i guess that is fine
    Pema Pera: that is part of Second Life
    Kristen Lefevre: don't know
    Pema Pera: Thank you!
    Kristen Lefevre: ok
    Wol Euler: (the question is whether we may record and print your contributions to the discussion)
    genesis Zhangsun: I think the seeing as being exercise could help very much with getting away from "business"
    Pema Pera: yes!
    doug Sosa: Saying " I am busy" is a way of protecting the inner self cloud from intrusion.
    Kristen Lefevre: you don't worship the devil or anything
    Wol Euler: lol
    Pema Pera: nono, not to worry!
    Kristen Lefevre: ok then
    Pema Pera: in fact, we don't belong to any religion
    Wol Euler: or rather, many religions are represented here.
    doug Sosa: we doo short 9 second meditations in real life and then talk aboutthem - and lots else - here.
    Pema Pera: we try to focus on the core of all religious experience and all human experience as well in general
    Kristen Lefevre: oh neat
    Gaya Ethaniel: http://playasbeing.wik.is/Information/Play_As_Being_in_a_Nutshell - some information on what we do here Kristen

    To clarify what it is that brings us together here, I give a quick PaB summary.

    Pema Pera: yes, every 15 minutes, we try to take a 9-second break
    Adams Dubrovna: Yes Doug
    Kristen Lefevre: thanks
    Pema Pera: like paying a 1% time tax (a quarter of an hour has 900 seconds)
    Pema Pera: that way we shoot little holes in our busy-bee life
    Pema Pera: to smell the flowers
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    Pema Pera wonders about the metaphor
    Kristen Lefevre: ok
    Wol Euler smiles
    Pema Pera wonders whether busy bees smell flowers when they're busy
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Wol Euler: very apt, I think: for just that reason
    Adams Dubrovna is wondering about the shotgun
    Pema Pera: :)
    Kristen Lefevre: when everyone is done can someone show me where to change out of these clothes?
    Kristen Lefevre: they are ugly
    Wol Euler: sure
    Kristen Lefevre: thanks
    Pema Pera: small holes are enough to let bees escape, perhaps, Adams :)
    Wol Euler: hang back after, we'll sort you out :-)
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Kristen Lefevre: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: going back to an earlier part as seeing as being or enlightened being seeing
    doug Sosa: I must take away. by :) hope to see you again Kristen, you are in good hands.
    genesis Zhangsun: bye Doug!
    Wol Euler chuckles.

    Having said that, Doug evaporates on the spot. Genesis comes back to Being, and the practicalities of letting Being See. But the BS abbreviation invites some apt consternation :)

    Kristen Lefevre: i was too late to say bye :(
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Pema Pera: Doug leaves like lightning
    Kristen Lefevre: hehe
    Pema Pera: our 9-sec gong is his breakfast gong
    Wol Euler: lol
    Pema Pera: yes, Gen?
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    genesis Zhangsun: oh yes well BS or EBS seems to help me with this stepping away so that business as a concept lessens and then it becomes easier to focus on just doing
    Pema Pera: BS = Being Seeing, Kristen :)
    Pema Pera: to let Being, all of reality, see . . .
    Kristen Lefevre: good you told me, i thought it was bullshit
    Adams Dubrovna: That happened with me too Gen
    Pema Pera: hehehe, yes, can be confusing, we are self-depricating
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Wol Euler: lol
    Pema Pera: we started all this on April 1, after all, fool's day . . .
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    Kristen Lefevre: really?
    Pema Pera: Being is a word that cannot be described or defined
    Pema Pera: but we can experience what it points to
    Kristen Lefevre: i like this place, it is inviting
    Pema Pera: in fact that is at the heart of all spirituality
    Gaya Ethaniel wonders if Kristen would like to sit by her
    Wol Euler: heheheh
    Kristen Lefevre: hehe, the girls are ganging up
    Gaya Ethaniel laughs
    Wol Euler: so I wasn't the only one vaguely disturbeed by the room dynamics.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods 'yes Wol'
    Pema Pera: Gen, perhaps you can tell Kristen about how you experience Being, or Being experiences you, to give some flavor?
    Pema Pera ganging up with the boys now
    Wol Euler: lol
    Gaya Ethaniel laughs
    Kristen Lefevre: laughs
    Wol Euler: ( but it does make a diffrernce, at least to me)
    Gaya Ethaniel: If you type '/me' before 'laghs' it comes an emote Kristen
    Gaya Ethaniel nods at Wol
    Kristen Lefevre: /laugh

    What happened is that Wol and Gaya moved to sit next to Kristen, who at first sat at the other side of the circle, forming a row of three women, and then I moved over to sit next to the two other guys. As a result all of us, except for Genesis were thus spontaneously segregated.

    Kristen Lefevre: /laughs
    Gaya Ethaniel: '/me' then space then 'laughs'
    Kristen Lefevre: oh
    Kristen Lefevre laughs
    Wol Euler: right!
    Kristen Lefevre: got it
    Pema Pera: there you go!
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Kristen Lefevre: thanks Pema
    genesis Zhangsun: Hmmm I guess the first part how I experience being and how being experiences me become the same there is no separation
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah
    Kristen Lefevre: lol, I mean gaya
    Kristen Lefevre: sorry, I'm getting confused
    Gaya Ethaniel: No problem, thanking anyone is good Kristen
    Pema Pera: we all play each other's roles here, Kristen :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you for the thought
    Wol Euler: (sorry gen, please continue)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pls gen explain a bit more
    Pema Pera: we're all a bunch of "guardians" as we call the regular visitors here -- yes, Gen, sorry

    Finally Gen gets a chance to continue her description of how it was for her, recently, to work with Being seeing.

    genesis Zhangsun: I see being and being is seeing me then it becomes more clear that "no one" is seeing it only the seeing that exists
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah
    Gaya Ethaniel: Was it like that before?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Has been always like that?*
    genesis Zhangsun: not sure what you are asking Gaya?
    genesis Zhangsun: are you asking if this was how it was for me before with the exercise?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Was there a point when you realised 'ah'... that's best way to rephrase this.
    Kristen Lefevre: sounds deep genesis
    Gaya Ethaniel: Moment of realisation that 'no one' is seeing
    genesis Zhangsun: Kristen the interesting thing is that it is very simple and the simplicity is what affirms the purity of the truth
    Kristen Lefevre: a lovely way to put it
    Avastu Maruti smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: For me there was a trigger, music
    Kristen Lefevre: ty
    Pema Pera: yw :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I wonder you had one too gen. Or was it a result of accumulated practice?
    genesis Zhangsun: Both Gaya... I think I was able to see something when I was with Pema in RL in NYC
    genesis Zhangsun: a different way to approach it
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah
    Gaya Ethaniel: Would you like to relate the way here?
    genesis Zhangsun: Sure
    genesis Zhangsun: it is so difficult to put into words
    genesis Zhangsun: but I will try
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks

    Gen then described what had happened.

    genesis Zhangsun: I had a moment where I could appreciate the movie like quality of life
    genesis Zhangsun: I think which Pema has talked about a bit in the past
    Kristen Lefevre: ty Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pleasure Kristen.
    genesis Zhangsun: I could see that everything I was seeing was like a frame in a movie
    genesis Zhangsun: I was watching it and it was watching me
    genesis Zhangsun: and only the watching and being watched existed all the other stuff...the plot, the characters etc they were not real
    genesis Zhangsun: they do not exist
    genesis Zhangsun: this gave me a sense of liberation
    genesis Zhangsun: there was no need to "hold on to" to "grasp" for this liberation
    genesis Zhangsun: it is always present
    genesis Zhangsun: there is always enough time
    genesis Zhangsun: always enough space to allow it to exist
    genesis Zhangsun: because we are not really doing the "allowing"
    genesis Zhangsun: what do we think we "allow"
    genesis Zhangsun: allowing is not coming from small "I" us it just is
    genesis Zhangsun: we are not really doing anything
    genesis Zhangsun: to believe so it an attempt at control
    genesis Zhangsun: which we so clearly do not have
    genesis Zhangsun: letting go of that control is to enjoy the mystery
    genesis Zhangsun: to step into it
    genesis Zhangsun: be a part of it
    genesis Zhangsun: then we are a just a part of the river
    genesis Zhangsun: the foam on the wave
    genesis Zhangsun: a leaf dancing in the wind
    genesis Zhangsun: a flower opening to the world
    Avastu Maruti: brilliant!
    Wol Euler: nice
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Adams Dubrovna is a bit mesmerized
    Pema Pera: wonderful, Gen! And Adams, this is what I tried to point at as "not helping God" the other day
    Pema Pera: in Christian terminology
    Gaya Ethaniel thanks gen
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: sorry to use so many words
    Adams Dubrovna: Yes, I see Gen has been working on the same point and Gen has seen it so beautifully
    Adams Dubrovna: No, not too many words :)
    Wol Euler: not at all
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sometimes many words are needed and you didn't use many here
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks for giving spaces between each sentences gen. It helped me to understand better.
    genesis Zhangsun: sure Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel wonders if gen was doing 9 sec before typing out each sentence

    It was wonderful to see how Gen's narrative had mesmerized the group, as Adams had expressed it. Gen then pointed at what she saw as the key to opening up to this kind of experience, the switch from making to being.

    genesis Zhangsun: if I may say one more thing
    Kristen Lefevre: brb, need to smoke ;)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pls
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok Kristen
    genesis Zhangsun: what I said earlier this is what it feels like once we let go
    genesis Zhangsun: but the letting go for some maybe the hard part to see all of this
    genesis Zhangsun: there is so much information in our heads so many dots being connected between what we see, the past, the future
    genesis Zhangsun: the BS and EBS practice may help with this
    genesis Zhangsun: it the YS self that is making the connections the BS or EBS "Self" does not make connections
    genesis Zhangsun: it is the connection
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    genesis Zhangsun: so seeing as BS or EBS works through "knowledge" as opposed to information
    Gaya Ethaniel: But 'self' does create 'separateness'
    Kristen Lefevre agrees
    genesis Zhangsun: we "know" so much in terms of information and "know" so little in terms of knowledge
    Kristen Lefevre: I like that /me thing
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pls say more gen? Need some more 'words' for the sentences above
    Pema Pera smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Kristen Lefevre laughs
    genesis Zhangsun: the capital letter "Self" is not small self which is the individual self
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes I can see that gen
    Gaya Ethaniel: For me... it's all 'self'. There is no this 'Self'
    Gaya Ethaniel wonders if this makes any sense...
    Kristen Lefevre: you mean like the capital Self is more like how we are when we love other people?
    genesis Zhangsun: yes Gaya I think that is clear
    Gaya Ethaniel is thinking about how to answer Kristen's question... 'hm... this is a hard one'
    Pema Pera: yes, Kristen, when Love connects us
    Gaya Ethaniel: When I love, I am Being
    Wol Euler: yes, it is related. defin9itely.
    genesis Zhangsun: Yes Gaya!
    Gaya Ethaniel: When I love, Being*
    Gaya Ethaniel: Being Loving = Being*
    Pema Pera marvels at the way Wol weaves in the 9 sec in a sentence
    Kristen Lefevre agrees
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sorry I had to correct this many times
    Kristen Lefevre: so Self is "selfless"
    Pema Pera: yes
    Kristen Lefevre: ok
    Pema Pera: the self is an illusion
    Pema Pera: useful but should be worn lightly
    Pema Pera: like a shirt not like a skin

    At this point, Attorney stops by, a new visitor.

    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Pema Pera: Hi Attorney!
    genesis Zhangsun: Hey Attorney!
    Pema Pera: Welcome, have you been with us here before?
    Attorney Constantine: Hi. I have never been here before.
    Pema Pera: We get together here every 6 hours to chat
    Pema Pera: 1 am 7 am 1 pm 7 pm SL time
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles at defin9itely
    Pema Pera: about reality and everything else
    Pema Pera: we have a web site http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/
    Attorney Constantine: I hope i am not intruding.
    Pema Pera: oh no
    Pema Pera: not at all!
    Pema Pera: please join us
    Pema Pera: and do you mind having this conversation recorded for the blog?
    Pema Pera: we do that regularly
    Gaya Ethaniel: http://playasbeing.wik.is/Information/Play_As_Being_in_a_Nutshell - also may be useful to you Attorney
    Pema Pera: thanks, Gaya!
    Gaya Ethaniel: np Pema
    Gaya Ethaniel: So love is crucial here...
    Attorney Constantine: I am struggling with the entire concept of sl as being a worthy pursuit. I have come here seeking knowledge. Not practical knowledge, but metaphysical, or meta-metaphysical: what is the meaning of SECOND life?
    genesis Zhangsun: yes what we call love is the source
    Gaya Ethaniel: 'Source' or source gen?
    Kristen Lefevre thinks that sounds rhetorical
    genesis Zhangsun: what would be the difference?

    For a while two strands are present in the conversation. While we are still gently reflecting on Gen's experience, and the way love is part of it all, Attorney without further ado wants to tell us about his concerns about SL. We try to weave the two strands together, pointing out how SL can teach us to see in different ways.

    Pema Pera: fascinating question attorney! The way I see it is that the transitions between RL and SL are inspiring us to look for other transitions
    Pema Pera: like between dreaming and waking, and between waking and really waking up to the Reality of All
    Gaya Ethaniel: It just popped in my mind gen... hard to 'think' why on this
    Attorney Constantine: But why simulate life when it is out there for real?
    Wol Euler: Attorney, I think that SL is as valid and "real" as RL is. If you take it seriously, it is worth taking seriously. If it remains just a way to spend a few idle hours, then it is idleness.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods at Wol
    Pema Pera: we normally don't realize that we role-play in all that we do in RL, and SL is like a mirror for us
    Wol Euler: well, I have several friends hwo have physical handicaps of one osrt or another. For them this is much better than RL
    Wol Euler: here, they are as able and integrated as anyone else
    Gaya Ethaniel nods at Wol
    genesis Zhangsun: Well I must be going all!
    Wol Euler: here they can express themselves mzch better than in RL.
    genesis Zhangsun: Goodbye!
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Pema Pera: thank you so much, Gen!
    Avastu Maruti: good bye my friend
    Kristen Lefevre: bye genesis:)
    Kristen Lefevre: bye genesis:)
    genesis Zhangsun: and nice to meet you Attorney and Kristen!
    Adams Dubrovna: Yes, me too. Bye Gen. Bye everyone :)
    Wol Euler: bye gen, thank you very much
    Kristen Lefevre: glad we met

    Gen leaves, and Attorney focuses like a laser beam on what he sees as the non-reality of SL.

    Attorney Constantine: Please, friends, call me AC. But here, they are not real. Whatever clever semantics we cloak this in, it is pixels on a monitor.
    genesis Zhangsun: Bye Wol!
    genesis Zhangsun: Bye Adams!
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    genesis Zhangsun: Bye Gaya!
    Pema Pera: in reality, isn't it all atoms and molecules, AC?
    genesis Zhangsun: Bye All!
    Wol Euler: is that different from soounds on a telephone speaker?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good day gen
    Pema Pera: what's the difference?
    Kristen Lefevre: children's books are not real AC
    Kristen Lefevre: are they useless
    Attorney Constantine: Yes, but they are molecules and atoms that are first hand to my senses
    Pema Pera: light isn't?
    Kristen Lefevre: sorry, i should just listen
    Pema Pera: can you experience molecules???
    Pema Pera: oh no Kristen!
    Attorney Constantine: But is this interaction on the path to enlightenment?
    Pema Pera: please join in, you're doing fine!!
    Wol Euler: no, kristen, your experience is as valid as anyeone else's.
    Kristen Lefevre: ok
    Gaya Ethaniel: We are all equal here Kristen
    Pema Pera: in our way, AC, we start with so-called enlightenment, at the beginning, not at the end of a long path
    Pema Pera: if you grasp to reach enlightenment you have already lost it -- or seems to have lost it (you can't lose it, really)
    Pema Pera: (Kristen do you know how to set a landmark here, to return?)
    Kristen Lefevre: no
    Pema Pera: top bar -> world -> create landmark here
    Pema Pera: also when you log in, and see that one of us are online, you can IM them and we can tp you over
    Kristen Lefevre: did it!
    Kristen Lefevre: yay
    Attorney Constantine: But I cannot touch any of you. I can't look into your eyes, I can't smell your hair. These are the things of substance that lead to meaningful interaction. Isn't this vacuous?

    A great question! And followed by great answers.

    Wol Euler: no, but you can see our souls just as well as in RL.
    Wol Euler: is my body my personality?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I can 'feel' your presence AC
    Kristen Lefevre: so that is a landmark then, so you can go to places easier
    Attorney Constantine: AC is thinking. Taking it in.
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Pema Pera: AC, yes, we miss something, but like in a cartoon, missing much of the information from a photograph, sometimes the real personality can shine through more brightly
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes Kristen!
    Kristen Lefevre: cool
    Wol Euler: I think in fact that this is more direct and deeper here than inRL, exactly because the body and its distratoins are missing. Here you meet pure soul.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods 'if one is in the right company'
    Pema Pera: (Kristen, you can later find the lm in your inventory under "landmarks", bottom right blue button -- clicking on it then brings you back here)
    Wol Euler: (my opinion, the group's mileage may differ :-)
    Pema Pera: (agreed, Wol)
    Attorney Constantine: Here, you meet "pure soul" protected by anonymity. Is this pure? Isn't revelation of self the most meaningful of gifts. I can never know you here.
    Kristen Lefevre: ok, I see it. Thanks
    Pema Pera: that's a good point, AC
    Pema Pera: the way I see it, is that which people want to express can be expressed here very directly
    Pema Pera: but what they want to hide can be hidden well, and for a long time
    Pema Pera: in our group, we seem to gather very serious people
    Wol Euler points to the "real life" page of her profile

    lol, Wol! I suggest readers have a quick peek at the first-life part of Wol's profile, next time they are in SL.
    Next the conversation turns to what "real" means for different people & avatars

    Gaya Ethaniel wonders if 'pure soul' needs RL identities
    Pema Pera: who don't seem to be in this hiding game
    Pema Pera: but other parts of SL are different
    Pema Pera also points to his profile
    Attorney Constantine: Gaya, not real life indentities, just real life interaction.
    Attorney Constantine: Anonymity is not real.
    Gaya Ethaniel is thinking
    Wol Euler: but this is real interaction!
    Attorney Constantine: No it is not!
    Gaya Ethaniel is 'sensing'
    Attorney Constantine: Most respectfully.
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: let us talk about what is "real"
    Attorney Constantine: Good.
    Pema Pera: a fascinating question
    Pema Pera: how do you define "real", AC?
    Gaya Ethaniel nods at Pema
    Attorney Constantine: It is real if I can think of it. It exists if it can exist in my mind.
    Pema Pera: is SL not real then?
    Kristen Lefevre: it is an interesting observation honestly.I've often asked myself whether when I dream it is real or not, and ultimately just shrug my shoulders because it happened as I slept, in reality
    Kristen Lefevre: no matter where we go, there it is...reality
    Pema Pera: yes, Kristen, the phenomena are real
    Attorney Constantine: Yes, SL is real, but the interaction is simulated.
    Pema Pera: the appearances are real, as appearances
    Attorney Constantine: OK
    Kristen Lefevre smiles
    Pema Pera: the simulations are real then, right, AC?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I feel different in different AV, AC
    Pema Pera: as simulations
    Attorney Constantine: Yes, they are "real." I will accede the point because it is semantic. Disney World is real as well. But there it is artificial as well.
    Pema Pera: okay, let's start from there, from our agreement, and let's step forward slowly. We agree that simulations and appearances are real as such, as what they are, not as what they point to -- do we agree?
    Attorney Constantine: No. Simulated love is not love.
    Attorney Constantine: Simulated touch is not touch.
    Pema Pera: well, let us postpone that for a moment
    Pema Pera: If so, let us look at RL -- where also what appears really appears -- but we often believe in what it points to
    Kristen Lefevre: maybe love is not love, and touch is not touch, too
    Pema Pera: indeed!
    Attorney Constantine: But maybe it is.
    Pema Pera: let's not go too fast
    Kristen Lefevre laughs, lots of maybes

    It would be a pity to drop this topic, so central to what we are trying to do here, so I really wanted to go slow enough to try to sort things out -- perhaps even to agree to disagree on certain aspects.

    Pema Pera: let's first see where we agree
    Attorney Constantine: Why not start with those things that at least have a pretense of reality.
    Pema Pera: we agree that simulations of something are real as real simulations, yes?
    Attorney Constantine: Yes.
    Pema Pera: and that there is a difference between what they are, simulations, and what they point to, right?
    Attorney Constantine: If you simulate the sound of my heart. It will not sustain my life.
    Attorney Constantine: Agreed?
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: so then in both SL and RL, we are always dealing with pointers and the real thing
    Attorney Constantine: If you simulate life. it will not sustain your soul
    Pema Pera: all words are pointers to something else
    Pema Pera: all sense impressions are pointers to something else
    Pema Pera: where is the difference?
    Attorney Constantine: Between what?
    Pema Pera: between pointers and what they point to?
    Pema Pera: RL sustains a RL body, SL sustains a SL body
    Kristen Lefevre: how is this different from watching tv, or playing a video game?
    Pema Pera: each realm is self-contained
    Attorney Constantine: Bingo Kristen.
    Wol Euler: oh, that#s easy: in a video game I cannot answer your question.
    Attorney Constantine: You are making my point.
    Kristen Lefevre: well in today's online world, not entirely true
    Wol Euler: this is a video game that _we_ make
    Kristen Lefevre: but I see your point
    Attorney Constantine: Do you believe that tv nourishes and enriches your soul
    Gaya Ethaniel: brb
    Pema Pera: depends on the program
    Attorney Constantine: LOL
    Pema Pera: some programs do
    Kristen Lefevre: I believe that, like many mediums, it has the potential to do either good or bad
    Pema Pera: few, but they are there
    Attorney Constantine: How about CSI New York?
    Pema Pera: don't know that
    Attorney Constantine: smiles
    Pema Pera: never watch tv
    Attorney Constantine: It made SL famous
    Attorney Constantine: More famous.

    We then come to the distinction between "real" as in really existing and "real" as in practical for survival and for functioning in society. You can't eat a painted cookie and sustain your body that way, but does that make a painting less real than a cookie?

    Pema Pera: AC, you live in a world of appearances -- why single some out as "real" and the rest as "unreal"? Sure, as a child we had to learn to separate reality and fantasy, for practical reasons, but if you don't re-integrate the two realms, you can't really be in touch with creativity
    Attorney Constantine: Answer: because some are real, or more real, if I may, than others. If you were able to make this simple observation as a child, why do you now think it is wrong thinking?
    Pema Pera: limited, not wrong
    Pema Pera: excluding other perspectives
    Attorney Constantine: We are limited when we are afraid to discriminate.
    Pema Pera: but instead of afraid, we can calmly watch
    Pema Pera: like a mother watching a child play -- for the child it is real. The mother is not "afraid" to say it is not really real
    Pema Pera: The mother can discrimate on two levels at once
    Attorney Constantine: Watch, sort, discriminate, put a value tag on what we observe. This is what moves us forward.
    Pema Pera: form the point of view of the child and of the mother
    Pema Pera: that is what moves us backwards, if we believe in only ONE way of discriminating
    Pema Pera: like believing in only one coordinate system
    Pema Pera: one system of measurement
    Pema Pera: for the child and for the mother "real" is very different
    Pema Pera: both are true and useful in their context
    Attorney Constantine: And so you see SL this way?
    Pema Pera: I see everything this way, yes, also SL
    Pema Pera: the challenge is to wake up and SEE
    Pema Pera: see all illusions, also the illusion called 'normal reality'
    Attorney Constantine: Fair enough. It is worth whatever it is worth, but this is the point of my question. What is it worth?
    Pema Pera: what is "worth"? "worth for what end?
    Pema Pera thinking Avastu should take over here, this is his terrain :)
    Attorney Constantine: Fot the time invested. Nothing fancy. Practical question.
    Attorney Constantine: time is limited. Choices must be made.
    Attorney Constantine: is this a good choice.

    I was on two minds here, wish I could have bifurcated into two parellel universes. On the one hand, of course I saw AC's point, concerning the practical sense of real, of being able to eat a cookie and not a painting. But on the other hand, this was such a natural entry into the question of why we always are so eager to focus on our needs? Sure, if we are starving, it's definitely important to eat, but under normal circumstances, when we sit back and watch our lives, can we see more than a series of pragmatic steps, ultimately leading to death anyway?

    Pema Pera: investing time for what end?
    Pema Pera: for what goal?
    Wol Euler: it is worth the time and effort that you invest. It is worth the care and attention that you give to those who you meet. as much -- or as little.
    Attorney Constantine: To advance our lives.
    Pema Pera: toward what goal this advancing?
    Wol Euler: what does "advance" mean?
    Pema Pera: apart from dying?
    Avastu Maruti smiles
    Attorney Constantine: It means that I am better off for having done it.
    Pema Pera: better off in what way?
    Pema Pera: what can be better than this very moment? How?
    Gaya Ethaniel nods at Wol
    Attorney Constantine: Than I was before I did it. By whatever measure you use to guage your experiences.
    Pema Pera: what measure do you use?
    Kristen Lefevre: think of all the terrible things humans have done to "advance"
    Kristen Lefevre: this isn't so bad
    Pema Pera: !!
    Attorney Constantine: It is ineffable. It is a feeling. Maybe a resounding feeling of peace.
    Attorney Constantine: Or something leading towards it.
    Pema Pera: why do you locate that in the future?
    Pema Pera: why not here and now?
    Wol Euler: My practical answer would be: I am happier and bettr rounded as a person for having met certain others here, who ahve become friends. People I *could*not* have mit in RL. The time I spend here with them is worth all the television I don't watch :-)
    Gaya Ethaniel nods at AC
    Attorney Constantine: Because if we didn't have to pursue it, everyone would already have it, and no one would be here listening to you.
    Avastu Maruti: How "real" is the "one" to whom it all appears?
    Pema Pera: everyone already has it -- but doesn't realize they have it
    Attorney Constantine: Same thing.
    Kristen Lefevre: avastu spoke!
    Kristen Lefevre laughs
    Pema Pera: :)
    Attorney Constantine: It's lack of peace, however you slice it.
    Gaya Ethaniel: And 'you' created it AC the lack of peace
    Attorney Constantine: ?
    Pema Pera: !
    Attorney Constantine: For you or for me.
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's 'your' mind that creates illusions such as lack of peace, resounding feeling of peace and so on
    Gaya Ethaniel: If you feel such phenomenon that is
    Attorney Constantine: Of course.
    Gaya Ethaniel: So turn the table around
    Attorney Constantine: I am not lacking peace. I have not come here for equanimity.
    Gaya Ethaniel was talking about 'reality'...
    Pema Pera: [8:38] Attorney Constantine: It's lack of peace, however you slice it.
    Gaya Ethaniel not questioning the motives of activities AC does

    Like Gaya, I was confused a bit about what AC's mentioning of lack of peace addressed, but before we could figure this out, AC returned to his initial question as to why people spend time in SL if it is all so unreal.

    Attorney Constantine: I want to know why one million people forego making love for making simulated interactions on a computer.
    Wol Euler: maybe they don`t.
    Attorney Constantine: Explain.
    Wol Euler: nobody makes love every hour of every day.
    Wol Euler: I can bve in SL now and make love an hour later.
    Wol Euler: every moment of every hour is a choice and a compromise.
    Attorney Constantine: And what does SL bring to your RL ?
    Wol Euler: there is always something else you might do instead.
    Kristen Lefevre: there is more to living than only sex
    Kristen Lefevre: I mean, don't get me wrong...lol
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm SL virgin and plans to stay that way AC :P
    Attorney Constantine: Stop it. That was an example.
    Attorney Constantine: LOL
    Gaya Ethaniel: I value what I do here in SL AC
    Wol Euler: why not, it's as valid as any other example :-)
    Attorney Constantine: What do you do here?
    Attorney Constantine: You type.
    Attorney Constantine: Right?
    Wol Euler: no: I converse.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I 'talk' from my heart here and now AC
    Attorney Constantine: OK, with a typewriter.
    Attorney Constantine: Would you talk from your heart if I were in front of you?
    Wol Euler: is a typewriter worse than a telepone?
    Attorney Constantine: Yes.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes thou I'm shy
    Pema Pera: when we talk from the heart, we can use lips for words or fingers for words, what's the difference?
    Wol Euler: well, we disagree.
    Gaya Ethaniel: So you may see me 'talking' by my body language some of things...
    Attorney Constantine: OK. Now I'm hearing something that helps me.
    Kristen Lefevre: books have changed lives, and they have often been written on that old typewriter
    Wol Euler: good!
    Attorney Constantine: Why are you shy in rl but not in sl
    Gaya Ethaniel: Because I'm conditioned by my past
    Gaya Ethaniel: That I'm trying to shed
    Attorney Constantine: Turn it around. NOw. Except in RL.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm in this group because what we practice at PlayasBeing *in SL* helps me to do that
    Attorney Constantine: OK
    Attorney Constantine: Got it.
    Pema Pera: Others learn to be more careful, more "shy" in SL than in RL, it can go either way, AC -- some men playing women's roles for example
    Gaya Ethaniel: It let me to step away from 'self'
    Gaya Ethaniel: It lets me to just let it be
    Gaya Ethaniel: It lets me to see how it is
    Attorney Constantine: Will you step back one day?
    Attorney Constantine: As a new person?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sorry don't follow that question
    Gaya Ethaniel: back into?
    Attorney Constantine: Your self.
    Attorney Constantine: YOu said you step away from self.
    Gaya Ethaniel: There is no fixed 'self'
    Gaya Ethaniel: to step into
    Gaya Ethaniel: Nothing's permanent
    Gaya Ethaniel: Being here is changing the reality each moment

    Kristen put her finger on a crucial point: here we were having a very real and serious conversation about how real and serious SL could be -- providing the answer in the very talking!

    Kristen Lefevre: if you are so critical of virtual reality AC, why do you participate in it?and doesn't this conversation,and the potential impact it could have on the ideas of the group here, go against your central theme
    Wol Euler: into a different one, perhaps. SL has changed me, made me able to talk to strangers
    Attorney Constantine: Yes, there is. It is the one in rl that I would see in the moment that I looked into your eyes. It is both real and changing.
    Attorney Constantine: Cool Wol
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes I agree SL has its limitation AC
    Wol Euler: reality changes. We change.
    Pema Pera: right on, Kristen!
    Gaya Ethaniel: But it offers something that cannot be easily obtained in RL
    Kristen Lefevre smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel: For me at least
    Attorney Constantine: GAya, you are answering my question. Please continue. It is important to me.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I love looking at people's eyes when interacting in RL so I can understand your point
    Gaya Ethaniel: I can 'see' better when I look into their eyes
    Pema Pera: Looking someone in their eyes would see something, and something very important -- but perhaps not everything, perhaps not aspects that can come out here.
    Gaya Ethaniel: SL lacks that for sure
    Kristen Lefevre: people here could decide you are right and never return to second life!
    Gaya Ethaniel: I can't smell flowers here
    Kristen Lefevre: but the paradox is that it would prove it is real, and has meaning
    Gaya Ethaniel: Gaya cannot smell flowers here*
    Pema Pera: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Not looking for what's real...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Just want to be fully be
    Gaya Ethaniel: SL helps me to do so
    Gaya Ethaniel: For me at least
    Wol Euler nods
    Kristen Lefevre: good ideas
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you AC. My CD I last listened to was OST Sense and Sensibility.
    Attorney Constantine: I don't know it.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Ah Jane Austen... a film. Screen play by Emma Thompson
    Gaya Ethaniel: Many versions out there of Austen's work
    Gaya Ethaniel: Kinda classical :P
    Attorney Constantine: My last one, believe it or not was an audible book by D'Nesh D'Sousa.

    By now the session has been going on for a couple hours, and it is time for most of us to leave.

    Avastu Maruti: good bye my friends
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Wol Euler: (sorry, I must go. Kristen's time is short and I promised to help her with her appearance. Bye all; AC nice to meet you. I hope you find what you are looking for)
    Pema Pera: bye Avastu!
    Wol Euler: bye avastu
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Pema Pera: by Wol!
    Gaya Ethaniel: See you Wol
    Wol Euler: bye all
    Kristen Lefevre: I nudged her into it
    Kristen Lefevre: blame me
    Pema Pera: bye Kirsten!
    Pema Pera: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Wol Euler: kristen, I'll TP you :-)
    Kristen Lefevre: bye Pema
    Kristen Lefevre: thanks wol
    Attorney Constantine: You are great people. Thank you for allowing me to sit with you. I hope to see you all again.
    Kristen Lefevre: bye Gaya, AC
    Pema Pera: thankyou for coming here, AC
    Kristen Lefevre: nice meeting you all
    Gaya Ethaniel: Have fun Kristen. Hope to see you again.

    At this point, I remembered our attempt to weave together the two strands from the time when AC had entered, his questioning of the reality of SL and our trying to point out how SL can be a mirror of sorts for SL. Alas, I was not quick enough, and AC disappeared just at the time my sentence appeared.

    Pema Pera: If I may add one more thing
    Pema Pera: all ancient traditions invite us to "wake up", to see what we really are.
    One way to try to do that is to go from SL to RL and go one step further,
    from Second Life to First Life to Zeroth Life. Zeroth Life is "waking up"
    in the sense of Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Sufi, Hindu, etc.
    Pema Pera: oops
    Pema Pera: oh well :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: oh
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm...
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah crashed looks like
    Pema Pera: That was a very inspiring session, Gaya, thanks for your contributions too!
    Gaya Ethaniel: You too Pema. Was fascinating watching you and AV conversing
    Gaya Ethaniel: It was highly energetic... hm... something like that
    Pema Pera: and seeing you and AC talking too!
    Pema Pera: yeah, the sense of energy here is palpable sometimes
    Gaya Ethaniel: I could see the reasons behind his questions regarding SL...
    Pema Pera: another thing that AC will experience if he stays here long enough
    Pema Pera: oh yes!
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    Pema Pera: I would have asked the same questions before getting into virtual worlds
    Pema Pera: they are the right questions
    Gaya Ethaniel nods 'yes a good starting point'
    Pema Pera: and nice for him to get different answers from all of us :)
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
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