2008.08.23 07:00 - Appreciate the Presence of Appearance as a Presentation by Being

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    That morning I was the guardian for the session. When I arrived at
    the pavilion, Corvuscorva, Doug and Wol were already there.

    Wol Euler: hello again pema
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi Pema.
    doug Sosa: hi pema
    Pema Pera: good morning!
    Pema Pera: Quiet morning here, it seems :>)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire smiles.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Indeed.
    Wol Euler is all talked out from 1 a.m. already
    Pema Pera: I hope you got enough sleep, Wol!
    doug Sosa: raging interior dialogs I bet.
    Pema Pera: don’t bet on it, Doug!
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hello, adams.
    doug Sosa: right, no bet.
    Wol Euler: naah, flowing internal meditations
    Pema Pera: Hi Adams!
    Wol Euler: actually, 1am here is 10 am for me, no problem there.
    Pema Pera: not much sleep for you either, hey, Adams!

    Adams arrived, and I refered to the fact that Adams, Wol and I had
    said goodbye to each other only about four hours ago.

    Wol Euler: hello again, adams
    Pema Pera: Ah, yes, Wol, of course
    Adams Rubble: Hello Everyone :)
    doug Sosa: i feel i miss out by not coming at 1.
    Pema Pera: so hard to keep up with all those time zones
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Wol Euler: set an alarm :-)
    Pema Pera: :)
    doug Sosa: how to get more out of life ? go to bed late and get up early…
    Wol Euler: … and make up the sleep with naps
    doug Sosa: the psychology of effective napping is a science.
    doug Sosa: and teaches us about meditation.
    Pema Pera: a science?
    doug Sosa: well, requires thoughtful observation and good theorizing.
    Pema Pera: I generally take a nap when I have jet lag — when I am both tired and have no other obligations :>)
    doug Sosa: and what happens at the edges between awake and sleep?
    Pema Pera: oh, it is very interesting
    Wol Euler: dreaming? slobbering on the pillow?
    Pema Pera: especially the process of falling asleep
    doug Sosa: yes.
    Pema Pera: more slowly than usual with jetlag
    Pema Pera: part of my mind/body does not want to go to sleep, part wants to
    Pema Pera: or so it seems
    doug Sosa: the brain feels threatened and doesn’t want to give up vigilance.
    Pema Pera: so fantasy takes on different forms
    Pema Pera: more lively
    doug Sosa: so here is my simple idea..
    Pema Pera: easier to observe my as a witness
    doug Sosa: the brain (mind) is always active..
    doug Sosa: but whe awake it is constrained to dealwit the input from the senses.
    doug Sosa: this acts as a restraint on brain activity..
    doug Sosa: when we seep, we let go of those constraints..
    doug Sosa: and the brain conitnues its activity but now free..
    doug Sosa: and dreams..
    doug Sosa: the free state, not constrained by sensory unput, plays, hence dreaams, and it is looser, more flexible, hence rest.. even in actvity.
    doug Sosa: waking up reties the brain activity to the constraints of the senses .. this room.. this noise, etc..
    doug Sosa: done.
    Wol Euler: ty
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: the brain feels threatened and doesn’t want to give up vigilance.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I like that quote very much, Doug.
    doug Sosa: with jetlag..
    doug Sosa: :)
    Pema Pera: yes, that could be an interesting line of investigation, Doug
    Pema Pera: it makes a lot of sense
    doug Sosa: The hard part is..
    Pema Pera: at the same time there are other lines of inquiry that do not focus on brain states
    doug Sosa: most people think that when they “see” they are seeing reality without their own involvement. but since the same persons can dream, and see a whole world, itsuggests that seeing is a minor extension, or distortion, of dreaming.

    An other way of approaching this is to say that observing the real world is a form of induced hallucination, induced by the senses.

    doug Sosa: I think all i said could be said without the word brain.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Pema Pera: there are several ways to investigate, yes
    Pema Pera: it is certainly interesting to study how the brain works
    doug Sosa: with coffee and without.
    Pema Pera: and also from within consciousness itself how we can describe what happens
    Pema Pera: :)
    doug Sosa: which i really prefer, without reference to “brain states”
    Pema Pera: and then by observing in different ways, that within-consciousness can take many forms
    Corvuscorva Nightfire giggles at the coffee statement.
    Pema Pera: for example what I suggested, Doug, a few weeks ago, when we meet in RL in Berkeley
    Pema Pera: this sentence about appreciation
    Pema Pera: which is pretty independent of states of awareness, in principle

    I described the practice that I had suggested to Doug, to focus on a short sentence related to Being.

    Pema Pera: I suggested to focus lightly on the sentence:
    Pema Pera: appreciate the presence of appearance as a presentation by Being
    Pema Pera: approaching everything from the Being side rather than the body/brain/mind side
    doug Sosa: It took me a week to understand it, a week to practice, and .. now workingwith it as a friend.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire wrinkles her nose, not really liking this idea.
    Pema Pera: how nice, to befriend it, Doug! — and Corva, what do you not like?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire thinks about this…that was a gut reaction to what you said..I’m not sure.
    Pema Pera: that’s fine!
    Pema Pera: gut and brain are complementary :)
    Adams Rubble: So hard to see from the Being side (Adams muses to herself)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I guess, I don’t want to give up seeing from the other side, too.
    Pema Pera: Corva, I probably have to unpack a sentence like that a lot, for it to make sense
    Pema Pera: just to give one sentence without context doesn’t mean much
    doug Sosa: th alliteration got in the way for me inth e beginning..
    Pema Pera: I talked with Doug for half an hour about it at least
    doug Sosa: but then i took the music of it as part of the larger story, so to speak.
    doug Sosa: It is part of a series, drop assumptions, imagine being, see being, be seen by being.. (my paraphrase).
    Pema Pera: (nothing to give up there, Corva, can do both!)
    Pema Pera: yes, Doug, wonderfully put!!!
    Adams Rubble thinks we all have a song to sing after talking to Pema in RL
    Pema Pera: ah, Adams, did you catch my song, hehe ?
    Pema Pera: I thought you had left by that time
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Adams Rubble: It is good to hear that about you Doug :)
    Pema Pera: Corva, part of the idea is to appreciate from one side, while possibly analyze from the other
    Pema Pera: the two can go together very well
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods, considering.
    Adams Rubble: Excuse me, I have to leave you all for now. Good seeing you all. bye :)
    Pema Pera: see ya, Adams!
    Wol Euler: bye adams
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye adams

    Adams left, and Doug told us more about befriending the APAPB sentence.

    Pema Pera: Doug, can you say a bit more?
    Pema Pera: how you befriended?
    Pema Pera: or was befriended?
    doug Sosa: ?
    Pema Pera: or both?
    doug Sosa: ah
    doug Sosa: well, the sentence feels like a teffy bear, a walking companion, a bird in paradise when flying with thoughts. its just friendly.
    doug Sosa: teddy
    Pema Pera: wow, how nice!
    Wol Euler smiles

    To give a bit more background for the others, I repeated what I had told Doug almost a month earlier, in RL.

    Pema Pera: the funny thing about that sentence is that you can best read it backwards
    Pema Pera: there is Being
    Pema Pera: which presents
    Pema Pera: what does it present?
    Pema Pera: appearance, all that appears
    Pema Pera: what do we know about appearance, directly, empirically
    Pema Pera: only that it is presence
    Pema Pera: *present
    Pema Pera: so what can we appreciate?
    Pema Pera: ultimately only the presence of appearance
    Pema Pera: the rest is added theory
    Pema Pera: encrusted thoughts
    Pema Pera: the pure core of what is is the presence of appearance
    Pema Pera: presented by Being
    Pema Pera: does that make the sentence more palitable, Corva?
    doug Sosa: i must needs leave. :)
    Pema Pera: bye Doug!
    Wol Euler: bye doug, take care

    Doug left, and Corva and I talked about different approaches.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire considers..I think what I like about the idea of seeing is finding a bit of data in it.
    Pema Pera: yes, but the notion of data itself has many prior assumptions
    Pema Pera: which means you have bought into a detailed framework, context
    Corvuscorva Nightfire listens.
    Pema Pera: which is fun, like deciding to play chess
    Pema Pera: and within those rules you can play a fun game
    Pema Pera: or deciding to play within a culture, a language
    Pema Pera: very rich all
    Pema Pera: but if you really want to look into reality
    Pema Pera: it may be better to drop all systems
    Pema Pera: and start with appreciating the presence of appearance
    Pema Pera: the most minimal and at the same time most purely empirical approach
    Pema Pera: BUT at the same time you can analyze date
    Pema Pera: data
    Pema Pera: while also appreciating them as giving in appearance
    Pema Pera: like appreciating a beautiful painting
    Pema Pera: done in beautiful paint pigments
    Pema Pera: both painting and paint can be appreciated separately
    Pema Pera: data as well as the very fact of data being available
    Pema Pera: does that make sense?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi, Stevenaia.
    Pema Pera: Hi Steve!
    Wol Euler: hello steve

    Steve joined us, slowly rezzing.

    Corvuscorva Nightfire looks frustrated…sort of.
    Wol Euler: “painting is not pigment” makes a lot of sense
    Pema Pera did not mean to frustrate in any way . . . .
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Oh, no..
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I’m frustrated in the sense that it only sort of makes sense.
    stevenaia Michinaga: Just stopped in for a few minutes
    Pema Pera: where does the frustration bit start, Corva?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I suspect that is more a lack of experience and language on my part than any problems in communicating ideas on yours.
    Pema Pera: frustration is the best guide, often, in exploration!
    Pema Pera: like bugs in a computer program — show you where to go, what to explore next
    Pema Pera: without frustration, no progress
    Corvuscorva Nightfire smiles.
    Pema Pera smiles 2
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I am very much attracted to puzzles.
    Wol Euler: oh! yes, as happened this morning. A bug in X’s program.
    Pema Pera: we all have lots of bugs . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . perhaps that’s why we dream, hehe
    Wol Euler: true enough
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: must go all…I will eagerly read this log..
    Wol Euler: dreaming is debugging, perhaps.
    Pema Pera: bye Corva!
    Wol Euler: bye corvi, get some sleep.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: byee!
    Pema Pera: let’s continue some other time
    Corvuscorva Nightfire grins..I’ll work on that one, Wol.
    Pema Pera: I love the way you want to investigate step by step
    Wol Euler smiles. Do.
    Pema Pera: and actually I have to go too
    Pema Pera: an astronomy meeting
    stevenaia Michinaga: Pema, I just wanted to thank you for that interesting article on the conscious mind from last night
    Pema Pera: already a bit late
    Wol Euler wonders who is guardian?
    Pema Pera: oh, yw Steve!
    Pema Pera: I am guardian Wol

    At this point I had to leave; my duty in MICA, the astronomy initiative in SL, was calling.

    Wol Euler: ok, bye pema, see you later on perhaps.
    Wol Euler: ah, ok. well, let’s just end here then.
    Pema Pera: so either of you can later add the rest, or email it to me
    Pema Pera: sorry, Steve!
    stevenaia Michinaga: so much (perhaps 1000 words) can be what a picture is truly worth
    Pema Pera: fun discussion it was!
    Wol Euler: true, and true
    Pema Pera: thanks, Steve, that was a fun meeting too, with that journalist
    Pema Pera: first time that I had a publication turn around of one da
    Pema Pera: day
    Pema Pera: between writing and having it published!!
    Wol Euler: wow
    Pema Pera: http://www.ids.ias.edu/~piet/act/nat/experience/nyt97.html
    stevenaia Michinaga: perhaps we should put related links in the wiki as well
    Pema Pera: yes, we could
    Wol Euler: yes, a cross-refs page.
    stevenaia Michinaga: such as your recent article in the journal
    Pema Pera: Wol, I drew on a napkin, while talking with a journalist
    Wol Euler nods. I saw it already :-)
    Wol Euler: “confusing s and s prime”
    Pema Pera: and he then called me asking whether he could use it as the main illustration for the article
    stevenaia Michinaga: nice
    Wol Euler: ah :-)
    Pema Pera: he had a hard time finding an illustration about consciousnes :)
    Pema Pera: well gotta go!
    stevenaia Michinaga: you need to work on your napkin sketches pema
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye
    Pema Pera: hehe, Steve!
    Wol Euler: heheheh. bye again
    Pema Pera: c u both!

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