2008.08.23 19:00 - Like the Magician Giving Away Secrets

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    Stim was the guardian that evening, and he asked me (Pema) to post the chat log. The title is mine.

    Adelene Dawner: Hi Pem
    Pema Pera: Hi Adelene!
    Pema Pera: Hi quen!
    Pema Pera: Have you two met yet?
    Adelene Dawner: nope
    Adelene Dawner: Hiya Stim :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Stim!
    Stim Morane: Hi Adelene and Pema
    Pema Pera: Quen recently dropped by; we met earlier in SL in an astronomy event
    Adelene Dawner: ah
    Stim Morane: Hello Quen
    Pema Pera: Is GIlles coming too, Quen?
    Adelene Dawner hmms and afks to get her other headphones - these aren’t working - I’m deaf!
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Pema Pera: Quen seems lost in tought :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Stim, it seems it’s just the two of us now, effectively :-)
    Pema Pera: how are you doing?
    Stim Morane: OK, tired, still coughing …
    Pema Pera: sorry to hear that!
    Pema Pera: airplane flights can let you catch all kind of bugs
    Stim Morane: it will end soon
    Stim Morane: Hi are you, Adelene?
    Pema Pera: how is your Qwaq work going?
    Pema Pera: Adelene is afk
    Pema Pera: and so is Quen
    Adelene Dawner: No I’m not ^.^
    Stim Morane: oh right
    Pema Pera: oh, back!
    Stim Morane: oh wrong
    Adelene Dawner chuckles.
    Adelene Dawner: I’d just finished detangling the other headphones.
    Stim Morane: anyway, Qwaq involves lots of work just because people are going further into various topics and I have to keep them moving
    Pema Pera: such as?
    Pema Pera: btw, this is about http://www.waysofknowing.net/VRExplorations.html
    Stim Morane: there are many. Aside from the Direct Awareness series, there are many questions about “practice” and science
    Pema Pera: can you give an example?
    Stim Morane: if codependent arising is right, what does this imply about the nature of reality?
    Pema Pera: that’s a fascinating one!
    Pema Pera: any answers, or attempts at such?
    Stim Morane: I can discuss it with them. That’s all. Because people understand based on t heir level of experience, it’s not just a matter of saying what “the answer” is
    Adelene Dawner wonders if Pema realizes how asking that question disturbs lines of thought… people don’t like saying ‘no’ and seem unwilling to continue talking after doing so.
    Pema Pera: ?
    Adelene Dawner: “any answers, or attempts at such?”
    Pema Pera: where you disturbed by that question, Stim?
    Stim Morane: I’m happy to try to “answer”.
    Stim Morane: I just stated what the limits are on being able to supply “the answer”.
    Pema Pera: an interesting point, yes
    Stim Morane: Anyway, it’s an interesting experiment in vr
    Adelene Dawner: You asked that last night, when you came - we were kind of in a lull anyway, but it did seem to change the path of the conversation… and not the first time I’ve noticed that, either.
    Pema Pera: Adelene, I did not only ask for answers, but also “attempts at answers”, like in what directions where people searching — what about that is disturbing to you?
    Adelene Dawner: It doesn’t bother *me*, I’d pretty much ignore it. But other people seem affected by it.
    Pema Pera: in what way?
    Adelene Dawner: I know this isn’t what you’re trying to communicate, but it looks like others are reacting as if the message was “oh, you should have an answer to that by now, then, or there isn’t one.”
    Stim Morane: I see.
    Adelene Dawner could be wrong on that, but doubts it.
    Stim Morane: So Pema, what is the answer?
    Pema Pera: hmmm, I hope someone who is disturbed by that will tell me, and show me an example — haha, Pema
    Pema Pera: Stim I mean
    Pema Pera: just got up, hehe
    Pema Pera: you see Stim and I have been working too long together
    Pema Pera: start mixing them up
    Adelene Dawner chuckles.
    Stim Morane: I was almost surprised we are still meeting here. I thought perhaps it was time to move on to a new location in SL.
    Pema Pera: But seriously, given that neither you, Adelene, nor Stim is bothered, I’m not sure how far we get in second guessing how others could be bothered
    Stim Morane: True
    Pema Pera: if someone indicates that to you, please ask them to tell me directly
    Pema Pera: if I try to second-guess, there is no end to it, given that everyone is different
    Pema Pera: I hope they are not afraid of me :-)
    Pema Pera: As for LoA, Adelene, we have often talked about that
    Pema Pera: are there things you’d like to talk with Stim about
    Pema Pera: concerning that topic
    Adelene Dawner shrugs, tries to figure out how to put a concept into words, fails, and shrugs again.
    Pema Pera: (is this too much of a question ?)
    Stim Morane: I like shrugging
    Stim Morane: It’s also a great word.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, how are the new “practice” methods going here? It’s has been a while since I heard feedback.
    Adelene Dawner: I’ve been talking to Avastu… I think I’ve got the metaphysics down pretty well now. ^.^
    Pema Pera: you’re way ahead of me then :-)
    Adelene Dawner just chuckles.
    Pema Pera chuckles back
    Adelene Dawner: Still trying to figure out what you meant by ‘enlightened’ in ESBS, though.
    Stim Morane: Yes. I’m not surprised.
    Pema Pera: I meant that in contrast with Being — as an asymptotic way in which you could imagine yourself to see more and more
    Stim Morane: In a sense, this is the crux of the matter, and works for good or ill.
    Pema Pera: “evolved” may be a good replacement for “enlightened” as was suggested
    Adelene Dawner: … … o.O??
    Stim Morane: I look forward to hearing more about how this works out for people in PaB.
    Pema Pera: normally I don’t like to use the word “enligthened” at all, because it is typically misunderstood as the self having reached a kind of state
    Adelene Dawner: That’s where I thought you were going with it, yes… which is why I didn’t try to do anything with the concept.
    Pema Pera: but in the YSBS to ESBS case, I merely tried to indicate that the “Y”, the you, could be taken either as the you in which you presently see yourself, or the you you could imagine growing into, when you see more — with the horizon vanishing point of “enligthened”
    Pema Pera: and THEN you can try to find a way to drop that self, normal or “enlightened” and let Being run the show: BS
    Adelene Dawner: Ahh… hence the lostness. I don’t do that ‘who I’ll grow into’ thing. I have enough trouble keeping any conscious concept of who I ma *now*, thanks. ^.-
    Stim Morane: Oh, well. I was just asking out of general curiosity
    Pema Pera: then YSBS is better for you to explore, probably — anyway, both YSBS and ESBS are just some suggestions
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm
    Pema Pera: Talking about the jump from YS to BS, or from the language of the relative (lor) to language of the absolute (loa) is so very tricky . . . on the one hand it is a yes-no 1-0 jump
    Pema Pera: on the other hand, once we get a glimpse of the other side, there are so infinitely many ways of deepening, of seeing more
    Adelene Dawner: hm
    Adelene Dawner: I wonder if I have enough words for the relevant concepts to talk about my perspective on that…
    Pema Pera: it’s not that we just “get it” with the first glimpse — or the hundredth one for that matter
    Pema Pera: please try, if you feel like, we would like to hear
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Adelene Dawner: Ok… this *is* a bit rough around the edges in some spots and I know it. But the overall description of our experience of relative reality seems sound.
    Adelene Dawner: Hiya, Avastu, you’re just in time. ^.^
    Pema Pera: hi Avastu!
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Stim Morane: hi Avastu
    Avastu Maruti: friends
    Adelene Dawner: okay. we start with direct experience - and I’m talking about the world as a newborn experiences it, just colors and shapes and sounds and nothing makes sense, just qualia being experienced.
    Adelene Dawner: The first assumption, as far as I can figure out, is that those qualia mean something. I want to note what I was talking about last night, here - ‘to assume’ also means ‘to take on’, and for these purposes, those two concepts are identical.
    Adelene Dawner: So we take on the reality - personal reality, relative reality, not absolute reality - that those qualia mean something, as very young babies.
    Adelene Dawner: As we grow, we make more and more assumptions, based on that.
    Adelene Dawner: Each assumption is a lens, in a way - it lets us see different things. A baby who assumes that that red circle is a ball, but hasn’t assumed object permanence yet, won’t realize that the ball exists - relatively speaking - when he can’t see it… and hor him, the ball’s nonexistance is real.
    Adelene Dawner: But once he assumes that the ball is permanent, he can build on that assumption to concepts that involve the interplay of objects even when he can’t see them.
    Adelene Dawner: The assumptions get more and more subtle… and, by the way, I seem to have skipped a good number of the social ones, which shouldn’t be surprising given that autism is classed as a developmental disability. The later assumptions are worn lightly enough that they can be assumed or not-assumed at will, to let us see different perspectives on relative reality.
    Adelene Dawner: Clear?
    Stim Morane: I understand your account. IT could serve as a rough sketch in the domain of cognitive psychology, or contemplation. But in the latter, the issues are quite different, so there would be more to say here depending on your real focus.
    Stim Morane: I mean, the issues in contemplative traditionas are different from those in cogsci.
    Stim Morane: *traditions
    Avastu Maruti: a baby knows nothing of separation
    Avastu Maruti: that comes later in thought, in acquired knowledge
    Stim Morane: Yes. This is understood in both of the fields I mentioned.
    Adelene Dawner: I haven;t studied child development, Avastu, and I could be wrong about what the first assumption is.
    Avastu Maruti: just because we’re taught that separation is the reality and, as Ade said, we build on that and see everything through that “lens”, that doesn’t make it any more real
    Stim Morane: It depends on the domain of interest.
    Avastu Maruti: we may see that everything we “know” in knowledge is built on this house of cards
    Adelene Dawner: Yes, Avastu. We’re not working on that level at the moment, though. ^.^
    Avastu Maruti: ok my friend
    Adelene Dawner: I’m not quite grasping what you’re saying, Stim, but my point was that the choice of later-level assumptions does make for a lot of different perspectives on many subjects.
    Stim Morane: It would take quite a lot of discussion to clarify my comment. The simple point was that much of what you’ve said would be accepted in the two very different contexts: psychology and contemplation (the domain Avastu is emphasizing).
    Stim Morane: So there remains the question of where the differences are
    Adelene Dawner doesn’t think highly, nor often, of psychology.
    Stim Morane: I don’t want to push this. I’m just inviting you to talk more.
    Stim Morane: I’m not referring to clinical psyc, but to scientific psyc,
    Stim Morane: which is the study of perception etc.
    Adelene Dawner: Ah, neuroscience. Now neuroscience, I like.
    Adelene Dawner: But… the two don’t seem to conflict, so why not both?
    Stim Morane: I’m not saying you can only have one. I’m just asking where your current concerns are.
    Adelene Dawner: ‘hmm, this is interesting, let me poke at it’, mostly. ^.^
    Stim Morane: For instance, in the contemplative domain, the accumulation and hardening you mention, quite rightly, is still unborn, undone, in some very important sense. THis is the basis of a very direct opening as being immediately available. The situation is viewed differently in the science picture.
    Adelene Dawner: And it’ll be useful when I try to explain to Mark how e=mc^2 ties into all of this. ^.^
    Adelene Dawner finds herself lost, again, reading Stim’s words.
    Stim Morane: Well, I’m not very good at text chat. Sorry.
    Adelene Dawner: S’ok.
    Adelene Dawner: I think it’s the tech-talk - I’m surprised I don’t run into that issue more often, actually.
    Stim Morane: My point was simply that in science, dropping everything that has been accumulated would be discounted, probably denied.
    Stim Morane: In contemplation, it’s crucial.
    Adelene Dawner: Both perspectives seem useful to me, in different ways.
    Stim Morane: Yes, I was agreeing with that.
    Stim Morane: I just wanted to see which interested you at the moment.
    Adelene Dawner: Both.
    Stim Morane: OK.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Stim Morane: Then … how did your summary bear on the exercises Pema described?
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Pema Pera: Hi Gaya!
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Stim Morane: Hi Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel thanks Stim
    Adelene Dawner: ESBS? ‘Enlightened’ relates to a particualr assumption, or perhaps set of assumptions, that I don’t use and may be incapable of. I see that, I know it, and I know that I don’t have to worry about ESBS.
    Stim Morane: Do you feel you are restricted to the “assumptions” you currently embody?
    Adelene Dawner: (The most accurate way that I can describe how I veiw Pema’s ‘enlightened’ is, ‘oh, ok, I’m already there… I *am* me’)
    Stim Morane: I see.
    Adelene Dawner: Um… yes and no, regarding ‘restricted’. There are of course still a few moderately-deep assumptions that are frustrating when they affect my actions, but, well, they are what they are. I accept them.
    Stim Morane: “Accept” means many quite different things. That is one of the main issues in the more spiritual angles on “direct experience”.
    Stim Morane: Hence my earlier comments.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, I’m getting into things I won’t be around to follow up on myself since I have to leave now.
    Stim Morane: I’lll leave this to the rest of you. Sorry to duck out just as you arrived, Gaya.
    Adelene Dawner: ok, Stim. See you around.
    Stim Morane: Thanks for your account, Adelene. I look forward to more.
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Adelene Dawner: :)
    Avastu Maruti: good bye my friend
    Pema Pera: by Stim
    Stim Morane: Goodbye, Avastu, Pema.
    Adelene Dawner reads back. “I don’t think I answered Stim’s last question properly.”
    Avastu Maruti: you smelling being smelling….. hilarious!
    Adelene Dawner: Yes ^.^
    Pema Pera: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Pema Pera: BS’s real meaning comes back
    Adelene Dawner: [19:53] Stim Morane: Do you feel you are restricted to the “assumptions” you currently embody? - No, of course not, change happens always.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    Adelene Dawner: Ooh, StumbleUpon just gave me a relevant quote on the other screen: You have been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn’t, and you’re not.
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Pema Pera: the you you really are is not imperfect, indeed
    Gaya Ethaniel: [2008/08/08 13:24] Fael Illyar: “You’re perfect as you are”
    Adelene Dawner: if you’re not who you really are then who the hell am I talking to?
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Pema Pera: We generally identify with what we think we are, not with what we really are
    Adelene Dawner: what we think we are - and our thoughts in general - are part of what we really are.
    Pema Pera: ultimately yes
    Avastu Maruti: isn’t the “me” also a thought?
    Adelene Dawner nods at Avastu.
    Avastu Maruti: so who is the “our” who has this “me” thought?
    Gaya Ethaniel: ‘I’
    Avastu Maruti: isn’t “I” a reference point for the mind?
    Adelene Dawner throws up her hands and goes to find the blog article of Avastu’s that she was trying to present the main concept of. ;P
    Avastu Maruti smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Adelene Dawner: http://avastu0.blogspot.com/2008/02/be-what-you-are.html
    Adelene Dawner: “To BE what you are is to see that what you are seeking, you ALREADY are.”
    Avastu Maruti: is that an individual? a “part”?
    Gaya Ethaniel thanks Adele
    Avastu Maruti: isn’t what we have taken ourselves to be this “image”?
    Gaya Ethaniel is still pondering…
    Adelene Dawner’s brain has assumed the consistency of pudding - she’s done for the night.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good night Adele. Hope you get some good rest.
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Pema Pera: good night Adelene
    Avastu Maruti: good bye my friend
    Adelene Dawner wasn’t intendong on going, just sitting here observing as she is able.
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Avastu Maruti: There is no such state as seeing the real. Who is to see what? You can only be the real, which you are, anyhow. The problem is not mental. Abandon false ideas, that is all. There is no need of true ideas. There aren’t any. - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
    Pema Pera: That is a beautiful summary of an absolute approach, and a very simple one — one question is to what extent we want to also talk about these topics in a more relative way. What do you think, Avastu?
    Avastu Maruti: Talking is always relative.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    Avastu Maruti: Yet we point to the absolute, like the shadows being cast by the moon
    Pema Pera: Yes
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    Pema Pera: but within talking, we have a choice: we can describe what the end point is, as you just did, in pointing, or we can give hints as to how we might get close to being able to see the end point
    Pema Pera: ANd here language is tricky
    Pema Pera: there is no closer, in LoA
    Pema Pera: and yet in LoR it may help to give more hints
    Pema Pera: Do you see room for hints?
    Avastu Maruti: yes - and a hint is - the Absolute is pointing at itself
    Pema Pera: but that kind of hint may mean very little to most people
    Gaya Ethaniel: [2008/08/19 7:33] Corvuscorva Nightfire thinks of the danger of grasping an elephants tail. [2008/08/19 7:34] Fael Illyar: Yes, the elephant’s tail could be thinking :)
    Avastu Maruti: it will never mean anything
    Avastu Maruti: it is a paradox for the mind
    Pema Pera: that’s true, but when we do not see what is pointed to, what we can do is try to relax and in some way clean our glasses
    Pema Pera: again, in LoA that doesn’t make sense, is not even necessary
    Pema Pera: yet in LoR it does have meaning
    Avastu Maruti: of course - any SEEING is happening is an obvious way to look
    Avastu Maruti: *and
    Avastu Maruti: a simple recognition, totally available with LoR
    Avastu Maruti: yet how many will pause to notice?
    Pema Pera: that’s the question, very few it seems
    Gaya Ethaniel: very few?
    Avastu Maruti: so we can continue wandering in the LoR forever - or we can pause for a moment and notice that SEEING is happening, KNOWING is obvious -right now.
    Pema Pera: yes, that is a very direct approach, Avastu
    Pema Pera: but we can also try an approach that is a bit more indirect, for example
    Pema Pera: suggesting to look at how thoughts arise and disappear
    Pema Pera: to look at gaps between thoughts
    Pema Pera: so these are a few stepping stones on the way to what you are pointing out
    Pema Pera: for most people it seems very hard to switch from thoughts to the awareness in which thoughts are given
    Pema Pera: so some exercises may help, don’t you think?
    Avastu Maruti: of course - there are many many such paths available to the seeker
    Pema Pera: so Gaya, with “very few” I meant that very few people seem to really grasp directly what Avastu is saying
    Pema Pera: and most people interested in some form of spirituality follow a path
    Pema Pera: unlike Avastu
    Avastu Maruti: yet at some point, they may see that all these paths have begun with one core assumption, that there is someone there who can walk a path
    Pema Pera: yes!
    Pema Pera: and then it can all drop away
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes, I was wondering why I haven’t thought about the question myself before
    Gaya Ethaniel: That’s all
    Gaya Ethaniel: [20:28] Avastu Maruti: yet how many will pause to notice?
    Pema Pera: Even Nisargadatta himself had to ask the question for several years very very very intensely, until he saw the obvious
    Pema Pera: how many will do that?
    Avastu Maruti: yes - it appears that way
    Gaya Ethaniel: Perhaps one day, I may ponder on that question… for now, it is ‘am I pausing to notice’…
    Pema Pera: PaB may be the Trojan Horse tricking people into that kind of intensity
    Pema Pera: first 1% of the time
    Pema Pera: but very persistently, every 15 minutes
    Pema Pera: and then that virus takes over, perhaps
    Pema Pera: the other 99%
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Avastu Maruti: you’re like the magician giving away your secrets, my friend
    Pema Pera: I like open source, Avastu
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera: totally open about what we’re doing here
    Pema Pera: in so far as I can find words, that is, that’s the only limitation
    Avastu Maruti: there can be no more open source than a direct approach
    Pema Pera: well, yes, but . . . the 1% is not the most direct, it is a trick
    Pema Pera: and I am open about the fact that it is not completely direct, a trick
    Gaya Ethaniel: a trigger…
    Pema Pera: traditional teachings don’t say it’s a trick — indeed, Gaya, a trigger
    Adelene Dawner: In the relative a bit more, I’ve also seen glimmers of things that look like ‘pre-conscious’ awareness coming to the surface - like people know where this path will lead, even though they don’t know that they know, but they’re finding exercises for themselves for skills that will be useful when they ‘get there’.
    Pema Pera: yes, harbinger experiences as Stim likes to call it
    Avastu Maruti: yes, most traditional teachings take the 1% and make it not only 100%, but make it obligatory with punishment
    Pema Pera: like babies making walking movements well before learning to walk
    Adelene Dawner: yes, Pem.
    Pema Pera: Hi Corva!
    Adelene Dawner: Ask Fael about ‘faith walking’ sometime.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I’ve also seen glimmers of things that look like ‘pre-conscious’ awareness coming to the surface - why would you say ‘pre-conscious’?
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hello all.
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Pema Pera: Sorry, Corva, I was just about to get up and go to lunch . . .
    Pema Pera: I enjoyed our conversation the other day, would love to follow it up, but I’ve been here for 100 minutes now :-)
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good day Pema
    Avastu Maruti: good bye my friend
    Pema Pera: thank you all for being here!
    Pema Pera: much to think about
    Pema Pera: see you soon again!
    Adelene Dawner: I don’t think I can answer your question right now, Gaya, in any useful way. That’s the word that points to the concept, and words aren’t working well enough for me to find others for it.

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