2008.09.04 13:00 - Is simplicity really complicated?

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    The guardian for this meeting was Storm Nordwind. The comments are Storm's.

    I dropped through the air, somersaulting as I fell many hundreds of feet. And yet I landed neatly on the central table of the pavilion - ah the magic of Second Life. Quilty was waiting and was kind enough not to give me marks for artistic interpretation...

    Storm Nordwind: Greetings Quilty
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Storm. how are you?
    Storm Nordwind: Not so bad thank you. And you?
    Quilty Bookmite: Also not bad. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Wol
    Wol Euler: good evening, gentlemen.
    Storm Nordwind: Hello Wol :)
    Storm Nordwind: A high accolade :)
    Quilty Bookmite: We're being very formal this evening. :-)
    Wol Euler: well, I thought I'd raise my conversation to match your attire, Quilty
    Quilty Bookmite: What? T-shirt and jeans? :-)
    Wol Euler: ah, not just -any_ t.shirt. Please.
    Quilty Bookmite: Of course. :-)
    Wol Euler: (for the benefit of later readers, Quilty is wearing a pure cotton mid-sleeved white "Play as Being" t-shirt.
    Quilty Bookmite: Didn't everyone get one?
    Storm Nordwind: I think so. Assuming you didn't accidentally delete it like I did
    Wol Euler: I got a purple one.
    Quilty Bookmite: I have a purple one somewhere.
    Quilty Bookmite gave you Purple PaB T-shirt.
    Storm Nordwind: Thank you Quilty
    Quilty Bookmite: Would you prefer the white one?
    Storm Nordwind: I suspect so!
    Quilty Bookmite gave you PaB T-shirt.
    Wol Euler: me? yes please.
    Wol Euler: ty
    Quilty Bookmite: Now we can all look stylish. :-)

    We all donned our T shirts.

    Storm Nordwind: I have terrible lag here in Scotland tonight. Not sure why
    Quilty Bookmite: Seems Ok to me.
    Quilty Bookmite: I'm a bit closer to civilisation though. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: I need a tighter elastic band in my PC perhaps
    Quilty Bookmite: :-)
    Wol Euler: or a faster hamster

    I had the lag meter displayed and it was permanently on red for client and yellow for network. I only realised at the end of the session that my PC had been on for many days and was probably the victim of memory fragmentation. It was thrashing. A full scale power-cycle did the trick... much later.

    Storm Nordwind: So - who has tales of PaB experiences they would like to share? :)
    Storm Nordwind watches the tumbleweed float past
    Quilty Bookmite: No earth shattering experiences then. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Doug.

    doug arrived on standing where Wol was sitting. This was the cue for an accidental misspelling and some and some general 'loafing around'! :)

    Wol Euler tickles doug's calves
    Storm Nordwind: Hello dough
    doug Sosa: hi all!
    Storm Nordwind: doug I mean - oops!
    Quilty Bookmite: He didn't kneed that Storm. :-)
    doug Sosa: my oops :)
    Storm Nordwind laughs
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Storm Nordwind: Always one to rise to the occasion Quilty!
    doug Sosa: kneeds are as we find them!
    Quilty Bookmite: :-)

    I started chatting about PaB experiences while Umbriel arrived. I brought up what I thought was a simple topic. Amazing how complicated simple things can get!

    Storm Nordwind: I think the main thing I have been experiencing over the last week could be encapsulated in the word 'simplicity'
    Quilty Bookmite: Care to elaborate? :-)
    Wol Euler chuckles at Quilty.
    Wol Euler: hello Umbriel.
    Umbriel Levenque: Metta
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Umbriel.
    doug Sosa: simplicity to me is like freedom.. as soon as we have it we give it away to ..
    doug Sosa: hi um.
    Storm Nordwind: We give it away - in the sense that we share it?
    doug Sosa: well, fill up the time with tasks, fill up the simplicity with more things, connections..
    Storm Nordwind: Ah. You mean instead that you lose it.
    doug Sosa: freedom is an opportunity to be unfree. Freedom unused is really a wasteland.
    Wol Euler: we do seem programmed to like More.
    doug Sosa: well, with more, we like less... :)
    doug Sosa: restless..
    Storm Nordwind: That seems so complicated to me. Not sure if I relate to that much.
    doug Sosa: not a big deal, just a perception that we wave like flow from freedom to engagement, from simplicity to complexity - and back.
    Storm Nordwind: Hmm...
    doug Sosa: as soon as i empty my mind, i see unimagined details..
    doug Sosa: the baby spider on the edge of the book..
    Storm Nordwind: Are not you seeing those things anyway?
    doug Sosa: no, preoccupied with other things... and i mean a really tiny spider!
    Umbriel Levenque: :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: Maybe seeing them but not noticing them.
    Quilty Bookmite: I think when I stop I notice how complex the world is.
    doug Sosa: i just tried that, found the grain in the wood of my desk, radiant, but unseen before, not just not noticed.
    Storm Nordwind: That sounds like a good thing doug
    doug Sosa: ?
    Storm Nordwind: That you notice small things and free yourself from preoccupation. No?
    doug Sosa: oh yes, and freeing from small things to see big ones...
    doug Sosa: and quilty, to also see how simple the world is?
    Storm Nordwind: I think by simplicity, I mean lack of clutter. When things are not simple, I just have lots of things in the way when i look anywhere
    Storm Nordwind: When things are simple, there is nothing in the way. I see things as they are.
    doug Sosa: Isn't any "simple" thing infinitely complex?
    Storm Nordwind: What do you mean by that doug?
    doug Sosa: the pencil to my left. the wood, the construction, the lead.. where did it all come from, how was it put together, how many humans touched it to get it here?
    Storm Nordwind: The things can still be simple. But the complexity is in you it would seem
    Wol Euler: hmmm
    doug Sosa: yes, and so is the complexity, no?
    doug Sosa: complexity..
    Umbriel Levenque: Ah
    doug Sosa: :)
    Storm Nordwind: simplicity - it seems to me - is in the seeing, not in the object of seeing
    Quilty Bookmite: The complexity is in the layers of interpretation we put on things.
    doug Sosa: is that not also true for complexity? Both are judgements we make about how to take something in its significance for us.
    Storm Nordwind: Yes Quilty
    Storm Nordwind: And yes doug to some extent
    Wol Euler thinks of the formal intricacy of "simple" Shaker furniture.
    doug Sosa: beautiful example of complex spareness.
    Umbriel Levenque: Good point Wol
    Storm Nordwind: But the simplicity is to be able to see it, without preconceptions, without context, without expectation... and so on :)
    doug Sosa: how do you all hold the time here? Open ended? I am usually set to join others in... something...
    Wol Euler: perhaps lives too are simple or complex?
    Storm Nordwind: I'm not sure what you mean doug
    doug Sosa: when i come come for half an hour. others are waiting for me.. usually.
    Umbriel Levenque: I sense a level of dualism
    Storm Nordwind: The lives can be fine, in my opinion Wol. It is the old symbolism of the lotus - to be in the world but not of the world
    Umbriel Levenque: Boxing things in
    doug Sosa: well, jumping out of the box of my own making, I do - must go.
    Umbriel Levenque: Bye doug
    doug Sosa: bye :)
    Storm Nordwind: haha! OK doug
    Quilty Bookmite: bye Doug
    Storm Nordwind: see you soon
    Wol Euler: bye doug
    Quilty Bookmite: I don't seem to have Dougs hectic SL social life. :-)
    Wol Euler chuckles.
    Umbriel Levenque: haha
    Storm Nordwind: Ah... hectic. Is that 'non simple'? ;)
    Quilty Bookmite: More by choice I think.
    Wol Euler: Perhaps we all left some their event to come here, though?
    Quilty Bookmite: Indeed. :-)
    Wol Euler: *oher
    Wol Euler: **other. Bah.
    Quilty Bookmite: I was just wandering around amusing myself.
    Storm Nordwind: third time lucky Wol
    Umbriel Levenque: Yes it's a choice
    Wol Euler: :-)

    doug had left us, but we stayed with the topic while being joined by Claire.

    Storm Nordwind: To continue on simplicity, it's as though things like PaB free me of things that I would otherwise erroneously identify with. I can see the complexity if i choose in other things, but those are easier to see as transient and i don't identify with them
    Umbriel Levenque: How does the decision made Storm?
    Storm Nordwind: Which decision?
    Umbriel Levenque: Um... decision is not quite the right word. How do you get to see some things and don't identify with them?
    Storm Nordwind: Because I persist and they don't. Because I glimpse what I really am too I guess. These things can be helped by the PaB practices I find. Do you find that?
    Umbriel Levenque: Yes
    Wol Euler considers, and nods.
    Quilty Bookmite: I think I must be too tired to take this in properly. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: I have been rather more sparing in my blog of late. But I did write about this this week. I cast an Oracle and it crystallised it nicely.

    The word "crystallised" was a deliberate choice! Meanwhile Quilty rose to leave and our conversation began to veer off slightly.

    Wol Euler: oooh
    Storm Nordwind: Early night then Quilty!
    Umbriel Levenque: Good night Quilty
    Wol Euler: ah, hello claire
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Claire.
    Umbriel Levenque: Hi Claire
    Quilty Bookmite: And bye. :-)
    Claire Beltran: Hi! <3
    Wol Euler: bye quilty, sleep well.
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Quilty
    Storm Nordwind: Welcome Claire
    Umbriel Levenque: Oracle... interesting. Can you say more Storm?
    Storm Nordwind: It was my retranslation of the Kuan Yin oracle...
    Storm Nordwind: This particular poem read as follows: Storm Nordwind: "First a crystal, cold and brilliant. Then a sheet, thin and brittle. Ice forms - releasing your burden, unfreezing your simplicity."
    Umbriel Levenque: Ah :-)
    Storm Nordwind: It's a paradox: ice forms but something else becomes unfrozen
    Storm Nordwind: Applied to PaB, you seem to do more - more 9 second practice - but as a result your life seems less cluttered.
    Wol Euler: ah.
    Wol Euler: (Claire, do join us please.)
    Wol Euler smiles
    Claire Beltran: I have a persona interest in Buddhism... what is the Kuan Yin oracle?
    Claire Beltran: I do know who Kuan Yin is, though ^^;
    Storm Nordwind: The Kuan Yin oracle ... well... first of all, it's not strictly anything to do with Play as Being!
    Storm Nordwind: (Just as Play as Being is not anything necessarily to do with Buddhism)
    Storm Nordwind: However...
    Claire Beltran: Heh.
    Storm Nordwind: The Kuan Yin Oracle is arguably the most frequently used divination system in the world
    Storm Nordwind: It's found at very many temples in the east and it has many names like Kau Cim and Chien Tung.
    Storm Nordwind: Basically it's a stick oracle. You shuffle a bucket of sticks and one falls out. It has a number on it and you consult the poem with that number.
    Storm Nordwind: There are very often 100 poems. There is only one Kuan Yin Oracle in Second Life and you are about 200 metres away from it.
    Wol Euler: ah!
    Wol Euler: is there a definitive "set" of poems?
    Storm Nordwind: There are sets of poems yes. But these have undergone many translations.
    Storm Nordwind: Kuan Yin wanted me to retranslate the poems under her guidance. So I did and put the oracle here in SL.
    Claire Beltran: Cool! So where is it? And what does it have to do with Play as Being, if anything?
    Wol Euler surreptitiously googles Kuan Yin.
    Umbriel Levenque: :-)
    Storm Nordwind: It's in the Mieum region, to the east of here, in the Kuan Yin terraces. I'll take you there later if you wish...
    Storm Nordwind: As for relevance to PaB... sometimes it gives me personal insights into PaB practice.
    Wol Euler: yes please, Storm, I would like to see that.
    Storm Nordwind: The poem I quoted before indicated how decluttering both ice and PaB practice can be.
    Umbriel Levenque: I see. I'm sure it helps you Storm
    Umbriel Levenque: I'm afraid I need to leave now. Metta
    Storm Nordwind: Goodbye Umbriel for now
    Claire Beltran: Goodbye, Umbriel!
    Wol Euler: ah, too slow.
    Storm Nordwind smiles

    And that point, with an hour passed, we decided to leave the pavilion and head over to the oracle. And time to reboot...

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