2008.09.06 19:00 - Action Rooted in Emptiness

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    Stim was the guardian that evening, but since he had difficulty recording the chat log, Adelene sent me (Pema) the log, and I put it up and provided the title.

    Threedee Shepherd: hi stim
    Stim Morane: Hi Adelene and Threedee
    Adelene Dawner: hi :)
    Stim Morane: How are you today, Adelene?
    Stim Morane: And Threedee?
    Adelene Dawner: I’m good. A bit tired, but good.
    Threedee Shepherd: I am well thanks, in as many regards as possible :)
    Stim Morane: I’m glad to hear it, Adelene.
    Stim Morane: And also re you, Threedee.
    Stim Morane: I have been teaching a retreat all day, so I’m a bit tired too.
    Stim Morane: Hi Adams.
    Stim Morane: Welcome.
    Threedee Shepherd: good ev’n Adams
    Adams Rubble: Hello Everyone :)
    Stim Morane: Is there a topic that has been “hot” lately in these meetings?
    Threedee Shepherd: not that I have noticed in the 3-4 meetings I have been at recently. I have noticed small attendence, though
    Stim Morane: Well it’s nice to have you three with with me.
    Adams Rubble: In two meetings we spoke about periods of calm and in one meditation of the three I attended
    Stim Morane: I am probably too tired to initiate a new topic, myself, but presumably that’s OK with you.
    Threedee Shepherd: OK, I want to bring something up
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Stim Morane: sure
    Threedee Shepherd: I do so in relationship to being in the NOW or the *moment*
    Stim Morane: Yes …
    Threedee Shepherd: I am reading a book called Head Cases about people with serious, traumatic brain injury.
    Stim Morane: I should read that myself.
    Threedee Shepherd: One case is a women in a car accident who afterwards has NO memory (due to the regions irreversibly injured). NO memory of past and immediate short-term memory of only about 2 minutes. If you tell her a three minute joke, she has already forgotten the start when you get to the punch line. She is only and entirely in NOW
    Threedee Shepherd: She says it is an intolerable wants to die, but active death is against her religion (whatever that means to someone with no memory)
    Stim Morane: in one sense of Now, anyway.
    Adams Rubble: Part of the ack of memory is not being able to know anyone I would think
    Adams Rubble: lack
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, everyone needs to be constantly reintroduced
    Adams Rubble: I can see where she would find that part intolerable
    Threedee Shepherd: When I say she has no memory of the bast, that refers to episodic memory of people, events and such. Declarative book-knowledge still is retained.
    Threedee Shepherd: past
    Threedee Shepherd: Even worse (though not relevant to my point) she has become a perfect empath with no output filters. She immediately mirrors back whatever emotion she senses in the person she is speaking to, usually to the discomfort of that person).
    Threedee Shepherd: We have talked much of letting go and being in the NOW. I would not want to be in her NOW
    Adams Rubble: no
    Adelene Dawner: Why not?
    Adams Rubble: It would be a v ery lonely place
    doug Sosa: some days, lots of family, just finished dinner… :)
    Stim Morane: Of course.
    doug Sosa: whatwere youtalking about?
    Adams Rubble: How are the children Doug?
    Threedee Shepherd: why not? because living is temporal as well as spatial, contextual as well as immediate, as I experience it and want to experience it.
    doug Sosa: fine, active, ..
    Adams Rubble: :)
    doug Sosa: adams each dress is better than the last..
    Adams Rubble: You said she remembers book learning Threedee?
    Adams Rubble: Thank you Doug :)
    Adelene Dawner: That is a difference, yes. What you describe is more severe than what I experience, but not completely foreign to me (I’ve had days that bad). But I’m used to it. I don’t expect normalcy.
    Threedee Shepherd: doug here is a notecard of the meeting so far
    Stim Morane: I must have a very slow connection. It’s taking a full 90 seconds for my responses to be “posted”, rendering them inappropriate.
    Adams Rubble: Hello Solobill :)
    Threedee Shepherd: hello solo, here is a notecard of the meeting so far
    Adams Rubble: Yes, Stim, it is very slow tonight
    Solobill Laville: Hi, all, thx 3D
    Threedee Shepherd: may be a local issue Stim, mine is normal
    Threedee Shepherd: book learning from the past. nothing new
    Adams Rubble: Oh
    doug Sosa: thanks for the card. i find text for me and the meetings are an awkward mix, so i have not read the blog.
    Solobill Laville: Interesting situation, of course unfortunate
    Solobill Laville: There was a similar situation reported in National Geographic maybe 4 years ago
    Solobill Laville: But the man had no negative side-effects or tendencies…
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes, there is a very famous case that has been ongling in the literature for about 35 years, and a few other well known ones as well.
    Stim Morane: Yes, Threedee, I thought at least some of you had a better connection. My comments will probably seem pretty “off”.
    Solobill Laville: Yes, I think that must be the one 3D
    doug Sosa: Robert Novak, the columnist, had an intersting article today abouthis brain tumor, not being able to see the left half of the world, and now writing the column post surgery.
    Solobill Laville: Wow, what is the “left half of the world?”
    doug Sosa: left vision is gone.
    Solobill Laville: OK, as in left eye?
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes hemispheric neglect–it is a well known and described condition called hemineglect
    Threedee Shepherd: No left side of world, both eyes work
    Solobill Laville is confused but doing quick internet research
    Threedee Shepherd: the left hemisphere of the brain *sees* the right side of the world. The right hemisphere sees the left side of the world. Hemineglect usually results from a lesion confined to one hemisphere, as from a stroke.
    Solobill Laville: OK, I think I get it
    Solobill Laville: There is a drawing of a clock by someone with the condition; all of the numbers and hands are on the right side
    Threedee Shepherd: yes
    doug Sosa: the levesl of complexity are like a chinese wood puzzle, i thin we expect to go from expeience to mechanism in one step, byt ther are probabaly many levels between one and the other.
    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm
    Threedee Shepherd: The reason I brough this up is to ask about/discuss blissful ideas of being in the now, vs. the non-blissful life of this women who is ONLY in the NOW?
    Stim Morane: connection not working, I’ll try another approach. BRB.
    doug Sosa: fits with a conversation today about why son’s/grandsn’s family dog is so happy. seems to have to thought beyond the next food scraps and ears scratched/y.
    doug Sosa: no thought beyond
    Solobill Laville: To 3D’s point, in your opinion though was there perhaps also other issues that may occuring in that woman’s case to make her unhappy?
    Solobill Laville: As in, a counter to her case would be the man who seemed just fine in the present NOW
    Threedee Shepherd: OK
    Stim Morane: Testing …
    Stim Morane: Oh, that’s much better.
    Threedee Shepherd: You do realize such a person cannot carry out normal daily life without round-the-clock-care
    Solobill Laville: yes
    Stim Morane: Sorry I probably missed much of what was discussed.
    Solobill Laville: but the context was states of “bliss” or “non-bliss”, yes?
    Adams Rubble: Good night everyone. I must go. bye :)
    Solobill Laville: Night, Adams
    Stim Morane: Bye, Adams!
    doug Sosa: but that daily lifecare is because our modern environments are so abstract. i wonder in a village, long ago, that would still happen?
    Solobill Laville: interesing point, Doug
    Threedee Shepherd: Well, I want to be a bit of a maverick and say that such a case represents the non-functional things in real life, as compared to the abstract absolute. I learn discussing the latter, I (and I suggest we) live in the former.
    doug Sosa: Almost.. :)
    doug Sosa: Being is absolute? To me being is not very abstract. naming it is, but the experience is fairly direct.
    Solobill Laville: I would posit that absolute does not by definition mean abstract, but I do agree with you Doug
    Solobill Laville: To 3D’s point, though, I think he hits on a great challenge,
    Solobill Laville: that at least I try to cope with as best I can
    Solobill Laville: in terms of some sort of balance between trying to be PRESENT
    Solobill Laville: and be able to “add-value” during client meetings, or whatever
    Solobill Laville: in being in this world in 2008
    Solobill Laville: if you get my meaning…
    doug Sosa: i’ve been thinjking about that, is the 2008 political ambience part of “present”?
    Threedee Shepherd: Solobill, I think of the “add value” as right-action (which to this Westerner sounds a lot like *doing*)
    doug Sosa: seems to me that “here and now” does not men tis place or thing clock moment. It is an invitation to take in, be in flow with, more.
    Solobill Laville: I would wrap it in the path of “right action”, yes 3D
    Threedee Shepherd: is there is difference meant between *right-action* and *doing*?
    doug Sosa: right action and doing right?
    Threedee Shepherd: No doing versus not-doing
    Threedee Shepherd: No,
    Solobill Laville: Well, I think the caych is “right”, ah yes 3D
    Stim Morane: “right action” is indeed “action” sometimes. But it can include other things that may be considered non-action. The distinction requires introducing more topics, and can’t be made otherwise.
    doug Sosa: taking it all in and…slipping away….. away… bye… :)
    Threedee Shepherd: bye doug
    Solobill Laville: poof
    Stim Morane: uh oh. Ok, bye Doug
    Stim Morane: “right action” begins with appropriate action, which is indeed a “doing”.
    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm
    Solobill Laville: And there is a great deal of “doing” has naught to do with right action
    Solobill Laville: *that
    Threedee Shepherd: no argument there
    Stim Morane: But it can include things that look to a camera like action, but from the “actor’s” view are pure responsiveness, rooted in emptiness.
    Stim Morane: Yes, Sol
    Threedee Shepherd: agreed
    Solobill Laville: Yes, Stim, with no attachment to results
    Stim Morane: “not-doing” = action rooted in emptiness.
    Stim Morane: It can also mean doing little, but in a way that has huge influence. But this too is based on an intimate connection with both thesurface and depth of things.
    Stim Morane: Was this set of issues related to your comments about “NOW”?
    Threedee Shepherd: if there is no attachment to results, why care whether doing is right or wrong, given no attachment to the results?
    Stim Morane: no attachment to results does not mean not caring about acting out of responsiveness (which requires a better connection than the selfish self allows)
    Stim Morane: and also does not mean being indifferent to injurious consequences.
    Threedee Shepherd: I was trying by the case of that women to expand the idea of immediate NOW as non-brain injured humans experience it.
    Stim Morane: It simply means one does not act to seek consequences in the sense the selfish self emphasizes.
    Stim Morane: Yes, Threedee, I got that much.
    Solobill Laville: Right, sorry to sidetrack that 3D…
    Threedee Shepherd: In MY NOW, I know that there will be more/subsequent nows and that how I *act* can have an influence on those subsequent moments
    Adelene Dawner: If she still remembers her book-learning then she can’t really be fully in the now - that that knowledge is there points to there having been another time in which the knowledge was gained, for one thing, and it’s entirely likely that some of the knowledge itself points to the existance of time - like, say, the ability to read a clock.
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, to an extent that is true Ade, and I am more interested in the general aspects of her non-normal NOW, than of the details
    Stim Morane: I would think it’s a pretty impoverished “now”, not an intensified one … at least with respect to the dimensions that figure in “right action”.
    Threedee Shepherd: so do I
    Threedee Shepherd: And that leads me to ponder on the broader sense of NOW, even in the 9-sec
    Stim Morane: Yes.
    Adelene Dawner wonders why Three thinks those details could be anything less than relevant.
    Solobill Laville gave you Harvard Business Review - Sept. 2008.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Threedee Shepherd: they are relevant, but to me at the moment are tangential issues in the discussion of NOW
    Solobill Laville: Are you positing a particular position, for arguments sake, 3D?
    Threedee Shepherd: No just for argument’s sake. As I try to observe the NOW of existance as it is, during a 9-sec, I am led tosomething more complex than “what is impoinging” on my senses at this instant.
    Stim Morane: I will have to leave in a minute, but am certainly interested in hearing more, 3D, before I go.
    Threedee Shepherd: well, regarding the old saying that the devil is in the details, I find that NOW is a complexity of details of various sorts, including a was time and will be time, just as examples
    Stim Morane: oh yes, there are many such details.
    Threedee Shepherd: well the detail of the memory from “then” becomes part of the now, not just the extent of things “right in front of me”
    Stim Morane: Yes. It’s strange how these things work, I just spent the entire day of my weekend retreat today discussing that issue with participants.
    Solobill Laville: Mindfulness, or awareness, of the Now has utmost importance to me personally
    Solobill Laville: But
    Solobill Laville: to me, though ultimate reality is in, and is NOW
    Solobill Laville: my attention to NOW does not presuppose my awareness and experience of it
    Solobill Laville: so it is just practice
    Solobill Laville: *just* :)
    Stim Morane: The main point of contemplative practice is certainly not to be reduced to the clock-time “now”. I’m glad we are starting to discuss this. I must go, but look forward to hearing more about this.
    Solobill Laville: Bye, Stim
    Stim Morane: Would one of you send me the chat lot, from the beginning, so I can send it on?
    Threedee Shepherd: yes Stim, Please let’s follow up on your last thought.
    Stim Morane: Well, it’s basically a follow-up on what each of you has been saying. I look forward to hearing more from your perspectives.
    Stim Morane: See you soon, I hope!
    Solobill Laville: THanks, 3D, thanks Adelene! I’m off to bed…
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^ ‘night, Solo
    Threedee Shepherd: good night all

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