2008.09.23 13:00 - Mystery in the Mundane

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     The Guardian in this session was Genesis Zhangsun the comments below are hers.

     I entered to find Adelene and Stim

    Adelene Dawner: Yeah... just... Hi Gen!
    genesis zhangsun: Howdy!
    genesis zhangsun: Lots of lag again
    Stim Morane: Hi Gen!
    Delani Gabardini is Online
    genesis zhangsun: Hey Stim!
    Stim Morane: Hi! I'm sitting here writing an email to you while chatting with Adelene.
    genesis zhangsun: Oh how funny
    Adelene Dawner: Hey Gen, guess what? ^.^
    genesis zhangsun: Yes?
    Adelene Dawner: I just ordered a bunch of stimmy-toys to give out at the meetup ^.^

    Adelene was referring to the Play as Being fest which will take place on October 17th

    genesis zhangsun: ?
    Adelene Dawner: http://www.ozmofun.com/relax.htm
    Stim Morane: That will be interesting.
    genesis zhangsun: ok
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    genesis zhangsun: my browser won't open
    genesis zhangsun: ah its loading slowly
    Adelene Dawner: :(
    Stim Morane: Your connection sounds pretty iffy ... is it wifi?
    genesis zhangsun: Ahh ok
    genesis zhangsun: I understand now what kind of toys that sounds fun!

    My page slowly loaded to  "stimming" toys which appeared like stress reduction instruments like squishy balls etc.

    genesis zhangsun: Which one do I get?
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Adelene Dawner: I dunno yet.
    genesis zhangsun: Yes Stim my connection is wife
    genesis zhangsun: oops not wife wifi :)
    Adelene Dawner: There's 11 of us coming and I ordered 12 or 13 things. I'll probably just hand 'em out at random.
    Stim Morane: my avatar is a stimmy toy too, so you can give me away as well
    genesis zhangsun: lol
    Adelene Dawner grins. "That quirk of your name has always amused me, Stim"
    Stim Morane: that would be good, forcing me to find a new avatar
    Stim Morane: Morane was a SL name that reminds me of the morass of samsara. I just added Stim as a way to suggest waking up from that.

    Adelene's toys got me thinking about the fest...

    genesis zhangsun: I was thinking of having tshirts made for the fest too
    genesis zhangsun: what do you think
    genesis zhangsun: with the Pab logo?
    Adelene Dawner: oo, shirts ^.^
    genesis zhangsun: Purple like the ones Rowan made for us?
    Adelene Dawner: photocollage of our avs?
    genesis zhangsun: No just the logo with Play as Being
    Adelene Dawner: aww ;)
    genesis zhangsun: though photo collage sounds fun if you would like to offer to put that together?
    genesis zhangsun: ;)
    Adelene Dawner does not need any encouragement, she's already been aquiring Adelene-colored shirts for Ann to wear.
    genesis zhangsun: What do u think Stim are T-shirts a good idea?
    genesis zhangsun: honestly
    Adelene Dawner: If you'll post to the group, asking, I can do the work of it - believe it or not, words aren't working too well for me today. Having someone 'here' to talk to makes 'em possible, but I'd freeze if I tried writing to the group.
    Stim Morane: This is a question for Pema. He's the t-shirt fiend.
    genesis zhangsun: Yes I thought he would appreciate it
    genesis zhangsun: he does have quite the assortment
    Adelene Dawner: "He's the t-shirt fiend." sounds like a yes to me ^.^
    Stim Morane: perhaps ... I just don't know. He tells me picking t-shirts is a very serious issue and he spends considerable time on it.
    genesis zhangsun: haha does he really!
    genesis zhangsun: That is hilarious
    Adelene Dawner laughs. "Now that sounds like a CHALLENGE more than anything."
    Stim Morane: Not from me.
    genesis zhangsun: well then perhaps we should have a few to choose from
    genesis zhangsun: I'll do the basic one
    genesis zhangsun: Adelene avatar collage?
    Adelene Dawner: nono, Stim... in the "you're being too serious, here, lighten up!" sense.
    Stim Morane: yes
    genesis zhangsun: Stim by the way do we have activities planned for the fest?
    Adelene Dawner: good question
    genesis zhangsun: or specific themes of focus?
    Stim Morane: Anyway, he only has a few hundred ... he needs more.
    Adelene Dawner: I'm bringing music
    Adelene Dawner: (I do that anyway)
    Stim Morane: Re activities, I haven't thought about it.
    genesis zhangsun: hmm...maybe we should?
    Stim Morane: Things have a way of "just happening" once you're in that environment.
    genesis zhangsun: No icebreakers?
    genesis zhangsun: I could see some awkward silence
    Stim Morane: And Piet will undoubtedly plan some preliminaries
    Stim Morane: no, I don't think there will be any problem re that.
    genesis zhangsun: I experienced a bit of this when I met a few SL people in RL
    genesis zhangsun: not you Adelene
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Adelene Dawner: I wouldn't worry, Gen...
    Stim Morane: Yes, I know what you mean. But in that place, I think everyone present will quickly get trotted off for a meal etc.
    genesis zhangsun: but it tends to happen that people are not as direct as they are here
    Adelene Dawner: if nothing else, my personal sensory travel kit doubles as a decent set of icebreaker activities
    genesis zhangsun: there are differences I noticed
    Stim Morane: I find it impossible to be direct here in SL
    genesis zhangsun: :)
    genesis zhangsun: good point Adelene
    genesis zhangsun: yes?
    Stim Morane: that sounds interesting, Adelene
    genesis zhangsun: why is that Stim?
    Adelene Dawner: I'm already going to have music, colored pencils, graph paper, a bunch of stim toys, a digital camera, a minicomputer...
    Stim Morane: text chat, not seeing people ... both make it hard for me.
    Stim Morane: Wow
    Adelene Dawner takes traveling seriously... kinda has to.

    Adelene's travel pack turns our conversation to overstimulation in various forms...

    Stim Morane: is it disorienting?
    Adelene Dawner: kind of. Overstimulating, more.
    genesis zhangsun: I hear you traveling involves extra stimuli
    genesis zhangsun: I get pretty overloaded myself
    Stim Morane: Yes, me too. I had a number of serious head injuries in the 90's, can't recover from them, it seems. They make traveling very unpleasant and unhealthy for me.
    Adelene Dawner: And I haven't figured out how to reproduce that one experience I had where meditating cleared out the overstimulation, so I stick to tried and true for now.
    genesis zhangsun: Hey Threedee
    genesis zhangsun: Oh my Stim
    Threedee Shepherd: hi
    genesis zhangsun: what sort of injuries?
    Stim Morane: What happens once can be studied and made to happen again.
    genesis zhangsun: if you don't mind me asking?
    Adelene Dawner: I'm sure it can, Stim, but I'm not going to rely on it yet.
    Stim Morane: A fall damaged my visual cortex, and several hundred large and small follow-up injuries occurred because of the weak tissue.
    Stim Morane: I live in perpetual visual chaos and other distortions. Traveling exacerbates this.
    Adelene Dawner nods to Stim. "I understand *that* completely."
    genesis zhangsun: how does this appear are there floating specks?
    Stim Morane: Yes, I assumed that, Adelene. As you were indicating earlier, such things also provide useful study material.
    genesis zhangsun: do get images get jumbled up
    Stim Morane: My whole mental field, not just the visual one, tumbles and churns chaotically. It has made for a very interesting meditation challenge for someone in my line of work.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, I don't usuall mention this.
    genesis zhangsun: yes it is the first time I hear this
    genesis zhangsun: thank you for sharing
    Adelene Dawner: Have you tried glasses? Not the nearsighted-farsighted ones, but liks colored lenses? I'm nearly useless without my polarized glasses after no more than 6 months' use...
    genesis zhangsun: how does it affect your work?
    Adelene Dawner: *like
    Stim Morane: advanced contemplation is traditionally predicated on very exceptional forms of stillness, what I have called Stopping (one of the terms passed on to PaB via Pema).
    Stim Morane: This Stopping was something I perfected and used for doing transmissions etc for my students. Post-injuries, I have had to find very odd workarounds.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, it's just life.
    Stim Morane: There's always something, for everyone.

    The topic of Stopping made me stop, really I found myself holding my breath for no apparent reason...

    genesis zhangsun: This Stopping is it like this fourth time this zeroth time which Pema talked about earlier?
    Stim Morane: That too is a term I explained to him during our many Berkeley conversations. It is related, but distinct.
    genesis zhangsun: Would you mind talking about this I find it very interesting
    Stim Morane: Stopping is something a person "does" (or learns to not-do). Fourth time is a reality issue.
    Stim Morane: The former aids entry into the latter.
    Stim Morane: Without Stopping, it is still possible for people to get glimpses re 4th time.
    Stim Morane: But they will probably remain just occasional glimpses.
    genesis zhangsun: and when you say using Stopping for transmission what does this mean?
    Stim Morane: This is hard. I may have to duck that one.
    genesis zhangsun: is it a transmission which is wordless
    Stim Morane: The basic idea is that if you are sufficiently emersed in an original timeless presence, it becomes easy to share that presence with others.
    Stim Morane: It becomes a physical thing, affecting people in a very concrete and even visceral way.
    genesis zhangsun: when you say physical what sort of sensations would this person feel?

    While Stim shared on this topic of transmission I don't know if it was just the suggestion but I began to get a feeling in my head like I had before a few times when talking to Pema in RL...a sort  a settling or sifting, a fluttter, a textyuring like something being shaken out and then a stillness...It sounds ridiculous that I would experience this while Stim is talking about what it is to experience this...but it just happened this way.  I don't even know if this is the type of experience that he was talking about and felt like there was no need to talk about it as it happened...sounded too strange anyway to share.

    Stim Morane: Such things used to be very important in my teaching. I have learned that they are not quite so important, and that there are other ways to introduce people to this.
    Stim Morane: Oh, Gen, that is hard to describe.
    Stim Morane: It's not like anything people have a word for.
    genesis zhangsun: does your visual field change?

    I asked this because as I looked around...as it had happened in the incidents before with Pema I noticed that my visual field had a sort of milky quality...everything sort of soft, flowing like a wave and yet still at the same time, timeless, glowing...peaceful at rest and yet joyous...I could go on and continue trying to describe but words would not do justice as Stim began to point out...

    Stim Morane: But things that people have no words for and have never experienced before in the ord personal history sense still are experienced as "coming home". It's an "oh, right!" sort of thing.
    genesis zhangsun: ok yes trying to describe the wordless but seems like thats what we are doing here
    genesis zhangsun: ;)
    Adelene Dawner pokes Gen. "We'll be seeing the man in three weeks. If you're really curious (I know I am) maybe it'd be better to ask him then?"
    genesis zhangsun: good point Adelene
    genesis zhangsun: sorry to push :)
    Stim Morane: I have a very low key presence. WHat I'm saying here is probably more toxic that helpful.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Adelene Dawner: No worries, Stim.
    Stim Morane: The important things are not exotic.
    genesis zhangsun: why is it toxic?
    genesis zhangsun: I think its lovely
    genesis zhangsun: and why not exotic
    genesis zhangsun: I agree it cannot all be exotic
    Stim Morane: One of the things I realized post-injuries is that the sort of stuff I used to do with people was actually creating expectations and attachments that actually diverted people from even more important self-appreciation of what is real.
    Stim Morane: So I don't mind so much now that I've moved on to other approaches.
    genesis zhangsun: because people became more interested in the unreal?
    genesis zhangsun: the ecstasy of these experiences?

    I could also understand this point as I had a feeling in the first two times this had happened that I needed it that I wanted to recreate it as soon as it was gone...a sort of addiction to the "high" of it...being released from the "pain" of the mundane, of illusions and suffering and ironically hungering for the "pleasure" of the escape into the truth, something which I felt was closer to reality and  in that act of hungering I found myself making the "truth" like any other toy a thing which I was excited about because it was new and a thing  I would then one day become "bored" of and make mundane.  I could recognize this clinging after the second time it happened and made a very conscious decision not to hold on...when it happened it happened when it didn't it didn't and when I let go of this I began to experience that it wasn't those moments which actually got me any closer to "truth" but what took place in between.  There was something left over from each of these experiences, a residue, some portion which stuck and started building something on its own, building upon itself or decomposing hard to tell which one... without my pushing it or pulling it.  A process which was taking place beyond my own hand...like grapes naturally fermenting into wine. I began to understand that the mystery was not in the ecstasy but in the mundane.

    Adelene Dawner: Sometimes, that kind of experience is very similar to other experiences that can be dangerous... a verbal description can't always accurately differentiate between the dangerous thing and the non-dangerous one.
    Stim Morane: They get attached to the surface level of the transmission, what I call the "packaging". They can't retain the essence.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^ @ Stim
    Stim Morane: YES, Adelene, I agree completely with that too.
    genesis zhangsun: and the essence is boring non exotic?

    I could see that to exoticize something is in some ways a disrespect because it is both a naming of something from ignorance and reveals a distance from the thing in order to make it such.

    Stim Morane: That is precisely the point. Memory itself brings in the problem you mention.
    Stim Morane: My latter comment was to Adelene re her observation.
    Stim Morane: Re the essence, it is more subtle and natural, not flashy.
    Stim Morane: It cannot be toxic. But our framing of it can be.
    Stim Morane: We always pull out, and represent it, just as Adelene mentioned.
    Stim Morane: That can be harmful to people.

    I am always very reluctant to talk about these experiences and I could understand what Stim meant by a framing which could be harmful to others...I also felt that the framing is often very harmful for myself...the moment I start to try to pin it down...I have made it a dead butterfly for my collection rather than the living thing that it is...a sort of prize which I then represent to others as the real thing when the only way they could understand is to hold the butterfly in their own hand alive without trying to collect it, trying to name it, trying to try.

    Adelene Dawner: reminds me of something else...

    genesis zhangsun: yes?
    Adelene Dawner: I'm obviouslt headed back into ... *am* back into, to be honest... a much more obviously autistic way-of-being than I have been in for the last few months. I'm tempted to write an email to the group, to explain this, especially to the people who'll be at the meetup. But I'm pretty sure that I can't do that clearly enough to get the good result... words simply aren't that accurate.
    Adelene Dawner: Trying would do more harm than good.
    Adelene Dawner: I just have to have faith that people'll see what's shown, and show them.
    Stim Morane: I often have that concern re text chat, and have said so here many times.
    Adelene Dawner: (but I'll tell ya, I've fallen off that horse more than once.)
    Stim Morane: But if you actually are with some people, Adelene, live ... it may be possible.
    Stim Morane: I think people can get more of what you're reaching to convey ...
    Adelene Dawner: text chat can be useful for that kind of information-transfer, if you're good enough at it. Threedee can vouch for that.
    genesis zhangsun: Hey Myoko!
    Myoko Fhang: Hey guys
    Stim Morane: certainly for some things, yes. I'm not skillful at at.
    Stim Morane: Hi Myoko
    Stim Morane: *it
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm, Stim. A lot of people aren't, even here. But it is possible.
    genesis zhangsun: Adelene what you are speaking of re your autism is this something that happens in cycles?
    Adelene Dawner: kind of, Gen. It comes and goes... there doesn't seem to be enough of a pattern to it to call it cyclicle.
    genesis zhangsun: Would I notice a difference from the last time we met?
    Adelene Dawner: Probably. I know my mannerisms have changed... even less eye contact, for one, less facial expression, more 'stuckness' - I can't do body language and listen or think or type at the same time now.
    Adelene Dawner: (It's even noticable here, if subtle... how many times would I usually have used '^.^' in conversation, by now?)
    genesis zhangsun: do you feel frustrated by the change?
    genesis zhangsun: are you used to it?
    Adelene Dawner: not directly. I do worry about peoples' reactions, but not the change itself, for the most part. It does get in the way of a few things that I'd like to do, but that's just life.
    Adelene Dawner has a relevant recent blog link, one sec
    Adelene Dawner: http://ballastexistenz.autistics.org/?p=562
    genesis zhangsun: which part should I look at?
    Adelene Dawner: ...afk, back in a sec
    genesis zhangsun: Stim when you said the framing of a transmission in an incorrect way can be harmful what kind of harm are you talking about?
    Stim Morane: Hmmm
    Adelene Dawner: "It seems though that many people view disability as necessarily something that you have to be in a constant adversarial role with. In which case you have to “adjust” to it or something. But… really, views about disability are not all tied back to some imaginary experience people would think we are having as disabled people. People seem to think they have to make a relatively simple thing more complicated than it is, adding all kinds of layers of emotion and misconceived thoughts to it. So, no. My views about my body, such as they are, are not all “adjustments” to having it, any more than most people’s feelings about their bodies are “adjustments” to having their bodies."
    Stim Morane: An important point, Adelene.
    Adelene Dawner: very true, too
    genesis zhangsun: So you do not feel frustrated by the changes you just notice them?
    Adelene Dawner: yup.
    Adelene Dawner: I sometimes feel frustrated about not being able to do specific things... but I suspect everybody feels that, regardless if they're considered 'disabled' or not.
    genesis zhangsun: I think people often connect noticing as being bothered
    genesis zhangsun: I know I do
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm. Doesn't have to be, tho.
    genesis zhangsun: Sure no it does not have to that is the beauty of it
    Adelene Dawner: ^^
    genesis zhangsun: you can separate the noticing and the next step that this is connected to "bothering"
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm
    Threedee Shepherd: emotions--bodily reactions--are, no "feeling" has to be the result of the body's reaction to the world at that moment.
    genesis zhangsun: wb Myoko
    Adelene Dawner:You may get a rather profound demonstration of that in the next few months, depending on how this plays out... I don't consider 'not able to string together a traditional sentence' a reason not to come and converse. ^.^
    genesis zhangsun: :)
    Myoko Fhang: Sorr y about th at my PC keeps shutting down
    genesis zhangsun: np Myoko
    Stim Morane: I need to go ... nice to see you all!
    genesis zhangsun: I look forward to meeting you in any circumstance
    Adelene Dawner: cya, Stim ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: bye stim
    genesis zhangsun: See you Stim
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^ @ Gen
    Myoko Fhang: I am just curiouse, adelene, do you consider yourself autistic or ausberger?
    Adelene Dawner: There's more to that question that you probably realize, Myoko.
    Myoko Fhang: I am dure it is
    Adelene Dawner: The two terms are identical, according to the Manual, except that Asperger's doesn't have a speech delay. I'm not sure if I did or not.
    Adelene Dawner: However.
    genesis zhangsun: Sorry but I must be going
    Adelene Dawner: The two terms are also used to try to split the autistic community... anyone who's communicative enough to be able to express that they don't want to be cured tends to be told that they're 'just Asperger's' and 'don't count', regardless of any other ability level or need for assistance.
    Myoko Fhang: Bye gen
    Adelene Dawner: cya Gen
    genesis zhangsun: Bye Adelene
    genesis zhangsun: Bye Myoko
    genesis zhangsun: Bye Threedee
    Threedee Shepherd: byr
    genesis zhangsun: ttyl
    Threedee Shepherd: bye

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