2008.10.22 01:00 - A Nice Discovery

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    For a while I, Pema, sat quietly by myself, and then Almond arrived. Almond and I have known each other for ten years or so, and she has recently entered SL.

    Pema Pera: Hi Almond!
    Pema Pera: Nice to meet you here
    Almond Andel: Nice to meet you here too
    Almond Andel: Am I the only one here?
    Pema Pera: Yes, for now I am
    Pema Pera: but any moment people can drop by. Most of us don't come exactly on the hour.
    Pema Pera: Rather people come and go all the time.
    Almond Andel: I see.
    Pema Pera: Please make yourself comfortable!
    Almond Andel: Thank you. Could I just take a look
    Almond Andel: around here?
    Almond Andel: Or should I sit down
    Almond Andel: and wait for anybody to come?
    Pema Pera: Please feel free to sit down, Almond!
    Pema Pera: Everybody is welcome here.
    Pema Pera: We often get random visitors, who just walk by, and then we invite them to sit down and talk
    Pema Pera: this is a very informal group!
    Almond Andel: I see
    Almond Andel: I remember you said
    Almond Andel: you don't use voice chat
    Pema Pera: No, we don't use voice here
    Pema Pera: only text
    Pema Pera: Have you read about our Play as Being approach? We have a wiki http://playasbeing.wik.is/
    Almond Andel: Yes I have.
    Almond Andel: I was thinking about translating it into Japanse
    Pema Pera: oh, that would be great! We already have a german translation
    Almond Andel: I see.
    Pema Pera: it will be very good to have translations into various languages
    Almond Andel: I will work on it then
    Pema Pera: thank you so much, and please feel free to sit down!
    Almond Andel: any place?
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Almond Andel: Thank you.

    We moved to PaB explorations

    Pema Pera: Did you get a chance to play with the 9-sec explorations?
    Almond Andel: I tried several times
    Almond Andel: But not strictly time wise
    Almond Andel: I followed it in the morning
    Almond Andel: but I gorgot about it in the afternoon,
    Pema Pera: no need to do it strictly; some people prefer a precise clock or gong, others prefere more freeform
    Almond Andel: that sort of thing
    Pema Pera: sure, that's fine!
    Almond Andel: I thought it was an intersting idea
    Almond Andel: because I realized that
    Almond Andel: for 9 seconds,
    Almond Andel: I completely detach myself from everythig
    Almond Andel: even from the sense of liberation
    Almond Andel: I just try to be, like no tension state, so to speak,
    Almond Andel: It soothed the tension I had tremendously one time.
    Pema Pera: I'm delighted to hear that, Almond!
    Almond Andel: OH, it was a nice discovery
    Pema Pera: isn't it amazing how such a short gesture can have such significant benefits?!
    Almond Andel: BUt, after 9 seconds, I need to get back to reality,
    Almond Andel: though it may be a different reality than I had 9 seconds ago.
    Pema Pera: yes, I think it is . . . we tend to consider our reality the same, but if we look very carefully, then every moment our reality is slightly different, in many ways in fact
    Pema Pera: but since we assume it stays the same, we have learned to focus much more on aspects that stay the same than on aspects that change

    Almond made a keen observation about parallels with drama.

    Almond Andel: Interestingly, that's how drama plot works too.
    Almond Andel: Something happenes, upset the ciraumstnce of people,
    Almond Andel: People tackle with the tension
    Almond Andel: and normally ends with going back to normal state
    Almond Andel: But the normal state people think they end up is
    Almond Andel: slightly different state of reality from the one they lived before
    Pema Pera: yes, that is a very interesting observation!
    Pema Pera: A stage play is also a form of play, and you might say that our whole life is a kind of play, we are acting out the story of our life
    Pema Pera: And Play as Being invites us to play as if we are at the same time also already Being, at the same that that I am playing as Pema and you as Almond, here in SL, or as our typists in RL
    Almond Andel: I wonder what you really meant by "acting out"
    Almond Andel: Since I can be Yuko and Almond, among others in our life
    Pema Pera: With "acting out" I meant that anything we do or think or feel is part of the story of our life, and the world is our stage
    Pema Pera: And we play many different roles within the story, within the play
    Pema Pera: And yes, I am Pema here and Piet in RL -- did you have an observation or question about the connection between avatar and typist?
    Almond Andel: You mean MY abatur and me as a typist?
    Pema Pera: yes; what was the context of what you wrote "Since I can be Yuko and Almond, among others in our life"
    Almond Andel: I have a sense of myself, identification? in both figures.
    Pema Pera: yes, and the question comes up who we really are
    Almond Andel: I would say I am what I am
    Almond Andel: regardless of the masks
    Pema Pera: and what is that "I am", can you say more about that?
    Almond Andel: I am a product of environment, time, experiences, contacts, family members, you name it
    Almond Andel: And also I am the one who is striving for the one his Yuko person wants her to be?
    Almond Andel: I am toung-strained...
    Pema Pera: You're doing very well, Almond :)
    Almond Andel: You can see what you are in many respect
    Almond Andel: can't you?
    Almond Andel: not many respect,
    Almond Andel: Probably infinite respects
    Pema Pera: yes, and I am very interested in the question whether we can make a separation between what we are and what we have
    Pema Pera: you said that you are what you are regardless of the masks
    Pema Pera: the question then is: what is mask and what is you
    Almond Andel: I behave differently depending on situations, circumstances
    Almond Andel: but,
    Almond Andel: there is a relatively consistent "something", kind of Yuko's nature
    Almond Andel: which may not even be "personality" of Yuko, Almond, what have you relating to me
    Almond Andel: Something that stems from it that shape Yuko's behavior
    Almond Andel: That's what I meant by What I am
    Pema Pera: yes, that makes sense, for sure!

    Claire stopped by, but stayed only briefly.

    Claire Beltran: Hi, Pema!
    Claire Beltran: And hello, almond ^-^/
    Almond Andel: Hello Claire!
    Pema Pera: The question then comes up, to what extent we can changes the properties of what we think we are
    Pema Pera: Hi Claire, good seeing you again!
    Pema Pera: We are talking about what we are :-)
    Pema Pera: I can say: I am an astronomer, and I am male, and I am Dutch -- but I can also say that I have the profession of astronomer, the gender of being male, the nationality of being Dutch
    Pema Pera: I can change all of those to some extent, not so easly though
    Almond Andel: w
    Pema Pera: I can change jobs, have a sex change operation, change nationality
    Almond Andel: Sure
    Claire Beltran: I'm afraid I'm going to hae to make a night of it...
    Pema Pera: but more important than actually making those changes is the attitude with which I regard them
    Claire Beltran: See you both! ^-^/
    Pema Pera: see you, Claire!
    Almond Andel: Oh, no
    Almond Andel: Claire, wouldn't you stay?
    Almond Andel: Oops
    Pema Pera: This happens often here, Almond
    Almond Andel: OK.
    Pema Pera: people in SL hop around, and often feel free to come and go
    Almond Andel: So back to the question
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: so even though I am male, if I consider myself to be a human being who just happens to be male, I can perhaps have more of a sense of what it might be to be female
    Pema Pera: perhaps I can find a way to be less completely identified with the male point of view, for example
    Almond Andel: Yes I think you can. It is relatively easy, isn't it?
    Pema Pera: relatively yes, but there are many degrees, and we can practice to become more and more flexible
    Pema Pera: If I look at the core self that I seem to have, that what is recognizably "Pema" or "Piet", I can see aspects that continue over time, and that are unlikely to change dramatically
    Almond Andel: Yes,
    Pema Pera: but even those aspects are what I have, like pieces of cloth that I wear, I would say
    Pema Pera: It is just that I often wear the same clothes :)

    Yes, and in SL more than in RL. I really should go shopping, one day!

    Almond Andel: Yes, I think so
    Pema Pera: I don't think that deep down I "am" those aspects
    Pema Pera: I like the entertain the hypothesis that what I really am is what I like to call Being
    Almond Andel: I see
    Almond Andel: You mean "core self"?
    Pema Pera: which is beyond any kind of duality or dichotomy, beyond big and small, good and bad, one or many, beyond any pair of descriptions
    Pema Pera: not individual, as an individual self
    Pema Pera: not only universal either
    Pema Pera: "individual and universal" is yet another pair of concepts
    Pema Pera: and Being is beyond any pair of concepts
    Pema Pera: Being plays Piet (and Pema) and Yuko (and Almond) and everything else in all aspects
    Pema Pera: and in order to find/see/realize Being, an easy way to start is for Piet (or Pema, Yuko, Almond) to Play as Being
    Almond Andel: Is it something flexible enough to change?
    Pema Pera: Being is beyond "change and sameness" which is another pair of concepts
    Pema Pera: Being does not stay the same
    Pema Pera: Being does not change
    Pema Pera: both are true
    Pema Pera: Being is beyond that distinction

    Almond touched upon a central point.

    Almond Andel: If Being doesn't have to change, that would give me a great relief
    Pema Pera: can you say more, Almond?
    Almond Andel: If Being doesn't stay the same, but cannot change at the same time, I don't have to try changing it or try to tie in a static sate
    Almond Andel: vainly.
    Pema Pera: exactly!
    Pema Pera: yes, that is a key point
    Pema Pera: We think we have to improve ourselves, but that is not really true
    Pema Pera: what we really are cannot be improved
    Pema Pera: it is already perfect
    Almond Andel: But, we usually suffer being in between the pressure for change and fact that we can't change it
    Pema Pera: yes, on a relative level, in the middle of the play that we act out here in this world, here in this life, there are all kind of tensions
    Pema Pera: but we can look at those as different clothes that we wear -- they do not really affect what we are
    Pema Pera: but this does not mean that what we really are is indifferent
    Pema Pera: Being is not cold and distant
    Pema Pera: Being is not disconnected, it is engaged in the most direct and intimate way
    Almond Andel: Yes,
    Almond Andel: what I meant by "great relieve"
    Almond Andel: is that
    Almond Andel: I can assume changing Being is an effort in vain
    Pema Pera: yes! there are two approaches to "improving" ourselves.
    Almond Andel: Improving ?

    We talked about perfection . . . .

    Pema Pera: The first is to try to change, to become better, that is the usual way
    Pema Pera: The second is to try to recognize that we are already perfect, and to learn to celebrate and express that fact better
    Almond Andel: I don't feel I am even close to perfect
    Pema Pera: In both cases it seems that we play the game of life better and better, over time, but the attitude is very different
    Pema Pera: Yes, I understand, what we normally identify with is very far from perfect
    Pema Pera: as a limited human being, I am not perfect at all
    Pema Pera: but as Being that is playing this human being, as Being I can say that I am perfect
    Pema Pera: so you have a choice, when you play in a drama: during the play you identify with the role you are playing, but if the character you are playing gets sick, say, that does not mean that you get sick
    Pema Pera: you have the choice to realize that you yourself are not sick, yet you continue to play the sick character in the play
    Pema Pera: so the imperfections that are visible in a play are not the imperfections of the player
    Pema Pera: and if you don't feel perfect, perhaps the imperfections that you feel are not what you are!
    Almond Andel: Whoes inperfection is that then?
    Pema Pera: the imperfections of the character you are playing

    . . . and about change.

    Almond Andel: Then I can change the character?
    Pema Pera: the character does not exist in any ultimate way, only within the play, in the context of the play
    Pema Pera: sure, you can change the character to quite a large degree
    Almond Andel: That's what I said it's relatively easy
    Almond Andel: So,
    Almond Andel: Being is a core that I only have a choice to embrace, is it?
    Pema Pera: Being is everything
    Pema Pera: it is the core, and it is also the you that is wondering whether to embrace it :-)
    Pema Pera: Being plays Piet/Pema who is in turn playing Being
    Pema Pera: but normally we tend to forget . . . and don't even remember that we have forgotten . . . we think we are stuck and we have soooooo many problems . . . .
    Pema Pera: so many so very important problems that seem to define us
    Pema Pera: but we can drop all that, see that we are Being, then pick up again those problems and wear them lightly
    Pema Pera: play with them
    Pema Pera: play as "person with problems"
    Pema Pera: while at the same time also "play as Being"
    Almond Andel: I sometimes feel that the problems I have is a creation of my Being
    Almond Andel: Quick solution often seems to me to change the Being the core, which you said is a vain effort, I am talking about deep down enough level I think.
    Pema Pera: (just about the terms I use: I like to use "Being" for what IS, as a most ultimate term. If I talk about "my being" I use lower-case b, since that is for my being as opposed to the being of other individuals. Being has me, and I cannot say that Being is "my Being" -- this is just a note about how I use these terms)
    Pema Pera: And yes, what you say is very important
    Pema Pera: you can change yourself much more quickly and easily than you think
    Pema Pera: and the trick is to go back to Being
    Pema Pera: so you can look at it as three levels, if you like:
    Pema Pera: there is the person you normally think you are, Almond here in SL
    Pema Pera: then there is the person that has the possibility to play in a much more open way than Almond normally plays, a much more free kind of Almond, let's call her free-Almond
    Pema Pera: and then there is Being that is playing everything
    Pema Pera: So when you find that Almond has problems, you can remember that you are really Being playing free-Almond playing Almond
    Pema Pera: and therefore you can change Almond very easily; free-Almond has the power to change Almond, and that power comes directly from Being
    Pema Pera: This is what I sometimes call "using Being as a resource"
    Pema Pera: Sorry, long story, shall we continue this tomorrow?

    Both of us realized we had been talking for more than an hour, at this point.

    Almond Andel: OK. I think I need to go now too
    Pema Pera: I'm very much enjoying this conversation, Almond!
    Pema Pera: Thank you for coming over!
    Almond Andel: Me too.
    Almond Andel: You're welcome.
    Almond Andel: Thank you for your ...
    Almond Andel: what shall I call it?
    Pema Pera: Perhaps between now and 24 hours from now, you can look for free-Almond in SL and for free-Yuko in RL
    Almond Andel: I've staredt to seeing yoursuggestion
    Pema Pera: How about trying to react a little different, while you walk around and talk with people and do things -- let Yuko be a little more free, let free-Yuko play Yuko a little differently
    Pema Pera: using the power of Being
    Almond Andel: Like having Yuko observing Yuko
    Pema Pera: yes, that is part of it
    Pema Pera: and having Yuko smile about/at Yuko :-)
    Almond Andel: In a friendly manner, not in a punishing mode,
    Pema Pera: yes!!!
    Almond Andel: I tend to go into the punishing mode...
    Almond Andel: Well, I try
    Pema Pera: good luck!
    Almond Andel: Thank you .
    Pema Pera: Looking forward to seeing you again!
    Almond Andel: ^^
    Pema Pera: Thank you for your company and the conversations
    Almond Andel: Same here.
    Almond Andel: Have a nice day,
    Almond Andel: a lovely autumn day
    Pema Pera: Here too!
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