2008.12.20 19:00 - A Matter of What is Strictly Present

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    I, Pema, was the guardian that night. This was one of the four weekly guardian meetings, in which we invite more guardians to attend to meet each other. However, it was a relatively slow day, with only Pila and I present at first, Stim joining us a while later, followed by Genesis.

    Pila Mulligan: aloha Pema
    Pema Pera: aloha Pila :)
    Pila Mulligan: how you stay?
    Pila Mulligan: pidgen for how are you?
    Pema Pera: Thanks for your thoughts about astonomers and mountains and all that :-)
    Pema Pera: very interesting, would love to talk more about that some time

    I was refering to an email exchange that Pila and I had, recently, about conflicts between astronomers and native Hawaiians about the use of mountains for establishing observatories.

    Pila Mulligan: eh, I'm going to charm you into advocating Hawaiian rights :)
    Pema Pera: hahaha, who knows
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pema Pera: my general experience is that at first I manage to make everybody angry or at leat annoyed at me . . . .
    Pema Pera: by trying to see all sides of an argument
    Pila Mulligan: well, that's ok
    Pema Pera: but then over time in many cases I also manage somehow to remain friendly with most sides
    Pila Mulligan: I was surprised to learn there was actually an observatory on Fuji San
    Pema Pera: I have to admit I know very little about smaller observatories, not my area
    Pema Pera: Japanese are pragmatic: they are known for using Shintou rituals to bless chip factories
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pema Pera: so why not observatories too!
    Pila Mulligan: hi Stim
    Pema Pera: it would be interesting to see how they deal that yes, do you know anyone in Hawaii with contacts in Japan, concerning these controversies?
    Pema Pera: Hi Stim!
    Stim Morane: Hi Pila, Pema

    Stim joined us.

    Pema Pera: Given that the largest Japanese telescope, Subaru, is on the big island's mountain, these must be involved, right?
    Pila Mulligan: no, there have been joint efforts regarding hotels and golf courses, but I am not aware of and in the astronomy area
    Pila Mulligan: yes, Subaru is the big one on Mauna Kea
    Pema Pera: (by the way, I'm in Tokyo, in the lobby of a hotel, with a shaky internet connection; I could be dropped any time; in that case it would be great if either of you could send me the chat log later)
    Pila Mulligan: may I defer to you Stim, please -- I am woefully uninformed in the technique
    Stim Morane: well, I'll do what I can. Hopefully it won't come to that.
    Pema Pera: If you ever hear of somebody in Japan, involved in Subaru, who has been talking with your native Hawaiian friends, please do let me know; I'd love to see how their conversations would go -- given the very different orientation of the Japanese to nature than westerners
    Pila Mulligan: ok, I'll se what I can learn
    Pema Pera: Meanwhile, I can ask myself, among my Japanese friends
    Pema Pera: would be a great topic for a Kira Cafe talk
    Pema Pera: literally science in context!
    Pila Mulligan: did you see my reply about the need for me to find someone else?
    Pila Mulligan: I'll check with a UH professor competent to do it
    Pila Mulligan: I am not native Hawaiian and there is some sensitivity about the public face on these issues
    Pema Pera: yes, I saw that, thanks!
    Pema Pera: yes, of course, same for astronomers -- wouldn't want random amateurs to represent the position of professionals either, much as we appreciate their help in general
    Pila Mulligan: :)

    Back to PaB

    Pema Pera: Do you have other questions, suggestions, ideas about Play as Being, Pila?
    Pema Pera: There are many things I could talk about, but I'm most interested in hearing what makes others tick
    Pila Mulligan: no, the emails have been interesting -- seeing different take son what it is about
    Pema Pera: it's such a challenge to talk about complete openness :>)
    Pila Mulligan: you know, at first my resposne was like Stims, -- oh, so your jumping over all the effrot, eh?
    Pila Mulligan: but then I realized two thinigs
    Pila Mulligan: 1) this is a chat group in SEcond Life
    Pila Mulligan: 2) starting at the end is what you have to do with someone else's teachings
    Pila Mulligan: that is where they left off
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pema Pera: well, I actually learned this "jumping" from Stim - and from many others, but from Stim more than anyone else, over the twelve and a half years that we have worked together intensively
    Stim Morane: Pema and I discussed the possible value of further elaboration of the basic comment re "starting at the end". It's a tricky issue, and none of the words are really very apt, but nevertheless something must be said to indicate that extended tours of practice are not the main point.
    Pema Pera: and it is not starting where others left off
    Pema Pera: Hi Gen!
    Pila Mulligan: hi genesis
    genesis Zhangsun: Hi Pema, Stim, and Pila :)
    Stim Morane: Hi Gen!

    And Genesis arrived as well. We would stay with the four of us, for the rest of the meeting.

    Pema Pera: we were talking about starting at the end
    Pema Pera: which can be a misleading expression, as Stim pointing out already a while ago
    Pema Pera: being at the end is better
    Pema Pera: but the end is not an end either
    Stim Morane: that's what I meant re "none of the words are apt" ... it's not an easy thing to convey.
    Pema Pera: What Stim is teaching in his own classes, if I summarize it correctly, is that the notion of a path and a long journey of practice itself can be misleading
    Pema Pera: there is no really beginning or end
    Pema Pera: or goal
    Stim Morane: This is a matter of what is strictly present
    Stim Morane: and always
    Stim Morane: But of course "people" usually seem to need something more tangible to work with, while the main point becomes more clear.
    Pema Pera: so it is not that we attempt to parachute somehow to the end of a long path -- but rather see that the whole notion of a long path, helpful as it can be in a relative sense, from a more absolute sense is part of the dream that we are trying to wake up from -- and waking up takes no time, cannot take time
    Stim Morane: I always say something along these lines, in every class I teach, even though the official topic is something else.
    Stim Morane: But that doesn't mean it's always a salutary message.
    Stim Morane: So I've become increasingly careful about pushing it.
    Pema Pera: we can "start" to see the need to wake up, but we cannot "start" to wake up . . .
    Pila Mulligan: do you recognize degrees or steps of attainment or realization along the waking up contnumm
    Stim Morane: This is a complex matter ... everyone is different.
    Stim Morane: There really are no stages, but that's not something that figures prominently in how "people" apparently work.
    Stim Morane: Oddly enough, some people notice no shift or change at all, and still are blessed with the main point and can express and act from it properly.
    Stim Morane: Other people think they've gone through dramatic stages when in fact nothing much has changed.

    At this point I thought it might be good to try to clarify what Stim might mean with the word people.

    Pema Pera: (I think Stim is using "people" to indicate that what we really are is not what we identify ourselves with, usually, as human beings in a world with typical human needs; instead, upon really waking up, identification with being a "being", being part of "people" also is seen through -- is that a correct further explanation of your term, Stim?)
    Stim Morane: it would be more correct to say it was silly of me to start typing out something re all this. :)
    Pema Pera: but now you've done so . . . .
    Stim Morane: :)
    Pema Pera: . . . and it might be sillier not to say what you meant with "people" . . .
    Stim Morane: Yes, t hat's true.
    Pema Pera: . . . I remember somebody running for president who got in trouble that way (^_^)
    Pema Pera: "you people"
    Pema Pera: who was that again?
    Pema Pera: Ross Perot?
    genesis Zhangsun: right
    genesis Zhangsun: ...
    Pila Mulligan: well, just to take the metaphor into a literal context, anoher dream story: I once attended a retreat held in a stunning location for native Hawaian activist/legal people on some inportant issues -- people camped at the retreat location -- the seond day i leterally woke up three times at the place where I was camping: twice must have been awakening from dream to dream then the actual awakeneing, all at the very same place :)
    Pema Pera: but seriously, Stim, is my attempt at explaining widely off the mark, or close or . . . ?
    Pema Pera: yes, such dreams are fascinating, aren't they, Pila!
    Pema Pera: I've had some of those too
    Stim Morane: interesting set of dreams, Pila. I am very familiar with this, and know how disorienting and also fun it can be.
    Pila Mulligan: Groundhog morning
    Stim Morane: Pema, the "waking up" bit is also something that may or may not be useful.
    Pila Mulligan: as in the film
    Stim Morane: That's why I said it was silly of me to start things going.
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: well . . . what is not silly in PaB then . . .
    Pema Pera: selling water near the river . . . .
    Pema Pera: or the pond as the case may be
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Pema Pera: But can you say a bit more about your use of "people", which is certainly not obvious?
    Stim Morane: I think you covered it.

    Gen didn't let Stim off the hook so easily . . .

    genesis Zhangsun: oh come on :)
    Stim Morane: It's important to value being a human being. But this doesn't mean we should take any of its features, history, etc for granted when certain levels of insight are being emphasized.
    Pila Mulligan: is that because those features are not sufficiently dimesnional?
    Pema Pera: appreciation does not mean needing to defend the "existence" or "ultimate reality" of something
    Pema Pera: "relative" does not mean "irrelevant"
    Pema Pera: playing a role well is perhaps the best gesture we can make
    Pila Mulligan: aye Arjuna :)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Stim Morane: Pila, I would say "yes", but that's because I use that notion a lot. There are other ways to make the same point. Time simply has no place in what certain kinds of insight emphasize.
    Stim Morane: Pema, Yes,
    Pema Pera taking an arrow out and stretches his bow
    Pila Mulligan: watch out Bimsa
    Pila Mulligan: or however you spell his name
    Pema Pera: :)
    Stim Morane: Pema, you're doing pretty well in that hotel lobby ...
    Pema Pera: fortunately!
    Pema Pera: The internet force is with me today
    Stim Morane: It's Japan, perhaps.
    Pema Pera: and the Mac non-freezing force too
    Pema Pera: but yes, no time is so fascinating!
    Stim Morane: It gives me a headache.
    Pila Mulligan: reminds me orf royalty -- someone is making amovie about the princess who would have been Queen if the monarchy had not been overthrown here -- quite a story
    Pema Pera: until you realize it cannot give . . . :)
    Pila Mulligan: Japan, that is -- royalty :)
    Stim Morane: no, I really do get headaches ...
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Stim Morane: despite the more sophisticated view you mention.
    Pila Mulligan: when Stim :)
    Pila Mulligan: sorry bad joke
    Stim Morane: that gives me a headache too!
    Pila Mulligan: my bad :)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Stim Morane: not complaining. It's the story of my weird life.
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    Pema Pera: (Pila, Stim in RL has had serious head injuries, so unfortunately that is something he is living with)
    Stim Morane: Oddly enough, this same insight also cures headaches.
    Pila Mulligan: yes, and i hope the healing continues, Stim
    Stim Morane: It's going pretty well. But all these odd things we discuss in PaB involve a bit of a stretch.

    More about time.

    Pema Pera: the notion that time may not be real, ultimately, has soooo many implications
    Pema Pera: no karma
    Pema Pera: no causality
    Pema Pera: no limitations
    Pema Pera: no coming or going
    Pema Pera: no doing of any kind
    Stim Morane: the implications are even more complex than that, although you are right. For, no-time is time. So all the things you just mentioned do obtain ... in an empty non-arising way.
    Stim Morane: you should be getting a headache around now ...
    Pema Pera: yes, both
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pila Mulligan: time seems ot serve a rational organizing function
    Pema Pera: it may be my physics preparation, quantum mechanics and all that, that helps as a kind of protector deity qua logic . . . .
    Stim Morane: Yes, I think so.
    Pema Pera: protecting me from headaches
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: seriously?
    Pema Pera: seriously!
    Pema Pera: trying to understand the transition from classical mechanics logic to qm logic
    Pema Pera: has many elements in common with the kind of waking up that we are talking about
    Pila Mulligan: my take is that time is a rationalization based on sequence and duration -- and those two elements are probably more enduring than the general abstractin of time
    Pema Pera: seeing how seemingly fundamental notions in an earlier view can completely evaporate in a more accurate view, yet leaving the main conclusions of the earlier view in place -- things still move roughly like they do in classical mechanics
    Stim Morane: Pila, your point applies in many other ways too.
    genesis Zhangsun: thanks for explaining your protector diety remark :)
    genesis Zhangsun: *deity
    Pema Pera: if I had lived a hundred years ago, I would be far more nervous about trying to connect an open view with a scientific view -- it would have felt like shoehorning
    genesis Zhangsun: always screw up the ei and ir
    genesis Zhangsun: *ie
    Stim Morane: :)
    Pema Pera: in classical mechanics is little place for openness and multiple logics and seeming paradoxes
    Stim Morane: both spellings fit the ways diff people pronounce the word
    Pema Pera: in quantum mechanics there is
    Stim Morane: Yes.

    Various strands are winding up and coming together again.

    Pila Mulligan: deity actually violates the grammatical rue, doesn't it?
    Stim Morane: It's hard to say how hard one can push that, but it's at least vaguely ture.
    Pila Mulligan: rule*
    Pema Pera: and yes, Pila, sorry to be slow in responding, yes, the phenomena of duration and sequences should not be ignored or denied, but seen in a new light, against a different canvas
    Stim Morane: I will have to go. Thanks for the chat!
    Pila Mulligan: bye Stim
    Pema Pera: bye Stim!
    genesis Zhangsun: Bye Stim :)
    Stim Morane: Bye!

    Stim leaves and Pila tells us about an unusual problem he has.

    Pila Mulligan: one of the carpenters helping me with building (in rl) has an avocado tree going off and I am drowning in guacamole
    Pila Mulligan: wish I oculd Im you some :)
    genesis Zhangsun: god I wish I had your problems Pila
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pema Pera: wow, perhaps we really *should* have our PaB retreat at your place in August!
    genesis Zhangsun: Oh I love that idea, do I get to drown in avocados too?
    Pila Mulligan: I love them, but excess is easily the default in this case
    genesis Zhangsun: the avocado diety deity
    Pema Pera thinking about an eBay section for problems to trade . . . .
    Pema Pera: avocado diet deity?
    Pila Mulligan: or ditty
    genesis Zhangsun: yes exactly
    Pema Pera slowly picking up the pun :)
    genesis Zhangsun: np not much of one
    genesis Zhangsun: so hows about it can PaB descend on your pad Pila?
    genesis Zhangsun: doesn't that sound attractive?
    Pila Mulligan: it would be fun, and you are welcome
    genesis Zhangsun: we could certainly help with your avocado problems
    Pema Pera: Pila's PaB pad . . . . we can start rumors here!
    Pila Mulligan: I am trying to make a nice camp site here, also
    genesis Zhangsun: that sounds great!
    genesis Zhangsun: PaB camp out
    Pila Mulligan: in a rinaforest :) so be prepared
    genesis Zhangsun: Are you on Kawaii?
    Pila Mulligan: I am hoping to make platfroms wth tarps
    Pila Mulligan: Hawai`i -- Big Island
    Pila Mulligan: Puna
    genesis Zhangsun: great than no expensive extra plane trips right?
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: someoe told me yesterday tjey got a roound trip ticket ot Portland for $350
    genesis Zhangsun: sweet!
    Pila Mulligan: really
    genesis Zhangsun: I may have to take a business trip Pema to scope out the location...uh just to make sure it is suitable for PaB
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: only the best for our PaBers ;)
    Pema Pera: what a great idea, Gen!
    Pila Mulligan: actually, some places on Maui may be even better than here
    Pila Mulligan: but they also have driect flights
    Pila Mulligan: rustic places, not resorts

    Time for me to leave.

    Pema Pera: I have to start moving, great seeing you here again!
    Pila Mulligan: have a nice afternon Pema
    Pema Pera: Looking foward to Gen's report on rain and avocados after her field trip!
    genesis Zhangsun: see you Pema
    genesis Zhangsun: hehe :)
    genesis Zhangsun: really?
    genesis Zhangsun: well I guess we will see
    Pema Pera: we'll see :)
    Pema Pera: bfn
    genesis Zhangsun: bye
    Pila Mulligan: aloha Pema
    genesis Zhangsun: ALOHA!
    genesis Zhangsun: Pila so maybe this is something I could look into a bit.
    Pila Mulligan: may I ask wehre you are located genesis? - in rl
    genesis Zhangsun: I am in SF Bay Area
    Pila Mulligan: oh, shoots, next door :)
    genesis Zhangsun: yeah as next door as you get I suppose!
    Pila Mulligan: I just said goodbye to a neighbor coming there tomorrow for the holidays
    Pila Mulligan: it is a well worn path
    genesis Zhangsun: Yes indeed :)
    genesis Zhangsun: Seriously though Pila would you mind digging around a bit about potential retreat sites?
    Pila Mulligan: -- excuse me was afk
    Pila Mulligan: I'd be happy to
    genesis Zhangsun: could be a cool idea
    Pila Mulligan: yes, indeed
    Pila Mulligan: the best site here, near me, is in Volcanoes National Park -- a retret center
    genesis Zhangsun: I have to get going now but please feel free to email me
    Pila Mulligan: but there the problem is the Kilauea eruption has increased recenty
    Pila Mulligan: ok-- bye -- see you next time -- and aloha :)
    genesis Zhangsun: bye Pila!
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