2009.06.02 01:00 - Appreciating presences

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Wester Kiranov. The comments are by Wester Kiranov.

     I sat for about 15 mins on my own. Then Pema arrived.

    We first chatted a bit in Dutch about breakfast, and a visitor came by and asked for directions which we couldn't give.

    Pema Pera: Hoi Wester!
    Wester Kiranov: hoi pema
    Pema Pera: je bent hier in je eentje?
    Wester Kiranov: ja
    Pema Pera: ah, dan had ik wat eerder moeten komen!
    Pema Pera: Ik zat net aan een Frans ontbijt :)
    Wester Kiranov: lekker
    Pema Pera: croissants die niet vet zijn, heerlijk!
    Wester Kiranov: ik heb net m'n eerste kop koffie op
    Pema Pera: knapperig stokbrood . . .
    Binks Flux: hi i was wondering if i could ask you a quick question
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Wester Kiranov: en het blijft verbazend hoe alle fransen dat soort brood/croissants kunnen maken, en alle nietfransen niet
    Pema Pera: Japanners kunnen het ook hoor!
    Wester Kiranov: oh, hi binks
    Pema Pera: die zijn heel goed in het namaken -- in positieve zin
    Binks Flux: ok well im new on here but my friend made me get this so we could hang out on it but i forgot her name except for the fact it has moon in it and she works at a strip club on second life..
    Pema Pera: heerlijke koffie ook
    Binks Flux: any chance you knwo who i mean?
    Pema Pera: I'm afraid that is not enough information, Binks . . . .
    Wester Kiranov: als ik eens in japan ben zal ik hun croissants proberen ;)
    Binks Flux: didnt think so..
    Wester Kiranov: I don't know either
    Binks Flux: thanks anyway
    Pema Pera: sorry
    Binks Flux: dont be
    Binks Flux: /wave
    Binks Flux: nvm doesnt work lol bye
    Pema Pera: bye!
    Then Pema suggested to continue yesterdays conversation, so we did.
    Pema Pera: zullen we ons gesprek van gister voortzetten, in het Engels misschien?
    Wester Kiranov: lijkt me prima
    Pema Pera: where would you like to start?
    Pema Pera: I sent a couple rather lengthy emails this morning; you probably didn't get a chance to read those yet
    Wester Kiranov: I'm still thinking about it - but if you want to start somewhere that's fine
    Wester Kiranov: no i didn't read them yet
    Wester Kiranov: oh i did actually - you structured the conversation nicely
    Pema Pera: thank you!
    Wester Kiranov: almost like it wasn't chaotic
    Pema Pera: hehehe
    Pema Pera: yes, I was a bit surprised myself :-)
    Pema Pera: a kind of text version of photoshop
    Wester Kiranov: or untangling a knot
    Pema Pera: yes
    First we talked about appreciation.
    Pema Pera: how is it for you, when you try to focus on appreciation, does it feel like something you have to do, or enter, or engage with or . . . ?
    Wester Kiranov: it's mostly letting be
    Wester Kiranov: it's true you can get stuck anywhere, and you could probably get stuck in appreciation as well
    Wester Kiranov: become one of those inanely smiling newagers
    Pema Pera: hahaha, yes, I know what you mean
    Pema Pera: as for letting be,
    Pema Pera: Can you describe a bit more how that feels, how you get into it, what happens?
    Wester Kiranov: well, at the sound of the gong, after I've stopped salivating ;-) I sit up straight, feet on floor, head up but relaxed
    Wester Kiranov: and then i unfocus my eyes a bit
    Wester Kiranov: feel my breath, which automatically becomes deeper, in my body
    Wester Kiranov: and then i let my eyes wander out again, allow them to see
    Wester Kiranov: if i do this for longer than 9 seconds thoughts will come up too, and i try to let them be as they are
    Pema Pera picturing a sphinx . . . .(at the beginning of your description :-)
    Pema Pera: thanks, Wester, that's a nicely vivid description
    Pema Pera: as we discussed yesterday, appreciation and seeing are very close
    Wester Kiranov: i sometimes put the apa sentence a bit more in my mind, taste the words
    Wester Kiranov: see what that does
    Pema Pera: so the letting be, and staying with that, seems mostly the appearance part, would that be right to say?
    Pema Pera: perhaps also the "presence of appearance", the presence part in there?
    Wester Kiranov: I find it hard to put this in precise words
    Pema Pera: yes, it is!
    Pema Pera: is hard, I mean
    Pema came up with some subtly different ways of dealing with appearance.
    Pema Pera: do you feel a difference between the three words?
    Pema Pera: seeing/staying with appearance
    Pema Pera: sensing the presence of appearance
    Pema Pera: and appreciating the presence of appearance
    Pema Pera: (notice: we're not saying "appreciating appearance" but "appreciating the presence of appearance")
    Wester Kiranov: the first two seem similar
    Pema Pera: if we start there
    Pema Pera: normally we interpret what we see/hear/think/feel
    Wester Kiranov: there seems to be increasingly more space in those sentences
    Pema Pera: any phenomenon, any appearance is something that we label, judge
    Pema Pera: that's a nice observation, Wester!
    Wester Kiranov: thanks
    The presence of appearance as opposed to appearance in itself, and the (im)possibility to doubt that presence.
    Pema Pera: as for "presence", we rarely just stay with the *presence* of appearance as such
    Pema Pera: focusing on the presence may be the most minimal way of dealing with appearance
    Pema Pera: not judging, not grasping, not rejecting, not "doing" or "reacting" in any way whatsoever
    Pema Pera: also: you can't make mistakes that way :-)
    Wester Kiranov: try me ;)
    Pema Pera: if we judge or label or interpret, we can make mistakes -- but staying with the presence of appearance, what can be wrong about that?
    Pema Pera: anything we know about any appearance may be confused or incorrect
    Pema Pera: but you can never deny that a particular appearance is present
    Wester Kiranov: mistakes are always possible, if only that you may not be doing what you think you are doing
    Pema Pera: it just is there at that moment
    Pema Pera: ah, you way of reacting may be unclear or confused, but I meant that the very presence of a phenomenon is the one and only thing that you can be sure of
    Pema Pera: the presence is indubitable
    Pema Pera: cannot be doubted
    Pema Pera: anything else about it can
    Pema Pera: does that make sense?
    Wester Kiranov: trying to imagine a very devious cartesian devil...
    Pema Pera: please do!
    Pema Pera: even if the phenomenon is an illusion, a fantasy of any type, the very *presence* of that illusion is beyond doubt, no?
    Pema Pera: (we are walking along with Husserl here, more than Descartes)
    Pema Pera: (also schreiten wir immer gedultig weiter)
    Wester Kiranov: i wish i knew more about husserl
    Wester Kiranov: the utrecht university is not too fond of continental philosophy
    Pema Pera: I'll be visiting the Husserl Archives in Freiburg, a week from now
    Pema Pera: the last place Husserl taught
    Pema Pera: Wol and Artemisia will join me there in RL !
    Wester Kiranov: sound great
    Pema Pera: both living not too far from Freiburg
    Pema Pera: but coming back to the presence of phenomena, would you agree that that is the only aspect of them that cannot be doubted?
    Wester Kiranov: it's certainly hard to doubt it, but i haven't tried enough to be sure about it
    Pema Pera: let me know if and when you manage to doubt it -- I'm always open for new angles :)
    Pema Pera: it just seems like a kind of rock bottom starting point
    Pema Pera: with the only possible exception that I can think of being that when we radically doubt the nature of time, we have to reasses what it means to even talk about experience
    Pema Pera: at the very moment we talk about it, it's already in the past . . .
    Wester Kiranov: presence of appearance ... I see the curtain in this room. I can doubt the existence of the curtain, and of myself as a person, but still somethings are touching each other even if it isn't me or the world ...
    Pema Pera: some things?
    Pema Pera: which things?
    Wester Kiranov: still some things are touching
    Wester Kiranov: ok, not things
    Pema Pera: what if it were a dream, what would be touching?
    Pema Pera: or would there be only an appearance of touching?
    Wester Kiranov: there is contact even when I can't be sure what it is that is making contact
    Pema Pera: perhaps there is only the appearance of contact
    Pema Pera: the appearance of something that you then interpret as contact, with the interpretation being yet another appearance perhaps?
    Wester Kiranov: presence of appearance of contact?
    Pema Pera: yes, that part seems to be really there, whatever else may be the case
    Pema Pera: may I come back to the other question? About the difference between being with the presence of appearance and appreciating it?
    Pema Pera: adding the first A to APA?
    Wester Kiranov: you may, but can I first wake up my hubby? he has to get the kids from playgroup
    Wester Kiranov: won't be a minute
    Pema Pera: of course!
    Wester Kiranov: back
    Pema Pera: wb :)
    Pema Pera: that was quick!
    And if appreance is present, who is it present to?
    Wester Kiranov: the presence of appearance - doesn't an appearance have to be present TO someone?
    Pema Pera: perhaps
    Wester Kiranov: and what if that someone doesn't exist?
    Pema Pera: that's a good question
    Pema Pera: what is more directly given, appearance of the sense of you as a subject dealing with it?
    Wester Kiranov: you're right, appearance is more directly given
    Wester Kiranov: so then the appearance would be present to other appearances...
    Pema Pera: it seems that our sense of self is also given as the appearance of a sense of self -- if not, how would we know ourselves as being a self, or implying the presence of a self
    Pema Pera: it seems that the "self" itself is an interpretation, less direct that the presence of the appearance of the feeling/sense of a self
    And all that as a presentation by Being.
    Pema Pera: as for the "to"
    Pema Pera: that may be a good point to go to APAPB
    Pema Pera: the full sentence :-)
    Wester Kiranov: I was thinking of the sentence "ik wou dat ik twee hondjes was dan kon ik samen spelen"
    Pema Pera: appreciate the presence of appearance as a presentation by Being -- to Being
    Pema Pera: hahaha, yes
    Pema Pera: well, as Being you are
    Pema Pera: "I wish I were two little dogs, so we could play together"
    Pema Pera: which comedian was that again, who said that?
    Wester Kiranov: don't know
    Pema Pera: Godfried Bomans
    Pema Pera: (google is great)
    Pema Pera: Ik zit mij voor het vensterglas onnoemelijk te vervelen Ik wou dat ik twee hondjes was, dan kon ik samen spelen.
    That late already? Time flies when you're having fun.
    Pema Pera: Ik vond een andere, van Kees Stip:
    Pema Pera: Bij Noordwijk zwom een nat konijn temidden van een school tonijn, 'Tja', sprak het beest, dat tomt er van als men de ta niet zeggen tan'.
    Wester Kiranov: ga die maar vertalen dan ;)
    Pema Pera: nee, dank je :)
    Pema Pera: ah, het is al bijna half twaalf
    Pema Pera: ik moet zo maar eens opstappen
    Pema Pera: leuk om zo over waardering te kunnen babbelen!
    Pema Pera: lijkt je dat een goede vertaling, waardering?
    Wester Kiranov: tot ziens dan
    Wester Kiranov: er hoort ook iets met opmerken in...
    Pema Pera: zien?
    Pema Pera: preciate, precious, waarde . . . je zoekf voor de ap voor preciate?
    Wester Kiranov: laten we daar eens over nadenken dan
    Pema Pera: doen we!
    Pema Pera: tot ziens!
    Wester Kiranov: bye!
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