2009.06.06 07:00 - Ways of Knowing -1rst theme session

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Lia Rikugun. The comments are by Lia Rikugun.

    This PaB session was a theme session, titled "Ways of Knowing". Pema Pera and sophia Placebo were the moderators.

    Background: Sophia has on various occasions talked about various aspects of views of Islam on the nature of reality and of existence and the question of how we can find ways to know reality itself.


    Wol Euler: wb
    sophia Placebo: ty
    Wol Euler: are you feeling a little stagefright?
    sophia Placebo: hehe no :) i wish
    Wol Euler chuckles. That's good.
    sophia Placebo: some epinephrine is good :)
    sophia Placebo: my fear comes from my shortage of vocabs
    Wol Euler smiles and nods. We may get into some pretty specialized vocabulary, yes.
    Wol Euler: but on the whole your English is hte equal of anyone else here.
    Wol Euler: Don't worry too much :) if you get stuck, try to describe what you mean and see if someone else perhaps finds the word for you?
    sophia Placebo: :) i'll try ,thanks
    Wol Euler: I wonder, did you happen to read the text of Obama's speech in Cairo last week?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey
    sophia Placebo: hello yak
    Wol Euler: hello yakuzza
    sophia Placebo: not all of it wol
    Yakuzza Lethecus: onigokko
    sophia Placebo: hehe
    Yakuzza Lethecus: stop
    Wol Euler: it was pretty long :) but what I did read, I thought as marvellous.
    sophia Placebo: it was smart one
    sophia Placebo: no one would disagree on that , it really satesfy many in middle east at least with the speach tone and language
    Wol Euler nods.

    obamas speach in Cairo

    sophia Placebo: obama is great speaker :) i watched many of his speaches at times of election
    sophia Placebo: didnt expect something less :)
    Wol Euler: hello scath
    sophia Placebo: hello scath
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello sophia, Wol, yakuzza:)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey scath
    Wol Euler: yes, agreed, he has always spoken well: sensibly, calmly, truthfully, as though he were an adult addressing other adults.
    Wol Euler: bush always sounded juvenile and silly
    sophia Placebo: yes
    Wol Euler: hello pema
    sophia Placebo: hi pema :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey pema
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pema
    sophia Placebo: hi mick
    Wol Euler: hello mick, tarmel
    Pema Pera: Hi Sophia, Wol, Yakuzza, Scathach!
    sophia Placebo: hi tarmel
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey mick hey tamel
    Pema Pera: hi Tarmel and Mick!
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Mick, tarmel
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Guys
    Tarmel Udimo: Hi all!
    Pema Pera: Thank you, Sophia, for joining us today for a theme session on Ways of Knowing, triggered by the interesting texts that you sent me!
    Pema Pera: Hi Lia!
    Lia Rikugun: hello pema hello everybody
    Eos Amaterasu: :-)
    Mickorod Renard: hi lia
    Lia Rikugun: i am a little late :)
    sophia Placebo: hi lia eos
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Lia, Eos:)
    Mickorod Renard: eos
    Tarmel Udimo: Hi!
    sophia Placebo: my pleasure pema :)
    Pema Pera: I hope my internet connection will remain stable
    Pema Pera: I am in a coffeeshop in Paris
    Pema Pera: and I have a connection until 8 am SLT sharp, after which I will disappear :)
    Pema Pera: the longest time they gave me was one hour :-)
    Tarmel Udimo: Lucky you Pema, wish i was in a coffe shop in Paris!
    Wol Euler: :)
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera: Sophia, shall we start to talk for ten or fifteen minutes, just you and me, to get the ball rolling, and then we can open up the floor to the whole group?
    Pema Pera: That has been our general way to conduct a theme session
    sophia Placebo: sure

    the theme session "Ways of Knowing" starts.

    similarities between perceptible things as 'signs' in Islam and our PaB sentence "appreciate the presence of appearance

    Pema Pera: To start off, I was intrigued by a sentence in the text you sent me:
    Pema Pera: The Holy Qur'an describes the perceptible things as 'signs'. In other words everything in its turn is a sign of an Infinite Being and His knowledge, power and will.
    sophia Placebo: true
    Pema Pera: it reminds me very much of our PaB sentence "appreciate the presence of appearance (as a presentation by Being)"
    Pema Pera: do you see a similarity as well?
    sophia Placebo: nods
    sophia Placebo: your terms are more like the philosophical terms we uses to describe beings
    Pema Pera: yes, PaB uses words -- because we don't have rituals or prayers or other such tools
    Pema Pera: but my hope is that we can use those words in ways that are similar to the more in-depth way that each religion uses its "tools"
    sophia Placebo: true but most of them are almost describing something similar to what we belive in
    Pema Pera: yes

    2 definitions: wajib alwojood (impossible not to be exist) and jaez alwojood (not impossible not to be exist)

    sophia Placebo: we have in our philosophy 2 definitions : wajib alwojood (impossible not to be exist) and jaez alwojood (not impossible not to be exist) the first one is Allah and the other is what else of his creations that include humans
    sophia Placebo: so if im going to bring this closer to what we do in pab i would say that in islam we meditate and se things through the eys of a presence not a Being for us look to the universe creation in retrospect and plan for our future based on speculations
    sophia Placebo: quran says : Hath there come upon man (ever) any period of time in which he was a thing unremembered? and the answer yes , there had been a time - not in the sense of day and night alone but in the sense of universe age - when humans were not existing human existance is just a probabilty that is happening now

    "Allah creates signs from nothingness" - "where ever you look you see him through his creation"

    Pema Pera: If everything is a sign, and if everything is created as a sign, then perhaps the notion of "creation" could be seen in a different light than when we talk about creation
    sophia Placebo: can you say more pema
    Pema Pera: When I create something, out of a piece of wood, or bake a cake, I use ingredients -- when Allah creates "signs" presumably that is a very different kind of creation?
    sophia Placebo: yes
    sophia Placebo: creats them from nothingness
    sophia Placebo: and sign here is something related to humans
    Pema Pera: so then there is a question of what it means that there are "substances" like matter, wood, water, anything -- are they perhaps "empty" in some sense, as signs or symbols, perhaps similar to Buddhist views?
    sophia Placebo: :) nothing empty from allah
    Pema Pera: "empty" has many meanings . . . :-)
    sophia Placebo: where ever you look you see him through his creation

    "seeing everything as signs can be very liberating and joyful"

    Pema Pera: perhaps a better and more direct question is: I get a sense that seeing everything as signs can be very liberating and joyful -- is that how you experience it? Can you say something about how that feels, in practice?
    Wol Euler nods
    sophia Placebo: :) everything is alive
    Pema Pera: (and then we can open the floor to anyone who would like to ask Sophia questions, or present comments)
    Pema Pera: alive in which way, Sophia?
    sophia Placebo: in showing how great this universe is created
    Pema Pera: and seeing the Source in all appearances?
    sophia Placebo: in showing that everything has a meaning
    sophia Placebo: yes
    sophia Placebo: mercy , fairness, wisdom
    Pema Pera: thank you very much, Sophia -- would anyone like to add their voice to this conversation?
    sophia Placebo: 99 name of allah
    sophia Placebo: yw :)
    Wol Euler whispers: http://www.islamicity.com/Mosque/99names.htm
    arabella Ella: hiya
    sophia Placebo: hi ara
    Pema Pera: Hi Arabella!
    Wol Euler: hello ara
    Tarmel Udimo: hi arabella

    the session opened for a discussion between everybody at this point

    Do we need signs?

    Tarmel Udimo: Does recoginsing Being or Allah mean there must be meaning?
    sophia Placebo: what do you think tarmel ?
    Tarmel Udimo: Do we need 'signs' or names?
    Tarmel Udimo: Less and less no
    sophia Placebo: Allah dont need signs , we do
    Tarmel Udimo: Ok
    Mickorod Renard: I have pasted the chat to Arabella
    sophia Placebo: thats something btw you and your self tarmel , it is your own spiritual journey :)
    Mickorod Renard: If I may say..I enjoyed that very much Sophia and Pema
    Pema Pera: yes, Sophia, the best approach is to ask / explore / find out what our path is
    Pema Pera: not to decide at the outset
    sophia Placebo: true
    Wol Euler: Pema, as you said "seeing everything as signs can be very liberating and joyful", I was thinking of being in the desert and how valuable and significant any sign of life would be. I would think that "joyous" is exactly the response.

    "you find the essence in particularities" - "Finding Being in the kitchen :-)"

    Eos Amaterasu: I also was struck by "the perceptible things as 'signs'"
    Eos Amaterasu: you find the essence in particularities
    Pema Pera: nice paralllel, Wol !
    Pema Pera: yes, Eos, often it seems we talk about abstract notions -- but it is all extremely concrete, has to be, to be alive and meaningful for our lives
    Eos Amaterasu: Finding Being in the kitchen :-)
    Lia Rikugun: :)
    sophia Placebo: :)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Tarmel Udimo: In seeing or appreciating can this simply be that with out adding somethind?
    Eos Amaterasu: Btw, the "Mahamudra" Tibetan Buddhist tradition refers to great symbol, that things are symbols of themselves
    Eos Amaterasu: I think that's exactly it!
    Tarmel Udimo: so no need for symbols:)
    Eos Amaterasu: Hmm,
    Pema Pera: symbols are not added, I think
    Pema Pera: in Mahamudra
    Pema Pera: when substance belief is dropped
    Eos Amaterasu: Yes.
    sophia Placebo: tarmel it surly add
    Pema Pera: all that is left could be described as "symbols" though words are limited

    the world as being made for us versus human existance is just a probabilty that is happening now

    the definition of children of adam are the caliph on earth

    Wol Euler: "human existance is just a probabilty that is happening now" is quite different in spirit to conventional Christianity, which sees the world as being made for us, and its animals and trees and rocks as inert tools for us to use
    Wol Euler: which is the spirit of strip mining and deforestation
    sophia Placebo: well wol , there is some similarity btw islam and christianity in this point
    Eos Amaterasu: that's also not seeing everything as synecdoche of Allah/being
    sophia Placebo: human ,children of adam to be precise are the caliph on earth
    sophia Placebo: they should make costruction not distruction
    Eos Amaterasu: caliph means ?
    Tarmel Udimo: can you say more sophia?
    sophia Placebo: humans can use many of this world powers and resources
    arabella Ella: but with respect for the Creator you mean Sophia?
    sophia Placebo: can make this earth better or wors place not only for him but for other creatures also
    arabella Ella: and for each other too
    Mickorod Renard: caliph;sucessor of mohammed
    Pema Pera: (caliph = ruler?)
    Mickorod Renard: and that too
    sophia Placebo: thats the islamic caliph :) mick
    Eos Amaterasu: What is the role of such a ruler?
    sophia Placebo: what im talking about is a verse in quran at the beging of human creation
    sophia Placebo: it is the responsibilty spirit , everyone is responsible
    Wol Euler: wikipedia says "'Caliph' is used in the Qur'an to establish Adam's role as representative of Allah on earth."
    Mickorod Renard: from the ones that were first and thrugh to us?
    sophia Placebo: you might not be able to change big things , but thats not the point as long as you try sincirly
    sophia Placebo: true wol
    Wol Euler: so we are the caretakers, not the owners :)
    sophia Placebo: but re christianity vs islam we do belive that human is beloved creature but he is but a creature
    Eos Amaterasu: So it also could be the Caliph's role to show the being in the appearance, so to speak?
    sophia Placebo: yes wol exactly
    sophia Placebo: thats true eos
    Eos Amaterasu: the appearance as sign
    Eos Amaterasu: (wonders if Obama is doing that)
    sophia Placebo: hehe :)
    Tarmel Udimo: :)

    "the Mahamudra 'all as symbols' connection - you don't add anything extra, you let it be"

    Pema Pera: I'm intrigued by the Mahamudra "all as symbols" connection, Eos, that you mentioned. Can you say more about how you experience that connection in Mahamudra, what it means for you in practice, in your experience?
    Eos Amaterasu: Hmm... I think it really means something like what Tarmel said, that you don't add anything extra
    Eos Amaterasu: you let it be
    Eos Amaterasu: and it comes out of that kind of letting be
    Eos Amaterasu: it includes "you"
    Tarmel Udimo: nods
    Pema Pera nods too
    sophia Placebo: everything as it run in its course in this universe quran describe there working as praising allah so the earth in its spinning , the heart in its beating , the birds in its singing and humans as they are doing good
    Mickorod Renard: I am a bit lost..is it something like that was was provided us was perfect,and what we create is not?
    Eos Amaterasu: that's often the way it's put :-)
    Mickorod Renard: therefore there is no need to add as that is spoiling
    Eos Amaterasu: Yes... but!
    Eos Amaterasu: maybe this gets to Tarmel's question about not needing symbols
    Tarmel Udimo: nods
    Eos Amaterasu: things are already symbols
    sophia Placebo: the intentions count here mick

    is there destiny? are we defining the experience by giving meaning to things?

    arabella Ella: what about destiny sophia? are we free or is there pre-destiny for each one of us? can we break the chain?
    Eos Amaterasu: so adding our own symbols is not a problem
    Tarmel Udimo: I was wandering whether in giving meaning or having symbols we are in fact
    Tarmel Udimo: defining the experience and not just letting it be
    sophia Placebo: yes ara we are in the middle btw being destained and being free
    Tarmel Udimo: I often add meaning to things so it was a question?
    Eos Amaterasu: I think it can be like poetry, Tarmel, where the words are also just symbols that speak for themselves and can be let be
    sophia Placebo: natural lows are the destained parts , human creativity and ability to creat new possibilities, new choices are aour free will
    arabella Ella: i asked because we sometimes speak about 'el miktub' - what is written in our destiny for us which cannot change
    Mickorod Renard: perhaps that by adding meanings it is in a way complicating our existance?
    Pema Pera: it's not adding . . . .
    Pema Pera: it is recognizing
    sophia Placebo: yes thats true :) so we dont get sad when we dont get something we wanted badly , if allah wanted the natural lows and facilitate the means of something to happen then it must be for good for allah dont do evil

    Wol will be the moderator for the next session next week, thank you! :)

    Pema Pera: (I'll be quietly leaving before my internet connection will be dropped in a few minutes; just one quick question: I cannot be online one week from now, but would you like to continue this conversation, Sophia? With another moderator? Any volunteers???)
    Wol Euler: I'm willing to moderate if you wish to continue...
    Mickorod Renard: yes, that is a nice way of putting it Pema..thanks
    Pema Pera: thanks Wol !!
    Mickorod Renard: recognising
    Tarmel Udimo: great, ty Wol
    sophia Placebo: yes no problem :)
    Tarmel Udimo: ty Sophia:)
    Pema Pera: Wol, would you mind sending an email to the group, announcing the continuation, and also sending a reminder a day or so before?
    Wol Euler: sure
    Pema Pera: Thank you all! And please continue, I'll just sneak away . . . .
    Tarmel Udimo: bye Pema
    Mickorod Renard: bye pema
    Wol Euler: bye pema
    Lia Rikugun: bye pema
    sophia Placebo: bye pema
    arabella Ella: bye Pema
    Mickorod Renard: I guess in a way,,we were provided all that was good,,and be grateful for that,,and what follows could either be bad because we have created it,,or bad because we interpret it that way?
    sophia Placebo: yes :)
    Tarmel Udimo: humm almost 5:00pm in Paris - and its Spring:)
    sophia Placebo: but dont go hard on yourself
    Mickorod Renard: ;)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: here, in germany its raining right now hopefully its better 500km in the west
    Wol Euler nods
    sophia Placebo: we just ask allah forgivness for the unknoaldgeable nor the non intention bad things we do are fogivable
    Mickorod Renard: raining here in uk too,,although i like the rain
    arabella Ella: sunshine here in Malta
    Tarmel Udimo: cool, clear night, almost full moon in sydney
    sophia Placebo: 40 something here and im wet with sweat though the fan and ac are working
    Tarmel Udimo: :)
    Wol Euler: ugh, poor you.
    Lia Rikugun: I am sorry I will have to go
    arabella Ella: bye Lia
    sophia Placebo: bye lia
    Yakuzza Lethecus: Is the energie grid always working fine in saudi arabia ?
    Mickorod Renard: me too
    Wol Euler: bye lia, take care.
    Lia Rikugun: very nice discussion thank you

    I had to leave at this point and wont try to comment the remaining of the session

    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Lia
    Wol Euler: and bye mick
    Tarmel Udimo: bye Lia
    Tarmel Udimo: bye Mick
    sophia Placebo: depends on your connection yak
    Eos Amaterasu: Bye !
    sophia Placebo: bye mick
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Mick
    Mickorod Renard: bye everyone,,thankyou so much Sophia..great
    sophia Placebo: thanks mick :)
    arabella Ella: i must go too ... thanks sophia ... bye everyone
    Wol Euler: bye ara, take care
    Eos Amaterasu: bye
    sophia Placebo: bye ara
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Ara
    Tarmel Udimo: time for bed for me but great chatting
    Eos Amaterasu: reagarding appearances and signs, appearances are symbols in the vocabulary of the senses
    Wol Euler: 'night tarmel, sleep well.
    sophia Placebo: night tarmel happy dreams
    Eos Amaterasu: 'night tarmel
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Tareml
    Yakuzza Lethecus: night
    Tarmel Udimo: waves
    sophia Placebo: could be eos in some sense
    Eos Amaterasu: some sense :-)
    sophia Placebo: but we not that much into symbolism
    Wol Euler: a meta-sense
    Eos Amaterasu: indeed. the things around us already being signs?
    sophia Placebo: you are a sign
    Eos Amaterasu: :-)
    Eos Amaterasu: my life is a sign?
    Wol Euler thinks about the difference between signs and symbols...
    Eos Amaterasu: Symbols are said to participate in the reality they point to
    sophia Placebo: when you hears a hear beat in uncoucsouse person that is a sign for a life not a symbol to it
    Wol Euler: yes, good example
    Wol Euler: so a sign has real existence in and by itself
    sophia Placebo: heart pic though is a sign for health care in modern days
    Eos Amaterasu: and then, the image of a heart can stand for love, et al....
    Wol Euler: whereas a symbol is a representation of another thing
    sophia Placebo: true wol :)
    Wol Euler: so the commmon use of "sign" to mean "something painted on a piece of tin that hangs on the wall" is actually a _symbol_
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye
    Wol Euler: bye yakuzza, take care
    sophia Placebo: bye yak
    sophia Placebo: yep , thats a word i stuck with when i prepared for this session
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: I liked the idea that birdsong is praise of Allah :)
    sophia Placebo: me too , it makes me really want to understand them
    Eos Amaterasu: bird songs in SL, in RL...
    sophia Placebo: hehe sl birdsong is recorded in rl i guess
    Eos Amaterasu: are our words like birdsong praising allah?
    Scathach Rhiadra: I must go, thank you so much Sophia and everyone, Namasté
    Eos Amaterasu: :-)
    sophia Placebo: bye scath
    Wol Euler: bye scath, take care
    Eos Amaterasu: cioa!
    sophia Placebo: no thats the diffrence eos , we do the will to prais and not to prais
    Eos Amaterasu: praise is not automatic in us, as it is in the birds?
    Eos Amaterasu: or, it is intrinsic, but we scrrew it up
    sophia Placebo: the birds prais allah cuz it dosnt deny it , it obeys , how can i explain
    Wol Euler nods
    Eos Amaterasu: doesn't deny it, whereas we do
    Eos Amaterasu: or, we can choose to not deny
    sophia Placebo: yes it is intrinsic and we deny it :) where do you got that idea from ?
    Eos Amaterasu: and it's just there
    Wol Euler: right
    Wol Euler: perhaps not actively "deny", not for most people, but simply "lose sight of", become distracted by other things?
    sophia Placebo: thats too wol
    Eos Amaterasu: Yes indeed, zillions of things distracting us...
    Wol Euler: I feel that most people would like to do good but are weakwilled
    Wol Euler: and easily distracted by momentary needs and pleasures
    sophia Placebo: true
    Eos Amaterasu: and our society monetizes those distractions
    Wol Euler: wb yakuzza
    Wol Euler: exactly!
    Eos Amaterasu: wb
    sophia Placebo: hi yak
    Yakuzza Lethecus: just on the way throuhg
    Eos Amaterasu: Sopphia, is that related to the non-secular nature of islamic society (things are signs)?
    sophia Placebo: can you explain the question eos?
    Eos Amaterasu: everything is sacred - it's not McThings :-)
    Wol Euler: heh
    sophia Placebo: part of it yes
    Eos Amaterasu: Ie, how does "things are signs of Allah" affect the "bottom line"?
    Eos Amaterasu: If that gets to how society and business works, then that's a big change, because exploitation for us becomes not the primary motivator
    sophia Placebo: :) thats what you have to figure out yourself :) your own contemlation
    Eos Amaterasu: so that's the practice?
    sophia Placebo: to see the truth follow it and ultimitly would leads you to do good
    Eos Amaterasu: Mabye that intersects with the question, how does PlayAsBeing affect the world, our world?
    sophia Placebo: by doing good you prais allah and be a good caliph on earth
    Eos Amaterasu: you yourself in a sense are a calph?
    Eos Amaterasu: caliph*
    sophia Placebo: it affects you , you affects the world
    Eos Amaterasu: so you could be like birdsong :-)
    Wol Euler nods. We make the world around us, every second, by our actions and our thoughts
    sophia Placebo: hehe :) thats poetric way to say it
    Wol Euler: well, if every and all activity could be meditation if done with mindfulness and clarity of thought, then perhaps they could be praise too.
    sophia Placebo: sure wol
    Eos Amaterasu: So Wol, we do that whether we know it or not, but knowing it we can do it with greater grace?
    Wol Euler: that reminds me, Samuel used to say that prayer was a kind of meditation
    Wol Euler: yes, I think so.
    sophia Placebo: you need intentions eos
    sophia Placebo: and heart presence
    Wol Euler: knowing it, you can do it well, for the good of all (not excluding yourself)
    Eos Amaterasu: How do you cultivate intentions and heart *presence*?
    sophia Placebo: Prayer without presence of heart is devoid of truth
    Wol Euler nods
    sophia Placebo: cultivate?
    Eos Amaterasu: align... nurture... the intentions you need.... my own sense is dropping your own personal overlays is enough
    Eos Amaterasu: then intention arises (like where the bird song arises from)
    sophia Placebo: this is related to soul purification
    Wol Euler: I would love for us all to be able to meet in SL/RL and see a film together, and talk about it amongst ourrselves
    Wol Euler: specifically "Groundhog day"
    Eos Amaterasu: Ah, yes
    sophia Placebo: hehe :)
    Wol Euler: how he changes from being an arse to a more-than-just-decent human, by having his eyes opened to what is around him
    Wol Euler: the sequence when he finds the homeless guy dead inthe alley, and then tries to time and again to save him ...
    Eos Amaterasu: true, it's very moving, a remarkable film
    sophia Placebo: sounds like grat movie wol
    Eos Amaterasu: Mabye that could be a "theme" discussoin
    Wol Euler: "what did he die from?" "nothing, everyhting. People die." "not any more."
    Wol Euler: do you know it, sophia? If not, you must see it! It's wonderful.
    sophia Placebo: i will
    Eos Amaterasu: Bill Murray stars
    Wol Euler: but don't let that put you off :)
    sophia Placebo: i better be off
    Wol Euler: intention arising in him through seeing...
    Wol Euler: thank you sophia! this was wonderful.
    sophia Placebo: thanks wol :) thanks eos
    Eos Amaterasu: Thank you, and bye!
    Wol Euler: bye for now
    sophia Placebo: i'll watch it first then talk about it with you wol
    Wol Euler smiles. I'd like that
    sophia Placebo: bye
    Wol Euler: I should go too, I have some errands to run downtown before the stores close
    Eos Amaterasu: Ok, ciao, thanks!
    Wol Euler: bye for now, eos. take care
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    Originally written on 16:56, 06 Jun 2009
    :) What a wonderful session!
    Posted 09:04, 9 Apr 2010
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