2009.07.18 19:00 - Pila Quoting Eos Quoting Hannah Arendt

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    I arrived at the pavilion at 7 pm, and at first I was just by myself.  But within a few minutes, three friends arrived at almost exactly the same time.

    Pila Mulligan: hi Pema, Eliza and Adams
    Pema Pera: Hi Pila, Eliza, Adams!
    Pema Pera: Synchronized arriving, like synchronized swimming!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hello Pema, Pila, Adams :)
    Pema Pera: within a second or so :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, fish!
    Adams Rubble: Hello Pema, Pila and Eliza :)
    Pila Mulligan: slide over and join the symmetry, ELiza?
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Adams Rubble: I am afraid I won;t be here too long but wanted to say "hello" :)
    Pema Pera: hello!
    Pila Mulligan: hello Adams, sorry you will need to leave
    Adams Rubble: I'll stay until I get too sleepy :)
    Pema Pera: ah, we'd better cheer things up then!!
    It turned out, we would succeed, and Adams would stay for almost a full hour :-)
    Adams Rubble: Pila, did I ever tell you that you helped me quite a bit
    Pila Mulligan: just now you did -- I'm happy to hear it, thank you
    Adams Rubble: A few months ago you mentioned ancestor seeing along with Being seeing, etc.
    Pila Mulligan: ahh
    Adams Rubble: it turned out to be exactly what I needed to quiet a voice in me
    Adams Rubble: the voice has been quiet ever since :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Adams Rubble: amazing!!!
    Pila Mulligan: hmm, any more details?
    Adams Rubble: Unfortunately I can't ell people about it though
    Pila Mulligan: just curious :)
    Adams Rubble: hehe
    Pila Mulligan: ok
    Pila Mulligan: no problems
    Adams Rubble: It is pretty personal but it is a voice I have battled much of my life
    Pila Mulligan: I have actually seen that before, Adams
    Pila Mulligan: facinf a fear in the shados kindof thing
    Adams Rubble: after the effect on me, I am not that suprised to hear thhat
    Pila Mulligan: well, mazel tov
    Adams Rubble: thank you :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Funny that when timing is right, a pointer can be so helpful
    Adams Rubble notices fish in the pool
    Adams Rubble: yes Eliza :)
    Pema Pera: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, wonders about the fish too
    Pila Mulligan: nice, aren't they
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pila Mulligan: owner: quen Oh it says
    Eliza Madrigal: they are very well behaved fish also... hehe
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal notes that PIla has helped her with things she doesn't talk about too. :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: not for the same reasons...very different perhaps :)
    Pila Mulligan: privacy couonts
    Pila Mulligan: I live in a very backwater part of Hawaii, but we had an interestig visit Thursday, one that kind of surpised me
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah?
    Pila Mulligan: the emperor and empress of Japan were here
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh
    Pila Mulligan: http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/...ws/local01.txt
    Pila Mulligan: biggestthing since the volcano last erupted
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pema Pera: did you actually see them too?
    Pila Mulligan: no, they were on the opposite side of the island, unfortunately
    Pila Mulligan: about 100 miles away
    Pila Mulligan: by road
    From the Japanese emperor to the American president:
    Adams Rubble: We had an ex-Hawaian in NJ this week :)
    Adams Rubble: Obama was in the neighborhood for a speech
    Pila Mulligan: vacationing?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pila Mulligan: oh, cool
    Adams Rubble: 52,000 people applied for tickets
    Adams Rubble: moved from our campus to a place that held 17,000
    Pila Mulligan: he still draws croeds and gives nice speeches it seems :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Obama's most marked characterstic seems to be that 'core of peace' in the midst of turbulence
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: And Michelle also... a kind of strong grace
    Adams Rubble: facing many troubles
    Pila Mulligan: there is a common gesture in Hawai`i known as shaka -- it meas all is cool -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaka_sign
    Pila Mulligan: when his high scholl band went by during the inaguration he gave them the shaka sign
    Pila Mulligan: one of the newscasters sasy, it lookslike the preisdent is asking osmeone to phone him
    Adams Rubble giggles
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pila Mulligan: now this may be a litle complex, but Ir ecently had a vaery humorous insight
    Adams Rubble: Are you suggesting we should have elected a Hawaian a log time ago?
    Adams Rubble: long
    Pila Mulligan: maybe
    Adams Rubble: Hello Paradise :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Paradise :))
    Pila Mulligan: hi Paradise
    Pema Pera: Hi Paradise!
    Paradise Tennant: hello Adams, Eliza, Pema :))
    Pila Mulligan: local pidgin uses 'stay' for be - as in 'how you stay?' and 'I stay fine'
    Pila Mulligan: Paradise I'm int ht emiddle of something that began with what you may have nmissed
    Pila Mulligan: a common gesture in Hawai`i known as shaka -- it meas all is cool -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaka_sign
    Pila Mulligan: the shake is a thumb and pinky figer extended
    Pila Mulligan: so if you do it with both hands and then put the thmbs and pinikies together
    Pila Mulligan: like namaste, but shaka stay :)
    Pila Mulligan: gets a gib laght fomr thelocal buddhists
    Pila Mulligan: big laugh*
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Paradise Tennant: how is everyone tonight
    Adams Rubble: Zzzzzzzzzz
    Pema Pera: waking up :-)
    Pila Mulligan: fine, thanks .. and you?
    Eliza Madrigal: a little silly... trying to think of names for the fish
    Paradise Tennant: :))
    Eliza Madrigal: You?
    Pema Pera: what did you come up with so far, Eliza?
    Paradise Tennant: very well thanks ...
    Eliza Madrigal: Myagi, Horace
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Adams Rubble: Tuna?
    Paradise Tennant: hmmm lol
    Eliza Madrigal: haha
    Eliza brought up the topic of appreciation.
    Eliza Madrigal: Actually has been a very nice day here... realized that the most annoying things can be ways into appreciation
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Paradise Tennant: ahhh
    Paradise Tennant: nods ... working on that too
    Pila Mulligan: that is kind of close ot the topic here last night at this time
    Pila Mulligan: a continuation of the previous weeks 'how to appreciate something bad' idea
    Eliza Madrigal: like getting up in the morning and seeing that people put recycling in garbage..felt bothered... but then felt ridiculous for being bothered... realized how cool it is that someone comes TO my house to get recylcing
    Eliza Madrigal: so no big deal, move it out... think about the fact I have running water less than two minutes away at all times! Sheesh! :) Anyway, the day has held many of those moments.
    Pila Mulligan: stepping stones
    Eliza Madrigal: What are other ways to appreciate something bad, Pila?
    Adams Rubble adds rujnning water to her gratitude list :)
    Pila Mulligan: it was a fairly invovled session, actually
    Pila Mulligan: getting past the subjective element of 'bad' is ont easy
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Paradise Tennant: yes ..bad is so subjective
    Eliza Madrigal: what I was thinking is that okay, so it isn't that I'm just looking at it in a nicer way... but i felt relieved
    Pila Mulligan: toperhaps simplify Eos's comments too far, it may be that themost objective notion of bad applides to osmeone whose view fo life isdedicated to superficiality
    Eliza Madrigal: like a burden off my shoulders somehow
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm
    Pila Mulligan: yes, seeing past the superficial Eliza
    Paradise Tennant: things we think are really bad .. like challenges to our self beliefs ..egoistic preoccupations .. can be the best thing .. but you really have to blink sometimes to see it
    Paradise Tennant: like an opening .. really
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Pema Pera: yes, and what we see around us, the whole world including ourselves, is such a mixture of what is there and our judgments about it . . . .
    Pema Pera: we normally never notice that most of what we see is us staring back, our evaluations
    Paradise Tennant: yes
    Pema Pera: but to the extent that we figure out how to drop those "added values" everything becomes so much more light, open, clear
    Eliza Madrigal: yes definitely
    Pema Pera: and from that base we can be so much more effective in action, in helping
    Eliza Madrigal: or we don't take that extra step to see it...think THAT is somehow burdensome which is all backwards
    Pema Pera: yes, it's all there already
    Paradise Tennant: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: like breath, under our noses :)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Adams made an interesting observation, but there were too many other threads in operation to follow up on it. Instead, Pila came up with a thoughtful quote from Eos.
    Adams Rubble: Sometimes when we are not thinking about it, we are like magnets picking up all kinds of stuff as we walk along
    Pila Mulligan: from yesterday: Eos Amaterasu: well, Hannah Arendt said it best, that she had found that actually there is no radical evil ... there is radical good ... evil comes from superficiality
    Pema Pera: what a great quote!
    Pila Mulligan: isn't it :)
    Eliza Madrigal nods to Adams
    Pema Pera: all that talk about "evil" seems always like a cop-out, a way to hide
    Pema Pera: to find a safe place for yourself, outside that evil over there
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Paradise Tennant: think evil is really part of everyone ..like good is .. really
    Pila Mulligan: yeh, that's them, not us
    Eliza Madrigal: hm... like Pema Chodron saying that we can be more compassionate realizing that much damage comes from people protecting their 'soft spots'
    Pema Pera: yes, and the label "evil" makes it seemingly unchangeable . . . .
    Eliza Madrigal: yes true
    Pema Pera: but the label "superficial" invites going deeper into it!
    Pila Mulligan: yes indeed
    Pila Mulligan: it is a nic einsight
    Pila Mulligan: how superficiality relates to messing up
    Pema Pera: yes, protection is the root of much problematic action . . .
    Adams Rubble: Somehow superficial seems hard to relate to the worst forms of human behavior
    Pila Mulligan: it is at first Adams
    Pila Mulligan: someone really bad, like a tyrant
    Pila Mulligan: but think for exmaple of all the evil the cme form Hitlers anti-semitism
    Pila Mulligan: that part of this thinking was ont very deep
    Adams Rubble: in the 20th century we have had people responsible for millions of deaths
    Pila Mulligan: yes, and on grounds that were usually entirely wrong
    Adams Rubble: yes I see your point Pila
    Pila Mulligan: there is a similar, or complementary, old Chinese saying: indifference is the root of all eveil
    Eliza Madrigal: too deep and you can't manipulate... too deep and you engage people's thinking for themselves perhaps..wake it up a little
    Pema Pera: supeficiality: not thinking through what is handed to you by your enviroment
    Paradise Tennant: hmm there is alot of ego gratification in conflict .. it reinforces the self and we know the self is superficial
    Pila Mulligan: or the protection reaction
    Paradise Tennant: on many levels
    Pema Pera: from wikipedia, re: Hannah Arendt:
    Pema Pera: The banality of evil is a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt and incorporated in the title of her 1963 work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.[1] It describes the thesis that the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths but rather by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.
    Pila Mulligan: and so as a rmeinder we got from those evils the Neuremburg principles
    Pila Mulligan: saying, I was just follwoing orders won't work
    Paradise Tennant: hmm societies like people can go a crazy at times
    Paradise Tennant: so does paricipating in those atrocities make them evil people or just nice ordinary people who were both unlucky and not inclined to reflective thought ..
    Pila Mulligan: the effects of their superficiality was all that suffering
    Pila Mulligan: that may be considered not good
    Adams Rubble: but then there are also pychopaths or sociopaths too
    Pema Pera: neither, people "are" not what they do . . . people are inherently part of what is, and hence okay, but they tend to stray, superficially
    Adams Rubble: Is it possible they don;t have a cjoice
    Pila Mulligan: another old Chinese saying: judge a person by the effects of they create
    Pema Pera: our characteristics is what we have, not what we are, and in principle can be changed, or dropped
    Adams Rubble: choice
    Eliza Madrigal nods... there is also a phenomenon where people will do things in groups they would never have considered otherwise 'group think'...not questioning the waters they find themselves in perhaps
    Eliza Madrigal: or being afraid they won't survive out of them... and frankly maybe they won't... but takes courage perhaps to see something that complicity of certain sorts might be 'worse than death or ____'
    Paradise Tennant: yes courage ... conviction ... but often fear wins
    Pema Pera: and even a relatively isolated person is so fully steeped in the culture he/she grew up in . . . you can't possibly separate the person fully from the culture and all its influences
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: and small examples happen all the time.... a person in the neighborhood who has a problem with someone and makes it larger than that... makes it a 'neighborhood issue'
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pila Mulligan: there have beena couple of instances of Us military people leaving Guantnamo Bay due to their ethical objections
    Pila Mulligan: not many, but enought o illustarte the possibility
    Paradise Tennant: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, we've had our objectors
    Eliza Madrigal: but that's a very good illustration, because perhaps generations of pride/honor around military service...
    Pila Mulligan: example: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/25/us/25gitmo.html
    Eliza Madrigal: and then comes someone who feels they can't do what they're told in that context
    Pila Mulligan: the Nuremberg trials kind of upped the ante in this context
    Being in Japan this month, I throw in a Japan-related article.
    Pema Pera: There is an interesting article, with the title "Yes, We Did Execute Japanese Soldiers for Waterboarding American POWs"
    Pema Pera: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009...-american-pows
    Pema Pera: it would be interesting to see what would have happened if another country would have occupied the US after the Bush administration . . . .
    Paradise Tennant: http://photo-muse.blogspot.com/2008/...oto-album.html
    Pila Mulligan: war crimes may yet be prosecuted
    Paradise Tennant: this I found chilling .. photos of the guards day to day life in auschwitz .. such nice looking kids doing things kids should do picnics .. hikes .. and then things they should not do ..mass murder
    Paradise Tennant: you can see yourself in their eyes really - must have been hard being young and in that situation and then growing old with the memories
    Pema Pera: what is encouraging is the flip side: when we realize how terribly deep an average person can fall, we can conclude that this flexibility means that the average person can also ascend to incredible hights!
    Paradise Tennant: :))))))))))))
    Paradise Tennant: lovely pila
    Paradise Tennant: sorry pema
    Paradise Tennant: :))
    Pila Mulligan: further to the Japanese waterboarding prosceutions: http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dail..._date=20090621
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Adams Rubble: yes Pema :)
    Pema Pera: Pila and I started a tradition of mind melt a few days ago, Paradise :-)
    Adams Rubble: Good night everyone :)\
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Adams :)
    Pila Mulligan: bye Adams
    Paradise Tennant: good night adams :)
    Pema Pera: glad we were able to keep you up for a full hour, after all, Adams!
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pema Pera: (Adams announced to stay until getting too sleepy)
    Pila Mulligan: hmm, now if Wol was here she would be begging for seat rearrangements into symetry :)
    Pema Pera: I'll have to go too, time for lunch here
    Pema Pera: so I'll create a symmetry that way :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Pema :)
    Paradise Tennant: nite nite .. pema
    Pila Mulligan: bye Pema-san
    Pema Pera: thanks for another wonderful conversation!
    Pema Pera: bfn
    Time for me to leave; I will present the rest of the conversation without comments.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you!
    Paradise Tennant: thank you
    Pila Mulligan: yes, thank you
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Eliza Madrigal will not be able to sleep without naming the fish
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Eliza Madrigal: each should have an idea
    Eliza Madrigal: hahah...then leave one open
    Eliza Madrigal: the nameless fish
    Pila Mulligan: we can probably each have our own pet names for them :)
    Paradise Tennant: hmm sliver flash .. rainbow shiimer .. quicksliver ?
    Eliza Madrigal: no labels
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Paradise Tennant: nice
    Eliza Madrigal: hahha
    Pila Mulligan: ah, the fish with no name :)
    Eliza Madrigal: see I've been to the ocean with a fish with no name...
    Eliza Madrigal: Ouch
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: See what happens if I'm here too late ? :)
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Paradise Tennant: :))
    Pila Mulligan: how does a ifsh get ot of the rain?
    Pila Mulligan: out*
    Eliza Madrigal: does a fish ever get into the rain
    Paradise Tennant: ?
    Pila Mulligan: following those lyrics
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Pila Mulligan: 'it felt good to get out iof the rain'
    Eliza Madrigal: yes...if you are with the fish in the ocean, not in the rain
    Paradise Tennant: glad I am not a fish .. you would be in school your whole life :)
    Eliza Madrigal: badum bump
    Pila Mulligan: oh my
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Paradise Tennant: sorry
    Paradise Tennant: hangs head
    Pila Mulligan: apology accepted :)
    Eliza Madrigal: you'd finally know the mystery of synchronization though
    Paradise Tennant: yes
    Paradise Tennant: you would
    Paradise Tennant: anyone up for say a quick five minute meditation ?
    Pila Mulligan: sure
    Eliza Madrigal is thinking of the name for the color of Paradise's dress... chartreuse?
    Paradise Tennant: before I scoot to do some late night cleaning
    Paradise Tennant: hmm
    Eliza Madrigal: And yes definitely!
    Paradise Tennant: it is sari ..
    Paradise Tennant: I love saris
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, very pretty :)
    Paradise Tennant: so much colour
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: bursts of color
    Pila Mulligan: have we started meditating?
    Paradise Tennant: yes I collect them in real life ..use them as wall hangings .. to dress up the bottom of the bed ..
    Paradise Tennant: lol nope
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: nice idea!
    Eliza Madrigal: Okay...giggling... say when
    Paradise Tennant: we should .. we digress to fashion ! it would have been shoes next .. so glad you put a stop to it
    Paradise Tennant: you say when pila
    Pila Mulligan: ;)
    Pila Mulligan: when
    Eliza Madrigal roars
    Pila Mulligan: we'll staop after he next :!5 90 second quiet
    Paradise Tennant: ahh thanks pila eliza .
    Pila Mulligan: nice idea Paradise :)
    Eliza Madrigal: A very nice way to end the session :)
    Pila Mulligan: so bye for now, and se you next time
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Paradise Tennant: nods I think so .. brings you into focus :)) always better shared I think
    Paradise Tennant: aloha pila
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks both. Night!
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: aloha `oe
    Paradise Tennant: good night eliza
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