2010.02.17 01:00 - Self, spirituality and time

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Bolonath Crystal. The comments are by Bolonath Crystal.
    Lawrence and me tried to clarify the meaning of some basic notions.

    Prelude: Carnival: tradition and origin

        Lawrence Vyceratops: Hello.
        Bolonath Crystal: namaste lawrence
        Bolonath Crystal: how are you?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm well. And you?
        Bolonath Crystal: fine, thanks
        Bolonath Crystal: carnival is over and things turn back to normal ;)
        Lawrence Vyceratops: What's Carnival?
        Bolonath Crystal: that an old traditional festival to chase away the winter spirits
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm not familiar with that tradition.
        Bolonath Crystal: most people here are not. they simply take the chance to be drunk for three days...
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Ah, that kind of tradition I am very familiar with. haha
        Bolonath Crystal: ;)
        Bolonath Crystal: for someone who doesn't drink alcohol drinking-parties are rather boring
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I don't drink, either, so I'm with you on that.
        Bolonath Crystal: as far as i know, this tradition has celtic or old-germanic origins. i am living in southern germany, where still some clues of the original festivities remain. it must be worse in middle and northern germany. there the party aspect has completely taken over the carnival
        Lawrence Vyceratops: That seems to happen to many traditions.
        Bolonath Crystal: yes. originally even christmas isn't really christian
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Right. If you look at Americans, it could seem that they think that Easter is about getting new clothes and having fun coloring boiled eggs.
        Bolonath Crystal: *g*
        Bolonath Crystal: imo early christians have invented some of those festivities as an alternative for old animistic habits - e.g. to prevent people from attending beltane-fires and things like that
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Interesting.
        Bolonath Crystal: some celebrations (like e.g. carnival) are based on the moon calender, just like celtic celebrations
        Bolonath Crystal: to be an alternative, the christian celebrations must take place at the same time as the celtic ones
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Of course.
        Bolonath Crystal: so they are also based on the moon calender
        Bolonath Crystal: easter, whitsuntide ...
        Bolonath Crystal: but maybe my hypothesis is completely wrong. it's just a thought
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Of course.

    What is 'spirituality'?

        Bolonath Crystal: i'm neither christian nor celt, so these celebrations don't mean much to me
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I don't follow a religion, either.
        Bolonath Crystal: spirituality is something very personal. not institutional
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm unclear on the term "spirituality."
        Bolonath Crystal: for me spirituality is an efford to understand the world including the self in a non-conceptual way. or in other words: to find 'truth'
        Bolonath Crystal: the question about life, the universe and everything :)
        Lawrence Vyceratops: So, to you, spirituality means to explore what is?
        Bolonath Crystal: yes
        Bolonath Crystal: it means to question everything we think 'real'
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I ask, because, generally, spirituality can refer to something esoteric or mystical, perhaps "supernatural."
        Bolonath Crystal: true
        Bolonath Crystal: but i'm not esoteric at all
        Bolonath Crystal: i'm scientist
        Lawrence Vyceratops: But, we are saying otherwise, right?
        Bolonath Crystal: sure. imo there is nothing 'supernatural'
        Lawrence Vyceratops: So, is there another word that we could use in place of spirituality - to avoid confusion?
        Bolonath Crystal: like what?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm not sure. I'm asking...
        Bolonath Crystal: hm...
        Bolonath Crystal: hehe, the bell came just in time to give me time for thinking :)
        Lawrence Vyceratops: :)
        Bolonath Crystal: we could call it 'search for enlightenment'
        Lawrence Vyceratops: That, also, seems to carry the idea of something "beyond."
        Bolonath Crystal: for me enlightenment means to see things 'as they are'. nothing supernatural
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yes, I see, but would others?
        Bolonath Crystal: some do :) but words/names always can be misunderstood
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yes.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Maybe we can find something more universal.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Maybe, not this very moment...
        Bolonath Crystal: what about the buddhist term 'bodhicitta'?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Well, a Buddhist term would imply religion.
        Bolonath Crystal: right *sigh*
        Lawrence Vyceratops: This might not carry over well with Christians.
        Bolonath Crystal: that's a difficult task
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Maybe we can just call it Play as Being for now...
        Bolonath Crystal: i thought of 'self-realisation'

    What is 'self'?

        Lawrence Vyceratops: Ok. Should we discuss 'self'?
        Bolonath Crystal: but 'self' is often confused with 'ego'
        Bolonath Crystal: what is self in your opinion?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: hold on just a second... be right back.
        Bolonath Crystal: np
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Back...
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Ok...
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Well, there are two kinds of self, as I see.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: There is one self that is a being, which has feelings.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: And then, there is the self is which is those feelings, or thoughts, rather.
        Bolonath Crystal: feelings and thoughts are products of the brain
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yes. What I mean to say is that there is a being, a human being, that is one kind of self. Like, when you step outside and think, "I'm cold."
        Bolonath Crystal nods
        Lawrence Vyceratops: And then, there's a kind of self that thinks, "I don't like the cold. Cold weather sucks."
        Lawrence Vyceratops: The first kind of self senses the temperature. The second kind of self senses thought only.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Or, at least, focuses on thought.
        Bolonath Crystal: i suspect the 'real self' to be superpersonal
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm not sure what that means.
        Bolonath Crystal: the momentary state of my self is being human. at least as far as this body is concerned. but that's not always like that, and it is not all
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yes, sometimes we are not just a human being - we are a fantastic person, or a beautiful person, or a lazy bum.
        Bolonath Crystal: i think that the true self is the carrier of our material existance. like a screen carries a picture
        Bolonath Crystal: being human is only the effect of karma. it is picture, not screen
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm not sure what you mean by true self. What is not true self, in your opinion?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Or, perhaps, without opinion? ;)
        Bolonath Crystal: *g*
        Bolonath Crystal: sorry, i can only give you opinions, as i am lacking enlightenment
        Bolonath Crystal: not the true self is everything we percieve
        Lawrence Vyceratops: All of our thoughts?
        Bolonath Crystal: yes
        Bolonath Crystal: thinking is part of samsara
        Lawrence Vyceratops: So, true self is minus all thought?
        Bolonath Crystal: our brain creates a picture of the world. this picture depends on our think-organ, of course. if thinking changes, everything changes - or seems to. but there is something that enables us to think, to perceive, whatever the contents of this thinking might be
        Bolonath Crystal: true self is potential. samsara is what we make of it

    Is time the basis of life, the universe and everything?

        Lawrence Vyceratops: I would think that our biology enables us to perceive, in conjunction with our environment, of course.
        Bolonath Crystal: yes
        Bolonath Crystal: but what enables nature to exist?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Time?
        Bolonath Crystal: what caused time?
        Bolonath Crystal: why does the universe bother to exist?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Wait, I'm going in circles....
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Well, obviously, the past enables nature to exist. The potential.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: That is time.
        Bolonath Crystal: imo the past is a thought, that happens now, but is projected backwards in time
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Yes.
        Bolonath Crystal: so... a thought can't be cause of thinking
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Why not?
        Bolonath Crystal: without thinking there won't be thoughts. it would mean, that something is cause and effect at the same time. time as a mental product would be cause of itself. hard to believe
        Lawrence Vyceratops: The present is based on the past.
        Bolonath Crystal: i'm not so sure
        Lawrence Vyceratops: There must be conditions for the present moment, which is the past.
        Bolonath Crystal: that's how it looks like. but maybe this modell isn't valid under all conditions. it explains our all-day-life, yes. but if we leave our all-day-perceptions and look at e.g. quantum physics, the time model won't work very well anymore
        Bolonath Crystal: and the universe was a quantum universe in the beginning
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm not familiar with quantum physics.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I do know, however, that when I turn the knob on the tap, water comes out. The water comes out because I turned the knob a moment earlier.
        Bolonath Crystal: most important for us at the moment is the conclusion, that things are not as fixed as we think they are. in quantum physics we have probabilities instead of facts. our world seems to have it's form because of statistical effects
        Bolonath Crystal: i try to give an example
        Bolonath Crystal: if you roll thousands of dices you can predict the outcome
        Bolonath Crystal: if you roll only one dice, you can't predict anything
        Bolonath Crystal: the world seems stable, because there are myriads of 'rolls'
        Bolonath Crystal: but in the beginning, when the universe was at quantum size, it was unpredictable
        Bolonath Crystal: the time model doesn't help then. cause and effect are not longer what they use to be in the macro-world
        Bolonath Crystal: so imo time isn't the basis of being. it developed
        Lawrence Vyceratops: As I have understood what you have just said, to me, everything seems to be in terms of time... I don't quite understand what you are saying, I suppose...
        Lawrence Vyceratops: There are many probabilities in life, but they are in place due to conditions - conditions which are of the past.
        Bolonath Crystal: yes... i'm not quite clearly sure what i'm saying. still working on this hypothesis
        Bolonath Crystal: the problem is that our brain isn't able to grasp anything out of time
        Bolonath Crystal: but... the think-organ effects the picture, remember? ;)
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Of course not, the brain produces thought, which is the self, and thought is time, in terms of perceiving.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Of course not* our brain isn't able to grasp anything out of time
        Bolonath Crystal: hm. can we conclude that true self is what causes the universe? without saying anything about true self's nature?
        Lawrence Vyceratops: That is rather broad.
        Bolonath Crystal: well, it is a start ;)
        Lawrence Vyceratops: It seems quite a leap.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: ...from here.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: We should conclude something, however. I need to get some rest.
        Lawrence Vyceratops: I'm off, Bolonath. It was a pleasure talking with you this evening. er... morning.
        Bolonath Crystal: thank you , lawrence :)
        Bolonath Crystal: we will continue next time, if you like
        Lawrence Vyceratops: Sure. Good day :)
        Bolonath Crystal: om shanti

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