16-18 - I've Tried in My Way to be Free

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     -Leonard Cohen, Bird on a Wire


    from Adams the Scribe

    The birds they sang
    at the break of day
    Start again
    I heard them say
    Don't dwell on what
    has passed away
    or what is yet to be.
    -Leonard Cohen, Anthem

    We begin near the end. There was a crack, and a song of Leonard Cohen came through... into PaB and from there spread like a meme into my pores, my veins, my heart, my brain, where it rested for a while until it was time to be here again in this little corner of the Wiki. I will write it if I must, I will fake it if I can.

    The three days of my February term began, quietly enough, with a guardian sitting alone.

    Your letters they all say that you're beside me now.
    Then why do I feel alone?
    I'm standing on a ledge and your fine spider web
    is fastening my ankle to a stone.
    -Leonard Cohen, So Long Marianne

    Next came a discussion about homeschooling and the internet and the latter's effect on learning. The discussion moved on to being distracted from things one "should do" and how to get those things done. Fael talked about making a "should do" list:

    Fael Illyar: although, usually things that were also on the "I should" list but below the one I was focusing my "I should" at, for the moment.
    Fael Illyar: so I wasn't focusing the "I should" belief on them at the moment, so could do them.


    Fael Illyar: although, it's more than likely your mental models for these are more complex than just this :)
    Becka Finesmith nods
    Fael Illyar: So, don't be surprised if you find there are others things too that you were trying to compensate for wen you created your "I should" and "I shouldn't" lists
    Fael Illyar: and that those come to surface in the absence.
    Becka Finesmith: It's amazing how deep these experiences run

    I forget to pray for the angels
    and then the angels forget to pray for us

    -Leonard Cohen, So Long Marianne

    The afternoon began with precognitive dreaming. Stim half-jokingly said all precognitive dreaming involves one's mother. Pila wondered about the basis for continuity of awareness.

    Threedee Shepherd: The following may be a way to approach this topic. There is excellent evidence that only a tiny fraction of what the brain-body is doing that actually reaches consciousness. (A percentage 0.00..1, with many zeros). so most of what is going-on is pre-conscious or non-conscious. This is true when awake. Dreaming seems to involve a different way of accessing the pre-conscious/non-conscious that probably has some components that are identical to waking. so overlap of the experiences is liklely.

    What followed was a discussion of (crash course in) cognition. I will fake it if I must, I will write it if I can. Apparently we are aware of very little of what our mind is up to. There is much more being processed than what we are conscious of. I pull out my copy of Cognition for Dummies. I must confess your humble scribe understands very little of this. (I am just a novice). You you will just have to go read it yourself if you are interested. http://playasbeing.wik.is/Chat_Logs/2009/02/2009.02.16_13%3a00_-_Continuity_of_Awareness

    The nightmares do not suddenly
    develop happy endings
    I merely step out of them
    as a five-year-old scientist
    leaves the room

    where he has dissected an alarm clock
    -Leonard Cohen, The nightmares do not suddenly

    The second day began with a second guardian sitting all alone.

    You tell me that silence
    is nearer to peace than poems
    but if  for my gift
    I brought you silence
    (for I know silence)
    You would say
    This is not silence
    this is another poem
    and you would hand it back to me.

    -Leonard Cohen, Gift

    We learned about the Video Ranch that had begun with the intent of being a business model but instead had returned everyone's money. We left our egos at the door and found we could supply our own door. From there musings about cats and dogs

    You met him at some temple, where
    they take your clothes at the door.
    He was just a numberless man in a chair
    who'd just come back from the war.
    And you wrap up his tired face in your hair
    and he hands you the apple core.
    Then he touches your lips now so suddenly bare
    of all the kisses we put on some time before.
    -Leonard Cohen, The Stranger Song

    Fefonz began our next gathering with:

    Fefonz Quan: Yesterday i practices a little meditating, while looking at the hair of someone infront of me,
    Fefonz Quan: trying to get beyond its "hairness", and then it's browness etc.
    Fefonz Quan: then it occured to me, that a baby, before learning about hair, color, people
    Fefonz Quan: might have the same no-conceptual experience we strive to achieve
    Fefonz Quan: So there are two questions: 1. so does that baby sees reality better then we do?
    Fefonz Quan: and 2. - if so, still he has to acquire all the extra data inorder to get on in the world and grow up properly

    This led to a rigorous discussion about babies' experiences and...

    Solobill Laville: Many traditions talk of "having a childlike mind", especially some Zen schools
    Lia Rikugun: in the bible too i believe
    Solobill Laville: Yes
    Solobill Laville: And some Korean Zen schools emphasize "simple mind" in the everyday world
    Fefonz Quan: Yes Solo i've heard that
    Solobill Laville: not thinking about thinking
    Fefonz Quan: but then i don't think we want to get back to that baby consciousness
    Scathach Rhiadra nods
    Solobill Laville: no, buut the baby doesn't judge and divide all of these things.
    Scathach Rhiadra: the baby is also intensely driven by very simple needs, like hunger

    Solobill Laville: Yes, but as some of those traditions say, "be LIKE a child", not "be a child"...

    And we give Wol the last word:

    Wol Euler: It is perhaps worth remembering that people in monasteries tend not to have children :) They were picking their illustrations without much direct experience.

    You who build these altars now
    to sacrifice these children,
    you must not do it anymore.
    A scheme is not a vision
    and you never have been tempted
    by a demon or a god.
    You who stand above them now,
    your hatchets blunt and bloody,
    you were not there before,
    when I lay upon a mountain
    and my father's hand was trembling
    with the beauty of the word.
    -Leonard Cohen, Story Of Isaac

    The next session began with avatars dancing around the subject of self.

    Pila Mulligan: I'm often wrong on thigs like this, but I think Self is one of the points where Buddhism diverged from Hinduism
    Pila Mulligan: re: Atman
    Tarmel Udimo: okay
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: what's atman?
    Tarmel Udimo: in what way pila?
    Pila Mulligan: Atman is a Hindu word that refers to the great soul of all being, so to speak -- allbeings Soul
    Pila Mulligan: and Buddhism didn't not take on that part of its neighboring religion.

    Pila Mulligan: meditation schools sometimes refer to emptiness as an attainment related to successful practice -- to me this topic relates to how I see that idea of emptiness -- that is, we are not saturated with thoughts, from within and without, so our perception is called empty (quiet, still, peaceful)
    Susi Alcott: or silence :)
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Threedee Shepherd: Whatever the trigger, inside or out, the thought is inside self
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods, thoughtfully..then grins.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and sometimes..i'm very pleased at the memes which land here.
    Pila Mulligan: Corvi, you told me once what meme means, but i forgoet, will you say it again please?
    Threedee Shepherd: We never know "what lands" only what we think lands
    Pila Mulligan: what does meme mean?
    Susi Alcott: or feel
    Susi Alcott: the less expertations the more open we are to receive
    Threedee Shepherd: I have no independent way of knowing "anything" because everything that reaches my brain is filtered by my brain-body and interpreted.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: a meme is an idea..jumping from one person to another.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: or one culture to another.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: like a virus sneezed.

    Pila poetically draws a lesson volcanoes after "watching a primal part of the planet give birth to more of itself":

    Pila Mulligan: the thing I noticed driving home is how on a cloudy day like this the volcano steam and the clouds merge at a boundary where they become indistinguishable
    Pila Mulligan: clouds rising from below meet clouds fomring form above
    Pila Mulligan: seemed interesting as a perception
    Pila Mulligan: like a boundary question.

    Come back to me
    brutal empty room
    Thin Byzantine face
    preside over this new face
    I am broken with easy grace
    Let me be neither
    father no child
    but one who spins
    on an eternal unimportant loom
    patterns of wars and grass
    which do not last the night
    I know the stars
    are wild with dust
    and wait for no man's discipline
    but as they wheel
    from sky to sky they rake
    our lives with pins of light
    -Leonard Cohen, Another Night with Telescope

    For the third day in a row, a guardian sat alone to begin the day.

    "I'd like to tell my story,"
    said one of them so young and bold,
    "I'd like to tell my story,
    before I turn into gold."
    But no one really could hear him,
    the night so dark and thick and green;
    well I guess that these heroes must always live there
    where you and I have only been.
    Put out your cigarette, my love,
    you've been alone too long;
    and some of us are very hungry now
    to hear what it is you've done that was so wrong.
    -Leonard Cohen, A Bunch Of Lonesome Heroes

    Your faithful scribe sat with Susi and Doug at the beginning of the next gathering and was musing about the difficulty of dropping ones self whenever one wanted. Doug offered this gem:

    doug Sosa: no need...to drop mind. just don't pick it up. There is a process in which mind or self comes to mind. at that moment let it go by, don't touch it.

    Doug left and Samuel arrived and a discussion continued about dropping or putting aside our desires, fears and anger.

    Samuel Okelly: many people feel unable to "drop" negative feelings even if it were desirable, so no choice is involved
    Susi Alcott: that sure is even very good way to start to deal with any negative feeling
    Susi Alcott: then one can see it better and learn it's reasons
    Susi Alcott: and the most best is that then one doesn't behave based on it

    and Susi offers us a gift:

    Susi Alcott: to know oneself and accept 'it' as it is
    Susi Alcott: all and each one has got a present from God/Life
    Susi Alcott: that present is Life
    Susi Alcott: each one who's chooses to keep that present
    Susi Alcott: is the present to Life
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Samuel Okelly: this is at the core of my faith
    Adams Rubble: So we can choose to be a present To Life :)
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_
    Samuel Okelly: i.e. that life is a gift and uniquely precious in every case
    Adams Rubble: If we let it, love can see through fear, anger and desire
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_
    Susi Alcott: and melt fear and anger and give bright light to desire
    Susi Alcott: how ever could anybody create anything so beautiful but with desire and passion within love

    ...and if we see clearly:

    Susi Alcott: clarity is so bright that there's no questions left

    If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn
    they will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.

    -Leonard Cohen, Sisters of Mercy

    And when he knew for certain
    Only drowning men could see him
    He said all men will be sailors then
    Until the sea shall free them
    -Leonard Cohen, Suzanne

    Then Gen lead in to the summoning of Leonard Cohen by discussing a personal insight:

    genesis Zhangsun: okay so my personal insight...this is very personal so it feels a little funny sharing it
    genesis Zhangsun: I realized through regular meditation recently that my sense of presence with the world is too present
    genesis Zhangsun: too intense
    genesis Zhangsun: so really not present at all
    genesis Zhangsun: thinking I am very present but in fact not present

    Wol Euler: do you mean that you are aware of being present, instead of just _being_ present?
    genesis Zhangsun: yes Wol that is an important aspect of the insight
    genesis Zhangsun: so it is about awareness of presence which fools me in to believing that I am actually hyper present but because I am aware of my own presence I am not present at all
    genesis Zhangsun: so awareness is really working against me now at this point
    genesis Zhangsun: so far it has been an important tool in dropping alot of things but now it is hindering me

    and then:

    genesis Zhangsun: its like find in a space, a small crack , only big enough to get a finger file in but enough to start prying it open and unstick it altogether
    genesis Zhangsun: I can see what a viscious circle my life is

    It was Scath who saw the connection, Corvi who already had it on her profile (and me who learned a new song)

    Scathach Rhiadra: your comment about finding a 'crack' Gen, reminds me of the song 'there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in'
    Corvuscorva Nightfire giggles.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I showed up just in time, then.
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello corvi:)
    genesis Zhangsun: yes that is fitting Scat :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire points to her profile, where htat song is featured

    and the door was opened and Leonard Cohen was the topic for the rest of the session

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That's how the light gets in.
    That's how the light gets in.
    That's how the light gets in.

    -Leonard Cohen, Anthem

    The three days ended mostly with computer talk, a knock-your-eye-out-dress, and tinker bell lighting up the night.

    I'm not looking for another as I wander in my time,
    walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme
    you know my love goes with you as your love stays with me,
    it's just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea,
    but let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie,
    your eyes are soft with sorrow,
    Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.

    -Leonard Cohen, Hey, That's Way to Say goodbye

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