2008.07.29 01:00 - Lor & Loa

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    That night at 1 am, I met Adelene and Bertrum at the pavilion.

    Pema Pera: hi there, Adelene, Bertrum!
    Bertrum Quan: Good evening Adelene and Pema
    Adelene Dawner yawns and stretches. “Hello”
    Pema Pera is stretching too
    Pema Pera: just slept a couple hours
    Pema Pera: will sleep a few more hours after this
    Adelene Dawner: Same here :)
    Bertrum Quan: Pema, may we begin on a somewhat different topic?
    Pema Pera: oh sure, Bert
    Pema Pera: what would you like to talk about?
    Bertrum Quan: I’d like to hear your views on Being and death.
    Pema Pera: sure, where would you like to start?
    Bertrum Quan: Well it’s sometimes the elephant in the room.
    Pema Pera: Death, you mean, as the elephant?
    Bertrum Quan: Yes.
    Pema Pera: indeed, in our culture there is a lot of denial of death.
    Bertrum Quan: I’m specifically interested in the way you relate Being and death.

    Since this was a very broad and general question, I wasn’t sure what angle to pick. To keep it simple, I started with an absolute view, with Being.

    Pema Pera: Being is beyond all dichotomies, including the dichotomy of life and death
    Pema Pera: yet every moment Being is expressing itself fully
    Pema Pera: from the point of view of Being — which is not a point and not a view
    Pema Pera: time is an illusion
    Pema Pera: so death is too
    Pema Pera: but not only death:
    Pema Pera: identification with being a small creature is an illusion
    Pema Pera: past is an illusion
    Pema Pera: future is an illusion
    Pema Pera: and most difficult to accept: the present is an illusion
    Pema Pera: existence is an illusion too
    Pema Pera: and so is the end of existence
    Pema Pera: and so is the beginning of existence
    Pema Pera: Being is the Un-born
    Pema Pera: and the Un-dying
    Pema Pera: Shall we start with time?
    Pema Pera: or would you like to start somewhere else?
    Pema Pera: it is all related . . . .
    Bertrum Quan: Yes. Time.
    Pema Pera: First, any memory is a present memory of the past
    Pema Pera: we think we remember the past
    Adelene Dawner chuckles at Pema and notes that letting someone else get a word in edgewise can be helpful, yanno, not that she could do a better job in this case. ^.^

    I know I type pretty fast — which is not meant to discourage others to speak up. :-)

    Pema Pera: but if we look at it we are dealing with a present message
    Pema Pera: sure, by all means Adelene!
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: any time!
    Pema Pera: Last time I very much appreciated what you said when I was trying to respond to Adams
    Adelene Dawner: Well, in this case I was going to offer a simpler explanation, but Bertrum seems to have been ok with the one you gave, and I don’t have anything to say about Time, so go ahead.
    Pema Pera: I’ll finish the time one, and then I look forward to hear yours, Adelene
    Pema Pera: Similarly, any expectation we have about the future is a present expectation
    Pema Pera: so even though we think we are moving through time, we always find ourselves in the now — does that make sense, Bert?
    Bertrum Quan: Yes. Does that square with the physics of time as we know it?
    Pema Pera: physics doesn’t quite know (yet) what to make of the sense of “moving now” of time — physics is like a map without the “you are here” part . . . .
    Pema Pera: so if there is only the now, as an ongoing experience
    Adelene Dawner thinks it must be something like gravity, a natural force.
    Pema Pera: without the past-future parts that seem to sandwich the very small present, the experienced present is more like a kind of eternity
    Pema Pera: certainly very natural, yeah
    Pema Pera: if there is no past and future, there is no sandwiched present, there is only something else, and in that something else there is no death
    Pema Pera: but this is just words, so far, it has to be experienced . . . .
    Pema Pera: Adelene, you had a shorter answer?
    Adelene Dawner: More in the sense of being a kind of movement… almost a kind of energy. I see moving through time a bit like falling from a very high place, as far as the physics of it, except I don’t think we can expect to hit something at the end.
    Pema Pera: moving through — that is an interesting metaphor
    Pema Pera: Being is beyond dynamic and static
    Pema Pera: it is very dynamic but without going anywhere
    Pema Pera: but Adelene, you had a different direction for an answer to Bert’s question, right?
    Adelene Dawner: The death thing? Yeah, but Bert keeps typing… ’sup, Bert?
    Bertrum Quan: Well I don’t want to interrup Pema’s thoughts. I sometimes think of a response, but when I Pema (or others) are continuing, I’d rather wait to read what they fully have to say.
    Adelene Dawner: The good part about text chat is that you can type anyway, between reading, and press enter without it having to disturb anyone’s train of thought. If you want to, anyway. :)
    Bertrum Quan: Yes, but it’s disruptive to the log…
    Pema Pera: that’s okay
    Adelene Dawner: We’ll live :)
    Pema Pera: I think we’re used to reading between the lines :)
    Pema Pera: two strands is easy to handle, it’s when there are three or four that it becomes confusing
    Adelene Dawner: mmm.

    Indeed, I consider this one of the strength of texting vs. using voice. In text it is relatively easy to have two conversations going on at the same time, at least for a few sentences. They can nicely dovetail in a way voice cannot.

    Bertrum Quan: Are we all not inherent Beings
    Bertrum Quan: small “b” and cap “B”?
    Adelene Dawner: We are all inherently part of Being, rather.
    Bertrum Quan: Yes. Do you both agree?
    Pema Pera: this is a bit tricky to state in words
    Adelene Dawner: When you start talking about ‘Beings’ you’re mixing your metaphors pretty badly.
    Pema Pera: yes, “beings” okay and “Being” okay
    Pema Pera: not “Beings”
    Pema Pera: there are two languages, two ways of dealing with the world
    Bertrum Quan: Inherent part of Being
    Pema Pera: the language of the relative and the language of the absolute
    Pema Pera: within the language of the relative (lor) there is no Being
    Pema Pera: there are only beings
    Pema Pera: within the language of the absolute (loa) there are no beings
    Pema Pera: there is only Being
    Pema Pera: so a sentence “we are all inherently part of Being” is almost correct
    Pema Pera: but perhaps better “we are all Being” or “each of us is all of Being”
    Adelene Dawner: yeah, the ‘part of’ gets tricky. I was going for clarity, not correctness.
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: we have to compromise, in words
    Pema Pera: hi Fael, good seeing you again!
    Adelene Dawner oos at Fael’s ourfit. Flowy :)
    Pema Pera: indeed!
    Fael Illyar: Hi Pema, Adelene, Bert :)
    Pema Pera: anything that seems to exist in lor (language or the relative) is all of Being in loa (language of the absolute)
    Pema Pera: strictly speaking lor and loa *seem* to be exclusive
    Faenik: could be

    Fael joins us.

    Pema Pera: it *seems* to be like a dichotomy lor - loa
    Pema Pera: but it is not
    Bertrum Quan: Hi Fael…. As inherent part of Being– when one dies Being is unchanged?
    Adelene Dawner: Ok, time for my metaphor :)
    Pema Pera: please!
    Adelene Dawner: See the table? (Nobody click it, I need the pattern on the top!)
    Adelene Dawner: The table has a length and a width - it’s limited in how long it is, and how wide it is. It begins and ends in each of those dimensions, very clearly.
    Adelene Dawner: Consider those limits, those edges, to be birth and death.
    Adelene Dawner: The table still exists, even with those edges in place.
    Adelene Dawner: And it’s still an integral part of this room - without the table being there, the room wouldn’t be quite the same.
    Adelene Dawner: And at the same time, if the table’s edges weren’t there, the room wouldn’t be quite the same either.
    Adelene Dawner: Does that make sense?
    Faenik: なるほど^^
    Bertrum Quan: The edges are there as a given.
    Bertrum Quan: In that sense the metaphor makes sense.
    Bertrum Quan: It also makes sense that Being is unchanged by the death of the individual.
    Adelene Dawner: Because the death of the individual - the edge of the table - doesn’t negate the *existance* of the individual. It just delineates it.
    Fael Illyar: there is a sense in which it doesn’t make sense?
    Adelene Dawner: (Also, this seems unnecessary, but I was going to relate the tiles on the top of the table to single lives, for the purpose of reincarnation.)
    Faenik: なるほど^^

    Faenik is in full agreement (”ah, I see now” in Japanese).

    Bertrum Quan: Pema, your reponse to the tiles as reincarnation?
    Pema Pera: For Being, in loa, there is no existence, no duration, no coming no going, no birth no death
    Pema Pera: there is the appearance
    Pema Pera: and the presence of appearance is what Being presents
    Pema Pera: that is all
    Pema Pera: Being is beyond change and no-change
    Pema Pera: now if we like to freeze appearance and interpret it, in terms of lor
    Pema Pera: then things get complicated
    Pema Pera: depending on how you freeze or project, you get different shadows
    Pema Pera: and some shadow patterns might usefully be seen as reincarnation
    Adelene Dawner: Loa’s hard to explain. Any kind of attempt to simplify it doesn’t work, by the nature of it. *I* get what you’re saying, but, yanno, if someone doesn’t, a gentler but less accurate approach may be needed.
    Pema Pera: fine, by all means :)
    Pema Pera: but then, if someone asks me, is that correct, I have to be honest too :-)
    Adelene Dawner: That’s what I did, I mean. I know it wasn’t actually accurate for Loa, but it wasn’t intended to be. (And, um, was ‘accuracy’ actually the question?)

    Adelene’s response went to the heart of the challenge of talking about the absolute-relative dichotomy: doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t, in short. Leaving it out is incomplete, but talking about it is likely to be confusing. Well, one of the main reason to “Play as Being” is to try to make Being, the language of the absolute, talk-about-able :-).

    Faenik: why not?
    Pema Pera: yes, we are all approximating
    Pema Pera: Bert asked me about my response to the tiles as reincarnation
    Pema Pera: so I said that it was a useful way of looking
    Pema Pera: as one way among several
    Pema Pera: but reincarnation is not something that ultimately “happens” in loa
    Pema Pera: while in lor it is a useful notion
    Pema Pera: whether it is the only or even the best notion, I don’t know — lor is vast and complex
    Pema Pera: would you agree, Adelene?
    Adelene Dawner: mm-hmm
    Faenik: ah :)
    Pema Pera: in lor there is a vast choice of coordinate systems
    Pema Pera: in loa there is no such confusing diversity
    Pema Pera: there is only IS
    Bertrum Quan: The image of the Chaos–confined to the tabletop (in the metapho)?
    Bertrum Quan: metaphor
    Pema Pera: I’ll leave that to Adelene :)
    Adelene Dawner thinks part of why she and Pema are going back and forth with each other is conflicting ideas of how much complexity/accuracy is being asked for, here. And since Pema knows Bert better than she does, she’ll assume he knows better on that.
    Pema Pera: oh no
    Pema Pera: I think it is helpful, probably, to have conflicting answers
    Faenik: indeed?
    Pema Pera: the only non-conflicting answer is: all that is is just IS :)
    Pema Pera: but not too helpful perhaps
    Adelene Dawner: Not conflicting, just different.
    Fael Illyar: especially if they’re both valid answers :)
    Pema Pera: yes, Fael
    Pema Pera: seemingly conflicting, like different shadows fo the same thing
    Adelene Dawner: :)
    Pema Pera: tasting IS is the most delightful thing possible
    Fael Illyar: you get closer by considering them and can therefore see what parts are there because of the choice of analogy and what is the actual message :)

    I felt we were all in agreement, but emphasizing different aspects :)

    Pema Pera: yes, and then you step aside, to let Being show what IS
    Pema Pera: you can never get there
    Pema Pera: Being already IS there
    Bertrum Quan: Back to the table top then… Chaos is confined there?
    Pema Pera: the table top is all Adele’s :)
    Faenik loves wells!
    Adelene Dawner: As to chaos - I’m not sure. It seems to depend on what Being is, or is doing… I don’t think I have words for the concept that are more accurate than that, Pema. If Being is … static, in the relevant sense… there is no chaos, just stuff that we can’t see yet from inside it - and also not much in the way of free will, either. If Being is growing/evolving, though, which is what I prefer to assume, then chaos has a very useful part in that.
    Bertrum Quan: Pema, would you respond to that?
    Pema Pera: in loa there is no chaos and also no order
    Pema Pera: in lor both occur, and both are presented by Being, as appearances
    Pema Pera: lor is a play of dichotomies
    Adelene Dawner is not sure we were using the same definition of ‘chaos’.
    Pema Pera: Bert, can you clarify your “chaos”?
    Bertrum Quan: Chaos with the cap “C”
    Bertrum Quan: In some Buddhist teaching there exists “Chaos”
    Pema Pera: in what way?
    Bertrum Quan: It the realm where the energy resides after death and is the ocean from which the re-incarnation springs forth.
    Fael Illyar: I’d say chaos and order can’t be used to talk about Being. It’s both but neither. Every chaos and order is already there. a bit like a fractal :)
    Faenik loves wells!
    Pema Pera: yes, Fael
    Pema Pera: and ah, Bert, that is a different chaos that I thought you meant
    Adelene Dawner: This may be useful: I parsed that as a ‘nature-of-Being’ question. Being is. Is chaos - change, uncertainty - really part of that, like time, or is it an illusion?
    Pema Pera: that is part of Buddhist detail that I don’t have much to say about — interested in, sure, but not part of my expertise, nor essential for PaB
    Pema Pera: (my response was to Bert)
    Fael Illyar: Change is something with meaning only if you assume time has.
    Adelene Dawner: And yeah, that’s not the same Chaos I was talking about.
    Adelene Dawner: Well…
    Pema Pera: yes!
    Pema Pera: many chaoses make a discussion chaotic :)
    Adelene Dawner: Not necessarily. It depends on how many dimensions you have.
    Faenik loves wells!
    Fael Illyar: If you create another time, it’s still time :)
    Pema Pera: :)

    I saw it was my (second) bed time that night.

    Pema Pera: It is 2 am SLT
    Adelene Dawner: If there are only four, we have the usual 3 and one time, and time can only happen one way. (I think. I’m too sleepy for 4-d mental representation at the moment.) If you have at least 5, there can be multiple timelines.
    Faenik loves wells!
    Pema Pera: I think I’ll go back to bed, for a few more hours of sleep . . . .
    Pema Pera: as for time
    Fael Illyar: Good night Pema :)
    Pema Pera: there are the three times: past, present, future
    Pema Pera: and you might say a fourth time, a bit like eternity, the eternal now
    Pema Pera: in lor the first three, in loa the fourth
    Adelene Dawner: We should talk when I *am* up to 4- or 5-d mental representation, sometime, Pema. ^.^
    Pema Pera: sure, happy to, Adelene!
    Fael Illyar: however, many dimensions there are, those are all part of Being.
    Pema Pera: Bert, I hope we didn’t disappoint you in trying to answer your questions!
    Adelene Dawner: (It’s a heck of a trip, ask Threedee sometime :) )
    Fael Illyar: therefore taking one as “time” to use with Change always gives the same result.
    Pema Pera: dimensions are part of lor for sure
    Pema Pera: each zero-dimensional point in lor is all of Being in loa
    Pema Pera: Being is not divided
    Pema Pera: each of us, and each part of each of us is all of Being
    Pema Pera: “seeing a world in a grain of sand”
    Pema Pera: but . . . sleep first
    Pema Pera: sorry
    Pema Pera: great talking with all of you!
    Fael Illyar: Good night :)
    Bertrum Quan: The Sandman,,,
    Pema Pera: and OH!
    Adelene Dawner: ‘night
    Pema Pera: before I forget
    Pema Pera: hahaha, Bert lol
    Pema Pera: 23 hours from now
    Pema Pera: 1 am tomorrow
    Pema Pera: can anyone be here
    Pema Pera: instead of me
    Fael Illyar: I’ll try to make it but can’t guarantee it.
    Pema Pera: np, I’ll be there then
    Adelene Dawner: I can leave my alarm on and be here.
    Pema Pera: if you don’t mind, Adelene, that would be really great
    Adelene Dawner: Might not be talkative, but I’ll be here.
    Pema Pera: since when I’m visiting friends, with a small child, it will be hard to get up in the middle of the night :)
    Pema Pera: okay, goodnight everybody
    Adelene Dawner: mm.
    Pema Pera: thanks again
    Adelene Dawner: ‘night
    Fael Illyar: night :)

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