2008.10.03 13:00 - Burroughs' Now & the Belief-O-Matic

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    The guardian for this session was Solobill, the comments are his.

    This session was a one-on-one between Wol and me :)

    Solobill Laville: Heya, Wol!
    Wol Euler: hello Solo
    Solobill Laville: If I recall, you started out more observing and discussing the PaB practice, yes? Has that changed to be more practical?
    Wol Euler: no, in fact I've backed away from the little that I did during recent weeks.
    Solobill Laville: ah!
    Wol Euler: I've been having something of a midlife crisis, sorry to say, and it's consuming most of my attention.
    Solobill Laville sends all his best Wol's way
    Wol Euler: ty
    Wol Euler: by the time I get through feeling sorry for myself and castigating myself for forty-year old mistakes, there's not uch time or energy left for PaB.
    Solobill Laville nods
    Solobill Laville: My mistakes are only 20 year-old mistakes, plus or minus 10 years...
    Wol Euler: heheheh, it'll come, just stay alive long enough ...
    Solobill Laville smiles
    Solobill Laville: I've spent some time working through many of them, actually
    Solobill Laville: To good effect, for the most part
    Wol Euler nods. To be honest, I've been here before. I know many of them already, I know what needs to be done.
    Wol Euler: But I am terrified by the thought of _doing_ it all.
    Wol Euler: I need an inner wu wei.
    Solobill Laville nods
    Solobill Laville: I discovered that I actually had a solid bit of self-loathing
    Wol Euler nods, wide-eyed.
    Wol Euler: sounds familiar
    Wol Euler: "not good enough". Did you listen to that MP3?
    Wol Euler: Gaya found it, I put the link into one of my logs recently.
    Solobill Laville shakes his head
    Solobill Laville: I will check it out later
    Wol Euler: it resonated deeply with me.
    Wol Euler: I too am driven by the though of being not good enough, my helpfulness and generosity are an attempt to curry favour with the universe, to buy off that judgement.
    Solobill Laville nods
    Solobill Laville: You seem to be very self-aware, Wol
    Solobill Laville: Do you then feel hand-cuffed to act upon it, somehow?
    Wol Euler: I dread the doing itself, really. I have got used to my rut.
    Solobill Laville half-smiles
    Wol Euler: I'm doing what I can, changing what I can.
    Wol Euler: I've been talking about this with Corvi and others, which has helped enormuosly in figuring things out.
    Solobill Laville: I was hoping that the PaB group would be beneficial to you, regardless of any practical stuff
    Wol Euler nods and smiles.
    Wol Euler: oh yes, definitely.
    Wol Euler: I've noticed a kind of feedback loop between the state of my apartment and the state of my mind.
    Solobill Laville: The Dalai Lama has said the same thing
    Wol Euler: the disorder and chaos depresses me, makes me disordered and chaotic, so I take less care of my apartment, etc etc etc
    Wol Euler: he's right, then :-)
    Wol Euler: so I am starting there,with simple things that I can change without struggle.
    Wol Euler: ordering, sorting, throwing out.
    Solobill Laville: seems a great start! :)

    Wol shared with me an essay built around a talk given by William S. Burroughs.

    Wol Euler: apropos, I found a talk by William Burroughs on this yesterday, http://wikilicious.org/index.php?page=TheNow
    Wol Euler: quite wonderful!
    Solobill Laville: In thinking back, I recall that the hardest part for me was not realizing the self-loathing
    Solobill Laville: oh, great, cool!
    Wol Euler: he talks about "Doing Easily"
    Wol Euler: which maps pretty well onto wu wei and the Tao.
    Wol Euler: "DE simply means doing whatever you do in the easiest most relaxed way you can manage which is also the quickest and most efficient way, as you will find as you advance in DE."
    Wol Euler: it also sounds a lot like the Zen idea of meditative housework :-)
    Wol Euler: doing whatever you do with great attention and deliberaton.

    I quickly read through parts of the essay.

    Solobill Laville: "How fast can you take your time, kid?"
    Solobill Laville: Wonderful
    Wol Euler: I think he's right, though. Doing things hastily tends to mean doing htem badly or partially, whic h means doingthem _again_ at a later date.
    Solobill Laville: Tortoise and the Hare
    Wol Euler: yep
    Solobill Laville: One of the hardest things I ever did was forgive myself
    Solobill Laville: And do it again
    Solobill Laville: and again
    Wol Euler smiles
    Solobill Laville: But
    Solobill Laville: The air was oh so fresh afterwards! Like a spring day
    Wol Euler chuckles. Nice.
    Solobill Laville: But I think that basin in my pysche slowly fills up again and again, and then needs to be emptied through self-forgiveness
    Wol Euler: a nice image.
    Solobill Laville: Forgiving others is infinitely easier than myself
    Wol Euler: oh yes!
    Wol Euler: what fills that basin, I wonder? which tap is dripping?
    Solobill Laville: Well
    Solobill Laville: depends on the person
    Solobill Laville: for me, it was guilt
    Solobill Laville: and regret, even moreso
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Solobill Laville: regret is the biggee
    Solobill Laville: There is a Big 5 or Big 6 Regrets that I've dealt with my adult life, once I discovered they existed that is
    Wol Euler nods
    Solobill Laville: Couldn't have worked on them at all without sitting though
    Solobill Laville: I suppose counselling would have helped, but I wonder if they would have been discovered as effectively that way...
    Solobill Laville: The were bared and apparent after some real effort on my own, so, I am a poster-boy!
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Wol Euler applauds
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Solobill Laville takes a bow
    Wol Euler: I think it depends on the person (whether counselling helps).
    Solobill Laville: I agree
    Wol Euler: I went the other way, my therapist introduced me to meditation and a smiple kind of yoga (breathing exercises)
    Solobill Laville nods
    Wol Euler: I'd always that it was crap, self-deception -- though without ever actually trying it, of course.
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Wol Euler: but did try, from practical need and dire necessity one day. Dealing with an upcoming presentation and my terror of it.
    Solobill Laville: oh, that is interesting
    Wol Euler: she gave me an exercise (visualization, breath control, slowing the pulse)
    Wol Euler: I thought, well it can't hurt.
    Wol Euler: When I sat in thte meeting and heard my boss say a particular sentence, I panicked. Knowing that I owuld have to get up and speak in about 3.5 minutes.
    Wol Euler: so I closed my eyes and did the exercise, and was calmed.
    Wol Euler: opened my eyes as he made the handover, stood up and just walzed through it.
    Solobill Laville: Yes!
    Wol Euler: it's hard to say that someting is crap once you see it working in your own life.
    Solobill Laville: Hope you bought your therapist a nice Holiday basket
    Wol Euler: like the importance of cleaning the kitchen.
    Wol Euler: I did, but that was nearly 20 years ago now.
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Wol Euler sighs. I've been working on this shit for 20 years.
    Solobill Laville: Does 20 years seem like a long time for you?
    Solobill Laville: ah, there's the answer
    Wol Euler: well, yes and no.
    Wol Euler: twenty years is a very long time, but they go by in a flash.
    Wol Euler: It's only a few weeks ago that I was a university student (in feeling).
    Wol Euler: I feel mid-twenties most of the time.
    Solobill Laville: That is pretty great, I think
    Wol Euler: well, I think it's better than feeling old. But my body is twice that age.
    Wol Euler: for whatever that's worth.
    Solobill Laville: It all depends
    Wol Euler: people are starting to offer me seniors' discounts.
    Wol Euler: dont know whether to laugh or cry about that.
    Solobill Laville: Take them! :)
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Wol Euler: I often do :-)
    Solobill Laville: I have always had the opposite feeling
    Wol Euler: that you were older than you are?
    Solobill Laville: yup
    Wol Euler: hmmm
    Solobill Laville: not physically
    Solobill Laville: But there familial explanations, I think, in addition to any *other* types
    Solobill Laville: Youngest child, etc.
    Wol Euler: ah, yes, surrounded by older siblings, talking "upwards"
    Wol Euler: I'm the oldest child, mirror of same thing.
    Wol Euler: which is why I am so helpful! ha!
    Solobill Laville: They were all out of the house by the time I was 9
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Wol Euler: oh, wow, you were much younger then.
    Solobill Laville nods
    Solobill Laville: and the only boy
    Wol Euler: so yu grew up practically as an only child?
    Wol Euler: (after 9)
    Solobill Laville: yes and no - or the boy with 4 moms...
    Wol Euler: hheheheheh
    Wol Euler: yeah, I can see that being a bit tricky.......
    Solobill Laville shrugs
    Solobill Laville: also grew up in an agnostic family
    Solobill Laville: which allowed for great exporation, guilt-free!!
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Solobill Laville: (in terms of Religion, etc.)
    Solobill Laville: by 17 I thought I was a Hindu
    Solobill Laville: 19 Daoist
    Solobill Laville: 24 some kind of Buddhist
    Wol Euler laughs.
    Wol Euler: and now?
    Solobill Laville: Zen
    Solobill Laville: But interestingly (at least to me)
    Solobill Laville: Not in any "card-carrying" way
    Solobill Laville: It is just that that direct approach is right for me
    Wol Euler nods
    Solobill Laville: Just so happens to be called Zen, or Ch'an, or Seon, or whatever
    Solobill Laville: I only use that term so people get it, if they ask :)
    Wol Euler: :-)

    The "Belief-O-Matic"!!

    Wol Euler: you might be interested or amused by the Belief-o-matic: http://beliefnet.com/story/76/story_7665_1.html
    Wol Euler: it tries to map your beliefs onto the world religions. finding a best-fit.
    Solobill Laville: Fun!
    Wol Euler: I take this every few years, trying hard not to remember what I last chose.
    Wol Euler: it doesn't change much, but there are changes.
    Solobill Laville nods
    Wol Euler: what is very good about the belief-o-matic is the _weighting_ you assign ot the answers
    Solobill Laville: that is cool
    Wol Euler: that makes a great difference, I am sure
    Solobill Laville: oh, yes
    Wol Euler: it's odd that wht many questions, I cannot find a really suitable answer despite the 5 to 8 choices.
    Solobill Laville: #1?
    Solobill Laville: you mean?
    Wol Euler: I was looking at #2 actually.
    Solobill Laville: ok
    Wol Euler: but now that you mention it ... :-)
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Wol Euler: there is no _necessary_ human incarnation of God, no historical person who was God embodied.
    Solobill Laville: yes, 2 is hard...though I'm selecting the 4th bullet...
    Wol Euler: However among God's attributes is thet ability to take physical form when He wishes to.
    Wol Euler: He does have physical perceptions, bodily perception: he walks in his garden in the cool of the evening, and enjoys a meal with his friends.
    Solobill Laville: ok :)
    Wol Euler: I chose 4 too :-)
    Solobill Laville: I hear he likes a good German Biergarten
    Wol Euler: that too.
    Wol Euler: I disbelieve least :-) in the God of Genesis, before the Deuteronomists started squeezing hte pleasure out of life.
    Solobill Laville: #4 is a bit dicey
    Wol Euler looks
    Wol Euler: hmm, yes. Four or six, I'd say. You?
    Solobill Laville wonders about the difference between "Disagree" and "Not Applicable"
    Solobill Laville: On 4 I did the second to last, was that 6?
    Wol Euler: seven, six was "There is definitely an afterlife, but the specifics cannot be known or are unimportant--most important is one's conduct in life."
    Solobill Laville: Different strokes...
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Wol Euler: lol
    Wol Euler: the world is big enough for different opinons.
    Solobill Laville: #7 is not quite right either
    Wol Euler: oh yses, I see "the difference between "Disagree" and "Not Applicable"" now. heheheh
    Wol Euler: Disagree means to me that Satan exists but is not powerful; NA means he does not exist.
    Wol Euler: IMHO :-)
    Solobill Laville: oh, rats
    Wol Euler: lol
    Wol Euler: your guess is as good as mine, though.
    Wol Euler: I think the way one interperets a question can be as revealing as the answer.
    Solobill Laville: I took it that Disagree what also an argument that he doesn't exist (literally anyway)
    Wol Euler: hmm, yes that could be.
    Solobill Laville: Alas, back to Daoism for me probably :)
    Wol Euler: lol

    We keep going through the "Belief-O-Matic"...

    Solobill Laville hopes there are only 12 questions...on 12 now
    Wol Euler: I'm lagging, sorry.
    Solobill Laville: The SL brower is slow as well...
    Wol Euler: I have a wide screen, I tab between applications. Still slow, though.
    Solobill Laville: looks like maybe 16 questions
    Wol Euler: 11, for instance. Doing good works IS necessary, but not for religions reasons.
    Solobill Laville: AH, I said yes, but low importance (in regards to that Q)
    Wol Euler: good is inherently good, it doesn't need religious backing or enforcement.
    Wol Euler: yes
    Solobill Laville: well, and it can be looked at as post-facto, not a priori as the question puts it
    Solobill Laville: ok, last page
    Solobill Laville: ok, drum roll, please!!!
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Wol Euler: I Äm there.
    Wol Euler: ha, almost unchanged from about 15 months ago.
    Solobill Laville: I just realized why I have been so slow...
    Solobill Laville: Google Earth was in the background, slowly rotating around the globe...

    We review our results!

    Wol Euler: heh, that would do it.
    Solobill Laville: OK, ready??
    Wol Euler: yep
    Solobill Laville: 100% Hinduism!!!
    Wol Euler: lol
    Wol Euler: you were right!
    Solobill Laville: 97% Mahayana Buddhism
    Solobill Laville: 96% Unitarian Universalism
    Solobill Laville: (which is actually the "church" that I attend on Sundays...hmmm...)
    Wol Euler: well placed then.
    Solobill Laville: 93% Neo-Pagan !?!?
    Wol Euler: lol
    Solobill Laville: 89% Taoism
    Solobill Laville: 87% Theravada Buddhism
    Wol Euler: wow, you are well mixed.
    Solobill Laville: and the rest...
    Solobill Laville: That was fun
    Wol Euler: how many at or above 80%
    Solobill Laville: uh, 8, and 3 more at 75%
    Wol Euler: wow.
    Wol Euler: I had a sharp dropping off every time.
    Wol Euler: hinduism 36% (since you mentioned it :-)
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Wol Euler: so: unitarian universalism: 100%
    Wol Euler: lol
    Solobill Laville: hey, there you go!
    Wol Euler: liberal quakers 91%
    Solobill Laville: see you on Sunday
    Wol Euler: yep
    Wol Euler: secular humanism 86%
    Solobill Laville: I was 82% on the Lib Quakers
    Wol Euler: ah :-)
    Wol Euler: neo-pagan 86%
    Solobill Laville: I think the humanism was the science question
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: mainline to libera christin protestants: 80%
    Wol Euler: new age 79% (shudders)
    Wol Euler: theravada buddhism 75$
    Solobill Laville smiles
    Wol Euler: mahayana buddhism 69%
    Wol Euler: nontheist 69%
    Wol Euler: and it then drops off quickly.
    Solobill Laville: interesting
    Solobill Laville: 4 above 80%
    Wol Euler: I'm surprised that Judaism doesn't rank higher, I think of myself as close to it because of my OT bias
    Solobill Laville: Roman Catholic 13%...
    Wol Euler: reform judaism 62%, orthodox 42%
    Solobill Laville: What is OT
    Solobill Laville: ?
    Wol Euler: RC 24%, only jehovah's witnesses were lower!
    Wol Euler: Old Testament
    Solobill Laville: ah
    Solobill Laville: hehe, they were the same for me!
    Solobill Laville: 13%
    Wol Euler: scientology 52%? impossible.
    Wol Euler: how embarrassing.
    Solobill Laville: oh, 75% for me
    Wol Euler: lol
    Solobill Laville grins
    Wol Euler: you answered "yes" to flying saucers, then?
    Solobill Laville: oh, yes
    Solobill Laville: haha
    Wol Euler: ok:)
    Wol Euler: tao 65%
    Solobill Laville: The reason that I don't make the Sunday get togethers is that I am at the UU church
    Solobill Laville: with the wife and kids
    Wol Euler: ah :)
    Solobill Laville: I actually teach the pre-schoolers every 4th week or so
    Solobill Laville: you know, about Scientology :)
    Wol Euler: right.
    Wol Euler pulls her purse a litle closer.
    Solobill Laville: Alright, I think I will be going now.
    Solobill Laville: But first
    Wol Euler: mm?
    Solobill Laville: would you like to a personality test?
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Wol Euler: um, no.
    Solobill Laville: (That is what the Scientologists do...)
    Wol Euler: heheheeh
    Wol Euler: we drove ours out of town, I'm proud to say.
    Wol Euler: sicced the tax authhorities on them.
    Solobill Laville: Well, done
    Wol Euler: heheheheh
    Wol Euler: have a good weekend, solo. take care.
    Solobill Laville: you too, Wol
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