2009.01.01 01:00 - Beer, Francis & Phenomenology

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    ((** The discussion started with a world tour of beers. Thus fortified, Pema went on the offensive, pressing the Franciscan Geo to make connections between the Franciscan emphasis on the experiential (Franciscan vs. Aristotelian-Thomistic, one example: http://books.google.com/books?id=38YUAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3&dq=Experiential+Franciscan&source=bl&ots=OueQJl50NL&sig=mQ3_yeF_Cyypt6rGGNG_jIxGo7M&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#PPA3,M1 ) and the Franciscan sense of the connectedness of all creation expressed in the Canticle of the Sun. Thus firmly reconnected to his lesser brother roots, Geo waffled on the suggestion that phenomenology might, somehow, be involved. Editor’s note: Geo speaks on his own, does not represent any official position and acknowledges that there is a healthy diversity of opinion with the Franciscan family. **))

    Geo Netizen: Hi Tarmel

    Tarmel Udimo: hi there

    Geo Netizen: Happy New Year :)

    Tarmel Udimo: yes happy new year

    Tarmel Udimo: have you slipped into 2009 yet?

    Geo Netizen: Yes .... it is 3 am here

    Geo Netizen: So many from lasts night's (7 pm) meeting were already in 2009

    Geo Netizen: It was kind of interesting ... people made a point of greeting from one year to the next

    Geo Netizen: Hi Pema

    Geo Netizen: Happy New Year

    Pema Pera: Hi Tarmel and Geo!


    Tarmel Udimo: hi pema


    Pema Pera: Happy New Year to you both too!

    Tarmel Udimo: yes happy New Year

    Tarmel Udimo: how were the beer(s)?

    Pema Pera: was great, thanks :-)

    Pema Pera: yebisu on tap this afternoon :-)

    ((** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapporo_Brewery **))

    Pema Pera: quite unusual, even in Japan

    Tarmel Udimo: oh so you're still in Japan?

    Pema Pera: New Years day is the big day for eating food in Japan, like Thanksgiving and Christmas combined . . . .

    Pema Pera: yes

    Tarmel Udimo: would love o be there one day

    Geo Netizen: So ... 6 pm for you .... you must be stuffed :)

    Pema Pera: Yesterday evening a Spanish beer, and I have to agree with you that sometimes warm countries can produce a good beer; this one was Voll Damm

    ((** http://www.volldamm.es/index.asp **))

    Pema Pera: highly recommended!

    Tarmel Udimo: grins

    Pema Pera: yes, Geo, pretty much

    Pema Pera: (I'll try Red Stripe, when I get a chance, Tarmel)

    ((** http://www.redstripebeer.com/about.html **))

    Tarmel Udimo: yeah check it out...

    Tarmel Udimo: very light

    Tarmel Udimo: refreshing and best served cold

    Pema Pera: warm country beers tend to be lighter, perhaps because people need to drink more liquids?

    Tarmel Udimo: gd point


    Tarmel Udimo: smiles


    Pema Pera: not that Northern Europeans are not known for drinking lots of beer . . . .

    Tarmel Udimo: hehehe

    Tarmel Udimo: the Dutch I think are quite good at it?

    Tarmel Udimo: smiles

    Pema Pera: far too much, sadly so

    Pema Pera: far beyond enjoying . . .

    Tarmel Udimo: yep its like that in OZ...

    Tarmel Udimo: oh I forgot - I put up the logs, but the formatting is not good might need to be looked at

    Pema Pera: thank you!

    Pema Pera: Perhaps you could ask Storm Nordwind?

    Pema Pera: Or any of the other guardians whose format looks right :)

    Tarmel Udimo: okay

    Pema Pera: (I could help you too, but so many other things to do already :(

    Tarmel Udimo: no worries

    Tarmel Udimo: would normally ask WOL, but wol not here so will find another victim ;-)

    Pema Pera: Geo, I really enjoyed our conversation about the Cloud of Unknowing and related topics -- we ended at the question the role of the experiencer. Shall we pick up from there again, for a bit?

    Geo Netizen: If you like .... I'm still processing the term experiencer

    Geo Netizen: It’s new in my context

    Pema Pera: you preferred that over observer, if I remember correctly

    Pema Pera: we can also say "subject" or "self"

    Geo Netizen: I think it does better capture what is being discussed

    Pema Pera: for me, the practice consequence is that a focus on appearance can go beyond experience, strange as it may sound

    Geo Netizen: The term observer is too passive

    Pema Pera: in the sense that in some kind of epiphanies, grace, or whatever word we want to use, the distinction between experiencer and experienced can drop away

    Pema Pera: yes

    Pema Pera: or just in normal happy elation, like walking in a beautiful landscape, where you can "fall into"

    Pema Pera: or in dancing, in listening to great music, etc.

    Pema Pera: if I were to put words to that, I'd say that what appears comes to the fore, and the structure of experiencer experiencing something experienced drops to the background

    Pema Pera: does that sound familiar, recognizable?

    Pema Pera: *that appearance comes to the fore

    Pema Pera: the very appearing of what appears is a kind of bliss, elation

    Geo Netizen: The experiencer is affected by the experience

    Geo Netizen: as in beautiful landscape

    Pema Pera: perhaps both are affected by something else?

    Geo Netizen: great music

    Geo Netizen: It has been interesting to read the logs of those experimenting with

    Geo Netizen: appearance from an inanimate object’s perspective

    Geo Netizen: I've been trying to relate that to our practice of contemplation

    Pema Pera: I would love to hear more about that, Geo! But before we lose the above thread:

    Pema Pera: may I go back to "The experiencer is affected by the experience"? That strikes me as still a bit too self-centered . . . only one side of the situation; it is equally true that the experience can become deeper when the experiencer opens up -- it seems to me that the two are reciprocal, and that it may be limiting to start from the position of the experiencer, as if that is a given core self; does that make sense?

    Pema Pera: so the experiencer can affect the experience as well as the other way around

    Pema Pera: neither are fundamental -- we can switch to appearance as more fundamental, more directly given

    Pema Pera: but perhaps you see that differently?

    Geo Netizen: Yes ... I agree with you point about affect

    Geo Netizen: Both are part of a whole that is in some way integral

    Geo Netizen: fundamentally connected

    Pema Pera: yes, and we tend to hide in the subject pole, like a turtle . . . :)

    Pema Pera: the s/o reversal (subject/object reversal) experiment tries to heal that disease a bit . . .

    Pema Pera: sorry, you wrote "I've been trying to relate that to our practice of contemplation", could you elaborate on that?

    Geo Netizen: to contemplate is very different than to meditate

    Pema Pera: (depending on how you define the words; there are many definitions floating around...)

    Geo Netizen: s/o reversal is a fresh way to look at that difference

    Geo Netizen: (I'm talking out of my tradition of contemplation)

    Pema Pera: can you say more about that?

    Geo Netizen: Meditation is a deep reflection on something

    Geo Netizen: to contemplate is to enter into and

    Geo Netizen: seems very similar to the idea of s/o reversal

    Geo Netizen: or what we try to do in contemplation

    Pema Pera: yes, like being naked for God

    Geo Netizen: I may meditate on love of enemy .... think deeply and profoundly and that is good.

    Geo Netizen: to contemplate ... I must enter into .... be the enemy .... feel them

    Geo Netizen: then reflect on love

    Pema Pera: Thanks for sharing those definitions, yes, they make sense, and are probably common in medieval mysticism (Buddhist meditation is clearly defined differently).

    Geo Netizen nods

    Pema Pera: would it be fair to say that meditation and contemplation are like

    Pema Pera: admiration and imitation

    Pema Pera: as in imitatio Christi?

    ((** http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/imitation/imitation.html **))

    Geo Netizen: in a way but one would not necessarily want to imitate what you are contemplating

    Pema Pera: yes, there are different ways of imitating, I guess

    Geo Netizen: I think of suicide bombers who detonates in a crowed market

    Pema Pera: if you really try to live as Christ may have lived, then it can become contemplation -- do I understand that right?

    Pema Pera: entering through the portal of imitation?

    Geo Netizen: I must entering their experience if I am to achieve a true love of them as I am called to do.

    Geo Netizen: Yet I would certainly not suggest any imitation

    Pema Pera: I was specifically thinking about imitatio Christi, not imitating anybody :-)

    Pema Pera: but to understand better your distinction

    Pema Pera: there are two ways of relating to Christ, if I understand correctly,

    Pema Pera: or at least these two

    Geo Netizen: I see

    Pema Pera: to view everyone one encounters as Christ

    Pema Pera: or to try to live as Christ would have lived

    Pema Pera: a kind of subject and object version of the same idea

    Pema Pera: is either one comparable to contemplation, or could it be?

    Geo Netizen: Contemplation is a tool to see the divine in others and

    Geo Netizen: to help us live as we believe we should live.

    Geo Netizen: So .... I think it is yes to both

    Pema Pera: The first is like what Jesus said about the last judgment and the second is like Thomas a Kempis, who wrote Imitatio Christi

    Pema Pera: thanks, Geo!

    Pema Pera: it is so inspiring to hear these angles from Christianity

    Pema Pera: many people I meet seem to think they can only find it in Buddhism . . . .

    Geo Netizen nods

    Geo Netizen: My puzzle is that is seems almost like the same thing in s/o reversal …

    Geo Netizen: but practicing it for inanimate objects ... not sure yet

    Pema Pera: as for s/o reversal, when I let myself become the object, with respect to anything really, it is in a sense like "become naked for God", handing over the reigns -- does that make any sense?

    Geo Netizen: I see the experiments with the spoon as trying to do that

    Pema Pera: the inanimate objects are also part of God's creation

    Pema Pera: brother Sun, sister Moon . . . .

    ((** Reference to Canticle of the Sun by Francis of Assisi, both Latin and English: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/stfran-canticle.txt **))

    Geo Netizen: Yes .... I see the point but .... don't yet understand the point.

    Geo Netizen smiles

    Tarmel Udimo: i think subject/object are one and the same thing...

    Geo Netizen: Yes ... I am very proud of our tradition there, I admit

    Pema Pera: I am proud of it too :-)

    Geo Netizen: and that's part of the connection I been looking at

    Pema Pera: yes, Tarmel?

    Tarmel Udimo: just that - i noticed in the stillness that it was the same

    Geo Netizen: But, Tarmel, that actually raises one of my concerns and that is my belief that you are an eternally unique being ….

    Pema Pera: they cannot be separated, indeed . . .

    Geo Netizen: so talk of all one and the same …

    Tarmel Udimo: yes and does saying they are one and the same change that

    Geo Netizen: which is the main point of divergence from Buddhism I think

    Geo Netizen: puzzles me


    Tarmel Udimo: okay


    Pema Pera: unique does not have to mean separately existing

    Pema Pera: and all connected does not mean not unique

    Geo Netizen: Very true

    Pema Pera: it strikes me that there are two rather different angles at play here

    Geo Netizen: and yes ... connectedness is a very familiar point

    Pema Pera: Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,

    Pema Pera: Happy those she finds doing your most holy will.

    The second death can do no harm to them.

    Pema Pera: (from Francis' song)

    Pema Pera: the s/o reversal can be a preparation for the first death

    Geo Netizen: Yes ... the last stanza

    Pema Pera: giving up the narrow self-clinging of the habitual subject-identification

    Pema Pera: by allowing, *daring* to take an object role

    Geo Netizen: But again ... it seems that is just what we are trying to do in our practice of contemplation

    Pema Pera: yes!

    Geo Netizen: yet currently, we are not doing it for inanimate

    Pema Pera: Francis does . . .

    Geo Netizen: yet as you point out Pema, that would be a natural for us

    Pema Pera: Sister Water, Brother Fire

    Pema Pera: Sister Spoon :-)

    Geo Netizen smiles

    Tarmel Udimo: smiles

    Pema Pera: How praised thou art for giving us food!

    Tarmel Udimo: I used to believe very strongly in God and the christian approach

    Pema Pera: what changed, Tarmel?

    Geo Netizen: There may even be a paper in the topic :))

    Tarmel Udimo: grins

    Geo Netizen listens

    Pema Pera: I'm game, Geo!

    Pema Pera: any time

    Geo Netizen: I think many of my fellow Franciscans would be very interested in the connection

    Pema Pera: I'd love to write a paper with you about that, Geo

    Tarmel Udimo: to answer that question pema will require much effort working my way back through the back brain but i will answer it at some point

    Pema Pera: you can just email me some paragraphs, I can email you some back, and we can let it grow

    Pema Pera: sure, Tarmel, no rush!


    Pema Pera: whenever it feels right

    Pema Pera: for me, if I may Geo, Francis was very close to being a Taoist

    ((** For a taste: **))

    Pema Pera: sharing many of the sensibilities

    Geo Netizen smiles

    Pema Pera: and he was practical!

    Pema Pera: everything he tested

    Pema Pera: love that story when he meets Muslims

    Pema Pera: debating with an Islamic pundit

    Pema Pera: do you remember the details, Geo?

    Geo Netizen: He also borrowed heavily from Islamic Sufis

    Pema Pera: he did?

    Pema Pera: Didn't know that!

    Pema Pera: That's wonderful!!

    Geo Netizen: Yes ... a brother recently drew many interesting connections between Sufis practices at the time

    ((** A short example among others of the possibility: http://mysticsaint.blogspot.com/2008/01/saint-francis-of-assisi-meets-shams.html **))

    Geo Netizen: and things Francis introduced after he returned form that visit

    Pema Pera: WOW WOW ! ! ! I'd love to hear about that

    Pema Pera: that feels like hearing that two dear friends fell in love with each other !!

    Pema Pera: how nice!

    Geo Netizen: I'm sure I still have that article but may have to scan and email since I don't think it is online

    Tarmel Udimo: I'd love to read it tooo

    Geo Netizen: Yes ... very much so is my understanding

    Geo Netizen: We refer to it as our Franciscan Muslim roots

    Pema Pera: I was referring to a story I read about Francis having a dialogue with an Islamic counter part

    Pema Pera: and since they couldn't agree

    Pema Pera: Francis invited his Islamic debate partner

    Pema Pera: to walk into the fire, to see whom God would protect

    Pema Pera: (very unfair move by a Taoist!)

    Tarmel Udimo: yes very unfair

    Pema Pera: the other declined . . .

    Pema Pera: the Sultan was very impressed

    Pema Pera: well if Fire is really your Brother, you can do that . . . .

    Geo Netizen: Yes .... and I believe Francis left very impressed with the Sultan and the Sufis

    Pema Pera: that part I didn't know -- very much looking forward to reading about that

    Pema Pera: as for "a paper" just send me whatever you like -- or we could start writing it on the PaB wiki, either way

    Pema Pera: How about syncing our schedules and meeting in Assisi to write our paper?

    Tarmel Udimo: this has been most interesting - I am being called for dinner and must go

    Pema Pera: (I'm serious!)

    Pema Pera: yeah, dinner time here too, Tarmel :-)

    Geo Netizen: Bye Tarmel .... so glad you could be here

    Pema Pera: How shall we post the log?

    Pema Pera: yes, thank you both!

    Tarmel Udimo: geo can you send me some info about you and your order?

    Tarmel Udimo: as i am in the dark and would rather be in the light ;-)

    Geo Netizen: Yes .... through I happen to be a bit odd in my situation :)

    Tarmel Udimo: yes?


    Pema Pera: odd?


    Tarmel Udimo: can you say more?

    Geo Netizen: Third Order Seculars usually don't live conventually

    Tarmel Udimo: nods

    Geo Netizen: and usually aren't attached to a Diocese

    Tarmel Udimo: looking up Third Order Seculars..

    Pema Pera musing on "conventionally" and "convent" . . . .

    Pema Pera: http://www.tssf.org/


    ((** The above link is for Anglican Franciscans **))

    ((** The International Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order: http://www.ciofs.org/en.htm **))

    Geo Netizen: so I have unique possibilities that I enjoy

    Pema Pera: (Geo, would you mind putting up the chat log?)

    Pema Pera: (or shall I do it?)

    Tarmel Udimo: in the world and not of the world

    Pema Pera: yes

    Geo Netizen: I can do it .... I did volunteer

    Pema Pera: thanks a lot, Geo!

    Geo Netizen nods

    Geo Netizen: exactly Tarmel

    Pema Pera: to be continued!

    Tarmel Udimo: ciao


    Pema Pera: ciao!


    Geo Netizen: Bye

    Pema Pera is Offline

    Tarmel Udimo: will you be okay on your own ;-)

    Geo Netizen: Yes .... thanks for asking

    Geo Netizen: It was so good to have you here

    Tarmel Udimo: yes it felt good just to listen

    Geo Netizen: pax et bonum Tarmel :)

    Tarmel Udimo: all good and peaceful - yes

    Tarmel Udimo: bye

    Geo Netizen smiles

    Geo Netizen: bye

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