2009.08.06 - Workshop 23

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    The following is the transcript of the workshop for August 6th 2009

    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello gaya:)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Scath :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: How are you, enjoying your break?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Scath, Gaya :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: ah ok, too short!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Eliza :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Eliza
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Rezzing...
    Eliza Madrigal: Gaya, you are mixing it up. First , not a bunny. Now, in a diff. side of the room! :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Eliza Madrigal follows suit
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Are we sure this is happening today?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think so :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes, it is meant to be today!
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Great :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Pila :)
    Pila Mulligan: hi Eliza, Gaya and Scathach
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Pila :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Fox!
    Fox Monacular: Hello everyone
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Fox :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Fantastic av :)
    Fox Monacular: Thanks:)
    Scathach Rhiadra: I have just sent Stim an email, to see if he forgot or has problems logging in
    Gaya Ethaniel: He's online.
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks Scath :)
    Fox Monacular: It's a 'no face' character from 'spirited away'
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Gilles
    Gaya Ethaniel: You can send an IM Scath?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Gilles :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, beautiful film
    Gilles Kuhn: hello all
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Gilles, Fox
    Gaya Ethaniel: Did you make it Fox?
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pila
    Fox Monacular: no, no I don't have skills for that:) but I got it for free:)
    Pila Mulligan: hi Scath, Gilles and Fox
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah :)
    Fox Monacular: Hi Pila
    Pila Mulligan: feels like a waiting room
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: ah, Stim is having trouble getting into SL
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ... ok
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah
    Pila Mulligan: hi Stim
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Stim :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Stim:)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Stim :)
    Stim Morane: Hi! Sorry I'm so late. I don't know what SecondLife is doing.
    Pila Mulligan: it has been a little rough lately :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: we guessed you were having trouble
    Stim Morane: Yes, I actually tried to enter starting about 15 minutes ago.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ...
    Pila Mulligan: glad you made it eventually
    Stim Morane: Well, i appreciate your patience.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :) yes very glad you kept trying, thanks
    Stim Morane: I realize it will take a while to get this forum going again, after my absense.
    Stim Morane: But today we can at least chat about the things you are interested in, personally.
    Pila Mulligan: how was the retreat?
    Stim Morane: it was 2 different retreats, one week each, different people each week.
    Stim Morane: Always complicated.
    Pila Mulligan: and then the PaB retreat soon, also
    Stim Morane: Well, that's Pema's ... I will just be relaxing.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Pila Mulligan: I bet :)
    Stim Morane: It's certainly my plan.
    Pila Mulligan: is it Pema's plan?
    Stim Morane: So i've read the most recent reports by Gaya and Eliza ... Thanks to both of you.
    Eliza Madrigal: Welcome back, Fox :) Yes, SL is playing games today
    Stim Morane: Shall we start there?
    Gaya Ethaniel: wb :)
    Fox Monacular: yes, my SL just froze
    Eliza Madrigal: Sure, Stim
    Stim Morane: One point you both raised concerns the way codependent arising manifests
    Stim Morane: You rightly pointed out that it does not seem sequential, but more of a cluster presentation.
    Stim Morane: This is right.
    Stim Morane: I mentioned this at the beginning of the forum, weeks ago, as a kind of complex, simultaneous wholism
    Stim Morane: Not one thing leading to another, although of course the latter is exactly how very early buddhists do see it.
    Stim Morane: There are several quite different versions of this teaching.
    Stim Morane: The most important thing is that you can see your life in a fresh way.
    Stim Morane: The traditional teachings cannot and should not replace that.
    Stim Morane: They don't tell you what to see, so much as they encourage you to see.
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's again slightly different when seeing self - though I'd prefer to call it 'characters'.
    Stim Morane: Even the component factors that seem codependent will differ from time to time, person to person.
    Stim Morane: Yes, Eliza, that makes sense.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I've been reluctant to talk about this much because I was warned that some people would see this as a 'glitch' in perception.
    Stim Morane: Would you elaborate, Gaya?
    Stim Morane: Sorry, I'm always asking that.
    Gaya Ethaniel: When I see character[s] within, it's very much like emphasising and identifying [varying degrees] with a part in a play.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: And most of those times, I forget RL contexts temporarily ie time/space.
    Stim Morane: The anology is good, and in fact it's more than simply an analogy.
    Gaya Ethaniel: So you understand 'zooming' while darkening around Stim??
    Stim Morane: The whole problem with the life we are so immersed in is that it is an entrancement, not an awake presence. We are not relating well to reality.
    Stim Morane: The codependent arising teaching is meant to shake us awake
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well that's how it feels to me anyway.
    Stim Morane: The same applies to our approaches to things like meditation. It is meant to encourage awakeness, but it is usually a routinized thing, pervaded by habits and unawake uses of various sorts of notions.
    Stim Morane: So again, codependent arising is a kind of check on that.
    Stim Morane: I.E., can we free ourselves from the habits of our approaches to 'become free'?
    Stim Morane: Obviously this involves an emphasis on insight, rather than on other aspects of meditation.
    Gaya Ethaniel: What are the other aspects Stim?
    Stim Morane: Mind training, cultivation of yogic/contemplative skills ... Stuff like that.
    Stim Morane: Those are important too, of course.
    Gilles Kuhn: how can meditation (if i understand well meditation basically is the same thing as intellectual reflexion) be routine ? because some persons ritualize it?
    Stim Morane: meditation necessarily involves references to one's self, one's mind, time, action, objectives, preferences ... All sorts of things.
    Stim Morane: These references need the critique offered by Nagarjuna's version of codependent arising
    Stim Morane: More advanced forms of practice, which we could loosely call contemplation, don't involve such references.
    Pila Mulligan: sometimes insights are not aligned with intellect
    Stim Morane: The question is how we can go from meditation to contemplation
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm
    Stim Morane: Say more, pila?
    Gilles Kuhn: but codependent arising if i understood well is some kind of ontological principle how a ontological principle put itself in the way of a methodological problem?
    Pila Mulligan: well, let's suppose you have an old muscle tension ...
    Stim Morane: Codependent arising cannot be taken as an ontological principle
    Pila Mulligan: relating to the muscle tensiona re various related conditions
    Stim Morane: Not, at least, in the traditional Buddhist contexts i've mentioned so far.
    Pila Mulligan: solving the muscle problem may relieve the related conditions
    Stim Morane: Is Giles really offline?
    Stim Morane: I'm still seeing an avatar ...
    Gilles Kuhn: i'm not?
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Stim Morane: Sorry Giles, my system said you were offline.
    Pila Mulligan: why, are we here?
    Stim Morane: :)
    Gilles Kuhn: yes pila and why it is something and not nothing....
    Gilles Kuhn: ;-)
    Fox Monacular: in everyday life, can codependent arising be similar to the idea of synchronicity?
    Gilles Kuhn: well if codependent arising is similar to the causality principle then it is an ontological principle, no?
    Stim Morane: When I first agreed to do this forum, i mentioned that there are many different notions of Codependent arising
    Stim Morane: We will have to list them, soon.
    Scathach Rhiadra: wb Gaya:)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ty :)
    Eliza Madrigal: WB Gaya :) Also, Fox, here is the wiki page : http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/
    Fox Monacular: Thanks
    Stim Morane: The ones i've been introducing so far are not like versions typical of modern scientific thinking, nor are they ontological in the more ancient senses characteristic of chinese thinking, for example.
    Stim Morane: But yes, Fox M., one version would be as you suggest.
    Gilles Kuhn: oh i was referering t oleibniz reason principles in fact
    Gilles Kuhn: to Leibniz*
    Stim Morane: Yes, Giles. It looks like we may have to extend our list even more than i thought.
    Stim Morane: )
    Stim Morane: This is a tricky forum, because it's really an entry into quite disparate views, all using the same basic label.
    Eliza Madrigal: It is difficult to describe, but what this has been like for me is seeing that net/web of interrelatedness and synchronicity, and then that opening further, which I found/find startling in its totality.
    Gilles Kuhn: you know the concept of causality dahrma etc in buddhism is perfectly similar to the causality principle of western philosophy only the extent of ontology varies
    Stim Morane: I'm not sure I'm stretchy enough to handle both of those last comments!
    Fox Monacular: Yes, me too, Eliza
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Stim Morane: Taking yours first, Eliza, it sounds like you're on a track of the sort i intended.
    Stim Morane: Something like a wish or intention or grief involve all sorts of factors present in a kind of cluster-like way that prop each other up, binding us to a view that does not admit of much freedom.
    Stim Morane: Giles, I would be very slow to compare "causality" in Buddhism with any of its many different uses in Western thought.
    Stim Morane: But we could talk about that sometime, if you like.
    Stim Morane: Causality is not a notion that Nagarjuna, for instance, would take as synonymous for codependent arising, since he actually used the latter to "refute" the former.
    Stim Morane: I'm not actually sure that anyone in any culture really knows what 'causality' means.
    Stim Morane: But contemplatives do know what the kinds of pointers used in contemplative traditions can contribute to their refinements in being present, being awake.
    Gilles Kuhn: well when meaning is properly defined and wordss too which is the essence of rationalist philosophy a meaning must be properly defined and causality is well defined in a lot of philosophical western systmes
    Stim Morane: Yes, I know the idea.
    Stim Morane: But when I was in grad school, ages ago, i and my professors spend two terms trying to sort out "causality' and never got very far.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Pila Mulligan: as Gilles said, 'the extent of ontology varies' from place to place and so in that same sense reasoning may be limited by the assumptions of the place (and isn't causation a form of reasoning?)
    Stim Morane: I'm sure you're familiar with the issue too.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, for now I'll settle for some basic applications of our previous meetings' points to your own life-practice.
    Stim Morane: Are there questions regarding that?
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm never really considered a difference between meditation and contemplation, Stim. Will you say a bit more about that?
    Eliza Madrigal: *I've
    Stim Morane: Meditation is just an english word that attempts to stand in for traditional methods of mind training, and for mind-refinement.
    Stim Morane: Contemplation attempts to represent traditional invitations to "be real"
    Stim Morane: I.e., to be as reality is.
    Stim Morane: Of course there are time-honored Western uses of these terms too, which i'm ignoring for the moment.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, so difference between a mentally focused excercize and being complete, in a sense?
    Stim Morane: The first is a training-level thing, the second is reality itself.
    Stim Morane: But here "reality" means something of specific interest to Eastern traditions, and there is no exact counterpart in Western thought.
    Gilles Kuhn: (sorry had to arbiter a dog/cat fight here )
    Stim Morane: There is no exact counterpart in Eastern thought either.
    Stim Morane: Sounds interesting, Giles.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: Who's the dog?
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you Stim
    Gilles Kuhn: and well stim about causality and causation actually i canrecommend some books but i see i place myself out of this workshop subject
    Gilles Kuhn: (it was no metaphor true rl dog with true rl cat ...)
    Stim Morane: Your recommendations would certainly be of interest to me, Giles.
    Stim Morane: And your comments do suggest important extensions of this forum's scope
    Stim Morane: I look forward to pursuing them ... If I can figure out how.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gilles Kuhn: leibniz monadology...
    Stim Morane: As it is, I still have not found solid ways of handling the basic points I have already introduced here.
    Gilles Kuhn: hume inquiry about human understanding
    Gilles Kuhn: kant critics of pure reason .... to start with ;-)
    Stim Morane: But i appreciate your contributions, Giles.
    Stim Morane: Yes, I see.
    Stim Morane: It has been about 45 years since I studied those in detail.
    Stim Morane: I will have to brush up on them a bit.
    Gilles Kuhn: if you really want look too to the work of mario bunge and i have to reread it too
    Stim Morane: The focus between Leibniz, Hume, Kant and other thinkers in those lines of philosophical inquiry criss-cross the kinds of investigations I've been mentioning here.
    Gilles Kuhn: oh yes i think so
    Stim Morane: The difference that leaps out is that the views i'm pushing are all based on the development of a kind of insight not so commonly considered in the west.
    Stim Morane: But still, it would be nice to see some sort of integration of these currents at some point.
    Gaya Ethaniel: This workshop got me interested in philosophy again Gilles. Strange though ... why I'm reluctant to read up on Buddhism.
    Stim Morane: I should probably wind down ... Hopefully by next week more of our usual crowd will have returned.
    Stim Morane: Do any of you have some ideas regarding homework?
    Stim Morane: Something "practical"?
    Gaya Ethaniel: What do you suggest Stim?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Stim Morane: do you find that you are chained to being the person you have been in the past?
    Eliza Madrigal: wow, okay
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok will work on that one thanks.
    Stim Morane: This would be something to see lurking ... And release.
    Stim Morane: But it's just a suggestion ...
    Pila Mulligan: ... but how far in the past :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: Two minutes, two years.
    Pila Mulligan: but less than 400 years?
    Eliza Madrigal: yes I thought that too... where is the past? heh... but I guess that is part of the question
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: See, in higher contemplation, it wouldn't work at all to be limited in that way.
    Stim Morane: Yes, Eliza, that's a good question.
    Stim Morane: Shall we stop?
    Pila Mulligan: thanks Stim
    Eliza Madrigal: If we must :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you very much, Stim :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you :)
    Stim Morane: No, Pila, even 400 years is too short a time ... Go for 400 eons.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Pila Mulligan: exceeds my recolection :)
    Stim Morane: It will come back to you.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Stim Morane: :)
    Stim Morane: Bye everyone!
    Scathach Rhiadra: Thank you Stim, good night!
    Fox Monacular: thank you
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Stim
    Pila Mulligan: bye for now
    Gaya Ethaniel: Have a good day :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night all, Namaste
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good night Scath :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Scath. Namaste'

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