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lashtal

College of Darkness - Fear class

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After this first meeting, participants were assigned homeworks.

Initially I didn't mean to share that part, but since your answers were nice... here they are!

 

[spoiler]

Homework: Argumentum in terrorem

This technique uses deception (the exploiting of existing fears) to create support for the speaker's proposal.
The form is the following:
Either P (the speaker's proposal) or Q is true. Q is frightening and sometimes presented as P's sole alternative. Therefore, P must be accepted.

Few examples:
"If you don't believe in God, you will burn in Hell forever."
"If you don't kill or betray someone, you'll never be accepted as a true Necrovion."

These are fallacies, because regardless an outcome is frightening, it has no relevance to whether the speaker's proposal is true or not.

Task: give another example of argumentum in terrorem.
Your answers so far:

"Protest against current government and bring it down or stay in recession." Ary Endleg

"If you dont do your homework, lashtal will dig your skull on the cemetery soon." Eara Meraia

"If you do not pick and kill one of your daughters, both will be killed." Aeoshattr

 

"If you touch Lash's strangling rope, you'll choke instantly." Lania

 

"If you don't eat your meat, how can you have any pudding?" Gljivoje

 

"If you play with fire, you will be burnt" Azkhael

 

"If you aren't willing to spend time with the heretic archer, you'll become the god he hates" AmberRune

[/spoiler]

Edited by lashtal

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I apologize for the delay in starting this, but I had to fix some connection issues.
Despite the small audience, this part ended in a very inspiring discussion.
 
Lecture 2/4
[spoiler]
lashtal: Tonight's part was extracted from an old tome...
lashtal: A tome written long ago by Khalazdad, the first human being crowned in Necrovion.
lashtal: Someone whose ramblings and theories are still preserved and pondered on.
: lashtal sits down and opens a big dusty book.
: Azkhael seats himself besides the gates
lashtal: "Fear is a weak blade...
lashtal: Nobody enjoys being afraid and fear usually is expressed as anger. And anger can hurt you.
lashtal: Hence, you will not usually use fear as a weapon, but you must understand its workings to benefit from its teachings, as it will be present frequently in our dealings with others.
lashtal: Fear is difficult to manage or assuage.
lashtal: Sometimes the best thing you can do to play fear is to turn its course, help it find a new target.
lashtal: A little push is all it takes, a little reasonable doubt, a little nagging conscience.
lashtal: Those who fear you can be made to fear your enemy. Gently.
lashtal: Or a softer target if it advantages you.
lashtal: Keep in mind: try not to make others fear you.
lashtal: Even your greatest enemy must think you weaker than you truly are.
lashtal: If they do not fear you, if they hold you in contempt, they will not bring the forces needed to eliminate you.
lashtal: Thus, you may have the mightiest of enemies and withstand them."
: Azkhael softly turns his head, inquisitively, at lashtal
lashtal: *turns to him* Questions? Comments?
lashtal: Otherwise I have two short stories to share about the subject.
lashtal: "A man feared what he saw when he looked into a cave. It was dark, and made noise, and he saw something moving inside.
lashtal: He went home and nursed his fear. His fear turned to hate - he hated what could make him feel so afraid.
lashtal: He returned to the cave full of hate, and found that what was inside seemed to hate him back. When he drew his sword, he heard the darkness hiss at him, and saw a movement in the dark.
lashtal: But he decided to master his fear. He entered the cave with his sword drawn, charged from the back.
lashtal: The clamor of his armor echoed off the walls and became the sound of an army in his ears. When he reached the back of the cave he found what defeated him utterly.
lashtal: It was a mirror."
lashtal: *looks around with a grin...* Bedtime stories indeed...
lashtal: Last one:
lashtal: "A man feared high places. Each day he had to cross a long rope bridge to reach his fields, and each day he felt terror at the deed.
lashtal: He crossed with his eyes closed, gripping the ropes with white knuckled fists, side step by easing side step.
lashtal: One day a traveller taught him a mantra to master his fear. He repeated it over and over until he could cross the bridge with his eyes open.
lashtal: He began to grow bold, and released his grip on the rope railings, and eventually walked in the middle of the bridge eater than keeping to the edges.
lashtal: The edges, as it turns out, had been the safest place on the bridge. He fell through a rotten board and died one morning."
Azkhael: I shall comment briefly on the first part, then on the two stories.
lashtal: Hit me!
Azkhael: A: indeed, if one expects a logical methodology from one's own enemies in dealing with a threat, to be underestimated, to not be seem as a threat, and hence to move freely, is a blessing.
Azkhael: But fear can be a tool to be used against one's enemies, an open threat of cripplement that stops a stronger party from weakening itself against you, and annihilating you in the process.
Azkhael: Against an emotionally susceptible party, it likewise shares that double edge. For they might lash irrationally against you, or they might go on the defensive even when the opportunity for an offensive presents itself.
lashtal: I agree on everything... Fear is indeed not a weak blade, but rather a double-sided blade
Azkhael: Stories: fear can be a crippling weakness, producing a threat where there is none (story 1) , but fear can also be the recognition of a perfectly real threat (story 2) .
Azkhael: Both would indicate that fear's nature, in those regards, is ultimately circumstantial.
Azkhael: The question that is posed, from therein, is to what extent those circumstances can be recognized, and employed in one's favor, or avoided.
Azkhael: I believe that may be later addressed.
lashtal: This is a very good point.
AmberRune: If the fear -while seemingly real- is relatively small or manageable, can't it also goad people into action?
Azkhael: In that sense, the two stories are interconnected, but that interconnection, in turn, relates directly to the first part.
Azkhael: The first part speaks of how to use other's fears. The stories speak of one's own fears. But, ultimately, they speak of the same thing, and how it can be used.
Azkhael: @AmberRune: yes, by extension, presenting an enemy as fearsome, though not invincibly so, is to point them as a manageable threat.
lashtal: Personally, I've always been more interested in learning from my own fears... But, indeed, being skilled at using others fears can lead to significant power...
lashtal: And as you pointed out, it's all inter-connected…
Azkhael: If I might ask, what do one's fears teach them? Not in particulars, for I understand those may be variable, but in a general sense?
lashtal: "Them" being who?
Azkhael: Oneself.
lashtal: You're asking, what could I learn from my own fear?
Azkhael: In a sense, though the answer you can give will, indeed, pertain to yourself.
lashtal: Trying to stay in a general sense...
: Krioni lands quietly
lashtal: Analyzing why we got scared by a certain image/situation is the key to our weak spots, our fragilities, the dark corners of our-selves.
: lashtal nods to Krioni
lashtal: For example, let me take a nightmare I had a few days ago...
lashtal: I was napping, it was a semi-lucid dream in which I knew I was dreaming, but I could not control its course.
lashtal: At a certain point, while still dreaming, I wanted to wake up.
lashtal: So... I dreamt I was struggling to wake up, but actually I was still dreaming.
lashtal: In my dream, once awake, I wasn't feeling good because I still felt very sleepy, unable to focus, almost retarded...
lashtal: I looked for my girlfriend, trying hard to express how I felt...
lashtal: I remember I said something like "I must have hit my head hard, I feel I lost my mind."
Azkhael: Interesting, much comes to mind already, but, please, do continue.
lashtal: Analyzing such a bad dream.. what could I realize about myself?
AmberRune: I'm confused, what was the bad dream part of it?
lashtal: That in the dream I couldn't wake up and I stayed like suspended in between the two states?
Azkhael: These are only guesses, however you are wary of being powerless over yourself.
Azkhael: Or, alternatively, though not far removed, you are wary of losing yourself.
lashtal: Exactly: one of my biggest fears/concerns is to lose my mind or part of my lucid state.
Azkhael: What was your own insight?
lashtal: For someone playing with lucid dreams and altered states of consciousness... having a solid, lucid base on which to rely and start from is mandatory.
Azkhael: Thank you for sharing.
lashtal: I hope this answered your question..
Azkhael: May I use the opportunity to briefly relate to my comments during the previous lecture?
lashtal: Of course you can.
Azkhael: When I said I do not believe we can think without employing the logical form, I did not mean to say the logical form is wholly sufficient.
Azkhael: Namely, despite that comment, I agree with every single one of today's statements.
Azkhael: Understanding oneself requires reflections that cannot be limited by rationalization.
: lashtal nods as he listens
Azkhael: However, when you speak of the importance of a lucid mind in the process (...) I would, temptingly, relate that to that previous comment of which, in reflecting, language may present itself as an inescapable resource.
Azkhael: One that, itself, defines us irreversibly, though it does not do so alone.
Azkhael: What are your views on that?
lashtal: Lucidity is important as base-ground. It's our reference, so to say.
lashtal: At the same time...
lashtal: Lucidity and rationality should initially be avoided when confronting with dreams or fears.
lashtal: One has to abandon him/her-self first.
Azkhael: In the act of experiencing them, or in the act of reflecting over them?
lashtal: In the act of experiencing them, to fully experience them...
: Azkhael nods
lashtal: Reflecting requires rationality, but that's the second phase
Azkhael: I concur, so far.
Azkhael: Would you say one can reflect without rationality, however?
lashtal: Could be a lexical issue here, but to me reflecting-analyzing implies rationality.
Azkhael: As it does to me. But that is the curious thing. More and more, we are led to believe language is molded across "channels".
Azkhael: I have met individuals who claimed they were able to think, to wield an elaborate logical form, in patterns that could only strike me as utterly alien.
Azkhael: An austriac mathematician that mutilated himself - his own brain, to be exact - obsessed with what he deemed were ingrained limitations to his thought patterns - inconsistencies - comes to mind.
lashtal: Well... What if I tell you I experienced a non-tridimensional world, where the states of matter were no solid, liquid or gas but something in between?
Azkhael: I cannot actually conceive it, but I find it intriguingly feasible.
lashtal: It was a mental image, but its memory is more vivid than what I'm starring at right now.
Azkhael: I believe our mind is flawed, that, even in thought, we are limited to reproducing experiences, and that we may be able to think in fashions we cannot conceive of without such experiences.
Azkhael: We once disregarded much as madness - under a now devalued psychiatric paradigm - which we are now forced to reevaluate.
Azkhael: That is to say, those were the paradigms of a positivist psychiatry, that has since been put in check.
: lashtal nods in agreement
lashtal: I wish to thank you for your contribution
Azkhael: No, I should be the one thanking you for the insights.
Azkhael: I hope it was as interesting a conversation for you as it was for me.
lashtal: It was indeed, and it would have been a mere "revival" without your comments
lashtal: And with this I'm leaving... The cemetery calls.
AmberRune: G'night lash!
Azkhael: Farewell, lashtal.
lashtal: I'll post a log tomorrow morning
AmberRune: yays!
: Assira the Black nods to lashtal
Azkhael: Until we next meet.
: [Spell] CURSE YOU ALL MEN!
[/spoiler]
Edited by lashtal

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Here's the fresh log from tonight.

I forgot to give you homeworks, but next time you have no escape.  :D

 

Lecture 3/4

[spoiler]lashtal: Anybody awake?
Rikstar: I am
lashtal: *nods* Very good, I'm about to start
lashtal: Last week Ary Endleg showed me a very interesting video, something that nicely fills the gap between the past lectures and the new ones.
lashtal: While we wait 5 more minutes for others to come, please take a look at it:
lashtal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSKtTBjSBg0
Rikstar: I will do.
BFH the WHITE: Community Event (hosted by lashtal) : College of Darkness - Fear pt.3. @Howling Gates NOW
lashtal: Oh, and another one:
lashtal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyiAR2BXtKU
Rikstar: (I am a person who can't watch horror.)
BFH the WHITE: message will dissappear in a while, i leave now
BFH the WHITE: cya
Rikstar: (Those movies stalk me for weeks.)
Rikstar: (So I have learned to not watch them.)
lashtal: Thank you BFH, see you
: lashtal grins at Rikstar
lashtal: I understand, but sometimes fear teaches us much about ourselves.
lashtal: Some may say it's a pity not to hear such a lesson.
lashtal: Allright, welcome everybody.
lashtal: If you're done with the videos, maybe you got questions or comments before I start?
Rikstar: I do agree with it.
Rikstar: And I think that I can't disagree with it since it is a fact.
lashtal: Tonight's lecture will introduce the concepts of terror, horror and the role of imagination.
lashtal: Although often confused, terror and horror refer to different states of mind.
lashtal: Terror is the feeling of dreadful anticipation that precedes the experience.
lashtal: Such a state usually sharpen your senses, making your body ready for a "fight or flight" reaction.
lashtal: Terror can be a valuable source of inspiration too, for it may bring our conscience to un-experienced heights.
lashtal: Horror, on the other hand, is the feeling of revulsion that usually occurs after something frightening is experienced.
lashtal: Horror is what can freeze you and leave you unable to react.
lashtal: Terror is characterized by obscurity, indeterminacy, it shouldn't be dressed with too many details.
lashtal: It is precisely THIS indeterminacy which is amplified by the imagination of the victim.
lashtal: Imagination is what fills in the missing details and regardless how skilled you are, you'll never find a better dread master than your victim's imagination.
lashtal: Speaking of this..
lashtal: I can't help but notice the affinity of such concepts with a mysterious technique that might have to do with fear itself...
lashtal: I'm talking about Black Water.
lashtal: I'm about to reveal something many would consider "spoiler", but since it's our 3rd gathering...
lashtal: Page 4 of Black Water states:
lashtal: "Black Water isn't actually a real element. Its reality is in the imagination of the user and is amplified by the vulnerability of the subject.
lashtal: The user of this malevolent device shouldn't keep memories of using it, for those memories would turn inside his body."
lashtal: As of now, I am not sure Black Water has to do with fear, if it's some sort of conjuration of our dark thoughts... But I can't avoid to relate them.
lashtal: I'll give you time to ponder on the implications, and the possible relations Black Water has with fear and the role of imagination.
lashtal: I'll conclude this lecture with a quote, from a director I always appreciated.
lashtal: "Keep your eyes and ears open.
lashtal: All we can do is try to frighten you with some fancy powers.
lashtal: But it is only when you close your eyes, or look away, that we get a grip on you.
lashtal: Because fear is in your mind.
lashtal: Behind closed eyes, is where the real terror begins."
lashtal: [Lars von Trier]
: *Eagle Eye* failed to cast a spell
: lashtal was about to sneeze
AmberRune: Need pepper?
: *Eagle Eye* smiles
*Eagle Eye*: Is failed i wonder why?
: [Spell] screams
: lashtal eyes Eagle Eye, then Amber
lashtal: No thanks
*Eagle Eye*: I cast without your name FAILED
: Rikstar cheers
: *Eagle Eye* cheers
*Eagle Eye*: Lot of heats
*Eagle Eye*: Thats why failed:)
*Eagle Eye*: Not allow to cast 11 players Heats Needed
lashtal: I thank you for being so quiet during the lecture
lashtal: If anybody has anything to say, I'm here to listen and discuss
AmberRune: That's why I haven't been playing zombie games late at night in a while
TheRichMerchant: (i hope you have read the lattest from Princ, fellow marindians)
*Eagle Eye*: I used to lie in bed in my flat
*Eagle Eye*: and imagine what would happen if there was a zombie attack.
lashtal: What would you do EE?
*Eagle Eye*: Shout and Scream
lashtal: 'Till they come and get you?
lashtal: Wouldn't you organize some defense?
Gljivoje: shout and scream, unorganizations in clutches of horror what might happen, but it still isnt
*Eagle Eye*: single def
lashtal: Single def against zombies? Which creature? :-)
Azrafar: Zombies are just shambling corpses. I wouldn't worry about them too much.
*Eagle Eye*: Vamfire Priest
lashtal: I'm with Azrafar
Rikstar: Other humans are a greater threat!
Azrafar: I can just outrun them and wait for the military to clean them up.
Rikstar: ANd if there isn't a military?
Gljivoje: you must include emotional horrors, variations of current situation
Azrafar: Then I'll hide, fortify and go hunting.
AmberRune: Pool cue
*Eagle Eye*: Culture is just a shambling zombie that repeats what it did in life; bits of it drop off, and it doesn't appear to notice.
: lashtal looks Eagle Eye in amazement
Azrafar: I would disagree with Eagle Eye on the culture analogy.
*Eagle Eye*: :)
Azrafar: Culture can stagnate, but it can also evolve and adapt quickly if necessary.
lashtal: I must admit I enjoyed the image rather than the analogy..
*Eagle Eye*: Culture makes people understand each other better
*Eagle Eye*: And if they understand better in their soul, it is easier to overcome
Azrafar: I feel the conversation about zombies and horror just got derailed. :)
*Eagle Eye*: :)
: Eon throws the dice and gets 1
*Eagle Eye*: Hello Eon
: Eon passed Silver coin to Azrafar
Azrafar: Thank you, but why?
*Eagle Eye*: Anyway, Lorerootians up coming training ground you can joined if you like soon
*Eagle Eye*: back to Zombie
*Eagle Eye*: We fear death so profoundly, not because it means the end of our body,
*Eagle Eye*: but because it means the end of our consciousness-better to be a spirit in Heaven than a zombie on Earth
Eon: .
Azrafar: True.
*Eagle Eye*: :P
Azrafar: I'm tired, so I'll be going now. Thanks for the lecture.
: Azrafar bows and leaves
*Eagle Eye*: take a good care
: *Eagle Eye* bows
*Eagle Eye*: See you around
lashtal: Thank you all for coming
[/spoiler]

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And here are the logs from the last meeting.

I may have skipped a few lines here and there, but the sense should be preserved.

 

Lecture 4/4

[spoiler]
: TheRichMerchant salutes the two knights of Marind
WittyLeWat: *looks up to her hair, crossing her eyes* Uhm.. yellow!
Ary Endleg: I think I got 300-400 wins today lol
Sir Blut: Nice, I have skill damage

lashtal: For those who are interested, I'm about to present, and hopefully to discuss, my last ramblings about fear.
: WittyLeWat looks to lashtal, interested
TheRichMerchant: lol, Ary...i was about to get some wins on you guys
Ary Endleg: you have to plan ahead richy
lashtal: If you missed the previous meetings, here's where you can find the logs:
lashtal: http://magicduel.invisionzone.com/topic/15790-college-of-darkness-fear-class/
: Sir Blut nods off
: WittyLeWat nods
: WittyLeWat re-lights her cigarette and takes a pull
lashtal: Tonight I will introduce what I consider the "inner part" of this series of meetings.
: TheRichMerchant is listening
: WittyLeWat sits down and listens too
lashtal: ... That is: learning from one's own fears.
: *Eara Meraia* sits quietly and the gate chewing on some nightshade
: TheRichMerchant fears Eara will choke
: Aeoshattr chuckles
: lashtal takes out a scribbled notebook and starts flipping pages back and forth
: Aeoshattr glances at the Nightshade, his eyes clearly interested
: lashtal clears his throat and looks around for attention
Aeoshattr: We are listening, lash
: TheRichMerchant fears noone will give lashtal attention
lashtal: Mothers in all realms comfort their children when they're scared, and teach them not to be afraid of that which doesn't exist.
: WittyLeWat is watching and listening, not participating much though
lashtal: Nursing your fears, on the other hand, working on the vilest thoughts we're capable of, and confronting with them may lead to a deeper understanding of who we are.
TheRichMerchant: (i have a bit of a hard time to believe that)
WittyLeWat: (got a bit of stuff to do, sorry, *keeps an eye on the chat* )
lashtal: As I said last time, you'll never find a better dread master than yourself.
lashtal: Nobody knows your weak spots better than you.
lashtal: So… Do you really want to miss this chance?
Aeoshattr: *chuckles* I dare say, sometimes it's better to remain ignorant. But please, go on.
*Eara Meraia*: what about fairytales? our mothers tell them to us as well. But I guess thats offtopic
: lashtal chuckles and shakes his head at Aeoshattr's comment
lashtal: Unpleasant as it is, a panic attack, a nightmare or a "bad trip" can teach us more than years of chit-chatting.
lashtal: In such situations, refusing or being unable to apply rationality is the key, the first step to learn a lesson.
lashtal: Going with the flow, as dark as can be. Starring in front of the mirror.
lashtal: The price? Your safety, in case fear comes with real danger; your mind, in case you don't accept yourself.
lashtal: Nightmares are extremely fascinating for their irrational contents, but also valuable for us to "test" stressful/dreadful situation in relative safety and teach/train our mind how to deal with it.
lashtal: In a way, nightmares prepare us to face difficult situations while we're awake.
lashtal: Banishing nightmares and fears absent-mindedly, like swapping the air, is just another way to look away.
lashtal: You may pretend your fears don't affect you, but neither you learn nor you resolve them.
lashtal: Therefore, along with rationality, pride should be left aside.
lashtal: Don't be ashamed, be afraid!!
TheRichMerchant: ba afraid, be very afraid, lol
lashtal: ... Once the dreadful experience is over - and only then - we can rely on rationality again.
: *Eara Meraia* nods in agreement with lashtal
: TheRichMerchant realizes he had spoke out loud
: Aeoshattr chuckles, listening
lashtal: Analyzing why a specific image emerged within a dream, or why we got scared of a certain situation is the key to our weak spots, our fragilities, the dark corners of our-selves.
lashtal: Being aware of those, and eventually accepting them, represent to me THE highway for our personal growth, as human beings.
Ary Endleg: homework?
lashtal: There will be, if you want to.
Aeoshattr: That would be interesting
Ary Endleg: I always do my homework, unlike Amber :P
: AmberRune whistles innocently
: lashtal grins
*Eara Meraia*: hmm...what if accepting them leads to stagnation rather than to growth?
lashtal: I think acceptance and recognition are always to be considered a step forward, Eara
*Eara Meraia*: recognition yes, but acceptance? sometimes recognition leads to fighting, acceptance almost always leads to not doing or changing anything.
lashtal: I'm not sure one has to do anything about him/her-self...
*Eara Meraia*: I mean, sometimes nightmares are signs, warning. acceptance sounds for me like ignoring them...or do I get you wrong?
lashtal: On the contrary..
lashtal: It implies confronting with their contents
lashtal: Going through
Aeoshattr: *chuckles* Acceptance can only be achieved by change. Whereas fighting implies resistance to change.
: Ary Endleg thumbs up Aeo
lashtal: I see different points of view here...
*Eara Meraia*: it doesnt have to. fighting is a change as well
Aeoshattr: Hm. You do have a point there. It could be different for every person
lashtal: I'd be interested in knowing what would you fight against, and what kind of change you mean.
Aeoshattr: (me or Eara?)
lashtal: Both, otherwise we might misunderstand each others.
Aeoshattr: Hm. Speaking about Fear, the way I see it is that in order to grow and change, you must accept and understand your fear, rather than fight it.
Aeoshattr: However, fighting may cause change as well - to me, the only thing capable of inducing change in this world is Pain and fighting can cause pain too. I will detail this in a sermon of my own *chuckles*
lashtal: Acceptance and understanding, I agree on that...
AmberRune: I don't know if pain is the only thing
: *Eagle Eye* passed Silver coin to WittyLeWat
: *Eagle Eye* passed Silver coin to WittyLeWat
: *Eagle Eye* passed Silver coin to Sir Blut
: *Eagle Eye* passed Silver coin to Sir Blut
*Eara Meraia*: my view is a bit different, even though I overall agree
*Eara Meraia*: I agree that you need to accept your fear but..
*Eara Meraia*: With fighting I meant conquering your fear, not transferring it into real life situations.
*Eara Meraia*: Let us say you dream of killing your child
*Eara Meraia*: Over and over again.
*Eara Meraia*: Recognition would be helpful in this situation imo
*Eara Meraia*: But acceptance could lead to a very serious negative consequences.
*Eara Meraia*: So I would rather work on that fear, instead of just accept it and do nothing
Aeoshattr: *chuckles* It would bring about Pain.
*Eara Meraia*: I would look into reasons of that fear, analyse it in details, go through it, as lash said before
*Eara Meraia*: but in my vision, acceptance has a lot of inertia in it
Aeoshattr: (Ironically, I had a similar, very eerie experience OOC)
*Eara Meraia*: too much sometimes
Aeoshattr: (It would fit the whole fear lecture, but it's OOC so I'm not sure if I should swamp the chat with brackets or not)
Azull: acceptance doesn't imply resignation
Aeoshattr: Acceptance comes after a great deal of internal pain - which will inevitably change you.
lashtal: You name "change" what I name "growth"...
lashtal: But with growth I mean you're not really changing, you're evolving, but being yourself. Even more aware of yourself
Aeoshattr: *nods* I name it change because it is not always... growth in a positive sense.
Aeoshattr: (hawkward silence)
Azull: Time to sleep. Goodnight all
AmberRune: g'night
Aeoshattr: Sleep well, king Azull
lashtal: Rest well
*Eara Meraia*: welterusten
lashtal: (enjoy the silence!)
lashtal: Instead of doing homework... We could use Eara's example to actually try and figure out the reasons behind such a nightmare.
lashtal: She said: Let us say you dream of killing your child. Over and over again.
lashtal: I ask you: what would such a dream reveal about the dreamer?
WittyLeWat: *thinks* Maybe the inner fear of something happening to the child?
AmberRune: There's something more concerning to them than the thought of repercussions for killing the kid
lashtal: That for sure...
*Eara Meraia*: he has fear to loose something dear
*Eara Meraia*: or let go in general
: Aeoshattr chuckles
lashtal: I'm guessing here... there may be also the fear of losing lucidity and murdering the child in a moment of "freakout"?
Aeoshattr: It could not be a fear
Aeoshattr: It could be a desire. Or a long repressed fear.
: WittyLeWat gasps
Aeoshattr: Perhaps the fear initially was "I will not live my life if I have a child"
lashtal: That might be...
lashtal: Of course now we can only guess... we're rambling about a hypothetical dream of someone unknown
lashtal: But when we apply the same method to our dreams...
WittyLeWat: *nods* We see it subjectively..
lashtal: True, but we also know ourselves better than a random stranger, hence the analysis will be more accurate
: WittyLeWat nods
WittyLeWat: However,a second opinion of someone who knows us really good may give us another perspective, maybe something that we couldn;t think of
*Eara Meraia*: *smiles* ok, I see now. What you call acceptance, i call analysis
WittyLeWat: But like you said..we know best. And I think our most private thoughts and happenings are only known by ourselves
: lashtal agrees with Witty
lashtal: Eara, yeah with acceptance I mean the result of analysis.. does that make sense?
*Eara Meraia*: your words make more sense now, in any case :)
WittyLeWat: Excuse me for interrupting. By analyzing ourselves we reach a conclusion, something about ourselves, right? I think the next step is to accept that, if it cannot be changed
lashtal: *nods* That's the key-point, Witty
: WittyLeWat smiles
WittyLeWat: I think acceptance is a more difficult thing to do than analyzing...
Azkhael: I am incredibly late, I know. Greetings, nevertheless.
: WittyLeWat waves to Azkhael
lashtal: Nice to see you, Azkhael
: Aeoshattr chuckles
Aeoshattr: Fighting would mean trying to change "it". Acceptance means changing "you". That's how I see it
WittyLeWat: *thinks* But how does accepting something about yourself actually changes you as a person?
Azkhael: Even if you can and would change it, why would you not accept it?
Aeoshattr: You cannot truly accept something unless you change.
lashtal: Why do you have to change?
AmberRune: I know I'm a stubborn type person and it's burned me. I accept that I'm still stubborn and am ready to stand in front of the fire
Aeoshattr: It depends on how you define accept. If it means saying "Yes, I fear spiders" then you don't have to change.
WittyLeWat: *frowns* But then how else can you define acceptance?
Aeoshattr: To me it means "Yes, I fear spiders and I understand why."
Aeoshattr: It doesn't mean you no longer will fear spiders. But you accepted the part of you that feared spiders.
Aeoshattr: Which, until then, was not understood
Azkhael: You might change due to your position in relation to external means beyond your ability to influence, perhaps, lashtal?
: *Peace* quietly joins the crowd and takes a spot to listen.
lashtal: I'm not sure...
lashtal: Your Highness... nice to see you *smiles*
Aeoshattr: My Queen *smiles and bows*
: WittyLeWat waves
*Peace*: *nods to all present.* I was hoping to be here on time, alas... But please, do continue...
Azkhael: In a sense, to analyse yourself you must accept what that anlyses brings as to whom you are.
Azkhael: Though you may wish to change that, you cannot truly do that if you had not accepted your condition to as it is in the first place.
Azkhael: But those are two meanings to a same word, I suppose.
Azkhael: To accept and to embrace, not wholly different, not entirely akin.
lashtal: *nods to Azkhael* But why is that supposed to change me?
WittyLeWat: I think it's a cycle.. We analyze, accept, move on, then we must analyze ourselves again and do the same process over and over.. maybe that's how change comes.
WittyLeWat: .. from the decisions we made and thoughts we had after truly accepting something.. and before having to analyze again?
Azkhael: I believe the very process of reflection would change you, for we are dynamic, rather than static. To reflect upon what we are changes us by and of itself.
Azkhael: Though I do like to believe we learn more than we change.
*Peace*: I second that.
Aeoshattr: (Sadly, I have run out of energy. I literally can't follow the conversation anymore. I'll just lurk.)
WittyLeWat: *thinks* Maybe the things we learn actually bring the change in our character.
Azkhael: But I also believe most of us would easily be driven into change by circumstances.
: WittyLeWat agrees
Azkhael: The earliest steps of our upbringing, in a sense, is where the environment's effects upon ourselves is most evident.
Azkhael: For we are being very nearly shaped in an environment such as a school.
Azkhael: For better or for worse.
lashtal: Again, you name "change" what I name "growth"...
*Peace*: Evolution?
WittyLeWat: *looks at lashtal* then what do you call change?
lashtal: Exactly, but at the same time a confirmation of yourself, hence why I dislike the word "change"
Azkhael: Hmm, does a school foster growth, lashtal?
Azkhael: Or does it foster systems of social distinction?
lashtal: It depends... This is Necrovion's College of Darkness...
lashtal: Are you changing, growing? Getting bored?
Aeoshattr: *bows his head before heading off* Thank you for your lecture, lash. Sweet... dreams, everyone.
WittyLeWat: *waves to Aeoshattr* Rest well.
lashtal: Thank you for participating Aeo

[/spoiler]

 

At this point, the discussion turned to a wider debate on "free will against determinism" (as Jester labelled it), and raised what we may call burning questions: What are we, as humans, growing towards? Are we growing towards death, are we eating just to poo?

 

[spoiler]
Azkhael: An adult may be less malleable than a child, but I doubt any of us would state they'd be whoever they are today in spite of how they might have been raised.
*Peace*: Sweet nightmares, Aeo. *nods.*
Azkhael: I am likely changing, in a way I perceive positively. I am testing my own views, after all. But what am I growing towards?
*Eara Meraia*: death
: *Peace* smiles at Eara's comment.
: WittyLeWat raises a brow
Azkhael: You have given me a noun.
Azkhael: Now attribute qualities to that noun.
Azkhael: I could be heading towards death, surely. But to claim I grow towards death one must first attribute those qualities to death that makes the process into a form of growth.
lashtal: I wouldn't say we grow towards death, we grow towards a more defined version of ourselves. Hence why I wouldn't say we really "change".
lashtal: But saying we grow towards death sounds like "we eat just to poo"
: WittyLeWat chuckles
: *Peace* chuckles amused.
*Eara Meraia*: no that would be WE GROW JUST TO DIE
lashtal: We eat to poo? :-p

Azkhael: A. do we have free will in the process, or is our path across that process preordained?

Azkhael: B. Does growth require free will, in your view?

*Eara Meraia*: *chuckles* you cannot deny the fact
Azkhael: You can.

lashtal: Seriously... A. We have, although it's often conditioned.
*Eara Meraia*: no, you can not. try to eat and not to poo :P
lashtal: B. Difficult to say...
WittyLeWat: But.. growing is a mental process too, I think death is just physical.
Azkhael: @Eara Meraia: causality is a standard of convenience, never a real certainty, though many examples may strike you as absurd.
Azkhael: The problem, concerning both the notion of free will and that of growth (...) is that to speak of them we'd require a point of reference.
Azkhael: Would you agree, lashtal?
*Eara Meraia*: when you were asking about where we grow to, it was a question about causality.
Azkhael: It pertains back to free will, Eara.
: lashtal agrees with Azkhael
Azkhael: Very well, then, do you believe we can somehow find a point of reference for free will and growth?
lashtal: For growth, yes... harder for free will
WittyLeWat: How much control we have over growth,though?
Azkhael: That is a question we cannot answer without first enduring others, sadly.
Azkhael: If we can find a point of reference for growth, is that point, itself, inherent to the world (transcendent) , or entirely subjective (given by our experiences) ?
Azkhael: Or a mixture of both.
WittyLeWat: I think probably a mixture of both.
Jester: what is this, free will vs determinism?
lashtal: It has to be a combination of both, but focused either on an individual or on a larger scale
Jester: I'm a firm believer in free will, just as I was made to be.
: WittyLeWat waves to Jester
Azkhael: A provoking statement, Jester.
Jester: Hiya.
Azkhael: It does define the conflict quite well.
WittyLeWat: We haven't met before. I'm Witty! *extends her hand towards Jester* .
lashtal: Good to see you, Jester
Jester: It does tie into causality for me
Jester: Good to see you as well, lashtal, and nice to meet you witty.
Azkhael: If there is something of transcendent to growth (...) I do not know it, lashtal.
Azkhael: But by believing it, you can make those statements you've made.
: *Eara Meraia* was dragged by Tal
Jester: If all time exists at once, and we simply perceive it as linear due to our limited capacity, then that argues towards determinism in my mind.
WittyLeWat: *takes her hand back and smiles* Nice to meet you too.
Jester: then that quote about all the world is a stage, all the people merely actors would be extra true, since we'd all be acting out predestined roles
Jester: of course, then you have to take into account whether people can ad-lib lines.
Jester: I think so, and thats my philosophy now.
Jester: All people are playing roles set up for them, but occasionally you get to go off script.
WittyLeWat: Who sets up their roles,though?
Jester: Not who, what. What being everything that happened before them.
Jester: The answer to the question "why?" is "because".
Jester: and the answer to the question "why anything?" is "because everything."
: lashtal chuckles
Azkhael: Complete determinism is not undoable. The problem, however, is that, regardless of whether everything is preordained by causality, that speaks nothing of one being able to speak of it.
: WittyLeWat scratches her head
Azkhael: The perception of determinism and the existence of determinism are not interconnected.
Azkhael: As such, logic cannot be applied to verifying its existence.
Jester: I essentially believe that people mostly act the way they where set up to, but occasionally they break out of the mold.
Jester: Eh, I did read something a while ago that said whether an... I think it was an electron, whether it moved left or right was 50/50 and nobody could figure out why it chose the way it did
Jester: it seemed to be random
Jester: so if randomness does exist on that low of a level, it must exist on the higher ones
Jester: as below, so above
Jester: of course, it could just be that we haven't figured out what determines which way it moves
Jester: Anyway, I didn't mean to ramble and interrupt your discussion. I type too quickly for my own good.
: WittyLeWat 's hair turns light brown
Azkhael: Why would individuals break out of the mold, Jester, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle?
Azkhael: Assuming the mold as such exists in the first place, of course.
Jester: I thought the uncertainty principle had to do with us not being able to perceive something, not with it being fundamentally uncertain
Jester: though that reminds me of one of my favorite jokes, from a terry pratchett novel
Jester: something like: "The act of working with something changes the thing worked on and the person working on it. for example, an elementary physicist might wake up one day and realize he either knows who he is or where he is, but not both at the same time."
Azkhael: Whether or not observable causality is denied by an inherent element of randomness to the universe (...)
Azkhael: That speaks nothing of determinism, indeed.
Jester: but yes, correct me if I'm wrong, but the uncertainty principle doesn't have any randomness in it
Jester: it simply says that the act of percieving something changes that which is perceived
Jester: nothing about chance or randomness
Azkhael: Heisenberg's own? No.
: Assira the Black leans against the wall listening
: WittyLeWat waves to Assira
Azkhael: Though it has long since been further annotated by other physicians.
Rophs: Let's say that I think there's a neutron here.
Jester: physicians are doctors, heh
Rophs: I want to see how fast it is going so I bounce another neutron off of it and measure the bounce
Jester: physicists study physics
Jester: ah, thank you rophs
Jester: now I remember, its been years
: WittyLeWat listens quietly
: Assira the Black nods to Witty
Jester: I personally don't believe in the alternate universes theory though. The infinite number of parallel ones.
Jester: That would mean that every planck time, which is the tiniest amount of time there is, an infinite number of parallels would branch off due to an electron spinning one way or the other.
Jester: Hell, one could be made of anti-matter instead of the matter we know, though completely identical otherwise..
Jester: Oh, though I did hear that they discovered that electrons can teleport.
Jester: Wish I could teleport.
: WittyLeWat 's light brown hair starts glowing slightly
Jester: *glances over* women. always changing their hair color.
Jester: Or is she going super saiyan?
WittyLeWat: *chuckles* I don't bother keeping it the same color anymore.
: Assira the Black raises an eyebrow
lashtal: Time has come for me to rest. Thank you all for coming
lashtal: It was an interesting discussion
Azkhael: Farewell, lashtal.
Jester: Nice seeing you lash-it-all, I'll hopefully be here again tomorrow so we can chat.
Jester: (of course!)
: Assira the Black nods to lashtal
WittyLeWat: *nods* Rest well. It was great meeting you!
lashtal: My pleasure, Witty
[/spoiler]

 

If you feel like doing homework (yeah, in College of Darkness homework is only for the volunteers), and if you're not familiar with my quest Déjà vu - a recurrent nightmare PM-me in game and I will offer you a situation to ponder on.

 

A very special thanks to all those who attended the meetings and participated to the discussions. 

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Edited by lashtal

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