RE: Zen singularity

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Tue Feb 24 2004 - 07:06:32 MST

> > Zen in any meaningful way, you need to meditate a lot -- I guess there's
> no
> > other way. Personally I do NOT meditate a lot -- I used to meditate
> See, that is a concrete advice which contains information (you need to...)
> but a zen master doesn't care for information he wants you to stop making
> such a big fuss out of the difference between needing to and not
> needing to.
> He would say that the best way is to not meditate at all, and then another
> cooler guy would come up and say that you must meditate but not meditate,
> then an older one would go still farther beyond categorization and propose
> an absolutely unrelated concept such as wash your bowl, but right after
> that, the coolest guy would amputate the younger guy's finger which would
> completely wipe out the categorizing ideas that were formed in
> his mind, and
> then he'd be enlightened and stop worrying about zen and go do something
> productive

Well, there is an apparent paradox in Zen, which is that

-- yeah, the rhetoric states that Zen practice is no more fundamental than
thumb-twiddling or lawnmower repair

-- nonetheless, in fact, Zen masters set up monasteries and encourage
meditation practice, more so than above-mentioned alternatives

This is one of many apparent paradoxes to be overcome along the Zen path, I

Personally, the paradox that took me a long time to deal with was: If
everything is an illusion, then why should I bother being compassionate to
all these illusory beings? I finally solved this one after many years
("solved" in a personal-understanding sense; these aren't paradoxes to be
solved rationally...)

My favorite Singularity apparent-paradox is: Since once I've Transcended,
the being that I'll become will have next to nothing to do with Ben Goertzel
the human, why is it more interesting to me to Transcend personally, as
opposed to just killing myself and letting some other superior Transcendent
being take my place? An obvious partial solution is: For the experience of
Transcending.... But this isn't a full solution...

Anyway, I guess we should direct this conversation back to more
Singularity-focused themes or drop it; this isn't the right list for a
discussion of the plusses and minuses of Zen practice...

-- Ben

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