RE: Zen singularity

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Mon Feb 23 2004 - 16:56:39 MST

Kevin wrote:
> > And I suspect that AGI's will also experience a hell of a lot of other
> > interesting kinds of truths and mind-states, which no human -- however
> > spiritually advanced -- has ever touched (or will ever)
> That's a bold statement to make. Especially considering you haven't
> yourself even scratched the surface of your own depths (nor have I). The
> experience of the beings I refer to is the penultimate(sp?) of Mind.

Actually, "penultimate" means "second to last" .. but I guess you mean
"ultimate" ;-)

Whether the experience of spiritually advanced humans is the "ultimate of
Mind" depends on one's measure for judging "ultimacy" I guess....

According to some metrics, these experiences may well be ultimate; but the
question then becomes whether one accepts these metrics as the ultimate
metrics ;-)

Kevin wrote:
> This
> Mind embodies all other minds and all phenonema, and therefore cannot be
> superseeded, even by an AGI, or God or Buddha..
> Nonetheless, mind states are infinite in variety, and to achieve different
> mind states is no big deal. As far as "interesting kinds of
> truths"...thats
> another matter, but there are relative truths and absolute truths. I have
> no doubt that an AGI could achieve many relative truths that the smart
> people on this planet have yet to discover. But absolute truth is called
> absolute for a reason :)

Hmmm.. I don't really like the language of "absolute" versus "relative"
truth. (I'm aware however that these English words have shades of meaning
that may not have existed in the Oriental words used to refer to these
things in Oriental Zen texts)

I think there is experiential truth, which is absolute in a sense (it simply
is what it is); and then there's relational truth, which is relative by
nature (an example of this is how the definition of "what is a pattern"
depends on a prior understanding of "what is simplicity")

I don't think the experiences of a spiritual master are any more (or less)
absolute than the experiences of you, me or Jennifer Lopez's uncle..

Mike LaTorra wrote:
> My point is that deep understanding has nothing to do with experience per
> se, whether of the ordinary take-out-the-garbage type or the extremely
> subjective "I've-left-my-body" type. Understanding (which is a better
> translation of the Buddhist term that, unfortunately, is usually
> as "Enlightenment") means knowing things as they truly are. In truth,
> experience high or low is just experience. But seeing it all as **just
> that** is understanding, or if you will, wisdom.
> One doesn't need a human brain to realize this wisdom-understanding. An
> could certainly understand it, too. But in neither cas

Hmmm... I don't believe in an absolute reality underlying all the other
illusory realities

But, I do acknowledge the possibility of a more pure state of mind -- in
which the world and mind are understood in a perfectly harmonious and simple
way, without the contradictions and troubles and confusions that plague our
typical state of mind's perception/construction of the world.

To me, what you call "seeing it all as it truly is" is **just another type
of experience** ---- albeit a particularly wonderful and powerful type of

Of course, some experiences are more connected to wisdom than others are.

However, I don't really expect us to come to agreement on these points.
These issues are closely connected to the reasons why, although I consider
Zen Buddhism an excellent practice compared to most others, I am not a Zen

-- Ben G

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