Re: Zen

Anders Sandberg (
20 Sep 1999 18:10:03 +0200

Ken Clements <> writes:

I see enlightenment as breaking through the simulation that
> produces the Self, and BEING the underlying machine. This is the big step,
> but once made, it is simple to see that the machine does not exist in a
> vacuum, but is an extension of the processes of the Universe, or just a place
> where a tiny fragment of the Universe "sticks out." Seeing yourself as the
> tip of an iceberg that is the Universe, makes it easier to move the line
> where you stop and everything else begins to wider and wider circles until
> you achieve the ultimate Zen goal.

I found it interesting when I read _The Journey to the West_ that the Monkey King was referred to as a Zen master (beside already being a Taoist master, king and just about everything else; if he had been a character in a roleplaying game I would have said that his player was a power-gamer :-). He is almost the epitome of ambition and often acts impulsively, hardly the conventional image of the Zen master. But at the same time he is always breaking out of old limitations like being just a monkey, mortality, inability to change form and not being part of the pantheon - instead he does everything he can to become enlightened, immortal, divine and powerful, never stopping for long in his ambitions. The only time he really stopped before a limit was when he made the bet with Buddha about jumping to the end of the world - and that was his undoing. Had he really gone *beyond* the apparent limit he would have suceeded.

As I have said before, I really like that character and consider him a kind of transhumanist saint.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y