Friday, 20 February 2015

AI and Vipassana (Mindful meditation)

If you want to find out about meditation or AI search the web. Here I am asking few questions which I feel are mere myths in otherwise pure meditation technique: 'Vipassana'.

I did the 10 day silent meditation course twice. What I felt:

  • Bodily sensastions.
  • On the first night I was able to hear my blood flow in my ears (I mean veins carrying blood in ears, no injury, just listening to blood flow as it is pumped by the heart).
  • When I was asleep, I knew I was asleep. When I was dreaming then also I knew I was dreaming. This was an awesome state except I was physically exhausted by continuous sitting and meditation (but let's hope that will go away with practice).
  • For a very small moment (fraction of a second), I was able to get a glimpse that mind is continuously active. Always churning thoughts. And in that fraction of second I realized that even when I thought I was calm and focusing on breathing, instead, there were at least three thoughts which entered my mind. As soon as the first thought entered I brought back my mind to focusing on breathing instead of thought, and then other thought entered and then again I repeated the procedure and yet another thought entered and I was like 'Whoooo, and I thought my mind was calm.'. I always thought brain has parallel architecture, but these thoughts came sequentially.

So here is what I agree to:

  • Continuous practice of this meditation technique (with right diligence and focus (yes these are very essential else it will take exponentially long time, there is no other way)) will  definitely give tremendous mind control. I believe I would be able to check each and every thought entering my mind.
    • This will increase my focus.
    • Make me calm and peaceful.
    • I will greet everyone and all situation with smile under all condition.
  • Cultivating metta is crucial and should be done. There is no point in self chastising etc.

Here is what I want to believe ... badly, but at some level know is BS as I have no proof of it otherwise. I want proof, faith is brain-washing and can give rise to Jihad.
  • Law of karma. Vipassana says (putting me in my words so don't quote me on this) that whatever we do condition us and impression is stored in our brain (samnskara). And when we meditate and do not add any new karma, then it starts coming out in form of bodily sensations.
    • I do not know why this would have been added. It has to be true as it is so deep in vipassana. But I have absolutely no proof of this.
  • Past life: It says just like a flame could be passed from one candle to another (when first candle is about to be finished), similarly w/o any soul (aatma), due to our own karma and conditioning we pass from one body to other.
    • Again it sounds as deep as the previous one. But some traces of Hinduism is mixed in it.
  • The 6 paramitas: (Giving, Precpets (not commandments but u get the idea), Endurance/Patience, Vigor, Meditation/Samadhi, Wisodm/Prajna) Again I believe this is a mind game and these are included to:
    • Help in conditioning the mind.
    • Make it more cultish. So that a society can work through it.
       Howsoever novel the intention it made it impure.

Now comes the AI part

  • Why do we believe that we are something other than bundle of neural networks? Even if say we have soul and God (a self contradictory concept) do exist, as per our accepted understanding there actions are also rational and thus logical. So why can't it be simulated via a program (Ok not neural n/w then sth else which we do not know yet).
  • When we try to code we find so many bugs. But our complete impressions are passed life after life! Hah! Either we are talking about a huge thing (a big server at the back end) and we are just tip of the ice-berg or this is not possible.
  • Law of karma: We can and we will very soon create robots which will be able to talk to us and perform some action with a lot of autonomy. Is it entitled to Law of Karma as well? With whom does its Karma lies (all the actions which it performs)?
Can anyone give me some guidance and clues from there own experience which can help me understand this more clearly? Hindu rishis and monks talk so much about superpowers, can someone perform a tiny miracle as a token of proof?

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