Tuesday, August 27, 2019

robotic spiritual life

A friend passed along this Washington Post rewrite about the unveiling of a robotic Buddhist priest at a Japanese temple. Since fewer and fewer young adherents can be drummed up in this age of the internet, someone seemed to feel that Buddhism might get a shot in the arm or kick in the ass with an artificially-intelligent priest.

Religion may be on the wane among 'the best and the brightest,' but turning Buddhism into bite-sized morsels for those whose spiritual cravings may be thin at best has a wonderful idiocy to it from where I sit.

The one question robots cannot address is, of course, "if I'm so smart, how come I'm not happy?" Couple that with my own growing conviction that everyone has to pick his or her topic in which to flounder and drown and the recipe for something called "Buddhism" remains lustrous.

Sometimes I think the golden rule is not so much the middle way as it is the observation that everyone is an asshole in one way or another and sweeping up the leavings is what this life is about.  That's right -- it's not kool to be an asshole and yet each husbands and nourishes that very seed. I am an asshole.....  And your point is?

At about 35, I set my course: Is spiritual life bullshit or not? I didn't want to know so that I could convince others, I just wanted to know for my own purposes ... was spiritual life bullshit or not?

A lot of tears, a lot of effort, a lot of asshole-dom, a lot of solemnity and seriousness crossed my prow between the formulation of my query and this morning's sunshine. Damn near 50 years -- imagine that!

Looking back is not so bad.

I wouldn't wish my training on my worst enemy and I wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China. I picked Buddhism ... others pick wealth or power or love or marriage or ... or whatever other topic allows ready access to asshole-dom. As on a submarine, "Dive! Dive! Dive!"

No one else can answer my question any more that I can answer theirs.

Is spiritual life bullshit or not?


1 comment:

  1. You might want to define “spiritual life” for your audience.