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Artificial Intelligence: Roshi bot answers my "Dogen question" about the "immaterial"

KotishkaKotishka Veteran
edited April 2023 in Buddhism Today

Good evening.

As you all might know, AI is making huge progress lately on the news. The entire world (including myself!) are engaging with ChatGPT and the debates regarding consciousness and what "being conscious" really is has been occupying a lot of spaces on the internet. Well, hats off, now we even have a Roshi bot!

I will use this as my first attempt to bring my "Dogen Shobogenzo" thread into existence by addressing what he discusses in his analysis of the Heart Sutra (chapter II in the Shobogenzo vol. I edition of Gudo Nishijima Roshi) when he talks about the "immaterial". While this I found hard to explain or even put into words (which is one of the reasons I find hard to explain anything Zen related as words fall short) I found this being the experience of transcending through just sitting; allowing the 6 sense gates to harmoniously operate together, as one and as their own, without any unbalances. This permits going "beyond thinking". Constantly I have the feeling / intuition Dogen is trying to point at a quasi-nirvanic / Nirvana experience which transcends the material plane. The way is through diligent zazen. Is this so? Nirvana is zazen?

I decided to ask Roshi bot what Dogen meant exactly.... this was his reply:

Now I'm unsure if I'm understanding anything at all!

Metta / Gassho / Saludos




  • Thanks for the link @Kotishka ...It looks interesting ...I may ask it some questions later...

    I Ro(shi)bot :)

  • Hey @Kotishka, this topic has consumed much of my attention as well.
    I hope you don't mind, I ran the same questions through ChatGPT 4.0. Here are the responses.

    Something interesting about these things is they can generate different responses to the same questions when prompted twice; also if the wording is slightly different in the question. This probably brings about the same translation issues many translators come across between two similar words describing the same indescribable things.

    So far I find these valuable tools for sourcing general information and with some guidance can be very handy for quickly discovering what it is you're looking for. The caveat being the need to verify accuracy as this thing can BS better than the best since it doesn't even realize it's doing it.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited April 2023

    Hmm not sure if roshi bot is so reliable… here is an updated link to the chatbot

  • I think...Human face to face transmission /instruction cannot be surpassed....that said...this bot does quite well for what it is.

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    It is only an early generation product, we can expect bots to improve quite rapidly.

  • I like it. It's very kind..
    ChatGPT isn't kind like Roshi Bot.

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