Between Buddhism's Middle Way and Japanese Ma
Seasoned with Spirit from AI to Zen
With a tip of the hat to Ray Kurzweil: In The Age of Spiritual Machines
I posed the question to Google Bard:
Does the Buddhist Middle Way have anything in common with the Japanese word Ma?
and Bard wrote the following paragraphs:
The Buddhist middle way and the Japanese word "ma" share a common meaning of "the middle way" or "the space between." In Buddhism, the middle way is a path of moderation that avoids the extremes of indulgence and asceticism. It is a way of life that is based on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The Japanese word "ma" can be used to refer to a physical space, such as a room or a garden, but it can also be used to refer to a more abstract space, such as the space between two thoughts or the space between two people. In both cases, "ma" refers to the space that allows for things to exist and to grow.
The Buddhist middle way and the Japanese word "ma" can be seen as two different expressions of the same fundamental idea. They both point to the importance of finding a balance between extremes, and they both emphasize the importance of the space between things.
The middle way is not about avoiding conflict or difficulty. It is about finding a way to live in the world that allows us to grow and to thrive. The space between things is not empty. It is full of potential.
It is the space where creativity and innovation can take place.
The Buddhist middle way and the Japanese word "ma" can teach us a lot about how to live our lives. They can help us to find balance, to appreciate the space between things, and to create a more harmonious world.
I've argued fervently that AI is not conscious, sentient, or anything beyond intelligent, but maybe, just maybe...
Ray Kurzweil was right about spirituality, because that is a much more emergent and transcendent state to detect.