All Things and The Sun Under the Sun

by Steve Mitchell

I apologize in advance; this post is a little link-heavy.

So.

About six years ago I posted a story I’d written titled Robo Monk 

You can go read it or not.  Everything will be right here where you left it.  It’s about detachment and suffering and enlightenment and robots vs. humans.

Yeah.

I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about robots and about Zen Buddhism and the combination thereof.

I wrote this poem four years ago: Unflinching

I doodled this silliness a year ago:  For I = 1 to 10

It’s all just whimsy.  It’s all just day dreaming.

But, then, well, I saw on the news, there’s now an actual, for reals, Buddhist robot.  (link goes to youTube)

A Buddhist temple in China has built a cute, robot monk to attract people and to help educate them on Buddhism.

I don’t know how I feel about that.

My whimsy thunder is stolen.

Do I feel possessive?  Jealous?

I don’t know.

I’m surely not the first and only person to combine the concepts.  I don’t own the idea.  I can’t and don’t take any credit for the notion.

And it’s not like the robot at Longquan is sentient or self-aware.

But.

It’s a bit unsettling to see what I assumed were my own, personal, flights of fancy made nearly real.

I’ve lost control of the concept.   It’s left the imagination and entered the world.

It was personal.  It was my own.  And now I’ve lost it and I suffer, just a teeny bit.

Alas.

I’m no zen master.

I’m really going to struggle when someone invents time travel…

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