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Feb. 8, 2023

Episode 2: Direct and Unfiltered with The Bearded Mystic

This is the 2nd episode of Direct and Unfiltered with The Bearded Mystic! The question is: Will ChatGPT or AI be able to give us spiritual liberation and should Gurus be worried?

Rahul (The Bearded Mystic) covers how Gurus will still be necessary, no matter how good AI gets. However, the way Gurus work today will have to change. 

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Hello and welcome to this episode of Direct and Unfiltered with the Bearded Mystic, and I'm your host, Rahul N. Singh. Today, we have another question that has come in and if you do want to submit a question to me, there is a link in the video description and show notes below where you can fill out a short survey and through there ask me a question. I have a very interesting question. Hello, Rahul will ChatGPT or AI be able to give us spiritual liberation and should gurus be worried? This is a very good question. And yes, there's been this whole craze of ChatGPT and even now I've heard there's one of the Bhagavad Gita, I shared it in my Instagram stories the other day, and, will it ever get close to replicating, spiritual knowledge? Not really. I think AI will have the data and will be able to create a, a decent answer. But will it be the answer that will be good for your intellect and will be one that will strengthen your intellect? Now, the whole purpose of going to a Guru and why I don't think any genuine Guru will be worried is because they know that you have to first build a strong base for the intellect. When the intellect is strong, when the intellect is ripe and ready for that little nudge into spiritual intelligence with the knowledge of Brahman or the knowledge of the Ultimate Reality, that is where ChatGPT or any other AI software will not be able to replicate. That is the transmission. For example, there are times when I, when I do my guided meditations every Saturday and when we meditate as a community, . I have noticed that when I surrender at that moment and I say to Nirguna Brahman that you are now going to lead. Awareness, you are going to lead the meditation. May there not be any iota of Rahul in this. There is times when I'm in the meditation and the mind will try to interfere and will give a suggestion, say this, and I notice how awareness actually stops that from happening. I will tell you this now. This is something that AI will never be able to replicate. Yeah. It will not be able to. It'll be impossible for it to do so. It will never be enough for spiritual liberation. For spiritual liberation, you need a teacher. You need a friend, a spiritual friend that will really help you go forward in your spiritual journey. For example, AI will never be able to make you meditate. You have to do that. AI actually has no self-awareness, which a Guru has, which a teacher has, which a, a spiritual friend has, which a community has. And therefore, if it has no self-awareness, how can it teach you anything of spiritual liberation? How can it lead you there? Not only that how can it take you to the awareness of awareness itself? How can it take you to being aware of being aware? That is something you cannot do? And that's what I think is not so worrying. It's amazing as technology, of course. But for spirituality, no, because it has no Consciousness, it has no awareness itself. It, it cannot tell you, the vibes you get from somebody. It cannot tell you the fragrance in a room. It cannot tell you the shade of colors in the room. It cannot do any of those things. It cannot tell you how you feel when you see something, when you experience something, it's not able to convey that to you. And that's something that a person is able to convey to you. So for example, if you are with a Guru and you ask a question and that question brings a tear to your eye, will AI ever be aware that you are crying? It's not sentient. But what I will say is it will get rid of a lot of the nonsense gurus out there. So the gurus that tell you there's nothing here, well, AI is literally doing that. And I don't think, I don't think any true vedantic teacher will have any worry right now because it will get rid of the neo-advaita teachers. It's better to approach an AI machine than to actually approach a neo-advaita teacher in my opinion, it's best to go to them. There's nothing there, literally, there is nothing there when you're speaking to ChatGPT or any other AI function. I think that's fine. it will get rid of the unnecessary teachers but it may also bring about how important it is to have a teacher that is there for you that understands you. Now, what I really believe in is that the Guru model needs to change. We have to go back to the vedic times. We have to go back to where there were only a few hundred devotees, and it wasn't that you had to be loyal to one Guru either. Whichever Guru matches your intellect, you go there and either that ashram will create more teachers and therefore, , the, president of the order or the Guru of the order will have, you know, kind of sub gurus to kind of help. Or, if you're just gonna have one person for the masses, which, you know, there's many of those teachers around, I don't know what future they have. So should Gurus be worried about AI? Not so much, but they should be worried about technology and if you can just get standardized answers. Well AI does that. It's all about giving the individual answer, which can help someone individually and understanding their circumstances. So in my opinion, this is gonna do a good job. And if it does have an impact. I hope it has an impact on that market because that market has become oversaturated. Everywhere you go there is a Guru now popping up on YouTube, who just speaks anything and you kind of embrace it. And I think that's going to end. So I think it's a good thing. In the broader vision, a Guru doesn't have to be worried about, ChatGPT or AI because if you are giving something, of a transmission, if you're giving personal advice, if you're there with someone personally intimately, and you are guiding them, you're telling them what mantras to do. You're telling them what meditation to do. You're guiding them in a meditation. You are giving them the knowledge of Brahman with your own intellect and your own understanding, your own interpretation, and then you are guiding them to grow their intellect and their intelligence and their insights into Brahman, into the ultimate reality. I don't think a Guru that does that has any worries. AI will be able to download all the scriptures. It's done one for the Bhagavad Gita. It may do it for the Upanishads, but what a Guru does, which this AI will not do, is understand the culture of the time. Human issues are only gonna be solved by human beings, yet AI will get close. But for that finishing touch, you need a human being. And I think even for spiritual liberation, if you think you're a human being, getting liberated, well then, yeah, I dunno if AI will help you to understand the reality behind what liberation really is. For that you need a teacher and a teacher to guide you to the experience so that you actually feel that freedom for the first time. And it's not just about feeling the freedom for the first time and just and, and just, and going off on, and then just hopping onto, life again. It's actually about stabilizing yourself in that freedom and then living life accordingly. That's something a Guru does. . So my hope is that these AI software will bring out more honest gurus, gurus that will actually help people and will have smaller communities. I do believe that now the time of the mass Guru, the Guru of the masses is over. The internet probably helped a lot of people with YouTube and social media, but, I don't see, I don't see them lasting a lot. When, for example, you can make an AI out of Sadhguru, and it's easy to do. I mean, I think it will be easier to do for him. Could you do a ChatGPT or an AI of Osho? It would've been more difficult because Osho was very much, he would give you an answer according to the moment. And the same with people like Acharya Prashant or Swami Sarvapriyananda or Rupert Spira. They give something which is of the moment, and their answers are always, they have a, they have a subtle change in their answers. Although the base may be the same, but there's a subtle change and that subtle change is what AI will never be able to pick up because that requires the human touch. It's something I welcome, it's something I actually embrace. I think it's a good thing but it can never replicate a human being because a human being has awareness that self-awareness will never be able to be replicated. How we have this self-awareness is beyond our understanding, but the fact is, we have it, we are aware of the voice that you're listening to or the TV screen that you're watching or the device screen that you're watching. You are aware of awareness itself of being aware. Can AI ever do that? AI is only literally telling you what data it has, even if it ends up saying that it is aware of being aware, would it be able to actually understand what that feels like on a human body mind level? Because remember that this understanding. it is integrated into the whole being into the body and mind and the heart. So yeah, these AI's will never be able to replicate, say a Nisargadatta Maharaj or a Ramana Maharshi or a Swami Vivekananda. It can download all the books, read the books, and given answers that Swami Vivekananda would've given but that's something you cannot guarantee. You can even the same thing with the Bhagavad Gita, it was right for the time of Arjuna, but to understand it today, you need someone who understands the culture of today. So there is something that is of eternity, which AI will never be able to touch, and that eternity is self-awareness. This awareness of formlessness. And in a way it's so close yet. It's so far too. So I hope that answers the question. It's a rather broad one that I wanted to answer, but yeah, I hope it does, make the neo-advaitin teachers scared, the pseudo non dual teachers scared because basically their job is now redundant. Because I think AI can easily say, there's nothing here. There's nobody here, there's nothing you're experiencing because that's literally what the AI is experiencing. So, and it'd be true to what they're saying. While for true, non-dual teachers, integrated spiritual teachers, I think for them there is no worry. There's nothing to be worried about. there's no challenge here. But one thing I have forgotten to mention that yes, your, the people that you have in the spiritual circles that just read the, the Mahabharata or the Ramayana, the katha , speakers, even the Pandits, if it's all about reciting mantras for a wedding, AI could easily take over. I think the people that recite the kathas they should be worried, for sure. So that's, there's a, that's a lot of them. because if you're just reading the katha, if you're just reading the Ramayana or Mahabharata, we don't really need you. And for the Pandits, if all you're doing is rituals and just chanting mantras at a function, well, an AI could easily replace you. The only way that can be saved, and this is not just in Hinduism, this expands everywhere. Like the priest can easily be replaced if all you're doing is reading from the Bible. or the Qu'ran or any other scripture. But if it's about, but if you are going to be invoking the Devas, the spirits, the ancestors, then that's where Pandits will save themselves. So it's, it's an unknown territory, I'm making guesses and it's rather cool to make these guesses. So, if anyone has any follow up to what I've just said, You can ask a question, the details to ask the questions are in the show notes and video description below. You literally just fill in this Survey Monkey. If you have any other questions, anything you want to ask there's no, no question is silly. Every question is welcome. It's all about being direct and unfiltered. So thank you very much for listening to this episode. If you would like to support the Bearded Mystic Podcast, you can support me on Patreon. The details are in the show notes and video description below. Thank you very much. Take care. Bye.