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It’s All About The Prompt …

“The whole world lives on the tip of intention” The Buddha

We are in the midst of a technology (r)evolution that will inevitably transform the world, and perhaps ourselves. We are increasingly fascinated, inspired, surprised, and fearful of the potential unleashed by our rapidly developing (? evolving) digital capabilities. It would seem that artificial intelligence (AI) is changing not only the playing field of human experience, but is actually changing “the rules” that have helped us define who we are, and how we relate to another. Our technological gurus admit that even they cannot predict the evolutionary trajectory of digital “consciousness”, and its implications for our future human selves. Their intellectual hubris and our perceived human limitations lead us into submissiveness and a future we believe is beyond even our imaginations. Like a “deer in the headlights” we have become frozen – and waiting for an inevitable future beyond our imaginations.

So … no one knows how technology will evolve. However, there is one question that we need to be clear about i.e.: “Are we driving the technology, or is the technology driving us?”

Kevin Kelly, the wise man of Silicon Valley wrote: “ Humans are the reproductive organs of technology.” If this is true, all we can do is to subjugate our future selves to the impersonal machinations of a world driven by binary formulations. AI will use human beings to amplify its abstract permutations – but to what end?

I suggest that we have reached this point in our evolutionary journey because we have failed to understand one crucial fact i.e.: The scientific method is simply that: a method for exploring reality. It is not a philosophy (scientific materialism) or a religion (scientism). The scientific method has made it possible for human beings to better understand our world (and perhaps ourselves) but it has not provided the wisdom necessary to under-stand or optimize the potential benefits of these facts.

As we witness the emergence of AI, we need to be cler about the one most important thing: “What is our intention for this technology?” In all of the conversations about AI, I have heard much about the dangers and promise of the technology. I have heard nothing about our intention for the technology.

Unless we are clear about intention, we will simply become hostages to a process that will be driven by the unspoken motivations of a capitalist system that prizes material gain over human flourishing. Just like the scientific method, “capitalism” is a method, not a philosophy, and not a religion. Scientific materialism and the capitalistic financial model have been bedfellows for more than a hundred and fifty years – their next progeny threatens to devour itself, the uroboros consuming itself its own tail.

So, what next?

The next step, has always been the first step. Whether we have realized it or not, every action in our life, and the lives of our lineage, has been shaped by the one most important thing … “What is my intention?” There is always an intention shaping our action … conscious or unconscious … sunshine or shadow. One can argue that the difference between a habit and reflective response is whether we are consciously aware of the intention we are aligned with.

”At The beginning of the day I ask myself: “Who am I and what is my intention?”

At the end of the day, I ask myself “What were my actions?”

“If the two are aligned, then OK. If not – then I must spend more time remembering my intention.”

The 14th Dalai Lama in conversation with Larry King on CNN

Ironically, at least for now, because of its reliance on a “prompt” AI also explicitly relies upon the intention of its “operator”. One quickly learns how just a minor change in the prompt field of ChatGPT can generate very different responses. Indeed, we are witnessing the emergence of a new art form i.e.: providing an effective “prompt.”

“An effective prompt is clear, concise, and focused, ensuring that the AI understands the user’s intent and delivers the desired output. The importance of prompting cannot be overstated. It plays a pivotal role in maximizing the potential of AI technologies and ensuring a seamless user experience.”

Ancient Vedantic philosophy and its term Sankalpa provides us with powerful insights into the nature of intention:

SANKALPA –  a vow and commitment we make to support our highest truth. A SANKALPA should honor the deeper meaning of our life. A sankalpa speaks to our dharma—our overriding purpose for being here. The SANKALPA becomes a statement you can call upon to remind you of your true nature and guide your choices.

Our meaning and purpose are derivatives of our intention – not vice versa. Like a north star, our intention clarifies our short- and long-term actions.

Once we have clarity around our intention we can then consciously decide what we will pay attention to. Where we will direct our energy. How we will apply this energy with precision and commitment. The only thing we actually control is our intention. Fate is simply a pathway to refining and focusing our intention. Our intention (CETANA) holds us accountable for who we are and our actions – it is the determinant of our karma.

As healers we should ask ourselves:

  • “What was my intention for becoming a healer?”
  • “Am I clear about this intention?”
  • “Are my actions aligned with this intention”
  • “What are the intentions of my healing community e.g. allopathy, acupuncture etc.?”
  • “Are the intentions of myself and my healing community aligned?”

One simple but powerful exercise is to spend some time alone contemplating about your intention as a healer. Don’t rush this – it is important. Once you have clarity on this then write a short intention statement. You can put this on a sticky note and place it on your mirror, or include it on your screensaver.

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