Meditation, Love and Artificial Intelligence: through the mind of Asanisimasa
Copenhagen artist Asanisimasa talks us through her experiences of meditation and love during lockdown. Self portrait: Asanisimasa
These are undoubtedly difficult times for everybody and COVID-19 has been the greatest challenge most of us have had to face, both physically and psychologically. Paola (a.k.a. Asanisimasa), one of our Copenhagen hosts, shared her process presenting an opportunity for one to think about existence, drop deep into meditation and self-discovery.
“Just in front of us, this year set the circumstances forcing us to take a break and to question ourselves about those important things that give meaning to the life journey that we are experiencing. I strongly believe no human being should be lonely, but at the same time I consider the time alone is the most precious gift that we do to ourselves. It’s not an easy job to face us, get naked and start to deal with those little details that have been sent to the blacklist during years. but is no more than a cleaning service that we should often do as a part of a healthy discipline.” says Paola on her experience with quarantine.
Images: Paola – Asanisimasa
“My particular interests in human design, mind, consciousness, and behavior, seemed particularly merging at this period, in which I embraced myself (the good, the bad, and the ugly) to go through a process of questioning and resolution. I started in March with a Buddhist practice called Vipassana meditation which is considered a universal remedy for universal ills and consists of going to a completely silent body and mind for 10 days. […] Silence is really difficult, the mind has many tricks to play to distract us, so it was a challenge of self strength. Changes of temperature, shakiness, dizziness and deep questions of time frames were a constant the first and second day, and then pure and authentic calm (just like nirvana is portrayed sometimes) being with and in the nothingness was a blast and the boost to 2020.“, she explains.
Images: Paola – Asanisimasa
Meditation can also help in expanding one’s own perspective and maybe confront oneself with themes never contemplated before. Paola found some moments in her experience to think about pure love, rapidly developing technology and AIs, three topics that all deal with expanding one’s own possibilities or, alternatively, escaping from oneself.
“I believe the brain is a collective cluster of information in multiple ways to connect experiences/memories. Placing it in an AI will just expand the spectrum and enhance processes of acknowledgment. As it is now, that would be no different from human harvesting and connecting with others creating and sharing culture, simply through different technological tools.
“A version of us that is placed inside an AI would not be a version of us that is not us. We are all mirrors of the others, and maybe just one at the end.
Uploading our consciousness to the cloud is no means of fleeing oneself, instead, it alters or amplifies the self, and our abilities and connections – according to Paola. Escaping might thus be more difficult than one could imagine, as loving others is no effective way of doing it either, in Paola’s opinion: “People don’t search love to escape themselves, as there’s no possible way to love outside of ourselves in the first place. It would be such a beautiful escape, though :)! But seriously I don’t think it is. Love requires responsibility and empathy for the other, almost like expanding our life to include someone else. It doesn’t sound like an escape.”
Images: Paola – Asanisimasa
- Visit Copenhagen, the coolest climate-friendly green city, best for its free college tuition, more vacation days, environmentally-conscious transport, and carbon-neutral beers for excited tastebuds.
- Stay at Paola’s big and spacious apartment with a mesmerising view on Copenhagen lakes. Stay with her and her apartment-mates, 3 people from different nationalities and interests actively participating in different projects that impact the way they build culture.
“The clothing and textile industry is one of the richest and most productive ones on the planet. Fast-fashion has been taking over the world in the last few decades, being the exact opposite of what can be considered sustainable living.
Is it possible to merge the ever-changing multibillion-dollar clothing industry and its need for fashionable outfits with sustainability?”
“My freedom ends where yours begins” is one of the very well-known rules that define the boundaries of our lives. Sometimes, however, these boundaries are too tight and we feel the need of going beyond and experiment, try, fail, improve, try again to fully understand what our role in the world is.
What is more important, then? The realization of our own personal talents and mission or the adherence to the boundaries of the society? Is a certain level of selfishness excusable if it is needed to accomplish our mission on this planet or is collective freedom a unbreakable ethical barrier?”
“Oscar Wilde used to say “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring.“. Love can however be more complex than that, as it is one of the most thrilling, intense and yet frightening feelings you can experience. Sometimes, it can even turn into a way to escape from your own chaotic and paralyzing thoughts and emotions.”