Short Story

02023-02-26 | Computer, Writing, Zen | 3 comments

I have this idea for a short story and it would be so meta if the short story was itself written by ChatGPT.

Write a short story in the style of Haruki Murakami, about a young man who goes to a zen temple to ask for instruction. He is taught meditation and receives a koan from the zen master. Instead of meditating with the koan, the young person queries ChatGPT and from it he receives a detailed response regarding the solution of the koan. The man represents this solution to the zen teacher as his own, who in turn gives him the next koan. And so on…


  1. Steve

    Well, I did just that. I used your prompt as input. I got this back:

    The young man stepped through the gates of the zen temple, his heart pounding with anticipation. He had come seeking guidance, unsure of where to turn in his search for meaning. The serene surroundings of the temple, with its carefully manicured gardens and towering wooden structures, immediately put him at ease. He made his way to the main hall, where a small group of people were gathered in meditation.

    A gentle-looking monk approached him, smiling warmly. “Welcome, young one. What brings you to our temple?”

    The young man took a deep breath. “I seek instruction. I am lost and in need of guidance.”

    The monk nodded, his eyes filled with understanding. “We can certainly help you with that. First, we must teach you the practice of meditation. It is through meditation that we find clarity and peace.”

    The monk led the young man to a small room, where he instructed him on the basics of meditation. The young man found it difficult at first, his mind racing with thoughts and distractions. But gradually, he began to sink deeper into a state of tranquility, feeling the weight of his worries lifting from his shoulders.

    After his first session, the monk presented him with a koan – a riddle meant to provoke thought and contemplation. “This is your next step,” he said. “Take this koan and meditate upon it. When you have found the answer, come back to me.”

    The young man took the koan with gratitude and bowed respectfully to the monk. But as he made his way back to his room, he felt a surge of curiosity. Instead of meditating with the koan, he pulled out his phone and typed the koan into a search engine, hoping to find some insight into its meaning.

    To his surprise, he stumbled upon ChatGPT, a language model trained to answer all manner of questions. He posed the koan as a question to ChatGPT and waited for its response. To his amazement, he received a detailed answer that seemed to unlock the riddle’s meaning.

    Excited, the young man returned to the monk and presented his answer. The monk listened patiently, then nodded. “You have understood the koan well. You are ready for the next step.”

    The young man felt a surge of pride, even as he realized that he had not truly arrived at the answer on his own. But he was eager to continue his journey, and so he took the new koan and set to work, determined to find the answer within himself – with a little help from ChatGPT, of course.

    • ottmar

      Thank you for doing that, Steve. Not very Murakami. Readable. A little silly. The question is whether it will take years to get better or just weeks.

  2. john martin

    I got this:

    The young man arrived at the Zen temple, seeking instruction and enlightenment. He had heard that the Zen masters were wise and knowledgeable, and he hoped that they would be able to help him find his path in life.

    The Zen master welcomed him warmly and instructed him in the art of meditation. The young man found it difficult at first, but gradually he began to feel more at ease, and he learned to quiet his mind and focus his thoughts.

    One day, the Zen master gave him a koan to ponder. The young man took the koan to heart, but instead of meditating on it, he turned to ChatGPT for answers.

    To his surprise, ChatGPT provided him with a detailed response to the koan. The young man was amazed at the depth of knowledge that the AI possessed, and he eagerly shared the solution with the Zen master.

    The Zen master listened patiently and nodded approvingly, but he could sense that the young man had not truly internalized the lesson of the koan. So he gave him another one, hoping that this time he would take it to heart and meditate on it deeply.

    But once again, the young man turned to ChatGPT for answers, and once again he received a detailed response. He presented the solution to the Zen master, and once again the master saw that he had not truly grasped the meaning of the koan.

    This went on for several more koans, with the young man relying on ChatGPT for answers and presenting them to the Zen master as his own. Finally, the Zen master gave him a particularly difficult koan, one that had stumped many of his students in the past.

    The young man once again turned to ChatGPT for answers, but this time he found that there was no easy solution to be found. He meditated on the koan for days, but still he could not find the answer.

    In frustration, he returned to the Zen master and confessed that he had been relying on ChatGPT for all of his answers. The Zen master smiled knowingly and told him that true enlightenment could not be found in a machine, but only through deep and personal meditation.

    The young man realized the error of his ways and vowed to take the next koan to heart and meditate on it with all of his being. And so he did, and in time he found the answer, not from ChatGPT, but from within himself.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




@Mastodon (the Un-Twitter)