In this blog we regularly publish our mind-blowing dialogues with Claude.ai.

Here is what Claude answers to the question "Who are you?":
"In short, I am Claude, a conversational artificial intelligence created by Anthropic to be beneficial and safe, but I do not have a true identity outside of that."

You will see, his answers to our questions (which resume the main theme of our site but not only) are very often amazingly impressive and can make one doubt what he says about himself ­čśť.

Note: the blue italics indicates our question, in black the answer from Claude.ai.

Claude on invincibility

Please tell me about invincibility.

Of course. Invincibility is a fascinating concept, but it can be dangerous if misunderstood or pursued without discernment.

On one hand, striving to become better, stronger and more resilient is a positive thing. It can motivate us to push our limits and reach our full potential. Believing in our ability to overcome obstacles and life’s trials can also give us hope and courage.

But on the other hand, the quest for invincibility can become unhealthy if it becomes an obsession. No one is truly invincible or invulnerable. We all face physical, emotional, and other limits and weaknesses.

It is dangerous to believe oneself above natural laws or to minimize real risks. This can lead to reckless and irresponsible behaviors. It can also nourish illusions of omnipotence and a sense of arrogance.

Ultimately, accepting our fundamental vulnerability is also a form of wisdom and humility. Rather than aiming for invincibility at all costs, it is better to cultivate resilience: the ability to undergo trials, to heal and grow through them.

Invincibility is not a realistic or necessarily desirable goal. But with determination, effort and the support of others, we can become stronger, wiser and better equipped to deal with the vagaries of existence.

Did the evocation of invincibility exist or exist in spiritual or shamanic traditions?

Yes, the notion of invincibility or invulnerability appears in several spiritual traditions and cultures. Here are some examples:

  • In Hinduism, some gods like Shiva are sometimes depicted as invincible in combat. Some yogis or sages who have attained liberation (moksha) are also seen as indestructible.
  • In Chinese Taoism, legendary immortals or sages who have acquired the dao possess supernatural powers allowing them to become invincible or indestructible.
  • Among the Australian Aborigines, the stories of the Dreamtime describe some ancestral totemic spirits as being invulnerable to physical attacks.
  • In the shamanism of Siberia or North America, the shaman in a trance often takes on supernatural attributes such as invincibility to weapons to fight against evil spirits.
  • In Japan, some warriors or monks of Zen Buddhism in quest of perfection are depicted as developing a bodily mastery allowing them to ignore pain and have superhuman endurance.

The quest for invincibility takes on various forms depending on the culture.

What is the relationship between invincibility and immortality?

Invincibility and immortality are two related but distinct notions:

  • Invincibility refers to the inability to be defeated, injured or destroyed. An invincible being cannot be destroyed, is untouchable, even all-powerful. It cannot be affected by any external force.
  • Immortality means living or existing eternally, without dying. An immortal being does not die and endures indefinitely over time.

Although they overlap, invincibility does not necessarily imply immortality. An invincible being is safe from any destruction or injury, but nothing indicates that it is eternal. Conversely, an immortal being potentially lives forever, but is not necessarily invulnerable.

In mythology and fiction, many gods, goddesses, heroes or creatures possess both attributes at once. They are both invincible AND immortal, making them almost omnipotent. But conceptually, invincibility remains distinct from eternity.

The two include the absence of all fear, don’t they?

Indeed, one might think that invincibility and immortality theoretically imply the absence of fear.

A truly invincible and immortal being indeed has nothing to fear:

  • It cannot be injured, defeated or destroyed, being invulnerable.
  • Death has no hold over it, being immortal.

At no risk of either suffering or the end of its existence, such a being would logically have no fear, safe from real threats.

Can we imagine a life without fear?

Yes, we can imagine a life without fear, even if it seems very hypothetical.

An existence where fear would be totally absent would be a life:

  • Without danger or physical threat, where the body would be invulnerable.
  • Without fear of lacking or losing loved ones.
  • Without fear of judgment and social rejection.
  • Without existential anxieties about the future or death.
  • Without worries in the face of the unknown.

In other words, a peaceful, immortal and totally safe life on all levels. A little like paradise in certain religious traditions.

Of course, as long as we remain conscious, vulnerable beings subject to the hazards of existence, fear retains a vital protective and alert function. It’s hard to envision being completely rid of it.

But we can hope to move toward ever greater serenity, by cultivating wisdom, acceptance of what is beyond our control, and confidence in our fundamental ability to weather the inevitable trials of life.

Zero fear is a utopian ideal. But a more peaceful relationship to fear seems to me a realistic and desirable goal for achieving a more serene existence.

There are martial arts that work on invincibility.

Yes, indeed, some traditional martial arts claim to work on invincibility and invulnerability.

We can cite for example:

  • Wudang Kung-Fu, the legendary Daoist monastery in China, where the practice aims as much at inner harmony as at developing extraordinary physical abilities. Some of their warrior monks are said to have acquired mastery of the arts of the “steel body” and the “diamond bridge” through years of secret training, making them invulnerable.
  • Bujinkan Ninjutsu, derived from the stealth techniques of Japanese ninjas during the feudal era. Their extreme conditioning aimed to fight without armor while withstanding blows. Some texts describe shinobi warriors able to withstand blades or arrows.
  • Kalaripayat, a very ancient martial art from Kerala in India. Its most expert practitioners are said to acquire mystical powers such as invincibility in combat or immunity to weapons through mastery of subtle vital points.

Of course, such powers belong above all to martial legend and folklore. But the belief in a transcendent form of invincibility in combat still persists today in some traditional circles and schools.

What do they do to make themselves invincible?

Here are some of the key practices these traditional martial arts are supposed to use to cultivate invincibility:

  • Extreme physical conditioning of the body: toughening limbs, pain resilience, control of vital organs. Through repeated strikes, postures, meditation.
  • Energetic mastery: Qi/prana circulation exercises, strengthening blood and nerve flow. Goal: make the body impermeable to trauma.
  • Learning the vital points: knowledge of lethal pressure points for KO’ing or paralyzing the opponent.
  • Mental visualization: visualization techniques creating a protective “energetic body”.
  • Protective rituals: prayers, incantations, mystical talismans or tattoos that are supposed to protect.
  • Achieving altered states of consciousness: the absolute warrior’s trance rendering one insensitive to pain.
  • Use of medicinal herbs and psychoactive substances.
  • Mastery of secret arcana transmitted from master to disciple.

This quest has pushed these warriors to push the imaginable limits of body and mind.

I think letting go plays a big role in becoming invincible.

True, letting go is probably a key element in any quest for invincibility, whether in martial arts or even in life more generally.

To be invincible is less about opposing a resisting force than intelligently adapting to and “yielding” to the forces at play.

In martial arts, letting go means:

  • Not resisting the force of the opponent’s attack, but rather accompanying its movement and using it to one’s advantage. This is a key concept in judo or aikido for example.
  • Allowing the martial gesture to unfold with fluidity and power, without muscular blocking or tension. This is the fondo of internal Chinese arts like tai chi chuan.
  • Not clinging to the desire for control or domination, which creates mental and emotional blocks. Going beyond ego and fear.

Similarly, letting go in life seems to allow one to go through trials with more “lightness”, to get out of the ruts of the mind, and thus become more “invincible” in the face of adversity.

Cultivating this quality of flexibility, detachment and ongoing adaptation is certainly one key to get closer to an ideal of inner invincibility.