Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

Andreas Thef, modified 6 Years ago.

Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

Posts: 152 Join Date: 2/11/13 Recent Posts
This is an interesting article by Sam Harris on his own path and perspective on enlightenment:

An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

I once spent an afternoon on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, atop the mount where Jesus is believed to have preached his most famous sermon. It was an infernally hot day, and the sanctuary where I sat was crowded with Christian pilgrims from many continents. Some gathered silently in the shade, while others staggered about in the sun, taking photographs.

As I gazed at the surrounding hills, a feeling of peace came over me. It soon grew to a blissful stillness that silenced my thoughts. In an instant, the sense of being a separate self—an “I” or a “me”—vanished. Everything was as it had been—the cloudless sky, the brown hills sloping to an inland sea, the pilgrims clutching their bottles of water—but I no longer felt separate from the scene, peering out at the world from behind my eyes. Only the world remained.

Continue reading...
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Jason Snyder, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Thanks for sharing, I think this article was great, it very well addresses questions that I have been having, related to the relationship between 1st person experience and 3rd person scientific truth, the relationship between Vipassana gradual path (he even studied in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition and attempted to get stream entry) and direct inquiry, etc. It kind of reinforces Kenneth Folks model and my own feeling that they should be integrated more seamlessly. I was also interested to read that, being an athiest, he believes that consciousness is not completely tied to the 5 senses. 
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. Jake ., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Cool article!

Jason, I think the 'consciousness not being tied to the five senses' bit was just in the context of his describing formless experiences. He was pointing out that lots of scientists (and ordinary folk) who have never had such an experience believe that people only lie about having such experiences, or fantasize about them. I would bet that Sam believes there are cuases of formless experiences in the brain and that thus they require a brain in order to happen.
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Jason Snyder, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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. Jake .:
Cool article!

Jason, I think the 'consciousness not being tied to the five senses' bit was just in the context of his describing formless experiences. He was pointing out that lots of scientists (and ordinary folk) who have never had such an experience believe that people only lie about having such experiences, or fantasize about them. I would bet that Sam believes there are cuases of formless experiences in the brain and that thus they require a brain in order to happen.

Hi Jake, I agree that he isn't trying to say that consciousness independent of the brain is happening, but it seems pretty clear to me that he is alluding to an aspect of consciousness not tied to the direct cognizing of objects via the senses. I have also heard him talk elsewhere that he acknowledges the Mind-Body problem. Here is the full quote with the relevant part in bold. 

"I spent several years deeply preoccupied with reaching the goal of cessation, and at least one year of that time was spent on silent retreat. Although I had many interesting experiences, none seemed to fit the specific requirements of this path. There were periods during which all thought subsided, and any sense of having a body disappeared. What remained was a blissful expanse of conscious peace that had no reference point in any of the usual sensory channels. Many scientists and philosophers believe that consciousness is always tied to one of the five senses—and that the idea of a “pure consciousness” apart from seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching is a category error and a spiritual fantasy. I am confident that they are mistaken."




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Droll Dedekind, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Sounds like the formless realms to me
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Nicky, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Jason Snyder:

"I spent several years deeply preoccupied with reaching the goal of cessation, and at least one year of that time was spent on silent retreat. Although I had many interesting experiences, none seemed to fit the specific requirements of this path. There were periods during which all thought subsided, and any sense of having a body disappeared. What remained was a blissful expanse of conscious peace that had no reference point in any of the usual sensory channels. Many scientists and philosophers believe that consciousness is always tied to one of the five senses—and that the idea of a “pure consciousness” apart from seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching is a category error and a spiritual fantasy. I am confident that they are mistaken."

Contrary to the scriptures. emoticon

~~It's good, monks, that you understand the Dhamma taught by me in this way, for in many ways I have said of dependently co-arisen consciousness, 'Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness.'

~~Consciousness, monks, is classified simply by the requisite condition in dependence on which it arises. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the eye & forms is classified simply as eye-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the ear & sounds is classified simply as ear-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the nose & aromas is classified simply as nose-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the tongue & flavors is classified simply as tongue-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the body & tactile sensations is classified simply as body-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the intellect & ideas is classified simply as intellect-consciousness

MN 38
Matthew Horn, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Fantastic article. I hadn't known that Sam Harris started meditating in the Burmese vipassana tradition. It's also interesting that noting never worked for him, but he was able to get mileage out of the nondual perspective.

I've wondered how Ajahn Brahm and Ven. Sujato can claim that cessation is impossible without ultrahard jhana (no sense of the body even in the form jhanas). Maybe that's just how it works for some people: noting gets you nowhere unless you're very, very concentrated. Whereas for many of us, the mind becomes concentrated as a result of noting (khanika samadhi / momentary concentration), so noting can be an effective technique after minimal samatha practice.

Another point: If Sam never experiences fruition-type cessation (like Chuck Kasmire), does that mean he has never experienced nirvana? Or is the phenomenology of experiencing the unfabricated simply different for him? In the Pali Canon it seems clear that there's no eradication of identity view, much less the deeper grades of self-delusion, without experience of the unfabricated.

I saw a debate on Dhammawheel where some Theravadin meditators argued that 1) the unfabricated can be touched by the mind while the other 5 senses operate as normal, while others argued 2) nirvana is the temporary cessation of all experience and can't be touched in any other mode. Thanissaro's description is that with the total absence of volitional intent, the process of karmic ripening temporarily ceases (and all experience ceases along with it) in nirvana, then experience resumes.
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G Mojo, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Just as an update on this, Sam Harris has a new book out on the 9th called Waking Up which will detail his own meditation path and reccommendations.

Here he is just 2 days ago on the Joe Rogan podcast:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Q6CWv7IXo

I'm not sure how I feel about Sam just yet.  I think he has a great mind and certainly makes me think about things from a different perspective sometimes, but I do find him quite humourless and joyless for someone who has been meditating for so long.  I also don't think he's doing anything new here, with separating meditation from Buddhism, where other people have done better (Danial, Kenneth Folks and Shinzen Young imo - who all have more heart).

I will probably read the book regardless but wondered what everyone else thinks..?
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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I watched him on both his Joe Rogan appearances, and I conclude that he should always be led away from the subject of Islam because he looks really stressed and pale when gets into it. Other than that he's the only famous atheist who's also a contemplative which is probably a good bridge between science and religion.
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chris ., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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John:

... Other than that he's the only famous atheist who's also a contemplative which is probably a good bridge between science and religion.


I found his book disappointing.  He breezed through, in fifteen or twenty pages, the part that I was looking forward to.  As a neuroscientist (I think he has his Masters) and an experienced meditator having done a few years in retreat practice, I thought he'd detail his practice in practical language, what insights he had, and try to put them into scientific terms.  Instead there was a lot of general fluff aimed at non-meditators.  Though, I understand he was writing to a non-meditator audience.

Harris explains, very quickly, that he gave up on vipassana after not getting stream entry first path, and turned towards Dzogchen.  That he had a positive experience with his new teacher.  But he doesn't go into any detail, like how far did he get in vipassana, why did he 'fail', did he have to start over with Dzogchen, how long did his progress take, did his success with Dzogchen line up with what he was looking for with vipassana.  etc....   

There wasn't much in his book that I haven't already read in other books. 


* edit, I meant 1st path above, not stream entry.  sorry.. 
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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I don't know about the paths and streams etc., I'll have to read up. Except I can see it's a silly use of the word "path" if it really means goal or landmark. Maybe it's a translation thing.
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Dream Walker, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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chris .:
I thought he'd detail his practice in practical language, what insights he had, and try to put them into scientific terms.  Instead there was a lot of general fluff aimed at non-meditators.  Though, I understand he was writing to a non-meditator audience.

There wasn't much in his book that I haven't already read in other books.  


I'm reading it now...so far pretty good but I agree with your take on it. I wish h would get into personal experience a bit more...
It has many good quoteable parts to it...
Sam Harris:
"In fact, when I pay attention, it is impossible for me to feel like a self at all: The implied center of cognition and emotion simply falls away, and it is obvious that consciousness is never truly confined by what it knows. That which is aware of sadness is not sad. That which is aware of fear is not fearful. The moment I am lost in thought, however, I’m as confused as anyone else."
Tee P Kay, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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chris .:
\As a neuroscientist (I think he has his Masters)...
Just a point of info, but according to Wikipedia, he has a Doctorate.
J C, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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first path = stream entry. it's the same thing... why did you "correct" it?

I'm curious what Sam Harris did wrong that he couldn't get stream entry in years. that doesn't make sense to me.

he says he realized he was thinking about the future and not being present... I just wanted to ask him "great, did you note it?" emoticon

I'm kind of confused by his comments on dzogchen. so it's just like what the ruthless truth / liberation unleashed / direct pointing people do? point out no-self so you can see it clearly for a little bit, and then just continue practicing seeing no-self?

that seems basically just like doing insight meditation... do people go through stages of insight by doing that? maybe he'll end up getting SE by doing that!

I just find it weird and kind of sad that he gave up on SE when it seems like something he's really into. I bet if he posted here and we helped him out we could get him te SE.
Andreas, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Didnt know about his waking up book book or his spiritual writing. He has written a good article called Killing the Buddha. In his book the End of faith he also covers concioussness although briefly. He also makes comparison between sermon on the mountain and what is found in the Vedic traditions.

With regards to his standing among atheists hes an odd fellow. There is show called the four horsemen with Harris, Dawkins, Dennet and Hitchens that could be illuminating comparison wise http://youtu.be/n7IHU28aR2E
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Andreas:
Didnt know about his waking up book book or his spiritual writing. He has written a good article called Killing the Buddha. In his book the End of faith he also covers concioussness although briefly. He also makes comparison between sermon on the mountain and what is found in the Vedic traditions.

With regards to his standing among atheists hes an odd fellow. There is show called the four horsemen with Harris, Dawkins, Dennet and Hitchens that could be illuminating comparison wise http://youtu.be/n7IHU28aR2E

Harris strategy over the years is fascinating. It started by building his core audience of atheists, skeptics and scientists by going more on the attack, only hinting once in a while at the stuff he put more explicitly in Waking Up. He knew that if he had come out straight from the beginning with stories of self-transcendance, you wouldn't have been able to build that audience, but his goal all along was to introduce them to the dharma.
Robert McLune, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Simon T.:

Harris strategy over the years is fascinating. It started by building his core audience of atheists, skeptics and scientists by going more on the attack, only hinting once in a while at the stuff he put more explicitly in Waking Up. He knew that if he had come out straight from the beginning with stories of self-transcendance, you wouldn't have been able to build that audience, but his goal all along was to introduce them to the dharma.
Not sure if that was in jest, but yes it would totally make sense as a strategy. However, you only have to look at his recent encounter with Ben Affleck to see that anti-religion is clearly just as much part of his agenda as anything pro-"spirituality".

That said, if I had to make a prediction, I think we may well see Harris' public profile gradually shifting away from "That new atheist dude who doesn't seem to like Islam" towards "That guy who doesn't believe in god but seems to like mystical contemplative stuff", and that would make sense because as I read him he is motivated by dissatisfaction at many people's plight and a desire to help them. I don't agree completely with his atheist position, but other than that, more power to him.
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Robert McLune:
Simon T.:

Harris strategy over the years is fascinating. It started by building his core audience of atheists, skeptics and scientists by going more on the attack, only hinting once in a while at the stuff he put more explicitly in Waking Up. He knew that if he had come out straight from the beginning with stories of self-transcendance, you wouldn't have been able to build that audience, but his goal all along was to introduce them to the dharma.
Not sure if that was in jest, but yes it would totally make sense as a strategy. However, you only have to look at his [url=]recent encounter with Ben Affleck to see that anti-religion is clearly just as much part of his agenda as anything pro-"spirituality".

That said, if I had to make a prediction, I think we may well see Harris' public profile gradually shifting away from "That new atheist dude who doesn't seem to like Islam" towards "That guy who doesn't believe in god but seems to like mystical contemplative stuff", and that would make sense because as I read him he is motivated by dissatisfaction at many people's plight and a desire to help them. I don't agree completely with his atheist position, but other than that, more power to him.

Here is a talking at an atheist conference in 2007 where he challenge the audience, basically saying that calling oneself atheist doesn't make much sense. As you said, his motivation is truly the project of general well-being in a spiritual sense and he bring the matter in a clever way in this talk.

http://youtu.be/ODz7kRS2XPs
Robert McLune, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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I believe there was also a talk (which I haven't been able to find) where he actually got boo'ed by some of the (atheist) audience, because, he thinks, he was venturing into territory -- the "spiritual" -- that many feel is unredeemably connected with the dreaded "religion". In some ways Harris has managed to find the perfect point where he gets shot at from both sides :-)
Andreas, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Robert McLune:
Not sure if that was in jest, but yes it would totally make sense as a strategy. However, you only have to look at his [url=]recent encounter with Ben Affleck to see that anti-religion is clearly just as much part of his agenda as anything pro-"spirituality".
[...]
His beef is definietly with organised religions. But not really just that, basically any belief systems that takes away individual thought, critical thinking etc. He focus currently on Islam as he sees the fundamentalists in that religion to be greatest threat to peoples well being. Though I have not heard him talk about sufism at all. Curious how he views that since there are comparisons and practices there that is not so far of from buddhism. 
PS
Arabic poetry from the mystics is pretty good. And the Nasruddin jokes are so incrained everywhere. Talk about cultural appropriation.
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Andreas:
Robert McLune:
Not sure if that was in jest, but yes it would totally make sense as a strategy. However, you only have to look at his [url=]recent encounter with Ben Affleck to see that anti-religion is clearly just as much part of his agenda as anything pro-"spirituality".
[...]
His beef is definietly with organised religions. But not really just that, basically any belief systems that takes away individual thought, critical thinking etc. He focus currently on Islam as he sees the fundamentalists in that religion to be greatest threat to peoples well being. Though I have not heard him talk about sufism at all. Curious how he views that since there are comparisons and practices there that is not so far of from buddhism. 
PS
Arabic poetry from the mystics is pretty good. And the Nasruddin jokes are so incrained everywhere. Talk about cultural appropriation.

He does mention Sufism here:
http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/islam-and-the-misuses-of-ecstasy

It's a good article on the value of spiritual experiences but also how ecstasy an dangerous ideas make for an explosive mix. I think he is quite right that there is something potent and dangerous about Islam and it represents an enormous challenge to reformers. We no longer have to worry much about people emulating the behaviour of the warlord that Moses was, the same cannot be said about the devotion for Muhammad in it's current state. Harris and the reformist Maajid Nawad will be publishing a book of their exchange soon. It will be interesting the direction this public discussion will take in the following years. I really feel that western social sciences have some serious difficulties grasping the challenges reformists face. The important social progress of the last 60 years were pretty much all about tolerance and equality. Racial issues, the fall of nationalism, gender equality, gay rights. Those issues didn't need much nuances. Someone could embrace the idea of tolerance to its fullest and without nuances and be on the right side of history. The matter of religious sectarianism and the problematic ideas born out of Islam don't fit that narrative.
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Checked out the link but I don't get his point. I've experienced ecstasy and all it did was push me away from organised religion and make me think war mongering politicians are even more clueless, so I'm stuck to find anything explosive about it. Is he really claiming that the sufis in his video are in a state of non-dual ecstasy which primes them to be dangerous terrorists ? It doesn't look any more intense than a moshpit at a metal gig to me. Seek And Destroy. War Ensemble. To an visiting alien which would look most likely to prime people for violence, a sufi ritual or a Slayer gig ?
I also don't understand his puzzlement at people who don't see the unique dangers of Islam, because the US and allies have killed way, way more people than any Islamic country since the end of WW2, and that's not counting the Islamic states that have been created, supported and manipulated into violence by US and allies, even before WW2 in the colonial period. Bush, Blair, Cameron all have played the Christian card whilst simultaneously uncorking Islamic terorrists from their bottle from Libya to Iraq.
Nor do I go with his idea that Islam is most dangerous to minorities - LGBT etc. Let's go with one of the mid to higher Iraq casualty estimates - 400,000 dead. The only figure I can find for prevalence of gay people in Iraq is 5%
5% of 400,000 = 25000 gay people killed by our war. Just killed in the course of business, really. It would take Iran a long time to kill that many, nasty though they are.

Let's just recap ~~~

Harris's scary sufi's-  "disturbingly irrational, mob behavior" -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASRO5pDO-lw#t=56

Dagoba: Huge wall of death - Hellfest 2014 -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73d8pMnMbKg

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Allah Hoo Allah Hoo Full Qawwali By A.Raziq Piracha
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr6CNejcFRQ#t=59

One from my personal vinyl pile - S.O.D.  Fuck The Middle East -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUESpkbAW34

No contest.

I agree with him about Rumi though, I love a bit of that. Then again I'm quite fond of moshpits too so I get the best of both worlds.
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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John:
Checked out the link but I don't get his point. I've experienced ecstasy and all it did was push me away from organised religion and make me think war mongering politicians are even more clueless, so I'm stuck to find anything explosive about it. Is he really claiming that the sufis in his video are in a state of non-dual ecstasy which primes them to be dangerous terrorists ? It doesn't look any more intense than a moshpit at a metal gig to me. Seek And Destroy. War Ensemble. To an visiting alien which would look most likely to prime people for violence, a sufi ritual or a Slayer gig ?
I also don't understand his puzzlement at people who don't see the unique dangers of Islam, because the US and allies have killed way, way more people than any Islamic country since the end of WW2, and that's not counting the Islamic states that have been created, supported and manipulated into violence by US and allies, even before WW2 in the colonial period. Bush, Blair, Cameron all have played the Christian card whilst simultaneously uncorking Islamic terorrists from their bottle from Libya to Iraq.
Nor do I go with his idea that Islam is most dangerous to minorities - LGBT etc. Let's go with one of the mid to higher Iraq casualty estimates - 400,000 dead. The only figure I can find for prevalence of gay people in Iraq is 5%
5% of 400,000 = 25000 gay people killed by our war. Just killed in the course of business, really. It would take Iran a long time to kill that many, nasty though they are.


I agree with him about Rumi though, I love a bit of that.

Have you experienced your ecstasy in the context of a religious setting? That's one of the point here. If someone go speak in tongues at his local church and experience a profond experience out of it, there are odds that this experience will enforce his beliefs that he is in the right faith, the one that hold the truth over other faiths, and this can contribute to re-enforcement of sectarian ideas. If you look at the last video, there is no doubt to me that there are people in the crowd that are deeply moved by the prayers, feel some sort of truth to it, and Harris points out that it is indeed beautiful in his delivery and we can be moved by it even without understanding what the man is saying. But if you read the subtitles, there are some pretty dangerious ideas being said there.

If we had around the world a significant number of Slayer fans that get together to wage armed conflict in the name of Slayer or some Swedish  death metal band, and recite that band lyrics before beheading people, and the actions would match the lyrics, if we were to criticize that Metal band, it seems that the liberal reaction to those criticisim would be something like that:
-There is no connection there as there are plenty of death metal fans that are peaceful.
-What you are saying is biogoted toward Swedish people.
-We had instance of amateur of classical music commiting attrocious acts too.
-Those doing those actions aren't real fan of Death metal, as the lyrics about beheading are a metaphor about freeing the mind.


Harris wrote a book to criticize Christian conservative and the only people that got offended by it are the conservative themselves. If he had kept his focus on Christianity and moved to U.S. foreign policies, his writings wouldn't only repeat what we have already heard a 100 times in Op-Ed in the NYTimes and Washington Post., preaching to the choir. But once he moved his attention to Islam, it created some sort of cognitive dissonance in people's mind. People are more comfortable when they can take a clear side on an issue, but the question of beliefs and their consequences on our actions cannot be framed in such way. People are only maintaining sectarian mindset under new disguise. To make the matter worse, you got scholars looked after as expert in their field, like Scott Atran and Reza Aslan, who completely deny that there is any connection between religious beliefs and behaviors.
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Simon T.:
John:
Checked out the link but I don't get his point. I've experienced ecstasy and all it did was push me away from organised religion and make me think war mongering politicians are even more clueless, so I'm stuck to find anything explosive about it. Is he really claiming that the sufis in his video are in a state of non-dual ecstasy which primes them to be dangerous terrorists ? It doesn't look any more intense than a moshpit at a metal gig to me. Seek And Destroy. War Ensemble. To an visiting alien which would look most likely to prime people for violence, a sufi ritual or a Slayer gig ?
I also don't understand his puzzlement at people who don't see the unique dangers of Islam, because the US and allies have killed way, way more people than any Islamic country since the end of WW2, and that's not counting the Islamic states that have been created, supported and manipulated into violence by US and allies, even before WW2 in the colonial period. Bush, Blair, Cameron all have played the Christian card whilst simultaneously uncorking Islamic terorrists from their bottle from Libya to Iraq.
Nor do I go with his idea that Islam is most dangerous to minorities - LGBT etc. Let's go with one of the mid to higher Iraq casualty estimates - 400,000 dead. The only figure I can find for prevalence of gay people in Iraq is 5%
5% of 400,000 = 25000 gay people killed by our war. Just killed in the course of business, really. It would take Iran a long time to kill that many, nasty though they are.


I agree with him about Rumi though, I love a bit of that.

Have you experienced your ecstasy in the context of a religious setting? That's one of the point here. If someone go speak in tongues at his local church and experience a profond experience out of it, there are odds that this experience will enforce his beliefs that he is in the right faith, the one that hold the truth over other faiths, and this can contribute to re-enforcement of sectarian ideas. If you look at the last video, there is no doubt to me that there are people in the crowd that are deeply moved by the prayers, feel some sort of truth to it, and Harris points out that it is indeed beautiful in his delivery and we can be moved by it even without understanding what the man is saying. But if you read the subtitles, there are some pretty dangerious ideas being said there.

If we had around the world a significant number of Slayer fans that get together to wage armed conflict in the name of Slayer or some Swedish  death metal band, and recite that band lyrics before beheading people, and the actions would match the lyrics, if we were to criticize that Metal band, it seems that the liberal reaction to those criticisim would be something like that:


No, no ecstasy in a religious setting, all I ever got from religion was dragging boredom. But I'm not convinced these dancing sufi's are getting it either, nothing more than a few of hours on the dancefloor would give anyone. I could be wrong but I expect it to be something different to one of the jhanas or A&P etc.

http://nypost.com/2009/05/19/notes-from-the-front/
“People can put nanos in their flak jackets and they are ready to go,” Pieslak tells The Post.
Slayer to get psyched while heading out in their Humvees, but during downtime, they add country, gospel, punk and new wave, for example, to the mix. Even the soldiers were startled by the variety. “I had no idea people listened to country music until I joined the Army,” says Spc. Colby Buzzell, who served a yearlong tour in Iraq in 2003. Buzzell would clean his guns to the Cure and the Smiths — but listen to Slayer before missions, he told Pieslak.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2009/sep/28/heavy-metal-music-us-army-iraq
"What's interesting about the work is not so much which bands soldiers are drawn to, but the extraordinary terms they use to describe the power the music has over them. Some talk about tracks turning them into monsters, making them inhuman so they can do inhuman acts."

That's going on my reading list.
Check out the interview on the Guardian podcast

That disagreement with the anthropologist - if he's reporting it correctly then I more or less agree, but it's not something I know anything about and I haven't seen Atran's stuff.
[edit again]
So I went to check his debate with Atran but had to stop at the point where he asks where the Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers are, ( why aren't they blowing themselves up on Chinese busses ? ) and goes on about the diligent pacifism of monks tortured by the Chinese, because a quick google tells me that Tibetans have engaged in violent geurilla resistance, with help from CIA, and have been suiciding themselves in protest, but not with suicide bombs. There's not a great difference between a suicide bombing and a no-return geurilla mission - in terms of fanaticism and religiously inspired martydom, so it looks like some cherry picking is going on there.
Not only that but he references monks and nuns that have been tortured and retained a sense of compassion. This is comparing monks and nuns to armed islamic geurillas rather than islamic contemplatives. Not a valid comparison. The more I look at his argument the more it looks just like academic careerism. Maybe if China was still a credible communist threat, and not the place where Americans buy their TVs from, then we would have seen some Tibetan suicide bombers ?

Thanks for debating this Simon, learning loads of new interesting stuff.

*[another edit] Forgot something - Ukraine. Two sets of ultra-nationalist/religious/orthodox/pagan/neo-nazis are screaming about nuking each other either from the NATO side or from the Russian side. Unlike Iran or ISIS, NATO and Russia are ball deep in nukes. But I suppose the Harris/Atran debate was before that became a pressing concern.
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Nicky, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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John:

I also don't understand his puzzlement at people who don't see the unique dangers of Islam, because the US and allies have killed way, way more people than any Islamic country since the end of WW2, and that's not counting the Islamic states that have been created, supported and manipulated into violence by US and allies, even before WW2 in the colonial period. Bush, Blair, Cameron all have played the Christian card whilst simultaneously uncorking Islamic terorrists from their bottle from Libya to Iraq.

My nervous system shudders when I hear him talk about Islam. To me, he sounds so cold, so unfeeling, so unquestioning, so prejudiced. He unquestioningly adheres to the 9/11 myth & the whole war of terror mythology and uses this mythology (superstition) to condemn Islam. To me, this is quite unBuddhist, to be so unquestioning, without applying investigation (vimansa) to what one speaks & believes. Unless we have psychic powers, none of us really know who organised 9/11 yet he is rigidly faithful to the official story made by those who are proven liars about WMD, Al Qeda bases & other related matters and supported ISIS in Syria on their never ending quest for regime change. The scriptures say:

~~Bhikkhus, there are these eight kinds of anariyavohara (ignoble ways of speaking).  What are the eight kinds?  The eight kinds are:

~~the tendency to speak of having seen things that have not (really) been seen;

 the tendency to speak of having heard things that have not (really) been heard;

 the tendency to speak of having experienced things that have not (really) been experienced;

 the tendency to speak of having realized things that have not (really) been realized; the tendency to speak of having not seen things that have been seen;

 the tendency to speak of having not heard things that have been heard;

 the tendency to speak of having not experienced things that have been experienced;

 the tendency to speak of having not realized things that have been realized.

emoticon
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Nicky:
John:

I also don't understand his puzzlement at people who don't see the unique dangers of Islam, because the US and allies have killed way, way more people than any Islamic country since the end of WW2, and that's not counting the Islamic states that have been created, supported and manipulated into violence by US and allies, even before WW2 in the colonial period. Bush, Blair, Cameron all have played the Christian card whilst simultaneously uncorking Islamic terorrists from their bottle from Libya to Iraq.

My nervous system shudders when I hear him talk about Islam. To me, he sounds so cold, so unfeeling, so unquestioning, so prejudiced. He unquestioningly adheres to the 9/11 myth & the whole war of terror mythology and uses this mythology (superstition) to condemn Islam. To me, this is quite unBuddhist, to be so unquestioning, without applying investigation (vimansa) to what one speaks & believes. Unless we have psychic powers, none of us really know who organised 9/11 yet he is rigidly faithful to the official story made by those who are proven liars about WMD, Al Qeda bases & other related matters and supported ISIS in Syria on their never ending quest for regime change. The scriptures say:

~~Bhikkhus, there are these eight kinds of anariyavohara (ignoble ways of speaking).  What are the eight kinds?  The eight kinds are:

~~the tendency to speak of having seen things that have not (really) been seen;

 the tendency to speak of having heard things that have not (really) been heard;

 the tendency to speak of having experienced things that have not (really) been experienced;

 the tendency to speak of having realized things that have not (really) been realized; the tendency to speak of having not seen things that have been seen;

 the tendency to speak of having not heard things that have been heard;

 the tendency to speak of having not experienced things that have been experienced;

 the tendency to speak of having not realized things that have been realized.

emoticon
I think it's safe to say that 9/11 was run by Islamists but I'd agree there is still a murky and unexplained background.
I think though that if Harris was to claim that we have an unprecedented level of religious freedom in the West I would agree with that. Nobody is going to execute you for heresy or for writing on mysticism, whereas historically in various times and places, including certain parts of the world now, this website would have brought execution from the sort of people Harris focusses on. I think he'd be right to say that ISIS, backed by Gulf States, Turkey or NATO - depending on who you listen to, for instance, would kill you all.
Then again, kicking off massive wars for supposed freedom tends to take the innocent and contemplatives along with everyone else.
But Harris's favourite Rumi wrote his masterpieces in the Sunni Sultanate of Rum, and contemplatives have lived under all sorts of political circumstances so it seems to me questionable that if a contemplative life and it's results are the most important thing then does it matter whether you have western political freedoms and a scientific, post-enlightenment culture or not ? I personally like them, but that doesn't mean I would need them if my life was about meditating ten hours a day.
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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John:
Nicky:
John:

I also don't understand his puzzlement at people who don't see the unique dangers of Islam, because the US and allies have killed way, way more people than any Islamic country since the end of WW2, and that's not counting the Islamic states that have been created, supported and manipulated into violence by US and allies, even before WW2 in the colonial period. Bush, Blair, Cameron all have played the Christian card whilst simultaneously uncorking Islamic terorrists from their bottle from Libya to Iraq.

My nervous system shudders when I hear him talk about Islam. To me, he sounds so cold, so unfeeling, so unquestioning, so prejudiced. He unquestioningly adheres to the 9/11 myth & the whole war of terror mythology and uses this mythology (superstition) to condemn Islam. To me, this is quite unBuddhist, to be so unquestioning, without applying investigation (vimansa) to what one speaks & believes. Unless we have psychic powers, none of us really know who organised 9/11 yet he is rigidly faithful to the official story made by those who are proven liars about WMD, Al Qeda bases & other related matters and supported ISIS in Syria on their never ending quest for regime change. The scriptures say:

~~Bhikkhus, there are these eight kinds of anariyavohara (ignoble ways of speaking).  What are the eight kinds?  The eight kinds are:

~~the tendency to speak of having seen things that have not (really) been seen;

 the tendency to speak of having heard things that have not (really) been heard;

 the tendency to speak of having experienced things that have not (really) been experienced;

 the tendency to speak of having realized things that have not (really) been realized; the tendency to speak of having not seen things that have been seen;

 the tendency to speak of having not heard things that have been heard;

 the tendency to speak of having not experienced things that have been experienced;

 the tendency to speak of having not realized things that have been realized.

emoticon
I think it's safe to say that 9/11 was run by Islamists but I'd agree there is still a murky and unexplained background.
I think though that if Harris was to claim that we have an unprecedented level of religious freedom in the West I would agree with that. Nobody is going to execute you for heresy or for writing on mysticism, whereas historically in various times and places, including certain parts of the world now, this website would have brought execution from the sort of people Harris focusses on. I think he'd be right to say that ISIS, backed by Gulf States, Turkey or NATO - depending on who you listen to, for instance, would kill you all.
Then again, kicking off massive wars for supposed freedom tends to take the innocent and contemplatives along with everyone else.
But Harris's favourite Rumi wrote his masterpieces in the Sunni Sultanate of Rum, and contemplatives have lived under all sorts of political circumstances so it seems to me questionable that if a contemplative life and it's results are the most important thing then does it matter whether you have western political freedoms and a scientific, post-enlightenment culture or not ? I personally like them, but that doesn't mean I would need them if my life was about meditating ten hours a day.

Sadly, the Sufis don't have it easy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sufism#Persecution
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Persecuted sufis, indeed.
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chris ., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Simon T.:


Harris strategy over the years is fascinating. It started by building his core audience of atheists, skeptics and scientists by going more on the attack, only hinting once in a while at the stuff he put more explicitly in Waking Up. He knew that if he had come out straight from the beginning with stories of self-transcendance, you wouldn't have been able to build that audience, but his goal all along was to introduce them to the dharma.



Very interesting theory. Harris was playing the long game all along, I can imagine a guru setting him on this path a decade ago, saying "this is what you will do to introduce the Dharma to the skeptics."


Here is a two hour conversation between Harris and Joseph Goldstein.  Harris arguing for Dzogchen practice, and Goldstein providing counterpoint.  I listened to it once, I think I need to hear it again maybe a few more times to comment on it.

https://soundcloud.com/samharrisorg/joseph-goldstein
Andreas, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Got Waking Up as a free audiobook using Audible trial credit. Its an interesting thing. He critiques modern scientist view on consciousness and how the mind works. He seem to hold Ramana Maharashi in hih regards. Also interesting that he accuatly studied under papaji/poonja. Though he doesnt seem to be impressed by Poonjas way of teaching. He is also not very fond of Zen meditation and I suppose Chan as well since you can practice wrong for years and no one tells you. Harris seem to be devoted to Dzogchen and recommends finding a good teacher even though that might be hard. He likes dzogchen because it can bring insight quicker. 
It was interesting to hear that he is a fan of Douglas Harding.
Its a nice book, very grounded.
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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The true litmus test here isn't if it worked for Harris, it's if it worked for his students. This is the case since he is claiming that the flaw in Dzogchen was the way it was taught. Can Dzogchen be put in such system that anyone can teach it or it requires a set of rare skills that only a few people have, in the spirit of direct transmission? I hope that he did some field testing of his teachings before releasing a book that might end up one of the most popular meditation book ever. 

I hope also that he will deal with the stages of insight in his book. If we are to set hundred of thousand of people on this path without providing them the elbow room to deal with the side effects as participant of a society,  it will get busy in the psychiatric wards. 
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G Mojo, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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That was one of my concerns also, that he would not address the difficult areas a person can come to.

Any review and modernising of Dzogchen is welcome, as trying to decipher some of the practices is a painful process.  With Sam though I am afraid that he probably hasn't tested any of his reccommended practices with students and this is all from his own experience.  That he talks with such certainty without any wider validation is worrying, especially as, like you say, this book will no doubt be another best seller for him.

I guess if it gets more people to think seriously about meditation practices then that can only be a bonus in the long run, even if there is some dark night collateral damage.
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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I believe he ran a meditation for scientists project a few years ago, never did catch up with that but I'm sure the results are out there somewhere to see if he drove anyone crazy.
Tee P Kay, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Simon T.:
I hope also that he will deal with the stages of insight in his book. If we are to set hundred of thousand of people on this path without providing them the elbow room to deal with the side effects as participant of a society,  it will get busy in the psychiatric wards. 
He doesn't, but he, unlike many outside the pragmatic "hard core" scene, at least acknowledges the dark side. For example, he specifically makes reference to Willoughby Britton.
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Someone posted on reddit the meditation instructions found in Waking up:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Meditation/comments/2fxen2/waking_up_by_sam_harris_all_meditation/
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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I just finished the audiobook which is about 5 hours long. The audiobook doesn't have the footnotes which are also interesting (got the book on piratebay to read those). Harris aims with this book is to convince scientifically-minded people that the sense of self is worth to be investigated and will vanish under close inspection. The book doesn't go deaper in instructions and Buddhist theory than what posted on reddit above. The book is really more about making a point than providing guidance. It might comes out as stating the obvious sometimes for those already into this stuff. The chapter on consciousness is the one that I found the most interesting as are the insights coming from neuroscience. Harris is quite explicit that he isn't done on this path, saying that he still get lost in his thoughts quite a bit. There is a section dealing with gradual vs suddent enlightenment and he said that the therevada path wasn't working for him and he never got a cessation. On the other hand, he is very into dzochen. He deal with the moral limitations of enlightenment, citing examples of Trungpa Rinpoche among others. He also deal with the good and bad sides of psychedelics. 
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Just did a search "Sam Harris woo" and it looks like the critical thinking daleks give him a free pass for basically talking the woo that they fixate on so much. Maybe it's just the way he tells it, couch religious experience in the right terms and people don't notice you are talking religion. Cunning ;-)
Tee P Kay, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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John:
Just did a search "Sam Harris woo" ...
Well that sounds like a pretty incisive and rigorous analysis then. Another option would be to read his book.
BTW, I did a search for "John dharmaoverground woo" and got a hit on the never-fails-to-make-me-say-whu? speculativenonbuddhism.
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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"Well that sounds like a pretty incisive and rigorous analysis then." Yeah emoticon
Can't say I get on with speculative buddhism, whatever it is. As far as could make out it means that communism is true buddhism is the way to bring love to the world, and if I'm not an active communist agitator then I'm a hate filled woo spouter. Or something. That's not an invitation to explain it to me, BTW.

So, anyway, does Sam Harris not get called a woowoo by the atheists ?
Tee P Kay, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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John:
So, anyway, does Sam Harris not get called a woowoo by the atheists ?
Only by those who don't listen to what he's saying, and instead indulge in knee-jerks; the "religious" atheists I guess we could call them.
Jeremy May, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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"Every part of Tee is just another part of me..."
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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[Edit because I just re-read what you said]

I reckon that's it yeah.
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

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I was a little surprised to see Harris name checking Dean Radin. If he's into parapsychology that'll really to get him labelled a woo. Wasn't he head of Noetic Sciences or the Monroe institute ? What do we make of the Monroe institute ?
Andreas, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Dont think hes that knto woo. In waking up he says conscioussness is a emerging property of brain functions etc.
Why anyone would label him a woo based on what he says in waking up is beyond me, hes hardcore materialist really but keeps open mind.

Also he labels gurdjeff a dangerous fraud, hes also very critical of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Who was basically a violent drunk and megalomaniac. 
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

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I don't know what he says in his book and wasn't referencing it, if that's puzzling you, it's the video I watched in which he shows openness to Dean Radin.
So I googled -

http://www.dailygrail.com/Mind-Mysteries/2007/1/Sam-Harris-Psi
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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John:
I don't know what he says in his book and wasn't referencing it, if that's puzzling you, it's the video I watched in which he shows openness to Dean Radin.
So I googled -

http://www.dailygrail.com/Mind-Mysteries/2007/1/Sam-Harris-Psi

As many of us on this path had a time or another some experiences that challenges a pure materialist view of the world, it's possible that Harris had such experiences but prefer to keep them for himself. But more generally, Harris tends to remains an agnostic about pretty much everything until proven otherwise.
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Simon T.:
John:
I don't know what he says in his book and wasn't referencing it, if that's puzzling you, it's the video I watched in which he shows openness to Dean Radin.
So I googled -

http://www.dailygrail.com/Mind-Mysteries/2007/1/Sam-Harris-Psi

As many of us on this path had a time or another some experiences that challenges a pure materialist view of the world, it's possible that Harris had such experiences but prefer to keep them for himself. But more generally, Harris tends to remains an agnostic about pretty much everything until proven otherwise.


Sensible attitude if you ask me.
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Jason Snyder, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Andreas:
In waking up he says conscioussness is a emerging property of brain functions etc.


True, but he qualifies this by saying that how this works is not at all understood, a "miracle": check it this old article of his on consciousness: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-mystery-of-consciousness
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
In waking up he says conscioussness is a emerging property of brain functions etc.


True, but he qualifies this by saying that how this works is not at all understood, a "miracle": check it this old article of his on consciousness: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-mystery-of-consciousness


So, consciousness is an emerging property of brain function. But this means that the brain we perceive is a phenomena of consciousness. So a phenomena of consciousness is producing a phenomena of consciousness.

I'm not the first person to see this going round in circles am I ?
I guess it would help the materialist argument if anybody could find some actual matter.

Maybe the brain causes mind to arise in a similar way as one thing makes another happen in a movie - meaning it doesn't, it's all scripted and the meta cause is the projector.
Andreas, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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What fascinates me is that even though what we see is old we know it now. There is no switching there cant be since then we would not know it in the now. Thats why i have a hard time with some stuff like the finger touch in MCTB. I feel both fingers at same time. There cant be switching both experiences are old. How does one differentiate between feeling from memory and actual when both are happening at once or are memories. Thats one thing that should be in MCBT2.
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Andreas:
What fascinates me is that even though what we see is old we know it now. There is no switching there cant be since then we would not know it in the now. Thats why i have a hard time with some stuff like the finger touch in MCTB. I feel both fingers at same time. There cant be switching both experiences are old. How does one differentiate between feeling from memory and actual when both are happening at once or are memories. Thats one thing that should be in MCBT2.

Yeah any analysis of the world always seems to introduce the element of time, places reality outside the peceiver, and puts the perceiver on a time delay constantly playing catch up with a world which has already happened.
In this case we never see people as they are, only as they were a moment ago. How's that for isolation ?
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Jason Snyder, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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John:
Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
In waking up he says conscioussness is a emerging property of brain functions etc.


True, but he qualifies this by saying that how this works is not at all understood, a "miracle": check it this old article of his on consciousness: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-mystery-of-consciousness


So, consciousness is an emerging property of brain function. But this means that the brain we perceive is a phenomena of consciousness. So a phenomena of consciousness is producing a phenomena of consciousness.

I'm not the first person to see this going round in circles am I ?
I guess it would help the materialist argument if anybody could find some actual matter.
Good point. I would like to see him debate a smart idealist, maybe Bernardo Kastrup, to really pin him down on this. 
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John, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Jason Snyder:
John:
Jason Snyder:
Andreas:
In waking up he says conscioussness is a emerging property of brain functions etc.


True, but he qualifies this by saying that how this works is not at all understood, a "miracle": check it this old article of his on consciousness: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-mystery-of-consciousness


So, consciousness is an emerging property of brain function. But this means that the brain we perceive is a phenomena of consciousness. So a phenomena of consciousness is producing a phenomena of consciousness.

I'm not the first person to see this going round in circles am I ?
I guess it would help the materialist argument if anybody could find some actual matter.
Good point. I would like to see him debate a smart idealist, maybe Bernardo Kastrup, to really pin him down on this. 

I'd watch.
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Jason Snyder, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Here is a really good critical review of the book: http://secularbuddhism.org/2014/12/18/sam-harris-talks-spirituality/
Andreas, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Jason Snyder:
Here is a really good critical review of the book: http://secularbuddhism.org/2014/12/18/sam-harris-talks-spirituality/
That was a good review somewhat biased but all reviewers have their baggage. It reminded me when listening to the audio book about he split brain dual conscioussness. Its basically a modern myth. There is no actual proof for this from what I could gather. Same experience can happen when one gets certain types of illnesses and various other cases. So no actual splitting is required. Harris probably likes it due to his own biases. So the critique about the axiom Harris makes and its contradiction wih split brain is mute. Also the point the reviewer make about six conscioussness are also just old buddhist myths or translation screwups.
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Simon T., modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Sam Harris: An Atheist’s Guide to Spirituality

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Jason Snyder:
Here is a really good critical review of the book: http://secularbuddhism.org/2014/12/18/sam-harris-talks-spirituality/

I think the issue of the review can be summarized by this passage at the end:
As an account of a personal journey, apparently successful, one can say nothing against it. Any such journey must depend on the aims of the person actually putting one foot in front of the other. By his own account, Harris has done a lot of walking on this path. He found his master, and realized the non-dual nature of conscious awareness. Now his only problem is bringing this “self-transcendence” to more and more moments of his life.

But what if we started with a different axiom of spirituality? What if instead of claiming self-transcendence as our goal, we were to choose something slightly less grandiose. What if we were to say that the deepest goal of spirituality were simply to live the good life, or become a better person? Or that the goal were to eliminate clinging, and hence dukkha? Or that it were to cultivate a mind of non attachment? As well as being more grounded, I submit these are deeper understandings of the Buddhist path.

So this is a review by a philosophers and Buddhist scholar who isn't really interested by the ultimate goal of Buddhism. It's the kind of stuff you find at Dharmawheel, people being more interested in looking at the Suttas as literary work, poundering on the exact meanings of words, confirming their own bias, instead of running the experiment. Western philosophy painted itself in a corner and if Eastern spirituality is going to make its way in Academics, I expect it will be through the science departments. 
Andreas, modified 6 Years ago.

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Very simplistic, why devout one self to buddhism for that? So being spiritual means having good friends, eat good food, dont be mean and not fret over things to much? If thats secular buddhism thats a really obscure watered down version of buddhism, can it even be called buddhism.

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