Top positive review
An open minded skeptic's explanation of why spirituality matters
20 March 2019
WIth his book Waking Up, Sam Harris does a great job of threading a path between scientific skepticism and spirituality. The central motif of how consciousness precedes the self, that the self is an illusion, and all of this is demonstrable through a meditation practice is built upon steadily and will some wonderfully engaging writing. This is a fun read (though perhaps not if you have religious sensibilities), and enlightening in terms of the connection between neuroscience and spirituality.
Harris takes a great deal of delight in his witty skewering of sacred cows. From religion to gurus to bad neuroscience, he strips away the nonsense to stick to the book’s central premise. That premise is that eastern spiritual traditions act as a playbook to transcending the illusion of self, and that self-transcendence is a path to reduced suffering and thus effectiveness in this world.
I don’t think you’ll find a clearer enunciation of the science behind why self-transcendence is real, the reasons we should strive for it, and the outlines of a methodology for doing so. Funny, easily read and with wisdom that is readily digested.