Waking up

Waking up

A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
Average Rating:
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Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2014.
ISBN: 9781442378285
Branch Call Number: eAUDIO OVERDRI
Characteristics: audio file
1 sound file : digital
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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danielestes
Jan 03, 2016

If you're already a fan of Sam Harris, then you'll certainly want to check out Waking Up. It's as close to a defense of spirituality by a sincere atheist as you will likely ever encounter. It's also a veiled peek into the life of Harris himself, providing a little background info on why the man ticks the way he does.

If you've never heard of Sam Harris, but are curious about the confluence of two seemingly opposite realms, spirituality and atheism, then you can expect Waking Up to be a mixed bag. The discussion ranges from technical descriptions of neurology to philosophical/metaphysical ponderings of the self. Some chapters you will find much more appealing than others. Just not all of it, I'm guessing.

The last chapter, "Gurus, Death, Drugs, and other Puzzles," I thought was a risky, yet brave addition by the author. Without diminishing his phrasing, all I'll say is that it revisits the drug use issue from a point of view I don't recall ever reading before. I'm sure Harris' detractors will use this chapter to slander him for the rest of his career, but smart readers should have no problem separating the argument from an out-of-context sound bite.

a
AndCo
Jun 14, 2015

Interesting comment from JudithE. Exploration of psychedelic drugs as useful psychotherapy and agents of awakening is just restarting--very 2015! Harris as a neuroscientist is more au courant than us punters with the relationship between contemplation and mind-altering drugs, and it is his mission to transcend superstition, including the superstition that drug-induced experiences are necessarily phony and transient. Useful information in this book to anyone open-minded enough to receive it. The man does not know everything, but he knows a lot more than most of us, and whatever your perspective, Harris will help you examine your own assumptions even if you stumble across a few of his!

j
JudithE
Apr 11, 2015

Hmmm... I need to return this book before finishing it, but so far I've been a bit disappointed. Why is a bit unclear to me. I didn't like that his first experience of an expanded mind was a drug (Ecstasy) experience. That felt old-fashioned to me, as if I were back in the '60s. Maybe I'm not his intended audience (or maybe I am, but I've since moved on). Anyway, I'm not going to request it again to finish it.

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