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Waking Up

A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Simon & Schuster
 | 
June, 2015
ISBN:
9781451636024
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Banyen's Description: 

For the millions of us who resonate to “spirituality without religion,” Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, has written a new book, Waking Up—a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.

Some 30 percent of us, they say, follow no religion, but suspect that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics, schizophrenics, or frauds. Harris argues that there are important truths to be found in the experiences of such contemplatives—and, therefore, that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow.

Waking Up is “by turns seeker’s memoir [he’s sat at length with Vipassana, Dzogchen and nondual teachers, and taken his share of psychedelics], an introduction to the brain, a manual of contemplative instruction, and a philosophical unraveling of what most people consider to be the center of their inner lives: the feeling of self we call ‘I.’” No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in quite this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.

Altered states of consciousness are empirical facts, and human beings experience them under a wide range of conditions. To understand this, and to seek to live a spiritual life without deluding ourselves, we must view these experiences in universal and secular terms…
 

Consciousness is simply the light by which the contours of mind and body are known. It is that which is aware of feelings such as joy, regret, amusement, and despair. It can seem to take their shape for a time, but it is possible to recognize that is never quite does. In fact, we can directly experience that consciousness is never improved or harmed by what it knows. Making this discovery, again and again, is the basis of spiritual life…
 

It is within our capacity to recognize the nature of thoughts, to awaken from the dream of being merely ourselves and, in this way, to become better able to contribute to the well-being of others.

“Sam Harris reminds us that awakening does not depend on religious belief. With his usual probing clarity, he points out the rational methodology for exploring the nature of consciousness. Waking Up really does help wake us up.” —Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening

Publisher’s Description: 

For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harriss latest New York Times bestseller is a guide to meditation as a rational practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.

From Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author of numerous New York Times bestselling books, Waking Up is for the twenty percent of Americans who follow no religion but who suspect that important truths can be found in the experiences of such figures as Jesus, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history. Throughout this book, Harris argues that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow, and that how we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the quality of our lives.

Waking Up is part memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harrisa scientist, philosopher, and famous skepticcould write it.

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