Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

By Sam Harris

3.91 - ratings 37,180

For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.From multiple New York Times bestselling author, neuroscientist, and “new atheist” Sam Harris, Waking Up is for the 30 percent of Americans who follow no religion, but who suspect that For the millions of Americans who want...

Book details

September 9th 2014 by Simon Schuster

(first published January 1st 2014)

Edition Language
English

Quotes From "Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion"

"There is nothing passive about mindfulness. One might even say that it expresses a specific kind of passion—a passion for discerning what is subjectively real in every moment. It is a mode of cognition that is, above all, undistracted, accepting, and (ultimately) nonconceptual. Being mindful is not a matter of thinking more clearly about experience; it is the act of experiencing more clearly, including the arising of thoughts themselves. Mindfulness is a vivid awareness of whatever is appearing in one’s mind or body—thoughts, sensations, moods—without grasping at the pleasant or recoiling from the unpleasant."
"Everything we do is for the purpose of altering consciousness. We form friendships so that we can feel love and avoid loneliness…. We read for the pleasure of thinking another person's thoughts. Every waking moment, and even in our dreams, we struggle to direct the flow of sensation, emotion, and cognition towards states of consciousness that we value."
"What is the meaning of life? What is our purpose on earth? These are some of the great, false questions of religion. We need not answer them, for they are badly posed, but we can live our answers all the same. At a minimum, we can create the conditions for human flourishing in this life--the only life of which any of us can be certain. That means we should not terrify our children with thoughts of hell or poison them with hatred for infidels. We should not teach our sons to consider women their future property or convince our daughters that they are property even now. And we must decline to tell our children that human history began with bloody magic and will end with bloody magic in a glorious war between the righteous and the rest."
"I still considered the world’s religions to be mere intellectual ruins, maintained at enormous economic and social cost, but I now understood that important psychological truths could be found in the rubble."
"Our habitual identification with thought—that is, our failure to recognize thoughts *as thoughts,* as appearances in consciousness—is a primary source of human suffering. It also gives rise to the illusion that a separate self is living inside one’s head."
"If your golf instructor were to insist that you shave your head, sleep no more than four hours each night, renounce sex, and subsist on a diet of raw vegetables, you would find a new golf instructor. However, when gurus make demands of this kind, many of their students simply do as directed."
"Forces of digestion and metabolism are at work within me that are utterly beyond my perception or control. Most of my internal organs may as well not exist for all I know of them directly, and yet I can be reasonably certain that I have them, arranged much as any medical textbook would suggest. The taste of the coffee, my satisfaction at its flavor, the feeling of the warm cup in my hand—while these are immediate facts with which I am acquainted, they reach back into a dark wilderness of facts that I will never come to know... Where am I, that I have such a poor view of things? And what sort of thing am I that both my outside and my inside are so obscure?"
"Arranging atoms in certain ways appears to bring about an experience of being that very collection of atoms. This is undoubtedly one of the deepest mysteries given to us to contemplate."

Community Reviews

No Reviews

Advertisement

Advertisement

Topics

Advertisement