Faith’s End and the Unknown


Waking Up – A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, by Sam Harris

Neurologist and philosopher Sam Harris has been pushing the limits of both fields for some time now, and with this book, he may well lose his street cred as one who insists on accepting nothing by faith. But such a persnickety view of Harris will be misguided based on a superficial reading of this, his latest broadside.
He has staked his claim to being the U.S.’s most prominent spokesperson for atheism. Still, in The End of Faith, he left his readers hanging with a paean to meditation and explorations in consciousness. And so with this book, Harris is asking his readers to jump into these waters with him. What does he mean by consciousness? This question must be answered in order to know what it is he’s asking readers to explore.
Here I’ll paraphrase from my own such extrapolations in consciousness, knowing that Harris, upon reading this, would probably snort and ask me for the reasoning behind them. Consciousness, then is the basis of everything, but it’s unknowable. How does one deal with such a paradox? One must become ego-less, one much renounce ownership of thought. He doesn’t mean to make moods of these abstractions, mind you; instead one must approach them through the vehicle of mind, which must itself be transcended.

Does this seem laughable, a Woodstock Nation morsel of food for thought? Then you may not want to read this one, even if you’ve followed Harris’ work to this point. But if something here rings a bell, no matter how faintly, pick it up.

My rating: 17 of 20 stars

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