Spiral Wizard

What’s wrong with Sam Harris?

22 posts in this topic

Lastly, I read a lot of valid critiques about Jordan Peterson and I remember reading posts from @Leo Gura criticizing Sam Harris but I can’t find them anymore. 

I haven’t studied Sam Harris too much but every podcast, talk or video I’ve seen from him so far was pretty amazing and I know that Frank Yang also values his work. 
 

So could you explain what the issue with him/his teachings are? I am genuinely curious.


"The journey never ends, the point of arrival is always now." 

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Sam Harris mostly leans towards an individualist interpretation of the world (psychology, biology; beliefs, genetics) contrasted with a collectivist interpretation (sociology, history; material conditions).

Something that demonstrates this (and is the background for his dislike of religion, particularily Islam) is his belief "people's actions are primarily explained by the beliefs they hold". Not surprisingly, his PhD thesis was about how different beliefs affect the brain:

 https://cosmosmagazine.com/society/brain-according-sam-harris/

This "beliefs matter" stance is a common thread in his analysis, which explains why he is so focused on Islam, racial differences in IQ, why he is pro-Israel (hint: they're not muslims) and generally pro-America in terms of foreign policy ("intentions matter").

One possible personal explanation for why he has this belief is that his career was built on his reaction to 9/11 with the book "The End of Faith", when America was attacked by none other than Islamic terrorists.

Individualist analysis is a core feature of Stage Orange. Historically, rationalism and empiricism gave the power to the individual to make up his mind about reality, which broke with the collectivist doctrines of traditional religion and mythical thinking, where dogma was created and passed down not from the thoughts of a single individual but from a long tradition of myths and stories.

Edited by Carl-Richard

To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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He wants to eat owls.. 

owls.jpg


"I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people."

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1 minute ago, Mason Riggle said:

He wants to eat owls.. 

They're apex predators, Sam -_-

Edited by Carl-Richard

To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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Just now, Shanmugam said:

This is not Sam Harris...

This is Ben Stiller, the look alike of Sam Harris...xD

....THAT IS THE JOKE! :P


To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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@Carl-Richard

Poe's law

Poe's law is an adage of Internet culture stating that, without a clear indicator of the author's intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied. 

B|


"I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people."

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Although he's spiritual and even created a great meditation app, Sam Harris has built his entire professional identity on being an atheist which makes it difficult for him to progress on his spiritual journey.

The biggest concept I've found that holds him back is the concept of evil. Sam believes an all loving higher power could not possibly exist will all the pain and suffering in the world. What he hasn't grasped yet is that evil is MANDATORY for good to exist.

Our minds literally couldn't fathom the concept of good without evil to compare it to, just as we cannot understand "up" without "down." He also doesn't realize how pain and suffering are actually pure love. They are what allow us to grow spiritually and are fundamentally part of the evolution of consciousness. 

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On 1/12/2021 at 6:11 AM, Spiral Wizard said:

Lastly, I read a lot of valid critiques about Jordan Peterson and I remember reading posts from @Leo Gura criticizing Sam Harris but I can’t find them anymore. 

I haven’t studied Sam Harris too much but every podcast, talk or video I’ve seen from him so far was pretty amazing and I know that Frank Yang also values his work. 
 

So could you explain what the issue with him/his teachings are? I am genuinely curious.

From what i have seen he hasn't awoken yet - but that's OK.  It just won't thrust him into turquoise at the moment.  You are gonna wanna learn from someone who is a true mystic.  Leo is a mystic.  Adyashanti is another.  Peter Ralston, Donald Walsch, etc.  Now some of these only teach spirituality and that's fine.  For spirituality you are gonna want guys like this...and its a short list.  For the stuff that is the content of reality - well that's a whole different arena.


The Path to Truth is walked Alone.

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brain-meme-02.jpg


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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He’s actually one of the only members of “the intellectual dark web” I don’t mind that much. I think he has a lot of good and interesting takes and I find myself agreeing with him a lot. Even if I disagree, I still often find what he has to say interesting. 
 

However, there is one subject he likes to discuss that I think he is shockingly limited in: Islam. It’s insane how bad he demonizes Islam. For someone so intelligent and rational you’d think he’d try to put all the different pieces together and understand the several variables at play that can often lead to radical Islam. Things like culture, history, geography, geopolitical and socio-economic factors etc. he ignores basically all of those things and simply points his finger at Islam itself and acts like it’s inherently more evil and more corrupt than any other faith on the planet. 

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@Leo Gura Hahaha how did I not see that one coming xD


To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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Ok a few of my criticisms of Sam Harris. Just a couple of points. 

  • His race based segregating mindset. He doesn't realize that he is himself playing identity politics meanwhile accusing others of the same. 
  • Disparaging narratives about black people in a recent video. I forgot which one. 
  • Entitled attitude 
  • Rationalistic thinking and reductionist approach. A philosopher will have a hard time with him. 
  • His spirituality is kinda flaky. 
  • His inability to accept other people's opinions and imposing his own as superior. Always trying to win the argument in some manner by giving the appearance that he is the smarter one instead of trying to understand the other person's point of view 
  • His almost cult like following of flying monkeys who come to his rescue and pretend like he is a Saint 
  • His elitist mentality. (I won't even go there) 
  • His need to make science look spiritual when spirituality and science are two different things. 
  • His take on morality as simply a system to keep people in order. 

 

 

 

Edited by Preety_India

Whatever be the status quo of the system, regardless of whatever, a person should have to feel cared for  and there is no excuse in the whole universe why a person should not have to feel cared for.. 

Preety preety

 

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Thank y’all, I appreciate your responses! 
 

15 hours ago, Valwyndir said:

The biggest concept I've found that holds him back is the concept of evil. Sam believes an all loving higher power could not possibly exist will all the pain and suffering in the world. What he hasn't grasped yet is that evil is MANDATORY for good to exist.

Our minds literally couldn't fathom the concept of good without evil to compare it to, just as we cannot understand "up" without "down." He also doesn't realize how pain and suffering are actually pure love. They are what allow us to grow spiritually and are fundamentally part of the evolution of consciousness. 

I’m not enlightened yet but after watching Leo’s videos I got it conceptually and now it’s become self evident that evil is a selfish illusion.

It’s kinda sad to see how intelligent human beings with insane potential get locked into paradigms or do not live up to their fullest potential because they didn’t receive the ‘right’ education.

Wisdom is so crucial...

 

8 hours ago, Inliytened1 said:

From what i have seen he hasn't awoken yet - but that's OK.

@Inliytened1 what makes you think that?  According to him he is experiencing non-dual awareness.


"The journey never ends, the point of arrival is always now." 

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30 minutes ago, Spiral Wizard said:

 

@Inliytened1 what makes you think that?  According to him he is experiencing non-dual awareness.

Sources?


To balance beauty and complexity so perfectly is a divine mystery.

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Sam Harris IMO is very smart and has a lot of great takes on politics and no-self. But He hasn't awoken to the whole array of spiritual infinitude. You can get a hint of that if you listen to his mushroom trip experience. He says he has a collision with what he would call the holy spirit if he were a Christian. But then he implies that he is too "wise" to fall into the traps of "basic Christian minds." Also implying that he doesn't quite value mystical experiences if he can't define them in his own framework. He has however begun to take quite an interest in psychedelics and I think that is good news for him moving forward. Psychedelics can open him up to everything else his current scientific partly stage orange worldview is holding him back from.

 

His meditation app is the best one I've found. He is helpful and he brings in many other helpful teachers as well. Giving the app quite the buffet of spiritual paths. He is also about to add a psychedelics section in there. I'm curious to see what that will be about.

 

In spite of all of the valid criticisms of Sam, you will find he is still an amazing person to keep in your merry-go-round of mentors. Just don't limit yourself to everything Sam limits himself to.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Spiral Wizard said:

Thank y’all, I appreciate your responses! 
 

I’m not enlightened yet but after watching Leo’s videos I got it conceptually and now it’s become self evident that evil is a selfish illusion.

It’s kinda sad to see how intelligent human beings with insane potential get locked into paradigms or do not live up to their fullest potential because they didn’t receive the ‘right’ education.

Wisdom is so crucial...

 

@Inliytened1 what makes you think that?  According to him he is experiencing non-dual awareness.

There are different aspects to awakening. It's not an on/off switch. All aspects of awakening are spectrums. You can think of each aspect of awakening having 10 levels 1-10 (although in reality the spectrum is more like an asymptotic approach to infinity). Many people have such profound shifts in consciousness that they believe it's an on off switch when in reality they just jumped to the next level with many levels still to go. Sam Harris seems to understand the no-self concept above the average person for sure. I'd say most people are at a 1. Buddah would be a 10. Sam Harris is like a 5.

All aspects of awakening are also interconnected. I know Sam hasn't gotten no-self at a deep level because he still doesn't understand he's God haha. Sam is an ashiest. Deep levels of no-self are so mind-blowingly fundamental that you are forced to recognize these concepts as simply fabrications that stem from a primordial intelligence. Sam clearly hasn't gotten anywhere near here.     

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4 hours ago, Shane Hanlon said:

In spite of all of the valid criticisms of Sam, you will find he is still an amazing person to keep in your merry-go-round of mentors. Just don't limit yourself to everything Sam limits himself to.

 

this makes a lot of sense to me, thank you @Shane Hanlon!

7 hours ago, Carl-Richard said:

Sources?

15:50 ish

 


"The journey never ends, the point of arrival is always now." 

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Sam is the reason I got into this stuff in the first place; I think he is a necessary part of the nondual/meditation community even if his teaching's aren't the deepest, it's a good way to get a scientifically minded person on board with investigating consciousness. 

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