ConsciousOwl10

Is Sam Harris Really Anti-Spiritual?

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3XUee3-meA

 

hey guys,

i was on youtube randomly and I watched this video by sam Harris on why we should meditate. Whats funny is that he starts to sound a lot like Leo, saying that being is fundamentally mysterious the more you look at it, and that if you look at your hand etc it becomes less and less obvious as to what is is. Watch from around 2.30 . Do you think he is secretly not as materialist as he says or is this just meant to be a feel good video to get people to subscribe to his app?

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He is an materialist and a atheist which to me is non compatible with true spirituality, same with Adeptus who have been on here arguing with Leo about telepathy and other things.

Apparently psychedelics and meditation is not enough to convice anybody that reality is also more then just random  non intelligent matter combining to form a intelligent being.

But his meditation app is actually good, used it before.

But his view about reality is not something i agree with but he still has some good advice so take what you find valuable and leave the rest ?


Let thy speech be better then silence, or be silent.

- Pseudo-dionysius 

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1:13:52 -  1:18:00

When somebody asked him what it feels like to lose your sense of self, it sounds like he hasn't had any deep mystical experiences, which explains his materialism (either that, or he intentionally gave the most dumbed-down, skeptic-friendly sales pitch of meditation in order to not scare anybody away). It seems like he is stuck at the mainstream conception of mindfulness, of treating meditation as a disposable band-aid for excess neuroticism throughout the day ("It punctuates the problem."), not as an existential rewamping of your life.


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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1 hour ago, Adamq8 said:

 

He is an materialist and a atheist which to me is non compatible with true spirituality, same with Adeptus who have been on here arguing with Leo about telepathy and other things.

Apparently psychedelics and meditation is not enough to convice anybody that reality is also more then just random  non intelligent matter combining to form a intelligent being.

But his meditation app is actually good, used it before.

But his view about reality is not something i agree with but he still has some good advice so take what you find valuable and leave the rest ?

Different perspectives and toughts are anti spiritual... This forum becomes more fundamentalist by the day. 

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1 minute ago, Whatever said:

Different perspectives and toughts are anti spiritual... This forum becomes more fundamentalist by the day. 

Do you not think beliefs have an effect on your mind? Believing that you're separate from the universe actually reduces your consciousness.


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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Based on some things that he’s said in the past, I’ve had the suspicion that Sam Harris might actually be a closet non-dualist.  That’s probably not true, but one can dream.

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51 minutes ago, Whatever said:

Different perspectives and toughts are anti spiritual... This forum becomes more fundamentalist by the day. 

Well I sincerely disagree with that statement, materialism is not a spiritual perspective at all, it is nihilistic and makes life out to be a random process in an indifferent universe, and any significant spiritual experience is a hallucination and totally meaningless since it is just wishful thinking or a misfiring of neurons in the brain.

To point that out is not anti spiritual either imo.

What do you really mean with the forum being more and more fundamentalistic?

 

 


Let thy speech be better then silence, or be silent.

- Pseudo-dionysius 

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@ConsciousOwl10 hmmmmmm. He's a weird guy to say the least but I love him. Sam Harris has a very professional demeanour but that's his nature.

I'm not sure if you need to define yourself as someone who is spiritual. I think you should take this from a philosophical point of view rather than demonising him within the framework of non-dualists. Carl's probably got it right in describing him objectively, how he doesn't elevate meditation (and solipsism) to the station of metaphysics in what he says. I could be telling a lie though there, and he in fact takes it seriously metaphysically, just in a different way. From what I remember of him though, he doesn't elevate it to that realm at all. He's le epic atheist materialist 

I get the annoying nagging feeling he just doesn't want to let things shown to him by meditation and psychedelics to be taken to their logical conclusion, employing diversion. 

--

Millions of people practice meditation, there's no prescribed ideology to meditation at all

Edited by lmfao

Hark ye yet again — the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event — in the living act, the undoubted deed — there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there's naught beyond. But 'tis enough.

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He's rather intelligent is all. Not anti-spiritual, just ignorant of what enlightenment is. Only seems to be materialistic due to him not having transcended his own skepticism. He's stated many times that the fact that something seems to be, is the one thing that can't be an illusion -- this means he's at least not completely ideologically attached to materialism as an ultimate ground. You can get a good picture of his take on spirituality by listening to his Jim Newman and Rupert Spira conversations. In the Spira conversation it's clear he's confused about the non-assuming nature of the nondual-consciousness-only model. And in the Newman conversation it's clear that he confuses enlightenment with samadhi, concentration, detachment, mindfulness, and higher states of consciousness. He's fairly pragmatic (as opposed to truth-seeking) with spirituality, and isn't quite aware of how enlightenment works. I always liked him a lot -- really eloquent with his speech; fun to listen to -- even though he sometimes drops the ball on politics (e.g. the Charles Murray stuff, depending on who you ask)... but even so, he seems to be a very honest and intelligent actor. He deals with practical spirituality and while I think he does good work, he does imply that he is sometimes talking about enlightenment, but in reality he has absolutely no clue what enlightenment is. Basically he primarily seems to be into becoming more mindful and wieldy with the mind.

Edited by The0Self

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I remember Harris admitting that he is not a very good meditator.  That isn’t surprising considering that he is intellectual and thus can’t get out of his head.  He actually studied under Papaji, who was an over-the-top mystic.   That being said, “materialism”, “atheism”, “spirituality”, “religion”, are just concepts moving  around in the intellectual brain and have no bearing on a person's grasp of the truth.

Edited by Jodistrict

Vincit omnia Veritas.

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2 hours ago, Carl-Richard said:

Do you not think beliefs have an effect on your mind? Believing that you're separate from the universe actually reduces your consciousness.

@Carl-Richard Is Enlightenment just a matter of changing our beliefs? What aspects of the path are dependent on our beliefs? Is it all just about beliefs? Can knowing this be used to fast track our awakening and how would you go about this?

Edited by softlyblossoming
Added additional questions

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49 minutes ago, softlyblossoming said:

@Carl-Richard Is Enlightenment just a matter of changing our beliefs? What aspects of the path are dependent on our beliefs? Is it all just about beliefs? Can knowing this be used to fast track our awakening and how would you go about this?

Changing your beliefs doesn't mean you'll have a mystical experience, but if you have a mystical experience, your beliefs will change.


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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2 hours ago, The Lucid Dreamer said:

Based on some things that he’s said in the past, I’ve had the suspicion that Sam Harris might actually be a closet non-dualist.  That’s probably not true, but one can dream.

He dabbles in it, but again he is restricted by his materialism. This is very evident in his podcast with Rupert Spira.


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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3 hours ago, Carl-Richard said:

Do you not think beliefs have an effect on your mind? Believing that you're separate from the universe actually reduces your consciousness.

Of course they do. Just that thinking that my way of thinking is THE spirituality and any opposing view is clueless is fundamentalism in the nutshell. 

 

"Reduces your consciousness" is a broad term to a degree it becomes meaningless, consciousness of what? Of me being God the whole fucking God and nothing but God as Leo preaches as he comes down from a trip? Thats dogma. Even tho I dont personally believe in materialistic world view, it seems obivious to me that Harris is in lot more open relationship with his position in the picture in relation to God, to others, to world and to himself than whats going on here. Here everywhere I go everyone is preaching this one truth stalinism, grinding away any little differences of views so there would remain only one way of seeing reality, yours. Well, Leo's.  This preassumes a lot. And Sam's view seen as complitelly not spiritual (as anti spiritual indicates) is colored by that preassumption.

 

Personally I agree that belief of myself to be seperate from universe is false. I dont agree with that meaning that I am you, or you are me tought. Just that I dont have autonomous existence that is untouched by anything. Everything is interacting with everything, and my challenge is to deside how to be part of that interaction, lovingly. God is me, but I am not God type of deal. Cheese is milk but milk is not cheese.

Edited by Whatever

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1 hour ago, softlyblossoming said:

@Carl-Richard Is Enlightenment just a matter of changing our beliefs? What aspects of the path are dependent on our beliefs? Is it all just about beliefs? Can knowing this be used to fast track our awakening and how would you go about this?

Enlightenment would be the apparent end of the illusory dualistic subject object reality in which a real someone explores a world out there. There isn't anyone looking at your screen, there's just this singular appearance, but it's only an appearance, it's not limited by circumstance, and isn't true. But no one ever becomes conscious of that, because there is no separation. Enlightenment is just the truth, it has nothing to do with happiness and mindfulness, but it will be associated with no beliefs being taken as real, but it's not that there's someone left experiencing their beliefs as not real, there's just no context to the limitless appearance.

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2 hours ago, Adamq8 said:

Well I sincerely disagree with that statement, materialism is not a spiritual perspective at all, it is nihilistic and makes life out to be a random process in an indifferent universe, and any significant spiritual experience is a hallucination and totally meaningless since it is just wishful thinking or a misfiring of neurons in the brain.

To point that out is not anti spiritual either imo.

What do you really mean with the forum being more and more fundamentalistic?

 

 

That preassumes that stages of consciousness is the pinnacle of spirituality. Getting high, meditating, being in bliss, having insights, being detatched from suffering ignorant people and all of world etc.

 

Sam is involved with peace activism in a way. He is placing himself in the midst of lot of tension and even if he finds life to not have meaning or to be nihilistic for not believing in God, he finds value in loving others and actually working for well being of others, giving life meaning himself. To me thats not delusional, thats courageous. And while Sam isnt a prime example of this way of living life, he does well enought. This is much more what I see as pinnacle of spirituality than stages of consciousness.

Him dismissing "spiritual experienced" as hallucinations I dont agree with. Calling them to be less real lacks allmost as much honesty as people here when they call this world, suffering and other people a hallucination, dream or delusion.

 

What I mean with forum being more and more fundamentalistic is that there is less and less of a room or consideration of anything else than what is preached here, first by Leo, then repeatee by others. Everything is love, you are me, you are all of God, you dont exist, its all a dream, rape is love. If you dont get these "Truths" (with a capital T btw), then you arent part of us who are awake enought to get it. This is when term "us" turns from inclusive to exclusive and becomes deaf to dialogue in its arrogance. Much like dynamics within any fundamentalist circles.

Edited by Whatever

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1 hour ago, Whatever said:

Of course they do. Just that thinking that my way of thinking is THE spirituality and any opposing view is clueless is fundamentalism in the nutshell. 

It's called expressing an opinion.

 

1 hour ago, Whatever said:

"Reduces your consciousness" is a broad term to a degree it becomes meaningless, consciousness of what? Of me being God the whole fucking God and nothing but God as Leo preaches as he comes down from a trip. Thats dogma.

Consciousness of the nature of self as not being separate, which not coincidentally correlated with flow and 5x mental productivity (Jamie Wheal, 2013). If we assume that meditation is about undermining the sense of separateness (like Sam agrees with), then having beliefs that conflict with this process (i.e. materialism) is not going to be productive. There is a reason why there are mantra meditations like "I am not the body, I am not even the mind." Even though these are just words, they have an effect. Likewise, beliefs are the linguistic bedrock of the psyche; they affect how you think and feel, how you speak and even how you see.

 

1 hour ago, Whatever said:

Even tho I dont personally believe in materialistic world view, it seems obivious to me that Harris is in lot more open relationship with his position in the picture in relation to God, to others, to world and to himself than whats going on here. Here everywhere I go everyone is preaching this one truth stalinism, grinding away any little differences of views so there would remain only one way of seeing reality, yours. Well, Leo's.  This preassumes a lot. And Sam's view seen as complitelly not spiritual (as anti spiritual indicates) is colored by that preassumption.

The reason a mystic is more certain in his stance than others is because he is living it. It's not a matter of belief. From his perspective, there are beliefs that overshadow the truth, and holding a belief, even with humility, is not more virtuous than telling the truth. Sam should agree with this. He wrote an entire book about lying AND spirituality.

 

1 hour ago, Whatever said:

Personally I agree that belief of myself to be seperate from universe is false. I dont agree with that meaning that I am you, or you are me tought. Just that I dont have autonomous existence that is untouched by anything. Everything is interacting with everything, and my challenge is to deside how to be part of that interaction, lovingly. God is me, but I am not God type of deal. Cheese is milk but milk is not cheese.

Cheese and milk are nothing but thoughts, and so is your separate self :D 


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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Obviously he has some degree of spiritual insight and experience, but it's very shallow mainstreamy Buddhism.

It is nothing close to full awakening/God-realization.

This is the problem with Western Buddhism. It's such weak-sauce to the point of delusion. It prevents many people from realizing God by feeding them an acceptable Buddhist dream.

Buddhism is not as threatening as God to one' s whole worldview. You can practice Buddhism and keep most of your worldview intact.


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

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1 hour ago, Carl-Richard said:

It's called expressing an opinion.

Othervise known as belief.

1 hour ago, Carl-Richard said:

Consciousness of the nature of self as not being separate, which not coincidentally correlated with flow and 5x mental productivity (Jamie Wheal, 2013). If we assume that meditation is about undermining the sense of separateness (like Sam agrees with), then having beliefs that conflict with this process (i.e. materialism) is not going to be productive. There is a reason why there are mantra meditations like "I am not the body, I am not even the mind." Even though these are just words, they have an effect. Likewise, beliefs are the linguistic bedrock of the psyche; they affect how you think and feel, how you speak and even how you see.

Not seperate from the web of existence. 

1 hour ago, Carl-Richard said:

The reason a mystic is more certain in his stance than others is because he is living it. It's not a matter of belief. From his perspective, there are beliefs that overshadow the truth, and holding a belief, even with humility, is not more virtuous than telling the truth. Sam should agree with this. He wrote an entire book about lying AND spirituality.

The reason fundamentalist is certain is because he believes he is living it too. Very certainly believing that what he interprets his experience to mean is the Truth. Think that the kind of arrogance allowing to hold on to sayd dogma to assume that you dont have beliefs in place like than these others as you are a mystic. 

1 hour ago, Carl-Richard said:

Cheese and milk are nothing but thoughts, and so is your separate self :D 

And here is that dogma. Goodbye nuance.

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46 minutes ago, Whatever said:

Othervise known as belief.

All opinions, thoughts and beliefs are similar in the sense that they're spoken, but not in what they're referring to (either experience or conjecture). There does exist absolutes in life, and opinions can be based on absolutes, just like opinions can be based on the denial of absolutes. "Existence exists" is one such absolute, and it's directly tied to the absoluteness of non-duality. It's just that some people have mystical experiences and some do not. Does that mean that some people's experiences are valid and some are not? Not at all. This is exactly why non-dualists are so adamant about saying "you need to have the experience for yourself", because it's indeed only your experience that is valid.

 

46 minutes ago, Whatever said:

Not seperate from the web of existence. 

Is that supposed to be a correction?

 

46 minutes ago, Whatever said:

The reason fundamentalist is certain is because he believes he is living it too. Very certainly believing that what he interprets his experience to mean is the Truth. Think that the kind of arrogance allowing to hold on to sayd dogma to assume that you dont have beliefs in place like than these others as you are a mystic. 

The mystic makes the distinction between experience and conjecture. The religious fundamentalist doesn't. The mystic will agree that all conjecture must be approached with humility. However, what cannot be approached with mere humility is the baseline fact of one's own existence; the fact that existence exists for itself, by itself, not separate from itself. To be in denial of this fact is also to fail to differentiate between experience and conjecture.

 

46 minutes ago, Whatever said:

Othervise known as belief.

Not seperate from the web of existence. 

The reason fundamentalist is certain is because he believes he is living it too. Very certainly believing that what he interprets his experience to mean is the Truth. Think that the kind of arrogance allowing to hold on to sayd dogma to assume that you dont have beliefs in place like than these others as you are a mystic. 

And here is that dogma. Goodbye nuance.

I'm just trying to point you to your own experience. The words are besides the point. Sit down, close your eyes and try to notice if you can experience "cheese" and "milk" as something else than just a thought.


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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