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Waking Up: Searching for Spirituality Without Religion Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Length: 257 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"Sam Harris reminds us that awakening does not depend on religious belief. With his usual probing clarity, Sam points out the rational methodology for exploring the nature of consciousness." (Joseph Goldstein, author of 'Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening' and 'One Dharma')

"So entirely of this moment, so keenly in touch with the growing number ... who are willing to say that they do not find the succor they crave, or a truth that makes sense to them, in organized religion." (Frank Bruni New York Times)

"Sam Harris ranks as my favourite sceptic, bar none. In Waking Up he gives us a clear-headed, no-holds-barred look at the spiritual supermarket, calling out what amounts to junk food and showing us where real nutrition can be found. Anyone who realizes the value of a spiritual life will find much to savour here – and those who see no value in it will find much to reflect on." (Daniel Goleman, Author of 'Emotional Intelligence' and 'Focus')

"Harris shows how our egos are illusions [and] how abandoning this illusion can wake us up to a richer life, more connected to everything around us." (Jerry Coyne, Professor of Biology at the University of Chicago)

"Waking Up is an extraordinary book ... It will shake up your most fundamental beliefs about everyday experience, and it just might change your life." (Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University)

Book Description

Spirituality for atheists.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1570 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (18 Sept. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LWM6CAM
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,846 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Waking Up, Sam Harris attempts to explain and guide readers towards, in rational and scientific terms, the common experience at the core of all spirituality, the realisation that the conventional sense of selfhood is an illusion. In my opinion, he succeeds spectacularly, and I was deeply grateful for this attempt to argue for a secular and bullshit-free form of one of the most profound and, I feel, important pursuits available to us.

He supports the notion of a lack of an intrinsic self with some well selected scientific research, which goes into the necessary depth without ever becoming too dense or too academic. However, he is clear that a propositional understanding of selflessness is not enough; spiritual insight must take place in the domain of direct conscious experience, just as fear can be described in terms of neurology, but one must be afraid to truly know the subjective experience of fear. He writes about his experience in meditation, which is not inconsiderable. This was both evident in the lucidity with which he describes meditative experiences and insights, and, I believe, necessary to truly grasp the fundamental importance of spiritual pursuits in life.

Harris rightly points out that transformational meditative insight is available for discovery, and there is nothing unscientific about it. However, these experiences are almost ubiquitously used to irrationally support ludicrous religious and metaphysical claims about souls, the afterlife, magical powers, and so forth. Harris strips away this supernatural paint with which the spiritual lily is all too frequently painted, and points the way towards the fundamental experience itself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought 'The End of Faith' and 'Letter to a Christian Nation' were excellent - and I've given many copies to family members, friends and people I hardly know at all. Most of the latter have not spoken to me since. So moving from a blistering attack on organised religion to a celebration of spiritualism always seemed like a tricky brief. It would be for most - but the great thing about Sam Harris is that he simply writes (brilliantly) about what he believes - without giving any quarter to anyone - either to the religious right or to his liberal atheist colleagues. This is what lands him in so much trouble with almost everyone and, to my mind, makes him such a refreshing writer. I found 'Waking Up' harder work than the previous books but no less incisive, erudite and thought-provoking.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This isn’t the easiest book to read but it’s significance can hardly be overrated. In fact I would go so far as to say that Sam Harris is truly a prophet for our times.

I’m familiar with Harris’s earlier work and appreciated his uncompromising stance on the necessity of moving on from religions based on dogmatic belief in metaphysical truth claims which cannot be objectively validated. The cruelty and stupidity that have been caused by the Abrahamic faiths is nowadays obvious for intelligent people to see (though sadly even “liberals” are all to ready to appease them in the name of politically correct inclusiveness). Unfortunately popular Buddhism isn’t actually much better!

I sensed that Harris differed from other atheists like Richard Dawkins in that, whilst forthrightly rejecting religiosity in all its forms he never belittled the search for transcendent meaning in life.

However I had not appreciated how sincere and committed Sam’s own personal quest was and what balanced and practical conclusions he comes to. As well as seeing through the notion of a permanent self from the perspective of a neuroscientist he has actually done the serious work of intensive mediation and experiential enquiry without which none of us can realistically change. And he assembles a powerful case and agenda for putting this into practice in ways which have the potential to make us happier and freer as individuals and as a society.

I also like the way he was refreshingly open about the possibilities and pitfalls of psychedelic drugs on the path. And I was delighted that he appreciated the work of that twentieth century genius Douglas Harding, who showed us how to live whilst observing that from a first person perspective we don’t have a head!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A real masterpiece that I will come back to again and again. Sam Harris' work has single handedly changed my life for the better over the years. If you're interested in mindfulness, meditation, stress reduction or leading a more spiritual and contented life, while not wanting to attach yourself to religious dogma, I can not urge you enough to read this book.

His writing style is consistently eloquent, yet has a simple and non-verbose way of putting across concepts - instead of confusing you with psychobabble, as so many others do in this type of book. Sam takes a scientific and objective look at the practises of the East, which he has learnt first hand, and with surgeon like precision has extracted what is worth knowing, in order for the reader to have a better relationship with reality.

Quiet in the inner chatter of your mind and begin to learn how to be happy and content in this moment, instead of constantly striving to be happy in the future.
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