Sam Harris wants atheists to get spirituality

PROMINENT atheist Sam Harris says atheists should not ignore spirituality

In his new book, “Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion,” the usually outspoken critic of religion describes how spirituality can be divorced from religion if the human mind is to reach its full potential.

“Our world is dangerously riven by religious doctrines that all educated people should condemn,” he writes in the book, but adds: “There is more to understanding the human condition than science and secular culture generally admit.”

Harris’ description of his own spiritual experiences achieved through meditation shares common ground with those of religious people. In the most eyebrow-raising scene in the book, he describes standing on the edge of the Sea of Galilee — Jesus’ old stomping grounds — losing his sense of self and finding “a blissful stillness that silenced my thoughts.”

Harris writes: “As I stood gazing at the surrounding hills, a feeling of peace came over me..In an instant the sense of being a separate self – an “I” or a “me” – vanished.”

Has Harris found God? No. The prescription, Harris holds, is Buddhist-based mindfulness meditation. A Stanford-trained neuroscientist, Harris is a long-time practitioner of Buddhist meditation. He said everyone can, through meditation, achieve a “shift in perspective” by moving beyond a sense of self to reach an enlightening sense of connectedness — a spirituality.

“Self-transcendence is the foundation of what I am calling spirituality.”

Harris is not the first atheist to suggest nonbelievers should mine the world’s religious traditions for wisdom or beneficial practices. Philosopher Alain de Botton and humanist Chris Stedman have written books that explore the possibilities, and nonbelievers have been flocking to so-called “atheist churches” such as the Sunday Assembly.


8 thoughts on “Sam Harris wants atheists to get spirituality

  1. Pingback: Sam Harris wants atheists to get spirituality | Christians Anonymous

  2. Christianity, Categorized :- mmm !!!!

    atheist Sam Harris says atheists should not ignore “spirituality”
    Looks like the guy falls to comprehend what he is saying.
    A requirement of self gratification and delusion of self importance brings
    forward the concept of spirituality.
    Spirituality is just a fancy way of saying “I am a small god” I am important.
    From spirituality to creating a big entity [super spirit] it is just one suck up to.
    That,s were many who call themselves atheist differ from me.
    They really see themselves as little gods – step forward “Sam Harris”


    • Although I’m having difficulty making sense of what you’re saying, AT, I have come to the conclusion I can’t agree with any sentence you’ve written.


      • Strewth
        Sam Harris is basically saying he is a little god .
        Something “MAGICAL” within ,giving it a name “SPIRIT”.
        The primary start point for creating a entity that you believe should reinforce the self gratification :- SPIRIT .
        Find me a deeply religious person that does not believe they have spirit ,soul yet believes there is a entity .


      • I’m with you strewth(as is often the case). AT seems to have it all completely backward. Through spirituality we gain humility which moves us away from self importance. I certainly don’t feel I create anything at all in seeking greater spirituality, rather, I feel I am more a part of something much much greater than me – I think that is what Sam was expressing in his book.


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