We've all heard about Harris' scathing criticisms of religions of all flavor, including Buddhism. In this 2-part talk at You Tube he defends meditation and contemplation and criticizes the atheist community for throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In my atheistic mind this is indeed a step towards re-visioning the great traditions by nourishing the baby while also pulling the plug on the dirty bathwater.

Also of note is that he echoes kennilingus in claiming one must take up the injunction of meditation before one can criticize its phenomenal experience. He does qualify that one can certainly criticize based on reason alone the metaphysical accoutrements of those who have such experiences. Yet the experiences themselves cannot be refuted by reason alone. And that such experience must be translated into postmetaphysical terms shorn of religious dogma to be of pertinent use in today's world.

Views: 3237

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hey there sensei's, I'll try and clarify the issue I am having with Sam's view based on the article Edward linked. Now, I have no problem if Sam wants to frame in this manner, " to the best of my knowledge and experience I have come to believe that Buddhist epistemology ( minus Buddhist religion) is the truest explanation for the nature of reality." No problem! Very good ,imo, Sam! But, however, if Sam is saying this, " it's 100% fact that Buddhist epistemology explains reality ," then, imo, he is dead wrong and asserting dogmatism.

Here is a link on panentheism: 

http://www.eskimo.com/~msharlow/scratchpad/items/Supernatural_Expla...

Praise ___! lol amen…….

Recall Harris was on Real Time with Maher, and both were attacked by Ben Affleck on Islam. Harris blog posts about it, which includes the video clip during the show. It was an interesting clip and Harris explains himself more clearly then he had chance during the show. As to this thread's theme, he said this:

"As I try to make clear in Waking Up, many positive states of mind, such as ecstasy, are ethically neutral. Which is to say that it really matters what you think the feeling of ecstasy means. If you think it means that the Creator of the Universe is rewarding you for having purged your village of Christians, you are ISIS material. Other bearded young men go to Burning Man, find themselves surrounded by naked women in Day-Glo body paint, and experience a similar state of mind."

I've experienced naked women in Day-Glo paint, too! But also, I've seen in a vision what the Hajj symbolizes. Does this mean I believe the religion of Islam? No, like all religion it has played out historically as tragedy and farce. 

I took Harris to task earlier on this thread for the same reasons Affleck did. Sam Harris needs to give equal air time to trillions spent bombing muslim lands ; millions dead; cultures shattered, all in the name of our supposed freedoms (really about resource control)  But true, at this moment I still chose the tyrants ruling us than the tyrants ruling Islamic countries. I won't disrupt this thread further on my criticism of Harris's obvious bias against Islamic countries.

If it was about resource control, why is China the biggest foreign investor in the Iraqi oil industry?

To focus on the spiritual implications of Harris' last statement, ecstatic and nondual states require interpretation. And we will do so depending on our cultural context and programming. The states in themselves do not mean we are communing with God, the universe and everything. We need postmetaphysical interpretations of said states if we are to move out of the repressive expressions of Islam and other religions. In that endeavor Harris is most helpful, even if he retains some of the more subtle metaphysical premises of his own preferred Buddhism. It's still a step in the right direction.

And no, it's not ok for people to remain in ethnocentric religious practice. We expect children to grow up in our society, to give up literal belief in Santa Claus at some point. We give them a public education to grow into at least rationality. It should be the same expectation with religious expression.

I couldn't agree with you more Edward! I am completely non-religious; spirituality is a completely private matter, not to be packaged and sold like new religion, aka -new age. etc. . And you know how i feel about the old religions: false and divisive! What I don't agree with is anyone person or group saying they have the dibs on the bulls-eye of reality. You don't ,I don't , they don't! 

As for Harris: I found his take on this thread ironic and disappointing for reasons i've already mentioned. I like Dan's take better and I don't have a problem with his views on immaterialism At least it comes across as honest. ! 

If the "old religions" are false then they cannot provide the standard by which to define the word "religious".  And therefore your assertion that you are "completely non-religious" should be reconsidered as having only causal and superficial value.  Spirituality is private -- but all cultural activity (including the kind you think of as most productive) must be the definition of "religion".

How about this then sir: I am a ultra-spirirtualist post-conventional bubble maker! And anyone is welcome to blow this particular bubble through as many quadrants as they like:)

Well, blow me down!

Then, sir, you are a participant in the religion which consists of the bringing together, edifying and coherent improvement of the total civilization as it appears to the values and cognition of ultra-spiritualist post-conventional bubble makers.  

LP and Andrew - well, if I don't get around to articulating my own, add me to that religion - that makes almost two of us.

Layman Pascal said:

Well, blow me down!

Then, sir, you are a participant in the religion which consists of the bringing together, edifying and coherent improvement of the total civilization as it appears to the values and cognition of ultra-spiritualist post-conventional bubble makers.  

Harris on meditation without religion.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

Notice to Visitors

At the moment, this site is at full membership capacity and we are not admitting new members.  We are still getting new membership applications, however, so I am considering upgrading to the next level, which will allow for more members to join.  In the meantime, all discussions are open for viewing and we hope you will read and enjoy the content here.

© 2021   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service