Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sam Harris finally gets it right!

Looks like Sam Harris may have saved me from having to write the followup post to "How material wealth leads to spiritual poverty." Required reading.

1 comment:

Ross said...

Yeah, that's pretty much right on the money. I recently decided to merely state that I'm "not a believer" when asked about religion. That seems to raise the fewest hackles in the religious as it's marvelously personal, whereas "atheist" carries so much confrontational baggage as to almost demand a defensive response.

His second topic, that of meditative introspection being a possible source of joy is something that I've suspected for many years. That suspicion is also why I say that I'm "spiritual but not religious". There was a large religious congress in Europe in the late '80s where religious leaders and practitioners from many of the world's religions came together to learn, teach, etc. The religious leaders were in constant turmoil. None of them could say anything without one or another group jumping down their throats. There was nearly a fistfight between a group of North American Baptist ministers and South American Catholic priests on the second day. But the monks, the nuns, and the mystics from all of these dozens of different religions had a very different experience at the congress. They got along extraordinarily well, spent lots of time listening to each other, laughing together, and finding out that they had a lot in common. Wildly different religions, the same story from all of those "inward seekers". There's fact and truth in what they all knew in common.

I'm convinced that people who learn how to quietly look inward can find a source or place of transcendent inner peace. Those monks (buddist, shintoist, catholic, etc.) had been there and were among other people who had also been there. The fact that they were ostensibly members of religions with often contradictory myth structures? Didn't seem to faze any of them in the slightest.