Waking Up by Sam Harris

Waking Up

For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.From multiple New York Times bestselling author, neuroscientist, and “new atheist” Sam Harris, Waking Up is for the 30 percent of Americans who follow no religion, but who suspect that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of histo...


Details Waking Up

TitleWaking Up
ISBN9781451636017
Author
Release DateSep 9th, 2014
PublisherSimon & Schuster
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages256 pages
GenreNonfiction, Religion, Spirituality, Philosophy, Science, Psychology, Self Help, Atheism, Audiobook, Buddhism
Rating

Reviews Waking Up

  • Dan Harris
    2014-03-01
    This book is not out yet, but Sam was nice enough to let me read the galley. It's fascinating. It will surprise a lot of people to learn that this often acerbic atheist in fact has a deep history of meditation practice. In this book - which is part polemic, part memoir, part pop-science - he makes the case for a "spirituality" (he doesn't like the word, per se, but points out that there are sadly no other options) divorced from religion. Whether ...
  • Chris
    2014-01-29
    After enthusiastically starting this book, I gradually became annoyed, and eventually angry, as it slid on a downward slope to the end. This embarrassing work is far beneath what I would have expected from a scholar such as Harris. What a surprise it was to find details on the sexual malpractices of spiritual gurus and how to find one that matches your "tastes," among other awkward and simplistic information.I had been eagerly looking forward to ...
  • Josh
    2014-05-13
    This book is bound to ignite another firestorm in the skeptic community around the word "spirituality," but it really shouldn't. As Harris makes clear from the outset, his interests still lie squarely within the bounds of rational inquiry. One need not entertain any spooky metaphysics in order to honestly interrogate the mind and its limits. What he does argue, however, is that consciousness is an object of study unlike any other in science - bec...
  • Kaj Sotala
    2014-10-03
    A little disappointed with this one. Harris basically defines spirituality as the quest to see the ego and the self as illusions, and while that's certainly a worthy goal, it strikes me as a somewhat narrow definition for spirituality, as I personally find spirituality to also include things such as developing a sense of love and compassion towards other people.The book is subtitled "A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion". In practice, the gui...
  • tall penguin
    2014-08-30
    I have run the gamut in my life from fundamentalist religion to New Age spirituality. Once I settled into atheism and critical thinking, I became wary of meditation and all of the religious/spiritual trappings that seemed to automatically go with it. But I couldn't keep ignoring the science showing that meditation can be useful, once stripped of all of the metaphysical jargon and beliefs. Harris explores the science as well as his own personal jo...
  • Amanda
    2014-08-19
    I received this book through a goodreads sweepstakes. It came in the mail a few days ago. I couldn't put it down after I opened it. All finished reading it within three days. I was baptized Catholic and attended a Catholic school through 8th grade. I was later confirmed Catholic in high school because that was my grandmother's wish for me. The woman is my life, so I do as I'm told, but I never really felt like Catholicism was for me. Way too stri...
  • Lance
    2016-06-07
    Much of this was about becoming consciousness and not being distracted by thought, but most of the time I was thinking of other things.
  • Mike Dobbins
    2014-06-11
    This review concerns the MARKETING of the book, not the book. Serious ethical lapses are occurring in the marketing of this book. This is NOT a traditional spiritual book for "the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion" as the description states for Sam Harris has stated on numerous occasions that he DOESN'T BELIEVE in that type of spirituality. Still, this book is being marketed to spiritual people. VERY Disappointed in Sam...
  • Sara Alaee
    2015-01-27
    It’s not long since I’ve first come across the word “spirituality”. I’ve mostly heard it from people who practice meditation. As a beginner I didn’t quite understand it. This book gave me some good ideas. Consciousness is at the core of the book. The hard question is this: What’s consciousness? And where does it come from? I really enjoyed Sam Harris’s reasons and responses to this fundamental question and the wisdom with which he...
  • Brendon Schrodinger
    2017-01-30
    "A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion" - sounds great. I feel spiritually stunted yet dread the involvement of religion.The book started out great, thoughts on the use of spirituality with some academic references.Sam then says that to be spiritual without religion you need to lose your sense of self. He then explores the psychology and brain physiology of self and thinks he shows that the self doesn't exist. I followed most of the science, b...
  • Gendou
    2014-11-06
    TL;DR the only benefit of meditation is investment justification.This book made me so very sad, because I like the idea of spirituality without religion. Really, this book is about Vipassana meditation and Buddhism. It's just awful, which I never would have expected from Sam Harris.Harris starts off with an accusation that "few scientists have developed strong skills of introspection". I've found the opposite to be true, both anecdotally in my pe...
  • Eric
    2014-04-05
    Sam could have made his argument in just a few pages. I do really like his writing style, so I still enjoyed reading this. I just kept waiting for him to really apply what he was writing about. He went on and on about how beneficial mediation is, especially dzogchen, and how important it is to be taught exactly how to do it, instead of being taught in metaphor. But then he never talked about how to actually do it. Maybe that was outside the scope...
  • Vince Darcangelo
    2014-10-08
    http://ensuingchapters.com/2014/09/29...Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without ReligionSam HarrisMy anticipation for the new Sam Harris book turned to anxiety when I learned it would be about spirituality. Was the firebrandtype philosopher and scientist—co-founder of Project Reason and author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation—changing teams?Nah.Perhaps a better title for this book, though, would be The Atheist’s Guide...
  • Elyse
    2014-07-17
    I did not sleep much last night ---but I read this book during the dark hours --and finished it this morning! I'm inspired!!!!!On the bottom of page 43, Sam says, "I make no claims in support of magic or miracles in this book".[HE SHOULD!!!!]. 'Miracles' would manifest in the world if enough people read this book.On the same page (bottom of page 43) , Sam goes on to say, "However, I can say that the true goal of meditation is more profound than m...
  • Matt Manry
    2014-08-17
    I really wanted to like this book, but Sam Harris just can't resist taking so many cheap shots. At points, Waking Up was very interesting and engaging. However, other parts of the book were so bland, boring, and completely anti-religious that I could barely take it.
  • Lena
    2014-09-26
    Ever since the planes crashed into the Twin Towers, Sam Harris has been making the argument that we can no longer afford the luxury of religious belief. In his writings, he has explained his theories about not only why the unproven beliefs of dogma are so dangerous, but also how many of the benefits that religion provides can be found in secular places. In Waking Up, Harris addresses the issue of what he terms "spiritual" states - altered states ...
  • Hoz Kamaran
    2016-02-23
    If you are looking for the meaning of spirituality beyond religion, this is the right book to read. If you find religious spirituality illusional, that doesnt mean spirituality doesnt exist. Alot of people think that with the progress of science religion dies, thus spirituality must also die. But once you realize what is spirituality and its independence of a religion or personal god, you will realize that its necessary for a better understaing o...
  • Rob Gleich
    2014-09-01
    I used to think that good friends, a purposeful life, and a healthy reverence for the wonders of the universe were sufficient replacements for everything that traditional religion could provide, and anything offered beyond that was either pure superstition or plain old happiness gussied up in fancy language. Having finished Waking Up, I'm no longer comfortable giving such a dismissive and self-satisfied answers to The Big Questions of spiritualit...
  • Gary
    2014-09-12
    The hard question is "what is consciousness". In the past we had Leibniz's monads and Descarte's homunculus unsatisfactorily explaining consciousness. 'Cogito ergo sum' gave western thought the mistaken impression that there is a single self inside the brain. The author suggests another path for understanding the hard question namely gaining self awareness (of our non-existence) through meditation from which one can discover the illusion of the s...
  • Ian Wood
    2014-08-22
    This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's novels reviewed on the blog will generally have some images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either w...
  • Stephanie
    2015-03-25
    This is not a very long book—only 206 pages in hardback, or 5 hours on audiobook—but it took me a while to finish it. For every minute I spent reading, I spent another 2 minutes thinking about what I'd just read. And some of it just sailed past me, no matter how hard I tried to understand it. Harris is a clear writer, one of the clearest, so I have to assume my own cognitive limitations are at fault and not his power of explanation. Still, I ...
  • Adam
    2015-04-16
    So. Sam Harris felt the need to publish a book that states, without novel argument, what everyone already knew. One that doubles as a guide to being a dipshit dogmatist on the irreligious side of the binary. He also deems it necessary to inform us right off the bat of his mind-expansion under the influence of MDMA. Which, man, at least begin the book by talking about a non-stupid psychedelic if you're going to rant about this transformative event...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    2014-12-03
    Sam Harris explores spiritual practice and peak experience usually ascribed to religious revelation. Harris tries to explain these states of mind where we come to see the self the illusion it really is feelings of transcendent well being, love, awe and gratitude without ascribing supernatural metaphysical baggage to them. These experiences were considered the property of the worlds great religions and in part advertising for the truth of their pr...
  • Marie-Claude
    2014-09-18
    I read a lot of material from the famous team of 4 atheists (Hitchens, Dennett, Dawkins, Harris) a while back, when most of their incendiary books came out, but lately, I realized that I didn't read that much from Harris. I don't know why exactly. When this book was announced, I was really thrilled because spirituality as an atheist is something that is almost never discussed. I really enjoyed reading Harris on meditation, and on consciousness. W...
  • Mohit Parikh
    2015-04-25
    A book written for atheists in a christian nation. Sam wants to assure his readership that he still belongs with them - and with Dawkins and Hitchens and Sagan - even as he takes a step further and talks about Spiritual Awakening. He wants to suggest that there is nothing irrational about spirituality the way he defines it. Problem is: He isn't the greatest explorer of spirituality. The question for me was: why should I trust you to tell me that ...
  • Morgan Blackledge
    2014-11-08
    If we colonized the moon, people who lived there could ostensibly have a perfectly decent life. But based on our evolutionary inheritance as earthlings, we would, in all likelihood, crave gravity and greenery. This is an interesting analogy to living life as an atheist. We can live quite well without religion. But because so much of our history as humans has revolved around spiritual pursuits, there may be something akin to gravity and greenery t...
  • Alex
    2015-07-29
    Wow! Where to begin? This book is extremely cerebral. Sam is a clearly a skeptic towards many things related to spirituality, which is fine, but his extreme judgment toward various religions comes seeping through his text. That is, except for Buddhism, which he often seems to put on a pedestal. I felt disillusioned by the book, based on the cover. It should have said this was a philosopher's guide to spirituality. And how true that is! Make sure ...
  • Ross Blocher
    2014-09-15
    Sam Harris excels at jumping into contentious and weighty topics with sound logic, clear explanations, and a good deal of humor. He's one of those authors who, even if you disagree with, should be taken seriously. He has written other challenging treatments on religion, morality, free will, and lying.In Waking Up, Harris is promoting spirituality without religion. The book is assured to upset religious sensibilities for obvious reasons, but Harri...
  • Ron
    2014-09-18
    Expecting a self-help handbook on meditation, I was surprised to discover that Harris has a different agenda in this book. The opening chapters are thick with reports of scientific research on the subject of consciousness. Not surprisingly, he finds that there is little known about consciousness beyond our subjective experience of it. We don’t know how or when it first appeared in human evolution, what purpose it is meant to serve, or where it ...
  • Anhad Gill
    2015-01-10
    With that title, I would not have bought this book, had it been written by a different author. Maybe it was the misguided notion that came with the word “spirituality”, which I think many people hold. It is thought of as something like self-deception. Sam Harris bursts that misconception.Sam Harris, who is a neuroscientist, argues that the goal of spirituality is to get rid of the perception of “I”. The feeling of us being the thinker of ...