When taming the Ox –
He knows the way to pasture,
Just don’t let him stray.
This wandering mind,
Always in search of something,
Leaps from place to place.
“How do you feel?”
Lost for an answer, I said:
“With my hands.”
For those generally familiar with Sam Harris‘ body of work, Waking up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (ISBN: 978-1-4516-3601-7) might come as bit of a surprise. Mr. Harris, the author of books like The End of Faith, Letters to a Christian Nation, and Free Will (to name a few), who holds a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, is a skilled debater and lecturer, also happens to distinguish himself as a staunch advocate for atheism in America.
Undoubtedly, the hardcore, aka “militant”, atheist will feel that Mr. Harris has done an about face and joined the ranks of the “deluded masses” he consistently criticized in the past by writing a book about (shudder)… spirituality. But, as any long time reader of Mr. Harris’ blog will tell you, that isn’t a wholly accurate characterization of Mr. Harris, nor what this book is about.
Yes, Sam Harris is a vocal critic of organized religion – and in particular, the Abrahamic religions – but he is showing himself to be far more multidimensional than many would like to admit.
Someone asked: “How do you go about achieving a practical balance in life between mindful indifference and detachment and still fighting to make the world a better place?”
Ah, that’s the conundrum, isn’t it. In thinking about this, I had a couple of thoughts (and rhetorical questions) which aren’t really going to answer the question. Just some ramblings, musings…
Being torn apart,
by two contending armies;
Mara and Buddha.
Like a stranger staring at me,
Whom I’ve seen a thousand times before,
Familiar, yet a distant memory,
In the eyes of every one I meet.