Harris (2014). Conclusion. (Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion.)

Harris, S. (2014). Conclusion. In Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (EPUB). New York: Simon & Schuster.

“I remember feeling the jolt of history when the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center. For many of us, that was the moment we understood that things can go terribly wrong in our world — not because life is unfair or moral progress impossible but because we have failed, generation after generation, to abolish the delusions and animosities of our ignorant ancestors. The worst ideas continue to thrive — and are still imparted, in their purest form, to children.” (¶3)

“The exponential increase in the power of technology brings with it a commensurate increase in the consequences of human ignorance.” (¶7)

“Altered states of consciousness are empirical facts, and human beings experience them under a wide range of conditions. To understand this, and to seek to live a spiritual life without deluding ourselves, we must view these experiences in universal and secular terms.” (¶8)

“Happiness and suffering, however extreme, are mental events. The mind depends upon the body, and the body upon the world, but everything good or bad that happens in your life must appear in consciousness to matter. This fact offers ample opportunity to make the best of bad situations — changing your perception of the world is often as good as changing the world — but it also allows a person to be miserable even when all the material and social conditions for happiness have been met. During the normal course of events, your mind will determine the quality of your life.” (¶9)

“Consciousness is simply the light by which the contours of mind and body are known. It is that which is aware of feelings such as joy, regret, amusement, and despair. It can seem to take their shape for a time, but it is possible to recognize that it never quite does.” (¶11)

“The sense, therefore, that we are unified subjects — the unchanging thinkers of thoughts and experiencers of experience — is an illusion. The conventional self is a transitory appearance among transitory appearances, and it vanishes when looked for.” (¶13)

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