Harris’ next step into idiocy
Sam Harris a puzzling case. Obviously intelligent he has yet embarked on a path of mediocre work that succeeds because of the reign of scientism. Sadly, the results, in all his books is second-rate.
Wake up? are you kidding? This must be an attempt put secular atheists into final zombiehood. Take the classic canons of ‘waking up’, denature them, strip out the metaphysical/spiritual, replace it robotic gong through the motions, and then declare yourself the winner in the secular sweepstakes.
The terrain called ‘waking up’ includes some fairly ferocious honchoes, from sufis already licking their chops at the prospect of secular zombies going to sleep in the name of ‘waking up’. Neat, Harris has made the work of spiritual ‘cannibals’ easy: these converts to this new religion will be sitting ducks. Since waking up is here a purely physical enterprise, the predatory game of ripping off ‘consciousness’ is made easy. Since spiritual predation is superstition, turn off your ‘burglar alarm’ and get a good night’s sleep.
This is a risky venue, whether or not my portrait is exaggerated or not. Harris, why turn all your followers into laughingstocks beside figures like the really brainwhompers like Gurdjieff who will be tempted to make a meal these ‘new atheists’.
I am at a loss to grasp the way darwinism, and now neuroscience, have dumbed down the ‘secular audience’. You can’t get anywhere trying to walk away with such an ancient category as ‘waking up’ by turning it into Wonder Bread, but new atheists additives.
Why do secularists have to use the categories created by ancient spiritual teachings? Why can’t they create their own?
And the whole game is needless. Reductionist prospers because scientists can’t wait on the progress of science and need to substitute fake answers that look scientific, by a limited definition.
I am a blogger at The Gurdjieff Con, where Gurdjieff is the object of discussion and a horrendous critique. But his work already a century old was a sufi effort to acquaint the Western world of limits of scientism, with a generalization of ‘materialism’ to include so-called spiritual categories.
But (and the presentation never really took in the West) the West instead has tried to dumbdown categories like ‘consciousness’ to rote behavioristic categories.
“Waking up’ is a very ambiguous category. For buddhists on the path to enlightenment ‘waking up’ can be the kind of distraction created by sufis who wanted to mimic Indian religion inside Islam with a mystical path that disguised plain vanilla Buddhism behind new names, but unfortunately in the process leaving everyone a bit confused about what they were doing. It is thus ironic that this first level reduction is taken to a new low with people like Harris. I should be wary of such a simplistic statement about sufism, but I believe I am right, because figures such as Gurdjieff showed the way to ‘waking up’ but were quietly embarrased to admit this wasn’t the path to enlightenment. But the ‘theory’ of yogic states does allow this possibility of ‘waking up’ short of really waking up: it is simply a stop in the larger progression from consciousness to self-consciousness (the ‘waking up ‘consciousness).
You cannot really put these things in the lower octave of scientism and it will all be fake given the spectacle of what has happened to yoga in the last generation.
Let them try it. Those who really wake up will immediately disappear from such a movement of madmen and seek out the company of real sufis, or better, buddhas.