History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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NK comment on Harris and mindfulness

September 10th, 2014 · No Comments

Good comment from NK:

Harris is a strange character. He is a dilettante in almost everything he touches (Pigliucci has a lot of fun pointing out his idiocies).

Now he wants to become a meditation guru. I can tell immediately that people will rapidly become disillusioned. The whole “mindfulness” technique was invented & popularized by Mahasi Sayadaw & Goenka (it wasn’t taught in the early Buddhist sutras); it was popularized in the West by figures such as Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, etc. As many have noted, there are severe problems with “mindfulness” & the Mahasi/Goenka tradition:


We can’t be so sure he won’t succeed in spreading his hyped message: hype sells, along with oversimplifications.

But I think that inherent contradictions in his position will limit his message. You can’t just tell people they have no soul, that enlightenment doesn’t exist, and that the sources of religion are all imaginary. And you can’t resolve anything by citing neuroscience.

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