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History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Harris’ game

September 13th, 2014 · No Comments

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2014/09/12/can-atheist-sam-harris-become-a-spiritual-figure/

If I were Sam Harris I would be wary of passing as a ‘spiritual figure’: the competition here is extremely hard to match and the whole message comes off as a white flour substitute for whole wheat bread. A figure like Gautama is so far ahead here that I have to wonder at Sam Harris’ naivete. The New Age movement, despite its immense confusions, has already outpaced Harris’ brand, even as these New Age gurus from the West themselves are shown up by comparison with someone like Gautama whose phase of spiritual action has shown an integrated manifestation over more than two millennia. Gautama is hard to match because he is hard to understand, and is in any case a successor to a still older tradition of similar spiritual action in the proto-Jain movement with figures like Mahavir. The only way you can get the gate here is to propose a new venue for the ‘path of enlightenment’. But instead Harris adopts the ‘waking up’ meme, actually a popular way to fake the path of enlightenment for those who can’t arrive at that path. And the ‘Waking up’ song and dance has shown a considerable list of shady characters in its ranks, including such figures as the ‘devil’ self-listed Gurdjieff. You don’t have to pass any tests here and can go into business today with self-issued credentials. By comparison the path to enlightenment is an arduous and perilous path through many peaks and valleys.

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