This is the second part of Chopra’s take on Harris’ Waking Up: we linked to the first with a lot of commentary here.
It is a useful take on Harris peculiar ‘brand’ of the ‘mindfulness’ meme. I think that we should feel less than fully convinced about the ‘illusion of self’: it is at this point the counterpoint to the even more ancient memes of atman/brahman, and I think we can see at once that both perspectives are really variants of each other.
One way to suspect the ‘illusion of self’ is via the ‘transcendental idealism’ of Kant, and, better, Schopenhauer: we can see at once that there is going to be a confusion of self in the question of the phenomenal and the noumenal, or as Schopenhauer put it, the ‘thing in itself’. The deduction is instant…
I think that the Buddhist position was always confusing, and I think a new era of neo-buddhism will withdraw this dogma of the ‘anatta’ and let it stand in reserve as better an insight than a dogmatic tenet of organized buddhism. This special insight of Gautama should never have come to dominate the thinking of beginners who the record shows can’t handle it. You can do better with schlock ‘atman/brahman’ thinking to start.
I think that Harris is suspect as a packager of ideology: how on earth can anyone propose to eliminate the question of ‘enlightenment’ from the whole question of ‘waking up’? Harris’ whole game smacks of an attempt to try and control a New Age circuit fundamental with a ‘secular atheist’ leveraging of concepts armed with the dogmatic authority of science, no scientism.