We’re taking a left turn, today, from cognitive theory, and we are going to talk about spirituality and the place it occupies on the path to peace.
I refer to Sam Harris’s book, Waking Up, and I quote from an episode of his podcast, Making Sense. The book Ashrams, by Arnaud Desjardins, is probably out of print. So is Spiritual Awakening, by Ram Dass.
- A Mind at Home With Itself, by Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell
- Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tsu, translation by Stephen Mitchell
- Ego, by Alan Watts
- The Perennial Philosophy, by Aldous Huxley
- The Brain’s Default Mode Network (2015), by Marcus Raichle. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 38(1), 433–447.
- Why Buddhism Is True, by Robert Wright
2 thoughts on “007: What Is Enlightenment?”
Thank you for this podcast. I really enjoy how you combine spirituality and cognitive thinking. I enjoy your point of view and hearing of your life journey.
I do have a question as I hear often that there is actually no sense of self. It’s often explained that we universally feel a sense of self but in reality there is none. If this is such a universal phenomenon, than doesn’t it stand that we feel this way for a reason. What is the point to be living with such an obscure way of thinking?
This question probably requires a whole podcast episode. I would refer you to Sam Harris’s book, “Waking Up,” regarding the existence of the self. But more specifically to your question, one would think that the universality of the sense of self might imply a valid reason for that sense. Wondering what that reason is would only lead to conjectures. It could be a combination of evolutionary mechanisms and the capacity of inner reflection that human beings are endowed with. I don’t know. The thing is, that sense of self remains, even after close inquiry reveals that there isn’t one. It’s the same thing for the Müller-Lyer illusion. You can convince yourself by all kinds of means that the two lines are of the same length, but you will continue to FEEL like one is longer than the other.