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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
welcome to the making sense podcast this SAM Harris. Ok, I've had a few encounters recently on other people's podcast syn on social media that it made me think that many people are confused bout. Some of the views expressed on his podcast. Those of you who are using the waken up app probably have a better understanding of what am up to, but I get the says that many making sense listeners
Really dont know where I'm coming from much of the time. So clearing up this confusion requires that I say a few things about the role that meditation has played and continues to play in my life. First, let me say that, unless your deep into it, term meditation almost certainly condors the wrong ideas. In your mind, attention has no necessary connection to eastern religion, say much less to beads or incense sore, and if the trappings of new age, spiritual I'll be unless your unusually well informed about it. When I use the term meditation, as I do from time to time on this spot cast. My would bet that ninety nine percent of you get the wrong idea, meditations just a bad word for the recognition of specific truth, about the mind, is a process of discovering what is already true of your own mind. Of course the discoveries one makes here
directly relevant to live in a more satisfying life, which is the important part and that's. Why spend so much time recommending the people look into this, but the best, set aside more and more, I'm realising that many of you can't understand the positions I take on this podcast without understand in your mind, and these are positions which, on their surface, have nothing to do with meditation. My experience here is often a key to understanding my criticism of specific scientific and philosophical ideas. Like the debate about free will or the nature of the self or the hard problem of consciousness me ass. A person can follow the purely philosophical or scientific arguments and arrive at some of the same coin.
And present. Someone can understand how free will and the conventional notion of self don't make any sense in terms of ongoing euro physiological changes in the brain. But even most people who understand and accept those arguments, don't really have the courage of our convictions because they still feel like selves that enjoy free will. Most people don't have the introspective tools to discover that their experience has actually convergent with what makes the most sense scientifically and philosophically so they're stop trying to grapple with a pseudo problem. How can we make sense of our experience of an unchanging self that has free will when we know conceptually that these things don't make any sense, that's where many people are stuck quite unnecessarily, meditations, also the key to understanding my criticism of specific religious ideas. How can I say with confidence
The most religious doctrines are not merely scientifically implausible. Many people can say that, but that they are also a perverse in a very real opportunity to experience self transcendence. I can say this because there's nothing hypothetical to me about the kinds of experience Is that people like Jesus were rattling on about to any one who would listen and when you ve hand these experience and can have them on demand, is not just a matter of having taken LSD a few times and dimly remembering how different things were when it's absolutely obvious to you that the conventional sense of self is an illusion, then, is also obvious that our spiritual hopes need not be pegged to the idea that some historical person might have been the Son of God who died for our sins. My experience in meditation largely defines my politics,
the first is. How can I be so sure that the explosion of identity politics that we see all around us, he isn't a sign of progress? How can I know there is an ethical and psychological dead end to be deeply identified with one's race for instance, and then all the people who are saying that there's no way to get past race in our politics are just confused. Well,. because I know that a person need not even identify with a face he sees in the mirror each day. If I could deeper, you examine your experience, the more you discover freedom ultimately depends on not identify with anything even with how you look in the mirror. How much more so is it unnecessary to identify with millions of strangers. Who just happened to look like you in that they have the same skin color in light of what possible psychologically and interpersonal in light of what is actually required to get over yourself and experienced genuine.
compassion for other human beings. It is a form of mental illness to go through life identified, really identified with one's race is just a bad dream, of course, to say that as a white guy in the current environment is to stand convicted. Racial and sensitivity and even seeming indifference to the problem of racism in our society, and they want greater symptom of white privilege. Could there be than to declare that we should just all get past race as her a torrent that I believe I can hear percolating in the mind many listeners and most well intentioned people have been successfully bullied by that kind of response. I, how much easier would it be to back down here and just say sorry,
what I'm talking about, I'm just a white guy. There are massive incentives to take that path, but to insist upon the primacy of race is to be obscenely confused about human potential and about society's potential, and I'm not going to pretend and to be unaware of that. So when I'm talking about racial politics on this punk ass, I am also talking about meditation. Even The topic would never come up in that context and, with some of my critic, say that I'm just I was in my own version of identity politics. I am in a position to say bullshit we are not claiming to be fully enlightened. I'm definitely still a work in progress, but there are certain things that I actually understand about. My own and about the mind in general, idea that racial identity is something that we can't get past is total bullshit.
insight into the nature of mind, can't help but touch politics forces. My attitude toward wealth inequality is born of the recognition that no one is truly self made all these rich guys walkin around their copies of vine, Rand thinking their self made its pure fiction and given We do become ourselves, given the overwhelming influence of luck in our world. We have to in that we need an effective system of wealth creation that doesn't allow people to truly fall through the cracks and, as we get wealthier, the floor or beneath which? No one should be allowed to fall, should keep rising? Compassion has to be built into capitalism. Because it doesn't seem to occur naturally, otherwise, totally normal people begin to resemble cycle paths in how they conduct themselves in business. So this just to say that what I think I ve learned to the practice of
rotation influences many of the views expressed on the spot cast. But I can't get into the details here, because there are so many other things to discuss. so that's what I'm doing over waken up what I'm building waking up is the laboratory, where you can run the same experiment for yourself and there's really. No substitute for doing that me, you can pretend and twenty integrate, your intellectual and ethical and political life, or you can really want to do it and discover all the ways in which you have failed to do it so far
again, I'm not claiming to have everything figured out, I'm very much in the process of still figuring things out. Each of us has to negotiate the terms of arm disenchantment with who we were yesterday and with the ways in which culture distracts and misleads us, and that's what I'm doing over awaken up. So if you haven't check it out recently, I just want to invite you to do that, especially if you think you know what meditation is and you think is not relevant for you. I can actually guarantee that you're mistaken about that. And if you can't afford a subscription, you need only send an email to support and waken up, not come and ask for a free one Please do not let money be the reason why you don't check it out, as always, thanks, realism
Transcript generated on 2021-03-29.