« Making Sense with Sam Harris

Introducing the Waking Up Course

2018-09-24 | 🔗

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris introduces Waking Up. More information can be found at WakingUp.com.

You can support the Making Sense podcast and receive subscriber-only content at samharris.org/subscribe.

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the waking up course. The app is officially available in the Itunes store where release NEO S version first in the Android version, soon follow, and you can find more information on my website or the official site, which is waking up dot com. Now, I'm really excited about this.
Want a few minutes to explain why I built this course and one of hoping to accomplish with it from attempting to build a vessel of sorts know whether to rocket ship or a barge remains to be seen, but in creating the weight. Of course, I'm attempting to build a vehicle on which we can all take a journey together and you can get on board at any time. I've actually both the course as much for myself. As for you, because producing it, has taken me back two topics in two ways of thinking that have been struggling to get back to four years. When I wrote my book waking up at all,
tat. It would initiate a life change of sorts where I could focus more on the questions. It really interests me questions about the human mind and the nature of consciousness and about what constitutes a good life, but the connection between ethic send introspection, and I want to get back to exploring these topics, not just conceptually but experiential so had hoped that releasing that book would allow me to return to these core interests useless. I wasn't expecting to spend my book tour for waken up talking about jihadism and terrorism and racism largely what happened, courtesy of a certain movie star having a meltdown on television- and it took a long time to unravel all that, and then there's been american politics to worry about and has been distracting so that we can of course, is a place where I can put aside all of these far more topical concerns and its focus on what it means to live and examined. Life has
said on this point cast more than once. I think I view most of my work thus far is a series of opportunity cause most of what I've written in spoken about, certainly with respect to eighty ism and the conflict between science and religion and about the problems of discussing controversial topics in public free speech, issues more or less. All of that is work that I never planned undoing, I think, has been necessary to do it, but it shouldn t. I shall keep hitting these topics on my part cas because it all seemed to going away, but these are topics were the right. Answers are so obvious and so painful to elaborate again and again
then if you spend a lot of time doing this, you're intellectual life begins to seem like a kind of purgatory. I mean, does a belief in the literal truth, a revelation. Perpetuate ignorance and conflict in our world are the good reasons to hold such a belief. Are certain religious doctrines more dangerous than others? These are punishing me, boring questions to have to deal with, and yet one has to deal with them, because the obvious answer is remain calm. Reversal and even taboo, but this is now, why spent years studying, philosophy and science and certainly not, why
I spent years on silent meditation. Retreats has been important to talk about these issues and I've done it and I'll continue to do it because I think it socially necessary, but it seems to me that any one could be doing this job. It really doesn't have to be me in producing the waking up course. I'm attempting to do something that I am especially qualified to do. I don't have that. Are myself the best at any one thing, but you don't have to be the best at anything to be almost uniquely qualified for something, for instance, not by any stretch of the imagination The world's best scientists, as far as what I do on a day to day basis and more of a philosopher, but I'm not the most knowledgeable philosopher in the world, either my phd after all and narrow science, not philosophy, and there is no question that their books and papers I should have read, but haven't a method as meditate her in the world. There are many people have far more experience than I do practicing on intensive retreat. I took some psychedelic back in the day
but there are people who are far more experienced in that area than I am. I know a fair amount about religion, but I'm not a religious scholar. Read any of the primary languages in which the world scriptures were written. So this is a picture it would seem of just pristine mediocrity, but consider how many scientists know as much philosophy and how many philosopher is known as much science. Well, honestly, the field narrows quite a bit and then, when I asked how many of these people have a similar to grieve experience in meditation, that is how many philosopher scientists truly understand that introspection isn't a dead end. How many of study was gray
invitation teachers and spend a substantial amount of time on silent retreat. Well now I can begin counting these people on my fingers, Somali when I ask how many people, with real experience in meditation, who can notice, for instance, at the sense of self, has an illusion and could speak about this honestly, not as a matter of theory but as a fact to be observed in the present moment. How many of these people understand enough science and philosophy to be appropriately skeptical of religion? That is how many people, with a mature meditation practice, understand that we have to get out of the religion business once and for all. This numbers truly tiny paralyses my sound strangely self deprecating an grandiose at the same time. Needless to say, I don't mean to be either.
Just simply a fact that, given my background and interests and given the kinds of questions that have fascinated me for decades and given the fairly unique opportunities I've had to pursue those questions, a mushroom who else could produce this course and that, as I said, is not true of most of the work, I've been doing some very happy to be working on. This is a relief frankly. The waking up courses in part meditation course, so obviously there are guided meditations and I'll keep adding to those as time goes on and will say that, even if your experience meditate her using guided meditations can be extremely helpful, this one the things as unique about audio. You simply can't do this with a book. There's no alternative to have an actual voice
mind you that you're supposed to be paying attention, I find guided meditations extremely helpful. I've been meditating for over thirty years, in addition to the guided meditations, there's, also expanding curriculum of short talks on a variety of topics. I call these talks lessons some explained concepts, their direct irrelevant to meditation and others are more like philosophical interventions. Where have you reflect on a specific topic for a few minutes, sometimes starting with a scientific finding or a quotation that inspires a particular line of thought again. This is an ongoing project for me and, if I add content to the course I'll be attempting to synthesize everything, I've discovered in my own practice and in philosophy and science generally, that seems helpful for increasing our understanding of our own minds and our well being
Of course, many things have been discussed by philosophers and contemplatives for thousands of years, but they can now be viewed in the twenty first century scientific context, which is how we should view them. So this really is a chance for me to talk about the most important things I've ever learned and while there might be some cross over, in the past and awaken, of course, occasionally online answer a question on anime, for instance, that might seem relevant to the EP. Just add that audio was a short lesson in fact have already done that on the topic of free will, and sometimes I might preview one of my lessons on the podcast. But my plan is to produce short talks of Around five to fifteen minutes in length in an ongoing way exclusively for the course, so most of the content that you find on the Epp will only be available there, so can download the app for free, and this will give you access to the first five guided meditation
and three lessons. It also allow you to use the meditation timer if you just want a practice in silence, but the rest of the course requires they subscribe to get access to it. Of course, I made a promise to supporters of the park asked a while back They would get the app for free and I intend honour that promise. However, there was for more involved in developing and maintaining an app. Then I realized and in the meantime, have taken on outside investors and hired a team of full time developers, so the pay, what you can model, simply won't work for the app going forward. So if you ve been a supporter of the podcast at any level prior to September eighteenth, when we officially launched the waking up course, you'll get lifetime access to the. Wars for free, if you ever supported the show through sand, Harris DOT, Org or patron. We have your email address and you should have already been notified that you have access to the app and will be true one. Releasing Android version, as
so this is yet another opportunity I can take to. Thank all of you. The support of the podcast early on, however, that sound you hear is the sound of the door closing behind you because we're everyone else going forward. The only way to get access to the waking, of course, will be to subscribe, whether your support in the podcast or not, and those of you who do get the waking up course for free. You can really help us by telling your friends about it and by reviewing it in the app store and helping to spread the word on social media. This app has been a huge investment and will continue to be, and if I can spread by word of mouth, that would be the best possible outcome. Of course, if you have problems with the app or have features you'd like us to build, please send those to us directly at waking up dot com. There's a contact form there and it's feedback will be hugely helpful. So if you'd like to practice meditation with me and engage in
philosophical and scientific considerations about the nature of mind. You can check out what I'm doing it waken up, not come, and as always, many thanks for listening,
Transcript generated on 2020-03-23.