Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion Quotes.

1. "There is now little question that how one uses one’s attention, moment to moment, largely determines what kind of person one becomes. Our minds—and lives—are largely shaped by how we use them."
- Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion

2. "a human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind."
- Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion

3. "The fact that the universe is illuminated where you stand—that your thoughts and moods and sensations have a qualitative character in this moment—is a mystery, exceeded only by the mystery that there should be something rather than nothing in the first place. Although science may ultimately show us how to truly maximize human well-being, it may still fail to dispel the fundamental mystery of our being itself."
- Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion

4. "Making distinctions of this kind, however, is deeply unfashionable in intellectual circles. In my experience, people do not want to hear that Islam supports violence in a way that Jainism doesn’t, or that Buddhism offers a truly sophisticated, empirical approach to understanding the human mind, whereas Christianity presents an almost perfect impediment to such understanding. In many circles, to make invidious comparisons of this kind is to stand convicted of bigotry."
- Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion

5. "But the reality of consciousness appears irreducible. Only consciousness can know itself—and directly, through first-person experience."
- Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion

6. "But if they don’t try a psychedelic like psilocybin or LSD at least once in their adult lives, I will wonder whether they had missed one of the most important rites of passage a human being can experience."
- Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion

7. "What is the meaning of life? What is our purpose on earth? These are some of the great, false questions of religion. We need not answer them, for they are badly posed, but we can live our answers all the same. At a minimum, we can create the conditions for human flourishing in this life—the only life of which any of us can be certain. That means we should not terrify our children with thoughts of hell or poison them with hatred for infidels. We should not teach our sons to consider women their future property or convince our daughters that they are property even now. And we must decline to tell our children that human history began with bloody magic and will end with bloody magic in a glorious war between the righteous and the rest."
- Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion

8. "Many truths about ourselves will be discovered in consciousness directly or not discovered at all."
- Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion

9. "the sensation of touching your finger to your nose. We experience the contact as simultaneous, but we know that it can’t be simultaneous at the level of the brain, because it takes longer for the nerve impulse to travel to sensory cortex from your fingertip than it does from your nose—and this is true no matter how short your arms or long your nose. Our brains correct for this discrepancy in timing by holding these inputs in memory and then delivering the result to consciousness. Thus, your experience of the present moment is the product of layered memories."
- Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion

10. "the disparity between Eastern and Western spirituality resembles that found between Eastern and Western medicine—with the arrow of embarrassment pointing in the opposite direction. Humanity did not understand the biology of cancer, develop antibiotics and vaccines, or sequence the human genome under an Eastern sun. Consequently, real medicine is almost entirely a product of Western science. Insofar as specific techniques of Eastern medicine actually work, they must conform, whether by design or by happenstance, to the principles of biology as we have come to know them in the West. This is not to say that Western medicine is complete. In a few decades, many of our current practices will seem barbaric. One need only ponder the list of side effects that accompany most medications to appreciate that these are terribly blunt instruments. Nevertheless, most of our knowledge about the human body—and about the physical universe generally—emerged in the West. The rest is instinct, folklore, bewilderment, and untimely death."
- Sam Harris, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion

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