Waking Up by Sam Harris


I remember really looking forward to reading this book. I had listened to Sam Harris on a couple podcasts and knew this topic was right up my ally of interest. The stories, examples, and refutations in this book were many things that I like to agree with. A good TED Talk to pair this book with is Alain de Botton’s on creating a new religion.

I had been meditating before I read this book, so it checked me on some of my current lines of thought. One of the most beneficial practices I have gotten out of this book is the idea of feeling “headless” in an attempt to be conscious of your surroundings. Sam Harris has visited teachers and explored many paths that anyone seeking improvements in this subject would be interested in.

This is a book that I hope to read again soon.


“The reality of your life is always now and realize this we will see is liberating fact I think there’s nothing more important to understand if you want to be happy in this world”

Most people meditating are merely thinking with eyes close.

Identity is not what matters, it’s psychological continuity. There is no stable self that is carried along from one moment to the next.

Everything that is personal lies in the contents of my consciousness
Split brain can cause two consciouses?
“Subjectively speaking the only thing that actually exists is consciousness and its contents. The only thing relevant to the question of personal identity is psychological continuity from one moment to the next.”
“The whole of Advaita reduces to a series of very simple and testable assertions: Consciousness is the prior condition of every experience; the self or ego is an illusory appearance within it; look closely for what you were calling “I” and the feeling of being a separate self will disappear; what remains, as a matter of experience, is a field of consciousness- free, undivided, and intrinsically uncontaminated but it’s ever-changing contents.”
Thoughts of the past or future that are pleasant or unpleasant do not change the consciousness now. They reflect an image. Like a mirror. Putting pretty pictures infront of the mirror does make the the mirror attractive.
Meditations goals: “to realize those qualities that are intrinsic to consciousness in every present moment, no matter what arises to be noticed.”
Thoughts can be viewed from the perspective of being sounds.

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