I agree, there is some of Harris' arguments that I find very difficult and deeply challenging, in particular his arguments for pre-emptive strike against militant muslim nations and the use of torture. Having said that, I still think we should listen to those voices who present views divergent to our own which are challenging. What Harris portrays in presenting such an argument is the seriousness, complexity and intractability of the geo-political situation we now find ourselves in.
And I don;t mean to quarantine his views regarding meditation, the transcendent experience and the dominant christian culture of the west but they are also worthy of attention. I should make it clear that Sam Harris isn't a Buddhist, or using Mawkish's nomenclature, an 'invisible Buddhist'. So i think it is potentially unwise to judge him assuming he is Buddhist.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725
(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •
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