Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-08-11
- Reviewer: Staff
Expanding upon concepts posited in The End of Faith and Free Will, neuroscientist Harris draws from personal contemplative practice and a growing body of scientific research to argue that the self, the feeling that there is an “I” residing in one’s head, is both an illusion and the primary cause of human suffering. Through meditation, this illusion can be extinguished, resulting in a deep sense of personal well-being regardless of circumstances, and also in compassionate and ethical behaviors toward others. The reality of such self-transcendence has been hitched to unwarranted claims about the nature of the universe by persons of faith and denied outright by most atheists and skeptics. The great value and novelty of this book is that Harris, in a simple but rigorous style, takes the middle way between these pseudoscientific and pseudo-spiritual assertions, cogently maintaining that while such contemplative insights provide no evidence for metaphysical claims, they are available, and seeing them for ourselves leads to a profoundly more salubrious life. Agent: Anne Edelstein, Anne Edelstein Literary Agency. (Sept.)