Wisdom is a watering-hole at which animals of many different species can come and drink – as long as they don’t insist on trying to convert, denounce or attack each other, but instead meet in friendship and good humour. Last month, I took part in a slightly silly stunt for World Philosophy Day. I and Read more…

3 Comments

At the beginning of Philosophy for Life, I talk about Raphael’s famous mural of the School of Athens, and imagine getting a free ticket to study there. Well, this week, I got to join the school! The Idler Academy arranged a photo shoot on the steps of St Paul’s, with various British thinkers and philosophers. Read more…

1  Comment

This weekend, I was at a conference in Boston called the International Symposium on Contemplative Studies. I know  – sounds pretty niche, maybe two monks, a chakra healer and a shaman with maracas?  Well, it was enormous – 1600 people, 300 presentations, including ones by some of the leading psychologists in the world, and the Read more…

8 Comments

In my review of Sam Harris’ Waking Up two weeks ago, I wrote this sentence: “Spiritual experiences tell us something about the cosmos,…the experience of infinite loving-consciousness is a glimpse of the very ground of being, also sometimes called God, Brahman, Allah, the Logos, the Tao, the Buddha-realm.” This sentence seemed to surprise some people Read more…

10 Comments

Sam Harris, the second-most-famous atheist in the world, is an unusual sort of atheist. On the one hand, he’s a neuroscientist who reveres the scientific method and despises the superstitious dogma of religion – so far, so normal. On the other hand, he’s spent many years meditating in spiritual retreats in Asia, and taken a Read more…

11 Comments