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…

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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…

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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…

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This week, I read Abraham Maslow’s 1964 little book, Religions, Values and Peak-Experiences. It’s only 100 pages long, but something of a classic, and anticipates the contemporary interest in the science of spiritual experience that’s apparent in, for example, Sam Harris’ new book (which I will review shortly). In the 1950s and 60s, Maslow tried Read more…

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Dear Jules, I have been going through a really rough time lately and it is quite similar to your experience. I was quite a happy go lucky person through life until I had a bad terrifying trip on weed (my first time trying) I took way too much and freaked out and that traumatised me Read more…

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