Paradox of Death by Sam Harris

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findingblanks
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Paradox of Death by Sam Harris

Post by findingblanks »

Today Sam Harris released a short podcast in which he explores a certain meditation on death and consciousness. For some it will be surprising that when he mentions three fundamental ontologies that deal with the nature of consciousness (materialism, panpsychism, and idealism) he doesn't disparage any of the three. Most will not be surprised that he is exploring a meditation that primarily was born from a materialists imagination. And a handful of us won't be surprised that he then speaks respectfully of the way in which a highly regarded idealist can easily reach the same conclusion that this meditation leads to.

I found it thought provoking on many delightful levels. You can listen to the first part of it on his website or via your favorite podcast app:

https://samharris.org/

If you would like to hear the entire thing but find the cost of a subscription prohibitive, Sam will give you a free subscription. His website has details. I think it simply requires sending an email making the request.
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Brad Walker
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Re: Paradox of Death by Sam Harris

Post by Brad Walker »

Sam's unsatisfaction with content distribution and self-created altruistic model is admirable.
findingblanks
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Re: Paradox of Death by Sam Harris

Post by findingblanks »

Brad Walker wrote: Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:52 pm Sam's unsatisfaction with content distribution and self-created altruistic model is admirable.
Agreed. I have a few friends who couldn't afford his meditation app and just an email later they got it for free. That app, by the way, is filled with Sam having wonderful conversations with people who consider themselves ontological idealists.

The meditation on death he presents in the above podcast is fascinating. I now want to read the original article by the guy who created AND whatever text he took those beautiful comments from the ontological idealist physicist whose well-known name I can't remember right now!
findingblanks
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Re: Paradox of Death by Sam Harris

Post by findingblanks »

To be clear, you can listen to the above podcast for free. I linked to it.

It was brought to my attention that it was at least somewhat innapropriate that I mentioned that Sam talks about a physicist at the end but I did not provide the name. I stated that I couldn't remember but at least one person found this either frustrating, somewhat annoying or part of a larger tactic to confuse and troll the group.

Nope. I just couldn't remember and figured anybody interested in the podcast would hear it themselves.

But I do take people seriously, even when they are annoying me with their partial projections, and I'm glad somebody wanted to know the name of the physicist. So I'm not in a context wherein I can relisten but I texted a friend who I know heard it and he remembered.

The physicist was Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger.

If there are other people who were upset or even slightly bothered that I didn't provide more specifics regarding what I enjoyed about the podcast, I admit I find that confusing and slightly annoying, but, more than that, I find it really interesting and I do apologize. My intention is never to cause those reactions. That said, once a person comes at me with dance energy, I can't refuse their hand.

Back to the subject. A couple people here have mentioned that they also found this meditation fascinating. I imagine that if somebody other than Sam Harris, let's say John Horgan, gave this meditation as an example, Bernardo would find it interesting and understand why that person found it valuable.

Yes, yes, I know that John Horgan publicly ridicules Bernardo's ideas even after interviewing him and nodding along, but Bernardo is charmed by Horgan. I admit that I am as well. No, at this point, Sam Harris has not indicated that he is aware of Bernardo's work. But the fact that his wife has conversed with Bernardo makes it certain that he knows of Bernardo.
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: Paradox of Death by Sam Harris

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

findingblanks wrote: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:00 pmIt was brought to my attention that it was at least somewhat innapropriate that I mentioned that Sam talks about a physicist at the end but I did not provide the name. I stated that I couldn't remember but at least one person found this either frustrating, somewhat annoying or part of a larger tactic to confuse and troll the group.

Nope. I just couldn't remember and figured anybody interested in the podcast would hear it themselves.

But I do take people seriously, even when they are annoying me with their partial projections, and I'm glad somebody wanted to know the name of the physicist. So I'm not in a context wherein I can relisten but I texted a friend who I know heard it and he remembered.

The physicist was Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger.
Apparently you also can't recall what you actually posted originally, which was that SH spoke respectfully of a highly regarded idealist, hence the confusion on my part.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
findingblanks
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Re: Paradox of Death by Sam Harris

Post by findingblanks »

"Apparently you also can't recall what you actually posted originally, which was that SH spoke respectfully of a highly regarded idealist, hence the confusion on my part."

I'm confused. Are you saying that Schrödinger wasn't a highly respected idealist?

I know you aren't attacking me here at all, but I'm genuinely interested in the tone you take with me.

I don't have a great memory, I'm sorry if that annoys you, but I'm not sure what you are claiming either about physics or about Schrödinger.

I have no doubt I am somehow contributing to this confusion, but I'll appreciate your helping me out.
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: Paradox of Death by Sam Harris

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

findingblanks wrote: Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:14 pmI have no doubt I am somehow contributing to this confusion, but I'll appreciate your helping me out.
I'm not generally much interested in Sam's commentary, but if in the podcast you shared he does indeed discuss Schrödinger in the context of a nuanced understanding of ES being a highly regarded idealist, then I may be inclined to seek that out, even given my doubts after listening to this ...

Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
findingblanks
Posts: 503
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:36 am

Re: Paradox of Death by Sam Harris

Post by findingblanks »

Soul you said,

"Apparently you also can't recall what you actually posted originally, which was that SH spoke respectfully of a highly regarded idealist, hence the confusion on my part."

So I posted that Sam spoke respectfully of an idealist. That idealist was Schrödinger. What did I forget?

Sam is not an idealist. So far, I can't think of any questions you've shared publicly that would make me think you'd find Sam very worth your while. Maybe his conversations about Artificial Intelligence? Maybe you'd appreciate the way he characterizes the hard problem and doesn't let materialists off the hook in that context? But I just haven't yet seen much from you that makes me think you'd be all that excited about anything Sam talks about.

I personally enjoy that his view of mediation is exactly the opposite of what Bernardo kept saying about him on the recent podcast. If Sam did actually believe the things that Bernardo emphatically stated, I'd agree 100% with Bernardo. But, even today, Sam put out another audio message (on the App; for free) about how the tradition he is working from is not at all about making people calm or feeling good. I have so many problems with Sam, but I like that he often has and continues to publicly correct himself when he speaks falsely or misrepresents a specific person's ideas. I would be slightly surprised if Bernardo picks up that practice, but not majorly.

Anyway, if you or anybody else started a thread in which we speak about the various things that annoy us about Sam Harris, I'd have a lot to share :)
findingblanks
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Re: Paradox of Death by Sam Harris

Post by findingblanks »

To any futures readers,

I realize that I perhaps was unclear. Sam Harris is not an idealist. I thought that SOME of us might enjoy this very interesting meditation because it relies on many of the same phenomenological understandings that many of us appreciate and find fascinating. I was personally very interested to see the way a materialist (the guy that Sam took the mediation from) found value in those observations and how that materialist then even formed an extremely similar sounding conclusions about the so-called 'future' that we hear from some idealists. Sure, the guy doesn't think the base of reality is mind like we do, but cool to hear very different ontologies being struck and shocked by the value of noticing the same phenomenology.

All that said, I am not encouraging you to go online and search for Sam Harris in order to continue your explorations of idealism. You won't get very far!
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