Sam Harris

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Waking Up With Sam Harris

This fall, I will stage a series of live events—in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco—to coincide with the publication of my new book, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Each event will be held in a state-of-the-art theater, consist of a lecture and extensive Q&A, and will be professionally recorded. All attendees will receive a signed special edition of Waking Up, a download of the unabridged audio book, and the final video of the lecture series. A catered cocktail reception will follow each talk.

The Talks
In these public talks, I will discuss a range of psychological insights that have traditionally been considered “spiritual.” Although they tell us nothing about the origins of the cosmos, these experiences confirm some well-established truths about the human mind: Our conventional sense of self is an illusion; positive emotions, such as compassion and serenity, are teachable skills; and the way we think can profoundly influence our lives and the lives of others.

There is no discrete “I” or ego living like a Minotaur in the labyrinth of the brain. And the feeling that there is—the sense of being perched somewhere behind your eyes, looking out at a world that is separate from yourself—can be altered or entirely extinguished. Although such experiences of “self-transcendence” are generally thought about in religious terms, there is nothing, in principle, irrational about them. From both a scientific and a philosophical point of view, they represent a clearer understanding of the way things are.

A rational approach to spirituality seems to be what is missing from secularism—and from the lives of most people I meet. My goal in these talks will be to offer a compelling and useful investigation of the human mind and to show how deepening our understanding of it can transform our experience of the world and our relationships with other human beings.

Why Am I Producing These Events Myself?
My public lectures and online videos usually come about in the following way: I'm invited to speak at a conference or a university; the hour arrives, and I deliver a talk to whoever happens to be in the audience and answer a few questions at the end; occasionally, the event is recorded, and a poor-quality video of me standing onstage with my slides partially obscured or totally invisible gets uploaded onto YouTube.

This project will allow me to speak to those of you who most want to participate in a live conversation. There will be many opportunities for discussion—each event will include a full hour of Q&A and be followed by a catered reception. And the results of our conversations will ultimately reach a much wider audience.

A Note About Tickets
This lecture series is expensive to produce. The $219 ticket price covers only my costs for staging and recording the events themselves (not a speaking fee or video post-production).

Tickets are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis—none will be set aside for sale at a later time. The venues are small, and seating will be general admission.

The Lying ebook is now available in hardcover!
  • Events
  • Waking Up With Sam Harris - Los Angeles

    Skirball Center
    Sunday, September 7, 2014

  • Waking Up With Sam Harris - New York

    The TimesCenter
    Friday, September 12, 2014

  • Waking Up With Sam Harris - San Francisco

    The SF JAZZ Center
    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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