Book Review: Waking Up

Book Review: Waking Up

I picked up Sam Harris’ Waking Up after watching his video on Big Think. The self as an illusion argument is shaky at best without reading Waking Up as the book delves attempts to define consciousness. The book in the very beginning claims to be unable to pin a specific definition to consciousness - raising two hands in the air and saying there is no definition at all. However, the book does cover how consciousness can be divided, and how our state of mind can be altered with the practice of mediatation, or drugs in general. In fact, the author was kind enough to share his first experience dabbling with ecstacy, which is pretty taboo especially in anti-nacortic places like Singapore.

The central argument that certain religious practices like meditation can be viewed in an agnostic sense is one that I identify with. While the book tends to be critical on the essence of faith itself, he argues that there are aspects in religion that is still relevant in today’s modern society. There is undeniably an underlying cristicism on the pervasiveness on the Christian faith, but no matter your faith this is a read to rediscover the boundaries (or the lack thereof) pertaining to your belief.

Overall, if you are curious of the interleaving between religion and philosophy, this is something you might wish to dig in. It is definitely not a self-help book, and one which challenges your perception of consciousness as a whole.