Sam Harris on Joe Rogan Podcast 192

 

Where this human life that we, that people like us, really value is just this uh, irredeemable, fallen, uh, really revolting circumstance of, of separation from God.

 

And it’s just anti-room to the better place that you get into if you live this way and die in the right way at the right time and eternity awaits.

 

Eternity where all the good people get to be happy forever awaits. Now why would you want to stick around here?

 

Joe Rogan: I have to talk about this more. But I also have to pee so what I’m about to do is put my headphones down and I’m gonna ask you a question when I get back though.

How the fuck does anything get fixed? How do we fix this? If you were the grand social engineer of the universe

 

Sam Harris: Right

 

Joe Rogan: Think about that. I’ll be right back.

 

Sam Harris: I will follow you. So now, but what do we do while you pee?

 

Joe Rogan: Brian will talk to you

 

Sam Harris: Okay.

 

Brian Redban: Hey, how’s it going? <laughing> Sorry, I’m just, we’re just adjusting everything.

 

Uhm so, is this something that you fell in till like, did you uh, like think like this growin up? or did you have somebody that inspired you in your beliefs, in the way that you think and you’re.. I guess your stance on everything, you know. Have you always been interested in it or?

 

Sam Harris: Well, I have always been interested in religious experience

 

Brian Redban: Right.

 

Sam Harris: Why, what it means for people personally and just what the possibilities are. As a teenager, I just.. you know I was interested in just what is.. what are the limits of reality as anyone else.

 

So to some degree, my research there has been scientific and now, increasingly scientific. But early on, I was just interested in religion as a possible account of what’s true and uhm.

 

I was also interested in the kind of experiences that the founders of the world’s religions have had or seem to have had. So I’m interested in the kind of experience that would get Jesus talking like Jesus or Buddha talking like Buddha.

And I’ve sought those experiences with drugs and with meditation and uhm, it’s very.. It’s absolutely clear to me that there is a range of experiences there that is hugely motivating and real and accessible and has been traditionally ascribed only in religious language and so, it seems to cash out the crazy claims of, of the various religions.

 

So if you’re a devout Muslim, and you start having the kinds of experiences that we’ve had on acid or that people have had in intensive meditation or trades, uhm.

 

They get framed in very much in doctrinal ways so it seems to justify you’re infatuation with this one revelation. A revelation which is intrinsically divisive which argues that you should hate everyone who’s not in the fold.

 

Uhm, so clearly we need a way of talking about these kinds of experiences and valuing them. That is which is just generalizable and scalable as the larger conversation of reason and science-based thinking about the nature of reality and therefore is not in principle divisive.

 

Joe Rogan: One of the things that McKenna always said in describing the differences between religion and psychedelic experiences is that in psychedelic experiences you don’t have to believe anything.

 

Sam Harris: Correct

 

Joe Rogan: You just go on in. You’re gonna experience it whether you like or not, you gonna get hit by it.

 

How you interpret it and how you disseminate it inside your own head is one thing but it’s not like a religious experience in that you don’t have to believe.

 

Sam Harris: Yeah. Oh yeah.

 

Joe Rogan: Which is probably the beauty of it because you know the ego wants you to hold back to all and retain all control of your faculties in any given time.

 

You don’t want to relinquish control to some sort of foreign substance or some sort of drug, some sort of a thing that you will give up your whole body and your mind for 3 hours.

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