Sam Harris is a noted philosopher, author, and neuroscientist. He is known for often speaking quite negatively about religion, and has been called one of the "Four Horsemen" of the New Atheism, which also includes Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett. Harris has often spoken very harshly of modern Christianity, among other religions, particularly in his books The End of Faith, and Letter to a Christian Nation. What I find fascinating is where he has spoken positively about it, and Jesus in particular. This is may be a key where I think the discussion should take place for there to be a constructive dialogue between science and religion.
Exactly 500 years ago today, October 31, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to a church door that started the Protestant Reformation (31 October 1517). What were those "theses"? Do they have any applicability today?
Culadasa (John Yates), former neuroscientist who became a meditation master, is the author of an excellent recent book published about meditation, The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness.
An addition to the BHT, concerning how we can know for ourselves if these things are really from God, or if they are from Bryce's own deranged mind.
I have considered forming a discussion group of some kind where we can regularly talk about these things, face-to-face, and commune-contemplate-meditate together regularly with like-minded people. Technology being what it is today, we can each do this from wherever we may be anywhere in the world as if we were all sitting together in the same living room!
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Catholic writer, theologian, Trappist monk, and mystic. The following is from his book New Seeds of Contemplation, describing his experiences in contemplation...
God wants to speak to us. God yearns for it, and many of us yearn for it too. God wants us to know Him ourselves, in our Selves. This is the very definition of Eternal Life (John 17:3). But we must do our part. We must get out of our own way. We must surrender and submit our egos, our egoic mind, in order to allow God to speak to us. The Prophet Joseph Smith seems to have known how to do this, but we seem to have lost this ability today, even the kinds of practices that lead to it.
I believe that meditation and other related contemplative techniques, including the use of seer stones, can help us become aware of the Divine and enter God's Presence. This post introduces some concepts from psychology and neurobiology which might begin to help explain how this happens.
One of the most remarkable things I've found is the tremendous insight that comes from doing nothing. That sounds strange, and it is. But I think there is truth in it.
The word contemplation usually brings to mind someone thinking deeply about something. Perhaps similar to pondering something, or meditating upon a thought or subject. But this modern meaning is not what the word used to mean.