Sam Harris is an American author and a neuroscientist. He is widely considered as one of the best thinkers in the modern day era. Listening to his podcast or reading his books are some very mind-opening experiences. Let’s look at some of his best quotes and open up our mind.
The above Sam Harris illustrates how you shouldn’t try to persuade people with logic when the people you are talking to don’t value logic. Also, if the people you are talking to don’t value evidence, you can’t persuade them by showing evidence. Next time you talk to someone who doesn’t value evidence or logic, simply don’t argue as you can’t win.
You don’t necessarily need to have a religion in order to live spiritually and ethically. Regardless of whether you have a religion or not, you can still meditate, take long walks, and live by principles that will lead you to be useful to others.
The above quote is one of the most beautifully put and powerful quotes of Sam Harris. There are multiple layers to this quote. You can view it as a suggestion to cut as many as strings that are disrupting your free movements. You can also develop your awareness of your current strings and ask yourself if you are okay with them.
The next time you lie, especially to people that are close to you, try to be aware of your root reasons for lying. Is it that you are not willing to put the effort to understand or is it that you are not willing to be understood? Or is it both?
We do not have complete freedom to decide what we are going to do. There is room for us to gain more control by training ourselves and using different tools and techniques. But still, a lot of our thinking is influenced by things happening around us that we have no control of. Having said that, we want to do our best to control what we can control. Even if our training and use of tools are going to increase our chance of succeeding by 10 percent, or even 5 percent, we still want to do them.
Be aware that the state of your mind is the most important thing. There are other important things like relationships and money. However, if your mind is not in the right place, owning them doesn't give you joy.
The above quote is so brilliant that it makes people easily understand how to approach life the better way. Imagine your life is like Mario in the Super Mario game, are you going to be the one that tries to learn and improve to get to the next round, or are you going to let the same monster kill you at the same spot?
When you meet angry people, remember that they have to suffer just like the rest of us. Be sympathetic to them. Maybe being kind to them is a little too much to ask for. Try not to be angry at them or hate them.
To suffer less from our thoughts, we have to first know that we are not our thoughts. We have to be aware that there are going to be random or uncontrolled thoughts happening in our mind all the time. Be aware is the first step to take if we want to suffer less. Observe your thoughts and emotions. Be aware that you have that angry feeling and you have that scary thought. They are not you. They are just some feelings and thoughts that pass by your mind.
A lot of Sam Harris’s writings and teachings are about being rational and being aware. He inspires people to think independently and rationally. It’s a wonderful learning experience when you listen to his podcast and read his books. Some of tips for living a good life that are derived from the above quotes include: