Waking Up
For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.

From multiple New York Times bestselling author, neuroscientist, and “new atheist” Sam Harris, Waking Up is for the 30 percent of Americans who follow no religion, but who suspect that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics, schizophrenics, or frauds. Throughout the book, Harris argues that there are important truths to be found in the experiences of such contemplatives—and, therefore, that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow.

Waking Up is part seeker’s memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.

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Waking Up Reviews

  • Lance
    Aug 26, 2016


    Much of this was about becoming consciousness and not being distracted by thought, but most of the time I was thinking of other things. ...

  • Chris
    Aug 1, 2016


    After enthusiastically starting this book, I gradually became annoyed, and eventually angry, as it slid on a downward slope to the end. This embarrassing work is far beneath what I would have expected from a scholar such as Harris. What a surprise it was to find details on the sexual m...

  • Peter Mcloughlin
    Jun 11, 2016

    Peter Mcloughlin

    Sam Harris explores spiritual practice and peak experience usually ascribed to religious revelation. Harris tries to explain these states of mind where we come to see the self the illusion it really is feelings of transcendent well being, love, awe and gratitude without ascribing super...

  • Matt Manry
    Jun 1, 2016

    Matt Manry

    I really wanted to like this book, but Sam Harris just can't resist taking so many cheap shots. At points, Waking Up was very interesting and engaging. However, other parts of the book were so bland, boring, and completely anti-religious that I could barely take it. ...

  • Cassandra Kay Silva
    May 5, 2016

    Cassandra Kay Silva

    If you have read anything at all by Sam Harris this book will be an absolute disappointment. So much of what makes Sam Harris Great is his rationality and critical thinking. This book does little of that. About the first eight of the book I was like Oh My gosh he is totally onto someth...

  • Hoz Kamaran
    Mar 26, 2016

    Hoz Kamaran

    If you are looking for the meaning of spirituality beyond religion, this is the right book to read. If you find religious spirituality illusional, that doesnt mean spirituality doesnt exist. Alot of people think that with the progress of science religion dies, thus spirituality must al...

  • Safat
    Dec 25, 2015


    I personally very much dislike Sam Harris since I've read his email exchange with Noam Chomsky, where he championed state violence. This one I read a while ago, and now I think a review is due. Though I don't like Harris, I admit that this is a good book.Harris is a notable atheist, on...

  • Mohit Parikh
    Jun 15, 2015

    Mohit Parikh

    A book written for atheists in a christian nation. Sam wants to assure his readership that he still belongs with them - and with Dawkins and Hitchens and Sagan - even as he takes a step further and talks about Spiritual Awakening. He wants to suggest that there is nothing irrational ab...

  • Vanessa
    Jun 4, 2015


    3.5 rounding to 4.I liked this not simply because Sam Harris is a wonderfully profound agnostic who happens to have many views that directly correlate with mine, but because I have new and unique ways of viewing "the self" after having read this. Many passages in this book are quite "m...

  • Adam
    Apr 17, 2015


    So. Sam Harris felt the need to publish a book that states, without novel argument, what everyone already knew. One that doubles as a guide to being a dipshit dogmatist on the irreligious side of the binary. He also deems it necessary to inform us right off the bat of his mind-expansio...