Robert Pirsig wrote of Steve Hagen’s first book, Why the World Doesn’t Seem to Make Sense, “For those who are certain that objectivity and intellect are the ground floor of all knowledge, this can be a valuable trip to the sub-basement.”
Now, in The Grand Delusion, Hagen drills deeper, into the most basic assumptions, strengths, and limitations of religion and belief, philosophy and inquiry, science and technology. In doing so, he shines new light on the question Why is there Something rather than Nothing?—and shines this light from an entirely unexpected (and largely unexplored) direction.
Using a provocative mix of examples from physics, philosophy, religion, myth, neuroscience, and mathematics—and a clever conversational exploration between Hagen and his interlocutor, “ANYONE”—this book also offers a fresh perspective on other questions that science, philosophy, and religion have long grappled with. Such topics include:
- What does it mean to exist?
- What is consciousness?
- What is reality?
- What is the nature of truth?
Layer by layer, Hagen examines the questions we ask, the way we ask them, the assumptions and beliefs we hold dear, and the ways in which we separate ourselves from the very answers we seek. In the process, he draws on sources that include Huang Po, Richard Feynman, Sir Arthur Eddington, Hui-Neng, Susan B. Anthony, Daniel Dennett, Joseph Campbell, Dogen, Emily Dickinson, Nagarjuna, Ikkyu, William I. McLaughlin, Sam Harris, and Henry David Thoreau.
Ultimately, this book reveals how all of these fundamental questions—and many, many more—stem from a single error, a single unwarranted belief, a single Grand Delusion.
The Grand Delusion helps readers move past this delusion into insight that can settle these age-old and seemingly intractable questions.
|Publisher:||Wisdom Publications MA|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction: Big Unsettled Questions 1
Part I Mind, Matter, Motion, and Music
1 The Ultimate Question 7
2 Sublime or Trivial? 11
3 Breaking Out of Habitual Thought 13
4 Neither Edged nor Edgeless 17
5 How We Perpetuate Ignorance 21
6 Substantial Confusion 31
7 A Universe of Mindstuff 39
8 No Need to Explain Everything 49
9 No Stand-in for Reality 53
10 What We're Missing 57
11 Seeing Is Not Believing 63
12 Who Do We Think We Are? 73
13 How We Make Up Trees, the Universe, and Everything 79
14 The Persistent Illusion of Persistence 85
15 Forget What Happens 91
16 Different from Anything Else 97
17 Tasting Actual Knowledge 101
18 Slow Down 105
19 Consciousness, Awareness, and Reality 109
20 The Self Illusion 113
21 A Self Would Have to Be Something 119
22 This Illusory World 121
23 This Sizeless World 125
24 Mind Is Moving 131
25 How Motion Is Mind 137
26 There Is Only Mind 145
Part II Grand Symmetry and Grand Delusion
27 What about God? 151
28 Belief Is the Culprit 159
29 Truth outside of Words 163
30 The Unwholesome Nature of Beliefs 167
31 Truth Doesn't Belong to Anyone 171
32 Religion without Belief 179
33 Just Notice and Return 183
34 Leave Belief to Science 185
35 What Science Cannot Touch 191
36 The Two Truths 195
37 Settling the Matter 201
Appendix A The Trouble with Truth Theories 209
Appendix B Mind and Consciousness 215
Part 1 The Hard Problem Lies in What We Imagine 216
Part 2 The Easy Problems lie in What We Can't Imagine 220
Part 3 So, What's the Problem? 227
Appendix C The Flood and Other True Fictions 229
Appendix D Quagmires, Lacunas, and Longstanding FEQs 245
Appendix E The People Behind the Quotations 255
Glossary: Understanding and Using a Vocabulary of Enlightenment 259
About the Author 309