Sam Harris Is Right About Things Because He Likes to Meditate

If You Use His Meditation App Religiously, You Will Be Right Too

Matthew Remski
14 min readApr 9, 2021


Harris in 2016. Wiki commons.

In a recent mini-episode of his Making Sense podcast, intellectual influencer Sam Harris explains to his large listenership that:

  1. 99% of them do not understand what “meditation” is, which is unfortunate, because…
  2. …it’s not enough to understand the scientific ideas he presents in his content. One must meditate to sense their full truth, and their implications. Which is what Harris has also done to…
  3. …come to a lived understanding of what Jesus was talking about. Also:
  4. Harris’s political positions cannot be understood by people who don’t meditate as he does. Positions such as…
  5. …identity politics — left undefined here by Harris—is a “dead end”, and that over-identifying with one’s race (whatever that means, and however it might be measured) is a form of mental illness that can be cured by meditation. But luckily…
  6. …everyone can get over such errors by understanding their minds (and the minds of others) through meditation, which is why they should download Harris’s Waking Up meditation app.

Harris’s mini-manifesto conceals its cruel grandiosity with a soothing, ASMR delivery — the audio equivalent of intrusive eye contact. Anthropologist Chris Kavanagh and psychologist Matthew Browne have picked this and other aspects apart on their podcast Decoding the Gurus. Below, I’ll expand on their points and make them text-searchable by isolating excerpts from the Harris transcript for brief commentary.

My interest in this is as a researcher of conspirituality, an online movement of New Age, wellness, and Buddhist-type influencers, charismatics, and bullshitters who, as a rule:

  • conflate the categories of spirituality and science, usually bullshitting about both,
  • propose that most people in the world are “asleep”, but that they have the herbs, exercises, tools (or apps) for “waking up”,
  • collapse the boundary between professional identity and private religion,
  • create charismatic feedback loops with their followers,



Matthew Remski

Investigative journo: conspirituality & cults. Co-host at Bylines: GEN, The Walrus. More @