About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Lewis Black on meditation
Turns out Mr. Black, when seen live and talking to people, comes across as a really nice guy. So I bought his book, Nothing's Sacred, and even got his autograph. In fact, I went with a friend of mine who managed to get a hearty laugh out of Lewis, by pretending to be my gay companion, and that he was to cheap to buy a second copy of the book.
Anyway, the book itself is essentially an autobiography, with some interesting insights and some fun material. I just read the chapter entitled “New Haven – Haven my ass!” where Black describes a summer spent in New Haven, in Connecticut, trying to start a Reader's Digest magazine for liberals. As he admits readily, he surely was an optimist at the time (it was the 60s).
At any rate, toward the end of the chapter he says that the financial backer for the magazine left town before the first issue ever got printed, to look for his guru. Black notes that meditation was then just becoming “the next big thing,” and that – since it seems to work for millions of people, there must be something to it. Then the gem comes as the very last sentence of the chapter, and I quote in full: “Still, I figure you can close your eyes and listen to your own breath, or you can close your eyes and touch yourself – either way, you're going to end up in the same blissful state.” Excuse me folks, but I've got to do the experiment...