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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 160 > Why I meditate

Why I meditate

As a bright but anxious teenager, Yuval Noah Harari, bestselling author of Sapiens, discovered meditation and his life changed forever. In an excerpt from his new book, 21 Lessons For The 21st Century, he explains how it remains at the core of his vision, and wellbeing

philosophy

When I was a teenager, I was a troubled and restless person. The world made no sense to me, and I got no answers to the big questions I had about life. In particular, I didn’t understand why there was so much suffering in the world and in my own life, and what could be done about it. All I got from the people around me and the books I read were elaborate fictions: religious myths about gods and heavens, nationalist myths about the motherland and its historical mission, romantic myths about love and adventure, or capitalist myths about economic growth and how buying and consuming stuff would make me happy. I had enough sense to realise that these were probably all fiction, but I had no idea how to find truth

My quest in academia

When I began studying at university, I thought it would be the ideal place to find answers – but I was disappointed. The academic world provided me with powerful tools to deconstruct all the myths humans ever create, but it didn’t offer satisfying answers to the big questions of life. On the contrary, it encouraged me to focus on narrower and narrower questions.

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