The Best Of The Dish Today

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 28 2014 @ 9:15pm

The Dish’s favorite pet photographer has a new book out – and a puppy time-lapse to plug it:

It’s the kind of advertizing done right. I’m sorry that these end-of-the-day musings keep referring to the collapse of ethical journalism, but, hey, how can you ignore a story like this on CNN’s blatant conflict of interest in running puff pieces (with no disclosure) on the Hamad International Airport in Doha. Seriously, this is a textbook case of buying favorable coverage.

Today, you might have skipped past our latest installment of the Book Club discussion of Sam Harris’ Waking Up. It’s well worth a visit. There’s some serious, vital stuff in there. One reader was struck to the core:

To my fellow reader who wrote in describing his experience with no-self:

Oh, my friend, thank you. I’ve too have had periods of this no-self experience over the past few years.  The experience is notoriously impossible to describe, and I don’t even try.  You’ve captured it perfectly and in such concrete and simple language.  Many of the great mystics have not done as well.  I have just one friend I who knows this happens to me, and I never reveal it to anyone else.  Though I am a devoted church-goer it’s not something I would ever try and explain to anyone there.  I’ve wondered if this experience is more common than I think it is, and wondered if there could be others I could talk with about this.  I’m so glad to know you are out there.

And in response to those trying to decide whether the self exists and to locate the no-self experience in biology, divine transcendence, or some other phenomenon: Why does it matter where the experience of no-self comes from and whether the self exists or not?  I certainly don’t know.  I know the experience of “no-self” exists and that it changes who I am in the world for the better in an exponential way. I’m a church-goer, and I don’t care if there is a God or not.  That is not the most interesting question. The interesting question is how does one place oneself to make the no-self experience more likely, and when no-self does visit, what response shall I offer?

Thank you my friends at the Dish.  Politics, poetry and mysticism all in the same blog.  Bliss.

Elsewhere today, we covered the fascinating and horrifying Ebola epidemic: Christie’s still a dick; the case for an asterisk on the assurances that it won’t break out in America; and the CDC’s new, tighter guidelines for quarantining. I noticed the Pope’s impact on America’s culture war; and re-visited the enduring, exploded myths of the Matthew Shepard murder.

Plus: a remixed Ghostbuster video for Halloween week; Freddie DeBoer’s worries about micro-aggressions in the academy; and the most powerful case yet for doing absolutely nothing in Syria and Iraq.

The most popular post of the day was A Declaration of War on Francis; followed by The End of Gamer Culture?

Many of today’s posts were updated with your emails – read them all here.  You can always leave your unfiltered comments at our Facebook page and @sullydish. 22 more readers became subscribers today. You can join them here – and get access to all the readons and Deep Dish – for a little as $1.99 month. Gift subscriptions are available here. Dish t-shirts are for sale here, including the new “Know Dope” shirts, which are detailed here. One final reader for the day “surrenders” over the Book Club discussion:

Okay, okay: I finally caved, and bought Sam Harris’s book.

See you in the morning.