Yuval Harari, author of Sapiens, on how meditation made him a better historian

Ezra Klein at Vox:

ScreenHunter_2613 Mar. 01 17.06Yuval Noah Harari’s first book, Sapiens, was an international sensation. The Israeli historian’s mind-bending tour through the trump of Homo sapiens is a favorite of, among others, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama. His new book, Homo Deus: a Brief History of Tomorrow, is about what comes next for humanity — and the threat our own intelligence and creative capacity poses to our future. And it, too, is fantastically interesting.

I’ve wanted to talk to Harari since reading Sapiens. I’ve had one big question about him: What kind of mind creates a book like Sapiens? And now I know. A clear one.

Virtually everything Harari says in our conversation is fascinating. But what I didn’t expect was how central his consistent practice of Vipassana meditation — which includes a 60-day silent retreat each year — is to understanding the works of both history and futurism he produces. In this excerpt from our discussion, which is edited for length and clarity, we dig deep into Harari’s meditative practice and how it helps him see the stories humanity tells itself.

More here.