Sam Harris is a well known atheist, a hater of religion along with the other “horsemen”, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Dan Dennett, but he has this mystical side. That word, mystical, must be defined very carefully, however, or the wrath of Sam will be upon you.
Here is a good tract by Sam Harris in which he goes into this. He argues that secularism has no content other than its negativity:
To be secular, one need do nothing more than live in perpetual opposition to the unsubstantiated claims of religious dogmatists.
The “mysticism” he espouses has to do with meditation and the mystery of consciousness. Here is the last sentence of his third note in his article:
Still, consciousness remains a genuine mystery, and anyone who attempts to study it is confronted by serious conceptual and empirical problems
Antonio Damasio, a well known neuroscientist, has a new book out in which he attempts to explain consciousness scientifically. However, John Searle, a well known American philosopher takes issue with Damasio’s claim in his New York Review of Books article, The Mystery of Consciousness Continues.
All very interesting.