Jedism

Jedism

What is the relationship between “Jed McKenna’s” teaching and the rest of the Great Tradition of Spirituality? Is it merely a confabulation of ancient Dharma with modern dilettantism?

Even though I am only tangentially related to any teachers nowadays, it remains a very interesting subject for me to explore, since it was once the core of my life, and as such it provides a keen reflection to me of who I was then, as well as the liabilities that I still possess. Also I prefer to know a little of what I am talking about when discussing teachings with friends, rather than blap on emotionally about how great this one or that one is. Please feel free to offer your comments or insights at the bottom of the page.

Below I will offer evidence and argue that the teachings of the author Jed McKenna seem not merely to conform to the major streams of consideration, revelation, and experience that have been handed down through history, but indeed, Jed’s Teachings may represent an original path for those who are in the ‘pursuit’ of Truth. That path I will be calling “Transcendental Nihilism”.

The Historical Context

Adi Da Samraj, in his great tome “Nirvanasara”[1] has described three major schools
of Truth-God realization historically active in the world. In starting out, I will use his map to contextualize and analyze the Teachings of Jed McKenna. The criteria used to distinguish these schools are based on their respective interpretations of the nature of ultimate reality, as well as the choice of various religious/spiritual practices that may or may not to seen to be useful in acquiring that reality for oneself:

• Phenomenalistic Schools (Realistic and Impersonalistic) (6th and 7th Stage Realization[2])
• Noumenalistic Schools (Idealistic and Personalistic) (6th and 7th Stage Realization[2])
• Emanationist Schools (Idealistic and Personalistic ) (1st through 5th Stage Realization[2])

In addition to those listed above, there are the combination schools that use elements of both schools. The Mahayana and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism, as well as Adidam, follow this approach. We might as well give these schools their own unique label as they do significantly differ from the pure schools. I suggest that we call them Syncretic Schools.

Jedism (I will humor myself by referring to the teachings of “Jed McKenna” as such) is, to my thinking, neither a Noumenalistic School, in that he not only distains any notion of non-dual Ultimate Reality as having any person-ness, but he also strenuously denies the utility of incorporating any “practices” in his teaching, as he asserts that no practices are effective in realizing the ultimate Truth! (although he does suggest a writing disciple that is a kind of preparatory exercise, useful prior to the spontaneous Big Fall that he insists is necessary for the realization of “No Self”).

For this reason, I believe that we might be justified in giving Jedism an entirely new “School” designation, such as the “Transcendental Nihilist School”.
*

Adi Da Samraj, in Nirvanasara, has described original Hinayana Buddhism as a the archetypal Realistic or Phenomenological and “Impersonal” path that offers a rigorous and protracted regime designed to wean the practitioner off his delusional association with creation and ego, and brooks no notion of god nor heaven.
Realist Schools are inclined to value “Ordinariness” and the sacredness of the Void, whereas the Idealists favor the Extraordinary, whether they seek that association in a future reward, or as realization of one’s true identity.
*

Zen on the other hand cherishes an instantaneous transcendental breakthrough known as Satori. The idea that Satori produces stable and permanent enlightenment is scorned at by others who regard Satori as merely the start of the enlightening process. Whereas classic Buddhism suggests that Nirvana/Shunyata must be achieved by weeding out the delusional habits of mind and emotion, Zen insists that it is here and now – just WAKE UP!!
*

Advaita Vedanta has been described as the epitome of the Idealistic or Noumenalistic and “Personal” God-Self enterprise, whose power lies in reminding the student of his true nature by pointing directly at “That”, and as a practice simply suggests remembering that, “I AM”, or asking “Who AM I?” and identifying with the “Native Feeling of Being”. The divine, they assert, is your present nature and reality, so it is already the case. Practices can’t get you there, they will only distract you from your Real Condition!
*

In addition, Adi Da Samraj notes what he calls the Emanationists – Judaism, Christianity, etc. who assert that we are all “sparks, fallen off the Divine Fire”. Later, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism began to incorporate the higher noumenalistic notions of the divine self into the original Hinayana/Theravada worldview. It also integrated many of the lower Emanationist 1st to 5th stage elements (the notion of a Supreme Being fundamentally separate from all other souls).
*

Adi Da has flippantly described Buddhism as a “practice without a realization” and Advaita as “the Realization without a practice”.
Buddhism- annihilate everything, NOTHING will make you happy, and be left with a nameless faceless identity-less reward = Nirvana.
Advaita – communicates the Realization (you are indeed already the Divine), but does not offer a practice to deepen that realization in a person.
*
Interestingly, Adi Da Samraj has paradoxically described his path, known as Adidam, as beginning with the Realization, and followed by a life of “practice” as the body-mind takes as much time as it needs to catch up with and adapt to the Realization. By Realization, he would be referring to the Satori of “getting” a taste of God-Truth, not full and stable enlightenment.

Adidam, like the Mahayana and Vajrayana schools of Buddhism, combines elements of the two great “paths” by informing students that mere practices can never get them to realization (and yet it demands an enormous range of “practices”). Alternately, Adidam instructs, like the Advaitists, that you are indeed divine, but insists that you can’t access your true Nature with any reliability without a facilitator because you are so encased in ego. That facilitator is the Guru (similar to the Dharshan Yoga strain of Hinduism).

Indeed Adidam elevates the function and status of the Guru to the highest level and minimizes both the Realist reliance on practices, and the Idealists affirmations about your divinity, and evaluates them as merely secondary and supportive forms of participation. Instead, the relationship to the Satguru is regarded as the decisive means to enlightenment. So much so that Adidam needs to be indexed, along with many communities of Hinduism, as another distinct “school’ – the “Dharshan School”.
So while Adidam includes both practices and affirmations of divinity, it more closely resembles Dharshan Yoga than either Buddhism or Advaita.

Jedism

Jedism ignores these traditional formulas in an interesting way. Jed denies the validity of a godhead with personality, and denies the utility of any practices. He also dismisses the dependence on a Guru-Benefactor. I am neither a scriptural scholar nor an energetic researcher but I believe that this teaching stance may be unique.

Regarding all the other paths, Jed asserts that religio-spiritual techniques and relationships at their best only serve to develop a more functional or higher evolutionary adaptation to the “dream of Maya”, not freedom from it. He acknowledges masters of the traditional paths as greater beings than himself, but if enlightened, then not actually teaching an enlightening path for others. He does not conclude that the other teachers are acting maliciously, but ignorantly. He claims in Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing [3] that he suspects that there may be about 50 enlightened people extant in the world at any given time. But in Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment he asserts that he is the first and only one.

This is a little hard to sort out for an observer. It does not obliterate the power of his teaching, or his criticisms of other paths, but it certainly shows that he can be as unclear as anyone about the whole field of liberation and identity, and his place within it.

“Jed” substitutes a crisis called “spiritual autolysis” that must arise spontaneously in order for the spiritual process to actually begin. It is described as something akin to a psychic break or an emotional and mental breakdown, and cannot be chosen (it happens on it’s own). And this crisis, he says, doesn’t occur until the seeker deeply lets go of all hope of ordinary happiness or spiritual redemption, perhaps especially by any agency of guru or god, or practice.

Jed authenticates himself, and by extension his teaching, not only with his argumentation but also by his presentation of himself interacting with life. His extreme comfort with life, epitomized perhaps by the first chapter of the 3rd book, where he is shown playfully outwitting a group of policemen simply for the adventure of it, scores high marks with many readers. He also does not hide behind a mask of saintliness or godliness or amazing humility or virtue. He shows the reader himself with all his bumps and warts.

In summary, what Jedism means is:
1. no practices, neither life denying ascetical –(he suggests that you go ahead and enjoy your ordinary life) , nor mystical- (don’t bother meditating)
2. no self, neither divine nor personal is IT
3. no guru, a teacher can give a little direction now and then, but that’s all.
4. although no practices are valid nor any divine identity is real and non-transitory, there is an enlightened or awakened state of being available (as distinct from the Atheist or Materialistic POV)
5. dependence upon the big “breakdown” of spiritual autolysis, that takes a couple years to kill an ego off

Jedism is therefore a Nihilistic Transcendentalist 7th Stage School

Critiques

The critique of Advaita is that it is a formulation that suits dilettantes of all stripes (New Age) who will never be challenged to deepen and ground any Satori (realization) with a vigorous practice of ego-revelation, or an inspection of the innumerable ways that the ego can delude itself into believing it is something it has not. It is well suited to the talking school of armchair practitioners who are going nowhere.

*

And the critique of classical Buddhism is that it can be used as a formulation that suits workaholic religionists in that, while it very keenly assails the deluding aspects of ego and all conditional nature, yet it still “doesn’t know where it is going”. Apart from Zen, it doesn’t cultivate or even respect spontaneous revelations of a higher or even a transcendental nature. Also the practices themselves can so easily create the illusion of “progress” or virtue that promises to deliver Enlightenment but can’t, because the ego is so identified with them.
*

My core critique of Adidam is that the essential ownership of one’s self is denied practitioners by the insistence on, not only the usefulness of the Guru, but the absolute and eternal dependence on him. According to “Jed” this precludes the core crisis from occurring that is the initiator of the meltdown to liberation. Adidam is not unique in asserting that the ego can’t liberate itself. This POV is seen nearly everywhere, including the Christian doctrine of “Grace”. But Adidam goes the next step, that I refer to as the “bestowal model”, where the insistence is made that not only can’t the ego deliver itself, but that a human instrument of Satguru is absolutely necessary for liberation to occur. What does this doctrine ignore? It ignores that possibility of the divine itself, pushing the ego out of the way.

Furthermore, it is my own observation that this dependency also creates or reinforces a dysfunctional loop in practitioners by preventing the maturation of even very serious practitioners and mature people into full autonomy and human adulthood. And without that responsibility invested in the practitioner, the fullest confrontation with their own ego is bypassed.
*

The critique of the Emanationists is that they have located Divinity as a psychically sensed relationship (4th stage), or a mystically revealed 5th stage communion or even absorption with a dimension of manifestation that is limited and not about the self, therefore effectively avoiding the core issue of spirituality, which is the true identity of self.
*
If we apply Jed’s own twin dogmas of “further” and “the only thing anyone can know is his own self” (which in his hands is styled as “no-self”) and all else is unknowable, then how can Jed know that no traditional practice can succeed in enlightening practitioners?
How does Jed KNOW that various practices or relationships with the Divine will not produce enlightenment. He has a very formidable logic on his side to contend with, but he is one man, and I am not convinced that he knows that these forms could not lead another person, if not TO enlightenment, then at least to the doorstep.

Also, since Jed demands everyone must always go “further”, then one must ask why does that prescription not apply to himself and his views? My own ex-teacher was quite clear about this necessity. Even though Adi Da Samraj claims to have become fully enlightened in 1971 or so, he has consistently held out a map of how he is moving through four phases of the enlightenment: Divine Transfiguration, Divine Transformation, Divine Indifference, and Divine Translation. That covers about 37 years to date. Perhaps old Jed has not seen it all yet.

Furthermore, is it not possible that the no-self Shunyata/Nirvana realization is ultimately the same as the “Divine Self realization”? Maybe the paths actually dovetail, at least further along the evolutionary trail. [4- see joke below]

He loses points with some with his weak ability to love and be an ordinary person with others. His Teaching point is that the core of a human being is emotional, that the core of all emotions is the one basic emotion of fear, and that the source of all emotions is the Heart, – the “Leviathan” which must be slain. I personally believe that Jed needs to slay is not his Heart but the contractions of his Heart. Or a little more to the point, the contractions of his self and evidenced in his reactive emotions.

Yet by virtue of his outrageous simplicity, I suspect that he may have exceeded the greatest spiritual minds of history.

Summary

It’s all a bit much to sort, these differing paths and points of view. Perhaps that’s the gift. You can’t! Maybe we should simply understand that at different times in a souls journey they will require one POV, and later, the other. Maybe none of them is TRUE, and none is the best.

In summary, we may say that there are 5 major schools of spirituality:

• Phenomenalistic Schools Affirm your Divine Self (Realistic and Impersonalistic) (6th and 7th Stage Realization) (i.e.-Hinayana/Theravada)
• Noumenalistic Schools (deny your ego-self) (Idealistic and Personalistic) (6th and 7th Stage Realization) (i.e. Advaita Vedanta & Taoism)
• Emanationist Schools (Obey the Supreme Being) (Idealistic and Personalistic) (1st through 5th Stage Realization) (i.e. Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism etc.)
• Syncretic Schools (a little affirming, and a little denying) (Idealistic AND Realistic) (1st through 7th Stage Realization)
(i.e. Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism etc.)
• Dharshan Yoga Schools (Commune with the Agent of God) (Neither Idealistic NOR Realistic) (1st thru 7th Stage) (i.e. Adidam, Hinduism)
• Nihilistic School (no affirming, no denying, no obeying and no communing) (Neither Idealistic NOR Realistic Nor Dharshanic) (7th Stage) (i.e. Jedism)

Footnotes:

[1] The entire Spiritual Process culminating in Divine Enlightenment as mapped by Adi D Samraj: extracted from http://www.dabase.org/7stages.htm
• The first three (or foundation) stages of life constitute the ordinary course of human adaptation—bodily, emotional, and mental growth.

• The fourth and fifth (or advanced) stages of life are characterized by the Awakening to Spirit, or the Spiritualizing of the body-mind.

• In the sixth and seventh (or ultimate) stages of life, Consciousness Itself is directly Realized, beyond identification with the body-mind. In the sixth stage of life, the Realizer Identifies with Consciousness (in profound states of meditation) by excluding all awareness of phenomena. But this Realization is incomplete. Even the necessity to turn away from the world in order to fully Enjoy Consciousness represents a contraction, a refusal of Reality in its totality.

• The seventh stage of life (or the Realization of “Open Eyes”), transcends this last limit. No exclusion is necessary, because the world is Realized to be a mere modification of Consciousness, not separate (or “different”) from Consciousness at all.

[2] Nirvanasara – Radical Transcendentalism and the Introduction of Advaitayana Buddhism. by Da Free John (Adi D Samraj), Dawn Horse Press, April 1982, http://www.dabase.org/nirvana.htm

[3] Books by Jed McKenna: http://wisefoolpress.com/
Book 1-Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing
Book 2-Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment
Book 3- Spiritual Warfare

[4] A rabbi and a cantor are standing in the largely empty synagogue one day, talking mystically about how, given the awesome glory of God’s Infinite Divine Presence, they are each really “nothing.” “Yes,” says the rabbi, “I am nothing!” The cantor also affirms, looking up to the heavens, “O God, I am completely nothing!” And they go on like this for several rounds—”I am nothing… I am utterly nothing.”
Meanwhile, the synagogue’s janitor is off in the corner on his hands and knees, scrubbing the floor. Filled with piety and a fervent spirit, he has all the while been repeating in a gentle voice, “O Lord, You are everything and I am nothing… I am nothing.” The rabbi and cantor at one point listen in and, after a few moments, come to realize what he is saying. At this, the rabbi nudges the cantor and smugly says, “Look who thinks he’s nothing!

Advertisements

54 thoughts on “Jedism

  1. You are correct Phillip, but this site is NOT intended as a demonstration of ‘understanding’ – that is a profoundly personal affair. It is simply about knowing. Knowing how the Jed message fits into a historical perspective. And, as well, knowing what about the Jed message that is BS, or at the very least, dubious. Sorry to have disappointed you. Brian

  2. It appears to me that the message of Jed McKenna is lost in a quagmire of analysis and thought……There is way too much pretension and labeling in these responses, and therefore, way too little understanding.

  3. Hi there terrific website! Does running a blog such as this
    take a lot of work? I have virtually no understanding of
    coding but I had been hoping to start my
    own blog soon. Anyway, should you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off subject but I simply had to ask.
    Thanks a lot!

  4. I read Jed McKenna’s take on Descartes Cogito, The Bottom Line. Please. The assertion that the Cogito is the bedrock that establishes I AM could be demolished by a first year philosophy university student. If you like arguments from authority, see the critique of Descartes’ contemporary, Pierre Gassendi, and later on Kierkegaard’s, not to mention many others. And what about the Buddhist take on thoughts without a thinker? How is it “an ego-eating virus”? This is embarrassingly sophomoric and confused stuff from a self-promoting construct who’s no different from Tolle in his schtick.

    On the strength of that essay, I’m not inclined to indulge McKenna’s $piritual materiali$m.

  5. i love jed mckenna.

    where went the words for the annihilation of my pixelation yet still a human emanation ?

    that bus. splattered me like hunter thompson out a cannon. spaghetti sauce from a boomerang. just pieces of a chocolate bar floating through willy wonka’s crib, people continue to address as a finite being with the boundaries of body it seems I’m inhabiting.

    It was a creeping deal until it swallowed me whole, and then I lost the ability to chain together words – whether reading or writing, or talking. ooooof. and anyway, who wants to walk around high-diving off earth backwards while vomiting gravel ?

    i kept asking why. I kept getting : if you’re not enjoying it, just set it down for a while ;~) but, but, what if my mother puts formaldehyde in the body and holds a traditional funeral for me ?

    what a cute concern. it was dissolved with my complete asphyxiation under the rear tires.

    an idea has moved through me. i shall write in response to jed mckenna. mmp, it’ll be 30 trillion light years away in 2.5 minutes.

    anyway, i love jed mckenna. i lost the ability, motivation, endurance, et cetera to read more than a few words – they just started shifting shapes. then i received a book of his, and read it cover to cover.

    it was a miracle. i still can laugh ! I still can laugh !

    50 people on earth at any given time, but i’m the first and only one ? makes perfect sense to me.

  6. To Sukhbir Singh.

    I find your post erudite and very clear, ways of communicating I would never disparage. There is an aspect of the way that “hard-core” devotees of Adi Da communicate in general, however, that I have difficulty with. I find that it is almost impossible to simply find out where they are at relative to spirituality, or indeed anything else, because they continually refer to and repeat what the guru has communicated. The guru said this, the guru said that, therefore it must be so irrespective of what the devotee has understood himself. Now, to a devotee, this seems an entirely reasonable disposition to have, and a completely reasonable way to relate to others. But to someone who does not share the same conviction, it feels platitudinal.

    The “Post-Spiritualist” simply communicates what he feels or knows or thinks in the moment without reference to anyone else; not because he necessarily considers himself to be the equivalent (or surpassing) the “guru”, but because he does not consider the Divine to be somewhere else. Whatever is the case now and whatever he understands are God enough.

    I get pleasure from relating to people who are just themselves without reference to anyone else. Simple, I know; and likely to be derided as egoic human folly, but there you have it. Continue parroting what someone else says they have realised about “spirituality” and there just isn’t much common ground with a post-spiritualist (and the overwhelming bulk of humanity as well).

    I suggest you take everything Adi Da (and every other guru or “spiritual” teacher or master) has said or instructed relative to spirituality, put it all in a large paper bag and throw it in the garbage. You never know, you might then realise for yourself what they were actually trying to convey.

  7. Thank you Sukhbir Singh for offering well-considered comments and your learned background. I am sorry if I disappoint, but my interest in debating the kind of points you raise seems to be coming to an end. At a glance I can say that I see great truths in your statements, so thank you for your contribution. But on the other hand, every point you raise could easily be contradicted by another grand and awesome spiritual truth derived from another grand and awesome spiritual tradition or teacher.

    But It’s not just that I am losing interest in the dharma debating thing, but more importantly my experience tells me that there are distinct phases in life which operate under very different principles. You obviously are a spiritual man and I may have a lot in common with you otherwise, but some of the most fundamental principles that a spiritual man adheres to are so different from those that in a “post-spiritual man” adheres to as to make significant conversation between the two nearly impossible. As an example, how much deep, real dialogue are you able to sustain with a religious person, or more to the point, a materialist? Or looked at in another direction, how much common ground is there between all of the above said categories and an enlightened being? Not much at the deepest level.

    From 30 years of personal experience in Adidam I feel it is safe to say that in Adidam there is no acknowledgment that anyone except an enlightened Master has the capacity, or dare I say it, the responsibility to stand free from, or part from, an authority figure such as a human master, and still be in a spiritual integrity or alignment with the divine.

    The way I perceive my life, process, and experience is that it is possible for our inherent divine ‘spirit’ to take direct control over one’s life, shifting authority back out of any particular gurus hand, to such an extent that the ‘individual’ comes to accept the radical notion that not only can’t the ego enlighten itself, but any sense or belief that the ego can, or moreover, EVER DID spiritual practice, is simply another conceit of that same ego. From my experience, I didn’t choose to leave the “spiritual” world, some other force pulled me out of one orbit and into another. I am grateful for everything that happened to me in the spiritual world, principally in Adidam, but that era of my life seems quite closed to me now and I presume that I will never go back to it.

    As I understand it, the divine played at pretending to be Brian for a while, and after a while, the divine got bored with the limitations and began to ease up on them. I seem to be cooperating with the process at this point, but even that is, no doubt, another of the ego’s precious conceits. At this point you might conjecture that such a transition, if at all possible, would be, at the very least, profoundly ineffectual. I understand that concern but may I reassure you that far from being a pale simulation of the effectiveness of the guru-student relationship, in my own personal experience, it is a ferocious fire which is as ruthless as it uncompromising.

    Or perhaps you and I are gravitating towards distinct spiritual realizations and no amount of ecumenical goodwill can deny that fact. In a case such as this, what am I to do? Counter-quote you with sayings and aphorisms and instructions and criticisms delivered by teachers who I myself resonate with, such as Jed McKenna and U.G. Krishnamurti? What would follow from that is that we would both try and pull out our Dharmic nuclear weapons and try outdo each other! Who needs it?

    The thing is, you believe the spiritual doctrines you have quoted because they resonate with your intuition and the sources you quote a very impressive dudes, and very reassuring to be associated with. Whereas, I now stand completely alone in the spiritual process. I don’t believe anything anyone tells me about reality, including my dear friends, Jed McKenna and U.G. Krishnamurti. Let me assure you that this situation is not a bed of roses. Yes it is exhilarating and feels to me like an even greater truth than the truth I embraced as a spiritual man connected to a great spiritual teacher, yet it is profoundly shocking and disorienting to not have a teacher, teacher or Sangha to consort with.

    What I talk about here is my experience of reality (world, self & Divine), and if this blog has any purpose at all, its not about an attempt to speak The Truth, but it simply to help people who have a lot of spiritual ‘mind’ still clogging up their brains, to flush some of it out. The content of this site and its contributors (including yourself) can conceivably be helpful to some in that regard.

    The spiritual mapping that you are attuned to is good stuff and I wholly support you in your application to it and wish ‘you’ total success in achieving your goals. If you are at all curious about how a person could be a serious spiritual ‘practitioner’ and yet reject the Gospels of which you speak, and I would humbly suggest that you review the article on this blog called “post spirituality” in order to gather some idea of how that situation comes to pass for many spiritual practitioners.

    As I say I take you to be a very intelligent and spiritual man and I’m honored that you graced this blog with your thoughts. But a “post spiritualist” such as myself can no more have a constructive conversation about core reality with a spiritual person (such as yourself) than either of us can have with a materialist. The differences are profound and not reconcilable, sadly. We can meet and share in spirit and friendship, but not about these core matters. As I’ve said here many times in the past, everything I say on this blog is a bunch of crap, and other than The Truth. But I must also say, that so is the truth and the references that you advance- it’s all just constructs and concepts, so easily contradicted. A mere fraction of the truth of our existence.

    Brian

  8. “My core critique of Adidam is that the essential ownership of one’s self is denied practitioners by the insistence on, not only the usefulness of the Guru, but the absolute and eternal dependence on him. According to “Jed” this precludes the core crisis from occurring that is the initiator of the meltdown to liberation.”

    My comment to the above critique:

    -Adidam and all spiritual traditions of the East have one core theme, devotional surrender. It is the fragmented mind that tries to divide the spiritual practices into separate categories (i.e. Bhakti-Love, Jnana-Wisdom, Karma-Action, and Kriya-Energy). They all have to be integrated. This is clearly seen from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s life example. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj can be seen to be a “hardcore” Jnani, but if you were with him, you would see that he performed many devotional pujas (external worship) to the pictures of his Master. When asked how he had “achieved” his realization, he said that it was his strong belief and obedience to his Master’s instruction to rest in “I Am”. The love and wisdom had to be combined, but we can see that what came first, was devotional surrender.

    In addition to this it can be clearly seen that there is no question of insisting on the ownership of one’s self because that is creating a dichotomy that doesn’t exist. Ownership of oneself creates a feeling that there is someone actually present to own another self which is apparently within one’s self. It is a core issue to realize that Spirituality is not about “using” the Guru to “our” benefit. It is to submit whatever we may think of as “ours” and “us” and lay it at the Guru’s feet.

    This apparent “westernization” of spiritual principles does tend to confuse matters since it lays alot of emphasis on strengthening the sense of self. The essential culture of the “western” mind is to build up this sense of self. Suddenly when introduced to the concept of devotional surrender, it becomes difficult to surrender the sense of self since the whole life up to that point was spent in the context of building up and protecting your sense of self.

    This is what creates the main misunderstanding and a creating of a round-about way to solve devotion. It must clearly and completely be understood that spirituality is not something an “ego” can do to itself. Spirituality is the laying down of the “ego” and not by the “ego” either but rather by submission to the Master.

    What Beloved Adi Da Samraj was doing needs to be understood. He was bringing in the essential culture that was required in order for Spirituality to function since you can’t separate Culture (daily living) from Spirituality. Spirituality can’t be something “done” it must be something “living” you. This culture is completely the opposite of the materialist and self-preoccupied culture that has been the backbone of Western Civilization and therefore there was a lot of misunderstanding because the underlying context for understanding it was not there.

    So this is simply an attempt to explain the context of Adidam.

    “Adidam is not unique in asserting that the ego can’t liberate itself. This POV is seen nearly everywhere, including the Christian doctrine of “Grace”. But Adidam goes the next step, that I refer to as the “bestowal model”, where the insistence is made that not only can’t the ego deliver itself, but that a human instrument of Satguru is absolutely necessary for liberation to occur. What does this doctrine ignore? It ignores that possibility of the divine itself, pushing the ego out of the way.”

    My comment to the above critique of Adidam:

    Once again, it is a misunderstanding of cultural context that leads to this critique. You can see the difference between the mainstream Judaic (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and the Eastern Spiritual Traditions (including the esoteric branches of Christianity, the Sufis, some Sects of Hinduism and Sikhism) in one key aspect. In the mainstream the Teachers were recognized and claimed to be “Messengers”. Moses (PBUH), Jesus (PBUH) (in the mainstream), Muhammad (PBUH) were all recognized and brought down through the ages as “Prophets, Messengers, etc”.

    This is in stark contrast to the recognition of Teachers in the East who were known as “Avatars” or the Divine who has crossed-down into the Cosmic Domain. Therefore, it is the Divine Itself that has come, or taken up the vehicle of these forms, not only to “teach” mankind, but to spiritually transform humanity. And although they have come for the whole world, those who submit to them having recognized them, can then spiritualize the context of their entire lives to the point that they can surrender their whole life.

    However, it should be clearly understood that this “surrender” does not have anything to do with the childish concept of surrendering of responsibility to the “parent”-figure. This surrender is the responsibility of the disciple. The Guru ensures that the disciple is given enough to be responsible about his/her life, but everything is done in the spiritual context and in recognizing the Master, not as a Teacher or Messenger, but as the Divine Himself/Herself/Itself.

    Therefore, the above critique saying that Adidam does not take into context the Divine pushing the ego out of the way, is completely wrong and misunderstood. In Adidam, Beloved Bhagavan Adi da, the Sat Guru (The Reality Itself / The Divine Itself) IS THE DIVINE PUSHING THE EGO OUT OF THE WAY.

  9. Hi there, yes one in the same. Great books of my youth and the similarities to Jed’s seem obvious to me. Jed McKenna has to be ‘someone’ – and I can’t see why any of the enlightened beings who are teaching now would hide behind a pseudonym – but can see why Richard Bach may do so. He seems a very likely candidate – a great writer, spiritually inclined, probably not enlightened but wishes he were (but I’ve really no idea), keen to disseminate spiritual titbits, able to research, collate and put together a range of spiritual teachings into a very credible book series, has the money, reputation and clout to get them published anonymously. Probably a good reason for doing so anonymously is his messy (haven’t we all though 🙂 private life may not be seen as being something that an awakened soul may have lived – so would mean a book under his name on beling awakened may not be seen as particularly credible, and his book characters attitudes – esp. Shimoda seem so similar to Jed’s arrogance ‘take it or leave it’, cosmic tricks, no real enlightenment sort of stuff = Illusions “everything in this book may be wrong”… It feels just the sort of thing RB would do as a ‘cosmic joke’ and fits with his sense of humor and style so well. Anyway, I’ve not read Jed’s books well but just skimmed the first – so would be very interested in your analysis of the possibility.

  10. Jed McKenna is RicJed Bach. It seems obvious to me. From a very quick scan of Jed’s first book there are many hints. For example Jed is a spiritual teacher from Iowa, Donald Shimoda is a Messiah from Iowa. Jed skydives, Richard Bach and Donald Shimoda fly planes. The writing style is also sooooo similar to Richard Bach. I personally don’t think the writer of Jed’s books is an awakened being, but someone who has grabbed a hotchpotch of awakened being experiences and comments (esp Adya) and woven them into an entertaining story – as Richard Bach he did in Illusions. Either way go to the real enlightened beings for guidance – not someone who hides behind a mask of anonymity.

  11. There is indeed a common point. The point that jumps out at this reader is neither obscure nor fringe. If you follow scientific reports you begin to get a clearer picture of what is being said without a lot of drama.
    From an early age we are taught that we are an individual person in a world of objects. Subsequently, we make a personal claim to everything from family to career, toys, events. Judging everything and labeling either good, or bad.
    This appears to be based upon language creating our apparent personal world. Witness the blind from early age regaining sight but unable to see what the fully sighted and trained can see.
    The question we have to ask ourselves is, are we satisfied accepting a brain that was designed by others? And given that, what is reality anyway? Is it the opinions, ideas, beliefs and concepts that we were given?
    Jed (and many others) seems to be simply saying “look at what you believe that you are”.

  12. Joe
    If you are asking about Jed’s recommendations I guess I could try to summarize him for you, although you would be better off reading his books . He says two contradictory things: the first is that no one can choose realization (it happens beyond the ego’s designs or desires) and the other is that you can perform his ‘autolysis’ exercises described in the book which seem to help eliminate a lot of false belief about reality.
    Brian

  13. one thing about this is there a practical force like or Parana or chi
    within this or a mess of doctrine uncertain for I believe all is connected yet separate and most Theo-sophistical of what I’ve learned is full of folk tales theory pride and reversal of meaning or interpret to convince and very little practice if any like a bio or symbolism boring.
    or much theory on quantum entanglement yet I know not
    so is there a practical approach too such or just trail and era by way of realization and yes even this is very much like Buddhist or zen or any for all no matter what cosmology or technique are similar in nature for none can escape Samara only satori by mean’s of deep breathing and stubborn focus like that of a ass donkey. just wont budge so what is the theory from the practice like any set forms I seek the realization yet I seek the practical over any theological thought yet is necessary just wondering. have a good day

  14. Ouch, the term “Jedism” makes me wince!

    You’re pretty knowledgeable about spiritual paths, and their context, and I’m not, and I don’t want to really comment on that.

    I think there are paradoxes and contradictions in Jed’s assertions, and certainly some of his assertions seem to be highly arrogant.

    The value of “Jedism” at least in my experience has been:

    1. The realization that awakening comes down to inner observation with stark honesty. Jed confines inner observation to spiritual autolysis and momento mori, but I think there are other effective forms of honest inner observation, such as meditation and releasing and awareness.
    2. Jed seems to dismiss everything else. I would say that gurus and guides and spiritual traditions and spiritual practices and heart practices are useful to the extent that they help us develop the skill of inner observation and honesty.
    3. There is no self.
    4. Jed seems to make distinctions between enlightenment, human adulthood, being awake in the dream, and being awake from the dream. I don’t know exactly how these are categorized.

  15. “If we apply Jed’s own twin dogmas of “further” and “the only thing anyone can know is his own self” (which in his hands is styled as “no-self”) and all else is unknowable, then how can Jed know that no traditional practice can succeed in enlightening practitioners?”

    In his books, Jed asks where are all the enlightened people? There are so many people on so many paths, and he says no one is really getting enlightened. So that’s his argument against the effectiveness of spiritual paths.

  16. If this man is anything like another Jed I know, a real hero of a man, than he’ll be A-OK.

    I’m of course talking about one of the wisest, most compassionate, fair and loving Jeds of all time.. the late great Jed Clampett!

  17. Dear Mother Erna
    Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Since I don’t read Dutch I had to have it translated. I hope you don’t mind. Also, as stated on the Front Page, this Blog is not run or moderated by Jed, but by me, Brian, who is in no way connected to Jed.
    Cheers
    Brian

  18. Moderator’s Note: Since this is the first time we have had a non English contribution to this Blog, and I couldn’t read it myself, I had it translated from Dutch via Google Translate machine and have pasted the results below, within this comment, so other can get a taste of what this Lady is saying.
    Brian

    Allerbeste Jed,

    Zeer hartelijk bedankt voor uw triologie incl. het vierde boek!
    Uw eerste boek kwam jaren geleden op het moment dat ik net had besloten om geen enkel spiritueel boek meer te kopen. Ik stond in winkel met uw boek in mijn handen en heb hem zodoende teruggezet.

    Nog diezelfde middag stond ik bij de volgende boekwinkel opnieuw naar uw boek te staren en begon er uiteindelijk stukjes uit te lezen, waarvan ik de bladzijde had onthouden, totdat mijn man zei; “Dat is nu al de tweede keer dat je met dat boek in je handen staat, koop het dan toch of anders doe ik het” , en hij liep er gelijk mee richting de kassa.
    Geen enkel cadeau was meer van toepassing geweest, zo bleek later toen ik ging lezen en bleef lezen.

    Al jaren ben ik ‘daar’ waar u zich in uw boek bevind. Verrassend herkenbaar.
    De familiar en maatschappelijke resultaten met het tegendeel zijn dan ook ruimschoots geboekt. Spirituele verlichting is niet voor “softies”, u bekend.
    Dit boek is wie ik ben ten voeten uit. Soms even heftig om het ontwaken met een olijke en ferme mokerslag te doen activeren.
    Over zowel het leven, zijn vreugde over de dood, en alles er tussenin.

    Ik heb wel eens geprobeerd uw boeken aan andere mensen te adviseren maar eigenlijk is het ondoenlijk, sorry. Enkel dualiteit in diversiteit is nieuw erfgoed.

    Al m’n andere boeken zoals van Neale Donald Walsch of Eckart Tolle zijn weliswaar perfect doch meer voor het grotere collectief geschikt.
    “The truth will set you free” moet ik nog eens kopen maar het zou me niets verbazen als u deze auteur zijdelings kent.
    Verder kunnen mensen geen stappen overslaan en valt binnen een bewustzijns traject dus wat mij betreft is de perfectie achter de inperfectie verscholen.

    Echter, uw directe manier van handelen, de waarheid voorbij het klein menselijk denken activerend, hebben de invalshoek waarbij ik hoor.
    Ik heb daarnaast gelijk uzelf ook een tamelijk anonieme functie.
    Geen website en enkel via via bereikbaar.

    Toch,.. indien u plotseling een niet te stuiten ideetje krijgt om mij te mailen… van harte welkom dan en anders nogmaals veel dank voor u tijd en moeite bij het schrijven van de boeken.
    Hartelijke groet,
    Moeder Erna
    _______________

    Translation follows:

    Jed best,

    Very many thanks for your trilogy including the fourth book!
    Your first book came years ago when I had just decided to no longer buy spiritual books. I was in store with your book in my hands and told him so put back.

    Yet that same afternoon I was standing next to the bookstore again, staring at your book and began reading from the end pieces, which I had remembered the page, until my husband said, “This is already the second time that you book State your hands, buy it anyway or else I’ll do it, and ran it straight toward the cash register.
    None was present were more appropriate, as it turned out when I started to read and continued reading.

    For years I ‘there’ where you are standing in your book. Surprisingly recognizable.
    The familiar and social results in the contrary are therefore widely recognized. Spiritual enlightenment is not for “softies”, you know.
    This book is who I am in a nutshell. Sometimes as violently to wake up with a roguish and fermentation sledgehammer blow to activate.
    Both about life, his joy over the death, and everything in between.

    I’ve tried your books to other people advice but actually it’s impossible, sorry. Only duality in diversity is a new heritage.

    All my other books such as Eckart Tolle and Neale Donald Walsch are indeed perfect but more suitable for the larger collective.
    “The truth Will set you free” should I buy again it would not surprise me if you know the author side.
    Furthermore, people can not skip steps and falls within the range of consciousness so for me it is perfectly hidden behind the inperfectie.

    However, your direct way of acting, the truth beyond the small activating human thought, the approach which I hear.
    I’m also like you a fairly anonymous function.
    No website and are only accessible via.

    However, .. if you suddenly get an unstoppable idea to mail me … welcome than otherwise, and again many thanks for your time and effort in writing the book.
    Kind regards,
    Mother Erna

  19. Guillermo
    I am delighted that you find this Blog useful. I agree with what you say about Adyashanti – he seems to be everything that you say.
    But at least for me he lacks one thing -the savage uncompromising truth-telling force concerning the role and structure of spiritual culture in inadvertently subverting it’s own ultimate goal of liberation.
    As for a comparison of these teachers, I would have to be much better informed about Adyashanti before I dared to go there, which doesn’t seem to be on the horizon for me.
    Thanks
    Brian

  20. Hi guys…
    I’d like you to compare Jed’s teachings with Adyashanti’s and Adi Da’s.
    My feeling is that Adyashanti has all of the discernment and clarity of Jed, plus the heart and ability to relate. I think his repertoire of styles, his empathy and relentless honesty with the seeker make him the best teacher alive! Anyway that’s about the most subjective thing anybody could say.. but it’s fun to say it anyway!
    I look forward to you’re views.. best,
    Guillermo

  21. having experienced non=duality (ie enlightenment) I found myself in the position of spiritual guide to many, Teacher to a few. So many people felt I should write a book. Jed Mckenna has written it for me. I am as he, and it comforts me. All he writes is Truth.

  22. Hey, just came across this conversation. Quite an interesting diversion, I must say. I’ve only read the first book attributed to Jed. I thought it was fantastic on a number of levels.

    It seems pretty obvious to me, however, that since language is a dualistic thing by nature, no single teacher can ever give us THE ANSWER. Furthermore, each bodymind brings its own diverse set of experiences to each moment, such that one teacher can point one person right at the heart of it while turning another 180 degrees away from it. Within one bodymind’s existence, in fact, a single teacher can be helpful and harmful depending on when a person is exposed to him or her. I myself have had times when one or another teacher had great influence on me, but now I have not much interest in reading him or her.

    Anyway, I think Jed’s stuff is harmless, even if a bit provocative, entertainment at worst. At best, it’s straight-forward, no-fluff Truth, which was exactly what I needed at the time I discovered The Damnedest Thing.

    I personally don’t care if the guy is enlightened or not. It’s entirely likely he doesn’t exist at all and the whole thing’s a work of fiction, which I think would be more to the point anyway. I mean if he really was this living, ego-maniacal fraud, don’t you think he’d be more in the world, going to conferences, making more money than he is off his self-published books?

    (As an aside, though, the main reason I haven’t read the other books is not a lack of interest, but a judgment call that they aren’t worth $25. Sheesh … the price alone’s a bit egotistical if you ask me.)

    One more point I might add is just that I really don’t feel any enlightened person has a moral obligation to be in the public eye and make him/herself available to me and my needs as a seeker. The only universal moral obligation an awakened being has is to use his or her bodymind as a lens to project as honest and responsible a picture of Truth as he or she can. Since this projection is a dualistic thing, it will invariably look different depending on the experience of the individual, just as different teachers use different words to convey the same Truth. These differences in appearance say nothing about the ultimate veracity of that to which they are alluding.

  23. Quoting Adi Da drops Jed’s credibility from little to none. Which is fine because credibility looks like the last thing in the world Jed is aiming for.

  24. There was a boy who had a core belief as old as the human race and likely beyond, which said “I am a person in a world competing for everything with other beings”. It was all about fear and survival.

    In the course of following that core belief he became separated from what he really was, his being. He also felt a void within, which he often sought to fill. Experimenting, he filled that void with a variety of things. Other people, food, cars, money, and by the age of 19, various forms of spirituality. And finally, attempting something called nirvana.

    Because he was trained to compete for a better future, he sought a teacher who could fill that void and make a better man, a better future full and peaceful. And he found such a teacher who gave him a prescription to follow to achieve that which he lacked. Meditation, silence, killing the ego.

    But.. it didn’t work. The person and the world, fear and survival, the teacher and nirvana… empty, the void remained.

    Now a man, he began to see that for all of his seeking he was not able to fill the void. And neither could his teacher and he felt dissatisfied because this seemed just a dream, and all of the things in it continued to pass away and were lost. And finally, with the aid of a purveyor of truth, he realized that the only constant was the void, the emptiness. And so he explored that which he feared.

    And what he found was that all of the dream and even the core belief seemed wrong somehow, that all he had been taught was suspect. It was frightening at first. And he discovered that although he wanted it very badly, there was nothing that he could do to change things and he became disillusioned and depressed. Eventually he simply gave up because he realized that what he had become, was really what was in the way of finding that which he sought.

    That was when a strange thing happened. The dream person that he was moved out of the way and allowed a process, which was inevitable, to become complete and he had a realization. He awakened and discovered the truth of what he was. He discovered that he didn’t even exist! The dream person and even the core belief was a lie.

    He saw that he already was what he had sought, and that is all that really was. And that was everything. His being – all being.

    What he had always been was all that existed. And he was everything and nothing at the same time!?! The man had not known it before because he was dreaming that it was something else, that he was something else. The dream person and the core belief.

    But being alive; walking, talking, playing… THAT, was truth. Only manifestation-consciousness.

    And that is all. And he felt joy, like a child again.

    brant urku@gmail.com

  25. WISDOM TELLS ME I’M NOTHING — LOVE TELLS ME I’M EVERYTHING —–TO BE AND NOT TO BE – THAT IS THE ANSWER!! — GOTTA LOVE IT!!

  26. Thanks JC for all your thoughtful and balanced comments. Sorry I took a while to reply, but I haven’t felt much like ‘talking’ lately.
    Sincerely
    Brian

  27. Brian,

    That posting by “Anonymous” seems to have struck a nerve with you. This type of blog will always attract those kinds of postings, caterpillars dissing caterpillars, I guess you could call it. He/she makes a partial valid point, although I wouldn’t communicate it that way, and I think this blog does serve a valid purpose. Anything that causes us to re-evaluate what we believe is worthy and true is of possible value, and you (and others) have done that here. But of course it always comes back to the very simple questions of “Whom am I?”, “What’s going on here?”, and “What do I know to be true?” (in keeping with the McKenna themes). It’s a solo journey in a world of seemingly infinite distractions.

    Can’t remember the source, but that quote-“The best purposes for learning in life is to unlearn what is untrue” really resonates, so I guess you could also say we’re all getting what we need to “un-learn” as well. It’s just not always respectful.

    Btw, have you read “Jed McKenna’s Notebook”? There’s more good stuff in this one that will surely provide for some lively discussion on your blog here.

    Thanks
    JC

  28. Hey Brother, I just opened your post to the Jed Blog and am very delighted to be talking to you. The only thing is, that I don’t believe I know you by the name of Nitram! Soooo…who be you?

    I went to your website and found it very thoughtful and I love that you are putting Adi Da’s POV across. Excellent! Even though we now have different world-views, I am delighted to have a sane conversation with you without having to get all protective or aggressive with each other.

    As to the ‘Cowboy post’ you refer to, it’s greatest liability is that it drips with sarcasm and superiority, as if that energy contained sufficient verity to ‘debunk’ whatever truth the Jed books may contain. It doesn’t rest in self-confidence and it doesn’t respect that Jed may be serving up something of great use to some people. This type of (Cowboy) post is high octane sectarianism, not because the author dares to disagree with another’s POV, but because he uses ad hominem attacks, sarcasm and ridicule to try tear down its target and make points with the reader. Its sort of an emotional ‘pissing contest’ rather than a serious critique.

    I am not trying to say there is nothing to critique about ‘Jed”. The reason I started this blog is to do just that. But after 35 years of Adi Da, I firmly believe that the truths that the author is presenting are truths that I need to hear now. That doesn’t take away from the truths I received and learned from Adi Da, it is just that I feel graced to hear these truths now.

    When you think about it just how enlightening is it when you read a slanderous hatchet job on Adi Da? How much light is generated by that? How convincing is such rhetoric? How serious and clear-headed will you take the author to be?

    I could say, “why not engage in a reasoned and respectful dialog instead?” But the truth is that fundamental differences between alternative world-views really are not negotiable. They represent deeper movements and developmental needs in people, and there’s really not much discussion that is actually persuasive for that reason, I believe. As Adi Da once said: “Truth is self authenticating”. No one in a free will Creation such as this has the right, nay, the power, to prove anything to anyone but himself.

    What does work and doesn’t degrade anyone is simply a respectful appreciation that the everyone is getting what he needs to learn, and being grateful that God or Universe has provided for him, as well as for us.

    I look forward to hearing from you, and please, keep up the good work of presenting Adi Da’s POV to the public.
    Shalom!
    Brian

  29. Hey Brother, I just opened your post to the Jed Blog and am very delighted to be talking to you. The only thing is, that I don’t believe I know you by the name of Nitram! Soooo…who be you?

    I went to your website and found it very thoughtful and I love that you are putting Adi Da’s POV across. Excellent! Even though we now have different world-views, I am delighted to have a sane conversation with you without having to get all protective or aggressive with each other.

    As to the ‘Cowboy post’ you refer to, it’s greatest liability is that it drips with sarcasm and superiority, as if that energy contained sufficient verity to ‘debunk’ whatever truth the Jed books may contain. It doesn’t rest in self-confidence and it doesn’t respect that Jed may be serving up something of great use to some people.

    This type of (Cowboy) post is high octane sectarianism, not because the author dares to disagree with another’s POV, but because he uses ad hominem attacks, sarcasm and ridicule to try tear down its target and make points with the reader. Its sort of an emotional ‘pissing contest’ rather than a serious critique.

    I am not trying to say there is nothing to critique about ‘Jed”. The reason I started this blog is to do just that. But after 35 years of Adi Da, I firmly believe that the truths that the author is presenting are truths that I need to hear now. That doesn’t take away from the truths I received and learned from Adi Da, it is just that I feel graced to hear these truths now.

    When you think about it just how enlightening is it when you read a slanderous hatchet job on Adi Da? How much light is generated by that? How convincing is such rhetoric? How serious and clear-headed will you take the author to be?

    I could say, “why not engage in a reasoned and respectful dialog instead?” But the truth is that fundamental differences between alternative world-views really are not negotiable. They represent deeper movements and developmental needs in people, and there’s really not much discussion that is actually persuasive for that reason, I believe. As Adi Da once said: “Truth is self authenticating”. No one in a free-will Creation such as this has the right, nay, the power, to prove anything to anyone but himself.

    What does work and doesn’t degrade anyone is simply a respectful appreciation that the everyone is getting what he needs to learn, and being grateful that God or Universe has provided for him, as well as for us.

    I look forward to hearing from you, and please, keep up the good work of presenting Adi Da’s POV to the public.
    Shalom!
    Brian

  30. Aloha Brian, My response to your response….I believe so. Never heard the word autolysis and I did not bother to look it up while reading. Ok, just did, basically it means “cell destruction”. In my training it would be the equivalent of “breaking yourself up”, examining every aspect of who you are being (and have been) in your life. The good the bad and the ugly news about being fully accountable for the way things are and the way things are not.
    Being truth, your words and actions follow and match. This is not what most want to experience. Most people want to say and do whatever, as they always have done, and do not know why they do not have the life they say they want. Big gaps in have, do, be.
    BE>DO>HAVE is the key. Being nice is not necessarily truthful. I have powerful friends like Sonia and aim to be powerful myself all the time. We are all only human though and the book being fiction does not have Jed share or talk about his human side (the voice in his head that he thanks for sharing but does not choose to be). In fact I state I was glad he was not real because it is errogant to say you can just get rid of your humanity.
    Jed gets the job done and does not mess around with story and drama of the surrounding swirl of mankind. He’s committed and stays on purpose to his life and others are enrolled into the powerful energy, true leadership. Jed is a true leader as well because a true leaders can follow.
    That’s it for now. I have actually been more on a quantum physical enlightenment quest but this is a good review with different languaging for the distinctions of transformation.
    I am very interested in Quantum living “Busting Loose of the Money Game” or whatever game really. Looking at quantum designing of life and moving past the re occuring patterns that I keep popping up with people, that I do not care for.
    Any reading ideas appreciated!
    Aloha, MArtha

  31. Hi Martha
    Sorry for the delay in posting your comment, I’ve had a very very busy week.

    The debate about Jed and love is one that divides just about everyone who comes across his work and I don’t see any reason for me to have a go at it once again, if you don’t mind.

    On your first point “Anyway, I think the point is simplicity and who you are “being” in the now, life is empty and meaningless, I knew it was coming from the beginning of the book. That basic enlightenment, transformational truth is rather easy to get and from there see how life is all made up. Who cares about the story and drama.”.

    I apparently have a different experience from you, if I understood you correctly. The basic Truth is indeed fairly easy to get for many people, but it is the conversion of the whole person and body to that truth that takes the time and turns most everyone away. As Jed describes it through, what was her name in the first book,”Jenny” or something, it is a holocaust to ‘convert’ whole bodily to Truth. Spiritual Autolysis, or something to that effect.

    Do you agree?

    Sincerely,
    Brian

  32. Well there, Mr. Anonymous, there are two things worth saying to you at this point. One is that you have completely misunderstood the purpose of this Forum, which is NOT to speak about the Life of Butterflies (from admittedly, the world of caterpillars), but to critique the spots that appear on the swarm of butterflies that inhabit our world, Jed included. It’s not about proclaiming the Truth here, but critiquing the falsities of the many Butterflies that shout the truth to us caterpillars.

    And the second point is that when you engage others with disrespectful language, you say more about yourself than them.

    Best to leave the superior wise-guy attitude to the Butterflies and the Punks, don’t you think?

  33. Well I am a little over half way through “Spiritual Enlightenment, The Damndest Thing”
    I just randomly selected this book and I am glad to know he is not a real person. Anyway, I think the point is simplicity and who you are “being” in the now, life is empty and meaningless, I knew it was coming from the beginning of the book. That basic enlightenment, transformational truth is rather easy to get and from there see how life is all made up. Who cares about the story and drama. Who your being while following your made up path is what matters spiritually. Being love looks a lot of different ways. Tough love is a very important part of training and development. He does not profess to have an intent to bring love directly into the world but is available for people ongoing with open conversation and an open home. If you look at what is so, factually, instead of what you want him to be. I always say “you listen to what comes out of peoples mouths and watch their actions” are they correlate is what is important. If you say you want to be a bum I respect and honor it!
    In the love arena I think it is more past old teaching you are comparing.
    Being said, I feel that anyone can get it but the ongoing application of creating life from nothing anew (or from your old) from that is not easy for all people and does take years of conscious practice. As far as “heart” there are lots of kinds and things to do with it, thats part of the personal creating of an individuals life. It is good to find heart and love in whatever you do as he points out.
    Thus the continued search people are having does not apply to truth just learned knowledge But we do all have our own path.
    I like the book, it I enjoy the opportunity to write about my take on it and will aim to check back for opinion.
    Aloha, MArtha
    PS The main Hawaiian Huna Principle is to hurt no one…see it is all simple

  34. Now I know what Jed meant when he referred to caterpillars expounding on what it means to be a buterfly.
    This is all ass-talking in the dream state.

  35. No “enlightend master” while alive would put out in physical form a reflection of himself in a book and then deny ernest people wanting to be free, their draw to him or her. They may make it difficult for your sake but not impossible. Doing so is a form of self hatred and ignorance toward aiding others through and beyond their manifestation of physcial form. By doing so, he reinforces the illusion of physcial form as a part of a dream. What happens with folks like Adi-da or others whom pass through the veil is that they understand that only by loving all beings so immensely they pass through the illusion of physical form. Being alive yet making this impossible is to put forward in word form a place eternal, hacking others, and then hiding from seeing that this place or non place is an acualized reflection of Himself.
    The Holdiay Hotel in Taipai has a big green sign out front. The word Hotel is written in small letters so you almost think your staying at The Holiday Inn. The hotel owner knew what he was doing keeping the sign looking like the international chain’s big green sign, same style letters. There are a lot of international folks that would never know the difference. But the staff knew. The place just felt a tinge off not because they were using the holiday symbol but because they were not being what is unique to themselves but rather picking off the straglers under the big name chain. The big name chain has to carry the frieght of the past present and future of the name. In doing so they are lifted of much of the weight. The holiday hotel in a tight spot can just switch up names and call themselves The Taipai Palace and none are worse for wear.
    Putting a character like jed in with individuals whom have layed forward their lives for mankind’s liberation and will remain always and forever avalable on other planes in one way or another until it occurs is like saying proclaiming the holiday hotel is a miricle of human creation when even the hotel staff are too ashamed to look you in the eye.

  36. Agreed, Rob. Jed could be “playing possum” on this issue and simply trying to counteract an obvious predilection in many spiritual people for a “Love” that consoles that ego rather than undermining it with a greater reality.

    But as a critic I feel 2 requirements for myself here. One is to take people at face value and not try to guess their “real intention”. Furthermore, Jed goes to great lengths to fortify his assertion in key places in his ‘teaching’ with doctrinal level contentions, not distinguishing between reactive or contacted feelings and an open, free dimension of feeling. I don’t think a critic can afford to pass that off without at least bringing it up for everyone’s consideration.

    As for Jed’s lack of “Heart” as you put it, I don’t know that it offended me personally. I think for awhile I was assuming he was just trying to counter New Age lovey-dovey-ness, but when he started making definitive statements that were, I suspected, based on a reaction and misunderstanding of the Feeling dimension of existence, I took exception.

    I also noticed people who had the opposite intellectual predilections begin to take it and run as it fed their ego’s avoidance of the feeling dimension based upon their own fears.

    As for new articles, they come like clouds crossing the sky slowly. Issues float around waiting for lightening to strike and bring them into fruition. The recent one on Free Will was levitating in my brain for many months waiting for the moment to being articulated and published.

    And of course the real Jed, I mean the author, may have moved on by now, God bless his little heart!

    And thanks for your ‘hearty’ response Rob. Stay in touch!
    Brian

  37. Hi, Brian —

    I ran across your website while doing a search for something out of one of Jed’s books. (“Gita Life.”) While I’ve only had a chance to have a glance at the two other base posts, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read. Do you plan to put up any more articles?

    (It should probably be noted that I wrote a couple of Amazon reviews of Jed’s books when they first came out. Hmmm, I should check in on them to see if my outlook has changed at all.)

    The lack of “heart” in Jed’s books is obvious, and it was something that I wrestled with for some time. It can leave some readers thinking, “If that’s enlightenment, then I’ll just stay in the dark.” For many I’ve spoken with, that lack of heart is a turn-off, and may well be one reason why Jed’s books are not quite universally adored. I sometimes hear, “I like the teaching, but he’s such a…” And in one case, it caused a major meltdown/push-back in a friend, who then pushed away all such teachings as a result.

    But given that, I’d like to ask: In your view, could there be a possibility that this is actually a deliberate move on Jed’s part?

    The way I look at it, there are two main possibilities: The first is that Jed’s realization is incomplete; One must “return to the marketplace”, or engage the world as that-I-am, rather than walling off manifestation as “others.” I believe that you and I feel the same way about this: Without heart, one’s realization is decidedly incomplete. How likely is it that if Jed’s teaching is so strong (strong enough for you to put up a website about it!), then how could he have possibly missed ‘heart?’

    The second, and more simple possibility is that it’s a deliberate literary mechanism to separate the serious from the serial seekers. He spends a good deal of time in his first book talking about doing just that. (Railing against “bliss bunnies.”)

    Seems to me that the best way to sort out the true motivation of people is to activate their shadows, and the best way to do that is to poke them with a sharp stick. So many people “on the path” are looking to feel better about ‘their selves’, to attain states of consciousness that are pleasurable, to have a hard life in a cruel world somehow make sense and provide comfort. We seek because we need answers and solutions for what bothers us. A person can get trapped in this search for an entire lifetime without realizing much of anything.

    So, Jed disavows anything having to do with ‘heart.’ Heart is not a factor that one should concentrate on when destroying all the sacred cows of our lives, lest we be emotionally swayed off the path. If you come to his teaching looking for something feel-good, you just won’t find it, and that repulses those who are not willing to let go of their attachments.

    The message is clear: Matters of the heart are attachments that must be seen through in order to realize what you need to realize. To write books with the intention of truly catching the attention of the serious, you might have to cull the fluff that permeates the spiritual marketplace, lest the ‘bliss bunnies’ latch onto the teaching and present it on Oprah. Once you realize what you need to realize, heart will arise naturally, but in the meantime, one must be cautious not to be swayed by it.

    I think Jed has heart. He has enough love in him to have written the books, sharing what he knows with us. Someone who simply didn’t care probably wouldn’t take the time and effort to do so.

    Of course, I may be wrong. He may be a very intelligent, capable, and humorous butt-head.

    Either way, he got our attention, didn’t he?

    Big Love to all,
    Rob

  38. brian: “Also, [Adi Da] laid out the best map to use, so why not use it?”

    where can i get my hands on that map?

    thanks for the tip.

  39. Hi
    I bet that you could write these books.
    Have a go. Make a name. Make a book.
    If you’ve studied all these things like you obviously had and can write like this. You could ‘fake’ it.
    Not sure what the conclusion is.
    🙂

  40. Thanks, you Wonderful Latvian Jokester!
    A very fair and balanced, and even friendly, response. I like this kind of response as you show you preferences and values without getting all superior about it. If only the world was filled with more Latvians! By the way, is Latvia located next to Africa?

    I completely agree with you about the missing link of Heart in Jedo’s presentation. Personally I don’t mind or miss it, but I sympathize with you, and I believe it is a significant point. My own critique of this issue appears on a number of pages of this blogsite.
    Brian

  41. i finally read that pdf excerpt of jed that you sent me. On the plus side (for me) it was highly insightful and amusing. On the minus side (for me) I got very little sense of love or compassion from jed, only a brilliant and very detached insight into the absurdity of egoic life. Which is valuable enough of course.

    Personally as my life goes on i seem to have less and less CONCEPTUAL idea of what ITS all about. However I feel i have a better idea of what its NOT about. So i resonate conceptually with Adi Da’s teachings on the ego and consumer religion. And pretty much all of what i just read by jed definitely rings true conceptually as well.

    But beyond conceptualizing about things, I find myself being drawn to the feeling of love and compassion, in whatever form it comes my way (which it still does through Adi Da, and regularly through my close friends). So for better or worse thats how I choose the company I keep – including what I read. Of course I am aware that this may well be just another completely egoic choice on my part. But I’m just not moved to spend too much time in situations where love is not obvious. So I guess while I appreciate jed’s obvious insight I am not drawn to spend more time reading his books, unless the except you sent me was not characteristic of him?

  42. -It’s fun for me to get my head aroung a big puzzle that has stumped me my entire life.

    -It’s not a means to liberation, needless to say, its just playing with a puzzle that represents many advocated means ABOUT liberation. Kind of like sorting out the best directions to Disneyland, yet knowing that you “can’t get there from here”. It can be fun!

    -I live in separation all the time, so there’s no worry about that.

    -Writing helps me know my own ego, which helps me to know what I have been attracted to and attached to thru my life. Kind of like knowing that I’m allergic to broccoli.
    from Brian

  43. It’s all way too complex for me (and ultimately unnecessary). If you are trying to attain some state of realization or profound understanding by comparing one teaching or path with another then you are already coming from a place of separation (the teaching or teacher on one hand and you on the other) and nothing will ever be resolved. If you are simply exercising your obvious intellectual capabilities and having fun with it then by all means enjoy it. I would rather go for a walk on the beach.

    Cheers my man!
    Eddie B

  44. Rather than ad hominem attacks on Jed why not discuss the virtues and vices of various spiritual paths? I don’t want to make him out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, I just want to have honest and real conversation with people.

    “Wondering why you contextualise Jen within the Dharma of Adi Da?”

    Because Adi Da is the greatest mind in spiritual history. Agreed. But that doesn’t mean he is right about everything. Also, he laid out the best map to use, so why not use it?

    “Jed rejects “Teacher” but is one in every practical sense.”

    So what??? Everything is in paradox. He is teacher in a limited sense but he has no Ashram (that is just a fictional element of the first book) and he is not doing any kind of guru-ing. He wrote a few books and disappeared. Admittedly, it is a difference of degree rather than kind, but there is a serious distinction here.

    “I appreciate your struggle to understand, tho.”

    Thank you, tttttttttttttttt
    from Brian

  45. Wondering why you contextualise Jen within the Dharma of Adi Da? Why would you not do the opposite? My feeling is that it’s a natural instinct, because Adi Da’s Dharma is unbeatable! I don’t think Jed’s anything more than a smart guy, who’s definitely onto something, but a bit like the other guy who’s name I can never remember who rejected Teachers, Jed rejects “Teacher” but is one in every practical sense. He has an ashram of sorts, he talks, he has students. What else is that but a spritual teacher? A rose by any other name….

    I appreciate your struggle to understand, tho.
    love,
    tttttttttttttttttt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s