Realization of Jed McKenna by Brian Emmett

I intend this piece to be other than another fraught polemic, cunningly wielding nothing but rhetoric and emotion, authority figures and scriptures, straining to convince you that a cherished teacher was dealt something less than a full deck of cards.

But instead, a method will be proffered for anyone capable and so inclined, to ‘scientifically’ investigate and ascertain the validity of the high claims put forth by the character known as Jed McKenna in the series of books on the matter of true Enlightenment, and presumably, by extension, the realization of the author of those books at the time of their publication.

Is such a thing possible? I believe it is. Please read on a little further and I will explain.

If you are reading this, you probably either are, or were, a fan (or perhaps even an enemy) of the Jed McKenna series of books (or someone you know was). The Jed character, to put it in Hollywood terms, has thrilled and delighted us for many a long year, and has served many of us extremely well in terms of helping us to eliminate mountains of cultural, religious, and spiritual accretions and misconceptions. That is what I can say his work has done for me.

And let’s not forget, he is a truly magnificent storyteller!

As further motivation, on the rare occasions when I have gotten around to reviewing the traffic statistics on this Jed Blog, the article titled “The Realization of Jed McKenna” is always by far the most heavily trafficked, indicating to me people’s ongoing need to get some perspective on the grand claims of the Jedman. My sincere hope is to provide something of that to the interested reader using the technique I will outline below. And even though I clearly have my own opinion on the topic of Jed’s qualifications to refer to himself as “Enlightened”, there is no reason why you can’t ignore that fact and use the technique to decide for yourself, using a method other than your best intuition or mystical experiences (this article replaces the old version that formerly resided here, which was published 8 years ago, which can still be accessed via this link (1).

The Key Issues in the Dispute about Jed’s Way

Yet as you must also be aware, many of us have had sincere and well intentioned doubts about the full efficacy and wisdom contained in the Jed books, in spite of its obvious brilliance, humor and wisdom. I’m sure most of you know what I’m referring to here. It’s the matter of his profound aversion, and some would say, disdain, for the feeling dimension of Being.

This is the classic “what about Love, Jed?” question, to which he typically replies, “I don’t do heart!”

Additionally, his disdain also extends to the dimension of energy (if that is indeed distinct from the feeling dimension), and is just as truculent. The notion that full realization has nothing at all to do with an exquisite energetic ‘state,’ often referred to as ‘bliss’, is just as seriously dismissed by Jed.

Furthermore, the disregard or even disrespect of the Feminine – Feeling – Love dimension of being is such a profound flaw in Western Civilization, starting at the very least with the Abrahamic religions, moving through to Descartes and his ridiculous conceit about ‘thinking’ (or, to be precise, “doubting”), and on to modern science and psychology, that Jed’s assertions can be seen as carrying the added weight of being, directly or indirectly, intentionally or inadvertently, playing a part in the continuing suppression of the feeling dimension and capacity within all human beings. At such a critical point in human history as this, I suspect that we cannot afford to blithely ignore the ramifications of allowing one more assault upon the feeling dimension to go unchallenged (and notice please, I did NOT say the emotional dimension, although by extension, Westerners of the Northern European variety have often been saddled with that obstruction as well!).

And even further, I suspect that those attracted to the Jed POV, like myself and others that I know, are by ego-tendency, acutely oriented to a predilection for mental masculine awareness, with a limited, and often relatively minor association (and even capacity), for the feeling dimension. This alone must raise the red flag of concern and suggest some serious self-examination.

All of which is decidedly not to declare that those ‘Feminine’ qualities are, after all, in themselves, the true criteria of enlightenment; and that the “Present/Presentness” of pure Consciousness is not a true quality of full realization, but that Jed in his proclaimed ‘abiding non-duality’ can thus be seen to abiding dualistically in opposition to the Divine Feminine.

But fear not! Trust that the method I will be suggesting is one which utilizes the core strengths of the mental, masculine capability to succeed in its mission of discovery, and may enable you to rationally decide for yourself whether his pronouncements on this topic are valid and true, or not. No lovey-dovey, devotional, bhakti, or new age rituals will accost you here!

To those on the oppositional side of the Jed fence, this exercise has the potential to provide a person with more than their intuition, or spiritual or mystical experiences, to base their conclusion about this core issue. Those experiences of theirs, which yield conclusions which are no doubt valid from their POV, but which often sound to outsiders so intellectually inchoate that they are often dismissed as merely emotional, twinky or even delusional pipe dreams. To those coming at this issue from a spiritual perspective, a specific understanding of the process described below may provide an intellectual platform from which to make their case, when and if they feel the need arises to challenge what they perceive is an overly mental proposition about the nature of Reality.


The Cultural Obstacles

Several years ago I attempted to challenge this problem with his teaching from an intellectual and psychological perspective in the original article “The Realization of Jed McKenna”, suggesting that his was apparently a conceit based on his own personal developmental weakness in experiencing the fullness of the feeling or emotional dimension, and consequently, a rejection based on the very emotional reactivity, fear, and limitation which he apparently wished to negate in his books.

What I did not attempt to do was to criticize his POV from, shall we call it, a spiritual POV. Although many of us have a strong intuitive sense that all is not well in the Jed Universe, yet finding a specific technical means to focus and articulate that doubting intuition is what I didn’t have in sufficient quantity to take the next step forward with a spiritual critique of the Jed materials.

Therefore, I wasn’t interested in pursuing this topic again, unless or until I had something, not only technical and quite specific to point to, but more, something that could potentially be replicated by anyone (the scientific method). I did not have the means at hand to confidently recommend a method for others to use, so that they might themselves be facilitated in heightening their discernment of the truth or fallacy of the Jed worldview.

Normally the doubt or skepticism of such an endeavor as I plan to offer here comes down to this – how could an unenlightened being such as yourself, find a reliable and genuine means to assess or challenge someone claiming a quantum level of superiority (Butterfly v. larvae, or Vampire v. human, Superman v. Clark Kent). Such a supposition is either explicit stated or else implicitly embedded in most traditions, included Jed’s work, as well as in common spiritual parlance.

Now, I will be the first to concede that one could NOT use the Scientific Method to prove that an individual is indeed ‘enlightened’. But the inverse, insofar as it is confined to correlations with a person’s phenomenal manifestations as actions or speech, may prove reasonable expedient at the task of revealing a lesser attainment. So, if Jed’s confession of realization can be demonstrated to fall within the parameters of mundane, subtle or casual phenomena, then we can safely assume that that is where he belongs, a great and mighty Dualist, and not elsewhere.

So, is it possible to avert or overcome the classic kill-shot that spiritual masters and enlightened realizers (as well as their acolytes) routinely impose upon anyone challenging their game in terms of their quantum superiority argument? This suppressive traditional tactic is especially odious when it issues forth from within a Monist or Non-Dualist tradition, because of how it, in a fundamental way, contradicts it’s essential and core Dharma point – of Unitary Existence and Reality. The stated fact that you are always-already The Divine, at least in nature, but are merely playing at ego-unenlightenment, seems to get lost somewhere along the line.

After all the eternal sermonizing about how the student IS ALREADY ONE with the Absolute, Monists and Non-Dualists of every stripe can often be found dismissing any serious criticism by virtue of this ‘quantum superiority’ trope. While it’s probably a good idea for novices to keep their mouths shut for a good long time, and just listen, because they are so highly programmed with bullshit upon arrival that the probably do need to learn more than they can teach, this injunction gets institutionalized and petrified into a crushing dogma from which no one is ever liberated, at least not by the institutions.

In this construct, everything that the master says is sacred and precious beyond human reckoning, and everything that the questioner says is ridiculed as tragic ego-drivel, or dismissed as delusional or neurotic excretions.

So it boils down to this: can a human being, assuming that it is indeed constructed out of the Ultimate Divine Identity, even while usually playing at limited consciousness (as ego), at least on occasion, reassert his/her true identity for a moment, in order to sense and identify the inherent qualities of Itself, in its Ultimate Wisdom and State. And by extension, identify that which is lesser?

Are we permitted to examine the ‘source code’ from which we issue, or is it a binary system in which common folk are not permitted to examine the system for possible bugs, or for a virus? To me it seems altogether reasonable that Consciousness would allow and even facilitate this maneuver, if for no other reason than for It’s own inspiration and forward movements when they are desired.

Pursuant to that possibility, could a specific exercise, followed through in a step by step methodical fashion, gradually ascending through the continuum of increasingly subtle levels of self as ego, finally deconstruct and identify everything, including the Causal level of self or ego, and stand on the threshold of the quantum leap (from self-contracted ego self, to, Source Being itself), and inevitably, experience the fluctuations of consciousness, from ego to oneness, and back again.

Would not such a finely tuned experiment provide the user with a surer sense of the qualities that inhere at Source as well as It’s supposed representatives? And once located there at the threshold, give a person the ability to compare those qualities which he/her experienced in that exercise, with the qualities which a given teacher or master says is characteristic of one allegedly abiding as such, and decide for himself what to make of the claims of a given superman-teacher.


My Role and My Point of View

It is my hope that this article and its exercise may offer one possible means to ascertain the truth about this great matter, using a technique I was given many years ago and which works for me – and therefore — it could work for someone else! I am fulling aware that this exercise is ‘not for everyone’. That most will have either no interest, no inclination or even in some cases, no capacity to follow it through to completion. Such is life.

Since rather clear results of this sort have issued forth as a result of using this technique on innumerable occasions, I became convinced that it behooves me to pen one more essay on the subject of the Jed McKenna phenomenon, in the hope that it could indeed to useful for a few others to help them decide whether or not they want to discard the quality of heart or energy from their own pantheon of Divine Principles.

And so while my interest in Jed or his teachings is mostly just an enjoyable nostalgic memory nowadays, I do feel a certain obligation to articulate and share what I have seen, so that others may have an added advantage insofar as they choose to use Jed’s ideas to arrange their lives.

Such an exercise as will be suggested here could possibly provide a temporary satori to the user, but of course, it wouldn’t likely ‘enlighten’ anyone. Frankly, I suspect most of us already have had many such experiences. But we usual stumble into such ‘experience’ without much notice or care for how we arrived at a sense of our divinity. Or else routinely ascribe our good luck to the blessings of a god or master.

The thrust of my critique of Jed’s stand are that although the author has, at least at the time of the writing of those books, no doubt penetrated successfully to a level of the Witness, the Soul, (the still fundamentally contracted experience of awareness itself) but he has evidently not been able to directly experience the release of that self-aware self from the delicious gravity of its implosion in on itself. Because once comfortable or familiar in that condition, one does experience a profound level of freedom from the whole drama of higher and lower mental, emotional and sensate perceptual limitation that most of us struggle with.

Yet the evidence and his testimony reveal that he has not experienced and reported the – dare I call it- blissfulness and universal love as a consequence of the deliberate and conscious release of that witnessing position as it moves from the concentrated witnessing self, felt (and seemingly located in the chest), to the more diffuse realization of ‘Mere Being’ itself, which underlies it. And beyond that, has not experienced the expansion of that Pure Being-ness into reunion with It’s Essential Feminine Divine Radiant Manifestation, as Shakti-Creation-Love.


The Practice itself

This exercise I will propose is a rapid tour through the many layers of divine refraction, identification and attraction, and eventually, for most of us who live predominantly as ‘ego’, distraction, so that we may develop a keen sensitivity to the cascading levels that we as egos identify with, and seemingly, become trapped in.

And through intimate recognition with those layers, we may gain critical insight into the ways that we may begin to deconstruct these layers until they are perceived as a single Causal identity or dynamic. That identity is the one you and I call “me”. By this precise examination we can gain a knowledge of exactly what the qualities, dynamics and limitations of ego perception are, and by dismissing identification with each, they are seen and understood anew in their seminal or root form. When that summary understanding and perception is in place, we may begin to move deliberately and consciously beyond that contracted state to what is not the ego’s domain, if only for a while.

The fundamental error of “the Jed” was to conflate the liberation of the Witness Position – (with its senior and inclusive freedom from subjugation to ALL external authorities or Deities) as being a non-dualistic state, a state of ‘Completion’ as they say in the Orient. In this context, his prime directive: “the only thing that you can know is yourself” gives the impression of finality which it doesn’t warrant.

While although the subjugation of the witnessing soul or self to the mind & body may have been successfully resolved, the remaining self-division between the Witness and Consciousness, and more, between Consciousness and its Radiance and Manifestations – (as flowing feminine love bliss) is NOT resolved in the Witnessing position, either in its early stages or even as it matures and begins to expand into mere Being. And probably, not even noticed as an outstanding issue!

This understandable error occurs because when one is more or less comfortably established in and as Witness, one has a deep sense that he is now located in The Great Depth, and can operate as somehow above gross and subtle things. So rich is this breakthrough that it can blind a person from noticing he is as yet missing much much more.

The Exercise & the Proof

This exercise is taken from instructions which were publicized back in 1986 by a famous spiritual teacher. The personal references to him that were previously contained within it I have removed so that the reader may proceed without the distraction of a personage alien to them getting in the way of the process. The author would insist, I suspect, that such an omission would invalidate the power of the exercise, but I have found that to be, quite not the case. (The origins of this exercise are referenced below)

Steps 1 – 9 are prelude, and eventually, once mastered, can be combined into a single instruction or observation. Yet they are essential to the next steps and shouldn’t be bypassed (in my opinion) if you want to actually make this process work for you, (and secondarily I would assume, get to know clearly where the Jedman is coming from).

Step 10 is the jumping off point which I believe represents the best that Jed has realized, (but to what extent I do not know) (although, I don’t doubt his claims of enjoying grand mystical experiences on occasion).

Steps 11 and 12 are where the sublime Reunion begins to occur. In these last steps you may experience the intense gravitational pull of the imploded witnessing self releasing, and will have gained experiential certainty of a quite exquisite immanence beyond it. Furthermore, it may well be a rather gradual transition to where Mere Beingness begins to expand until it notices that it is now capable of touching the Divine Feminine. She was there all the while, but the lower and even the higher ego didn’t notice Her, so mightily distracted was it by ‘my precious’. Now you may notice that you as Being sits calmly in the eye of a gentle, lovely, radiant and benign Field, sitting in the midst of a vast expanse of Life, Love and Creation. What is not to love now? What is not Love now?

And a very happy reunion that is, although whatever success you may have with this experiment, if you are as resolutely unenlightened as I am, you will likely fall right back into your familiar ego-home soon after you are ‘done with it’. You may retain some residue of the good stuff but I have found that my apparent ‘free will’ has never been sufficient to hold on to any great spiritual ‘attainment’ at all. So be it. But you may get to see something you hadn’t before which also bears directly on the assertions of that one known as ‘Jed McKenna’.

I presume that once the latter part of this meditation experience is confirmed in yourself, any Jedish hyper-masculine presumptions will probably fall into irrelevance for you.

So here begins the exercise:

  • In every moment & in every Meditation, Stand tacitly as Mere Feeling-Awareness.
  • Merely Observe and Feel every “thing” or experience, or knowledge, that arises.
  • Merely Observe or Freely Feel, without avoidance or reaction.
  • Merely Observe, or only Feel, without seeking after any state, or other, or thing, that arises.
  • Merely Observe or Feel whatever arises, and directly realize that Feeling Awareness is the Witness, of whatever arises.
  • Merely Observe or Tacitly Feel, that all experience and all knowing, is, in and of itself, only self-contraction – the ego effort of separation and separateness and separativeness.
  • Merely Observe and or tacitly Feel, the moment to moment effort of separateness and thereby observe, that the Witness Consciousness, makes no efforts at all.
  • Merely observe the moment to moment effort of separateness until that effort (of separateness) is Directly Felt-Observed in its original form, which is the Root Feeling of Relatedness, or as the Act of Attention.
  • Merely observe the feeling of Relatedness, or the Acts of attention, and thereby locate its inherent feeling-vibration, its Causal Stress, in the right side of the chest.

10- Find the Self there, (in the right side of the Heart) where You Stand, deeply prior to the feeling vibration of relatedness or attention, by “Locating” your Self as the Native Feeling of “Mere” Being Itself.

11- Merely feel the Native Feeling of Being Itself, and by persisting in this feeling, of surrender, be inherently Identified with the Divine Self, until the Under Current of Love-Bliss is most deeply revealed.

12- Deeply & Persistently Feel the constant “Heart Current” (in the right side of the chest) until all things, and even the sense of “difference,” is relinquished in the Source Feeling of Mere Being Itself, & Dissolves in boundless Love-Bliss.


My Conclusions

The experiences represented in the final two steps are a ‘No Man’s Land’ for the Jed character. About this it might be said: ‘he knows not whereof he speaks’.

This exercise has the potential to prove to anyone interested, that Consciousness and Love are inextricably linked, and that any supposition to the contrary is fatally flawed. This exercise has the ability to disprove one of Jed’s key theses, which is the false dichotomy that mystical experience is radically distinct and inferior to the realization of Enlightenment. Although I completely agree with Jed that mystical experience alone, however grand, are certainly NOT Enlightenment either, and are often a major cause of delusional beliefs.

I therefore must conclude that Jed’s realization is limited to the self apart, or even, Self apart, confined to the lower realization of the Witness Consciousness, or at best from an attunement to the realization of ‘Mere Being’ itself, yet still quite divorced from Love and Life.

This conclusion, arrived at even when using the quintessential masculine tools of discrimination and the conceptual mind, can prove to a person that Love & Bliss are not neurotic, emotional or mystical manifestations of simply ‘higher (or lower) human development’, but integral to the Enlightenment experience or realization.

Jed may be correct in asserting that all emotions are inevitably based on, what did he call it, delusion or fear? But I would assert that- ‘Love’ is an integral aspect of Source, not the sign or emblem of ego-contraction. “Love’ resides at the Source and it is from “Love” that the emotions may be stepped down or even distorted into any number of ‘emotions’ by eager egos, but Love is not radically separate from or inferior to Consciousness.

In very much the same way, this phenomena happens with Consciousness as well, which gets stepped down and often profoundly debased into lesser forms as every level of mind, philosophy, attention, and thoughts.

As far as I can understand it, the process by which Source creates these notorious distortions is through the act of identification with lesser manifestations and sensations of “Attention”, (as Mind) and the “feeling of Relatedness” (as emotion, and ego’s inevitable love-hate sensations), but that is another topic altogether!

As the traditions say, Source, Truth, Reality is fundamentally composed of formless, motionless consciousness, AND, it’s feminine aspect, moving and creating love and energy.

My humble suggestion is this: don’t miss out on half the ‘fun’ because of some inherited or assumed conceit based upon too much mind. Go further than Jed.

References: The Love-Ananda Gita, by Swami Da Love-Ananda Paramahansa Avadhoota, Page 243, Paragraphs 468-479, Dawn Horse Press, 1986. (Later revised as “The Lion Sutra”)

The Comments below dated up to January 2016 refer to the Old Realization of Jed McKenna page here (1). WordPress does not facilitate the moving of Comments from one page to another.


374 thoughts on “Realization of Jed McKenna by Brian Emmett

  1. Another coincidence today. I was reading an interview with Russell Blake ( ) and this came up:

    Question: If you want to just veg out, but there’s nothing on television, what movie is your go-to?
    Blake: I don’t own a TV, but recurring favorites on the movie front are The Usual Suspects, The Name of the Rose and Pulp Fiction.

    (“The Usual Suspects” features the character Keyser Soze.)

  2. How odd! I just went to the Wisefool Press website for the first time in months and there is a new McKenna book there – published TODAY. It’s available in pdf on the WP site, and there is a volume 2, but not a volume 1(?) available in print on Amazon. It’s called Dreamstate: A Conspiracy Theory (of course, that’s why I found it the same day it was published), and it’s apparently part of a trilogy. So, Anonymous, that fits with your Russell Blake theory – Blake does a lot of trilogies.

  3. Steve-
    I don’t think that’s the real Jed (the one who wrote the books, anyway). There is some discussion of this elsewhere on this forum.

  4. I took the Russell Blake comment as humor. Everyone knows that Jed and Keyser Soze are one and the same. Mythical and a mystery that should never be solved.

  5. Anonymous:
    Interesting. I’ve been checking out some links – according to some articles, Russell Blake is a pseudonym for a property developer in Baja named Craig Osso. I have been able to get info online on the real Jed McKenna – as someone else on this blog said, the information is out there if you have the time and inclination to look for it (I don’t intend to give it out – while I got a kick out of figuring it out for myself, I do respect his privacy.) There are some interesting parallels in the Blake/Osso articles, but so far no smoking gun.

  6. Anonymous, are you certain of that information, particularly the name? Many people have guessed at his identity, location, etc., without success over the years. Most or all of the info in his books about his identity and location was discovered to be fictional. His first published book is in 2002, (which was with Wisefool press, who is his publisher now). So it seems he is either self publishing since then or perhaps never has.

  7. Jed McKenna is Russell Blake. He lives in Mexico. Has a dog he adopted from the shelter. Started self publishing in 2011. And his writing style is dead on.

  8. Thanks Brian, I read through your response a couple of times. No offense intended, but this explanation still seems too steeped in “Daese” language and concepts to attempt to sync it up with how things look from here. Very complicated stuff. My experience with the process of investigating what I am and what this is all about has been that things are seen as simpler and less complex as you go, not more so. Appreciate the effort though!

  9. Dan – I would say that the only way to approach your questions, from my point of view, is from the inside – out, or, from the top – down. As for the possibility of “defining the feeling aspect” it is as impossible as defining consciousness, as I’m sure you will know, because it stands senior to all lower forms. It’s invisible to them.

    Although I am not an enlightened master, I am able to temporarily gravitate to that space in my peak moments of truth. Although I myself find it annoying, and I’m sure others do as well, I affirm Da’s mapping and articulation (which I would say corresponds with Hindu cosmology) that this is a non-dualist universe that is essentially composed of two core components: Shiva – Shakti, or, Consciousness and its Radiance, as Love and Energy. So that ontology is the conceptual frame I use to describe my experience. I don’t know a better one.

    I think I probably went over some of this in the Jed’s Realization piece, so pardon me if I repeat myself, but from that point of view, on the masculine side, consciousness gets stepped down into form through (?) the goddess energy, and into individual souls etc.

    That’s stepping down could be called a contraction, as the One Being begins to identify and define itself as an individuated self, and as some ‘form’, with various experiences, sometimes even apart from the unity of all. And so as a soul, Being now experiences consciousness as various forms of mind, vision, attention, and thought, rather than as awareness.

    In the feeling aspect of radiant Love – Energy of Being, it is simultaneously truncated into the whole range of feelings that we know of, from love of another, (Da calls the “feeling of relatedness”) all the way down through to the entire gamut of feelings and emotions. I just remembered a point I heard him make back in the early eighties about feeling. He remarked that feelings are evident in every dimension of existence. That you can feel with your mind, of course with your ‘heart’ and your emotions, in your energy field, and naturally, in your five Physical senses.

    You asked for a more personal account, which I know makes ideas like these more tangible to the reader, and I’ve always resisted that for a variety of reasons, but I’ll give it a try here as it could possibly help a few people.

    The reason why I rewrote this piece on Jed’s realization is because, after being relatively exhausted in my mining of the masculine dimension, one day the word “love” popped out at me from a page like a thunderbolt, and I suddenly realized that for me to continue to grow I needed to follow that principal, wherever it took me. Not, to abandon the masculine principle, but to cultivate and integrate the feminine principle.

    It’s not that I didn’t know the usual range of feelings and love for many ‘things,’ but the idea of following Love as a Principle just shocked me. How in hell does one do that? What an alien idea! I had not the slightest idea of how to go there. So I just started by resorting to traditional forms of worship of the goddess.

    For a long time I had experienced the capacity, or perhaps I should say, ‘grace’, of being able to expand out of the chronic core contraction of soul, or ‘witness’ as felt within the chest, and into what seemed to me to be pure consciousness. But after I began to associate myself with the goddess principle, at peak moments, I would feel consciousness expand both into my body, and out into the world (VERY slightly!) and up to where I presumed I was ‘locating’ the goddess at the top of the head.

    Very recently it occurred to me to ask myself – “well, what about your long standing identification of yourself in the chest” (which I detailed in the piece “Post-Spirituality”)? Why not move as consciousness into that zone and see what happens? Thereupon I could feel Consciousness move into that area where both the seat of the Witness seems to abide, as well as it’s nearby neighbor, the heart chakra. In moving there I’ve begun to see Consciousness ‘become love’. And for the two to become united into a single ‘thing’. And frankly, it feels darn good!

    And that’s as far as it has gone for me, after, I don’t know, 6 or 8 months of doing that dance of embracing the feminine. It’s left me with a tangible certainty (rather than the merely conceptual acceptance or even intuitive certainty) about the feminine aspect of reality in a way which I certainly did not have before.

    I don’t know if the traditional Goddess oriented techniques I used were causative or not, as I continued to use much of the Adi Da inspired approach I’ve outlined simultaneously with them, but at this point they have kind of merged (at peak moments). By the way, I’m quite sure that others with a different personality type from myself would go about this kind of integration process from a diametrically opposite direction. Perhaps starting in a Love-devotional disposition or practice and then gravitating to ultimate reality and finding that it matured into a connection to ‘Consciousness’.

    These are the circumstances that confirmed for me what I and many others felt for a long time, that the author of the Jed books, was not in fact fully enlightened, because he had a complete (and even obnoxious) disdain for the feeling dimension (except of course, for the affection he felt for his dog!) which felt and still feels very wrong-headed.

    Of course, maybe I’m making this all up and am just a very imaginative yet deluded author! Who can say?

  10. Thanks for going into your personal experience a bit Brain. I’ve been suspicious for a while now that, although I’ve made considerable progress penetrating the mirage of a separate self, and recognizing my being as awareness, (what I believe you term as a “masculine approach”), there still may be some more feeling (feminine?) aspects of awareness that are underdeveloped. I’d like to go into some of your points a bit further if you’re willing so I can give this exercise a run, but maybe we should take it off line at some point if it distracts from your purpose here?

    In the mean time, I’d like to clarify a few terms. How do you define the “feeling” aspect of “feeling-awareness”, (as oppose to just grounding in the allowing-ness of awareness, or bare witnessing)? Also, I’m assuming what you mean by “knowing” as a “contraction” that you’re talking about common thought, cognitive formation in the mind as a result of remembering, interpretation of experience, etc.? How exactly is thought a contraction? Contraction of what substance, by what force is it manifest as such?

    thanks my friend,

  11. Dan, thanks for your interesting comments. One thing I should say is that I try to take myself OUT OF the discussions here as much as possible, even tho that is clearly impossible. Partly its a matter of privacy and partly that its not supposed to be a consideration of me, but what we can all learn about ‘the Truth’.
    That said, I would remark that I can perceive the self-division inherent in living as an ego melting. (That is another thing which I hate to talk about the: “I’m getting more and more enlightened” trope all the time). Yet as i follow the course that is unfolding before me (not of my making, frankly), I experience the Truth become more stable, and at least for me, the validity of the ‘exercise’ that the Da offered having genuine efficacy, at least for those of my disposition (overly mental).

    I’ve said to my friends for years that “I am clearly at war with ‘god'” inasmuch as I have always been able to go the places of depth but I spit them out like at bad taste in very short order. Or maybe the reason is (as I think I alluded to in this piece, that maybe Source is intent upon ‘upgrading’ me at a gradual rate, enjoying the unenlightened ride and journey rather than quickly returning to itself. Who knows! I know that I don’t know.

    I too am a critic of The Da, and I express that to a fair degree publicly in my piece “I, Cultist”. I have even more serious reservations, but I thought it expedient to only refer to medium level critiques in that piece. Clearly a genius at describing the geography of the soul/spirit continuum, and much about human nature, but I find so much else to be deeply objectionable and self contradictory.

    But I don’t know if any of that undermines substantively the Truths of McKenna. I stand by my critique of him and reaffirm my perception that he is (or was) deeply self-divided in terms of the Feminine-Goddess element of Source. Another brilliant genius (like Adi Da) who had very serious blind spots, in my opinion.

    I hope I fully addressed your thoughts.

  12. Thanks for the post Brian, enjoyed considering your ideas. My curiosity about your questions/comments stems from an interest in what occurs after the “self inquiry” process bears significant fruit. In my case this means, there is a permanent recognition of “no separate self”, and also seeing the nature of being as this present consciousness. I’ve wondered at what looks like bias’s in Jed’s perspectives/teachings, and I’m curious about the deconstruction process of conditioning I find happening now.

    I do wish you had spent more time with your own direct explorations and experiences in these matters, rather than bringing in terminology and level teachings from Adi Da. I think to make some use of the exercise you propose would involve really understanding clearly the definition of terms and buying into his teachings, and based on my experience with the Daist communion in the 80s and Adi Da’s questionable behavior, I sense that even though he clearly had some significant insights, he had a lot of unchecked ego conditioning remaining. Also, I think the fact that your experience with the exercise resulted in temporary insights suggest it can’t really be used to refute statements by Jed about enlightenment or abiding non dual awareness in it’s finality.

    That said, I do think this an important area for exploring and sharing, so thanks again!


  13. “Jed McKenna” actually left a message on this blog – in the “Enlightenment Survey” section. He apparently has another pseudonym, “Michael T. Ness”. (M.T. Ness – emptiness, get it?) Under that pseudonym he wrote a book called “Transcending the Elegant Charade”, published in 2011. If you read that book (yes, it’s on Amazon), you will see the same style, themes and phrases that Jed uses in the other books, and uses the same method of rather phony-ish dialogs with fake characters to get across his teaching. Instead of “spiritual autolysis” he uses “self-inquiry”, and in this book he’s married. I have a feeling he pulled out an earlier version of his Jed McKenna books and tried to see how it would play, like J.K. Rowling publishing under a pseudonym.

  14. Does anyone know if Jed McKenna is actually a living human being or is he, as some people have suggested, merely a digital artificial intelligence?

  15. I agree with everything you say, Leta, and the feelings are mutual. And I have the same feeling about this web site.- moved on from this stuff a long time ago, but it seems to serve some people who want to inquire a little deeper into the Jed question, so that keeps me from deleting the whole thing and forgetting all about the whole project. And as a reward, I do still get to meet lovely and smart people every now and then, which I do very much appreciate. Hasta la vista, Leta!

  16. Brian, (answering your question), to flex the conceptual muscles is a joy, I agree, but more than that, FUN is in the everyday moments of a life lived with eyes wide open. Your website was one I came to in my explorations for more McKenna words, maybe from before the Trilogy, but I found this instead. I like your approach & appreciate your time & effort here. But, I’ll be moving on. Words send me to sleep at the moment. I did enjoy learning about you. I have a friend on the planet, I feel, & it’s great knowing you exist with me on planet earth. Have a wonderful day! Peace. ~Leta

  17. Great site, and very helpful info. Does anyone know if Jed is planning on writing any more books? I can’t get enough of his work!

  18. Ha ha! Yes, I have it on pretty good authority that he looks like a retired Eastern Philosophy or English Lit Professor. If that helps!

  19. What a superbly written piece. I still want to know what Jed Mckenna looks like, just out of curiosity. His ‘teachings’ are secondary for me.

  20. Thanks “R”. Perhaps an even better use of them for me to to use them to describe a place, one you have left it behind!

  21. The best thing about words is once they’ve got you where you want to be you can throw them away.

  22. When i used to practice lucid dreaming i discovered that my favourite thing to do when i’m awake in a dream is to just let it happen all by itself without actually ‘doing’ anything. It now reminds me of just sitting in waking life and letting it all happen by itself. Watching.

  23. Dear Bruce, either your reading skills are flawed or your comprehension skills are skewed. Good luck, but I can’t spend any more time with this nonsense. You THINK you know or understand something about me, but sadly for both of us, you don’t. Best of luck in your travels, I’m sure you are well intentioned and good spiritual guy, but this is just too tedious and I see no point in wasting any more of your time or mine.

  24. “Don’t make ignorant assumptions about people and you’ll be a lot better off in life, I suspect.”

    This statement is emblematic of what is wrong with this weblog.

    As McKenna makes perfectly clear in all of his writings, awakening is not about living a life in the world, the people who appear to inhabit that world, or the ideas, beliefs or concepts those people hold about who they are in that world. Awakening is about dying. Awakening is about what is left when that world disappears, when all those people disappear, and when all the ideas, beliefs and concepts held by people about who they are disappear. The analogy McKenna uses over and over again is that world is no more real than a dream world (or a virtual reality world if you prefer the computer analogy), the people in that world are no more real than characters in a dream (or avatars in a virtual reality world), and the ideas, beliefs and concepts those people hold about who they are are no more real that concepts created in a dream (or in virtual reality).

    There is nothing wrong with living a life in the world, but don’t call that life awakening. Be honest with yourself and call it what it is. Honestly admit to yourself that you’re living a dream. If you want to live the dream, do the best you can to create the best dream you can create. There’s nothing wrong with that life, but it’s not awakening. Awakening from the dream is about what’s left when the dream disappears. Everything in the world is manifested. Awakening is only about what’s left when the world disappears and everything manifested in the world disappears. Awakening is about the ultimate unmanifested nature of reality, which is the true nature of what you are.

    McKenna makes the critical point that the manifestation process is only possible because of the expenditure of emotional energy. Only the focus of attention of consciousness on the world can direct the expenditure of emotional energy in the world, and in the process create all the ideas, beliefs and concepts you have about who you are in the world. Only this expenditure of emotional energy can animate your character in your world and create all the ideas, beliefs and concepts your character holds about who you are in the world. Those ideas, beliefs and concepts become emotionally biased in favor of your character when the focus of attention of your consciousness becomes emotionally biased. The awakening process is only about redirecting the focus of your attention away from these mistaken ideas, beliefs and concepts, away from your character, away from your world, and redirecting the focus of your attention on the true nature of what you are. This can only happen if you are willing to stop expressing the emotionally biased emotional energy that animates your character in your world. As the awakening process plays itself out to its ultimate conclusion, all the energy that animates everything in your world comes to an end, your world disappears, and only your underlying reality, the true nature of what you are, remains.

    If you what to know what is ultimately real, you must shift the focus of your attention away from what is not real. The only way you can see and know what is real (the truth) is if you stop seeing and knowing what is not real (the false). You have to be willing to turn away from all these false ideas, beliefs and concept about what you are, and be willing to know nothing about who you are. That is the only way you can ever know the true nature of your reality. Since everything you see and know about yourself in the world is a false representation of yourself (part of the virtual reality world you create for yourself), the only way you can directly see and know the true nature of what you are is if you turn away from everything in your world and are willing to see and know nothing. That can only happen if you shift the focus of your attention away from your world, away from all the people in your world, away from your character in your world, away from all the emotionally biased concerns your character holds about your world and your character’s emotionally energized life in your world, and away from all the ideas, beliefs and concepts about the nature of the world, people in the world, and life in the world. In other words, you must be willing to die.

  25. To Bruce. If you read the front page of this Blog you would realize that this is not what it is about. It’s just about calling BS wherever I see it. And if you knew me, which you certainly do not, you would know that I have a living process at work entirely separate from the work I do on this Blog. To make it simple, if your occupation is that of a school teacher or plumber or whatever, and I observed your work and assumed that that was all you had for a spiritual life, I would almost certainly be making a grave mistake about you, wouldn’t I? This Blog is just my service to a few people to help them justify in their minds what they already feel in their bones, about the Jed and other Dogmas. Don’t make ignorant assumptions about people and you’ll be a lot better off in life, I suspect.

  26. Words,words and more words, what are you trying to do. There is no way to understand anything until you lose all ideas and beliefs that stop you from seeing. I can,t see what is real while all I focus on is what is not. You can,t analize your way out of this.

  27. Sorry Steve, I forgot to address the issue of self-no self earlier. I agree with you and Jed! The proper counter point to this it’s that Consciousness and it’s Radiance are certainly not “self” in the ego context that Jed it’s rightfully critiquing.

  28. Hi Steve, I’m afraid we will have to agree to disagree on all this. My responses are inline below in Italics:

    How long has it been since you have re-read the trilogy Brian? There are many assumptions in your post that don’t hold up to whats actually in the books. For example, in SIE Jed says in chapter 6 that these are the words of U G Krishnamurti that “overlap” his own thoughts on the subject, the very first statement is then that he “detests the term Enlightened” That he is not an enlightened man and that there can be no such thing as Enlightenment or an enlightened being because there would have to a be a “self” to be enlightened and that the full realization of truth is just this: “There is no such thing as a self”.

    This issue about the word Enlightenment is all semantics to me. Everyone knows that “Enlightenment” is a trashed term. Even the Luciferian cults refer to themselves as “Illumined’ etc. It’s obviously just an almost universal place holder for what is considered ‘the ultimate’ state.

    In Damnedest Jed acknowledges that the pinnacle of human existence could very well be the transitory state called by various names; Unity Consciousness, God Consciousness, Buddha nature, Christ Consciousness etc. and that he HAS experienced that state himself. Having experienced this state several times I would concur that the state of bliss that one experiences while so enraptured and the subsequent confirmation during this state of this simple fact; Love is the only truth, would lead one to believe that this state is enlightenment. The problem that ensues for anyone experiencing this state is that it is transitory, non-abiding and will fade like a summer dream.

    -My point is not that ‘Love” that other great trashed term, is senior to Consciousness, but that Love-Energy is integral to full “Realization” For all I have to say in criticism of Adi Da, he nailed this one down pretty cleanly. He critiqued what he called the “5th Stage error” as exemplified by great and famous Yogis like Swami Muktananda who worshipped the ‘Blue Pearl’ at the Ajna door, and its blissful qualities. I think this term might be described traditionally as Nirvakalpa Samadhi.
    So Jed’s critique rightfully applies not only to the new age wowsers, deluded by delusional relationships to “Love” but to the grand tradition of ascent into, and advocacy for, the ultimacy of the blissful yet exclusive states of mind.
    What Jed’s realization could be critiqued in Daist language is the “6th Stage error”, as I tried to describe in some detail in my essay above. It is belief in the ultimacy of the Witness or even Mere Being itself (as Consciousness), yet still not integrated with the Divine feminine aspect of Itself.

    The genius of Mckenna is the realization that the state of bliss that everyone on the enlightenment path seems to be looking for or has experienced briefly and wants to return to, is a lie, at least in the a sense of a “self” abiding in it permanently.

    See above

    He found that truth realization, not enlightenment, is the only abiding state of consciousness that allows one to live “in” the dream state without being “of” the dream state and has nothing to do with bliss.

    Yes this is his great truth, but he hasn’t proven either to me in my experience nor the experience of many (but certainly not all practitioners over the millennia). The funny thing is that Adi Da made exactly the same claim in the opposite direction (which I also don’t accept)– that he was the first one to discover how to integrate the three states of Consciousness, (Jed’s god) the goddess aspect as Love-Bliss (the Yogi’s god), and living it in the world, rather than fleeing into one or the other.

    His vehement insistence to, “fuck bliss”, is just an effort to keep students from confusing these two different states of being. Far from a denunciation of love and bliss, it’s more like an art teacher saying to a student who is learning to draw eyes, “screw the nose! why are you focused on the nose!” it doesn’t mean the nose is not important or valuable, it’s just that it’s a distraction when learning to draw eyes.
    This is where I think your entire premise for the blog post, that Jed’s weakness in the books; disregarding love and bliss, is incorrect. He just wants the reader to keep the focus on whats important, Truth Realization. He says so in the first chapter of Damndest when he gets Sarah (who’s after bliss and unity consciousness and thinks that’s “enlightenment”) to realize she can chase bliss all she wants, AFTER she becomes Truth Realized.

    —As I said above this is a valid tactic for a teacher to use, but he elevates it into a divine principle rather than merely a teaching tool for neophytes.

    Also, your exercises of how to “find out if Jed’s assertions are true” fall flat. Jed expresses over and over that the ONLY way to know if what he is talking about has value is to do the math yourself.

    I agree. That is why I offered a suggested pathway to determine the Truth for themselves. Inevitably it will fail for many people. Everything does, but that hardly proves its invalidity, does it?

    Autolisys. I’ve done the math, his assertion is true and it was horrifying, no bliss involved. It’s not for dabblers and dilettantes, only those who see no other road and are willing to burn their ships and plunge ahead into the blackness.

    If Autolysis has gotten you to where you want to go then that is wonderful, I thrill and celebrate your accomplishment it is truly grand– everyone should try it if they think it will serve them. But I can assure you that the Integrative path I am talking about is also a ‘hell on wheels’. I speak from personal experience and my friends who can confirm that. I have been rather ruthlessly ‘masculine-consciousness-‘Truth’ oriented my whole life of practice (about 40 years) and it was only fairly recently that I began to gradually see-feel-know the limitation of that path and begin to experience the spontaneous merger of the principle states. I could be wrong, Steve. But so could you.

    BTW, even people of the traditional devotional theistic paths experience the hell of transformation. If you’ve read something like “Daughter of Fire” you know how intense even the traditional path can be.

    Consciousness – the unmoving, uncreated, still, aspect of divinity does accurately understands its feminine aspect’s CREATIONS as ephemeral, and they are! But what Jed misses is that the Source of that Beingness has a great joyful aspect or principle which is part of itself and not inferior. It loves and enjoys Itself and its changes, but the core Source of ecstasy is not ephemeral, it is integral, It is permanent. It is the One, and the Oneness.

    I am sorry Steve that we can’t come to more agreement with each other at this level, but that’s life!
    I wish you well in your happiness.

  29. How long has it been since you have re-read the trilogy Brian? There are many assumptions in your post that don’t hold up to whats actually in the books. For example, in SIE Jed says in chapter 6 that these are the words of U G Krishnamurti that “overlap” his own thoughts on the subject, the very first statement is then that he “detests the term Enlightened” That he is not an enlightened man and that there can be no such thing as Enlightenment or an enlightened being because there would have to a be a “self” to be enlightened and that the full realization of truth is just this: “There is no such thing as a self”.

    In Damnedest Jed acknowledges that the pinnacle of human existence could very well be the transitory state called by various names; Unity Consciosness, God Consciousness, Buddha nature, Christ Consciosness etc. and that he HAS experienced that state himself. Having experienced this state several times I would concur that the state of bliss that one experiences while so enraptured and the subsequent confirmation during this state of this simple fact; Love is the only truth, would lead one to believe that this state is enlightenment. The problem that ensues for anyone experiencing this state is that it is transitory, non abiding and will fade like a summer dream.

    The genius of Mckenna is the realization that the state of bliss that everyone on the enlightenment path seems to be looking for or has experienced briefly and wants to return to, is a lie, at least in the a sense of a “self” abiding in it permanently. He found that truth realization, not enlightenment, is the only abiding state of consciousness that allows one to live “in” the dream state without being “of” the dream state and has nothing to do with bliss. His vehement insistence to, “fuck bliss”, is just an effort to keep students from confusing these two different states of being. Far from a denunciation of love and bliss, it’s more like an art teacher saying to a student who is learning to draw eyes, “screw the nose! why are you focused on the nose!” it doesn’t mean the nose is not important or valuable, it’s just that it’s a distraction when learning to draw eyes.

    This is where I think your entire premise for the blog post, that Jed’s weakness in the books; disregarding love and bliss, is incorrect. He just wants the reader to keep the focus on whats important, Truth Realization. He says so in the first chapter of Damndest when he gets Sarah (who’s after bliss and unity consciousness and thinks that’s “enlightenment”) to realize she can chase bliss all she wants, AFTER she becomes Truth Realized. Also, your exercises of how to “find out if Jed’s assertions are true” fall flat. Jed expresses over and over that the ONLY way to know if what he is talking about has value is to do the math yourself. Autolisys. I’ve done the math, his assertion is true and it was horrifying, no bliss involved. It’s not for dabblers and dilettantes, only those who see no other road and are willing to burn their ships and plunge ahead into the blackness.

  30. I haven’t read your revised blog post, I’ll try to find time for that myself. The reason I say it’s Jed (although that doesn’t really matter) is because I’ve spent the last year and a half communicating with him through various outlets (the site mentioned and Skype) and the energy which is prevalent in the books holds true in my experience of him personally. I never experienced a moment when he fell “out of character” an amazing feat over a year and a half’s time for someone playing a role. Through this interaction I lost everything i needed to, to fall to the space which in the books he calls “Done” (which is a misnomer that he readily acknowledges, as it is really only a beginning, anyone who thinks they are actually done is simply back in the dream, a paradox.) Other than that, ok, anyone can play a role, if it’s not Jed, who cares? I got from him exactly what I went looking for, although I had no idea what I was looking for when I went and when I say “got” i mean “lost” and when I say “I”, I speak of what was lost.

  31. HI Steve. I like your comments about Jed. Even though I feel saturated at this moment with all this Jed stuff and want nothing more then to forget all about this stuff and go back to me real life, I did click on the link you sent just to see if it was other than the one i had seen, and you are correct – it is a different site. I’m sure I will check it out eventually when I have time to do some exploring. BTW, I am interested to know why you think that this guy is not another Jed impostor?
    Great chatting with you again, Steve,

  32. That site has only been up since Aug 2014, it’s Jed, Go peruse it, it’s much different than the other site. The political comment was just an observation, you do a fine job of walking through land mines without getting scathed, speaking of which, Jed spent a week in Vietnam last Dec. helping an organization clear land mines, while he eschews the “heart” in his books I believe that is because the first and only focus should be getting clear, finding out who you aren’t, after that one can do whatever pleases them and this is where the Heart comes in. Jeds books are like boot camp, get the training in come hell or high water, what you do after that is up to you.

  33. Steve, thanks for the suggestion. Should I take the ‘politician’ comment as a insult? But I’ll say: “Jed for President!” He would make one great motherfucking POTUS, wouldn’t he? About that site I haven’t been over to it in many years and don’t believe he really is JM. But if i get bored someday it could be an interesting thing to do.
    Nice getting to know you,

  34. Steve, you make an very big assumption that quite a few have made over the years about this Blog- that critiquing Jed is core to my spiritual Process. It is a very very occasional hobby I do, and don’t even enjoy doing very much (I think the last time I wrote anything about Jed was over a year ago at least). It is my contribution which some people find very useful, and some don’t. I expect that. But many smart and good people have serious concerns about what Jed teaches and I just provide an avenue to articulate that so it can be considered more fully by anyone so interested. So don’t you worry about me, my friend, I have a very alive process going that I am fully engaged with and which is working just fine.
    Good luck to you in your process, I truly wish you the best!

  35. @ Rex Cox, finally, someone who gets it… And doesn’t cherish it afterwards. If anyone goes to the no place Jed points to, they sure as hell won’t be clucking like a hen about “heart”. When your heart melts away, along with anything you thought was you. so does any need to associate a “self” with a “heart” or anything else for that matter. Stop critiquing Jed’s realization and start wondering what the hell is critiquing anything, then you’ll be doing mankind a favor, getting rid of “you”.

  36. HI Chris, sorry you were disappointed in the exercise. Maybe others will find it more useful. About the rest – lets just say we disagree. I do appreciate the passion with which you hold Jed’s mighty sword to the world of bub-cuss, believe it or not, I do too. As for the art of writing, it is always a nightmare of trying to concoct something which says SOMETHING TRUE, but has to negotiate the world of language, logic, and paradox, where every god-damn thing that you want to say is always only half true for those very reasons! Frankly I really find it a terrible burden for that reason. As for Autolysis-writing I personally found that it too had structural limitations which made me leave it behind. Although I can believe your saying that you found no such limitation using it. So lets just say that my article is intended for those who don’t find Autolysis effective and are looking for something else. Best of luck to you on your journey, Chris.

  37. The little meditation thing is all fine and a cute little awareness exercise until #10 when it goes to shit. Comes right off the rails and points someone back to a love-narcotized self who now thinks it has found something all enlighteny. And now this is proof of what? That Jed doesn’t fall for the trap that #10 opens up for you? That trap he tries to get you to avoid if you’re serious about this enlightenment thing? You have such a talent for writing, but you wrote yourself into your own trap. See if you can write yourself out. Don’t stop until you’ve written something true. Jed isn’t love. He is an uncherished sword that can cut your heart out, but only if you painstakingly use it yourself to cut your own blissful heart out. And who could possibly want to do that?

  38. Dear Jed,

    Here’s something for you, and all of us beautiful wonderful entities as the Oneness that we are, to remember. This is wonderful: Love is the energy which opens up, expands, sends out, reaches out, shares, cares, stays, heals, and reveals. It sets free, lets go, places no limitations, restrictions, nor expectations, does not confine, judge, nor loathe, and does not abandon. It allows, expresses openly, honestly, and always communicates truthfully. Love transcends human emotion, thought, and feeling, but is present as Consciousness in the human heart, is boundless, timeless (eternal), unlimited, and unconditional, is the ultimate intangible, transcendental principle, the All-Reality of Infinite Possibility… which always Is… and manifests as the actual! It’s the glory of Who We Really Are, our deepest fundamental, inherent nature. Infinite Love (All-Possibility) is the Only Truth, everything else is illusion! Infinite Love (the One Infinite Consciousness, the Oneness, the One) does not judge nor loathe Itself.

    True love does not always give the receiver what it would like to receive whenever the receiver wants it. That is control and manipulation. But it will always give that which is best for it. So welcome everything you receive whether you like it or not. Ponder on anything you do not like and see if you can see why it was necessary. Acceptance will then be much easier.

    Blake Richter

  39. Weee feeling free from seeking attachment from confident theories passed on by people.

    like a snake shedding off old skin i feel neutral about my current moments to come.

    Does it matter?

    Hey i am exploring this! Now this!

    I have no idea whats about to happen next, ridin’ the ride

    “What do you think of this?” Blablabla.Does it matter? Not for mee!

    Thanks for aiding me to be more like this, awesome books

    However my words are not precise!

  40. Dear Anonymous, thanks for your helpful advice (I think). But you know, some people in these parts find your notion of “getting on with it” rather quaint in lieu of the Non-Dual conviction that we as individuals DON’T possess free will at the level of which you speak (so eloquently). Frankly the notion of going out there (or, ‘in there’) and really getting it on, seems rather sophomoric, if I can be blunt for a moment. Do you know what I mean?

    Absent free-will, what is one to do? I’ll tell you. Any damn thing you please since experience informs us that all our attempt to ‘get it on’ fall backwards, because they are coming from ego. Ego trying to enlighten itself. Try it sometimes for yourself and see where it gets you! Some of us, like me, spent some time developing our mental ability to simply know about and share what this experience of no-free-will feels like, and what its contours are. Just for the fuck of it, you know what I mean? Just a little fun for the mind while we wait for Source or whatever to make it’s make move through our egos.

    With kind regards,
    Your slothful and cerebral friend,

  41. wow guys, dont you have a better use of your time??

    this is not about jed… this is about you!! everything is about you!
    get your own realization right, and don’t really worry much about anyone else!

  42. Not really interested in debating the undebatable here, but the notion of even ‘knowing yourself,’ and the World disappearing (for Jed or anyone else) is suspicious to me. As ole Adi Da would have it, (I believe)- such a self reference sounds like a full fledged and total 6th stage (“error” – edit) implosion upon the Witnessing self, not true realization. But don’t listen to me, I’m just a humble worker bee.

  43. The analogy of only an Einstein understanding what relativity theory means is a good one, but this analogy does not apply to truth realization. Truth realization is about the disappearance of the world, and the world always disappears relative to the point of view of the observer of that world. The only relevant question is what happens to the observer when its world disappears? All other questions are irrelevant since they only pertain to the nature of the observer’s world, which disappears during truth realization. Both the message and the messenger are irrelevant since they both disappear. Simply stated, with truth realization there is no message and there is no messenger. All questions and answers disappear. This disappearance of the observer’s world (a world that McKenna calls an untruth) is why McKenna only describes truth realization in terms of negation, as a state of untruth unrealization, a state of unknowing, and state of knowing nothing:

    “I know that I Am, and I know that I know nothing else.”

    “Having undergone the process of untruth-unrealization, I am left not in an elevated state of superior knowledge, but in a knowledgeless state of superior elevation. I see everything, I understand everything, I know nothing.”

    For a scientific discussion of what, if anything, this means, see:

  44. Peter, I enjoyed your post. There is one thing, however, that you mention that in the past has had me thinking hard – the thing about focussing on the message and not the messenger. Sounds good; why question the underlying character or realization of the guy doing the talking? His message should be enough – after all, it’s probably a universal one that has been proclaimed by many people and traditions over millennia. Yes, but somehow it does matter. Anyone can blab about profound matters (hell, I do it myself at times!), but if the realiser has truly realised what he talks about, then the message and the messenger are one and the same. Perhaps there is a valid analogy we can make with science. Someone who is not versed in the intricacies of physics and mathematics can easily say E=mc2, but if you want to really understand the profundity and consequences of relativity, go to Einstein himself (or a modern version). Anyway, just some thoughts……

  45. I dunno, he seems enlightened to me, but then again it’s pretty easy to say the right words. As to the insistence on Truth, that conforms with traditional Advaita Vedanta (even though he’s not traditional), which is the path of Jnana, knowing the Truth, so I don’t think you can find fault with him on that score.

    I’m rather fond of the sorts of people who get there without traditions (Buddhism calls them “Pratyekabuddhas”), and in a way I find them more trustworthy than people connected with traditions, because there’s all sorts of cultural and pecking-order bullshit that can be attached to traditions, and language that’s not filtered through a tradition, but comes straight from the heart, can be fresh and extremely powerful. The downside is that they sometimes make out as if what they’ve discovered is unique to them. That’s the downside of not being in a culture that has the traditions, I suppose. It needn’t be a reflection of ego – it might even just be ignorance and lack of wide reading.

    At the end of the day, they all say the same thing, both the Pratyekabuddhas and the Buddhas in and outside of various traditions, but with different emphases, and in ways that appeal to different people at different stages. The best metaphor I’ve seen is that, sure there’s a difference between some hot dog vendor on the street and a gourmet meal at a 5 star restaurant, but if you’re starving the hot dog is just fine, so some average enlightened dude, who might even be quite flawed as a human being, but who just says a “turning word” at the right moment, might be all you really need.

    I think the best thing is not to get too het up about the people, but focus on the message, which as I said is fairly constant across all teachers, and actually all cultures even (though it’s more heavily disguised and underground in the Judeo-Christian tradition), and is true whether they’re lying or not (i.e. even if they’re parroting to get chicks, what they’re parroting is true anyway!). They’re all talking about something that takes no effort to attain, because it’s already “clear-cut nowness” (Chogyam Trungpa’s summation of Atiyoga). It’s all really obvious, because if “it” is omnipresent, then it’s here and now as much as it’s anywhere else, so you just have to squint the right way to see it as it is, and like with Magic Eye pictures, sometimes you just have to exhaust all the wrong ways of squinting to get the right one. The other constant is that there’s a seeing-through of one’s ordinary sense of self as pointing to something that doesn’t really exist, not really and ultimately (it’s more like the “lie” of a 3-d cursor floating on the computer screen – nothing’s actually floating over the screen, there just seems to be).

    Another part of the problem is precisely what Jed and many others have said – there’s a difference between mystical experiences and enlightenment. They’re not totally unconnected, but the search for one is a waste of time if you’re looking for the other. There may not be a great epiphany (although there could be) – you might just fall into it insensibly and wake up one day, and it be a simple, clear understanding, without lightshows or trumpets.

    At any rate, Jed’s writing is certainly entertaining. He’s a good writer per se, which is more than you can say for a lot of these people 🙂

  46. Thanks for your efforts Brian, after reading many posts and also gauging the response from those that I’ve hesitantly introduced to JM it’s become clear to me that Jed’s message is for a small segment of the population, you don’t teach calculus to a student that can’t divide or multiply yet, let alone add and subtract, they will just get angry, if not furious at you and the books.

    I did Jed’s autolysis before damnedest was even written, I did it out of desperation searching for clarity in a life that seemed too painful and wrong to continue. I became a spiritual adult long before I stumbled upon Mckenna but when I read damnedest I received the clarity I needed at the moment I needed it.

    I had my second “mystical” experience 2 1/2 years before I read Damnedest and I felt one with the universe, total and complete LOVE for everyone and everything, I thought it was enlightenment. It lasted about a month and then began to fade, I panicked, I did not want to live without this connection to the infinite and I went on a two year sabbatical from work exploring every spiritual avenue trying to get it back.
    Enter Damnedest.
    That one teaching, the difference between mysticism and enlightenment shifted everything for me as did many other McKennaisms. I had done the homework, his books just helped me put it together. Now I live in the flow, life seems effortless where it once seemed heavy, brutal and barbaric. The teacher appeared, the student was ready. I’m learning how to do this. As far as I’m concerned anyone who doesn’t “get” Jed… hasn’t done the homework, they may have the answers but “you have to do the homework”.

    As to the missing heart issue in Jed’s writing, I have buried a 16 year old child and recently watched another suffer in ICU for a month after a 20′ fall onto concrete shattering many bones and nearly severing her spine, I know the heart you speak of that seems to be missing in Mckenna’s teaching and I have no problem with it, he (the character) has not experienced the loss that it takes to reach those depths so how can he speak on it? Most of the real pain in life comes from the challenge of the breaking of deep interpersonal connections, if you choose not to connect, i.e. marry, have children, take care of aging parents, then how could you speak to things of the heart? It doesn’t diminish the genius of his work. Might just be that his personality runs to the antisocial.

    As I read here, most who have commented have not done autolysis, (It was more painful than any book can get across although Jed tries real hard) the only reason I did it was because it was a better option than suicide. Jed said he could tell immediately if someone had done the work or not and it is that simple, it’s why vampires don’t talk to humans, whats the point? I add my voice here not to discuss or argue, just to say its worth all the effort I put in, I can’t imagine living in the hell I did for my first 35 years and life now feels like total magic comparatively, don’t quit, do the work, once you’ve come this far what choice do you really have?

  47. i have read innumerable spiritual books by now and the only book that actually helped rather than carrying away was jed’s the damndest thing, for me he is the best teacher who came out in public,but if you are searching for mystics we have alot of them here in india and they are not fake but most of them are not giving enlightenment just cosmic consciousness ,kundalini and stuff if you want that then check out indian teachers on internet

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  49. Hi Bethany,
    I hesitate to write another comment, because..what is to say?
    I guess, having the feeling of getting lost when ego layers fall away, is to be expected. There are many ‘scouts’ out there, most of them charge for their guidance in one way or the other. As we met on a JM forum, I share my point of view on this guide.
    You’re eager to find out ‘what IS true’. Clever JM declares himself ‘truth guy’ right from the start. But one of his first statements, as I recall it: ‘I’m here, live on stage to tell what I see’ (or similar) is false right away since he is not on stage. From there on follows lie after lie and in my opinion he should at least have called the books novels.
    Here’s a man, calling himself the most enlightened of all. We can only access him via email. In these emails and on his forum the tone of his speech is already different from the books. One starts to wonder, but it hasn’t to be problematic, although calling oneself ‘invisible guru’ while lecturing and counseling from a hidden place , I find at least dubious. Especially as he writes: ‘I’m rather intolerant of people trying to sell tomatoes from an empty cart’ and I’d like to accuse him for exactly that.
    I could write in length why his claim of egolessness, which would put him, maybe, in a counseling position, is completely absurd. But I don’t, he should write about it. Until then: As he thinks of himself as ‘being done’ (and this self-believe may not be a lie), you Bethany got something he lacks, which is, a life.
    I would rather cherish it, than following his route.

  50. No Oliver… I have disengaged from enough Fictional role models, but I do find JM has many valid points as I search for meaning and direction in my life… I have left traditional religion and all the self help venues and gurus… but I do feel a bit lost at sea without a sail… who am I… where am I… how do I live my life when I have lost faith and given up so many beliefs and External Powers… I am looking deeply at my judgements, beliefs, and opinions and how they have evolved from conditioning more so than not… I have also followed Byron Katie’s work and am trying to see clearer as to what IS True especially in my relationships with myself and others… I am feeling very lost and alone in this search for sure… where do I go from here… how do I live when I am aware that “life is but a dream”… I have many questions after reading his Trilogy…

  51. Hi bethanyr410,
    I empathize with your confusion. Could it be due to the fact that you’re trying to live your life according to a fictional role model?
    Again, the author of the book is not the man he describes. Please consider 🙂
    (Also, is the finger pointing to the moon? All this you take for granted, why?)

  52. Your are all enlightened damnit!!!!
    Stop pointing to someone saying they are not. You live in the light. But you think you are not and you search for the truth like it’s “out there”, meanwhile it’s in there. In You.
    He is your reflection. You are his.
    We are all one. no more no less.

  53. Is this About Jed McKenna or is it about each of us, Individually? Isn’t he just the “finger pointing at the moon” and you are asking about the “finger”… are people missing the point… or am I??? I am new to his work, but it sure has thrown me down the rabbit hole and I am less interested in him than how to live his message… which is challenging Everything I Believe… and I have No One that I can even Begin to talk to about this 😦

  54. I’m not going to quote anyone, including Jed, whoever he may be. Frankly, I don’t give a damn. Get something out of the works or run screaming in the other direction. Or, discuss it until you’re sick of it. Did UG Krishnamurti do any better with his awakening? He was a public person all his life, and what happened to him? (Look it up.) Did Genpo do any better? He got drummed out of the Zen establishment for stupid sex. He’s not worthy to polish Jed’s shoes. McKenna’s produced something literate, useful and authentic. What the hell more do you need to know?

  55. “Socrates was ugly” said Nietzsche, reminding us to also look at the author for a more comprehensive view on the philosophy. This, of course, Mr. McKenna understood, therefore he hides.
    Sorry Eddie, I don’t think JM ever wanted this riddle to be solved. He might get angry with me.*giggle*

  56. To Eye Tea, other newly emerged Jed McKenna aficionados or anyone still wondering about the guy behind the alias.
    There are quite a few clues in his books and even here, on the comment sections of this website you’ll find enough info to get the idea.
    It’s not much of a riddle.

  57. I’m sorry for interrupting the discussion (to which I may contribute later) but I have a burning question that I need to ask those further into knowledge of ‘Jed McKenna’ than I am.
    The books centre on the scenario of McKenna as teacher or as centre of an environment of teaching. Did this scenario exist? ie. Are there any students of this ‘person’. I appreciate the reasons for enigma in all of this but I am simply wondering whether there has been a group of people ‘taught by McKenna’ in the past.

  58. In response to Brian’s comment about the misinterpretation of Jed’s words, as Nisargadatta says “When you refuse to play the game, you are out of it”.

    That’s my last comment. Adios amigo.

  59. In response to the question about who the I Am is, Who am I?, McKenna clearly addresses this question. Only the witness, also called the Self, the I Am, or Atman, has a sense of being present. As Nisargadatta, McKenna and Osho make perfectly clear, the witness is only a point of consciousness present at the center of the world perceived by the witness. Even Shankara makes a distinction between the Source, which he calls Brahman, and the Self, which he calls Atman. Even though Shankara states “thou art that”, he also states that there is “ultimately” no difference between Brahman and Atman. His use of the word “ultimately” is key, as he is referring to the ultimate state of truth realization:

    “That which permeates all, which nothing transcends and which, like the universal space around us, fills everything completely from within and without, that Supreme non-dual Brahman−that thou art.”

    “Brahman is the only truth, the world is illusion, and there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and Atman.”

    McKenna clearly states that truth realization is a dissolution into void

    “The truth of the situation is that eventually, there’s nothing.
    Infinity. Eternity. The void.
    Truth is one, is non-dual, is infinite, is one-without-other.
    Truth is dissolution, no-self, unity.
    There’s nothing to say about it, nothing to feel about it, nothing to know about it.
    You are true or you’re a lie, as in ego-bound, as in dual, as in asleep.”

    Osho also describes truth realization as a dissolution into void

    “The inner emptiness itself is the mystery.
    When the inner space is there, you are not.
    When you dissolve, the inner emptiness is there.
    When you are not, the mystery will be revealed.
    You will not be a witness to the mystery, you will be the mystery.”

    In other words, ultimately “I am the void”, which McKenna actually states

    “I am an infinite pitiless void.”

    This ultimate state of being is what Shankara refers to when he says “there is ultimately no difference between Brahman and Atman”. To say “I am Brahman” or “Be still and know that I am God” is to say the same thing.

    Obviously, existence cannot stop existing, but the individual sense of existing, the individual sense of I Am, can come to an end. As Osho clearly states, that individual sense of I Am comes to an end in a state of dissolution into the void. The individual consciousness and being of the witness dissolves into its source of undifferentiated consciousness and undivided being. As McKenna puts it

    “In the void of undifferentiated consciousness-awake is awake.”

    Or as Osho puts it

    “We are not really in the world.
    The world consists not of things outside us but of our dreams.
    Everyone lives in his own dream world.
    If suddenly all dreaming disappeared from the consciousness, your world would disappear because your world was your dreaming.
    This awakening is really the cessation of inner dreaming.
    When there is no dreaming you become pure space.
    This non-dreaming consciousness is what is known as enlightenment.”

    Nisargadatta clearly states that it is the witness, the I Am, that identifies itself with the false self that appears in its world

    “You are the source of reality-a dimensionless center of perception that imparts reality to whatever it perceives-a pure witness that watches what is going on and remains unaffected. It is only imagination and self-identification with the imagined that encloses and converts the inner watcher into a person.
    The person is merely the result of a misunderstanding.
    In reality there is no such thing.
    Feelings, thoughts and actions race before the watcher in endless succession.
    In reality there is no person, only the watcher identifying itself.”

    Nisargadatta also states that non-identification is liberation

    “Self-identifications are patently false and the cause of bondage.
    Non-identification is liberation.
    You need not know what you are.
    Enough to know what you are not.
    The discovery of truth is in the discernment of the false.
    You can know what is not.
    What is-you can only be.”

    Implicit in this discussion of self-identification is that the world must appear, and the witness must be present for that world, for the witness to identify itself with its false self that appears in that world. When that world disappears, only the void remains. Nisargadatta calls the undivided being of the void pure being

    “I know myself as I am in reality.
    I am neither the body nor the mind. I am beyond all these.
    You are accustomed to deal with things, physical and mental.
    I am not a thing, nor are you.
    We are neither matter nor energy, neither body nor mind.
    I am not my body. I am the witness only.
    In pure being consciousness arises.
    In consciousness the world appears and disappears.
    Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality.
    The center is a point of void and the witness a point of pure awareness; they know themselves to be as nothing.
    Nothing lasts.
    The void remains.
    You remain as pure being.”

    In other words, I am not-a-thing. I am the witness as long as I perceive things in my world, but ultimately I am not even the witness. Ultimately, I am the void.

    Reread McKenna carefully, and you will see that this is exactly what he is saying.

  60. Letranger,
    Since I disagree with almost everything you say in this post, including your interpretation of Jed’s words, why don’t we leave it at that. We will not succeed in convincing each other of anything, I suspect. As I said earlier, I’ve been writing and thinking way too much lately, and I must confess I would find a debate very tedious at this juncture.
    Cheers, and thanks for your contributions to date.

  61. If there’s no “I Am” after your enlightenment, who’s bothering to write this? Bodhisattvas remain active in the world. They wear the ego lightly…that’s all.

  62. In terms of free will versus no free will, there are always choices to be made; different forks in the path to follow. To say we have no free will is to say we have no choice with regards to which branch of the path we follow. That may be the case as long as our attention is focused on the world, but in one respect we do have an important choice to make. We can look within and withdraw our attention away from the world. McKenna calls this choice “choosing not to choose”.

    Clearly seeing the falseness of the ego leads to the desire to be free of the ego. As McKenna says “To know the lie is to hate it; to see it is to slay it.” Maybe your comfort level with ego is just another trick the ego plays on the consciousness in an act of self-preservation to prevent the consciousness from awakening and ridding itself of the ego. But then again, McKenna also says “After all, no matter how you play it, it’s just a f—ing game”. I’m sympathetic to both perspectives.

  63. Letranger, I don’t want to quibble with you, or launch into an extended debate as I am currently tired from too much thinking and writing my new piece (I, Cultist) which took 6 months to complete, but where I part company with you is the evaluation of hate, or even will, as a valuable tool of accelerator of the Truth-Realization process. I side with the no free will argument, and so hating or disliking one’s unenlightened aspects would only reinforce the self-division in my humble opinion.

  64. Shushilakrishna, farewell, and thanks for all your contributions. If you are curious about the ‘the Absolute loving the limitation-filled experiences’ perhaps you would consider the full implications of a Monist or Non-Dualist perspective. If there is indeed only one Being living and manifesting all this ‘stuff’, then if any of it was other than perfect and desirable, wouldn’t that Singular Being dispose of it in the twinkling of an eye?

    My ex teacher affirmed the Hindu ontology that there is Consciousness, (Shiva) pure consciousness, never created or modified (the masculine principle) which has a Radiance (Shakti) the feminine principle. That Radiance is always creating, changing, manifesting, destroying. It is one Being with two aspects. That Being is never at war with itself.

    That Being at times contracts or self-divides further and creates many more limited and apparently separate creatures (like us) for the shear heck of it – for adventure sake. There is no problem -its all an adventure, a thrilling ‘movie’ to be enjoyed by Consciousness, often playing as if It were those unenlightened souls – some playing at seeking reunion (spirituality) and some rushing headlong into the Dark, seeking more intense entertainment. But its never a problem because there is one Being enjoying it all simultaneously. Anyway, that’s what I’ve been taught and have come to feel is True in the deepest core of my being.

    I understand and accept that many people disagree with this perspective, but there is nothing I can do or even want very much to do about that fact. Their worldview works for ‘them’ and mine works for ‘me’. What else could be more perfect?

  65. OK, cool – no hate whatsoever. Don’t know about the Absolute loving the limitation-filled experiences offered by the ego ?!! Odd thinking. Anyway, Truth always finds it’s mark – it’s true after all ! Enough said – Adieu, Good luck.

  66. Thanks Shushilakrishna, I corrected the error (I clicked the wrong button). But anyway I would part company with you on this issue of hate. I would also disagree with your equating ‘spirituality’ with Truth. Spirituality is the ego’s self-admitted game of attempting to re-assimilate with That which it never is divorced from, as everyone knows. In my view ‘All That Is’ is at peace with and ‘loves’ even the dark side, and all it’s own acts of self-contraction, and all the results of said self-contraction. In my view the ‘ego’ offers the Absolute the sublime opportunity to experience the adventures of being limited etc. That ‘god’ could not be at war with its own Radiance. I’d say it loves it!

  67. It is important to be clear about what truth realization is. The stated purpose of this discussion we’re having is the Realization of Jed McKenna, which I take to mean truth realization. Although it’s natural for us to focus our attention on the world, truth realization is really only possible if we look within and withdraw our attention away from the world. There are many experiences one can have in the world, but whatever those experiences are, they’re not truth realization. The only clear way to define truth realization is in terms of the disappearance of the world.

    Like Osho and Nisargadatta, McKenna describes truth realization in terms of the disappearance of the world. The witness is only present when the world appears. No world, no witness, no I Am. When the world disappears, only the void remains

    “And then, one day, there is it. Nothing.
    Without warning, you’re launched into empty space, and before too long, empty space becomes your reality.
    Now she’s in free fall.
    At the precise moment of impact, the planet will disappear, and nothing will take its place. Her free fall won’t end, but it will no longer feel like falling because there will no longer be anything to reference it against.
    There is where dual awareness ends. From then on she will live in boundless awareness, never again able to differentiate between self and non-self.
    Abiding non-dual awareness.
    Like a child flicking a switch that turns the world off like a light. What can you say when the thing that ends isn’t within a context, but context itself?”

    McKenna gives a very nice description of the pre-enlightenment self-identified delusional state of being, the self-destructive process leading to enlightenment, and the post-enlightenment ascended state of being:

    “The enlightened view life as a dream.
    Of what real importance is anything in a dream?
    You wake up and the dream is gone as if it never was.
    All the characters and events that seemed so real have simply vanished.
    The enlightened may walk and talk in the dream world, but they don’t mistake the dream for reality.
    Before enlightenment I believed my ego was me, then enlightenment comes along and no more ego, only the underlying reality.
    Now it’s after enlightenment and this ego might be slightly uncomfortable or ill-fitting at times, but it’s all I’ve got.
    The idea that your ego is destroyed in the process of becoming enlightened is roughly correct, but it’s not complete.
    Before enlightenment, you’re a human being in the world, just like everyone you see.
    During enlightenment you realize the human being you thought you were is just a character in a play, and that the world you thought you were in is just a stage, so you go through a process of radical deconstruction of your character to see what’s left when it’s gone.
    The result isn’t enlightened-self or true-self, it’s no-self.
    When it’s all over it’s time to be a human being in the world again, and that means slipping back into costume and getting back on stage.
    Now you’re actually in the audience, watching the drama.
    I could never mistake the play for reality again, or my character for my true state.”

    The only way to understand what McKenna is saying here, short of undergoing one’s own truth realization, is to understand the theory of enlightenment. It is not necessary to have such a theory to become enlightened, and having a theory may not necessarily help one undergo the process that leads to enlightenment, but truth realized beings, like McKenna, Nisargadatta and Osho, are only able to discuss their experience intelligently because they have a sound working theory of enlightenment. There is really nothing to say about the truth-realized state, but there is a lot to say about the process that leads to truth realization. In all of these discussions, the world is described as a dream world, like a play that is enacted on a stage; the ego is described as one’s character in the drama; and the witness is described as the consciousness, the I Am, the being that is out in the audience watching the drama. There is only an illusion that the being is a part of the world it perceives because the being identifies itself with its character in the play. That is the nature of the delusional self-identified state. To bring this illusion to an end, the being’s character and world must disappear. That is the self-destructive process. When the being’s world disappears, only the being’s underlying reality remains. That underlying reality is the void. The being is only present when its world appears, and only the void remains when its world disappears. After truth realization, the being perceives its world again, but it ascends to a higher level of consciousness, like a higher dimension, and it no longer identifies itself with its character in its world. As Plato tells us, all the animated images of things in that world appear like shadows projected onto a screen or the images of a movie, shadows illuminated by the light of consciousness itself. It is as though the being comes out of its world, but it never really was in its world. Only an illusion ends.

    Nisargadatta describes the end of that illusion:

    “Realize that you are dreaming a dream you call the world.
    Once you realize that there is nothing in this world which you can call your own you look at it from the outside as you look at a play on the stage or a picture on the screen.
    To know the picture as the play of light on the screen gives freedom from the idea that the picture is real.
    In reality I only look.
    Whatever is done is done on the stage.
    Joy and sorrow, life and death, they are real to the man in bondage; to me they are all in the show, as unreal as the show itself.
    I see only consciousness, and know everything to be but consciousness, as you know the pictures on the cinema screen to be but light.
    It is enough to shift attention from the screen onto oneself to break the spell.
    It is enough to shift attention to the Self and keep it there.
    Look at the dream as a dream.
    When you see your dream as dream you wake up.
    When you have seen the dream as a dream you have done all that needs be done.”

    In reply to the comment about hate, as McKenna clearly points out, only this hatred and discontent fuels the self-destructive process that ultimately leads to truth realization. This is not hatred of the world per se, but hatred of one’s own false self as a part of that world. Since the Self that identifies itself with the false self is only present when the world appears, the world and self are inextricably linked. They appear together and so they must disappear together. When they disappear, only the void remains. You can call the void whatever you want to call it, but it seems to me McKenna’s term for it as empty space or No-self is about as accurate as we can be when we express things in words.

  68. Think you are replying to Skrish & not Letranger – a slip perhaps ? Freudian, I don’t know. Anyway, to my way of thinking, hate is hate- love is love. Our psyche is well capable of really liking and really disliking. Intense dislike arises when personal discomfort is experienced or foreseen – Arjuna’s condition. Arjuna dislikes his lack of knowledge and discrimination – his attachment to family & friends which reduces him to tearful confusion. He longs for something bigger, better, wiser. This is love of the infinite, the limitless, of freedom. Don’t think one can truly love the finitude of the ego and its up and down joys and sufferings. This lack of love for the limitations presented by the ego is the mirrored by love for the opposite – love of infinitude and wholeness. Spirituality is wanting more – not wanting less. The ego always offers less than what we could have and want to have.

  69. Letranger, Sushilakrishna, I mean, another splendid comment. The only thing I take issue with is that I have suspicions about your sense of hating (words, always such a trip!). I could dismiss my own thoughts and questions about this usage easily enough, but since that subject is on point – I won’t. Your usage would seem to implicitly contradict everything you have so beautifully laid out for everyone. As if a hidden, or secret ‘freudian’ slip implanted for someone’s edification. Maybe ‘hate’ is one way of saying something, but my intuition tells me a better way of expressing such a preference for truth would be to say I ‘love’ my separative tendencies for the many adventure in joy and suffering they offer, but ‘I’ at this ‘time’ decline to manifest them. Such feels more congruent with our real state. Would you agree?

  70. It doesn’t matter what else has been said in the Trilogy – these words are enough to rattle – they mislead and betray lack of sufficient understanding and personal experience. I quote :

    “The process of becoming enlightened is a deliberate act of self-annihilation. It is the false self that does the killing and the false self that dies; a suicide in all but the physical sense. Because there is no true self to fill the vacancy created by the passing of the false self, no self remains. Hence it is rightly said that No-Self is True Self.

    It is not possible to knowledgeably chose or want Spiritual enlightenment. To desire it is to misunderstand it. Ego cannot desire Egolessness. One does not undergo the process of awakening out of love for the true but out of hatred for the false; a hatred so intense that it burns everything and spares nothing”.

    Firstly, one who knows and respects this ancient teaching tradition does not use words such as no-self or void. If Nisargadatta has used it, he is wrong too in using it – even though he may well know what he is talking about. Shankara is the authority here – not Nisargadatta or any body else. The Buddhist void or nothingness finds no sanction or acceptance in the Vedanta, which predates Buddhist thinking any way. Shankara’s exemplary commentary on the Brahma Sutras refutes this nothingness idea in no uncertain terms and makes it very clear that the self always is – as a positive and whole and undivided entity. Note even Nisargatta says the void is full to the brim – Upanishadic style contradiction here – which we would all do well to avoid.

    The idea that the self is only present if the world appears for the self to perceive is wrong – for the simple reason that the self does not come in and go out of existence depending on something as flimsy and changeable as the world. The world is changing, the self is unchanging – the self always is – regardless of where it is – and whether it is waking, dreaming or asleep. This surely is the basic truth we are working with. No witness without the universe is a load of poetic jargon which carries little substance. Even in deep sleep, when there is no world, the I is – I am sleeping is inferred from the recollection of having slept well or not well when the I wakes up. All of us wake up from sleep to say I had a good night’s sleep – don’t we ? Who was there to record the experience of good sleep ? if not the I ?

    THE SELF OR I DOES NOT REQUIRE A WORLD TO MANIFEST ITSELF OR EXIST. It is defined as satyam – which represents that which exists independently of any other entity or phenomenon – unchangingly in all periods of time.

    How can there be a time when the I is not ? This very feature of constantness constitutes the timelessness that the Vedanta is famous for. The timeless limitation-free I is Vedanta’s greatest contribution to our understanding of ourselves. Were we not timeless and all-pervasive and the ONE, we would never catch a glimpse of our true nature, which is true unconditioned happiness.

    So, poetic jargons and word muddles apart, there is only one I – one self. It is identified heavily and passionately, or it is more dispassionate and aloof from all that it sees and experiences and has. Wisdom and enlightenment is only the I saying all this is mine – I am everything – Nothing is separate from me – All is one – I am that – OR – the I saying – Nothing is mine –I own nothing – I am always free from everything I see and experience. These are the two principle lines of thinking for the enlightened.

    It is best not to use words like killing and dying – some Vedantic texts may have used such terminology, but overall, such words confuse. Who is killing whom ? – what remains after the killing ? Such wrong questions can only give rise to wrong answers.

    In actual fact, there is no killing and no annihilation here. Such dramatic terms have come into vogue in recent times – never mind if the Upanishads themselves have used such terms – we have the task of interpreting their content correctly for our own sake. The ego or I, in the unenlightened state is identified and attached all over the place – calling everything its own, and suffering greatly from all these tie-ups. Enlightenment is when the ego ceases to suffer because its identifications and attachments have weakened to a point of relative non-existence. Relative is the operative word – there is never an absolute non-existence for the identifications or attachments. They just lose their potency and power to bind and limit and distort the truth. Thus, the quality of the I changes with enlightenment and maturity. The I always is – the Buddhist void or no-self is neither propagated nor accepted by the Vedanta. We have to be mighty careful with the words we use. A Vedanta master will never use terms such as no-self or void.

    The I am is a manner of speaking – to indicate what the self is not, and not aimed at what the self is. It is not a definition of the self. It cannot be taken in the literal sense like many people now seem to take it. There are other positive and affirmative statements on what the self is (Taittirya Upansihad Chapter 2). It helps in separating the I from its strong and limiting identifications – in differentiating between passionate, binding, identification – and dispassionate, objective identification. It doesn’t literally mean that there are times when the I literally thinks or feels nothing except I am. I am connected to this body – I am peaceful – I see this – are thoughts and perceptions occurring all through the waking state in the enlightened individual. They are objective perceptions – not accompanied by bursts of emotion like in the unawakened state.

    Finally, who says the ego does not desire egolessness ? – and who says we undergo the awakening process only because we hate the false and not because we love the truth ? We have a natural love for that which is limitation-free – for the vast and infinite and pure. Our own self, we love the most – and seek to establish it all the time unconsciously. The limitation-free self is the most loved entity in the whole world. It is because of this self that we seem to love so many other things. We naturally gravitate towards the large and the whole and the limitless – hate for the small and false is another thing. We hate because it is contrary to our original nature and our innate vast potential. Hasn’t any one come across these vital statements from the Brihadaaranyaka Upanishad ? If not, one is talking to non-starters.

  71. Agreed, words let us down badly some times. Words have their limitations. But, I wouldn’t use the terms you’ve used to describe the limitations of words – ‘wretched — ‘. See, we all have our own style and way of using words to communicate. In a way, words, like clothes, represent and define us somewhat – words, more so than clothes. Clothes are literally external to us, words are close reflections of the mind. Words can’t reveal the self, say the Upanishads – the self is beyond the mind and words. Fair enough. But, the very same Upanishads and the Gita say the self is known only through the mind and words. Contradiction ? Well, this is their style of communication – very confusing & misleading. Were it not for Shankara’s precise and crystal-clear commentaries, we would be floundering with the task of deciphering them. As for us, we need not be so ambiguous and imprecise with our words – we have a choice when it comes to selecting the words we use to convey something. We can use soft or harsh words, enlightening or confusing words, comforting or painful words, flat or inspiring words. Naturally, we would want to use words that enlighten and dispel ignorance, words that inspire and bring joy and comfort, if we have the ability to do so. The immature ego is a dead giveaway here. And, when it comes to something as true and vital and intangible as the self and enlightenment, we have a great responsibility – words carry greater weight and significance. Carelessly used, imprecise words, contradicting themselves, conveying more than one meaning – can’t serve the purpose they are intended to. Success and popularity they may bring, truth they cannot reveal. We can’t absolve ourselves of all responsibility for the words we use, particularly if they are famous and widely accepted. Words do create problems for us – they create misunderstanding and division. Hence, we have had a tradition of teachers who have said very little or nothing. They have preferred silence to words and talk. They are the silent masters. The pressure to talk and communicate is absent. It must take great maturity to be so – another step up the ladder of enlightenment ?

  72. I’m surprised there is so much confusion and misunderstanding on this point when Jed explained it so well in the Spiritual Enlightenment Trilogy. Is anyone really reading what he wrote? I guess all you can say about this confusion, as Jed likes to say, is “people don’t know what they don’t know”.

    If you read Jed carefully you’ll see he does make a distinction between the Self and No-self. The Self is only present if a world appears for the Self to perceive. By the Self, Atman, the I Am, or any other way of expressing it, the Self only refers to the witness, the pure point of consciousness present at the center of the world that is perceived by the witness. This is how Nisargadatta describes it:

    “Only the onlooker is real, call him Self or Atman.
    The witness is merely a point in awareness.
    It has no name and form.
    It is a dimensionless point of consciousness, a conscious nothing.
    All you can say about yourself is ‘I am’.
    You are and I am only as points in consciousness.
    Delve deeply into the sense ‘I am’ and you will discover that the perceiving center is universal. All that happens in the universe happens to you, the silent witness.
    There can be no universe without the witness, no witness without the universe.”

    In other words, if there is no-self, then there is no world. The Self must be present for the world to appear. If the world disappears, then there is no-self. The key concept is that every witness has its own world, which is no more real than a dream world. This is how Osho describes it:

    “We are not really in the world.
    The world consists not of things outside us but of our dreams.
    Everyone lives in his own dream world.
    If suddenly all dreaming disappeared from the consciousness, your world would disappear because your world was your dreaming.
    We call Buddha the awakened one.
    This awakening is really the cessation of inner dreaming.
    When there is no dreaming you become pure space.
    This non-dreaming consciousness is what is known as enlightenment.
    The inner emptiness itself is the mystery.
    When the inner space is there, you are not.
    When you dissolve, the inner emptiness is there.
    When you are not, the mystery will be revealed.
    You will not be a witness to the mystery, you will be the mystery.
    You fall into an abyss, and the abyss is bottomless: you go on falling.
    That is why Buddha has called this nothingness emptiness.
    There is no end to it. Once you know it, you also have become endless.
    At this point Being is revealed: then you know who you are, what is your real being, what is your authentic existence.
    That being is void.”

    Chuang Tzu sums it up nicely:

    “The man of Tao remains unknown
    Perfect virtue produces nothing
    No-self is true-self
    And the greatest man is Nobody”

    This is how Nisargadatta describes the appearance and disappearance of the world:

    In pure being consciousness arises.
    In consciousness the world appears and disappears.
    Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality.
    The center is a point of void and the witness a point of pure awareness; they know themselves to be as nothing.
    But the void is full to the brim.
    It is the eternal potential as consciousness is the eternal actual.

    Jed says the same thing. The Self, Atman, the witness, the I Am, or whatever else you want to call it, is only present when the world appears. When the world disappears, there is only void, which Nisargadatta calls pure being, Ramana calls Absolute Reality, Shankara calls Brahman, and Jed calls empty space or No-self.

    “Empty space is my reality. The void. No-self.
    I abide in non-dual, non-relative awareness.
    That’s where I am now.”

  73. …continued – my point being I don’t feel that you can safely judge a person by the words he chooses in trying to express his realization. As a writer I will attest that all words are wretched traitors!

  74. Thanks Sushilakrishnamurthi, I would tend to agree with your point about no-self. Ironically, in spite of Jed’s raving on about no-self, the reason I enjoy his perspective so much is that he is so unabashed in his honest acceptance of his own preferences. He doesn’t hide behind any pseudo-spiritual, sanctimonious, saintly persona. On the other hand, all these terms like no-self, higher self, god, enlightenment etc are all half-truths at best, just metaphors standing in for something more substantial. That’s just the inherent limitation of concepts and language when used to describe the “Absolute” (there’s another one!).

  75. There are so many comments on Jed’s take on enlightenment – wonder if it’s worth adding mine to this vast pile. But, here goes my main objection – some of which is discussed in my latest blog ( There is never a state when there is NO SELF. The SELF, in its pure and unattached and expansive state is limitation-free consciousness – which never changes or dies or goes out of existence. If there is no self or I-entity that represents you & I, after this so-called enlightenment, what are we all going on about ? What is our living & striving about ? Who is it all for ? Existence cannot be denied or annihilated at any point in time – even if the physical body dies. Existence, by definition is that which IS at all times – yesterday, today and tomorrow. Existence is outside the limiting realms of time. I, as an independent and conscious thinker, feeler, doer, exist before and after enlightenment. I am just freer, happier, kinder, humbler, once I know who I am in essence, and manage to free myself from all that limits and binds me.This truth from the Upanishads or Vedanta (discussed in the Gita too) is to be reflected upon with the help of proper interpretations and writings – and verified against one’s own experience of existence. The idea that the self is no more after enlightenment is as debilitating an idea as that which says the ego is the self. Both are equally harmful to our prospects of finding peace and fulfilment.

  76. “Enlightenment is literally the biggest nothing of all time. Enlightenment is life-negative. Spiritual enlightenment is pointless and meaningless, and should only be sought by those who have absolutely no choice in the matter.”

    We are all seekers because all of us have absolutely no choice in the matter. Even the ones who are not seeking. This is the foundation, the rest is process.

  77. Actually if you read the Sutras…that’s pretty much what they all say. My current teacher says that the things that are realized are simply obvious. Once you know 2+2=4, you can’t go back and unlearn that. The thing that Jed understood after he read the feedback after Damned came out was that very few people wanted to burn everything up. Then after Incorrect came out he followed up with Warfare, the last few pages spelling out what he calls enlightenment theory. For me, that summed up why most people don’t go after the Big E.

    But….suppose, regardless of religious bent, you look at the theory of reincarnation. This would explain why some (like Nisaragatta Maharaj, Adyashanti, and Krishnamurti) are drawn to it naturally, because it’s the ripening fruit of many lifetimes. This is the Buddhist explanation for why some seem to come into the world with the potential for it, and others strive for a lifetime and stay caught in the conceptual world and the dissatisfying pursuits of the false ego. (But–before you rebut this, reincarnation is a metaphor, like all other religious stories, because Zen is the “bomb.” It’s beyond words. You can’t talk about it except in metaphor. And enlightenment is not a thing. It’s a subtraction, not an addition. Where does your dream go when you wake up? Where are you when you’re enlightened? Gone.)

    All dharmas are useful at some time to someone at a particular stage, and all are equal–we need different messages at different times. It’s not a matter of: “Is Jed ‘fully and completely’ enlightened or no?” If you look at the Diamond Sutra, the answer would be no, because a claim to be at a stage proves that you still cling to the concept of a “self, a person or a life-span.” But, if you read carefully that’s what Jed says, When the ego explodes, there”s nothing, there’s everything and there’s no one.

  78. “Enlightenment is literally the biggest nothing of all time. Enlightenment is life-negative. Spiritual enlightenment is pointless and meaningless, and should only be sought by those who have absolutely no choice in the matter.”

    the last sentence always kept me wondering.
    i constantly feel like this inauthentic part in me in perspective in life generally. that just keeps nagging. i know that nothing will keep this void satisfied. would that be an example of “absolutely no choice” situation?

    or isn’t that “absolutely no choice” situation is like how Neo in movie matrix couldn’t ‘go back’ to the unknowing once he realized something was fishy about the reality he was living in?


  79. Just discovered the books – well cool – 30 odd years of the spirituality gig – but I think I get it – I decided that all religion and spirituality was ” some bugger elses rules” years ago – I get the impression that if you are on the way to waken up – opportunities will present themselves – not seeing them – then this book arrived – will follow this for a while – just wanted to say thanks for the “heads-up/confirmation – All the best!

  80. Weird, my last post was deleted. Anyway, it’s funny, you have to want it more than anything and wanting it prevents seeing that it is always here, now. The universe has a great sense of humor.

  81. Welcome Rain, I don’t usually like to get all pedantic on people but I hope that you realize that the key stumbling block for most if us in contained in your line: “an intense desire to move as quickly as possible through this.” It is the burning desire to be elsewhere and the refusal to accept what is, that most stalls us, I would guess. ‘Just saying’!
    Good luck, Brian

  82. This is an interesting thread… I’m still winding my way through it.
    I started reading Jed’s books last year and they really shook me up.
    I can’t say for the best…. but what is the best anyway?
    I feel an intense desire to move as quickly as possible through this painful process that has begun in me.
    I found this site which has been useful:
    I asked a question and got a response – it wasn’t posted on the website but emailed to me.
    I sometimes use google like bibliomancy (sp?) when looking for they key to unlock the next door – which is how I found this thread.
    At any rate, this isn’t a fun time and I am trying to keep my head down and move forward.

  83. A character in a dream explains how the dream is created, but only the dreamer of the dream can understand the explanation. Very weird. Even weirder, sometimes the dreamer is interested in the explanation, and sometimes the dreamer isn’t. Oh well, that’s life in the dream state.

    In answer to Eddie’s question, I also admit to fraudulence, but I don’t consider this as big a problem as Eddie does. First, I trust what truth realized beings have to say about their experience. There are many testimonies I could reference, but the testimony of Osho seems to me to be about as good as it gets. Second, I trust what theoretical physics has to say about the experience. It seems odd that theoretical physics says anything about the experience of truth realization, but I would recommend that Eddie read Cosmic Solipsism by Amanda Gefter (easily found with a Google search) and consider what the concepts of the holographic principle, the one-world-per-observer paradigm and horizon complementarity are telling us about the nature of reality. If you trust the testimony of truth realized beings, and trust the formalism of theoretical physics, there can be no doubt. I don’t have to just quote others, because I have considered all possibilities, trust my own observations, and trust the process of logical consistency that leads me to the only possible conclusion that makes any real sense.

    I’d also recommend Eddie read the chapter “Done” in McKenna’s Damnedest:

    “And then, one day, there it is. Nothing.”

    “Even then, it’s very possible that you don’t know what you are or where you are.”

    The experience of truth realization is only an experience. You have to make sense of it. What I’ve written about is a way of making sense of it, whether you’ve had the experience or not. At the end of the day, if you can’t make sense of the experience, what is the value of the experience? Maybe I’m putting the cart before the horse, but I don’t think so. It was my goal to understand the theory of enlightenment, not necessarily to become enlightened. I actually tend to agree with McKenna that enlightenment is something to be avoided unless you have absolutely no choice in the matter.

    “Enlightenment is literally the biggest nothing of all time. Enlightenment is life-negative. Spiritual enlightenment is pointless and meaningless, and should only be sought by those who have absolutely no choice in the matter.”

    Much better to become integrated and to be in alignment with the normal flow of things, with feelings of connection, aligned actions, and expressions of creativity. Anyway, that’s my goal in life.

  84. letranger101, it seems to me you oscillate between using the mathematical language of theoretical physics to describe the ways people construct and deconstruct their existence, and verbal language to describe what the truth-realized state is (e.g., “the truth realized state is a state of timeless being, a state of being nothing”). I have little interest in the former (although I have a PhD in the physical sciences and was a research scientist for many years), but I do enjoy interacting with those who communicate about the latter. I’m particularly interested to find out how you know what the truth-realized state is. Have you been there yourself, or are you just quoting others? The thing is, unless one is actually in that state, all accounts of it lack authenticity. We are truly ignorant of the nature of anything.

    Eddie B

    PS. And please, don’t ask me how I know what I write about – I would have to admit I’m a fraud!

  85. No language, no explanation, no concept can ever explain the truth realized state, since all concepts arise within the world, and within the flow of time and energy that characterizes the world, while the truth realized state is a state of timeless being, a state of being nothing. Only the mathematical language of theoretical physics within the context of the one-world-per-observer paradigm of modern cosmology can make any real sense of this dilemma, as it explains how the observer’s world is constructed and appears to come into existence, and how the observer’s world is deconstructed and disappears from existence. The big mystery science can never explain is the nature of the nothingness or void from which the world is created and into which the world must return. This mystery of the void, the timelessly existing nothingness that is the source of all existence, is the same as the mystery of the timeless existence of the observer, which is the mystery of consciousness.

    The point of a scientific explanation is not to explain the mystery, since that is impossible, but to explain how the illusion is created. In terms of the path of return that leads to truth realization, the only good reason to understand how the illusion is created is to help you see things more clearly so that you stop believing what is untrue and stop identifying yourself with your character in the illusion.

    This is exactly the same reason Plato wrote about this stuff almost 2500 years ago, and why McKenna writes about it now. My only reason for pushing science to its logical conclusion is to demonstrate conclusively in scientific terms what these writers have already written about. There is nothing new to say, only a more precise mathematical way of saying it. To say that the observer’s world emerges from nothingness like a dream emerges from a dreamer is a nice metaphor, but modern cosmology and theoretical physics give a precise way of mathematically formalizing this metaphor.

  86. Dear Letranger
    Thanks for your contribution, I’m sure it has its place.

    I must confess to no longer having sufficient interest in any truth-telling to follow your arguments thoroughly, but since you persist, I will go so far as to ask you a question: Is you premise that the language of science/physics and maybe mathematics is a language just as capable of referencing the Ineffable as English?

    If so then I’m with you, even though such languages are unappealing, and as a result rather oblique to me, and I do gladly thank you for communicating in a new way that which has been expressed before in other languages.

    In summary, I assume that you would agree (I can’t tell from my casual perusal of your comments) that ‘the map is not the Territory’? My own study of language suggests that the truth not only “can’t be spoken” (in any language!) but it can’t be spoken of without hiding a significant portion of the truth (rhetoric), which is fine, because it does work on the human mind nevertheless.

    Myself, all I ever try to do on this blog is to identity the lies, both the good hearted rhetorical ones and the nasty ones that ego creates for its own amusement.

    thanks again

  87. This is a continuation of my last ‘rap’ as eddie blatt likes to call it.

    The consistency of mathematics has relevance for a discussion of the nature of delusion. The process of self-identification arises as the observer of the mental screen identifies itself with the animated form of its character that appears on the screen. The animated form of the character arises from the way computational bits of information are organized into the form of the character and self-replicated in form over a sequence of observational events displayed on the screen. In the sense of a computer animation, each event is a screen output, and the form of the character is only a form of information that arises from the way information is organized on the screen. If the observer of the animation somehow arises from the way information is organized on the screen, then this implies a paradox of self-reference in the sense that the observer of the animation observes the form of itself. The Gödel incompleteness theorems prove that such paradoxes of self-reference imply logical inconsistency in the computational rules that govern how information is organized on the screen. If the rules are logically consistent, then it is impossible for the observer to arise from the way information is organized on the screen, and the observer cannot arise from the way the form of its character is organized. It is logically impossible for the observer to observe itself, at least in the sense of an observable form of information displayed on the screen.

    This proves that the observer of the screen is always outside the screen, and therefore outside the form of its character as displayed on the screen. As Plato described this problem in the Allegory of the Cave, the observer exists in a higher dimension that is outside the lower dimensional plane of existence of the screen.

    The process of self-identification that arises as the observer of the mental screen identifies itself with the animated form of its character that appears on the screen is inherently false, only arising with the absurdity of a paradox of self-reference. In essence, the observer of the mental screen believes something untrue about itself as it identifies itself with the form of its character. The observer’s mentally constructed self-concept is only false self-knowledge the observer knows about itself. Seeing the falseness of this false self-knowledge is an essential first step in the process of awakening from the spell of self-identification and delusion.

    The spell of self-identification is like a hypnotic trance that arises because the observer really feels self-limited to the form of its character as it perceives the emotional body feelings that relate the form of its character to other forms in the animation. That feeling of being embodied in a personal self is inherent in all self-referential thoughts that emotionally relate the form of the observer’s character to other forms in the observer’s world. Those self-referential thoughts are the nature of the false self-knowledge the observer knows about itself, but in reality are only emotionally energized false beliefs the observer believes about itself.

    It is possible for the observer to transcend its self-identification with the form of its character because the feeling of being a personal self can come to an end even as the observer continues to observe the animation, but only if the emotional expressions that give rise to those emotional feelings come to an end.

    McKenna writes about the theory of enlightenment. He has written about nothing else in his four books. Strictly speaking, there is no theory of the truth realized state since there is no theory of being nothing, but there is a theory of how to deconstruct your world in order to reach the truth realized state. The reason science can confirm what McKenna has to say about the deconstruction process is because modern cosmology and theoretical physics describe how the world is constructed out of nothingness, and therefore have something to say about how the world can be deconstructed back into nothingness. The only tricky aspect of the problem is understanding the true nature of that nothingness.

    McKenna refers to the theory of enlightenment as a paradigm, which he states is not based on any belief, but rather on direct observation and logical consistency. This is also the case in theoretical physics. The best example of the connection between what McKenna has to say and what science has to say about the nature of the world is the one-world-per-observer paradigm of modern cosmology (cosmic solipsism). In his own way, McKenna makes frequent reference to this paradigm. McKenna also makes reference to the holographic universe paradigm, which theoretical physics expresses as the holographic principle. McKenna uses the paradigm of Plato’s cave to describe the nature of things as coherently organized forms of information that are projected from a (holographic) screen. McKenna also describes how an observer’s state of detachment and free fall through empty space (in which the observer’s world disappears) leads directly to the truth realized state. Modern theoretical physics describes this as horizon complementarity. There are connections between what McKenna writes about and what is formulated in physics all over the place if you look for them.

    McKenna’s book are choke full of concepts. He may be dismissive of concepts on one page and then spend the next 200 pages discussing highly sophisticated concepts in great detail. The reason for this apparent inconsistency is McKenna makes a critical distinction between beliefs, which he correctly characterizes as emotionally energized forms of wishful thinking that are riddled with the absurdity of paradoxes of self-reference, and paradigms, which he describes as arising from direct observation and logical consistency. Theoretical physics makes the same distinction. Paradigms are also called fundamental principles, like the principle of equivalence, the uncertainty principle, the action principle, the holographic principle, and the one-world-per-observer paradigm. To this we can add the most fundamental principle of all, the first principle, which is the principle of existence. Theoretical physics ignores the first principle of existence because it deals only with what can be observed or measured, and what can be formulated as theory, which has do with the way the observable world can become constructed and deconstructed. There is clearly something missing in this formulation. Before the observer’s world can be constructed, after the observer’s world is deconstructed, the observer must exist. The first principle of existence is about the absolute or timeless existence of the observer. McKenna has spent a great deal of time in recent books discussing the first principle of existence.

    More importantly, this is something you can confirm for yourself through your own direct observation. You know that you exist. You can focus on your own timeless sense of being present as the observer of your own world. Even as things in your world appear to change, you are always present and always the same presence, but that presence is nothing more than the consciousness present at the center of your world. Focusing on your own sense of being present is one of the keys that helps unlock the door to enlightenment. The other side of this key is clearly seeing the falseness of all the false self-knowledge you know about yourself, the false self-limiting beliefs you believe about yourself, and the mentally constructed concepts you have of yourself as a person in your world. As McKenna repeatedly says, the truth is that you are nothing but consciousness. Everything else is a big illusion, like a dream that you are dreaming. The process of awakening is really no more complicated than seeing the dream as a dream and no longer identifying yourself with your character in the dream. Unfortunately, the process of undoing self-identification is a long, difficult, painful process of undoing all the emotional processes and connections that give rise to self-identification in the first place.

    Nisargadatta gives a crystal clear description of all these points:

    I see only consciousness, and know everything to be but consciousness, as you know the pictures on the cinema screen to be but light.

    It is enough to shift attention from the screen onto oneself to break the spell.

    That which makes you think that you are a human is not human.
    It is a dimensionless point of consciousness, a conscious nothing.
    All you can say about yourself is ‘I am’.

    You know many things, but the knower you do not know. Find out who you are, the knower of the known. Whatever you see, hear or think, you are not what happens, you are to whom it happens.

    The perceived cannot be the perceiver.

    Delve deeply into the sense ‘I am’ and you will discover that the perceiving center is universal. All that happens in the universe happens to you, the silent witness.

    You are the source of reality-a dimensionless center of perception that imparts reality to whatever it perceives-a pure witness that watches what is going on and remains unaffected.

    It is only imagination and self-identification with the imagined that encloses and converts the inner watcher into a person.

    The person is merely the result of a misunderstanding.
    In reality there is no such thing.

    Feelings, thoughts and actions race before the watcher in endless succession.
    In reality there is no person, only the watcher identifying itself.

    The person is in resistance to the very end.

    It is the witnessing consciousness that makes realization attainable.
    It is the witness that works on the person-on the totality of its illusions.

    McKenna makes the same points:

    Ego doesn’t need to be killed because it was never really alive. You don’t have to destroy your false self because it’s not real, which is really the whole point. It’s just a character we play. What needs to be killed is that part of us that identifies with the character. Once that’s done-really done, and it can take years-then you can wear the costume and play the character as it suits you to do so, now in the character but not of the character.

    Waking up from the dreamstate is a very straightforward business. It doesn’t take decades. It doesn’t look like tranquility or like a calm, peaceful mind. It doesn’t look like saving others or saving the world or even saving yourself. It doesn’t look like a thriving marketplace where merit is determined by popular appeal or commercial success. Waking up looks like a massive mental and emotional breakdown because that’s exactly what it is, the granddaddy of all breakdowns.

    Waking up isn’t a theoretical subject one masters through study and comprehension, it’s a journey one makes-a battle one fights.

    You have to know what you want. You have to have a clear desire, a strong and specific intent. If you don’t know where you’re going then there’s no basis for judging one direction better or worse than another.

    In the search for truth, God, meaning, supra-consciousness, divine union, bliss, salvation, or whatever other spiritual tail we might chase, self is never itself subjected to critical scrutiny. We simply accept that we are as we think we are and that reality is as we think it is and go from there.

    Thus the primary error from which all others arise has already been committed and is safe from detection and correction. All our discernment and discrimination and intelligence is turned outward from self, not inward against it.

    Spiritual enlightenment is the state in which the self is free of all delusion, including self itself. The process of becoming enlightened is a deliberate act of self-annihilation. It is the false self that does the killing and the false self that dies; a suicide in all but the physical sense. Because there is no true self to fill the vacancy created by the passing of the false self, no self remains.

    It is not possible to knowledgeably choose or want spiritual enlightenment. To desire it is to misunderstand it. Ego cannot desire egolessness. One does not undergo the process of awakening out of love for the true but out of hatred for the false; a hatred so intense that it burns everything and spares nothing.

    We erect ego to compensate for the lack of direct self-knowledge. There is no true self to perceive-there is only false self and no-self. One looks for true self and finds nothing. It’s the dread of that nothingness that keeps one’s attention outwardly fixed.

    All belief systems are just the stories we create in order to deal with the void. Ego abhors a vacuum, so everybody’s scrambling to create the illusion of something where there’s nothing. Belief systems are simply the devices we use to explain away the unthinkable horror of no-self.

    The idea of the individual self, valid and separate, unravels very quickly under any serious scrutiny. All beliefs do. What takes time and effort is-to put the idea of self under such scrutiny and make sense of what’s left after the belief is gone.

    Ignorance isn’t an aspect of self; it’s the essence of self. It’s not nothing where there should be something, it’s the delicate weaving of something from nothing. That nothingness woven into somethingness is what you call reality. The part you call you is ego.

    You, the reader, are at the exact center of the universe; your universe.
    It’s all yours, it’s all about you, and you are all alone in it.
    Anything that tells you otherwise is a belief, and no belief is true.

    The you that you think of as you is not you. The you that thinks of you as you is not you. It’s just the character that the underlying truth of you is dreaming into brief existence.

    Enlightenment isn’t in the character, it’s in the underlying truth.

    Everyone has an underlying truth-but no one knows it any more than dream characters know they’re products of the sleep state of a larger self.

    Enlightenment is really nothing more than-waking up from a dream. This is the dream. The question is, who is doing the dreaming and how do we wake up?

    To know the lie is to hate it; to see it is to slay it.

    If you want to be more true, then the way to do that is by becoming less false.

    Go inside yourself with the spotlight of discrimination-and illuminate it.

    Illumination destroys it. Lies disappear when you really look at them because they never had real substance, they were only imagined.

    It is the emotional energy of fear that erects and maintains the egoic shell. We are madly, desperately, insanely afraid of the truth, and it is that fear that walls us off from our unbounded nature.

    Fear of what? Fear of no-self. The nameless, faceless dread of non-being. Not just fear of death, which anyone can deny or explain away, but fear of nothingness, which no fairytale can fix.

    Truth is one, is non-dual, is infinite, is one-without-other.

    Truth is dissolution, no-self, unity.

    There’s nothing to say about it, nothing to feel about it, nothing to know about it.

    You are true or you’re a lie, as in ego-bound, as in dual, as in asleep.

    The truth of the situation is that eventually, there’s nothing.
    Infinity. Eternity. The void.

    Enlightenment is literally the biggest nothing of all time. Enlightenment is life-negative. Spiritual enlightenment is pointless and meaningless, and should only be sought by those who have absolutely no choice in the matter.

    The dreamstate is a big amusement park and I would never encourage anyone to try to escape. That would be as absurd as suggesting that you commit suicide for your own good.

    How can you want nothing? Words ascribed to the Buddha are often fraudulent, but there’s one very clear exception: “Truly, I have attained nothing from total enlightenment”. It’s not so much that he didn’t gain anything as that he did gain nothing.

    Empty space is my reality. The void. No-self.
    I abide in non-dual, non-relative awareness.
    That’s where I am now.

  88. When people talk and write, when includes me, whoever that is, it’s to try to understand it by talking and writing about it, like autolysis. We’re trying to figure it out and using the other as a sound board, so to speak. Concepts upon concepts until the only outcome is left, suicide of the mind, a realization of the limitation of concepts that try to describe something infinite, something beyond time, of which the mind cannot enter into.

    With no religious connotation, it’s like Moses wandering in the desert for 40 years leading you the promised land, but is not allowed to enter. Joshua takes over, which is another name for Jesus, which the Gnostics said was a metaphor for consciousness. Metaphors lead you to the precipice, but it can’t enter, it’s a crucifixion and death of the limited Word that goes back to the formless infinite abyss.

    After reading TOE, Jed’s theory of everything, what struck me, whoever that is, is that science can’t enter it either. We can use all the metaphors of the dream state of which science delves, but at the end, it’s not allowed in. Dream is dream, awake is awake.

    Enjoy the dream, but it’s as fleeting as last night’s dream, it’s all unreal.

    Truth is, untruth isn’t.

  89. I only write about the theory of enlightenment. This writing is not based on idle philosophical speculation, but on reliable facts that anyone can observe for themselves. Since modern theoretical physics is based on the soundness of mathematics, this is the most reliable compendium of facts we have available. This compendium of facts does not constitute an objective reality (there is no such thing as objective reality as McKenna likes to point out), but is the basis for how each observer constructs its own world. An observer’s world has mathematical structure, just like the structure of the computational bits of information encoded in a computer network generated virtual reality world displayed on a computer screen, and so the mathematical concepts of theoretical physics are relevant for how each observer’s world is constructed.

    Why is this relevant for a discussion of enlightenment? The process that leads to truth realization is a process of deconstructing your own world, which always begins with a process of deconstructing the mentally constructed concept you have of being a person in that world (your character in the dream state). The only benefit of a good theory of enlightenment is it gives you some guidance about that deconstruction process. The science of modern cosmology and theoretical physics explains how that world is created in the first place, and so helps explain how to deconstruct that world, which always begins with the deconstruction of the mentally constructed concept you have of yourself as a person in that world.

    As McKenna likes to say, if you don’t know where you’re going, then you don’t know in which direction to travel, and any direction is as good as any other. The result of this confusion is you tend to walk around in small purposeless circles.

    Alice came to a fork in the road.
    “Which road do I take?” she asked.
    “Where do you want to go?”
    responded the Cheshire cat.
    “I don’t know,” Alice answered.
    “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

    The only good reason to have a sound theory of enlightenment, which is as sound as a mathematical theorem, is to avoid doing such a silly thing. Of course, this assumes that you really want to reach the final destination of the journey that is called truth realization. The other reason to have a sound theory is so you can avoid the whole mess if that is not what you really want.

    McKenna has done a remarkably good job of explaining the theory of enlightenment, but in spite of this, most people who read his books have absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Most people who do have an inkling of what he is talking about hate it, and hate him for talking about it. These people actually have their wits about them. The people who are clueless are the people who like reading McKenna and have no idea what he is talking about. Only a very few read him and become inspired to do something about their situations.

    I became inspired to translate McKenna’s ideas into the mathematically sound concepts of modern cosmology and theoretical physics precisely because of this confusion. I wanted to say these things in such a mathematically tight way that there is no possibility of any confusion if the concepts are properly understood. The beauty of mathematics is there is no wiggle room, as McKenna brilliantly pointed out in his discussion of Orwell’s 1984: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”

  90. letranger101, we could go on dissecting what others have said about enlightenment ad nauseum; agreeing with some, disagreeing with others, and ending up compiling enough information to house in the Library of Congress! Perhaps there is some value in doing that, especially early on in one’s conscious spiritual journey when an awakening of sorts appears. But what really interests me is where people are coming from when they communicate such seeming profundities. For someone to communicate the nature of Truth-Realisation with authenticity, you’d think they would have had to already realised what they are talking about; otherwise, they are simply repeating others platitudinously or they are very much deceived. So, I’m interested to know whether you consider yourself to speak from the place of “undifferentiated consciousness” you write about.

  91. Truth realization is as simple as becoming nothing.

    Listen to what Nisargadatta has to say about it:

    Nothing perceivable is real.
    Reality is essentially alone.
    To know that nothing is, is true knowledge.
    The totality of all mental projections is the Great Illusion.
    When I look beyond the mind I see the witness.
    Beyond the witness is infinite emptiness and silence.
    For the path of return naughting oneself is necessary.
    My stand I take where nothing is.
    To the mind it is all darkness and silence.
    It is deep and dark, mystery beyond mystery.
    It is, while all else merely happens.
    It is like a bottomless well, whatever falls into it disappears.

    The process that leads to truth realization is as complicated as undoing all the processes that created the observer’s world and character in the first place. Science is only a way of describing these creation and destruction processes. Only the undoing process is complicated, not the final destination of the journey.

    Nisargadatta is very clear about the need for a process of destruction:

    The way to truth lies through the destruction of the false.
    To destroy the false you must question your most inveterate beliefs.
    Of these the idea that you are the body is the worst.
    It is the clinging to the false that makes the truth so difficult to see.
    You progress by rejection.
    To question is the essence of revolt.
    Without revolt there can be no freedom.
    Everything must be scrutinized and the unnecessary ruthlessly destroyed.
    There cannot be too much destruction.
    For in reality nothing is of value.
    Investigate your world, apply your mind to it, examine it critically, scrutinize every idea about it.
    There is nothing wrong with the senses, it is your imagination that misleads you.
    There is a deep contradiction in your attitude which you do not see.
    See your world as it is, not as you imagine it to be.
    See the person you imagine yourself to be as a part of the world you perceive within your mind and look at the mind from the outside, for you are not the mind.
    Go beyond, go back to the source, go to the Self that is the same whatever happens.
    See everything as emanating from the light which is the source of your own being.
    Find the immutable center where all movement takes birth.
    Be the axis at the center-not whirling at the periphery.
    Nothing stops you except fear.
    You are afraid of impersonal being.

    This is all explained remarkably well in McKenna’s books. This is how McKenna describes coming back from Nirvana:

    Before enlightenment I believed my ego was me, then enlightenment comes along and no more ego, only the underlying reality.
    Now it’s after enlightenment and this ego might be slightly uncomfortable or ill-fitting at times, but it’s all I’ve got.
    The idea that your ego is destroyed in the process of becoming enlightened is roughly correct, but it’s not complete.
    Before enlightenment, you’re a human being in the world, just like everyone you see.
    During enlightenment you realize the human being you thought you were is just a character in a play, and that the world you thought you were in is just a stage, so you go through a process of radical deconstruction of your character to see what’s left when it’s gone.
    The result isn’t enlightened-self or true-self, it’s no-self.
    When it’s all over it’s time to be a human being in the world again, and that means slipping back into costume and getting back on stage.
    Now you’re actually in the audience, watching the drama.
    I could never mistake the play for reality again, or my character for my true state.
    Happily, I never know what my character is going to do or say until he does it or says it, so the whole thing stays interesting.

    Just to make the point clearly, this is how he describes the ascended state that follows after truth realization:

    The enlightened view life as a dream, so how could they possibly differentiate between right and wrong or good and evil?
    How can one turn of events be better or worse than another?
    Of what real importance is anything in a dream?
    You wake up and the dream is gone as if it never was.
    All the characters and events that seemed so real have simply vanished.
    The enlightened may walk and talk in the dream world, but they don’t mistake the dream for reality.
    Members of movie audiences don’t leap out of their seats to save characters in the film.
    If they did, they would be hauled off to the nearest mental health facility and treated for a delusional disorder.

    Nisargadatta says the same thing:

    Once you realize that there is nothing in this world which you can call your own you look at it from the outside as you look at a play on the stage or a picture on the screen.
    To know the picture as the play of light on the screen gives freedom from the idea that the picture is real.
    In reality I only look.
    Whatever is done is done on the stage.
    Joy and sorrow, life and death, they are real to the man in bondage; to me they are all in the show, as unreal as the show itself.

  92. Hey letranger101, that’s one hell of a rap. And I thought truth-realisation was simple – at least that’s what good old Jed said. Oh well, I guess I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board. But before I do, I’m interested to know if you have dissolved into the “source of undifferentiated consciousness” that you write about. It must be a long way back if you have.

  93. There is much confusion about the nature of what enlightenment is and isn’t. Other than the direct experience of truth realization for oneself, the only way to understand it (conceptually) is to use concepts of modern theoretical physics, which are strange enough to encompass what truth-realized beings have to say about the experience. The thing to be clear about is only the character of the truth-realized being (as that character appears in the dream state) can say these things, but only the truth-realized being itself knows what these words are talking about. Let’s listen to what Osho’s character has to say about the experience:

    We call Buddha the awakened one.
    This awakening is really the cessation of inner dreaming.
    When there is no dreaming you become pure space.
    This non-dreaming consciousness is what is known as enlightenment.
    The inner emptiness itself is the mystery.
    When the inner space is there, you are not.
    When you are not, the mystery will be revealed.
    You will not be a witness to the mystery, you will be the mystery.
    When you dissolve, the inner emptiness is there.
    You fall into an abyss, and the abyss is bottomless: you go on falling.
    That is why Buddha has called this nothingness emptiness.
    There is no end to it. Once you know it, you also have become endless.
    At this point Being is revealed: then you know who you are, what is your real being, what is your authentic existence.
    That being is void.

    First important concept: the one-world-per-observer paradigm of modern cosmology (cosmic solipsism). The observer’s world is defined on a bounding surface of space called a cosmic horizon, which acts as a holographic screen that projects images of the observer’s world to the central point of view of the observer. The cosmic horizon arises from the expansion of space itself (the effect of dark energy). Space itself accelerates away from the central point of view of the observer, and creates the observer’s world in a big bang event. The observer’s cosmic horizon only arises because the observer is in an accelerated frame of reference due to the accelerated expansion of space itself. If that acceleration comes to an end, the observer’s cosmic horizon disappears, and all images of the observer’s world as displayed on its cosmic horizon disappear. The observer itself is nothing more than the consciousness present at the center of its world. When everything in the observer’s world disappears, only the void remains. Before anything is created in the observer’s world, only the void exists.
    Second important concept: the holographic principle. Everything observable in the observer’s world is defined by information encoded on the observer’s holographic screen. All the images of the observer’s world are projected from the observer’s holographic screen to the central point of view of the observer. Those perceivable images are animated over a sequence of events that arise in the flow of energy that characterizes the observer’s world, which arises from the expansion of space itself. Those animated images tend to self-replicate their forms due to coherent organization that arises as bits of information align together. The perceivable things in the observer’s world are only coherently organized animated forms of information, which are images projected from the holographic screen. The observer’s world is just like a hologram, and only the light of consciousness itself can illuminate that hologram.
    Third important concept: consensual reality (the dream state). There is the possibility of a consensual reality shared by many different observers since the spaces bounded by each observer’s cosmic horizon can overlap with each other and share information, an effect called quantum entanglement. This is just like an interactive computer network generated virtual reality world displayed on multiple computer screens and observed by multiple observers. Each observer’s character is like its avatar displayed on the screen. The observer itself is nothing more than a point of consciousness that perceives and illuminates the screen.
    Forth important concept: The nature of choice arises with the observer’s focus of attention on its screen. Every event in the flow of time is a decision point where choices are made, and only an observer can make those choices and choose what to observe with its focus of attention. Those choices are inherent in a quantum state of potentiality that describes all possible ways in which information can become encoded on the observer’s holographic screen.
    Fifth important concept: The nature of self-identification. The observer identifies itself with the animated form of its character that appears on its screen. This self-identification only arises because the observer really feels self-limited to the form of its character as its perceives the emotional body feelings that arise in its character’s body as emotional actions are enacted on the screen. Once this self-identification occurs, the observer then feels compelled to defend the survival of its character’s body as though its existence depends on it. These self-defensive actions only arise because that is where the observer’s focus of attention is focused, but this emotional expression perpetuates the observer’s self-identification in a vicious cycle.
    Sixth important concept: The metaphysical concept of turning around (looking within), as the observer focuses its attention on the true spiritual nature of its existence. The perceiving point itself (the consciousness present at the center of its world) focuses its attention on its own timeless sense of being present (the sense of I-am-ness). There are two consequence of looking within. The first is negation, as the observer rejects all the mentally constructed concepts it has of itself as an embodied person in its world (its character) that is emotionally related to other things in its world. The observer looks within and finds nothing true except for its own presence. The observer rejects all the false self-knowledge it knows about itself and discovers that it is nothing more than a presence of consciousness. The observer cannot know what it is, it can only be what it is, nothing more than a point of consciousness that is timelessly present at the center of its own world, while all the animated images of that world are displayed on the screen surrounding the observer. The second consequence of looking within is as the observer clearly sees the true nature of what it is, the observer also clearly sees that it is only defending the survival of an illusion of what it is (its character) with its self-defensive expressions. With this clear seeing, the observer surrenders and lets things play out in its world in the normal way without any interference. The observer chooses not to choose as it withdraws attention away from its world and focuses on its own sense of being present. The observer chooses to do nothing in its world in a personal sense, and lets things play out in the normal way in the flow of energy that characterizes the observer’s world. Without expressions of personal will, the observer no longer feels self-limited to the form of its character and no longer identifies itself with its character, which completes the negation process. The observer knows itself as nobody, nothing more than the consciousness present at the center of its world.
    Seventh important concept: Underlying reality. When the observer completely withdraws its attention away from its world, the observer no longer expends any energy in its world. When the flow of energy comes to an end, the flow of time also comes to an end. The observer’s world is no longer animated, and the observer’s world disappears. As the observer detaches itself from its world, the observer enters into a state of ultimate free fall. The observer’s world disappears, and only the observer’s underlying reality remains. The observer’s world is nothing more than images projected from the holographic screen surrounding the observer to the observer’s central point of view. The holographic screen is only a bounding surface of space (an event horizon) that arises because the observer is in an accelerated frame of reference. As the observer enters into a state of ultimate free fall, the observer’s holographic screen disappears, the observer’s world disappears, and only the observer’s underlying reality remains. That underlying reality is the nature of the unlimited empty space we call the void. The void is the source of the observer and the observer’s world. As the observer returns to its source, the observer’s individual consciousness is extinguished and becomes One with the Source. As individual consciousness is extinguished, the observer’s world is no longer illuminated and disappears. This reunion is a dissolution. With its return to the Source, the observer dissolves into its source of undifferentiated consciousness like a drop of water dissolves into the ocean. The Source is a void of undifferentiated consciousness.

    Anyone who reads McKenna carefully will see that what is described above is exactly what McKenna describes, but is also what Nisargadatta describes, Osho describes, Ramana describes, … Truth realization is the same for everyone. Delusion is different for everyone and is as complicated as there are people to imagine it.
    Final disclaimer: What is described above is only an explanation based on scientific concepts. One must directly experience for oneself what these concepts can only point towards and conceptually attempt to describe. As McKenna likes to say: Come see for yourself.

  94. and one more thing..

    i understand that i am not in charge of everybody else (they do what they do) but when i sometimes read other comments about some “HEARTS”, “MINDS”, “CONSCIOUSNESS” etc.. seems that someone somehow knows something more except “i am”.

    but why i am asking those questions in a first place?
    1) for happiness? to have more “good” feelings?
    2) for becoming something more than i am right now?

    I DON”T KNOW. like anything else.

    if i could just switch off somewhere in my brain ability to ask questions.

  95. to Brian:
    yes, i understand that language itself is kinda “bad” tool, but we don’t have any other..

    but, to be honest, i don’t understand what are you saying.

    As i see, either something (although maybe it is not a thing) is unchanging no matter what, no matter time, dimension etc…
    there is no such unchanging thing. why it is not possible that everything is changing. everything. and why it is not possible that non-dualistic concept is also only a belief? That it is UNVERIFIABLE… like everything is unverifiable, also questions like “dual or non-dual everything is” or “truth exist vs truth does not exist”.

    Can we know something for sure except “i am”?
    WHat a fuck is going on here? 😀
    but whatever it is, it is RIGHT. it is PERFECT. but again, those words are only words and no word can describe anything what is here.

  96. Hi Gecko, They are referring to the reality that any ‘truth’ is held in opposition to the given ‘untruth’. Such a position is fundamentally dualistic, when Jed maintains his position is of Non-dual abiding. The problem is with language and logic itself- it is always linear and partial, whereas reality (truth) is wildly complex. Thus paradoxical statements such as those you quote.

  97. hello,

    i have a question for you:

    in his latest book “theory of everything”, in the beginning of it, Jed talks with Karl.

    And they agree that “Based on the fact that truth cannot not exist, because it would be absurd to say that no-truth is truth is true, I agree that truth must exist.”

    Question: why it is not possible that TRUTH is that no truth exists?

  98. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.
    I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info.

    Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  99. To Anonymous- Nicely put!
    “it’s a tool to get to a tipping point, an event horizon, where the gravity then takes over and your illusions as an individual are burnt off re-entering the atmosphere of the planet of non-duality.”

  100. “Hi Nous- If your comment is directed at me (Brian), my opinion is that autolysis does not and cannot ‘lead’ to Enlightenment….
    But use of it runs against concept such as ‘No Free Will” and whether the ego can use any tools to liberate itself.”

    My opinion on these points…
    The autolysis is just a method of getting one’s ‘self’ to a point of no-return, it’s a tool to get to a tipping point, an event horizon, where the gravity then takes over and your illusions as an individual are burnt off re-entering the atmosphere of the planet of non-duality. (sorry for the clumsy metaphor)
    It doesn’t matter what gets you to that point – you use the illusion of free will to get to that point, whatever it takes. After that, it’s just physics.
    And nothing can run against the reality of no free will – if there is no free will, and never has been, then even the apparent use of free will is just an appearance – it doesn’t matter what you do, you will not go ‘against’ the reality of no free will.
    If ‘no free will”is just a concept to you then any apparent contradictions are conceptual only.

  101. As I have come to understand, no path whatsoever “leads” to enlightenment – spiritual autolysis or otherwise – because there is no such thing as an enlightenment somewhere else or sometime else. The undoing of the movement to attain a state other than where we are now, could be termed the spiritual process (although I try to avoid words such as “spiritual” and “enlightenment” like I do the plague). This process requires the re-cognition (or knowing again) of the futility of every path whatsoever. Whoever Jed is, and whatever he may or may not have said about awakening, I reckon that is what he was pointing to. It is by necessity “Spiritual Warfare” because the process is ugly and frightening, and no hostages are taken.

    The man himself says it beautifully in his book, “Jed McKenna’s Notebook”:

    “Here’s a simple test. If it’s soothing or comforting, if it makes you feel warm and fuzzy; if it’s about getting into pleasant emotional or mental states; if it’s about peace, love, tranquility, silence or bliss; if it’s about a brighter future or a better tomorrow; if it makes you feel good about yourself or boosts your self- esteem, tells you you’re okay, tells you everything’s just fine the way it is; if it offers to improve, benefit or elevate you, or if it suggests that someone else is better or above you; if it’s about belief or faith or worship; if it raises or alters consciousness; if it combats stress or deepens relaxation, or if it’s therapeutic or healing, or if it promises happiness or relief from unhappiness, if it’s about any of these or similar things, then it’s not about waking up. Then it’s about living in the dreamstate, not smashing out of it.

    “On the other hand, if it feels like you’re being skinned alive, if it feels like a prolonged evisceration, if you feel your identity unraveling, if it twists you up physically and drains your health and derails your life, if you feel love dying inside you, if it seems like death would be better, then it’s probably the process of awakening.”

    My guess is very few of us involved in the so-called “spiritual” quest signed up for this!

  102. Hi Nous- If your comment is directed at me (Brian), my opinion is that autolysis does not and cannot ‘lead’ to Enlightenment. I take it as a (questionable) tool suggested by the author which can only deliver the User greater “human maturity”. It is a suggestion which seems to contradict the author’s primary arguments in many ways. But some people use it to dispose of the many erroneous beliefs and conceptions that they have relative to enlightenment and everything else, and which are leading them astray. But use of it runs against concepts such as ‘No Free Will” and whether the ego can use any tools to liberate itself.

  103. Does the method of spiritual autolysis necessarily leads ultimately to the absolute indifference of emotions towards anyone and anything? It seems hard to imagine the spiritual autolysis, as an absolutely ruthless exposure and subsequent dissolution of one’s ego, done in such way as to intentionally “protect” some functioning of human emotions. Since you can’t be writing about all your cherished beliefs in a totally detached attitude, yet grabbing hold of some and say such and such beliefs are genuine expressions of Love, and leave them alone, which means “undone”. Then if you reject the total elimination of Heart, at least all the way until it is “done”, you practically reject the core of Jed Mckenna’s teachings.

    I am definitely not in a place to judge which one is the correct or proper path to spiritual enlightenment. I’m just saying that it is still unclear how Jed’s teaching can be modified in the direction you suggest……After all the spiritual autolysis is such a destructive process.

  104. Reality contains the dreaming of un-reality, but is beyond it. You’re either pregnant or not, no levels there. Once again, it cannot be contained in dualism, it’s beyond being an ‘It’ and ‘not it.’ There never was bondage (just a dream) so what is liberation?

    Truth is quite (extraordinarily) ordinary!

  105. Reality is whole and all that is, right here, right now. If that means self-righteous, bigoted and narcissistic behaviour, then it is also that. If it means pretentious guru-complexes that sell spiritual concepts, “levels” or a romanticized conceptual-awakening to the masses, it is also that. Liberation is very normal, ordinary and unromantic.

  106. You can’t assume anything about enlightened people, even when they act unenlightened, it could be an act to wake you up. Gurdjieff was known to do such things. As for Nisargadatta, he does comment on whether Osho, or Rajneesh is enlightened::

    “Rajneesh is not a small personality or small
    principal. He is tremendous – he is very big. He is a great sage.”

  107. I didn’t read the whole discussion but I am boggled. Isn’t the point to do ones own work. I doubt Nisargadatta wasted any time discussing whether or not what’s-his-name had achieved ….but I guess there is no harm in it as long as you’re having fun.

  108. Thanks Joe.

    I can’t speak for you, but I’ve gotten “my” ego pulverized and it appears it’s the only way to freedom to being no one.

    “Humility is our natural response to seeing what’s true about ourselves. When we judge others and question that judgement, then turn it around to ourselves, that is the fire and purification. Our knees buckle, and we learn how sweet it is to lose—how that’s winning.” —Byron Katie

    “For one gains by losing and loses by gaining.” —Lao Tzu

    “Disillusionment is the gate—then you can be transformed.” —Osho

    “You have to become completely disillusioned, then truth begins to express itself in its own way.”
    —U.G. Krishnamurti

    “Failure is the key to the kingdom within… Eat me like candy. It’s spring and finally I have no will.” —Rumi

    “Now, to overcome thy sense of separate existence, thou must be humbled…Humiliation is the most painful thing thy pride can suffer; yet must if suffer before it can die.” —Life’s Word

    “…not my will, but thine, be done.”
    —Jesus, Gospel of Luke

  109. and ~ aside from the interpretation of dream-state patterns ~ for example, i know it’s about to rain because the temperature just dipped beneath that huge black cloud ~ if you think you know something, or indeed that there is something which can be known, then quoting jed, further. and if you think there’s a world out there, other than an idea-construct of your own making, further ~ joe, over and out.

  110. ‘jed mckenna’ is just another door, albeit the primary one, and his autolysis is a passage of rites for those will-ing to self-train. i knew the ineffable, that which jed knows, before damnedest was published, and i have nothing to say on the matter. ‘jed’ and i are exactly the same. as ‘individual’ expressions however, we are different, and he doesn’t know what i know because he is not supposed to. therefore he is unsure of me; categorises me on his blog ~ ‘the perhaps enlightened ego’ ~ and trips himself up in the process, thus rendering himself a forgotten door. to the All i say thank you. in tripping himself up, on-stage, he helps create a scenario whereby one of his ‘students’ – we’ll call him X – receives/triggers exactly what is required in that moment. wrong is right. furthermore, having seemingly dismissed jed, i still consider myself a young grape to his cellared vintage, and i have no way of knowing what i don’t yet know. he may not be yoda, but i’m not much past luke-stage myself. however, the richness is in the content, and no grape will surpass it’s own flavour, no acorn will grow into anything but an oak. done means done in the sense he’s speaking about it, and his wariness of anyone ‘done’ who may not be ‘pure in heart’ is perhaps sincere, perhaps not. ‘i’m a good guy’ he confesses. why? but i’ll not slander or unmask him, but simply say thank you for his service, and assure him of diddly squat. let him watch and learn like the rest of us. to anyone else i say, follow anyone you like, but ONLY with the intention of figuring out what they know, even if it is unknowable, and moving on, as it were. YOU are unique. YOU are perfect. YOU are completely AL-L-One in this endeavour. the process of awakening will render you frequently vulnerable, and the moment of vulnerability will always herald the assistance of the entire universe. learn to function in this manner, learn to accept vulnerability as nourishment. learn to not resist the energy formerly called ‘fear’; bathe internally in same-said energy, and see what happens. in the words of Bob Marley, open your eye(s), and look within. furthermore, as you practice the art of relinquishment of dualistically accumulated willpower, of habitual ‘back-story’ energy ~or slow-release plant-food’ if you like ~ you will render the creative expression of you ever more powerful because you have surrendered another slice of will to the only thing which knows what it is doing. in other words, you’re learning to function correctly, as am i. jed said ‘it does not appear to be indicated’. i disagree. but then, i am full of crap. ~ joe

    for what it’s worth, i consider a combination of autolysis and a course in miracles to be the most potent mechanism for awakening. i might also say that i consider a combination of comfrey and stinging nettle juice to be the best organic fertilizer for my vegetables. the first thing to autolysise might be your reaction to the ‘religious-speak’ of acim, or your opinion of someone you know who practices it. that said, everything works. go with your gut.

    best of luck. you don’t exist. you alone exist. death, time, space are all fabrications of your own making. ~ joe

  111. True, he is a thorn to remove thorns, then they are all thrown. The heart-crap of the I-thorn, which doesn’t really exist, is a biggie, for it covers up the Real, (spirit, truth, love), beyond thorns.

  112. Jed Mckenna exists no more than you or I exist. I can’t compute what is to be gained from pondering on which of his identities is truer. The books stand on their own even if they were signed by a non-dual incarnation of Micky Mouse.

    In Warfare Jed references MJ Adler’s book ‘How to Read a Book’; the strategic placement within this last book of the trilogy should not escape the attentive reader. Nor does Jed’s impeccable ability to distinguish shit from Shinola.

    It should not make any difference to anything or anyone whether or not Jed does, or doesn’t do ‘heart’. I ‘honestly’ can’t see how it should.

    For what it’s worth; It has come to my understanding that heart-crap is a real phenomenon. I’d say it is a integral part of the mind-body system. I’d also say you can take it or leave it (not unlike a-sexuality).

    May Your Enemies Be Patient. 😉

  113. To each his own. Hanging around an awakened one before, you can’t predict them or tell them what to do, that would mean you’re awakened, but then you would be doing your own thing, singing your own song. I don’t know, I still learn from everything, even Rick Santorum, he shows me where humanity is at, as does everyone on earth. It shows something about this crazy ego of “mine?”

    Still part of the 99.9999%

  114. JM has his own website, the wisefool one; why not use that? Is it actionable to pretend to be someone else’s pseudonym? In the days of Internet I have to say I doubt it. My guess is that the “real” JM would not only not care, but find it rich in irony, and even fitting, if people are currying the favor and seeking the advice of a fake Jed! In the bonus material of Book 2, he wrote how anyone looking for a relationship with him is just turning themselves into Maya’s hand puppet.

    The above quotes are OK, but just OK, IMHO – I don’t see anything like the searing clarity of JM’s books there.

  115. “That’s why this forum is called ‘Lies, lies and more lies’. It’s all anyone can do, ever, period. No exceptions. And, that’s a lie too of course. So, where does that leave you? Back at Square One. What you are seeking is that which is seeking. I am that which is aware that I am. Turn around and, while you’re at it, make up some more lies.”

    “Yes, letting go does require a letter-goer. So, you create one, just like everything else, just create it and assign it the task of letting go. After a while, you can fire his ass because the letting go will continue spontaneously. Eventually you will realize that there was nothing to let go of and Jed was just giving you something to do in your spare time.”

    “The vast majority of the world is insane, completely insane. I am pointing at getting sane. Of course when everyone else is on the other side of an imaginary fence, you might be inclined to side with the majority. It’s certainly understandable, but you wouldn’t be here if you were not serious about this little journey. Every one of you can figure out this imponderable. But, I am going to tell you that it won’t be done by figuring me out. I have already crossed that fence and am pointing to ‘here’. ‘Here’ is always here. Regardless of who you are or where you are. What do you find ‘here’?”

    “Remember, others may find some of your new behaviors and responses a little weird. Forget about that because 99.9999 percent of the world has no idea what is going on. You, on the other hand, may be looking through a crack in the door. Focus on the un-measurable something that everything, including that door, occurs in. If you are competitive and want to win the game, that is how it’s done. The good news is, if you win, everyone wins. If you lose, everyone wins also in the end. Just go for it. Let go and fly. It just might be your turn.”

    “I wish everyone would see through me. Most can’t even see through themselves. Oh well, the story continues.”

    “Burn baby burn, then from the ashes you will see the true value of it all.

    Nothing, but what a nothing.”

    Whatever or whomever, it’s still good stuff IMHO.

  116. Jason K> Its difficult to say if its JM or not, maybe the real JM doesn’t care if there are fake forums on the internet. Otherwise, would anyone in USA today really want risk his a** to be prosecutet in court for stealing a trademark!?

  117. I don’t read much of what other’s say, just look for what he has to say. It sounds like him, but who cares, it’s good. Did Christ really exist? The story exist that has hidden meanings. Whatever happens in life I can learn from it. I’ve heard of stories of Zen guys kicking someone out for their own good. Yea, Jed isn’t N., but who could be? I’m grateful for his contribution to my awakening (whenever that is? for there will be no one there), he’s the one that explained to me why it wasn’t working, how the ego will find anyway to survive. His hitting the love and bliss crowd is really good, because that crowd on facebook sometimes wants to make me puke, so they’re avoiding the job at hand with all this love aren’t we wonderful crap. It’s a technique that will outlive its usefulness as all techniques do. He does end his statements with Love, Jed. U.G. has the same reaction to me, he’s brilliant is some cases and so over the top in his criticism that it’s all crap. OK, sure, it’s all crap, but there is a gem hidden in there in that nothingness. It’s a joy that no one can experience because no one is there when it is. But these guys are hitting at the crap covering the “not-it,” hitting our vanity, the false picture we have of ourselves, for that’s what I need to get out of my imaginary hell.

  118. I posted at that forum recently and got a response or two; I don’t see anything to indicate it’s the ‘real” JM. His posts are a reasonable imitation of Jed, but the ones I’ve read don’t have the bite of JM’s usual voice. Is there any reason to think it’s actually him?

  119. “I was visiting the forum shortly after I was kicked out, but after a while I lost my interest.”

    I was just reading others comments.

  120. Yes, but JM is not Nisargadatta, not even close. I started to read JM’s books but stopped because I felt it was mostly made up stories. Lots of what JM was saying, his 1,2,3 liners in his forum was also brilliant, but funny enough even a parrot can speak Truth.

    Everything has its time. It was probably good for me to take part of his forum for a while and maybe I should thank him for kicking me out. I don’t have any need to register a new account.
    I was visiting the forum shortly after I was kicked out, but after a while I lost my interest.

    Those who still hang out with him in his forum I guess will sooner or later will have to move on, because JM can not give them what they want, salvation. This ultimate trip they have to do on their own!

    Concerning JM’s rebellious attitude towards Love, Bliss. I think JM for sure is awakened, but still identified with Emptiness / Void. This is why he says f-k Bliss, Love etc. This is how existence will be seen when in terms of Void, Nothingness. In Nothingness there is no Love etc, there is just empty space.

    There are kind of steps in the Awakening process. In the first step we see everything as Void / Emptiness. After this Shakti will be activated and its here we start to see everything in terms of Love, Bliss, Compassion.

    This guy is talking a little about this at “Buddha at the Gas Pump”:


  121. Seems like the same guy.

    Playing devil’s advocate here, but isn’t the point of his site for you and your Autolysis and is not about him? You can use anyone, the false and the not-so false, for whatever they are is what we think they are, for we live in our own worlds. As he described about Nisargadatta:

    “This is the real deal and it’s down and dirty. So, cut through the crap and don’t waste our time here. N. was quick to kick out people that he felt were wasting his time. I won’t kick you out, I’ll just kick you.”

    I guess he changed his mind and is free to do that, whoever he is.

  122. There is a Jed McKenna on URL: that some believe is the same dude that wrote the books. He said there is no need of moderator on this forum because its free speech here!
    After finding some remarkable facts from his own links on his forum-account that had to do with building up false identities / backing up false identities and creating false degrees, I was confronting him with this. After this confrontation I was kicked out from the “free speech forum” and my account was shut down. So I guess there are plenty of ego remaining in this guy!
    Sure he has got a certain degree of awakening, but I think he mostly want to make money and play a role as a spiritual teacher!

    Concerning his fake identity. An awakened doesn’t identify with his name and form, still Jed McKenna is creating a fake name / identity on top of his original identity. This is odd! Why would he do this? Is it fear or he want to hide something!?

    Some believe JM is Adyashanti! If one have listened to Adya there is no way that he has a slightest resemblance to JM.

  123. I also see many contradicitions in JM, as well as Osho. Truth is All, and all we can say is dualtistic. I myself (?) don’t like the sound of vanity, and if LA is the capital, who would want to be there? Who wants to live in smelly place? Sure the divine One is there too, but covered up with the false, and the false is nauseating. I find the false in me nauseating. I wish I could drop it, and after decades at that attempt, it isn’t as easy as it sounds for I am the ego, and it doesn’t exist. Who drops what? It is seen as it is, or it isn’t, all the while Truth is.

  124. There is much contradiction in the books, though sometimes that seems as much a good thing as not… For example, how can a person who claims to have no preference for living over dying have a preference for NY over LA? Really?! Does that compute?

    One thing I think I have noticed hanging out with Dave Oshana (, who recommended the books to me and who also claims to be enlightened, is that the personality seems to be intact but that the presiding awareness – of Dave – doesn’t appear to be stuck inside or 100% identified with the personality. So most of the time I see Dave as just Dave, but some of the time I experience him as something else and at those times it occurs to me that this is the real Dave I am seeing, that it’s always present and presiding, but most of the time either I am not open to it or it’s simply not necessary for Dave to bring that deeper ‘ego-less’ being to the surface. Not putting it very well, but JM says something like that, when he says that he wears the JM ID like a skin or a costume, a role that he is less and less able to get into.

    So when JM says he hates LA, maybe that is him, the enlightened being, getting all the way into character as JM, the false self he has shed? The assumption we tend to have is that enlightenment means shedding all negative stuff – but maybe all personal qualities are equally “negative’ to a no self self, because equally false. In which case, hating LA could be as valid a way for him to get in character as anything else. That’s the argument for the defense anyway, but I’m not sure I believe it myself.

    Also, if JM didn’t have some sort of ego-form-personality, there’d be no way to communicate. JM the character seems deliberately contrived to challenge New Age assumptions about how an enlightened being would act – he smokes cigars, eats meat, skydives, eskews meditation and compassion, and so on.

    There are two questions that overlap: is JM the author the same as JM the character, and is he enlightened; and is JM, and the descriptions of enlightenment, an accurate depiction of the enlightened state? Also – is it necessarily meant to be (assuming that’s even possible), or is it meant as something else? Like Moby Dick is an apparent account of a psychopath but really (acc to JM) a map for truth-realization, perhaps JM is couching all his descriptions in a context he deems appropriate for the unawakened reader? And so on.

    That said, I do have the desire to cry BS sometimes when I read the books – but that could be just an inevitable emotional resistance to some of what he’s saying – not least that he is enlightened, and I’m not.

    Yes he’s an arrogant toss-pot, some of the time – but if an enlightened being spoke to the ego-bound in their own language, maybe that would be one inevitable result? That said, Dave O rarely if ever comes off as arrogant, even when “pulling rank.”

    There is much mystery about who JM is and if he exists as described in the books, etc. In the first book, he writes about having a large house in Iowa with a constant stream of seekers coming through, some of whom even get enlightened. If that were true, what’s the likelihood that none of these seekers would have blown the whistle on the Net and said, “I know this guy!” Pretty much zero. So he’s clearly making up some of the material. Unlike with Castaneda, JM’s accounts don’t strike me as absolutely based in some sort of fact. They seem like they could have been entirely invented, albeit with details taken from reality, like his experiences of skydiving, etc. The books have a didactic quality to them – teachings that are framed within a storytelling narrative, to make them more palatable and entertaining.

    JM’s “Ahab” message is about becoming monomaniacally one-pointed – focused only on getting to the truth and nothing else. He sees it as a destructive, even psychopathic, process, destroying all that is not true so that whatever remains must be truth. The primary emotional drive for Jed seems to be hatred for the false. That seems a bit extreme – maybe rebellious, adolescent sort of energy. Not that I can’t relate. But it also seems a long arduous road to truth, as opposed to recognizing that only truth exists, anyway, so what needs to be destroyed? (How can you destroy what doesn’t exist?)

    We are free to put down our ego-load at any given moment. The belief that we are not free, and must instead travel the world destroying every last vestige of delusion that imprisons us – I think it has something to do with a refusal to admit that we could have just stepped outside the prison of our egos any time we wanted. So we need to turn it into a heroic journey. That’s why the Psychopath is the Hero’s Shadow. Or maybe even, the Hero Unmasked?

  125. Shit, I liked Joe’s response. We’re all full of shit. We don’t know anything. As Jed says, it’s all lies. This is a very humbling process, to know we know nothing.

    As to Joe’s earlier response, I guess you are right that we will eventually realize our true nature, but it just may take a few more lives. I just don’t see it happening anytime soon. I can only do it for me, whoever that is….

    Helden, it’s just a word, as U.G. would say, it’s like a dog barking, but we give it so much meaning.

  126. Helden
    I sympathize with you about the overuse of words like shit, but I believe that Joe was both the author and object of that comment (based upon the source IP address, among other things). I could be mistaken but I don’t think that the attacker was criticizing anyone but himself. Perhaps we will find out later.

  127. …Why? I can answer that. Because an answer with “shit” somewhere in it seems to be the standard response to anything sincere or even a somewhat detailed post about Buddhism or Zen anywhere on the net…which is why I so seldom look up anything but the Buddhist classics online. It’s an attitude, plain & simple: Anti-intellectualism and useless nihilism. The idea behind that kind of language is to cut off or interfere with legitimate discussion by adults. I can read. I can think. I can meditate, and I can look elsewhere. Tripping over these anonymous characters is something I neither need nor want. Trolls. That’s all they are. They can go back to the beer & TV for all I care.

  128. thanks for nice responses… i agree with you… the getting real stuff is out of synch with the rest because it’s space-time/future ideology. perhaps i’m alone in seeing that the universe is about to throw out the old-world-fertiliser because it’s got a nice batch of flowers ready to bloom…. i guess it’s like those pictures where you have to stare at it in a weird way until you suddenly see that there’s another picture hidden within. it’s kind of like that for me… i can look directly, rather than through a veil of fear or self-interest, and so i see it differently. see it clearly. also, i understand how men think and function, and i understand how the universe works, and so it all adds up whichever way i look at it. but whenever i’ve discussed my opinions, which to me are real obvious, i usually get blank stares, so no worries….. as within, so without, to summarise that line of thought……although if i was in a walt whitman mood – no compromise, straight from the top – i might instead say ‘because i say so’, and that would suffice…

    hey brian, thanks, although nothing gracious about it. i was having a vexing day as it happens, and just felt like venting. real nice to be welcomed though…. it can be frustrating having no outlet to discuss my simple observations without being strung up, and walking through a world of mirrors when you’re not reflecting can be challenging, so a jed forum is perhaps the obvious place for me to get stuff out of my system…

    regarding your question, the awakening thing happened because i was depressed, suicidal in fact, that i basically gave up…. and also because i was psychotic about the enlightenment quest – nothing else seemed to have any point, which of course it doesn’t – although i didn’t know for sure that ‘awakening’ was what had happened – it was obvious that i now ‘knew’ – and that the search was over – but there was no-one to verify it for me, and in my case i was still pretty immature too….. again, thanks to jed for helping me through the past few years ….

    also, remember this… we all fuel ourselves with this profound idea of attaining, of breaking out of the cave, that when it actually occurs, it’s not easy to a) admit that little old me actually got it, and b) align the simplicity of truth realisation with the great quest i thought i’d been on…..

    anyway, to elaborate, after it occurred it was a bit like being the guy who’d been holding the ocean back (the bullshit of my self-construct-identity), and then because the all-encompassing quest was now over, aforesaid ocean swamped me! a previous decade spent denying everyone else’s bullshit in order to find the truth – then the truth – which included, of course, the disappearance of everyone else – which therefore meant it was now time to take responsibility for absolutely everything…

    it was me all along….

    ….which led to a confusing but liberating decade of mopping up, for which i used the practice of forgiveness (nullifying my projections), through a course in miracles…

    strange to be awake,
    and then have to go back to the drawing board,
    but there you have it.

    i had the good fortune to visit sailor bob adamson in melbourne during the big clean-up, at which time i was in ego mode, trying to hold on to a realisation i’d long since had, in space-time i thought, which i believed made me special. he took one look at me and said ‘when you’ve thrown everything out, you have to throw out the thrower’. it was like that i guess.

    the twist is, i’m still maturing, still unfolding, in synch with the universe that i am. and not. i happen to know how this story ends, become i’m the one who placed the order, and, as is universal law, i was answered in full. watching it unfold in dream-time is my privilege, and being a true adult, albeit a fledgling one, in a world populated by stunted children, is, regardless of my occasional rant (a la stinkbag bastard henry), a thing that i am most eternally grateful for.

    thanks guys. what could be more ordinary? – joe

  129. Anonymous…..yeah, I’m with Ruben…you lost me with the stuff after the p.s. To be truthful, it made the rest of it sound a bit disingenuous. Remember, nothing ever happened.

  130. I don’t see how you can see that others are going to get real. I don’t see it happening.The fear is too great. If the system were to collapse, there will be more fear. This planet may have been designed for a few individuals to wake up by being so disturbed by those that aren’t awake.

    No one sees that there is no one to awaken.

  131. Thanks Anonymous for your gracious offering. I think a good number of people (like yours truly) would like to know this- since so many of your characteristics and attitudes are shared by fools like me, and I can relate very well to all you say, how did the coup d grace occur for you? Was it a gradual wearing out, or a sudden moment where you shifted in a most fundamental way into stable, full whatever-you-call-it?
    thanks for your time

  132. it’s impossible for me to know if, assuming the illusion of free will, i would choose to go through the process of awakening which is now behind me. i know i would, there was no other way, but i offer you fresh insights as touched upon by jed. firstly, there’s no point to awakening. you gain nothing. you simply lose illusion. this makes for great surfing on occasion, and the gratitude for being this, and not that, can be overwhelming.

    but it’s not all sweetness and light, because there are seemingly others, in fact pretty much everyone else, who have no idea that the ordinary and natural state i abide in even exists, and who are therefore unable, in every possible sense, to understand me. and when humans don’t understand you, they generally don’t like you. which is perfectly fine because i can say for certain that i don’t understand them either, and whilst i might not say i dislike them, i am certainly repelled by most.

    so it’s like that, my day-to-day reality. i too turn my thoughts occasionally to essaouira fish-market, where the one-toothed man will sell you the world’s finest and fruitiest olive oil, or ug’s pre-calamity hobo state, where simplicity alone abides, or bernadette’s mountain escape, where no words can enter. for me, life can occasionally grate in spite of what i am, although i offer this perspective without grievance as i’m always aware that change is the experiencers’ only constant in the dream. the sun is always about to come out.

    regarding relationships, i’m mostly unable to maintain them because a) i can’t always be bothered, and b) i don’t possess the mechanism of linear thought which allows me to define what someone means to me based upon our collective shared moments so far. in short, i’m always meeting someone for the first time, because that’s the only possibility, even if we’re well acquainted, and this usually results in me being pretty unpalatable, i suspect, to those operating within the accepted norm. to me, asking someone ‘how are you?’, in response to them asking me the same cringe-worthy question, is just utterly pointless. but unless you can see that from my point of view, you just think i’m ignorant, right? and how can i be what i appear to be claiming to be in this thought-dump if i’m falling at the very first fence of decent human behaviour?

    other ‘relationships’ are equally challenging. neighbours, family, worldly types. i don’t doubt that you find these interactions as hard as i do, but the difference is that you’re locating yourself within them whereas i’m the only one here. or not. you’re looking for reflections whereas i’m just looking at patterns (although when i get tired i sometimes fall down the well too – albeit never for long). most people hold no sentiment for me, although i can imagine context for the sake of an easier ride if i feel like it. i can ride a fear-based emotion if it keeps everyone, and therefore my dream, happy (although nothing lasts on a perpetual see-saw). the other side of the coin is that all people are simply love to me, and i see no contradiction whatsoever in the seemingly opposing perspectives i have just shared. to me, both krishnamurti’s are spot on……. although i doubt i’d ever pick up a jiddu book.

    such is the reality of multidimensional, or whole, perspective. right is right, wrong is right. real simple.

    to be an adult is to know that you are stupid. the more mature you become within the dream, the harder it is to interact with those who don’t know they’re stupid. to release the energy formerly assigned to ego-maintenance into the management of the all, means that you grow endlessly into an increasingly creative and more harmonious being. wonderful, wonderful, usually. but a pain in the butt when you sense that people are deeply intimidated by you at a level they don’t even know exists. thankfully, many better surfers than i have left their accounts, and inspiration & assistance is only ever a page away. i know of few better than jed for making me feel instantly sane again, and i use hong zicheng to train or remind myself on how best to behave in my bizarre situation. sadly, i’m not much of a student, having shot my bolt with the passion to get me to this state in the first place, so i’m a slower learner than i would like, although i’m always aware that i’m being moulded into the full expression of whatever is being expressed here, so it’s all good.


    p.s. i differ from jed in one sense, although i have no doubt he’s seen the patterns by now. the old order IS on the brink of collapse, and we really are about to see what happens when the masks fail and everyone gets really real. for me, that’s great news. i hope it is for you too.

  133. I agree that Jed’s books are great in understanding the state of “enlightenment”. However, after having read Bernadette Roberts three books on the matter, the picture became even clearer. I can really recommend her books, and she confirms the “bloody, messy” part of taking the first step and describes it in much greater detail.

  134. Interesting how often the word “shit” comes up in here Fine addition to the intellectual tone of this blog.

    More good books (of the non-bs variety!) which would be of interest to readers of Jed/Zen/self-improvement: Raphael Cushnir’s “The One Thing Holding You Back” and Ben Sherwood’s “The Survivor’s Club.”

  135. I guess the reason is that we are so full of shit, because we’ve been educated wrongly, so we need to read those that have escaped to understand our predicament, and use the mind to destroy mind, to prove our beliefs as lies. Words took us away and words will bring us back to show us we went nowhere, we were only dreaming. It’s like using a thorn to take out another thorn, then throwing them both away, but the odds are that the ego will use the words to survive, unless the hell of its inner conflict is so unbearable that the mind will gladly commit suicide.

    “Intellect is very much necessary to understand certain fundamentals, but there is a strict limit upto which intellect can go, and thereafter, it is only when intellect gives up all efforts and acknowledges total surrender that intuition takes over.” —Ramesh S. Balsekar

    “Enlightenment is always through surrender, but surrender is achieved through intelligence… Through surrender intellect commits a suicide. Seeing the futility of itself, seeing the absurdity of itself, seeing the anguish that it creates, it disappears. But it happens through intelligence.”

    “Words can be used for destruction also, of words images are built, by words they are destroyed. You got yourself into your present state through verbal thinking, you must get out of it the same way.” —Nisargadatta Maharaj

    “Ego must slay ego. Only ego can.” —Jed

  136. There is so much material. but since nobody ‘gets‘ enlighhtened: is the question, why does one need to know anything about it? it only stirs up more mind= more bullshit….

  137. Helden, yea I can’t read the purging going on in Jed’s blog, don’t know how Jed can do it.

    you can get it from the horse’s mouth about Osho from me, for I was in India and Oregon. The whole “under-fed” and close to “rape” thing and the “instigators” and the “eaters of the white light” is so hilarious and so definitely not true. it says more about their perception than what was actually the case. For me it was so amazing, to fall head over heels in love with Truth. It did get weird In Oregon because the woman in charge went bonkers with power and by the time He exposed it it was too late. I thought is was a curse to end that way, but it turned out to be a blessing, for I had to admit it still wasn’t waking me up, even by his attempt to use Western psychological techniques to purge the emotional crust, then to use meditation to dis-identify, while surrendering the ego. Surrender has been used for thousands of years in India, from the Upanishads to Zen, but its success rate is minimal, but way more so than the others. You can learn from everyone. When Jed says he is in awe of his mind, I have to feel the same way. For an Indian guy whose aim was to read all the books of the world, and speak so eloquently about what he found turned me on to the greatest minds of human history that include Buddha, the Upanishads, Krishna, Heraclitus, Tilopa, Saraha, Jesus, and all the Zen guys. The more I read him the more the feeling has grown, but also my love for the Gnostics, Nisargadatta, Byron Katie, Tony De Mello, and Jed, for truth is truth, even if a particular flavor is not your cup of tea.

    The guru thing is based on dualism, while we’re always on our own, so you kill your parents when you begin and Kill the Buddha at the end. Osho says no need, just say good-bye. Good bye Osho and thank you so very much, and good bye Jed, and good bye Nisargadatta, and good-bye me. Good bye Helden. and thanks for being you. Thank you universe for the game of duality, otherwise I couldn’t thank you.

  138. I read your response some time ago and am replying to it rather late. Yes, I’ve seen Jed’s blog but the discussion just seemed like some sort of ball bumping contest, and since I have none… Only joking. Yes, that is possibly the unedited writing of Jed McKenna. Or possibly not–because in his books, he never uses the British colloquialisms in the blog. (Just something I noticed.) Discussing the fine points of enlightenment forever is something we all could do until we drop dead of old age. (But it would sort of be like eating the menu at the restaurant, right?)

    Yes, this is backpedalling a bit, but I need to add this: Many years ago, the Baghwan Shree Rajneesh cult gained some prominence. One of the practitioners from our local Zen group had to go to India to rescue his wife from the ashram there. Rajneesh was very wealthy, and rode around in one of his several Cadillacs. His crowd of underfed followers were more or less working for him full time without pay. The use of the women there was, if not rape, very close to it. In the big gatherings there were “instigators” who went through the crowds whipping up a kind of hypnotic frenzy. Our friend was travelling with a “psychic” woman, and she wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. She had the sensation that the crowd stirrers were “eating the white light”; that is, sucking away psychic energy, as they circulated around. The whole scene seemed dark and darkening to her. Now, I hasten to add that the above is second hand information, but our sensitive and intelligent friend was very disturbed by the whole “scene” there. He found his wife, got her out, and left.

    Following up a link here, I started to read something of the original “Osho” writing. I wasn’t impressed. We had all read one elegant little book sometime in the early 70’s and it wasn’t until much later that we realized that it was heavily edited by some unnamed native English speaker into its published form. I am absolutely not interested in Hinduism or guru scenes…they’re just not for me. No cults–no nothing. Especially not that guy, whatever he’s calling himself now. My preference is Bassui. He’s very simple in his approach; very straightforward, and has a rather amusing way of chastising himself for saying too much and possibly misdirecting his readers–since he’s writing about stuff that can’t be written about!

    One of these days I’ll get my Jed books back & begin rereading them again in detail. These are truly American books, by an authentic American voice and they deserve attention and consideration.

  139. Thanks Helden. If you find any of those books or excerpts free on line, let me know and I’ll check it out. I don’t go looking for new stuff much anymore, I’m done with searching, but if it comes it comes.

    Incompleteness comes from being identified with a subject that’s missing an object, lost in duality. When their duality is seen for what it is, who seeks what? Truth is already the case. The void of Non-duality and no one to experience it.

    Have you seen Jed’s blog? Pretty heady, I just look for his comments. Sounds like him.

  140. “This horrible fear of being incomplete.” There you have the characteristically Western point of attachment: what we keep trying to conceal behind the barriers of ego–and possibly this comes from living in a consumerist society.

    I’ve heard good things about Osho. John Daido Loori is another teacher worthy of the name. Adyashanti as well. Stephan Schumacher has written _Zen in Plain English_, a concise but thorough little book that gives a fine overview of the history, major figures, and practices of Zen. (Translated into English from the original German.) Philip Kapleau’s followup to _The Three Pillars of Zen_, titled _Zen from East to West_ is magnificent. David Chadwick’s _Thank You and Okay!_ is worth a look–made me laugh out loud in parts! A glimpse into Japanese monastery life, the culture of Japan, and many names will be recognizable.

    Uh oh–I’m off topic!

  141. Yea, Helden, it did appear that you had something going on domestically. All is good. (another expression I hate, I say All is good except what sucks,) Sounds like that Zen place is a religious institution. Ego will take anything and turn it into a philosophy to survive. Jed says it’s one of the worst, but I check out those Western ones and they’re nuts. I studied Zen from one guy, the guy Jed admires his take on Zen, and that is Osho. I myself swore no more institutions after that experience, but it was well worth hanging around such a brilliant mind. The group thing and the duality of a Master/disciple relationship took too long, even though, I am still so grateful. I have recently once again become impressed with his commentary on the Buddha’s Heart Sutra:

    Truth is Truth. It’s a solo thing. I once had the aim to jump off the wheel of birth and death, the wheel of suffering, this horrible feeling of fear and being incomplete. The whole search was suffering induced. That’s why Jed speaks to me, I’m tired of all this “free hugs” and hearing about the 2012 shift, while we ignore where the work is to be done, within, facing our own bullshit that we have learned from others. Finding the lies and destroying them with critical thinking and awareness, until you are destroyed, and you see there is no one to be born and no one to die.

    Thanks for the dialogue. You can’t find much of that today, even in coffee shops and bars, plugged into the matrix with their i-pads and phones. What a place!

  142. I should probably refrain from posting immediately after having a domestic dispute, huh? lol Yes, of course I too am grateful for Jed’s books. But I am very skeptical–I personally am subject to nightmares & don’t even know why the hell I’m doing things most of the time. But one thing’s for sure: NO MORE CONVERSIONS for me. (If you listen with a “dharma ear” you’ll understand this.) Religious institutions & I just don’t get along that well even though I now find myself studying at the Chinese monastery around the corner instead of at a more secularized, Westernized zendo. Having read Jed’s books, it amazes me that even in this hothouse of meditation there are so many ways offered to me that point “outward,” as you & Jed say. I actually am not in there to become a tree hugger, study global warming (Nova does it better!), be a vegan, or develop some sort of appreciation of the “ecumenical” guests at the temple. The longer I live, the less I care about other peoples’ opinions & beliefs. And my own!

    Is it too much to ask that I see the simple, underlying truth at least one time before I sink into senility??

    Frankly, I don’t believe that Zen even begins until the first kensho, and there are people here taking the “5 bodhisattva vows” in an effort to clean up their lives from the outside. Okay. Good luck to them! lol They can give up meat & that glass of wine in the evening, and stop putting flea medicine on their poor dogs. (The vow of “no killing” includes insects!!) Oh, and they even have a Zen choir! Can you imagine that? I just wrote them two Buddhist hymns based on Zen poems. (Yes, I admitted that I could write singable poetry. And yes, the abbot immediately recruited me for that. Frankly, he really needs native English speakers to edit…well, just about everything in English that goes out.)

    The Buddhist ideal is “wu-wei” which I think means acting entirely appropriately but entirely without ego…the action of non-action. When the waves on the sea flatten out like a mirror, and the moon is reflected perfectly; when “all is one” and preference is nothing but a fading memory, and the whole of human life is nothing but a dream or a play being performed by the empty universe for it’s own amusement…tell me: where is compassion in that? Who gives a damn about smashed babies or anything else since the idea is to avoid birth & death by letting one’s karmic stream run out into nothing?

  143. That’s honest Helden.

    I, being unenlightened, still can’t understand people who don’t care that just one shift in perception on earth, that we are of One spirit, would end the madness of human slavery, child molestation, starvation, rapes, murders, and wars. The enlightened guys get to that root. instead of pruning leaves, and have made their contribution, which includes Jed, but we don’t care to listen. Even Christians don’t listen to Christ saying what you do to others you do to him. Our sleep is so deep. The reason I use “it is what it is,” is not to brush off the horror of the world, but to see “what is,” the good and the bad, the bad gets us off our ass, but the good is so amazing, just on a physical level, as we are flying around a star going 67,000 miles an hour, spinning about 1,000 miles an hour, going around the galaxy 486,000 miles an hour, and it will take us 225 million years to go once around, in a universe that’s been expanding for 13 billion years. That’s what is, and we completely miss the significance that everyone is part of this miracle, everyone! That’s not even saying anything about one spirit at the center of it all. We’re missing what is, while the majority wait for a miracle in the future that will pass, or after death, but never now!

    Awesome has lost its meaning, I once heard a waitress say this to someone ordering oatmeal.

    Jed dogs compassion, but I think it’s because we put it before waking up. “I think” once you wake up you have to respond, because the universe will respond to “what is” if it is called for. You will stop someone from smashing a baby against a wall, because there is no “you” to ignore the suffering of “you” in another form.

    But there is so much madness in this insane asylum called earth, but you’ve got to admit, it’s balancing out alot of beauty, and the universe loves balance, even if humans don’t. The shift may not happen on a great scale, inner/outer, but I’m going to do my part, and sometimes speak out when called for, because that’s what somehow happens.

    I’m still grateful for those that have transcended this dream state, for the dream can be a nightmare, and they at least pointed me in the right direction as opposed to those crazies that try to change the world from the outside. That direction is in, where you go to war and find no ego, and you see your oneness with the universe, and can also see what the universe wants to do through this particular body before it changes form and spirit goes back to the infinite that it never left.

  144. In many ways Jed, like my “enlightened” husband, is a pain in the neck know-it-all. How would YOU like to live with someone, who makes pronouncements of “truth” and admits no arguments? Modesty goes out the window with enlightenment. I find myself cultivating in self defense–but I never want to become as big a prick as either of those guys. Let’s see: not concerned with his appearance. Not concerned with anyone else’s estimation of his talent or lack thereof. Execrable taste in art & interior decoration. Wears his clothing till it falls apart. And no remaining remnant of compassion–in spite of what Buddhists may say–in case you don’t remember Jed’s “amusing” response to news of someone coming into a room and smashing a baby against a wall. (He rewrote Basho’s famous poem about the sound of a frog plopping into a pond.) That’s what being god in human skin gets you.

    Yes, I know: “mountains become mountains, rivers become rivers.” And that makes “the Enlightened” oh so effing “special,” doesn’t it? And–I wish I could personally break the jaw of the guy who came up with “It is what it is.” Gee…and don’t people think they’re saying something especially profound when they churn that tautology out? Should be dumped into the tar pits of the American language along with “amazing” “awesome” “cool” “exactly” “the bottom line is…” and “square one.” (Ah dream on, Helden!)

  145. Helden, you make a good point, but then ignore Jed’s emphasis of what is dream and what is real. He even says they are not opposites, which had to be worked on for some time to see. Truth is, untruth isn’t. Jed “is” God’s will, there is no separation, as well as everything that is. We only have the “illusion” of separation, of praying to do “God’s” will. There are no mistakes, but tell that to “my” ego. It is what it is and there you have it.

  146. Couple of notes: I was given one of the Jed books by my old Zen meditation teacher (also Adya’s teacher.) Jed–whoever he is–isn’t Adyashanti. The writing styles are completely different, and what’s more the personalities of the two men differ a lot. Adya & his wife live right here in the Bay Area, and he writes his own books under his teaching name.

    At the risk of sounding like “a caterpillar talking about butterflies”… my feeling, after having read the 3 major Jed books, is that he is an important writer, and while he may not be exactly a Buddha, he is enlightened. I believe that the difference between Jed’s state & the common variety range of spiritual, oneness, and inspirational states is 1) Non-regression. In CS. Lewis’s novel “The Great Divorce” about (what is perhaps) Purgatory, one of the characters who has entered into glory asks if anyone could, by choice, back out of Heaven & end up in Hell. The guide points out that Hell is, from the perspective of Heaven, only the size of a small, insignificant pebble, and that the expanded soul could never fit back in there! (Not exactly analogous, but a charming book.) The thing you can’t do at Jed’s stage is go back into ignorance. Whatever he has–and what he has is a burnt down ego–he’s stuck with it. 2) Jed’s mode of operation within the emerging patterns of the Universe. He’s very careful not to use the words “need” or “want” when referring to himself & his own behavior, and yet he is continually seeing a pattern unfolding & stepping into it…and often seeing the direction & his place in it after the fact. It’s a different depiction of freedom. “Inferior sorts” that is, incompletely realized persons who still have functioning egos, can certainly behave this way, often praying for God’s will, perceiving an “opening of a way” and stepping in to succeed at all costs–or not, if the strategy & direction fall short. They can still learn from their mistakes.

  147. This was just posted to me (Brian) and may be of interest to some readers-

    Two Audio Series starting –
    Now planning two weekly series –


    Just as the title says, this would be a recording approximately every 7-10 days (approx 4 a month) taking on the Jed McKenna books, one chapter at a time. The recordings would not only analyze the content, style, approach, and applicability, but would also be used as the jumping off point for my own discussions, as well as tips for practical uses in your own inquiry.


    The recorded dialogues with Nisargadatta Maharaj will be studied and picked apart one by one. They will, as with the other series, also be used as the starting point for my comments and commentary, along with suggestions for applicability of the content in your own inquiry.


    Thanks for the work you do on this website –


  148. I want to add one thing…you go on the net, and sure enough there is wisdom & foolishness, and no matter how pure your experience, no matter how hard you try, there is always someone there to kick your legs out from under you; someone to say “you have your head up your ass.” (Or words to that effect!) Every teacher has his/her critics…but the fact is, people (including the teachers) have different personalities, and different teachers are appropriate for different times in life. There is, to my mind, one invaluable thing about Jed McKenna’s books, and it’s the same thing I could say about Temple Grandin’s books. Let me explain: before Temple wrote we had a very vague idea of the world of autistic people. She bridged that gap–and she did it specifically to get into contact with us “normal” people. In a way, her books are as much of an eye-opener as Jed’s are. Jed is writing specifically from his experience & to a predominently Western readership. The distinctions he makes between spiritual states…degrees of insight & realization, are not particularly familiar to those of us raised in a Judeo-Christian culture. And having no basis for evaluating books & teachers, we have no basis for interpetation of our own experiences or the claims of others. In most cases what we encounter are people “awakened within the dream” instructing those still staring at the movie screen. I found his metaphors very interesting & useful. However, those of you who are basically satisfied with your lives look at this material & either trivialize it or pick it to pieces by yanking sentences out of context. Don’t forget: this is an autoor with a sense of humor..maybe a somewhat weird sense of humor, but there you have it. Irony.

    At least Jed had the guts to say–Don’t be fooled. Don’t be exploited by someone who is marketing stress relief, weight loss, family peace, compassion, religious conversion etc. under the banner of enlightenment. Be scrupulously honest with yourself. As my husband said last night “You may be disappointed. It’s actually very simple.” And I might add, it isn’t some magic solution to all your problems. It doesn’t make you charismatic or capable of fulfilling all your dreams in life. You don’t gain anything whatever from it–it’s a negative process. And unless (to use the Buddhist phrase) your karma has ripened to the degree it’s even possible it probably won’t even happen.

  149. Eliza, please take advantage of how you are feeling right now. I’m not exactly sure what I mean by that statement, but just use the emotions you have to gain some lesson in life, some personal insight. Jed is not God. Many people believe in God & trust in God, and if you do, it’s okay…we all progress at our own rate. Remain open to your feelings & thoughts & find your place in life. I just finished Jed’s first book and one of the points he makes is that we all make it to the truth eventually–maybe after a few additional lifetimes–but we all make it there. It’s like death: you don’t have to worry about missing it. Sometimes (as was the case with my husband) realization seemed to descend suddenly…and that’s not so good either, because along with that new view he had to decide a whole new direction for his life, from that point onward.

    Who is to say who is sane? As one poster noted, would we have gone to the moon? Would the Sistine ceiling have been painted? Would Bach have composed if we were all in the Jed condition? Life is the universe at play…all we have here, it’s infinite variety. What a delight!

  150. Eliza, i remember going through that hell of all hells, and there is some primal longing for some help from the outside. I don’t know if it’s from the Christian dualistic conditioning or not. I noticed in the East the master is used as an object of help to be reminded to go within. Anyway, Jed does mention prayer. For me it means scale, which Jed would disagree, for the enlightened state is beyond scale, but being on the last rung hurts like hell, so you cry out to the higher realms, the Absolute, for help, that appears to be on the outside, but is within. The ego cries out to die, but after a while you realize it doesn’t exist, it never lived, it was only imagined, but the pain sure feels real.

    ‎”Man is not really a being but only a tension between two planes of being. Man is a bridge only, that is why man cannot remain satisfied with himself. His heart is nothing but a continent of discontent and his very being is anguish…He can go below himself, or he can go above but he cannot remain himself. He cannot rest. That is why there is restlessness.”

    “Man is a suspended existence—something incomplete, something which is still to be—a becoming, not a being.”

    “Enlightenment is always through surrender, but surrender is achieved through intelligence…Through surrender intellect commits a suicide. Seeing the futility of itself, seeing the absurdity of itself, seeing the anguish that it creates, it disappears. But it happens through intelligence.” —Osho

    “What is the root of pain? Ignorance of yourself. What is the root of desire? The urge to find yourself. All creation toils for its self and will not rest until it returns to it.”
    —Nisargadatta Maharaj

    “We are all on the Path—and the road leads upward ever, with frequent resting places.”
    —The Kybalion

    “…everyone, in their completely different ways, can be seen as participating in the same adventure.” —Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

    ”A man can bring about his own evolution, his own completion, individually.” —Maurice Nicoll

    “The grief you cry out from draws you toward union.” —Rumi

    “The longing for transformation is the soul’s voice.” —Emmanuel

    “Intellect is very much necessary to understand certain fundamentals, but there is a strict limit upto which intellect can go, and thereafter, it is only when intellect gives up all efforts and acknowledges total surrender that intuition takes over.” —Ramesh S. Balsekar

    “Failure is the key to the kingdom within…
    Eat me like candy. It’s spring and finally I have no will.” —Rumi

    “It’s not Eastern or Western or Christian or Hindu, it’s human… the human journey.”
    —Jed McKenna

    Portions of the Jesus and the Last Goddess book by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy that describe the universal story of psyche that is lost and cries out to the Absolute and he sends his son, Awareness and she cleanses herself of contamination and becomes one with Awareness in a mystical union. It also contains the other stor of ego’s crucifixion, death and rebirth :

    My attempt and failure to describe Truth that destroyed me:

  151. Good stuff.

    When seen, there’s no one to see it, what a joke!

    It is always here, now.

    What is it?

    All. Infinity. or nothing,

    I’m just in the way.

    What am I?

    All. Infinity, or nothing.

    Who is to know or not know?


  152. Thank you to all who have recently commented. It is helpful because I AM insecure in sharing the way I feel now after the “Jed” books. It feels I can’t start a conversation about this stuff in a regular every day life….people will look at you like you do need a strait jacket Heldon, and you’re right, it is a deep embedded fear that craziness is setting in!
    Reuben, thank you for the perspective of facing the discomfort of not-knowing, that’s a biggie for me because of my upbringing I guess. Having distant parents led me to really count on “god”. Now, through Spiritual Warfare in particular where Jed says that prayer doesn’t really make sense, one entity asking another outside entity for help…….well, that just really through me into another place. I felt even more alone, even though I was already getting that point from the other books, and other authors as well. He just put it so simply, that is became undeniable.
    Maybe I am overly sensitive, or overly fearful, but really and truly realizing that there is nothing outside of my self reminded me of when I found out there was no Santa Claus! I mean, I was so crushed when I found that out. This might sound silly, but I thought Santa loved me and I could count on him.
    Now my prayer life has changed, I am trying to work with the energy inside of me now and it seems like meditation and prayer have melded into just one thing. But it feels like so much responsibility, more fear, what if I can’t pull this life off? What if I can’t comfort myself?
    Mr. Anonymous, I’m not sure I understand what you mean about it being a risk to share experiences, and the competiveness, and rubbing people the wrong way. See, that’s what I was afraid of; basically sounding like an idiot, and being dismissed. It’s likely I misunderstood your point. I guess I don’t know what you mean because I thought it best to not care about what others thought anymore in an effort to just be free.
    To eddie blatt, you spelled it out with the thought that “jed” puts the last nail in the coffin, and you feel utterly alone……in a nutshelI, it appears you read my mind.

  153. To Helden, and others,

    I have never agreed with anyone about everything, spiritual or otherwise, and I have never come across a spiritual teacher whose words describing his/her realisation have completely concurred with any other realiser. From this, and years of intense seeking leading to ‘brain fatigue’ and a sort of madness, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing I can do to realise the truth or attain a state other than what I am currently experiencing. I know so little on this matter now, that I can’t even say what ‘the truth’ is anymore without feeling like a complete fraud. There is simply no teacher, teaching, path, practice, idea, fascination, or anything else, that I can turn to and hang my hat on. Jed provided the final nail in that coffin. I feel utterly alone.

    Yet, how wonderful is it that there are people willing to communicate the unfolding of their lives and what they have understood, not wanting to be ‘right’ but to merely share an openness and a vulnerability. Like on this blog.

    But, if I had to distil into one sentence what I have understood it would be: I don’t know. And even that sounds fraudulent.

    Cheers to all.

  154. This is a very interesting range of personalities we have here… I wanted to recommend one technique that has been useful in various areas of my life, from getting along with family to understanding animal behavior to evaluating the “spiritual experiences ” of myself or others: Suzuki’s _Zen Mind; Beginners Mind_. I caught on to doing that right away, years ago, because it just immediately made sense. That is, coming into a situation–any situation–and just looking at it in a very simple way and seeing “what’s going on here.” Reality is right here; right now. Simplicity is often the key. Often we really needn’t tear everything we see to pieces to get at the truth. Observing honestly without judging or evaluating or second-guessing too much calms things down considerably.

    To be entirely honest, I think enlightenment or truth-realization or whatever you want to call it, is the result of brain fatigue, and since it’s rarely experienced, and it’s so different from the ordinary way of seeing things, giant systems of mythology have grown up around it….starting with reincarnation. The ironic thing is the more you want it the more it eludes you, but you really do need to have a deep desire to put forth the commitment to fatigue the ego to the point that it just gives up. Most of us just don’t want to go nuts: that’s the big fear so few talk about (That sounds so crude, doesn’t it?) We’re willing to put up with just about any crap life throws at us except for the risk of ending up a drooling idiot in a straight jacket.

    The people I’ve met or read about who have had kensho (the first realization experience) had certain qualities in common: They were intelligent, and were able to concentrate. They were obsessive in personality. They were in an advanced state of alienation & despair, and they did not have a distinct religious or philosophical orientation put in place by the parents that they had to wrestle out of the way. Case in point: My husband, David. Convinced from an early age that he “was smarter than his parents.” Sent off to boarding school from the age of 8-13. At the age of 11, one of his teachers saw something unusual about him, and recommended he read Bucke’s book _Cosmic Consciousness_. Experimented with drugs (the relatively harmless ones.) Gave up drugs. While in the Air Force, the Hawai’ian cadets avoided him. When asked why, they shyly said that he was a “kahuna.” David had to look up that word, which was completely unfamiliar to him. (It means something like witch doctor or shaman.) Encountering Zen instruction for the first time, he simply obeyed his teachers. He attained kensho during his first sesshin (retreat) and has continued what is called “shikan-taza” in Soto zen: undirected pure awareness meditation.

    I’m not going to tell you that realization is a normal state, or that people remain normal, or even likable in most contexts, or react in a normal or expected way…they don’t. But frankly, they don’t have a helluva lot of choice. David admitted that he “fought it” for several years. Realization catches up to you; it happens to you. You don’t make it happen by doing something.

    However, even as I wrote that last bit I was thinking: I know you are going to keep trying. Until something, anything, happens. And become a spiritual nuisance in the process. I just know that. Gongs. Incense. Candles. Prayers. Philosophies. Denial. Affirmation. Seeking. Non-seeking. Emotional suppression. Poetry. Whatever. Keep the game going…. and going….and going.

  155. Eliza,

    Your post is most authentic. It’s a dangerous line we tread as “seekers” on the path. You are no child and should never feel as such. You are as far along as “anyone” has ever been. There does seem to be some “risk” as it were sharing your experiences however. Not that it matters to me that much, but to try and describe where you are on the path can rub people the wrong way if they begin to get competitive. I wish you peace…I wish all of us love and acceptance. I doubt that suicide brings any good results just FYI. If I believed it did I would be the first to go there now and try to bask in the glory of that nirvana. I doubt that it matters all that much also, but I don’t imagine there are any shortcuts per se. All is well. Cudos to Brian for creating an arena where so many sincere people are sharing their experiences.

    Mr. Anonymous

  156. Sounds like you’re doing alright Eliza.

    Everybody is exactly where they ought to be, if there is such a thing as being somewhere else.

    I have glimpses that it is all perfect, and then it goes away,
    non-abiding dual awareness!

    I don’t see much choice we have it what we do, we just do what we do. Not-knowing is the discomfort that must be faced until that not-knowing is knowing there is nothing to know!

    Anyway, just found out Jed has a website, so those of us you who want to tell Jed you have him all figured out you have your chance:

  157. I have found some comfort in the last few posts. So often I want to post something here and I hold back because I feel like such a child and so not sure of one thing to the next on a daily basis. The comfort comes from seeing others here that are so articulate still questioning their paths. But, then does that mean misery loves company? I hope that’s not who I am. All I think I know is that I have been changed forever by these “Jed” books. Some days I feel totally freaked out, and other days I feel at peace. The question sometimes becomes, how is that any different from what I felt before? Do I really have more knowledge now, and if I do so what? It’s seems to be “true” that there is no escape except the ultimate taboo. I guess one could find comfort just knowing they have that option, not really considering it, but knowing that there is no shame in it like so many of us were taught as children.
    Again, I feel like such a child, a novice, and I admit I am scared of life alot of the time. To write that took guts for me because I am not so far along as the rest of you, but I WILL keep going. My main goal to keep letting go, just keep letting go. I have to keep it simple, I just don’t have the intellect yet to do it any other way.

  158. Hey Mr. Anonymous here… So, I’m just saying…that once you get down to the bottom of who it is that is really bent out of shape about the fact that they’re stuck in the middle of a ridiculous Maya circus show, surrounded by very few people who even realize it is a dream or want to get out, there is a freedom and spaciousness that will open up. It all has to do with the practice – the real work – whether you call it self autolosys or Self Enquiry. (Sorry Jed, but you just dressed up Self Enquiry and called it something else). However you do it, the proof is in the pudding. I’m not just whistling dixie. I spent a full year howling at the moon at the end of a 20year spiritual search. Screaming, yelling and crying to God for some truth; all the while searching for the dumb bastard that was in such pain. All I can say is that the tortured soul that I was is now gone, replaced by something more at peace…not ignorant…not trying like hell to stick my face back under the covers….just more at peace; seeing the sideshow clearly. A recent book that speaks on the process well is called Transcending the Elegant Charade by Aperion Books.

  159. Hey Mr. Anonymous, it becomes so hellish that you got no choice but to find a way out or to commit suicide. So until that happens, I don’t see anyone having the energy to do something so drastic as this. But you’re right, it is the same ego that wants to get out of the ego, that’s the war, isn’t it? Until that 1st step, it’s all philosophical. Maya and illusion are pretty cool, it really is the entertaining part, and essential as I have grown to understand, for you see, awareness is invisible and can’t see itself but it knows it’s there by the reflection on the mind and the body. So without it awareness could not know it is. Maya has value, but living with maya only means only living with shifting sand, impermanence, suffering. You can be in both, like Jed says, in the bubble and out. But the illusion of ego is hell, for you think you’re separate from the whole. I can see why people commit suicide and do drugs and drink and escape anyway they can, but I don’t understand why they’re not looking for truth, for i even met guys who know they’re dying soon but are still into politics or restoring a car. O, Maya.

  160. Hey guys…just wanted to give a shout out to the latest thread of posts and share that what I’m seeing now is that it’s ok to be separated; it’s ok to be in this world of Maya and delusion. I mean who is it that wants out anyways? It’s that same person that wants out that need to be got rid of in order to experience reality isn’t it?

  161. Ruben–congratulations!! ((hugs)) Me too! But…frankly, the more dissatisfied & disillusioned with our petty egos the better. It’s the successful big shots that have the most trouble. “The Zen route” as you call it is just another vehicle. Thousands of people are shaving their hair, packing their belongings into 2 suitcases & arriving at monasteries with the prospect of staring at cave walls for a month in quest of the Big E. Why? because they have been taught that the fastest way to divest yourself of karma is to become a monk. It’s a cultural thing!! Along with compulsory vegetarianism & not drinking alcohol.

    The solution for us “little folk” in the secular world is to examine ourselves honestly. Is my “practice” (whatever that may be!) something someone else has sold me by overpowering me mentally? [ This is personally, a big problem for me. I have often been the “victim of good literature.”] Or has it arisen from some desire & motivation that comes from within? When we can do that…honestly…we can practice anywhere & walk into any situation & practice there. Every religion has accretions. Know what I mean? Embellishments and embroiderings of the imagination that get plastered onto it after the original teacher/s die. Those embellishments just prove to be distractions–why concern ourselves with them? I believe that the one question to ask is: Is there some common truth? Is there something underneath all the competition & criticism beyond which you cannot proceed and which is undeniable? Some people practice by asking “What is true?” and others by asking “Who am I?” or “Who hears (sees, touches, tastes, thinks) this?” or “What is real?” That removes the series of comfy cushions offered by all religions–whether you are in a pew or on a zafu–placed between you & your primary responsibility: directly perceiving your true self.

  162. IMHO, we all already are in delusion and in separation, it’s called life. Just because “I” have glimpses out of the dreamstate doesn’t make it any better, if fact, am worse off, now I know it is possible, but this ain’t it. I’m surprised that you’re going the Zen route after the great things Jed said about it, something like it’s the worse one except for all the others, or at least I think he said that. I’m going through the “I’m so full of shit” and “I am a lie” period and knowing it doesn’t make me any happier than the natives who haven’t an inkling about the “truth.” I guess this is the fire of Zen, but what do I know?

    what am I?

    and I wanted to share this?

  163. Ruben…absolutely! But I think we are merely disagreeing about a term, not a path. The big deception–not just in Buddhist Zen, but in all sorts of practices–is what McKenna points out. It’s a lot easier to get wrapped up in rituals, spirituality, virtue & vice, costumes, certificates & books than it is to obliterate the ultimate deception of “Maya.” Selflessness is not the exclusive province of Buddhism–you can find it just as surely in people like Corrie Ten Boom & Fr. Anthony De Mello or for that matter the apostle Paul who wrote “nevertheless, not I, but Christ lives in me.” These people were obedient to; surrendered to the unfolding patterns of the one…and were able, in McKenna’s word, to “manifest” what they needed at particular times in life. The more we stick a bunch of theological & philosophical barriers up between people the more we’re gonna fall back into delusion & separation. “The wheels on the bus go round & round…”

    Last night I got my certificate from the local monastery for completion of the “Level One Class” in Zen Buddhism. Ha, ha!! Yup. I’m official! Obviously both of us have a lot of major ego going on here…maybe we’ll deplete it in another couple o’ kalpas… In the meantime let’s not mistake vehicles for destinations. As one writer waggishly wrote, he spotted a street sign that could well be a bit of Zen poetry: “All abandoned vehicles will be towed at owner’s expense”

  164. Why just study Zen?

    Study Truth, it’s the core of them all.

    Truth is, it’s just covered up with lies, the main one being the “idea” of “ego.”

    Practice what by whom? Find the lies. Expose them with the invisible light of awareness.

    Nothing is wasted.

    Getting lost is part of the process of finding that there is “nothing” to find and “no one” to find “it.”

    It’s brutal, but it is what it is and there you have it.

  165. Sodo writes “don’t even get me started on Adyashanti who claimed to have been authorized somehow through a spurious connection with the lineage of Mayzumi (sic) Roshi, which was proven not to be the case and is now giving ‘Transmissions’ that he never received himself, when in fact all that happened is that he came to a few sitting groups and then decided to fake it for the gullible.” What Sodo has written here isn’t “easily verifiable.” It shows how superficial his understanding of Adyashanti’s whole situation is.

    I resumed Zen cultivation about 4 months ago & now practice & study with a Ch’an sangha near my home. One of the most useful things I felt compelled to do was to reestablish contact with my first meditation teacher–also, incidentally Adyashanti’s first teacher–after a period of 25 years. Steven Gray (Adyashanti) a competitive cyclist, worked like hell for many years at his practice after being intrigued by the word “enlightenment.” Steven experienced his first serious breakthrough after 5 years of concentrated meditation & was eventually simply pushed out of the nest by his teacher. That is, he was encouraged to begin teaching. He was & is an absolutely dedicated & responsible teacher of Zen non-dualism. Taizen Maezumi had authorized Adyashanti’s teacher before him. “Transmission” is a Buddhist religious ceremony…and obviously nothing is transmitted. It’s the formal recognition of a student’s insight. If a teaching/teacher interests you, my instinct is to look at the quality of the character of the man & whether the teaching is salutary. Just go. Go further, further, even further…go beyond to awakening.

    Prompted by a comment I made, my old teacher handed me “Spiritual Warfare” by Jed McKenna. There is a considerable amount of material in that book–incidents, characters & dialogue–that seems to be made up. I recognized that & it irritated me. But I’d encourage you not to ‘write him off’ because of that. If it’s that intensely important to you, we will, at some time in the future, know who “Jed” is. (Think about it: the Unibomber, the writer of _Primary Colors_, “Deep Throat”…all now identified.) Long ago I read Chogyam Trungpa’s _Cutting through Spiritual Materialism_. What “Jed” writes about is just that: spiritual teachers who don’t give what they promise; they cheat. Remember the people who sued the Maharashi Mahesh Yogi organization because they wasted their youth attempting to fly/levitate? Jed makes two statements that particularly hit home with me:
    1) that Buddhism was the ultimate bait-&-switch operation. Buddhism should be producing Buddhas, but they promise enlightenment & then sell you compassion.
    2) (referring to his own books) he writes that he would have *literally* given an arm & leg to have books like those to guide him through his early practice. He didn’t have them. He wrote them for others…so others can (in my words) avoid the bear traps & step around the dog turds. Spiritual materialism is the #1 big Maya trap of our generation. He uncovered it’s face. No one, having read his book, can seriously participate in what I call “religious theatre” in good conscience again. And that’s for the best.

    You want to study Zen? Read Jed. Read Nisargadatta. Read Adya. Read “The Zennist” blog. Put the genuine non-dualists in your head & then practice, practice, practice. Don’t be stupid and waste your time as I did. I can’t un-do the past, so I simply have to go on from here…

  166. Don’t ask what’s next or why awaken from the dream until you do. Ego cannot be destroyed, it never existed, it’s a dream. To the ego it appears like death, but to awareness it’s awakening. Don’t say stuff you think you know when you don’t, if you did know you wouldn’t say that. Question everything, until there is awareness with no one aware, just awareness, then it can play in the dream, knowing it’s a dream, amazed at the absurdity.

  167. What are we? ultimately we are awareness. that is pretty much all I know for sure. everything else is questionable. I used to think I have thoughts, choices, free will, a body, etc. All this stuff. But I no longer know any of that. The concept of no self takes away a lot of those things. I guess I am striving to know the truth.

    The question then becomes what next? If awakening means game over (the game of maya, illusion, growth) then why awaken from the dream? We know Jed likes a lot of the spirit guides. I don’t know how awakening fits in that context. Seth had said that the whole ego distruction thing was not good. Anyway it is confusing. And likely also a mind game to avoid the reality of no-self.

  168. Yea, I guess so. What a fine line. To me it is a series of jumps, haven’t taken the final one. The ego does have to be willing to die, at least to its old view. I have heard we can’t surrender, it surrenders to itself. Wow. Scary shit. No wonder nobody is doing it, won’t come close to it. It’s so pure. So simple. Too simple. A child just born knows it more than any scholar. Wow.
    Who won the game?

  169. Doesn’t it just come down to “Who am I?” Who lives and who dies? The body is born and it gets old and dies. The ego collects experiences and holds on to its memories as its identity, but does it die when the body dies or does it move on as “they” say to find another body to finish the job in some other “life” and undo its illusion? (Meher Baba says from rock to humans we’ve done it 8 million, 400,000 times! boy, am I dumb!)
    So have we just gotten identified with ego to think we are a separate “thing” from the universe? like a drop in the ocean? Meditating for decades didn’t get me any closer to seeing that fact. I have to admit science helped me the most. When you do the math you realize how the body is so inter-related to the earth and its trees and water and air and the sun and galaxy and the universe, that there is no separation, so there is no ego, it’s only an idea, an image, a name, it’s a dream in the head dreaming it’s in the head!
    One of the most remarkable insights I read is Osho’s commentary on the Heart Sutra by Buddha. Buddha, as with Jed, says we are no-thing-ness. Osho goes on to say that (paraphrasing, hopefully correctly) when one realizes one is not the ego, then there is no one to be afraid, for ego is the fear coming from the illusion of separation.
    The fear did come in waves, it was horrible, and I had no idea there was so much fear until the life went over the cliff. So it is ego which is afraid to die, but it doesn’t really die because it never was “real” never lived. Nonetheless it is “real” fear when it is being experienced, and once seen for what it is, one sees there is no one to die and thus no one to be afraid. You just got to jump off the cliff, but like Jed says, ego will do anything to survive. I see this in everyone, they’re horror and fear of the truth, and i’ve seen it within “me” thinking I was doing something different.. What a trip. What am I? Saying one is consciousness observing the whole drama and actually being consciousness observing the whole drama are distinctly different. One can be grabbed by the ego for its survival and the other one annihilates the dream.

    To jump or not to jump, that is the question.

  170. I was watching 60 minutes on Sunday October 2nd, and they had a segment about Alex Honnold. Alex is a free solo rock climber. He climbs rock faces without the aid of ropes. Lara was joined by a former rock climber to comment on Alex’s skill, and the difficulty of what he was doing. At one point he said that the fear can come on you at any time, and when it happens, and you’re hundreds of feet above the valley floor it can lock your diaphragm preventing you from breathing. He said that one had to find a way to get the fear under control in an instant, or risk certain death.
    There is a video online of Travis Pastrana doing a double back flip on a dirt bike, with background music by Eminem.
    I am living with my 88 year old mother who is literally at the end of her life. She told my sister and I that she wakes up in the night unable to breath, and how afraid she is.
    This death does not lend itself to description. It’s visceral, and overwhelming, and yet for those of us who are healthy, and not routinely risking our lives, it’s an intellectual exercise that we haphazardly pursue with varying percentages of our total awareness. It’s not immediate, or visceral. We don’t feel it, and we’ve been fed every conceivable fairytale about the afterlife, and our eternal existence in order to diminish our fear, and discomfort at the thought of nonexistence.
    I’m not convinced that it’s necessary to actually risk our lives to accept the reality of death, but I will submit that the idea that one can approach death as an intellectual exercise is flawed. Our intelligence, and the scope of our awareness as a species is truly impressive, but death doesn’t respect our intellect. In order to know death one must feel it, and in order to feel it one must open oneself up to it, and opening oneself up to death is intimate, and personal, and ongoing.
    Steve Jobs gave advice about living each day as if it were your last, and talked about asking himself each morning, “if this is the last day of my life is what I’m going to do today the way that I want to spend it?” I applaud the sentiment, but I have difficulty applying it to the lonely pursuit of knowing the totality of the self. The tangible evidence that one can share with our fellow men easily lends itself to acceptance, or rejection, but the pursuit of the less tangible almost always appears as a wasted life when one attempts to share it. So one is left with the choice between the less then satisfactory life of joining our fellow men, and the lonely life of the seeker who may never have anything to show for his struggle.
    The death awareness that has potency is the awareness that Alex feels when he’s hanging by one hand stuffed into a crack while he dips his other hand into his chalk bag. It’s the ongoing immediate nature of the inevitable end of life while one is struggling to live it. It’s an intricate balancing act between control, and abandon that is hard to describe even if one were currently living it.

  171. I appreciate the extent that others take to comment and share on this site. In my immediate reality I don’t find alot of people even open to thinking about these things, much less talking about them. What jiminater says about asking who created god is actually how this whole thing started for me when I was about 5 years old. For a short period of time we use to have these ‘bible people’ come to our house for some reason. One night I asked them who made god? They didn’t have an answer, and I was scolded by my parents. From this point on I was frequently scolded for ‘telling the truth about things’. Even then I knew it was them who had the problem, I mean how could truth be wrong I thought.
    Any way, I’m still working on the death thing, and I am starting to look at it more and more symbolically. Possibly dying every day means just letting go of every little thing that didn’t work out the way we thought it should. Simple things like the weather ruining your plans, an unexpected expense, or a friend letting you down. All these type of things are only wrong by perception. If your plans had come through maybe you wouldn’t of survived them for any number of reasons, you all know what I’m saying (death…shhhhhhh).
    So accepting everthing means trusting, there it is again. It’s freakin’ scary out there, :).
    Maybe someday we can start a discussion about the ultimate taboo. As soon as I saw that as the title of one of the last chapters of Spiritual Warfare, I knew what is was going to be about. That was an honest to good chapter. There really is something to be said about saying what everyone else won’t admit to thinking about.

  172. Actually the death thing is what triggered a lot of things for me. My father died in march. I felt like we had resolved most of our issues in the past, so I was fine with that, but still. A couple of months ago I read “I am that”, and it really opened the door. That was followed by “Spritual Enlightenment” and I felt like I was falling apart after that. The pieces have come back together. I am not enlightened or anything. I am not sure what I am. I don’t really feel fear or suffering though like I used to.

    For death, I have done a lot of pondering about death as part of my process. My suggestion is to follow wherever your elemental fears lead you. One of my question/paths starts out with “if god created us, then who created god/god’s creator, etc. What was there before any of this existed? What was there before anything existed at all? Why does anything exist at all? How did something come out of nothing?”

    Our ego has a huge fear of death. We do not know how to die and because of that we do not know how to live. Death can help put everything in perspective. If we live long enough we will see everyone that we grew up with to die, and then it will be our turn. Death is our constant companion. It is a scary thought, but it can also be a reassuring thought, that one day death will take us home.

    Look at the things we do in our life. In the end it will all come to nothing. Nothing we create will last. The destiny of our entire world is to be burned up when our sun cools a few billion years down the road. Death is the destiny of everything physical that has ever been created.

    Our meditations, the things we accept, the things we don’t accept, refuse to believe, etc. None of that means or does anything anyway. Whatever is going to happen to us will happen anyway regardless of if we like it or not. But by learning to accept things, to accept the fact of our death, we can make a huge dramatic change in the way we experience our life.

    In the ultimate sense of things what we are can only be said to be an experience we are having, and that will be true forever. We create attachments because we “like” certain experiences and we want to keep them forever. To this effect we try to control our world, build financial security, raise kids to succeed, etc.

    All of these things will fail also, Control will fail. There is only one way to control everything. And that is to accept whatever comes. Always. And through doing that comes a form of liberation and the ending of suffering.

    As to what comes after that? Hell, I don’t know. Further. 🙂

  173. Thank you Brian; IT is already ‘killing’ me, and sometimes I am afraid of running out of time, or at least not having enough time left to live this life enlightened. I am not attached to being enlightened exactly, but more that I desire peace, and even more I desire to not be shaken up by lifes twists and turns. I often feel taken advantage of, and yet I know that is up to me to change, either by action or perception. I pray to be returned to right-mindedness, and I actively monitor my thoughts. As I do this I see the fear, I see the sadness, I see my constant search. If dying every day is the answer then I will try to cultivate more understanding. I still feel it’s all wrapped up in trusting everything is the way it should be and when Jed’s books slay me, I often turn back to the book ‘Take Me to Truth’. I find comfort there, but then I want back into the grit of this life, the times when I feel my warrior spirit. It’s a back and forth thing, and I wish for more consistancy. I want to feel like I have grown for good, and that the next time sometimes ‘bad’ happens I won’t break.

  174. Eliza
    Speaking as another ‘unfinished product’ myself, I would only remark that it really isn’t something you are going to do, or fail to do. Resources or limited resources don’t matter. Most will concede, as does Jedo, that It chooses us, rather than us choosing to do it. IT, is already ‘killing’ you, I would guess. Relax and let it ‘do you’. As my ex-teacher was fond of saying, “Relax, everything is out of control”.

  175. So I just finished Spiritual Warfare, and ofcourse I am walking around a bit disturbed trying to process everything, especially the part about death, and dying every day. All the quotes help in understanding just what is meant by this, but I still don’t think I really get it. I mean I think I get the concept, but I cannot seem to tweek it enough to flow into my daily life. I have responsibilities, and I don’t resent them, they just are. But given the true choice, there is a different way of life I would choose. I also don’t have the unlimited funds to do what my heart desires, so my best approach goes back to trust. I have to trust that this is my life, as it is. By most standards it would be considered a damn good life, but not one that lends itself to doing anything like what Sunny has done, and that’s my reality. BUT, I do want to somehow figure out how to fit this dying while your alive thing into my life now, in the present, and I still am quite stumped. Maybe I’m taking it too literal and it’s simply about letting go of fear, (not like that’s simple!) Any suggestions or thoughts of clarity on this?

  176. I also did things that could compare to what Sunny is doing. To the world it seems like an act of madness, but to you there is no choice. Who would choose this? Looking back I saw how the ego found a way to somehow survive and the act had to be done again and again until the ego realizes its unreality. “I” am at the place that would be described as a worthless human being, and yet the joy of being out of the madness is enough for me to not care. I glimpse that place that Jed describes as done, and see that it is quite possible, but instead of having a couple of houses and the freedom to fly wherever I want is not in the cards, the universe has decided a different route for this one, perhaps one that has to get a job and play with the delusional natives who think this is home. Damn peculiar place, maybe I’ll sing those songs nobody wants to hear.

  177. There is a post from Sunny Dated June 22 2011that put’s it all in a nutshell. Sunny is done with half measures, and halfhearted attempts. Sunny will succeed, or die trying. No holding back, no plan B, nothing left in reserve. When I was Sunny in 1978, and I walked out of the Arizona dessert after my pilgrimage I immediately put my harness back on, and hooked myself up to the cart that I continue to pull to this day. I wish Sunny a different outcome. When I was Sunny in 1983, and I walked out of the Wind River range in Wyoming I was eager to get back in the familiar traces, and to feel the burden that I pull in concert with all humanity. I sought the cozy comfort of shared suffering, and the inane pursuits of a self involved human being. I wish Sunny a different outcome. The well meaning advice given by Michaet T. Ness to temper the passion that would drive one to any length is childish, and demeans the intensity of that singular pursuit. Sunny seeks the advice, and friendship of fear, and death freely given over a lonely campfire.
    I don’t know what Jed would do, and I don’t know what Christ would do, and I don’t know what anyone else would do, but I know what Sunny is doing, and I know what I am doing. This is my last act on earth, and as such I give it the respect it deserves. I pity Jed if he no longer puts his life on the line, or doesn’t struggle with all his might to overcome impossible obstacles. A life lived fully is one lived on the ragged edge, where death is your constant companion, and every act may be your last.

  178. If I respond here, It is not so much a separate “me” that responds now…Last year when I encountered the wasteland this writer seems to be reporting, what happened was suddenly there was awareness that this is another perspective of the “me,” and is one of the egos little traps…it causes the perception of meaninglessness because the motives that were, are no more…however, from the perspective of that which I AM, this is seen like a little deflated balloon that feels meaningless. Adyashanti describes it using these terms in The End of Your World, and then it happened and then I saw that this is what had happened… and it became evident that this awareness of the tactic was not caught in the belief of meaninglessness but is freedom.
    I risk being misunderstood when writing this because that is the nature of words…so limiting and limited…still I feel a motive to write or respond to you Russel and say that all thoughts of meaningless no matter how strongly they are represented in experience, are untrue and are an egoic tactic. There is no meaning but life is not meaningless in this way…Awakening is to that which is beyond these concerns. This awareness can suddenly be what is seeing this but it can only occur now and no concerns for getting it or not getting it are helpful at this stage…just seeing that what is left of the tatters of ego or its perceptions have nothing to do with Truth…they are what is left of delusion. What or who sees this? I AM and THOU ART THAT.

  179. I lack the intellectual capacity, and I’m not an adept enough wordsmith to adequately describe what I’m experiencing on my path toward enlightenment. Let me start with the physical particulars. I am 53 years old, male, single, dating a 25 year old co-ed. I quit my construction job a year ago to move in with my 88 year old mother who has early stage dementia that sometimes represents as full blown Alzheimer’s. My purpose in coming here is to do battle with my self importance, to dethrone the “I” that separates me from something impersonal, and incomprehensible. I don’t adhere to any particular teacher, or teaching, but I do give thanks to those who have written, and taught what they understood to be true, and real.
    I have reached a pivotal point in my journey. It manifests as an insistent questioning of my sanity, and my motives, and my very existence. I am, and the I that is will die, and upon my death I am not. The only thing that I can control, or strive for is the state of my awareness at the moment of my inevitable death. Everything else is delusion, and window dressing. This enlightenment that so drew me in my youth has become a dead fish that reeks of deception, and rot. How could I have known that “I” could never achieve enlightenment, and remain sane, for the two are diametrically opposed. “I” must cease to exist, without a thread of evidence that “I” ever existed, and to fail to do so will leave me shipwrecked and alone without the sought after sense of completeness. I must walk through insanity without losing my mind, or my way.
    I vividly remember my youthful daydreams about the benefits of enlightenment, and power, and influence. I’m embarrassed by how naive I was, and probably still am. I find myself unable to hold any kind of conversation with my fellow man, and I get the distinct impression that prolonged contact with me makes people uncomfortable. I am less then anyone I know, and in order to go where I’m going I must whittle away at what’s left of me that resembles humanity. It’s becoming a classic catch-22 wherein I can’t go back, that opportunity has long since been retracted, and I can’t go forward because all I perceive is an endless desolate plane that reaches the horizon in every direction. So I sit, and I wait, while all the beings on this planet go busily about their business. Am I close, or am I far, or am I lost? I don’t know, and I no longer care. I am

  180. Highest truth can be hiding behind some lies that it’s your highest truth, and speaking it gets even more screwed up if you think it’s truth when it’s a lie. Find the lies, and what is left is truth, unspeakable.

  181. “IS-NESS” always feels right; the trick is attuning. When in advaita satsang with Ramesh, he’d often destroy “heart” as spurious emotionalism, but yet was fabulously emotional himself!!!

    Is this then dualistic? My impression (of the now passed wonderment) who was Ramesh Balsekar is that non-ordinary states are ALWAYS available when true inner focus is attained [excludes nothing].

    Its quite inauthentic to say any of these masters are emotionless and many are evidently vehemently passionate; as was Shirdi Baba [terrifying by all accounts].

    So from one who’s jaded by all the bla-bla my 10 cents is simply… live in your highest truth, by speaking your truth clearly and living it to the fullness of every moment that life gifts you with.

    For surely one day you’ll wake up dead! Then its a bit late to… go-4-it! Ahhh Beautiful day -Tku x

  182. thejimz doesn’t question the “I” that believes Jed is not done. Osho also says life has no meaning, it is sheer joy, like the joy of a child who laughs for no “reason.” It may sound morbid and depressing but it ain’t. As he says the best part of being out of the dungeon is being out of the dungeon. It’s joy. But even Buddha resisted calling it that or anything or else the ego would make it a goal, and thus have something to grab and continue to live in its illusion. Via Negativa is this path, via positiva, which all other paths are, keep the ego going. Freedom from the bondage of ego is joy. Further.

  183. Hi Thejimz,
    I read your letter, thanks for sharing your beliefs.
    At the end you write: “worse is that this is the experience he has to give to others”
    I can understand that you prefer your own beliefs (don’t we all)
    However the concept of meaninglessness is not exclusively Jed’s, nor is it new.
    Buddhist doctrine points regularly at meaninglessness and emptiness, “Ecclesiastes” is a chapter in the Bible entirely devoted to meaninglessness.
    It seems there is more to meaninglessness (and “no heart”) than just being a mere condemnation or rejection of passion, sentimentality or open heartedness.
    Clinging to what feels good, apparently does not bring great freedom.
    Meaninglessness, or the emptiness of existence can be frightening or disheartening and maybe even a “bad” experience, however still worth investigating, and should in my opinion not be condemned or skipped either.
    In order to say “further” one should halt first.
    You could be right about Jed being cut off from his humanity, it has been said of other enlightened people, or maybe cut off from some aspects of humanity.

  184. My attempt at autolysis.

    This is what “I” know to be true.

    Am consciousness. I am told there is no I. I do not have that experience.

    I am composed of millions of cells, molecules, atoms, subatomic particles and so on, all I believe to be conscious.

    I believe everything I see, hear, feel, think or otherwise experience is all conscious.

    I believe everything in this world, air, water, plants, animals, the sun, planets, the galaxy, the entire cosmos, all are conscious.

    I believe that consciousness has the ability to grow, to learn and to make evolutionary leaps in consciousness.

    I believe the absolute is like a cut diamond with an infinite number of facets. Each facet is a slightly different view on what it is to be conscious.

    I believe that what is called the absolute is just another view of duality as it is seperate from maya.

    I believe the infinite is continuously recreating this world.

    Physical matter comes into existence, disappears and reappears in slightly different places, this is movement.

    Consciousness identifies with a physical form, this creates the form. When it disidentifies it destroys the form.

    Consciousness can also piggyback on other more baser type of consciousness. This allows for ever more complex forms of consciousness to be created, live and die.

    I believe maya and the absolute are one. The absolute contains everything but it is maya that gives meaning to what is contained.

    I believe greater unity in all things will allow the involved consciousnesses to create greater and more complex forms of consciousness.

    I believe that since we all have the ability to grow, even after discovering the guru within and becoming enlightened, that this is a rule. As above, so below.

    I believe Jed has had his brutal hacking away experience, and now knows everything. But he doesn’t. He still admits to being guided. He has become disassociated from his humanity.

    I believe that the absolute and maya are forever linked. Consciousness forever grows through its ability to integrate and evolve less forms of consciousness.

    We are all one, but bringing out the oneness in others is evolution.

    I believe there are other paths to enlightenment, paths that do not sever the heart, but instead focus on growth by being open and aware. Tolle for example.

    I don’t think Jed is “done”. He even admits to learning, growing and experiencing. The vision he gives of the absolute is his vision. It is what he has learned and what he has to share with others.

    Sad to think that the culmination of experiencing and growing through untold numbers of forms he discovers self-realization this lifetime, and is “done” with it. Everything is now meaningless.

    Worse is that this is the experience he has to give to others.

    I have listened to the tapes. Maybe it has helped me take a second step. But his path is not the one I am going to follow.

    My advice for Jed is is own. Go further.

  185. Michael & Ruben- Thanks so much for your replies. Your concern and advice appear to me to be a part of an overall unfolding that the universe is laying out for me like a rug. Rapid change and upheaval are frightening but the timing, flow and general spookiness of forces leading me to this alone time feels like intelligent design so I’m surrendering to it and going with the flow in faith. I have a good amount of common sense, a sharp knife and long underwear. (Not to mention 4 wheel drive if I have to bail!)
    I can’t tell you how much warmth and support I’ve felt from your comments. I’ll check back in when I can.

  186. Great response Mike. I missed the extremity of what she was doing. The self does like to go to extremes, just like that guy that wanted to give Jed all his possessions. while missing the transcendence of those extremes.

  187. Sunny, I don’t Jed has the “dark night of the soul” trademark. It’s a common thing to truth. I was once turned on to a very small book that talks in biblical language about this:

    “I am caring for thy body and have provided it with the proud sense of personality to develop it and that when the body is developed so that it shall have no further need of that proud sense I will send they deep humiliations. Then shall that proud sense be brought low and die. So when any humiliation comes to thee, let they personality tremble, for its end is near, but let thy body rejoice, for its freedom is at hand.”

    Life’s Word:


    “But remember,
    it is by failures that lovers
    stay aware of how they are loved.

    Failure is the key
    to the kingdom within…”

  188. Sunny, be a little bit careful here. It sounds like your circumstances are getting a bit extreme and you must be sure that you are not causing this out of a false idea that a spiritual aspirant must necessarily undergo extreme circumstances in order to prove sincere. I know some of the stories and things that Jed talks about sound pretty extreme, but it’s not necessarily something we have to emulate. Remember he is just a person, like you or me and no one special (though I will say his writing is quite good). Remember also that he said, somewhere in one of the books, trying to run against the herd is as bad as having to run with the herd.

    All I’m saying is examine what has led you to these circumstances very clearly. If it is the ego; if it is Maya telling you that you have to go to an extreme to be spiritual then drop that immediately. Generally speaking, at least for myself, whenever I feel I have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, to some degree, Maya is whispering in my ear, trying to stoke the flame of something that I’m pissed off about. Remember, in the pursuit of non-duality, we need not get trapped up in black or white. I think it was the last Star Wars movie where Obi-One told Anakin “Only the Sith deal in absolutes”

    If indeed these circumstances are inevitable, all will be well. The universe/God will never truly abandon a sincere devotee. Wishing you much peace and clarity.

  189. Thanks Michael. This is frightening stuff. Since my last post, all my bridges are burned and my (very) comfortable life is over. I guess this is the opening of a door the universe has intended for me but it scares the sh** out of me. I’m 50 years old and I’m going to live in a tent, alone, in the mountains. I don’t have a plan B. Sometimes I’m so pissed at Jed- maybe Maya’s playground wasn’t so bad, but there’s no going back, is there?

  190. Hi Sunny,

    I love your name. FYI, I think the “no man’s land” situation is quite common for people who really begin to drift down the spiritual path wholeheartedly. What’s worked for me when I’ve found myself in funky, not so fresh feeling spiritual states is total surrender. As much as the consciousness will allow you, just surrender. Everything that comes up is God’s play: Lila. Whatever is arising, just open to it, accept it. That is how you go beyond it. At least that’s what worked for me.

  191. It’s really hard to see because there is nothing to see, and no one to see it. We’re all been looking for an “object” in time and space called truth, while truth is infinite and eternal, so it is everything and nothing put together. It destroys “you” the subject which is really another object that has no permanence, thus untrue. True subject transcends the subject-object duality. In that void of “one” something adjusts, and a “pleasant nothing” arises. It will destroy any boundaries of infinity which is what everyone is so afraid of. Most people would rather choose the hell of self than the heaven of no-self, for there is no one in heaven. It really is a process of opening the next door until you’re done. I’m definitely not done, because whenever I think I am another door pops up. “I” is a lie, but you still got to play like it isn’t, which makes this place so fucking absurd.

  192. I’ve read Jed’s 3 books and currently find myself stuck in a sort of “no man’s land”. Burning away the untruths have left me with no truth and I find myself desperately looking for something- anything- that is real. Maybe I’m just stuck for a while. Anyway, I found the song by Shawn Colvin called Sunny Came Home, really moves me. Just thought I’d share that since I’ve struck that match. Thanks for the site, Brian. It’s helpful.

  193. Yes, Rueben, I enjoyed it; particularly your last comment re “the herd being nonetheless miraculous…though they forget it just like I did and still do.” To me Rueben, that is a facet of heart or whatever word we want to use, right there, that understanding and humility…anyway me too on the did it and still do. Have a shining day…Mark

  194. Yea. Cutting the root of bullshit-ology. I go through the same when I hear all this love talk covering the root of unlove. We pack shit upon shit and what you get is a lie. Remove the illusion of ego, which separates the universe into parts, and what you have is not-2ness, which is love, but no one that loves, just love. The other masquerades as love and what you have is mask that will soon fall when push comes to shove. One of the best lines I’ve ever heard Osho say was, “I call a spade a spade, and if need be I’ll call it a fucking spade.” Jed is another voice at calling it a fucking spade, of which I am most grateful, for I thought I was mad for not relating to the herd, but that herd is non-the-less miraculous in their being what they are, one with the universe even though they forget it just like I did and still do. Thanks for the dialogue Mark.

  195. Not that you were necessarily responding to what was written by “me” Ruben, nonetheless I could not agree more. A major resonance for me was with Jed blowing up the ideas re heart, compassion etc that belong to the spiritualized ego. What is called love by the world, political or religious collectives etc or even by the spiritual community, at least as I have encountered it, is often a hiding place for a self that is not… a way to keep from waking up… At the same time, completely dispassionate views of others ( by others I mean differentiations or waves in the ocean of non-division) seems incomplete as complete detachment requires that there be a sense of separation from that which we are detaching from. Looking at the world of politics and other collectives today, as you point out, reveals the error that is common around the use of the term love.

    I too viewed Jed’s work, whoever “he” may be, as an act of love, particularly since there is such a willingness to stand where few have been willing to stand around pointing these hiding places out, so each of us who encounter the material can look carefully at whether there is ego involved in such considerations.

    I am fairly simple in my looking at this. Is love a belief? Is there a separate sense of self that likes to think of itself or believe itself to be loving? Etc. etc. Or is there simply a deep understanding of what it means to be caught in the dream/nightmare in the mix when interacting with so called “others.” This latter seems more to be the nature of Truth or Being relating to Itself in form rather than ego.

    I see Jed responding to others that are open in quite loving ways…for me he is a kind of Shiva (destructive wave of Being or God of Death, to use the Hindu pointer ) in service to blowing up untruth.


  196. We have seen alot of examples where people say they doing things from love but it’s just not agape, evolved love. Hitler loved the German people, Osama loved the Muslims, the Jews love the state of Israel, W. loved his rich friends, some people love their football team, etc. Loving one’s tribe at the expense of others is a limited sense of love. Jed’s 4 books to me was a great act of love, even though he wouldn’t call it that, but it is to me. Love can be used as a mask for ego so easily. In fact ego can masquerade as democracy, truth, freedom, and all those great words and as we have seen they have a habit of coming out as the complete opposite, mostly in politics and religion.

    That’s why Buddha discredited the idea of the soul, he saw it as another hiding place for the ego, so he used anatta, no-self.

  197. I first commented on post-spirituality and had not yet seen this piece. My awareness of Adya’s points, and Brian’s here about mind, heart and gut seem to lead me to the same sense, that perhaps Jed still has contraction at the “heart level.” I do not really know, obviously, but Brain’s suggestions seem helpful to me in being able to more clearly sort out what about Jed resonated and what didn’t and “perhaps” why.

    My primary relationship with the Jed material is that it took away stuff that had been still disguised as Truth but was in Truth another “prison.” However the prison-like quality of what I saw with Jed’s help, isn’t now seen to have always been prison, but just life’s curriculum on its way to awaken to Itself in the field of time.

    I do not tend to project authority on teachers and teachings so I just set that part aside (Jed’s stuff about heart). All I had come to was: Well, when he speaks about heart and how he speaks about it does not seem quite right for me. Oh, well, he is “Jed” and I am “Mark” and no two waves (in the ocean of non-division) are the same. I just knew that this chest/heart thing doesn’t seem like one of Maya’s prisons to me. It seems like Truth.

    Mainly I am just very grateful to find these postings…grateful is another word for the chest/heart thing that stirs me to write l….

    A Wave of Grace,


  198. My experience is my door into truth.
    What I eperience is always true.
    Letting go of the steering wheel is important every day for me, as I have a tendency to want to try and manipulate or alter my experience, somehow being in control, steering it in whatever way I believe to be more conducive to deliver me to “the other side”.
    Reading has its place of course, and thanks for all the beatifull pointers, but I find myself thrown back into my own experience again (luckily).
    What had value for me was to be pointed to my experience (again and again) in various books I read and teachings I followed.
    It hurts not to be enlightened, but hey I’ll get over it.
    What will get me there?
    To put in a hell of a lot of effort and exhaust myself and “pop through” in a final surrendering?
    Was it the effort then that got “me” there?
    Surrendering, letting go of the steering wheel is something I need to do every day many times a day, not a once off as (I think) Lisa experiences.
    Whatever effort I put up, whatever else I can conjure up, it is me trying to alter or enhance what is right in front of me.
    Only surrender by acceptance of my experience or whatever is in front of me seems to be a true doorway.
    But can I surrender? Can the ego surrender, who is doing the surrendering?
    It seems that as long as there is the “doer” doing it, it is just my ego wanting to be an enlightened ego.
    Surrender does not strike me as an ego trait.
    So what part truly surrenders to my present experience?
    Who is the I that let’s go, and can I bring that about?
    Can I get myself to surrender, or is it grace in the end?

  199. Jim, I’m sorry, but we all read books, and it would get kinda boring if we all listed all the ones we read. What would be interesting is what you are going through and perhaps the ones that have touched you the most.

  200. More books read:
    A Course in Miracles
    Conversations with God (a few of ’em)
    The Power of Now
    Something by Randall Friend I can’t remember the name of
    Something by James Braha I can’t remember the name of
    So here’s the bottom line.
    I don’t define life by my story or circumstances. They are as they are. Oneness manifesting as it will including the thoughts that appear as mine.
    I guess I prefer my gurus be grouchy and not self promoting. No books to sell, no websites with new agey pictures and wonderful quotes from the usual suspects, just people slugging it out moment by moment in the dream.

  201. Not at all sure about truth being not dependent on circumstantial conditions because I’m not sure what “truth” is.
    Here’s some of the books I’ve read over the past 15 years or so.
    Moby Dick
    The AA Big Book
    I am That
    Damndest by Jed
    Incorrect by Jed
    Everything is Clear and Obvious
    As it Is
    The Open Secret
    What’s wrong with right now?
    A few others I’ve forgotten.
    I’ve surfed many “advaita” web sites and read quotes and watched “satsangs” with various self appointed gurus.
    We even tried to start a “non dual” group here in Connecticut where I live.
    I’ve never been to India or Tibet or actually anywhere in Asia.
    I work as a salesman, have two children, one who is special needs. I have a wife, mortgage, credit card debt, aging parents with failing health, an immediate family that’s exactly as crazy as everyone elses. That’s my story and I’m not really sticking to it, though it seems to stick to “me” sometimes. That said, I’m drawn to non dualism but not the people who “teach” it.

  202. I guess you work with the hand that was dealt to you. “They” say you’re given what you need to see where you are stuck. Yea, who has the time to do this when you have to work etc. I myself, this character, usually worked and then took off to focus on the truth, then went back to work. No security for me, but security can be the illusion that keeps most people in the dream state. I have to admit it scared the shit out of me, so I was given the opportunity to see a mountain of fear that I would not had if I had been “secure.” Many people who do get secure waste alot of energy and the stress gets them some of cancer and they die, without questioning anything. So, fellow orphans, we’re screwed either way!

  203. yeah, but that’s a myth also. you can wake up no matter what your circumstances. truth is not dependent on circumstantial conditions, only inner ones.
    look at daniel ingram for one (he was studying to be a doctor, not exactly easy) or the many others on the kenneth folk forum.
    an easy life or lack of outer burdens isnt enlightenment, it’s just luck. maybe it represents skillful means that can help one’s focus, but people are capable of adapting to anything.
    not to deny it makes it tricky…
    good luck though 🙂

  204. Jed has no wife, kids, or mortgage…apparently a passive income stream that allows for travel and dining out regularly in nice restaurants. Damn nice life. I would say I would be less burdened (in other words “enlightened”) if those were my circumstances.

  205. i don’t know how many realise this already, and not to detract at all from the wonderful value of this discussion and site and analysis, but possibly the most important link in the above thread is the following one, for which i am eternally grateful.

    Ellen (05:23:33) :

    Ruthless Truth:

    it took me to THIS (see below) which is essential reading for anyone who is at all excited by the possibility of discovering truth for themselves. it’s epic.

    thanks ellen! 🙂

  206. What can anybody know? Life is so fleeting that once you said something about it, it’s gone on to something new, it can never be grasped. So we can have a site that nobody says anthing for fear of being wrong. Be free to be wrong until you discover what’s right. Let it out for you and us to see it. Most of us are full of shit anyway. We don’t know, until we find there’s nothing to know. But do I know that? Ahhh! The truth is going to be the death of “me.”

    I do have a suggestion to Brian. Is there some way you could change your name from Jed McKenna to Brian because it might be a bit confusing if the one who wrote the Jed books decided to post using that name?

    Just a suggestion.

    Oh, for those of you who would like to read Osho’s take on Zen which Jed likes, his books are online for free in pdf.

    here are the ones on zen, the guy on the top left is not Osho, he acts like him, which is kinda weird, but he put this together:

    on Buddha:

    all his books are here on this site:

    here’s also the Nisaragadatta’s classic “I am That”:

    Enjoy the ride.

  207. Those who know don’t talk about it.
    Those who talk about it don’t know.
    I have a site for enlightened people (only),
    no one’s ever said a word.
    You can check it out, you wont even find the site.
    I like to waist time, not that I ever managed.
    I take great care not to take myself too serious.
    I often fail, but then, fortunately I don’t take myself too serious.
    Mindless brabble, I agree, I thought it more fun than stating something serious here. (Sorry, maybe not the place to have fun)
    Ahum, It’s hard to accept things, but in the end I’m not left with much of a choice, at least in my experience.
    I smile or cry about my experience, who’s to say I’m wrong?

  208. Fraser
    Great! Now tell us something we don’t know!
    No one, to my memory, who has seriously averred an opinion or a sentiment on this blog claiming to be realized. Quite the opposite. It is simply a place for Wayfarers to stop and have a bit of chat together before re-immersing back into the fray. I must admit it is superior posing know-it-alls like yourself that make maintaining a blog an irritation sometimes.

    May I humbly suggest that you get off your high horse and stop presuming you know what others are all about. Ask more questions than giving advice and presumed direction to others and we will all be the better for it. Everyone knows about the great teachers and teachings such as U.G. Get human and come down out of your head.

    Don’t worry it is safe to do so.

  209. – Jed admits that while walking around in his human body, he still has preferences and annoyances like everyone else – and that this cannot be erased from one’s character on Maya’s stage

    UG will explain this too, the niggle in the back of your minds… “but if Jed is enlightened why does he get annoyed at people.”

    This is based on a notion of the state he ‘should’ be in when really we have no idea what it’s like.

  210. Have you all read The Mystique of Enlightenment -conversations with UG Krisnamurti?

    Essentially says similar things as Jed (ie the enlightened perspective) but in a more straightforward way. In fact it is as if Jed has written all the books from his conversations.

    Ultimately the techings of Jed have led many of you into another tailchase: those who still ask ‘where’s the love’ and such nonsense or I imagine many of you are trying to behave like Jed – I know I did (despite what he says about kill the buddah).

    UG will clarify some points: the importance of there being no more questions, and the fact that ‘love’ or whatever you mean by this concept is the very thing keeping you trapped. Your search for truth is keeping you trapped. The fact you want to operate like Jed is keping you trapped. (outside authority)

    The fact you are on this website means you are lost, (Me included)

    You will also realise why Jed says the price is everything. The way you function will be so different that all relationship will be over.

    Ultimtely he will tell you that you are wasting your time. Which you are. Only when you truly see that may you have a chance of dying.

    Give up.

  211. Been a while since someone has put something up, but maybe people like Richard are just busy fighting that inner war, instead of finding the next distraction or finding someone to blame for the state of the world that doesn’t change because of all our complaining on face book.

    I can’t complain, what good would it do? That’s how the saying goes.

    No, this place isn’t meant to be a comfortable place,and it appears it was designed to be quite disturbing, since that first spank on the ass.

    I am still amazed at Jed nailing the human condition, his lack of optimism for the evolution of man, it might not ever happen. I’m beginning to see it, the fear of even talking about going in, no, the terror! It is the greatest taboo, to know who or what we are. Most strange. I guess you don’t do unless you cannot not do it.

    So I guess all I can do is work on myself, find the illusion of I, which always is looking for some prop to lean on, like you.

    Onward, further….

  212. This is my first and last post here. Posting here and trying to find solace, understanding, or “truth” here is just me avoiding doing the work.

    What is true?

    I try to make enlightenment a comfortable thing. Meeting friends. Images meeting images, trying to prop up beliefs with other beliefs.

    What is true?

    Wasting time here. Adyashanti? What’s with the name? Wasn’t his given name good enough? Laughing. Let’s get together and feel alright with Adya. Come in from the cold and feel good. Slick marketing.

    It’s quite hopeless here, and there is no place to hang your head in comfort. You’re already dead. What’s left?

    Standard religions have created God in the image of man. Spiritual seekers do that with enlightenment, as well. All will be well and comfortable after enlightenment. This world isn’t meant to be a comfortable place, and never will be.

    So excuse me, but I’ve got work to do. What is true?

  213. Jed may actually be Adyashanti.

    I heard of this delicious idea a few years ago. If you’ve read and listened to youtube excerpts of Adyashanti, and after upon reading JMK, I’ve often recognized Adya’s phrases in JMK’s books. I haven’t noted these so I can’t be very specific. Adya has often talked about “waking up from Zen” and that spirituality has nothing to do with awakening and so on. Essentially they both say the way is self-observation and self-honesty.

    Of course, it just could be that both are at a similar level of awakening and so they both reverberate in similar ways.

  214. Thank you Rachel, that was an excellent interpretation of why Jed writes with such provocative tone.

    I kind of susptected that he has chosen to be on the extra harsh side of things on purpose, to make sure he’s not being fluffy, to make sure he’s doing the opposite of a sales pitch, in the usual sense of the eternal orgasm enlightenment thing…

    But your analysis is more sensible.
    Thanks very much again!

  215. It is ironical, it’s something that we already are, have always been.

    One with the universe, we are the universe without the we.

    But like Bob who has the belief that we are already enlightened while covered up with the false and without true realization, I am a blind man believing in light expounding about light.

    I am noxious of such vanity, in myself and others.

  216. I’ve been re-reading Spiritual Warfare recently, has there ever been a better analogy of segregation and integration than “Scoop a jar of water out of the ocean and put a lid on it?… It didn’t exist before you scooped it up, but you didn’t create it. It doesn’t exist after you pour it back, but you didn’t destroy it. So what was born when you segregated that jarful? What died when you reintegrated it?” (He goes on to suggest the use of death awareness and spiritual autolysis to answer the question, “Who am I”?)

    So the pouring out of the jar back into the ocean would be akin to burning away the layers of false self, a recurring theme throughout the Trilogy. Whatever is left is what’s true, and presumably, what I am. I can’t personally attest to the accuracy of these parables, but what I Can say is, at least in the case of the jar of water, the idea seems both wondrous and awful, beautiful and spine-tingling, foreboding yet inviting. I guess this is what Jed means when he indicates enlightenment is not something I can desire, but something I am propelled into by the hatred of all that is false.

  217. I don’t think it’s fair to say what Jed or anybody is “probably” in awe of.

    Spiritual Enlightenment, the damnedest thing, page 170, don’t know exactly what verse. He goes on to say “I like Osho, the enlightened guy formerly known as the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.” ….I like his teaching style. I like his take on Zen. I am in awe of his mind.”

    On that site there is only 314 books of his spontaneous talks, many on Buddha and Zen and other giants of humanity.

  218. Slight modification to my last post. I would say, though, that he probably was in awe of Sonaya (SETDT), Herman Melville (SIE), and Brett (SW).

  219. Ruben,
    I’ve read every McKenna book (all 4 of them) and don’t recall any references to Osho at all let alone anyone else he is in awe of. Can you please document your statement.


  220. Truth is truth. No distinctions, all expressions of the one. Jed is the American version of it, with the fuck words and all in the expression. He does a good job at what he does, because he is truth. Most grateful to the One for him and all the buddhas, past, present, future. Use them all, see it from every angle until you find there’s no one to find anything but freedom.

    if interested in another giant that jed is in awe of, check out the most prolific expounder of truth, over 600 books for free and some videos:

  221. Jed. Jed. I first read his books in high school like 9 years ago. I loved them, they resonated for me, but I didn’t really get them. I worked with another spiritual teacher for quite a while, an off-the-radar enlightened woman who does not “teach” but instead does therapy, which I think is pretty appropriate really…anyway…several months ago I lost someone very close to me and it left me questioning everything that mattered to me…family, friends, interests, etc. I picked up his book again and it was like I was reading it for the first time.

    I’ve spent over 9 years working through my shit. I’ve waded through my feelings, my thoughts…I’ve spent years trying to accept life, to meditate through my thoughts and to sit and fully experience my feelings, but I think that all of it was vital to reaching the point where I could hear Jed. Jed likes to say that everything that isn’t his “bolt of lightening” is worthless, probably because that’s how he experienced it and so he assumes that’s how it works. Where he would probably dismiss all those years of soul searching, it was vital for me to reach the point where I could even hear him.

    I think his problem is that he’s not so good at expressing what you have to do to work through your crap. He just says it’s hellish, but anyone who’s ever seriously tried to burn through ANY of their ego will tell you it’s not fun. He’s not a terribly helpful teacher, but I think he’s right about what enlightenment is; a state in which you’re free from suffering brought on by your ego, but everything else is optional.

    What I’m coming to realize, as a “student” that’s finally making it to the other side of “the exit of the theater,” is that people don’t become someone different when they reach enlightenment. They are free from their ego which means that they don’t care what you think of them. Thank about that. If you always sounded arrogant before you were enlightened, there’s no reason why you would lose that tone unless you’re thinking in terms of the guru fantasy role of an all-loving soul…probably the only difference would be the motivation. Before, you might have been arrogant to make yourself feel better than others, when you really felt small and frightened. After, you have something that others want to find. Why wouldn’t you boast? The only real deterrent to not sounding like an asshole is the fear that someone (whether it’s a stranger or your mother) won’t like you. If you don’t have that fear then you’re free to do and say whatever you want. I’m guessing that’s the point Jed tries to make all throughout his books, by donning such an arrogant ‘my way or the highway’ tone; that just because you’re enlightened doesn’t mean you love everything and everyone.

    But I think that if you’re a loving, compassionate person in the egoic sense of the word, you probably won’t lose that either. Unless your love of others is entirely ego-driven there’s no reason why you wouldn’t still love them when you reach the other side. I think whoever the real Jed is, he probably wasn’t the warmest guy to begin with. But I think he doesn’t want to say that kindof thing because he knows a lot of people will mishear him. They’ll hear ‘you’ll be compassionate and loving’ and think that’s the only option; it will reinforce their stereotypical guru image, when the truth is you might walk away from humanity and never give them another moment of your time.

    By donning his image of an arrogant, truth-obsessed tough-guy he’s just saying, ‘this is a personal trip, and who you are doesn’t change, only the motivation, so you don’t have to spend your life trying to perfect yourself; figure out the truth and just be free.’ And that’s not a message you hear very often. I think Jed, or the persona of him, is a pretty cool dude with a good way of expressing that.

    Or, of course, I could be totally wrong, ha ha.

  222. It appears to be long road of postponement, that is what the mind is. Autolysis will expose it eventually. Had moments of “How could I have missed it for so long?” and then go for months missing it.

    It’s a long habit, could be one of lives, and it’s hard to get out of in a society who doesn’t even consider it to be of any value and would be last on the list until suicidal, but not even then with all the anti-depressants going around.

    I’m no expert at this, haven’t experienced “when it starts getting good” but maybe being out of the dungeon is good enough. We’ll see.

    Autolysis is the shit. Write what is true. Rewrite, put it as concise as possible,
    the mind will destroy it and write it again and the mind will destroy it, and then…..

    Failure is the key to the kingdom within. –Rumi

  223. Phew, I have just caught up on all the reading of the posts under the last time i logged on.

    I have to say, I´m very thankful to Jed, whoever he/she is, not only because of the books, but also because of allowing for a gathering of sincere minds.

    How beautiful is it, to find people so honest, that they even admit they know they are not being fully honest!?

    What a gift.. Thank you all.

    And may we always remember one of the coolest pointers, I think;

    The tricky thing about seeing through self delusion, is that it very convincingly argues that we are not self deluded.

    Even though I sense most of you dont have much need of any material as all dissolving´s taking care of itself.. here´s a little for the rest of you, see if any resonates..

    There´s dream characters that seem to have seen more of the dream than our selves sometimes. The following team of characters springs to mind.. and their strong points

    -Adyashanti, for clarity, deepening and subtlety… and much more

    -Jed, for punching you out of idleness, or self deception, and for much more as we know..

    -Tony de Mello, to remind you of the comedy of it all, and covers the Adya strengths too I believe

    -Mooji, for super straight relentless pointing at your inner truth

    -Jeff Foster, to expose the futility of the seeker – if that mode is still on- and the simplicity of life itself as one with you

    -Wei wu wei – mix of everything

    -Paul Hedderman – could be the last message that had to be heard

    Fundamentally, playing with these guys ideas can be fun.. as long as we no longer prostitute our inner knowing, or the little bastard, to external authorities..

    Long live the balls to tell ourselves the truth.. hmm.. this is probably always so. Long live the balls to listen to it.

  224. Dear Dargenesis:
    When you posted this comment you were given the option to be updated when new entries are made. Did you notice that ? If not make another blank comment and tick the boxes. OK?

  225. Please sign me up to receive info from this site. I’ve just started reading Jed’s first book…WOW!

  226. Yea Brian, for sure. Here’s a great Tagore story that Osho used to point this out::

    In one of Rabindranath Tagore’s poems he says, “I searched for God for
    many lives… searched but never found. Sometimes I got a glimpse of him
    among the most distant stars. I kept hoping, kept looking. Then one day by a
    lucky accident I reached his door. There was a sign: ‘This is God’s house.’ I
    climbed the steps — in one leap the journey of many lives was complete.

    “My hand was on the doorbell chain when a fear overcame me: ‘What if I
    meet him? Then? What will I do? My whole work has been to seek God. I live
    in this hope — it is my life’s journey. So if I meet God it will be death. What
    will happen to my life, my journey? Then where will I go, what will I attain,
    what will I seek? Then nothing will remain.’ So in fright I let go of the chain,
    slowly let go of it so there would be no noise, so that he would not open the
    door. I took my shoes in my hand and fled, and since then I have been

    “Still I go on seeking” — the poem continues — “even now I am seeking
    God, though I know where his house is. I seek him everywhere except there,
    because seeking is my life. I keep myself from going near it. I go anywhere
    except towards that house. I turn away from it. I ask everywhere else, ‘Where
    is God?’ — and all along I know where God is.”

    As I see it, many people have come close to that house many times in their
    endless seeking, but freaked out. Freaked out and forgot everything; only that
    fright they cannot forget. This is why people are not readily attracted to
    meditation. People are scared, and avoid even talking about things like
    meditation. They make formal use of the word God, but they never let
    themselves go in a deep search for him. They go to the temple, the mosque —
    it is a social formality, a convention, a custom. They go because they are
    supposed to, but they never let the temple, the mosque, be established in their
    heart. They won’t take on such danger. They keep God far away. And there is
    a reason for it — somewhere hidden deep in their memory is an experience of
    fear. Sometime they must have faltered in front of that door.

  227. Ha! Well put, Ruben.
    This problem always reminds me of the Country song lyric:
    (Which may be by an artist named Louis King, and titled ‘Lover’s Question”, I’m not sure.

    I think the truth may be that we vote with our feet, not our mouths. It’s what we animate in our lives that tells the story of what we are all about, not any talk we make about seeking or yearning for enlightenment.

    Would you agree?

  228. I really do understand the unending search throughout the world for truth, and it was actually quite refreshing to see Jed did the same and encouraged it.

    I recall a discussion in a group about the origin of this particular version of the 4th way we were studying and the teacher at the time pointed out this was a distraction from actually doing the work at hand.

    I mean they are all pointing to the one that’s inside all of us, why don’t we just go in?

    But it is so disturbing to go in, to face the void, and the demons that are in the way, I can see why the truth is taboo. Interpretations of the truth are in, but the brutal truth that exposes our lies is the last thing we want to do. Like a moth to a flame, we want it, but we don’t.

    What a paradox! It’s what I love, and it’ll be the death of me, thank goodness.

    Meanwhile, I’m full of it.

  229. I don’t think it really matters, although it’s natural to try to figure out “who” “Jed” is. Personally I don’t think “Jed” is Adya. I read highlighted portions of Adya’s work every day, and always listen to him in the car and I do not get the sense that he wrote the “Jed” books. I think because their themes are so unique and similar could lead one to assume they are the same person, but I think it’s more likely that there are just more and more people these days that are understanding real truth and Reality. It’s still an obscure school of thought, but nothing has ever rung as true as these themes for me. I highly suggest to anyone who truly is willing to let their life be changed forever read Adyashanti’s book The End of Your World. I also think Take Me to Truth by Sanchez and Vierra is transforming and groundbreaking as well.

  230. Thanks Hawkins, and I’m glad you have found the next piece for you. I like Adya as well. He has also been a help for me. Mostly his point that not only the mind has to be liberated, but also the heart, and the gut (as you point out with your link). My personal opinion is that he is not the same man, but I don’t know!
    All the best

  231. Brian,
    Thanks doesn’t seem quite adequate for the amount of work and time you have devoted to this site. I have four books, period: Damnedest, Incorrect, Warfare, and Notebook. I have read them through four times each. They have the appearance of Bibles some people carry around. They are tabbed, stickied and highlighted. I get more out of them through every reading. Jed has shaken me. Sometimes I ask if I’m insane. I can’t give an answer. The wife wants me to get help. From who? Never been through anything close to this ever. Releasing the tiller is the song of my heart. Releasing the tiller is the kryptonite of my ego. Its a battle I wage from when I wake to when I sleep. One of the things that keeps me from going over the edge is the Thoreau chapter in Incorrect. I read the following every day sometimes more than once. Its my personal 23rd psalm which I visualize Samuel L. Jackson preaching to me as Jules Winfield: “If one listens to the faintest but constant suggestions of his genius, which are certainly true, he sees not to what extremes, or even insanity, it may lead him; and yet that way, as he grows more resolute and faithful, his road lies. The faintest assured objection which one healthy man feels will at length prevail over the arguments and customs of mankind. No man ever followed his genius till it misled him. Though the result were bodily weakness, yet perhaps no one can say that the consequences were to be regretted, for these were a life in conformity to higher principles”. I pretty much dropped any other spiritual lit once I found Jed. I read some rumors that Jed is Adya so that led me to a few of Adya’s works. One excerpt I find particularly useful is linked here: Thanks to all the writers on this weblog. It helps……

  232. I just finished the first book a few days ago. I feel the deconstruction happening and it’s not that pleasant. I wouldn’t say the book messed me up, I think I need more time to absorb it all. I suspect after some time it will become mixed and ensconced with everything else I have studied or explored resulting again in my own path, veering this way and that way, all the time. I just want to let go of the search sometimes, and I do think that’s where this book has been of most use. Taking my hand off the tiller, as “Jed” puts it, really is a relief.

  233. Jed was heaven sent, as well as all his predecessors, Hermes, Lao Tzu, Buddha, the Gnostics, Hafiz, Krishnamurti, Osho and countless others in between in the now.

    His description of the 2-3 years of hell as intelligence at work purging the obstructions at least made some sense of psychological hell.

    His description of the reason decades of searching went nowhere because ego found a way to survive was quite I-opening.

    The heart thing, that’s a toughie, while on earth 700,000 women and children are enslaved, mostly sexually, and every 40 seconds someone commits suicide, and every 60 seconds someone is murdered and the list goes on and on about the madness of humanity.

    It is balanced, the dream state, incredible beauty and incredible ugliness.

    I always felt if we could just bump consciousness up a notch and get free of the past, but with the 60’s the idea of freedom, as Jed says, has been removed from our vocabulary. I guess allowing the intelligence within us, a response will be indicated, as the heart and mind are cleansed by the fire of awareness to nothing but awareness, and that, and only that, changes “me” and ripples out into the world.

    check out the website: www. such is now. com.
    it’s my feeble attempt to combine images and a collection of wise words to describe the indescribable. feel free help out and give feedback on facebook.
    please do! the lack of any comments has been deafening.

    Thank you so much Jed! Thank you all, fellow travelers to nowhere! Truth exists!

  234. Thanks Jim.
    I don’t know if this would be helpful to you but the classic in the field of ‘finding out what I want to do in life’ are 2 books called “The Artists Way” (for artists) and the follow-up book for everyone else called “The Artists Way at Work”

  235. Hi,
    I am Gwen Houghton’s husband. I am really thankful that something lead me to check out this blog. I am experiencing much of what a number of you describe – limbo – much more sedated emotions. My awakening process was thrust upon me through no choice of my own. I am finally pulling out of a very painful year and a half of self destruction. I am claireaudient and get messages routinely. To try and paraphrase what I have been going through just recently; I have been asking why my higherself/soul would want me to go through this. The response I got was to liberate me so that I make “authentic choices” and am less likely to follow a path that is not authentic for me. Supposedly this will help me to find greater growth and enjoyment of this lifetime. Over the last couple days I was guided to pay particular attention to the “rhythms and energetic flows” of my experience. I think this is related to what Jed says when he speaks of reading the currents and following them, not fighting them. I have been unemployed for a year and a half and the thought of going back to “the grind” is so horrid to me that I really can’t imagine doing it. I know I really want to express myself in some sort of creative fashion, but not being an artist of any sort I don’t know what to do but trust that if I follow the rhythms and flows I will be lead to what will make me happy. Thank you so much for all your posts. I do feel there is a larger reason people are going through what we are going through – I hope to understand what that reason is someday.


  236. Gwen,

    For what it’s worth, after many years of following a teacher and teachings, I also found myself untethered. There is simply no one I can go to for instruction anymore, or a scripture or teaching I can turn to as representing ‘the truth’. I seem to only have myself, which, over time, feels adequate. It’s absurd to me now to presume that I’m not exactly where I am meant to be; that what informs me is not sufficient.

    Given all that, I still maintain the gamut of feelings and anxieties that most people seem to have. They just don’t affect me in the same way anymore. Really, right now, the most accurate expression of where I am relative to the big picture is “I don’t know”. Bugger!

    One day at a time feels appropriate.

  237. Gwen,

    Give up the distrughtness too. There’s something on the other side. Don’t buy into the alienation gig too much either. Yes it’s different. Yes you have to be selective in your dealings with people. But there’s this freedom when you keep going deeper, deeper within. You’re right, there’s no one to go to but yourself. When you get it deep though, yourself is really experienced as everything. Not just an intellectual understanding: the real deal. Maya will F with you till the end. Everyone be forewarned about that. But when all the juice is gone, she will high five you and tell you you’ve arrived.


  238. No, it doesn’t.
    I am so distraught that I do not know what to do. The realization of what I have done is becoming glaringly obvious. There is no one to go to. Nothing that I can read. No one that I can hide behind. I am trapped in me. All I can do is find out what I want!!! Thats it!!
    I feel like I am in a bubble, alone, drifting in space. The image that comes to me is that my thoughts begin to materialize… POP… another bubble appears into the empty space…It’s a house…an empty there I am floating in space with an empty house…The phrase “One day at a time” comes to me…

  239. There is deep sadness setting in as I come to realize the ramifications of Awakeness. I have been on my “Spiritual Path” for about 10 years know. There was always something that just didn’t seem right as I went from teaching to teaching. I started channeling Micheal about 2 1/2 years ago. my husband pushed me to give him the answers to what ever problem he was working on at the time. After a while it was apparent that this entity called Micheal just wanted him to think for himself and would say it in every session. I finally realized that it was that simple. It wasn’t about following some teaching. It was about following my heart and that was it. About a year ago I found the CD Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment. I was living in Sedona Arizona at the time and as soon as I listened to the CD I hit a wall. Every thing that he said rang true in my head. What the F…?? To make a long story short I stopped channeling for my husband in December 2009 and came home to NH.
    I have been out of work for over two years now so I decided to get a job last week because I thought that it would be a good fit for me. I was devastated to find that these people that I was working for were totally asleep. I was horrified. On top of that I am extremely psychic and could sense that they hired me but could not afford me. My awakeness became glaringly apparent. I truly do not know what to do or where to go. I need money to live and the thought of going back out into the work force is a horrifying thought. I now see why Jed says that know one aspires to be HERE…
    With all that being said. I wouldn’t have it any other way…I will keep on moving further…I just wanted to share….BLESSINGS

  240. Hi Ellen,

    I just meant that there is only One. Everything else is our imagination.

    – D.G.

  241. Thank you Don Genaro. “standing all alone, imagination still runs wild”
    Needed to hear that once again… and probably again and again. But I’d better go focus now on the ‘WHO IS IT’ that thinks she needs to hear that over and again.

  242. Precisely!
    All of this means nothing.
    You and Me; like two sides of the coin.
    All of this; all of this and nothing,
    standing all alone,
    imagination still runs wild.

  243. Wow. I “happened” upon this site when Googling “Jed McKenna Human Adulthood”. I can relate to so much that is posted here, thanks to you all and your bare honesty. Just yesterday I said to my spiritual “guide” (whatever you want to call him) that I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep up the digging, keep asking myself “who am I”. That I was so tired of all the work of looking at beliefs, etc. He asked me “What do you really want?” I said I wanted to live a life free of fear and encumbrances, to enjoy the ride, live life fully, etc. And that if enlightenment wanted to find me, so be it. But I am tired of trying so hard. He encouraged me to take some time off from the digging/autolysis and just sit and be.

    So what do I do but find you guys and get all pumped up about people who are speaking “my” language. Wow, again.

    Many thanks to Brian for getting this conversation started.


  244. Autolysis becomes easy and automatic after being practiced for a while. Its impossible to erradicate ego (see RamanaMaharsi discourse). So go for it – complete obliteration is juicy and you’re almost always left with a body to run around in. Its liberating, cathartic and even fun in the end game. The “decade or so of adjustment” Jed skips over, shows that after THE holocost there’s plenty to get busy with. New paradigm is bandied around alot these days but this takes the biscuit – yummy too! Feel into the IS and know what’s next in life. No real requirement to get serious and heavy becuase death is guaranteed anyway. He’s my mate and stops me getting stuck in boring video games. “I’m luvin it”

  245. I’m putting spiders outside up until this very day. And in the back of my head I hear a little voice “I might crush another one under my foot on the way out…” (Sh)it happens. 😉

  246. To Judy
    The only tidbit I would like to add is this: from the ego’s POV, who is facing what you are facing, I support the suggestion that “there is no point”. But even that ‘realistic and sober’ assessment is the ego talking about it’s options. If that is the case isn’t it fair to say that at some point, the unitary divine perspective begins to come into focus? That is to say, Life, and ‘the World’ may open up as a great cosmic playground. And though it may have no ‘meaning’, it does have purpose- the enjoyment of the splendor of Maya’s Grand Amusement Park! Without binding and blinding ego fear and contraction distorting it’s game. Or so it seems to me.

  247. Hi Ellen,
    Yes I hear the words – there is no point, there is no meaning or purpose to life – and enough awakened beings say this, so it must be true. In my limited capacity as a human being however, and still living in the dream state, I do as much as I can to examine my useless concepts and beliefs, but I have not made the BIG choice yet, to fully wake up. This is apparantly not a choice but something one is driven to do. I have been attempting for the past few years to become more of an adult human as Jed describes it. But in the limited paradigm in which I exist, I cannot yet integrate the – no point to life – theory yet. It is still a concept in my head and not one I have lived thru or realised. So until I awaken fully to these truths, I do the best I can in my dream state. But I hear you about just watching things happen – it seems we have to let things fall as they will. I guess if I feel compelled to send out prayers and healing to the planet then I do so – no right and wrong.
    In the end – I really don’t know much beyond taking one step at a time!

  248. Poppin’ up:

    “(…) It’s just another distraction, and there’s no shortage of those. The point is to wake up, not to earn a Ph.D. in waking up. (…) waking up is job one, and then, if you still want to liberate all beings or promote world peace or save the whales, great—lucky beings, lucky world, lucky whales (…)”

    Yet, there is no point… nowhere. No I going anywhere… imho. Seems like all I can do is sit and watch what is happening… including any actions happening… on ‘my’ account. Whether I like it or not. 🙂


  249. ………and while I am asking questions, I am wondering in light of Jed’s teachings, if there is any value at all in the role of co-creating our world, which is so often what is taught in the ascension teachings. In other words, how much influence do we have over our world and the healing of the planet, if we all stand together and send out white light or love etc, especially around the gulf oil spills and the plunder of the planet etc. I used to be into the whole 2012 hype and the raising of consciousness of the masses and our own vibrations supposedly speeding up etc etc. Is all this also just BS I wonder – I know it is a massive distraction getting into the whole thing, but what if one is doing the spiritual autolysis and letting go of all the concepts etc, yet still feels moved to co-create a better world with sending out thoughts and prayers.

  250. Hi,
    Am rereading 2nd book and came across the paragraph where Jed talks about emotions as being the tie keeping us attached to the dream state. QUote:
    ” …to detach from this we must sever these energetic tendrils. The energy of an emotion is our life force, and the amount of life force determines the power of the emotion. Withdraw energy from an emotion and what is left – a sterile thought. In this sense freeing ourself from attatchment is indeed the process of awakening”.
    I suppose this is why awakened people seem to have not much emotion or ups or downs, or get too excited about anything. Or in fact even form much emotional ties to other people, hence no need for relationships.
    WHile we are in the dream state however, I have tried to actually in my life, get in touch with my emotional life as I blocked it off for many years. I find I have quite intense emotions and therefore, I guess I am really locked into the dreamstate according to the above quote. I always thought it was a good thing to sit with emotions and feel them fully in the physical body (without trying to expand them with mental pictures). So if Jed’s advice is to try and sever our emotional ties, how does one go about this in a balanced way without denying or blocking them off, or is this severing only for those trying to fully wake up?
    Any feedback here??

  251. Beautiful comments, I enjoyed reading them very much.
    Something resonates with all of you / all of it. Thanks for sharing.

  252. Judy writes:‘Also reading about your feelings JC and Eddie’s reply. Not sure how much we supposed to deviate on this blog.’

    In response…
    How I relate to what others have written on the subject of enlightenment and who is and who isn’t, has changed significantly over the years. In the past, I would examine a piece of writing from, say, a guru or a self-claimed enlightened person like Jed McKenna, and examine it in a rather analytical way. Perhaps I would compare one with another and come to some sort of decision about who is enlightened and who isn’t. About whether what one has to say is the truth and the other isn’t. Or whether one teaching is superior to the other. As if this truth was separate from myself and I had to reach it by examination and disregard of one over the other.

    I do very little of that now, other than as a sort of amusement given I do have a good analytical brain! Now, when I read someone’s ‘spiritual’ writings, I find that it is only useful when I recognise how I am implicated by what is being communicated. To paraphrase Jed, Arjuna isn’t someone else – I am Arjuna (or wish I was). It’s of little consequence what anyone else has done or what conclusions they have arrived at. Only this ‘I’ matters to me.

    So, whether Jed McKenna is ‘enlightened’ and what realisation he has attained are pretty much irrelevant to me these days. What does matter is where ‘I’ am in relation to it. What Jed has to say does resonate with me – however, I don’t have to come to some sort of conclusion about his realisation (which would necessitate having to rank others). I do feel, though, that I need to be very honest if I am to make use of what people like Jed McKenna have to communicate. And I do need help – that’s what friends are for!

    As to deviating on this blog, like Brian, I am much more interested in people being real than parroting what others have claimed to realise, or arguing the merits of enlightened beings as if they really knew. There is very little I claim to know without doubt, anyway.

    Thanks for your honesty.

  253. Judy
    I am delighted to see this Blog including a more natural and human dimension, with people talking to each other from a position of a shared joy and struggle about integrating with the Truth, and done with some humility and honest ‘not-knowing’. After all, is Truth itself is ineffable and unspeakable, then what else is there to chat about with friends?

  254. Thanks for that Brian.
    Also reading about your feelings JC and Eddie’s reply. Not sure how much we supposed to deviate on this blog….
    but I too was quite stuck on requiring a partner who was “spiritual”. Earlier on when I was going thru the whole New Age business then it seemed important. Nowadays what is “spiritual” anyway. I find what is important is that someone gives you the space to be who you are, without criticizing or putting you down.
    It also strikes me as very important that a partner is moving into “Human Adulthood” as Jed puts it, otherwise, we do not take responsibility for our own issues and constantly project onto a partner which leads to conflict. So a willingness to grow and at least work thru childhood trauma to understand one’s behaviour and move forward without constant blame, complaining and feeling a victim, is something I would cherish in another rather than they believe in my spiritual theories.
    I had a partner on and off for 10 years (we are now just good friends), and we realized we were here to wake each other up – we had years of conflict as well as good times but thru our conflict boy did we each see our own “s…t” and had to work hard at seeing and releasing unhealthy co-dependence for each other, where we held each other back.
    We have a deep respect for each other now, but cannot live together anymore, even though he is more awake than any guy I know. I could never have imagined I would be able to release the hold I had for him – but I was committed to growth no matter what. It took working thru huge fear, what ifs, loss, insecurity, loss of control you name it. Is this stuff “spiritual” – it is just life and all of it is spiritual. I think the problem is when we feel the other person does not understand us or what we are going through and/or their fear about it all, and our not wanting to hurt them, holds us back. If there is real love there we have to be willing to let go of co- dependence and take a long hard look at why we are together, or why we even want to be together. The old way will fall away and something new can be born, or perhaps it will not survive.
    So our relationship did not survive but we have a whole new level of relating that is much healthier. So for me, in a partner, the word spiritual now is obsolete – – it is rather the degree one has of being able to be an adult human and allowing the other to grow to be one as well.

  255. Hi JC,

    I thought you might find my experience relative to a spouse’s interest in spirituality of some interest. I spent a number of years with a woman in the same spiritual community believing that that would be sufficient for our relationship to flourish. Back then (15 years ago) I couldn’t imagine ever being with a woman who wasn’t interested in ‘spirituality’ like I was. After being in a number of other relationships since then, I have now been with a woman for over 6 years. The frequency of times I feel she does not have the same understanding as I do is diminishing. She tends to our gardens and animals with a degree of presence that I have not previously experienced, or enjoyed, and her so-called ‘non-awareness’ of the subtleties of spirituality reflect my tendency to feel I know more than others. She has shown me that my ideas about her level of spiritual understanding are just more of my own garbage. My only responsibility is for my own behavior – what she believes in terms of ‘spirituality’ has pretty much nothing to do with me. Of course, there is a degree of compatibility required in a relationship, but for me such things now are not related to some notion I might have about what real ‘spirituality’ is.

    I don’t know what the basis of your particular relationship is about, but maybe there’s more to it than meets the eye!? In any case, I wish you well in your endeavors and choices. I left a stable career as a research scientist behind in order to find the truth, as well as underwent many other crazy adventures on the path to nowhere. I don’t regret any of it. Indeed, I only have gratitude for what has been shown me.

    Oh, and there is a famous Indian saint (I can’t remember his name) who attributed his god-realization to having to endure the incessant nagging of his wife!

  256. Hi Judy
    Very nice to hear from you again.

    My take is that Jed is coming down hard on one side of a paradox for teaching purposes. I have no doubt that at one level he has no preferences, inasmuch as he abides in the sublimity of ‘non-duality’. Yet on the other what he is not saying in that passage, IMHO, is that there are many things he likes and enjoys and prefers, such as: Moby Dick, sky diving, enchiladas, attractive females, lightening storms, his favorite dog and coastal villages etc. And many things he loathes such as church basements, meeting with Marketing types, ‘phony Zen’ etc.

    Relative to pointlessness, our favorite activities, whether self indulgent or altruistic are pointless insofar as we rely on them to console our ego’s inherent suffering. But if your are truly freely and happily moved to do things in the world, then why not? What else could this creation be for but enjoyment! No praise, no blame, you just enjoy whatever you enjoy.

    As for the Post-Spirituality essay I will try to get it out at least in a private form to you guys very soon, but I need to do a little bit of cleaning up first. This is good for me because it spurs me on to get it finished, something I feel I really should do.


  257. Hi Brian, JC, Eddie – I suppose it is comforting to hear your feedback, but then again what part of me is needing the comforting other than the ego – certainly not my no/self as Jed would put it. Brian I would also like to read your essay – never mind the editing. I too dabble in bits of writing – friends of mine keep saying I should write an autobiography – perhaps I can call it – MY LIFE NOW AS A ZOMBIE – ha ha!!
    Actually the best part of all this, is that I have lost that little voice that always used to say “You know you SHOULD be doing………….” I am very happy now NOT doing..
    The one thing I still have trouble with however, is, how much difference can we really make, in this bubble world. In Jed’s 2nd book was it, he said, that as an awake person, he could sit and look at a beautiful sunset or children dying of hunger (not exact words), and he would feel the same, there was no difference, it all just is as it is, no right or wrong. I hear what he is saying intellectually but not being in his paradigm I struggle a bit with it. Does this mean it is pointless trying to help causes, or make this world, our bubble, a better place? I volunteer at an animal shelter as I have a great love for dogs, and I often wonder what the role of animals is on the planet and why they have to suffer – or perhaps they don’t suffer, and it is just our perception.
    But somehow my giving up caring about things has not yet extended to my volunteer work – perhaps because as hard as it is sometimes, I love it and I am good at it. So I do it until I don’t!
    You sound like a great bunch of people – glad to know you…

  258. Eddie: I just had a humorous thought: that us spiritual zombies of Post Spirituality were started to stir! Kind of like that Michael Jackson video – what was it called, ‘Thriller’?

    Jed’s take? Beware the Herd!!!???

    Brian’s take: Ahhh! But it’s such fun!!!

  259. To Judy and Brian,

    As Groucho Marx said, ‘I wouldn’t join a club that would have me as a member’. However, I do find myself in a club, though joining was not of my choosing. It’s the club of adherence to no teaching, no teacher, no path, and no set practices, although I do meditatively brush my teeth every morning. Ambition and the drive to achieve are also waning.

    Now, I could look at all of this and come to the conclusion that I’m a lost, pathless soul. I could, but I don’t. It’s just the way it is, no better or worse than any other way or conclusion. At times I do feel an exhilaration, a sort of freedom in not referring to anyone or anything else outside of myself relative to the truth. It could be expressed something like ‘there is only me.’ (I’m sure some would consider this behaviour as representing the epitome of the ego!) At other times, there is a sort of blank, a not knowing, an abyss of nothing.

    I find it helpful to know that after decades of pursuing something other than what I obviously am, as well as performing a myriad of so-called ‘spiritual’ practices, there are others who are in a similar position to me. Jed’s books provided the bottomless pit from which I know there is ultimately no escape. The fool that I am, however, I will probably avoid the inevitable for as long as it seems tenable.

    Perhaps the title of a Talking Heads album best summarises where I’m at: ‘Stop Making Sense.’

  260. Judy,
    I am in the midst of a similar situation, and have been for many months. For me it started well after I read McKenna’s books, but I don’t know if there’s any direct relationship there or not.

    What I DO know is that this position is creating an increasingly difficult environment in my married life. My wife isn’t much interested in sprituality, and I learned soon after our marraige to keep my thoughts to myself, for the most part.

    I feel like the Richard Dreyfuss character in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” He’s going through this devastating internal experience he can’t understand while his personal and professional external lives are crumbling around him. I haven’t made my break yet from the helicopter to the mountaintop and beyond, and I don’t know why.

    I have no professional aspirations and very little if any motivation to do anything except the occasional yard work and exercising my dog every dog. I too feel empty, but I also feel like I’m searching for the right questions to ask, and they are escaping me, and then I get back into my personal life as a father and a husband out of necessity, but I don’t feel like my heart’s all there, which I then start questioning.

    At some point I start to realize how pointless all of this really is, and what a ridiculous circular place I’m in. I know something’s gotta give, and something wll give. The way I see it right this second is that I haven’t truly surrendered yet to the fear of the unknown.

    Brian, I’d like to read your essay. I write as well, on and off, mostly just short blog-like entries to myself.

    Hang in there Judy, sounds like you could be in for a ride.

  261. Welcome to the Club, Judy!

    It happened to me a few years ago, about 6 months before I read a Jed book, and I suspect there is no going back. As ‘Bill’ used to say” “I feel your pain!” And I also feel blessed by an ever deepening freedom that is quite palpable, and I feel, a direct result of this turn of affairs.

    So struck was I by this turn of events that I began writing an essay to describe it for others about a year ago, but I get so tired of the editing process that I have never published it. I laughed when I saw you describe it as Limbo, because that is part of the working title for the piece:
    Where Souls Go When God Dies, The New Limbo of Post-Spirituality

    If you would like to read it as is, let me know.

    If it is of any assistance to you, I would say that you are not alone in this, and further, that you are right on track.
    My guess is that Julie had a lot more ‘elimination’ to go through, that perhaps you don’t, and that is why you seem to be going in opposite directions. Yet, I would still would guess, on the same path!

  262. I am not sure what is happening to me since I read Jed’s books. I seem to have lost interest in anything spiritual, don’t feel like entertaining any of my old beliefs or spiritual practises and am in a state of feeling nothing. No desire to look further, no compulsion to examine anything, a lack of emotion almost which is unusual for me. I seem to be in a limbo place, somewhat unmotivated but not really worried about any of it. No ambition, or need to go off and do anything. Actually quite lazy. Is hard to describe. It’s almost as if I have been given permission to throw in the towel and forget it all. Some part of me feels – but what about all that used to inspire me. I am not low or depressed or sad – just empty in a way. Good or bad? No such thing apparantly. Just interesting to note. Might have nothing to do with his books and just the place I am in at present. If I think what Julie went thru in his 2nd book, I am right in the other direction. Anyone else there???

  263. Finally, blog postings where the writers aren’t trying to win arguments or put other people down!

    Thank you Guillermo for your clear insights into a number of current ‘spiritual’ teachers. I had the good fortune of having a conversation with Adyashanti when he was in Australia. For me, it was a wonderfully powerful interaction that still reverberates. I found Adyashanti to be an incredibly clear communicator. Yes, not as hard-hitting as Jed, but Adyashanti is Adyashanti and Jed… well, who the hell is Jed anyway? I’ve read Jeff Foster’s book, ‘An Extraordinary Absence’, but found it too preachy and not that well written. On the other hand, the things I love about Jed is that he beautifully integrates what he has to communicate into the daily life of people, and he does it with such delicious humour. I’ve also watched a few videos of Mooji and find him attractive and remarkably lucid.

    As to ‘Human Adulthood vs Enlightenment’ thanks Judy Miller for such an honest personal assessment. Like you, I thought I was into ‘spirituality’ but, really, I was simply moving to become a more mature adult. Now, I don’t know what it is I really want. And that’s OK. (To paraphrase Adyashanti, not knowing what to do can be the voice of Wisdom itself.) If enlightenment (whatever that is) is to be my destiny then it will have to occur without my assistance. I grok with Jed’s point of view that enlightenment is radical and unchosen. Well, I hope so anyway – I really wouldn’t know.


  264. To Guille
    I only have a minute today so I will make it brief, but I read Jed as placing ALL human experience – from the most mundane to the most extraordinary mystical/spiritual realizations under the banner of ‘Human Adulthood’, it’s all the goddess in her myriad forms. The only exception is the breakout into what he regards as ‘enlightenment’ – radical and unchosen.

  265. Hi Guille
    Read Jed’s books twice and I really enjoyed having all my views flattened! Somewhere along the line I suspected most of what he is saying anyway.
    Thru one of my teachers along the way we did a lot of processes to try and clear duality and look at all sides and come to some sort of neutral space. My understanding of adult humanhood, is that one can still chooose to be in the bubble as Jed puts it, but at least become aware of your issues and ego and clear them up to a large extend so that you are not acting our your childhood issues in your adult life, ie. flying into rages if things don’t go your way etc, or continually drawing problem people into your life cause you have such bad self image etc etc. SO it is about working on yourself psycologically and spiritually to become less issued, let go more, and become more adult. You have not decided to wake up so to speak cause perhaps you are not pulled that way, but you would like a life of less problems and more contentment which is what comes from clearing a lot of your childhood issues. As Jed puts it, you do not choose to become awake, you are compelled in that direction thru trauma or because you are so fed up with life and all the BS that you just HAVE to get to the answers and are willing to drop everything to go there.
    SO yes I found it very useful to know the distinction and for me, even though I thought what I wanted was enlightenment, I guess for now I am hoping to develop more the adulthood and be more awake in the bubble. I have come from such a place of controlling, and doing and processing and yearning and trying and searching etc etc, that I just want to BE now, and live my life each day, let go of control and flow more, and the idea of diving into spiritual autolysis and spending years searching more and diving into libraries etc just seems too exhausting and too much DOING.
    I guess I am not compelled enough. Jed’s books cleared up a lot of stuff about perhaps what I want and IF I want…………
    thanks for your posting, thought I’d add my twopence worth!

  266. bla bla bla!

    Everybody’s talking at me
    I don’t hear a word they’re saying
    Only the echoes of my mind

    People stopping staring
    I can’t see their faces
    Only the shadows of their eyes

    I’m going where the sun keeps shining
    Thru’ the pouring rain
    Going where the weather suits my clothes
    Backing off of the North East wind
    Sailing on summer breeze
    And skipping over the ocean like a stone

    Can YOU see it yet skippy?

  267. Hi guys, interesting and fruitful discussions! I love all the perspectives here, and I can definitely associate myself with many of those writing, specially when the views clash 🙂 I feel like the eternal bipolar.. well multipolar.. i guess that will go on until life and i are one, knowingly.

    My suggestion for a full picture, or what I tend to do, is to alternate between the top teachers… I think Adyashanti is the most balanced.. but sometimes Jed hits me harder.. and we want to be hit, after all.. i think he is in the punching business. While Adya is more in the shaking up business…
    I also like Mooji and Jeff Foster from the UK. If you dont know the guys, I´d check them out.

    Either way, I think the problems with one´s reading of Jed, is that one´s style of teaching has a lot to do with how one is “wired up” the way Adya explains it.

    If you´re wired for heart, that´s how your non-dual perspective will manifest, if you´re wired for dismantelling (Jed´s one of those) then it manifests like that.. when he wrote the books.. he may find with time his biological organism moves towards expressing other qualities, more femenin. Who knows. I just never believe anything categorical that any one says.

    In Jed´s own words (spiritual warfare) : to say you know something, is to admit that you dont know the only ONE thing.

    Holding Jed up to that standard, if he claims that there are only 5 fully realised beings, or how ever many, or any other fact he gives me, which is not a punch in the face of the illusion, i just let it slide by and dont look back.

    I hope that makes some sense.. Tom Stine, I´m also loving your blog, thanks for your work, i get the emails regularly..

    I´d like to end by asking you guys what you think of the distinction he makes of Adult hood verses Awakening.. and what´s come for you about that. I find it a very interesting idea, and no other teachers seem to focus on that.. or they seem to mix them up a little.

    Big hug to all,

  268. Brian:

    Thank you so much for this blog. I am finding it very helpful in my own sorting out process.

  269. I should add that image-making is an art. The human condition is therefore itself an artistic development. Fury is art. Peace is art. Nature is art. Violence and cruelty are forms of art. The human condition and all that it becomes aware of — including Truth — is Performance Art. The ego is simply a character development. And such characters as Jed simply point to the Artist…That which is before art appears…which is, at the same time, actively creating it. The dilemma — which may infuriate — is that pointing is also art.

  270. Truth is not an image; it is the thing itself, before images. Therefore, the human condition is capable of reflecting only an apparent dilemma: As soon as so-called Truth appears to be known…it IS an image!

  271. Interesting that Genpo is described as awakened. Tell me was he awakened when he slept with Shozen McNamara and lied about it? Was he awakened when he lied about having ordained a student who had trained with him for over ten years? Was he awakened when he took up with the guy responsible for the deaths of three people in Sedona last year? Or perhaps he was awakened when he took money from a cult group? Or when he had his front man describe Brad Warner as ‘not even a Roshi’? Hmmm and don’t even get me started on Adyashanti who claimed to have been authorized somehow through a spurious connection with the lineage of Mayzumi Roshi, which was proven not to be the case and is now giving ‘Transmissions’ that he never received himself, when in fact all that happened is that he came to a few sitting groups and then decided to fake it for the gullible. All of the above btw are proveable facts. Stuart Lach’s info on Genpo and his sleeping with students should be mandatory reading for example.

  272. Methinks the furor is in your own mind. It’s just discussion for those who enjoy such. If you don’t, then just go away and stop disturbing your self.


  274. “This Light in Oneself” J.Krishnamurti. A logical thinker

    As a mother, love and teach your children, they are already philosofers when they are born, have no concept of duality and though they sleep a lot they are very awake, for a new born everything is NOW ( the state of “enlightment”) and completely dependent on you so maybe it’s a good idea to think twice before you want to become a parent, are you capable to educate a child to become an adult in the way Jed mc Kenna is describing the state of an adult? A person who can think, feel and act for himself?
    This whole conflict about enlightment seems to be embedded in our DNA, so it’s an old historical and biological “problem”. To realize that our condition humaine is a story of dualism so conflict means that you are a part of this history and includes that you and only you can stop this perception by starting to be fully responsible for your own condition without any judgement or fear. And if you understand that life its self is about constant movement you will leave this dualistic state of mind in 1 split second because its all in the mind which IS the PAST. Enyoy the ride.

  275. These books were the ones that shocked me into new thinking and self examination. As an avid reader and searcher for at least the last 20 years these marked a radical change in thoughts and caused reason to question everything. Most of the people will never actually take action to destroy their coveted belief systems. They all wanted pretty, hearty, all is well, and how else can I avoid myself solutions. Actually putting pen to paper and doing the Spiritual Autolysis work was the action needed to start an “awakening” thing. Even Jed said the process would demand that he would be “killed” along the way. Perhaps it is the “tasty” teachers that are the hardest to destroy. But here on this site reading more so obviously my favorite teacher is still alive for this entity. LOL

  276. Hello. Jed is new to me as a spiritual teacher so forgive me is this seems silly. But what spiritual teacher would you say his teaching’s most resemble? Krisnamurti?

  277. There’s Nothing Spiritual About ENLIGHTENMENT

    Sucking-up to, buying books on, analyzing, watching & endlessly DISCUSSING: all instead of doing! Do none of you hear the core point? You must mercilessly route out and destroy this ridiculous ego edifice parading as truth. Its got FUCK all to do with mind, heart, opinions on philosophical viewpoint, etc. etc. ad nauseaum. All this bla-bla is simply avoiding the crippling fear that lasts for years as one deconstructs the false self only to find NOTHING is there – just ONEself as source. Lonely, cold, powerfully visceral truth! To “see” this at all is adulthood beginning. To know this, live this, work, feel, be contiguously functioning AS this/that is the final stage. Everything else is talk – cheap & meaningless by comparison. “Life is Real Only Then, When I Am” – Gurdjieff

  278. Reading through all of this (though I admittedly scanned a bunch of it), this entire discussion seems to miss the point rather markedly.

  279. Nicely put, Simon, there, indeed is the rub. (Unless, of course, you are a vampire, in which case there is someone there to cast a reflection (or project perceptions), but no reflection cast and no perceptions projected. Weird.) The other rub, as Brant and others wrote about earlier, is detaching the heartstrings of emotion. I have thought about this a lot, having a wife and child and other close family and friends. Mostly it causes me to recoil, but some aspect of it feels strangely liberating. At the end of the day I see that I’m putting the cart before the horse, and that this is not something that’s going to bring about a realization, but rather the result of a realization. Whether it happens or not I have no idea. And I think this is what Jed is describing in his books; this is not something to hope or wish for, but more like something you can’t NOT do. Where the alternative is worse than death, and the intent is pure and powerful. More of a push than a pull, or a straight-line approach VS a slow descending orbit, as Jed would describe it. In my opinion, like physical death, it is inevitable, by whatever name it’s called and whatever concepts are used to describe what it’s not. Jed’s books are just other sources in a long, long line of attempts to point to that which cannot be pointed to. At some point they, too, must be left behind.

  280. a while back i found myself in melbourne. the circumstances that got me there, all expenses paid, all the way from blighty, were absurdly fortuitous in the extreme. much like everything in fact. i met someone all ‘hippy-lovey-Lovey’ who told me about a great being i should go and visit, and of course i paid no attention. then he mentioned it was sailor bob adamson.

    i was lent a car and a map and found my way to his living room, surrounded by seekers and pretending-to-have-found’ers. bob said little, and did nothing to contradict the nonsense. bob wasn’t home. bob was fully present.

    i felt the familiar energy rising in me as a lady talked of her ‘journey’ and i found myself telling her that she needed to throw everything out. everything.

    so i’d reached adi-da’s castle, but hadn’t noticed the moat.

    ‘yes’ said bob, pulling the plug out, ‘but then you’ve got to throw out the thrower’

  281. the ‘you that thinks of itself as you’ requires a set of boundaries in order to remain operative. the circle around your yin/yang symbol if you like that particular jed analogy. these boundaries are nothing more than thoughts which you may find yourself projecting onto your ‘world’ …. for example……. hitler was a bad man, adam and eve ate an apple, nirvana is good, slugs eat lettuces, time and space exist etc. etc. our friend jed offers the empowerment (carpe vitae) to question each of these thoughts, and provides a mechanism (autolysis) to do so. it should already be obvious to a jed reader that no answer, no resolution, will come from any of these autolysis ‘sessions’. one will not necessarily be throwing one’s daily work into the fire with the certainty of ‘God IS’ or ‘God IS not’. one will simply have shone the light of one’s own awareness onto a previously unchallenged belief. the author wearing the coat of jed mckenna is therefore a representation of what remains (nothing) once every human belief has been addressed in this way, and his attempts at describing this state, which is ‘otherless’, are most certainly rehashes (the universe MUST recycle, it has no hidden resources) of that which has on occasion been expressed before. but never like this. you won’t do this to attain enlightenment; the you who wishes to be enlightened will not be present once the process of autolysis is complete. there’s the rub. in a world of mirrors (your projected perceptions), the relinquishment of ‘other’ can only be the end of ‘self’ too.

  282. Good points.

    Jed logically demonstrates how we may regard the roadmaps and instructions from many people to be demonstrably (proven) useless.

    For the first time, I have an idea of what enlightenment is and isn’t, how to get there, WHETHER or not to try to get there, and he’s the first person to tell me it’s a living hell (and why) to achieve.

  283. Not to sound like an unquestioning defender of The Jed, but just a few short points here – pardon if I missed anything, as some of these posts are long:

    – Jed has admitted/stated that to see the whole big deal, enlightenment, is not the best choice for most people, who should seek to be Adult Humans instead

    – Jed admits that while walking around in his human body, he still has preferences and annoyances like everyone else – and that this cannot be erased from one’s character on Maya’s stage

    – unlike some here, I do not feel like a failure at all after having read all the books repeatedly – I now have a much clearer outlook on all the myriad forms of new age crap and ritual, on what it’s like and what it means to take the first step, should I decide to do so, etc.

    There’s also a lot I disagree with – I don’t think all dogs are angels, for example. And when Jed keeps saying “I don’t understand what spirituality means” – isn’t it just “everything outside the purely basic world as conceived by a pure materialist”? In other words, everything that you can’t ascribe shape, location and mass to?

    At any rate, this is the kind of book club I LIKE.

  284. I love the feeling that precedes the word ‘yes.’ Thank you Howard for providing me with a big ‘yes.’ The key element of Jed McKenna’s message for me is there is no-one else to look to for anything ‘spiritual,’ but rather to examine my own place in it; which, over time, seems to be vanishing! There is no monolithic (or otherwise) belief or teaching on anything that is worth adhering to, even Jed McKenna who doesn’t exist anyway. What else is there to say?

  285. still been following along to what is being said here. i think what everyone is missing about jed’s books, is that they do describe very clearly what awakening is like. it is not nice and pretty- but is messy and bloody. to everyone i know it happened to, they went through hell and wished at some point to die and be over with.
    thus the thing to really look at with jed’s books is not whether you like them or not, but at your own beliefs, that say awakening should look different than that. and that means- as i have read here- getting into all your words from these exhalted gurus that you are holding on to. are they holding onto you or are you holding on to them.
    if it ever happens to you, you will be stunned to see just how accurate a picture jed’s books really paint

  286. 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.

  287. Thanks Brian,
    This is all I do. And I kind of like your website vs. starting my own.
    It sounds like you would like me do it elsewhere? Is that right?

  288. Ted
    I appreciate that you have strong opinions about “Jed” and it is great to hear your voice on the subject. Yet while you have congratulated me for creating this Blog, I am afraid that you fundamentally misunderstand my POV about him and his “teaching’. While I did create the site to offer a counterpoint to some of his key assertions that I feel are less than Truth, overall, I still find his POV to be superior to the teachers who have preceded him, who (no doubt sincerely) talk about liberation, yet create spiritual cultures and teachings and relationships that entrap more than they liberate.

    So I agree that the author, at the time of writing these books, was not fully enlightened (yes I know I am suggestions degrees of liberation, not a final finish line) and also that his teaching has some serious holes in it. But it’s not so much Jed’s formulation or even animation of the Truth that I find so useful and compelling, for all the flaws mentioned above, but his critique of the flaws of the OTHER formulations, and his insistence that nothing one can do can accomplish anything but retarding the non-event of Liberation.

    To Jedo I offer kudos and personal thanks for suggesting that we would be better of to throw it all away and start from scratch (yes, heretical!). With Jed I share the opinion that what traditional spirituality does provide is human development of a grand and refined variety. That, no doubt, is a great service to humankind and should, in my opinion be honored. Nevertheless, the vast majority of spirituality paths, with perhaps a qualified exception for Zen, also skirt the horrible truth that nothing, not even spirituality, can liberate you.

    Only a terminal case of existential despair and the concomitant breakdown can accomplish that. Some of the better teachers do SAY that, (Osho, Adi Da, Ramana) but then (strangely enough) go on to entrain practitioners into a still more refined miasma of practices and affirmations, once again distracting the seeker from the truth that he, as he knows himself, must die. Die to his search now, and completely- the whole thing. Abandon all hope, all beliefs, all conceits that you can ever get it.

    Oddly enough, Jed like the others, does turn around and offer an eliminative writing exercise presumably designed to accelerate the crash into utter despair by noticing how everything you know or hold onto is an illusion.

    But it’s his focus on the crash (spiritual autolysis) that distinguishes him, if only by degree, rather than the cultivation of ‘skillful means’, I believe.

    Perhaps these traditional teachers figure that, until you actually despair of your search for god, or even your communion with, or as ‘god’, they may as well give you a few sophisticated higher human development thingos to do in the meantime – “give the boy some manners!”

    But who knows what they are thinking?!

    In any case, their ‘success rate’ is abysmal and needs to be looked at, beyond just entirely blaming the practitioners, as has been the norm.

    Ted, with all the energy you have for this subject, why don’t you start a Blog and have a place to develop and articulate your ideas unencumbered, and get direct feedback from others who are interested?

    Best of luck in all you do…

  289. The books and character are a product of spiritual resignation and new-age disallusionment and oppression. It is a reactionary construct, dependant upon old paradigms and belief systems for their energetic food for thought. It is called co-dependent non-spirituality/spirituality. Meaning what is layed forward with Jed is energetically dependent on a host system of thought. Without that host system of thought or belief, “Jed” and his words would not exist. These kinds of “thrashing attackers” that arise from time to time feed on the spiritually frustrated. They hold some validity yet do not sustain merit for every action brings about an equal and opposite reaction, meaning, actively take down a thought or belief and it will replace itself after a short euphoric free fall. It will replace itself with either the belief in non beliefs or a different belief system. What we will find if Jed is lucky is Jed will sooner or later after a stimulating free fall arrive right back in and of the same thing that has been there all along right next to him the disbeliever. Just as he initially tried to tear down beliefs but books later had to acknowledge time once more in a maturity framework, he will grow up some and come upon having to accept something he does not like to which is love or time, for he will discover that the euphoric feeling of attacking beliefs will show itself futile and compassion to one degree or another toward duality and suffering will have to reemerge in his conversation. He is being used as a small universal tool, utilized to cause skeptism and doubt which is useful but cheap and short lived like a quick comet shooting through the air, follow it with your eyes but follow it with your life and left is an insecure violent, hacking nature, wholly confused.

  290. Brian is touching upon the heart of the matter with Jed. Jed’s misunderstanding of the heart comes from his path of allowing the mind to fry itself. What happens to a person who regards things from this frying the mind of pure Zen or non-dual perspective is that they don’t understand the heart and that it is actually the same as the mind. Jed’s mind and its looking for truth, for its own sake, is exactly the same as the hearts way of loving to such an infinite degree that it dissolves itself into the eternal from which it came. In that place there is no heart, there is nothing. But just as one loves philosophy or writing in time as Jed, one can love through the heart, both as time and timelessness.
    Jed is afraid right now to let go of even the very route in which he came down, so he relates to concepts outside of his own from within a small box, debunking and dispelling from within “a mind” perspective. It is like a sophomore in college, let’s call her Marci, coming home to her parents having finally found what she is interested in, maybe journalism and seeing the parents as naive to be watching CNN. She now also sees them as inept, undepthful, uninsightful, unpassionate, and sees their religion as futile, their jobs as a waste of time. Only for she has had just a little glimpse of what she is and what she is interested in, finally, after a long struggle of confusion. She has some fire under her belly. But no one would claim Marci is neither a complete journalist nor understands the parents from whom she came from. They are actually of her own creation, and she doesn’t even care right now, this is her stage, her time. Marci is missing the point that she has discovered journalism and even using the word due to the journalists that have fought out battle after battle, failed and victorious such that there is even a tinge of essence left in the vibration of the word for her to find what she is and enjoys. This is Jed and his liberty of using the catch phrase ‘enlightenment’ as a platform. It would be like Marci writing anonymous articles for the New York Times. They don’t allow it cause they require that someone stake their reputation, their life on what they write. And be able to show its actuality in form and essence. Jed is like Marci but in an arena where he doesn’t even have to put his picture behind his words. People are willing to identify with someone or something that tears down without the person being next to the results. This person calls it freedom or liberation and we chip out 13 bucks to hear it.
    Many people who are attracted to this kind of teacher or non-teacher don’t see that he has created the mystery and the ego surrounding himself in time, his words are becoming the very beliefs he debunks, which are placed out into the world and are also “him”. It would be like creating a child (his books) and then hiding from the child behind a dresser for 18 years and just throwing a piece of beef and a head of lettuce to the child. But also telling the child that going anywhere outside himself for a carrot is asinine. He is hiding from his own creation and thinks that if he simply debunks even himself he isn’t a part of the very mental structural conversation of the day.
    Now with the parent who throws a piece of beef and a head of lettuce at their child, we call social services on them, whisk them away and try and get child support from them. In this day and age with people wanting to feel a part of an enlightenment conversation and life, we pay 13 bucks and don’t ask for anything else. People are not dubious of this kind of vehicle because he reinforces a failure, a defeat and feeds on that defeat as well as frustration and loneliness. He isn’t asked to love for he hides his physical form as a necessary condition for his potent debunking and claim of enlightenment. But because people are unsure and crave enlightenment it is read. His insight into Buddhism or Christ is as a peanut right now and he does not relate to it as enlightened from beyond Buddhism or the miracle but more as a child striking out at a parent in which he is soon to become, but doesn’t have the chops for it yet. Unlike Christ, Jed is afraid to face his own death for he still loves himself and his euphoric free fall. Physical death is not a requirement or requisite for anything courageous but he knows his he is killing the very self that would revert back to address him though he is as a boy.
    If you read his writing after a while you will see that he is actually just as desperate and lonely as you. He has the power of never having to face you, but yet he gets your attention, but you can’t get his. He wants one last effort to be heard before the great disappearance of even himself. Cute and entertaining, but he goes about it in a way that ought to be called for what it is.
    Without the claim and platform of enlightenment, Jed would be one of a million others, crying to be seen and heard as spiritual. With the enlightenment claim he gains the zip of taking on constructs and the attention that comes with the word and rips into those who have given him even the word he rips into. If someone was writing falsely for the NY times they would come after them and see what is up. But folks whom dwell in two world know that he will either peeter out or with courage face the world with all its past as a product of his own creation and work to dispel illusion with guts.
    Yes, love is not in his rhetoric. He has a luxury you, who have a name and face and reputation, don’t have and uses the luxury to debunk well not only YOU but even the mind that has reference to read him. And this is what we doop as enlightened? It is called feeding on a wish to believe in something or desire to non-believe.
    Watch and see up ahead. He will not be able to avoid Love if he lets go of his fun hidden form. It simply isn’t possible otherwise to address all forces in the universe without it. And then Brian up top in his words, will be not seen and related to through dualism or non-dualism or through a construct called Jedism, but simple common sense after the rhetoric and euphoria has subsided.

  291. Jed is spot on. At least it normalizes the whole experience and takes the scariness out of it. A great help for new kids arriving home. Thanks Jed.

  292. To Joe

    Thank you for your comment.

    Your questioning of your power in this situation is quite natural and your gravitation towards non-dualism is dead-on, I would humble surmise. I think that there is real truth in your statement : “But does it matter what I’m ready to do or not if volition is mere delusion”.

    As I say in the new essay, not altogether, but not yes and not no either! Life is never quite that simple is it? Whoever created this mother of a universe has much bigger balls than creating a simple arrangement like that!

    Your statement has triggered me into doing something that I have been fulminating about for awhile- to challenge Jed’s slightly simplistic preachings concerning Free Will. Here is the link to it:


  293. i have children and this attachment is not one i’m ready to give up. But does it matter what I’m ready to do or not if volition is mere delusion? What’s the point of all this without free will? what’s the point of the practice of autolysis if the conceit of choice is an illusion?

    seems like a big dodge to say on the one hand you can do such and such to negate the self and on the other to say that doing stuff is just part of the big story. do be do wop.

    if this is old hat just let me know and maybe give a pointer where I can read more — should I just google nondualism and free will?

    fwiw, I’m lovin the books so far. Almost finished with the second. Great slaps upside the face and cold water baths…JM’s speaking my language.

  294. To the human mind, the barriers which limit seekers are insidious beyond initial comprehension and the dedication needed in the process of passing them is indeed immense. One can proceed very far only to slam up against a wall representing probably the most difficult barrier of all. The heart. If one has a family and has experienced loss then there is some sense of what this means. But, anyone who has children knows that they had better be ready to go all of the way or stay at home, for falling on your face is nearly assured. For centuries this stuff has been packaged in rosy paper and bows for a reason. This author understands this. It is easy to rationalize what our illusory self does not like in order to avoid the work. As is said, if you don’t like it, don’t do it, but he (she) is correct. Heart is the final trap set for most. This is not an opinion, these are the facts. Until you have gone there you will not understand the admonishment, “you would not touch this with a 10 foot pole.”

  295. A friend of mine pointed me at your site, Brian, in response to my recommendation to my readers to read Jed McKenna’s books. I just posted some commentary on Jed from my perspective, so I thought I would tell you about it if you are interested. I’m going to write a couple of posts about Jed. 🙂 Be well…. Tom

    A Few Thoughts on Jed McKenna

  296. Brian,

    Thanks for the effort to verify Jed’s material. Doubts are healthy. I will have to go find for myself the truth or whatever that thing is called now.

    Best of luck.

  297. ha ha ha
    you were giving his books to standard spiritual seekers!
    i can guess how that went for you
    you must have a punishment wish on yourself….

    and in your post to non i agree with you too
    while jed’s books has a lot of really useful pointers to what the whole process really looks like- before, during, and after
    to hold it up as the only authority or that is 100% the way it all is- then one has made the same mistake as taking any religious or spiritual book as all correct

    just this week i have posted some questions of a supposed “awakening blog” that says it is cutting edge, anti guru, and past the spiritual traps. sounded interesting. so i make a few posts and asked a few questions related to awakening and the effects on teh body-mind. what i got was a whole bunch of standard advaita answers, right out a book it seemed- including the “ha ha ha, just be the looker and forget what is looking at…ha ha ha the mind is wanting this or that.” but anything that would have been of value to someone ACTUALLY involved in this process would be totally nil. it was a place where people can pretend how advanced they are with each other, be in a little club, and not actually have to go and do what it is they are pretending to talk about.
    jed’s books i am sure would be scoffed at in very quick order by these folks.
    personally i liked jed’s books because they explained my form’s experiences for a number of years, some of the passages were like near copies from my own journals over the years. that was freaky in itself. and that is what caused me to read deeper and more closely on what was there. those books were like someone had watched me for 10 years and wrote about it.

    but no matter how good, his books can never be perfect.
    everything will have flaws in it somewhere, that is the nature of duality-
    jed’s books…and ALL OF MY OWN WRITINGS included

  298. Thanks Howdie, for your enlivening comment. Good idea about passing the Jed books on to those in crisis. It probably beats doing what I have been doing- passing it on to established spiritual practitioners who tend to treat it as some new type of silliness or else else the latest high tech blasphemy to arrive from the Underworld!

  299. Dear ‘Non’
    My responses in plain text, your comments in italic:

    I reread everything. Still, I think your heart concept is in duality.

    Isn’t the real question not whether ‘my’ heart concept is in duality but whether Jed’s commitment to “Truth” is, since he is the one claiming “abiding non-dual realization”?

    But if “heart” is evaluated as “in duality” then what about “further”, “abiding non-dualism”, “enlightenment” and even “no-self” and of course, “truth” that Jed is so hot about? All these terms are dualistic as they posit the realizer in distinction to the non-realizer.

    You know, every concept is “in duality”, it is only the artful useful of meta-concepts and metaphors that gives us even the possibility of discussing the non-dual nature of reality by using context or other indicators to suggest a meaning beyond the limited dualistic literal meaning of any word.

    I am attempting to suggest the possibility of a non-dual expression of transcendent feeling using meta-concepts such as “Heart” “Love”, or if you prefer, Eros, Agape etc, and I am also attempting to suggest that Jed’s aversion to that possibility is a telltale sign to me.

    Jed’s heart is already liberated, his kindness comes naturally when it comes or when he inclines, effortlessly. He doesn’t have to train or control it. He has no use of heart anymore. Eros and not love. Tsunami is not unkind.

    Let me ask you this: can you imagine or conceive of the possibility of an ‘enlightened’ human being with a non-separative, non-karmic or non-dual relationship to the feeling dimension of existence? If so, wouldn’t he be free to choose to express himself in many different ways, including such old chestnuts such as “Love’ or ‘Heart’?

    A lady named ‘Liz’ quoted earlier on this blog: “Nisargadatta Maharaj says, ‘Sometimes I feel I am everything, I call that Love. Sometimes I feel I am nothing, I call that Wisdom. Between Love and Wisdom my life continuously flows.”

    Another Realizer might use an energy or body metaphor to express his/her Freedom and Truth by saying realization amounted to “absolute free energy”, using the dualistic concept of energy as metaphor. No?

    I also think people who have problems with this point have a fear of “not being good”. And that fear comes from the fact that they know in their daily life they still have preference, intolerance, appall, attraction, etc. And they want to have only the (what they think) good ones. I do not think it possible, things in duality are designed to have both sides. Training to be half the coin occupy a whole lifetime, or more if there’s more.

    That would be my point about JED, a possibility that he still has unexamined preferences of a deep structural kind that leads him to a predilection for mind and ‘truth’ and against absolute feeling, (not talking about personal love or emotion here.)

    About “Jed” and his work, we will obviously have to differ, I guess. You sense complete freedom and I don’t.

    Viva la difference!

    Thanks for your dialog, Non, I do appreciate it.


  300. hey brian,
    i can see what you are doing with this examination of jed’s books, and it can be very helpful to go through what he says in there. yes i see there is lots that really sums up what “it” looks like, and what “it” looks like to someone it is happpening to- not all peaches and cream as they say.

    and i think it is smart to not agree with everything just because some parts are so well explained. in one sense i think the greatest value of jed’s books is for someone to whom the breakdown is happening to. i often pass on sie to someone whose world is breaking just to show them that what is happening, is what it looks like, and that takes some of the fear away over what is happening to them. i wish i had these books during my first “reality breakdowns” they would have been much less terrifying.

    and yes of course “jed” is a fictional charactor, but whom the author appears to be is actually so strongly in “heart” that it really makes one wonder why he chose to say the opposite in these particular books. and honestly at this point i don’t have a good answer for it- but perhaps you have to drop the heart for a while, in order to properly pick it up again later

    i took a look at your main site brian, good luck with what you are doing. while it all may be a dream “ha ha ha” the human in the dream often has a tendency to want to help in some way with those in it- and i wish you good luck in doing that


  301. I reread everything. Still, I think your heart concept is in duality. Jed’s heart is already liberated, his kindness comes naturally when it comes or when he inclines, effortlessly. He doesn’t have to train or control it. He has no use of heart anymore. Eros and not love. Tsunami is not unkind.

    I also think people who have problems with this point have a fear of “not being good”. And that fear comes from the fact that they know in their daily life they still have preference, intolerance, appall, attraction, etc. And they want to have only the (what they think) good ones. I do not think it possible, things in duality are designed to have both sides. Training to be half the coin occupy a whole lifetime, or more if there’s more.

    I just speak from my own point of reference which is what I observe in myself.

    Thank you.

  302. Thanks you kindly for your contribution “Non”, and what you are saying is of course Jed’s point.

    I, you will no doubt have noticed, don’t buy it and have made my reasons clear in the piece.
    The debate revolves around 2 points:
    Whether, contrary to what Jed claims, it is a legitimate philosophical posture to describe the enlightened state as being full of feeling and yet free from karmic involvment with it (often referred to as “Unconditional or Divine Love); and second-

    Whether Jed, at least at the time of that books publication, was actually free of a karmic association with emotion or even Love, or whether he was actually averse to it and incapable of an ‘experience’ of what you might call liberated feeling.
    That is to say: whether his focus and trust in “truth” and mental discrimination was or was not emblematic of that aversion to the feeling dimension.

    I suppose we’ll never really know the state of the man who penned those words. But it is serious matter for others to consider who are interested in the Truth. And it is my humble opinion that with those particular words he detracted from the great truths he otherwise was demonstrating through his writings.

    But I will confess that I am not 100% certain, and I could be wrong!
    Thanks again,
    (edited on 10 Feb)

  303. I think when he said “I don’t do heart” it’s because “heart” is still a part of duality, there’s good and bad, right and wrong in doing heart. And he’s beyond that, so he doesn’t see doing unkind thing as any worse than doing kind thing anymore, so the concept of heart nulled.

  304. Brian,

    Nice updates to the site. I think for discussion purposes, your use of “Philosophical Autolysis,” “Meditative Autolysis,” and “Spiritual Autolysis” is right on. It feels more precise for describing the different aspects of this process.

    Interesting stuff!

  305. I have noticed that there is a tendency to misunderstand what I am doing with this blog. A lot of that confusion stems from the fact that we are using Jed’s lexicon. Specifically, the concept of “Spiritual Autolysis” is the issue. The problem stems from the fact that Jed used the term “Spiritual Autolysis” to describe two very different processes, the intentional writing /contemplative exercise, and a spontaneous combustion process are both referred to by him as “Spiritual Autolysis”. Therefore, from now on, I am going to define my terms a little differently.

    The writing/contemplative exercise I will call “Meditative Autolysis”. This is where the user uses his intellect and intuition to systematically eliminate untruths and false beliefs, until, to paraphrase Jed: “the only thing you know for sure is that you exist”.

    The crisis of spontaneous combustion, as typified by Julie in the books, I will refer to as “Spiritual Autolysis”.

    In addition, it’s becoming quite clear that we need to add a third category of “illusion elimination”. This category I’m thinking of calling “Philosophical Autolysis”. This is the process of considering the great philosophies and truths that have been put forward by spiritual teachers, and, through the course of that discernment process, neutralizing any biases that one may have by way of attachment or belief, and eliminating any bullshit that the teacher himself has delivered.

    To read someone like Jed is primarily to engage in “Philosophical Autolysis”. A lot of what he does in his books is to undermine common new age and spiritual claptrap. Indeed, my intention with this web site was to turn that process onto Jed himself, because I felt that there were very real omissions and commissions that could mislead many people, causing them a great deal of unnecessary distress. That is exactly what the essay “The Realization of the Jed McKenna” was all about.

    Now it’s true that “Philosophical Autolysis” might trigger the “Meditative Autolysis” process in someone. It might even trigger the “Spiritual Autolysis” process in someone. But it is not the same thing.

    So when people write in and speak to me as if they think I’m doing “Meditative Autolysis” with my writing on this blog, they misunderstand my purpose. I’m not interested in the “Meditative Autolysis” process, as I have my own process at work in my personal life. However, with this blog I am interested in engaging a process of sorting out spiritual ideas, both for myself and for any others who may be interested.

    This process of “Philosophical Autolysis” is not as deep as “Meditative Autolysis” or “Spiritual Autolysis”, but it is important (for me) to clarify the many ideas and philosophies and systems that I have accumulated in my mind over the years. It is also something of an amusing intellectual sport to crack the codes of these exotic systems. This is especially challenging as I myself am not enlightened and so am reaching over my head to do that task. Nevertheless, I enjoy it and benefit from having a more “neutralized mind”.

    In addition, with this blog (I probably shouldn’t have to say this, but it will probably come up) I want to be clear: it is not an attempt to assert “The Truth”. It is directed at the elimination of untruths from relatively truthful systems of thought. If anyone is interested “The Truth”, you’ll never find it on this blog.

    Alas, this “Philosophical Autolysis” is not an attempt by me “to attain some state of realization”. Only what I describe above.

    So readers please feel very free to use this blog and the comments offered by participants to serve any kind of like process that you wish, but kindly don’t expect that I’m using it in the same way that, perhaps, you are.
    Brian (Moderator)

  306. When I read Jed’s (or any other author’s) books I don’t relate to it as if the message comes from somewhere else and needs to be analyzed. Thus, when Jed writes ‘I don’t do heart’, I enquire into my tendency towards emotionalism and New-Age lovey-doveyism. I do not examine it with respect to what someone else says, then weigh up the pros and cons of each. Put another way, I am Arjuna on the spiritual battlefield and Captain Ahab obsessively chasing Moby-Dick. I am also Jed McKenna, except I can’t write like him and he probably doesn’t exist anyway. Come to think of it, neither does ‘I’.

    I must declare, however, that I have in the past had a strong inclination to pit one thing against another trying to confirm one and negate (or at least diminish) the other. Sort of like wanting to be victorious in the battlefield of relative truths. Thus, there is only an apparent distinction between what ‘heart’ might mean and what ‘mind’ might refer to, and whether ‘Truth’ is different to ‘Heart’ ultimately ends up as simply a play on semantics.

    But I am a scoundrel. Not wanting to be outdone by anyone else, I would like to throw two more words and phrases into the melting pot. My (former and now dead) guru Adi Da used to talk a lot about ‘Divine Ignorance’ as being the disposition most representative of one who is absolutely liberated. I really ‘grok’ with that expression. Clear and radical enquiry into anything (in Jed’s words – ‘spiritual autolysis’) reduces everything to nothing … but presence. If the ‘Heart’ or the ‘Mind’ or ‘Truth’ refer to that disposition, then we are in the same boat (we all are, anyway).

    The other word that grabs me is ‘freedom’. I am free to think, free to do ‘heart’, free to love boundlessly, and free to not know anything. I rarely claim to know anything with absolute certainty these days. And I contend with every emotional and psychological issue that exists. So, am I free? Yes and no at the same time. Go figure.

  307. @ Liz:
    I couldn’t have said it better! Indeed, I didn’t!
    Beautifully spoken and right on point. And thanks for the Nisargadatta quote, it’ a great confirmation.
    It’s peole like you that make building a blog not only a pleasure but an education.
    Thanks very much.
    Brian (Moderator)

  308. Great site. Thank you, Brian.

    Zen teacher (and awakened individual) Genpo Roshi makes the distinction between Big Mind and Big Heart (which encompasses Big Mind.) It seems to be (to me) a later stage of development in non-dual understanding.

    Evidently it’s easy to rest in the wonder of Big Mind.

    Nisargadatta Maharaj says, “Sometimes I feel I am everything, I call that Love. Sometimes I feel I am nothing, I call that Wisdom. Between Love and Wisdom my life continuously flows.”

    Jed’s books have been invaluable to me, and taken along with teachings of so many Masters, they have brought more pain and peace than I ever anticipated! I look to Jed’s teaching because it’s so straight forward and to the point, simple pointers to get to the release of the sense of separate self. And I also know that “Further” must continue to be a motto – even after that point, so I look to other teachers as well, those who exemplify and teach Big Heart, Love, the embracing side, maybe the feminine to the masculine of Big Mind.

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