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Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing

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From a Spiritual Master Unlike Any, A Spiritual Masterpiece Like No Other

AUTHOR, TEACHER AND SPIRITUAL MASTER Jed McKenna tells it like it’s never been told before. A true American original, Jed succeeds where countless others have failed by reducing this highest of attainments — Spiritual Enlightenment — to the simplest of terms.

Effectively demystifying the mystical, Jed astonishes the reader not by adding to the world’s collected spiritual wisdom, but by taking the spirituality out of spiritual enlightenment. Never before has this elusive topic been treated in so engaging and accessible a manner.

A masterpiece of illuminative writing, Spiritual Enlightenment is mandatory reading for anyone following a spiritual path. Part exposé and part how-to manual, this is the first book to explain why failure seems to be the rule in the search for enlightenment — and how the rule can be broken.

Says Jed:

The truth is that enlightenment is neither remote nor unattainable. 
It is closer than your skin and more immediate than your next breath. If we wonder why so few seem able to find that which can never be lost, we might recall the child who was looking in the light for a coin he dropped in the dark because “the light is better over here”.

Mankind has spent ages looking in the light for a coin that awaits us not in light and not in dark, but beyond all opposites. That is the message of this book: Spiritual Enlightenment, pure and simple.

*   *   *

“Jed McKenna is an American original.” -Lama Surya Das

"Absolutely marvelous, splendid, perfect books!” -Shri Acharya

“These books have profoundly changed my life.” -C. Jensen

“These three books are precious gifts to humanity.” -E. De Vries

“Thank you for the books. I’ve been waiting all my life for them.” -C. Vankeith

“I can think of no other author I’d recommend more highly.” -M.R. Fleming

"I say an eternal thank you for the Trilogy. The books continue to challenge my mind and life. I ordered my 4th complete set. Nothing compares to this writing." -J.H.



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Spiritual Disclaimer

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NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN:

BY CONTINUING BEYOND THIS POINT, the reader acknowledges and agrees that the state of Spiritual Enlightenment discussed herein conveys upon the seeker-aspirant-victim no benefits, boons, blessings, or special powers and bears little or no resemblance to assorted New Age or Eastern varieties widely dispensed under the same name. Orgasmic euphoria, orgiastic bliss, obscene wealth, perfect health, eternal peace, angelic ascension, cosmic consciousness, purified aura, astral projection, pan-dimensional travel, extra-sensory perception, access to akashic records, profound wisdom, sagely demeanor, radiant countenance, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence and opening of the third eye are not likely to result. Tuning, harmonizing, balancing, energizing, reversing or opening of the chakras should not be expected. The kundalini serpent dwelling at the base of the spine will not be awakened, poked, prodded, raised, or otherwise molested.

NO PROMISE OF SELF-ADVANCEMENT, self-esteem, self-aggrandizement, self-gratification, self-satisfaction or self-improvement is made or implied. Likewise, self-indulgent, self-involved, self-centered, selfabsorbed, and self-serving persons will not find satisfaction herein............  

Dedication

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Epigraph

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That Which Cannot Be Simpler

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She just stares back at me mutely as if the answer is too obvious to need stating, but it does need stating. I want it out here in front of us where we can examine it and poke at it with our pointy little brains.

“Well, you know,” she begins, still not quite believing I actually want her to state something so obvious. “Spiritual growth, I guess. I want to, uh, you know, be a better person and be able to love more deeply and, you know, raise my vibrational… you know.”

I’m hanging on every word.

“Your vibrational what?”

“Uh, frequency? I want to, you know, raise my level of consciousness, to be more in touch with, you know, my inner self, my higher self. I want to open myself up to the divine energy that’s, you know, everywhere.”

“Oh, okay. Why?”

“Huh?”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why everything you just said. Why do you want to raise your levels and be in touch and open yourself up and all that?”..............  

Paradox

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Big Thoughts

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Good story. If it was made up or amended I don’t want to know. I like it just the way it is.......

 

Placid and Self-Contained

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Done

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It was winter when he told me. A crisp night but not frigid, fresh snow on the ground. One of those nights that all the stars came out for in a crystalline vision that awed the wind to stillness. A night so clear and silent that it felt staged. A perfect winter evening like we see here maybe once or twice a year. That’s why I was out walking in it. At a crossroads a couple of miles from the house Paul joined me. I was pleased to see him. I’m always pleased to see anyone when they get where I believed Paul was at that point. He joined me silently and we walked on. It was ten minutes before he spoke.

“I’m done.”

I smiled as warmth poured through my heart. Warmed by the memory of the day I came to the same startling and improbable conclusion for myself, and warm for the times I had heard it from others. Warm knowing the journey one takes to arrive at such a place and warm knowing what lies ahead............  

The Savage Rocks of Eternal Mind

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I can’t really teach her anything for now, I can only encourage her to take a look at her basic assumptions and develop a willingness to revisit them in a new light. As is often the case, she’ll probably prefer her romanticized beliefs over the harsher realities and move on rather than change. The misconception about enlightenment stems from, or is at least compounded by, the fact that most of the world’s recognized experts on the subject of enlightenment are not enlightened. Some are great mystics, some are great scholars, some are both, and most are neither, but very few are awake...........

 

Neither Holy nor Wise

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I don’t dress like a guru and I don’t talk like one. I don’t carry flowers, perform miracles, smile beatifically, or radiate anything that I’m aware of. I think of myself as a pretty laid-back guy with only the weakest grasp of what it means to be a human among humans. It’s like I can hum a few bars but I have forgotten most of the words. I can’t stand in line at the grocery and carry on a normal conversation if it gets much past the weather. I can’t go to a bar and have a beer and shoot a game of pool because I can’t pretend to share the experiences and interests of the other patrons. In other words, there’s no commonality. Commonality at this level is so basic that it’s probably not possible to imagine what it’s like when it’s not shared. No two humans could have less in common than any human and me. I am a member of no community. Because I live in a different paradigm, I am effectively set apart from humanity...........

 

Heartless

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The chair Marla vacated does not stay empty for long. A fifty-something engineer named Arthur appears and waits for permission to sit down which I give with a slight gesture. That may seem overly formal, but for Arthur it’s actually an improvement. The first time Arthur came to speak with me he sat in a half lotus at my feet, which made me a little buggy. After I coaxed him up into a chair we spent an hour disabusing him of his tendency to equate enlightenment with divinity. It’s still hardwired into his thinking that the teacher must be regarded as an elevated being, so he never sits without permission and always speaks with formality. Arthur doesn’t live in the house but he’s a frequent visitor, especially in spring when the gardens need so much help.

Arthur tells me he wants a technique. Rather, he wants the technique. I really only have one technique and everybody who comes to the house soon learns what it is from other students, but, oddly, nobody seems to practice it until they receive it from me. I’ve laid it out many times and tried to put it in the public domain for the use of whoever wants it, but it has remained strangely proprietary, as if the only way it can work is if it comes directly from me. There’s really not much to it, but I guess there’s not much to closing your eyes and repeating a mantra or counting your breaths either...........  

Both In and Out of the Game

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Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?

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..........With TV, movies and novels I don’t shun horror or violence. I get weepy at the right parts, I laugh when something strikes me as funny. The willing suspension of disbelief may come a little harder for me than most, not in the conventional sense but in the sense of forming an empathetic bond with the plight of the characters. The same holds true in “real” life. I see people fulfilling their roles and “acting” like “themselves” and I tend to forget that they really identify with their character and their character’s plight. There’s some whispering in the room as word of my presence is passed around. Some heads turn, people smile.I don’t come down here often, don’t do the mingling thing much, but tonight I just felt like watching something with other people. I’m a little concerned that my presence will detract from the viewing for the group, but there’s nothing wrong with making them a little uncomfortable. Maybe it will get them to somehow re-evaluate their own views of the programs we’re watching. Maybe my presence will make them self-conscious so they observe themselves observing dramatic performances, which might in turn encourage them to become detached observers in their own dramatic performances.........

 

Kill the Buddha

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I always have the feeling that storms are spectacles for my personal entertainment and I feel a pang of guilt if I don’t pay attention to them. It’s no hardship to pay attention to them though, since they provide me such pleasure. I think of storms as boisterous sound and light shows put on by the universe for those who have the sense to appreciate the majesty and grandeur of them. Nothing to do with enlightenment, just something I like............

 

One Truth

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The Ultimate Truth

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Suddenly, after months of seemingly interminable browns and grays, it happens as if from the wave of a wand. Color bursts from the ground and the trees and the sky as the whole thing just wakes up frisky. You only get a nice day every week or two in early April so no one misses an opportunity to get out there and start prepping the gardens for the new season. I’m an old soul, if you care to look at things that way, and I feel like I’m supposed to be out there puttering around in a cutting garden or tending grapes and communing deeply with nature, but I’m not really coded for that. Sometimes I’ll mow the grass if I can find the tractor, a full gas can and a bit of motivation all at the same time, but, as you might guess, those three planets don’t line up too often..............

 

Refiner’s Fire

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The Willing Suspension of Disbelief

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SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT: THE DAMNEDEST THINGbath accessed from my bedroom. At first she included me in the planning but she quickly became exasperated with my meddling desire for simple functionality. She already had control of the household accounts so she just excluded me from the process and did what she wanted.So what I ended up with was one of those bathrooms like you see in design magazines. She did it in an elegant cherry wood and black granite style that doesn’t excessively violate the overall feel of the house. The design is very Japanese in its simplicity and I certainly couldn’t have wished for anything better. I whined about the cost of it at one point and Sonaya just looked at me like I was soft in the head.She knows that money is just something that flows; that it comes and it goes and that if you don’t disrupt the flow there’s always plenty. It’s me who sometimes forgets.While showering, my mind revisits the afternoon on the grass with Jolene. I had used a variation on Plato’s cave analogy to illuminate the differences between enlightenment and mysticism and she seemed to get it pretty well. If you haven’t noticed, I’m big on analogies. In fact, here’s an analogy about why I like analogies: If you’re trying to explain fire to someone who’s never seen it or felt it, then you’re pretty much stuck with comparing it to things they’re already familiar with. Of course, it’s no substitute for the direct experience of fire; it’s just the best you can do under the circumstances. It serves the additional purpose that when they come across real fire, they’ll know what they’re looking at.

 

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