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Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment

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Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment Isn’t One Kind of Enlightenment — It’s the Only Kind

THE MARK OF A TRUE MASTER is that he can express a subject of the utmost complexity with uncanny simplicity. Jed McKenna is such a master, and spiritual enlightenment is his subject.

  His first book, Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing, was an instant classic and established him as a spiritual teacher of startling depth and clarity. Now, his second book, Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment, takes us on a fascinating tour of the enlightened state — what it is and what it’s not, who’s there and who’s not, how to get there and how to get somewhere better.

  Delightful surprises abound, including the dramatic unveiling of perhaps the greatest spiritual masterpiece of all time — long hidden in plain view and well known to all. Whitman, Melville, Thoreau, Mark Twain and U.G. Krishnamurti all appear, and a student from the first book returns to share her Spiritual Autolysis journals. Also surprising are the author’s gentle efforts to guide the reader away from enlightenment toward a more desirable and accessible state.

     Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged,
     Missing me one place, search another,
     I stop somewhere, waiting for you.
          -Walt Whitman

  Jed McKenna’s books aren’t for everyone. They’re for people who are tired of the spiritual merry-go-round and ready to confront the unadorned reality of the awakening process. If you like your teachers with all the spiritual trimmings and trappings, Jed may not be right for you, but when you’re ready to jump off the merry-go-round and begin your journey, Jed McKenna is the guy you want to see standing there — waiting for you.

*   *   *

“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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Dear Mr. McKenna

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You expect me to drop everything I value in my life, things that give meaning to my life. It would be flushing everything I value down the toilet. Real lives are at stake here and you talk as though it’s nothing more than a stage. Get real. What you call enlightenment, I call a horrendous nightmare...........

 

Epigraph

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Loomings

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Call me Ahab.................

 

California Dreaming

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I usually just try to stay out of the LA area, but that’s hard to do when flying into LAX..............

 

Dicking Around

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“I’m not,” I say, recalling a conversation under similar circumstances from college.

“Huh?”

“I’m not really here,” I repeat, wondering if he’ll go for it, if he’s in the right state of mind...........  

Fish Story

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After a while the phrase Baptism of Solitude appeared in my thoughts and quickly turned into a mellow yearning, so I figured what the hell, I asked for it; a deal’s a deal. I took a cab to Kennedy and booked a flight for Rabat by way of Madrid. I stayed in Essaouira where I read Paul Bowles, Cormac McCarthy, some Faulkner, and a book of Civil War letters aloud to myself. When I’d had enough of that,I went to Marrakech where I read Pullman, Rowling and Tolkien silently to myself. I avoided people and news and did less than I thought possible while time reshaped itself around me. After a few months I didn’t feel like being there anymore, I flew back to New York and got a reservation on the Friday afternoon Hamptons Reserve train, the Cannonball. Three hours later I was in Montauk and two months later it’s now...........

 

Spiritual Autolysis

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What actually transpired was that Julie took the one step she had been moving toward her entire life, and perhaps lifetimes before that; the FirstStep. We ended Damnedest on that note, pointing out that, for Julie, nothing was over, but only just beginning. What it was the beginning of we are able to hold up for display here because Julie chose to use the process of Spiritual Autolysis as her primary method for waging the long battle she found herself facing..............  

No oasis situated yonder.

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PEOPLE CALL ME AN ‘ENLIGHTENED MAN’– I detest that term – they can’t find any other word to describe the way I am functioning. At the same time, I point out that there is no such thing as enlightenment at all. I say that because all my life I’ve searched and wanted to be an enlightened man, and I discovered that there is no such thing as enlightenment at all, and so the question whether a particular person is enlightened or not doesn’t arise............

 

Shadow Dwellers

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Understanding is a state of being where the question isn’t there any more; there is nothing there that says “now I understand!” It is the questioner that creates the answer; and the questioner comes into being from the answer, otherwise there is no questioner................

 

The Damnedest Thing

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“Well, I looked and I got this whole mess of stuff saying stuff that’s critical about you.” He has around twenty e-mail and amateur reviews printed out. Not bad considering how many I’ve asked him to look through.

“What kind of critical?”

“Some say you’re kind of arrogant,” he answers.

“Okay, that hurts. What else?”..............  

Radical Sanity

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We’re sitting at a table outside on the deck overlooking the marina. I’m working on a lobster and she’s got something like a braised sea bass Florentine. As usual, I have Moby-Dick on the brain, and I think Mary is happy to have someone to discuss it with again after so many years without Bill.

“So, you understand why Ahab is after the whale?” she asks me, well into our discussion. “It’s not about revenge?”

“No, it’s not revenge. Ahab isn’t after the whale.”

“Ahab isn’t after the whale?”

“Nope.”

“Captain Ahab isn’t hunting Moby Dick?”

“Nope.”

“Well, okay, that’s quite a statement. What is he hunting?”

“I don’t know. He doesn’t know. It doesn’t matter.”..........  

Whoever You Are, Holding Me Now in Hand

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Marquis de Sade

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Oh darn, my crisis isn’t going well! Boo hoo for me! My total meltdown isn’t going as I’d hoped so I guess I’ll whine and complain like a little brat! What a coward! I’m so ashamed of myself even though I know this is what it is. No one gets around this. No one has it any easier. This is what it is. What I can’t do today I’ll do tomorrow. Small steps. One step at a time. One step at a time. I can only do what I can do. I never ever thought I could get this far, could get to this point. Every day I go a little further, I get more done, I know less and understand more. I know exactly what it means to be amazed every day by how naive I was the day before. Of course it looks impossible. I shouldn’t even look! Why look ahead? Am I trying to break my spirit? Focus. FOCUS! ! ! The next thing is the only thing and the next thing might kill me anyway. I look at the thing after the next thing and I see a total impossibility, but the last thing was the thing after the next thing at one time and now I’m past that, so what the fuck do I know? Nothing! Just do the next thing..............  

The American Way

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This isn’t meant in the spirit of an East-West pissing contest. I’m just sharing what I feel is a pretty interesting observation: America is not the spiritual third-world.We don’t have to become archeologists of spirit tramping desperately through the ages and around the world, as if what we seek was only to be found at the furthermost extremes of our reach, or just beyond. Our own time and place provides all we could need. Our own people have made their own journeys and have returned to tell us in our own language what they’ve found..............

 

Curtis on the Rocks

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One who has seen his true nature no longer regards life as being full of menace and misery as most people do. His previously mistaken sense of personal volition and responsibility has disappeared in such freedom and joy that life is now just an amusing spectacle like a game or a dream, in which he has no real part.

Ramesh Balsekar....................  

There Is No Other

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“And you are going away, and will not come back any more?”

“Yes,” he said. “We have comraded long together, and it has been pleasant – pleasant for both; but I must go now, and we shall not see each other any more.”

“In this life, Satan, but in another? We shall meet in another, surely?”

Then, all tranquilly and soberly, he made the strange answer,

“There is no other.”............  

The Break-Out Archetype

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AHAB IS AN EXQUISITE CREATION, and a unique one. No other character in literature, philosophy or religion fulfills, even approximately, the description of the unknown archetype. Ahab not only fulfills it, he defines it.It is an archetype because it is a universal role in the human drama, transcending place, time and culture; common to all, accessible to all. It is the unknown archetype because the awakened state is an undiscovered and unsuspected country.It is the ultimate archetype because it is the final archetype, and it is final because it breaks out of the confines within.........

 

Irreconcilable Differences

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Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep last night because I got caught up in a reading and notetaking jag and didn’t look up from my work until sunrise. The result has been two meetings on personal business where the best I could do was collect information and postpone decisions. And now I have this meeting, which is really no more than a courtesy because I’m already pretty sure that it will bear no fruit.Not the intended fruit, anyway.I was reading Moby-Dick last night and I was just about to turn off the light and go to sleep, very mindful of the fact that today would require more than usual alertness, when something caught my eye that I had missed in previous readings:

Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?
.....................

 

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