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24. Meaning & Belief

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

If you’re not sure of the meaning of your life, look to your struggle, and to the causes and fruits of your struggle. Look to your strongest emotions; love, fear, hate. What do you want to create, preserve or destroy? What’s the worst thing you could lose or the best thing you could gain? Maybe your meaning is the thing that most defines you, like an institution or an affliction. Your meaning might be as general as duty, or as specific as killing an enemy. Maybe your meaning is to just keep plodding along, getting through the day. I’ll guess that since you’re reading this your fortunes aren’t garbage-pickin’ grim, but that doesn’t mean you’re not stuck in a dead-end life. (Though technically, I suppose we all are.)..........

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Preface

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The Greatest Story Ever Told

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF
We talk about Moby-Dick. We often do. It’s something we have in common, the way she and William did. During my visit most of our conversations have revolved around Moby-Dick and the countless ways in which it makes more sense when the reader understands that it’s not about whales and whaling, or good and evil, or God and Satan, but simply about striking through the wall, about purity of intent, about a man in a life or death struggle for his freedom.

Hanging over all of our conversations has been the thing I’ve hinted at but haven’t stated; my second epiphany regarding Moby-Dick, the missing denouement. Figuring out what the book is really about is secondary to figuring out how triumphant and magnificently complete it really is. Moby-Dick isn’t a masterpiece, it’s the masterpiece. It’s the greatest story ever told once you understand the level at which it truly functions............. See All Chapters
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Shadow Dwellers

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

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................

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18. Philosophy West

Jed McKenna Wisefool Press PDF

When we look at Western philosophy, we see little more than armchair academics whose guiding light is not truth, but reputation and career. They have nothing to contribute, so they are effectively confined to clucking at each other and denying their irrelevance. A living philosophy is a journey of the most extreme proportions; a personal inferno, prolonged and bitterest conflict. To take just a single step on this journey is to leave the petty concerns of success and self-image behind forever, so yes, philosophers are non-participants and ideologues. They suit up like players and talk a good game, but never take the field........

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