Saturday, June 5, 2021

Jed McKenna ~ Enlightenment

 art parablev



An Interview with Jed McKenna

Q: Enlightenment is usually touted as the greatest of all achievements, as self-perfection, as the highest aim of humanity, the ultimate goal of every search, but you make it seem almost pointless at times.
JM: Well, I wouldn’t want to give the impression that it’s almost pointless. It’s perfectly pointless.
 JM: Awakening to your true nature is like dying; it’s a certainty, inevitable. You’re going to get there no matter what you do, so why rush? Enjoy your life, it’s free. Cosmic Consciousness and Altered States and Universal Mind are the names of rides in this vast and fascinating dualistic amusement park. So are Poverty and Disease and Despair. Enlightenment, though, is not another ride. Enlightenment means leaving the park altogether, but why leave the park? In the park you can be a saint or a yogi or a billionaire or a world leader or a warlord. Be good, be evil. Happiness, misery, bliss, agony, victory, defeat, it’s all here. What’s the big rush? When the time comes to leave the park, you’ll know and you’ll go, but there’s certainly nothing to be gained by it.  
Q: So you encourage seekers to abandon the search.
JM: I’m not trying to encourage or discourage, I’m just trying to express something that is difficult to express and about which virtually virtually everyone with an interest is egregiously misinformed.  
Q: As you say in the book:  “In most cases, the enlightenment being bought and sold is not enlightenment at all, but a state of consciousness so crazy-ass wonderful that you’d have to be an idiot not to want it. So insidiously wonderful, in fact, that its radiance has blinded untold millions of seekers to the fact that it doesn’t exist.”  
Q: Does this seem to capture it?
JM: Essentially. The enlightenment that seems desirable isn’t enlightenment, and that aspect of us which is able to desire enlightenment is unable to achieve it won’t survive its onset. Day destroys night.
 Q: So seeking is doomed to failure?  That’s a matter of context. I look at spiritual seekers and they seem, on the whole, pretty content. Maybe that’s because what they’re really seeking is contentment. Seeking enlightenment is an inherent paradox, but who’s really seeking enlightenment? In the introduction to her book Halfway Up the Mountain: The Error of Premature Claims to Enlightenment, Mariana Caplan states:  The reality of the present condition of contemporary spirituality in the West is one of grave distortion, confusion, fraud, and a fundamental lack of education.
JM:Infinity is beautiful; it destroys everything it touches. It annihilates all concepts, all beliefs, all sense of self. No teacher, teaching, book or practice could ever be as effective as simply allowing the thought of infinity to slowly devour you.
All paradox lies with the un-awakened state. The awakened don’t have something that the un-awakened are missing, it’s the other way around. The un-awakened possess massive structures of false belief. They create and maintain these vast realms of past, present and future; of great meaning and importance; of a deep and wide emotional range; all woven together out of sheer nothingness. Something from nothing; that’s the magic, that’s the special state. The un-awakened state is the one that requires such ceaseless dedication and devotion and which seems so fantastically improbable. The awakened state is nothing compared to that.
  Q: That doesn’t sound so good.
JM: I never said it was.
 Q: Are you saying it’s not?  
JM: No. The lifeforce I’m not using to project a false self is now available for much more fun and interesting purposes. It’s a whole different universe once all that petty self crap has been left behind.
This state is a physical condition of your being. It is not some kind of psychological mutation. It is not a state of mind into which you can fall one day, and out of it the next day. You can't imagine the extent to which, as you are now, thought pervades and interferes with the functioning of every cell in your body. Coming into your natural state will blast every cell, every gland, every nerve. It is a chemical change. An alchemy of some sort takes place. But this state has nothing to do with the experiences of chemical drugs. Those are experiences; this is not. 



thanks to Eve Reece