The human race isn’t defective, it’s just broken.
I often state that the knowledge comes whenever we are ready to receive it. For me, most of the knowledge comes as books. I seem to nearly always have the right book that tells me exactly what I want to know at the moment.
This book is beyond belief. It is so true that it invalidates any and all criticism that I may have had for the second book of the trilogy. From my perspective, the second book was weak and purposeless, with many anecdotes and little substance. This, the third book, remedies all that with a vengeance.
This book not only reaffirmed my own thoughts and ideas on the subject of spirituality and enlightenment but also brought some new ideas and information that I have not considered before.
Scoop a jar of water out of the ocean and put a lid on it. Study it in its segregated state. Where is the ocean in that jar? Where are the tides and the currents? Pour it back into the ocean and it returns to its integrated state. The temporary entity no longer exists. By scooping it into a jar, you’s created a new entity, a sub-ocean. It’s not possible to subdivide infinity, of course, but try telling that to your new entity. It has all the properties of the ocean from which you scooped it, in no way greater or lesser than any other sampling you might take, yet it bears little resemblance to its authentic oceanhood. It has an independent existence, yet as soon as you pour it back, it merges seamlessly back into the integrated whole. Where is that particular sub-ocean entity after you pour it back in? The same place it was before: everywhere and nowhere. 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?
Most importantly, the book contains what amounts to practical advice in so far as such can be given and that makes its value even higher. An excellent read and an excellent source.
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The sequel to the “Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing” turned out to be quite entertaining but less well written. Frankly, at times it felt like one of those sequels written purely for the sake of money, knowing that the folks that bought the first one will likely buy the next one. There are some interesting stories but the book feels on one side very commercial while on the other rather undercooked. If the first book left no doubt that the person can be trusted, the second raises the question of whether we are in for some bullshit. That’s the feeling I get, anyway.
Still, towards the end the book things seem to clear up a lot and it gets interesting. Especially I liked the discussion of the essence of the fight for enlightenment:
Fear vs. Hate. Fear of No-Self vs. Hatred of False-Self.
That about sums it up for me. And the other quite interesting discussion was related to the attitude towards death:
That’s what death is, guaranteed absolution; freedom and forgiveness all in one. If you understand the fact of your own death, that it’s always here with you and that it’s a certainty, then you’re free. That’s liberation; knowing that nothing is yours or can be yours, knowing that you have nothing to lose.Other people push death away, deny it, but we don’t have that luxury. We have to pull death close, embrace it, carry it in our hearts and minds. I don’t mean like a college kid getting stoned and having a one-night stand with existentialism, I mean like something you carry in your pocket and always have one hand on.
This looks just like Castaneda’s definitions and discussions. Might be coming from there, might be just true. Anyhow, this state of taking in the death as your friend seems a pretty powerful weapon if you dare take it up.
Overall, less enjoyable than the first book, probably still worth a read.… --> continue reading →
Here is a riddle from Jed McKenna’s “Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment”:
– Pretend there’s a big red button on the counter, okay?
– If you press it, you kill everyone in Switzerland.
– If you press it, no one will ever know. You’ll never be blamed or connected to the deaths of all those millions of nice Swiss people.
– Yeah? So?
– So why not press it?
Indeed, why not press the big red button that kills everyone in Switzerland?
I am trying to think for myself but I do not see any reason not to. Funny thing is, I do not see any reason to do it either. When there are no external influences and motivations, basically, I am becoming neutral to this action. Unless there would be an additional compelling reason to do or not to do, I am in the undecided point. The problem with that is that “undecided” is equivalent to “not do” and that is by itself a bias.
The problem is that my ego feels quite happy when I decide not to kill them all, not to push the button. It feels equally happy when I think to myself that I do not have any reason to push the button and I do not have any reason not to push the button, resulting effectively in me doing nothing, i.e. not pushing the button. The result for the ego feels exactly the same.
If my task is to nuke the ego, to bring it to an end, I probably must make the situation really uncomfortable for the ego, bring it to an untenable position. And the only way to do that in this particular simulation is to press the button. So, in the end, there may be a compelling reason to press that button, apparently. Interesting.… --> continue reading →
You know how this famous saying in oriental spiritual philosophy goes, that when a student is ready, the teacher arrives? I think that this saying is entirely true. When the student is ready, the teacher always arrives. Just don’t be literal about it, the teacher does not have to arrive in the shape of a wise old man with a white beard. What arrives really is the knowledge that you are ready for. And it may arrive as a conversation on a plane, a movie, a new acquaintance, or a book.
This book is great. I feel like reading my own thoughts but well organized and neatly put together. It’s a great book and gives this necessary kick to face the reality. Only I would not recommend it. And I don’t. Usually, when I read a great book, I run around advising everyone and their dog to read it. Not this time, though. Even trying to discuss the ideas in this book with people who read it proves difficult, not to mention trying to impose it on someone who is not interested in serious business of demolishing self. So, I do not recommend it. You will find it when you are ready for it. Or you will find something else. It does not matter. This book is not entertainment, it has to be taken literally, just like the books of Castaneda are. So, don’t. Unless you are fed up with the world as it is and want to look for the truth.
If you do, then this book helps a lot to organize your own thoughts and it tells you what you needed to hear all along: forget about external knowledge, you have work to do, work on yourself, so go and do it.… --> continue reading →