Failure of the spiritual quest


Almost everyone has made their dream – which is their own creation – more powerful than themselves, the dreamer. They have become so much a part of their own dream that they have forgotten that they are the ones actually dreaming their reality, that it is a fiction that they recreate at every moment. It absolutely cannot exist separate from them, any more than what they dream in their “sleep” can exist separate from them or can control their lives. Yet, they spend their entire lives in a dreamstate believing that they are awake, yet lost as a character or actor in a dream of their own making.

You are not the dream. You are living in a trance. The dream only springs from you. You must clearly see this before you can wake up.

Jed McKenna’s new book, Jed McKenna’s Notebook, describes this in his usual inimical style:

krown“You look at modern spirituality and all you see is the same tired drivel being endlessly recycled: love, compassion, no-mind, higher self, levels of consciousness and so on. A noxious muck in which, as is only borne out by results, no clarity or progress is made.

“There is no greater failure in the history of mankind than the spiritual quest, this search for truth, and yet everyone continues just as everyone always has, using the same maps and directions, the same guides and the same routes…. Sooner or later you have to come to the point of saying, ‘Hey, wait a minute, this is crazy. I want to get off this merry-go-round and get moving. How do I break free from this cycle of bumper-sticker platitudes and actually take some responsibility for my life?’

“The solution to a problem does not exist at the level of the problem. Don’t try to do battle with confusion and mediocrity. Rise about the level at which the confusion and mediocrity exist. See the big picture.

“Can a person really change? This is how: demolish and rebuild. Die and be reborn. This is the only way. We can sit in therapy or meditation for decades and be the same person we were when we started. We can read every self-help book, subscribe to every magazine, join every group, take every course, make every effort, but if it’s still the same structure and the same foundation, then it doesn’t matter how we change outward appearance and behavior, we’re still the same person.

“Anyone can rearrange the surface of their persona however and whenever they wish – change clothes and hair, change name and address, change nationality and religion – but change that occurs on the surface is merely cosmetic. It’s like painting a house a different color and calling it a different house. It’s not. It’s the same house, the same structure, the same foundation, just a different color. We can add ornamentation, drape it in fabric, redo the landscaping, but it makes no substantive difference. If we want it to be a different house, we have to tear it down, demolish the foundation, cart off the debris, and start anew.

“Everything you think you know about yourself, no matter how real or true it might seem, is just another layer of costume. This is where we start dismantling our true belief system. Belief isn’t just about God and afterlife, it’s about everything we think we know is true. Everything we know, no matter how sure we are, is really just belief, and all beliefs are self-limiting and serve to reduce the truly infinite to the falsely finite.

“Everything I had become in decades of life I had to unbecome. All I really had was belief, so everything I believed I had to unbelieve. My new world was cold and bright and honest, but my old mind was still full of a lifetime’s accumulation of belief and option and false knowledge and emotional attachment – all the noxious debris and toxic waste that make up the ego – and it all had to go.”

This awakening journey has little in common with therapy or many therapeutic and New Age practices, and indeed, the aims of these are often contradictory. People approach therapy because they want their lives to get better. They seek to support their persona and their identity and alleviate aspects of their personality that are painful. These may be laudable aims, but they have nothing to do with awakening and, in fact, run counter to it. For the awakening journey is about totally destroying your persona and identity, not strengthening it. It involves deconstructing your identity, not reconstructing it.

This is not easy, but what else do you really have to do? It’s not about right or wrong, better or worse. It’s an invitation to leave the dreamstate forever – to stop spending all of your time and energy just endlessly rearranging your furniture.

Everything on your plate is a gift that you have drawn to you for this purpose. Bon appétit!

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