About 80% of the people that I suggest Jed McKenna’s book, Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing, become fucked up and depressed for about 4-8 weeks after reading it.
That is why I sometimes am apprehensive about suggesting it to people, yet it quite frankly might be the most influential book I have read, and my entire life philosophy is based around some of the core concepts of the book.
McKenna is the anti-spiritual guru. After reading hours upon hours of Eckhart Tolle, studying Ken Wilbur and other American philosophers, meditating and trying to become part of the evolving global consciousness…
McKenna cuts through all that bullshit.
The reason this book is so powerful is McKenna’s writing style. On the one hand it’s very easy to read, and the book reads quick. But the true value is in how forceful and crude his writing style comes across.
What is the truth?
What is the meaning of life?
There is no meaning.
Everything we do, every identity we create in life, is in fear of the fact that our life has no meaning. Fear that nothing really matters and living is futile.
McKenna lays this out in such an elegant way, where the entire book builds concepts on top of concepts until everything falls into place exactly as it should.
It’s a teaching style I’ve incorporated into my own bootcamp actually. You build the framework, paradigm on top of paradigm, and then slam it home for the mind shift/epiphany.
My favorite two parts are the build ups during the campfire scene, and when Julie takes the “first step” in the last few chapters.
The book is written in a way where it’s you live through the writing process, and as events take place, you too go through the process of understanding EXACTLY what enlightenment is.
The whole nihilistic attitude associated with McKenna’s definition of enlightenment can be a little depressing, but that really is inherent if everything is futile.
But as you come to terms with this necessary truth, you truly can take an existential view and live your life as you please, choose whatever costume you like.
This is where the whole extreme self-love philosophy I talk about comes from.
McKenna explains that there is no reason to become enlightenment, how would your ego every decide to destroy itself?
It takes a cataclysmic event to even take that first step towards “destroying the ego.”
What he explains is more attainable, and a better way to live is spiritual adulthood, which is what he talks about in the second book of this series.
Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing is the first in a trilogy of books. I’ve read all three before, but wanted to reread them again so I could review each, and they just released the third book, Spiritual Warfare, in audiobook format.
I just finished listening to “Damnedest” again for the fifth time, and figured it would be good to throw a review up on here, so others will check it out.
I prefer audiobook format, the narrator is SICK and it really jams the concepts down your throat in a way that is hard to ignore.
So buyer beware, but check it out.
Take the swan dive into the abyss.
“Row, row, row your boat. Gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream.”