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on 7 September 2012
If you believe yourself to be a spiritual person (as I did/do), this book is worth reading. In fact, everyone - spiritual or otherwise - should read this book. I can't recommend it enough.
Although one may not totally agree with or understand some of the points the author makes, or even like the totality of the character himself, it has the potential to change the way you think about yourself, life and spirituality irreversably so. But you must be prepared for the truth. And to make use of such content, you must be prepared to cast away everything you think you know and hold dear.
A truly exceptional and outstanding book that highlights the first step and the struggle, very very well, toward non-dualistic awareness and truth realisation. It is inspiring in a way that has never been seen before in spiritual writings.

Jump or burn?
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on 6 April 2010
This book is written in a journal style format; anecdotes, memories and poems are combined with everyday happenings and encounters with 'seekers' at various points in their journeys in the form of dialogue. For readers already aquainted with non-path approaches to Truth, there are no great revelations, but it is an entertaining read. McKenna is delightfully irreverent, an anti-guru, and playfully breaks spiritual taboos; impatience, boredom, restlessness, likes & dislikes, judgements & assumptions abound - as well as compassion, sensitivity and patience. It is unlikely that you will ever have read anyone state 'I am enlightened and you are not' quite as many times and in as many different ways as McKenna manages to!

The book is aimed at blowing holes in any mystical 'all is love and bliss' models of enlightenment, with repeated emphasis on deconstructing all beliefs, whether they are 'spiritual' or otherwise - as these are all means by which the ego seeks identity. There are very few tips or techniques included for challenging cherished beliefs, other than truth work and writing down what you KNOW you know 'I am...', but perhaps it will put an end to any growing library of spiritual literature.....

"If I were to reduce this book and my teachings to their essence, I would say it all comes down to nothing more than this: Think for yourself and figure out what's true. That's it. Ask yourself what's true until you know. Everything else in this book, everything else I have to say on the subject, turns on that centre.
That's the note I'd like to end on. It's your show. It's your universe. There's no one else here, just you, and nothing is being withheld. you are completely on your own, and everything is available for direct knowing. No one else has anything you need. no one else can lead you, pull you, push you or carry you. No one else is necessary for your success. It cannot be simpler; you are asleep and you can wake up. If you understand that, you'll understand that it's the best news you could possibly receive. Behold! The way is open to thee."

McKenna also states that you are almost certain to fail in truth realisation: "You're embarking on an undertaking that millions upon millions of sincere, intelligent men and women have committed their lives to without success."
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on 28 June 2010
Jed McKenna is no ordinary author. He has written a trilogy of books that are easy to read and very entertaining, yet at the same time exceptionally profound. These books are nothing short of excellent, in fact they're so spiritually advanced that a lot of people might quite simply not realise what true gems they are.

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing is the first in the series and announced the arrival of a major new voice in modern spirituality. Jed McKenna pulls no punches, but tells it like it is. It's probably not to everybody's liking, in fact some people might find his approach a bit upsetting, as he obviously seems more interested in truth than making you feel good. The second book is called Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment and is every bit as good as the first one. It contains a very interesting and enlightening in-depth discussion about Herman Melville's book Moby Dick (Wordsworth Classics), as well as more of Jed's hilarious and outrageous experiences and profound insights. The third book, Spiritual Warfare, might well be the best of the three books, and is even more uncompromising and direct than the first two.

Jed McKenna speaks of enlightenment and spiritual awakening, and does so without sugar-coating it. This is not for people who want something nice to play with, something pleasant to doze off to or some new belief or theory to occupy themselves with. Jed McKenna doesn't provide any kind of self-help and offers no tools for self-improvement. It would be more accurate to say that he encourages a complete dismantling of the self, instead of developing or perfecting it. His message is a stark and unforgiving wake-up call, yet it's all written in the most charming and eloquent manner possible. These are spiritual books in the very best meaning of the word. If you are serious about spiritual awakening, you are likely to find the weird, wild and wonderful writings of Jed McKenna truly enlightening.
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on 16 August 2009
Well, I feel that I'd be understating if I began to describe this book in "it will change your life" tones. What I can say is that I'm on my third re-reading of this book and it's clearly been written by someone who is enlightened and has a very very deep understanding (or "awareness") of what it means to be there.

The author may actually be writing under a pseudonym, nobody knows whether Jed exists, and you do get a feeling at points that it is actually fictional. But no matter, it is clear that whoever wrote this is existing in the state of 'abiding non-dual awareness' and that they have the articulacy and written skill to communicate it's nature effectively.

If you have the ears for it, this book could speak the eternal and final truth to you; the truth behind all of the madness in the world... the truth you have probably always suspected (in fact, Jed repeatedly says that enlightenment is the destination of everyone anyway... it's a miracle that any of us stay asleep). The truth that "you" don't actually exist, at least as ego has you believe you do. It has meant the end of my search for meaning anyway. That's endorsement enough I would say.

Everything's surreal after this...
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on 8 December 2008
It's a good read, simply yet beautifully constructed, and it makes a great point, built largely around an embellished Plato's Cave metaphor. Jed guesses there might be perhaps 50 enlightened people on the planet and I'm not one of them, although more than 30 years into my own quest for the Absolute Truth, most of what he says chimes with me. However, if I could talk to Jed (which I would love to do) I would have 3 questions for him: 1) For a man who suggests a key word is "further", you give a very good impression of having reached a terminus; 2) I like storms too, but although the evidence is moot, Jesus is supposed to have actually told them what to do; and 3) Where is the Love ?
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on 9 March 2014
In my life this has been the third attempt to show me the truth.
The first was a trap Buddhism . The second was mystic zen ,also a trap
This I feel is the real deal. I like the truth. Get to the truth of all things.
That's Jed's message and that's my life find the truth and expose the
Lies to yourself then release them. I was directed to Jed via Stephen Davies at [...] take the red pill neo and be truly free!!!! Immense gratitude to you both for my cocoon . Peter
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on 21 October 2003
Jed McKenna's book is a delight to read. Its clarity and simplicity make it accessible for everyone. It provides an insight into the life of a modern day spiritual teacher, who just happens to be an every day guy like the rest of us. The book is not for spiritual seekers still looking for the extraordinary, for states of bliss, or for someone to bow down to in exchange for being granted ever deeper and more meaningful personal experiences. It is a book for those who want to cut through all the spiritual games and are prepared do what is necessary to discover Truth for themselves. It will also be useful for those new to the spiritual search. For them, McKenna provides a first - and possibly last! - step in the right direction.
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on 13 May 2011
Entertaining, funny and cutting to the chase sums the book up.

Although I do wonder if it's simply a rebellion against "New Agey" , pure love, soul purpose.

The author does talk about ego and illusion, but it seems whatever way you turn it , ego is always there. Have fun with ego I say.

Anyway, I intend to read it all again. A good grounding book.
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on 3 February 2014
If you're open to the suggestion that enlightenment is basically getting to the truth of things then you won't object to an approach where you walk uphill backwards, retreating from whatever falsehoods you happen to have accepted until now. As with a real hill, it will be apparent to you once you're done with this. He doesn't use this particular metaphor (it's nicked from Richard Rose) but it describes it. Question and overcome false notions (including some very fundamental ones), beware of false "arrivals", press on until there are no more questions. It's all pretty clear and simple the way Jed McKenna describes it, so it is to be recommended if you are tired of all the flowery spiritual stuff and just want something real.
It's amusing what reactions there are to the whole Jed McKenna's identity thing, as though the whole ANYbody identity thing wasn't a mystery in any case. The approach of writing as a "mystery man" is rather understandable when you think what pitfalls surround the whole guru thing. If I was an obscure zen master who wanted to do folks a favour without picking up unwanted media attention I think I'd approach it by inventing a character like Jed McKenna's and getting it all said via him.
Recommended then? Yup!
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on 23 May 2008
Reading this made me realize I've subscribed for years to enlightenment as the mystical ever-bliss gained through perfection of my "self" (my ego).
This book shows me how real Enlightenment is actually the complete process of hacking away at the ego to find what is really true. E is purely about realising the basic truth of my human life: that the ego - "I" - used to separate me from the rest of the world (and think to write this), is just a character I've come up with. The real truth of oneness is behind this complex façade. Jed says this takes 2 years of unravelling the many beliefs used to hold up our ego layers to get there. The huge shift in viewpoint doesn't mean that you'll be permanently blissful, but you will erase the fear of death (as well as public ridicule and self tax forms)

Jed still dons a minimised version of his old ego when a social necessity for decent conversation, enjoys the small things in life and is clearly enlightened. Think you may be? Apparently you'll know it for sure when you are. From this comes true spiritual freedom (while still hacking merrily at my own ego, Conversations With God 1 by Walsch, helps me best decide how to use this freedom from an unenlightened perspective)
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