The Real Ones

I had a very brief email exchange with someone who also grokked the delusion of enlightenment. We exchanged a couple of emails, that is all, because there was really nothing to say, just like in Jed’s analogy of vampires or butterflies who have nothing to say to one another upon meeting. I have to note here, however, that I dislike drawing a divisive line between ‘caterpillars’ and ‘butterflies’. I just think the expression smacks of  spiritual egotism. People may point out that I call them monkeys, but hey! I stated that I am a monkey too, right? The one who doesn’t want to remain a monkey OR simply cannot remain a monkey, due to internal nature.

This person’s path was entirely different from mine, although we arrived at the same perspective, which we both acknowledged. He was a Transcendental Meditation teacher for a long time, went through an inflated spiritual ego period, thinking he grokked it all, then WHAM!!! Reality had grabbed him by the feet, swung a few good rounds for good measure and hey presto!! he got disabused of his notions of enlightenment forever, through different means, but with a very similar to mine outcome.

He wrote a book and left the whole gig behind. I didn’t read the book since I don’t read ‘spiritual’ literature and so cannot say anything about the book’s merits. The man is not interested in actively promoting it either.  As he said to me in his email:

I prefer to live my life not thinking about spiritual topics and also not thinking about people who seem to be on a wild goose chase for enlightenment/spirituality.” 

Or own tail chase. He is more cerebral than me (men tend to be, oh that mind… always wants concepts!), which is reflected in the way he frames the thoughts. BUT. He has ‘given up the ghost’ for sure, a clear realisation that enlightenment spectre is just that – a ghostly apparition in the minds of those who got bitten by the promoted enlightenment bug.

It is mostly thoughtful intelligent folks that tend to get the ‘enlightenment’ bug, in the same way a person would get flu. The internal dissatisfaction {Little Bastard, in Jed speak) and incredulity at the state of this world are too great not to begin to ask some serious questions. But I would like to stress here that this person’s perspective on what he calls ‘my enlightenment delusion’ – comes from having become utterly disillusioned through both being in The Game (he used to teach, remember) and the subsequent REAL Insight into it all.

Controversial theories from Matt

He reminds me of Marc Leavitt who also wrote a book and went back to his wife, job, dogs and living the life, instead of teaching others how to live theirs.

He also reminds me of another person who never wrote any books, but came to the same conclusions through plenty of life lived and suffered, has a simple, but internally satisfying job and is not in the market for milking the hypnotic “Let’s get enlightened” message.

As I said.. I don’t communicate with these guys further; there is no need. But I am grateful to know they exist. These are the real ones.

And of course where is ‘Jed’ in all this? Well… eleven books and counting. What was the message again?

Burnt Orange Geader


45 thoughts on “The Real Ones

  1. Do you sometimes wonder if, could just as well have been Jed Talks..contd.

    1. No, I don’t wonder that.

      Those who have been visiting the EM from the start – are aware that I am not ‘Jed’. One met me in real life, and a few spoke to me (camera) on SKYPE.

      ‘Jed’ visits the EM occasionally.

      1. Did any of those who met you in ‘real life’ or spoke to you on (camera) on SKYPE ever say to you that you were not photogenic?

  2. I’ve not really followed this site,I’ve just browsed it now and again and I’m not sure what your opinion is on Jed,are you calling him out or a fan?
    Do you
    Think enlightenment exists but not in the way people think,as in living in a bliss state,because I have found that some teachings has helped me a lot,being aware of the ego and so on,could enlightenment be just excepting everything as best as you can because your really in control?

    1. ‘Jed’ is clear in many of his views on Reality and the world. I am a fan of that.

      He also espouses some views which are expressed from one angle only – that of Nothingness. I am not a fan of that. It distorts Reality of being.

      His line of thinking comes from a long line of Western philosophers, starting from Plato, and Waldo Emerson played quite a role in developing the world view which ‘Jed’ echoes in many ways.

      Each subsequent Western philosopher and teacher modified them, dabbled in Eastern studies, often forming improbable and removed from Reality perspectives. Neo Advaita is one example. I am not a fan of that either.

      I want to state that I understood all this ‘after’ the Big Bang, not before. ‘Before’ was connecting the dots about the origins of mankind, from society to inter relationships to the lines of power to procreation to universal geometry to occult studies to human intimacy to survival games to.. blah blah blah.

      Much to consider, but people do not like to think about issues and dilemmas CONSTRUCTIVELY, with a view to gain better vision. Instead, they want to moan about them, complain, and go in circles as a result. The Big Bang allowed to irrevocably break the circle.

      Enlightenment does not exist. What exists is you and your mind’s ability to become clear. It requires a few absolutely necessary components to converge in one individual so that this individual could break free from perpetuity of useless, emotion driven thinking.

          1. Expressing from one angle only,nothingness?
            Also when you said you understood this after the Big Bang?
            And what exists is me and my ability to make my mind clear!
            Clear of what? The ego or biological drives is it?

          2. “Nothingness.”

            What were you before you were born? Nothing. You didn’t exist.
            What will you be after you die? Nothing. You will not exist.

            Logically then… no you means – no anything. Everything disappears. No universe. Correct? Yes.

            Jed therefore suggests his C-Rex: YOU (your conscious existence) is all there is. And from the perspective of death (Nothingness) that is certainly true.

            BUT. Logic has limitations. He makes a conclusion that nothing outside of consciousness (each individual consciousness) exists. No universe. Where and how he jumped from something which is true – to something which is entirely fictional – escapes me.

            Your existence is self evident. The existence of the universe is self evident. It requires no proof, in the same way that feeling wet after jumping into the river requires no proof. You just know it. The Knowing.

            The same goes for ‘no self’. There is a self – you. There is also the IDEA of you that exists in your mind. That one – is false and so does not exist. But ‘Jed’ wouldn’t go into much detail about clarifying this, hence, plenty of people buy it whole as a maximum and without rational consideration. They think ‘Oh great! There is no me as there is no self. I don’t exist!”

            Yeah, right.

            “Big Bang and Clarity.”

            Before – I was pondering all the big and small questions. On my own. In solitude and much despair. But the mind refused to cooperate. It was closed.

            It was like this…. Remember those times at school, some difficult subject such as physics? You are introduced to a new concept in class, but do not understand it. You try from various angles, ask the teacher, friends, look it up online. Still – no understanding, no clarity. Then, one day – you get it. How? God knows… but the concept becomes clear, and you wonder why you couldn’t grasp it before.

            This is what happened during the Big Bang. The mind opened and became able to perceive information and understand it. Why? I don’t know. I remember Adyashanti referred to it as ‘download’, but it is not strictly accurate. Before the so called ‘download’ takes place – there is much thinking, asking, pondering, looking for the answer to each question. The mind opening (download) doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The initial groundwork had been done prior: considering things at length.

            With focus, intent and some intelligence – it doesn’t take that long to push one’s mind over the threshold.

            “Clear of what”

            Not ‘clear of’, but simply clear about the world and life.

            One thing ‘Jed’ got right. “Sit down, shut up and figure out what is true”.

            I would add: also figure out what is NOT true.

          3. Ok,I get you,thanks!😊
            But when Jed talks about a reality probably not existing outside of consciousness,because we have never experienced anything outside of it,has he not got a point because there are infinite other possibilities? ( simulation theory etc..)
            how can you know for sure,that there is a physical reality outside of yourself?
            And couple of last questions,if you don’t mind,I won’t bother you again after these !😆
            do you think there is any meaning to all this (life) or do you think a higher intelligence exists? (god)
            Thanks again..

          4. @Derek

            You are welcome.

            There are infinite possibilities, but the probability factor is next to non existent in those. For instance, Steven Hawkins was sure that time travel is not possible. I absolutely agree, it is a fantasy.

            Simulation theory is also just that – a theory, an interesting play for the mind, but nothing else. I cannot remember where, but it was shown to be physically impossible (super computers and so on, the power of computation blah blah).

            Scientists entertain their considerable minds. It doesn’t make it Reality. It makes it a mind game.

            “how can you know for sure that there is a physical reality outside of yourself?” – I communicate with physical reality every day. If physical reality did not exist – I would have nothing to communicate with. How can one perceive what is not there, absent?

            No God. No higher intelligence, aside from the intelligence of Mother Nature which is based on the laws of physics and geometry. We as species are quite a remarkable result.

            No meaning. You create your own meaning, intrinsic to you. Then you die.

            The End.

            People do not want to acknowledge this, it makes them mightily depressed. Hence, the fairy tales of all kinds.

          5. Thanks,that’s very interesting,I agree with most but not all,
            I think simulation is possible,maybe not with the tools we have in this reality,but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is! Plus if you told people 100 years ago of the technology we have today,I’m sure they’d laugh!
            Also when I dream,I seem to interact with physical reality,it seems real,but it is an illusion!
            So we can seem to interact with what is an illusion.
            Physical reality existing is the most probable reality if you had to pick one, but if it’s that one or all the other possibilities combined,I think I’d go for the other possibilities combined!
            My life seems guided also,I’ve had some crazy experiences over the years that seemed to be leading me in a direction! I don’t know for sure thou and that’s the thing with life,every argument can be takin apart!
            Thanks for your time!

          6. “Physical reality existing is the most probable reality if you had to pick one, but if it’s that one or all the other possibilities combined, I think I’d go for the other possibilities combined!”

            Well, you would simply choose what 99% of people choose: illusion instead of Reality.

            This is why McKenna says people do not want to wake up. They TELL themselves they do, but no, not really.

        1. I would pick it,not because I want it to be true,but because it’s more likely to be true,that it’s an illusion.
          A child dreams about a four headed dragon,he wakes up,he then knows, it wasn’t was just a dream
          But he sees one one the tele then and thinks that one must be real,because he hasn’t got to ability to understand what’s going on and that it’s just an illusion also,it’s CGI or whatever.
          Solipsism can’t be escaped from,in my view.i think Jed’s right!

          1. Yes, but a child will eventually grow up, will acquire the ability to understand and will see the picture on TV as just a pixelated representation of the dragon. It is in the physical world and so becomes evident.

            Not so with mental images. Even harder with the enlightenment promise. It is impossible to disprove the non-existence of something that does not exist in the first place.

            Ever wondered about the search for the Snowman or the Loch Ness Monster? The interested enthusiasts are trying to verify their existence. They will never prove the non-existence. How can one prove there are no unicorns? Therefore, the myth will prevail.

            HOWEVER. This is where rationality comes into play. If the legend exists, but not one single person in the entire history of Humanity has ever seen a unicorn (unless pissed or stoned) – it is fair to suggest that unicorns do not exist.

            Regarding solipsism… do you not find the following ironic…..

            ‘Jed’ stated that enlightenment means ‘no self’. YET, solipsism is based on belief (it is only a belief) that no other minds exist except own mind. Huh???

            You know… it is fair to suggest that you (the Derek person writing here) – exists, your mind exists and produces the lines on the screen.

            How do I know? Because your mind energy is making my mind active. Your thoughts enter my mind and generate responses within it. I do not need any DNA proof or a scientific investigation.

            I could be talking to a computer generated speech bubble, yes. But given the circumstances of this communication – the probability is quite low, so I will go with the ‘best fit’ hypothesis: Derek is real.

          2. You give a good argument but I still don’t fully agree!
            when I dream it seems perfectly real but then I wake up out of the illusion,so who can say that we when we die,we don’t wake up out of this illusion! It is a possibility!
            You assume that,what makes most sense to you is true,that it’s more probable,but “probable”doesn’t cut it!
            Also if you really sit down and consider all the other possibilities and weigh them up,you’ll have to admit your probably wrong!
            If there’s 40 horses racing in the grand national,you might bet on the favorite,but there’s only one horse running for you and 39 for the bookie! And have you ever seen a poor bookie?
            And now imagine infinite horses!
            Also I read before,that reality is “a whole” and we use language to fragment it,I’ve found this to be true,that no thing is the word,that the word is like a signpost and it’s never 100% accurate! So when someone writes a book,the ideas the writer is trying to put across are not exactly the same as the ones wrote down on the book!
            It’s just the best he can do.
            For example,I could say something like “we can’t know anything for sure”,but what I mean isn’t exactly “we can’t know anything for sure” but that’s the best I can do with language!
            The problem is thou,my idea
            ,when put into words,can be rebutted:
            Well if you can know that you can’t know anything for sure,then you can know something! so I then lose the debate!
            But if u could communicate what I really mean,I wouldn’t have!
            Words and philosophy’s can be takin apart because of this.
            But just because a philosophy could be takin apart in a debate doesn’t mean that what the philosopher was trying to communicate was wrong!

          3. Derek, the problem with your particular expression is that you talk AROUND philosophy (not my preferred method), but you do not ask yourself any REAL questions.

            For instance… to say ‘words are the best we can do’ is talking about ways of communication between humans and their inherent inadequacy. This is the same as putting your hands up in the air and saying ‘I give up. It cannot be understood, seen, communicated’.

            But you never asked (I presume) what words actually represent or symbolise. Or have you ever asked yourself why ‘Jed’ stated that people are unable to read books correctly? Why did he say that?

            Next.. you talk about dreams and waking up and seeing those as only a dream, but never question whether anyone has ever woken up from being dead and reported to others ‘It was only a dream’. How can you draw parallels between two events which are incompatible IN NATURE AND OCCURANCE? This falls into a category of a fallacy, i.e. failure of reasoning.

            Staking your bets on horse racing probabilities is still a mind game. One can come up with a million of possible scenarios, of ‘what if’, but are they REAL?

            If you want to keep on imagining things – you can. But ARE THEY REAL?

            In the end of the day – you have the mind. You can think. You can ask yourself REAL questions about Reality, instead of asking questions about epistemology (theory of knowledge), which is essentially what you are doing now.

            The debate about how knowledge comes about and the nature of perception, beliefs etc. – should come AFTER you are sure of understanding valid phenomena in the world.

            Here. You dragged me into a purely philosophical discussion, something I am not the biggest fan of, because it signifies going round in circles and earning that PhD ‘Jed’ mentions.

          4. Ok,thanks for your time,
            I’m still not convinced thou,
            We will just have to agree to disagree!
            If there is a we!😉

      1. Can you elaborate on “What exists is you and your mind’s ability to become clear?

        and “so that this individual could break free from perpetuity of useless, emotion driven thinking”

        something in those two phrases is ringing a bell for me not sure yet what.

        1. You exist, do you not?

          Just in case you consumed some of the toxic ‘no me’ spiritual literature… do not attempt to evaluate the question of your existence mentally. Instead, go straight to your direct experience: you feel physical pain, hunger, lack of sleep, being horny… you are able to think, and even make some of your thinking Reality… other entities, be it dogs or humans, react to your presence (those pesky dogs biting at your ankles huh)… how do they know about you being there?

          Because you are, exist in this world.

          You are also able to think in abstract terms, something not given to other animals to a degree humans can. ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ expresses this, but this Descartes statement is only correct in one context: when applied to human minds.

          Taken outside of this human context, the statement ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ is meaningless.

          ‘Clear’ does not mean ’empty’. It means ‘free from confusion’. ‘Clear mind’ means a mind with a capacity for considered, rational, lucid thought.

          Which takes me to the third point… most people lack this capacity for considered thought. They do not think. They emote and express this through language. This insanity is called ‘thinking’, but it is nothing but a reactive, gut orientated mentation.

          For instance…. you are in town and accidentally spot your GF (wife, etc) sitting in a cafe talking to a male friend she used to know and whom she told you she liked. She looks smily and relaxed, and so does he. Now, at this point do you think (really think) or do you emote inside via thoughts?

          Here are two definitions of the verb ‘to think’:

          have a particular opinion, belief, or idea about someone or something.

          direct one’s mind toward someone or something; use one’s mind actively to form connected ideas.

          Most people stop at #1.

          That is NOT true thinking. Jed McKenna expressed it as such:

          “we think we think, but those thoughts are based not on
          thinking, but on not thinking.”

          #1 is that ‘not thinking’, a passive emotional reaction to what you had observed in that cafe.

          I bet you ‘thought’ she was having an affair.🤔

          1. I wish I could upvote your comment Tano! 😉

            One thing’s for sure, Jed knows all too well that his books are full of statements that will only strengthen the illusion most people suffer from. But when you elaborate it becomes clear what the REAL meaning is of his words. And it becomes clear how I took it mystically a.k.a. without substance. And also makes me wonder how I did NOT understand?!

            People must be so afraid! So confused! They lay their soul in the hands of others..

          2. Yes, the books strengthen the illusion. Like many before him Jed chose not to speak about Reality, but be that proverbial finger. Well, I didn’t want the finger at the time of my personal struggle. I wanted to see the Moon clearly, to continue with the metaphor. But he chose to conceal the Moon, in the same way all of our spiritual dudes have done.

            So many bloody fingers, only one Moon, and heck! most ignore the Moon and study the fingers with diligence and armed with the marker and a great deal of mental energy.

            All in vain.

            You know.. I also wondered at some point why I could not SEE before, why I could not UNDERSTAND before, when Reality is so obvious and so obviously sticking right in my face.

            In the hands of others. Amazing, right?

  3. There is this obvious thing which in psychology is called validation seeking bias (st like that) that means people with one set of beliefs are always attracted to the people who share the same beliefs as them.. and also are blind to/ ignore the people with different beliefs . This is exactly what is going on here. Not calling it bad or good or anything, just basic mechanics of being a human (or monkey as you say it).

    1. People have or do not have similar perspectives. It is different from beliefs, because it is not set in stone, always evolving. That is the nature of ‘further’, that is the nature of the human mind, if one lets it go further.

      ‘Belief’ is a much maligned word, I wrote about that before. No one is free from some form of belief. I believe we went to the moon. It is clearly a belief, because I can only rely on accounts of others who did. But it is very probable that my belief is true to factual Reality, and then – it is not a belief anymore. It becomes a fact.

    2. I also would like you to consider the difference between a perspective (not belief!) of, let’s say, an ant which I can observe from my human size and which is not aware of my presence at all, OR a perspective of someone like, let’s say, Aristotle, OR a perspective of, let’s say, a tuk-tuk driver.

      Any difference between the three?

      1. There is difference sure. But still I would say all three are false since they are all relative and based on interpretation of the input they recieve from their senses.
        Ant might be color blind and say the rose is gray while Aristotle might say it is red and Ali (me) while stoned with hightend senses describe the roses color as something totally unknown to any. Now which one is true? None perspective is always false. (Now that is a beliefs)

        1. OK.

          Out of the four perspectives:

          1. An ant
          2. Aristotle
          3. A tuk-tuk driver
          4. A five-year old child

          … which one do you think it closer to true understanding of Reality? NOT its immediate perception, but true understanding?

          Just a note. We are not looking to prove whose perspective is false, because all those perspectives are true for their owners. We are looking to see whose perspective is broad and sees/understands more. We are then looking to see why this is the case.

          P.S. I am asking because you seem to be mixing perspective with sensory perception.

          1. “Closer to true understanding of reality” is in itself a delusion of the mind. Just the ego vying for importance. What good is philosophy to an ant? And what does Aristotle care about being able to lift more than 50 times his body weight? Just because the ants mind is not as developed as Aristotle doesn’t mean that it doesn’t perceive and experience what is relevant to it. And this is where the spiritual elitists get off on feeling their sense of enlightenment. They think they “have a broader understanding” when in reality they’ve just got a head full of useless nonsense that most people simply don’t concern themselves with as they go about their lives.

          2. I cannot really say which one’s perspective is closer to true understanding of reality, I can only say which one has a perspective closer to the one I currently have or which ones expression feels more true to me. But my understanding is just thoughts / senses and shit like that so I can never say it is true. Even my interpretation of an Ants perspective is just my thoughts so I can never get the true perspective of an ant , or even be sure that an Ant is there. (What if I am dreaming?)
            At the end when it comes to understanding of reality everyone is alone.
            And when it comes to broadness of understanding, We have to consider that reality is infinite and all values when compared to infinity become zero (basic math) so if we consider this no understanding of infinity is possible.
            Did I understand your question ? 😕

        2. Justin, ‘going about their lives’ is EXACTLY what this website is about. Did I not say a hundred times ‘there is nothing to understand’?

          If you can see from responses here – people still want to understand. Why? Because we are human. Because we are curious. Because we are not vegetables.

          1. Indeed. Its pretty wild and seems to be just part of human nature to bounce ideas around but there’s definitely a point in which one needs to think and experience for themselves and maybe a part of that is for something drastic to happen or someone you trust and see as an authority to state things so radically different from what you know to be true for you.

        3. Well, you know that I said it many times… I learn from my interactions with people, both from the challenging ones and simply enquiries.

          I have always been a curious monkey when it comes to how the human mind works and what makes this world go around.

          If my personal exploration here and in my physical life benefits someone – ok. They would still have to apply own minds and consider/contemplate everything independently before the penny drops.

        4. “I cannot really say which one’s perspective is closer to true understanding of reality”

          You absolutely can. Sitting on a fence and saying ‘I know nothing’ is a cop out. You are intelligent and curious, that should be enough to figure things out.

          Reality is infinite, yes. But the connections existing in Reality – are not. Mathematics explains the connections in terms of numbers. You can explain the connections in human terms.

          Try. Not here, if you do not wish to, but stop saying you can’t. It is not true.

          1. You said: Try. Not here, if you do not wish to, but stop saying you can’t. It is not true.


          2. There’s a difference between this superficial kind of “I know nothing” and a deep and honest one.
            Like the difference between knowing that you’re gonna die, and realizing it. Right?

            It’s the latter that comes after some period of sincere searching, it’s the latter that drives mind crazy and results with its surrendering. And then you’re “done”, you’re in the silent mind of no-self, mind THAT IS OPEN FOR INSIGHTS. Very different from turning into a drooling idiot and mantring “I know nothing” all the time. Or turning it into some kind of philosophical BS.
            The less you know the more you know.

            But… what next?

            Will your first death be your last one?
            Will you let your ego-mind to resurrect and wrap itself around whatever insight into reality you had? Reality of Nothingness, reality of God, reality of Matter? What will be your preference?

            Like in that metaphor with an elephant. People touching different parts of it and arguing about how the reality looks like. That’s nonsense.

          3. Right, Joanna.

            Except I don’t know what the ‘silent mind of no-self’ is. My mind is not silent as you can observe, and neither is Jed’s, from his books.

            Perhaps, ’tis some metaphorical expression which I don’t understand?

            What is next? Living. That’s really my preference.

            Going cycling solo in Vietnam very soon.

            The elephant and the blind men is a very good comparison, but one day – it is seen whole. And then – it is just an elephant and not its mythical body parts.

  4. I think the ‘Jed McKenna’ team got a tad worried about the title of this last post ‘The Real Ones’.

    They probably thought I was about to spill the beans.

    It is all very.. hmm….. human.

  5. “Except I don’t know what the ‘silent mind of no-self’ is.”

    Silence speaks. When I, as the middle-self shut up, I can finally hear my higher-self. And my lower-self. That’s what meditation and contemplation is all about.

    So we have human-adulthood, where as the middle-self I can take care of myself and my lower-self. Going from fucked up ego to healthy ego.

    We have enlightenment, where because of the loss of identification with our dream character life becomes fucking boring.

    And we have God-realisation, which is all about discovering and surrendering to our higher-self.

    And Jed doesn’t actually deny the G-R part. But he assumes (due to little experience in the matter, I’m guessing) that enlightenment is somehow more important or more real than G-R. Which is so not true.
    So he’s wasting time creating new identity, as Brahman this time, and writing books full of THEORIES.

      1. Higher-self as higher state of consciousness. It makes sense to discard it when you want to go further, for no-self.
        It doesn’t make sense to discard it for good.
        Because while from the POV of no-self, everything is illusion, everything is “not me”, everything is the same, saints and murderers.. from the higher-self’s POV you can discover what is real and what is not WITHIN the dream.

        And while from your everyday consciousness/middle self you can be quite aware of your shadow (lower self), you cannot dissolve it. And I guess that’s why there are so many people working on their shadow for years with very little effect.
        They’re doing it from the place of middle-self which always wants to analyse, judge, fix, get rid of things, etc… while higher-self dissolves BS by simply looking at it with total acceptance.

        1. Everything is an illusion from the point of view of Death. It is connected to the notion of ‘no self’, but many spiritual writings fail to make this explicit connection and wax lyrical in a purely conceptual fashion.

          However, your very first paragraph makes no sense. I presume we have diametrically opposite understanding of what Higher Consciousness is.

          It cannot be ‘discarded’ as you suggest. But most humans don’t possess Higher Consciousness to begin with, and so needn’t worry about that.
          They remain slightly elevated animals.

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