Thus Spake…

 

These are the very first words given as a preface to Jed Talks 2. I would read them carefully again and again in order to soak their true meaning. ‘Jed’ is telling you here in black and white: you are being deceived, and he is the deliverer of that deceit as much as all that has been said about enlightenment before him.

But of course… you don’t see that, correct?

 

Not even the furiously tweeting Donald Trump can be sure of what comes next. As his fingers blur frantically on the keyboard of his device, I must face the fact that there is a maelstrom out there, while I am in here with nothing to contemplate except my own solitude.

I am thinking of arranging a visit from my granddaughter’s dog, which has few opinions about anything occurring in the outside world. He and I are in the midst of a long, intermittent conversation about the role of small dogs in the Roman empire under Tiberius.

 

Clive James

 

clive_james.jpg Clive James was an Australian-British broadcaster. No, he was not ‘Jed.’ They never met, plagiarized one another or drank one another under the table. I doubt they were even aware of each other’s existence, although one never knows.

“James became the television critic for The Observer in 1972, remaining in the role until 1982. Mark Lawson described a James’s review as “so funny it was dangerous to read while holding a hot drink. He was at times merciless.”

Wikipedia

 

Welcome! So I’m sitting there mulling over the wisdom of drinking milk produced by and for altogether dissimilar species when it occurs to me… I gotta crank out an article!

So I throw on some clothes, dig out my computer, and begin banging wildly at the keys. Seventeen minutes later… voila!

Now I can return to my lofty ruminations. Enjoy!

My name is XXXX and this website reflects an editorial policy that sets it apart from the guru herd: Zero Valuable Content. If you find any useful information here please report it immediately.

XXXX

“I read your article… I found it outrageously funny and sarcastically informative. I just loved every bit and I couldn’t stop smiling till long after I finished reading it.”

A fan before ‘Jed’

XXXX in the above is ‘Jed’ before he successfully transitioned from the marketing ‘guru’ to a spiritual one. The XXXX name was a pseudonym again. The writing is still a bit crude, immediate and not yet aimed at anything in particular other than entertain the reader (he said so himself elsewhere). ‘Jed’ was finding his feet by way of stomping the marketing industry grounds. The passages often lacked focus and purpose, but NOT the kick.

I mean.. the guy has expressive wit, razor sharp observations and a critical eye of your shy serial killer on the prowl… what could go wrong?

The above combination, if unleashed, could get one into considerable trouble in the wider world. Excitability (note all the exclamation marks! in those days Jed’s writings were the perfect dustbin of strong punctuation littering every second sentence) and a caustic way with words have the potential to decimate a few little egos. A little prickle here and there, and the full between-species war is guaranteed!!

Butterfly Caterpillars against butterflies, swoosh!! Hardly conducive to a peaceful nap in the hammock.   CaterpillarAnd there are bills to pay…. and fuck it, humans are not that smart after all.. and marketing is boring as hell and (gasp!) lies, lies, lies… and no interest in politics and formal philosophies.. and who wants to slave away in a 3X3ft cubicle… and the TM next door seem to be raking it… and…. and…

Sometimes it is better to slowly back out of this madness or, alternatively, run out screaming like a girl, and slam the door on the way out. Which is what ‘Jed’ had finally done those years back.

The expression ‘marketing guru’ was a bit of an exaggeration though.  ‘Jed’ really didn’t spend that much time flashing his marketing charm at clients and clunking his heels together at the sight of the boss. Just enough to learn the ropes and to venture on his own in order to claim a slice of the spiritual pie… since erm… see those boys  dressed in loose fitting garb and with weird sounding Eastern names?….. they are doing real well for themselves, but what’s the secret?….

I said here:

“Reading the proposal made me realise that the subtle promise of instant salvation in the books was largely a serious survival push of one man.”

I like Trilogies, so let’s throw Nietzsche in for the holy trinity. He echoed in Jed’s head quite a bit and is very relevant to the question that follows.

By the very nature of my origin I was allowed an outlook beyond all merely local, merely national and limited horizons.

Hence the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire 

Nietzsche

 

“Nietzsche’s writing spans philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony” 

“Because of Nietzsche’s evocative style and provocative ideas, his philosophy generates passionate reactions“.

Wikipedia

340px-Nietzsche187c Note the words ‘cultural criticism’, ‘aphorism’, ‘irony’ ‘evocative’ ‘passionate reactions’.. the quality samples of which can all be found in Jed’s writing.

 

So folks.. what do Clive James, ‘Jed McKenna’ and Friedrich Nietzsche have in common (you go boys!), apart from self-depreciating humour, dramatic overstatements and scathing wit directed at the rest of humanity?…

Note: This is not a rhetorical question. It has a very concrete answer.

Gold Header

 

36 thoughts on “Thus Spake…

    1. This is a surface observation, Panos. When they started they were not ‘old men’. They were young and dynamic.

      Aside from that… who knows what a ‘loner’ should be defined as.

      Nietzsche seemed to be, but he had lotsa friends and people who admired his mind despite idiosyncrasies. He was not alone.

      Jed McKenna is married.

      Clive James was married most of his life, had children and grandchildren. He was no loner.
      Below is about Clive James from the Guardian Obituary article. He died two weeks ago.

      “All this makes him sound insufferable, but he was read not as a literary titan, nor as a revolutionary newspaper critic, but as something more cherishable: a funny guy.”

      All three engaged in early literary pursuits in various forms, had high IQs, a liking for a drink, a talent for humour and a degree of serious inner torment.

      Nietzsche seemed to also have been emotional to the point of being unable to detach self from the ills of this world, unlike our Jed who overcame this handicap early on. Not that he was immune when young.

      .. which eventually killed Nietzsche, coupled with his chaotic lifestyle.

      So.. no that’s not it. But what else?

  1. ” What is it worth, then, this insane last phase
    When everything about you goes downhill?
    This much: you get to see the cosmos blaze
    And feel its grandeur, even against your will,
    As it reminds you, just by being there,
    That it is here we live, or else nowhere. ”

    Clive James

    These are the lines of understanding that will always separate the young from the old. Just like Jed – Clive got what it takes to be alive.

    “Here we live, or else nowhere.”

  2. Existential outlook, literary talent, caustic/confrontational writing. Don’t know much about any of them (have only read 1 of Nietzsche’s and ~2 of Jed’s), but they seem to favor a nihilistic outlook. Not that anything’s wrong or inaccurate with it, but it does stand apart from a majority of the people.

    Even many self-proclaimed atheists/nihilists today tend to put existential thinking on the backburner, probably because it’s just exhausting to think about, and not conducive to happiness. These three seem to have it at the forefront of their psyche; this could partly explain why they were so tormented (I know Nietzsche was. Dunno about the others).

    Also was flipping through an interesting book about Nietzsche that caught my eye recently. One section mentioned that he was deeply religious. Of course, not in a mainstream sense. I can see the same qualities both, Clive’s and Jed’s writings. A sense of reverence for the grand, empty vastness of the universe, and humans’ general insanity (in a literal sense) at that vastness being presented to them. Think the famous Nietzsche quote of the abyss applies here.

    Took too many words to say it, but heavy existential thinking, basically. Dunno if all of them were truth-realized, or anything of that sort.

    What I also find interesting is some pseudo-psychology, so if I were to classify them according to the Myers-Briggs, they’d all be INTJ/INFJ

    Look forward to what you think is common between them

    1. Oooh PH… you are a clever clog.

      There is deeper occult understanding in what you’ve expressed, whether you realise it or not.

      Mmm… I’d like to unpack it further, because this particular rabbit hole runs pretty deep.

      Which takes me to that suggestion someone gave a few weeks ago – to attach a small searchable forum specifically for learning discussion projects.

      But here is a pause for thought, with many connotations.. before my personal Big Bang I was tested as INFJ.

      After the Big Bang I fell firmly into INTJ. The Architect.

      A one letter change that I became aware of months later after running the test again as a matter of curiosity.

      F stands for ‘feeling’
      T stands for ‘thinking’

      I became a conscious thinker in place of unconscious emotional (instinct driven) animal.

      Not as much of a pseudo or pop psychology as you suggest.

      Unlike myself, these guys had the existential strive and understanding from birth, which Nietzsche’s quote refers to. They represent an archetype.

      1. Wow, the description of The Architect fits you perfectly, at least as far as I know about you from just your posts. I have ISFJ, Defender. Also fits me well when I read it, for the most part the motivations but not so much on how their lifes look.

        1. “women with this personality type are especially rare, forming only 0.8%”

          because women tend not to use their brains.

          “Architects can be both the most positive dreamers and the bitterest pessimists at the same time.”

          because we see all sides of all pictures. All encompassing.

          “Architects, ever independent, remain free from the expectations of others”

          because we are sure of what we see. And we are sure because it required massive internal investment to get to see it.

          “Architect personality types dislike rules, restrictions, and traditions. ”

          rules are not inherently bad. But many are not based on common sense, and are badly implemented.

          So on so forth.

          1. Hahah, definitely seems that way, I don’t often get bothered by what other people do for example, while you don’t like to put up with any nonsense it seems.

            Now I have a much better context to view your writing in, which makes it easier to understand where you’re coming from.

        2. “makes it easier to understand where you’re coming from”

          K, context certainly does make it easier, but why would you want to understand where I am coming from when it is more constructive to understand where YOU are coming from?

          1. It’s very interesting to me to see how other people view the world, and how different those views can be from each other. Guess that’s a big reason for trying to understand where you’re coming from. But yea, understanding more about myself is a lot more useful. It’s also something I’m working on, though.

          2. I see. That makes sense.

            Just remember.. if you attempt to deify me in any way, I will kick you in the nuts, and it will be unpleasant. 👹

            Hmmm.. it would be interesting to see how far I could bend to adoration and flattery. So far hasn’t happened. But from the honourable examples of African dictators it is clear that a path to Universal Deity is not that hard.

            A jerk circle of desciples, a few quality weapons and a territory to subdue.. CHECK.. CHECK.. CHECK..

            I’m moving in, World, move over.

          3. Understanding other people’s point of view doesn’t mean I necessarily agree with them. Usually not, I’m quitte stubborn in my own views, partly because I usually have put a lot of thought into my own position and have considered many options. It never happens that I just take something someone says as true before I take a long hard look at it myself.

            I know the kick in the nuts thing is a joke. But still, I’d wonder what you’d be like in that scenario. Just brutally honest and straightforward without a care about the other’s feelings, from what I’ve seen. That’s something I really appreciate, even though it can hurt. Still a good thing.

            I’ll keep an eye on the news for a woman who’s trying to take over the world. Just know the police has been called!

          4. “without a care about the other’s feelings”

            I do care about others’ feelings if the feelings are real. e.g. if you lost your parent/child/partner to Death, or got physically injured/developed a serious health condition, or are homeless/have nothing to eat, or are bullied by those stronger/in position of power.

            So on. Those feelings reflect gruesome personal reality and deserve respect.

            I don’t care about the feelings of thin-skinned snowflakes when I tell them they are nothing. If it hurts – it means they don’t know who they are, and get robbed by another’s opinion of them every time.

          5. Yea no, if you had asked me about those kinds of problems that people could have that I’d have been pretty sure you would care about those things.

            But that is what I meant, what you said at the end where you don’t care about the feelings of snowflakes.

    2. Nihilistic outlook is a small part of the picture.

      It is NOT all of the outlook. You said Nietzsche was religious. I don’t think this word applies; he didn’t believe in god. But as you pointed out a sense of awe and wonder at life may have a religious feel to it (still dislike the word).

      If so – I can certainly relate. The beauty of life makes me cry in the same way as its cruelty.

      It’s part and parcel of having an all encompassing view of reality.

      1. You are not deceiving me no worries. But you and jed are both imposters still cos You both claim you are enlightened and at the same time speak with certainty about many things. Sorry mam thats dogma. Reminds me of the religous preachers.
        If you were enlightened you would confess that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, while still not being sure about that even

        1. @Nukeware

          “It is not a story of an ‘enlightened’ being, for no human has ever become enlightened, not even the much revered Buddha.”
          http://www.enlightenmentmyth.com/the-em-website

          “No one is enlightened, or can be or ever was or has been, or ever will be, and never will be.”

          http://www.enlightenmentmyth.com/impersonating-jed-mckenna

          “If you were enlightened you would confess that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about”

          Oh. You mean I should play to the ‘humble’ deception of Ramana and Niz** whatever his name?…

          Or all modern spiritual quacks who keep repeating ‘I know nothing’? Why the fuck are they still talking then? It would be logical (and more honest) to suggest that if one knows nothing – they should close shop and go home, no?

          I know some things, I don’t know some other things. If you want to be lied to – go and listen to those who claim to know nothing.

          Empty your mind. Become a vegetable. Then get cropped, transported and sold to the consumer.

          Empty minds are a commodity, did you know that? Can be traded and exchanged for coins.

          1. Well ok if we put aside the idea of enlightenment and just talk about our exprience as fellow human beings (and its only an exprience) then we can exchange our opinions, beliefs and stuff which we think we know as facts for practical matters (survival etc.)

            About empty mind that the gurus talk about, imo they dont mean an absolute and ever empty mind cos thats not possible even with drugs (I have used them all). Cos the minds existence implies activity and creation. However I know that brief moments of pause between ceaseless activities of the mind is possible and that can be quite liberating and empowering. Thats why I still meditate and do drugs

          2. “I know that brief moments of pause between ceaseless activities of the mind is possible and that can be quite liberating and empowering. Thats why I still meditate and do drugs”

            I don’t know if you can see just how contra-intuitive, self-cancelling and untrue to your own Reality your words are.

            I can just about see your ass sticking up in the air. Where’s the head? Why, in the sand of course!

            A pure form of self deceit. Never ceases to amaze me.

            P.S. Do it. Who am I to say otherwise.

          3. I really dont know how to continue this conversation, you seem to be just looking for stuff to mock and feel then good about yourself. If you dont agree to something you can simply point that out, then I would explain or just accept.

    1. @Nukeware

      When I mock someone it does two things:

      1. Points to where they are confused
      2. Makes them pay attention. Negative emotions are much stronger and more memorable. They make people pay attention.

      You said that “brief moments of pause between ceaseless activities of the mind is possible and that can be quite liberating and empowering.”

      You then said this is why you meditate and take drugs.

      So let me put it in a non-mocking way, dear snowflake 🤗

      A belief in meditation and recreational drugs as a means of ’emptying the mind’ – is a form of self deceit.

      A belief that the mind can be AND should be ’emptied’ – is a form of self deceit.

      I don’t advocate self deceit. In fact, one of the first things I wrote in the first weeks ‘after’ was about the lie of meditation. It was a very clear thunderbolt of an insight.

      http://www.enlightenmentmyth.com/2013/11/17/meditation-lies/

      And drugs.. that was discussed here too.

      1. Damn, another great interaction.
        Most people look outside when they get upset or frustrated but it’s a good opportunity to look inside, like you said ‘Points to where they are confused’

  3. “ALL THREE WERE IMPOSTERS”

    Hardly.

    James and Nietzsche did no such thing; some of the below can be applied to Jed at a push.

    IMPOSTOR

    1. One who engages in deception under an assumed name or identity.

    2. One who imposes on others; a person who practises deception, usually under a false guise or an assumed character.

    3. One who imposes upon others; a person who assumes a character or title not his own, for the purpose of deception; a pretender.

  4. Having previously been called the Socrates of my generation, I feel as though I should contribute some wise and profound words to this discussion. Gonna have a stab at answering this question, maybe even uncover Jed’s true identity in the process. Here goes…

    …All three all bespectacled brethren.

    Didn’t see that one coming, eh? Well anyways, its good to be reading your articles again!

    1. As in, all three wear spectacles! A silly joke. Nonetheless, Barker and Nietszche are both wearing glasses in those pictures. As for ‘Jed’ (I’m pretty certain I know who the writer is) I have no idea whether he wears spectacles. I got one very old image of the guy and it’s blurry. My search for further evidence has hit a roadblock. He’s covered his tracks well, and whatever evidence is left will be lost in time no doubt.

  5. Got an email today saying that Jed Talks #3: The Tao of the Large-Breasted Goddess with the Shapely Behind, is now available.

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