“There is no self to be realized. The whole religious structure that has been built on this foundation collapses because there is nothing there to realize.”
U.G. is the guy whom I resonate with the most. Jed McKenna said in one of his books that there are passages of U.G. where he has no idea what the man is talking about.
That does not surprise me. To understand U.G. utterances one has to be of a similar internal disposition. U.G. was lost for most of his life, with no clearly defined ideas or understandings. Much was imposed on him by theosophists when he was still young (remember that his family was active in the society). In the beginning he had NO UNDERSTANDING of his own, and no ability to question, just consuming the usual cocktail of Eastern spirituality and Western mysticism. He was impressionable and sensitive.
Then one day he began to question what was spoon-fed to him, and the discontent settled in. He spent the next 25 years or so searching. And found nothing in the end. He was a puppy who grew up, wised up and dropped his puppy-like perceptions. He finally saw for himself that enlightenment is just another human game. We always fancy something rare, exclusive, something very few can have. Something that will place us in a special group and, thus, will grant us a sense of own importance, while we all know inside just how insignificant each one of us is.
In short, U.G.’s ego was of the wobbly jello variety: colourful and appealing, but taking the shape of any mould it was placed in.
In contrast, Jed McKenna has always had a healthy, hard edge Ego, aka THE MIND that defines who and what we are. His was independent, sarcastic, critical, noticing any inconsistencies in the way people live their lives, and the lies that they push forward in order to advance. He noticed much early on, gifted with the mind that can observe, unlike U.G. who was quite naive, even child-like, and remained so to the end of his days. I am sure it (the Mind) brought Jed his own measure of suffering.
U.G. was a child who gained an adult-like vision and saw the world for what it was.
Jed McKenna was an adult who wished for the mind rest and a child-like innocence.
This is why Jed was puzzled by some of U.G. writing: they were coming to the centre from the opposite directions. When the mind opens – one gains what they were missing, this one little piece of themselves that was to complete the picture, to bring balance, to make one whole.
But what do I mean by ‘being lost for most of his life’?
Well, look back at your life as is up to now. I don’t know about you, but all I see in mine was the fog. Faint disjoint memories of life events that seemed to have happened to someone else.. things shaping up of their own accord and me not knowing why… everything seemingly taking place, and I am in the middle with no clue as to what any of that meant, if anything.
I have a very broken timeline of own life. Most of the decisions taken – were taken with zero conscious awareness. Like U.G. pacing the streets of London with no aim and purpose, driven by own thoughts only – I paced Moscow streets. Like U.G. shutting the metaphorical door to Ramanas of the world for their devious ways – I dropped all spiritual books in the charity shop and walked away. Like U.G. moving to the natural state – I forgot about self as an improvement project and just let it be as is, MY natural state.
Some of those decisions turned out so well, reflecting much of who I was, and THOSE – were taken consciously. Such as the decision to have one child and no more. It was an absolutely clear-cut decision taken in full awareness as to why. Such as the decision to move to England. I agonized over this one, because the decision had to be delivered to the interested parties in three short days.
Like U.G. I was an idiot to start with. The world felt beautiful, but also packed with lies. I could not, for the life of me, see in full awareness why it all felt dissatisfying, why so much misery prevailed. I had no ability to think clearly, obstructed by emotion and blocked by some defect in my mind that would not let it open.
No one taught critical thinking. No one told us to question everything and not to take things at face value. My so called education produced drones, and there was no internet to teach oneself to think otherwise. We were taught great classic literature, but no one told us there were QUESTIONS within those works, questions asked by intelligent and tortured people who wrote them.
No one told us that answers existed.
Unconsciously, I said to self “The world is as it is, and that’s that”. This is an argument put forward against the way I write: too simple, primitive, idiotic, not enough meat in my writing to sink one’s teeth into, not enough to mentally ruminate over and dissect and argue.
Simple is the way I like it. Life IS simple, both beautiful and brutal at its core, and only human minds make it complicated. Life is simple for that proverbial dog who licks your face, or bites your hand, all in the moment, and has very little to say in between. Life is also simple for myself now. There will be challenges, some will be hard and will make me cringe. There will also be good times, but in the end – everything must go.
I’ll take it like the dog.
Whatever rocks your boat, do it, because none of it matters except in the moment when it is happening. And when it has happened – it is already gone. But whatever moral/immoral decision one takes – those decisions will be the reflection of who they are and how far they are on the level of mind evolution.
That’s it!! That’s the meaning of one’s meaningless life. It may also include saving victims of human trafficking, murdering ladyboys in dark alleys. or baking sourdough bread. And you see… I knew all that way before the hammer dropped. I knew this in my twenties, and in my thirties, and you know this too, so WHAT THE HELL are you looking for?
As U.G. said… nothing. There is nothing to look for, and has never been.
But you will not get this simplicity. Minds like Jed’s – will not let you.
He wrote the books. Alan Watts. He gave lectures. Sam Harris. Rupert Spira. Bach. Ramana. Nissargadatta. Wilber. Kornfield. Dieda. Aurobindo. Ouspensky. Katie. Das. Maharishi. Gangaji. Adyashanti. Tolle. Chopra. Coelho. Mooji. Shankar. Sharma. Adi Da…
… various Sri’s, Mati’s, Devi’s and Baba’s of past and present, countless modern incarnations the likes of Teal Swan and Bentinho Massaro, those young charlatan apprentices.
…. more successful or less successful mind benders in the lineage of either the West or the East, but all miming in unison ‘ENLIGHTENMENT! YOU TOO CAN! COME AND SEE FOR YOURSELF’, like the Pied Piper of Hamelin taking the children further into the illusion.
Note: U.G. wasn’t perfect either, and the above in no way implies that he was correct in everything. He was just a man.