The chapters that follow – relate a story of how I came to unravel both Jed’s physical and legal identity and, as a result, dumped any notions of enlightenment.
The ‘dumping’ did not happen instantly. It was a slow process of discovering what Jed was, both from our communication and from what I saw in real life, little by little realising that all was not as it seemed. I often wondered how I ended up in Cambodia. In 2014 I was considering moving to another country from Sri Lanka where I had lived for 1.5 years. My job situation was looking increasingly unstable, and I knew it was time to look for other opportunities, but where?
At that point Jed and I had been exchanging emails for 2.5 years. In our correspondence at that time Jed encouraged my move to Cambodia. Someone once asked me why he would do that. I suppose it was a simple misunderstanding on his part. At the end of 2014 he was tantalising his forum audience with the upcoming Navigator Series and especially his proposed Cambodian ashram; all were excited, hot and sweaty with expectation. This was the first time when my b.s. detector went off, and we had sort of a falling out on the forum, although ‘made up’ within a day.
Soon after I received a job offer in Phnom Penh and wrote to him. I conveyed that I would like to be part of his ashram. I didn’t mean it as a ‘student’, but as someone who might help to set it up, asking him about the practical aspects of it. But perhaps Jed took it as an indication of me wanting to join the future ashram in the role of a student. I didn’t need that, had already been ‘cooked’ two years prior, and was stepping closer each day to seeing the enlightenment gig for what it is – nothing.
Jed is a bad judge of character. He completely missed the fact that I would place Reality and Presence above any written words, no matter how clever, no matter how enigmatic the person was, no matter any personal loss, no matter lack of ‘approval’ or ‘validation’. None of it mattered more than remaining true to Self. At that point I had nothing left to lose and no fear left in me.
The ticket money materialised, the flight was booked, a nice apartment became available in Phnom Penh before I even stepped my foot in the country. The move was natural and easy, in a serendipitous sort of way.
Perhaps, there was a reason that brought me to Cambodia. It was given to me in the same way the reason to write books was given to Jed, spun out of nowhere, becoming something of value, a thing of beauty. I said to him from the start I would never ‘teach’, and later on – that I would never write ‘enlightenment’ books, but only now I realise why it had been said.
Because both would be a further contribution to the lie.