Before I go back to the period of Kenneth’s life after that significant year of 1991, let me touch upon the first book origins. People write books for many internal reasons, but always with a view of reaching a wider audience and potential sales. And that is OK if the subject matter deals with something real. But ‘enlightenment’?
The first draft was forty pages long and was considered unsuitable for publication, more of a revelation type writing put together in the incoherent manner. It is not surprising. My first writings reflect this sense of urgency, trying to capture everything that flashed in one’s mind at that moment of opening. There were many more drafts until it materialised into what we know as the first book.
Below is the first proposal for the possible promotion of ‘Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing’. It was published by Wisefool Press in 2001 through the website, a fact that demonstrates an initial inexperience of the publisher. Who places commercial proposals like that on a public website? There was already a talk about ‘follow-ups’ before the book came into being.
The Damnedest Thing
By Jed McKenna (Coming April 2002)
Spiritual Enlightenment will be published by Wisefool Press, April 2002. If you would like to be notified when it becomes available, email us here. It may also be made available in an electronic format.
This proposal provides general information about this project for anyone who might wish to learn more.
Mandatory reading for anyone following a spiritual path. Part exposé and part how-to manual, this is the first book to explain why failure seems to be the rule in the search for enlightenment—and how the rule can be broken.
Spiritual seekers are book buyers. The spectacular sales and enduring popularity of authors like James Redfield, Neale Donald Walsch, Richard Bach, Ram Dass, Carlos Castenada, the Dalai Lama, and Deepak Chopra amply demonstrate the eagerness of this market to embrace a new message of clarity and hope.
The title, Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing, is meant to make the book stand out by telling buyers, customers and reviewers that this is something other than the usual pastel, sweetness-and-light approach to spirituality. It is meant to be a provocative, amusing and curiosity-rousing title that will resonate with the reader’s own struggle with the concept of spiritual enlightenment.
The word “Damnedest” is sufficiently uncommon, especially on Spiritual and New Age shelves, that it will cause a double-take reaction, followed by deeper reflection on the significance of the title. This, in conjunction with the bold but simple cover design, will be highly effective in getting the book picked up off the shelf and in getting the attention of buyers and reviewers.
Approximately 55,000 words. Less seems like more in terms of successfully packaging a book that claims to slice through the Gordian Knot rather than further entangling it.
Spirituality. New Age. Metaphysical. Eastern Religion.
It would be very difficult to exaggerate the potential market for a well-packaged, strategically positioned book that brings the process of spiritual enlightenment out of the shadows and into focus.
There is no reason to believe it would not sell well indefinitely.
Foreign and translation rights clearly represent important potential for this book.
Ultimately, Spiritual Enlightenment is about the natural course of human evolution—the journey to self. There are certainly many people who have no interest in this subject, but this division cuts more often within borders than along them.
The author can write on this subject indefinitely. Here are three possibilities for follow-up titles:
Enlightenment or Bust:
101 Mission-Critical Questions Answered
The questions and experiences of readers can be solicited from the first book and through this internet site.
Healthy, Wealthy & Wise:
Ten Keys to Unlocking Your Higher Self
Fighting and Winning the One Great Battle
About the Author:
Jed McKenna achieved abiding non-dual awareness in 1991. He subscribes to no particular philosophy, faith or doctrine. As one of his students said of him, Jed is “pretty cool for an enlightened guy.”
That seems to pretty much cover it.
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I am very sure that if mass media and relative freedom for individual expression existed during Jesus’s times he would also have published a piece or two, instead of putting himself through the rigors of ministry, wandering around in the heat and dust of Judea among a crowd of eager disciples.
There is a certain parallel between the two men: that of mystery. One disappeared after his execution, another disappeared well before. Mystery keeps the story going, and has the biggest potential to grow bigger as time goes by, in the same way that of crazy Jesus had taken place. Which would be utterly devastating to the state of human rationality, which collapsed many a time in the history of mankind. And it would not happen while you and I are still alive. It would happen in the same way some of cinematic creations are a flop at the box office, but then unexpectedly grow to become underground and then mainstream classics. But here we are talking about the art of fiddling with human minds inherently embedded in any books on ‘enlightenment’. After all… look at the origins of all current major religions: they started in exactly the same way sans the publishing house.
Removing the mystery and its devastating potential of hooking more humans to more enlightenment stories is what it is all about, but I am very sure humans do not peep into the future.
Note: It states that the author can write on the subject indefinitely, while Jed stated that he said everything there was to say. It seems there was never really an intention on his part not to write again.