Interview with Jed McKenna


Jed McKenna is a modern spiritual teacher. He plays video games, he rides a mountain bike, he skydives, he reads Walt Whitman. He is an enlightened guy. So let's start from there....

What do you teach Mr. McKenna?

In the Kingdom of the Blind, one-eyed man is a hero. He is superior, powerful and at the same time a great fool. Simply, he is out of place, a stranger in a strange land. What should he do? Speak? Teach? Play wise? To whom? What can he say to the blind-since-birth? The blind know nothing of eyes. They know nothing of sight. Why say anything? Why speak at all? 

You've written books and you do have a message for us, the blind people. What is it?

It's not something you choose, it's what you get when you don't choose. We just marched ourselves into these damned idiotic, impossible lives without ever stopping to think about what we were doing. High school, college, post-grad and then straight into the workforce. Get married, have a kid, borrow money, buy a house, fill it with junk, have another kid, borrow more money, bigger house, more junk. It's completely insane, but that's how everyone I know lived. It is  like a disease. That's what it is. For the last seven years we've been struggling just to make the minimum payments on our debt. And this was all pretty normal.

I have seen that from my parents.

We became just like our parents because we didn't know who else to be. 

What about our hopes and spiritual practice?

Heaven, salvation, compassion, mindfulness, self-awareness, inner tranquility, peace on earth, good will toward men: these are all safe, no-muss, no-fuss spiritual objectives. They're undemanding, low-impact, lifestyle-friendly and easy on the pocketbook. None of these terms really means anything, so no one gets too caught up in success and failure.

So we are not on the right track...

Maybe anyone in a state of developing will undergo a natural reduction in their interests from many to few and even to one as they come into alignment, as they clear the debris and uncover their true calling.

We are not living. We are sleeping and dreaming our life?

What else does it mean to be asleep than to dispose of our own lives so thoughtlessly? 

Why isn't anyone going anywhere?

Why isn't anyone going anywhere? Because they've convinced themselves that they are going somewhere. Why? Because their spiritual masters and advisers tell them they are. Why are their spiritual masters and advisers telling them they're going somewhere? We pick our teachers. We get what we wish for. We want cozy, uninterrupted slumber and the dream of spiritual progress, and that's what we get. 

What is the reason we follow spirituality and do meditation and other stuff?

The reason we get bogged down in all the weird and exotic spiritual stuff is to avoid the up close and personal stuff. We search the most distant places and times because we don't want to deal with the here and now.

We eagerly subscribe to arcane, intelligence-insulting belief systems because they are, by their very design, conducive to the sleep state we wish to maintain. Religion and spirituality exist to serve our need for death denial. They serve as lullabies and drown out the ticking of the clock. 

We spend our lives and our life force running away from this monster we call death. This state of incessant denial takes all our time and energy. That's where our lives go, that's how we spend them. That's what it means to be asleep within the dream.

Thank you for this great insights. I hope to see you again Mr. McKenna.

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