Over on Tom Stine’s blog he recently suggested reading 3 books by an author named Jed McKenna. He described them as a clear description of the in’s and out’s of awakening. He observes though that Jed is clearly a pen name.
In a followup post, Tom made a number of further observations and mentioned a further post to come. I’ve not read the books – this is simply my thoughts on Tom’s most recent post.
Most notably, he suggested that Jed may be a pseudonym for Adyashanti. I thought that curious given Adya’s remarks about writing a book then not publishing as it was too much in the head. But it would be possible that such book was published in a separate role to keep the teachings separate. Tom observed 15 times where the same unique examples were used by both. Of course it could be that one’s read/heard the other or simple coincidence. But it is curious to consider. Especially as I’ve written a book along these lines. (laughs) Using a pen name is not unusual for such a book if the author has another role that is not compatible in some way, such as a professional standing. Heck, I use a nickname here myself.
Tom observes that the awakening process can be a mess. It’s not always polite and tidy. And sometimes we need a kick in the pants. More than one teacher has suggested that part of the reason for pain is to push us to look, to let go of what doesn’t work.
Tom also makes the observation that it’s quite common for things to fall apart for a time after awakening. Reality has, after all, changed completely. How do we function if all our motivators have fallen away? If what we saw as out role and purpose ceases? This is not to say it’s necessarily a bad thing, just an adjustment. Often, it is simply that nothing is seen as needing to be done. And life is bliss anyway. (laughs)
As for the heart criticism, I’ve spoken about the process of awakening quite a bit here. First awakening can be an emotional experience, but the actual process has little to do with the heart. The hearts role comes after with refinement of perception into God Realization. Jed’s books would thus be focused on getting awake. Lorne once commented that compassion can be a barrier to awakening, but it’s usually our concepts of it that are the last resistance.
That said, any suggestion that we would never awaken through the heart would be a mistake. Everything is possible. It’s the whole point of why there are unique expressions. But it’s true it would have little to do with “that squishy, gooey, New Age stuff.” And Tom is right – what is the success rate of most teachings in actual awakening? We have to temper that with time – it is becoming much easier to awaken than it was even a few years ago. No trips to an ashram are necessary (necessarily). (laughs) But who is getting results helping it happen now? Adyashanti is, Isha, Lorne. Lorne & Lucia is as yet smaller but I’m still amazed at the %’s. The number would not be believable unless I’d been there.
And Tom is right. People hear things and mind wants to make concepts. That’s what it does. As long as we are identified with mind/ego, it will continue to do so and we will continue to believe our concepts. But they have nothing to do with what is. That’s why we have to let it all go. All.
As for Sailor Bob’s statement that ”The only difference between an awakened one and one who hasn’t awakened is that the awakened one knows that there IS NO DIFFERENCE!”, I would agree. But it’s easy to take that incorrectly. I would say ‘an awakened one knows who they are and one who hasn’t yet awakened thinks they knows who they are.’ (laughs) The thinking is what causes the separation.
And Tom is also right about figuring our what ‘level’ a teacher has reached. There is no way to know, really. Only how they resonate for you. Although a strong reaction can also point to where some work is needed (laughs). Even for the person having the experience, the concept of levels and states becomes increasingly meaningless. It’s not an either/or thing but rather a process or journey. A good teacher will simply confirm an experience and suggest you not try to figure it all out. That’s just another concept to put it in a box and limit it.
“…it’s all about surrender in the end. True surrender. What you are surrenders its illusions to the Truth. Just let it all go!” Exactly.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tom.