Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Author, Teacher and Spiritual Master Jed McKenna tells it like it's never been told before. A true American original, Jed succeeds where countless others have failed by reducing this highest of attainments — Spiritual Enlightenment — to the simplest of terms.

Effectively demystifying the mystical, Jed astonishes the reader not by adding to the world's collected spiritual wisdom, but by taking the spirituality out of spiritual enlightenment. Never before has this elusive topic been treated in so engaging and accessible a manner.

A masterpiece of illuminative writing, Spiritual Enlightenment is 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.

Says Jed:
The truth is that enlightenment is neither remote nor unattainable.
It is closer than your skin and more immediate than your next breath.
If we wonder why so few seem able to find that which can never be lost,
we might recall the child who was looking in the light for a coin he dropped
in the dark because "the light is better over here".

Mankind has spent ages looking in the light for a coin that awaits us not in light and not in dark, but beyond all opposites. That is the message of this book: Spiritual enlightenment, pure and simple.

Absolutely marvelous, splendid, perfect book! May it destroy the ignorance of seeking and plunge the world into real finding, which is now! – Shri Acharya

I have given many copies of Damnedest to friends. This book changed my life. – N. Prescott

It takes a true master to take a topic that has been studied since humans could communicate and describe it in simplicity.– Heather Froeschl BookReview.com

Finally, some sense in the world of Spirituality. Jed McKenna tells it straight. He separates the hype and confusion about enlightenment and tells it like it is. He answers questions and maps out the journey. His logic and plain talk releases one from the shackles of organized religion and fuzzy-wuzzy gurus. He makes the path so clear it make me uncomfortable at times. I am unaccumstomed to such honesty in this arena with no hidden agenda. It's even fun to read with laughs mixed in with the ah-ha's. It's hard to put down. What a relief!. – C. Harris

Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing by author, teacher, and spiritual master Jed McKenna presents the quest for enlightenment in plain, simple, accessible, understandable terms. Brief, almost vignette-style, chapters explore the deeper meaning behind common conundrums of life, as well as the search for meaning and understanding in a complex world. Filled with a deep appreciation for life, thought, and love, and ideal for truth-seeking readers of all education levels and backgrounds,Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing is very highly recommended. – Midwest Book Review

A good teacher gently nudges us towards the right questions and then encourages us to find our own answers. And that's exactly what Jed McKenna does inSpiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing. An engaging, witty, and insightful read that will, no doubt, leave many wondering if they haven't been wasting a lot of precious time. A welcome diversion from the more usual, well-worn paths! – Debbie Ann Brett One Spirit Project

Jed McKenna’s book is a light-hearted and extremely readable jaunt into a serious subject that is filled with wit and wisdom and gentle guidance. That he makes it all seem so painless is a welcome treat. His humor is extremely welcome – and unexpected. Anyone searching for a ‘higher order’ of living would do well to read this book and put everything, including the search for ‘spiritual enlightenment’ in its proper perspective. – Denise M. Clark Denise’s Pieces Book Reviews

Clearly a modern masterpiece that may be the only spiritual book you will ever need. If you are a truth seeker, buy this book. – D. Shamanik

Do books have the capacity to enlighten? Jed McKenna would be the first to deny that assumption. And yet he has written a book that has all the potential to make you believe on the contrary. – Martin Frischknecht, Editor-in-chief SPUREN Magazine, Switzerland

In spite of his laid-back, nice-guy demeanor, McKenna is uncompromising. He will challenge the assumptions of some readers, and he will raise the ire of others, but he will not be easily dismissed. He has written an important book, one of the best I've read about enlightenment. Through wisdom and beauty, as well as candor and humor, it embodies the enlightened teacher and his message. It will set many on the path to awakening. – Dennis L. Trunk, 3rd Millenium Gateway

Jed's straightforward approach takes the mysticism out of Enlightenment and puts it in the hands of everyday western seekers. Written like "a week in the life" of an Enlightened Master, the book doesn't so much teach as it gives you the ground work to search out the answers for yourself. It helps tear away the false illusions of your life and points you in the direction of finding the truth. Mr. McKenna's writing style conveys a wonderful sense of humor, is excellent at building anticipation, delivers with impact, and exhibits his calm compassion for the individuals that have found their way to his "Accidental Ashram" in Iowa. – Alan Stiles, Waking Souls Spiritual Resource Center

Author Jed McKenna may be one of the few truly enlightened individuals on this planet. This delightful, potent and evocative book will take you from believing, to doubt and disillusionment, and back to belief again in a most unexpected way. Millions and millions of dollars have been made selling spiritual enlightenment. Do yourself a favor, make your final purchase of enlightened material and buy this book. It may be the last money you will spend in your pursuit. Bravo Jed McKenna, at last the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us God! "Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing" is an excellent wake-up call. – Shirley Roe Allbook Reviews

I gave this book 5 Stars because it breaks so much new ground and smashes so many illusions. – Amazon.com Reviewer

There are no words to describe how awesome this book is! – Amazon.com Reviewer

Spiritual Enlightenment

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Enlightenment in a secular context often means the "full comprehension of a situation", but in spiritual terms the word alludes to a spiritual revelation or deep insight into the meaning and purpose of all things, communication with or understanding of the mind of God, profound spiritual understanding or a fundamentally changed consciousness whereby everything is perceived as a unity.

Some scientists believe that during meditative states leading up to the subjective experience of enlightenment there are actual physical changes in the brain.

Enlightenment is used to translate the Pāli and Sanskrit word bodhi, meaning freedom from suffering, desire and ignorance (saṃsāra). Bodhi is also translated as "awakening" or "understanding". Nirvana and bodhi are nearly synonymous, and in experience may be the same. Tathāgata and Buddha-nature are related terms.

In Theravada Buddhism, enlightenment indicates a unique experience which wholly transforms the enlightened individual from their previous condition in samsara. The Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment, which may also be termed "Buddhahood".

In the Zen Buddhist tradition, anyone is capable of achieving enlightenment. In Japanese, kensho is the name for an enlightenment in which one realizes the non-duality of the observer and the observed, while satori is a flash of sudden understanding or awareness. These are experiences along the path to full enlightenment.

Mahayana Buddhists maintain that enlightenment has been "attained when all limitations have been removed from the mind and one's positive potential has been completely and perfectly realized. It is a state characterized by infinite compassion, wisdom and skill." It is a state where the ego and self have been transcended.

The Heart Sutra says that in truth there is no suffering and no enlightenment and this is also seen in the Diamond Sutra. Paradoxically, this truth is itself part of the enlightenment experience.

It has been claimed that Enlightenment cannot be described in language, expression or communication of any form.

In Jainism highest form of pure knowledge a soul can attain is called Kevala Jnana ( Sanskrit : केवलज्ञान )or Kevala Ṇāṇa (Prakrit : केवल णाण). which means “absolute or perfect” and Jñāna, which means "knowledge". Kevala is the state of isolation of the jīva from the ajīva attained through ascetic practices which burn off one's karmic residues, releasing one from bondage to the cycle of death and rebirth. Kevala Jñāna thus means infinite knowledge of self and non-self, attained by a soul after annihilation of the all ghātiyā karmas. The soul who has reached this stage achieves moksa or liberation at the end of his life span.
Mahavira is said to have practised rigorous austerities for 12 years before he attained enlightenment:

"During the thirteenth year, in the second month of summer, in the fourth fortnight, the light (fortnight) of Vaisakha, on its tenth day, when the shadow had turned towards the east and the first wake was over, on the day called Suvrata, in the Muhurta called Vigaya, outside of the town Grimbhikagrama on the bank of the river Rjupalika, not far from an old temple, in the field of the householder Samaga, under a Sal tree, when the moon was in conjunction with the asterism Uttara Phalguni, (the Venerable One) in a squatting position with joined heels, exposing himself to the heat of the sun, after fasting two and a half days without drinking water, being engaged in deep meditation, reached the highest knowledge and intuition, called Kevala, which is infinite, supreme, unobstructed, unimpeded, complete, and full. Kevala Jñāna is one of the five major events in life of a Tirthankara and is known as Jñāna Kalyanaka and celebrated by all gods. Mahavira’s Kaivalya was celebrated by the demi-gods, who constructed the Samosarana or a grand preaching assembly for him.

Hinduism also uses similar ideas, moksha being a representation of freedom from desire and other worldly passions. For Hindus, as for Buddhists and Jains, enlightenment ends the cycle of reincarnation. Souls are held to enter many different bodies through the course of their existence. In each of the lives they lead, they develop spiritually. The ultimate goal of this spiritual development is the liberation from the system of earthly suffering. The concept of spiritual enlightenment in Buddhism and Hinduism is related to, but distinct from, ideas such as salvation and transcendence associated with Christianity.

According to Mandukya Upanishad, "enlightenment is a state of freedom from the ignorance that causes suffering. There is no necessity to attain mere belief in God, but it is necessary to have profound knowledge of the truth which lies behind the concept of the word God. The idea is not to know God as a different being but to know one's own real self and its essential nature, which is the self of all. The preachings of religion make a person dependent on priests,temples, idols, blind faith and dogma and dependence on these is a habit of the lower mind. Such crutches may be useful at a certain stage for some people, but they do not lead one to ultimate truth. A dependent mind is not free, and without freedom, enlightenment is impossible. Religious dogmas are full of beliefs and myths that do not satisfy the human intellect and that bind believers to a narrow view of life and human potential. Such preachings instill more fear than love in the hearts of masses" reference: enlightenmnet without god.

According to Chafer, a systematic theologian, Christians who have experienced enlightenment are of two groups, those who have experienced true illuminism (biblical) and those who experienced false illuminism (not from the Holy Spirit).

New Age
One who, through direct communication with God, received a mystical understanding of God is considered to have been enlightened. Judaism and Islam have sects that focus on the attainment of enlightenment, Kabbalah and Sufism, respectively. In the Fourth Way teaching, enlightenment is the highest state of Man (humanity).

In New Age, enlightenment is obtained by direct infusion from the Sacred Rays. The Sacred Rays are continuous streams of energy, consciousness, love and data from the Godhead that are color coded into 12 different frequencies. This energy is above gamma rays and not observable by current science. Nevertheless, these Rays can supposedly be caught by the higher self's five different chakras, and then absorbed into the meditator's more physical bodies, and retained within the 7 lower chakras, or the seven churches of John's Revelation. There are 12 human chakras in this system, total.

There are also 12 petals on the heart chakra in this system. Specifically, these 12 petals are also designed to catch and hold the 12 sacred energies of enlightenment. The theory goes that as the energy from the 12 Sacred Rays accumulates in the chakras and petals, the higher-self will eventually become activated.

This, in turn, allows the enlightened individual to displace and transcend the selfish ego and quickly develop supernatural abilities, including the fruits and the gifts of the Spirit, perfect peace, the realization of the unity of all things, raise kundalini, and develop the siddhas of Hinduism.

In this method, enlightenment is not accomplished by intellectual insight, dogmatic beliefs, or physical works. It is more a product of dedicated meditation, surrender to Spirit and absorption of God's grace, as contained in the Sacred Rays. This long process ultimately transforms "the old man" into "the new man". It is also considered to be the "New Birth" by New Age Christians.