Jed McKenna is one of the most straightforward and authentic spiritual teachers, ever. Jed tells it like it is: the reality of Living Unbound, and the way to Living Unbound. Jed McKenna is a pen-name, but whoever writes as Jed McKenna articulates Living Unbound in reality with an authenticity and a clarity rarely found anywhere.
Here is some of the very direct and very real wisdom of Jed McKenna:
Suffering just means you’re having a bad dream. Happiness means you’re having a good dream. Enlightenment means getting out of the dream altogether.
Enlightenment isn’t when you go there; it’s when there comes here.
It’s ego – the false self – that exalts the guru and declares the teaching sacred, but nothing is exalted or sacred, only true or not true.
Enlightenment is the unprogrammed state.
I don’t have something you don’t; you believe something I don’t.
The point is to wake up, not to earn a Ph.D. In waking up.
The bottom line remains the same: you’re either awake or you’re not.One day, there it is. Nothing. No more enemies, no more battles.
There’s nothing left to contend against and nothing left that must be done, and there will never be anything that must be done ever again.
The you that you think of as you (and that thinks of you as you, and so on) is not you, it’s just the character that the underlying truth of you is dreaming into existence. Enlightenment isn’t in the character, it’s in the underlying truth.
Wake up first. Wake up, and then you can double back and perhaps be of some use to others if you still have the urge. Wake up first, with pure and unapologetic selfishness, or you’re just another shipwreck victim floundering in the ocean and all the compassion in the world is of absolutely no use to the other victims floundering around you.
The universe isn’t vague and ignorant. I am vague and ignorant. Something is true, and it doesn’t matter what it is, I’m not going to be false any more. I have not even the slightest trace of the slightest reservation that I would rather suffer and die figuring out what is true than continue this life as a slave to lies and ignorance.
-On the attitude needed for enlightenment
I don’t see it as my role to save or rescue anybody any more than regular people feel the need to rescue each other from sleeping and dreaming.
That’s how it is in dreams: thoughts become things practically before they’re thought.
You can’t manage to avoid your own true nature forever. It’s a wonder anybody manages it at all.
Who you are has little or nothing to do with you.
There is no true self. Truth and self are mutually exclusive.
This is about unknowing. All this so-called knowledge is exactly what stands between seeker and sought.
The teachers we need will always be there when we need them; no reason to track down somebody else’s.
The ‘I” casts off the illusion of ‘I’ and yet remains as ‘I’. Such is the paradox of self-realization. The realized do not see any contradiction in it.
Before enlightenment, I believed my ego was me. Then enlightenment comes along and no more ego, only the underlying reality. Now it’s after enlightenment, and this ego might be slightly uncomfortable or ill-fitting at times, but it’s all I’ve got.
The idea that your ego is destroyed in the process of enlightenment is roughly correct, but it’s not complete. Before enlightenment, you’re a human being in the world, just like everyone you see. During enlightenment, you realize that the human being that you thought you were is just a character in a play, and that the world you thought you were in is just a stage, so you go through a process of radical deconstruction of your character to see what’s left when it’s gone. The result isn’t enlightened-self or true-self, it’s no-self. When it’s all over it’s time to be a human being in the world again, and that means slipping back into costume and getting back onstage.
Miracles are nature unimpeded, which is a good way of saying that if you take your hand off the tiller, the boat will steer itself and do a vastly better job of it than you ever could.
Relax into the moment and let the universe do the driving. If there was a secret to happiness in life, I’d say that was it.
Trust you develop a little at a time as you learn to relinquish the illusion of control.
They have abandoned the illusion of control. It doesn’t matter why you do it, just that you do. This is the point of distinction and the root teaching of all major religions.
~On the power of spiritual devotion
Fear and ego – in other words, ignorance – are keeping your hand on the tiller. Release the tiller for whatever reason, and the steering takes care of itself.
Everyone’s grooving on the gurus, and everyone’s getting more and more spiritual, but nobody’s waking up.
Go jump off a cliff. Don’t go near the cliff and contemplate jumping off. Don’t read a book about jumping off. Don’t study the art and science of jumping off. Don’t join a support group for jumping off. Don’t write poems about jumping off. Don’t kiss the ass of someone else who jumped off. Just jump.
The difference between us isn’t that I’m enlightened and you’re not. The difference between us is that I know it, and you don’t.
The truth is identical for both of us. I haven’t achieved a better status than you.
There’s no such thing as instant enlightenment any more than there’s such a thing as an instant baby.
Simply put, I don’t think. I don’t make choices or decisions. I don’t weigh possibilities and select one over others. Instead, I observe patterns and move with them.
I used to try to be smart and now I don’t and everything works a whole lot better. Stopping being smart was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.
This is it. Not some other time, not some other place. Right here. Right now. I am standing at the exact center of infinity and I see beauty and perfection and absolute delight everywhere and in every thing. The touch of the slightest breeze, the sight of a single star through cloud-swept skies, the howls of coyote pups in the distance and the sheer glory and beauty of it all is enough to tear me to shreds and all I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you
Truth isn’t an idea or a concept. It’s not in libraries or the words of sages. It doesn’t come in a flash of insight or a peak experience. It’s not a feeling of bliss or ecstasy. It’s not a concept to be understood or a feeling to be experienced. It’s not in your heart or your mind. It’s further.
Spiritual awakening is about discovering what’s true. Anything that’s not about getting to the truth must be discarded. Truth isn’t about knowing things; you already know too much. It’s about unknowing. It’s not about becoming true; it’s about unbecoming false so that all that’s left is truth.
No belief is true. No. Belief. Is. True.
One millionth of one percent false is completely false. Everything in duality is false. False as in not true. Not true as in bullshit.
This isn’t a song we’re singing or a mountain we’re climbing; it’s a dream we’re unweaving.
Living Unbound Jed McKenna Videos Playlist - 11 Videos, Total
Abhinavagupta (950-1020, Kashmir, India) was one of the most powerfully insightful, deeply profound and logically-clear philosophers of the reality of Living Unbound that the world has ever known. However, he is not at all widely known outside of the circles that his work has touched directly, namely the non-dual Shaivism of Kashmir and certain Indian disciplines of poetics and aesthetics.
Here are some quotes from Abhinavagupta on the simple reality of Living Unbound that is the true nature of everyone, the ground of being of pure, liberated awareness underlying "accumulated multiplicity" as Abhinavagupta terms it.
This bliss is not like the intoxication of wine or that of riches, nor similar to union with the beloved. The manifestation of the light of consciousness is not like the ray of light from a lamp, sun or moon. When one frees oneself from accumulated multiplicity, the state of bliss is like that of putting down a burden; the manifestation of the Light is like the acquiring of a lost treasure, the domain of universal non-duality.
Nothing perceived is independent of perception and perception differs not from the perceiver, therefore the universe is nothing but the perceiver.
Philosophy is an elaboration of different kinds of experiences. The abstractions of high-grade metaphysics are based on spiritual experience and derive their whole value from the experiences they symbolize.
Relative distinction between two realities is not impossible. This is the doctrine of Supreme Unity in which in which relative distinction is neither shunned nor accepted. While there is an external difference between phenomena, there is none inwardly.
The existence or non-existence of phenomena within the domain of the empirical cannot be established unless they rest within consciousness. In fact, phenomena which rest within consciousness are apparent. And the fact of their appearing is itself their oneness with consciousness because consciousness is nothing but the fact of appearing.
The group of subjects, the various means of knowledge, the multiple kinds of knowledge and the objects of knowledge – all this is consciousness alone. The Supreme Goddess is the absolute freedom of consciousness which assumes all these forms.
Both characteristics, unity and diversity, are found in that which does not fall to the level of an object but which, because it is consciousness, is the supremely real Light. It has only one characteristic, namely, consciousness which is the perfect medium of reflection. This is what experience tells us.
The truth is therefore this: the Supreme Lord manifests freely all the varied play of emissions and absorptions in the sky of his own nature.
The Light is the supreme reality that encompasses all the categories from Earth to Paramasiva, while the unfolding of the reflective awareness of the Heart of I consciousness within it, distinguishes between them.
Absolute consciousness is manifest here in every circumstance of daily life because it is everywhere full and perfect. Consciousness is said to be the cause of all things because it is everywhere emergent as each manifest entity.
The extremely pure conscious reality transcends all talk of succession and its absence.
Immersing himself in the supreme reality, clearly aware that consciousness is all things, the yogi’s consciousness vibrates. This vibration is the Great Pervasion.
The yogi should abide firmly fixed in his own nature by the power of the exertion of his expanding consciousness. Thus he is established on the plane of Bliss relishing the objects of sense that spontaneously appear before him. Perfected yogis (siddha) , are ever steadfast in this, the Supreme Gesture (mudra), the perfect and unobstructed expansion of the awakened.
The couple (yamala) is consciousness itself; the unifying emission and the stable abode. It is the absolute, the noble cosmic bliss consisting of both (Siva and Sakti). It is the supreme secret of Kula (the ultimate reality); neither quiescent or emergent, it is the flowing fount of both quiescence and emergence.
The variety of this world can only be manifested if the Highest Lord, Who is essentially the pure light of consciousness, exists; just as a surface is necessary for a picture.
Other achievements are in vain if one has missed the supreme reality, the Self. But once one has attained this reality there is nothing left that one could desire.
For more on Kashmir Shaivism, please see the Living Unbound Kashmir Shaivism Resource Page.
To Love Me Is To Know Me
I’m so unseen
Until my form is thought
To fill a need or two
To quench a thirst
To serve you now
Exactly as instructed
To please somehow
Until I am
Forgotten fresh again
Until your thirst reminds
For then I’m so important
And so I serve as I am told
A diamond used to stop a door
You’ve never even seen me
Yet pouring still is what I do
For loving is what fills this form
If I am used then I comply
As often as desired
But please just ask with open heart
And I will take you home to give
The source of all you yearn for
Yes you can have me
All of me
There’s just the matter
Of my name
How you address me
How you speak
I’m not the one
You think you know
For when you speak my name I laugh
Because you have it oh so wrong
Announcing me as property
As one who must obey
My game with you
Until you see
Until you feel
Until you know
All I am for you now
Just speak my name
By loving me
To let me give you everything
~ Doug Sandlin
It’s a very common name, the world over; one that each of us has been all too familiar with, at one time or another -- and yet, it is always in error.
The mis-used name?
"It's a lie to think that you're not good enough! It's a lie to to think that you're not worth anything!"
How can a guy like Nick enjoy happily Living Unbound?
Because Living Unbound is the natural state of all life, including the liberated awareness that we each and all every actually are, now.
Anything else is literally a bad dream.
Living Unbound is Freedom Beyond Imagination in Reality.”Read
"Divine Love Reigning" ~ Shweta Mitra, May 2010.
Nothing is said about it
As it slowly grows
In the sun of respect
Kindness and utter ease
And the fact
That it is unspoken
Allows it to continuously be
Days and weeks
Months and years
Served as womb-like shelter
For the seed of this lily presence
Nothing can prepare one for this
For an innocence
Is playfully un-capturing our hearts
We are unprotected and free
Soft and open
As only strong hearts can be
Ours is a space
And a common dance
A slow and tender tango
Where the parting
Is the strongest embrace
No longing exists in this infinite space
Since our love for each other
Is each other’s love
We exude what we already are
Here one plus one is one
And the fragrance
Is a soul’s sole satiety
~Katrine Kristiansen April 4th 2010
Katrine and I independently worked on these pieces. I was looking for a poem to go with my painting, and she was looking for a painting to go with her poem. We were pleasantly surprised when we did share our creations and saw how beautifully they fit together. Thank you Katrine for letting me share this with our visitors at Living Unbound.