Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spiritual Enlightenment - a topic worth reading about

My Mind Trip

I read another book about Spiritual Enlightenment the other day. This one was written by Jed McKenna called "Spiritual Enlightenment - The Damnedest Thing." Actually, I listened to it since my eyesight is not so good just now. It came on 8 CDs and it took me a couple of days to listen to the whole thing. The message was pretty much the same as Eckhart Tolle's and Werner Erhart's, get off your ego (survival stuff) and start living anew, being alive. Of course, that's a lot easier to say than to do.

My ego is intertwined with my mind, my memories, my desires and most of the stuff that I sometimes think I am. These books help me realize I'm not any of that, but I keep getting caught in the trap of thinking too much, worrying too much and dwelling on the negativity of it all. Thankfully, those are just symptoms of the process of moving through my stuff. The more present I can be, the more I can let go of petty judgments and resentments I have been holding on to. My baggage, so to speak
It isn't easy for me. Now I know it's good for me, like exercise, but getting moving and really unloading the stuff is hard for me to do. Even though I want to and am in agreement with it, it still comes back in a variety of ways. I notice it when I get angry or disagreeable, anxious or apprehensive. To rid myself of this dreadful disease, I am going to have to stay present and be here now more often.

You would think memories would be useful. Unfortunately, you live in the past when thinking of memories. That's just as bad a wishful thinking, although I think many who try to 'stay positive' are just spinning their story and burying themselves deeper with future delights.

Anyway, back to the book. So this guy Jed McKenna, the author, who may or may not be a real person, goes along on a narrative answering questions his students ask him about Zen, Buddha, Religion, Spiritual Enlightenment and anything else they have questions about. He does all this from a nice house in Iowa in the midst of farms near Iowa City in the middle of no place particular. His observations are interesting and as you might imagine, his students struggle with the notion of letting go of their ego selves. It's so simple he says, "It's all about no self." He uses analogies quite a bit. 

He talks about a modern version of Plato's "fire in the cave" only equates it to a movie theater. He compares our life efforts to that of vampires and caterpillars morphing into butterflies. Interesting, no? He tells of a time when he went on a skydiving jump and almost everything went wrong, so stuff happens even to those who are spiritually enlightened.

I liked the book and it rekindled my interest in Eckhart Tolle so I bought his first book called "The Power of Now." More about this later
My son Kevin who is a hero in my eyes, just deployed to Afghanistan and will be gone for a 12-month tour of duty. We all miss him very much and pray every day for his safe return.