Friday, January 17, 2014

Jed McKenna's Theory Of Everything VIII

Scott Bradley


I have yet to speak much to the content of McKenna's "enlightenment", an oxymoron if I ever heard one. But it is certainly legitimate and worthwhile to attempt to articulate what cannot be articulated as long as one remembers to also forget it. And McKenna's paradigm for "the enlightened perspective" allows for this compromise, as we shall see.

He has a great little analogy that introduces this perspective. Picture a blank, white piece of paper. Now put a tiny dot in its middle. Label the white "the Universe", and the dot "consciousness". This is the "Universe is king" (U-Rex) paradigm. My consciousness, your consciousness, is a tiny speck in the whole. Now simply reverse the labels. This is the "Consciousness is king" (C-Rex) paradigm. The Universe exists within Consciousness (of which, apparently, every consciousness is an expression). In the end, nothing actually exists except Consciousness. Experiencing this, awareness of this, is enlightenment.

I like it. Only unless one somehow accidently stumbles upon it, as some claim to have done, then it requires that one believe and pursue it before the fact; one must wholly commit oneself a priori to a 'truth' as an act of faith. One must depend upon a propositional truth. And this, to my thinking, is the essentially religious act, and utterly incommensurate with the ostensible purpose, a means in direct contradiction to the end.

The C-Rex paradigm is further understood as "Atmanic Consciousness"/"Brahmanic Consciousness". These are really One, though we don't know how or why. Atmanic Consciousness is the I AM, the individuated experience of participation in universal self-awareness. This is why we can write books about it; attempt to articulate the in articulable; 'exist' though we do not. The Brahmanic Consciousness admits to no distinctions whatsoever, is the Ultimate Truth (though when asked is non-committal).

This is all standard stuff in the higher reaches of Brahmanism, I think. (I admit to never being able to sustain any in-depth study of it.) The best part of this and similar philosophies is that (yawn) they tell us that everything's okay. Truth has no hell. No salvation is required. Nothing need be done. Somehow the requirement of becoming a wild-eyed forest yogi seems less necessary. Maya will resolve to nirvana; what’s to sweat? (Buddhism and Hinduism seem to think there's still lots of work to be done, however. In the case of the former, all will not be well until "all beings" are saved. And Hinduism has its need for a near endless program of self-improvement which helps facilitate the perpetuation of the feudalism of a caste society. No good idea will last for long, it would seem, and quickly becomes oppressive, which is why even McKenna's program of self-diminution can so easily become a tool to other-diminution. Truth is a terrible thing in the hands of the un-truth-realized.)

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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