Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jed McKenna's Theory Of Everything VI

Scott Bradley


Frequently and emphatically McKenna exhorts us not to quibble overmuch with his words since words are incapable of expressing without contradiction what he wishes to say. I sympathize completely (though I have no similar experience that requires expressing). And yet, it seems as if I have done nothing but quibble throughout this series. I would hope that McKenna could likewise sympathize with me, since he so eloquently proclaims how every perspective (with the exception of his own) is bullshit. In other words, following his example requires a considerable amount of quibbling. Nevertheless, I think a lot of that quibbling now lies behind me and I can (almost) begin to address the meat of his way (which he would likely say is not 'his way', but the Truth, and thus 'the only way'.)

In a previous post I said that McKenna's claims require as much faith as any other religious or spiritual claim. He emphatically disagrees. In any case, he considers his experience and its expression as neither 'religious' nor 'spiritual', something that I can fully accept and appreciate as descriptive of his experience (to the extent that it does not rely on reasoned proofs). The problem is that his experience is not our experience; we have not made the journey across the river and thus his truth-assertions necessarily require of us some degree of belief. We must believe that such an experience is possible, that he has experienced it and is thus the proof of it, that it is available to us all, and that its pursuit is worth the effort. I am more than willing to affirm the possibility of the first two, but have serious doubts about the second two.

The first two require no commitment; a belief in the second two calls upon us to make one. It is a common theme that we can all be 'enlightened'. This is sometimes described as our birth-right or our true purpose. This, to my thinking, is thoroughly religious bullshit, but no matter. Rather, I would simply point out that the evidence indicates otherwise; of seven billion people, only a handful claim to have experienced it. But the others just don't want it badly enough, is the usual rejoinder. Exactly, I reply; and this is because they are incapable of wanting it badly enough, and thus it is not available to them. To say that it is, is pure idealistic bullshit. It is not as things actually stand. (I would also suggest that rather than not wanting it badly enough, which implies the experience is somehow merited, it is more likely that what we billions lack is the ‘abnormal’ brain chemistry that facilitates this experience.)

Given that it is actually available to so few, and requires a great deal of self-flagellation whether realized or not, I for my part choose to remain in my "bovine stupor". Thanks for the invite, in any case. I will make the most of life on this side of the river, dream my dream of choice, and entrust myself to the rightness of what is. All is well. In this, I think we can agree.

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

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