"Lord I believe! Help Thou my unbelief!" — some guy in the Bible
“Thou almost convinceth me to be a Christian.” — some other guy in the Bible
"No amount of skepticism could ever be too extreme." — Jed McKenna
I have finished this book and repent of my unbelief; yet still I can't bring myself to believe. Truly McKenna seems to have gone somewhere quite remarkable and wonderful (though he calls 'enlightenment' a "booby prize"), and I would gladly go there myself were not the price of admission so high and the gate-keeper so fickle. I am, no doubt, my own gate-keeper, but there is also the empirical fact of one's bio-chemical and contextual destiny. For this reason, Zhuangzi's unenlightened 'Confucius' is described as "punished by Heaven" and is made to say that he is fated to live "within the lines" however much he would prefer the freedom of the alternative. To say this is available to all is pure religious idealism — there is absolutely nothing apart from fabricated, feel-good, speculative metaphysics that gives proof to this sentiment. The Bodhisattva's are spiritual wankers. (How am I doing, Jed?)
This being the case, we might want to consider a path to freedom that allows things to be as they actually appear to be, one that allows us to be free in our bondage and delusions; one in which there are no conditions to meet and no one different to become.
McKenna concludes with "Ten Suggestions", all but one of which (within my paradigm) are constructive means to the deconstruction that is self-cultivation. My responses are in parentheses.
- THINK (Just know where to stop, and what to do when you do.)
- BELIEVE NOTHING (Not even "Consciousness is All".)
- DOUBT EVERYTHING (And never stop.)
- FLY TO FEAR (To, not from. Fear reveals our delusions. Fear of loss of self, life, meaning.)
- GET REAL (Occupy yourself. Know and affirm yourself. Be authentically delusional.)
- HATE THY EGO (Only ego hates ego. War brings no peace. Ego is an evolutionary development, not a fall from grace; it is natural, which doesn’t mean we can’t further evolve.)
- LOVE THY DEATH (Yes, as much as you love thy life.)
- KILL ALL BUDDHAS (Starting with Jed.)
- BURN IT ALL (Follow only those paradigms that are ever-self-negating, which Jed's isn't.)
- FURTHER (Let the process be an end in itself; let “Done” take care of itself.)
You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.