OUTSIDE MAGDALENA, NM—I recently finished Jed McKenna’s Theory of Everything, which ironically came out around the time I was re-releasing A Simple Explanation for Everything (two very different books though).
As I read it, I found myself in the odd place of being both in agreement with some of his conclusions, while at the same time in disagreement with most of his logic.
But his reasoning for arriving at this conclusion is flawed by a simple assumption: If I don’t know something to be true, then it must be false. He doesn’t say that outright (I don’t think) but it is the assumption behind all his logical analysis. “I can only know that Consciousness exists (true), and I don’t known if anything else exists (true), therefore Consciousness is true and all else is not true (false).”
That’s like saying, since I don’t know that Pluto exists, therefore it doesn’t exist.
But as I said, I agree with his conclusion that all is Consciousness (but only from the Emptiness Level).
What I do not like about this focus on Emptiness is that it leads to nihilism which is just a short step from amorality which is just a short step from all the horrors that amorality can lead to (rape, mass-murder, etc.). To quote McKenna, “how laughing babies and child burn wards were no different to me.”
Where I try to focus on the integration of the Fullness with the Emptiness—the Paradox—McKenna says (as do many enlightenment teachers) that all these things we see and experience are an illusion, just dream-stuff of Consciousness. In other words, Emptiness is truth, all else is a persistent dream.
BS as far as I’m concerned.
Emptiness is All and Fullness is All. Unity is true and Separation is true. Both conflicting sides are equally true (ergo the Paradox).
Still, McKenna for all his rationality, exhibits the wonderful duplex personality. What I call Her, McKenna calls Perfect Intelligence, and it is almost like reading about myself when he says his life is almost magically guided by this Perfect Intelligence:
I perceive over lighting intelligence and I operate in alignment with it. I may not understand it, and I could be wrong, but for more than twenty years now this has been my sole mode of navigation, and it has been not just constant and unerring, but magical.
And you probably thought I was crazy because I’m always talking about listening and surrendering to Her.
Anyway, a useful read if you are into trying to prove to your silly mind that “Consciousness is All,” but it rubbed me a bit wrong on his flawed logic (even if I do (partially) agree with his conclusions).
If you do read it, and afterward you are convinced that “all this” is just a dream, then I ask you to do a simple experiment to prove it to yourself: Just slam a hammer down on your finger and—since it’s just a dream—shatter the dream hammer with your dream finger. Piece of cake in a dream. Do that and then maybe I’ll revise my opinion on this so-called illusion.
Though it can’t be grasped with the mind, Unity and Separation (Emptiness and Fullness) together are the Truth… two oddly conflicting yet equal truths.
Two wonderful truths—with the mystics of the ages swimming in between them.
PS: The photo is from back in 2009 when I had the sneaky suspicion that I was killing celebrities.
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