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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McKenna's even better the second time!
If you decide to read "Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment", it's best to read the first book first. SIE is in some ways very much like a "sequel" with tons of references to "Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing." SIE will be much more useful if have the information in the first book first.

To start, there's a letter from a very annoyed but obviously...
Published on March 18, 2005 by NewMoonDaughter

versus
25 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 2 Stars only because its a bit entertaining
I've read Jed's first book and I've just read this book, "Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment" (catchy title, huh? Manages to brand other spiritual books as politically correct, while promising the real inside scoop.) Not that I believe there is a Jed - has anyone met him?
Jed can be an entertaining read - but seems to describe a dissociated self, not an...
Published on April 16, 2004


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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McKenna's even better the second time!, March 18, 2005
This review is from: Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (Paperback)
If you decide to read "Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment", it's best to read the first book first. SIE is in some ways very much like a "sequel" with tons of references to "Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing." SIE will be much more useful if have the information in the first book first.

To start, there's a letter from a very annoyed but obviously sincere reader of the first book. She gives a blunt and informative explanation of why some will find McKenna's books completely inappropriate, useless, and even infuriating. In the first sentence of her letter she said, "I'm so mad, I could chew nails." And then the rest of her letter continued with the same intensity. She ended her last paragraph with "Put that in the front of your next book so people like me won't waste their time." And that's exactly what McKenna did. Her letter is right up front and replaces the glowing praise that so many found objectionable in the first book.

But there are many of us who feel differently than that angry reader. I actually loved SIE many times more than SE:TDT. In SIE McKenna continues to be unconventional, holding up as an example his own spiritually incorrect perspective and conclusions. And true to form, he continues breaking all the standardized spiritual "rules." In SIE McKenna takes us on a journey where he interweaves the inherent spirituality of "Moby-Dick," Julie's wrenching Spiritual Autolysis, some relevant UG Krishnamurti quotes, and some other relevant anecdotal events. He very skillfully combines all those components in order to express how a spiritually incorrect traveler might perceive and process his/her circumstances in a way that will lead to enlightenment. And while finding spirituality in "Moby-Dick" seems at first questionable, as McKenna went along, all the undeniable clues fell very solidly into place, with the last riveting/tantalizing conclusion withheld until the near the end.

McKenna's not trying to paint a pretty picture of the trek towards enlightenment, and an account of Julie's Spiritual Autolysis gives us a peek into how distressing the process can be. On display are many of Julie's tortured moments as she bravely but painfully ripped away her self-deception. And while there has been much speculation about whether McKenna's writing is fictional, in Julie's process I found truth ringing loud and clear because I've been in those same trenches and know that same kind of raw madness. IOW even if it's fictional, it's still based on what's REAL.

McKenna also is exceptionally keen at pointing out how skillful we are at self-deception. In his typical "take no prisoners" style, he says this:

(pp59-60) "Who wants what? Why? Who's sincere? Who's just accessorizing? Who's waking up as a way to go more deeply asleep? Duality is a tangled forest in which many self-styled freedom-seekers wield the machete of discrimination with all the effect of a butter knife. Not knowing where, if anywhere, they want to go, they're happy enough where they are. Fearing the genuine, they embrace the counterfeit; opting for words and adornment over authentic change, fueling delusions of spiritual progress with empty practices and useless knowledge, turning in place to create a sense of motion. Most significantly they inflict no damage on ego, using spirituality to reinforce rather than to dismantle self-image."

One recurring piece of advice McKenna gives is to find out for YOURSELF. He's not asking you to trust him or believe him. He's telling you over and again to walk your own journey, formulate your own questions, take an honest look for yourself. Burst through your own deceptive mask so you don't ever have to look again to someone else for what is true. Your spiritual quest/questions aren't for anybody else's sake. You are the only one who has the questions and thus the answers. And finally, when you do get "there", you will have completely annihilated the "you" that you always thought you were. It's not a journey for the faint-hearted. When McKenna was asked why he took the journey, he said, "For the only possible reason why anyone would ever do it. Because I absolutely, positively couldn't NOT do it." Some of us already know we have no choice, and McKenna offers a few words of warning. If you're relatively comfortable with your life, you may want to consider this while pondering whether you want to read his books:

(p164) "...[T]his might be a good time to stop and ask yourself what you want, and what you're willing to give for it. Not all fires are started by conscious intent according to convenient schedules. Sometimes they just flare up where you didn't even know it was getting warm, and then you learn two things fast; fire doesn't negotiate and nothing doesn't burn. What do you really want? If you've got the kids and the house and the cars and the career or any sort of life you're fond of, and you're looking at the subjects discussed here as a way to spiritually enhance your existing lifestyle, then I should remind you that dreams are highly flammable things and suggest that you ask yourself, REALLY ask yourself, why you're reading books about setting your world on fire."

If you're attached to your nest, you just might want to stay away from McKenna's books. But if you're already badly scorched and sitting in a pile of smoldering ashes, McKenna might be able to help you understand what's been happening. In that way he's just a way-shower, lending a hand to others as we venture forth in this harrowing readjustment of perspective.

When McKenna addressed a group who were studying the Bhagavad-Gita he told them that in regard to the Gita, "It's not about the people IN the story, it's about the person READING the story." And when he talked to his friend Mary about "Moby-Dick" he said, "Don't make it about Melville... If you try to approach the book through Melville, you'll miss. The ocean is the true author, but the ocean has no hands. It operates through us." And McKenna said the same kind thing about both of his books, making it clear that it's always ultimately about the READER, not about the author or the other characters. And if you miss that, you've totally missed the point.
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60 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable! But then, what IS believable?, March 18, 2004
This review is from: Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (Paperback)
~
There is nothing that can be said about Enlightenment - non-dual awareness - including this statement.
Therefore, it is enormously difficult to write a single, encompassing review that captures the astounding nature of this book as well as the impossibility of being able to say anything at all about the Subject (pun intended.)
Simply stated, the ego-identity known as Jed McKenna has indeed done it again. This is another direct, compelling, startling and humorous book from the author of the self-shattering "Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing".
As with the first book, Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment is about instrumental injunction. To paraphrase Wilber - as I seem to do with some regularity - an injunction is a call, a set of practices, a recipe that says, "If you want to know this, do this." Absolutely no one can convey what It is, or what It is like. If you perform the injunction adequately, you'll likely get direct experience of the domain presented by the practice, and you can then verify or reject the results with others who have completed the injunction. Until you actually engage in the practice, though, all discussion and judgment about the result is premature.
So in order to find out if this injunction is for you, get hold of both books by this Author, and read them.
The Author clearly acknowledges that when one publishes a book in today's "spirituality marketplace", it will be seen by a rather broad audience. There will be the serious, the seekers, the simply curious and the clueless. A book such as this will apply to some, certainly not to others, and most likely not to a majority.
Some readers won't understand it at all and will offer an almost complete rejection of everything that the book tries to communicate. Others will read the book, picking apart all of the notions that don't jibe well with their current set of beliefs, their understanding of the world as it appears to them. Another, quite predominant group will read the book and will recognize and understand what the Author is trying to communicate. However, this group of people will not see how the book could possibly apply to them, or they will be perfectly unwilling to let go of the lives they are living in order to follow their course to Truth. Why change what feels good? People have said, "That (first) book really messed me up, but I'm just going to go on as I have been living. I like my life!" So be it. There is Absolutely no problem with any of these responses, and the Author is in perfect agreement on this - even addressing the latter issue on the very first page, before anything else, lest there be any confusion.
But there is another group of readers to which these books call. They will read the books and undergo a transformation that will completely blow away the very notion of reality itself. The match will have been struck and the fire will have begun. For these people, the Author's books may very well be the last book of words they'll ever need to read. Or not; they may go on to read other important works for sheer entertainment or to help in the process of wrestling their leviathans into submission, but the Author's books will serve as a beacon, a reference point to which they can always refer. Nothing will ever again be as it had been, and it will seem like "Relative-World" is melting before their very eyes. The Mind will spin as it sees nested layers of meanings, a play within a play within a play, hidden messages to Oneself that arise just when One needs them, a peeling away of illusion and delusion, until a feeling of openness, emptiness and freedom begins to emerge from the fog of delusion. And someday, with Absolute certainty, it will dawn on one...
It was there all along, and couldn't possibly have been somewhere else. You were never without It, so you could never search for and attain It.
This is a book about an injunction, a negation process not unlike the teachings of the most venerable non-dual traditions. It says: If you want to see Truth, then you must do the practice. It is truly difficult work, and only you can do it. No one can adequately tell you what something like this tastes like.
Neither can the Author. But he does a d**n good job.
Read the books, first and foremost. At the very least you'll find humorous lines and situations, and you're sure to pick up a few useful pieces of insight here and there. You'll surely be blown away by the revelation revealed about one of the Great American Novels. If, as well, you then want to do the practice, then do the practice and good luck to You (!) If you don't want to do the practice or don't understand why you would even consider it, then simply rest in that... all is good, and always has been... enjoy your Great Search.
~
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cut the spiritual crap direct approach, May 17, 2005
This review is from: Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (Paperback)
I read this book about 6 months after reading the previous one by Jed. His style of communicating couldn't be more my style. Just lay it all out on the table and be done with it. No beating around the bush or being afraid of saying the wrong thing. Just grab me by the shoulders and shake the crap outta me if that is what I need. And I needed it. And I started reading this right when I entered into a big phase of emotional and spiritual turmoil. I did a bunch of the autolysis work almost non-stop for about a week. Even though I didn't take it as far as I could have, I did burn up a lot of crap that was weighing me down. And it's true, I did look back at what I wrote on previous days and felt embarassed about how stupid I was then.

I found this book to be just as hilarious and entertaining as the first one, while helping me see things from another perspective. I especially enjoyed the quotes from U.G. and have since found a source where a group of people have compiled all his quotes (he doesn't promote himself or write or lecture at all), which take Jed McKenna's points quite a bit deeper and are more challenging to those who think they know all about this universe and how things are and how they should be.

Ha! How we have all been full of so much hot air thinking we actually know something!
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you thirst for truth like a drowning man for air?, March 31, 2004
By 
David Hutt (United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (Paperback)
If not, don't bother to read this. If you do, first read McKenna's previous book- Spiritual Enlightenment- the Damnedest Thing- and then, this one.
Here are some other questions to help determine if you really want to buy this book:
(1) Did you love Melville's classic novel Moby Dick but not really understand Ahab's madness? Would you like to?
(2) Do you sense that all spiritual and religious tenets, practices, sects, and techniques are all variations of the
same frenetic movie script?
(3) Are you willing to bring up every single vestige of fear you have ever been programmed to identify with- fear of death, loneliness, pain, shame, guilt, stupidity, ridicule, depression, hopelessness, angst? Is truth worth that much ? Really?
(4) Could you do it without believing in anything- without a religion or teacher- just to clear away the tons of inner debris and then see what, if anything remains?
I have read hundreds, if not thousands, of allegedly spiritual books. Many narcotized me, some intrigued me. These
two books have touched me at a cellular level, yet ego has just barely dipped its toe in the ocean..........
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I "get" it., January 1, 2005
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This review is from: Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (Paperback)
Here's what I "get".

I "get" that I started upon the "spiritual path" being hopelessly depressed about what I felt was the meaninglessness of life.

I "get" that over 20 years of seeking has earned me an impressive library, a pretty good intellectual grasp of what it means to be spiritually enlightened and endless frustration on my inability to awaken.

I also "get" that since I have no real intention to faithfully study, meditate, pray, chant, find a guru, quit smoking or change several non-spiritual-like habits, the chance of my awakening in this lifetime are...well...hopeless.

So being stuck in this "seeker limbo", I've continued to search for the One Method that will free me from this spiritual dilemma. It was through browsing book sites (yet again) that I happened to "stumble" upon Jed McKenna's book. I had no problem "getting it" as he seems to describe the exact state I've been going through for quite a few years. What's more, IMHO, he provides a solution to freeing myself from this self imposed prison.

Hopefully, his 2nd book will be the last book concerning spirituality I'll have to add to my library. For the first time in years, I'm hopeful that I'll soon come to the point where I can honestly say...

"I QUIT."
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Break-Out Archetype, April 21, 2009
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This review is from: Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (Paperback)
This is the second of McKenna's "awakening trilogy", the first being "Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing". I would advise reading that book prior to this one, as this book builds on the foundation presented there. This book could probably stand on its own, but a lot may not make much sense without the context of the first book. As I read this one following the first, it's hard to know how well I would have understood this book.

I was totally blown away by this book, for many reasons. Perhaps others won't be, in fact, judging by the reviews here on Amazon, plenty of people hated this book. I loved it. For me, it confirmed and illuminated the lengthy and painful process I had already undergone some time ago, a process which broke down my entire sense of self and which I didn't understand other than the vague notion that it was some sort of healing process (which it was, but it was also transformative). I wish I had access to McKenna's books, particularly this one, at that time! It could have saved me so much grief, pain, and self-created angst that was, I know now, totally unnecessary. Had I understood the process of transformation, of "breaking out", it would have made all the difference.

I was somewhat taken aback by the presentation of "Moby-Dick" that runs through this book. I've never read "Moby-Dick", to be honest, and I'm not sure I ever will, but the introduction of the concept of the "Break-Out Archetype" is fascinating, and I've been looking for examples of it in other stories ever since (I've found at least one, but I'm sure I'll encounter others). This is an archetype worth understanding, if you're serious about spiritual awakening and the process of serious, life-changing transformation.

If you're not interested in transformation, you probably won't find this book to your taste at all. I don't mean this to be disparaging, but this is a book about a fairly serious process that is universal, but not common. Most people never endure this kind of transformation, and never want to. Even the author notes in all of his books that there is "no point" to enlightenment, that you give up "everything" in exchange for "nothing", and the only way you should proceed is if you have no choice. If you don't need to awaken, this book is probably useless to you.

On the other hand, if you are one of those people who are destined, by whatever means, to "break out" of consensual reality and wake up to the Absolute, this book will be invaluable on that journey.

This isn't a book for everyone. It's hardly a book for anyone, actually. For me, it was something I absolutely needed to read in order to process what had happened to me in the past and to enable me to proceed with a fair degree of awareness. I don't know who "Jed McKenna" is (I'm positive the name is a pseudonym, and the character of Jed is almost certainly fictional, but don't let that put you off; some of the best spiritual messages come in the form of parable, analogy, koan, metaphor, and, yes, fiction), but I wish I could thank him. This book didn't exactly save my life, but it has helped me to understand it much more deeply and clearly, and that clarity is priceless. For me, this is the best book of the "awakening trilogy".

I recommend this book to people who read and liked the first book. I'm not sure I recommend it to anyone else.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the book for you., March 26, 2004
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This review is from: Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (Paperback)
For those of you earnestly and honestly searching to know the truth about yourself and all-that-is, "Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing" is THE only book you will ever need. Buy it, read it, follow its advice to the letter and you will be able to find all the 'answers' you ever thought you sought.
For those of you interested in all things related to the search, Enlightenment, self-improvement, self-development, or the Great American Spirituality, this is the book for you. With his second book, Jed has answered the only possible criticism I could have given his first book, namely, does he have advice for those interested in growing up instead of waking up. It turns out he does and this will lay it out for you. Interesting and entertaining, with "Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment," Jed McKenna has reinforced my deeply felt appreciation for his style and skill. For anyone who has ever felt even a mild curiosity about the larger questions in life, give this book a go, I can think of no other author I'd recommend more highly, and if in the end you think you're in for the no-nonsense game of true awakening, you can easily pick up his first book and get started, but as the wise men say, "Better never start..."
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment: A Beautifully Orchistrated Masterpiece, January 28, 2006
By 
Kristen Ketcherside (San Antonio, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (Paperback)
Jed McKenna's <U>Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment</U> expands and clarifies his first book, <U>Spiritual Enlightenment, the Damnedest Thing</U>. Though a bit less abrasive than the first, it is certainly not the book for anyone looking for another translation of warm happy fuzzy fluffy bunny spirituality.

In both his books, he discusses his view on the process of enlightenment, while ruthlessly exposing the hypocrisy and futility of what most of humanity considers to be "spiritual". It is harsh and uncomfortable, which is good, if you're looking for something to make you think.

In <U>Spiritually Incorrect</U>, he weaves two themes throughout his continuation of teaching: the "spiritual autolysis" via emails of a character we met in <U>Damnedest</U>, and the deeper, true message of Herman Melville's <U>Moby Dick</U>. Both exemplify the process McKenna would deem necessary to attain enlightenment, giving the reader an idea of how exactly one would undertake such a daunting task. (His explanation of <U>Moby Dick</U> left me speechless, and makes me want to study the book in great detail under this new grid of interpretation that perhaps no one in history has ever applied. According to McKenna, <U>Moby Dick</U> is quite possibly the best book of all time.)

Personally, I haven't decided if I believe McKenna is enlightened, but it doesn't really matter. Though he can come off as extremely egotistical, he is a powerful author and an even more powerful teacher, even if one chooses to disagree with some or all of what he claims. If you're not interested in becoming enlightened, (and if you are, this book could change your mind) McKenna still has to offer an insightful, yet overtly simple perspective on what most people would find to be the most important aspects of life.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does it really matter, May 8, 2004
This review is from: Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (Paperback)
It appears some of the reviewers of Jed McKenna's books are concerned whether "Jed Mckenna" exists.Does it really matter?Surely it is the content of the book which is our concern.For a number of people the books will appear a little frightening-the message disconcerting.The truth maybe impossible to express in words but Jed comes as close as is humanly possible to describe it.You may want to wake up or not that is up to you but one thing you can be sure of it is not pretty and it is more than refreshing to find someone who is not afraid to tell you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll love it or hate it, but either way it will get to you, February 21, 2009
This review is from: Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment (Paperback)
Either you are ready to read this book, or you are not. I read it when I needed it most, and it wouldn't have worked at any other time. So I don't know how ratings can really make any difference, but I'll do it anyway. Don't expect to be coddled, because you won't be. Expect to be triggered, if you are ready for that, then dive on in.
I keep these books by my bed and grab them when I am feeling desperate.
Thanks for writing Jed, for whatever it is worth
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Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment
Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment by Jed McKenna (Paperback - February 1, 2004)
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