spiritual autolysis

Spiritual autolysis is a term coined by Jed McKenna, the author of the “Enlightenment Trilogy.” It is a self-directed process of inquiry and deconstruction aimed at dismantling the beliefs, assumptions, and stories that form an individual’s sense of self and reality. The ultimate goal of spiritual autolysis is to reveal the truth of one’s existence and achieve spiritual enlightenment.

The process involves the following steps:

  • Identify beliefs and assumptions: Begin by examining your beliefs, assumptions, and stories about yourself, others, and the world around you. These could be related to your identity, relationships, religion, morality, or any other aspect of your life. Be honest with yourself and recognize the beliefs that you hold, even if they are uncomfortable or contradict other beliefs.
  • Question and investigate: For each belief, assumption, or story, ask yourself if it is true. What evidence do you have to support it? How did you come to hold this belief? Are there any inconsistencies or contradictions in your beliefs? Question everything and be open to the possibility that your beliefs might be false or illusory.
  • Deconstruct and dismantle: As you question your beliefs, work to deconstruct them and see how they are formed. Analyze the foundations of each belief and consider whether they are based on solid evidence or simply on assumptions, hearsay, or cultural conditioning. By dismantling your beliefs, you can begin to see the illusory nature of your ego and the constructs it creates.
  • Let go and accept: As you deconstruct your beliefs and assumptions, be prepared to let go of them. Accept that some of the things you thought were true may not be, and embrace the uncertainty and discomfort that this process might bring. By letting go of your attachments to beliefs, you can open yourself up to the possibility of discovering a deeper truth about your existence.
  • Rinse and repeat: Spiritual autolysis is an ongoing process. Continue to identify, question, and deconstruct your beliefs and assumptions as you encounter them. This process of self-inquiry and investigation is key to breaking down the barriers that prevent you from seeing the truth of your existence and achieving spiritual enlightenment.

Ramana Maarshi enlightenment process

Spiritual autolysis, as described by Jed McKenna, shares similarities with the process of self-inquiry advocated by the Indian sage Ramana Maharshi. Both approaches involve questioning and investigating the nature of the self and reality, with the ultimate goal of achieving self-realization or spiritual enlightenment.

However, there are some differences in emphasis and approach between the two methods

Ramana Maharshi’s self-inquiry is centered around the question “Who am I?” He encouraged seekers to continually ask this question and trace the sense of “I” or “I am” back to its source. By doing so, the practitioner would eventually realize that the ego or individual self is an illusion, and the true self is the formless, unchanging consciousness that underlies all existence.

The process of self-inquiry as taught by Ramana Maharshi involves focusing the mind on the sense of “I” and maintaining this focus as thoughts and distractions arise. By persistently returning the attention to the question “Who am I?”, the practitioner is said to break free from the identification with the ego and experience the true nature of the self.

On the other hand, spiritual autolysis, as described by Jed McKenna, is a more systematic and comprehensive process of questioning and deconstructing beliefs, assumptions, and stories about the self, others, and the world. While Ramana Maharshi’s method focuses primarily on the sense of “I,” spiritual autolysis involves examining a wide range of beliefs and assumptions, with the goal of revealing the truth of one’s existence.

To remember

Both spiritual autolysis and self-inquiry share the common aim of helping the practitioner see through the illusions created by the mind and ego, and recognize the true nature of reality. However, the specific approaches and techniques may differ. Some individuals may find one method more suited to their temperament or inclinations, while others may benefit from combining elements of both approaches in their spiritual journey.

Spiritual autolysis, as described by Jed McKenna, is a challenging and often uncomfortable process, as it requires facing and questioning the very foundations of one’s identity and worldview. It involves systematically examining and dismantling various beliefs and assumptions to reveal the truth of one’s existence. According to McKenna, this process is necessary for anyone seeking to uncover the truth and attain spiritual enlightenment.

On the other hand, self-inquiry, as taught by Ramana Maharshi, focuses primarily on the question “Who am I?” and tracing the sense of “I” back to its source. This method emphasizes the direct experience of the true self as the formless, unchanging consciousness that underlies all existence.

Both methods have their unique benefits and challenges. Some practitioners may prefer the more comprehensive approach of spiritual autolysis, while others may resonate more with the direct and focused technique of self-inquiry. Ultimately, the choice of method depends on the individual’s spiritual inclinations and what resonates most deeply with them in their quest for truth and enlightenment.






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