The Liminalist # 136: Enlightenment without Heart (with Tano)

Two-hour conversation with Tano of Enlightenment Myth, on Jed McKenna, the man behind the franchise, a mad run into truth, a mind-opening experience, the Invisible Guru forum, Kenneth McMordie, how self-realized beings behave, can a serial killer be self-realized, enlightenment without heart, surrogate states of enlightenment, 8 billion points of view, a self-verified state, animal personalities, animal nature, function and human nature, optimal behavior, addiction and self-realization, defining enlightenment, a transmission signal in the body, direct perception without a story, the question that drives, a period of depression, a physicist among Amazonians, Neti Neti, an immense sense of relief, a dislike for humans, psychological reactions, emotions & feelings, no highs and lows, love is a unicorn, love vs. emotional attachment, loving the Sun, the need for touch, experiments on infants, laws of Nature & the need for social regulations, complexification of culture, the prevalence of trauma, school shootings, products of culture examining the culture, self-examination, generating experiences of pseudo-enlightenment, Truth Strikes, using force to attain mental states, another story, being nothing, Jed McKenna’s agenda, writing from different places, creating dependency by teaching enlightenment, John de Ruiter, conscious intent vs. unconscious drives, the need for ego, absence or presence of a conscience, the compete destruction of his own humanity, U.G. Krishnamurti, McMordie, McKenna, & Wisefool press, Whitley Strieber, the spiritual marketplace, and memetic engineering, a conspiracy of silence, an exercise in selfhood, Rolex watches & enlightenment, no such thing, Dave Oshana, just a good guy, Carlos Castaneda, intelligence agencies, literary hoaxes.

Enlightenment Myth (Tano’s site)

How Infants Die without Loving Touch.

Songs:  “All is Clear,” by Big Blood; “Vajra Guru Mantra” by The Mind Orchestra; “Every Cowboy” by Cellophane Sam.

32 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 136: Enlightenment without Heart (with Tano)”

  1. Interesting Podcast ( yet again ). I won’t bore you with any of my personal opinions that were raised within my own mind throughout the conversation. However I did become increasingly distracted about half way through by your desktop screenshot, and the significance ( if any ) of the third blank tab. The protonmail ( 1st ), and YouTube ( 2nd ) tab also held my interest for a few moments, but that third blank tab was really the one that stole the show. Not to be disrespectful towards yourself, your guest, or the content of the conversation. It was in fact a nice surprise to see a new episode today after a not so insignificant gap.

    • LOL

      Free glazed donut hole for guessing what was on the tab and why it was redacted!

      Please do “bore” us with your thoughts; that’s what the comments section is for

      • ” cloaked within the seemingly insignificant, may be the keys to the mysteries of life”


  2. this one was hard to listen to. The guest rarely let you fully express a thought, and any pause in your thoughts was immediately interrupted by more circle talking and babble. No offense to the guest, but she should do a little more listening to the host’s podcasts and realize the subjects she was bringing up more than likely for most just weren’t interesting enough, but would probably fit nicely other podcasts elsewhere.

    • which subjects specifically?

      i have shown a consistent interest in the question of enlightenment, as well as public deceptions (and self-deceptions) around the same

  3. Couldn’t peg her accent, but her voice was attractive enough to keep me interested without being familiar with Jed mckenna. She was indeed feisty in personality, didn’t think it clashed with the conversation though.

    • I’m curious as to whether you would have mentioned the qualities of a man’s voice? Why are women “feisty” and men “passionate” or “assertive?”

        • “Feisty” has a connotation of being chaotic, hard to control, erratic. To me the word choice indicates Tano as small, aggressive, and irrational rather than assertive and confident in her position. “Feisty” is nearly exclusively used to describe women, not men.

          • i used “feisty” explicitly in reference to personality, which i’ve used in reference to men too. to me it denotes a bit of playfulness in conjunction with combativeness, though I do agree that it is often used to condescend to women and can understand your comment, I really didn’t mean it that way, but more as a defense of what other’s perceived as clashing to the detriment of the conversation.

  4. kinda starting from the middle, we learned you love the sunlight, but i do think love exists and she doesnt, she doesnt like to be touched, and i do, at least lovingly, she like rules a lot but doesnt like england, we all dislike bully enlighteners, she thinks we are nothing, when i still think we are all something.she can’t get taught from a book, when I have learned a lot of things from them, etc.

  5. Wow, such a sad girl. I wish her all the best. I hope that one day she will be able to move on and let go of her stories and her cry for attention.

    • Calling her a “sad girl” and her contribution to the conversation on higher consciousness a “cry for attention” is disrespectful. I do agree she seems a bit closed off from the world, but she didn’t seem unhappy to me. Love and let not love, I guess.

  6. Extremely hard to make it through this podcast.. I love a good challenging perspective and many of your guests have offered me just that, but with all of her contradictions and self righteousness, it was super difficult (for me) to even take this woman seriously.. Thank you Jasun..

      • thanks Sebastian Dove… quite the name … are you bringing the olive branch from the other side? (cf. Paper Tiger)

        I would agree there were countless contradictions in Tano’s “presentation,” at the heart of which was that of a self-realized state that retains – and even exacerbates – all neuroses

  7. Maybe our patterns and neuroses are all we are.

    Think I heard words to that effect on one of your sites years ago (may have been on the Stormy Weather podcasts/forum).

    Anyway, I found this podcast very interesting and wanted to hear more of Jasun & Tano, enough to make me post here.

    It’s also interesting how listeners seem to be having a bit of hard time with this one.

    • if it was all there is to us, then what would self-realization consist of (besides giving up & indulging all our neuroses)?

      PT is still available in pb, see sidebar >>>

      • I don’t know… it’s an interesting question to ponder though.

        I think perhaps it was the last copy of the 1st edition of Paper Tiger, the version with the red cover, different to the cover on sidebar version >>>

        It’s a good read anyway.

  8. By the way, I purchased the last paperback copy of Paper Tiger from you I seem to remember, seeing as though it’s popped up here.

    • Just had a look on my bookshelf, you signed it for me too, June 2010 it was, so perhaps it’s a rare copy, maybe I should put it on ebay.

  9. It seemed pretty clear that you two had different definitions of the major terms like “enlightened” or “self-realized” that didn’t quite get squared away. Her self-satisfied tone often came through like she was trying to teach you something, which was ironic given her message of enlightenment being bullshit. It sounds like she thinks the key piece of knowledge is that “there is no enlightenment” so to speak, and that once you grok this you can allow yourself to realize your core self (in it’s simplest form).

    And it’s not 100% clear to me, what “self-realization” means for Tano. It has been mentioned above that in her version neuroses are retained, but is her “self-realized” person someone who just operates entirely off base instinct? If so, how would one know what is instinct and what isn’t?

    I was surprised though, when she said you were too vague, given the hazy picture I was getting from her. (It almost seemed like she was resisting your attempts to clarify things, but I would have to re-listen to see if that was actually true.) In the end, I’m unsure that I have anything tangible to take away from her view of the world/reality. But it certainly is interesting to see the kinds of reactions people have to book like Jed’s.

    • I can’t really see how realizing there is no enlightenment would lead to any sort of realization of one’s core self; there are plenty of people who don’t believe in enlightenment to begin with.

      I feel that I would have done better to refer to my own experience than to refer her to Dave Oshana; my own experience is that becoming more human, connected, open, vulnerable, sensitive, compassionate, & in tune with one’s feelings and those of others is inseparable from experiencing reality as it is, one’s core self or soul essence, infinite & eternal nature.

      It is the fragility of the temporal and human co-existing with the unchanging eternal that makes for the full spectrum of human consciousness; not the fragmenting of one part from the other in order to detach from pain and vulnerability. This latter might make for serial killers or unethical spiritual teachers; but there is no real-ization in it, only further estrangement from reality.

  10. This episode made me question my preconceptions about enlightenment, which is good. Is enlightenment simply self-actualization? And if so, what is self-transcendence? (I’m referencing Maslow’s pyramind.) After some contemplation there were ideas I hold and experiences I’ve had that I couldn’t reconcile with Tano’s understanding of enlightenment.

    Firstly, my idea of enlightenment includes an understanding of the interconnectedness of life, of reality. When Tano said she doesn’t like people or need relationships, I was rather shocked. Love and connection are things I crave and even require for mental health, and I don’t believe it’s an ego craving (as I agree with Jasun that cigarettes are such).

    Secondly, she claimed it’s impossible to escape the ego. I’ve experienced ego death before through experimentation with psychedelics. She is absolutely right it’s essential for human survival, but you can shed it. It’s confusing and surreal. Although this separation has stayed with me for days at a time, I haven’t been able to escape the ego without psychedelics and it’s not a state I’d want to persist in.

    I enjoyed this episode. I think it’s important to gather information from all kinds of sources and to entertain viewpoints counter to your own. Take in everything, and keep what serves you.

    • Interesting, thanks. I also experienced premature enlightenment via psychedelics. I am not sure how much value those experiences have even as references points, however. Maybe some.

  11. I agree completely.

    Speaking of that fragility, the podcast had me wondering whether there was something (traumatic) in her past that made her (or a fragment of her psyche) want to expose enlightenment as bullshit (along with the world as a dark loveless place). I don’t mean to speculate too much, but she mentioned that she was “already 90% there” before reading Jed’s book. And perhaps her reading of that book and her experience in Cambodia(?) revealed the world she had been looking to find (Ken being some kind of hedonist or luciferian archetype). In my experience it seems those who have been hurt often are looking for justification for this kind of worldview.

    I might be way off on this, but it was just something I was trying to keep in mind, since her version of self-realization made no sense to me.

  12. The interviewer is so full of pretentious bullshit notions of what enlightenment is it’s beyond conception. It’d be a miracle if he woke up. It’s not about chanting Om and eating organic food you delusional dipshit.


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