Dr. Jeffery Martin, The Finders Course Works, Sorry Haters |406|

#1
Dr. Jeffery Martin, The Finders Course Works, Sorry Haters |406|
by Alex Tsakiris | Mar 26 | Consciousness Research, Consciousness Science, Spirituality
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Dr. Jeffery Martin thinks he has cracked the code to well-being — an impressive list of researchers agree.
photo by: Skeptiko
Intro
Meow. What a bitch, am I right?
That’s James Franco from the movie The Interview.
No, you’re not right. He’s not being a bitch. He’s completely right.
He’s motherfucking peanut butter and jealous.
He’s not jealous.

Talking about haters.
Now, the interview I have coming up with Jeffery Martin is quite long, extensive, talks about a million different things (including his new book, The Finders). But one of the points I had to pull out, because it just intrigues me, is the hater aspect of it.
Here’s a guy, who by all accounts, has made some major strides in advancing the ball, in terms of our understanding of consciousness and more importantly, our understanding of how the transcending of consciousness, in a kind of non-dual way, relates to wellbeing.
So, there’s some social science research combined with some practical shut-up and meditate stuff that is truly stunning. But, haters gonna hate.
Alex Tsakiris: It’s so unique what you’ve done, we just can’t stress that enough. Whether people like it or don’t like it, whether you’re that grumpy Buddhist neuroscience type who’s sitting there going, “This isn’t it,” or whether you’re a spiritual seeker who’s so attached to your own tradition that you feel like this guy is going to take the secret sauce out of what you already know. There are all sorts of reasons to be a hater on this stuff, and I’m sure you’ve encountered all of them.
Jeffery Martin: Yeah, we have a scientific framework, not a religious framework. I’m not a religious scholar. We have had such a massive amount of hostility directed at us in recent years as we’ve conducted these experiments and as we have been, sort of more routinely transitioning people from these various systems. And we’ve done, I feel like a lot of outreach. We’ve allowed a lot of people from those systems to use our programs for free or even subsidizing them in other ways or even adapting things in other ways and allowing them to run them in person, because they’re more comfortable running things in person. I feel like we’ve done as much as we can do to really sort of reach out and yet there’s still just such hostility that comes from those folks. I mean, how happy can you really be if you’re that hostile? If you’re really experiencing this stuff, it’s hard to be that hostile.
Like I said, there’s a lot to this interview and I’m tempted to stack up a bunch of clips, so you listen to, what I think are all of the most important parts of this interview. But I’m not going to do that, I’m just going to throw it to the wind and see what you pull out of it.
Stick around, my interview with Dr Jeffery Martin is up next on Skeptiko.
 
#2
A great interview with Dr. Jeffery Martin.

I intentionally did not read anything. I did not read any of my subject's books... What I really want to get at, is lived experience... someone's phenomenology. I need to understand their phenomenology [in the] now.

Trying to understand someone's internal experience. What does it mean to you and show up in your moment to moment perception of the world.

Dr. Martin is attempting to immerse his team and himself into another's wisdom (not intellectualizing) to see if there is a state of saturated enlightenment (forget the books and facts and quant) which can/should/might be attained as a part of the common formula of happiness.

I really appreciate hearing this contrast to my approach - as it is refreshing to hear a challenge to my personal angle. I agree that there is of course, not one single formula for happiness. But do not believe that man suffers from a parched landscape of enlightenment and happiness. Instead I believe that most of humanity (not all) is saturated in pretense, self-deception and avarice. These serve to block a natural state. Our innate sense is to serve self and fool our selves into believing that we are not out to harm others. Until one shakes off this poseur game, there is no enlightenment which can serve to make one happy. Not one.

It is this inner self deception, the knowledge that we are not serving others, which makes one unhappy. Just as evil is a Wittgenstein object and Good is not, even so - there is no single formula for happiness. The formula actually pertains to 'not being unhappy'. And that requires a transformation of one's inner character and heart. One is not born with it, it must be bred through self examination under suffering or pressure.

Which is where I rejoin Dr. Martin in agreement. This cannot be communicated in a book - it is only or best communicated by a life. A phenomenology. Conducting strategies for third world nations gave me a unique perspective on human suffering and how deception on the part of the elite plays into it. None of the abusive elite were happy - they merely chased its phantom, growing angrier and angrier, darker and darker as it appeared to elude them.

When good is a masquerade... one can never be happy. Because there actually is not any self-deception - your heart knows. Enlightenment simply will not flip the switch on, by itself.
 
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#3
The second aspect of Dr. Martin's contention is the issue of peace. Is personal or inner 'peace' the purpose of life?

How much of that deep internal peace are you willing to erode in order to have % degree of effectiveness for the world?
The answer is a LOT. I think peace (inner peace, not the 'absence of war') is both an illusive and illegitimate goal. Peace is not an objective of life. It may arrive on its own, however we should not seek to develop 'peace'. It is kind of like being 'nice'. Nice can be a costume, as opposed to genuineness/authenticity. If you live a life which has tested and refined your heart, there are times when you are going to have to be 'not nice'. This means you are going to surrender some measure of inner peace, for the knowledge that you acted with integrity and honor, reduced suffering or risk on the innocent - at the cost of the power hungry, selfish and devious.

Suffer fools and the innocent, but never suffer bullies, surreptitiousness, greed, nor agency. You will become skilled at detecting these poseurs. If you cannot do this - there will never be peace nor happiness in your life. Religion and philosophy will not provide fundamental well being on their own.

One or two superstar phenomenological people. ---> The dissolution of the idealized version of self and merge with the apparatus. The doorway to fundamental wellbeing.
So Dr. Martin then leaves open the question the idea of individualism and separateness - versus the 'connection back to the apparatus'. How does one re-connect back to the apparatus?

Alex brings up the question that we may not fully understand what 'the apparatus' even is. This maybe be a question which is complicated, even to the point of involving ET or supernumenal life forms. Alex uses Kevin Day's experience as a possible example.

Great show - a tough one with a lot of industry jargon - but a lot of value interwoven inside.
 
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#4
Greetings! My radar is giving me warning signals here. Dr. Martin says he originally interviewed ordinary people who, he said, “weren’t selling something”. But this guy is clearly selling something. He talks a lot, but it’s a smokescreen, or a seamless curtain. There’s nothing there. It’s just a stream of glittering words, set just above the ordinary threshold of comprehension. Perhaps if one dives a little deeper, or tries a bit harder (or antes up a bit more), understanding will come. But, shades of L. Ron Hubbard, understanding will never come.
“Bring bricks of clay”, ordered Pharoah to his chief minister, “that I may mount up (to the heavens) to bring down the God of Moses”! It’s an old, old story.
Actually, I went back and looked at the Quranic verse (28:38) and what Pharoah says first to his ministers is, “O, my chiefs, I do not know of any god for you besides myself!”
I know no one here likes to be preached to, but c’mon!
 
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#5
So Dr. Martin then leaves open the question the idea of individualism and separateness - versus the 'connection back to the apparatus'. How does one re-connect back to the apparatus?
I am not sufficiently into this episode of Skeptiko to comment in any depth, but in rewarding your remarks I was immediately put in mind of a recent BBC Radio 4 In Our Time show on Authenticity - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00035z4

The idea of the individual as separate, rather than distinction or particularisation, must also be contemplated. The individual as separate is more a political stance than a philosophical one. It suits political and economic interests to create the illusion of separation, as much as it serves well the interests of a faith perpetrate the delusion that we are separate from the divine.

The idea of the individual is rooted in the notion that we are not divisible - the component of a whole that is not further reduced. We are particular constituent elements of a whole - family, tribe and so on. We are distinct, particular, not separate. In a sense the lens of self concentrates attributes of the divine into a singular expression. It is unique, and never alone.
 
#8
Greetings! My radar is giving me warning signals here. Dr. Martin says he originally interviewed ordinary people who, he said, “weren’t selling something”. But this guy is clearly selling something. He talks a lot, but it’s a smokescreen, or a seamless curtain. There’s nothing there. It’s just a stream of glittering words, set just above the ordinary threshold of comprehension. Perhaps if one dives a little deeper, or tries a bit harder (or antes up a bit more), understanding will come. But, shades of L. Ron Hubbard, understanding will never come.
“Bring bricks of clay”, ordered Pharoah to his chief minister, “that I may mount up (to the heavens) to bring down the God of Moses”! It’s an old, old story.
Actually, I went back and looked at the Quranic verse (28:38) and what Pharoah says first to his ministers is, “O, my chiefs, I do not know of any god for you besides myself!”
I know no one here likes to be preached to, but c’mon!
I understand your skepticism... and the course is relatively expensive... somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000. in his defense, and this goes a long way with me, jeffrey has done nothing to stop DIY derivatives... in fact, he's even aided them.

I also have the advantage of knowing jeffrey for five or six years... he's legit, and has done what he said he was going to do. he has a little bit of that silicon valley hustle vibe, and that pisses off some people in the "enlightenment community", but I think he's onto something.
 
#11
I think this is a great interview. I have long laughed at the New Age and self help formulas, posturing, sanctimony and utopianism. Dr. Martin really articulated why I laugh (ok. Maybe I have a mean streak in addition to the practical reasons that Dr. Martin speaks to). As far as drumming, chants and other means of altering neuropath ways...I dunno...probably good to do once in a while; kind of like psychedelics. However, it seems to me that most people who are "seeking" these things need to just toughen up. Life hurts, physically and emotionally. Get over it and get over yourself and suck it up buttercup. Take responsibility for your actions. realize that you can't have your cake and eat it too. That's the therapy most need (boot camp). Also, be honest and be true to who you are, which you won't know until you're honest (feedback loop).....sorry for the rambling. Again, I like what Dr. Martin says when he looks at all these "systems". Thought I'd add my two cents.
 
#12
Alex,

You seem awfully keen on this guy, but so far, with only about 30 mins left to go, there was no mention of the larger reality (unless I tuned out at the critical moment). I mean, he may (maybe) have a good way of helping people access calm mental states, but that seems about it - another 'technology' might be diazepam!

David
 
#13
Alex,

You seem awfully keen on this guy, but so far, with only about 30 mins left to go, there was no mention of the larger reality (unless I tuned out at the critical moment). I mean, he may (maybe) have a good way of helping people access calm mental states, but that seems about it - another 'technology' might be diazepam!

David
No one truly knows the big picture
 
#15
The trouble with a show this long is that there is no summation of the main points at the end - and I listened to it mostly while driving. My possibly mistaken takeaway of interest was the observation that enlightenment methods come with a lot of junk that is not necessary. But that's like saying that nitriments also come with a lot of junk that is not really necessary - who really needs flavour if your goal is to mainline the raw elements of nutrition? But I also thought I heard that you can get enlightened and then have your life turn to shit - only you don't apparently give a damn.

I thought there was some useful stuff here. Once religion and science were pretty much the same thing - in the sense that there was no either or - just one continuity of thought. Now we have the divide and the faiths of yore have failed to stay tuned. Why bother with parables when we have psychology and moral philosophy to say the same thing to a modern mind in a more powerful way? That's a legit gripe. We forget that the Gospels were once cutting edge contemporary content - radical and potent. We can't 'modernise' them successfully because we don't need to. We have contemporary equivalents that span the spiritual and the secular elegantly.

But still, as in Tibetan Buddhism, there evidence of a clear and powerful methodology that might not be successfully translated into a contemporary scientific idiom - because we don't have the ideas/words that are equivalent - so we need to look backwards as well. Sometimes there is no substitute - pending advances in science, of course.

I was intrigued by the notion that 'enlightenment' can be seen as a physiologically induced state. That's horseshit, frankly. And it is dangerous if that is what is being suggested. While there is no doubt that our states of consciousness can be altered by drugs and practices that can expose us to awareness of deeper dimensions of thought, sensation and reality that does not mean that we are 'enlightened'. I know the Zen idea of sudden 'enlightenment', but that comes after a whole bunch of intellectual and emotional ducks have been lined up first. It's the icing on the cake that you have to bake first. It is not an act of magical transformation. And there is no short cut.

Men spend years studying for the priesthood in what should be an ideally conducive environment. They are then ordained in an elaborate ritual where the Grace of God supposedly enters them. And then they go out and rape children. The study is not sufficient of itself, neither is the environment and neither is the ceremonial confirmation of priesthood.

Compare that to the rigours of a Shaolin monk. I don't know what the child raping figures are for graduates of Shaolin temples but I am guessing they are low, because the training regime kinda teaches self-control and then spiritual regime teaches self-reflection. That's not to say that these guys are saints, only that they have been severely tested in ways few of us have.

I know people who have been meditating for years, and they are still dicks. Meditation is not an assurance of anything other than of spending time doing nothing and saying nothing- and that can be a good thing - reducing the risk fo harm to others. In fact I am not sure there's any practice or belief that delivers any assured outcome, other than sundry effects that have no real meaning. You can do stuff that gives you psi powers that will amuse you for a time, but that's not the same thing as developing an attitude of mind and heart that includes being aware on deeper levels.

There is no doubt the emerging science is of immense value in rendering the nature of our reality, and our place in it, in contemporary thought. We do not need to rely upon the old sources wholly. We have new ways of talking about our sense of who and what we are.

It is true that there are some who make a living from 'teaching' stuff, and who, like all traders, seek to protect their market. What was it? "Seekers are hard to come by?" Ripe customers for profitable trade are scarce, so working hard to attract and keep them is important. And along come these science chappies (Alex why does your system insist I want to write crappies?) who threaten to wreck that. Welcome to the world of disruptive ideas!

I am going to have to listen to the show again, and make notes. I don't agree with Psazonoff, but I can understand the gut feeling. The ideas expressed in this show do seem disruptive and unsettling - but I think that's a good thing - because what we think and know at a deep level must always reflect our now - and that's not something everyone is comfortable with.

It was a long show and our attention spans vary, so we will have garnered different points of significance. I am curious to know what others got. Did I misunderstand the ideas expressed? Did somebody hear them differently? I have around 4 hours of a commute tomorrow so I hope I get through the show again.
 
#16
I also have the advantage of knowing jeffrey for five or six years... he's legit, and has done what he said he was going to do. he has a little bit of that silicon valley hustle vibe, and that pisses off some people in the "enlightenment community", but I think he's onto something.
That's kinda what I said, but I wanted to add that nobody should expect the interface between then and now to be smooth or easy, and especially when that involves commercial interests.

While I don't see 'science' a the arbiter of the real I do see that it has a proper partnership role in sharing how we evolve a contemporary narrative about the nature of our reality and our role in it - which is, after all, what religion is about - albeit with a strong theme of moral survival that makes no sense to anybody who doesn't get animism.

I liked the anti BS energy, but that's only really part of a natural BS replacement cycle - old BS out - new BS in.

So for me, what you flagged as the "enlightenment community" is precisely old BS. Enlightenment is not a product/outcome you can flog - unless you count figuring you have been taken for a sucker as 'stage one' enlightenment. But you can't flog enlightenment quickies either. There are no physiological or psychological switches to be flicked.

I grew up reading Zen. It was what I would have taken to if I had not a deep inner voice telling me not to be an idiot. I loved Zen because it reinforced what contained me. It was like I was a free man who wanted to be put in prison so I could break out, because the feeling of breaking out was what I thought I needed to feel legitimately free. That was my satori moment.

And nothing changed. I still had debts and a crap relationship. I just felt a little less stupid and a little less bothered. But that was good thing.
 
#17
While I don't see 'science' a the arbiter of the real I do see that it has a proper partnership role in sharing how we evolve a contemporary narrative about the nature of our reality and our role in it - which is, after all, what religion is about - albeit with a strong theme of moral survival that makes no sense to anybody who doesn't get animism...

I grew up reading Zen. It was what I would have taken to if I had not a deep inner voice telling me not to be an idiot. I loved Zen because it reinforced what contained me. It was like I was a free man who wanted to be put in prison so I could break out, because the feeling of breaking out was what I thought I needed to feel legitimately free. That was my satori moment.

And nothing changed. I still had debts and a crap relationship. I just felt a little less stupid and a little less bothered. But that was good thing.
I have no idea what you mean by these paras. Could you re-phrase being a little less elliptical?
 
#19
That's the therapy most need (boot camp)
I understand what you mean, but I don't think this is where jeffrey martin is coming from.

I think the enlightenment / awakening transformation he's talking about is something very specific... he's saying he's found a better more effective and efficient way through. most importantly, he's waving around a bunch of social science statistics which prove what he's saying.

Here's a gross oversimplification just to make sure we're all talking about the same thing --
1. people meditate /pray / go to church / do spiritual stuff in order to feel better (i.e. greater sense of well-being)
2. this is fundamentally an addition by subtraction process. you feel better when you take away the disturbances that make you not feel good
3. there hasn't been a lot of good science re which methods / techniques / practices are best
 
#20
That's kinda what I said, but I wanted to add that nobody should expect the interface between then and now to be smooth or easy, and especially when that involves commercial interests.

While I don't see 'science' a the arbiter of the real I do see that it has a proper partnership role in sharing how we evolve a contemporary narrative about the nature of our reality and our role in it - which is, after all, what religion is about - albeit with a strong theme of moral survival that makes no sense to anybody who doesn't get animism.

I liked the anti BS energy, but that's only really part of a natural BS replacement cycle - old BS out - new BS in.

So for me, what you flagged as the "enlightenment community" is precisely old BS. Enlightenment is not a product/outcome you can flog - unless you count figuring you have been taken for a sucker as 'stage one' enlightenment. But you can't flog enlightenment quickies either. There are no physiological or psychological switches to be flicked.

I grew up reading Zen. It was what I would have taken to if I had not a deep inner voice telling me not to be an idiot. I loved Zen because it reinforced what contained me. It was like I was a free man who wanted to be put in prison so I could break out, because the feeling of breaking out was what I thought I needed to feel legitimately free. That was my satori moment.

And nothing changed. I still had debts and a crap relationship. I just felt a little less stupid and a little less bothered. But that was good thing.
I think jeffrey saying completely different. he saying you can have all of your preconceived notions and beliefs about how much money should factor into this and what spirituality is and all the rest, he's just going to measure whether you were happy before, and whether you happy after and then he's going to figure out a way to productize the difference.

I'm totally cool with that. I want that option in the marketplace. better in the hands of jeffrey than the underground MKUltra folks.
 
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