Mod+ UPCOMMING INTERVIEW: JEFFERY MARTIN ON ENLIGHTENMENT

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. I'm not signing up for the course. I find Jeffery Martin's research interesting, and it is reasonable that the techniques that were found to work for religious organizations would work in the Finder's Course too, but there are a few things that put me off. As far as I can tell the statistics (http://finderscourse.com/fc3.3.html) about the success (in the 90% range) of the experimental classes are based on experiments where there was no blind protocol and no experimental controls and the success of the experiment was determined by the reporting of experimental subjects who would have to admit they failed and wasted a lot of money if they acknowledge the experiment didn't work. In addition to these statistics, the course web site uses infomercial style advertising copy (http://finderscourse.com/fc3.2.html "Be that Hero.") to sell this course for a lot of money when there is a 44% drop out rate. I would also want to know more about the secret techniques that are supposed to produce PNSE before I took the course.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
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  2. Dmitch

    Dmitch New

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    Jim, Well, the short end is, it's the normal legal stuff. I won't try to market or use any Finders Course materials or specific techniques. They will keep all my stuff strictly confidential.
     
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  3. Ian Thompson

    Ian Thompson Member

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    Do they stop you talking about the course to us?
     
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  4. Dmitch

    Dmitch New

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    No not at all Ian. I placed a comment on previous page. I'll answer all questions. I start tomorrow but I already started with many surveys and other assessments. Part of this exercise is I have to be prepared to open up. Do you know what's involved with AA? I haven't but I'm thinking it's gonna be like that. we'll see. I work with a lot of sick people. I Hope I don't come down with the flu. That would fuck it up. LOL
     
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  5. http://realitysandwich.com/229496/d...jeffrey-a-martin-explains-the-finders-course/
    An interview with Willoughby Britton in which Willoughby describes some of the negative experiences produced by meditation
    http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2011/09/bg-232-the-dark-night-project/
    The really scary stuff is after the click.

    I never heard of most of this stuff before, but I do know that people go on retreats where they meditate all day for weeks and sometimes months so it might have something to do with that. What I was aware of is that when you meditate, often suppressed thoughts and emotions start coming out, the first symptom is that you get fidgety and want to stop meditating as these start to approach conscious awareness. When you start looking in your own mind, you might not like what you find there. Some people might not want to deal with this and they should probably try something different like relaxation exercises or tai chi.


    In part one of the inteview Willoughby mentioned Daniel Ingram. His book is here:
    http://integrateddaniel.info/book/
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  6. Ian Thompson

    Ian Thompson Member

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    Is it wise to follow a method which brings up so much fear and impairment?
     
  7. No it is not wise.

    One of the schools mentioned in the Britton interview teaches a form of insight meditation where you focus your attention on bodily sensation. It's not too hard to imagine how you can really screw up your brain (recalibrate it) from doing that excessively. But in moderate amounts I found that type of meditation to be really helpful in learning to understand my emotions. I observed the process of thoughts producing emotions and emotions producing bodily sensations. When you become sensitive to the process it changes your awareness and attitude to emotions, you realize they are not reality but delusions and you become more aware of when those delusions are affecting you. It doesn't necessarily make you impervious to emotional pain but it changes how you understand what the pain signifies. The increased awareness stays with you when you are not meditating or if you stop your meditation practice entirely. But I never did insight meditation the way they said to in the books. I would just pay attention to what was going on in my mind and body while I was doing some other meditation technique like counting the breath.

    But if you take a person who never meditated before and put them in a week long retreat where they meditate all day every day you might get a different result than if you tell them to mediate for 30 minutes a day and then after a year and send them on a weekend retreat. I had been meditating 30 or 40 minutes a day for over a decade before I ever heard that some people would meditate for hours a day and go on retreats.

    I like meditation because it helps me feel peaceful and it gives me equanimity. The more of that I can get the better I like it. When I went to the Zen center I didn't take the "enlightenment" track where you meet with the Master and get graded on your progress. I would just go to the long group meditations because it is easier to meditate for a long time when you are with other people.

    I don't derive my spirituality from Buddhism. I use Buddhist meditation as a tool to work on spiritual goals that come from another source. The great messengers have told us to love one another. Buddhist meditation, by teaching us through experience that attachments and aversions are delusions, helps a person to be able to love unselfishly. Also, calming the analytical mind with meditation is helpful in psychic development and developing concentration is helpful in maintaining intention when giving spiritual healing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
  8. From looking at this book it seems to me that Buddhist awakening is different from non-symbolic consciousness. Buddhist meditation techniques seem to be able to produce non-symbolic consciousness but Buddhist awakening, even with the right technique at the right time, requires a long study of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and no-self during insight meditation. The book is quite good. Most books are for beginners and start with the four noble truths so readers understand what the point of Buddhism is. This book is not for beginners it assumes you know how to meditate and the book gets rapidly to the point of what you should be doing with your mind during meditation to experience the truth of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and no-self.
     
  9. Dmitch

    Dmitch New

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    http://www.theopensecret.com/knowunknow.html Its an amazing little essay. Its true that everything is already the way it should be, Whatever that is. So, I would ask the author (essay), weren't you once a seeker? Couldn't the shift happen to those who are open to it? Isn't the attempt to find self acceptance and love within at least beneficial to those around us? Even to the world at large? All recognized so called enlightened beings started with a sense of separation and sought a solution through seeking, prayer, meditation and other imponderables. Some of them crashed into it at the lowest point in their lives as though total desperation and resignation may be required. Maybe a shift ( Location 4-5?, bodhi awakening, nirvana, freedom from the self, satori, self realization) isn't meant to happen in this lifetime. Maybe the work we do sets up the shift next time. Maybe the shift is just an idea embraced by the seeker to seek permanence for himself. It's all a part of the dance of life. Come to think of it, its not a bad tune to dance to.
     
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  10. It is another reason that methods of persuasion (slick advertising techniques http://finderscourse.com/fc3.2.html and fictionalized accounts http://www.drjefferymartin.com/bio.html ) should not be used to influence people to take the course. If someone decides to take the course it should be based on an accurate and objective analysis of the best available information, not because they've been lured in by psychological techniques.
     
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  11. I don't quite see how doing psychological work in the first part of the finder's course can prevent these types of problems. Psychological work could help if suppressed thoughts and feelings start coming up during meditation, but the problems in Willoughby's work are seem to be more due to using (rewiring) the brain in a different way and getting stuck rather than ordinary psychological issues.
     
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  12. Dmitch

    Dmitch New

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    I can't quite disagree with you Jim. Although based on years of research, Its a small study group. Finders Course 1 was just a few people and Finders Course 2 may have had 60 people but I think it was less then that. That's fine, but small studies aren't as persuasive. Finders Course 3 and 4 are ongoing right now and it's a more sizable population. The results aren't out yet on those people. So based on previous results alone, it would not be a strong study. Once 3 and 4 are concluded. Jeffery will definitely have something to hang his hat on. Aside from that, Jeffery is very confident he's on to something and he's seeing results right now in Course group 3. It's a very comprehensive program. This is an amalgam of East and West techniques finely crafted to change consciousness. The program is designed to slowly alter one modes of conditioned thought processes away from negative aspects of personality to one which may become open to a non symbolic experience. That would occur with extensive meditation also finely crafted to allow a slow process to occur. Anyway that's my take on it right now. I may change that next week. I'm sure someone else would highlight another aspect. In a way, it's kind of sterile but there is a heavy element of self acceptance and love involved. For myself, permanent non- symbolic experience requires engendering a deep abiding unconditional love. Without it, its like a train without tracks. It ain't leaving the station. Finders Course also allows any belief system to get involved
    If there is a threat to obtaining the very best results it would be since both Finders Courses are almost piggy backed atop each other. There were 120 seats to fill quickly with dedicated individuals who don't know what they got themselves into. So I think that opens Jeffery up to another high dropout rate. Since I think I follow what he's trying to do I'm game. I agree with you Jim this is not for everybody, maybe not even most people. I can't imagine sticking with it unless one is highly motivated and open to do the work without question.
     
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  13. I suspect the lack of a blind protocol and experimental controls is also a problem for the original research that produced the four locations. People love to create nice orderly theories but sometimes reality is more complicated ... which is why it is useful to use blinds and controls to prevent experimenter bias from influencing the analysis of the data. I don't assert it is practical to use a tighter protocol for this type of research, but one must consider how the data was collected and analyzed when evaluating the conclusions.
     
  14. Dmitch

    Dmitch New

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    A close friend dismissively once told me I was just hallucinating, when I tried to relate an LSD spiritual experience. There is bias everywhere except in the purity of experience.
     
  15. Ian Thompson

    Ian Thompson Member

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    Email received this morning:

    Hello,

    I've received a lot of email about the Finders Course being too time consuming to take, and asking if we could create a shorter/'busy life' version of it.
    We've been hard at work on this, and today are announcing Finders Course Complete -- a 7 week course with daily practices that take less than 1 hour per day.

    Click here to learn more and sign up for it right away.

    The course is drawn from the four longer Finders Courses that we have run to date. As you probably know, the results from these have been practically miraculous.
    Over 70% of people who successfully completed the course have transitioned to ongoing non-symbolic experience.
    100% rated themselves as happier after the course.

    There have been dramatic, highly statistically significant scientific results for increased wellbeing, positive thoughts and emotions, gratitude, and many other important measures; alongside equally significant reductions in depression, negative thoughts and emotions, and so forth.

    About the new course…
    Finders Course Complete
    will include all of the "Greatest Hits" meditation methods that rose to the top in the research, in the most highly impactful sequence that has been discovered up to this point.

    It also includes the most important positive psychology methods, intertwined in the most effective ways that have been uncovered to date.
    It is a very powerful course that is designed to:
    Dramatically increase your well-being and overall life satisfaction.
    Help you find the meditation methods that work best for you.
    Help you learn how to evaluate and find the best methods for you in the future.
    Help you establish a successful and maximally rewarding meditation practice.
    Train you on how to know when to make significant changes in your mediation program.

    Unlike the previous Finders Course experiments, this course does not specifically target ongoing non-symbolic experience (O.N.E.). If you are looking for a program to help you make a quick and rapid transition to O.N.E, you should wait for and take the next Finders Course O.N.E. The next course has not been scheduled yet, but may run later this year.

    Our research revealed that - among individuals who were trying to reach non-symbolic experience - those who found and used their optimum meditation methods transitioned the most rapidly. If you have limited time available, we believe that this program is the best option you have to make the most rapid progress towards O.N.E.

    Non-symbolic experience aside, Finders Course Complete should also help you substantially increase your well-being and mental performance, reduce your stress level, and much more.

    Registration will be open from now until February 27th, but space is very limited.
    Unlike previous Finders Courses, there is no application process - you simply register on the website.
    As always, I recommend that you enroll as early as possible to avoid being waitlisted.
    People started to sign up while we were still testing the signup pages!


    >>Click Here To Learn More and Enroll<<
    http://finderscourse.com/?utm_source=minal1&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FC Complete Email
    I hope you'll join us!

    Love,
    Jeffery​

    No mention of fees!
     
  16. http://www.stillnessspeaks.com/sitehtml/llevenson/keystoultimate.pdf


    KEYS TO THE ULTIMATE FREEDOM
    Thoughts and Talks on Personal Transformation
    By Lester Levenson
    ...
    The other major methods are called in the East Jnana Yoga, Raja or Kriya Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga. (By the way, the only reason I go to the Eastern Teachings is that they are a total and complete methodology and such a thing is non-existent in the Western world. The Western world methodology is only partial and is included in the Eastern.) I think we are all familiar with those various paths. So if we cannot use the Self-enquiry, “Who am I?” we use the one that suits us best. The path that we like now is the very path that we have been on formerly in prior lives. The path that is best for you is the one that you like best. Now each path includes all the other paths. The only difference is the emphasis. If we are intellectual we emphasize the Jnana Path, the path of intellect and wisdom. If we are devotional, then we emphasize the Bhakti path of love and devotion to God. If we like to be of service to mankind we use the Karma Yoga path. Each path leads to the quieting enough of the mind so that we may see the infinite Being that we are.

    Raja or Kriya Yoga is a complete and integral path that suits the greatest number of people today. It is a path of doingness in eight steps, with each step leading to the next step after it. I think you are all familiar with the eight steps. If you are not, you can get it from a book. The first two steps are the moral and ethical ones, the do's, the don'ts. The third is posture and body exercise. The fourth step is learning to control the breath and life force. The fifth is letting go of the external world, interiorizing by disconnecting the sense telephones and turning one's attention within. The sixth is concentrating the mind, getting it quiet, holding one thought to the exclusion of other thoughts. The seventh step is meditation, one-pointed meditation, and one-pointed meditation leads into the eighth step, or the top state called samadhi. So this Raja or Kriya Yoga path is one of step-by-step doingness that everyone can use. We happen to be in an era that is in relatively low vibration. That's the reason why we find the way difficult, and that's the reason why we need this Raja or Kriya Yoga, a gradient and a most integral path.

    There are two ways of growing: one is what I call the negative way, eliminating the negative, going into the mind, seeing the cause of the problem that originated in a thought some time in the past. When we see this thought, when we bring it up into consciousness, we naturally let go of it. We see how silly it is to hold onto it and therefore correct that thought and behavior. However, the other way is the better. It is the positive way. Quiet the mind and see who and what you really are, the infinite Self. In the over all, there's really only two ways: eliminating the negative and the better, putting in the positive, “I am that I am,” “I am He.” The latter is by far the faster.
    I think this is a very odd statement because Levenson himself used the negative method and achieved realization in about three months. I think it is probably best to use both the negative and positive methods.
     

  17. You can do psychological work to mitigate the effects of unpleasant emotions and memories from the past that come up in meditation. But I'm not sure there is much you an do in advance to help people who are coming to the realization that so much unhappiness in their past was needless, and all the pleasure they get from the things they love and enjoy is just an illusions. When your world view gets turned upside down, and you are left facing a completely new reality that is unfamiliar to you, there will be an upheaval.
     

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