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

Try to see the distinction between physical sensations and mental anguish. The physical sensation is unavoidable. The mental anguish is optional. That might seem hard to realize but it is possible. That doesn't make an unpleasant experience pleasant but it can make it less unpleasant.

How you experience discomfort varies according to your mood. Physical discomfort is much easier to bear if you are in a good mood. When I had an injury in my rotator cuff it was very painful but I found after meditating my mood improved (mental anguish diminished) and it was much easier to bear. Instead of feeling sorry for myself I felt like doing things and that distracted me from the discomfort.

People who believe in prayer often find it helps to ask for help to bear their pain. If it works, it might also work for a materialist who has faith in the placebo effect. He could ask the flying spaghetti monster if he is offended by the concept of God.
Interesting when I am sick I seem to gain better mental clarity my brain fog dissappears and the thoughts I am having are calm
 
I didn't feel too much pressure of that sort, but I certainly didn't want to remain celibate!
neither did I, David. I felt eventually I would meet, with God's help, the person who was right for me. But my apprenticeship in a construction work environment presented more often than not rather crude company. Merely getting laid, they had me believing, would be the solution to all my problems. Finally, and still being a naive virgin at age 26, I caved in to their relentless teasing. I guess there are laws in place now to prevent this type of harassment. Well anyway, thirty five years later celibate happiness, though not quite the same, has been regained and none were harmed along the way, I haven't lost God.
 
isn't that a good thing?

question 1 - why haven't a dozen others done this work?

question 2 - how can folks claim they have the secret sauce when they haven't tested it? I haven't taken jeffrey martin's course so I can't speak to it, but from what I know about his methodology I'd say he's the only game in town... i.e. anyone who thinks they can do better is going to have to show better results with the same or better of experimental controls.
Alex,

Re; 1 - Something like this has been done. Even Timothy Leary was doing something like this with psilocybin/self realization, etc. and felon/prisoner recidivism rates.

Re; 2 - Yes. I think it is a good thing. Keep it analytical and minimize the dogma and controlling guru. Make it abut technique. It's the lesser of evils. Gurus and priests will claim to have the secret sauce even if they should know that they are deluded or lying. People tend to not be honest or fully dedicated to the truth, especially when there is money and adulation on the line.
 
Alex,

Re; 1 - Something like this has been done. Even Timothy Leary was doing something like this with psilocybin/self realization, etc. and felon/prisoner recidivism rates.
yeah but doesn't this seem way out of whack? I mean, we're talking about the most fundamental human desire -- happiness, well-being... and some lone-wolf silicon valley guy has to be the one to push this... with is own $. and then folks want to give him shit for charging for the course. how about giving him some of the millions/billions/trillions we spend on stuff that is designed to destroy people/culture/society. how about we set up a contest and give whoever can do as good or better than his results better a billion dollars -- that's where I want my taxes to go.
 
Interesting when I am sick I seem to gain better mental clarity my brain fog dissappears and the thoughts I am having are calm
Is that because when you are sick you stop doing all the things that normally keep you busy busy busy and create mental turbulence?

Half of the benefit of meditation comes from what you are not doing during the time you spend in meditation. That's why it's important for beginners not to be too worried about perfect concentration but to put in the time trying to meditate even if their mind wanders a lot - when they are trying to meditate they are not doing something else that could create mental turbulence. Just sitting and doing nothing gives the mind time to calm down naturally.
 
yeah but doesn't this seem way out of whack? I mean, we're talking about the most fundamental human desire -- happiness, well-being... and some lone-wolf silicon valley guy has to be the one to push this... with is own $. and then folks want to give him shit for charging for the course. how about giving him some of the millions/billions/trillions we spend on stuff that is designed to destroy people/culture/society. how about we set up a contest and give whoever can do as good or better than his results better a billion dollars -- that's where I want my taxes to go.

If science is wrong about almost everything, maybe it's better if the government funded mainstream science is kept as far away as possible.

Lot's of people offer meditation classes with little financial reward for themselves and at little expense for the student.

Dr. Martin is trying to optimize the process. But the traditional schools have been optimizing their process for over two thousand years. And they are still working on it.

If Dr. Martin believes his system is better he could demonstrate it by publishing scientific studies using controlled, blinded protocols. Self assessments by people who paid a lot of money for a class and who might not want to admit they did not get results, and lot of marketing hype, are not a substitute for rigorous protocols.

I've done scientific research and co-authored published papers, If you haven't done that you might not understand how easy it is to misinterpret results in the absence of controls and blind protocols.

I am not against Dr. Martin researching what is the best meditation technique for each individual, but I think the fact that people remain unconvinced is because of his research methods.

And if you are going to make claims about your class and charge a lot of money for it, it is reasonable for people to expect that your claims are backed by solid evidence. If you justify extravagant claims and high prices with insufficient evidence, you are bound to attract critics.

I don't know exactly what the complaint is about the "haters", but maybe it is because Dr Martin makes very explicit claims about what the Finder's course can do but people feel those claims are not convincingly supported by the evidence he provides.

The phases ("locations") of PNSC are a fundamental part of his system of identifying which technique is best for each person. But without solid research demonstrating those phases are real, the possibility exists that the system could be flawed because it is based on artificial categories.

And I think there is a lot of confusion about how the PNSC locations compare to enlightenment or awakening as defined by other systems. To his credit, Dr Martin had clearly defined the PNSC locations. But if I understand his original research correctly, he developed the definitions of the locations of PNSC by interviewing people who were considered enlightened within their own school of practice, so it is natural for people to think these locations represent enlightenment. I have not taken the FInder's course but I see a wide gap between the definition of non-symbolic consciousness and the PNSE locations. The effects described for the PNSC locations look to me like the effects of a lot of meditation, not awakening. People who are awakened according to Buddhist schools of meditation will do a lot of meditation so they will share the characteristics of people who meditate a lot. But that does not mean those characteristics necessarily correspond to enlightenment. (If Dr. Martin has done relevant controls, he might refute this point by comparing the data for people who meditate a lot but are not awakened with the data for people who are awakened.) I think that could be another source of criticism. People are going to be critical when they hear claims of a fast way to get "enlightenment" ("persistent non-symobolic consciousness") and then find out that the thing is defined very differently than how they have understood the term.


If Dr. Martin has published the research to back his claims, please post the links.

Thanks
 
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neither did I, David. I felt eventually I would meet, with God's help, the person who was right for me. But my apprenticeship in a construction work environment presented more often than not rather crude company. Merely getting laid, they had me believing, would be the solution to all my problems. Finally, and still being a naive virgin at age 26, I caved in to their relentless teasing. I guess there are laws in place now to prevent this type of harassment. Well anyway, thirty five years later celibate happiness, though not quite the same, has been regained and none were harmed along the way, I haven't lost God.
Well I think this sort of story enhances my sense that religions should not get involved in sexual matters except in a general sense. By that I mean that they should empahasise the need to not hurt other people, but give no more specific advice, and certainly not lay down rules. This would be more in line with the Church's attitude to money and material goods. People are told not to worship material things, but they aren't told whether or not they should buy a fridge, or what size of house is appropriate, etc.

The Catholic Church has really fallen on its face after the sex scandals. I suspect something similar could be found to greater or lesser degrees throughout all religions. I think people of all religions should think deeply about what that awful scandal means.

I wonder if your particular brand of Christianity had limited your chances to meet girls and fall in love long before age 26.

You never really addressed my point, that if ID is true, and you believe that the intelligence involved was your God, then he designed the whole sexual mechanism of falling in love and reproduction.

David
 
A number of religions are obsessed with sex, usually in a negative way, but honestly when you think about ID, as I have recently, you have to conclude that if we are talking about a deity doing the designing, then He designed our method of reproduction, in all its lustful detail!
There is a fascinating disparity between what we regard as natural and what we regard as moral. We may be 'designed' as lustful, but we are induced to think we are to aspire to be moral - which curtails lust. The religious obsession with sex can be seen to overplay the focus on it - but remember that we all derive from cultures that had strong sexual taboos for good reason. Does that mean that any one religious group goes way too far in favouring an ideology over a more sensible and balanced approach? Yes. Does that mean that those who favour fewer limitations are putting up a better case? No.

I think the souls that inhabit physical human bodies don't have a natural grasp of sex, and how to manage the sexual energies. So finding a balance can be a problem - and the guidance provided by some religious dogmas and ideologies are not at all helpful.
 
I'm not sure I know what you mean by this. If we take him at his word, he simply and did detailed six our interviews with a bunch of people who claimed enlightenment and were acknowledged within their community to have achieved some kind of advanced age of development (whatever that means). he claims that this was his starting point... we take him at his word as a social scientist then we accept that he has tried to remove himself from assumptions.
But being a social scientist entails forming assumptions. Does he believe humans are souls indwelling in a physical body for example? Or does he have a theory of human being that is closer to a materialist model? He can attempt to remove himself from some assumptions but not all - and those ones count the most - because they are the root metaphysical guesses we make about the nature of our reality - and they inform all our thought.
 
but doesn't this all come out in the wash? take the enlightenment thing out of it for a minute... he's talking about moving the well-being needle. that is incredibly mainstream. people just can't wrap their heads around the fact that he's doing it better.
But he also described efforts at well being as laying people out on the floor because they tried to do stuff solo. He didn't explain what his premise for well being is. Some people take to running for their health and end up crippled with injury. I am not saying he hasn't thought this through - just that it was not evident. While I do agree he seems to have blown some myths that does not mean what he proposes is the bee's knees.

I have to read the damned book now.
 
People are going to be critical when they hear claims of a fast way to get "enlightenment" ("persistent non-symobolic consciousness") and then find out that the thing is defined very differently than how they have understood the term.
This is the essence of my admittedly not very well informed concerns. I just don't see that some kind of switch flicking is the same of a process of maturation of consciousness. I am not saying you can't flick a switch to get apparent benefits, but I ask whether it is sustainable and whether it delivers what the ad says. I am doubtful of 'get rich quick schemes'. You can substitute 'rich' for - smart, wise or enlightened.

It seems to me that every time we think we have an easy fix we find out, down the track, that the claimed benefits either do not materialise or are not sustainable - or, worse, are actually harmful.
 
Actually I think Jesus meant something else, Micheal. I have read that if a man simply abstains from sex for three months his hormone levels will gradually drop to that of a child. So three months to freedom from the addiction- for those who choose to seek release from it for the sake of the attainment of the kingdom of God, among maybe other reasons. Truthfully, were it not for relentless pressure from his possibly older, perhaps regretful, jealous coworker peers many young men would probably happily remain celibate.
From my own experience I am not so sure that 3 months abstinence does much at all. I can agree that 3 months abstinence can end an addiction. I quite smoking after 3 months on a respirator. In fact I had forgotten I smoked until I saw a woman smoking. But I hadn't forgotten I had sex after 3 months of abstinence - but then I didn't stop seeing women during that time. In fact contracting GBS left me celibate for probably close to 5 years - with no purifying impact. Maybe I was just too sinful to start with?

I don't want to make light of this subject. I agree that maybe many more young men would be less inclined to engage in unwise sexual conduct if their social setting was more supportive of self restraint and respect for women.

But I am pretty sure that Jesus' words did not mean celibacy. That would be a pretty straightforward thing to say. My experience is that anytime you get an elaborate statement such as about eunuchs there is a deeper message - some are born that way, some are made by other men, some are self-made - can you accept this? In what context is this not a nonsensical question? It cannot be a question about your toleration of such a radical extreme. Jesus is not asking if you are okay with the idea of a eunuch caused by these 3 conditions.

We are born to it, it is imposed upon us, we do it to ourselves. What other option is there other than misadventure? If w know there are such people as eunuchs, then of course we 'accept' this happens - unless the question is whether we grant this is an okay thing to be. Do we rant against the destiny of birth? Do we condemn the men that make a man a eunuch? Do we condemn the man who does it to himself? These are pointless questions in the context of the text.

Here's a portion from Wikipedia: The 11th century Byzantine monk Nikon of the Black Mountain, opting instead for Orion's second alternative, stated that the word came from eunoein (eu "good" + nous "mind"), thus meaning "to be well-minded, well-inclined, well-disposed or favorable", but unlike Orion he argued that this was due to the trust that certain jealous and suspicious foreign rulers placed in the loyalty of their eunuchized servants.[17] Theophylact of Ohrid in a dialogue In Defence of Eunuchs also stated that the origin of the word was from eunoein and ekhein, "to have, hold", since they were always "well-disposed" toward the master who "held" or owned them.[18][19] The 12th century Etymologicum Magnum (s.v. eunoukhos) essentially repeats the entry from Orion, but stands by the first option, while attributing the second option to what "some say". In the late 12th century, Eustathius of Thessalonica (Commentaries on Homer 1256.30, 1643.16) offered an original derivation of the word from eunis + okheuein, "deprived of mating

i make then point that unless we know what the author intended we cannot rule out that 'eunuch' can also be a code in the sense that a man might become 'well-minded' of his own accord and 'well-disposed' toward Jesus. I am not saying this is the case - just that the structure of the text does not support a mundane meaning.

We have to be mindful that scriptures translated from the Greek will contain Greek cultural references and associations to the deeper Greek tradition. I think, for example, that Paul got the idea of Christ from his Greek tradition. He was the one to connected it to Jesus.
 
Alex,
I get your point and I'm with you.

What we're running up against is the dominant materialist + medical model. Unhappiness is merely a malfunctioning machine and to be measured in units of lost productivity. Happiness can be installed via a well designed pharmaceutical.

That is a manageable approach from a materialist system standpoint. Dr. Martin's approach might result in even lower productivity (e.g. loss of motivation post realization).

The system needs to find solutions that don't bring about its own destruction. A society based on happiness and spirituality wouldn't look like ours. I'm being the Devil's advocate here and I don't have the answers at a societal level. A society that doesn't look like ours could very well represent a very measurable loss of happiness via less material wealth and more hunger, cold, disease, etc. See Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Most people can't be Sadhus.
 
We may be 'designed' as lustful, but we are induced to think we are to aspire to be moral - which curtails lust.
Well I suppose a healthier approach would be to curtail lust in situations where it was likely to cause harm to someone. Also, as I have argued before, I suspect that sex draw heavily on non-material concepts.

If God designed lust into us, He can't seriously consider it to be intrinsically sinful!

David
 
This is the essence of my admittedly not very well informed concerns. I just don't see that some kind of switch flicking is the same of a process of maturation of consciousness. I am not saying you can't flick a switch to get apparent benefits, but I ask whether it is sustainable and whether it delivers what the ad says. I am doubtful of 'get rich quick schemes'. You can substitute 'rich' for - smart, wise or enlightened.

It seems to me that every time we think we have an easy fix we find out, down the track, that the claimed benefits either do not materialise or are not sustainable - or, worse, are actually harmful.

What I find hard to understand is why Dr. Martin has such greater success than the inventors of the meditation techniques he uses. He says it's because he assigns the technique that is most appropriate for the student. But if that were all, then the traditional schools should still have greater success (more students getting enlightenment and in less time) than they do even if it is not as great as Dr Martin's success rate. What I suspect is really going on is that Dr Martin's measure of success is different than the traditional schools'. I don't really think it is extraordinary that his students experience what he describes in the PNSE locations, they do a lot of meditation in the class and they exhibit the traits of people who do a lot of meditation. I just don't think that is what Buddhists call awakening - so I think his claims about the class are confusing people.
 
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Dr. Martin's approach might result in even lower productivity (e.g. loss of motivation post realization).

The system needs to find solutions that don't bring about its own destruction.
Great point. Don't know if it's true, but something we definitely have to explore. the subtleties of this conversation with dr martin really got me excited. yes, acceptance of this belief system (i.e. the reality that "you" are in there and are separate from the voice in yr head) will probably change your orientation to work, friends and family. that's really scary to a lot of people.
 
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That is a manageable approach from a materialist system standpoint. Dr. Martin's approach might result in even lower productivity (e.g. loss of motivation post realization).

The system needs to find solutions that don't bring about its own destruction. A society based on happiness and spirituality wouldn't look like ours. I'm being the Devil's advocate here and I don't have the answers at a societal level. A society that doesn't look like ours could very well represent a very measurable loss of happiness via less material wealth and more hunger, cold, disease, etc. See Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Most people can't be Sadhus.
I'm not sure what you describe would be the result if everyone started meditating a lot. If people are less happy after meditating they will stop meditating and go back to work. It's not like they are brainwashed and lose the ability to reason. The reason many drop out of the rat race is because they discover material wealth does not lead to happiness. But people who meditate a lot and people who get enlightenment don't all drop out of the rat race. Particularly if they have children. They experience less stress from their jobs because of the changes meditation produces. Those people who do drop out of the rat race don't all become beggars. If they need money to support themselves they may find different less stressful jobs or part time jobs.

What I see around me today is that a lot of people have stressful jobs not because they want a lot of money but because the companies are run to to get the most work per dollar of salary they pay. If everyone in society was more laid back we could have much happier people, working at a less intense level and yes productivity would go down and material standards of living would go down, but not necessarily to the extent that it would affect lifespans or nutrition. People might live longer because they would have fewer stress related diseases. When I retired, my material standard of living decreased but I was much happier so if you include wellbeing as part of the standard of living I would say my standard of living went up. The proof is that I do not want to go back to work.

The problems facing humanity today are not problems of low productivity. The problems are problems of greed - people wanting money and power and ignoring the needs of other people in order to obtain what they want. The problems of poverty in third world countries is due to bad government - government officials who only care about their own wealth and power and who ignore the examples of systems in place in prosperous countries because those system would limit their ability to increase their own wealth and power.

Individuals should understand the consequences of meditating and make their own decision about whether they want those changes. Some people will decide they don't and that is fine. But I think overall, the world would be a better place if more people would meditate.
 
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Great point. Don't know if it's true, but something we definitely have to explore. the subtleties of this conversation with dr martin really got me excited. yes, acceptance of this beliefs system (reality) will probably change your orientation to work in friends. that's really scary to a lot of people.
I'm a conservative and a capitalist not because I think these are ideal ways to be, but because I'm also a student of history and the humanities in addition to my profession, centering around economics and data analysis. All of which tells me that regardless of flaws, we are currently doing better (in a net benefit sort of way) in critical aspects that are important to the majority, than anything previously. I am not for burning all that down and hoping that what comes next is better - it probably wouldn't be; quite the opposite. I want to see data analyzed, hypotheses tested in small controlled studies, etc.

As individuals we can find our own ways. When you're informing the powers that regulate (control?) vast societal institutions, you're at a different level. You have to go for more one size fits all solutions, the greatest benefit for the majority. If an individual crashes and burns making a wrong turn on his personal quest, that is at most a tragedy for a handful of people. If an entire society crashes and burns, well....

.....So I am not unsympathetic to the materialist model and ramifications. I disagree with it, personally, but I understand why it is dominant and fights to maintain that position. I see Dr. Martin as someone who might be able to be an ambassador between the two camps. The materialists have to understand that they are wrong and that people, being vastly more than meatbots, are going to keep having experiences that defy the current paradigm. Social media and that sort of thing are going to further promote the paradigm gaps and the ruling paradigm will increasingly be seen as corrupt. The spokespeople for the ruling paradigm would do well to work with such ambassadors from the non-materialists camp to find a way to integrate what people experience into the existing system. Revolutions are never pretty. You don't want that. You want incremental change. A guru from the Himalayas or some goofy New Ager is not going to make for an acceptable ambassador.
 
I'm not sure what you describe would be the result if everyone started meditating a lot. If people are less happy after meditating they will stop meditating and go back to work. It's not like they are brainwashed and loose the ability to reason. The reason many drop out of the rat race is because they discover material wealth does not lead to happiness. But people who meditate a lot and people who get enlightenment don't all drop out of the rat race. Particularly if they have children. They experience less stress from their jobs because of the changes meditation produces. Those people who do drop out of the rat race don't all become beggars. If they need money to support themselves they may find different less stressful jobs or part time jobs.

What I see around me today is that a lot of people have stressful jobs not because they want a lot of money but because the companies are run to to get the most work per dollar of salary they pay. If everyone in society was more laid back we could have much happier people, working at a less intense level and yes productivity would go down and material standards of living would go down, but not necessarily to the extent that it would affect lifespans or nutrition. People might live longer because they would have fewer stress related diseases. When I retired, my material standard of living decreased but I was much happier so if you include wellbeing as part of the standard of living I would say my standard of living went up. The proof is that I do not want to go back to work.

The problems facing humanity today are not problems of low productivity. The problems are problems of greed - people wanting money and power and ignoring the needs of other people in order to obtain what they want. The problems of poverty in third world countries is due to bad government - government officials who only care about their own wealth and power and who ignore the examples of systems in place in prosperous countries because those system would limit their ability to increase their own wealth and power.

Individuals should understand the consequences of meditating and make their own decision about whether they want those changes. Some people will decide they don't and that is fine. But I think overall, the world would be a better place if more people would meditate.
Jim,
Compared to what though?

If all that hyper-active hard work didn't create so much wealth, knowledge and prosperity in such a short time, then people would be stressed over poor living conditions, disease, childhood deaths/mother deaths in delivery, crop failures...the list of stressors experienced by people as recently as a hundred and fifty ago was huge - not to mention the back breaking labor that many engaged in just to get their daily bread.

We need context whenever we talk about these things. We can't compare what we have to an ideal that we have never enjoyed. We must compare to known alternative states, current and historic.

Dancing with Wolves was Hollyweird BS, know what I mean?

Yes, it's good to dream about a better future, but dreams are just dreams. Show me that the dream is truly achievable and represents a net gain. See what I just responded to Alex in the same vein.

Also, I have known very wealthy - idle rich - who were miserable. It's not just work that stresses us out. It's all manner of societal and personal issues.

People on welfare sit around drinking, doing drugs and living in trash strewn, high murder rate neighborhoods, feeling rotten. All that time on their hands and all they can do is complain and cause more misery.
 
Show me that the dream is truly achievable and represents a net gain. See what I just responded to Alex in the same vein.
Try this and I think you will see it:
https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/meditation-1#meditation_serenity
Also, I have known very wealthy - idle rich - who were miserable. It's not just work that stresses us out. It's all manner of societal and personal issues.

People on welfare sit around drinking, doing drugs and living in trash strewn, high murder rate neighborhoods, feeling rotten. All that time on their hands and all they can do is complain and cause more misery.
You are telling me that people who don't meditate are unhappy. I agree 100%.
 
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