Dr. Jeffery Martin seeks to shift our fundamental sense of well being, and his numbers prove he can.
photo by: Skeptiko
[Clip 00:00:00 – 00:00:59]
That’s Will Smith from The Pursuit of Happiness. Boy, I love that movie. And as far as how it fits, how it connects with today’s very long, but I think insightful in so many ways, interview with Dr. Jeffery Martin, well, I think that’s kind of an Easter egg. We’re all going to have find that and figure out if there is that connection or not. But at least I think there is so see what you think.
Alright, here’s a clip from the interview and I picked one from, this is such a long interview, I pick one from almost the end, so maybe you get an idea that there’s a reason to stick around to the end.
Jeffery Martin: [00:01:36] And so Dean [Radin] and I were talking about his experiments… he was doing like chocolate intention experiments or something at that time, and he like gave me this piece of chocolate that was infused with the intention of love or something, and it gives me the chocolate and asks me if I feel any different, and stuff like that. And I love chocolate, I was just grateful for the chocolate. I was hungry by that point. I took a while to get to it, it was longer than I was expecting. And I was like, well, before she leaves, let’s look at her data.
So we were in the other room and it’s got like these bar graphs sort of on the screen. So it’s walking her through the trial and he’s like, “What did you do on this one? Do you remember what you did on this one? Do you remember what you did on this one?” So on and so forth. And all of them were like, I don’t know, kind of middle of the road bars. And then there was this one bar that was like, kind of off the charts and he gets to that when he’s like, “Do you remember what you did at this one?” And she just sort of looked at him, and then she sort of looked over at me and the other person from our lab that was visiting with me, and you could tell that she didn’t want to say. So she tried to give some sort of half-ass sort of response to it, and I’m like, I’m not going to settle for that, “You were really precise on the other ones, what did you do on this one?” So she pauses for a while and she looks at us some more and she thinks about it and she says, “Well, there’s this thing I can do, where I can kind of make myself go away.” And she describes basically being able to put herself into this temporary non-symbolic experience, and she’s like, “That’s what I was doing when I did that bar.” And I thought, that’s very interesting.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:03:19] Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers, and their critics. I’m your host, Alex Tsakiris, and today we welcome back Dr. Jeffery Martin to Skeptiko. In case you don’t remember. Dr. Martin is a Harvard trained social scientist and author of the book The Finders, which, as we mentioned in the previous interview has been widely, widely praised by tons of very prominent well-respected names in psychology, neuroscience, and just, I don’t know, thinking people in general.
Jeffery and his team are also the creators of The Finders Course, which is a rather intensive 16-week, although we’re going to have to talk about that, because there’s a new course coming out, a meditation and mind training course, although that’s kind of pigeonholing it maybe in a way that we wouldn’t have to. But it’s a course that claims to do nothing less than permanently shift your sense of wellbeing. Probably about the biggest thing you could do in your life.
And as we explored in the last interview, you know, the thing about Jeffery is, from the beginning, he’s been all about the science, all about the numbers, and by the best standards we have, the gold standard type standards within psychology and the social sciences. It’s hard to argue that he hasn’t really cracked the code here.
So it’s an interesting body of work, fascinating, and we chatted a little bit before the interview and I’m going to plug that in at some point. But let me just start with, welcome back Dr. Martin, thanks for coming back on Skeptiko.
Jeffery Martin: [00:05:03] Thanks Alex, it’s great to be here.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:05:09] So in the last interview, we talked about a lot of stuff, and I think there’s a lot to kind of pick up on just from where we left off, because there’s a lot of things going on in your world and in the world in general, that I think are relevant to this idea of self-development, meditation training, mind training, but let’s start with just some of the basics.
I maybe did a very brief sketch of who you are, remind people about who is Jeffery Martin, and in particular, how you came about developing this course and the book that you wrote.
Jeffery Martin: [00:05:55] You know, I am someone who was in media and advertising and technology and built businesses in those types of spaces for many years. I had a lot of success, and at the end of all of that, which was in my mid-30s, I was not that happy. I was not unhappy, but it was just obvious to me that there were people that were a lot happier than I was. And being a Type A, overachiever person at that point in my life, I basically just quit everything that I was doing and went back to school and tried to figure out how I could have the happiness and fulfillment that as a Type A person I felt I so rightly deserved.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:06:46] And if I can, let me add another part to this story, because it’s not hidden, you shared in an interview before, but it’s a very personal part that I think anyone without being an armchair psychologist would have to see factors into that. And that’s that during your upbringing, you were exposed to some rather, I don’t know, intense religious kind of experiences, televangelist experiences, and you kind of saw some of the dark side of spiritual salesmanship. But at the same time, I’m sure you were exposed to the potential of this wellbeing change, this awareness, awakening kind of thing. Whether it comes through the televangelist on the screen or whether it comes through meditation.
So that had to be factor just through your upbringing. Do you think you were a seeker all along or a tainted seeker, maybe a skeptical seeker, if you will?
Jeffery Martin: [00:07:45] Well, at one point an enthusiastic seeker, at another point a skeptical seeker, a disillusioned seeker. I think I went through all the phases that so many people do. I think everyone as a seeker. In hindsight, that’s what makes advertising work, is that everybody’s out there looking for something, we all feel that sense of fundamental discontentment, we’ve all got goals. If you don’t think you feel some sort of discontentment, then ask yourself, is there something you want and then ask yourself, why is it that you want that? It’s because there’s some sort of discontentment. There’s a reason why we can make a Ford truck, and map that over into what’s going to, in your own imagination, make you believe that it’s going to dramatically change everything for your life, if you could just get the 2020 Ford truck or whatever.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:08:35] Let’s talk about that for a minute, because this is like really basics. But it’s easy to kind of slip past this, and I think it’s almost so embedded in what you do that it deserves kind of pulling apart. And that’s that, it’s almost like you’re talking to two different audiences. You’re talking to one audience, which is just the first life kind of people. And I have to kind of disagree with you there.
I know, and I think most people who feel that they’re a spiritual seeker on a spiritual path, one of the things that they’ll tell you is it’s frustrating that they encounter so many people who know that that Ford truck, they are convinced that that is all that they need. And when they get the Ford truck and they experience, which we all experience, which is for the first week it’s extremely exciting, and you show all of your friends and you drive it. And then in about three weeks it’s starts feeling like my last truck.
But where that leaves most people, is they just substitute it for the next thing that they want, the next distraction.
So that’s one group of people, and I think people who are seekers, they go, “Man, wake up. At least feel the angst that I feel in realizing that I’m on this wheel.”
And then it seems like you’re talking to this other group of people who are like, “Man, he’s right. When Jeffery says fundamental discontentment, it just hits me in my stomach. It’s like, god, no matter what I do, I still have this fundamental discontentment. I’ve got to somehow find a way behind that.” And that’s who, I think, your course and your book is really talking to.
Do you want to speak to that? You know what I mean, right?
Jeffery Martin: [00:10:23] That’s exactly right. I think it’s challenging to figure out how to reach people who are stuck so deeply in culture, which frankly, you know, I had a role in creating for many years early in my life. Getting people on that treadmill, keeping people on that treadmill, keeping them distracted, getting them to think, it’s your relationship, it’s that you need this education, it’s that you need this next house or car. Or, if you only had this watch or whatever else. Culture is so effective at basically keeping people distracted by that, that they don’t have a chance to, often times, ask the deeper questions.
So absolutely, that’s been a big challenge and I’d say frustration since I’ve been in this line of work. The advertising line of work turned out to be incredibly easy compared to this line of work, because it had all of culture behind it, going for it, and this is going completely against all of that, it’s interesting.
Although it’s funny, I was at this event called [00:11:39 Stream Ager] many years ago now, maybe in 2010 or something. And [00:11:42 Stream Ager] was, it was the guy who built one of the world’s largest advertising conglomerates, WPP, named Marty Sorrell, Sir Martin Sorrell. And he had this thing where he would basically take people, 100 people once or twice a year to some exotic location and basically put them in a pot and stir. And so I went there, and I was in the middle of this research, got invited, you know, more because of what I was doing before, obviously, than this particular research. But everybody more or less had to give some presentation.
So I gave a presentation on what I was working on, which was sort of the opposite of that everybody else was working on at this event. This one was in Thailand, so it had all of the people who run the Googles of China and the Facebooks of China and all of that, in addition to all of the ad people and all of that.
And afterwards Marty came up with main lieutenant, which was the main R&D guy and stuff, and he was little concerned about what I might be onto or up to and how it would affect the global advertising industry if it was ever a success. And then later I had a meal with a guy who was a top economist at the IMF or the World Bank or something like that, I can’t remember, it’s so many years ago now, and that guy was like, “You know, a 3% drop in global consumption and pretty much it’s all over. What are you working on here buddy?”
So there was like this massive pushback, not just at a grassroots cultural level, but like, if you’re at the top level of this system and you kind of understand how it all works and whatever else, this is a little freaky to you too.
I told Marty, listen, the people that I know, they still buy new cell phone.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:13:34] That’s a great story. I don’t want to go there too far because we could fall into that and kind of never get out, but it is, it’s almost too hard to resist. Because the intersection between culture shaping and business is so much more than I think people realize. And it does come into play with regard to these things that we’re talking about, and it may even explain why, as we were chatting about before we kind of hit the record button, actually I had already hit the record button, but we were chatting about it’s almost like you were now put in a position of marketing against those guys. And I guess that’s what you’re saying, and that’s a tough road to hoe. And I almost wonder, I said this at the beginning of the interview, every time I talk to you Jeffery, I halfway expect you to be a lot further down this path, not in terms of the work that you’ve done or the course, which is fantastic, but in terms of its acceptance of it. And when you say that the light bulb goes off and it’s like, man, you have a tough road to hoe because people are being told, no matter how good it is, you don’t want to go there, you don’t want to give up on your iPhone, your new app or whatever you think you’re going to have to give up on.
Jeffery Martin: [00:15:05] And that’s of course not true, they don’t give up on it. And it’s even made worse by a lot of the people that are in the traditional marketplace around this stuff.
So, one of the things that we did not long ago, is I did this survey of serious seekers, because I started to just wonder more about, what’s preventing, even the people who say they really want to get to the type of stuff that we research, what’s preventing them? Now we know from our research that it’s not that hard to get to.
We just ran this new experiment, which was a six-week experiment that transitioned 65% of people that took it in six weeks. So this idea that this is in some way, going to suck decades of your life or whatever, I was thinking to myself, what is it that’s really preventing at this point, someone who’s a serious seeker, from reaching this? And it was a fascinating answer. I didn’t realize how pervasive it was, but for the people who are really immersed in this, like they’re watching all the videos and they’re reading the books and they’re just like, “This is the thing.” They’re terrified of having success with this. And the reason is because of the way the people that are in that marketplace talk about it. You know, they’re constantly saying things like, “You go away,” and “There is no me,” and things like that. And it turns out that that, even for seekers who have absorbed a ton of that material, that’s kind of a horrifying thing to hear. So imagine how horrifying it is for the average person.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:16:55] Break that down a little bit, just so we make sure that people understand what we’re talking about, when we say words like transition and the other people in that community and stuff like that.
So, again, back to the basics. There’s the guy who’s… and not the guy, because when you put Ford truck, it’s like we’re putting down some bumpkin out in the country. Man, I live in Southern California and it’s the Porsche, it’s the Mercedes, it’s whatever you want to put in there. It’s just one thing substituted after another, and as you said, I think quite honestly and quite correctly, you were fine tuning your skills to replace one artificial materialistic need after another, as part of your marketing profession.
So you’re over in this thing and you say, okay, I really want to get at this fundamental sense of discontentment that people feel as soon as they wake up, even a little bit and they say, “Wow, none of that’s really doing it for me.”
And one of the things we should remind people of is your methodology, which I think is just super-duper. From an entrepreneur standpoint, I just always thought was brilliant. You went around the country, went around the world and went to the best teachers you could find who claimed that they knew something about enlightenment, about wellbeing improvement, and you said, “Okay, show me what you know.” And you did these intensive, deep, 12-hour interviews with these people. And then, because you’re a top-notch social scientist and you went to Harvard, and you are really smart, you just compiled all of that down and said, “I’m going to take the best of the best.” It’s like a guy who wants to open up a pizza restaurant and goes to the best pizza restaurant and goes into the back and sees the pizza maker and says, “Okay, show me how you do it.” And then goes back and says, “Well, I ought to be good, I just sat down with 100 of the best pizza makers.
So that is really the origins of this course, and then I think that puts some context into what you’re talking about, in terms of the pushback from people that are kind of in this space. And we should fill in the gap there. I mean, you’re talking about, like, if you go and a guy who has a Buddhist group, and Buddhists kind of go all over the place, especially in the West, but has his little Buddhist training and that. I’m sure it’s also new Christian movements as well. They’re all out there if you think about it, in a way they’re a competitor saying, “We can increase your sense of wellbeing if you come to believe what we believe.”
So did I accurately kind of put some of those pieces in place, in terms of where you fit, in terms of coming along and saying, “Well, maybe you ought to try this because at least I’ve tried my best to quantify the effectiveness of this, and the other one’s you’re following haven’t really done that.”
Jeffery Martin: [00:20:03] Yeah, first ones to apply science to it basically. That’s the only thing that’s different about us. And many people tried to apply science to it in the past. I feel like we just came along at the right time with the internet and global travel.
And, you know, it was like the moment where you could do what we did. Uh, and so that’s, I think that’s exactly right. And in the, in the real hard core of this, of this, there is this notion that people talk about that that sounds terrifying to the average person. It turns out it’s even scary to the seeker, um, of this year go away there.
You know, there is no me there. It’s, it’s almost like it’s this. It’s this badge of honor, or this benchmark sort of notion among all of these folks. And the average person spends their entire life building up them. It’s like the one thing, but everybody is gay, no matter who you are, right. You’re engaged from a young age, probably around age three or something when episodic memory kicks in.
Um, from that point on. And, you know, building you. And so this notion that this thing that you’ve spent your entire life building up is going to go away as a horrifying, because that’s your entire interface to the world. It’s what makes you effective at work? It’s what makes your marriage work? It’s what makes you a good parent?
It’s like, it just sounds so terrifying and it’s so incorrect
Alex Tsakiris: [00:21:35] Let’s talk about that. How incorrect is it? And cause I also want to mention that if we really get to the core of it, that is also the pitch from the church done on the corner is that you will be born again, that you will somehow lose the former you.
So this is a constant theme and isn’t there a kernel of truth in it as well. And that, you know, we all talked about that shift from the, I want the Ford truck to. There’s something more is a certain dying of that self isn’t there some reality to that as well.
Jeffery Martin: [00:22:13] Yeah, and I, churches are a little tricky these days.
Cause you know, it’s hard to hear this kind of a message in a mega church, which has become, you know, more of the dominant type of church. You have the smaller churches that talk about this stuff kind of dying out, um, in America, certainly. Um, and so Christianity has, is a little bit of an exception. I feel like they got better at talking about this.
Um, you know, they had Jesus invite Jesus into your heart. Um, the transformation was just kind of talked about and I think different, and I would say much friendlier. Um, one could even say much more practical. Kind of ways probably. Um, you know, and think about Joel Osteen’s prosperity gospel and you know, things like that, where, you know, Jesus and God want you to have a great life.
You know, they don’t want you to live in lack,
Alex Tsakiris: [00:23:05] kind of giving him a pass there Jeffrey A. Little bit. I mean, cause they’re, they’re using that. To slip in a lot of other stuff where you’re explicitly trying to not do that. You’re explicitly trying to strip it down away from that.
So I just want to make sure we, I
Jeffery Martin: [00:23:24] just mean around the sense of self type stuff. You know, I feel like Christianity in some sense, it’s a little different in terms of what they say then like Buddhism or Hinduism
Alex Tsakiris: [00:23:34] dual crowd. But
Jeffery Martin: [00:23:35] how about back to that crowd? How about
Alex Tsakiris: [00:23:37] back to that, that point though? What do you think.
In terms of this, this transformation is ultimately there. Isn’t an element of letting go of yourself, letting go of the self that you’ve built up. So, you know, you’re kind of saying, Hey, don’t worry. You can still have your iPhone and you don’t have to divorce your wife or your husband or whatever, but there isn’t a sense of re-integration when you.
Jeffery Martin: [00:24:09] who you are, that’s it? Yeah. That’s such a great, that’s such a great thread for us to pull on. I don’t know that we’ve pulled on it before, um, in previous interviews and it’s such an important part of our work right now, because what’s, there is definitely with many forms of this experience. What feels, the reason people talk about you go away, right?
Is because there is an element of it that feels like that internally. For sure. Right. But what they don’t often then go on to say is, um, but you know, I still, I love golf and like shrimp is still my favorite meal and it’s like, it’s like, okay, well, where does all of that come from? Where does shrimp is my favorite meal?
Where does I still wear polo shirts instead of running around the woods and naked, you know, where does all of that come from? If it wasn’t that sense of self thing that you’re talking about wanting to weigh, because like, you know, I mean, I haven’t forgotten how to do math, you know, or like, well, those are all things that when people think about I’m building up me and who I am in the world, You know, I think when you say you go away, they think, wow, my ability to do math will go away.
Right? My ability to dress and feed myself, we’ll go like, these are all things that are part of the story of who we are and how we show up in the world. And it makes it so terrifying. Obviously none of those things, uh, you know, go away unless there’s some head trauma or something that’s associated with the person’s transition to fundamental wellbeing or whatever.
Right. Uh, and so realistically, There is a sense, no doubt that that’s what people are trying to convey. Something fundamentally changes in your sense of self, that old sort of neurotic. Cluster of, uh, I think of it as habit patterns and conditioning patterns and stuff like that. That’s been built up probably since about age two and a half three when episodic memory kicks in, you know, there’s a profound rewiring that goes on in the brain.
It starts to, you know, bypass a lot of that stuff and how it feels. And some forms of this experience is like a, like, there was an identity there that had been built up for a long time that that has gone away. Um, but this, but I think you have to be so careful about how you talk about that because it doesn’t leave you nonfunctional in the world.
Now it can leave you nonfunctional in the world. Right. You can have such a powerful, it’s very, very small minority of. People that have such a powerful transition to this, that they do lose functionality for a period of years, even while their brain is rewiring. Uh, you know, you, you think about, uh, the famous spiritual teacher Eckerd totally talks about how he would sit on a park bench for a couple of years outside the library or whatever, and, you know, um, just sort of.
Trying to let a system reboot or regrow rock or whatever. Yeah. So yeah, you can have that kind of powerful experience. I think the downside for most people is that it’s people who had those types of experiences who have tended in the West to be more likely to become the teachers, to write the books to whatever else.
And so it leaves people with this sense of like, Oh, well, What happens after you transition is you wind up sitting on a park bench for a couple of years, trying to sort of regrow rock your life. And, you know, and in reality, you know, that’s what happens to a tiny, tiny, we’ve never had a single person in our experiments.
Like, I don’t know, 1500, 2000 feet. I like that in our experiments. At this point of inducing, this of transitioning people to this, we’ve never had a single person have the park badge experience. Right. It’s credibly rare. Experience to have the person just goes on with their life. They don’t stop to become a spiritual teacher.
They go back to work,
Alex Tsakiris: [00:27:59] hold on because I mean, there’s, there’s kinda two, two parts of this one is I can understand, uh, the importance of what you’re saying. Is that, you know, you offer this course, people go through this course, your experience is that it’s safe and people come out the other side and they’re able to reintegrate it in their life.
And in general they feel really great.
Jeffery Martin: [00:28:23] I would say that not just with the course with, I mean, we had 1200 plus research subjects before the course, you know, even among that pocket this is an extremely rare when we started getting to people that were just, you know, Working at a meat packing plant in Oklahoma.
And instead of, you know, writing books and making YouTube videos about this and whatever else you don’t here. I was, I had to go sit on a park bench for two years, right? I mean, the average
Alex Tsakiris: [00:28:54] totally, when totally talks about being on the park bench, he talks about as being some of the best moments of his life.
Right. That is Ecker. Totally. His account is that he was in complete bliss on that park bench. So we kind of gotta be careful how we talk about this stuff. I totally accept what you’re saying, and I think it’s important to get it out there, but I think that this. Larger question about what’s really going on because the other thing that I hear you saying that, you know, I don’t want to kind of jump all over words and lead us down a rabbit hole, but this rewiring the brain, we don’t totally understand that that is what’s happening.
And even the neurological models that we would apply to it and pop somebody into an FMR, try and see what’s happening in their brain. We don’t really understand what the relationship would be between what we’d be measuring there and consciousness as it’s somehow emerging or interacting between the brain and this consciousness field.
And I’m going to get into a whole bunch of terms that we’re not even going to visit, but I would say that this integration problem. It pops up all over the place. Like in some of the others, like you go to the near death experience stuff, which I’ve researched
Jeffery Martin: [00:30:09] it a ton. That’s interesting.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:30:11] And you’ll you, what you’ll hear is no one talks about it.
And then somebody’s like, Hmm, PMH, Atwater. This woman, who’s kind of a little bit likes to be out there on the edge. He goes, no, man, this is a major issue. Look at incidents of depression, incidents of divorce, incidents
Jeffery Martin: [00:30:28] of all these things. People would never
Alex Tsakiris: [00:30:30] change their near death experience, but they have a tremendous problem.
Jeffery Martin: [00:30:36] that interesting
Alex Tsakiris: [00:30:37] transformation into the life in a lot of the same ways that you’re talking about, it would even seem to suggest without this is kind of a leap, but I don’t think it is too much of one is the you’re offering people. A safer path towards that integration, a gradual path of reintegration.
Versus if you have that near death experience and you’re not the one driving, it, you’re just, boom, you’re set back in the middle of a new life and you have to pick up the pieces. So I don’t know if we can make those connections, but
Jeffery Martin: [00:31:12] I’m sensing maybe like a near death experience is sort of more like having one of these more extreme transitions is what you’re saying.
That’s really interesting information. That’s what they report. Oh, that’s fascinating for, you know, I think most people we’ll just transition to this and it’s, and they go on with their life. Um, it is it, so one of the things that. That we’ve been working with lately has been since yeah. You bring up the word integration.
I actually think integration is incredibly important and that’s a big focus of our work. It’s been a big focus of our work for several years now, mostly because when we started transitioning people years ago, um, It just became something that we had, you know, we had to sort of help them on the other side of it, if you will, to sort of recontextualize their experience.
And it was just, I didn’t see it coming at the time.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:32:00] this might be a good point to kind of. Again, take a step back and tell people what this process is like. So you we’re interested now from, in this case course that you’re offering, they sign up for the course, they pay their money, whatever it is now, whatever it is be in the future.
And I want you to tell those numbers, cause you’re not trying to hide any numbers or anything like that. And then they get a group. That they’re kind of assigned to their cohort, which is a part of this process. We, you know, it’s part of the secret sauce is that you have a, if you form a community of people who are going to go through this process together, it’s going to help you make this transition.
And then you go through and you practice and you have to work at this stuff. And I want you to speak to all that. And then you’re saying at the end of that, A good person to people feel a positive change in their life, but then you’re saying they did face this issue of, wow. I’ve really redefined my life.
Uh, I’m not sure I can deal with that on kind of more of a day to day, psychological psychology today kind of thing.
Jeffery Martin: [00:33:06] Right? Where are my neuroses? Why don’t they want the truck anymore? Why aren’t I willing to sacrifice. 20 hour work days to get the truck.
One of the things that can happen with the transition to this is, and that that has been encouraged. I think for a really long time is so we use the term look, these days, fundamental wellbeing, you know, our academic term is persistent non-symbolic experience or ongoing non some buckets experience.
Um, but. That’s kind of a mouthful for the average person. And so when we wrote the book, you know, I had to kind of think of a term that I thought expressed it. Well, we could use in the public. And so fundamental old term is fundamental. Wellbeing is sort of the bucket term for all of these different things that we studied.
Uh, and there are hundreds and hundreds of terms, you know, non-duality enlightenment. Persistent mystical experience. Shamonic ecstasy to, I mean, you name it. We just catalog the ton of terms all around the world that people use for this. So that’s our one bucket term. So when you hear me use the word fund, your mental wellbeing, basically, that’s what I’m referring to.
Uh, so. From a fundamental wellbeing standpoint, for the most part, it has been fundamental wellbeing for fundamentals, wellbeing sake that has been advocated. Right. And so when you transitioned to fundamental wellbeing, your goal is to sit on that park bench in bliss, right? I mean, one of the things that, that, you know, when you hear Eckert talking about that, and it was the, one of the greatest times of his life I’m sitting.
Just sinking in to fundamental wellbeing can absolutely be phenomenal. And if you’ve got enough money and your life situation that affords you to, if you’re like him and you’re not married and don’t have kids and you’ve got some savings, you know, that you can live on to rent a room in a flat and go back and sleep in at night or whatever else then.
That’s certainly a valid life choice that someone can make. You could sit on that park bench for the next 40 years, if you’ve got enough savings to do it. Uh, and if that’s the way that you want your life to unfold from that point, that’s fine. A lot of this has been sort of what’s advocated. The Hindus came up with a great way of dealing with it.
You know, where they basically said don’t even think about transitioning into fundamental wellbeing until you were retired. You know, there’s a stage in your life where you’re growing up. There’s a stage where you’re going to school. There’s a stage where you’re working and when you’re raising your family and when you’re done with all of that fine, then transition to this and you can sit on your porch thinking to blitz for the rest of your life.
You know, if that’s what you’ve done on a good job with the other things, with the other elements in your life after that point, and you do get to a place where you can retire that. Right. And so that’s totally fine. And I don’t want to disparage that as a legitimate. Wife choice and life path or whatever in any way.
Cause I think that’s perfectly valid, but for the vast majority of people, that’s really not an option. You know, they’re, they’re not living in a life circumstance where this traditional notion where it’s all about fundamental wellbeing for fundamental wellbeing sake is. Something that is even possible for them, unless they want to go sleep under a bridge for the rest of their life, or, you know, something like that.
Right. Abandoned raising their kids. Um, you know, there’s just, there’s so many potential consequences in the average person’s life. So it doesn’t mean that you should just wait until retirement, you know, for this year we’re going to solve it the way it was solved. Uh, you know, in one region of the world.
Well, that’s. One way that sort of one culture came to grips with that. But I think, you know, in the same sense that science can sort of wrap its arms around this, um, And he’s out shorter, more reliable, safer, whatever sort of paths to get to. I think science can also wrap its way around this as an integration problem and say, you know, over here on this side of the fence, if we have fundamental wellbeing for fundamental wellbeing sake, and over here on this side of the fence, if we have.
You know, traditional culture, which is narrative, self based, which is not going to yield it all to the fundamental wellbeing side of it. No, there isn’t the narrative self side of the world. You go excited of the world, our traditional culture. It’s not going to be like tomorrow. It’s not going to wake up and be like, Oh my God, fundamental wellbeing people.
You have completely figured it out. Let’s just change everything about culture and society to adapt to you, right? The fundamental wellbeing people have to adapt to themselves to the culture and you have to sort of work your way to this integration. And so a lot of our work these days is around how in a modern context, do you optimize fundamental wellbeing for living a modern life strangely something that just hasn’t.
Ben worked on much. And part of it is just because of that intellectual and belief inheritance around, you know, listen, once you get to this man, it’s fundamental wellbeing for fundamental wellbeing sake. It’s like you put your butt down on that park bench. And you know, if that’s, if your last possession is your shirt, man, don’t get off that park bench.
Cause you’ve been waiting your whole life for this. The sink to, you know, this or it does, it seems to me that there’s no reason that these things cannot be integrated of science Philly. And so that’s, that’s a huge piece of what we’re working on right now. You know, when someone gets out of one of our programs, um, I’ve just started, I w we’ve had a program for this.
For a long time. It was an experiment in this that we’ve been doing for years called the explorers course, because I think that people go from fine from seeking to finding and from finding to exploring the world from like a much greater sense of freedom and stability than they had before. They don’t, they’re not compulsively seeking, like they used to be, but like there’s still a world.
Right. I mean, and so that, you know, how they’re showing up in that world is this kind of a freer or more free Explorer of sorts. Right. And what’s occurred to me over the years is that that exploring metaphor is great. And I think it’s very accurate, but it’s not necessarily what the average person needs.
Then the finder’s course, four months long, you know, Two to $3,000 to go through. There were, yeah, it was very limited percentage of people that could take advantage of the finder’s course. And a lot of the people who could, were actually retired. Right. And so. If you think about it, um, we had this pool full of subjects that were really sort of skewed in the direction of retirees and they could just go to the park bench or they could just go to the cave.
They were kind of set up for that. They were retirees that could shell out. Two to $3,000 for a program which most retirees can’t, you know, most retirees, like if they have a $200 expense, it’s like the end of the world. Um, and so this is a very sort of unique subset of people that were able to take advantage of our initial set of experiments.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:40:16] did you see that going in or is that something you kind of realized. Afterwards.
Jeffery Martin: [00:40:21] Yeah. I realized that and out of it really, you know, realize that when we really started to crunch those numbers and look at. I mean, people didn’t have kids for the most part. Yeah. You know, it was very rare for someone to have young children and to have taken the finder’s course.
It’s not that there was nobody, but you know, if you’ve got young kids and a job and you’re trying to hold your marriage together, and we’re saying to you, can you just give us three hours of your life every day for four months? Right? I mean, people are like, Hell, no, I can’t give
Alex Tsakiris: [00:40:53] you three hours of my
Jeffery Martin: [00:40:54] life every day before abouts.
Are you insane? You have any realization of what my life is like. Right. Um, and so, you know, just skewed professionals that didn’t have kids, you know, that were working nine to five jobs that paid them reasonably well. And, you know,
Alex Tsakiris: [00:41:13] In a way that kind of lens, it kind of lends credibility and support to what you’re all about from the beginning in that, like, if you would really put on more of your marketing hat from the beginning and said, okay, what’s the best price model.
What’s the best price model to reach this demographic. And how can we provide the least amount of services in order to get the, the best kind of reoccurring revenue stream? You wouldn’t have done it that way. And I think it speaks to the fact that you did it the other way around. You’re saying no, you know, this is a fundamental cultural shift we’re talking about.
I love the way you put it. I wrote it down, you know, switching the culture from a egocentric narrative centric. Mindset to a, what did you call it? Fundamental wellbeing mindset. I mean, I think you really gotta let that sink in culturally. And as you said in that story, that was fantastic story. I mean, the culture shapers will never let that happen.
I mean, that just will not happen on a large scale, but it doesn’t matter. You could still to use your term transition. Tens of millions of people and do it basically under the radar and all the rest of them can go on and buy their, their Ford trucks. But do you know what I mean? It’s not, like I said, if you’re just trying to build a cult or if you’re just trying to make a moneymaking machine, you know, the way you did it, wasn’t really probably the best.
Jeffery Martin: [00:42:46] No, that would have been a very stupid way
Alex Tsakiris: [00:42:49] about
Jeffery Martin: [00:42:49] that,
Alex Tsakiris: [00:42:50] for
Jeffery Martin: [00:42:50] sure. I mean, there’s such a thing in, you know, product design and marketing and all of that called product market fit. Right. I mean, if you would have had to, you could not have possibly gotten further from the concept of it, product market fit and come up with a
Alex Tsakiris: [00:43:07] protocol
Jeffery Martin: [00:43:08] like the finder’s course, it’s just like, It’s it’s that, that made it brutal, you know, to, for all of those years, uh, for sure.
But that’s one of the great, you know, but one of the things that you do, I was, I was with, um, a friend of mine. Who’s a venture capitalist out here in Silicon Valley named Tim Chang. Who’s who’s. One of the greats, I think in the venture capital space, you know, just in terms of who he is as a person who is as a human being, his own evolution, his own, you know, evolutionary path, um, what he funds from, what is really a major firm that he’s at out here, one of the great firms, um, and, you know, we were talking about, um, Some transformative technology stuff and the conversation turned to finder’s course.
And he said, you know, it’s really interesting because obviously from my proof speaking with him, you know, obviously from my perspective, you know, I can see what you’ve done is exactly sort of systematically what one would do. And a product development sort of way. He was like, you know, you started with, you know, your fundamental and basic research, you made sure that that research was sound.
Then you put that research to the test to see if it really did, you know, what you thought it would do. I’m continuing to do research on that to make sure it was sound. And he said, you know, and of course you start off in a situation where it’s only the people like me that can probably afford it. And that can afford to do it.
And that’s, that’s fundamentally sort of an unfair part of our whole consumer world, our home consumer culture, but that’s just the way products started. They often have to start at this very somebody who has a lot of disposable income and, you know, more disposable time perhaps than others in order to be able to get to the next step.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:44:58] Let’s talk about that transition that you’re going to make, because your, uh, your telling of the story, there is a little bit of a, kind of a, sounds like a venture capitalist weaving, you know, re re-imagining the story, right?
Cause, cause no, really
Jeffery Martin: [00:45:13] I love other people’s perspectives on this though, you know, because it really helps me to.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:45:17] I’d hold to my perspective, which is, I think you were doing it for different reasons. I think you were doing it for the reasons because you were really interested in making sure that people could make this fundamental transition because otherwise.
No. I mean, I’m an entrepreneur too. I mean, you would have just gone out and gotten some money and sold the course for $99 from the beginning. Cause that’s a price point and he would have gotten him out there and you wouldn’t have spent so much time sweating all the metrics and all the rest of that crap.
And you would have approached it differently. I think your, your friend, Tim is being kind, but I think he’s distorting it from a business
Jeffery Martin: [00:45:54] standpoint. I know there’s truth in that, but there’s also, I think in me, all of these different elements, you know, the whole thing really started just cause I wanted to get happier.
Right. And so the initial impetus for this wasn’t I want other people to be happy. It was a type, a high achieving personality saying, you know, okay, how do I high achieve with my own wellbeing? And having taken a crap ton of other courses, basically given up on the belief that anybody else had an answer for them.
And so saying, all right, well, I’m going to stop what I’m doing with this other stuff, because if I keep doing it, I’m going to be as happy as I am today. And I want, it’s not what I want. That’s not the outcome that I want for my life. So how do I take my high-performing self and pointed in the direction of getting to more happiness?
Right? And so if you look at the actual Genesis of this whole project, that was an incredibly selfish endeavor by, you know, what at the time was sort of a type, a high achieving person to get to their own level of happiness.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:46:54] I don’t see that. I don’t see that, but that’s another, that’s another story.
Jeffery Martin: [00:46:59] It did you’re right.
It did become really a moral obligation. I think from, from my perspective, I view this is,
Alex Tsakiris: [00:47:05] I think, as you sat there at a young age and watched your mom on the Christian broadcasting network, you saw both sides of it. And you saw the side of it that you wanted to strip away, which is the fake side, but you saw the other side of it that people really do need totally possible.
A blind spot. You might be one of those people on the other end of that who really does need. To make some kind of transition and helping people make a transition like that is probably one of the highest callings we can have if we can keep our own crap out of it, which it seems like you’ve really, really tried to do.
And so now I think the science. Well, that is, that is, that is one of the, that is one of the benefits of science, which we’re at such an interesting point in our history here too, which we will not get off on that thing, but science has been so, so. Disorder, distorted and misused at this point in our history.
And it’s really, really difficult to sort through, you know, who’s really telling the truth and who’s using it as a tool for control and manipulation, no matter where you take that. But let’s get back to talking about this. This class that this, this course that you have and potentially where you’re taking it.
Because again, I explained this in the beginning, when I first met you, one of the things that really intrigued me was your larger vision for transitioning again, to using your term. But what I really like is I like this other term is creating a culture centered around. Fundamental wellbeing. And you had a vision for that, that expanded way beyond reaching a few thousand people in a course.
And so you have both a technology component that you’re working on towards that long term, but then in the short term, you’re also seeing a way to change your course to reach larger numbers of people who didn’t fit those requirements that you had in the first course. So let’s talk about
Jeffery Martin: [00:49:09] that. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
Um, and I was thinking the other day, you know, I, about a month ago as we shoot this interview, uh, June 12th, I turned 50. Um, and. As I was coming up in, you know, I’m an, I’ve been, I started this when I was 35 really, um, made the life change, went back to school at 36, you know, had to sort of decided on how I might approach it, you know, by age 36 and was heading down that track that some preliminary stuff starting at 35.
Um, so you’re talking about all of the second half of my thirties, all of my forties. Which are, of course, the most productive times from, you know, sort of an individual life span. You look at the business research on all of that type of stuff. When are people most productive? What’s their peak productive years or whatever.
Those are the peak productive years basically. Um, And so I was, as it, as it started to roll into my late forties, you know, when I hit 45, I was thinking to myself, geez, it doesn’t seem like there’s an end in sight here. Um, but gosh, it would sure be nice if, you know, we could have something that was available to way more people by the time I’m 50.
And it’s, it’s funny because at the time that 50 hit. I was in Iowa and I was doing research with our direct brain stimulation technology, which is five, 10 years away, you know, still at this point. Um, but nonetheless showing huge promise and, you know, we’re on the bleeding edge of all of that whole space and all of that.
Um, and I was, you know, not. Really doing what I should have been doing, hit that 50 Mark. And then the virus hit. And I couldn’t be in a lab with subjects, pudding trends, it’s cranial ultrasound. And you know, other of these various technologies on their head, I had to basically, I went to I’m from Peoria, Illinois.
So there’s still houses in Peoria, Illinois. So I went to a house on the river, sort of, um, PRA river, Illinois river Peoria Lake. Beautiful. Phew, great place for somebody who is in fundamental wellbeing to sink into peace out the wall of back windows every day and all of that. Right. Um, and while I was there, I was like, well, crap, you know, okay, I’ve got the ultrasound with, I can experiment on myself or I had full of friends maybe in Peoria.
Right. Um, but like, what am I going to do during this time? Uh it’s there was this, there was this really important. Thing about the finder’s course data. And that is that the finder’s course experiments transitioned about 70% of people that successfully completed them. You know, that went all the way through the protocol gave us pre-measured is when all the way through gave us postmasters.
That’s what, that’s what I call an alumni or somebody who successfully completes that protocol in that data of that 70%. Roughly 60% of those transitions happen from one type of method. And I’d always in the back of my head, wanted to go, go back and do a smaller experiment around just that, you know, what happens if you just take those methods and you kind of put them on their own, in their own thing, but.
I would have never done it, frankly, if not for the virus hitting, because we’re just so heads down on the possibility of the direct brain stimulation stuff. And it’s, you know, really where we’re at, we’re researching the integration piece for people that have already transitioned. That’s getting a lot of time or doing the direct brain stimulation.
That’s getting a lot of time. There’s no way I would have started a new. Thing around transitioning in my mind, like the finder’s course was out there even though not a lot of people could take advantage of it. If you were really serious about transitioning, you could take it and you could, you know, you have great office it’s about working for you.
Like, I kind of felt like we’d done enough. Um, For the time being on that and the real future was in this technology stuff. And we had just had this, I spend a lot of time on it, getting it to that point where it could really affect billions of people. Right. Uh, but COVID hits and suddenly I’m sitting, you know, on a house, on the river in Illinois, nothing to do.
Um, and. That experiment comes to mind. And I think to myself, you know, what, what I got, I have a studio in house here more or less than all of my houses are studio because we generate so much content. Uh, and so I’m like, I’ve got a studio here. I can shoot new videos of instructions and stuff like that. Um, you know, let’s.
What the hell I’m literally like practically one day I just woke up and thought, I’m going to send an email out to our list and I’m going to see if anybody signs up for this. If anybody is interested in this and I’m just going to be totally transparent. I said exactly what I just said to you. You know, we’re going to basically just experiment these methods.
I have no idea if it will work, I’m sure some people will transition. It could be almost no one. It could be a lot of people. I have no idea. We have no data on this. No, but if you want to participate in this pilot, You’re welcome to come and participate in this pilot. We priced it around 120 bucks because I’ve always done pilots that way, you know, like 120 bucks is when I first did the first finder’s course, I think it was like 150 bucks or something like that.
I charged just to get. The people who are serious and who might actually go all the way through the protocol, you know, if you make something free, they drop out in the first week, right? Find that bare minimum threshold. You can at least all people through, you know, enough people through more of the program to get decent statistics and all that on it.
Um, and I remember when I was first doing the finders course protocol, I was thinking to myself, you know, 150 bucks is fair. It’s like, It’s not much to pay if we’re successful and it’s not much to pay if we wind up making people insane. No, we had no idea, right.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:55:18] If this was totally
Jeffery Martin: [00:55:20] best people up or they were going to have great outcomes or no outcome or, you know, whatever else.
And so I didn’t want it to, so I follow that same sort of idea with all of our pilots. Right. And so I charged 120 bucks and unbelievable to me. Uh, hundreds of people signed up at the end, by the end, over 800 people had signed up. We couldn’t take 800 people into an experiment. So by the end, we were just being nice and letting people come in and take the class, uh, during COVID.
Um, but you know, well, it kind of came out of this COVID period. It was really interesting to me is a six week protocol. And out of that, the transition rate. Looks like it’s 64, 65%, which is astonishing. If you think of it, you know, if you have a situation where you can go through it four month program with a 70% chance of success, or you can go through a six week program with a 64 65% chance of success.
That to me is revolutionary now for 120 bucks, we subsidized the crap out of that, right? I mean, you can’t, that’s not like a sustainable thing that you can just. Drive ads to and keeping the marketplace or whatever else. And so what I did was I gave the people that went through it, the opportunity to participate.
I said, listen, if you want this thing to stay alive, we can’t afford it. So we’re going to have, you know, we could charge a thousand bucks for this and it’s a sustainable deal. Right. And so one route is we can, we can discharge a thousand bucks for this. Another route is we can not do it again. And we can just write up the data, you know, and it can be a great experiment.
And the third route is you as the people who went through this can keep this thing alive as volunteers, and we can continue to make it broadly accessible. To a much wider range of people. And we had over a hundred people that went through the program, like 150 people volunteer to keep this thing alive.
And they’re doing all kinds of things. There’s a marketing team and there’s a course implementation team and there’s of course support team that have really sort of come together. And that, for me, as someone who’s been under attack for years, You know, uh, in our work, um, there was no way for me to describe how heartful it is to see, um, you know, these people coming together to make this a possibility.
I mean, it’s, it’s felt like sort of us against the world for a long time. And these experiments, you know, initially against the academic world. And of course over the years and endless conference presentations and endless interactions with colleagues and stuff, you know, that’s. Finally, you know, not a hostile environment for us anymore at this point, but for a long time, it was, you know, the scientist just didn’t feel like this was something that could be studied.
It sounded too mystical. It sounded too magical. It sounded like it was a bunch of people that were crazy, frankly, you know, that were experiencing psychopathology or whatever. They were like, that’s just a waste of time to study. And so it took us years fighting those battles. And then, you know, all of the traditional lists that, you know, believe that.
Jesus is the only way to experience this, or, you know, that you, the only valid experiences as you’re sitting in some exotic meditation position, and there’s a blue light that starts in the fall are part of your visual field and moves then. And if you haven’t had that experience, then you’re not in fundamental wellbeing or whatever, right.
I mean, it’s, it’s been a battle against those folks,
Alex Tsakiris: [00:58:52] you know, for all of this
Jeffery Martin: [00:58:53] time. Um, and so it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s really been such a blessing to have this. So, first of all right before 50, what are the odds? Right. I mean, there’s gotta be some unconscious goal programming intention thing happening there.
Um, but right before 50 to have this thing that can affect and can be in a lot more people’s lives and then to have the people that went through it initially be so like, Totally onboard. Even there, the leather cross spectrum. There’s the scientist in there. There’s the hardcore Buddhists in there and there’s ordinary people in there and they’re all coming together to make this a reality for, I think one will probably be millions, more people that could take advantage.
That’s incredible to me.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:59:39] Yeah. That’s great. So we’re talking about finder’s course 2.0, if you will. And that was. Kind of a great
Jeffery Martin: [00:59:46] site called 45 days to awakening challenge right now. But yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: [00:59:50] Oh man, I’m glad you put such a catchy marketing spin on there.
Jeffery Martin: [00:59:55] I didn’t think anybody would sign up for it.
Eventually. I was like, I wonder if like I can get it small group of like six or 10 people to do that. Hundreds of people started to sign up.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:00:05] of the things that I want to do right there, because I mean, I don’t want to kind of push the. I certainly don’t want to push what you’re doing. I don’t know. I’m just, I’m just doing what anyone one would do is just kind of looking at the, looking at the numbers, looking at the detractors, like a TLP, one of the first things I always do when I have a guest on, as I type in.
Jeffrey Martin fraud, Jeffrey Martin scam, and Jeffrey Martin con you know, so this is, this is what I do because
Jeffery Martin: [01:00:37] an interesting habit
Alex Tsakiris: [01:00:39] you have to, you have to, because
Jeffery Martin: [01:00:41] of that, well, we don’t want to type any of those things into Google. Do I,
Alex Tsakiris: [01:00:45] let me, let me tell you, you, you, you kind of do it because in a lot of ways, it’s, it’s encouraging.
I mean, I was able to sort through that. Relatively quickly, you know, and people just say stuff that like, well, I have to be anonymous here because I didn’t have to be anonymous. Who are you? Well, because I signed a nondisclosure was your agreement. I can wait a minute. I’ve talked to, I’ve talked to Jeffrey Martin.
I know he shares this stuff, but he’s not going to Sue you because you give them a bad review. That’s total bullshit. And then when you even dig in further what people are saying. And the negative front. Well, I didn’t finish the course and it’s like, okay, well, you didn’t finish the course, that’s your prerogative, but do you really want to evaluate the course in somebody?
So I think the criticisms that I found and I searched, you know, just pretty quickly fell away with the kind of stuff you can see on any YouTube video, where you got haters on there, you know, instantly trying to put the thing down. So, but so that’s not my role here. My role is not to, you know, so people know.
I signed up for your course, and I didn’t complete the courses way back in the day. And it was mainly just because it was kind of tedious in terms of some of the data that you’re trying to collect,
Jeffery Martin: [01:02:00] but Oh yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:02:01] I was really,
Jeffery Martin: [01:02:03] especially back in the day we had like 10 hours of measures that we would make people fill out and stuff.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:02:08] Well, I was impressed with, with what you were doing and I got close enough to it to say that I have to accept. The numbers that he’s, he’s putting out there, but what I really wanted to focus on, cause I think people have these lingering thoughts in the back of their mind. And one of the thoughts is certainly about the money.
So we can talk about, you know, How, you know, a couple million dollars that you would make is not really that much money or how you’re really losing money. People can’t hear that. All they hear is the guy wants $2,500 to a class. And that seems like a lot of money. So I, I do think calling, I don’t want to drill on this point, cause it sounds like I’m, you know, chilling for the course or something.
There are costs associated with doing something like this in the way that you do it. And in particular kind of supporting these groups as they go through it. So there are some costs baked into that. And I want you to just really briefly explain to people why the volunteer model that you’re moving towards.
Well, one allow you to achieve hopefully good results for people, but number two, it won’t, it will unburden you from some of these costs.
Jeffery Martin: [01:03:25] Yeah. Yeah, for sure. You know, they’re part of it is that it’s a research program and it’s been a research program for so long and it’s got a staff of research people.
It’s not like one guy running a class. No, or that, that can have lower costs associated with it. If you’re like just somebody that sits there and makes a video and, you know, advertises it on Facebook or something like that. Um, so we estimate that of the $2,500, uh, which was the traditional price of the finder’s course.
It’s 3000 right now. And that’s because we’ve started to include the explorers course with it. We just think that. Well, too many people didn’t follow up with Dixie explores course. And we had kind of ethical problems with that because we really feel like you need the information about, you know, transitioning how, how your life changes and, you know, sort of best practices and, and things like that.
And so that was something we used to sell separately for like 1200 bucks or so. And so I streamlined that, so that it took almost none of our time provided the same information tax 500 bucks on a so that we could still support it, um, and basically bundled it with the finder’s course. Um, you know, I think if you are just doing courses, um, then that’s.
You know, we estimated that the, that the cost, the market at a sustainable level, not a Mark, not a level where you would be making a lot of money or something, but just at a sustainable level, uh, what would be about half of that $2,500 in terms of Facebook ad costs or YouTube ad costs, uh, and stuff like that.
Now, the times when we’ve advertised, which we don’t do very often, but we have done. Uh, usually we do that to increase our demographics. And so we do that to broaden our demographics. And traditionally what we’ve done is we’ve been willing to spend up to the entire cost of acquiring someone, um, in order to, um, You know, to get more people in at a, at a broader range of demographics.
And then we just sort of take money from other places, other registrant’s that didn’t come through advertising that came through word of mouth or something like that. Other research funds that we’ve got. And so it’s kind of from our, it’s just not a very good answer. It’s complicated. You know, our world is just very complicated.
We’ve got researchers that we pay for. We’ve got the support people that we pay for. Um, the finder’s course has almost always been supported. I’d say always been supported by, um, people that were associated with the lab. Um, and so, you know, there’s only so many people in the world that can really answer some of the difficult questions that come in.
traditionally had a very small number of people, you know, that we allowed into each cohort.
I mean, we’re not running hundreds of people through each cohort and the finder’s course. I mean, lots of times our cohorts are 20, 25 people, 50 people. Um, we always do scholarships. We try to have, um, lately we’ve tried to have about 50% of the seats be scholarships. And so that means that you’ve got, you know, maybe 20 people that are paying.
The $3,000 and then you’ve got another 20 people who are paying, you know, Often greatly reduced fees and we have to do that to keep the data demographically broad.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:06:49] So I just wanted to mention that I wanted to get that out front because I know it always comes up for people. And, and I, I just want them to understand on a one, just run those numbers that you just did there.
This is not,
Jeffery Martin: [01:07:00] people should not do this. If they want to make money, if there’s somebody out there who’s thinking to themselves that looks like a great business.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:07:09] Just immediately
Jeffery Martin: [01:07:11] stop. Go for it.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:07:14] As someone who built
Jeffery Martin: [01:07:15] companies
Alex Tsakiris: [01:07:16] prior to this, right?
Jeffery Martin: [01:07:17] I can attest, this is not a good business. This is not a business you want to be in.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:07:22] This is
Jeffery Martin: [01:07:22] not something that you should be thinking about. If you want to have a high living lifestyle with good income,
Alex Tsakiris: [01:07:29] it’s just the wrong
Jeffery Martin: [01:07:31] direction to go.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:07:33] Jeffrey. Here’s another kind of concern. Let me just throw this out there. So you move to this new model. Which allows you to broaden open up the, open up the funnel a little,
Jeffery Martin: [01:07:44] Yeah.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:07:46] What about the cult thing and that, cause I do have to throw that out there. Right? So every one of almost everyone that’s too much, but so many of these movements, you know, just spoke with, you know, we were talking about our mutual friend, Rick Archer from Buddha at the gas pump, who does a fantastic job of serving so many people who are offering.
Jeffery Martin: [01:08:06] Absolutely
Alex Tsakiris: [01:08:07] trainings and stuff like that. See anyone who has any kind of scientific basis for supporting their claims about how efficacious they are anywhere close to what you have, but that’s neither here nor there people are allowed to go out there and say, Hey, this works for me. And it works for my people that come to my training.
Why don’t you give it a try? And if you’re so inclined and you like that cut on their gym and, you know, go for it kind of thing. I kinda liked somebody who has some science behind it that I can kind of point to and say, well, maybe I have more of a, of a chance of, of getting there, but that’s kind of neither here nor there.
The, the, the real point is if someone just making this decision, one of the things they do have to be concerned about is the cult thing. And I think it’s so funny. Cause again, in talking to Rick, I mean, Rick is. These aren’t exactly his words, but Rick is somewhat of a cult survivor in that he went through the TM movie for the longest time.
I think anyone who really looks under the hood of the TM movement at the end, it really looked. So much like a call the guys, you know, locked up alone, doesn’t see anybody is having sexual relations, inappropriate sexual relations. When he’s telling everyone else to be celibate, he’s fooling around with the money.
You know, I mean, it’s just a lot of very shaky, shady things, and we’ve seen that repeated over and over and over again in all these spiritual circles. So. You know, one of the questions I asked you in an email and I’ll ask it here
Jeffery Martin: [01:09:46] is
Alex Tsakiris: [01:09:47] I see kind of where you’ve built some firewalls to prevent against it, moving in that direction.
Jeffery Martin: [01:09:55] it’s always offensive to me when I’m doing an interview like this and someone doesn’t bow to me at the beginning of it.
I don’t know if we can go back and put that in, but that would make me so much more comfortable with this interview today, just to, just to let you know, I don’t know if you have that. With all of your guests, it could just be me and where I’m coming from after all these years. So you’re right. My great concerns really was that, um, people would want to put me at the center of this, um, because to me it’s.
No, it’s about the data and it’s about sort of what science shows us and what science reveals. It’s not about. Um, the person that really collects it. I mean, sometimes you have somebody like an Einstein who just kind of becomes a legendary figure or, you know, something like that. And there’s kind of a cult of Einstein or whatever else, but at the end it was.
This work and the science that stands either independent from him in terms of being able to be validated and whatnot by others or not, or whatever else. And so, yeah, you’re right. I mean, I, you know, I, I, at the beginning it wasn’t a thought because I was doing it for my own wellbeing. Right. And then as I started to think was once I got there and I really started to realize, okay, this is something that should be available.
There’s all these. Poor seekers out there that are beating their heads against the wall. And they’re constantly communicating with me about how frustrating, you know, their lives are. And there, I went through this really kind of very frustrating period for me personally, where I was constantly getting emails from seekers because stuff doesn’t work for them.
Right. And they would see some talk that I gave or run across some PowerPoint slides that I put online from some academic talk or something. And it would be like, this guy must have the answers. And this was way before the finder’s course, you know? Um, and so they would contact me and I would have nothing for them really.
Like I would just have nothing for them. I would be like, well, here are the classifications of the experience. And, you know, like they wanted that they wanted to get there. Right. And they were just so frustrated. Um, and so that’s, I think where a lot of my moral sort of impetus comes from around this and.
You know, I was interviewing a lot of these spiritual teachers, obviously for a long time. Um, and I could just see that that was not a model that I wanted to replicate a, I didn’t really want their lives. Like, it just didn’t seem like their lives were all that awesome, frankly, you know, in the same sense that like, you know, I don’t really, it’s not my dream to return to.
The academic world as like a chair professor in some department, like that’s a crappy life in many ways. Right? Like, I’m glad I dip my toe in that I’m grateful for the years that I had at places like Hong Kong Polytechnic and Sophia university and places like that, you know? But geez, like when I compare that to how awesome it was to run companies before
Alex Tsakiris: [01:12:44] that period
Jeffery Martin: [01:12:45] of time for something like this is a massive difference in quality of life.
Right. Um, and so. I looked at their lives and I thought, okay, I don’t want you to, um, you know, I’ve got to make, don’t put me, yeah. I’m like, I got to make sure people don’t put me at the center of it. Uh, and I went a little too far with that, actually. Um, and so when I first did the explorers course, One of the things that I did was I set up a community for it and I totally completely capped myself out of that community.
Uh, and that community just could totally devolve on its own. Um, so there was like this group of alumni, if you will, of sort of our programs that, that just completely, you know, developed independently of me. And I did it because of this guru concern, because I knew that. Any conversation that I was in, I was going to get deference, uh, you know, from those individuals in all likelihood and that it was going to sort of shape the community that they could have.
Um, and so now years later in the exemplar program, I’ve, I’ve learned that that wasn’t necessarily ideal that a lot of the VA a lot of the knowledge that we have accumulated over the years, it’s incredibly valuable. To those individuals, it would have been very helpful if I would have been involved in that and injecting that in a and things like that.
And so now I’m trying to walk a careful line and this new community where, you know, I am. I often will let a day of people posts even think about, um, posting on a post. Oftentimes I’m not needed to post there’s all kinds of experiences from all kinds of people. It’s a pretty big community right off the bat with a lot of experience in fundamental wellbeing.
People that have been in it forever, people that are brand new to it. And a lot of diversity it’s been kind of amazing. Um, but you know, I will look through those threads and I will see what is it that I could really add here? Is there anything on this. Thread that I could add that’s, you know, value. And if there isn’t, I don’t comment on, I just like people’s posts and stuff.
It’s sort if it’s a private Facebook group, um, or if there is, then I will inject my, I don’t think I’m hyper. I think we have to be hyper, hyper, hyper, hyper aware of this. Um, just because it’s, Hey, it’s just perfect. Actually not what I want for my life. I don’t think it’s a great lifestyle, um, to have.
People projecting all of their stuff on you. Um, but, um, also I, you know, I think it’s important to allow peers, um, to allow more of a peer system and to try to be as much of a peer sort of, as you can understanding that I’m never going to be a peer. Right. I mean, there isn’t anybody else’s, but. The last 15 years of their life and, you know, millions of dollars in resources and, you know, whatever else and just doing this, those people did other things with their lives, which I hope were more fun.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:15:45] And, but it cuts both ways. Right? I mean, that’s the one thing. So we all realize is that they cannot be your peer when it comes to the finder’s course. And you can’t be their peer when it comes to, you know, their career as a neurosurgeon. Right. I mean you can’t.
Right. So we get that. That’s awesome. So tell you what, um, Let’s let’s kind of cover two more things as we wrap up one. Yeah. Obviously this course is going in terms of if people are intrigued and now this does sound like a shield thing, but if people are intrigued by this and they should be future, like for them, how would they go about doing this?
When is it happening? How is it happening? How do they do it? And then finally, I want to talk about the technology thing, cause that always intrigues me and it kind of cuts both ways in terms of God needs our help in terms of wearing your little helmet there to get a realization and meet God. So,
Jeffery Martin: [01:16:43] absolutely.
So the, the answer to your first question is, um, because of the volunteer involvement we’re going to do at least one more. On July 18th. Um, and so that would actually be like July 13th or something when it starts cause there’s a pre week. Uh, and that’s going to be really our volunteer test and I think it’s going to go really well.
And assuming that, you know, that’s a correct assessment on my part, I’m sure we’ll probably run, you know, we’ll keep to try to keep the thing out there and we’ll try to keep it as accessible as it can be. Um, so that as many people can take advantage of it as possible. Uh, one of the things that I’ve done and I don’t know how the second part turns out yet.
Um, but the, the. Right now it’s called 45 days to awaken. I think there will probably be a 45 days to be elimination of depression and 45 days, you know, reducing anxiety in 45 days to all kinds of different things and slight tweaks to the program because the academic numbers are amazing. Um, there’s a huge drop for instance, and says D depression scores.
Uh, that we’re seeing for this just like there was for the finder’s course and there’s, you know, more than half the population is depressed. Right.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:18:00] drill into that number a little bit, because when you do, it’s super impressive.
And that is that as I understand it, You know, this is something we’ve measured for a long time, in a lot of different of therapy, modality kind of things, or whatever thing they talk about it. You know, we try it and help you this way. We try and help you with medication, try and help you with cognitive therapy.
We try and help you all these different things. And we see man, that number isn’t changing. Very good. And then you come along and you know how to apply the same standards you’re applying and that number shifts. That’s why it’s significant. What can you add to that or correct in that and whatever.
Jeffery Martin: [01:18:36] Yeah.
You know? Absolutely, absolutely correct. And so if you think about. Um, so let me actually look at the numbers here real quick. Cause I’ve got the spreadsheet open. Cause I thought, you know, you said you wanted to go through numbers and I’m a numbers guy, right? So I’m like, um, so we had. Ultimately in terms of people successfully completing, there were three cohorts of the 45 days initial experiment.
And I thought there would only be one, but so many people referred other people from the first cohort that I started a second one, like a week later. And then so many people refer it even more people. But yeah, I dunno, a few weeks after that or something, I started a third one that isn’t part of the experiment.
So it’s only the first two that are basically part of the experiment. There was a woman, um, That’s in terms of what we can do. And so 332 people from those first two cohorts wound up, um, you know, basically going through and successfully giving us pre-post data on the says D measure, which is the center for epidemiological studies, depression measure.
One of the most widely used depression measures out there. Um, and. Basically, there was a percent change in that, um, in that overall population, that was not that much compared to what we’d seen before, which was 12%. Now what’s interesting, is that just because of the nature of our work, a lot of people that took the 45 days experiment were already experiencing fundamental wellbeing.
And so a huge percentage of those 300 people wound up. I’m sort of already experiencing fundamental wellbeing. And so that causes us to sort of have to go back through and take a look at the numbers at a more of an individual level,
Alex Tsakiris: [01:20:37] just to get a more accurate baseline.
Jeffery Martin: [01:20:39] Right. Yeah, that’s right. And actually, you know, I actually was looking at a different column. I was, that was a different value. Uh, and it was, uh, so in the finder’s course, it was basically like half, it was like a 50% reduction practically. And, um, in this number and the fascinating thing about this from a 45 days number is that in that overall in that sort of 333 people or so, um, 332 or 333 people.
Um, it was, it was actually a 41% draw. And if you think about the fact that probably hassled those 300 people were already in fundamental wellbeing. Imagine what the drop is in the end, visuals, that weren’t and fundamental wellbeing. And I don’t have those numbers yet, but it’s going to be, you know, sort of off the charts.
And so one of the things that we looked at with Anne was, well, what happens if you just sorted on everybody that was in some form of fundamental wellbeing, which was 224 people, and that.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:21:46] Even with tons
Jeffery Martin: [01:21:49] of finders in that tons of people who experienced fundamental wealth being in it’s a 51.7, 2% drop and the effect size the Cohen’s V for anybody that knows what that is.
The effect size is a 0.7. For that, which is just, I mean, it’s just crazy. And so like, what is that number going to be? When we take out the people who were in, you already had a low depression score?
Alex Tsakiris: [01:22:15] Well, we’ll do this for me and do this for me and do this for the audience. Compare that you do know the numbers and you know, the science.
So compare that to something else that people can relate it to something else they could do that has been clinically measured to effectively deal with depression.
Jeffery Martin: [01:22:37] Yeah, that’s the thing I don’t know of anything, what level of drop. Right.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:22:44] hold on, man. Just, just hit the, just hit the high points of again.
So there’s a lot of research been done on exercise. On sleep on diet on all sorts of different, uh, pharmaceutical products that you could do.
Jeffery Martin: [01:22:57] Right. I assume using what we had mentioned pharmaceuticals, man.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:23:01] I mean, I’m just saying
Jeffery Martin: [01:23:01] kind of an obvious one.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:23:03] I’m mentioning it from the standpoint of you’re making a claim here.
You’re making a claim that this number is off the charts I want. If someone wants to go investigate for themselves, they go, Oh, okay. Here’s a guy who didn’t experiment on
Jeffery Martin: [01:23:17] Google scholar and, you know, search on. And that analysis of depression really, you know,
Alex Tsakiris: [01:23:23] and they’re going to find people that tried to do it the same way that you tried to do it in terms of say, have a control and then have an effect and see what the effect size is and measure it.
And they’re gonna wind up in a lot of ways talking in the same way that you’re talking about and their numbers aren’t quite as good. So there you have it. I mean, that’s the sum total of.
Jeffery Martin: [01:23:45] Yeah, what’s your plan for them? They’ll have to, you’d want to search on it. Um, also not just from a depressed population, right?
Because our population wasn’t a bunch of depressed people. We don’t know it was 330 depressed people. Um, it’s a much smaller number of people who were, who were depressed. Um, and so if you really want it to do a. An apples to apples comparison, which you would do is you would go and you would search on somebody who had sort of done the normalization, have a measure, like says D right.
And so, you know, they gave it to. No, they paid Gallop to give them a cross representation of people. Right. Or they did it to a thousand undergraduate students that were taking psych one Oh one and wanted to pass the course and were forced to take the thing, or, you know, in order to do that, or, you know, any one of these various ways that you sort of get kind of a normal population, uh, and if they really wanted sort of apples to apples and they would have to look for a meditation study that used this.
You know, or a positive psychology study that use this to come closer. There really, the problem is that there really isn’t an apples to apples, a direct comparison because there isn’t a, you know, we’re working on writing data up. Now. Now this phase is closing for us, this transition research phase, it’s closing for us.
And so we’re in the process of creating the articles. Basically around all of this data finally, after all these years. And so what has happened is our staff members have been out there combing the literature for comparison studies and data and information because that’s of course what you have to put into the introductory session and you have to then compare it to, into the discussion section, right?
But there isn’t apples to apples, a pure sort of apples to apples out there. There aren’t these meditation and positive psychology thing. That’s very novel. The length is very novel. Tentativeness is very novel. It’s a really novel thing.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:25:38] Let me ask you this
Jeffery Martin: [01:25:39] because it’s going to make for a great article.
Jeffery Martin: [01:25:42] going to make for an article that gets a lot of citations, which is what you want on the science side of your life. You know,
Alex Tsakiris: [01:25:47] man, that’s exactly where I was gone. It’s like you read my mind there because I want people to understand part of this is understanding the science. Process the scientific method, both as it is right now with all its failures and failings, but also why it’s in a lot of ways the best we have right now.
And I think that one of the things you touched on that, cause I have the show coming up where there’s this guy and I don’t want to mention his name, but he’s out there and he’s saying all this stuff and he’s really prominent in our community. And I’ve looked into a science and it’s just, it just doesn’t measure up.
And I’ve gone to people that should know, you know, where people that should be citing his work. And I’m like, why aren’t you citing this work? And they’re saying it’s garbage, man. I mean, I can’t come out and say it in public, or I don’t want to, I don’t want to get in any big public fight, but it is complete, utter garbage.
And it’s in the quantum physics realm where a lot of people are even more afraid to talk because.
Jeffery Martin: [01:26:47] That’s so right. You know, the button,
Alex Tsakiris: [01:26:49] I don’t want to digress too far, what I want to emphasize is what I understand what I take from what I’ve. Discovered so far about your work is you’re in the social sciences.
You’re connected with people who should know, who are monitoring your work. When you’d get peer reviewed work published, it really is peer reviewed. It really is. People should know better. Will you present at conferences? People in the audience are the people that should. No would be able to raise their arm and go that’s total ridiculous, bullshit.
Jeffrey. That’s not true. That’s the
Jeffery Martin: [01:27:23] one want them to do it? That’s why you’re show up at the conference, right? Because you’re like hoping that the arms will go up so that you can improve. For the next round. And
Alex Tsakiris: [01:27:33] I just get that. That’s where you’re at. And you have had those arms go up and you have dealt with that.
And that’s just a different level on this stuff. Then somebody who’s trying to wrap themselves in a cloak of science, but not really trying to engage in the scientific method and all it means. So. When I said, I wanted to drill into the numbers. I want to drill what’s behind the numbers,
Jeffery Martin: [01:27:55] for sure. I think the it’s funny because the peer review process
so broken, you know, I mean, if anyone searches on this and Google, they’ll just see. Endless amounts of, you know, critical critiques and, you know, data analysis, critiques, philosophy, critiques, just all of it. I mean, I don’t know anyone who thinks, you know, wow, this is, you know, really awesome in science right now.
Um, you know, one of the issues that you have is that journals all have their specific slant. Right. Um, and so for instance, you know, there’s a, there’s a religion as a major religion and spirituality journal out there that has as one of its primary editors, people who are really into the type of research that we do.
Uh, but the senior editor makes almost completely certain that none of that work shows up in it. Um, right. And so even have a situation where you look at an editorial board of a journal, when you think to yourself, Oh, wow. You know, in the senior editor ranks, there are, there are people friendly to this work or that work or whatever else.
Um, and yet none of it will ever get into that journal, you know, because the person that sits at the top of it will we’ll stamp it out. And so it’s this. Massive political infrastructure. It often deals with people’s individual careers. Like, you know why, if I’m at the top of my field after 60 years, why would I want you to come along and upend me career?
Right. So I’m just gonna keep you out the system of information sharing or whatever else. Right. And that’s why to my mind, the. And I think to most people’s minds, frankly, that are in the sciences, the real peer review happens among your colleagues and among the, the actual relationships that you build up.
Like nobody submits an article that they haven’t mailed to all of their friends first and made heavy modifications to based on what all of their other, you know, professor and scientist friends. Said about that article, ironically it’s it’s it is a journal that is going to publish it. They’ll often send it back to those people to do peer review.
Um, cause there’s a small pool of people that are experts in each area, you know, and kind of everybody’s peer reviewing everybody else’s stuff anyway, at an official level. Um, but on an unofficial level, you’re sending this out, you’re sending a draft paper out to everybody, you know, Who’s interested, um, in what the paper is about and you’re taking their feedback back and you’re modifying it.
You’re probably sending it to them again and begging them to one more time, uh, or whatever else. That’s really where peer review happens in science. And I think we’re peer review, even beyond that happens is really. In-person in conferences, you know, it’s when you’re standing up at first of all, it’s where your people who are interested in what you’re into get together in person, that’s where you build the relationships that allow you to send the emails when you have written something, or when you are thinking about a new experimental design and you want.
Bunch of other people to comment on it or whatever else. So you build the relationships really by going to in-person conferences and events. Traditionally, probably that we’ll resume after COVID. I assume, I guess current, you know, new students or something, or a little bit of a disadvantage at the moment.
Um, And so then at the conference, of course, presenting whatever your latest findings are, conference findings are always years ahead of publications for the most part. Um, and so you’re presenting your very latest stuff, a room full of people, and you hope that there’s a room full of people who are interested in it to jump up and down on it, right.
And the catch you in the hall afterward with their concerns and whatever else, that’s really where true. Peer review happens. There is a very vibrant peer review process in science. And if, you know, I think there’s been a rightfully sell a massive critique of the journal system and, you know, it’s whether or not its peer review is even remotely relevant and it probably isn’t that relevant, frankly.
Um, but that doesn’t mean that scientific peer review is, you know, As dad is sort of, you know, those critics would like others to believe it happens all the time, but it happens at the level of conferences. It happens at the level of individual relationships. Um, you know, even as you, I don’t know if you know this or if your viewers and listeners know this, but generally speaking, when you submit a paper to a journal, you’re asked to also submit your recommended reviewers.
Right? Think about that. For a minute, right? Like there’s this, there’s this public perception that the impartial journal editor takes your paper in and evaluates it on our first pass for, you know, whether or not it’s meeting a level of scientific rigor and then sends it out to people who have no idea.
But it’s from you, right? For independence analysis and feedback. Right? When in reality, it’s a nature. Choose the reviewers for maximum impartiality. And you know, what own reality when you submit a paper, you know, The journal editors don’t want to try to figure out who the hell might be the right people for.
I mean, they’re going to send it out to random people, basically, if you don’t include reviewers. Right. And so they always say, Hey, who should I ask to review this? Give me a list of two, three, four, five, depending on the journal, you know, reviewers that I should send this to. I mean, of course you check with those people first, right.
But probably they’re the people who already sent you revisions on the draft in the first place. Right. I mean, you’re not going to be like, let’s see. Who might be completely against all of my work. Yes. I’m going to suggest them as a reviewer. Right? It’s the people that are already in your peer circle who have already seen the paper, read the paper comment on the paper, even if they haven’t, they’re going to take one, look at the paper and go, okay.
Oh, this is from Jeffrey or this is from such and such. Cause they’re, you know, everybody’s familiar with everybody else’s work. Right. Um, there’s no real blinding in this peer review system to begin with. Right. And of course everybody sites their own prior work. Right. And the, all you, you try to stuff, a paper with your own citations.
And so even if you’re a blinded reviewer, you can tell who the papers from, because they’ve stuffed it with their own citations from previous papers in most cases. Right? So it’s just, it’s, there’s a lot of very rightful critique of the journal system. But what I think, I think your, your, you know, your viewers listeners should take heart from is the fact that the actual spirit and science is very much there.
And you know, those of us who are involved in it, We are constantly seeking peer review of others. We’re constantly trying to build new relationships with other people who are interested in what we’re interested in. We’re constantly trying to get people to, you know, help us produce better work. And we’re constantly helping other people who are in our space to try their best, to produce with however they’re going about it, better work.
Um, and so the peer review system is really alive and well, it’s just sort of invisible. To the average person. And then the only parts of it that are visible are like the journal version of peer review, which is getting all of this massive critique right now. And probably rightfully so. So, um, and, and so you see some journals that are trying to change this, right?
Like, um, You know, there’s a journal called F 1000 for instance. Um, and it’s peer review process is transparent. Like you could upload a paper today and then it’s sort of like making the process of what’s actually happening behind the scenes transparent. Right. And so like, And I would upload a paper there and instead, and I would email all my friends and be like, Hey, can you go review that paper?
And instead of it being something that just occurs in my inbox, you know, it’s now occurring, posted publicly to the web and everybody can see everybody else’s comments. And so that is the absolute bleeding edge, sort of a system of peer review. It’s I don’t. I don’t think it’s where everything will have.
I think it’s nice. It’d be nice if it was where everything would have. Um, but you know, so, so anyway, that’s what I would say about, about this peer review is one of those things where people either fall asleep, just say like, well, where are the journal articles? That’s just some gold standard of evidence or whatever.
Cause they have no clue how that system works or they do know how that system works. They’re like, well, that doesn’t mean anything, you know? And so people have these biases one way or the other. So I thought that was kind of a long ramble there, but I thought maybe it would provide some context for people.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:36:31] I thought it was really that’s useful,
Jeffery Martin: [01:36:34] but it’s very useful.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:36:35] Uh, and well articulated. Okay. So we’ve been at this for a long time. It’s time, just flies by when I talked to you. It’s it’s awesome. Tell folks about. The technology angle and built sides that you’re always super excited about it by all.
I’m going to be able to help tens of thousands, millions of people. And I’m always a little skeptical with the, Oh yeah. You know, needs our help go to Gary. I always referenced, you know, Gary Schwartz in his soul phone at the university of Arizona, which probably. You know, just to, to, I think it’s good. Let me just make sure I throw this on the table.
So you can have this in the back of your mind. So Gary Schwartz extremely well credentialed academically, you know, PhD, Harvard. Rarely does someone get a PhD,
Jeffery Martin: [01:37:28] a professor before I went to
Alex Tsakiris: [01:37:30] exactly. Very rare. Yeah. You know, you graduate from Harvard and they go, wow, you’re great. Let’s make you head of the department.
You know, even down the line, even after you’ve done other things. Cause it kind of looks a little too comfy, but. Headed and that Yale head of the psychology and psychiatry, the credentials, of course, he went on the world, the Rivera show. And got you got set back a couple of steps in his career because yeah.
Looked to some people as if he was, you know, in this, after death communication work, which is what he got involved with with that, it gets very tricky in terms of the relationships you have with subjects and subjects, families, and all the rest of that stuff. I don’t think there was ever anything truly inappropriate, but it just didn’t sit well with people and he took a step back.
But now Gary’s coming back on the scene with the sole phone. No intonation.
Jeffery Martin: [01:38:21] That’s interesting. I have to look that up.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:38:23] So what you can do is now we have the technology and the cost has come down and you can pull off John beam shoot that photon beam, and you can ask disencourage dated spirits.
hypothesized disencouraged knitted spirits to interrupt that photon beam when they’re asked questions. Right? So I’m talking kind of a gobbledygook terms, but basically you can now do meeting. You can do medium readings
Jeffery Martin: [01:38:47] and
Alex Tsakiris: [01:38:48] you can evaluate. The response electronically with photon beam, which is super sensitive, they claim to be getting extraordinary results.
And that is something that you have to take seriously because they can measure that. Right. I mean, they can measure whether that stuff happens. The point of all of that being is that it. In a strange way. It’s on way on the cutting edge of where you may be heading with the technology that you’re developing, because ultimately when we get to the spiritual part of it, it begs the question of.
What are we really trying to do? What is our relationship with? I don’t know this higher consciousness. If we accept some kind of hierarchical structure to consciousness, what is our relationship to God? What is our obligation to the moral imperative to do the right
Jeffery Martin: [01:39:45] thing should ask the photon beam sounds like,
Alex Tsakiris: [01:39:47] well, Hey, you know, you say that kidding, but.
You said that kiddingly, but they definitely
Jeffery Martin: [01:39:53] not really
Alex Tsakiris: [01:39:54] serious. I have. Well, they’re going to ask and
Jeffery Martin: [01:39:57] yeah, so
Alex Tsakiris: [01:39:59] let’s,
Jeffery Martin: [01:40:01] I know Barry, he’s a serious guy, for sure. It’s been that back to where,
Alex Tsakiris: [01:40:06] to where you are to where you are. Cause like that’s, that’s really the next level question. I think the first thing would be tell us what you’re doing.
Technology wise. Tell us why you’re doing it. Cause. Hell, I mean, do it to make this shift from them from an ego state centered culture to a , fundamental wellbeing, a centered culture, we need that shift. So, you know, get the app as soon as you can and get as many people on it. And then as a secondary point, maybe address how that might fit into a larger spiritual framework.
Jeffery Martin: [01:40:44] It’s a great question. What we’re working with is primarily transcranial ultrasound, which means exactly what it sounds like transcranial going through the skull without having to cut a hole in it. And, um, ultrasound, meaning sound, you know, certain frequency of sound wave. Um, it’s a very complex pattern of sound.
And so it’s not just like, you know, one. It’s not like this 500 kilohertz or something shot through the skull. It’s modulated in ridiculously sophisticated ways. Um, but that’s the, that’s the basic ultrasound is around us all the time. It’s probably coming out of your phone right now. It’s used by advertisers to track us across the apps and stuff on our phones.
Um, we’re all sort of. Let me get to see an ultrasound environment. Uh, of course everybody’s familiar with it from baby monitoring. You know, you go and get the ultrasound to see if your baby’s, you know, got all its arms and legs and all that kind of stuff. Um, and so this is just a different, very precise ability to use a sound wave.
Basically a sound pressure wave to mechanically per debate, a very precise part or parts of the brain. So it’s a very simple, simple, old technology updated with really cutting edge, modern ability to, you know, precisely targeting your brain and stuff like that. And the reason we’re doing it is because, um, you know, one of the things that you talked about earlier was network effects.
And, uh, one of the first people that looked at network effects of things like non-duality was during a SEPA back. Uh, he’s at NYU. Uh, and he basically, he was doing FMR, I work. And one of the things that he noticed was that there was, there seemed to be a rewiring that was going on in the brain of his research subjects.
And so he presented, it was important work. He presented that work for years. It was so important. He just presented it all over again, invited to present it all over. Um, cause that kind of thing just hadn’t been seen before at that time. Um, and so. We’ve had a pretty good indication for 10 years, about what areas would be ideal to hit in the brain.
Yeah. If we could get to them with some sort of technology, but we haven’t had the technology that could get to them. And it’s only in the last couple of years that that technology has matured enough that we can now basically directly stimulate those regions in the brain. And so that’s what we’ve begun the process of really systematically doing.
We’ve already got a lot of money in it. We’ve got over a million dollars. Um, that has been invested in this effort. There are all kinds of other people at other institutions that have, you know, poured tons of money into this technology as well. They’re not trying to look at it, you know, to see who can transition to fundamental wellbeing.
They’re doing things like getting rid of epilepsy, waking up people from comas, you know, solving addiction problems. Uh, there’s all sorts of things that have. That there are all sorts of places that people of neuroscientists have wanted to stimulate in the human brain for a long time, based on monkeys and rats and other things that you could do more invasive work on, um, that just hasn’t been possible to translate into humans yet.
And we’re at a golden age in terms of brain stimulation because of this new technology. We have all of these maps and our cases. We have these maps of what happens in the human brain for fundamental wellbeing. Other people have maps for addiction and for depression. No treatment resistant depression and things like that.
And so you have an Alzheimer’s, you know, there’s a guy at UCLA working on Alzheimer’s making great progress on Alzheimer’s for instance. Um, and so you’ve got this, this technology and that’s what we’re doing with it, and we’re getting great, frankly. Um, this was really pioneered by a friend of mine. Um, J sanguine, Eddie.
Well at the time was at the university of New Mexico. Now he’s back where he got his PhD at the university of Arizona, um, with Shinzen young, a long time meditator. And so as part of the original project, um, we put together, um, you know, the equipment we brought Jay in here, he left his job at New Mexico, came to Silicon Valley for a period of months.
Um, and participated in sorta got us kind of up and running, if you will. And the nub of this project we brought in Sanjay Manchanda. Who’s another one of the world’s leading brain experts in terms of brain stimulation and specifically fundamental wellbeing. Jay wasn’t so much on the fundamental wellbeing side of the fence, but he had done this work with Shenzhen and they had these areas that he was targeting.
And we had these other areas that from our work that we wanted to target. And so we’ve just kind of gone from there. Over the last year or two. Uh, and we, you know, all I can say we’re making progress as fast as we can. We’re making great progress. If you’re in fundamental wellbeing, we can basically very reliably push you deeper into fundamental wellbeing.
That’s what Shenzen liked about it. Um, if you’re not in fundamental wellbeing, we’re having. Um, you know, pretty good success with, um, helping people to reach there. And I think probably it’s going to be most widely applied as a meditation aid. Um, it can really, you know, help somebody to adjust much more deeply meditate right off the bat.
So you don’t have that trial and error thing with, you know, well, I tried meditation and that didn’t really work for me. My, you know, my thoughts didn’t slow down or whatever. This is sort of one of those things that you can kind of zap. And the thoughts do stop or slow down in fact so much so that ordinary people get kind of freaked out by it because they’ve never had a daughter at right.
And they kind of panic. They’re like, Oh crap. You know, what is that going to come back? You know, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s funny,
Alex Tsakiris: [01:46:11] you know, Jeffrey, I, I, it’s funny cause a light bulb just went off. Cause I remember a conversation that we had a long time ago when we met. Face to face and in Silicon Valley, and it was kind of walking along the parking lot.
And you said something always stuck with me. You go, no, they really want me for my data. And the way I connect that with what you’re saying now is that if someone had the technology to do do brain stimulation in the way that you’re talking about, and it had certain effects, what you’d need is to be able to have the kind of neuro correlates to map that to, you know, you’d need to be able to say, okay, What does that mean in terms of practically in this case?
Hopefully you were, you are a, uh, uh, an instrument of good and not an instrument of evil. We can only hope, but you have the data on what this effect and you have enough of it where you can say, wow, here are several hundred people we could look at and we could look at those neural correlates and we could come to some, do you want to speak to, to that?
Jeffery Martin: [01:47:19] Yeah, that’s been a great benefit of ours, is that we have the maps, in many ways. The maps plus the technology. And it’s not that we’re like holding them a secret or something. I mean, some of these things, Zoran’s published his stuff, you know, and there’s plenty of the useful map in there. Followed on by that was Judson Brewer who is somebody that’s in our orbit, who was at Yale at the time, Yale Med, now he’s at the University of Massachusetts, kind of like the main guy at Jon Kabat-Zinn’s thing. And he did a lot of important work with both FMRI and EEG and neurofeedback, both with FMRI and EEG to verify those regions.
Because it’s one thing to have a map, like So I think to have a map, like Zoran could get a map, but he didn’t have the ability to provide a real time feedback. And when Jud was doing this around 2009, I could be remembering that slightly off, but somewhere in that range of years, he had one of the first systems that could do real time feedback. And so you could say, “Okay, now we’re going to draw a circle around that area of the brain and I’m going to show you a chart, a bar that goes up and down, and I want you to make the guard bar go up, or I want you to make the bar go down.” So he was able to, in non-meditators and meditators and PNSE people and non-PNSE and people see what happens. When you try to use it with neurofeedback and verify really that, okay yeah, it turns out that part of the brain is related to fundamental wellbeing. And somebody that’s in fundamental wellbeing that messes with it says, “Well, I have less spaciousness or less, whatever. I have more self- referential thoughts or whatever, when I make the bar go that way.” That sort of work. Really important, groundbreaking work.
So, a lot of this stuff is out there. It is published at this point. People can find that. The devices I think are relatively inexpensive, frankly, you could build one of these things for probably $1000 if you really want it to. Our cheapest one is, I think about $40,000 and it goes into the hundreds of thousands, frankly.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:49:28] How would those be productized?
Jeffery Martin: [01:49:30] It’s a good question. The FDA is really struggling with this. The regulatory bodies are struggling with this. I think they’re not sure what to do with it. So right now you can only get to the center research lab. It has to be associated with research in some way. The last I heard, I was talking to a guy who had an offer from the FDA to come and run their team, and the FDA had like a placeholder team in place. So it was like run by a dentist or something. So they were just kind of spinning it up, and I know this guy well and I have a tremendous amount of respect for his work. And I was trying to talk him into taking the job. He has a great life, he has a fantastic career, he was an MD at Stanford where I met him. He basically sat in one of my classes at Stanford, because he was interested in fundamental wellbeing and transformative technology and stuff. And so, even though he was a pretty significant MD at Stanford, he basically came and sat through our class, which is how I met him.
So, you know, it’s a hard sell right to say, you should leave paradise basically, a paradise of a career to go and struggle through bureaucracy with the FDA, so this gets done right. But the last I heard he was thinking about it. He gets the moral impetus, he was kind of locked into a contract he wasn’t sure he could get out of. They had another year or two on it. I wasn’t sure if the FDA would wait around that long, there were other concerns.
But it’s more of a regulatory thing, I think at this point than anything else. And the regulatory bodies and the major countries of the West at least, of the developed world, have to figure out what they’re going to do with this, which means you’re going to see this being used like mushrooms and Mexico and stuff like that, uh, before you’re able to have it on the corner store, you know, and…
Alex Tsakiris: [01:51:27] I’m glad I’m 30 miles from the border, man. Because that’s the first thing I thought, I said, “Tijuana man, we’re going to get one going in Tijuana.”
Jeffery Martin: [01:51:35] Seriously, we’re thinking about this in China. We’re thinking about this in Mexico. We have got partners in different places in the world who are willing to put this technology in their centers and get a much larger number of people through it. The safety data’s there at this point, that’s not a concern. You wouldn’t let some random person throw this on your head, but as Jay said in his presentation at the Transfer Conference a couple of years ago, keep in mind that Jeffery and Sanjay and I all have PhDs in this. Like, you don’t necessarily want to try this at home yet.
But there are plenty of PhDs with that skill level to hire that could go and do it in a place like Mexico or in a place like China or in some of these less regulated environments, and they’re probably going to get the benefits of this way ahead of, as often happens with technologies and things, way ahead of when we get it in the West.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:52:28] So Jeffery, one final topic area, and it’s a huge one. We could spend another hour talking about that. But I did kind of tee it up a little bit with the Gary Schwartz thing. Because you know, you stay in your lane and I’m glad you stay in your lane, in terms of this, you know, fundamental wellbeing kind of thing, and very much from a traditional perspective regarding consciousness. So you don’t get into philosophical debate about whether consciousness is an epiphenomenon of the brain. I mean, you just kind of step around all of that, it doesn’t directly impact your work, you can kind of be neutral, you can be agnostic on it.
The problem with extended consciousness, and I use the term extended consciousness. I think we all know what it means. You know, what’s going on in your brain, whether it’s really in your brain or not. But then we have all this phenomenon that we can’t really… We have near-death experience, we have ET encounters, you can’t just blow by ET encounters anymore, because that is a major agenda item politically. It’s in the New York Times now, over and over again. It’s on all of the major, you know, “What should we do?” Right of the coast of San Diego, where I live, we have the Tic-Tac things and here they are. And the DOD is saying, “Yes, those really are our videos. We don’t know.” So whoever they are is pushing that issue to the forefront, where we can’t even pretend that that’s somehow not on the equation.
But for a long time we’ve had Rick Strassman, formerly, I don’t know if he’s still at New Mexico or not, doing DMT experiments that are clearly going into this extended realm, the shamanic realm that we’ve always heard about and the entheogens realm and all of that stuff.
You’ve stayed out of that, which I can understand. But the implications for that are kind of huge, in terms of what you’re doing, because it recasts our understanding of what is the meaning behind what it would mean to be a little less fundamentally discontented, And what that means traditionally, as we’ve understood it, in terms of the wisdom traditions, in terms of our communing with greater sense of purpose.
So I guess two questions. The first is just tackling that in general. And then specifically, I’m always intrigued about the technology angle to that, because now you’re kind of saying, you know, I love the Soul Phone thing, because everyone gets it right from the beginning, and it raises the same question. God needs our help? God’s up there and he wants to get a message to you, but he can’t until Gary gets this Soul Phone going.
And I guess the same thing could be said for your work. It’s like, really, God wants you to be awakened but unless you take this course, he’s really not going to let it happen, kind of thing.
I’m not saying you have to address that straight on, but you get that that, would, if someone thought about it philosophically, that would kind of be in the ballpark here.
Jeffery Martin: [01:55:43] Altered states of consciousness as a huge field, for sure. And I think from our perspective, and from my perspective personally, the last 15 years, I would say, have removed a lot of the mystical from this. I mean, why is it that we think about fundamental wellbeing in a mystical or a magical way in the first place? For the most it’s because of claims that were made about it by religious traditions or spiritual traditions or whatever else. And I think we all owe a tremendous amount of debt really, to those institutions, which through the rise and fall of empires, were cultural carriers of the knowledge that you can have this fundamental contentment, if you will, as a part of your life.
But the more I go into it, the less mystical it really seems to me. And I think to some degree, that’s a problem on the spiritual salesmanship side. You know, I get the position that a lot of those people are in. I mean, it would have been really, really, really easy for us to fall down a slippery slope over the course of this, right? When I’m trying to compete for your attention with fundamental wellbeing and fundamental wellbeing is something that probably isn’t going to lead to the Gates of Heaven opening its riches to you, or you’re not going to have a harem, that’s your dream harem materialize out of the blue, if you’re doing it because you think it’ll be better for sex or relationships.
Alex Tsakiris: [01:57:42] We’re really talking about two different things here. And I think you put your finger on it at the beginning, which is the mystical, But I think we’ve got to get to a kind of fundamental ground level about whether there is such a thing as extended consciousness. And I spent so much time in near-death experience science because I think it gets it’s just there.
At this point, there is not a serious credible near-death experience researcher who does it maintain that consciousness extends beyond bodily death. They all do. They all came to the same conclusion. Sam Parnia was one of the last holdouts and he finally has come around and said, “Gee, no matter how I crunch this data, no matter how uncomfortable it is and how much crap I’m going to get and probably get ostracized by so many people, that’s the data folks.”
If consciousness extends beyond bodily death, beyond a functioning brain of any sort that would be fit into our current neurological model, then we can’t talk in those terms anymore. The mystical is no longer out there. The mystical is the ground of being, if you will, because that is what’s being experienced and scientifically we can’t get past it.
So that I guess, opens the door for considering all of these other things that I’m talking about. So I’m not sure where you’re going with that.
Jeffery Martin: [01:59:11] I’m not an expert in any of those areas, so let me preface that. I wind up every few years speaking at conferences where people are speaking about those types of things and meeting the people who are doing the research and sometimes having dinner with them and stuff like that. So more or less, my knowledge of that area is limited to those dinners and…
Alex Tsakiris: [01:59:34] I’ve got to poke a little bit on that because it can’t be, I mean, you’re right in the middle of that. I mean, you’re kind of forced to have an opinion on that and what you’re really saying is, your opinion is that you do not accept that proposition, that consciousness has been demonstrated to extend beyond bodily death. And again, you know, when people say death, where people get hung up, they said, “Well, that’s not really dead, and the brain might be functioning in some way,” and stuff like that. And again, I always point people to Sam Parnia, because when I had him on the show, I was kind of mean to him, and I don’t even know if he likes me anymore. But he is one of the world’s leading authorities in resuscitation, and why he didn’t like me is because I really held his feet to the fire and get him to say what he really wants to say, but it doesn’t feel like he can and he does say this, these people are dead. These people are not near death, they are dead. Like, every means we’ve ever measured people being dead clinically, and their brain is not capable of functioning in any way we would associate with consciousness.
So, put aside the University of Michigan, you know, brain burst in the rats, and put aside all of that, because they’ve dealt with that and that’s the data.
So I can’t really let you off the hook, in terms of not engaging with that because it doesn’t fit well with your kind of thing about the mystical and well it’s mystical. No, what I’m saying is the best data suggests that that is the fundamental reality, is that there is this extended consciousness, and when we embody this kind of brain to consciousness thing, we’re in a special subset of it. And if we can put that under the microscope, like you’re doing, that’s fine, but we can’t ignore that all this other stuff is happening.
Jeffery Martin: [02:01:30] Yeah, I would just, from my perspective, I just haven’t looked enough at the data. I mean, I’ve met a lot of these people in casual situations. I’ve been to Russ Targ’s house in Palo Alto and hung out with him and had fascinating conversations about his research on SRI and remote viewing and PK and you know, stuff like that.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:01:56] I don’t know where Russell Targ is coming from, but he’s kind of an interesting figure. The remote viewing thing.
Jeffery Martin: [02:02:01] A very interesting figure.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:02:04] But I don’t know what to make of that. The remote viewing thing is part of it. The remote viewing thing, no bullshit, I mean, just straight up. It’s part of the MKUltra program, right?
So they want to distance themselves from that a little bit, but it is, they said Sidney Gottlieb was our boss and we didn’t really like Sidney, and when he came around, he wanted to give people LSD and see if they get better remote view. This is their account. I mean, I’m not making this up. This is what they say. But it’s part of the MKUltra program and Sidney Gottlieb was running the thing.
So that doesn’t automatically mean that we ignore all of the research or anything, but it’s different than Sam Parnia, it’s different than Pim van Lommel over in the Netherlands, he’s a cardiac…
Jeffery Martin: [02:02:42] Pim’s another great example, I’ve ran across Pim for years at different conferences and dinners and stuff like that. From the summary that I’ve seen of his data presented, the longest I’ve seen as an hour-long presentation from him, but I’ve never dug into the data on it or whatever else.
But I think one of the interesting things is there are big questions that stand out from that. First of all, I think his personal story is fun, where he gets one of the first defibrillators or whatever, and he brings the guy back to life, thinking that he’s a medical hero and a God or whatever, and the guy is angry at him. How priceless of a personal story is that, to launch the whole research from, right?
So I find him sort of fun from that standpoint, but if I’m remembering, it’s been a while since I’ve seen his presentation. It was something like less than 15% maybe have some sort of experience of near-death, something that they bring back and remember and some sort of midrange single figure percentage have a detailed account, have one of the more highly detailed accounts or something like that. And it made me say, “Okay Pim, what about the other people? Are we in a video game and the others are like non-player characters, and when they die…”?
Alex Tsakiris: [02:04:06] I’m going to give you some of the nuances, because I’m still holding your feet to the fire here, because this is fundamental to, I think, what you’re talking about and what you’re doing. It’s one way or another, you know, you either fall on one side of it or the other. And it seems to be, again, an important kind of distinction.
So one of the things we don’t know about who is having a near-death experience, it does seem to be very linked to memory, right? So, do you remember your dreams at night, or do you not remember your dreams at night? And there’s a lot of people that come and they go, “I don’t dream,” and then they go into the dream lab and they go, “Everybody dreams pal,” and he goes, “No, I don’t dream,” and they go, “Okay, go to sleep.” And then they wait, and they get him in REM movement and they wake him up and he goes, “Oh my gosh, I dream.”
Well, there’s a lot of speculation that that may be somehow, in some way what’s happening with near-death experience. It may be more tied to remembering whether or not you have such an experience.
Jeffery Martin: [02:04:57] That’s the obviously place that you would go if you were thinking about it for 10 minutes.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:05:04] But really the gold standard, I think, in terms of research that’s been done on that, and it’s really a very simple experiment, and those are the best always. What they did is they went to people who were in a cardiac arrest ward they said, “Okay, we’re going to survey you after you have a cardiac arrest if you do,” and they do and they go to the people and they say, “What was your near death experience like?” Which again, in a strange way ties to this memory thing, because the vast majority of them say, “I didn’t have a near-death experience.” And they go, “Okay, tell us about your resuscitation.” And they go, “Dummy, I just told you, I didn’t have a near-death experience, I have no recollection of what my resuscitation is.” They go, “Just tell us what you know.”
So they make something up, they go, well, they probably did this, and they probably did that and they probably had that machine to come and zap me and this and that.
And then they went to the people, I think it was 15% in this study, there are several different studies you can go and look on this, in the 20% range, and they said, “What happened during your resuscitation?” And they go, “Oh, I’ll tell you exactly what happened. Yeah, they did wheel the machine in but it didn’t work, so they had to start doing it manually, and this one woman, she had on a green gown and she came in and she pushed the others out of the way and she jumped on my chest.” They told it exactly right. And of course, you’re a social scientist, you can’t just throw out these accounts. You can systematically organize them and see which are more accurate and this and that.
Overwhelming, statistically, the people that claim that they had a near-death experience are able to accurate recount facts about their resuscitation process and other aren’t.
And I always add this, you probably know this, I’m almost sure that you do, but in a modern medical hospital, resuscitation isn’t happening like you see it in the movies, five seconds after the thing goes ‘beep’. No, it’s like one, two, three minutes at a time when we know the brain is no longer, from all of our neuroscience, the brain is no longer functioning in a way that we would associate with forming these kinds of conscious memories that we know of. And we have a lot of animal and human work to support that.
So, there’s a lot of science here that leads these guys to say, yeah, you’ve got to lighten up on the mystical thing, it just seems to be a natural part of the process that consciousness is extending beyond bodily death.
And we could to 10 different places to prove this, I won’t bother. But I will come back and say it seems to be fundamental to… In one way it’s not critical to your work, but in another way, you kind of reach a barrier in what you’re doing if you don’t take a side on this one way or another.
Jeffery Martin: [02:07:58] Maybe the day will come when I have to really immerse myself. I mean, at least I know most of the people that are doing it already. So I have a head start and I have some frame of reference for it, from having known these people for years now.
But I think one thing researchers often do that they shouldn’t is form opinions and speak about conclusions or even offer opinions, kind of out of turn. In the sense that, I don’t know that much about Pim, like I said, a few dinners over the years and speaking at the same things. There was one time where he was right before me or something, so I saw his whole hour-long talk, it just happened to be one of those where we were both giving the hour long talks. That’s kind of the limit.
I like Peter Fenwick for instance, I consider Peter Fenwick a great friend. He’s really into our work, I know him personally very well, I know him to be an incredibly brilliant scientist, a very rigorous scientist. He’s into things that happen around death and consciousness and stuff like that. He’s always trying to think about our work in relation to his work and have conversations with me about it here and when I stay at his house in London. That’s how well I know him.
But I’m not Peter Fenwick, like I don’t know what he knows, I haven’t spent years developing his expertise and I haven’t looked at his data around his expertise in any degree of depth at all. It’s like, we talk about it for a few hours before I go to bed, I get up the next day, I go and speak at something, I’d come back, it’s dinner time, and the process repeats, sometimes he drives me, we talk about it in the car, sometimes we have lunch because he drove me and he stayed at the event and he’s speaking to and we talk about it at lunch.
So, what I think we have to be careful to do as scientists, and I would ask people to be as careful with our work as I try to be with other people’s work, is unless you have really deeply immersed yourself in these bodies of work, you have to first of all respect the people that have. Like, I have tremendous respect for Peter’s viewpoint. I have tremendous respect for Pim’s viewpoint. I have tremendous respect for Dean Radin’s viewpoint. There’s another guy that I occasionally run across, occasionally spend some time talking to. Another big wheel in that sort of extended consciousness area. The people at UVA that are in reincarnation and stuff like that, the same deal with them. I occasionally run across, Jim Tucker I think is his name. I occasionally run across Jim and we’re speaking at something and maybe we’ll have a dinner or something.
So, I have tremendous respect for their work, and I have no reason to think that their work is faulty or in error in any way. I assume that they have a community of peers that they’re interfacing with, that they’re going through. They seem to me to be rigorous scientists who seem to be applying the scientific methods in their areas as best they can, and they seem like intelligent people. Many of them seem like they were unbiased before they got into it, or maybe even thought that they were in it to disprove it and then got sort of turned in another direction from the data.
So, I think as a scientist who sort of glances into their area, it’s more incumbent upon me to say these are people to be respected and listened to.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:11:58] let me back up and say, look, I do respect where you’re coming from. And I think you’ve given a very, a reasoned response. I’m going to pick it apart, but I still think it’s a very reasoned response. And that is that, you know, number one, what I, what I hear you saying is that you’ve got to stay in your lane.
And we need you in your lane. You know what I mean? Well, I
Jeffery Martin: [02:12:22] only know my lane to the level that I know my lane, you know
Alex Tsakiris: [02:12:25] exactly well, and I think that this interview, if it’s affective is somewhat a Testament to the fact that, you know, your lane and that we can trust some of the conclusions you’re coming to.
And the process that you go through that you described as kind of saying, this is what it takes to know my lane. So I don’t ask me to know at some depth. These other lanes at the same time, I guess what I’m challenging is that yeah, and I don’t mean this in a, in a way to kind of jump on or directly contradict what I just said.
Cause I think it’s important, you know, when you can only do so much and you can only focus on it so much, but there is a fundamental assumption here. In the default assumption, I think is really, really pretty thin. And that is the consciousness is in Epic on the brain. Like I like to say it we’re biological robots in a meaningless universe, and those are kind of stark silly terms, but that is fundamentally, I mean, Neil deGrasse Tyson says that directly.
No. And he’s one of the most, if he’s not an expert on consciousness, which he’s not, he’s certainly one of the most public science figures in the world, Sam Harris dances around, but he winds up kind of saying the same thing and kind of a mixed, we don’t know, really know where Sam’s at at any point kind of way, but that’s where it comes in.
That default position is contradict addicted by all our best. Quantum physics experiments. I mean, we’ve been running that damn double slit Fairmont every which way for the last hundred years. And it always comes out the same way with the observer effect, which is highly suggestive. That consciousness is somehow fundamental, which only fits in one model.
It only fits in the idealism model in the near-death experience model in the outside of time and space model, it don’t fit in the materialist. You’re a biological robot in a meaningless universe and your consciousness is generated by your brain. It don’t fit in that model, no matter how many times they want to try and force it back in.
So I guess the one critique I’d have, and I’m making it for the fifth time and then I’ll let it go. Is that. You, I don’t know why you would give deference to the one over the other, other than that’s just kind of what it was when you were coming up. And that’s what, you know, a lot of people kind of as their default position.
Jeffery Martin: [02:14:58] I don’t know if I do give deference to one or the other. I think, I think my answer is I have no idea. And, you know, I haven’t looked at that data. Well, one of the things I did when I was at Sophia university here in Palo Alto, um, or I was, you know, professor for a period of years and even there. Vice president and Dean of research for a while and all that.
Um, as I tried to, I tried to help with the starting of a consciousness studies master’s degree that looked into some of this. Um, and what happened was I’d asked, um, Someone who’s very maligned, oftentimes publicly or whatever. But I personally like, um, Deepak Chopra to come and speak at the commencement.
You know, the president said, Hey, you know, , can you get them to come and speak to the commencement? And so I, well, it doesn’t hurt to send an email. Right. And it turns out that he’d always kind of been a fan of Sophia and he. You know, canceled
Alex Tsakiris: [02:15:56] a ton of stuff to come
Jeffery Martin: [02:15:58] and give the commencement talk, um, at Sofia and he kind of came with an agenda and his agenda was that he wanted to start to the master’s programs online master’s program so that they could reach anyone anywhere in the world.
He’s already doing one at UCLA, but they weren’t wanting to put it online. Um, one was in like his holistic health area. I can’t remember what he called it. There was not, he didn’t call it holistic, healthy. There was a, there was a better term for it than that. Um, And then one in consciousness studies and the case that he made for the consciousness studies one over dinner, um, and another dinner, right?
Was that really there wasn’t a program that approached consciousness studies. That was a serious program from this perspective, uh, from the perspective that you’re talking about from the perspective that you’re advocating anywhere in any sort of accredited. You know, university, there were programs like this, an unaccredited university is a state approved, you know, universities and stuff like that, but not in regionally accredited universities.
And so I said, you know, and so I said, you know, listen, I’m, I went back, looked at it, he was right. I couldn’t find any. Um, and so I started thinking. Why not, you know, it certainly seems like there should be a program from that perspective that brings together. So I started emailing everybody. I mean, I emailed, you know, Dean and Stan Kripner and just like anybody that you’d would have ever thought PIM, you know, Peter, we’d go down the list of the people we talked about today and a hundred others, um, that I knew are in that space.
Um, and I said, Hey, would you be willing to contribute? You know, to a program on this, and here’s the format that I’m thinking and here’s the structure and it’s, we already have one that we can turn it in. That’s approved as by our regional accreditors, it’d be a psychology transpersonal psychology degree with this type of consciousness studies, specialization.
And so I don’t have like a, an antibiotic, you have this, or a non, or sort of a hostile view of this or something. I was actually working to create the first. Actual scholarly program in it that I’m aware of. Um, at the time when I left Sophia university and then it fell through, you know, after that Sophia changed owners, basically it got bought by a Chinese group.
There are a lot more interested in computer science and psychology. And that was that. Um, and so, you know, it’s, I, I do think that this is a very legitimate area of inquiry. One where I know a lot of people who are into it. Um, but just not an area that is, you know, My expertise per se,
Alex Tsakiris: [02:18:29] one final thought on that.
And then I’ll then I’ll let it go because totally respect your answer and as extremely open and direct, and you got the goods you’re you’re there. If you were to kind of speculate for a second Jeffrey. Potentially what could be the implications since you know what we’re talking about here, what could potentially be the implications for what you’re doing?
Can you even just kind of. Imagine it, you know, consciousness survives death, or are these extended consciousness realms?
Jeffery Martin: [02:19:09] You mean what could be the implications for if extended consciousness was true? What would be the, what could be a possible implication for it from a fundamental wellbeing standpoint?
Alex Tsakiris: [02:19:18] Exactly. And then part B of that is from a technology assisted contact with. Extended consciousness, realms, assuming, see, cause I’m assuming that that’s what you’re doing. Whether you talk about it in those terms or not that you are helping people reach extended consciousness realms in a different way than they’re used to there you’re altering the.
The signal pattern, the frequency, the adjusting, the radio knob, you know, like that, that would be your least familiar enough to understand that that could be potentially what’s going on. Any, any speculation on that?
Jeffery Martin: [02:20:05] Yeah, that’s a good question. I think, um, Dean Raden, um, I ran across him at the science and Rondo Audi conference years ago, and he was taking people up to his hotel room and doing EEG on them.
Basically the people who are claiming to be in fundamental wellbeing at that conference. So the speakers and stuff like that, he was trying to talk them into going up to the tower room, getting some EEG. And he was doing one of his pre sentiment experiments, which is like, I can’t remember which one it was, it was probably the one where he like shows you the like a bunch of pictures, you know, and he’s measuring you with the EEG.
And some of the pictures are horrific. Like, you know, you’re in a car crash and your torso seven and a half or whatever. I’m probably not that extreme, but pretty close to that extreme. And there are these standardized picture databases that have basically been rated by an effect, you know, the amount of emotion they elicit and stuff like that.
Um, and what he was measuring was people’s physiological responses. To those images before they were shown.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:21:06] before they were even selected
Jeffery Martin: [02:21:07] by. Okay. That’s okay. That’s fine. I accept that. That’s probably true. Um, and you know, I remember I forgot about that lost track of it, whatever I’ll saw him years later.
Um, and it, and it just made me think about that experiment. You know, like I hadn’t seen him in years. Last time I saw him, we were. Sitting next to each other in the main ballroom of the science and the conference, talking about what he was
Alex Tsakiris: [02:21:31] doing with his hotel room. Right.
Jeffery Martin: [02:21:33] And so that just naturally that memory just popped back up to mine.
But when I saw him again and I was like, Hey, how did that ever turn out? You know, did it turn out that they were, you know, and he basically said that, um, that he thought his evidence showed that people that were in fundamental wellbeing were. Basically more likely to have this pre sentiment effect as he called it.
I think I’m getting that word. Right. Um, I understand. So, uh, the effect being, they had a stronger reaction to photographs that if you’re right, haven’t even been selected by the computer, but certainly hadn’t been shown to the subject. Yeah. Um, and that’s kinda thing you can only do with something like EEG, because it has a very tight time course in milliseconds.
You know, they’re looking at the time courses and milliseconds just prior to the thing being would be old and all of that. Um, and so it’s really takes a very tricky setup and very precise system. Um, all of that, it’s not easy work to do. Um, and so, but, but, you know, Dean is hardcore electrical engineer, psychological experiment, and guy with decades of experience, like if he says his experimental apparatus set up properly, I’m not going to say, you know, well, the jeez Dane, you must not have set your gear up.
Right. I’m going to assume that, you know, he did his job as he, you know, to the best of his ability, which I’m sure is more than good enough.
, I mean, basically what he’s saying and that does it made people more psychic in some sense.
Right. And so if, if he’s saying, you know, there’s a. People in fundamental wellbeing have an increased intuition. Um, and this way I, you know, that’s, uh, I think that’s an interesting potential answer to your question because certainly people who are in fundamental wellbeing at a certain degree in depth, um, do feel like they have a greater intuition or a greater intuitive.
Um, capability now, to me, that’s just a subjective untested report. Right. Uh, and so as a social scientist, I noted down, I know how many people say it versus the ones that don’t feel that way, you know, things like that. Right. But then, Oh, that’s something that can, so I have a subjective report on one hand and I have something from Dean.
Um, granted I didn’t really look at the data or the actual findings or the statistical significance or any of that was just like, you know, Casual conversation in a hallway or something. Um, but you know, I don’t think he talking about stuff that isn’t statistically significant, you know, knowing him. Um, and so I think he was giving me the relevant aspects, the relevant answer from a scientific perspective,
not to pick on Dean, although in good ways in this case. But I remember another time when I first visited him ions, um, he had like, he was in like these trailers. I don’t know what the story is now.
I haven’t been there a long time. Um, and, uh, I was just there to, you know, Get to know him better. Right. But it just so happened that I showed up not long after he got his double slit experiment thing. And so he had this apparatus, he got some donor to give him 50 grand or something. He bought some double slit experiment thing.
And so he had it set up and he had it programmed. Then there was actually a lady in there who was running trials. Um, and she, um, You know, I didn’t think too much about it. And so Dean and I were talking about his, he was doing like chocolate intention experiments or something at that time. And he like gave me this piece of chocolate that was infused with the intention of law or something.
And it gives me the chocolate asking if I feel any different than, you know, stuff like that. And I love chocolates. I was just grateful for the chocolate. I was hungry by that point. I took a while to get to it,
Alex Tsakiris: [02:25:12] to try there.
Jeffery Martin: [02:25:15] I was looking at the chocolate on his desk. Well,
Alex Tsakiris: [02:25:18] he was generous to give me
Jeffery Martin: [02:25:19] some right.
I didn’t realize it was special
Alex Tsakiris: [02:25:21] experimental chocolate
Jeffery Martin: [02:25:22] at the time. I was just like, Oh God, I would really love one of those chocolates. Right. Um, and so basically this lady goes, so leave as experimental subject goes to leave and, um, And, and Dina told me all about the experiment and experimental setup and why he was doing it.
And all of a sudden kind of interesting. And I was like, well, before she leaves, let’s look at her data, you know? And so we own the other room and it’s got like these bar graphs sort of on the screen and, um, He was, he starts walking her through each of the D turns out each one of the bar graphs it’s like a trial or something.
So it’s walking her through the trial and he’s like, what did you do on this one? Do you remember what you did on this one? Do you remember what you did on this one? Did you remember what you did on this one? So on and so forth. And all of them were like, I don’t know, kind of middle of the road bars. And then there was this one bar that was like, kind of off the charts.
Right. Um, and she basically, you know, he gets to that when he’s like, do you remember what you did at this one? And she just sort of looked at him. And then she sort of looked over at me and the other person from our lab that was visiting with me. Um, yeah. And you could tell that she didn’t want to say.
You know, and so she tried to give like some sort of half-ass sort of response to it. Um, and I’m like, well, I’m not gonna, you know, settle for that. Like, you know, you were really precise on the other ones. Like, you know, what did you do on this one? And she’s like, so she thinks that she pauses for a while and she looks at us some more and she thinks about it.
And she says, well, There’s this thing I can do where I can kind of make myself go away.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:26:59] Yeah. She describes
Jeffery Martin: [02:27:00] like, basically being able to put herself into this temporary non-symbolic experience.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:27:04] Um,
Jeffery Martin: [02:27:05] and she’s like, that’s what I was doing when I did that bar. Um, I thought, I thought, well, that’s very interesting.
You know, I had, I had, um, had dinner with Bob and Brenda Don of pear lab after one of these conferences that we were all at one time, uh, back when Bob was still alive. And, um, it was not long after Bob had retired and I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know much about them, you know? And so they were telling me about what they were doing.
Uh, and so I’m like, well, geez, you’re at the end of like 25 years of this research, you know, So I’m going to ask you the obvious question. What do you think of what you came up with? You know, and Bob basically gave me the spiel about how he kind of felt like they’d failed, like how he hadn’t even really convinced himself that there was an effect in the data that he had to use all this, you know, stochastic, resonance, numbering, and all of that.
And he’s like, you know, it seems to me like I’m, I could just as easily be. Pulling out a ghost in the machine that doesn’t mean anything is pulling out a real signal from this data. And I thought, yeah, I left me with a lot of respect for the guy. I mean, who does, who spends 25 years of their life and, you know, admits to that at the end of it.
Right. Especially somebody is so brilliant as he clearly was. Um, and that’s how he chose to just throw 25, the last 25 years of his career. Into right. Um, and in some sense from that answer kind of a way, uh, a little bit, you know, you would think considering all the other stuff he could have been inventing or doing or whatever, with the brilliant physics mind like his, um, and so he gets up and he goes to the bathroom and Brenda and I are sitting there and, um, And, and I say, you know, what else I know about this, Brenda, that I don’t know.
And she basically goes on to say that, uh, and, and, and I don’t want to be too. I want to be careful here and respectful of the, sort of what might’ve been meant to be more confidential or whatever. So I’ll really abstract it. Um, but the long and the short of it was that she basically felt the same way as that lady in Petaluma.
Um, and so this was around 2000, somewhere in 2004, 2005, 2006. I don’t remember probably around 2006. Um, and, um, and Brenda basically said, you know, it seems, it seems to me, she said, Bob wouldn’t allow us to collect any psychological data. She was a psychologist. She’s like Bob, Bob is a straight numbers physicist.
Do you want to allow us to collect any subjective information from subjects and, and really work with it in a meaningful way? Um, you know, so she’s like, I’ve only got my anecdotal impressions from having been the lab manager for 20 years at this time. Um, but she’s like my anecdotal impressions are that there’s a small number of people that are producing an outsize effect on this data.
And that the thing that they all seem to have in common is that they all. Basically report, you know, the ability to have sort of this mystical type or this non-symbolic type of, uh, experience. She called it. She had a, she had a way that she phrased. Is that where she said they would describe it, a merger or a union with the apparatus.
To her, you know, a dissolution of their self boundaries and a merger or union of the apparatus. Um, and so, you know, it’s, I mean, I, you know, as a, as a researcher, these sorts of anecdotal edge things, um, you know, I don’t think that you can, you have to, you have to take them into account, uh, for sure. You know, I don’t know if.
10 years after that or whatever Deepak Chopra pitching me that program. If I hadn’t, you know, talked to Brenda at that lunch and had occasion to visit Dean at the moment where he guys double split thing and heard that lady’s account, I don’t know what I would have said. Uh, to him about that program.
Right. But you know, you accumulate these little data points and they’re not real per se. You know, they’re not sort of rigorously sussed out with any sort of methodological rigor. Um, but you know, they’re interesting. Curious anecdotes. Um, and they suggest that you shouldn’t exclude possibilities that you might otherwise, you know, exclude if you hadn’t heard them or just not have ever thought of as possibilities if you hadn’t heard them.
And so, so, you know, I mean, it’s, it’s, for me, it’s a collection of a lot of this anecdotal type of stuff. Um, off the cuff conversations with people that had done more serious science, um, But I don’t, I can’t feel as a scientist, like I have looked rigorous firstly at the data enough to really, I feel like I should be having some sort of opinion that other people should listen to, you know, in the same sense that like, I don’t know if PIM goes out and starts talking about non-symbolic experience after, you know, Six conversations over 15 years or something.
I mean like, why should he do that? He doesn’t know anything about it by comparison. Right. I mean, I kind of have that same thing with his work.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:31:56] Um,
Jeffery Martin: [02:31:57] you know, it goes in there somewhere. Right. Um, but I, but to really answer your question, I think, you know, I would have to. I mean, th these are my impressions.
You asked me the last question was the impression, but to answer your former question, I would have to, I think, any responsible person that has the skills to look at the data would have to really invest the time to really dig into the data, to date into the backstories behind the data, because there’s a file drawer.
Data is always a lot more. Interestingly, the data is the published, you know, like the stuff with Brenda that stuff’s never going to be published anywhere, probably. Right. Um, and so it’s, it’s those file drawer, things that add the color that really help you to get the story of the data. That lots of times you can’t get from just looking at it publicly.
You’d have to, I mean, you’d have to invest a crap ton of time. Um, for me to, you know, really have a legit opinion on it.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:32:49] Jeffrey, I’ll tell you what we’ve been at it for almost three hours. You’re fantastic. I appreciate it. I think this is an interview that will. Reverberate with me and future interviews for quite some time to come.
I just think, uh, you’re really, really an important figure in this larger issue of our question of consciousness and all of that. So. I really appreciate you taking so much time and talking today, tell folks how they would keep track of what’s going on. And if they want to give the finders course Iran and they should pick up the book because the book is outstanding as well, and just very, very highly regarded, but tell people how they.
Find all this stuff, finders.
Jeffery Martin: [02:33:35] Thanks. These of course might change. You never know, but the lab are, the center’s research has been at non-symbolic dot org forever. Uh, and so you can always sort of catch up with that as a central hub, um, finder’s course.com there’s 45 days.one 45 days.one or the two experiments they’re currently running, who knows what will be true by the time someone watches this video.
Um, There’s the book, of course, the finders, um, as you mentioned, which is more or less available everywhere, um, that’s about it. Yeah. Dr. Jeffery Martin is my personal website that there’s no reason to visit.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:34:12] Oh, no, there’s a lot of great stuff there do visit that and you’ll see. A good summary of all the books and all the other stuff.
Well, Jeffrey, it’s been great having you on. And uh, so fun. So fun. We just jumped, right?
Jeffery Martin: [02:34:25] It is. I love, you know, people love our interviews. Like I said, at the beginning of this, that’s like one of the three, all these zillions of interviews. And like there’s only three that seemed to ever be mentioned.
Alex Tsakiris: [02:34:37] one, you’re one of those
Jeffery Martin: [02:34:38] three. That’s amazing. So we’ll see, I’ll get some of this. Personality. I don’t know what it is, but it’s not me. Right. Cause I’m in all of them. So they’d be mentioning all of that for me. It’s gotta be something related to you and how you do this, but it’s
Alex Tsakiris: [02:34:51] great because the interaction
Jeffery Martin: [02:34:55] people interested and they’re willing to watch stuff about
Alex Tsakiris: [02:34:57] this and that’s extraordinarily helpful.
Jeffery Martin: [02:35:00] Cool. Thanks for that. Thanks for what you’re doing, you know?
Alex Tsakiris: [02:35:03] No. Okay, cool. Mutually. Take care.
Thanks again to Jeffrey Martin for joining me today on skeptical. The one question I would tee up from this interview has to do with this idea about the cultural shift. From an egocentric culture to a fundamental well being culture. What do you think about the prospects for that kind of change? But where that gets really deep, really quick. So let me know your thoughts hop on over to the skeptical form. If you’d like to connect with and exchange ideas with other people who listen to this show, including me.
That’s available to you. You can also go to the skeptical website where you can download all these previous episodes of skeptical for free.
That’s going to do it for this episode. I do have some pretty good ones. I think coming up.
Stay with me for all of that until next time. Take care and bye for now.
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