non-duality magazine
Home About Enlightenment   Money Sexuality  Latest Books Poetry Art Photography Film Subscribe Contact
   

 

 

 

 

 

 SELF REALIZATION, AWAKENING AND ENLIGHTENMENT

 

 

JEFFREY  A MARTIN, PhD

 

Jeffery is a social scientist who researches personal transformation. He specializes in bringing rigorous empirical research and testing to transformational techniques and theories that have previously been supported anecdotally. Jeffery is a leading expert on persistent non-symbolic consciousness (enlightenment, nonduality, mystical experience, union with God/nature, etc.).

He holds several graduate degrees and specializes academically in technology, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and transformative studies. A bestselling author and award winning educator, Jeffery has co-edited, authored, or co-authored over 20 books and numerous other publications; appeared in a wide variety of media; and lectured broadly in both academic and public forums.

Jeffery is currently the director of the Center for the Study of Non-Symbolic Consciousness (www.nonsymbolic.org).

Portions of his research on Non-Symbolic consciousness are also available in the popular novel, The Fourth Awakening

(www.fourthawakening.com).

 

INTERVIEW

 

JEFFREY  A MARTIN, PhD

 

NDM: Your bio says that you are a leading expert on persistent non-symbolic consciousness enlightenment, non-duality, mystical experience, union with God/nature, etc. Did you attain your  expertise on non-dual awareness and enlightenment through your research and conducting of scientifically based interviews on PNSE or at University?

 

Jeffery Martin: Both. My PhD chair was Allan L. Combs and Ralph Hood, Jr was one of the other two committee members. In their own ways they each pioneered the study of key aspects of this within the academy. My PhD thesis was done in the area of PNSE, and the bulk of my academic research since then has been in this area.

 

NDM: Did you study any particular spiritual traditions or with a specific spiritual teacher (s)?  Or did you train in a specific practice such as yoga, meditation or anything along those lines?

 

Jeffery Martin:  Not sure what you are asking here...

 

NDM:  I mean, did you come to your understanding about enlightenment, non duality and the rest through your own practice, or with the help of a traditional teacher of some kind? Or, through direct experience, insight and other means; or with the help of a guru?

 

Jeffery Martin:  No, the data you see represented here was solely based on research with this population.

 

NDM: On page 4 of your paper on Clusters of Individual Experiences form a Continuum of Persistent Non-Symbolic Experiences in Adults   you discuss how some of these people have what you refer to as “Persistent Non Symbolic Experiences.”  You say that “Buddhists often referred to a sense of spaciousness.”  What kind of Buddhist practitioners were you speaking of in this case? Were they Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Tibetan, Chan or Zen, or something else?

 

Jeffery Martin: All of these forms of Buddhism were represented. The 'sense of spaciousness' was selected to illustrate how different reports can be across traditions. Something similar was done with Christianity.

 

There are always sect, and even sub-sect specific differences, as how that general sense shows up seems to be quite constructed. So, for example, examples within Christianity might be union with (or increasing closeness to) God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, etc. depending on one's sect.

 

NDM:  Did they speak of specific meditations that they practiced?

 

Jeffery Martin: We had an information form that asked about specific practices. These were what you would expect. If a person stayed within a tradition, they were what you would expect of that tradition.

 

NDM: Did you also test monks in any of the Buddhist traditions?

 

Jeffery Martin:  Of course.

 

NDM: Were the Buddhist monks that you interviewed Theravadin or Mahayana monks or mostly Zen, Chan? Also did you interview any Vajrayana monks who had mastered Tummo?

 

Jeffery Martin:  All of these. We tried to get relatively representative numbers across different groups.

 

NDM: Did you test any of these subjects that practiced Tummo? For example, did you witness any of them being able to melt snow with no clothes on and in sub zero temperatures, or anything else like this?

 

Jeffery Martin Yes, I have witnessed these types of things in participants, and others.

 

NDM:  How many practiced jhana? And did any of these subjects mention the "four path model" or make any claims to attaining the fourth path - what is known as Arahant?

 

Jeffery Martin: I'm not sure of the number who did Jhana practice off hand. Those in the Theravada tradition, primarily, spoke of forth path attainment. The study included many Arhats.

 

NDM: Do you mean there were householders claiming to be arhats? (AKA arahant or fourth path which means they have attained nirvana/nibanna and complete release from samsara.)  Or were they strictly monastics who made this claim?

 

Jeffery Martin: Both.

 

NDM:  Daniel Ingram?

 

Jeffery Martin: There are plenty of these folks out there, and in the study, on both sides of this line. There may be an advantage to the amount of time a monastic can spend in practice versus someone with a demanding job as a ER doctor like Dan, but the range of work people in the study were involved with certainly seemed to suggest that it is perfectly fine to have a job. As I'm sure you know, there is a long standing debate in some traditions regarding whether one should retreat from the world or embrace it, both while pursuing PNSE and afterwards.

 

NDM: Yes, according to the Buddha, in the Pali suttas, one cannot be an arahant and engage in sense pleasures like sexual activity. What is your view on this?

 

Jeffery Martin: My view is that this statement is not supported by our data, in relation to PNSE.

 

NDM: The Buddha said, "Bhikkhus, that one can engage in sensual pleasures without sensual desires, without perceptions of sensual desire, without thoughts of sensual desire — that is impossible." (MN 22.9).

 

The four noble truths say that desire is the cause of samsara. Are you saying that the Buddha was wrong about this part?

 

Jeffery Martin:  I can only report on the data that has been collected. All of our data has been collected from the direct experience of living individuals. I'm not able to comment on things that other individuals may or may not have said, nor interpret what they may have meant.

 

NDM: The Buddha said that craving is what keeps one in samsara. Craving for sense-pleasures (kama-tanha): this is craving for sense objects which provide pleasant feeling, or craving for sensory pleasures.

 

Craving to be (bhava-tanha): this is craving to be something, to unite with an experience. This includes craving to be solid and ongoing, to be a being that has a past and a future, and craving to prevail and dominate over others.

 

Craving not to be (vibhava-tanha): this is craving to not experience the world, and to be nothing; a wish to be separated from painful feelings

 

So if one is still engaging in sexual activity, this means they can’t be an arahant? No more than 2nd path at best - Sakadagami, "returning once" or "once-returner," meaning that they are only partially enlightened, which is great in and of itself, but nowhere near an arahant.

 

Jeffery Martin:  I am not a Buddhism scholar, and can only talk about our data. Within that data are individuals who had validation as Arhats in various communities, and who were not celibate. The data from these individuals matched the patterns we saw in others regarding PNSE

 

NDM: You say "validation as Arhats in various communities."  Can you please be more specific as to what kind of communities exactly; do you mean like cults?

 

Jeffery Martin:  I think the definition of cult is problematic. Again, I am not a religious scholar, but in my experience the definition of this word has generally revolved around either new or novel religious/spiritual practices, or ones which deviate to X degree from the norms of an established religious/spiritual tradition. Much of this seems hard to precisely calculate, to me.

 

Communities might be in a specific place, such as a monastery or nunnery. Or, these days, they might be entirely online. Or, they might be a dispersed global community within some larger established religion, such as the Jesuit order within the Catholic church. My use of community may also refer to an established sub-faction within a group such as the Jesuits.

 

So in relation to Arhats, which seems to be an area of particular interest for you, a community might be a specific sect or sub-sect, large or small. Or, a community of individuals living in a specific place and practicing together, such as at a monastery. Or, it might mean a more loosely formed group, such as individuals living outside of a formal place of residence but who nonetheless form a local or regional community of some kind. Or, it might be an online group of sufficient size, structure, and coherence.

 

NDM: By the way, were they Zen or Chan Vajrayana Buddhists who said that they were "arhats"? I ask because Theravada monastics don't use the Sanskrit word "arhat", they use the Pali version arahant.

 

They also don't tend to make those types of claims in public since doing so indicates they still have one of the fetters of conceit or spiritual pride, of measuring oneself against others.  That would disqualify you from being an arahant. Also making these claims, if not true, could get you thrown out of the sanhga and they have ways to know this.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C4%81na

 

Jeffery Martin:  I choose to use the spelling of ‘Arhat’ because it seems to be the most widely used, and I think it is helpful to use spelling that is most easily searched on. Even the wikipedia page on 'Arhat' spells it this way. The Encyclopedia Britannica seems to spell it this way for their entry as well, though both mention the Pali and other versions on their Arhat page. The long time teacher in me tries to make things like this easier for people to dig more into.

 

Regarding the term in general, although I am not a religious scholar I have interfaced with many who are over the course of this project. It seems to me that how this word is reflected across time and traditions has considerable variability. I don't think it is very useful to the understanding of our data, because of the debate that seems to surround it. This is often the case with these types of terms. However, we do catalog terms like this when someone uses it to describe him- or herself, or others use the term to describe a participant.

 

Regarding public claims and such, I thought this would be more of an issue than it was. I had many people tell me that various vows, traditions, and so forth would cause us problems with data collection, similar to what you suggest in your question. This wasn't my experience. These participants were very open with us, and seemed highly pragmatic about their participation in the research and the value it might offer everyone involved.

 

NDM: In your view does PNSE equal nibbana (Pali) or nirvana (Sanskrit) in the Buddhist tradition?

 

"Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world."

SN 22.59

 

Jeffery Martin:  Yes, I consider PNSE as a catch-all term that relates to these types of persistent ways of experiencing the world.

 

NDM: In your view is PNSE the same as moksha in the Advaita Vedanta tradition?

 

Jeffery Martin:  Yes, PNSE is a general term that includes this concept.

 

NDM:  In the book Saints and Madmen, Russell Shorto gives quite a few accounts of people who thought they were “enlightened,” only to find out later that they were in fact psychotic or suffering from all kinds of serious maladies.

 

www.amazon.com/Saints-Madmen-Pioneering-Psychiatrists-Creating/dp/0805059016

 

Did any of these subjects that you interviewed claim to being “enlightened” or having attained something extra special in anyway, like believing they were Jesus, or Buddha, the Maitreya, sent here with a special message or mission to save the world and so on?

 

Jeffery Martin:  None of the participants made these kinds of representations.

 

NDM:  What percentage of those tested were practicing householders (lay people)? Meaning meditation on a daily basis with a teacher or in a tradition.

 

Jeffery Martin: Do you mean what percentage of Buddhists or Hindus (just guessing based on the term)?

 

NDM: Yes.

 

 effery Martin:  I don't recall calculating statistics on that. It would probably be quite arbitrary to do, for example one would have to choose thresholds. Would someone who went to a single meditation session count? Would there be a threshold for how long they practiced? Etc. We did many statistical tests for comparisons like this around 2009 and 2010, looking for significance and where we may want to dig deeper. Nothing came up in those various results that would lead me to think a deeper analysis in this direction would be valuable.

 

NDM:  How many of these had taken mind altering medications such as LSD, cannabis, benzedrine, and alcohol?

 

Jeffery Martin:  We asked about psychedelic use, not alcohol or other drugs. It has always been close to half.

 

NDM:  What about other types of medications for forms of mental illness, multiple personality, schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder, bi polar, depression, anxiety, or what has been clinically labeled as "depersonalization disorder?"

 

Jeffery Martin:  I am not a clinician so diagnoses such as these are not appropriate for me to make. I did administer many self-report measures, and some of these related to psychopathology but there was nothing indicated across the population. I did specifically inquire into depersonalization/derealization as a separate question. Many things were the same, in terms of self-reports, but there was a fundamental difference in that depersonalized individuals often have levels of anxiety and depression. That was not the case with my research population.

 

NDM: Did you rule out autistic spectrum, like asbergers. That can be added to the list with the other mental illnesses, as well as childhood abuse,—dissociation, psychogenic amnesia?

 

And what is your view on the case of Suzanne Segal; would you say she differs from most of the subjects that you interviewed? 

 

Jeffery Martin:  I am not a clinician who is trained to diagnose, so I cannot expertly comment on this. As I mentioned, we did use psychopathology measures in the earliest time period, but things like this didn't show up as indicated in the population. Regarding childhood experiences, it was quite common for these individuals to have had religious or spiritual experiences in childhood.

 

NDM: In your paper you say, “Participants experiencing the far end of the continuum provided further insight on this phenomenon. An example occurred during a participant interview on a major college campus. It was one of the first warm days of the season and quite a few women on campus were lying out on the lawns in swimsuits. Knowing that the participant was heterosexual, I asked about his experience of all of these attractive young women. The participant responded that occasionally he would notice his eyes orient to one of them, but nothing further would arise. When asked to speculate on why the orientation had occurred, he stated that he assumed it was a low-level hardcoded reproductive response.”

 

What percentage of these subjects were sexually active? Were any of them celibate or practiced this?

 

Jeffery Martin:  Keep in mind that I was seeking similarities. So, for example, I asked a certain number of participants about their sexuality (for example), but once it was clear that there didn't seem to be relevant patterns to be found I would stop asking in future interviews. After that point it would have to spontaneously come up at some point in our conversation. The vast majority were sexually active. Those who weren't generally were not trying to avoid it, rather they simply didn't have a sexual partner at the moment.

 

Some individuals went through periods where sex did not seem desirable after the onset of PNSE, but this did not seem to last for the majority who experienced this.

 

NDM: Did they say why this did not last or why this changed, or what broke this? Such as, did they suddenly crave or need this for their sense of happiness and well being?

 

Jeffery Martin:  No, just that it changed. Generally speaking, causation stories are often not relevant to this population. It seemed to be more of a biological switch. I wouldn't relate it to a craving or something needed to produce a sense of wholeness.

 

Sex was often reported as having gotten better. Established routines and limits in this area were loosened allowing for more exploration and enjoyment to emerge. Some Location 4 individuals reported sex as almost unbelievably enjoyable, regardless of who it was with. This could lead these individuals to be more promiscuous than was previously the case in their lives.

 

NDM: Why do you think they were even more promiscuous if they have "no sense of self?"

 

Jeffery Martin:  I think it is difficult to know the answer to this, and would rather not speculate.

 

NDM: What about a sense of shame? Did they also have this about being naked or things of this nature? Would they fear walking down the street like sadhus do in India for example with no clothes on? Or be embarrassed to do so?

 

Jeffery Martin:  This is not something that was specifically explored, so I don't know.

 

NDM: Were any of these professional non dual teachers by the way? Or known as "neo advaitins?"

 

Jeffery Martin: What would you consider a professional non-dual teacher?

 

NDM: Someone who makes a career out of advaita or Buddhism, meaning they sell the dharma, through satsang, group meetings on skype video, telephone, webinars, retreats, or any other means.  They don’t use the dana (generosity) model as is done traditionally.  Or are they monastic or renunciate?

 

Jeffery Martin: Both.

 

NDM: Did you do any blood work on their testosterone and hormone levels in the male subjects by the way?

 

Jeffery Martin: No, we did not do blood work or genetics, though some of that is presently under consideration for study.

 

NDM: Did any report feelings of being asexual (neither male nor female), as a result of this?

 

Jeffery Martin: Not that I recall.

 

NDM: What about a sense of fearlessness? Did any of them report this?

Jeffery Martin: As a group they generally report an absence of fear, including fear of death.

 

NDM: What about fear of being close to a wild animal (bear, tiger, snake), or something that would have normally activated a fight or flight response?

Jeffery Martin:  If you mean in an actually dangerous situation, this type of arousal and orienting differed across the continuum, but there did not seem to anyone whose biology would not sufficient warn them of impending danger and take the subsequent action for needed safety.

 

If you mean phobia's that induced fear, generally fear was reported as being absent. We did some testing of this and these phobias seem to still produce a physiological response in the body, however they generally were not reported as psychologically fearful. There were other divisions like this, for example individuals would report feeling that racism and sexism was no longer possible for them. When we would use physiological tests for these, such as from Project Implicit at Harvard, participants would typically show up in the 'normal' range. So, their body seemed to have a physiological response to the racial stimuli, for example, but they did not feel any sense of that psychologically.

 

NDM: What about their sense of having a moral conscience, did you also test this in any way?

 

Jeffery Martin: Yes, I was quite interested in changes in and expression of morality, especially early in the research. It didn't seem to be significantly affected very often by PNSE.

 

NDM:  In your paper you said that, “Generally speaking they retained their previous mannerisms, hobbies, political ideology, food and clothing preferences, and so forth. If someone were an environmentalist prior to PNSE, typically they remained so after it. If they weren’t, they still are not.”  What about at the far end of the continuum?

 

Jeffery Martin: It was the case there as well.

 

NDM: In your paper you cite a case:

 

“At the time, he was a well-known ‘Jhana Master’ who was able to enter these various states at will. His certainty was so strong that he actually entered into the Jhana he was referring to so that I could interview him in that state of consciousness and compare his responses to the other participant.”

 

NDM: Are you saying that you interviewed him while he was in jhana or afterwards?

 

Jeffery Martin:  Both, depending upon the Jhana people can communicate.

 

NDM: Did they mention the factors?

 

Jeffery Martin:  What do you mean by factors?

 

NDM:  Traditionally, each jhana stage has various factors, that's how you know which one you are in. Also if it’s even jhana or not.  There are 8 stages, not including the last.

 

Stage 1 of the material jhanas has 4 factors, 1. vitakka - applied thought , 2. vichara, - examining or investigation of the object, 3. piti - rapture and 4. sukha- happiness.

 

So this means that there is no possibility for speaking while one is "in" this type of traditional jhana. Absorbed with the meditation object, whatever this object is. There are 40 altogether.

 

Jeffery Martin:  Yes the person spoke about factors. There wasn't just one 'Jhana master' in the study, obviously, so these discussions were done with more than just this person.

 

NDM: What about their sense of greed or stinginess, such as hoarding goods, (stocks and bonds, money, gold) or other objects like these? Did they express if this “non sense of self” was affected by this, on the fourth continuum, that is?

 

Jeffery Martin:  The larger patterns of their life are often unchanged. So if they were a saver, they are still a saver. If they could never seem to save money because they spend or give away what they get, this is also unchanged. There is a sense as one moves along the continuum of a reduced need for unnecessary personal consumption. Much of our personal consumption, beyond needs, hobbies, and so forth, seems to be related to trying to find things that fill up the hole in our center. Once that hole is filled, that type of consumption seems to trail off.

 

Some of them do make radical life changes. For example, a person might quit his or her job, leave their family and former life behind, move to a small cabin somewhere remote, and so forth. This was very rare, but I did occasionally see it. Obviously there would be changes in spending and consumption habits in situations like this.

 

NDM: Did any of them report awareness while in a state of deep sleep?

 

Jeffery Martin:  Yes, but this did not seem wide spread, even among traditions that consider it as a core part of their definition of enlightenment. When it had been experienced, it was often only for periods of time, such as a few months. There were some who did have it persistently over time. Among this group, those who had been under anesthesia reported that awareness was not present during that time.

 

NDM: Or any other types of unusual psychic abilities such as knowing the minds of others?

 

Jeffery Martin:  Various abilities like this were occasionally reported but did not seem to be a core part of PNSE. Some individuals came from traditions whose developmental process emphasized these types of experiences. These individuals seemed more likely to experience them, but it wasn't just individuals from these traditions. There were participants who were atheists and also reported them. Most of those who reported them seemed to either expect them to occur during their developmental process, or were actively trying to cultivate them. For the small percentage that reported them, they were almost never persistent. There is some tangential evidence from our project that suggests PNSE individuals may be more easily able to cultivate this type of ability.

 

There were quite a few things like this that some traditions considered core to PNSE, but which ultimately didn't seem to be at the core of the experience from our perspective. These types of 'psychic' abilities are, of course, reported by many more non-PNSE individuals than PNSE individuals. Another interesting example is deep peace. There were participants who reported having deep peace long before their transition into PNSE, and seemingly independent from it and the transition away from an individualized sense of self.

 

NDM: Have any of your subjects indicated that there is a difference with “non dual awareness” or “enlightenment“ with "mystical experience," "peak experience," "transcendental experience?"

 

Jeffery Martin:  We've cataloged many different terms. Generally speaking participants had one or two that they were comfortable with. Some were from traditions that had more than one 'stage' of PNSE and specific terms for each. Generally speaking, though, participants did not go from, say, an immersion in the Christian mystical tradition to a specific school of Buddhism and make a direct comparison from their personal experience. Some would read others accounts and have opinions, but that is different than being able to compare direct experience.

 

There were changes that people experienced within PNSE. These are documented in the continuum. These changes were independent of tradition, and included changes that resulted in deepening within their current type of PNSE or changing to a different one.

 

NDM: What is your view on the similarities and differences with psychotic experiences and mystical experiences? Please see here.

 

A. "Self-image. The mystic reduces his/her sense of self to a minimum. The mystic wants to be an infinitesimal point of consciousness, with the smallest possible ego, so that he/she can perceive life in the least distorted way. The personality is seen as a barrier, a filter that does not allow one’s consciousness to perceive life in its truest form. Humility before the enormity of the universe is a common attitude in the mystic."

B. "The psychotic sees him/herself as omnipotent and omniscient. There is a great increase in self-centeredness, with a feeling of being all-important. He/she is the center of the world, and only he/she is sufficiently important to matter."
www.seedsofunfolding.org/issues/11_08/feature_english.htm

 

Jeffery Martin:  I'm not a clinician so I can't offer a strong comment here. I would say that, generally, I can see things that appear related in one way or another to PNSE in many psychological conditions. I don't find this surprising as I think experience is mediated by the brain and all of the conditions relate to the brain in some way. It’s the totality of the claims that we look at with PNSE. It seems to me that PNSE is related most strongly to depersonalization/derealization, though there are important differences.

 

NDM:  Swami Sivanada says that, ”It is very difficult to judge a Jivanmukta. A Shakespeare only can understand a Shakespeare. A Jesus only can understand a Jesus. A man of experience who has mixed with Sadhus and Sannyasins and lived with them for a number of years may arrive at certain definite conclusions and infer something. But he may or may not be accurate. Only a Jivanmukta with his eye of intuition (Divya Drishti) can directly see and understand a Jivanmukta.

 

What is your view on this?

 

Jeffery Martin:  My view is that there are as many experiences and views on PNSE as there are people who have experienced it. While there are underlying similarities in how cognition, emotion. perception, and memory change, the 'flavor' of the experience is different for each person. Within traditions, formalized language can hide the changes between individuals. This can help to smooth over differences between individuals, as can vows that require that specifics not be discussed. However when these vows or agreed upon language are disposed of, and the actual moment to moment experience of two individuals is discussed in details, differences exist. Even if they are minor differences, they are different nonetheless. So this can make it hard for individuals to come to full agreement on points like this.

 

NDM: Did you come across anyone who was raised as a western householder, who attained enlightenment along the lines of Ramana Maharshi, and lived their life the way he did?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramana_Maharshi

 

Jeffery Martin:  I think this question may be too simple, or perhaps that it just has too much packed into it. Perhaps the crux of the question is whether I know of any Western householders who attained an enlightenment that is represented to be similar to Ramana Maharshi's. The answer to that is yes. However, I feel like he lived his life in a certain time period and cultural context that would not be possible for a householder in the West today. Westerner's generally don't have ashrams built around their mother's grave, for example. Certainly I have not met anyone who fits that criteria.

 

NDM: What about vanity, such as wearing makeup, dying their hair, concerned with physical appearance, plastic surgery, liposuction, botox and so on?  Did they look younger than their age?

 

For example, when Oprah asked Eckhart Tolle, (paraphrasing here)

Oprah:  I have to ask, the viewers write and they want to know what you do for your skin. Do you use a special skin cream? Or color your hair?

 

Eckhart Tolle, Expressionless  he said, No. People who don’t carry around a lot of past look much younger. When you let go of your past you take on an ageless quality. Resentments cause a lot of wrinkles and lines.

 

/www.blisstree.com/2008/05/08/sex-relationships/look-20-years-younger-28/

 

Jeffery Martin:  Certainly I've met with many women who wore makeup and such. I didn't ask about hair dye, botox, and so forth; but in casual conversation this type of thing has come up among both men and women who experience PNSE. While there are certainly indications that stress can affect aging, I'd say that on the whole I don't see a difference between the participants in the study and the 'normal' population. I have PNSE and non-PNSE friends who look amazingly young, as well as others who look their age. For example, if you are caucasian and lived a lot of your life in the sun, without UV protection, later in life you are pretty wrinkled up...even if you spent a lot of that time in PNSE.

 

NDM: You say that PNSE is the equivalent of being a jivan mukta and attaining nirvana, but what about farm animals like pigs, goats, cows, certain other sentient species that also have persistent no sense of self. Pigs as we know, for example, even eat their own excrement and so on. Does that mean that they are also jivan muktas and have attained nirvana  and are enlightened and so on - if this PNSE is the only criteria for this?

 

Jeffrey Martin: The degree and type of consciousness in non-human species is a rich and interesting topic area, but not one that this research project has explored. So, I don't know the answer to this question.

 

NDM: Can you please tell me about your book on this Subject. When will it be published?

 

Jeffery Martin:   It's out for initial comments right now. It will go through three rounds of review in its current stage. The first will be other professional writers to comment on and smooth it out for readers, the second will be a wide variety of PNSE individuals (though this has also been done during the creation of the chapters) as a final check on clarity from their perspective, and the third will be among major authors in the areas that relate to it for important final comments and to allow for a maximum connection with various audiences these individuals are experts at communicating with. After this it will go to final copy editing and get released. All of this will take as long as it needs to, the most important thing to me is that the book be all it can prior to release. I suspect that it will be released this year.

 

To my mind, it is the first comprehensive and major book in this area of study since Stace's related writings. People who have read the draft liken it to a PNSE version of William James' Varieties of Religious Experience. I think that is a good analogy, though I hope it will be a bit more accessible and readable than that work is.

 

NDM: Will you list the names of those who participated in the tests in your book, so that the audience will know who you are speaking about? For example, Daniel Ingram , Kenneth Folk and others like these?

 

 Jeffery Martin: No, portions of the project have operated under academic review boards which stipulated anonymity for participants. We chose to extend this to all aspects of the research to ensure that these requirements were met without exception or accidental incident. If a participant chooses to break their anonymity, that is their choice, but we will not do so. Some have already spoken publicly about being a participant in the research. Gary Weber and Vincent Horn come to mind, for example.

 

 

END OF INTERVIEW