I recently finished reading Dr. Jeffery Martin’s book ‘The Finders’, which is about finders, or the people who have access to what he calls as ‘fundamental well being’. Those finders also include the category of people who have found what I often write about – the spiritual enlightenment. The academic name for fundamental well being is ‘persistent non-symbolic experience (PSNE)’.
The book is based on the research and interviews conducted on nearly a thousand people who claim to be finders – or experiencing the states which are often referred to using words like Nondual awareness, Plateau experiences, Unity consciousness, Deautomatization, Enlightenment, Samadhi, Transcendental experiences, Flow experience, Mystical experiences, Satori
Cosmic Consciousness, The peace of God, Peak experiences, Silence beyond sound, Numinous experiences, Shamanic ecstasy etc. (This list of words is taken from the website for his own research project : nonsymbolic.org).
Regardless of the quality of the research and the accuracy of his conclusions, this book is extremely useful for people who have reached these states of consciousness. Most importantly, it is pretty interesting and useful for people like me who have gone beyond the sense of agency or sense of experiencing oneself as the ‘doer’. Because, this book has documented many things based on the inputs shared by many people who are awake (and possibly many people who have glimpses and have non-abiding awakening).
I liked the articulation and simplicity where he has explained the features of narrative self and challenges that a finder faces, especially in relationships. I have gone through a divorce after becoming a ‘finder’ and I can relate to it a lot. The book is overall wonderful but many facts that are presented can be challenged. As the author himself says, the findings need a lot of refinement and I would consider the research as being in an initial stage. We need input from other researchers and further experiments of similar nature from others to take this forward.
From my perspective, I find the concept of continuum a little problematic. May be it makes certain things easier from an academic point of view. But it is misleading to a seeker, in my opinion. I am also skeptical about many other things said in the book, like the possibility of losing one’s fundamental wellbeing.
I have discussed more in this video:
He also had a ‘Finder’s course’ to help people reach the fundamental well being and I heard that the cost was about $3000, which is a lot of money. And the claim that majority of the attendees reached fundamental well being is indeed extra-ordinary. Currently he has a program called ’45 Days to Awakening Challenge’ which costs about $500. Because of the huge claim that is being made and a very high cost, many people ask if it is a scam. If you have completed any of the above mentioned programs, comment your experiences below.
4 thoughts on “A Review of ‘The Finders’ by Dr. Jeffery Martin ( A Constructive Criticism)”
I left a big long reply but I guess it got lost. Basically I thought the course was good but it does not lead to real awakening. My response was nuanced that that, but that’s the basic gist. If you want to know more, email me and I’ll give you my spiel. Om.
Thank you.. I just sent you an email
I got the email. Thanks. I wish my first comment went through b/c it was much more extensive.
I think it is very interesting that you want to insist that you can’t lose your fundamental wellbeing which is exactly what Finders who do actually lose it say they thought was true before they lost it. But I know of at least one teacher who did lose it for a few decades. He regained it during Finders but won’t concede that now. One thing that has become clear from Martin’s work is that that points of view of these people is just that; a point of view, not necessarily a more correct version of reality. Finders who have been at multiple locations say that each one felt completely convincing of its “truth.” It finally dawns on some of them that none of them can actually be true if each one proves to be “false” when they move to a different “location.” But they feel completely true (just as misery does) and can be very pleasant illusions to live in. I’d like to try nonduality out but it has proved elusive.