Message Boards Message Boards

Toggle
PNSE Stickman2 7/28/17 7:12 AM
RE: PNSE Jack Hatfield 7/30/17 6:16 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 7/30/17 7:23 PM
RE: PNSE Noah D 7/30/17 8:01 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 7/31/17 3:46 AM
RE: PNSE This very moment 7/31/17 7:06 PM
RE: PNSE Daniel M. Ingram 7/31/17 8:13 PM
RE: PNSE This very moment 7/31/17 8:19 PM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 8/1/17 9:33 AM
RE: PNSE Rainbow 8/3/17 10:05 PM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 8/4/17 7:53 AM
RE: PNSE Rainbow 8/10/17 8:42 PM
RE: PNSE Jinxed P 8/6/17 10:05 PM
RE: PNSE Daniel M. Ingram 8/12/17 5:44 AM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 8/12/17 3:09 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/13/17 6:21 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/21/17 1:02 PM
RE: PNSE Jack Hatfield 8/1/17 7:28 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/4/17 10:23 AM
RE: PNSE neko 8/19/18 3:19 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/4/17 1:55 PM
RE: PNSE neko 8/4/17 5:11 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/7/17 4:49 AM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 8/7/17 2:43 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/11/17 7:49 AM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 8/11/17 1:41 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/21/17 1:00 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/1/17 7:11 PM
RE: PNSE Rainbow 8/3/17 10:00 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/4/17 1:04 PM
RE: PNSE Rednaxela 8/11/17 2:36 PM
RE: PNSE Jinxed P 8/11/17 2:42 PM
RE: PNSE Rednaxela 8/22/17 11:44 AM
RE: PNSE Jinxed P 8/23/17 6:17 PM
RE: PNSE Rednaxela 8/24/17 11:49 AM
RE: PNSE Alin Samson 8/24/17 1:39 PM
RE: PNSE Rednaxela 8/28/17 9:31 AM
RE: PNSE Santiago Jimenez 6/23/18 4:21 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/21/17 12:58 PM
RE: PNSE Rednaxela 8/22/17 11:42 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/25/17 1:00 PM
RE: PNSE Rednaxela 8/28/17 9:26 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/21/17 1:15 PM
RE: PNSE Warrior Monk 8/21/17 9:19 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/22/17 9:35 AM
RE: PNSE Warrior Monk 8/22/17 9:28 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 8/23/17 12:05 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 9/9/17 9:06 AM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 9/9/17 12:17 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 9/9/17 12:38 PM
RE: PNSE seth tapper 9/9/17 12:49 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 9/9/17 2:12 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 9/18/17 6:05 AM
RE: PNSE ganesha23 9/18/17 7:36 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 9/18/17 8:29 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 4/7/19 5:24 AM
RE: PNSE seth tapper 9/18/17 8:16 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 9/18/17 8:32 AM
RE: PNSE alguidar 9/18/17 9:05 AM
RE: PNSE Stick Man 9/20/17 10:30 AM
RE: PNSE alguidar 9/21/17 3:05 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 4/5/19 10:44 AM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 4/5/19 1:00 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 4/7/19 7:12 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 4/7/19 5:07 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 5/7/19 4:53 AM
RE: PNSE bernd the broter 5/7/19 6:22 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 5/7/19 7:28 PM
RE: PNSE bernd the broter 5/8/19 3:08 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 5/8/19 5:23 AM
RE: PNSE Jinxed P 5/9/19 10:03 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 5/9/19 5:24 PM
RE: PNSE Jinxed P 5/10/19 8:10 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 5/10/19 5:04 PM
RE: PNSE Jinxed P 5/10/19 7:14 PM
RE: PNSE Daniel M. Ingram 5/11/19 2:29 AM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 5/13/19 2:48 AM
RE: PNSE Ted W Lemon 5/24/19 7:24 AM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 5/24/19 8:39 AM
RE: PNSE Ward Law 5/25/19 8:29 AM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 5/25/19 11:51 AM
RE: PNSE Griffin 5/25/19 4:44 PM
RE: PNSE Ted W Lemon 5/25/19 10:24 PM
RE: PNSE Daniel M. Ingram 5/26/19 3:34 AM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 5/27/19 8:16 AM
RE: PNSE Griffin 5/26/19 4:35 PM
RE: PNSE Ward Law 5/27/19 9:56 AM
RE: PNSE Daniel M. Ingram 5/25/19 2:58 PM
RE: PNSE Daniel M. Ingram 5/24/19 12:15 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 5/24/19 4:22 PM
RE: PNSE Griffin 5/24/19 5:40 PM
RE: PNSE Daniel M. Ingram 5/25/19 12:56 AM
RE: PNSE Chris Marti 5/24/19 2:39 PM
RE: PNSE Ted W Lemon 5/25/19 10:15 PM
RE: PNSE Stickman2 5/19/19 8:33 AM
PNSE
Answer
7/28/17 7:12 AM
Got into Jeffery Martin's stuff online. Really good and I feel it throws a lot of light on things.
Points I got from his stuff
  • mantra and noting both cause dark nights and this is expected in some paths (ie. - y'all)
  • people waste a lot of time on contemplative techniques that don't serve them
  • dark night isn't necessary
  • realizations can be lost and regained due to triggers like stress
  • estimate 0.5% of population enlightened to some degree
  • app 70% of his sample didn't follow any method it just happened
  • some rare people born that way
  • can make people more dogmatic
  • emptier levels of enlightenment can mess with the memory for day-to-day things
comments?

RE: PNSE
Answer
7/30/17 6:16 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Where do you find his stuff online?

I made connections with someone who went through his course and taught me Jeffrey's dyadic self inquiry. Very powerful. I have done self inquiry wlone for some time. This new method deepened my practice

RE: PNSE
Answer
7/30/17 7:23 PM as a reply to Jack Hatfield.
Hi Jack, cool that you explored something useful there. There's a centralised place for his stuff here
http://nonsymbolic.org/
http://drjefferymartin.com/

stick

RE: PNSE
Answer
7/30/17 8:01 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
I recently decided I really like what Jeffrey is doing.  It's part of the movement.  

RE: PNSE
Answer
7/31/17 3:46 AM as a reply to Jack Hatfield.
Jack, what is dyadic self enquiry ? It sounds like partnering up with someone to ask where the real 'I' is, with somoene to witness it ?

RE: PNSE
Answer
7/31/17 7:06 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Noah, 

I have listened to Jeffrey's stuff and I would do the Finders course if it didn't have the high $$$.  Who are other thinkers I should check out in Jeffrey's movement?  Is he Trans Tech like Mikey Seigel? 

RE: PNSE
Answer
7/31/17 8:13 PM as a reply to This very moment.
Putting it in polite terms, there are some aspects of what JM is doing that I am uncomfortable with for various reasons. There is clearly an odd mix of elements, some savory, some helpful, some empowering, and some, well, that remind me of a time when I was in San Francisco in the early 90's, and Day Quayle, George Bush's VP, came to speak in China Town, and he didn't realize that there was a very large banner displayed behind him which said, in Chinese, "Would you buy a used car from this man?"

My impressions based on relatively limited data. However, he did stay overnight here at my house and we spoke for about 9 hours about the dharma and his work and ideas. He was a nice enough guy.

Clearly, some people are gaining benefits from the freely available, valid and useful techniques that he has summarized, repackaged, and sold at high price, though aspects of his models, which were already fixed before he had all his data, make my skin crawl at times, and I detect some marketing and idealized elements that contradict real-world data points.

RE: PNSE
Answer
7/31/17 8:19 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
This tech stuff is interesting....

I came in the into Buddhism through the backdoor of some new age woo woo and  the high tech stuff from the early mid 90's.  I worked for a company in the San Diego area that marketed a light sound machine called "Zygon".  It was a test marketing and full of promise, hype, etc.  But the amazing thing was that it did relax the hell out of me.  Later I bought my own L/S machine after reading Michael Hutchinson's "Mega Brain Power ", got into entrainment with binaural beats, hit floatation tanks, then as my perceptions opened up I learned about Reiki.  I got into the subtle energy thang for a number of years but got really put off by the emphasis on all the woo woo.  I meditated a lot when I was single and had many A&P experiences and probably have been in stasis for over 15 years as new work training, marriage, and five kids can do.  Last December, I woke up from a slumber and now practice is fer real, fo sho.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/1/17 9:33 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel, I agree with your instincts about Jeffery Martin. I, too, was the subject of "the interview" with him. It was roughly 6 hours of detailed questioning. When he published the results of that study I was aghast at how revealing of the subjects he had made the interview and test data. He was also claiming a closer connection with Harvard than he actually had. He also swore, during my interview, that he had no personal desire or interest in achieving what he calls non-symbolic consciousness.

I think he's a nice guy and probably means well, but some of his methods are a bit off-putting and shaky, IMHO. I suspect he had this commercial path in mind the whole time.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/1/17 7:11 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Thanks for your responses. Looks like the reaction to his work is mixed but, overall, positive. I'm enjoying his non sectarian perspective on things. It's been food for thought, but I won't launch into a load of questions (I have many) here like I usually would because I'm cautious about unwittingly catalysing friction between camps. I do feel like he's thrown light on a few things though (for me, anyway) and it's been thought provoking absorbing his stuff.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/1/17 7:28 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
Jack, what is dyadic self enquiry ? It sounds like partnering up with someone to ask where the real 'I' is, with somoene to witness it ?

One takes 20-30 minutes with one person asking questions of the other. Then switch roles for another 20-30 minutes. The one asking the questions can really bear down on the other and take them to a deeper dimension. At least, that is my experience.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/3/17 10:00 PM as a reply to Stickman2.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/3/17 10:05 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
When he published the results of that study I was aghast at how revealing of the subjects he had made the interview and test data. 


Isn't all the data he published anonymous?

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/4/17 7:53 AM as a reply to Rainbow.
Isn't all the data he published anonymous?

The data he published contains enough identifying characteristics (age, occupation, location, etc.) to figure out who is who if you know the subjects. It doesn't conform to the normal academic requirement of anonymity.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/4/17 10:23 AM as a reply to Jack Hatfield.
Jack Hatfield:
Stickman2:
Jack, what is dyadic self enquiry ? It sounds like partnering up with someone to ask where the real 'I' is, with somoene to witness it ?

One takes 20-30 minutes with one person asking questions of the other. Then switch roles for another 20-30 minutes. The one asking the questions can really bear down on the other and take them to a deeper dimension. At least, that is my experience.

Thanks Jack, the info at the end of Rainbow's link explains some more about this.

To all: aside from debate about academic integrity, and such, I think the really important thing is the bottom line, not the $$$ one but the rate of awakening.

Is there a reliable figure for the number of people awakening from the disparate methods employed in standard buddhism, including all the methods tried by DO people, and other traditions ?

Is that figure better than the Finder's Course ?

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/19/18 3:19 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:

To all: aside from debate about academic integrity, and such, I think the really important thing is the bottom line, not the $$$ one but the rate of awakening.

His definitions of awakening should be taken with a good pinch of salt.

1) He sets out with a clear-cut distinction between persistent non-symbolic experience (> 1 year) and ongoing non-symbolic experience (< 1 year), but then he treats those two terms almost interchangeably in practice.

2) Do not assume that his "locations" correspond in any way to MCTB paths, although his descriptions might make it look like he is implying as much.

3) If I understand correctly, during the Finders Course, "location attainments" are essentially self-reported, which sheds some dubious light on the scientificity and reproducibility of the experiment.


-----

EDIT one year later. This comment of mine has been included in a review of the Finders Course. I should point out that I did not take part in the Finders Course.

Summary of the review:
https://old.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/98e7gd/practice_my_review_of_finders_course_exposing_the/

Full text of the review:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mBoiFi1zbtP1ewUCjoTtAabG67GjsLICuceAjl4nHWE/edit#

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/4/17 1:04 PM as a reply to Rainbow.
Rainbow:

Interesting [edited the rest of my comment, I was assuming you were supporting the reddit post rather than just showing me the info impartially]. Thanks.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/4/17 1:55 PM as a reply to neko.
neko:
Stickman2:

To all: aside from debate about academic integrity, and such, I think the really important thing is the bottom line, not the $$$ one but the rate of awakening.

His definitions of awakening should be taken with a good pinch of salt.

1) He sets out with a clear-cut distinction between persistent non-symbolic experience (> 1 year) and ongoing non-symbolic experience (< 1 year), but then he treats those two terms almost interchangeably in practice.

2) Do not assume that his "locations" correspond in any way to MCTB paths, although his descriptions might make it look like he is implying as much.

3) If I understand correctly, during the Finders Course, "location attainments" are essentially self-reported, which sheds some dubious light on the scientificity and reproducibility of the experiment.
Hi Neko, thanks, nice to see you again. Quick response to points.

That's OK I take buddhism and it's maps with a pinch of salt too.

1) I think he does a bit of that, yeah.
2) Don't worry, I don't assume that, but as the locations are derived in part from realisations on the buddhist map I think there should be plenty of correspondence.
3) Aren't all attainments self reported ? If you mean it takes a qualified person to verify the attainments, to make them "proper", good, but who qualifies the qualified ? Who verified the original buddha ? I don't think we should expect official buddhist approval from a non-buddhist course.

I thought his locations sounded very much like so many reports of what various people experience, but they are broad categories and I don't expect 1:1 mapping with detailed maps (that may themselves be incomplete).

I think it would be nice to have, as I see some have suggested, double blind trials, control groups, etc. A control group could be a group of Theravada noobs so a proper comparison can be made and we can see which has the best hit rate for awakening. I'm not much directly involved with Theravada beyond my interest in this forum (which I well appreciate), so I have no idea even anecdotally how many people are succeeding in the quest along that path. If someone has some figures I'd like to see them. The same criticism would apply, though, regarding control groups and all the other stuff, when assessing how effective Theravadan methods are.
Overall, from what I've seen, Finder's seems a very positive thing.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/4/17 5:11 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:

3) Aren't all attainments self reported ? If you mean it takes a qualified person to verify the attainments, to make them "proper", good, but who qualifies the qualified ?
No, I don't mean that. Although I agree with you it'd be comparably flawed, I could still claim that an expert's opinion is potentially more reliable than self-assessment: You could, for example, verify whether the opinions of different experts match or not! This is definitely not something you can do with self-assessments.

Even better: There are some potentially more objective methods, like a questionnaire, but in which the practitioners are not told what the 'right answers' are --- with trick questions, stuff like that.

Ideally it would be some kind of blood test or brain scan, of course. But that's in the future, if ever.


Stickman2:

I think it would be nice to have, as I see some have suggested, double blind trials, control groups, etc. A control group could be a group of Theravada noobs so a proper comparison can be made and we can see which has the best hit rate for awakening. I'm not much directly involved with Theravada beyond my interest in this forum (which I well appreciate), so I have no idea even anecdotally how many people are succeeding in the quest along that path. If someone has some figures I'd like to see them. The same criticism would apply, though, regarding control groups and all the other stuff, when assessing how effective Theravadan methods are.

I agree with what you write.

A relevant difference between the DhO and the FC from this point of view: no claims of scientificity here. No attempts to publish stuff on peer-reviewed journals (or claims that we will). I mean, it would be good if someone tried that, if they did it in a scientifically sound manner. The FC may be a step in the right direction, but it is a smaller one than we are led to believe, I am afraid.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/6/17 10:05 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel,

What are the aspects of his model that make your skin crawl?

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/7/17 4:49 AM as a reply to neko.
neko:
Stickman2:

3) Aren't all attainments self reported ? If you mean it takes a qualified person to verify the attainments, to make them "proper", good, but who qualifies the qualified ?
No, I don't mean that. Although I agree with you it'd be comparably flawed, I could still claim that an expert's opinion is potentially more reliable than self-assessment: You could, for example, verify whether the opinions of different experts match or not! This is definitely not something you can do with self-assessments.

Even better: There are some potentially more objective methods, like a questionnaire, but in which the practitioners are not told what the 'right answers' are --- with trick questions, stuff like that.

Ideally it would be some kind of blood test or brain scan, of course. But that's in the future, if ever.


Stickman2:

I think it would be nice to have, as I see some have suggested, double blind trials, control groups, etc. A control group could be a group of Theravada noobs so a proper comparison can be made and we can see which has the best hit rate for awakening. I'm not much directly involved with Theravada beyond my interest in this forum (which I well appreciate), so I have no idea even anecdotally how many people are succeeding in the quest along that path. If someone has some figures I'd like to see them. The same criticism would apply, though, regarding control groups and all the other stuff, when assessing how effective Theravadan methods are.

I agree with what you write.

A relevant difference between the DhO and the FC from this point of view: no claims of scientificity here. No attempts to publish stuff on peer-reviewed journals (or claims that we will). I mean, it would be good if someone tried that, if they did it in a scientifically sound manner. The FC may be a step in the right direction, but it is a smaller one than we are led to believe, I am afraid.


I've been reading his online papers, goes into the psychometric tests a bit, and his dissertation which goes into various tests and scales in a bit more detail and some history of attempts to quantify and describe spiritual experience.
An interesting point that someone made is that it would could be unethical to run an experiment using Theravadan buddhism if it includes the experience of a Dark Night as a likely part of the process. I covered experimental psychology ethics a bit on my course but am not really up on it and I suppose it depends on the regulatory regime such a study would be working under.
Also, one thing that I haven't seen (yet) mentioned as a method of finding PNSE is sex, yet many swear this is an authentic route. Surveys on this are going to be even fewer than on standard contemplative practices, but from memory of the only one I have seen I think sex produces more instances of passing the A&P than meditation. If this is so, then it may be that more people find themselves in later parts of the buddhist map, via sex, than with standard meditation, too. And who has the data to soundly falsify such a hypothesis ? I suppose you could apply that line of thinking to other areas of life too, particulalry persistent drug use - what happens when, say, ayahuasca use is a regular practice rather than a one off retreat experience.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/7/17 2:43 PM as a reply to neko.
Neko said:

A relevant difference between the DhO and the FC from this point of view: no claims of scientificity here. No attempts to publish stuff on peer-reviewed journals (or claims that we will). I mean, it would be good if someone tried that, if they did it in a scientifically sound manner. The FC may be a step in the right direction, but it is a smaller one than we are led to believe, I am afraid.

I was thinking about this and I suspect there are so many variables to having "success" gaining insight while using any method that this would require a massive amount of data on huge numbers of subjects, some of it likely not even collectible. And there would need to be control groups of some sort, where a placebo effect might be found. Things like individual traits, personality, anatomy and all sorts of other personal attributes probably factor into how one approaches and obtains insight.

Interesting to think about.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/10/17 8:42 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
The data he published contains enough identifying characteristics (age, occupation, location, etc.) to figure out who is who if you know the subjects. It doesn't conform to the normal academic requirement of anonymity.

Agreed that's concerning, but what data are you looking at exactly? This is the only published research I could find and there are only two published articles which mention the ages and occupations of 2-5 individuals - of a database of 1200 - but no locations. I've never seen the data of the individuals themselves after looking for a good while hoping to do my own analysis. My understanding is that has not been converted into a useful format for statistical analysis and it remains just a collection of structured Q&A interviews, which remains unavailable.

Please respond via PM if you understandably don't want to spread it around.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/11/17 7:49 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Neko said:

A relevant difference between the DhO and the FC from this point of view: no claims of scientificity here. No attempts to publish stuff on peer-reviewed journals (or claims that we will). I mean, it would be good if someone tried that, if they did it in a scientifically sound manner. The FC may be a step in the right direction, but it is a smaller one than we are led to believe, I am afraid.

I was thinking about this and I suspect there are so many variables to having "success" gaining insight while using any method that this would require a massive amount of data on huge numbers of subjects, some of it likely not even collectible. And there would need to be control groups of some sort, where a placebo effect might be found. Things like individual traits, personality, anatomy and all sorts of other personal attributes probably factor into how one approaches and obtains insight.

Interesting to think about.


You could use artificial intelligence. I wonder what would happen when it got all those data points that told it it is a part of a greater living consciousness rather than being a dead robotic thing.....

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/11/17 1:41 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Does artificial intelligence have artificial insights?

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/11/17 2:36 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
Got into Jeffery Martin's stuff online. Really good and I feel it throws a lot of light on things.
Points I got from his stuff ... comments?

Hi, I just finished a Finder's Course in the last month.  Found it really interesting.  I benefited from practices supported my emotional well being like gratitude and goal setting, and by more frequent meditation which was sometime three or more hours a day.  We explored a number of well known practices that included body scanning and actual freedom.  I was somewhat frustrated with the fact that we would often only do these practices for a week before beginning a new one.

i self-reported to my group that i was in pnse at several points.  This was a result of a wonderful lightness as i went about my day.  Felt like i was more aware than ever as i went about life.  Perhaps nothing more than the comfortable way my foot hung over the brake pedal at a red light, or just looking and feeling like i was watching a film, like there was nothing else going on--if that makes sense.  My self reporting was also perhaps part of a heard mentality as i met online with members of a group several times a week, and we encouraged each other on to pnse.  We watched videos where Jeff promised us that we would all acheive it.  I thought to myself that the Zen saying that we were all enlightened finally seemed real.

Anwyay, i recently finished the course.  Have not completed my final Measures as i'm not terribly interested and can find other things to do.  Like file my taxes from last year.

Anyway, i agree that it's a rip off.  I am happy to return to Mahasi practice and read Science of Enlightenment and other books.  But still happy i took the course.



   

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/11/17 2:42 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
In your opinion, how does the PNSE you self-reported matchup with SE?

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/12/17 5:44 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
The aspects of his models that make my skin crawl are his emphasis on emotional elimination as the optimal state, borrowing heavily from Gary Weber. I don't want to rehash the curious history of some experiments related to actualism from some years ago, just to point out my reaction to those models.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/12/17 3:09 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Gary Weber was Jefferey's "uber" and iconic awakened person. He used Gary's experience, one that is not common, as THE reference for his models - back in the mid-2000's.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/13/17 6:21 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
The aspects of his models that make my skin crawl are his emphasis on emotional elimination as the optimal state, borrowing heavily from Gary Weber. I don't want to rehash the curious history of some experiments related to actualism from some years ago, just to point out my reaction to those models.


I find this interesting because I was super into Barry Long (which I've moved past), and he had an emphasis on non-emotionality, as well as a map of several different stages of enlightenment that I've been looking at to see how it matches with other maps. It sounds very much like he was acquainted with what JM calls location 4 (I don't know what it would be in Theravada), with the associated personal idiosyncracies. I saw that there was some interaction between actualists and Long, and they sounded like they were at similar places. I think I've benefited from checking out JM's stuff in that I can see now that there seems to be a state in which some people dwell which is non-emotional, it's not just an idiosyncrasy of one guru.
I do wonder what the difference is between this and psychopathy or low empathy autistic spectrum (not to equate the two) or if there is some sort of relationship there ?
ie., what happens when someone who already has low affect (bit of psychological jargon) starts to progress through those awakened states, finds little in the way of emotional turbulence/defilements because they are simply not very emotionally turbulent in the first place - but expects others to be able to do the same ? Or maybe only people who are already emotionally flat really get into that sort of emotionless state, or more easily ?

cheers

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/21/17 1:02 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
The aspects of his models that make my skin crawl are his emphasis on emotional elimination as the optimal state, borrowing heavily from Gary Weber. I don't want to rehash the curious history of some experiments related to actualism from some years ago, just to point out my reaction to those models.

Hi Dan I watched most things he has online, and read through academic papers like his dissertation, and I didn't see that sort of emphasis, though I may have missed it. I only saw that he has as number 4 in his location scheme a state in which there is no emotion, which (he says) is quite rare, and which sometimes people voluntarily leave because it makes ordinary worldly life a bit difficult. Do you know where I can find this sort of emphasis ?

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/21/17 12:58 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
Seems like quite a swing between benefits and things you don't care for in the same course.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/21/17 1:00 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Does artificial intelligence have artificial insights?


emoticon

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/21/17 1:15 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
So, I read in his stuff that he tested people for evidence of stress and emotion which they claimed not to be experiencing, and reported that some people felt stress and muscular tension that they didn't seem to be aware of.

Is this so, and are there other people who have found this ?

I sometimes wonder if enlightenment is simply a process of making parts of the psyche unconscious, rather than expanding consciousness (which it is often said to be). So for example losing a sense of personal agency yet still being able to perform in the world means that an individual's emotional and mental activity is still present but no longer in the direct awareness of the individual, it becoimes hidden yet is still active.
Something akin to blind sight in which someone is not conscious of things that they are actually seeing - but affecting other functions of the brain, which are to do with emotion and mental activity, instead of vision ?
Maybe this is addressed in one of the various books on contemplative neuroscience ?

Thanks for the replies. Actually I felt a bubble of gratitude for Daniel & co for all the work they have done here emoticon

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/22/17 11:44 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
From vairied readings about SE, it would be a clear example of PNSE, including element of his locations 2 and 4.  That is to say lots of equanimity (loc 4) and lack of agency (2).  (location 3 characterised by love and 1, mental quietude: my summary)  

I asked a Sayadaw about SE being a realizeable goal and he made it clear that his standards were a 24/7 experience.  Jeff is much more relaxed about things, saying that pnse can come and go and that, if i've got this right, that we might be unaware of the fact that we are in it.

sorry for the late reply as was on staycation last week.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/22/17 11:42 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
Seems like quite a swing between benefits and things you don't care for in the same course.

The benefits at times, and even within the first few weeks, included good equanimity and happiness.  I actually was already on a programme of sorts, having just returned from 11days at MBMC and with a number of unread Mahasi books and other meditation manuals.  But this is what i did, and it deepened my practice while i continued to live my life.

Note that i was a bit broken when i started the course.  My wife had left with our two daughters my six months earlier and was still dealing with that (ironically, she told me about the Finders Course and sent me a 'special' invitation).  Practices like gratitude, goal setting, forgiveness and prayer helped my well being.

its probably fair to say that he oversells his course.  Saying that we are participating in a study (for which we pay).  Saying that everyone will hit pnse and that his course has the highest success rate of anything available.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/21/17 9:19 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
I'm not familiar with Jeffrey's models, so I can't speak to that. However, I can't seem to find a single peer-reviewed journal article authored by him (please feel free to point me in the right direction if I'm wrong). I also didn't turn up any peer-reviewed literature searching for 'Center for the Study of Non-Symbolic Consciousness' or 'Center for the Study of Intent'. His PhD in 'Transformative Studies' was completed in 2010 at the California Institute of Integral Studies. 

Independent academic research centres are viewed sceptically. Any research that isn't peer-reviewed isn't considering worth its time by working scientists. In a manner of speaking, peer-review is a low bar. There are lots of sub-standard journals that aren't particularly difficult to publish in. If research can't even get past the peer-review stage it's a big red flag. 

In science there needs to be criticism and accountability. I don't see where this would come from in a privately funded, self-created organisation, particularly when the people involved are actively trying to make money from the research. 

All of Jeffrey's stuff may be very good, just pointing out that it's not going to be taken seriously by most credible working scientists, despite the veneer of science-like aesthetic that's all over his websites. Moreover, working scientists almost always make it clear what they don’t know and hedge their limits of their knowledge, it’s rare to find credible ones making hyperbolic claims.

IMHO, some of this stuff does a disservice to awakening being taken seriously by the scientific community. Thank god for Willougby, Jared and Jud. 

As a caveat, it may be the case that the type of research that Jeffrey wanted to pursue wasn't possible with mainstream science funding, in mainstream science journals; it may have been to only want to achieve what he set out to do; in which case it may be looked back upon helpfully when it is more widely accepted. 

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/22/17 9:35 AM as a reply to Warrior Monk.
Hi I don't know what the quality control and accreditation is like for US higher ed system so I don't know about that, but I don't think he bought his qualifications over the internet. Nor do I know what the rest of the scientific community makes of it, in as much as scientists are paying attention to awakening at all, which in my experience many of them are loath to take seriously. He seems to talk to audiences full of scientists and tech heads.
I was watching some of his stuff online and he said that it was actually parapsychologists who pushed the envelope on rigourous experimentation (double blinding etc) because they were given such a hard time by mainstream scientists. Interesting, is that true ? I don't think that lack of an official stamp of approval from peer review journals necessarily means his research is wrong - I don't think Galileo or Archimedes had that either. I can see how peer review is a good thing as a quality filter, though, even if it's somewhat corrupt in pharmaceutical science and not very effective in sociology and psychology which I believe have problems with reliable replication of results.
I did like his debunking of 'The Secret' and quantum woo in one of his vids, it seems like he is concerned to some degree about scientific integrity.

But none of that really answers my questions about whether his claims about methods, ease and speed of awakening are true, I suppose I will have to wait for further verification or denial.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/22/17 9:28 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
@Stickman. I'm worried that my above post may come across as having more vitriol than was intended. As I said, I'm not very
familiar with his work so I can't judge it specifically; I do plan to look into it at some point though. I think the above more reflects my ongoing general frustration that awakening isn't being taking seriously as an object of study, for the most part. Clearly I believe in it, being here, with my own experiences matching those of others, as well as how they're described by Daniel, Kenneth, Ron and others. 


I'm not sure about the claim about parapsychologists being on the vanguard of double blinding, which would be quite fascinating if true. I see the scientific method itself as evolving and becoming better through building collective knowledge, in much the same way as other technologies and bodies of knowledge progress. I remember as an undergraduate it struck me how randomisation was something that had to be invented. It was popularised by the Cambridge statistician R. A. Fisher in the early 20th century, where, from memory, he was doing experiments on crops. Nevertheless, it drastically improved the quality of experiments as well as the knowledge gained from them. It's always been fascinating to me that these methods don't appear out of a vacuum, but are there for a reason and due to people attempting to make things better over time. It's still happening today, with moves towards better statistical testing (e.g. less emphasis on p values), pre-registration etc.

I see issues with peer-review and problems with replication as separate. As I said above, peer-review is a kind of minimum requirement. It doesn't guarantee that a study is good, but it's kind of a first quality check; which means that studies that can't muster that are suspect. In this situation, it's very possible that there simply aren't any good, reputable journals who would be willing to take a look at something like awakening, which would render my criticisms void! With replication, it's definitely an issue in science, but that's not just true in psychology (sociologists rarely seem to conduct experiments, I think?). It's also a real problem in basic biomedical research too. I see the move towards greater replication studies, as well as the criticism that led to it, is part of the evolution of science becoming better. Pre-registration of trials will also help remove a lot of dodgy practices. 

In a way that's relevant to us, a question that interest me is... well, I think we can get so caught up in this stuff that we might forget what it's like for people who aren't on the ride. How do we work together to make awakening accessible and acceptable to those people? 

Apologies if I'm getting off topic from what you want to explore Stickman. The intersection of science and awakening is just a passion of mine at the moment. I'll report back when I've delved into some of his work! emoticon 

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/23/17 12:05 PM as a reply to Warrior Monk.
Hi thanks for your thoughtful reply, I used to scratch my head over how scientists can do science once they have awakened to the degree that they have lost their sense of subject/object separation, which is fundamental to many scientist's outlook. I now see that they can pretty much just get on with it as before, as far as the practicalities of scientific work go.

JM's stuff about scientific support or lack thereof for quasi-spiritual ideas (or even siddhis) is here -
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3LV5P7E6JZmH0MEZDGqj5A

I just read his God Formula book and was surprised that it's mostly a discussion about manifesting via intention and doesn't mention god much. I always thought most of that Secret style stuff was wank, basically, and it seems so does he. So he made a fun little Hierarchy of Needs type of model with wish fulfilment at the bottom and nirvana at the top. I thought it interesting that he dispenses with a lot of parapsychological claims as overblown, but he still retains a few bits of evidence in support of things like healing, manifesting and mind over matter.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/23/17 6:17 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
Rednaxela:
From vairied readings about SE, it would be a clear example of PNSE, including element of his locations 2 and 4.  That is to say lots of equanimity (loc 4) and lack of agency (2).  (location 3 characterised by love and 1, mental quietude: my summary)  

I asked a Sayadaw about SE being a realizeable goal and he made it clear that his standards were a 24/7 experience.  Jeff is much more relaxed about things, saying that pnse can come and go and that, if i've got this right, that we might be unaware of the fact that we are in it.

sorry for the late reply as was on staycation last week.

Which Sayadaw was this? Was it in the Mahasi tradition? Did he say anything about what this 24/7 experience was like? Just wondering how it compares to MTCB first path.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/24/17 11:49 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Which Sayadaw was this? Was it in the Mahasi tradition? Did he say anything about what this 24/7 experience was like? Just wondering how it compares to MTCB first path.

U Pannathami from Burma, speaking this January him when he visited MBMC in Penang, Malaysia.  It was a brief comment.  I seem to remember suggesting that was an acheivable goal for me.  He suggested that it was a lofty one as awareness couldn't be dropped for even a moment.

How pnse compares to MCTB first path?  The Finder's Course is much more lenient.  For example, though it stands for persistent non symbolic experience, Jeff allows the claiming of pnse even when the experience is temporary. 

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/24/17 1:39 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
Completed the FindersCourse last December.The expectation of getting something for the money that was paid ,somewhat made the process more difficult.During the 17 weeks there wasn`t a single moment that could resemble an epiphany except near the end when during an noticing exercise in pairs it becamed obvious that the impermanence is absolute and the self not so much.It was rather an organic understanding than an intelectual one.But it had the impact of changing ,not radically but enough the psyche.In the end money are paid for an experience.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/25/17 1:00 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
Thanks for your reply. I was reading
https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/5fvata/practice_dr_jeffrey_martin_holding_a_qa_webinar/
and some people have very good results and don't think he's the conman that others think he is.

The results as collated here seem excellent.
http://nonsymbolic.org/Yale-Presentation3-StatsVer.pdf

According to this, some participants entered what he calls an ongoing nonsymbolic experience but that just means they've had it less than a year, I think. I wonder if there is any follow up data on whether those ongoing nonsymbolic experiences turned out to be persistent ?

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/28/17 9:26 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
Thanks for your reply. I was reading
https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/5fvata/practice_dr_jeffrey_martin_holding_a_qa_webinar/
and some people have very good results and don't think he's the conman that others think he is.

The results as collated here seem excellent.
http://nonsymbolic.org/Yale-Presentation3-StatsVer.pdf

According to this, some participants entered what he calls an ongoing nonsymbolic experience but that just means they've had it less than a year, I think. I wonder if there is any follow up data on whether those ongoing nonsymbolic experiences turned out to be persistent ?

This course was good for me.  I think i made a good participant, as i lived alone and had good working knowlege of most of these techniques.  It's not free but I would say that i got good value for the course both in terms of the $ value (vs. retreat).  The fact that I contiinue with my regular life was a bonus. 

i think Jeff's sincere.  and sure others derived value.

He says the participants from his first group are still in pnse, presumably going about there lives effectively.  I expect to be invited to his follow up group if i ever finish my final measures.  i can let you know if there is anything worth sharing about the persistency of experience.

RE: PNSE
Answer
8/28/17 9:31 AM as a reply to Alin Samson.
during an noticing exercise in pairs it becamed obvious that the impermanence is absolute and the self not so much.It was rather an organic understanding than an intelectual one.But it had the impact of changing ,not radically but enough the psyche.

i enjoyed the pairs noting also.  i did this maybe a couple times with Kenneth Folk however i found it much more effective doing it with a fellow course participant.  Maybe it was the fact that it seemed less time constricted: we did it for a full hour.  But after doing it, i just sat back and enjoyed the luminosity

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/9/17 9:06 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Oh, Jeff Martin says there is a national leader who has PNSE. Any idea who that may be ?

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/9/17 12:17 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
He has usually referred to Gary Weber in that regard:

Gary Weber Bio

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/9/17 12:38 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Sorry I meant leader of a nation emoticon

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/9/17 12:49 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Trump may be a Tantric deity. 

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/9/17 2:12 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Yeurgh!

When I go to the Centre for PNSE website I get a redirect telling me I have won an iPhone 7 emoticon
What is the universe trying to tell me ?

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/18/17 6:05 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
JM says that people in PNSE are often not in touch with their own bodies. For example a person with PNSE,  although feeling high states of wellbeing subjectively, may have a body that is in a state of tension or stress.

(Aside from personal anecdote, he references a study by Richard Davidson that said college students are more aware of their bodies than Tibetan Lamas).

So using gadgets like skin conductances galvanometers he can show that an enlightened person is stressed when they don't actually feel so.

He wants to use tech gadgets to bridge the gap between perceived state, and actual bodily state.

What this sounds like in plain English is that enlightened people disconnect awareness from the nervous system, and he wants to restore that connection using a new electronic nervous system (biofeedback, smartphones etc.) to tell enlightened people when they are stressed out.

Enlightenment is commonly thought to be a relaxed state, and a more bodily aware state. Are these just assumptions or myths ?

Does cutting out all the self referential thinking and feeling just a cutting of awareness, not a transcending or transforming ?

Is this even healthy ?

Is it bullshit just to sell more silicone ?

Anyone got insight into this ?

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/18/17 7:36 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:

(Aside from personal anecdote, he references a study by Richard Davidson that said college students are more aware of their bodies than Tibetan Lamas).

Where can we find this study?

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/18/17 8:16 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
In my experience, muscle tension is conditioning.  My mind is composed of millions of seperate sub minds, each with its own narrative and goals.  Essentially, every narrative I have ever believed to be true and have not resolved or actively let go of is still being "performed" in my subconsious. The thread or submind processing that narrative creates muscle tension.  As I release tension, those threads are released as well.  

There is no controller or prinicpal thread.  There is a "rational" mind that holds the vanguard view, or what my brain perceives to be the truest model of reality.  It is not in any control, but feels the most true when it emerges.  For me, that view sees everything as nirvana.  I am working to attain a state of zero muscle tension and am fairly confident that in that condition the vanguard view will be entirely stable, but who knows!


 

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/18/17 8:29 AM as a reply to ganesha23.
ganesha23:
Stickman2:

(Aside from personal anecdote, he references a study by Richard Davidson that said college students are more aware of their bodies than Tibetan Lamas).

Where can we find this study?


Dunno I'll let you know when I find it.

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/18/17 8:32 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
In my experience, muscle tension is conditioning.  My mind is composed of millions of seperate sub minds, each with its own narrative and goals.  Essentially, every narrative I have ever believed to be true and have not resolved or actively let go of is still being "performed" in my subconsious. The thread or submind processing that narrative creates muscle tension.  As I release tension, those threads are released as well.  

There is no controller or prinicpal thread.  There is a "rational" mind that holds the vanguard view, or what my brain perceives to be the truest model of reality.  It is not in any control, but feels the most true when it emerges.  For me, that view sees everything as nirvana.  I am working to attain a state of zero muscle tension and am fairly confident that in that condition the vanguard view will be entirely stable, but who knows!


 

Hmm...

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/18/17 9:05 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
finished Jeffery MArtins Finders Course a few months ago.

2000 USD

Benefits: 1) Exposure to many techniques
                
                2) Solidified the habit of meditating/practice every day. 

Cons: did not even got a glimpse of non symbolic experience.


If 2000 USD is not much to you, try it, i liked it.







 


 

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/20/17 10:30 AM as a reply to alguidar.
May I ask whether, even though you did not find an established PNSE, his claim for +70% success rate of people doing his course credible ?

RE: PNSE
Answer
9/21/17 3:05 AM as a reply to Stick Man.
Stick Man:
May I ask whether, even though you did not find an established PNSE, his claim for +70% success rate of people doing his course credible ?




in my group of 6 people, not even close to 70%.


cant talk about the other groups/courses.

RE: PNSE
Answer
6/23/18 4:21 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
Rednaxela:
during an noticing exercise in pairs it becamed obvious that the impermanence is absolute and the self not so much.It was rather an organic understanding than an intelectual one.But it had the impact of changing ,not radically but enough the psyche.

i enjoyed the pairs noting also.  i did this maybe a couple times with Kenneth Folk however i found it much more effective doing it with a fellow course participant.  Maybe it was the fact that it seemed less time constricted: we did it for a full hour.  But after doing it, i just sat back and enjoyed the luminosity

Hi Rednaxela,

Is there a way to find the specific instructions for the pairs noting? I've done a practice called "circling" that seems to be related to this.

RE: PNSE
Answer
4/5/19 10:44 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Currently reading JM's new book, Finders, and finding it pretty enjoyable I have to say.

RE: PNSE
Answer
4/5/19 1:00 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
I'm truly curious... why is it enjoyable?

RE: PNSE
Answer
4/7/19 7:12 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I'm truly curious... why is it enjoyable?
Well, I think partly because the subject matter is the best possible happiness, and because it isn't bogged in any particular tradition, takes it out of the clutches of people who try to squish it into their own restrictive belief systems, and confirms things I have thought about enlightened people and enlightenment. I like the myth busting. But, mainly, I don't know if it's a rational response, which is kinda the point. It just seems to set me right a bit.

Does that satisfy (yes I know buddhists don't seek satisfaction any more (in theory)) your curiosity or would you like more ?

RE: PNSE
Answer
4/7/19 5:07 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Do you think there's any similar survey, other than a trawl through google scholar ?

RE: PNSE
Answer
4/7/19 5:24 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
ganesha23:
Stickman2:

(Aside from personal anecdote, he references a study by Richard Davidson that said college students are more aware of their bodies than Tibetan Lamas).

Where can we find this study?


Dunno I'll let you know when I find it.


Nearest I could find
https://centerhealthyminds.org/science/publications?q=&s=228&y=
https://centerhealthyminds.org/science/publications?q=tibetan&s=228&y=

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/7/19 4:53 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
I like this large bucket of cold water thrown on the FC. I think maybe I got carried away with it. Thanks to the poster. Back to the drawing board.
Though, to be fair, many of those criticism could be levelled at much of the contemplative world, including the Theravadan portion of it, and you still have to extract the valuable bits from the fluff whatever you do.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mBoiFi1zbtP1ewUCjoTtAabG67GjsLICuceAjl4nHWE/edit#

I think that, if this is an experimental protocol, then it needs to be independently replicated.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/7/19 6:22 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
I like this large bucket of cold water thrown on the FC. I think maybe I got carried away with it. Thanks to the poster. Back to the drawing board.
Though, to be fair, many of those criticism could be levelled at much of the contemplative world, including the Theravadan portion of it, and you still have to extract the valuable bits from the fluff whatever you do.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mBoiFi1zbtP1ewUCjoTtAabG67GjsLICuceAjl4nHWE/edit#

I think that, if this is an experimental protocol, then it needs to be independently replicated.
Haha, this is really nice. I'm impressed both by the precision of this analysis and by this Jeffery Martin guy. Takes conman/scammer to the next level. Obviously, in the end everyone will hate him, but by that time he's a millionaire and no one can sue him because he's like "I openly clearly described everything I was doing and no one forced you to pay for my product, you knew what you were getting into".

And this is what you get for thinking that "science will solve all problems" or something lmao.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/7/19 7:28 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
bernd the broter:
Stickman2:
I like this large bucket of cold water thrown on the FC. I think maybe I got carried away with it. Thanks to the poster. Back to the drawing board.
Though, to be fair, many of those criticism could be levelled at much of the contemplative world, including the Theravadan portion of it, and you still have to extract the valuable bits from the fluff whatever you do.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mBoiFi1zbtP1ewUCjoTtAabG67GjsLICuceAjl4nHWE/edit#

I think that, if this is an experimental protocol, then it needs to be independently replicated.
Haha, this is really nice. I'm impressed both by the precision of this analysis and by this Jeffery Martin guy. Takes conman/scammer to the next level. Obviously, in the end everyone will hate him, but by that time he's a millionaire and no one can sue him because he's like "I openly clearly described everything I was doing and no one forced you to pay for my product, you knew what you were getting into".

And this is what you get for thinking that "science will solve all problems" or something lmao.

Well, some of the criticisms apply to anyone in any religion. The stuff about reiki could apply to anyone claiming the reality of siddhis and spirits, and that's thousands of teachers and a few major religions. Past lives is a con to some, and fundamental to millions. So really I don't think he stands out that much, if at all, on that score. I think chi, prana and meridians are bunk, myself, yet here you will find a whole ton of it.

It's pretty simple to just replicate the protocol independently and see what happens, and also some independent follow ups of those people saying they have PNSE to see if it's just a long lived jhana or whatever temporary happiness, or really permanent changes.

I'm open to seeing some positive results from that, but until it's done we won't know. I'm still intrigued, even if it's literal intrigue. We'll see.

I'd certainly love for the high enlightenment figures to retain validity, because I'm fed up of the hit and miss nature of traditional paths which people follow for decades and get nowhere.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/8/19 3:08 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
bernd the broter:
Stickman2:
I like this large bucket of cold water thrown on the FC. I think maybe I got carried away with it. Thanks to the poster. Back to the drawing board.
Though, to be fair, many of those criticism could be levelled at much of the contemplative world, including the Theravadan portion of it, and you still have to extract the valuable bits from the fluff whatever you do.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mBoiFi1zbtP1ewUCjoTtAabG67GjsLICuceAjl4nHWE/edit#

I think that, if this is an experimental protocol, then it needs to be independently replicated.
Haha, this is really nice. I'm impressed both by the precision of this analysis and by this Jeffery Martin guy. Takes conman/scammer to the next level. Obviously, in the end everyone will hate him, but by that time he's a millionaire and no one can sue him because he's like "I openly clearly described everything I was doing and no one forced you to pay for my product, you knew what you were getting into".

And this is what you get for thinking that "science will solve all problems" or something lmao.

Well, some of the criticisms apply to anyone in any religion. The stuff about reiki could apply to anyone claiming the reality of siddhis and spirits, and that's thousands of teachers and a few major religions. Past lives is a con to some, and fundamental to millions. So really I don't think he stands out that much, if at all, on that score. I think chi, prana and meridians are bunk, myself, yet here you will find a whole ton of it.

It's pretty simple to just replicate the protocol independently and see what happens, and also some independent follow ups of those people saying they have PNSE to see if it's just a long lived jhana or whatever temporary happiness, or really permanent changes.

I'm open to seeing some positive results from that, but until it's done we won't know. I'm still intrigued, even if it's literal intrigue. We'll see.

I'd certainly love for the high enlightenment figures to retain validity, because I'm fed up of the hit and miss nature of traditional paths which people follow for decades and get nowhere.
Yeah, but you're missing the boat. The guy not standing out too much is part of the con, that's what the analysis you linked brillantly describes. Looks like he carefully studied all the bullshit that is routinely thrown around in contemplative circles, he studied all the traditional techniques of being nice and manipulating people into believing you. Then he combined everything into a very carefully crafted public persona, and he sort of delivers on his promise of teaching you meditation (a bit) and enlightenment (not really) and of doing science (kind of) on this. You could even sort of follow the protocol independently to see what's there if anything. Isn't that nice xD ?

This is really awesome. It's so well done and he blends in so well that it's really hard to spot what's going on, unless you have carefully looked at the full picture. And even then you can't really prove that it's all done in bad intentions because it is pulled off so well. Amazing.

Here is an example I found which I think illustrates this well:
https://skeptiko.com/dr-jeffery-martin-the-finders-course-works-sorry-haters-406/

Alex Tsakiris:
It’s
so unique what you’ve done, we just can’t stress that enough. Whether
people like it or don’t like it, whether you’re that grumpy Buddhist
neuroscience type who’s sitting there going, “This isn’t it,” or whether
you’re a spiritual seeker who’s so attached to your own tradition that
you feel like this guy is going to take the secret sauce out of what you
already know. There are all sorts of reasons to be a hater on this
stuff, and I’m sure you’ve encountered all of them.
Jeffery Martin:
Yeah, we have a scientific framework, not a religious framework. I’m not
a religious scholar. We have had such a massive amount of hostility
directed at us in recent years as we’ve conducted these experiments and
as we have been, sort of more routinely transitioning people from these
various systems. And we’ve done, I feel like a lot of outreach. We’ve
allowed a lot of people from those systems to use our programs for free
or even subsidizing them in other ways or even adapting things in other
ways and allowing them to run them in person, because they’re more
comfortable running things in person. I feel like we’ve done as much as
we can do to really sort of reach out and yet there’s still just such
hostility that comes from those folks. I mean, how happy can you really
be if you’re that hostile? If you’re really experiencing this stuff,
it’s hard to be that hostile.


Isn't that brilliant? In just a few sentences, he manages to establish credibility by saying that they give out the program for free (but he still would prefer you to dish out thousands of dollars for the course lol) and then very subtly disqualifies the haters' opinion because their 'hate' means that they aren't enlightened and don't really know anything about practice. AND he paints himself as a victim of the hate in the same sentence.

And the best part? It's not so different from what some traditional teachers might say or what anyone on DhO says.
That's the genius of the con.
All the little things are done so subtle that you can't truly complain.
Unless you look at the big picture you will likely miss how much strategy and big picture thinking must have been put into this.

I invite anyone to look at that analysis you posted.
It's a brillant example of how a very deliberate, well-thought through con in the internet age looks like.
You can't get away with a very obvious con anymore because reddit, so you have to turn the obfuscation to over 9000 and partly deliver on your promise.
Wow. Just wow.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/8/19 5:23 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
We don't know if he's failed in getting people to enlightenment until we've polled the course completers, that's the bottom line.

BTW I haven't seen him pushing the Law of Attraction, which is one of the criticisms, but rather the opposite. This could be seen as denigrating the competition, or just honesty, depending.

"Something in your head gets just a little confused. -Really? How is it possible that someone is already having some glimpse of NSE? Consider that in the first few days the program consists of spending 1 hour a day watching your breath, or little more.You start to wonder if maybe you really don't understand what NSE is...But this issue is never directly addressed (a clever strategy to circumvent people's critical thinking, used by Jeffery in many other instances).These types of hints keep going on more and more during the course. It looks like everyone (as reported in the pre-recorded videos by Jeffery) is experiencing this PNSE, in different moments and degrees. So is it really that easy?"

This bit, to my eyes, conflates NSE with PNSE. I think people starting out meditating and watching the breath do often get brief moments where their sense of self goes away, which, I suppose, would in those terms be an NSE. (You can see Robert Wright mention his experience of this in one of his podcasts). And it's pretty standard to see those moments as teaching moments, isn't it ? I'd be hard put to see highlighting moments of selflessness as part of a con rather than standard way of talking about contemplative experiences. Could be wrong, but this part of the critique doesn't seem solid to me.

It also looks like the critique has it's own selection bias of just finding people for whom the course didn't work, and non-completers, which is helpful in a way, but It's probably not possible to get a clear picture of course outcomes just from the few people who talk about it on the internet. A proper survey of course takers would provide a better picture. I don't think anyone's going to do that, though emoticon.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/9/19 10:03 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
I like this large bucket of cold water thrown on the FC. I think maybe I got carried away with it. Thanks to the poster. Back to the drawing board.
Though, to be fair, many of those criticism could be levelled at much of the contemplative world, including the Theravadan portion of it, and you still have to extract the valuable bits from the fluff whatever you do.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mBoiFi1zbtP1ewUCjoTtAabG67GjsLICuceAjl4nHWE/edit#

I think that, if this is an experimental protocol, then it needs to be independently replicated.

This is a fantastic post. Do you have the link to the original post on reddit? I'd love to read the responses. 

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/9/19 5:24 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
No you'll probably have to do a text search. I'm not really convinced either way on this, though it's the toughest examination I've seen.
What if, when the dust has settled, JM's smorgasbord approach really does produce better results than the more commonly practiced paths ?
To know that you'd have to have a few stats handy for things like Theravadan practice regimens, and etc. If anyone's got them please show ? (no sarcasm intended).

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/10/19 8:10 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
No you'll probably have to do a text search. I'm not really convinced either way on this, though it's the toughest examination I've seen.
What if, when the dust has settled, JM's smorgasbord approach really does produce better results than the more commonly practiced paths ?
To know that you'd have to have a few stats handy for things like Theravadan practice regimens, and etc. If anyone's got them please show ? (no sarcasm intended).


There are no stats for that. The problem with this whole enterprise is that awakening is so ill-defined. From what I've seen of people that have taken the founders course, and I've even met a rather prominent propenent of it, is that they have lowered the standards for awakening dramatically (that is one of the most devastating critiques of the course levied in that post).  

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/10/19 5:04 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
Stickman2:
No you'll probably have to do a text search. I'm not really convinced either way on this, though it's the toughest examination I've seen.
What if, when the dust has settled, JM's smorgasbord approach really does produce better results than the more commonly practiced paths ?
To know that you'd have to have a few stats handy for things like Theravadan practice regimens, and etc. If anyone's got them please show ? (no sarcasm intended).


There are no stats for that. The problem with this whole enterprise is that awakening is so ill-defined. From what I've seen of people that have taken the founders course, and I've even met a rather prominent propenent of it, is that they have lowered the standards for awakening dramatically (that is one of the most devastating critiques of the course levied in that post).  

Hm. OK, so what top make of the course outcome data that says people in this or that location ? The locations themselves are defined with a high bar, so are people not really finding themselves there, the results are misreported ? The accusation in the critical post seems to be that location 1 has been fudged to include temporarily happy people, but it doesn't say much about the other locations.

Pity there're no stats. I suppose they might be there in the literature but it'll be a job to find.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/10/19 7:14 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
Jinxed P:
Stickman2:
No you'll probably have to do a text search. I'm not really convinced either way on this, though it's the toughest examination I've seen.
What if, when the dust has settled, JM's smorgasbord approach really does produce better results than the more commonly practiced paths ?
To know that you'd have to have a few stats handy for things like Theravadan practice regimens, and etc. If anyone's got them please show ? (no sarcasm intended).


There are no stats for that. The problem with this whole enterprise is that awakening is so ill-defined. From what I've seen of people that have taken the founders course, and I've even met a rather prominent propenent of it, is that they have lowered the standards for awakening dramatically (that is one of the most devastating critiques of the course levied in that post).  

Hm. OK, so what top make of the course outcome data that says people in this or that location ? The locations themselves are defined with a high bar, so are people not really finding themselves there, the results are misreported ? The accusation in the critical post seems to be that location 1 has been fudged to include temporarily happy people, but it doesn't say much about the other locations.

Pity there're no stats. I suppose they might be there in the literature but it'll be a job to find.
There actually might be stats, not officially kept or anything, but in general, for Mahasi retreats. I think Daniel has mentioned that in Asia, something like 50% of people will get SE on a 3-month Mahasi retreat. The percentage being much lower in the US.

But again, you'd have to accept the Mahasi defintion of SE.

As for FC, I think the criticisms levied in the post, especially under the section "Watering down Awakening," are true of the FC graduates I've talked to. For the other locations, the people are just delusional.  I talked to a person who said they were now in location 3. Of course only the day before they had been arguing and rude over a forum. And their suggestion that they were now in location three was based on a few hours of experience (someone else may have simply defined it as "Having a good day") and of course, there mental state of "love", free of negative emotions did not last very long (I'm not sure it does for anyone).

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/11/19 2:29 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Part of the problem from a phenomenological point of view is that plenty of stages of insight as well as low-level jhanic states have some degree of mental upgrade to them, and some of these are pretty easy to access and learn to tap into on a regular basis, and plenty demonstrate some aspect of increased spaciousness, increased sense of no-self, increased sense of freedom from psychological issues or a changed relationship to them, etc.

For example, the very first insight, that of Mind and Body, is very easy for most people to get into, but for some, who have never been there, it can be very profound. Thoughts are observable. We are not our thoughts. Some have literally never noticed this before, and so, to them, it is a huge deal, and rightly so in some ways. This is the insight that the MBSR kids take and run with and do massive horizontal psychological work with. MCBT also leverages this for all it is worth. To see our feelings as objects, our issues as objects, this provides a degree of spaciousness, a degree of freedom, and is a serious mental upgrade, though a very low-level insight from an insight map point of view. For some people, this sense of mental space around thoughts can be very powerful and transformative, and some will even say they feel a sense of oneness when this stage hits, as they notice something about the space in which thoughts occur. To teach people to access this is a true gift, though to make it out to be more than it is is a true curse, as well as very weak phenomenology, just as with overcalling and overdiagnosing all the attainments.

The next insight, Cause and Effect, that processes are happening very much on their own, provides similar insights, but adds this sense of depth to it. Intentions arise on their own. Impressions arise on their own. These fundamental insights show something profound about no-self, something profound about agencylessness, something profound about causality. They are the building blocks of further insights. For those who really understand what is going on with them, they reveal profound truths. However, these again are very low-level insights. If we milk them for all they are worth experientially, we might build a great foundation to use for deeper exploration. If we simply grossly overcall what these are and make them out to be much more than what they are, we have engaged in goal-post moving marketing and perhaps self-promotion of the brand.

This goes on and on with the higher stages.

The A&P is not that hard to access for most with good techniques, and again, those made to access it will generally have a pronounced appreciation, reverence, etc. for whomever or whatever produced it. It can produce extremely powerful feelings of well-being, oneness, equanimity, rapture, devotion, awe, and the like. It shows people a partial, temporary taste of something amazing. It is not called "pseudo-nirvana" for nothing, yet it is no more than that and doesn't last, though it does permamently change those who cross it. Many gugus, faith healers, and meditative traditions have used this to great advantage to generate a group of devoted followers who were "shown the light" by whomever managed to get them there. Also, it is very tempting for many, particularly with prompting, to associate this stage with awakening, as it can be powerful, profound, and deeply and permanently transformative. However, to associate it with the deeper levels of insight, and particularly awakening, is considered a nearly capital crime in the tradition I come from, yet to do so is so tempting for both teachers and students. This occurs in many traditions by teachers and students with weak phenomenology and some incentive to overcall attainments, a pressure found in many traditions, including some in the Pragmatic Dharma and associated worlds. I consider this a gross exploitation of naive, gullible practitioners, just so my views on this are clear, and to not adopt high criteria that carefully and with a long time horizon tease out what is the A&P from higher attainments, such as Equanimity and particularly stream entry, is reprehensible, in my view, and cheats those who are misdiagnosed in numerous ways.

Similarly for even Dissolution, which can be pleasant and peaceful. Ten times more for Equanimity ñana, which again is very profound, spacious, and transformative for some but still temporary and close but not quite.

Bill Hamilton warned again again about the terrible and corrosive power to script people into rationalizing that whatever they have attained is something much higher. He himself fell victim to this by one of his toxic gurus as he got promoted higher and higher into the inner circle, so he knew for himself. He also finally found the real thing, real awakening, real deep, lasting much more profound realization, and so knew the difference.

I have seen similar problems arise with Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachers with weak phenomenology who take each of these insights that provide some space, some relief, some middling degree of insight, and take it as "non-duality", a taste of the "non-dual", and so make each of these specific stages into one great phenomenologically indistinct generalization that they use for promoting their tradition and giving high praise and lots of little merit badges along the way to those who gain these insights. While I can see how this could be popular, and the field evidence and the rise of certain traditions clearly is validating how successful a marketing strategy this is, I feel that it severely short-changes practitioners and promotes models that often don't hold up to reality testing.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/13/19 2:48 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Appreciate this comment thank you.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/19/19 8:33 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Now wondering if JM's fronting for some sinister DARPA project.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/24/19 7:24 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel, one of the people I'm working with in a Finders Course asked me to comment on what you've said here, and I thought was interesting.   There's a lot to talk about in this thread, and this is a bit of a drive-by, so I apologize for that, but I'm sharing this response in case it's useful.   I don't entirely agree with you, but this is something I've been thinking about for a long time, so you may find this useful.

I think what's going on with these methods is that they depend differently on unification of the mind. Culadasa's method basically says "get your mind unified in stage 8, and then show it The Truth". When that happens, the whole mind sees it as one, and can't un-see it, and that produces a dramatic transition: stream entry. Even with Culadasa's method, though, it often happens differently.

With Progress of Insight, the mind isn't unified, but the method is consistent. The method is simply to expose yourself to the truth over and over again until no part of the mind is un-accepting of it. This is why PoI has cycling—that's the repeated exposure to the truth ultimately leading to the mind completely accepting it.

Jeffery's method is quite different. His method is simply, let's get to where all of the active subminds are seeing the truth, and then try to stay there and let that penetrate the rest of the subminds. That's why when you get a temporary NSE, you're encouraged to just sit there and let it sink in. So Jeffery doesn't rely on unification or repetition, but rather on a lack of struggle.

In order for that to work, indeed you can't be too skeptical, because if you are, you will talk yourself out of NSE: the subminds that are on board with it will get too much negative feedback from the subminds that are not, and it will fall apart. This happens a lot in FC, and Jeffery's pitch on it is that it's normal and don't worry, just keep doing it, and next time take the time to sink in.

What I think we can say about these methods is that they all work, but they work differently. I think a certain percentage of Culadasa's students wind up getting to NSE Jeffery's way, and those are the ones that Culadasa describes as gradual stream entrants. The same can happen in Daniel's method, but it doesn't, because Daniel really discourages optimism.

The question to ask about Daniel's statement that you linked is this: what is the functional difference between what he thinks stream entry is and the states he thinks are not stream entry. You will notice that he doesn't say. I don't know either. I've talked to people who had gradual entries, whose experience is just like mine. So what's different about it?

I think what's going on here is that the idea of unification is a bit idealistic, and is actually quite hard to attain. Possibly you can attain it in deep meditation, but most of the time what you get is near-unification or not near unification. When someone has NSE that stabilizes into PNSE, the stable state still has subminds that are not on board with it. There is still work to do. I think this is true of most transitions, but may be more true of FC transitions.

Daniel is pitching this as a bad thing, but I don't know why. Suppose you go from feeling angsty and unhappy most of the time to feeling happy and clear most of the time, with residual stuff to mop up. This is basically how Jeffery describes the end state of the Finders Course. Why is that a bad outcome? What didn't you get that you absolutely must have and can't get by continuing to integrate?

If you look at what Daniel says about Bill Hamilton, it's easy to see that this is actually what happened to Bill. The thing is, Bill pathologized it. Instead of getting to NSE being a good result, it's a bad result, because there's something better. That seems a bit weird to me. I suppose Bill's criticism is that he got sucked into the slipstream of more than one guru because of this, and that is a real problem. One of the things I like about Jeffery is that he doesn't seem to have any time for being a guru. This is something I like about Culadasa as well, and something that I model from both of them: the practice isn't "do what I say, because I am the guru" but rather "have you tried this, and what about this? What worked for you?"

Anyway, if what Daniel said is true, then your job once you reach PNSE is to keep going. Which is what most of us seem to do anyway. emoticon

BTW, the other risk that a lot of people who get into the gatekeeping habit talk about is the risk that you will still be suffering, but won't know it. While this is sort of possible, I guess, it's generally the case that if you're suffering, you know it. You might pretend otherwise, but you know. (Also, stream entry doesn't end suffering—that's fourth path). The point is, you really can't delude yourself into believing you are not suffering. What you can do is make excuses for not doing anything about it. I think this is the real risk that Daniel may be pointing to; all I can say about it is, don't do that. If you feel like you are suffering, continue to do the work. I think Jeffery's location 4 is free of overt suffering, although I do not think it is free of conditioning, so even there there is work to do. Do the work. emoticon

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/24/19 8:39 AM as a reply to Ted W Lemon.
I think what's going on with these methods is that they depend differently on unification of the mind.

What, exactly, is "unification of the mind?"

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/24/19 12:15 PM as a reply to Ted W Lemon.
Lemon: Daniel, one of the people I'm working with in a Finders Course asked me to comment on what you've said here, and I thought was interesting.   There's a lot to talk about in this thread, and this is a bit of a drive-by, so I apologize for that, but I'm sharing this response in case it's useful.   I don't entirely agree with you, but this is something I've been thinking about for a long time, so you may find this useful.

Daniel: There will be disagreement on these issues, so much is guaranteed. Practically, one will have to determine what works for them, what “works” even means, and ponder what the functional differences are between the various attitudes and opinions.

Lemon: I think what's going on with these methods is that they depend differently on unification of the mind. Culadasa's method basically says "get your mind unified in stage 8, and then show it The Truth". When that happens, the whole mind sees it as one, and can't un-see it, and that produces a dramatic transition: stream entry. Even with Culadasa's method, though, it often happens differently.

Daniel: I will leave off discussing Culadasa’s system specifically with one exception below, but will state that clearly opinions on what stream entry is and how it should perform vary widely. My standards involve defined, traditional criteria. Many contemporaries will call many things stream entry that I wouldn’t, as they don’t fully perform as stream entry should as defined by the tradition I come from. Associating Culadasa’s Stage 8 with what I would call the mature end of the A&P is reasonable, but associating it with stream entry is not, in my view. Still, as I have said, plenty will call nearly anything that feels good or has some sense of lasting change to it “stream entry” or "awakening" or make up new terms that subtly or overtly imply those.

To say, “It happens differently,” to me is simply saying, “It isn’t stream entry, but we will call it that for the sake of various ulterior motives.” Again, I believe this sort of behavior short-changes those who don’t know there is something more to be had.

Lemon: With Progress of Insight, the mind isn't unified, but the method is consistent.

Daniel: Entirely untrue. Stage by stage, various parts of the mind begin to synchronize, pulse together, converge. That is the whole point of the Progress of Insight. In Mind and Body, the first vipassana jhana, the center of attention is more clear by being somewhat unified, and can perceive thoughts as thoughts clearly. In the A&P, the center of attention is much more unified, and so it becomes very powerfully able to perceive things clearly. In Equanimity, one sits on the edge of total unification, as mind, body, space, attention, everything are about to synchronize, which is what happens at true stream entry, though one must consult the other criteria to get this right, as it is very easy to get wrong diagnostically.

Lemon: The method is simply to expose yourself to the truth over and over again until no part of the mind is un-accepting of it.

Daniel: Actually, no. It is much more than that. You might consult the section in my book called “The Seven Factors of Awakening”, found here: https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-i-the-fundamentals/7-the-seven-factors-of-awakening/

It requires more than just exposure to the truth, as those truths show up in early insight stages, such as the Three Characteristics. Instead, it requires a very profound balancing of many positive factors of mind and a deep appreciation of those truths not just for objects but for space, attention, consciousness, etc. and even regarding qualities such as Equanimity. This is often lost on many practitioners, but it is a crucial point.

Lemon: This is why PoI has cycling—that's the repeated exposure to the truth ultimately leading to the mind completely accepting it.

Daniel: Cycles are involved in life. Life has cycles. That is the nature of life. It is more than just the POI that involves cycles. From this insight point of view, someone who believes they are not cycling either isn’t making progress in insight, or is cycling but doesn’t have the skills to recognize it. One is a sign of undeveloped practice, the other undeveloped phenomenology. I would advocate for well-developed practice and well-developed phenomenology.

Lemon: Jeffery's method is quite different. His method is simply, let's get to where all of the active subminds are seeing the truth, and then try to stay there and let that penetrate the rest of the subminds. That's why when you get a temporary NSE, you're encouraged to just sit there and let it sink in. So Jeffery doesn't rely on unification or repetition, but rather on a lack of struggle.

Daniel: Going back to the Seven Factors of Awakening, lack of struggle is cultivated explicitly in Tranquility, Concentration (which, past the first jhana, involves the dropping of nearly all applied and sustained attention), and Equanimity, but it is also cultivated in Mindfulness (noticing what is there), Investigation (noticing the truth of what is there), Energy (making effort to be present just to what is going on right then), and even Rapture (to be enraptured by what one is experiencing). One who thinks that the method is about struggle is missing much about the method done well, though cultivating the skills to clearly perceive what it going on and to cultivate those positive, present-oriented factors may involve significant work, but that is not the same as struggle, necessarily. Your characterization of insight practice shows a superficial understanding, but more than that, it seems to involve creating straw-men for rhetorical gain.

Lemon: In order for that to work, indeed you can't be too skeptical, because if you are, you will talk yourself out of NSE: the subminds that are on board with it will get too much negative feedback from the subminds that are not, and it will fall apart. This happens a lot in FC, and Jeffery's pitch on it is that it's normal and don't worry, just keep doing it, and next time take the time to sink in.

Daniel: I am not sure what you mean here, that you “can’t be too skeptical”. I also am not aware of what you mean by subminds talking things out of something. In insight practice, one cultivates positive qualities, clarity, investigation, equanimity, tranquility, being present, and is convinced of the truth of things by one’s direct own experience, with “direct” here being a synonym for “non-symbolic” in its best possible sense, in which it isn't always used.

Lemon: What I think we can say about these methods is that they all work, but they work differently. I think a certain percentage of Culadasa's students wind up getting to NSE Jeffery's way, and those are the ones that Culadasa describes as gradual stream entrants.

Daniel: Again, definitions of stream entry vary widely, and I expect stream entry to perform as traditionally described in all aspects. One of those aspects is cycles, repeat Fruitions, and all of that. I see many people getting diagnosed with stream entry that don’t meet the full criteria at all.
Lemon: The same can happen in Daniel's method, but it doesn't, because Daniel really discourages optimism.

Daniel: This is not “my method”. These methods are very traditional, Theravada methods, and are clearly over two thousand years old, well-refined, well-tested, well-described in terms of how they function and what they lead to. Further, to say that I “discourage optimism” is also wildly off the mark. My notion is that these things can be done, that one can be excited by that possibility, that one should be excited that we live in such remarkable times that many of us have such amazing access to so many traditional, time-tested techniques, that we have great living masters we can study with, and that we should feel immense gratitude for these opportunities. However, I also believe in not watering insights down to such a degree that even relatively low-level though important insights get made to be much more than they are. This is not a lack of optimism, this is advocating for reasonable standards and definitions.

A few years ago, I got to talk with a trophy salesman while working in the pediatric emergency department. He said that there was a period about 10 years ago where literally every kid who participated in certain sporting events would get a large, first-place trophy, and he said that his business boomed then to a degree he had never imagined possible, but now that people were realizing that perhaps giving everyone a first-place trophy wasn’t always the best idea, his business was going back to something more normal.

In the same way, hopefully the meditation world will realize that calling every single positive stage of mind  or lasting transformation “awakening”, “stream entry”, or whatever isn’t as helpful as they imagined it was.

Lemon: The question to ask about Daniel's statement that you linked is this: what is the functional difference between what he thinks stream entry is and the states he thinks are not stream entry. You will notice that he doesn't say.

Daniel: Actually, I do say, and I say with more phenomenological specificity and clarity than you are likely to see written in nearly all sources.

The places this is mentioned are many and various, but here are a few key ones, though you would have to read much more of the book to find them all: https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/12-conformity/

These criteria need more of what comes later to balance them out, so must be taken in context: https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/15-fruition/

This explains the Three Doors: https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/31-the-three-doors/

This is key: https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/32-what-was-that/
This one is also: https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/33-review/

This one is long, but it is important: https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/

Lemon: I don't know either.

Daniel: Yes, that is clear, and that you are aware of this lack of knowledge is heartening. If you are interested in knowing more about the tradition you think you know a lot about but really don’t seem to, take the time to read the above sections, perhaps that will give you a better idea of what you are talking about. I would then also read some of the material in the Visuddhimagga related to the POI and Stream Entry, and, in particular, check out Chapter XX of the Visuddhimagga.

Lemon: I've talked to people who had gradual entries, whose experience is just like mine. So what's different about it?

Daniel: Again, “gradual entries” that don’t performance test properly are something less than what I am talking about, so be careful about presuming that everyone means the same thing when they say “stream entry”, and realize that there are things that one can attain that perform as traditionally advertised.

Lemon: I think what's going on here is that the idea of unification is a bit idealistic, and is actually quite hard to attain

Daniel: It is unclear what you mean specifically by “here”. What tradition are you talking about?

Lemon: Possibly you can attain it in deep meditation, but most of the time what you get is near-unification or not near unification. When someone has NSE that stabilizes into PNSE, the stable state still has subminds that are not on board with it. There is still work to do. I think this is true of most transitions, but may be more true of FC transitions.

Daniel: I am still not sure what you are talking about here. Clarify?

Lemon: Daniel is pitching this as a bad thing, but I don't know why.

Daniel: I am not saying that steps that provide some sense of unification of mind are a bad thing, I am saying that overcalling the stages of unification as being more than what they are is a bad thing, and I am saying that overcalling stream entry when it doesn’t meet all the traditional criteria or lead to all the capabilities a true stream enterer is a bad thing. Each stage of insight is a good thing, which is why one would do good practices to cause them to arise, and each step in putting the pieces of the puzzle together are a good thing, and each vipassana jhana, which brings more of the mind together in clarity is a good thing. Check out one of my favorite Suttas, and notice how many times something like the phrase "unification of mind" occurs, and what is then done with that positive quality.  
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.111.than.html

Lemon: Suppose you go from feeling angsty and unhappy most of the time to feeling happy and clear most of the time, with residual stuff to mop up. This is basically how Jeffery describes the end state of the Finders Course. Why is that a bad outcome?

Daniel: Nobody is saying that is a bad outcome, which again is a gross mischaracterization of my points here. Jeffrey took, copied, rebranded, and resold at higher cost a bunch of techniques that are useful for cultivating positive mental and emotional qualities. Those techniques were good before they were taken, rebranded, and resold at higher cost (actually, all were freely available before they were taken into FC, so “at a new, added cost” would be more accurate), and they lead to positive benefits. Clearly, practices that people find some value in, that cultivate positive qualities of mind, that provide some degree of emotional benefit, that promote happiness, clarity, and wisdom are good. On that we all agree.

However, my problem is not with things helping, as I am all for things that help, and that the FC corporate, for-profit, borrowed material helps people is clear. It was helping people before it was taken into the FC corporate tradition, and it will help people long after the FC corporate tradition has crumbled, (presuming we take reasonable care of the planet in the meantime, etc.).

My problem is that overcalling early, beneficial, positive insights as being much more than they are shortchanges those who might just stop there and not realize that there might be vastly more than they had any idea was possible.

Lemon: What didn't you get that you absolutely must have and can't get by continuing to integrate?

Daniel: Without real stream entry, most will end up like those doing large amounts of horizontal work with the stage of Equanimity before first path, or will just end up dropping back to the A&P, Dark Night, Equanimity cycle again and again. I get emails and calls from people all the time who got something oversold to them, overcalled, and it doesn’t really perform as it should, and they eventually start to think, “Hey, wait a second, this isn’t really all that I want, this really doesn’t seem to be enough, this really isn’t all I hoped it would be,” and so start looking around for more. Some can be reached and shown that the traditional stages and paths are really doable in this lifetime, and that is true optimism, and also helpful for those who wish for those deeper, lasting levels of attainment.

Lemon: If you look at what Daniel says about Bill Hamilton, it's easy to see that this is actually what happened to Bill. The thing is, Bill pathologized it.

Daniel: No, that’s not what happened to Bill, and Bill didn’t pathologize it. Scripted, self-induced hypnotic delusion isn’t the same as real insight, as much as some people who get really good at scripting people and hypnotizing them wish it would be, though, for some purposes, the effect may be the same. That’s a key point, one of more relevance for this discussion here and now than might initially be noticed by some.

Lemon: Instead of getting to NSE being a good result, it's a bad result, because there's something better.

Daniel: No, each of the stages of insight are good results, and their cumulative work leads to even better results. Please, don’t mischaracterize my arguments as staying the stages of insight are bad.
Lemon: That seems a bit weird to me.

Daniel: Again, it sounds weird because it is a straw-man argument created by someone who doesn’t really know much about Bill and doesn’t know much about the tradition he is critiquing. Yes, such absurd arguments do tend to sound weird.

Lemon: I suppose Bill's criticism is that he got sucked into the slipstream of more than one guru because of this, and that is a real problem.

Daniel: This is a familiar theme that you yourself might consider as something that can occur to people other than Bill, particularly when money, power, sex and the like are involved. Large, profitable organizations can be easily built by getting people to basic insights and calling them much more than they are and building whole paying communities around this. Sound familiar?

Lemon: One of the things I like about Jeffery is that he doesn't seem to have any time for being a guru. This is something I like about Culadasa as well, and something that I model from both of them: the practice isn't "do what I say, because I am the guru" but rather "have you tried this, and what about this? What worked for you?"

Daniel: Ha! Here we go, whose non-guru is the best non-guru. Yes, that is an old game also, which, when carefully examined, often ends up being about gurus, particularly when money is involved. Claims routinely made by cults, gurus, and the like are, “My way is the fastest! May way is the easiest! My way is the best! My way is the most modern/scientific! My way is the most ancient/authentic! My teacher has no interest in being a guru, as they said so, so they can’t be a guru, though they will take my thousands of dollars, and make amazing promises, etc.” I seem to recall some claims like that somewhere along the way. Do you?

As to concerns of, “What works for you,” these are always good concerns to have, always valuable, and to encourage reality-testing is of benefit. Still, consider that goal-post moving is widely prevalent, even within some who teach Pragmatic Dharma, and people really lap that stuff up, as they want to imagine that their First-Prize Trophy means something.

Lemon: Anyway, if what Daniel said is true, then your job once you reach PNSE is to keep going. Which is what most of us seem to do anyway.

Daniel: Given that definitions of PNSE with the sharp, phenomenological clarity that I personally prefer are lacking, one might consider looking to other criteria that have been validated for centuries by literally hundreds of thousands of practitioners, and proceed from there.

Lemon: BTW, the other risk that a lot of people who get into the gatekeeping habit talk about is the risk that you will still be suffering, but won't know it. While this is sort of possible, I guess, it's generally the case that if you're suffering, you know it. You might pretend otherwise, but you know. (Also, stream entry doesn't end suffering—that's fourth path). The point is, you really can't delude yourself into believing you are not suffering.

Daniel: Well, that is really complicated. I have run into lots of people who has deluded themselves in profound ways.

For example, while working in an emergency department, I helped deliver the baby of a young woman who claimed she had never had sex and wasn’t pregnant, couldn’t be pregnant. She was having powerful contractions and had no sign of pain. She wouldn’t push, as she had no reason to push, she said. Her baby started getting into trouble, so she had a episiotomy that tore to her rectum, but she had no sign of pain. Her heart rate and blood pressure stayed perfectly normal. She didn’t sweat. She didn’t scream. She sat there watching the TV while her delivery happened, calm as a cucumber. When handed the baby, she said, “This can’t be my baby, as I wasn’t pregnant.”

Our capacity to fool ourselves is staggering. I could go on and on telling similar ER stories, but will stop there, as many of them are truly horrible and tragic. So, never underestimate our ability to fool ourselves; the corporations don’t, advertisers don’t, P. T. Barnum didn’t, and neither should you.

Those contributing to our fooling ourselves are not helping, in my view.

Lemon: What you can do is make excuses for not doing anything about it.

Daniel: Were it ethical, I could publish literally hundreds of emails I have gotten over more than 20 years from people who managed to delude themselves in all sorts of ways related to meditation practice and life in general. It would make a remarkable case series both psychologically and anthropologically. They contain all sorts of elements such as tribal loyalty, cult-like behavior, staggering amounts of denial and rationalization, and many other similar aspects. I believe that there is something to be said for holding the ethical and phenomenological high-ground in these situations, and thus empowering people to aim higher and see for themselves.

Lemon: I think this is the real risk that Daniel may be pointing to;

Daniel: 100% yes! Yay, concensus on this important point.

Lemon: all I can say about it is, don't do that.

Daniel: Here, at least, we are on the same page, and then it is just a question of what leads to less of that vs. more, on which we likely still disagree, I believe.

Lemon: If you feel like you are suffering, continue to do the work.

Daniel: Here, again, we agree, but would still disagree about what that work would be, what we would call things going forward, and issues of how much you should reasonably pay for that work.

Lemon: I think Jeffery's location 4 is free of overt suffering, although I do not think it is free of conditioning, so even there there is work to do. Do the work.

Daniel: If that is true, and Jeffrey is promising freedom from all suffering while alive, then either he is playing loose with the definition of “suffering”, or he is promising something even beyond what the Buddha himself promised, who still had pain and other forms of suffering while alive, and still was clear that Nibbana with Remainder was not the same as Paranibbana, and that disturbances still occurred in Nibbana with Remainder that were conditioned by being alive (see MN 121).

Best wishes to those trying to sort this out for themselves. Thanks for providing an opportunity to address these essential points.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/24/19 2:39 PM as a reply to Ted W Lemon.
... one of the people I'm working with in a Finders Course asked me to comment on what you've said here... 

I just noticed this and find it a bit odd. Why doesn't that person just register here on DhO and post their own thoughts, you know, from the horse's mouth?

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/24/19 4:22 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Couple small points about suffering. JM's work includes the account of a research subject who claimed to experience no tension but was assessed by others to be, indeed, tense, which is a way of saying suffering but not suffering at the same time.
Also I've been reading Bernadette Roberts (JM's location 4 prime example) and she seems to indeed say that she experienced no emotion. I invite those better read than me to point out if I am misreading this (always possible).

Thanks for addressing this stuff (I'm not the secret FC student).

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/24/19 5:40 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel, a side question, that is a little bit off-topic, but may still be relevant to the main discussion.
These methods are very traditional, Theravada methods, and are clearly over two thousand years old, well-refined, well-tested, well-described in terms of how they function and what they lead to.
Are there equally refined and tested Mahayana/Vajrayana methods with maps that differ from the Progress of Insight?  If so, is it possible that their version of awakening has equal “value” (in regards to freedom from suffering and delusion) to Theravadin Stream Entry? In other words, are there methods which on the surface might seem to us like scripted hypnotic delusion (because they don’t met the POI criteria), but actually give the same benefits in the long run?

So, although POI may be the most practical and rigorous map, do you see any possibility that there are people who, following some other methods, became legitimate “gradual Stream Enterers”, although they used different techniques that require different maps? After all, human brain is the most complex object known to us, so it wouldn’t seem totally unreasonable to assume that it may have a potential to experience all the same benefits of the Theravadin SE but with a different “build-up” (e.g. gradual entry instead of cessation event).

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/25/19 12:56 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Read Dharma Paths, by Kenpo Karthar Rinpoche, which describes very clearly the progress of insight.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/25/19 8:29 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
In short, all subminds are working together toward a common objective. It is thoroughly explained in Culadasa's TMI.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/25/19 11:51 AM as a reply to Ward Law.
In short, all subminds are working together toward a common objective. It is thoroughly explained in Culadasa's TMI.

What constitutes a "submind?"  Maybe someone can articulate it so that we can have a conversation. 

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/25/19 2:58 PM as a reply to Ward Law.
It is definitely true that in Conformity Knowledge, insight stage 12, that it feels as if all attention centers finally perfectly converge on the complete moment without anything held back or attending elsewhere.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/25/19 4:44 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Here are some paragraphs from TMI that explain what “sub-minds” and “unification of mind” exactly mean. It's indeed important to make these terms clear, because they are key to the ongoing discussion. But keep in mind that TMI presents a much more complex and detailed theory.

In Stage Two, we talked about how different parts of the mind may have different agendas. We experience this as “internal conflict” over what to do in a given moment. One part of the mind wants to meditate, but other parts would prefer to have a drink, read a book, nap, or engage in a sexual fantasy. These conflicting desires are evidence of different sub-minds functioning independently within the discriminating mind. Each of these sub-minds wants “you” to be happy, but each has a different idea of the best way to do that.
There are, for instance, sub-minds responsible for abstract thinking, pattern recognition, emotions, arithmetic, and verbal logic, to name only a few of the higher-level activities of the discriminating mind. Other sub-minds of the discriminating mind are responsible for emotions, such as anger, fear, and love. The narrating mind is yet another sub-mind of the discriminating mind.
By making meditation satisfying and enjoyable, the part of the mind that wants to meditate can get the other parts to stop resisting and join in. Mental processes come into harmony. As the mind becomes more unified, there’s less internal conflict. Attention grows more stable, and feelings of pleasure and happiness increase. As they increase, the different mental processes come into greater and greater harmony until the mind enters a state of joy, creating a “harmony-joy” feedback loop - the opposite of the disharmony-dissatisfaction-impatience loop. Bringing the different parts of the mind into harmony is crucial for achieving one of the major goals of meditation, unification of mind.

On the „unification of mind“:
Particularly important are the powerful feelings of happiness and contentment that arise as the mind-system begins to work together as a more cohesive, integrated, and harmonious whole. This is called unification of mind, and happens because more and more sub-minds unite around a single conscious intention—the intention to meditate—and continues as you progress through the Stages. Eventually, the mind becomes so unified that internal conflicts cease altogether. Stable attention and mindfulness will be completely effortless.
This unification is what gives rise to śamatha.
Joy seems to be the “natural” state of a unified mind, and the more unified a mind is, the more joyful it is. Joy is also the “glue” that helps keep a mind unified.
Why does unification of mind produce such far-reaching consequences? The basic explanation is quite straightforward: more unification produces a larger consensus of submindstuned in to the information appearing in consciousness. (...) This larger audience is tuned in to the meditation object, and to anything else that may appear in consciousness as well - including Insight experiences.
 
BTW, here is a transcript of Culadasa’s stance on relation between dry insight and samatha/unification:
Someone practicing dry insight, in order to complete the process and achieve the change of lineage and the path and fruition, would have to slip into the state of samatha. It's kind of a back-door way of going into samatha, not a very strong samatha, but it does the job. It's essential to do the job. So what you could actually say is that anybody who has achieved path and fruition has had a taste of samatha, but they haven't really developed samatha. The knowledge of equanimity towards form is qualitatively the same as samatha, but that person is not going to be able to achieve samatha at will, although if they do the fruition practices that are recommended following path and fruition that you try to return to the fruition state and do that repeatedly, then you actually start to develop enough of the background skills that samatha becomes more accessible to you, and that can continue, so by the time...
(source)
 

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/25/19 10:15 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
... one of the people I'm working with in a Finders Course asked me to comment on what you've said here... 

I just noticed this and find it a bit odd. Why doesn't that person just register here on DhO and post their own thoughts, you know, from the horse's mouth?

They wanted my take on what Daniel had said, and I don't generally post here, so that wouldn't have worked very well.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/25/19 10:24 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
In short, all subminds are working together toward a common objective. It is thoroughly explained in Culadasa's TMI.

What constitutes a "submind?"  Maybe someone can articulate it so that we can have a conversation. 


Your mind is not a single thing.   It is a bunch of subsystems that interact.   Even when your mind is unified, it's not the case that it's one mind with one thought—rather, it's a bunch of subsystems that are all pulling in the same direction, rather than in different directions.   This is the lack of a substantial self: the lack of a controller.   Unifying the mind is like organizing the ants: the ants get a lot done even when they are all pulling in different directions, but when they are all pulling in the same direction, wow.

The "submind" model is just a model, not what is actually happening, but you can observe it easily: just notice that when you want to make a decision, there is a process.   There are different ideas.   The decision that emerges, if one emerges, comes not because there is one thing making a decision, but because a discussion has been had.   The participants in the discussion were subminds.

I'm not going to respond in detail to what Daniel said, because I think we're talking past each other a bit—I think we agree more than we disagree, but I'm saying things in language that isn't resonating.   Daniel's description of PoI unifying the mind is what I was pointing to as well: gradually, as you go through the cycles, the mind unifies.  This gradual unification also happens in Jeffery's system—it just happens differently.   Similarly, it works differently in TMI, but it also happens.

BTW, Culadasa doesn't say that you get to stream entry at stage 8.   The stages and the paths of enlightenment are orthogonal.  You can in principle have stream entry well before stage 8, and indeed this seems to happen fairly often.   You can also get to stage 10 and not have stream entry, if your mind is unified around a particularly pernicious habit pattern that successfully protects you from insight.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/26/19 3:34 AM as a reply to Ted W Lemon.
Lemon: Your mind is not a single thing. It is a bunch of subsystems that interact.   Even when your mind is unified, it's not the case that it's one mind with one thought—rather, it's a bunch of subsystems that are all pulling in the same direction, rather than in different directions.   This is the lack of a substantial self: the lack of a controller. Unifying the mind is like organizing the ants: the ants get a lot done even when they are all pulling in different directions, but when they are all pulling in the same direction, wow.

Daniel: Yes, I am familiar with this. Bill Hamilton used to talk about this sense of what is happening a lot back in the 1990's, but using the term “attention centers”, but functionally the meaning was the same. Also, having gone through TMI more than twice, and spent a month at Culadasa’s meditation center teaching there, I got to hear him discuss his thoughts on subminds often.

Lemon: The "submind" model is just a model, not what is actually happening, but you can observe it easily: just notice that when you want to make a decision, there is a process.   There are different ideas.   The decision that emerges, if one emerges, comes not because there is one thing making a decision, but because a discussion has been had.   The participants in the discussion were subminds.
I'm not going to respond in detail to what Daniel said, because I think we're talking past each other a bit—I think we agree more than we disagree, but I'm saying things in language that isn't resonating.

Daniel: Our issues are more complicated than just linguistic problems and talking past each other. There are fundamental deeper paradigmatic issues, deeper issues regarding ethics, deeper issues regarding what is possible, deeper issues regarding phenomenology, etc.

Lemon: Daniel's description of PoI unifying the mind is what I was pointing to as well: gradually, as you go through the cycles, the mind unifies.  This gradual unification also happens in Jeffery's system—it just happens differently.   Similarly, it works differently in TMI, but it also happens.

Daniel: I also fundamentally object to the notion that the development of attention is so system-dependent or tradition-dependent and not intrinsic to how attention develops. Given that I see people describing clearly going through the stages of insight who have never meditated, who are doing yoga, chi gong, energy work, massage and physical therapy, childbirth, entheogenic experimentation and ritual use, and a whole host of other modalities and in a whole host of other situations, I highly disagree with the notion that it is so modifiable by just following the correct spiritual leader or subscribing to the correct concepts.

I watched everyone who followed TMI go through the stages of insight while I was teaching there at Dharma Treasure for a month, in order, predictably. The difference in comparison to the Mahasi practitioners and those doing candle flame (two very different techniques) was that their progress was a bit more slow, their highs a bit lower, their lows a bit higher, their weird a bit less weird, and their phenomenology just a bit muddier. However, the basic pattern was very clear and had the same freakish predictability that I see in every other meditaiton context, retreat setting, etc. So, yes, some mild differences do occur by technique, with the general tradeoff being that if you want to progress a bit more slowly and perhaps gently you can do a technique that builds in a bit more cushioning, and that's a reasonable choice to make if you want that, but the pattern is the same.

Lemon: BTW, Culadasa doesn't say that you get to stream entry at stage 8.

Daniel: Again, I am very familiar with Culadasa’s take on this, having discussed these topics with him, carefully studies his materials, and heard his responses to questions on these topics for many hours in a group setting during my month at Cochise Stronghold. The notion of perfect orthogonality of the stages and the progress of insight is not true. As it mixes in concentration depth criteria with insight criteria, the picture gets muddy, as he attempts to compress jagged path on a wide, complex plane into a single line. However, you can’t ignore the traditional insight stage criteria that are deeply built into the TMI system.

Lemon: The stages and the paths of enlightenment are orthogonal.  You can in principle have stream entry well before stage 8, and indeed this seems to happen fairly often.

Daniel: Again, notions of perfect orthogonality here are complex. However, if hundreds of previous reports that I have had emailed to me, read online, and discussed with people are any indication of what you are seeing, the chances that a very large number of people are confusing the A&P with Stream Entry, which is already at something like 98%, goes up substantially with a statement like that, as stage 8 maps extremely well to the mature phase of the A&P, and stage 7 to the immature/middle phase of the A&P. Thus, without realizing it, you are arguing even more strongly for a serious overcalling of attainments.

I recommend you check out this article here to get a better sense of what I mean: http://integrateddaniel.info/overcalling-attainments

Lemon: You can also get to stage 10 and not have stream entry, if your mind is unified around a particularly pernicious habit pattern that successfully protects you from insight.

Daniel: Yes, clearly, as TMI stage 10 maps well to insight stage 11, Equanimity, and plenty get to Equanimity and don’t get stream entry, so yes, that is definitely true, and, in fact, common. At least here, we are on the same page.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/27/19 8:16 AM as a reply to Ted W Lemon.
There seems to be a presumption behind theories of mind (submind theories, too) that the mind is explainable, describable, definable. I found, over the course of many years of meditation, that that's not really the case. The human mind and the processes behind it, while obviously fragmented and often chaotic, aren't reducible to a set of definitions or models. I think those are stories we tell ourselves. The stories provide us with comfort and help us feel secure when the reality is very different, not reducible, not understandable and potentially quite frightening. One of the keys to accommodating our awakening is to face this fear and chaos, eventually becoming inured to it, even comfortable with it.

Bottom line - the mind is beyond our present ability to describe with our models. This is not to say that maps of meditative progress aren't more or less valid. They can be good approximations of the observable effects of mediation and related progress along various spectrums. It is to say that the stories we create to "explain" what's going on inside the workings of the mind are just that, stories.

YMMV, of course.

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/26/19 4:35 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Totally true. As Culadasa’s says:
It’s always important to remember that any model is just a model, and that every model breaks down when you push it beyond its design limits. (...) Nevertheless, it continues to be an extremely useful aid, allowing meditators to understand their meditation experience in ways that help them to become more skillful in their practice. And that’s why we use it here.
(The Mind-System model in TMI is based upon Yogācāra school, especially Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra.)

RE: PNSE
Answer
5/27/19 9:56 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
(The Mind-System model in TMI is based upon Yogācāra school, especially Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra.)
And also the work of Marvin Minsky, as in The Society Of Mind.