"I’ve devoted most of the last 50 years of my life to practicing and teaching meditation, and for the last decade, interviewing people who report having experienced a “higher” state of consciousness, or a Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience as Jeffery likes to call them. When I first learned to meditate, some friends accused me of self-indulgence, mistaking my daily periods of inner-directedness for escapism. I soon proved them wrong by becoming much more outgoing and productive though my daily practice of “recharging my batteries”. I now feel that the world’s problems are symptomatic of humanity’s general failure to tap the unlimited source of energy and intelligence that lies within. This may have been tolerable in other ages, but we have now reached the point where credible voices warn of global societal breakdown, if not the extermination of most life on earth, including our own species, unless radical changes are made. Nothing can be more radical than spiritual development. The Latin root of “radical” means root. Working with the root or cause of a thing is much more effective than tinkering with symptoms and effects. Genuine spiritual development is an experiential exploration of the root of our existence. If a significant percentage of humanity were to undergo such development, our world would be transformed. This appears to be happening. Interest in spirituality and profound spiritual breakthroughs are epidemic.
But who is to determine what is genuine? Science endeavors to do so regarding everything external instruments can measure but has generally dismissed the experiences of mystics as fancies unworthy of their attention.
Can subjective states be scrutinized empirically? Are people experiencing these states more fully aligning with nature’s intelligence? If so, could sufficient numbers of them transform our culture and our technologies and reverse the destructive trends that threaten us all?
Jeffery Martin has made and continues to make a significant contribution to answering these questions, and in the process, enabling others to answer them for themselves. He is bridging the unnecessary and unproductive gulf between science and spirituality and devising practical applications for his research as it unfolds. I think his work is among the most significant taking place on the planet today.