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Format: Audio CD
When I first heard Mario Martinez speak (on the radio), it struck me that this guy is demonstrating a rare ability to speak the truth of Mind-Body neuropsychology in a way that an average person can easily follow along. I've rarely purchased expensive audiobooks but have absolutely no regret buying this, it's a bargain.
In these 6 discs, Martinez makes a valiant attempt to use his psychological grounding as a starting point to integrate facts from modern scientific research, historical and cultural observations, personal stories, and other "real world" data points. In the process, he gives the listener numerous opportunities to experience these facts for themselves, and to test them in their own lives. This is not a "woo-woo" and "feel-good" tape set, Martinez gently lays out the facts and ways in which they might be practically applied, and the way he does it is so simple and non-threatening that you can't help testing the waters. He's not telling you to take it on faith, but to test it yourself. Occasionally he does state something as a "fact" that I find issue with, but he strikes me as a man who would welcome a challenge to refine his statements and conclusions when a more accurate truth is discovered.
I'm not sure if I totally agree with him yet, but for example he's personally distilled all archetypal wounds down to 3: Shame, Abandonment and Betrayal. He says that modern science is now able to prove distinct chemical changes when the mind interprets an event as one of those. I've heard the "change your mind and change your life" angle from fields from psychology to parenting to philosophy to religion, but below is something simple that everyone can simply check out for themselves.
For instance, "shame" has been shown to trigger interleukins, which are inflammatory chemicals. When shame is triggered inside of the human body, these chemicals are released and we may feel warmer, and also may recall many other "shaming" events of our past (and how we might have shamed others). Because the mind has interpreted the shame as a "wound" and there is no physical wound for these inflammatory chemicals to address, they end up negatively affecting our body - and the more in shame the more intense the dosage experience may be. He tells us that there is an "antidote" for each wound, in the case of shame the antidote is "honor." In other words, when a shaming situation has been triggered, the way to change your chemistry back to balance is to focus your mind on an unrelated event(s) where you acted honorably and the inflammatory chemicals should subside. With time you can get better with this, as the automatic response goes from a process of just taking on shame whenever it's served, to seeing it coming and preparing the antidote, to just observing shame as the manipulation that it is and being grateful that no matter what mistakes you have made - you are an honorable person and only interested in correcting situations to maintain that honor.
To me, this is the "selfishness" in selflessness: honor can be found in volunteering, paying fair taxes relative to the benefit you gain from a society's existence, willingly taking on the burdens of a family or challenging office, befriending an outcast, protecting someone from bullying or other violence, doing the ethical and courageous thing in a situation, etc. and can each be recalled later when "invited" to be shamed. Everyone has access to something in the past they have done honorably, and if you need more there's a whole world awaiting.
The above is just me riffing on a single point he made in this 6 hour set. He includes several meditations relevant to each topic, instruction is practical and very helpful. On the final disc he sums up and explains a revolutionary approach to forgiveness that is the first process I've ever heard that could actually have a lasting positive affect on a non-religious person and/or a person who has been deeply harmed by murder, rape, or other deeply violating acts. He's been working with priests and others who have been telling people to "just forgive" but have had little useful instruction on how to do it, or do it well. Martinez's method is brilliant, he shows you a path to heal and move on from a horrible event with no need or reason to see your attacker as a "teacher," an "otherwise nice person," or in any way hold in esteem the person who harmed you. I wish I had heard and learned his explanation years ago, it would have absolutely changed the direction of my life. Groundbreaking stuff in my opinion and it could make a huge positive difference to people and their society if practiced this way.
In summary, I hope I'm not acting a sycophant here, Mario Martinez is one of the few people I've heard who have the potential to drag psychology and medicine out of their seeming primary focus on externalizing the source of healing and instead putting the primary focus on where it belongs - within each of us. Martinez offers many accessible tools and memorable stories, and his philosophy of integrating culture and societal effects into our healing is nothing short of brilliant, and in hindsight completely obvious. Best $50 bucks I've ever spent on a set of discs.