Reflections on Spiritual Experience

By George A. Boyd ©2018

Q: How do people have a spiritual experience?

A: They focus their attention on a spiritual essence. There are several layers of experience: the way you have an experience at any particular layer is to focus your attention there. These layers include:

  1. Sensory experience – This type of experience is the most common level of experience. It occurs when your attention is focused at the waking state of awareness. In this level of your experience, you are aware of the environment around your body.
  2. Astral or dream experience – You experience this when your attention is drawn into the astral body during the dream state, hypnosis, or after ingestion of psychoactive drugs.
  3. Attentional experience – You begin to experience this level when you collect your attention into a sphere and become present and conscious in the present time. This initial phase of attentional experience is called mindfulness. With further practice of meditation, attention begins to travel along the thread of consciousness and view the different levels of the mind.
  4. Attentional principle experience – When attention moves along the thread of consciousness to the presence of the intentional consciousness, which we call the attentional principle, it unites with this essence. Once this occurs, you become aware of the independent experience of the attentional principle, which can objectively witness the activity of the mind, and can also us intention to perform a variety of “conscious inner work.”
  5. Individual spirit experience – When the attention moves yet further along the thread of consciousness, it encounters the loving spiritual heart, which we call the spirit. This essence, when activated gains the ability to travel in the channels of light and sound that connect it with its Source. The capacity for spiritual experience enables you to witness the many dimensional Planes that are contained in those channels.
  6. Self experience – When attention focuses on the core of the personality, it discovers the Self. The Self is the director of all personal activity. It creates personal destiny through its choices. It sets up the experiences of human life.
  7. Soul experience – When attention follows the thread of consciousness upward through the Superconscious mind, it gains union with the Soul. As the Soul “wakes up” within, you experience Gnosis, knowing the Soul in its essence; and enlightenment, knowing all levels of the mind and consciousness from the Soul’s vantage point.

Those of you who wish to learn how to focus your attention on your attentional principle, your spirit, your Self, and your Soul can acquire key techniques in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

Most people just keep their attention in type 1, the sensory experience of their environment, and type 2, dream and hypnotic states. They never break through into spiritual states of awareness.

With the new popularity of mindfulness, more people are breaking through into type 3, and at least come to the experience of the present time. This is at the entrance to the path to spiritual experience.

People who do coaching, or humanistic or transpersonal psychology learn to focus their mind on the Self at the nucleus of the personality—this is type 6. This is the aspect of your personality that can take charge of your life and your mind and create change through choice.

Types 3 (in its more advanced practice of traveling along the thread of consciousness), 4, 5, and 7 comprise the spiritual experiences that you have in meditation. So if you want to have spiritual experiences, you need to focus your attention on one of these essences.

Once you have mastered the rudiments of attentional travel, you can learn to focus on a wide variety of objects of meditation—nuclei of identity, spiritual guides, and spiritual Masters, and the Divine at different levels of the Continuum.

So to recap, you have a spiritual experience by placing your attention at one of these strata of the mind, and focus on the essence—the attentional principle, the spirit, the Self, or the Soul.

  • To have an experience of the environment, maintain your attention in the waking state of consciousness. This is the ground state of the attention at the bottom of the thread of consciousness.
  • To experience the subconscious mind, the world of dreams, you place your attention in your astral body.
  • To experience the layers of the mind, you move your attention along the thread of consciousness.
  • To experience what the attentional principle is sensing and intending, you put your attention on your attentional principle.
  • To experience what your spirit is sensing or feeling, you contemplate your spirit.
  • To experience what is going on in your life and what you are creating through your choices, you focus your attention on the Self.
  • To experience the fullness of your Soul’s existence, consciousness, and bliss, you merge your attention with the Soul in the Superconscious mind.

People only encounter a fraction of their potential spiritual experience because they don’t fully withdraw their energy and awareness into the object of meditation. So if you are focusing your attention on your attentional principle, but your energy is still locked in the physical body—you are having maybe one tenth of the experience you could be having.

It takes time for this energy to begin to awaken. If you are spending 20 minutes in meditation, this may not be sufficient time for this energy to fully awaken. For example, if you focus on the attentional principle as it’s traveling through the Superconscious mind, and your energy is not fully awakened, you might:

  • Feel something is moving
  • Hear a subtle change in frequency
  • Detect the essence at a new location
  • See some random flashes of light

But will you touch the attentional principle’s actual experience? No: it will be fuzzy and vague.

Focusing your attention on the object of meditation is the first step.

Allowing your awareness to open into this object of meditation is the second step.

Fully withdrawing your energy into union with the objet of meditation is step three.

Uniting your energy with the object of meditation is called samadhi. You actually become one with the essence. At his stage, you have the full experience.

If gaining this complete experience is important to you, you will need to fully withdraw your energy to become one with the essence upon which you are meditating. If you are serious abut this, you will need to free up your time to have the longer mediations you need to extract you energy and have these deeper experiences.

Without this full withdrawal, you may do the spiritual work of transformation or open the channels of light and sound, but your experience will be dream-like, distant, vague, and mysterious.

If you penetrate into the core of that experience, it will be crystal clear, immediate, palpable, and unmistakable. You will not guess at what your attentional principle is… your spirit is… your Self is… your Soul is… You will know without a shadow of a doubt.

We train our students who have completed the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation to enter the higher levels of Samadhi in our Samadhi Week Program. Any of you who have completed the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation and have facility of the three core techniques of Integral meditation are eligible to take this course.

Can A Woman Become a Spiritual Master?

By George A. Boyd © 2008

Q: Can a woman become a spiritual Master?

A: The answer to this question is yes. Some confusion has arisen in this issue, so it is important to elaborate upon this topic at greater depth.

A woman’s connection to the Logos is predominately through the heart, hence she is innately intuitive, and gravitates easily to the bhakti path of spiritual communion. Her great strength is love, compassion, and nurturing. She may also be attracted to the path of surrender and selfless service, Karma Yoga.

A man’s connection to the Logos is predominately through the brain, hence he excels in volitional, intellectual, and conceptual formulations of spirituality: teaching, moral instruction, and development of self-discipline. Men for this reason often do well in Jnana Yoga (intellectual, discriminative) and Raja Yoga (inner mastery through will) paths.

Over a series of incarnations in both genders, an individual has an opportunity to work on both heart and head connections with the Logos. Typically, by the Third Initiation, the individual has had sufficient experience with both connections to be relatively balanced, so there will be relative facility in all four forms of spiritual work: discipline of attention, mind, and body (Raja Yoga); discrimination of one’s own higher Nature and ability to use abstract contemplation (Jnana Yoga); development of selfless love, devotion, and inner purity (Bhakti Yoga); and expression of selfless service to humanity (Karma Yoga).

The Soul is neither male nor female; hence the Soul’s ability is not affected regardless of the gender of the current incarnation. So when the Soul is revealed in its own unborn Glory in the Fifth Initiation, its illumination is not dependent on whether the individual is male or female. The initiate can minister the Divine Light regardless of gender.

Where the question of gender is included is one of traditional teaching roles propagated at the level of institutions. Some institutions have developed policies that women cannot be ministers or priests, and a similar tradition is upheld in certain spiritual lineages. The impact of this is to maintain a Logoic “brain emphasis,” where will power, philosophical and ethical teaching predominate in these traditions.

So as long as these policies continue within institutions, females will be excluded from expressing the ministerial role within these social vehicles. However, the Divine Spirit does not recognize such boundaries devised by the intellect and imagination of humanity, hence empowers women as Its instruments, as readily as It empowers men. We should understand Grace transcends culture and social institutions: whomever has earned the requisite qualifications and Mastery in Light may become anointed and join into the Hierarchy of Illumined Ones.

Different Tools for Varying Spiritual Objectives

By George A. Boyd © 2018

Q: How are Mudrashram® meditation practices different than those I get from other groups?

A: Each group gives you tools appropriate for the job they do. Here are some examples:

A Wiccan or Occult group will show you how to unite with your Soul Spark and activate the upper Subtle Realm octave of will, which we call the Magical Will, to bring about manifestation and to protect against evil influences.

New Thought or New Age groups that operate on the Abstract Mind Plane and Psychic Realm give techniques that enable you to unite with the wave of the present time and your Higher Self, to process issues to completion, to activate the Soul’s power to manifest its transpersonal will, and to awaken your psychic abilities.

Jewish and Christian groups train you to commune with the Holy Spirit in the inner altar center of the Christ consciousness or Moon Soul nucleus of identity in the First Planetary Initiation. You learn to connect with God and listen to His guidance, and receive His blessings in your life.

I AM Movement groups lift your attention to unite with the Mighty I AM presence nucleus of identity in the Second Planetary Initiation, where you can activate the Omnific power of the spoken decree to manifest your intention.

Yogi Preceptor lineages teach you how to unite your attention with the cosmic consciousness nucleus of identity in the First Cosmic Initiation, and to transform this essence.

Light-Master-led groups reveal to you how to awaken the cosmic soul awareness nucleus of identity in the Second Cosmic Initiation and unfold it, while concurrently guiding the spirit on that segment of the Continuum to its origin.

Cosmic Masters awaken you to unite with your Astral Soul and progressively move this essence towards its source.

Supracosmic Gurus initiate the Supracosmic seed atom upon their Path and lead it progressively to unite with the form of the Divine that dwells in the Supracosmic brain chakra.

Transcendental Sphere Sat Gurus focus your attention on the spirit upon their Path, and lead this essence to its origin in the highest Plane at that level of the Continuum.

You will learn different techniques to achieve these varying objectives. These groups will train you to focus your attention on a different spiritual essence. In groups that teach you to transform your spiritual essence, you will learn different techniques for unfoldment.

Mudrashram® spiritual practices are keyed to your cutting edge of spirituality, and lead you to progressively complete your spiritual development in Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Transcendental bands of the Great Continuum of Consciousness.

You can learn about the steps of our Integral meditation system in the article, “Steps of Integral Meditation.” You can find out about the major meditation techniques we teach in our description of the Introduction to Meditation Program; our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program; and the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation.

We invite you to study about different approaches to spirituality and to identify one that resonates with your sense of truth. We welcome you to study with us if you feel our approach to spirituality seems right to you and matches the spiritual objectives you wish to achieve.

Reflections on Levels of Thought

By George A. Boyd © 2018

Q: There are certain coaches, eastern Gurus, and New Age teachers who state that there is no thinker, that thoughts “arise by themselves,” and that thoughts are a false story that veils the truth of our inner Divinity and perfection. Can you shed some light on this?

A: If you hold your attention in certain altered states of consciousness, this appears to be true. You have to keep your attention fixed in this altered state of consciousness, however, to maintain this perspective.

For this reason, these exponents of this view advocate that people do continual inquiries or process meditations, or keep their mind fixed or absorbed in this “enlightened” state. They may teach a number of techniques to keep you merged in this state, or they may have one key method to bring about this state of awareness.

If you simply notice the layers of thoughts you experience, you may discover that there are several different bands of thinking, some of which directly impact human life and others that transcend it and view it from a detached perspective. These 16 major platforms of thought are shown below.

Levels of Thought Directly Impacting Human Life

  1. Stimuli – These are thoughts that your contact with objects in the environment generates. They typically remind you of things you want or things you need to do.
  2. Reactions – These are emotionally laden thoughts that events or things people say trigger in you. These are your issues or “buttons” that express as upset, rage, sadness, or terror.
  3. Dreams or fantasies – This is where you imagine what you want to do, be, or have in your life.
  4. Logic – This is the activity of reason, which operates like a computer—making the calculations for your behavior, analyzing probable outcomes, and assessing the truth or falsity of statements. This aspect of your mind is responsible for reality testing.
  5. Schemas – These are associated thoughts that you organize into categories. These are integrated within the role identities of your ego. For example, if you are a bowler, you have all bowling-related thoughts compartmentalized within the capsule of your “I am a bowler” role.
  6. Task oriented thoughts – This is the activity of your concrete mind, which plans, schedules, identifies key points, and steps to completion of a project.
  7. Conceptual thought – These comprise the problem-solving and conceptual reflection functions of the intellect. You use these intellect’s cognitive strategies to learn, solve problems, and explore ideas.
  8. Emergent thought – These are mental impressions that arise within the present time, which come into conscious awareness—they seem to arise independently from the “thinker.” These enter the Conscious mind through the preconscious portal. They enter the Metaconscious mind in the state of being, where it seems that behavior and decisions happen spontaneously. They arise in the Superconscious mind in the wave of the present time on the Akashic Aether—the Soul’s thought and intention enters human life at this stage. Many process meditation groups, coaches, and metaphysical teachers consider union with the wave of the present time to be the state of enlightenment.

Levels of Thought that Do Not Directly Impact Human Life

  1. Psychic impressions – These images and ideas become impressed on conscious awareness. They arise from your vehicle of consciousness on the Psychic Plane, or they may be channeled from guides or spiritual beings from this Plenum. Typically, you need to enter into an altered state of consciousness—through hypnosis or meditation—to become aware of these thoughts
  2. Voice of wisdom – This marks the emergence of the teacher within, which gives you guidance for your life and answers your questions. This arises from your form on the Wisdom Plane. Your mind has to be silent and receptive to receive this thought stream.
  3. Inspired thoughts – These are revealed truths and insights that arise from your revelatory mind and from the Holy Spirit. You contact this level through contemplating the nucleus of identity of the First Planetary Initiation, the Moon Soul or Christ Child.
  4. Voice of the Mighty I AM Presence – These are decrees that you speak aloud or you hear as “power thoughts” that arise from the Mighty I AM Presence in your form on the Second Planetary Initiation. You must raise your attention to this level to be aware of this thought stream.
  5. Thought ministry – These are the higher mental activities that operate in your Manasic Vortex in the Third Planetary Initiation. These activities include contemplation of seed thoughts, visualizing blueprints for projects and organizations, creating mental synthesis and synergistic cooperation between people, actualizing the gifts of the Soul, enacting Soul Purpose, receiving intuitive guidance from the Masters of the Planetary Hierarchy, and participating in thought ministry through reception and transmission.
  6. Illumined mind – This downpour of intuitive knowledge arises from the Illumined Mind or Buddhi from your vehicle of consciousness in the Fourth Planetary Initiation. It purifies your attitude, reveals truths, uproots ignorance and superstition, shows the content of your vehicles of consciousness and the inner Planes, awakens the abilities of your forms in the Superconscious mind, guides your spirit and attentional principle on the inner Planes, and brings remembrance of your Soul’s essential nature.
  7. Attunement – This is the channeled Light from the Divine Spirit that purifies the inner vehicles of consciousness; promotes physical, etheric, and emotional healing; counsels and guides the attentional principle and spirit; awakens revelation and illumination; and bestows initiation to unfold the spiritual evolutionary potentials of the Soul.
  8. Samadhi – This is the direct, wordless experience of the Soul beyond thought. This confers Soul Realization and Gnosis.

Those that seek to put you into the state of enlightenment will typically ask you to attend to the upwelling of emergent thought in the wave of the present time (level 8). In this state of consciousness, it appears that thoughts arise without a self or a thinker—and that life is just unfolding on its own and the “mind” and its stories are just an overlay upon that perfect state of being.

We suggest it is important for you to become aware of each of the layers of thought and how they impact your life, or how they enable you to view your life from a detached, higher perspective. While it may be productive to do certain aspects of spiritual work from the wave of the present time on the Akashic Aether, we do not recommend that aspirants maintain that state of awareness beyond the time required to perform their process, inquiry, or contemplation; instead, they should ensure they return their attention to their fully grounded awareness again after their meditational inner work is completed.

Those of you who are interested in learning how to access these many layers of thought can acquire specific techniques that allow you to do so in our intermediate meditation programs: the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

How Do You Verify Where the Soul Is on the Path?

By George A. Boyd ©2018

Many aspirants and disciples try to figure out where they are on the Path. There are a variety of strategies to ascertain this. These strategies include:

  1. You see your Soul and the track it is on. You delineate the Plane, Subplane, and nodal point where it dwells.
  2. A spiritual being—a Guru, spiritual guide, angel, Ascended Master, or the Holy Spirit—tells you where you are on the Path, and you believe this being.
  3. Your Soul’s discerning intuition tells you where it is on the Path, and you believe what it tells you.
  4. You experience the phenomena associated with a particular Subplane—for example, we describe the content of each Subplane of the Superconscious mind in the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course. You have intuitive insights, or develop spiritual abilities or virtues that are appropriate to that level—this corroborates your intuition about where your Soul is on the Path.
  5. You study each vehicle of consciousness, each Subplane, and each nodal point methodically. As a result, you are able to exactly locate where your Soul is on the Continuum. [The Mudrashram® Correspondence Course gives information about each nodal point, vehicle of consciousness, Subplane, Plane, and Division of the Great Continuum of Consciousness.]
  6. You experience Samadhi, complete union with your Soul. Your Illumined Mind discerns your exact level on the Path.
  7. You use a series of correspondences. You trace the seed atoms of your vehicles of consciousness up to your Soul. You know contextually from these correspondences that you are on a particular location of the Path.

Type one is possible for those aspirants and disciples who have developed clear inner seeing. While it is perhaps the most direct method, if their facility with inner seeing does not permit it, this type is inaccessible to many meditators who have not developed this faculty.

Type two, listening to a spiritual being, potentially introduces some errors. Different spiritual teachers may identify a particular spiritual essence as the core of who you are, and will note the progress of that essence towards its origin. For example:

  • Yogi Preceptors will see you as cosmic consciousness, and will note its progress through the Cosmic Body, relative to Brahman in the brain chakra of this form. They will guide your attention to unite with your cosmic consciousness.
  • Supracosmic Gurus look to the seed atom on their Path, and notes your progress towards the origin of this essence. A Transcendental Path Sat Guru will view your spirit, and notice what portion of the Nadamic channels that you have purified.
  • In Mudrashram®, in contrast, we identify your ensouling entity that is at your cutting edge of spirituality and reveal to you where it is on the Great Continuum of Consciousness.

Type three, your Soul’s intuition, may misinterpret similar themes and phenomena, and wrongly place your location on the Path. For example, the theme of three mountains with a sun behind appears

  • At the top of the Lower Astral Subplane of the Subtle Realm
  • On the bridge between the golden sun at the top of the Wisdom Plane and the doorway to the First Planetary Initiation
  • In the Second Cosmic Initiation, as the veil over the presence of cosmic soul awareness
  • On the Second Transcendental Path, as the abode of the Lord of the Causal Plane
  • On the Seventh Transcendental Path, as one of the stages you encounter when remembering and reuniting attention with Satchitananda

So without contextual understanding of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, and recognition of your cutting edge ensouling entity, your intuition can lead you astray as to where you are on the Path.

Type four, having experiential phenomena characteristic to a particular stage on the Path, can give you clear indicators of where you are on the Path. But like type three, it is subject to the potential error of mistaking the phenomena, abilities, knowledge, or virtues of one Plane for another. For example, the power of levitation, appears:

  • As a special Grace for a Saint in the courts of the Lord in the First Mesoteric Initiation
  • As a power of the Ascended Master in the Second Initiation
  • As a power that the Soul encounters on the Fifth Initiation
  • As a power that is anchored in the Ideational Plane in the First Cosmic Initiation
  • As a power that is released upon attainment of a particular stage on selected Supracosmic or Transcendental Paths

Type five, study of each band of the mind and each vehicle of consciousness, can give you exact knowledge of where the Soul is, but most aspirants and disciples do not have access to the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course, where you perform this methodical vehicle-by-vehicle and level-by-level study.

Type six, entering into Samadhi, is well beyond the proficiency of most beginning meditators. We introduce you to the different levels of Samadhi in our Samadhi Week Program, which those who complete our advanced meditation program, the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation, are eligible to study.

Type seven, locating the Soul through its reflections on each Plane, requires that you be able to access the seed atom of each vehicle of consciousness your Soul animates and a recognition of where each of these seed atoms dwell in relation to the Soul. This implies that you have a perspective or model that reveals to you that when a seed atom appears in a certain way, it is at a certain level, which indicates your Soul has evolved to a certain stage.

For example, if your Moon Soul or Christ Child nucleus of identity is in the second ring in the Courts of the Lord in the First Mesoteric Initiation, it means your Soul is taking the Second Initiation. This same one-to-one correspondence appears at each vehicle of consciousness, and can be used as a bridge to unite your attention with the Soul, and to also identify where the Soul is on the Path.

We teach this method for identifying seed atoms of each vehicle of consciousness in the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation. Those without the contextual knowledge of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, however, may not be able to use this method to clearly target where the Soul dwells.

We recommend that you learn about each of these methods and identify one that enables you to track the progress of your Soul reliably. It is possible for you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt where your Soul dwells and the Rays that animate and express your Soul through your personality.