Considering Illumination in Religion

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: Is genuine Illumination possible through religion? Or is additional spiritual training required?

A: Religion generally conveys two aspects of spiritual development, Indoctrination and Theology. To reach Illumination, most individuals go through the stage of Mysticism before they can achieve Illumination.

In Indoctrination, you are taught beliefs and values that your parents and clergy ask you accept without questioning. They introduce you to moral rules, which you expected to follow—when asked about these rules, you are told that these have the authority of the scriptures, so you are simply to obey them to please the Divine. You may be asked to attend religious ceremonies, perform specific prayers, or participate in certain religious rites, but you are not given any reasons why you must do these things.

In Theology, you study the scriptures of a faith, the history of a religion, and read the writings of its learned and holy saints and teachers. You may be asked to think about what you have read and come to any understanding of what these scriptures mean, and how you can interpret the teachings of this faith for the current time. Many who study Theology go on to a role of ministry or teaching within the religion.

In Mysticism, you consciously experience the spiritual agencies that operate through that religious tradition. You may have dreams, visions, or revelations that angels, saints, and even the founder of a faith communicate to you deep truths. You typically enter an altered state of consciousness through prayer or meditation and commune with these spiritual agencies.

In Illumination, the Soul travels through the band of the Continuum where the archetypes of the Religion dwell, and your Soul has an intuitive prehension of core truths.

In your family and in your religious organization, you are indoctrinated. In religious studies, you are taught to gain conceptual knowledge about the faith.

In mysticism, you actually go within to visit the levels of the Great Continuum where the religion dwells. You do not simply follow tradition and re-enact time-honored ceremonies, but you learn something new, you discover something, something is revealed or shown to you.

In Illumination, the synthesis of your Soul’s learning and realization is impressed upon your higher mind, which has been called the Illumined mind, Buddhi, or Bodhi. In this state, you maintain a continuity of consciousness for all that you have experienced in the inner worlds, and you are able to communicate that through your intuitive thought stream, through speech as teaching or satsang, or as inspired writing.

It is good to gain an intellectual understanding of your faith, but to gain the greatest value, it is important to have a direct experience of the truths that your religion has anchored in the Plenum as great ideas or archetypes. To do this, you need the tools of meditation.

In our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation or they by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program, we teach you the specific skills that enable you to have mystical experiences, to tap into your Soul’s native Illumination, and to transform the Soul.

Spiritual transformation allows your Soul to progressively deepen its penetration into the mysteries of religion, uncovering them where these dwell on the Great Continuum of Consciousness. If you want something more profound than the intellectual understanding of theology, or scholarly study about religion, we invite you to learn the tools from us to enable you to have these more satisfying spiritual experiences that can only come from entering the realm of mysticism and Illumination.

How Did Karma Begin

How Did Karma Begin?

By George A. Boyd ©2018

Q: How did karma begin?

A: To understand how this process began for you, you need to understand the four phases of manifestation.

In the first phase, there was only God. You weren’t there at all. These three stages of the first phase created the multiple worlds and Planes, and the physical universe that we observe.

  1. Before Creation, there was only the Beyond-Beyond state of God, which was the original, Unmanifest State of God. Avatar Meher Baba referred to this stage as a soundless, shoreless Ocean. Some Hindu philosophers called this stage, Paratpara.
  2. Then, in the Creator or Word State, God sets into motion the multiple worlds and Planes, ultimately, the physical universe. This original vibration goes out from the form of God as the Creator.
  3. Then, there are the emanations of God. This established the Forms of God at each level of Creation, and they began to create the content at each level.

In the second phase, the aspects that make you an individual came out of the origin—your ensouling entity, your spirit, and the vehicles of consciousness that express them, and then the initial separation that occurred. This occurred in four stages.

  1. Emanation of the Soul – This marked the separation of the individual ensouling entity from God. Hindu Philosophers call this form of God, Purushottama.
  2. Emanation of the individual spirit – This marked the separation of the individual spirit from its source. In Sant Mat and Eckankar, they refer to this origin of the spirit as the Anami, the Nameless One.
  3. Emanation of the vehicles of consciousness – This marked the separation of the vehicles of consciousness your ensouling entity activates and operates through. In each level of Creation where you have an active ensouling entity, you have vehicles of consciousness to allow it to express on each Plane of Light. Each vehicle comes from its origin.
  4. Karmic veiling principle – This marks the initial separation of the Soul, spirit, and vehicles of consciousness from God. This process embedded karmic impressions in the unconscious mind, creating the veil between the Soul, the spirit, and its vehicles of consciousness from its origin. In Sant Mat, they believe Kal Purusha, who rules the Lords of Karma, was the Form of God who originally put in this seed of separation.

In phase three, your ensouling entity activates its faculties, so it can begin to operate and function. This comprises the activation of five innate powers, or Shaktis.

  1. Activation of the will principle (Ichaichashakti) – This empowers each individual to act as a free will agent. This forms the basis of your transpersonal and personal octaves of volition.
  2. Activation of the awareness principle (Kundalini Shakti) – This enables individuals to become aware of the content of their vehicles of consciousness. This makes you a Self aware and Soul aware individual.
  3. Activation of the knowledge or wisdom principle (Jnana Shakti) – This forms the basis of your ability to remember and communicate your experiences.
  4. Activation of the life principle (Prana Shakti) – This imbues the vehicles of consciousness and the body with life, which allows your ensouling entity to incarnate. This life force animates the causal body, your astral body, and your physical body—so in whatever world you are incarnate, life is there to animate that form.
  5. Activation of the sensory principles (Indriya Shakti) – This activates the vehicles of consciousness and the body to become aware of the environment and other living beings. This is the basis of your ability to use your physical and subtle senses.

In stage four, you used these faculties to make new choices and you set into motion the Law of Karma. This set up the process of reincarnation—and after uncountable Aeons—got you to where you are now. So phase four is:

  1. Activation of karma – Individuals create new karma as they live their lives, and this shapes future lives. They continue this process until they begin to do transformational spiritual work, which begins to dissolve, transmute, and integrate some of the karmic accretions they have generated over unfathomable amounts of time.

If this transformational process is continued, they can ultimately return to the source from which their ensouling entity, spirit, and vehicles of consciousness originated. This results in Liberation. This transformative, transmutation and integration process continues for each Band of the Continuum of Consciousness—Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Transcendental—until you have liberated each ensouling entity, spirit, and vehicle of consciousness.

When you complete this process, you become a Multiplane Master or Adi Sat Guru, and you gain Mastery over stages four through twelve. You can actually use karma from the universal reservoir to emanate an ensouling entity, spirit, or selected vehicles of consciousness—and to turn on those Shaktis—to carry out advanced spiritual work. In our tradition, we call this form of spiritual activity, Bodhisattva projects.

So you will continue to create some karma, but when you reconnect your volition with the Divine Will as you spiritually evolve, you will be stopped from doing a lot of the dumb stuff that gets you into karmic entanglements and produces the many crises and predicaments that have generated untold suffering and misery for you. And the misery and suffering you experience? Most of it is because of your own choices.

Those of you who wish to learn about how you can begin this transformation, transmutation, and integrative process that enables you to return to the origin at each level of the Continuum of Consciousness, can learn about how to do this in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

The Difference between Destiny Karma and Soul Purpose

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: What is the difference between Destiny (Pralabdha) Karma and Soul Purpose? I’m not sure what arises from each of them.

A: Pralabdha Karma arises from the unconscious mind. It operates from your genes to influence physiological conditions, and from your life matrix to influence psychological issues. Your experience of destiny karma is that it operates outside your ability to control it using the intention of your attentional principle, the volition of your Self or your Soul, or the wish of your spirit. It appears to operate independently from the areas of your life and consciousness that you perceive are a part of you and that you direct using your conation.

Soul Purpose is communicated to your Self at the core of your personality as guidance through the intuitive stream coming from the your Soul; as support and encouragement from its unconditional love stream; and as concrete direction from its transpersonal will.

This is conscious cooperation between the Soul and the Self: the two form a willing partnership to enact the aspects of the Soul’s Expressed Purpose. While the Self may sense that a higher aspect of the Mind is expressing through it and using the aspects of the personality, it is a voluntary submission—the personality realizes that the Soul’s activity is both benign and necessary.

The Self’s encounter with Pralabdha Karma is not voluntary: it notes that some aspect of the body-mind operates autonomously. This discovery may lead to your attempts to fight against these patterns to eradicate them. It may guide you to seek out guidance and counsel to find out where these patterns originate and how to overcome them. It may inspire you to solicit help from spiritual agencies—many people’s spiritual quest has been sparked from their desire to overcome some intractable personal problem. It may bring you to accept these patterns as a part of your nature you cannot control and you realize that must live with them.

Pralabdha Karma arises from your unconscious mind; Soul Purpose comes from your Superconscious mind. Both function outside the parameters of the Metaconscious mind where your Self dwells.

While both come from outside the confines of the personality, their operation is different. Soul Purpose guides you develop yourself so you can enact aspects of its mission; Destiny Karma makes you undergo experiences of reward and retribution based on karma you generated in this or former incarnations.

We encourage you to contemplate which aspects of your nature arise from Pralabdha Karma and which are the whisperings of your Soul Purpose.

We teach you how to meditate on the causal body center of the Soul’s essential vehicle to tease out what your Pralabdha Karma comprises in the Karma Workshop, which is available in our Public Access webinars under the Public tab.

We go into greater depth as to what is your Soul Purpose in the Purpose Workshop, which also is available under the Public tab.

For those of who wish to know what is written in their four quadrants of Karma, and who do not have the current facility to meditate on their Soul’s causal body, may opt to do a Karma Reading. In this reading, we elucidate the major themes of written in your karmic reservoir. Those of you who may wish to know if current psychological issues stem from events in your previous lives may wish to obtain a past life reading.

To the degree that you plumb the mysteries of Destiny Karma and Soul Purpose, they will cease to be mysterious to you. You will come to know, accept, and cooperate when appropriate with these influences arising from your unconscious and Superconscious mind.

Going Off the Deep End into Cultism

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: You include several techniques for working on the personality in your intermediate meditation courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. How can I be sure I’m not fundamentally altering my personality, like what happens in cults?

A: We can characterize seven major levels of work on the personality, together with the methods that are used to access each layer. These are briefly described below.

  1. Your actual experience – this is your moment-to-moment experience in the present time—what we call the zone of the Conscious mind. Mindfulness, being present and observing your mental activity objectively, taps this level. The deeper form of mindfulness, Vipassana, in which you actively process and release the material arising in the present time, also operates at this level.
  2. Your story about your experience – this is your ego’s attempt to show itself to others in a favorable and positive light. At this level, you seek to appear logical, right, and acceptable in the eyes of others; you may present yourself to them as successful, competent, and expert, even though you are not. This is the layer in which you encounter your defense mechanisms. Psychodynamic therapies interface with your ego at this level, accessing both your owned personal narrative and your disowned “shadow.”
  3. Your emotional reactions – This includes your emotional “conclusions” about what your experience means. This influences your self-image. This layer is the emotional truth that you feel beneath the false impressions you convey to the world through shaping your appearance, what you disclose to others, and what you tell others about yourself. Humanistic therapies tap this level.
  4. The network of beliefs associated with your emotions – This makes up your essential “programming” that colors your mindset. This is the perceptual set through which you view the world and what seems possible to you. You can change this programming through autohypnosis and affirmation. Cognitive behavioral therapy works with the limiting, self-sabotaging, and misery-creating beliefs you harbor at this level, and attempts to reconstruct them. As you uproot this conditioning that separates you from your Soul, you can begin to align your personality with your authentic Self and connect with your Soul’s creative expression and purpose.
  5. Changing selected beliefs to conform to a doctrine or philosophy – Cults and mind-control groups use this method to control your personality and to make it obey a set of moral or ideological principles. This might take the form of living up to ideal behavioral standards, obeying the commands of the group leader, or conforming every aspect of your life to a prescribed lifestyle. You may be indoctrinated to hold beliefs acceptable to the doctrine of the group. You may be “brainwashed” to re-identify with a new sense of personal identity. You may be manipulated to give up your personal life entirely and live only to carry out the leader’s agenda and the group’s mission.
  6. Spiritual detachment – At this level, you enter an altered state of consciousness in which you re-identify with a spiritual essence—nucleus of identity, spirit, or ensouling entity—and regard your personality as unreal or dream-like. Here, you detach from your life entirely and pursue spiritual development. In some groups, receiving a new spiritual name, taking monastic vows, or abandoning personal ambitions and dedicating your life to spiritual practice accompany this new state of identification.
  7. Dissolution of your personality – In some spiritual traditions, you may be trained in practices that actually turn off the personality and interfere with its ability to function. The aim of these practices is to dissolve the ego and personality so that you ultimately realize your Oneness with the Divine.

Cults co-opt many of the methods used at layers one through four—such as focusing on issues, hypnosis, affirmation, and shaping beliefs—to establish you in a new state of identity. They indoctrinate you in their belief systems and philosophy with an aim to control you. They may have you remain in a trance-like altered state of consciousness to have you separate and disidentify with your personality.

In Mudrashram®, we teach methods in our intermediate meditation courses to allow you to interface with levels one, two, and four. We show you these methods to enable you to connect with your authentic Self and your Soul, to express and actualize your unique gifts.

Once you adopt modalities that move you into zones five through seven, you enter the territory where you begin artificially controlling the personality to follow another’s agenda. This occurs in cults and spiritual groups where you learn your personality is flawed, evil, or an illusion; you are urged to conform to an ideal lifestyle or live in an altered state of consciousness.

If you steer clear of shaping your personality according to religious doctrines and other people’s values, you will avoid going off the deep end into cultism and fanaticism. Honor what is actually within you and work with this. If you complete this inner process, your personality will become an instrument of your own Soul—not a slave to someone else who controls you.

If you are exiting a cultic group and you are trying to make sense of what happened to you—and you want a structured way to approach this—you may wish to consider signing up for our Cult Recovery Program.

Concerning the Aspirant Stage of Spirituality

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: How is the aspirant stage different than discipleship?

A: The disciplic path can be considered as the spiritual journey viewed from the standpoint of the ensouling entity. The overarching schema we use in Mudrashram® comprises four stages:

Stage I discipleship comprises the journey of the Soul Spark through the Subtle Realm (1) and the Soul through the Planetary Realm (2). This is spiritual development on the etheric level.

Stage II discipleship includes the unfoldment of the Monad in the Transplanetary Realm (3) and the Astral Soul in the Cosmic Sphere. This is the astral level of spiritual development.

Stage III discipleship consists of the Supracosmic Soul’s unfoldment in the Supracosmic Sphere (5), the completion of your aligned Transcendental Path (6), and the movement of the Soul of the Bridge Path to the Mahatma Stage (7a). This is the causal level of spiritual development.

Stage IV discipleship covers the remainder of the Bridge Path, T6, and T7 to the Infinite Stage (7b). This is the Supracausal level of spiritual development.

The aspirant path can be viewed as the orientation of the personality to the Soul from the initial quest for truth to the stage when the personality can become an instrument for the Soul. These ten aspirant stages mirror the growth of the personality from a separate entity apart from the Soul to being the vehicle through which the Soul expresses in the world:

  1. Personal Integration – The Self takes charge of the ego and begins to direct human life, using the personal octave of the will. This personal integration is the foundation upon which spiritual life builds.
  2. Interface with the Soul Spark – At this stage, the personality becomes aware of the Soul Spark in the Subtle Realm. Aspirants attempt to commune with the Soul Spark through inducing trances, taking psychedelic drugs, or opening themselves to spirit possession. Later in this stage, their personality may be led to engage in occult practices designed to magically control the world and to dominate others.
  3. Discovery of the natural man or woman – As the Soul awakens through the Biophysical Universe, aspirants discover they are part of Nature, and seek to harmonize themselves with the natural world. For some aspirants, this may take the form of becoming protectors or guardians of the earth.
  4. Activation of innate genius – As the Soul journeys through the Abstract Mind Plane, the personality learns to express the Soul’s gifts in the areas of Athletics, Science, Art, and Philosophy. It may learn modalities to work out issues in the Subconscious mind and begin to activate the Superconscious mind manifest its desires.
  5. Dawning of psychic abilities – As the Soul traverses the Psychic Realm, the personality may become the channel of the Soul’s psychic gifts, and receive intuitive messages from the Soul. This zone of the higher mind is subject to distortion and fantasy, so sometimes the material that the personality gleans from this interface with the content of this band of the mind is inaccurate and flawed.
  6. Emergence of wisdom – During its sojourn through the Wisdom Plane, the Soul reviews human experience and the choices the personality has made, and begins to correct these through the light of wisdom. The ability to understand others motivations and to forgive them emerges at this stage. The Soul corrects the beliefs and perceptions received during the psychic phase of development through discernment.
  7. Aspiration to righteousness and holiness – As the Soul enters the First Exoteric Initiation, the Moon Soul nucleus of identity becomes activated. The moral octave of will overshadows aspirants’ personalities, and they begin to reform their character. They develop virtues, attempt to live up to higher standards, and act in a way that is pleasing to God.
  8. Aspiration to enter the presence of God – During the Soul’s passage through the First Mesoteric Initiation, the character is further purified, and the personality becomes an instrument for unconditional love and compassion. This stage culminates with the activation of the form of the Saint, in which the Soul can bestow the Holy Spirit. The personality begins to become a channel for Grace and spiritual ministry.
  9. Aspiration to understand mystery and revelations – As the Soul crosses the First Esoteric Initiation, the personality may receive the downpour of symbolic knowledge. The intellect may become engaged in studying and decrypting the arcane knowledge of a Mystery School.
  10. Aspiration to empowerment – As the Soul undergoes the Second Initiation, the Solar Angel begins to operate, and the personality witnesses great power and inspiration coming forth from this inner fiery crucible. The personality may be imbued with great magnetism and charisma during this state of spiritual development.

As the Soul migrates onto the Plane of the New World Servers of the Third Initiation, it gains the ability to bring the personality under its control and directing through using its transpersonal will. At this stage, the Monad and an Initiate of the Planetary Hierarchy overshadow the Soul—when this occurs, the aspirant process is completed, and the Soul emerges as a Disciple on the Path. At his level of development and beyond, the Soul governs the personality and directs it to carry out its purpose and mission. The personality comes under the aegis of the Divine Will and human life begins to enact the Soul’s mission.