On the Consequences of the Confluence of Religion and Politics

By George A. Boyd © 2022

Q: Is there a parallel between the rigid values of religious and political groups? It seems to me there are similar patterns.

A: These two social movements have several aspects in common when they influence one another:

Religion is predominately a Sixth Ray expression of the Divine Mind: devotion, obedience, and adherence to moral values characterize it.

Politics is predominantly a First Ray expression of the Divine Mind: it seeks to gain power and impose its values and vision on others.

In modern society, we see the blending of these two streams: when politicians, who embrace a faith, seek to gain power to impose their religious values on others.

In this confluence of politics and religion, we find common principles. A zealous adherent of this conjoined worldview might believe:

Beliefs and values – “Only my party’s beliefs and values are correct; others are deceived.”

Trust – You can only trust our doctrine; the devil vitiates the principles of others.”

Conformity – “You must not deviate from our doctrine, lest you serve the agenda of the other side, which is evil.”

Voting – “You must always vote in accordance with our principles, and never support the other side.”

Objective – “We must win at any cost or by any means, as the other side is the emissary of the devil.”

Mission – “We are on a mission to enact our agenda, and to block the agenda of the others side. Our values must triumph over the evil values of the other side.”

Loyalty – “You must be unwaveringly loyal to our side, lest the other side make progress on their evil agenda.”

Commitment – “You are either with us—and we are good, righteous, and true—or you serve the other side, which follows the devil’s evil, ungodly, and false agenda.”

This bifurcation of reality into good (us) and evil (them) generates several problems:

  1. It obscures the ability to grasp the big, inclusive picture.
  2. It demonizes and rejects potentially viable and effective solutions.
  3. It rebuffs any form of compromise, which could at least make incremental progress towards addressing societal problems.
  4. It blocks the resolution of the thesis/antithesis polarity working out through synthesis. Instead, the problem remains in a state of conflict.
  5. It excludes important information from consideration, when it does not go along with their doctrinal position.
  6. It creates divisions between people and political parties, instead of working together to resolve a common problem.
  7. It locks people into a limited mindset, which lacks the vision to produce a comprehensive solution to the problem.

If things go wrong, it is a knee jerk reaction of these politicians to blame the other side, instead of analyzing what happened and attempting to find a solution. These conflicting doctrinal positions freeze the gears of government, and do not resolve the pressing needs of the people.

This is frustrating to the populace, as government seems to be unable to get things done—due in large part to the unwillingness of the politicians to roll up their sleeves and find solutions. Rather than cooperate, they obstruct. Rather than work together, they sabotage the other side. The net result is that little gets done.

You have identified a key, contributing factor to this intractable stasis: applying religious doctrine in the political arena leads to inflexibility, tenacious adherence to an unalterable doctrine, and the presumption that they alone possess the truth. To get past this wall, politicians need to find a way to expand their view beyond the narrow mindset they champion and protect, and work for a synthetic, “big picture” that considers all factors and stakeholders involved. Until this happens, deadlock will continue and the public will continue to feel frustrated and angry.

Extensions of Mindfulness

By George A. Boyd ©2022

Q: In the Introduction to Meditation program, you frame mindfulness as tool for monitoring the contents of consciousness arising in the present time. Does mindfulness have other uses?

A: Mindfulness begins with the collection of attention, so it is present and inwardly alert. Then it can be focused on the content arising in the present time from the different levels of the Conscious mind. This monitoring of present time experience can be performed at any of the focal points of the Conscious mind. For example:

  • Waking state of consciousness (Body scan)
  • Movement center (Walking meditations)
  • Sensorium (Heightened awareness of sensory experience—sight, sound, smell, taste, or touch)
  • Deep body awareness (releasing sensations of pain or physical discomfort)
  • Feeling center (working with emotions arising in the present time—used in psychotherapy)
  • Mental center (observing thoughts in the present time)
  • Ego (observing the different roles of the ego organized under discrete “I am” statements)
  • Preconscious (observing the content of the Subconscious mind that enters conscious awareness)

A deeper function of mindfulness comes into play when attention is applied to not simply monitor the content that arises in the present time, but to actually process the content. Here attention notes the content, releases it, and moves to a deeper layer of the mind. It sinks down into a deeper stratum of the mind that lies just behind the content that arises at the surface.

This processing function of mindfulness has been called Vipassana. This uncovering through process can be performed on different types of mental experience. For example:

  • You can uncover the core of physical pain in the body and release it.
  • You can move through an emotional issue that is locked in the body and work it out.
  • You can sink to the core of confusion and find clarity.
  • You can encounter a block or obstacle in the mind that keeps you from going deeper meditation and you can break through it.
  • You can interface with a subpersonality in your unconscious mind and transform or dissolve it.
  • You can travel across an entire segment of your unconscious mind and reach the Light of Liberation beyond it.
  • You can trace a karmic impression in your causal body to find the karmic seed at its origin.

We train students in both functions of mindfulness in our meditation classes.

  • You learn the monitoring functions of mindfulness in the Introduction to Meditation program.
  • We introduce the processing function in our intermediate meditation courses—the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. In our intermediate courses, you learn the technique of Physical Vipassana, where you are able to sink deeper into the body to ultimately have a breakthrough experience and lift up into the voidness of consciousness of the state of being; you also learn to interface with a subpersonality using the Rainbow Technique.
  • In the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation, you learn to travel across the unconscious mind to the other side using the Yoganidra method.

Mindfulness in its monitoring and processing aspects is a powerful tool for meditation. We suggest it will be beneficial for you to learn how to perform these different applications of mindfulness.

The Seven Orders of Truth

By George A. Boyd © 2022

Q: How do conspiracy theories distort the truth?

A: If you examine the seven orders of truth, you have a middle zone where distortion can come in. These seven orders of truth are:

  1. Reality – You know it is true, because you have verified it.
  2. Gut level feelings – You know something is true, because you have a feeling about it. This may or may not be eventually verified. If you have a personality disorder, marked anxiety syndromes, emotional dysregulation, or cognitive distortion, your gut level feelings may lead you astray, and tell you something is true, when it is not.
  3. Delusion – Something is not true, but you believe it is true. You may continue to hold these incorrect beliefs, in spite of evidence that it is not true.
  4. Deception – Something is not true, but someone disseminates this lie to gain control over you and other people.
  5. Faith – You tap into a higher truth, but you are not able to verify it. You may, as a result, come to believe spiritual ideas that are not true. People may misinterpret scriptures, symbols, prophecy, and revelations, and disseminate this false information to you.
  6. Realization – Your Soul becomes at one with the object of meditation. You know the truth of things, because you have realized them. You may not, however, be able to communicate these ineffable truths.
  7. Satsang – You realize a transcendent truth, and are able to communicate it to others. You communicate it through inspired discourse, teaching, or writing.

The second through the fifth orders are zones where distortion can enter. Delusion, order three, typically develops as a result of deception, where there is a willful attempt to communicate false information to you; and faith, where misinterpretation of spiritual ideas warps your values, beliefs, and perception.

Conspiracy theories tap into these orders of delusion, deception, and faith to weave a false narrative. These misguided beliefs remove you from consensual reality and drop you into an alternative reality; they shift you from reality testing and verification into fantasy.

If you are suffering from a condition that warps your intuitive grasp of reality in the second order of truth, many people get help from psychotherapy, which helps you sort out accurate feelings and intuitions from erroneous ones.

The remedy for the distortions of orders three through five is discernment. We discuss in greater detail how you develop discernment in our book, The Psychic Realm: Finding Safe Passage through the Worlds of Illusion.

The transcendent truths of orders six and seven is the province of mystics and spiritual sojourners; these experiences are uncommon. Those that enter this rarified realm often cannot put their experience into words; those that can communicate them become our spiritual teachers and guides. Those that reach these profound depths of truth do not merely believe, they know.