Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies
Right Use of the Power Aspect of the Soul
By George A. Boyd © 2003
Human beings, in their creative and actualizing capacity, utilize the faculties of will and intention to express their personal and Transpersonal potentials. This is referred to as the power aspect of the Soul. The octaves of this power aspect are shown in the table below:
In the Mudrashram® System of Integral Meditation classesthe Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation, the Accelerated Meditation Program, and the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditationwe teach specific techniques to tap this power aspect of the Soul. We advocate, however, that to achieve balanced development, that aspirants must also cultivate the love and wisdom aspects of the Soul.
There are certain teachings that emphasize this power aspect of the Soul and advocate the cultivation of supernormal abilities (siddhis) to demonstrate Mastery over vehicles and Nature. We point out that without compassion and wisdom, these powers may be used to exploit, manipulate or control others, even to cause harm to others.
Building the Compassion and Wisdom Aspects of the Soul
If we do not have compassion, then we may use our abilities to act from motives of anger, cruelty, revenge or narcissistic offense. Compassion begins by sensing the suffering of other people, how they feel pain and misery, and how certain acts may affect them.
For example, what if a person had powers to kill with a thought or to send down thunderbolts to strike someone, who angered or offended them? They would be killing people whenever they became angry or upset. We note what carnage and misery result when anger and hatred seize a collective mass of humanity, resulting in war. Thousands of people die or are injured seriously, sometimes irreparably. Thousands of children are orphaned and thousands of women become widowed. Buildings and the landscape are turned into a wasteland. Billions of dollars of investment and thousands of man-hours of effort are destroyed in wars.
One Buddhist sect begins the practice of meditation by contemplating compassion. Compassion teaches us to stop the actions that arise from anger, hatred, lust, attachment and ignorance, because we consider the impact on others. War, violence, prejudice and hatred of all kinds cease when compassion becomes the dominant emotional keynote of human life.
Wisdom is the faculty that teaches us when it is appropriate to act and when it is not. Its higher counterpart, discernment, reveals the nature of the Soul and the landmarks of the Inner Planes. It acts as a brake on the impulsive nature and counsels the will to right action.
If compassion guides us, then we use powers for service. If wisdom guides our will, then we use powers appropriately, in the proper context, in the perfect timing, when the individual is ready to receive what we have to give.
Legends of the great powers such as the ability to levitate, to vanish from sight at will, and to be able to view at a great distance are exciting and often stimulate the desire to take up spiritual practices. But we underscore that it is equally, if not more important, to concomitantly develop the wisdom and compassion aspects of the Soul. These will act as safeguards against the misuse of powers by the well-meaning but misguided chela.
Powers will come to you naturally and spontaneously as a part of your spiritual growth. You need not hanker after them.
Those disciples who have reached the highest stages of spirituality have told us, "when all of the powers of the universe came to me, I laid them on the lotus feet of my Master, saying, I do not want these powers. You, Lord, know how to use them rightly, so I surrender them to you. The only power that I seek is the power to give your Love and Grace to others, and the gift of devotion to you."
These devotees understood that the goal of the spiritual journey is to know the Divine and do service to other living beings. Viewed in this light, great powers over Nature only ensnare.
Consider why you seek powers. Contemplate the power aspect of your Soul, and notice how wisdom and compassion function to reign in your will. Think on the sayings of the great devotees and why they abandoned powers with an aim to a higher aim.