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Understanding States of Identification


By George A. Boyd ©2003

Focusing attention on each of the four poles of being gives rise to different experiences of identity and its expression. The sense of identity, once established by continual association of the attention with a discrete aspect of nature and consciousness, has six major associated faculties. These are shown below.


Associated Faculty




Sustained association of attention with a nucleus of identity, spirit, or ensouling entity brings about identification with this essence


Intuitive knowledge

Wisdom and understanding



Compassion and virtue



Spiritual powers, expression of "gifts," "genius" or abilities of the Superconscious mind



Satsang, "preaching," "prophecy" or "spiritual teaching"



Affirmation, belief, suggestion, creed



A vehicle in which this aspect of identity resides

These alternate states of identity stratify in the bands of the mind, with pole 4 at the bottom and pole 1 at the top. Pole 4 is identified with the ego, the Self and the destiny of human life. These poles become progressively more detached from human life and experience until at pole 1, the individual is maximally abstracted from human life and experience. They stratify as follows:


State of Identity



Ego, Self, causal body, and attentional principle

The Soul’s destiny and mission in human life and the consciousness (attentional principle) witnessing it


Nucleus of identity

Glorified vision of self, mythic or archetypal identity



Essence of devotion, virtue and love


Ensouling entity

Essence of being – existence, consciousness and bliss

We use the term nucleus of identity to refer to the states of mythic or archetypal identification seen in many world religions and spiritual groups. We define a nucleus of identity in the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation as

"A nucleus of identity is an inner center that is often mistaken for the ensouling entity. It is a mental center as opposed to a spiritual essence, but it has the qualities of intelligence, discernment, understanding, perception, and retention of knowledge."

"In Yoga Philosophy, a nucleus of identity may be said to possess ahamkara (mental identity), buddhi (intelligence, discernment and understanding) and manas (perception and retention of knowledge. It needs to be distinguished from atma, the overshadowing ensouling entity in which dwells the atom of the Divine Presence."

It is important for the aspirant to differentiate a nucleus of identity from the ensouling entity. This will prevent confusion between an integrating center of a vehicle, the nucleus of identity, and the ultimate controller of all vehicles in that band of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, the ensouling entity.

For review, the various types of ensouling entities and stations of the spirit encountered on the Great Continuum of Consciousness are described in the article, "The Great Continuum of Consciousness."

The different nuclei of identity are described in the article, "Understanding Nodal Points and Nuclei of Identity."


We teach those who meditate with us to fully ground themselves, to bring their attention back the waking state of awareness. Not only does this attentional shift break the sense of identification with the aspects of nature and consciousness that dwell in poles 1, 2 and 3, but also fully embeds it in the nexus of human life and destiny of pole 4.

This allows the meditator to live and express the insights and realizations gained in meditation in everyday life. In this way, the meditator does not simply visualize, think or speak about spiritual themes; spirituality is made practical by living its principles.

This living of spiritual principles is what we call Dharma Yoga. This inner sense of knowing, this inner guide to action operates in the grounded state of awareness.

We encourage the aspirants to fully bring to light the potential states of identity within them and to recognize the cutting edge of their spiritual development. This activity, coupled with thorough grounding after meditation, will bring the best results, helping them to translate insight into action.



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