What Is the Self?

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: When I read Paramahansa Yogananda, he refers to Self Realization, which he describes as conscious God Realization. When I think of my human Self, it doesn’t seem very god-like. What is this Self of which Yogananda speaks? How is it different than my human Self?

A: The Self, as we describe it, is the core of personal identity: the integrating center of the entire personality that operates through the Metaconscious, Subconscious, and Conscious mind. There are, however, a variety of conceptions of what the Self might be:

  1. The “Self Object” – In Object Relations theory, you purportedly incorporate a summary idea that ties together the many different roles you play in life. This image changes as you have new experiences and add new roles in your life. For example, this “Self Object” changes when you graduate from school, when you become employed, when you get married, and when you become a parent. This concept of the Self appears to point to what we call the ego in its developmental aspect, the way your idea of who you are changes throughout your life—as you gain new skills, complete academic and vocational degrees and certificates, accrue more work experience, or achieve personal milestones.
  2. The Conscious Self – In the Upanishads, they speak of a mysterious essence: “The self is seated behind the two eyes… the size of a thumb… it is self-effulgent light… it is consciousness itself… and thou art that consciousness.” In this context, it appears that this scripture is describing what we call the attentional principle, which dwells at the pituitary center of the system of chakras of the Subconscious mind. This essence plays a key role in spiritual development and ministry—we train you how to unite with this essence in the Raja Yoga portion of our intermediate meditation courses.
  3. The Human Self – this is the core of the personality, which directs the entire personality through volition. Dr. Roberto Assagioli referred to this essence as “the Centered Self.” In Theosophy, it is referred to as “the Human Soul.” In Humanistic Psychology, they call it the “essential person.” [This is the way that we use the term, Self, in the Mudrashram® teachings.]
  4. The Glorified Self – When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in the inner altar of the Moon Soul or Christ Child, you may be temporarily caught up into union with this nucleus of identity, and you experience this holy and loving essence as your genuine Self—your ego and Human Self, in this perspective, appear to be split off from God’s Purpose and Plan, and remain in the outer darkness of sin.
  5. The Integral Self – In Carl Jung’s later writings, he referred to the Self, which integrates the four quadrants of the mind. In this viewpoint, he appears to describe the Self in a way that describes the Soul and its four poles—which integrates the faculties of intuition, thinking, emotions, and sensations in a central figure in the mind. This central figure resembles the core of a mandala.
  6. The Divinized Self (Avatar) – In this conception, the human Self becomes fused with the Divine, and the individual in whom this occurs incarnates the Divine in their human life. Bhagavan Krishna, Lord Jesus Christ, and Avatar Meher Baba have been cited as examples of this supernal fusion in which God dwells among humanity.
  7. The Supreme Self – In many Yogi Preceptor traditions, particularly the Advaita and Vedanta schools of Jnana Yoga, they regard the union of cosmic consciousness and Brahman—in the seventh chakra of the Cosmic Man or Cosmic Woman—as bringing about Realization of the only real Self. Brahman in this view is the only Reality, the only True Self, and the entire Creation is an Illusion (Maya)—to the “realized Yogi,” only God is real. This is the standpoint that Yogananda takes, when he speaks of “Self Realization.”

When people use the word, “Self,” it is important for you to discern in what context they are using this term. Otherwise, it is easy to conflate one view with another.

We teach you how to navigate and explore each of the major vehicles of consciousness of the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind up to the Self at the core of your personality in our introductory course, the Introduction to Meditation program. In our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program, we teach eight “centering techniques” that enable you to unite your attention with the Human Self.

What Is An Ensouling Entity?

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: In your writings, you talk about an ensouling entity. What is that?

A: When we examine the four poles of being, the ensouling entity dwells on the first pole of being. There are 13 of these ensouling entities—these are the master integration centers in the Superconscious mind for different segments of the Great Continuum of Consciousness. These include:

Ensouling Entity Number

What We Call the Ensouling Entity

Where It Operates

1

Soul
Spark (Jivan Atma)

Entire
Subtle Realm

2

Soul (Atma), also called Higher Self,
or Transpersonal Self

Entire
Planetary Realm

3

Monad
(Paramatma)

Entire
Transplanetary Realm

4

Astral
Soul (Hansa Atma)

Entire
Cosmic Realm

5

Supracosmic
Soul (Binda Atma)

Entire
Supracosmic Realm

6

Soul
of the Bridge Path

Transcendental
portion of the Bridge Path

7

T1
ensouling entity

First
Transcendental Path

8

T2
ensouling entity

Second
Transcendental Path

9

T3
ensouling entity

Third
Transcendental Path

10

T4
ensouling entity

Fourth
Transcendental Path

11

T5
ensouling entity

Fifth
Transcendental Path

12

T6
ensouling entity

Sixth
Transcendental Path

13

T7
ensouling entity (Satchitananda)

Seventh
Transcendental Path

The ensouling entity is the Divine Atom that ties together the activity of the awakened vehicles of consciousness in that band of the Continuum of Consciousness, links with the development of the spirit through that level, and is the focus of the attentional principle that brings about enlightenment and Gnosis for that segment of the Continuum.

In many spiritual traditions, they teach you to focus your attention on the third pole, and identify with a nucleus of identity. In some of these traditions, they may not be aware that there is the overshadowing ensouling entity; and some of them may also not be aware of the spirit.

As a consequence, you see these groups identifying with a nucleus of identity, and using transformational methods to unfold it. When spiritual practice is done in this way, you will often see that a selected nucleus of identity is moved off of the axis of being, and aspirants’ attention is fixed in this integration center of the Superconscious mind. This strategy for spiritual development brings about imbalances.

In our Integral meditation program, we teach you meditations to awaken your spiritual essences on all four poles of being. We teach you 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. This strategy unfolds all four poles in synchrony, so you do not generate imbalances.

 

On Alchemy

By George A. Boyd © 1992

While with the knowledge of modern physics, it is quite possible to change lead into gold, this process will do little, if anything, to transform a human being inwardly: to create a golden, virtuous character, to produce a mind that has wisdom, to awaken the nuggets of genius and illumination, to unfold the treasures of the Soul and spirit.

The alchemy that we seek is an internal one, one that does not require cyclotrons, but instead requires the reception of a subtler form of energy that arises from the very funs of Being. These particular types of alchemy are described below.

  1. Physical – The transformation of one element into another—or into an isotopic variation—by increasing or decreasing the proton or neutron ratios within individual atoms
  2. Astral – The transformation of the subtle form with which you identify yourself
  3. Causal – The dissolution by burning upon the inner fire of karmic issues, transforming ignorance into wisdom
  4. Buddhic – Removing the veil of nescience that covers the Soul, granting discrimination (viveka) of the highest degree
  5. Atmic – The transformation of the Soul into its evolutionary potentials through the process of initiation
  6. Spiritual – The opening of the channels of the Nada and purifying the inner vehicles
  7. Transcendental – The ability of the anointed and empowered Adept, who by channeling the Light-Fire of Spirit, brings about the internal alchemy of types 2 through 6 in the aspirants and disciples to whom he or she ministers.

We are each called to be alchemists, but this does not require the reading of arcane texts, the construction of an elaborate chemical apparatus, the boiling of strange colored solids and liquids, and the bubbling of ethereal elixirs in subliming glass.

The homunculus we seek to create will never know a womb of glass: its abode is the human heart. The real homunculus or new man, the real philosopher’s stone is none other than the Soul enlightened and illumined by the Divine Spirit. And by this inner fire, the gross and unconscious karmic elements that adhere to the inner vehicles are heated, dissolved, vaporized, and transformed into their essence—a new virtue, a new ability, a new intuitive truth revealed to the Soul.

Alchemy does not happen only once in the Soul. It is an ongoing event. It happens again and again, until the hidden Purpose that the Divine has hidden in the Soul is fulfilled and fully manifested. So if you understand what alchemy truly is, you can learn how to become an inner alchemist—by learning the art of transformational meditation and discovering how to receive the Light that illumines, transforms, purifies, and frees.

Those of you who wish the keys to this inner alchemy can learn how in our intermediate classes, our in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and our by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

Identification on the Four Poles of Being

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Different spiritual groups focus attention on one of the four poles of being. These poles of being are:

  1. Ensouling entity
  2. Your spirit
  3. Your vehicles of consciousness in the Superconscious mind and their integrating centers (nuclei of identity)
  4. Your attentional principle (consciousness aspect of the fourth pole) and Self and ego (life aspect of the fourth pole)

Through focusing your attention on one of these poles of being, you come to identify with that essence.

  • Spiritual work on the first pole has you contemplate your Soul [or higher octave ensouling entity] and identify with it.
  • Spiritual techniques that operate on the second pole have you focus on your spirit in one of the twelve domains and identify with it. This style of spiritual development is typical for spiritual Paths of the Transcendental Sphere.
  • Spiritual practices that access the third pole typically focus your attention on a nucleus of identity and have you identify with it. Christians and Jews typically have you identify with the Moon Soul nucleus of identity. I AM Movement groups have you identify with the Mighty I AM Presence. Yogi Preceptor led groups have you identify with Cosmic Consciousness. Groups of the Supracosmic Sphere have you identify with the Supracosmic seed atom of their Path.
  • Spiritual methods that access the consciousness aspect of the fourth pole have you identify with your attentional principle. Psychological modalities that access the ego and the Self have you identify with one of these personal integration centers, and operate from that platform.

Attention is the channel selector of the mind, so depending on where you focus your attention, you will activate one of these aspects of the mind—and with sustained contemplation—you will identify with it.

Since most groups only contemplate the essences on one of these poles, they form a cosmology based on where that essence is on the Continuum. So groups that identify with the Moon Soul nucleus of identity will look to the content of the First Planetary Initiation. Groups that identify with Cosmic Consciousness interface with the content of the First Cosmic Initiation. Groups that identify with a Supracosmic Seed Atom engage with the content on that Supracosmic Path.

Abilities of the Essences on the Four Poles

Focusing attention on these four poles gives you certain abilities. For a lot of our spiritual work in Mudrashram®, we focus on the attentional principle—on the consciousness aspect of the fourth pole.

Abilities you gain focusing on an ensouling entity include:

  1. Gnosis – the experience of your Oneness with God
  2. Unity consciousness – Oceanic Consciousness of Being
  3. A symbol of oneness and mystic union – an archetype imbued with the Jet of Spirit in which you encounter the presence of the Soul
  4. The Way – The intuitive knowledge of the Path your Soul has opened to its current nodal point
  5. Kundalini track – the channel of the Kundalini Shakti through the inner vehicles, opening to the point where it unites with the Soul
  6. The Aureole – the sphere of the Soul’s consciousness and illumination
  7. The Atmic vortex – The resonance in which the Soul’s vehicles of consciousness are anchored
  8. The Light and the Word – the sacred inner altar where the spirit gains union with the heart center of the Soul’s essential vehicle

Abilities you gain focusing on the spirit include:

  1. Brain center – The consciousness of the spirit
  2. Point between the eyebrows – The spiritual senses of the spirit
  3. Medulla – the spirit’s octave of conation, the wish
  4. Throat – the spirit’s voice, the ability to give inspired discourse (satsang)
  5. Heart – The spirit’s love and devotion
  6. Solar plexus – The spirit’s virtue
  7. Navel – The remembrance of the spirit’s own nature, the spiritual Master, and the Divine
  8. Feet – The experience of moving in the channels of the Nada

Abilities you gain focusing on a nucleus of identity include:

  1. Brain – Identification with the state of consciousness of a nucleus of identity
  2. Point between the eyebrows – Expression of the unconditional love, intuitive wisdom, and the aspect of volition—and the abilities this confers—anchored in the nucleus of identity
  3. Medulla – The mental capsule, the container of knowledge of the nucleus of identity
  4. Throat – This is the speech principle of the nucleus of identity
  5. Heart – the karmic capsule, which is the nexus of karma that is processed through this center
  6. Solar plexus – The astral/emotional capsule, which embodies the virtues imprinted in the personality (character); the non-integrated material of the unconscious mind interfaces with this center as fantasy
  7. Navel – Etheric capsule, the mental nadis and somatic meridians associated with this nucleus of identity
  8. Base of the spine – The symbol representing the Law, or Dharma of this nucleus of identity
  9. Feet – The expression of this nucleus of identity through the personality as spiritual ministry or the arising from Soul’s Expressed Purpose

Abilities you gain focusing on the attentional principle include:

  1. Brain – The wave of consciousness (chetan)
  2. Point between the eyebrows – intention
  3. Throat – Reception of telepathic impressions, communications through thought
  4. Heart – Contemplation, the ability to extract meaning from seed thoughts, symbols, or archetypes
  5. Solar plexus – Suggestion, the ability to interface with inner vehicles of consciousness
  6. Navel – The ability to empathize with the conscious experience of others
  7. Base of spine – Creation, the ability to combine intention, suggestion, and affirmation to activate the Superconscious mind to manifest a desired outcome
  8. Feet – The stream of light upon which the attentional principle travels that is the focal point for attention

Abilities you gain focusing on the Self include:

  1. Brain – Identification with Self, Self-Knowledge
  2. Point between the eyebrows – Personal volition, free choice
  3. Medulla – Personal intuition, your ability to check in with each aspect of your Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind
  4. Right hand – The intellect, you ability to use intelligence to solve problems
  5. Left hand – The concrete mind, you ability to set goals, to plan, and schedule
  6. Throat – The conscience, the ability to tap into your values and standards
  7. Heart – The persona, the ability to express your social skills and humor, and to disclose your genuine Self
  8. Solar Plexus – Your desire body or body of commitment, your ability to give your word and keep it
  9. Navel – Your etheric body, your connection with the Subconscious mind

Working with the attentional principle allows you to unfold the Soul with a transformational method, transforming pole one. It also allows you to shepherd the spirit, to guide it along its Path to liberation, activating pole two. It allows you to access the love, wisdom, and power aspects of your Superconscious mind that expresses through your nuclei of identity, awakening pole three. It natively [on the consciousness aspect of the fourth pole] is able to travel in full consciousness through each of the bands of the Continuum of Consciousness. It is able to lead attention to unite with the Self [on the life aspect of the fourth pole] at the nucleus of the human personality through centering methods.

Using the attentional principle focus is like the Swiss Army knife of meditation: it allows you to access each of the four poles and develop them in synchrony.

We teach you how to awaken and develop each of these poles of being in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. We invite you to learn these key techniques for personal and spiritual development through taking one of these classes.

Why Affirmations Don’t Work

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: When I do affirmations, nothing changes. What am I doing wrong?

A: Affirmation is at its root a form of subtle speech. It is first important for you to recognize where affirmation fits on the spectrum of speech.

The first level of speech arises from the unconscious mind. This includes:

  • Profanity
  • Expression of emotions that are buried in the unconscious. These come out during periods of upset, argument, and defensiveness.
  • Certain types of psychotherapy encourage the communication of this material. This includes abreactive methods such as Primal Screaming, or dialog methods that give a voice to issues in the unconscious mind

The second level of speech is called consensual speech. These are statements made without emotion. They are factual reporting. These include:

  • Sensory report of what you are seeing
  • Reading technical or legal material aloud that is a statement of facts
  • Reading lists of information, such as names from a phone book

The third level of speech is called invocation. The most common types of invocation are chanting and prayer.

  • Chanting the name of a Divine Being, as is used in many spiritual traditions
  • Using a rote prayer that is written down in a scripture or hymn book, for which you do not have any emotional connection
  • Praying for a heartfelt desire, for something that impacts your life and that you genuinely wish to have granted
  • Intercessory prayer, in which you ask the Divine to meet the needs of others
  • Universal prayer, in which you invoke blessings for everyone

The fourth level of speech includes affirmation and suggestion. These include:

  • Statements addressed to the Subconscious mind to retrieve memory, or to the Akashic Records to trace back the origins of emotionalized issues. Process meditation employs this type of suggestion.
  • Suggestion is given to one of the hypnotic bands of the mind—spanning the Subconscious, Metaconscious, and Superconscious mind—to introduce change or to produce specific outcomes. This is applied in hypnosis and autohypnosis. This is called Suggestion.
  • Affirmation is performed at the periphery of awareness, repeating this affirmation at progressively deeper levels of the unconscious mind until it is anchored in the Superconscious mind and you feel powerful conviction it will come true. This type of affirmation is sometimes coupled with observing the content that arises in the liminal bands of the mind as you are doing the affirmation, which gives you insight into the inner resistance of the unconscious mind that may be interfering with the manifestation of what you desire. This type of affirmation is called Anchored Affirmation.
  • You speak an affirmation aloud with the core conviction that it is true, and you have complete faith that speaking this word will create or manifest whatever you desire. This is called Command Affirmation, Fiat, Power Affirmation, or Decree.

The fifth level of speech is called Inspired Speech. This occurs when you become a channel for the revelation or intuitive knowledge of the Superconscious mind. Examples include:

  • Communication received from another spiritual being, such as an angel, a departed spirit, or an Ascended Master. These words can be spoken aloud, which is referred to channeling or mediumship. They can also be written down, which is called automatic writing.
  • Revelations or prophecies received through the Holy Spirit, when it dwells in the inner altar of the Moon Soul or Christ Child nucleus of identity. This may take the form of revelation of the future (prophecy) or inspired teaching, which has been called preaching.

The sixth level of speech is called core speech or Satsang. This type includes:

  • When your ensouling entity speaks through you to give teaching and wise counsel (Atma Satsang)
  • When your attentional principle shares its experience or guides someone in meditation (Nirat Satsang)
  • When your spirit communicates its experience (Surat Satsang)

The seventh level of speech is called Divine Speech. Spiritual Masters (Initiates) utter this type of speech. Examples include:

  • The Word of Power, which anchors the Divine Light to destroy thought forms, or to bring the Omnific Power of Divine Intention into manifestation
  • Mantra Shakti, the ability to activate and animate a transformational (bija) mantra, so it is able to unfold the spiritual evolutionary potentials of others
  • Uttering the Words of the Divine, which have become the foundation of the world’s scriptures

To use suggestion and affirmation, you are tapping the fourth level of speech. In suggestion, anchored affirmation, and command affirmation, you utilize conation—intention or volition—to initiate change. It is important, when you are performing suggestion or affirmation, to observe the following:

  1. You need to know how to correctly perform the method. If you don’t apply it correctly, you won’t get results.
  2. You need to do the technique when it is appropriate. It needs to be the right technique to bring about the change you want.
  3. You need to have a genuine desire to change. You need to be invested in getting the results for which you are utilizing suggestion or affirmation.
  4. You practice the technique for a sufficient amount of time until your deeper mind—Subconscious or Superconscious—accepts your suggestion or affirmation, and begins to change old patterns of behavior, belief or emotional reactions.
  5. Your suggestion or affirmation needs to be in alignment with your Soul Purpose or the Divine Will, so you are not inadvertently working counter to their guidance. For your affirmation to be accepted, it should have relevance to your Soul’s ministry and service, or be germane to the expression of its abilities in your human life (Expressed Soul Purpose).
  6. Make sure your affirmation is not attempting to counter an element of destiny karma, which may not respond to your intention or volition to induce it to change. Suggestion or affirmation has little or no effect upon destiny karma.
  7. You believe the suggestion or affirmation is true, it would bring about positive change and improvement in your life, and it is for your highest good.

Affirmations don’t work when:

  • You’re not using the technique correctly.
  • It’s not appropriate to use them. It’s the wrong technique to achieve what you want.
  • You don’t really want to change. You resist change on a deep level of your mind.
  • You give up on the method before it has time to “take” within you.
  • You are using affirmation to manifest something not in keeping with your Soul’s purpose—in effect, you are asking for something that is not in alignment with what your Soul aims to manifest in your life—so your Soul denies its permission for your request.
  • You are trying to uproot elements of your destiny karma, which affirmations cannot change.
  • You are trying to do an affirmation someone else suggests to you, and it doesn’t genuinely resonate as true for you.

Affirmations are not a universal panacea; they do not work in all situations. If you do them correctly for the issues for which they are effective, they can powerfully promote change.

Q: I was reading some affirmations in one of Deepak Chopra’s books. While I recognized the perspective in which these affirmations were true, it didn’t seem to actually change anything. For example, there were a couple of affirmations in which he said that I was free of addictions and compulsions. I affirmed I was free from them, but these patterns haven’t changed. What am I doing wrong?

A: There’s nothing wrong with visualizing the state in which you are free from these patterns. However, until you eradicate the karma that underlies these issues, affirmations are not going to miraculously dissolve and release them. They are just not the right technique to purify, transmute, and integrate karmic patterns in the unconscious mind.

To do that, you need a transformational technique. These methods include:

  • Transformational mantra
  • Kriya Yoga
  • Nada Yoga (this works as a transformational technique in the Transcendental Sphere)
  • Light Immersion

We teach the rudiments of autosuggestion and using anchoring affirmations in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. We go into greater depth on these techniques in the companion book for these classes, The Yoga of the Seven Mudras: Introducing the Mudrashram® System of Integral Meditation. Volume One: The Fundamentals of Meditation.

We also teach transformational mantra in our intermediate classes. This enables you to actively burn away the karma that underlies many of the patterns you are experiencing.

If you like affirmation as a technique to support the objectives you are attempting to actualize in your life, we would suggest you read different authors’ approaches to this technique to find one that works for you. Test each one: see if it gets you results.

If you do affirmation for the issues you can change, it will be an effective tool in your inner arsenal. However, your expectation that it will magically change what it is not designed to do needs to be tempered with a realistic appreciation of its appropriate application.