Stages of Relative Grounding After Kundalini Awakening

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: I had a Kundalini awakening and I have found it is extremely hard to ground myself again. Is there a solution for this?

A: Since 2006, people have contacted us with Kundalini syndromes of varying intensity. We can characterize the eight stages we have observed from full groundedness to full-blown awakening where normalized functioning is compromised—and in severe Kundalini syndromes—not possible:

  1. Full groundedness – The Kundalini has fully returned to its seat in the perineal center of the system of chakras of the Subconscious mind, and animates the ego, reason, feeling center, deep body awareness center, and the waking state of consciousness. You are fully present in the room, and you sense you are fully embodied, connected with the important people in your life, your reality testing mechanism of reason is operating, and your ego appropriately senses its roles and the continuity of your life narrative.
  2. Withdrawal of single Conscious mind functions – here the Kundalini withdraws one of its five rays from a Conscious mind function. (1) If it withdraws the energy from the waking state of consciousness, your attention is fixed in a higher state of awareness, and you have difficulty returning to the ground state. (2) If it withdraws its energy from the deep body awareness state, you may become aware that you have multiple vehicles of consciousness and that you inhabit them simultaneously—it may be difficult for you to sense the solidness of your physical body. (3) If it withdraws from your feeling center, you may regard others as spiritual beings and have a difficulty feeling normal emotional bonding with others. (4) If it withdraws from your faculty of reason, you may live in a trance state and be extremely suggestible. (5) If it withdraws from your ego, you may sense that you are a spiritual essence—ensouling entity or nucleus of identity—and your life seems alien, dreamlike, or unreal to you.
  3. Withdrawal of multiple Conscious mind functions – in this scenario, the Kundalini simultaneously withdraws from two to five of your Conscious mind functions, and you experience the symptoms from this concurrent withdrawal. At this point, you may feel you are going crazy.
  4. Core activation of the chakras of the Subconscious mind – when this occurs, you become aware that each chakra appears to govern certain actions and you will attribute your actions, not to your ego initiating behavior, but to the activity of the petals of one of your chakras. For example, you might experience your drive to exercise to be the activity of one of the petals of the chakra at the base of the spine, or your engaging in courtship as the activity of one of the chakras of the navel chakra. You may experience intuitive revelations from your chakras, and feel that your true essence dwells in the brain chakra of this vehicle of consciousness. At this stage, you may experience out of body experiences (OOBE) or the sense that you are a conscious entity that dwells in the body—as a result, you may begin to identify as the attentional principle. Your ego, reason, feeling center, deep body awareness center, and waking awareness center feel distant, alien, and unreal—you may experience difficulty in carrying out the tasks of daily life at this point or engaging in normal social communication with others. At this stage, you are meditating during every waking moment.
  5. Entering the Void – When the Kundalini withdraws up to the top of the Metaconscious mind, you experience the voidness of Being. Here your ability to initiate behavior using your volition, to think, plan, evaluate, imagine, and make commitments shuts down, and you passively experience life. You are not able to change anything; you just go with the flow in the present time. You may feel that action arises of itself: there is no doer. You may experience deep inner silence at this point. You just follow the Tao: your life seems to unfold by itself.
  6. Archetypal encounter – As the Kundalini rises into your Superconscious mind, you may experience hallucinations and voices, similar to the experience when you ingest a powerful psychedelic drug. You may have remarkable experiences of gods and goddesses from different cultures. You are immersed in a downpour of revelation from your Superconscious mind. Were you to divulge these revelations to others, they would assume you had developed schizophrenia. At this stage, your mind and emotions become unstable, and you have difficulties making simple choices—you may act on the guidance of archetypes that appear to you. You would have difficulty in carrying out even basic activities—you would likely need someone to take care of you when the Kundalini rises to this level and stably operates here.
  7. Integrating vision – Here the Kundalini unites with the Soul. You will experience yourself as a godlike being, which apparently has a mighty power to influence reality, express unconditional love, and is a source of great wisdom and illumination. You may experience states of grandiosity and omnipotence when the Kundalini reaches this stage. You may feel your knowledge is infallible and you are all knowing. When you make decisions from this state of grandiosity, you may find that you are sometimes unable to accomplish what you intend—when this occurs, you may blame others for your failure or formulate paranoid conspiracy theories. You may believe you are capable of miraculous creation. You can become very delusional at this stage.
  8. Higher octave integration – In this stage, the Kundalini rises and becomes fixed in a spiritual essence—ensouling entity or nucleus of identity—at a level beyond where your Soul is. Common levels of this higher order fixation include the Moon Soul nucleus of identity, the Mighty I Am Presence nucleus of identity, the Cosmic Consciousness nucleus of identity, the Astral Soul, a Supracosmic seed atom on one of the Supracosmic Paths, or your Supracosmic Soul. At this level, you feel that you are this essence separated from the form of the Divine on this Plane, and you are actively engaged in some type of transformational practice to move this spiritual essence closer to this Divine Being. Your life and personality seem irrelevant at this stage: only your spiritual quest is important to you. You may be capable of pilgrimage, living in an ashram or structured monastic community, or doing holy wandering, but it may be next to impossible for you to function as a parent, an employee, or to assume positions of responsibility in your society—your personality is barely functioning at this level. It is common for people at this level to experience emergence phenomena—you begin acting on impulses that arise from your unconscious mind, you may be absorbed in perpetual processing of deep emotional issues, or you may experience continual visions and voices.

The challenge for those of you in whom the Kundalini has been activated is to bring it back down to stage one, where you can resume normalized functioning. Many of you have told us about the creative methods you have found that help you cope with this energy and at least temporarily ground it. We have given you some general guidelines for grounding in our article, “Grounding: Coming Back from Altered States of Awareness.”

The key to grounding is that you need to being the energy fully back into the Conscious mind, all the way back into your body, and down into the core of the earth. If you are able to successfully do this, even once, it will give you hope that you can begin to gain greater control over this energy, and not let it lift you into states of consciousness where you cannot function.

We teach the practice of safely awakening the Kundalini in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation program. One of the things we teach and emphasize is the practice of returning this energy to the fully grounded state.

We suggest that those who have learned to guide others to awaken this energy, or have been given the gift of awakening the Kundalini in others through attunement (Shaktipat), need to train their students in how to bring this energy back to full groundedness. If this were the case—that this recommendation were more widely implemented—we would likely not see so many people absorbed in stages two through eight, with compromised personal functioning and varying degrees of madness.

If you have unfortunately had the experience of becoming stuck in one of these ongoing Kundalini-generated altered states of consciousness, we sometimes can help you. If you are interested in these services, please see our Kundalini Recovery Services page.

What Is the Impact of Spiritual Development on Daily Life?

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: How does spiritual development impact my daily life experience? On the other hand, are there ways that it does not change or impact my daily life?

A: There are seven major ways your spiritual development influences your human life.

  1. Anchoring of abilities in your physical brain – these abilities, called gifts, enable you to make a connection with an ability in your Superconscious mind and channel it. You can consciously ask that it be turned on, and it operates. An example is a musician can tap into his musical gift when he is going to play music or when he is teaching someone. [Two other types of higher abilities are only accessible in either an altered state of awareness or are channeled through your attentional principle or spirit—these two types of abilities are not accessible in your waking awareness.]
  2. Channeling guidance – Some people can use the cord of faith anchored in their ego [this is a part of your Conscious mind] to ask a higher aspect of their mind [Self or Soul] or the Divine to help them solve problems, to cope with the stress of life, and to help them resolve issues. People typical invoke this higher aspect of their own nature—or the Divine as they can conceive it—through questioning or prayer, and listen for the response.
  3. Behavioral plan – In this type of connection with the higher mind, you are shown all of the steps necessary for you to achieve a goal. In the Conscious mind, you are capable of making one action at a time. Showing you each sequence of what you need to do to accomplish the goal, and the part you will do today, breaks down a project that may seem overwhelming into manageable pieces. For example, if you have to clean your house, you’ll focus on the task you need to do in each room and finish it [For the bathroom, this might look like: clean the sink… clean the toilet… clean the tub… clean the corners…]
  4. Stress reduction and relaxation – When you meditate, you enable the body to relieve stress, promote relaxation, and soothe your emotions. During the period you are meditating, this effect is pronounced. Many people report that this state of calmness and poise lasts well after their meditation session is over.
  5. Dialog and inquiry – Since the rational mind, which is the primary mental faculty of the Conscious mind, has only the information of the senses, its emotional experience, and its ability to infer [analogical reasoning] and to reason [deductive reasoning] to determine what is real and what can be believed, much of what the Soul and spirit experience are outside of its ability to know. For this reason, there is often a lively dialog between reason and the Soul. What the Soul experiences seems like complete fantasy to reason; in those individuals who establish a link with their reason, there is a rebuttal of reason’s doubts, and giving reason exact knowledge of what is in each higher vehicle of consciousness and what this vehicle of consciousness does. In this way, the mental function of the Conscious mind comes to appreciate the operations of the higher aspects of personal and transpersonal nature. As this dialog ensues, there is a lessening of doubt and an increase in trust and acceptance of these higher intellectual and intuitive faculties. [Think of the way you might trust a plumber to do his job, when this is not an area you know much about.]
  6. Comforting core suffering – At the core of human life are the painful, shameful, and fearful issues that make up the psychological component of destiny karma. This is the aspect of human life that experiences frustration, suffering, anxiety, and depression. While meditation allows you to monitor and release this core of dysphoric feelings, using techniques like process meditation or Vipassana, these feelings come back until you ultimately resolve them. Invoking the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, is one of the few remedies that enable you to cope and carry on when you are yet laden with these emotional burdens.
  7. Ecstatic movement and speech – Those that do Kundalini Yoga, sacred dancing, and tantric practices report they experience the movement of inner energy that automatically repositions their body into different postures [martial arts stances or hatha yoga poses are common], places their hands in mudras, or has them spontaneously utter mantras or glossolalia. This occurs in those who actively awaken their Kundalini, or those who passively receive Shaktipat from an advanced disciple or Initiate empowered to send this attunement.

The experience of the Soul is outside the life matrix that you experience in your daily life. While there is some interface between them, the great majority of what the Soul experiences and its activities take place outside of your daily, conscious awareness. For you to become aware of what your Soul experiences and what it does, you need to move your attention to the level of your mind where your Soul dwells—this is the key function of meditation: to allow you to go where it is and gain direct knowledge of this immortal aspect of your nature.

Your life matrix—the conscious and unconscious aspects of your mind that you experience as part of your human life—has the following 13 components:

  1. Infra-conscious – these are the centers below waking awareness that comprise the states of hypnotic sleep, dreaming sleep, sound sleep, coma, and death. Elements of hypnotic and dreaming sleep sometimes persist when you awaken, so you have some recollection of your experiences in these liminal states.
  2. Waking state of awareness – this is the seat of your attention when you are not in an altered state of awareness induced through meditation, psychotherapy, hypnosis, or psychoactive drug use. This is your immediate perception of the environment around you, the people in the room, the objects that are relevant to the task you are currently doing. In the Light Sitting, when the Masters guide you back to “your moment,” they are asking you to return your attention to this ground state.
  3. Movement awareness center – this is your present time experience of your movement and body position. The experience of “living your life” is intimately tied to what you are actually doing moment-to-moment. In the Light Sitting, when the Masters guide you back to “your life,” they are asking you to move your attention to this center.
  4. Immediate sensory experience – this is your present time experience of each of your peripheral senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. These senses give their moment-to-moment report to a center we call the sensorium. [Neurologically, this perceptual matrix appears to correspond to the thalamus.] The sensorium has an energetic link to each higher order of sensation—astral sensing, attentional sensing, attentional principle sensing [meta-sensing], spirit sensing [heart-sensing], higher mind sensing [global intuitive or Buddhic sensing], and ensouling entity sensing [core sensing]. We teach you how to access this thread in the Vision Workshop.
  5. Deep body awareness – this is your present time awareness of what you are experiencing inside your body. Focusing attention on this center reveals your moment-to-moment experience of your muscles, connective tissues, joints, bones, organs, glands, nervous system, circulatory system, lymph system, immune system, and reproductive system as their chemical and electrical signals reach the hypothalamus and cerebral cortex. In the Light Sitting, when the Masters guide you back to “your body,” they are asking you to move your attention to this center.
  6. Feeling center awareness – this is your present time awareness of your emotional reactions to your experience. Focusing attention on the feeling center is a common technique used in psychotherapy. This center is intimately tied to your memory: most of your emotions are tied to particular memories of incidents you have experienced.
  7. Mental awareness – this center has three major functions (a) volition, this is the seat of the egoic octave of will, which governs individual behavior; (b) analogical reasoning, which meditates your ability to compare objects and ideas and understand metaphors; and deductive reasoning, which operates your ability to test reality and to analyze the salient information about your present time experience.
  8. Conscious Egoic complex – this is comprised of (a) the Egoic integrative function, which establishes your connection with each of the other vehicles of your Conscious mind; (b) a desire/goal organizing matrix, which organizes the areas of your life into specific areas, and establishes an identity state or role for each one; and (c) a remembrance of your key achievements and challenges in your life, which we call your life narrative, or personal story. This is your conscious experience of your life and is part of your zone of liberty.
  9. Unconscious Egoic complex – this liminal zone of your Conscious mind consists of (a) the layers of your psychological defenses, which cover up your deeper painful and shameful issues; (b) your shadow, which contains your deep, unresolved issues [this is the core of your personal suffering and pain], (c) your Egoic seed atom, which is a center that tunes up as your Soul evolves—experience of this center reveals a world of child-like wonder and delight; and (d) your subtle egoic identification with higher spiritual essences [for example, if you are a Christian, you might establish a link with your Moon Soul nucleus of identity; a Yogi might similarly identify with the cosmic consciousness nucleus of identity].
  10. Interface with the Subconscious mind (Preconscious) – this is your connection with the Subconscious mnemonic/temporal zone. You actively use this conduit to recall specific information or events. You passively receive impressions from the Subconscious mind in the state of reverie.
  11. Subconscious life narrative – this is your identification with the events of your life, starting with your first conscious memory, when you first experienced you were the actor in your life. This is not part of your conscious life experience, but you can access this band in meditation and hypnosis.
  12. Standpoint of eternity – this is the view from your Soul’s perspective, which beholds its past lives, conception and embryonic development, birth and the experiences before your first conscious memory, your Subconscious life narrative, the recording of your experience in the present time, and the “bubble” of your Conscious mind experience. You are able to visualize your life helix from this viewpoint. This is not part of your conscious life experience, but you can access this band in meditation and hypnosis.
  13. Wave of the present time on the Akashic Records – this is the point where your Soul’s thought and intention enter and shape your human life. This center is on the fifth Subplane of the Abstract Mind Plane in the Superconscious mind—your life experiences are also recorded at this level in the Etheric Book of Remembrance, which is called the Akashic Records. This is not part of your conscious life experience, but you can access this band in meditation and hypnosis. Process meditation, in particular, is keyed to this level. [You experience the Soul is creating specific experiences in your life at this level.]

Much of the experience and activity of your Soul, spirit, and attentional principle is outside your conscious awareness. You can visit their world in meditation, but unless you keep your attention fixed upon these essences, you are only able to glimpse their world of beauty, wonder, and Omnific Power and Grace during the lyrical interlude of meditation.

But even a little time spent in their realm will sustain you, renew you, inspire you, uplift you, empower you, and turn your life into a channel for some of its gifts. As you deepen your communion with these essences, your gratitude, humility, and joy will grow—and you will know, with every fiber of your being, that you have found a treasure beyond compare.

Those of you who may wish to learn about meditation in daily life, to make your life more functional and serene, may wish to acquire our book, Applications in Meditation in Daily Life and Education.

The Seven Stances of Light Ministry

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: Are there other forms of Light Ministry than the type you do in the Light Sittings?

A: Yes, there are seven major types across the Seven Rays. These are briefly described below.

  1. The Destroyer Ray – this Light Ministry of the 1st Ray seeks to destroy entities that give rise to evil. This is the “battle of good and evil,” fought on the Astral Planes.
  2. The Enlightenment Ray – the 2nd Ray Light Ministry uses seed thoughts and contemplation to change perspective, patterns of thinking, and limiting or erroneous beliefs. It seeks to open a conduit to the Illumined mind and establish the aspirant in the state of enlightened mind.
  3. The Ray of Divine Mercy – Light Ministry of the 3rd Ray receives Light directly from the Masters and ministers it to others through anchoring the Light in their Souls, their nuclei of identity, and/or connecting their personality with the Soul through the minor attunements. This is the form of ministry that disciples of Grace-Bestowing Masters in different spiritual traditions typically practice.
  4. The Ray of Divine Unity – the 4th Ray Light Ministry emphasizes attuning people with their inner Divinity, bringing about the state of Oneness and Wholeness. This seeks to lift people from distress into peace. The universal prayers of Buddhism—e.g., “may all beings transcend misery and suffering and find peace and Nirvana”—tap into this Light Stream.
  5. The Ray of Sevenfold Healing – 5th Ray Light Ministry utilizes different bands of energy to bring about healing. These seven octaves of healing are (1) electromagnetic and atomic, (2) etheric [life force, or prana], (3) emotional [Holy Spirit, Divine Love], (4) Mighty I AM Presence [ministry of the empowered Word], (5) mental [contemplation of seed thoughts, radiation of the thought streams from the Masters], (6) higher mental [activation and downpour from the Illumined Mind], and (7) Light of the Nirvanic Flame, which conveys spiritual healing and Initiation. These seven streams promote healing of physical and emotional distress.
  6. The Ray of Miracles – 6th Ray ministry invokes Angels, Saints, Ascended Masters, Masters of the Hierarchy, or the Divine through prayer to bring about healing and resolution of negative conditions through the Omnific Power of the Light. This is the form of ministry that is commonly used in religious groups.
  7. The Manifesting Ray – 7th Ray ministry dissolves karmic issues, empowers the Soul to re-create new life conditions, improved relationships, prosperous enterprises, and political and social movements that transform society so that people’s needs are met.

We encourage aspirants and disciples to familiarize themselves with each of these ministerial stances, and to be able to minister from more than one perspective, to expand their capacity to become instruments of the Light.

We suggest that certain aspirants and disciples have a resistance to moving out of their comfort zone of the platform of ministry of their Soul Ray. However, if they are able to do so, it will greatly expand their capacity for spiritual service—the ability to operate as an instrument for the Light, and be a conscious co-worker with God and the Masters to respond to the evocation of humanity.

In Mudrashram®, we readily embrace more than one of these platforms. Our Light Sittings are a variety of 3rd Ray Light Ministry. We use the perspective of the 5th Ray in our Healing Workshop One and Two. We utilize the rudiments of 7th Ray ministry through the techniques we teach in our meditation classes—the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program; this is also the foundation of the change and transformation we bring about in our coaching programs.

Each of these ministerial platforms has their place in the working out of the Great Plan. It will be valuable for you to learn a variety of ministerial types to carry forward your Soul Purpose and participate with others in the redemption and uplifting of humanity through the widespread dissemination of the Light.

What Is Satchitananda?

By George A. Boyd ©2019

Q: When people talk about Satchitananda, they seem to refer to different experiences. It appears to me when a Yogi Preceptor speaks about Satchitananda as the experience of realizing Brahman, he is pointing to something else than what your second teacher, Sat Guru Balyogeshwar Paramahansa, was describing. Could you shed some light on this?

A: There appear to be seven major orders of experience that different sources have labeled Satchitananda. In these varying perspectives, Satchitananda is:

  1. The experience of the Soul (Atma) – Those who hold this view say that the Soul contains an atom of the Divine that is eternal existence, eternally conscious, and eternally joyous and blissful. New Age teachers embrace this viewpoint.
  2. The experience of the Monad (Paramatma) – When the Soul completes its spiritual evolution, it merges in the Nirvanic Flame, and is reborn as the Monad. The Monad is the fullness of conscious immortality, infinite knowledge and power, and bliss. Planetary Adepts and their disciples adopt this standpoint.
  3. The experience of cosmic consciousness in union with Brahman – When the cosmic consciousness nucleus of identity unfolds and ultimately opens the seventh chakra of the Cosmic Man or Woman, it enters the state of union with Brahman. The fifth Maha Vakya or Divine Realization Affirmation is Satchitananda Brahman. This is the state of conscious Godhood—you experience yourself as one with the Divine Self of the Universe. Jnana Yoga Preceptors, and teachers of Vedanta and Advaita disseminate this perspective.
  4. The experience of the Supracosmic Soul on any Supracosmic Path, when your Supracosmic Seed Atom fuses with it – At the culmination of spiritual development on any Supracosmic Path where your Supracosmic Soul dwells, you can experience Divine Realization. This occurs when your Supracosmic Seed Atom merges into your Supracosmic Soul. Supracosmic Gurus like Ramana Maharshi and Shirdi Sai Baba experienced and embodied this state.
  5. The experience of the Transcendental Ensouling Entity on its own Plane, above all coverings – On Transcendental Paths one through five, the spirit opens the channels of the Nada to a Plane where the ensouling entity gains realization of its own nature above the worlds of matter, energy, and mind. Sat Gurus of Transcendental Paths one through five point to this advanced state of Realization as conferring the highest knowledge and bliss.
  6. The experience of the Transcendental Ensouling Entity of the Seventh Transcendental Path – The Sat Guru of the Seventh Transcendental Path reveals Divine Knowledge or Brahma Vidya, when he unites your attention with this ensouling entity. This teacher and his disciples label this state of eternal existence, infinite consciousness, and unending bliss as Satchitananda.
  7. The experience of the Avatar on the Third Transcendental Path – This highest Initiate on the Third Transcendental Path experiences infinite love, infinite intelligence, and infinite bliss as he consciously incarnates God. The Initiates and disciples of the Third Transcendental Path identify the conscious experience of the Avatar as Satchitananda.

When we speak of Satchitananda in Mudrashram®, we point to this sixth order of experience. In the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation, we guide students up to experience Satchitananda as the ensouling entity of the Seventh Transcendental Path. Experiencing this spiritual essence is important because:

  • Satchitananda is the source of the Alaya, the Divine energy that animates your ensouling entity at the cutting edge of spirituality. Upon liberation of any of your ensouling entities, this animating energy returns to Satchitananda. This energy then reanimates another ensouling entity on another level of the Great Continuum of Consciousness.
  • Satchitananda is the highest state of conscious experience in you.
  • Satchitananda transcends the dualities of the lower Planes—Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Transcendental Paths one through five—and is experienced as the core essence from which all other states of conscious experience emanated.
  • Satchitananda brings highest Realization. Realizing it beings Supreme Gnosis, Brahma Vidya, or Divine Knowledge. It is the ultimate synthesis of all varieties of spiritual experience.

We encourage you to become familiar with each of these varieties of spiritual essences that have been labeled Satchitananda up to the sixth order of experience. The seventh order is the unique experience of that Initiate chosen to embody the Avatar on the Third Transcendental Path, so accessing this state of consciousness may be challenging for most aspirants and disciples.

The other six orders are readily accessible to those who master the art of Raja Yoga. This confers the ability to travel to any level of the Great Continuum of Consciousness in full consciousness. [We teach you how to practice direct projection, the inmost practice of Raja Yoga, in our intermediate classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and on-line Accelerated Meditation Program.]

Those who complete one of our intermediate courses, and go on to take the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation, actually travel in the advanced course up through each of these six states of the experience of Satchitananda.

Getting Untangled from Delusional Beliefs

How People Get Tangled Up in Belief Systems and How They Can Get Untangled

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: How do people come to believe such strange things? Like there are people who seek to confirm the prophecies of The Bible, and believe that these point to current events? How could you verify something like this?

A: You could begin examining promised prophetic outcomes and see if they actually come true. This would entail:

  1. Write down the prophecy you are studying. Identify the concrete events that could indicate the prophecy’s promised outcome has occurred.
  2. Note the key descriptors as measurable events. For example, does the prophecy say there will be earthquakes? Fires? Famine? Thunder and lightening? Wars? Will the seas turn red as blood?
  3. Set criteria for what constitutes a fulfillment for the prophecy. This should be significant. There have been nearly continual earthquakes, thunderstorms, and wars since the days when the prophets lived. There have been periodic famines. What would make these occurrences salient to indicate that this event was fulfilled?

For example, would you only consider earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or above? Would you only consider a famine if 100,000 or more people died? Would you only consider a war significant if 10,000 warriors on both sides died? How many square miles of the ocean would have to turn red for you to say that they outcome was reached? It is important that you decide what is the cutoff for you to consider each factor.

  1. You would find known historical instances of each of these factors that match the descriptors and that meet your criteria. So you would find all historical instances of earthquakes greater than 7.0 magnitude and notice if the other outcomes of the prophecy coincided with that factor.
  2. Calculate the statistical correlation for all of the factors matching the criteria and come up with a summated correlation for all factors. Apply an appropriate statistical test to determine whether this summated correlation is significant.
  3. Note which historical instances have the highest correlations, and whether these values are significant.
  4. Then consider, do any of these significant correlations provide definitive proof the prophecy has been fulfilled?

Since multiple historical events can be said to meet the outcome descriptors described in scriptures, it becomes a difficult task to identify which of these similar outcomes the prophet was actually predicting. Similar patterns of wars and famines might have occurred once or twice a century.

So does the prophecy seem to relate to captivity of the Jews in Babylon? Does it point to the Roman occupation of Judea? Does it indicate the period of the Fall of Rome? Does it refer to the Crusades? Does it suggest the battles of the American Civil War? Is it describing the events of the early 21st century?

Since the patterns are similar, believers could point to any of these events as “fulfillment of prophecy.” So in every generation, if these prophecies are correct, you have many of the markers to suggest the end of the world is nigh.

Q: Many Christians, Jews, and Muslims interpret the symbolic materials in their scriptures literally. As a result, they have projected apocalyptic, doomsday scenarios on current events. These events appear to them to confirm their beliefs. Can you speak to this?

A: There are several issues with interpretations of symbols. We go into these issues in greater depth in our book, Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What the Heck Are We Doing?.

Literal interpretations of symbolic or archetypal images contained in scripture—particularly those that describe doomsday scenarios—are problematical. These concerns include:

  1. Symbols may not refer to any actual event or person. While originally they may be extrapolated from experience and envisioned as events of the future, it is not possible to objectively know what the prophet had in mind when he or she had the revelation in which this symbolic content was brought forward into awareness.
  2. Symbolic or metaphorical interpretation creates meaning from symbols or archetypes. Each symbol can become a container for widely divergent meanings—there is no consensus on what any symbol actually means.
  3. Symbols can become objects for projections of wishes, hopes, and fears. These emotional projections can be displaced on a current event that appears to fulfill an apocalyptic vision. For example, if the believer strongly desires the Christ to return, these events that match the signs of the prophecy foretelling his Advent evoke powerful yearnings.
  4. Symbols can enable the powerless to feel they have power. When people do not feel they have the power to change their current circumstances, they may look to archetypes of a Messiah or Warrior King to vanquish and punish those who oppress them. An avenging Deity may use Its Mighty Power to destroy the wicked, and to reward the powerless. For example, St. John’s virulent anger at Rome is thinly veiled in his visions of an angry God, who sends his Son to judge the world in “The Book of Revelations” in The Bible.
  5. Symbols convey the miraculous. The outcomes of many prophecies require that the known laws of physics be violated: For example, the corpses of the dead will be miraculously resurrected on the Day of Judgment, or believers will vanish from the world in the Rapture. In many cases, fulfillment of prophecy needs to have a magical, miraculous, or supernatural intervention to come true.
  6. Symbols give substance to the irrational or fantastic. Many symbols and archetypes are encountered in the unconscious mind. They embody desires, wishes, and fears—but also potential knowledge and abilities. Until they are integrated, however, symbols are mysterious and inscrutable.
  7. Mystery spawns speculation. The inherent mystery of symbols and archetypes invites conjecture about their meaning. Since none of these theories can be tested or validated, explanations of what symbols mean can take the form of elaborate conspiracy theories, recounting a mythical retelling of history, legends and stories of the future Advent of the Messiah or Prophet, or tales of the impending end of the world. Until the esoteric meanings of the symbol reveal themselves to the Soul, wild speculation prevails.

Q: What happens when you believe this way? When you interpret symbols in this highly speculative fashion?

A: You misunderstand and misinterpret the meanings of the symbol. As a result, you experience:

  1. Delusion – your misunderstanding of the symbol leads to mistaken belief.
  2. Denial – Once you have decided that you have the true interpretation of the symbol, you refuse to consider anything that disconfirms your belief.
  3. Projective identification – You look for confirmation of your belief in events. You distort the data to confirm what you believe. You filter your perceptions so that you look for any evidence that validates your belief. You attempt to convince others of the truth of your belief.
  4. Conviction – You hold these beliefs despite evidence to the contrary. When others attempt to question your beliefs, this only makes you hold this belief more tenaciously. You may feel someone is attacking one of the core tenets of your faith.

If you begin to hold many mistaken beliefs with conviction to level four, you may construct a mindset that progresses—from powerful conviction about one to five tenacious beliefs—to a comprehensive array of dozens of distorted beliefs. As you become more entrenched in this impregnable castle of beliefs, you may shift into an authoritarian worldview, and ultimately to outright paranoia. These deeper layers of warped belief construction are:

  1. Armoring of the heart – You create a “belief bubble” that encapsulates your beliefs, and projects an apocalyptic worldview—you have the belief that the doomsday scenario described in your scriptures will come true. You may hold that because you are a believer, you will be saved from the horrible things that are predicted to befall those who don’t believe the way you do. This may also take the form of elaborately constructed conspiracy theories in those that don’t embrace religious belief systems.
  2. Authoritarian worldview – Once you have constructed your fortress of unquestionable belief, your nexus of beliefs may shift into an authoritarian worldview—especially if you believe that others are actively challenging your beliefs. In this mindset, you take a black and white viewpoint: you may believe that the devil has deluded those who don’t believe like you do; they will be doomed to hell; and they are worthy to be ridiculed, persecuted, punished, or exiled. In this mindset, you commonly try to impose your beliefs and values on others.
  3. Paranoia – When you progress to this stage, when others begin to question your beliefs or criticize you, you begin to perceive you are persecuted or victimized. You may in fact be persecuting and victimizing others, but you aren’t aware you are doing this—nor are you aware of your intolerant, arrogant, and condescending attitude towards others.

Q: I have observed these stages of belief construction in other people—and I’ve caught myself going here as well. How do people untangle this cocoon they have woven out of their beliefs?

A: You unravel these knots of belief through applying strategies that deconstruct them. These methods include:

  1. Be willing to experience the world as it is without the filter of beliefs, metaphors, or symbols. The practice of mindfulness, being present and aware, helps you do this.
  2. Accept that people hold many alternative perceptions of reality. Seek to understand why they view the world differently. Studying the different strata of the Great Continuum of Consciousness and finding the different identity states that people embrace will assist you to understand this phenomenon.
  3. Take ownership of your projections. Notice if you are using symbols or events to project your desires on other people or the world. Tools such as process meditation and the Mandala Method help you trace your beliefs back to their origin, which gives you the option to re-own them and modify them.
  4. Use contradictory or conflicting evidence to arrive at a greater truth, a more complete theory that includes other viewpoints. If you hold truths hypothetically until you can fully confirm them, you will avoid the trap of tenaciously holding erroneous beliefs. Be willing to question what you believe as you gain new evidence. The Synthesis Method is a valuable tool for resolving conflicts between beliefs—it allows you to find a higher standpoint that allows you to integrate both perspectives.
  5. Dissolve your bubble of belief through experiencing your intentional consciousness (attentional principle), your loving heart (spirit), and your transcendent being (Soul) directly. Experience your body, your vehicles of consciousness and the levels of your mind directly, and relate to the world and other people from your authentic spirituality.
  6. Seek empathy, understanding, and compassion for your Self and others. Cultivate humility and recognize you do not have all the answers—you continue to learn and grow. Also allow others to discover their own truths. Don’t impose your beliefs and values on others. Share your discoveries in consciousness if they ask you about them.
  7. Take ownership of how you persecute and harm others and stop doing this. Take responsibility for your own actions, words, and thoughts. Stop blaming others for your shortcomings and failures; strive to improve yourself. Deconstruct the mindset that makes you believe you are under attack: embrace the beauty, harmony, and perfection of the universe as it is.

We suspect that if those who hold these rigid belief systems of apocalypse, hatred, and conspiracy would utilize these steps, much of the political and religious strife in the world could be dissolved. We are not holding our breath that this will happen any time soon; but employing methods like this to deconstruct these mindsets would relieve a lot of the turmoil in our world today.

We teach methods one through five in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

Those who want to go into these topics of belief construction and deconstruction in religion, cults, and terrorist groups more deeply may wish to acquire our book, Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What the Heck Are We Doing? You may also enjoy our public webinar series on Cults and on Judeo-Christian religion.