The Great Gulf between the Ego and the Soul

By George A. Boyd ©2019

Q: What keeps the sense of ego separate from the Soul? What happens if we drop the ego?

A: I can share from my own experience how I have learned to cope with having an ego, as opposed to trying to dissolve it or destroy it.

I don’t feel cut off from the Soul, but from my egoic perspective, I recognize it as another order of Nature. So as I am anchored in human life and it is anchored on the spiritual Plenum, there is no way my ego is going to become the Soul—the seed atoms that make up the egoic complex come out of God and are placed in the helix of human life to enable the Soul to express in finite space and time, in this world.

While we can move attention into Union with the Soul and look from its perspective, and can view the limitations of the egoic perspective, the Soul does not drop the egoic atoms until it is ready to drop the body for good at the time of death.

I’ve had experiences of dropping the egoic atom and the entire complex in Samadhi. You cannot think. You cannot speak. You cannot move. You cannot breathe. This is not a very functional state.

Now we can give ourselves the suggestion that only God is real, there is only the unified oneness of the Soul. With practice, we can hypnotize ourselves into believing this for a time—but even if we can keep our attention fixed in this realization, the egoic complex does not dissolve—and to the degree we attempt to deny or suppress that complex and its needs, we only succeed in driving this underground into the unconscious.

I find that it is much healthier for me to not try to disappear the ego, but to accept its legitimate place and purpose in the hierarchy of the mind—and where possible, to take care of its needs, so it can function optimally.

I went through a phase when I was a teenager, where I went around believing I was God, but this was also a period in my life when I was not particularly functional—I would not have been able to hold down a normal job, study in school, or complete a project. I could float in this blissful state; but my life, and the expression of my Soul through my life, was not yet established.

I also had a subsequent realization that the God in me (Soul) was just a tiny atom of the Great Life that pervades all things (the Divine); this helped me heal my solipsistic delusion.

Until individuals take the First Initiation—particularly those who dwell on the Psychic Realm—they can come to believe they are the All, and conceive that the entire universe revolves around their needs.

This “spiritual narcissism” is only transcended when these individuals realize something that there is something far greater than themselves—and genuine humility is born in their Souls.

A spiritual teacher needs to fulfill the requirements to become an instrument of the Divine, and express that anointing to serve those who come to him or her. This expression can take the form of initiating, teaching, counseling, coaching, guiding, empowering, or healing others; it can be expressed through art or writing; it can radiate through their Presence.

Many spiritual teachers choose to remain much of the time in an altered state of consciousness. I do not. I do not abandon my humanness. I do not remain detached from my ego. I enter altered states of consciousness when I need to do my spiritual work; when I’m done, I come back.

This means I directly encounter my ego. I feel my suffering and my joy.

I don’t presume I am perfect; I am not. I don’t presume I know all things; I do not. I don’t presume I have miraculous powers; instead I judge whether these alleged “siddhis” produce tangible, measurable results.

As a human being I recognize I have flaws. My intuition is not always accurate. My reason sometimes comes to irrational conclusions. My senses sometimes deceive me. There are times when my beliefs turn out to be erroneous and unfounded.

I continue to quest for answers as a human being. As a human being I am not Almighty God, and I will never become Almighty God. If in meditation, I am able to unite with the atom of the Divine that dwells within my Soul, as a human being, I will never be that atom.

I call upon our brothers and sisters who have imbibed New Age teachings, I AM Movement teachings, and the teachings of the Yogi Preceptors and Gurus—who teach that you are Divine, and that your human Self and its personality and the ego embedded in your experience of your human life are unreal—to not lose touch with your humanness and your vulnerability, as you are immersed in the ecstatic state of union with your spiritual core.

There are times when we must bring forth our inner Divinity. There are times when we must function as a human being. May we find the wisdom to recognize when it is appropriate to operate in each state.

The Seven Rays and Thematic Life Issues

By George A. Boyd © 2003

Human lives pass through seven stages, which are described below.

  1. Degenerate – lives marked by lack of conscience, cruelty, selfishness, harm to self, others and the community; criminal and barbaric lives
  2. Chaotic – lives marked by severe conflict, confusion, or madness, difficulty in sorting out inner priorities and interpersonal turmoil, often marked by dysfunctional family environment, struggle with addictions
  3. Thematic – lives relatively well adjusted to the ambient culture, but with repeating patterns of frustration, self-sabotage, and limitation with discrete issues
  4. Revelatory – lives devoted to pursuit of meaning, self discovery and overcoming limitation; these lives are growth-oriented, embrace experimental risk-taking to act and think in new ways, and achieve profound, life-transforming insights
  5. Steady effort – after several lifetimes of effort towards fulfilling Soul Ray purposes, these individuals enter with gifts and talents, which they steadily improve and earn their fortune and fame with these gifts
  6. Great achievement – these individuals are true luminaries, and leave lasting contributions to their culture and to humanity. These areas of achievement across the Rays are:
    • First Ray – Political/military/legal or legislative achievement
    • Second Ray – Teaching/counseling/psychotherapy achievement
    • Third Ray – Philosophical/scholarship/business management achievement
    • Fourth Ray – Artistic/musical/entertainment achievement
    • Fifth Ray – Scientific/research/technological achievement
    • Sixth Ray – Self-mastery/religious/spiritual achievement
    • Seventh Ray – Understanding of principle or truth/application/dissemination of their discovery through communication or marketing
  7. Avataric– lives of liberated, God-realized beings who incarnate Divine Love, Grace, and Power.
    Degenerate lives are ego-polarized, unchecked by the Self or spiritual influence.

Examining these lives, it appears:

  • Chaotic lives represent the transition between ego-polarization and more integrated self-directed lives.
  • Once the Self gains ascendency over the ego, the individual enters thematic lives where he or she is confronted with patterns that keep repeating, over which volition has little or no control.
  • After enduring and accepting these patterns, the individual may shift into the active questing of a revelatory life, that emphasizes overcoming these limiting patterns, and may result in profound realizations, through which they release these karmic issues and transcend them.
  • With the freeing up of energy bound in self-defeating patterns, the individual is able to make steady progress in Soul Ray areas of development, moving ahead by learning academic knowledge, acquiring experiential skill, achieving cognitive insight and understanding through creative mastery of the subject matter.
  • After several lives of progressing steadily along these lives, these individuals begin to develop refined talents and gifts of genius in these areas. This sets the stage for lives of steady effort, marked by expression of these talents and gifts. These individuals may become teachers, mentors, or coaches for others, assisting them to develop their own gifts and talents.
  • Some of these individuals press on to reach the fulfillment of development along these lines, and we see the flowering of genius in lives that inspire and move the multitudes in lives of great achievement. In some of these profoundly gifted individuals, multiple trends of genius combine to create unique hybrid combinations, thus we may see twin trends of spirituality and art give rise to poet saints, like Kabir or Rumi, or the blended politics and spirituality of a Gandhi, and other combinations.
  • When all tracks have been developed and all karmic issues worked out, the Avatar incarnates the infinite potentiality of humanity. This quickens the development of each individual and germinates new creativity within the collective mind of humanity. The reappearance of an Avatar lifts humanity onto a new plateau of cognition and ability; their perennial advent ensures that the course of growth and development of human lives will follow the overshadowing guidance of the Divine Plan.

Meditation upon these life trends will permit the disciple to identify the key strategies for maximizing the opportunities of his or her current human life. Understanding these patterns of human life will point out the subsequent work that is required to produce the fulfillment and full flowering of human life.

Thematic Lives

Thematic lives have special relevance to the work of a psychotherapist and we will explore them in greater depth here. It is these individuals suffering from personality disorders, neurotic relationship styles, and adjustment crises, when they appear in the therapist’s office are stubbornly resistant to change. The challenge for the psychotherapist is to catalyze their movement through:

  1. Guiding them into reflective thinking
  2. Having them consider the life consequences of their behavior
  3. Helping them uproot their defenses that prevent insight and the emergence of painful feeling, which leads to gradual dismantling of these self-defeating patterns and their replacement by healthier patterns of thinking, acting, and relating to others.

Thematic issues of life involve certain irrational or destructive behavior that continually repeat for an individual, so that he or she faces them again and again in different contexts.

These life themes range from pathological intensity, where they destroy relationships, sabotage career success, and dash hopes and dreams to simply annoying personality traits.

These annoying personality traits appear only occasionally, arising only in certain contexts that are novel or stressful, or where opportunities for indulgence of the trait exist.

More severe thematic issues appear as personality disorder, and severe adjustment issues to the clinician; however, few of these individuals recognize they have these character flaws.

When confronted about these flaws, individuals typically rationalize or justify them, or deny them out of shame.

These traits are often ego-syntonic, meaning that these individuals accept them as a characteristic of the personality without criticism or complaint.

It is only when the individual recognizes they cause problems and pain for self and others that he or she may begin to attempt to change them. This can spur the individual to enter a reformative lifestyle where he or she begins to work on changing the self.

On the other hand, when these patterns worsen and begin to consume the individual, they can lead him or her downward into chaotic and degenerate lifestyles. For example:

  • The con-man may degrade into a thief and criminal
  • The seductive person may become a prostitute or sexual addict
  • The person with issues about assuming power may change into a dictator or tyrant
  • Bully/victim dyads may degenerate into battering and abuse
  • The immoderate user of alcohol and drugs may degenerate into a full-blown addict.

It may be noted these patterns occupy a good deal of an individual’s time and energy. While severe problems can consume up to 90% of a person’s active waking life, annoying personality traits may only be present as little as 10% of the time. To the degree that the individual exhibits these traits do they become disruptive and self-sabotaging, causing pain and misery for self and others.

Over 90%, these patterns typically transform into chaotic and degenerate expressions. Under 10%, they typically do not cause enough problems to warrant notice or correction, and tend to be situation-based and not persistent.

Meditating across the Rays, these 49 thematic issues are as follows:

Ray 1

  1. Superiority/inferiority issues; issues with attracting bully/victim dyads in relationships, at work, and other areas of life
  2. Warrior: pride/guilt issues over killing others while protecting one’s country
  3. Courage vs. fear in making life choices
  4. Accidental or unintentional injury to others/remorse and retribution
  5. Assumption of power issues, decisions that must harm others for the good of the community; the choice whether to enrich oneself by utilizing the privileges of power and misusing community funds
  6. Control vs. letting go issues in relationships, difficulties with trusting the partner to be responsible and reliable
  7. The will to conquer others/the pain of loss and failure when one loses a battle or does not win over others in competition

Ray 2

  1. Inability to learn certain subjects or skills
  2. Resisting influence of others to become individualized/integrity issues over following others advise instead of one’s own, may be overly dependent on the advice of others and become continually dependent
  3. Losing oneself in others (codependency) and neglecting one’s own needs (martyr)
  4. Issues with collective ignorance, racial or ethnic discrimination, prejudice, either as perpetrator or as victim
  5. Issues with incompletion of education or training, difficulty obtaining and keeping employment, leading to an impoverished lifestyle
  6. Promiscuity, patterns of infatuation then abandonment, difficulty in sustaining relationships, compulsive sexuality
  7. Fear of success/failure to complete goals and intentions

Ray 3

  1. Dogmatism, insistence that others believe the same as oneself
  2. Perfectionism, obsession with accuracy and detail
  3. Greed, loss of perspective in acquisition of wealth and possessions
  4. Infidelity, failure to keep commitments to others in relationships
  5. Lack of judgment or reality testing, eschewing of responsibility by taking refuge in reverie or fantasy
  6. Lack of discernment, extreme gullibility—becoming seduced by salesmen or con-men, buying things that one doesn’t really need due to wishes to please sales people
  7. Loss of freedom by involvement with charismatic individuals, embracing fanaticism and cultism

Ray 4

  1. Life is ruled by superstition and myths, lack of discernment or objective, empirical knowledge
  2. Grandiosity and narcissism, believing the world revolves around oneself
  3. Gender identity issues, issues with homosexuality [or alternative sexual identity] in a heterosexual culture
  4. Dedication of life to artistic pursuits, failure to achieve material security
  5. Insistence that art follow certain standards, criticism of others’ artistic efforts, tolerance of only certain fashions, designs, musical styles; may persecute others who express that deprecated form of art
  6. Obsession with achieving a certain look, sound, texture, quality that requires continual reworking and revision of artwork—one is never satisfied with one’s productions
  7. Failure to express or develop artistic talents because of fear, shame, necessity to earn a living; failure to express the Soul

Ray 5

  1. Rebellion, refusal to follow rules or procedures or obey authority, that leads to continual confrontation with others, leading to loss of jobs, fighting, even incarceration. Besides willful defiance and insubordination, this can also take the form of passive aggression.
  2. Problems controlling temper, raging at others when things don’t go one’s own way
  3. Overbearing jealousy, obsession with the behavior and whereabouts of one’s sexual partner
  4. Gossip and backbiting, absorption in the intimate affairs of others, talking negatively about others, spreading tales about others
  5. Destructive criticism of others, holding that only one’s own views and beliefs are correct
  6. Continual dissatisfaction with one’s appearance, housing, possessions, income, and success; envy of others who are doing better, with continual drive to emulate them; ‘keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome
  7. Forgetting important information resulting in accidents, poor performance on tests, inconvenience, and interpersonal embarrassment

Ray 6

  1. Inability to find a life mate or sexual partner, loneliness and lovelessness
  2. Vanity, overvaluing of one’s beauty and abilities, leading to rejection by others
  3. Issues of being continually ridiculed, put down, or embarrassed because of one’s looks or one’s behavior over which one has no control
  4. Isolation, fear and mistrust of others, becoming an eccentric recluse
  5. Obsession over weight and slimness, and over achieving an ideal body look; may also involve repeated plastic surgeries to retain an ideal youthful appearance
  6. Packrat syndrome, obsession with collecting information or possession, inability to let go of them
  7. Laziness and sloth, failure to motivate oneself to make constructive actions when opportunities exist; this may take the form of willful avoidance of effort

Ray 7

  1. Need for others’ approval and attention, show off syndrome, seeking to be flamboyant, sexy, daring with an aim to make others’ envious or jealous
  2. Not thinking through ideas for business enterprise, leading to continual business failure and loss of investment
  3. Con-man syndrome, using others gullibility or lack of knowledge to enrich oneself despite bringing pain and misery to others, rationalization of one’s acts
  4. Absorption in occult thinking and arcane symbols of pseudo sciences, use of astrological or scriptural predictions to guide all life decisions
  5. Using one’s beauty and seductiveness to get what one wants, thinking about oneself as a sexual object wanted or rejected by others, obsession with sexual performance and enhancing pleasure; for men, may appear as the Don Juan syndrome, using the seduction of women as a self-esteem booster
  6. Immoderate use of alcohol or drugs leading to difficulty in relationships and at work
  7. Thrill seeking, dangerous risk taking for excitement; may take the form of compulsive gambling or wagering, leading to repeated personal injury or loss of money

Therapists have been trained to recognize the clinically significant expressions of these 49 thematic patterns. Where a therapist truly begins to make a difference, I believe, is when he or she can help the individual shift from lives of mechanical repetition of these destructive patterns to lives of self awareness of the power to change and grow. If each therapist could catalyze 1,000 such individuals over the course of his or her career, the results would transform society.

More realistically though, these individuals typically resist all attempts at intervention and do their best to evade discovery and capture like wary insects. They are perhaps a therapist’s toughest challenge, yet when the therapist is able to succeed in catalyzing growth, it is probably one of the most rewarding experiences a therapist can have.

Those therapists who wish to learn more about the role of using meditation to catalyze insight and therapeutic movement, will like our book, “Meditation for Therapy: Theory and Application”. Those who wish to take a deeper dive into applying meditation in therapy will benefit from taking our Meditation for Therapists Practitioner Certification Course.

Developing the Habit of Meditation

By George A. Boyd © 2020

Q: How can I develop a regular meditation practice?

A: You need to identify a congruent strategy that enables you to sustain a regular meditation practice. Seven major strategies that chelas of different meditation traditions adopt include:

  1. Doing meditation under the teacher’s commandment (Agya) – Disciples meditate in obedience to their Guru and out of fear of displeasing their Master. These disciples develop strong discipline and use their will to overcome inner resistance or laziness.
  2. Asking intuition – In this strategy, you ask your intuition and Higher Self whether it is time to meditate. This inward-looking, curious, and expectant mindset invites the guidance of the Soul.
  3. Inspired reading – This strategy involves reading materials from the lineage’s teachers, or listening to audio or video recordings of their Master to inspire disciples to meditate. In the Mudrashram® tradition, this involves listening to the inspired guidance in our Light Sittings, listening to Question and Answer recordings, reading books channeled from the Swamis, studying the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course, or receiving a Soul Attunement Guidance Channeling. My third teacher, Sant Darshan Singh, encouraged his chelas to read selections from the writings of the Sant Mat Masters to evoke the desire to meditate.
  4. Spontaneous meditation – This meditation is not a voluntary, “choosing to meditate.” The spirit calls you to meditate and you are simply pulled into the slipstream of your spirit opening the Path within. I experienced this when I studied with my second teacher, Sat Guru Balyogeshwar Paramahansa: my spirit irresistibly drew my attention into the state of meditation, where I was led to open and contemplate the four channels of the Nada on the Seventh Transcendental Path.
  5. Planning meditation into your day – In this strategy, you schedule meditation every day, and you develop the habit of meditating at the same time. Going on a meditation retreat where there is a structured schedule of meditation can help you develop these habits.
  6. Strong devotion and longing for Liberation – Powerful Bhakti—love for God and a desire to be free from the bondage of the world—drives some disciples to meditate with great zeal. Those who have this gift of devotion take every unoccupied moment to meditate.
  7. Connection with the inner Master – In this variety, you do meditation when you commune with the guide form of your spiritual Master on the inner Planes. You might receive some inspired guidance and direction from your guide, and then, you do specific meditations, as the guide directs you.

You may notice that you resonate with one or more of these strategies. Whichever of these strategies you choose, it is important to do meditation daily. When you wake up in the morning, think about how you will bring meditation into your day. Ask yourself: “When will I do this?” Feel your motivation for doing meditation. Remember your goal for this session of meditation.

Those who first begin to meditate find there are many distractions that make it hard to pursue their contemplative practice. However, with further practice and deeper experience of the insight, love, and bliss of meditation, you will develop a strong desire to go deeper, to explore the next level, and to progress into your next level of spiritual growth.

Types of Bondage

By George A. Boyd © 2020

Q: What are the major issues that keep people in bondage, so they cannot awaken?

A: There are eight major types of bondage to which the aspirant and disciple is subject:

  1. Health – Certain types of physical and medical conditions make it impossible for you to meditate and to implement personality change.
  2. Addiction – When you are addicted, your entire life revolves around the object of addiction.
  3. Fear – Fear holds you back from forward movement in your life; it can also hold you back from taking your next step spiritually.
  4. False beliefs – These include conspiracy theories and paranoia, which makes it impossible for you to see the truth through these distorted perceptual filters.
  5. Cultism and religious abuse – When you are caught in this trap, you become enslaved to the group leader and it is very difficult to become free.
  6. Ring Pass Not –This makes it appear that what you see on your inner spiritual horizon is the Summum Bonum of spirituality and is the final goal of spiritual development, when it is only a stage on the Great Continuum of Consciousness.
  7. Ignorance – This affects you when you do not understand your true spiritual nature. You identify with your ego and personality, and your career and family roles become your primary focus. As a result, you forget about your spirituality.
  8. Karma – This is the substrate of desire impressions in your unconscious mind that holds your Soul back from Liberation and your spirit from salvation.

We recommend that aspirants and disciples reflect on three things:

  1. Which of these types of bondage affect your life and spiritual development?
  2. What does freedom from each of these types of bondage that affect you look like?
  3. What could you do to overcome this bondage in each area so you could be free?

We can assist you with type 2 with our Addiction Recovery Coaching Program; type 5 through our Cult Recovery Coaching Program.

You can learn to discern the Ring Pass Not of type 5 through study of the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course, which shows the beginning and the end of each Path, and what’s beyond its apparent inner horizon.

We can help you tackle ignorance, type 7, and karma, type 8, through learning to transform the Soul, activate the Soul’s intuition and discernment, and dissolve karma in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

Finding Clarity

By George A. Boyd © 2020

Aspirants and disciples often tell me that they seek clarity. Clarity comprises three major components:

  1. Intellectual understanding – This means you understand the terminology and you have a model to grasp the concepts as a whole. For Mudrashram®, this means understanding the Great Continuum of Consciousness, the four poles of being, the cutting edge of spirituality, balanced and imbalanced spiritual development, and the uses of the techniques we impart in Integral Meditation—e.g., how do you use them, and when do you use them. Much of our writing expounds and expands upon these core elements of our philosophy.
  2. Visioning – This is the experiential component. This means you go to an inner location or encounter a spiritual essence with your attention, your attentional principle, or your spirit. You see it, hear it, and feel it. So if we describe certain phenomena marking the top of the Abstract Mind Plane, you are able to travel to that location and experience it. Or if we say, a certain Supracosmic Master (Guru) dwells in the Guru Padam above the seventh Supracosmic chakra on one of the eight Paths on the Buddha Plane of the Supracosmic Sphere, you will be able to go there and gain union with this being and/or sit in his or her presence.
  3. Realization – This is the core experiential component. This occurs when your ensouling entity reaches the same level of development along its track as a location we might describe—e.g., the top of the Abstract Mind Plane—and it actually becomes one with that state of consciousness. In the case of our Supracosmic Guru mentioned above, in the state of realization, your Supracosmic Soul would ascend to the same level as the Guru. You would be as he or she is.

You develop intellectual understanding through study, reading our books and articles, listening to our webinars, and taking courses to extend your grasp of the teachings of the Mudrashram® Masters.

You develop visioning primarily through the practices of Raja Yoga, which aids in rehabilitating the meta-sensory faculties of your attention and attentional principle; and Nada Yoga, which awakens the heart-senses of your spirit. Those of you would would like to learn more about opening inner vision will benefit from taking our Vision Workshop, which is available on our Public Access Webinars under the Public Webinar portal.

You gain realization when your ensouling entity undergoes the process of Initiation, where your ensouling entity moves from one nodal point to another. You may actively produce this transformation through using a transformational technique, or you might passively receive this unfoldment through Light Immersion from a Master. You can receive your transformational mantra in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

You really need to advance on all three levels: gain intellectual understanding, have direct experience, and undergo transformation. If you do these things, you will become clearer—you will understand, you will see, and you will know.