By George A. Boyd ©2018
Q: What is Illumination? How do I become enlightened?
A: To understand how you do this, you need to understand something about the levels of mental functioning. To become enlightened, you have to move your attention to the core of your mind and unite with your Soul. But before you do this, you have to move through the other strata of mental functioning. So beyond the firing of neurons in your brain that instruments can measure, there are seven additional layers of mental functioning:
- Reason – At this level of the Conscious mind, the faculty of reason enables you to use analysis, deductive and analogical reasoning. With your reason, you are able to “test reality” to detect if a statement is true or false. You use this level of the mind when you investigate something or gather evidence to prove or disprove a hypothesis.
- Intellect – At this level of the Metaconscious mind, you are able to utilize problem-solving strategies to arrive at a solution to a problem. The intellect is capable of inductive, dialectical, and synthetic reasoning.Reflective and Receptive meditation – When you activate this connection to your Soul through the intuitive thread (Antakarana), you can ask the Soul questions and receive answers. So if you ask your Soul, “What is the purpose I am alive?” The Soul will give you an answer if this cord that connects your intellect with the Soul is functioning. You can also “sit in the silence” and passively receive guidance from your Soul through Receptive meditation.
- Psychic intuition – This type of knowing operates in your vehicle of consciousness in the Psychic Realm. Depending on your state of spiritual evolutionary development, this aspect of intuitive knowing allows you to read the “ethers”—the chemical ether (comprising molecules, atoms, and the subatomic unified field), the information ether, the resonance ether, the life force ether, the desire ether (e.g., the Law of Attraction), the thought form ether, and yet higher ethers up to the presence of the Soul. This form of knowing allows you to gather information about other people, so you can do “psychic readings.”
- Revelatory intuition – This type of knowing begins to operate in the First Planetary Initiation. It ostensibly reveals the meaning of scriptures, gives correspondences to metaphysical ideas, and constructs a philosophical framework through which you can understand the world. With sufficient acquisition of this knowledge from this source, you can begin to teach and counsel others about metaphysics and spiritual subjects.
- Illumined Mind downpour of knowledge – This aspect of the mind functions when you awaken the “Buddhic capsule,” the inmost mental stratum around your Soul. You can awaken this capsule through deep Raja Yoga or Kundalini meditation. When it is activated, there is a continuous downpour of intuitive knowledge, which shows you the content of every level of the mind, and reveals the Soul at the core of the Superconscious mind. This igniting of this deepest aspect of the mind is called Illumination or Samadhi. The discerning wisdom that operates at this level of the mind is called mandalic reasoning.
- Gnosis – This state dawns on the mind when you know the Soul from the Soul’s perspective. In Gnosis, you become the Soul. This state is also called Enlightenment.
Most people are familiar with layers 1 and 2—you use them at school and at work. Some people can also access layer 3, so they are able to ask a question to their Soul, and the Soul will give them guidance.
Usually people begin to tap into layer 4 when their Soul journeys onto the Psychic Realm; layer 5 appears when the Soul enters the First Planetary Initiation; and layer 6 dawns with the Soul takes the Fourth Planetary Initiation and it migrates onto the Buddhic Plane. There are spiritual practices that can enable people to prematurely activate layers 4 and 5—this typically results in distorted and confused information being disseminated.
You can learn ways to safely activate layers 3 to 6 in our intermediate meditation classes, in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. We explore the deeper aspects of gaining illumination (layer 6) and experiencing Gnosis (layer 7) in the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation.
We encourage you to acquire techniques from intuitive meditation (Jnana Yoga), so you can begin to access the deeper layers of your mental functioning. We teach these techniques in our intermediate and advanced classes to help you reach the states of Illumination and Gnosis.
Nonsense! Enlightenment is a Grace from God (Brahma) and is thus DISCRETIONARY. It is NOTHING to do with mental functioning: it is quite BEYOND the normal mind (which ceases to function). Taken together this means there are NO techniques to this necessarily temporary state of at-One-ment.
You have correctly described the viewpoint of some spiritual teachers, who contend that enlightenment is only available as a gift from God. It appears that you also hold this viewpoint. My first teacher, Maha Genii Turriziani, gave no meditation techniques other than “The Light of Translation.” Avatar Meher Baba similarly developed his chelas through Grace. We call these attunements from a Master, Light Immersion.
We need to tease out the difference between enlightenment (awakening as the ensouling entity), and empowerment, which occurs when you complete your development at some level of the Continuum—Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic. or Transcendental— you move into the Presence of the Divine at that level, and the Divine anoints you to initiate, guide, and teach at that level. My first teacher described eloquently the experience of being anointed by the Finger of God, which empowered him to function as a Cosmic Master.
There are a variety of methods to enter Samadhi, where as you correctly observe, the regular mind shuts off and you are completely immersed in the experience of the spiritual essence upon which you meditate. These enlightenment methods commonly use Raja Yoga and/or Kundalini Yoga to bring about this state of primal absorption. We teach methods for achieving the states of Samadhi at different levels of the Continuum in our online Samadhi Week Program, which completers of our Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation are eligible to take.
Sage Patanjali advocated the use of Raja Yoga to attain Samadhi, so recognize there are those that are of the “do it yourself” mindset and the “leave it up to God and the Master” view. In Mudrashram®, we contend that both effort and Grace must combine to assist the chela make his or her journey across the Great Continuum, and to reach the profound depths of meditations that allows the experience of Samadhi.