By George A. Boyd © 2022
Q: I have been noticing my emotions are becoming scattered after doing meditation. What can I do to remedy this?
A: Scattered emotions occur when you are attempting to reconcile different points of view. They are common when, for example, you may have joined a new spiritual group and it has different morality, cosmology, and spiritual aims than the former group to which you belonged. What has to happen is you need to establish a synthesis that allows you to hold each divergent perception in context, and to discern when each perception is appropriate.
Q: I sense that my emotions have deep roots, but I cannot penetrate to their core. It is like a barrier presents itself to me when I try to get to the bottom of my emotions. Am I blocking or sabotaging myself in some way?
A: There are seven major layers of emotions. Most people get stuck at the fourth layer, when they hit the wall of their defenses. It’s important to grasp the range of your emotions:
- Reactive emotions – At this level, environmental stimuli trigger emotional reactions. For example, you find yourself getting mad at someone who cuts you off when you are driving.
- Retrospective emotions – At this level, you are reacting to an event in your lived experience. You commonly experience this level as regret for something you did or said, or getting mad at yourself for doing something stupid. The marker of this level is you are ruminating about something that happened in your past.
- Motivational emotions – These are the desire-laden emotions that motivate you to carry out action. These emotions drive you to seek out pleasure, reward, or happiness, or press for successful achievement of something you desire. For example, you might strongly desire to visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona: you are counting the days until you can take your trip.
- Defensive emotions – These emotions arise when you attempt to hide specific behavior about which you feel ashamed, or when you attempt to fend off attacks on your character or reputation. For example, you might deny that you were at a party where a crime took place, because you are afraid you might be accused of wrong doing and arrested.
- Core emotional pain – These emotions reside in your personal unconscious, or Shadow. They contain the core issues of emotional pain that take the form of shame, guilt, rage, desires for revenge, fear, lack of trust (paranoia), self-hatred, and wanting to die (suicidal ideation). For example, you might recognize your alcohol drinking is beginning to spin out of control, but you keep this a secret from others—the defensive layer of emotions may deny, distract, minimize, or rationalize your behavior to keep others from knowing you are an alcoholic.
- Altruistic emotions – These emotions come from your deeper nature; they transcend the core emotional pain of the personality. They are founded upon love, kindness, compassion, and caring. These emotions become a part of the expression of virtuous character. For example, you might find an injured dog and nurse it back to health.
- Sacred emotions – These emotions connect you with your spirit and your Soul, The emotions that arise from the spirit include devotional love, gratitude, faith, and spiritual longing to return to God. Emotions that arise from the Soul are unconditional love, compassion, mercy, courage, and munificence. Sacred emotions emerge in meditation and prayer. For example, you might worship God when you are in your religious gathering.
Many meditators can readily recognize reactive, retrospective, and motivational emotions arising when they monitor their emotions. When they hit the layer of defensive emotions, however, they may feel like they are hitting a wall or barrier.
This emotional wall aims to protect you from becoming aware of the core issues that make up your emotional pain. Some people experience anxiety, nervousness, and discomfort when they try to move through this layer of the emotions.
If you can transcend this layer of resistance, you can directly encounter your deep wounds, and can begin to heal them. In Mudrashram®, we have our students use Emotional Vipassana, the Mandala Method, Process Meditation, and the Rainbow Technique to work with these issues that dwell in the Shadow. We teach these techniques in our intermediate meditation courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.
In many spiritual groups, they teach you methods to assist you to move your attention beyond the Shadow, and they focus you on developing a virtuous character, being of service to others, and expressing your sacred emotions. We teach several of these methods to transcend the issues of your Shadow in our intermediate meditation courses.
Q: What layer do scattered emotions come from?
A: We like to use a different model when explaining scattered emotions. Instead of layers, you may wish to consider the seven postures of emotions, which examines the interface between emotions and how they influence your behavior. These seven emotional postures are:
- Focused – When you operate in this posture, you know what you want and you go for it directly.
- Scattered – This posture arises when you are in conflict about what is the right thing to believe, or the right thing to do.
- Defensive – You adopt this posture when you perceive that you are under attack: you believe that your body, possessions, family or loved ones, your livelihood, or your reputation are threatened.
- Playful – You may enter this emotional posture when you are having fun: you engage in playful banter and you may tell jokes and puns.
- Dramatic – You slip into this posture when you feel you must strongly advocate or argue for something you believe in. In this posture you may defend your own point of view and attack the viewpoint of others; alternately, you may attempt to persuade others to adopt your point of view. When you are operating in this posture, you speak with urgency and poignancy, as you are protecting what you hold is meaningful and important to you.
- Serenity – When your emotions settle down, you move into this posture. Here your emotions are calm and peaceful. You are present and mindful. You experience living in the present moment.
- Exultation – You move into this posture when great art or music uplifts you, when you experience the beauty and majesty of Nature, or when you have a spiritual “peak experience,” where you feel that you are one with the Cosmos.
We say that aspirants and disciples commonly work on reactive emotions (layer one), retrospective emotions (layer two), defensive emotions (layer four), and core emotional pain (layer five). They aspire to increase the amount of time they can devote to developing good character (layer six) and to channel their sacred emotions (layer seven) through ministry and service.
They strive to work out and transcend the conflict of scattered emotions (posture two) and the stress of defensive emotions (posture three), and spend more time in the emotional outlook of serenity (posture six) and experience the ecstasy of exultation (posture seven).
Q: Are there specific things I might do to work with these layers and postures?
A: For working with the troublesome layers of emotions, there are some things you can do:
- Reactive emotions – Monitor your behavior, and notice what triggers you. Dialog with the part of you that reacts and get to the bottom of its concern—Rainbow Technique is helpful for this.
- Retrospective emotions – Use Process Meditation to work out these issues; identify what you could have done better, and forgive yourself for any mistakes you made.
- Defensive emotions – Identify what is under attack. Take steps to lower you risk and get out of harm’s way when this is possible. Diffuse your reactions of anger and revenge through Process Meditation and Mandala Method.
- Core emotional pain – You can use Emotional Vipassana, Mandala Method, Process Meditation, and Rainbow Technique to engage each specific issue. If these core emotions are too overwhelming to work with using these self-help methods, you may wish to seek out psychotherapy.
For difficult emotional postures, you can use the following approaches:
- Scattered – Identify what are the conflicting beliefs, values, desires, and perspectives. Use dialog methods like Voice Dialog, Gestalt two-chair methods, Psychodrama, or the Synthesis Method to identify both polarities of the conflict. Use the Synthesis Method to identify what transcendent synthesis satisfies the conflict and finds a way to honor both perspectives—this creates, as it were, a win-win scenario, where the conflict is resolved.
- Defensive – Identify a course of action that allows you to navigate out of the threatening position in which you find yourself. It is important to find ways to resolve your situation that do not involve lying, deceptive, violent, or criminal behavior. Working with a trained counselor can help you identify workable solutions that do not make your situation worse.
Realize that the immortal core of your nature—your attentional principle, spirit, and Soul—transcend your emotional pain and conflict. When you can shift into operating from these higher perspectives, you can work on your emotional issues, and you can express the deeper levels of altruistic and sacred emotions—and you can function more often from the emotional posture of serenity and commune with the inner wellspring of bliss and joy through exultation.
The Gentle Art of Getting a Life
By George A. Boyd © 2022
Aspirants who learn to live in an altered state of consciousness in religious or spiritual cults often withdraw from their lives. For them to recover, they have to re-own their lives.
The embodied ego, which is an aspect of what we call Life Consciousness, consists of the following layers:
- Behavior – These are the actions you do.
- Assumed identity – These are the roles or functions you perform that drive your behavior.
- Motivation – These are the desires or dreams that underlie your behavior and drive you to inhabit the different roles you play in your life.
- Beliefs – These are the reasons you give about why you pursue your desires or dreams.
- Meaning and purpose – This is the core meta-motivation that animates your dreams and desires—this is the reason you tell yourself you are alive. [For some, this might be to take care of their family. For others, it might be to serve their country in the military. For others, it might be the expression of their creative gifts. For others, it might be to pursue a spiritual Path.]
- Decision – This is the choice to enact your dreams and pursue your worthy desires.
- Core identity – At this level, you discover the embodied ego, which is the actor in your life. Uniting your attention with this center grants the perception of where you are in your life right now.
Here are some examples of these life layers:
You normally do not perform random behavior, or act upon a whim: you perform actions for a reason. For example, you take out the trash, because you don’t want to attract insects or rodents. You brush your hair before going out of the house, because you want to present a good appearance when you leave your home.
You subsume a group of associated behavior under the rubric of a role you assume. The role, “I am a homeowner,” contains sets of related behavior. This might include cleaning, repair, and maintenance of your home; paying bills and taxes for your home; and selecting furniture, appliances, and design elements to furnish and beautify your home.
Something motivates you to want to own a home and take care of it. There are motivations that underlie each of your roles.
You tell yourself a story as to why you want to own a home: this is the layer of beliefs.
Underlying these stories you tell yourself as to why you are motivated to pursue the objectives you consider important, there is a core element of meta-motivation—the purpose why you are alive. [When people don’t discover this for themselves, political and religious leaders, spiritual cults, hate and terrorist groups are only to happy to tell you what your purpose is, so you can follow them and serve their agendas.]
Your life is founded upon the decisions and choices your make. This determines the direction your life takes. [When you own your choices, you are capable of being responsible and accountable.]
The core identity of the ego perceives the results your choices have made in your life, and judges whether you are successful and happy—you have achieved what you have desired—or you are a miserable failure, because you have not achieved what you want or been able to define and act upon what gives your life meaning. This core ego identity has been called your self-image.
The art of re-owing your life
When your attention is fixed in an altered state of consciousness, you dissociate from your life experience. Dissociation leads to:
- Not feeling your feelings (emotional numbness or deadness)
- A sense your life is not real (depersonalization)
- A perception that the world is not real (derealization)
- A loss of desire for personal objectives (demotivation)
- A belief that your identity and your life no longer exist (ego death)
In order to restore normalized functioning, you need to bring your attention, awareness, and energy out of the altered state of consciousness and return them to the fully grounded state—what we call the waking state of awareness. Some ways you can do this are:
- Bring your attention back to the waking state of consciousness and keep it there until your awareness returns to this state.
- Visualize the energy that is fixing you in an altered state of consciousness is moving down a tube, and is becoming fixed in the center of the earth.
- Do activities that activate the centers of the Conscious mind, such as walking and exercise; paying attention to your immediate sensory experience of the environment; relating to others as human beings, not a spiritual essence; solving problems that require analytical thinking; performing an inventory of your life’s goals and defining your purpose for being alive.
When you function in the Conscious mind, your ego’s integration re-emerges, and you regain the sense of having a unique human life. Getting your attention, awareness, and energy back to the ego and the Conscious mind can help you restore normalized functioning and again experience that you have a life.
These dissociative states are commonly experienced during Kundalini syndromes and after sustained periods of deep meditation. You will also find them in groups that admonish their followers to demonize their personality and their ego, casting them as illusory (Maya), as an agency of the evil world mind (the Matrix), or as the embodiment of evil (the carnal man, the man of sin, or the spawn of Satan)—and urge them to remain in an altered state of awareness.
We have written in greater depth on the consequences of remaining in altered states of awareness in our book, Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What the Heck Are We Doing? Those who are struggling with the aftermath of being involved for an extended time in a religious cult—or other group that has kept you in a altered state of consciousness for a sustained period—may find our Cult Recovery Coaching Program helpful.
Intensity of Identity
By George A. Boyd © 2022
We can characterize the state of identification as having different levels of intensity. At greater intensity, the state of identification is strongly defended and anchored; at lesser intensity, there is a greater ability to detach or dissociate from that state of identity.
We can describe seven orders of identity:
- Egoic role, such as a job title or life function [like being a parent]
- Unconscious personification of a life issue, or subpersonality
- Personal integration center, such as the ego or the Self
- Archetypal identification center, such as a spiritual seed atom or form
- Superconscious integration center, such as a nucleus of identity
- Immortal spiritual essence, such as the attentional principle, spirit, or ensouling entity
- Empowered spiritual essence, such as found in Initiates, who gain Mastery and the Divine empowers them to guide, teach, and initiate others
These orders of identity can be assumed with different degrees of intensity, as we explain below.
Level one – The identity state is assumed casually and has little importance to you. You might be a member of a club or social group, but have no great interest or allegiance to being a part of the events they hold or places they visit.
Level two – The identity state takes on an enhanced significance or importance to you. You consider yourself a member of the group and you want to contribute: you may donate money, volunteer your time, or participate in planning.
Level three – The identity state becomes linked to your core sense of identity or status, and you cling to it and defend it. You become a parent: you defend and protect your spouse and children. You establish a company: you pay special attention to your reputation and the way your brand is perceived.
Level four – The identity state becomes strongly linked to your sense of personal survival, and you develop several layers of defense mechanisms to not allow anyone to threaten what you consider to be of the highest importance in your life. When this identity state becomes distorted, this intensity level appears in personality disorders, anxiety, and depression.
Level five – The identity state becomes linked with your spiritual survival or salvation. At this level, you may identify with an archetypal identification center, a Superconscious integration center, or an immortal spiritual essence, and cling to it to make sure that it does not become sullied with karma or sin. When this level awakens in you, you may find yourself dissociating from personal identification and keeping your attention focused on essences within your Superconscious mind.
Level six – You assume the identity state in an ecstatic mystic trance and you gain union and identification with a form of the Divine. The Yogi who unites cosmic consciousness with Brahman experiences this state as the highest enlightenment and bliss, and is fully convinced that he or she has reached the summit of spiritual attainment.
Level seven – The essence with which you identify is liberated into its origin, and you glimpse Satchitananda, the source of the mighty force that animates each spiritual essence that is sent into Creation. At this level, you experience your ultimate state of identification.
Intensity levels one through four are associated with the personal identification orders one to four. Intensity levels five through seven derive from spiritual identification orders five through seven.
The energy and focus required to maintain union with a state of spiritual identification are much greater than that which is necessary to assume states of personal identification. For this reason, when people draw upon elements of their spiritual and religious identity, the intensity with which hold their sense of who they are is much stronger that their personal forms of identification.
Archetypal identity, when it embraces racism and hatred, creates turmoil in the society through the beliefs and actions those who identify with these numinous ideas of the collective unconscious. When religion guides the hand of politics, it may impose an intolerant and authoritarian regime upon those it governs. When mystic trance influences group behavior, it may spawn fanaticism and create dangerous spiritual cults.
Examining your identity states
We invite you to explore your identity states with some questions designed to have you look at these aspects of your mind and spiritual nature:
- Which of the orders of identification have you experienced?
- Which of these orders of identification are core to the way you know yourself in your current life?
- Have the orders of identification with which you most strongly identify today changed over time? How did you experience these orders of identification differently in earlier periods of your life?
- What identity states do you currently hold within intensity level one?
- What identity states do you currently hold within intensity level two?
- What identity states do you currently hold within intensity level three?
- What identity states do you currently hold within intensity level four?
- Do you embrace any spiritual identity states with intensity levels five, six, or seven? What are these identity states?
- Do you experience any distortions at intensity level four that are contributing to personal stress, conflict, and misery? What are these patterns that arise? What are they trying to tell you? How do they impact your ability to function in your adult roles?
- Do you experience any distortions that stem from archetypal or spiritual identification? How do these influence your values, beliefs, emotions, and behavior?
- Which identity states bring undue stress and unhappiness in your life or waste your time? Which could you jettison?
- Which identity states contribute most to your sense of meaning and purpose?
- Which identity states seem fleeting and ephemeral? Which are lasting—an identity state you will maintain for your entire life?
As you gain greater understanding of your identity states and the intensity with which you hold them, you will intuit what is most important to you and who you are at every level of your mind, personal and transpersonal. We encourage you to study your identity states to gain the insights that will support your positive change and growth.
By George A. Boyd © 2022
When you are confused, it is difficult to make a decision… it is difficult to know what is true… it is difficult to know what to believe. Confusion stops you from moving forward in your life, because you are not clear about what you need to do.
Clarity is the antidote for confusion. You know what you need to do. You know what are your values that you hold to be true. You know what you believe about the next step for your life.
You may wish to visualize the confusion is like the surface of a turbulent storm; and clarity is like the calm eye of that storm. Your journey to clarity must pass through that turbulence to the serene center beyond it.
Let’s look at the layers of confusion:
- Immobility – Your action is frozen; you feel you cannot move forward. You have ideas that swirl in your head; you cannot make a decision. You don’t know what to believe; different opinions rankle in your mind, and argue with one another.
- Collection – You resolve to move out of confusion. You collect your attention. You get ready to take action, when you are clear what to do. You become willing to examine your values and beliefs to find out what is resonant truth.
- Monitoring – You simply observe the beliefs and different voices that arise in your mind, and allow them to arise and pass away. You settle down into a place of greater calm, stillness, and centeredness. You choose to be and just observe.
- Introspection – You ask your conscience what its truths are, and you take each value and let the conscience examine it to ascertain if it is true. If it is not true, you jettison it. You notice which beliefs you can verify: if you cannot verify a belief, you set it aside as a currently unverifiable hypothesis. You make a list of potential actions you could take: you brainstorm what you might do, without committing to do any of the options.
- Discernment – You identify what outcome you are seeking to achieve. You notice which of the potential actions you have listed you could take could get you that outcome. You notice if you are missing anything that you need to carry out this activity. For example, is there something your need to know? Is there a skill that you need to learn or can you hire someone who has that skill? Do you have the money to do what you need to do? If not, where might you secure these funds?
- Tentative plan – You get a vision of what you want to achieve and alternate pathways to reach that objective. You evaluate each plan for its pros and cons, its benefits and risks.
- Taking action – You decide which option you will select. You are clear about what you believe, what your values are, and what you will do to move forward. At this stage, you have the requisite clarity to change your situation and know what your next step is.
You can get out of the storm of confusion through following these steps. If it is hard to do this on your own, an experienced coach or psychotherapist can walk you through these steps. You can catalyze this process through:
- Notice that you are confused. Recognize what you are experiencing is confusion.
- Decide that you are going to resolve the confusion… that you are going to move from not knowing what to do to knowing what to do and then carrying out that action.
- Sit with the feelings and thoughts that are swirling in your mind and observe them. Let them settle out until you come to a place of calmness and centeredness in your mind.
- Take each belief that arises and ask, “Is this true?” “Do I know this to be true?” Put aside any beliefs that you cannot verify as true. Next, ask: “What is true for me?” You want to become aware of your genuine values and truths. You will act from this bedrock of your integrity.
- Think about what you want to achieve. Notice the rankling thoughts and beliefs that formed the storm wall of your confusion are each either (a) suggestions for potential actions you might take, or (b) considerations that might discourage you from taking certain actions. Notice if any of these proposed solutions in this cloud of thoughts and beliefs will help you achieve your goal.
- You begin to formulate different plans that can create movement from where you are now to what you want to achieve. You notice if anything is holding you back, and you develop a way to rectify this issue.
- When you know the path you will take, you take action: this will create the movement that will change your current situation. Even if it is a baby step, it is movement, and that will get you out of the place of being stuck and not knowing what to do.
We teach Vipassana meditation to assist you with step three of this process, and Dharma Yoga to facilitate moving through step four in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.
You may draw upon your own resources, when you have made decisions and made changes in your life, for steps two, five, six, and seven. Notice you have made changes in the past; you can apply your decision-making power to make changes in your life now and get yourself out of confusion.
If you are currently in a state of confusion, you don’t have to stay there. There is a path to clarity and movement: may you find that path now.
Shifting from Ego to Self
Transition for Ego-Polarized Identification to Self-Empowerment
By George A. Boyd © 2022
Q: Many people are trapped in their ego. Can they rise above this?
A: You can pursue rising above the ego through several strategies:
- Discipline – Using your volition to control your speech and behavior. Overruling the rebellious ego through command and clear direction. Military drill instructors, “boot camp” training, and Reality Therapy adopt this approach.
- Empathy and understanding – You reflect back emotions and meaning to the ego. It feels understood and known, and lets go of its rebellion and resistance. After this is repeated over a period of time, it uncovers the Self and its ability to take responsibility and initiate change. Humanistic and Existential therapy employ this method.
- Working a program of recovery and reform – In this strategy, you implement a structured program with the ego designed to bring about belief and behavior change. This is utilized in recovery programs modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous. Our structured Dysfunctional Family, Cult, and Addiction Recovery Coaching Programs utilize this methodical, step-by-step format.
- Present time process – This type of meditation cultivates Mindfulness or attentional clarity and presence. Once mindfulness has been achieved, the meditator moves on to Vipassana, where attention is held one-pointedly on the present time experience of movement, sensation, deep body awareness, emotions, thoughts, and “I am statements” of the ego. This deep processing leads to a breakthrough experience where attention is lifted out of ego-polarization and discovers the Self and the Voidness of Being.
- Analysis of experience – This traces emotions, attitudes, and beliefs back to their origin and uncovers the place where you can make a new choices—about new behavior, values, and reactions to experience—and no longer be frozen in old patterns. Rational emotive behavior therapy, Psychoanalytic therapies, and Process Meditation work to uncover the emotional and cognitive impressions that lock you into egoic identification.
- Self-transcendence – This seeks to access a state of consciousness transcendent to the ego. Faith in God, prayer, and meditation are methods that characterize this way of attempting to rise above the ego. Some groups that use these techniques aim to establish identification with an essence in the Superconscious mind—a nucleus of identity, spirit, or ensouling entity—and to detach entirely from the experience of the ego.
- Perceptual change – This approach sees the ego inhabiting a series of perceptual platforms, or mindsets, in which the ego holds certain beliefs about the world. When you can extricate your attention from these mindsets, it can shift into operating from the standpoint of the Self, in which you can directly make new choices to change your situation. Coaching commonly applies this perspective to work with individuals, who are seeking to improve their lives.
Narcissism is absorption in the ego. It is immersion in the ego’s desires. It commonly takes the form of a warped attempt to meet survival, safety, love and belongingness, and esteem needs. When you are in this narcissistic frame of reference, you have difficulty recognizing the needs and viewpoints of others, and block any attempt at communication or persuasion that doesn’t conform to your own desires or viewpoint. You may project your own emotions and desires on others, and falsely attribute your own motivations to them.
Some of the core mindsets of narcissism include:
- The world and other people only exist to fulfill my desires.
- Others must love me and take care of me because I’m special and precious.
- Anyone who disagrees with me is evil, deluded, and has no right to exist.
- The world and other people are dangerous are evil and dangerous, so I must have weapons to defend myself. If they harm me in any way, I am entitled to destroy them.
- Those that support me and are loyal to me receive my support and approval. Those that oppose me are evil, deluded, and have no right to exist, and I will utterly destroy them.
- I know better than anyone else. I am a genius, gifted, and highly intelligent. People should only listen to me, because I alone possess the truth and answer to any problem. I am always right and infallible.
- Since I am smarter than anyone else, I alone can be entrusted with power. When I am endowed with the power I richly deserve, those who support me will be rewarded; those that oppose me will be punished, imprisoned, or utterly destroyed.
- No one is greater than me: all must worship me and faithfully obey my every wish.
On the other side of these layers of narcissistic mindsets, is the breakthrough point. At this deep place in the mind, you transcend the ego. You realize, “I am nothing before Almighty God.” This is a place where you experience complete surrender and self-effacement before God: genuine spirituality becomes possible when you reach this stage of inner realization.
Genuine spirituality does not serve the desires of the ego: it seeks to love, to serve, to heal, to inspire, to uplift, and to empower others to achieve actualization of their personal and spiritual potentials. Once you have transcended these egoic mindsets, you can begin to counter these false narcissistic beliefs. You realize:
- The universe and other people do not exist to fulfill your desires. You need to take constructive, intelligent action and get what you desire yourself.
- Other people will not necessarily love you and take care of you. You need to love, care for, and nurture yourself.
- People have their own perspective and they won’t necessarily agree with you. They have the right to their opinion; you have the right to yours. You acknowledge that as they learn new things and you learn new things, these opinions may change.
- There is evil and danger in the world. You need to use good judgment and prudence to avoid getting into situations where you are at risk of fraud, theft, kidnap, rape, or other bodily harm. A protective weapon might be required in your situation, but for most people, this is not required—and many people have no wish to harm you in any way.
- Not everyone has to like you or be loyal to you. You can aim to build relationships with a few people of good character and integrity to be your friends and loved ones, and they will provide love and support in your life. Not everyone will be your friend.
- You can become knowledgeable about the subjects you study and more proficient at the skills you practice. You don’t know everything. There are many skills at which you are not proficient. In some areas, you may be able to advise, guide and teach others. In other areas, you look to others for advice, guidance, education, and training in their areas of greater expertise.
- You have discovered some principles that you recognize as true, but they may not be truths that others can recognize or apply. You don’t have all the answers; you have found the solutions to some problems. You make mistakes. You are by no means, always right or infallible.
- Misusing power can intimidate, imprison, or destroy others; rightly used it can uplift and empower others. Wisdom needs to guide the use of power; love and compassion need to temper it. In roles where you are granted leadership over others, it is your duty to serve others and ensure they are treated with dignity, fairness, and justice. You need to hear their concerns, and when it is possible, find solutions for them. You need to promote their education, skill building, employment, and personal actualization.
- While each human being has an atom of the Divine within their Soul, he or she is not the Universal Creator. You have an atom of Divinity within, but so does everyone else. You can honor the Divinity within yourself and others, and treat each other with dignity, respect, and love.
The shift from narcissism to self-empowerment looks like:
- You move from a sense of entitlement to self-empowerment, where you take constructive action to get what you need and want.
- You get beyond absorption in narcissistic, egoic love and are able to provide self-care and self-love, and are able to love and care for others.
- You rise above arrogance to have respect for a diversity of options, values, and points of view.
- You pass through the frightening corridors of paranoia to a realistic appraisal of the world and assessment of danger and risk. You gain the courage to face life in spite of its uncertainty.
- You jettison your demand for unflagging loyalty and focus instead on living up to your own standards of integrity, and surround yourself with those who demonstrate integrity, trustworthiness, and honor.
- You let go of your delusional omniscience in which you believe you know it all and make a realistic appraisal of your knowledge and skills, and your strengths and weaknesses. You have a willingness to learn new things.
- You overcome your urge to control others and use your power to make them obey you and embrace responsibility, duty, and service to others.
- You abandon your illusions of false omnipotence and demand to be worshipped and feel genuine humility and gratitude.
It is possible to disassemble the network of beliefs that hold these ego-polarized mindsets in place, and shift into the intelligent and empowered perspective of the Self.
In the Mudrashram® system of Integral meditation, we teach a variety of methods in our intermediate classes—the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program—to help you make this shift form narcissistic, ego polarization to the perspective of the Self. For example:
- We train you in Centering Techniques (strategy six) to help you recognize and operate from the Self.
- We teach you methods to work with your Subconscious mind to work with entrenched beliefs and mindsets (strategies five and seven).
- We show you how to achieve mindfulness and practice Vipassana that enable you to break through into the awareness of your Self and the Voidness of Being (strategy four).
Many people resist correction and change, which only entrenches them more tenaciously in their egoic perspective. It is when the holes begin to appear in their defensive armoring that they can admit they need help, and can begin to adopt modalities or programs that can help them change.
For those who want to change their lives, we offer a structured Life Coaching program (strategy three) to assist them progressively shift into the perspective of the Self and employ its faculties to improve their character and the quality of their lives.
We encourage you to dispassionately examine your own tendencies to narcissism and ego polarization and identify strategies that work for you to rise above these regressive and negative patterns, so you can begin to actualize your personal potentials and express the Soul’s purpose in your life.