Exploring the Motivational Spectrum

By George A. Boyd © 2021

Have you ever noticed that people approach their activities with different levels of willingness to engage in them? Here are some examples of different motivational mindsets:

  1. Enthusiastic embrace of an activity – you do it joyfully and freely; you look forward to doing the activity.
  2. Encountering difficulty – you may have an initial enthusiasm for the activity, but you experience disappointment in your results from doing the activity—you discover you are not very good at the activity. You may become self-critical, wary and vigilant that others may criticize you or make fun of you. You may try to find out why you encounter these difficulties and try to improve them.
  3. Trepidation – You have reticence to begin and continue an activity. You may not trust your performance or your ability, and you may do it with some anxiety or fear that you will fail or that you may risk hurting yourself.
  4. Avoidance – You have a resistance to do an activity. You find excuses for not doing it. You procrastinate in starting it. You may sabotage your efforts so people won’t trust you to do activity correctly.
  5. Defiance – You stubbornly and defiantly refuse to do the activity. You cannot be persuaded to consent to participate in the action.
  6. Capitulation – You do the activity only because you are coerced, threatened, or intimidated to do the action. You may have genuine dislike for the activity, but you feel you must do it, or you genuinely face negative consequences: violence, abuse, punishment, incarceration, or death.
  7. Surrender – You carry out in response to an inner command or direction you receive from your Soul, from your spiritual Master, or the Divine. You carry out the activity as your duty in service to your Soul or God, in spite of your personal feelings or the opinions of other people.

You may wish to examine which of your current activities fall into each of these categories. You could do a brief inventory to see what activities your truly enjoy and love to do, and those that being up stress and conflict.

The Role of Desire in Motivation

Positive motivation is founded upon desire: you want to do something. Negative motivation is founded upon aversion: you don’t want to do something, but there are consequences for failing to do the action.

People cope with their desires in different ways, depending on whether they can satisfy them directly, whether they are attainable, whether they or other people approve or forbid them, or whether they are attempting to relinquish desires to achieve a state of spiritual transcendence or enlightenment.

You may wish to notice what you desire, and which of the following strategies you are using to fulfill, suppress, or transcend your desires:

  1. Direct action – You have a desire: you act on the desire. No deeper aspect of your psyche or a “Higher Power” hinders you from taking direct action. You bear the full responsibility for the consequences.
  2. Fantasy – You cannot act on your desire due to your circumstances. You may fantasize about achieving what you desire. You may feel envy or jealousy for those who are able to enjoy the desire, but you can’t. You may feel something is wrong with you, because you can’t have what you want, when others can have it. You may engage in a symbolic or substitute activity to vicariously enact the desire. For example, someone might resort to masturbation instead of having a regular sexual partner. In this strategy, you feel frustration and unhappiness.
  3. Taboo – Your conscience forbids you from enacting certain activity. Alternately, those around you may forbid the activity. You may attempt to indulge in the activity secretly. This inner conflict may make you split your perception of yourself into a good, obedient self and a bad, defiant self. You may find that part of your psyche aligns with your values of goodness, truth, and righteousness; part aligns with rebellion and to the sense of entitlement to do forbidden things. Your conscience may criticize, argue with, and punish your bad side; your bad side may feel it is persecuted or under attack, and may redouble its defense of what it desires and its right to have it.
  4. Dissociation – In this strategy, you enter an altered state of consciousness through prayer, meditation, or hypnosis, and identify with a spiritual essence. While you are in this altered state of consciousness, your bad side’s activities may be temporarily suspended. You may disidentify with your ego and your personality, and re-identify with this spiritual essence—you may distance yourself from your former behavior through regarding the part of you that did bad behavior in the past as your sinful self, but now you have abandoned that sinful self, because you have been saved and reborn.

If you remain in these altered states of consciousness for extended periods of time, you may experience dissociation, where you can no longer feel your authentic feelings; depersonalization, where your life no longer seems real; or de-motivation, where your personal desires no longer seem worthwhile pursuing anymore. Instead of acting on your desires, you may instead enact a prescribed lifestyle. If your authentic desires emerge, you may attempt to meditate or pray them away.

  1. Decompensation – At this stage, you experience vivid hallucinations and projection of your repressed desires as intrapsychic demons and devils, which appear to attack you. You are engaged in a pitched inner battle to overcome these resurgences of your desires, which appear to personify in the depths of your mind. It may be difficult at this stage to identify these demons and devils as your own desires, because you have disowned them. Instead, these personifications appear to be part of a universal force of evil—Kal or Satan. Some people may adopt severe austerities at this stage to attempt to suppress this evil they see within them. Some people become psychotic at this stage.
  2. Monastic surrender – You surrender your desire for wealth, sex and sensual pleasure, and to pursue your personal dreams or desires. You may take a monastic vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience. You live a life according to the dictates of the scriptures of your faith at this stage; you may belong to a monastic community. You may engage in isolation to avoid temptations; you may become a hermit or holy wanderer. You spend you day in prayer, contemplation, and meditation. In some religious communities, you may carry out service or ministry. You submit yourself to the guidance of a spiritual mentor, who gives you regular guidance and direction for what you must do.
  3. Agya – Your life, desires, mind, and will are completely surrendered to the Will Divine. You enact this Divine direction in your daily life. Those who become Gurus, Prophets, and spiritual Masters operate from this platform. When you function from this level, you allow yourself to become the instrument for Divine Light, Grace, Love, and Wisdom to express through you. This inner Divinity fully overshadows and controls your life.

You may wish to examine which of these strategies you are using to avoid fulfilling your desires; through psychotherapy and coaching you can sometimes free yourself to embrace your natural desires and let go of the self-torment of strategies two and three—fantasy and taboo.

Those of you who are trying to avoid your desires through strategy four, dissociation—and you have gotten involved in a religious or political cult—can often benefit from a structured program such as our Cult Recovery Coaching Program, which can walk you through the steps to re-own your life, your sanity, and your genuine desires.

Those of you who have moved onto the platform of decompensation—strategy five—may frankly not be reachable though psychotherapy, coaching, or spiritual intervention. If you are functioning at this level, your challenge is to determine whether you seek to dedicate your life completely to God, in which case, you may opt for the wraparound support of a monastic community, or whether you will embrace your authentic human life and its desires again, and come back down to earth.

It may be valuable to determine which of your desires could be satisfied through direct action, and which legitimately need to be deferred—or outright jettisoned; for not every desire of the human heart is noble, worthy, and good. As you reflect upon the motivational spectrum, you may wish to identify healthier ways to achieve your dreams: psychotherapy may help those of you who are deeply entangled in the throes of self-torture and self-sabotage.

Levels beyond Ideas

By George A. Boyd ©2021

Q: What lies beyond ideas?

A: There are seven layers of the psyche that lie beyond ideas. These are:

  1. Patterns
  2. Archetypes
  3. Seed atoms and vehicles of consciousness
  4. Nucleus of identity and personal identification centers (ego and Self)
  5. Attentional principle
  6. Individual spirit
  7. Soul

These higher layers beyond ideas can be defined as follows:

  • Patterns are repeating sequences we observe in Nature, like the seasons and the cycles of the moon.
  • Archetypes and symbols are containers of meaning that are present in the unconscious and Superconscious mind.
  • Seed atoms are the activation nexus that allows you to utilize the knowledge, wisdom, virtues, and abilities that dwell within the forms through which the Soul incarnates and expresses.
  • Nuclei of identity and personal identification centers allow the mind to identity with a center that integrates the activity of the Conscious (ego), Metaconscious (Self), and bands of the Superconscious mind (nuclei of identity)
  • The attentional principle is the essence of consciousness and intention that enables you to do inner work.
  • The spirit is the essence of love and devotion that yearns to return to God.
  • The Soul, or ensouling entity, is the center that holds and operates through these other centers. This is your core identity.

Aspirants and disciples need to cognize and work with these higher levels of the mind beyond the realm of ideas. These higher essences are the object of spiritual work that enables you to grow in insight and wisdom, and to transform your spiritual essences to evolve spiritually.

Types of Ideas

Ideas are a spectrum, which dwell in your Manomayakosa. There are 12 major layers of ideas:

  1. Chaotic, nihilistic (motivated by a lack or meaning or purpose for living)
  2. Depression, self-harmful (motivated by loss of hope, lack of belief that dreams can be attained)
  3. Delusional, paranoid (motivated by a desire to preserve identity, liberty, and power)
  4. Fearful, anxious (motivated by survival and attachment)
  5. Destructive, demonic (motivated by anger and hatred)
  6. Sexual, sensual (motivated by lust)
  7. Money, accumulation of wealth (motivated by survival and greed)
  8. Power and fame (motivated by narcissism and egotism)
  9. Altruism (motivated by love and the wish to be of service)
  10. Creative, scientific (motivated by the quest for knowledge and discovery)
  11. Metaphysical, philosophical (motivated by the quest for wisdom and the discovery of truth)
  12. Seed thoughts (motivated by the direct inspiration of the Soul)

Fear, ignorance, and passion dominate the first eight layers of ideas. The four higher orders of ideas are avenues for your Soul’s expression.

Part of the inner transmutation process is to burn the clinging of desire off of ideas that embody the negative passions, and to only let ideas remain that actualize your Soul’s Purpose. This inner alchemy melts away imprisoning desires, and replaces them with the detached, compassionate wisdom of the Soul.

We note that today’s prevalent conspiracy theories tap level three of the spectrum of ideas.

What Are Dreams Made of, Virginia?

Your dreams are ideas clothed in your desires. You have an idea of a perfect spouse or partner. You have an idea of a perfect home. You have an idea of an ideal career. You have an idea of an idyllic retirement.

You take these ideas, which are neutral, and you make them meaningful. They become the motivating factors of your life, for your company, for your vision about how the country should be. You choose to embody this idea, and you powerfully desire it. You obsess about this idea until you have made it real.

We suggest you contemplate what are the ideas that you have clothed with desires. Notice which of these embody the negative passions, which you can live without, and those which are the foundations of your life that you choose to retain. Also note if any of these ideas embody your Soul’s altruism, creativity, and intuitive knowledge.

Through culling the desire-laden ideas from the mind, you empower your Soul to shine through the mists and to embody its purpose in your human life. You may find that many of the ideas that you have clothed with desires, others have transmitted to you—these ideas that do not belong to you and do not fit, you may simply jettison, so you may let your true essence come forth.

Common Issues for Meditation Students

By George A. Boyd © 2021

Q: Are there common types of issues you encounter with meditation students?

A: There appear to be seven major categories of difficulties with which students struggle:

  1. Necessity to remediate basic meditation skills – These students have difficulties with seeing and hearing within, accessing intuition, moving attention, gaining discernment, and other key skills required for meditation mastery.
  2. Distractions of family, work, dependent care, or health issues – These students cannot find the time to meditate, because of the many demands placed upon them. As a consequence, they little progress towards their spiritual aspirations.
  3. Psychological problems and recovery from addiction – These internal temptations, compulsions, and distractions require that the student spend time in therapy and recovery groups to support stable functioning and serene sobriety. This may make meditational practice difficult, as the mind is continually processing these issues; instead of depth meditation, the student wrestles with turbulent thoughts and emotions.
  4. Ogre on the Threshold – These students encounter inner blocks that don’t let them progress beyond a certain level. For some, this tenacious resistance to deepening into meditation may keep them locked in the waking state of awareness. For others, they can go within a certain depth, and then they encounter an insurmountable barrier they cannot cross.
  5. Kundalini syndromes – Some of our students have come to us with a background of having experienced a powerful Kundalini awakening, which interfered with their personality functioning and left them with painful energetic anomalies. For some, these fires have largely died down, but they are left with trepidation to do deep meditation, lest this fiery energy reemerge. Others still grapple with this energy, and attempt to bring into under control when they recapture the imbalanced spiritual essence that is creating the energetic short circuit.
  6. Conflicts of values and beliefs – Students who toil with this type have a difficulty fully embracing Mudrashram® teachings and practices. They may harbor conflicted loyalty, for they wish to attempt to do the Mudrashram® work and the work of their former tradition. This leads to inner conflict, as the moral values and teachings of each tradition may contradict each other.
  7. Need for advanced guidance – Advanced students who reach the sixth and seventh stages of spirituality need guidance about developing their Multiplane Master form, shepherding, and engaging in spiritual teaching and ministry. These students need additional supervision beyond what they can glean from the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course and available advanced webinars.

We suggest that Mudrashram® students—and students of other spiritual traditions who are struggling with their practice—reflect upon the following questions:

  • Which of these categories describe your issues with meditation?
  • What specifically do you need to work on in these areas?
  • What have you done previously to attempt to address this issue? What were the results? Did it help resolve the issue?
  • What would be the markers to let you know you have resolved each of these issues?
  • What would be a next step you could take in the next 30 days that could help you make progress with each of these issues you have identified?

Some potential places that Mudrashram® students—and those affiliated with other traditions—could start include:

If category one is a concern, Mudrashram® students can take the Breakthrough Meditation Coaching Program. It specifically addresses many of these issues with targeted article and webinars, plus coaching to help you make movement in the problematic areas for you.

Students from other traditions can seek help from advanced students and your spiritual Master. We could also assist you with a meditation consultation to teach you an alternative approach that may allow you to make a breakthrough, if you cannot get the guidance within your own sangat.

If category two is an issue, you need to find a way to structure your life, so you have two to three hours daily to do study, meditation, prayer, personal inventory and planning, or carry out service to others and your spiritual organization.

If category three holds you back, continuing to go to your therapy and support groups will help you maintain stable functioning.

Those whose lives have been impacted through growing up in a dysfunctional family or who are survivors of an abusive relationship will find our Dysfunctional Family Recovery Coaching Program helpful.

Those in stable recovery from an active addiction may find our Addiction Recovery Coaching Program will assist them get to the bottom of the issues that led them to the destructive addictive patterns that vitiated their lives.

If category four holds you back, sometimes a meditation consultation can help you find a method to transcend the barrier that blocks you.

Sometimes a past life reading might help you uncover the original incident that led to the establishment of the block, when this seems a likely source of the problem.

If category five is your ongoing problem, a Kundalini Syndrome reading, coupled with regular coaching can help you cope with the energy dynamics you must face as you move forward towards re-integration and a subsidence of the intensity of the Kundalini.

If category six troubles you, you need to journal and clarify your values, and discover what is truly important and essential in your life. You need to explore your beliefs and identify what is genuinely true for you.

Some of our Mudrashram® students have found it helpful to utilize the templates in the Mudrashram® Home Study Workbook to delve into their issues in a methodical way.

Those attempting to sort out what they want to do, be, and have in their unique human life may find support in our Life Coaching Program.

Those of you, whose confusion and conflicts stem from your prior involvement in a religious or political cult, will find our Cult Recovery Coaching Program may help you discover who you are and what is an authentic spirituality that resonates with you.

If category seven is your main issue, you will need to schedule more time with the Lineage Holder or our most advanced mentors and coaches, who can assist you navigate the part of the journey in which you are now.

We suggest to you that you have resolved problems in the past; you can apply your intelligence and constructive effort to solve these problems as well. Just like a safe unlocks when you enter the correct combination, when you grasp what is the salient change factor, you will also solve your problem and make a breakthrough.

If we can assist you in any of these areas, please reach out to us.

Dealing with Criticism

By George A. Boyd © 2021

Q: I have someone who says they want to help me, but they continually criticize me and find fault with what I do. What is motivating this criticism?

A: Criticism is the first step on the helping spectrum. These steps of this spectrum are briefly described below:

  1. Destructive criticism – This attempts to undermine someone’s credibility, reputation, and self-confidence. This aims to hurt or demean the other person, even destroy them. It is from experiencing this negative, egoic platform of destructive criticism from parents, siblings, relatives, romantic partners, bullying schoolmates, teachers, bosses, or misguided clergy that originally wounds someone, and leads them to heal themselves. Those who undergo this healing process successfully often feel an urge to help others, who are experiencing similar abuse and trauma, to also heal.
  2. Neutral criticism – This identifies flaws, errors, or omissions, or someone’s attempts to exaggerate, lie, or deceive. Style editors, media fact checkers, or movie reviewers, for example, offer this level of critique. They do not offer suggestions to improve; they just point out the errors.
  3. Constructive criticism – This identifies flaws, error, or omissions as in step two, but offers suggestions at improvement. In group therapy, this sharing of constructive criticism is called feedback. Sports coaches, drama coaches, teachers, and trainers offer feedback to their students to help them improve their performance.
  4. Advisement or consulting – The consultant listens to their client’s concerns, and then offers them potential solutions. This ability to visualize a potential solution is founded upon the consultant’s knowledge, experience, or expertise working on similar problems.
  5. Counselor – A professional counselor listens to someone’s painful emotions and problems, and empathizes with their experience. The counselor allows the client to be heard and known. The counselor assists the client to identify viable options for solutions, explores their pros and cons, and then allows the client to make a congruent choice. The focus of a counselor is on the client’s present time concerns.
  6. Psychotherapist or Hypnotherapist – Like a counselor, a professional psychotherapist listens to someone’s painful emotions and problems, and empathizes with their experience. The psychotherapist will use a variety of evocative methods to help the client explore these painful emotions, work out the underlying issue, and find a way to integrate the insight so the client can live with greater serenity. A hypnotherapist aims to accomplish similar objectives, but does so through working directly with the Subconscious mind. A psychotherapist aims to assist the client to deal with lingering issues from the past.
  7. Life coach or transformational coach – A coach looks to the client’s potential to actualize his or her dreams for a better future. The coach supports and facilitates the client’s movement towards making that vision real—of actually doing, being, and having what he or she desires. A transformative coach is future oriented, and seeks to help the client move past obstacles to reach his or her goals.
  8. Meditation teacher – A meditation teacher trains students to meditate, to gain insight, transformation, and enlightenment. A meditation teacher shows students how to transcend their personality and touch the Eternal.
  9. Thaumaturge – Highly advanced meditation teachers are anointed with the Divine Fire and Light, and can make attunements to purify, heal, comfort, enlighten, and transform their spiritual evolutionary potentials. A Thaumaturge has the ability to work on the structure of mind and consciousness to facilitate spiritual development.
  10. Avatar – This most highly advanced spiritual Initiate is able to work with humanity at the collective level though sending forth tides of Omnific Spiritual Grace and Love, and progressively uplifts all humanity.

When we review these stages on the spectrum, we find:

Level one on this spectrum is the profile of someone fully established in the ego. Someone operating at this level needs to win at all costs, and dominate and control others. If others are injured in obtaining desires, it is not this person’s concerns.

Levels two and three are based on comparison to established criteria. This uses the analytical ability of reason; the standards of conscience; and the problem solving skills of the intellect. In level three, there is the added element of caring about the person receiving the criticism, so they can improve their performance.

Level four is founded on the ability to intuitively grasp the reasons for the problem the client presents, and to frame an elegant solution that solves the problem and allows the client to move to the next level of productivity and prosperity.

Levels five through seven are personal helping modalities. These work to empower the Self to resolve issues and move forward to attain desired goals.

Levels eight through ten are transpersonal helping modalities. They work with the three immortal principles within others—the attentional principle, the spirit, and the Soul—to enable the meditation student to work on the issues of the personality, and to actualize spiritual potentials.

Negative criticism can arise from a variety of motivations. For example:

  • Dissatisfaction with a product or service that the helper offers
  • Jealousy that the helper is successful and gifted
  • Narcissism, needing to be superior or better than the helper
  • Anger and resentment at not succeeding, not being chosen, or not getting the good things in life

When criticism is shared as feedback, the helper can learn to provide a better service or deliver a better product.

We suggest that the element of caring—love and compassion—is at the root of the motivation to help others. The greatest love, which the Avatar and Thaumaturge express, is the deepest level of this caring for others—even beyond personal caring, or unconditional positive regard, as Carl Rogers called it—but it is suffused with the Divine Love that fills and enfolds all life, and drives personal growth and spiritual evolution.

Conspiracy Theories and Fear

By George A. Boyd © 2020

I once attended a workshop, where the group leader gave a talk about fear. He said if you create an acronym for each of the four letters of “fear,” it would spell out:

F – False

E – Evidence

A – Appearing

R – Real

When I reflect upon “False evidence appearing real,” I am struck by how conspiracy theories are founded upon false evidence—or sometimes, on no evidence at all—yet those who believe in conspiracy theories have a tenacious conviction that what they believe in is true beyond a shadow of a doubt.

If I desperately want something to be real, even when it is not—the unconscious mechanisms of projection will kick in and they will shape my perception so other people and events appear the way I want them to be. For example:

I desperately want the candidate I voted for president to win. Even though the votes received were accounted for during each step of the mail-in or in-person voting process; all legal procedures were followed; and the votes were counted and verified—sometimes even more than once—I will falsely perceive a fraudulent process took place. I am in denial that my candidate could lose.

So my belief that fraud occurred is false, yet I continue to embrace this belief, because I don’t want to admit to myself that I will lose the person I want to be “my president.” I’m afraid I will lose him, and all that I believe he did on my behalf will be uprooted and swept away.

I will therefore manufacture false evidence through perceiving innocent events as sinister ones, and these will appear as real to me. For example, in a video, an elections official places a box of mailed ballots on a table: I see this as false evidence that illegal ballots are being dumped to fraudulently ensure the candidate of the other side wins.

The same thing happens when fear colors your perception. For example:

I’m camping in a forest. I see a large male grizzly bear. My fearful imagination kicks in: I’m visualizing the bear is going to run towards me, maul me, kill me, and eat me.

The truth is, the bear doesn’t want to mess with me anymore than I want to mess with him. As long as I don’t threaten his mate or his cubs, or make him feel I am going to attack him, he’s going to leave me alone—as long as I leave him alone.

But fear turns this situation into a vision of danger. There is a risk of course:

  • The bear might have rabies, and will act unpredictably.
  • It might be a bear that is a “man-killer,” who has gotten the taste for human blood. He is hungry… and I’m a man.

But the odds of these events are low. It’s unlikely they will happen.

So I do my thing; the bear does its thing. The bear and I experience “peaceful co-existence,” to borrow a popular phrase of the cold war era. I don’t harm him; he doesn’t harm me.

These same dynamics are operating beneath many of the popular, contemporary conspiracy theories, such as:

  • Q-Anon – Your president is working to save you and your children from a group of blood-drinking, Satanic pedophiles in government and the media
  • Joe Biden, Jr. won the election through fraud
  • The government is trying to take away your guns
  • Secret cabals of [Jews, wealthy industrialists, bankers, members of a secret world government, the Masons… insert your favorite perpetrator of evil here] are plotting to take over the world and control your life
  • Other ethnic or racial groups are coming by the millions to take away your food and your jobs… and ultimately replace you
  • The world is flat
  • The United States faked the moon landing
  • The government planned and conducted the events of 9/11, so they could get a hold of Iraq’s oil
  • Vaccines will implant tiny tracking chips in you
  • The government is actively persecuting members of your religion
  • Space aliens are consulting with top secret cells within the government to transfer alien technology; they have been given permission to abduct people and perform experiments on them
  • A demagogue, cult leader, or dictator is your savior—despite of the evil deeds and atrocities that he or she condones, directs, or personally commits]

Might I ask those of you who believe in conspiracy theories like this to answer some questions? Here are four questions that will help you get to the core of the fear that locks this conspiracy theory in place in your mind, which acts like a filter that colors the appearance of anything you perceive.

  • What about this person or group—or about an event, or a potential outcome if what is described in the conspiracy theory comes true—makes you feel afraid?
  • What do you catastrophize might happen?
  • What would you perceive if none of what you believe about this is true—if this is just false evidence appearing real?
  • What would it be like for you to live your life without believing this? How would you act differently than you do now?

I think we would get along much better if we stopped believing in conspiracy theories… if we stopped demonizing each other… if we tried to work together on our common goals…

We share many things in common; we have common needs:

  • We need to eat and have clean water to drink
  • We need a safe and decent place to live
  • We need to have an education to acquire the skills and the knowledge to contribute to our community
  • We need a legal means to provide for our livelihood
  • We need to be treated with dignity and respect
  • We need the opportunity to pursue our worthy goals and dreams
  • We need to be able to embrace and practice the faith or philosophy of our choice, provided that we don’t impose it on others against their will

Perhaps if we could stop embracing conspiracy theories that distort out perception of the world and other people, we could support one another in achieving these needs. You might ask, “How do I provide solutions that get results—and that don’t cause harm?” If we each can do this, we can contribute to a better world for all of us.