What to Do When Inappropriate Meditation Vitiates Your Life

By George A. Boyd ©2022

Q: My spiritual practices have gotten me into a state where it seems my life is a dream, and I’ve lost desire for what I formerly wanted. I don’t like this zombie-like state. Can my personal functioning be restored?

A: When the spiritual practices you do ask you to (a) remain in an altered state of awareness continually and/or (b) moving an aspect of consciousness—vehicular seed atom, nucleus of identity, or an ensouling entity—out of alignment with the axis of being, people can experience one or more of the seven “Ds:”

  • Dissociation
  • Disidentification
  • Derealization
  • Depersonalization
  • De-motivation
  • Deadening or numbing of emotions
  • Death of the Ego

How do you deal with these consequences of inappropriate meditation?

Re-association rectifies dissociation: when you bring your attention back to the fully grounded state in the waking state of consciousness, you re-establish your normal state of functioning.

Re-identification resolves disidentification: you stop creating a gap between parts of your nature.

Recognizing the reality of the physical world corrects derealization: you no longer experience the world as unreal or a dream.

Re-owning your identification with your Self (personality) and ego (life) overcomes depersonalization: you no longer feel you are separate from your life experience.

Re-discovering your authentic desires and values repairs de-motivation: you uncover what makes your life meaningful and worthwhile again.

Through re-awakening your native feelings, you transform deadening or numbing of emotions: you begin to feel again.

Reintegration with your authentic life—and rebalancing of aspects of consciousness that have migrated off the axis of being, when this has occurred—counteracts death of the ego: you reanimate your ability to function at the level of your ego and your ability to perform behavior that enacts your goals.

Psychotherapy, hypnosis, and meditation have specific techniques that refocus attention in the Conscious mind, where you can experience the ego; and in the Metaconscious mind, where you can reactivate the functioning of your Self. In contrast, when you keep your attention focused on an essence in the Superconscious mind on a sustained basis, you can trigger one or more of the seven “Ds.”

The first thing you must do to counter the negative consequences of inappropriate meditation practices is to bring your attention and awareness back to the ground state—the waking state of consciousness. This begins to break the trance-like state of identification with a spiritual essence, from which you perceive you are separate from your personality and life.

Many meditators have been given suggestions that make them not want to return to their personality and life. This keeps them locked in an altered state of awareness. These are suggestions like:

  • “The ego is sinful or evil.”
  • “The world that the senses reveal is illusion.”
  • “The personality is a trap that the devil designed to keep you from realizing God.”

To get back to ground, you have to reject these dissociation-producing suggestions. You can counter them with affirmations. To deal with these hypnotic commands, you might use:

  • “My ego is the part of my life that enables me to function in the physical world. It is good. It is supposed to be here.”
  • “Both the physical world and spiritual worlds are real.”
  • “My personality exists so I can share my Soul’s knowledge, wisdom, love, and gifts with others, and participate fully in the interpersonal world of work, family life, friendship, and civic engagement. It is OK to be a human being.”

When awareness returns from its heightened state to the ground state of awareness, many meditators report a lessening of dissociation, derealization, and depersonalization. When they come back to ground, they return to reality.

However, some meditators feel a pressure to return to heightened states of awareness where there is bliss, peace, and no troubles—unlike the world of the ego, where there is stress, difficulties, and struggles. Their challenge is to feel safe again in their life and respond to the issues of their situation without feeling they have to escape.

It helps if meditators can recognize that they need to work at both levels: to cope with the challenges of human life and to develop their spiritual potentials. They start to realize: they don’t have to run away from their life; they can embrace it.

This is analogous to when you go away to the office to work, and then you come home and do chores. You perform work in both locations.

In the same way, you can learn to function effectively in your personal life, while you cultivate your spiritual life. They are not mutually exclusive: you can learn to operate in both areas of your experience.

Negation statements characterize disidentification. Examples of these types of statements are:

  • “I am not my body; I am the Atman (Supreme Consciousness).”
  • “I am not my ego; I am my spiritual heart.”
  • “I am not my human Self; I am God.” [Referring to the God Immanent or Divine Spark that dwells at the core of the Soul.]

To come back from the withdrawal from the personal identification centers that these negation statements produce; you can use what we call re-identification statements. To address the above negation statements, you might use:

  • “I am Atman, but I also am my body.”
  • “I am my spirit, but I also am my ego.”
  • “I am inwardly Divine, but I also am fully human.”

We have said that bringing your attention back to its ground state in the waking state of awareness can help ameliorate dissociation, depersonalization, and derealization. Unfortunately, the deeper layers of de-motivation, emotional deadness, and ego death are not so easily resolved. Sometimes, long-term psychotherapy is required to rehabilitate the sense of normalized identity and function: self-help measures may not be sufficient to return to the state prior to the split between personal and spiritual life that the inappropriate spiritual practices generated.

You can address de-motivation through questions like:

  • “What do you want in your life?” [In my book, The Practical Applications of Meditation in Daily Life and Education, I discuss twelve areas where you can identify what you want.]
  • “To what are you willing to make a commitment in your personal life?”
  • “What do you want your life to be about?”
  • “If you were looking back upon your life from your deathbed, what would you want to have accomplished?”
  • “In what ways could you make a difference with your unique human life?”

Emotional deadness and numbness may be one of the most tenacious outcomes of this unintended spiritual deconstruction of the personality. This may take some time to resolve. Among the strategies that might be employed include:

  • Remember feelings that occurred before the personal/spiritual split occurred.
  • Notice your reactions to beautiful art, uplifting music, animals, flowers and trees, and other scenes of Nature.
  • Get into touch with the feeling of love and connectedness with other people.
  • Feel love and compassion for your broken and wounded parts.
  • Kindle emotional reactions through challenge statements that evoke defensive or protective layers of the mind that overlay core emotional wounds—this can trigger breaking of the dam of repression and allow catharsis of the underlying emotions.
  • Let someone express unconditional love for you and take it in—don’t reject it or feel unworthy of it, just experience it.
  • Have willingness to be reborn and healed emotionally: invite in the Divine Grace and Love to ignite your ability to feel and love again.

Ego death is the most profound state of movement way from your personality and your life. It is commonly results from translocation of one aspect of consciousness—a vehicular seed atom, nucleus of identity, or an ensouling entity—far out of alignment with the axis of bring, which produces a marked split between personal and spiritual identity.

When this split is not too severe, a re-integration modality like dynamic rebalancing can help realign the wayward aspect of consciousness. In this method, the misaligned aspect of consciousness is realigned with the axis of being through the infilling of karmic matter behind the center or centers that have been repositioned to hold it in place.

Those that ingest a powerful dose of a psychedelic drug often a temporary ego death and mystical union with a spiritual essence within them, but when the drug wears off, they return to their ego again. The challenge for those confronting ego death in themselves or in others—for example, if you were a therapist treating someone with this condition—is to catalyze this reassembly of the Self (personality) and the ego (life).

For some people, simply returning to the grounded state of awareness from a protracted altered state of awareness will generate the re-emergence of the functioning of the Self and the ego; in other cases, there is a slow and gradual recovery before the normalized operation of these two personal integration centers is restored.

Some people who are experiencing the unwanted consequences of involvement with a religious cult that has produced one or more of the seven “Ds” in them may find that walking through the steps of our Cult Recovery Coaching Program can help facilitate their personal integration. We recognize that for some of you, overcoming one or more of these negative consequences of inappropriate meditation may be a long process.

Indeed, in my own life, it took me nearly five years—see the article, “My Spiritual Journey” on our website—to return to relatively normal personality functioning again after creating an immense split between my personal and spiritual experience. But having gone through this experience, it gives me hope: if I can recover from this profound imbalance, so can you. This may not happen instantly, but with time, you can also come back.

On the Consequences of the Confluence of Religion and Politics

By George A. Boyd © 2022

Q: Is there a parallel between the rigid values of religious and political groups? It seems to me there are similar patterns.

A: These two social movements have several aspects in common when they influence one another:

Religion is predominately a Sixth Ray expression of the Divine Mind: devotion, obedience, and adherence to moral values characterize it.

Politics is predominantly a First Ray expression of the Divine Mind: it seeks to gain power and impose its values and vision on others.

In modern society, we see the blending of these two streams: when politicians, who embrace a faith, seek to gain power to impose their religious values on others.

In this confluence of politics and religion, we find common principles. A zealous adherent of this conjoined worldview might believe:

Beliefs and values – “Only my party’s beliefs and values are correct; others are deceived.”

Trust – You can only trust our doctrine; the devil vitiates the principles of others.”

Conformity – “You must not deviate from our doctrine, lest you serve the agenda of the other side, which is evil.”

Voting – “You must always vote in accordance with our principles, and never support the other side.”

Objective – “We must win at any cost or by any means, as the other side is the emissary of the devil.”

Mission – “We are on a mission to enact our agenda, and to block the agenda of the others side. Our values must triumph over the evil values of the other side.”

Loyalty – “You must be unwaveringly loyal to our side, lest the other side make progress on their evil agenda.”

Commitment – “You are either with us—and we are good, righteous, and true—or you serve the other side, which follows the devil’s evil, ungodly, and false agenda.”

This bifurcation of reality into good (us) and evil (them) generates several problems:

  1. It obscures the ability to grasp the big, inclusive picture.
  2. It demonizes and rejects potentially viable and effective solutions.
  3. It rebuffs any form of compromise, which could at least make incremental progress towards addressing societal problems.
  4. It blocks the resolution of the thesis/antithesis polarity working out through synthesis. Instead, the problem remains in a state of conflict.
  5. It excludes important information from consideration, when it does not go along with their doctrinal position.
  6. It creates divisions between people and political parties, instead of working together to resolve a common problem.
  7. It locks people into a limited mindset, which lacks the vision to produce a comprehensive solution to the problem.

If things go wrong, it is a knee jerk reaction of these politicians to blame the other side, instead of analyzing what happened and attempting to find a solution. These conflicting doctrinal positions freeze the gears of government, and do not resolve the pressing needs of the people.

This is frustrating to the populace, as government seems to be unable to get things done—due in large part to the unwillingness of the politicians to roll up their sleeves and find solutions. Rather than cooperate, they obstruct. Rather than work together, they sabotage the other side. The net result is that little gets done.

You have identified a key, contributing factor to this intractable stasis: applying religious doctrine in the political arena leads to inflexibility, tenacious adherence to an unalterable doctrine, and the presumption that they alone possess the truth. To get past this wall, politicians need to find a way to expand their view beyond the narrow mindset they champion and protect, and work for a synthetic, “big picture” that considers all factors and stakeholders involved. Until this happens, deadlock will continue and the public will continue to feel frustrated and angry.

The Seven Orders of Truth

By George A. Boyd © 2022

Q: How do conspiracy theories distort the truth?

A: If you examine the seven orders of truth, you have a middle zone where distortion can come in. These seven orders of truth are:

  1. Reality – You know it is true, because you have verified it.
  2. Gut level feelings – You know something is true, because you have a feeling about it. This may or may not be eventually verified. If you have a personality disorder, marked anxiety syndromes, emotional dysregulation, or cognitive distortion, your gut level feelings may lead you astray, and tell you something is true, when it is not.
  3. Delusion – Something is not true, but you believe it is true. You may continue to hold these incorrect beliefs, in spite of evidence that it is not true.
  4. Deception – Something is not true, but someone disseminates this lie to gain control over you and other people.
  5. Faith – You tap into a higher truth, but you are not able to verify it. You may, as a result, come to believe spiritual ideas that are not true. People may misinterpret scriptures, symbols, prophecy, and revelations, and disseminate this false information to you.
  6. Realization – Your Soul becomes at one with the object of meditation. You know the truth of things, because you have realized them. You may not, however, be able to communicate these ineffable truths.
  7. Satsang – You realize a transcendent truth, and are able to communicate it to others. You communicate it through inspired discourse, teaching, or writing.

The second through the fifth orders are zones where distortion can enter. Delusion, order three, typically develops as a result of deception, where there is a willful attempt to communicate false information to you; and faith, where misinterpretation of spiritual ideas warps your values, beliefs, and perception.

Conspiracy theories tap into these orders of delusion, deception, and faith to weave a false narrative. These misguided beliefs remove you from consensual reality and drop you into an alternative reality; they shift you from reality testing and verification into fantasy.

If you are suffering from a condition that warps your intuitive grasp of reality in the second order of truth, many people get help from psychotherapy, which helps you sort out accurate feelings and intuitions from erroneous ones.

The remedy for the distortions of orders three through five is discernment. We discuss in greater detail how you develop discernment in our book, The Psychic Realm: Finding Safe Passage through the Worlds of Illusion.

The transcendent truths of orders six and seven is the province of mystics and spiritual sojourners; these experiences are uncommon. Those that enter this rarified realm often cannot put their experience into words; those that can communicate them become our spiritual teachers and guides. Those that reach these profound depths of truth do not merely believe, they know.

The Gentle Art of Slipping into an Alternate Reality

By George A. Boyd ©2022

Q: So many people today seem caught up in an alternate reality. They are lost in conspiracy theories, swept away in cults, or they just believe really strange things. Are there some markers to indicate that someone is slipping into an alternate reality?

A: Perceptual and cognitive changes mark someone entering an alternate reality. Some of these markers that you may see include:

  1. Perceptual anomaly – Things seem strange or different. Your world has changed; you may not be able to put your finger on what has changed.
  2. Derealization – The initial experience of the world seeming strange morphs into a global sense that the world around you is unreal. The actors in the world seem like robots. You may view the world as if it was a matrix-like computer animation.
  3. Depersonalization – As this trance-like migration from reality continues, you may sense your own life seems unreal. You may question the motivations to which you have dedicated your efforts—whether your education or career choices make sense anymore, or if your dreams are really worthwhile to pursue.
  4. Mindset shift – At this step in the journey into an alternate reality, you reach a state of delusional conviction. A demagogue or a cult leader may convince you that you have been lied to—and this person will then promise to tell you the truth that has been hidden from you. They will program you into believing their warped version of reality, so that you look to them to inform you about what is really going on the in world. You may begin to have spurious signs that indicate the truth of what they are saying. You may have delusional “revelations” that prove to you that they are telling you the truth.
  5. Identity shift – At this stage, you will have entered that alternate reality and identify with it. You believe alternative facts about the world you have been told. You now live in the alternate reality and have disidentified with your former life. You now orient your life with new relationships with those who belong to this group, and look to the leader of this group to guide you.
  6. Delusional contagion – When you become established in the alternate reality, you may attack others who do not believe in your new worldview. You may attempt to convert others to join you in your delusional mindset and alternate reality.
  7. Paranoia – If you stay in this state of altered awareness for long enough, you may begin to resort to magical thinking. You believe you can simply wish for what your want and it will manifest. You embrace a feeling that you are omnipotent and can simply create what you want. If people push back on your beliefs, you may feel you are under attack—that others are trying to undermine your movement and drag you back into the matrix—and you can become paranoid at this stage. Alternately, you can continue to believe you are all-powerful; you become grandiose and arrogant.

When people undergo disruptive loss or experience trauma, they may become temporarily uprooted from the established routine of their lives. This can move people into stage three—they are not sure what is true anymore. They question their lives. They question their faith.

It is these people who have had these disruptive experiences that become vulnerable to the demagogues, the cult leaders, the terrorist and hate group recruiters, or the media influencers that introduce them into the mindset, and ultimately, lead them to identification with a movement anchored in an alternate reality.

Q: You mentioned cognitive changes. Can you be more specific with what happens to people’s thinking and belief when they become caught up in an alternate reality?

A: People who are grounded and anchored in their lives have seamless integration between their ego, their Self, and their Soul. The ego is the experiencer of the events of your human life; the Self is the decision maker that decides what path to follow and what goals to pursue; and the Soul expresses its gifts and genius—its super powers—through your life. These three work together: there is little internal conflict and you make progress towards your goals.

As people begin to drift off into an alternate reality, we see a corresponding shift in their cognition—in their thinking and beliefs:

  1. Empirical – Thinking is grounded in observation and experience. Your beliefs are consensually validated; you restrict your beliefs to what you can verify.
  2. Speculative – This type of thinking introduces “what if” and “what might be” scenarios for your consideration. It extrapolates from facts and infers what might be someone’s motivation, or what might be possible if someone did things differently. Used constructively, it can promote positive change or catalyze new insights. Used destructively, it can undermine a person’s sense of identity and meaning—it can attack their ego and their sense of who they are—and this can make people more susceptible to the influence of those who seek to establish them in an alternate reality.
  3. Interpretive – This type of thinking reflects upon the meaning of symbols and events. Symbols are templates of meaning: you can attribute almost any meaning to a symbol. This private interpretation helps you make sense of your world, and enables you to construct a coherent philosophy and a set of congruent values. When you begin to adopt others’ interpretations of symbols and events, you may begin to drift into the mindset established in an alternate reality.
  4. Fixed conviction – One of the signs you have entered the world of an alternate reality is when you begin to have a belief that cannot be verified empirically, and it is not amenable to refutation or criticism. You may consider these convictions as ultimate truths, articles of faith, or sacred revelations that cannot be questioned. If these core convictions have been dictated to you by a demagogue, a cult leader, or a leader of a terrorist or hate group, you may become increasing under their control.
  5. Dissociative – At this stage, you become detached from reality and enter into a trance-like state. Your belief is based on a perception in an altered state of awareness, and may be subject to distortion. If you receive ideas while you are in an altered state of awareness, moreover, you can become extremely suggestible and believe whatever you are told.
  6. Revelatory – As detachment and dissociation with your life and reality is sustained, you may begin to receive communications from a noumenal being—a spirit, a guide, or an angel—or you might receive a purported revelation from the Divine. These types of beliefs have no rational basis and cannot be verified. The most fantastic notions can be conveyed in these encounters with Spirit World.
  7. Identity distortion – At this stage, you adopt a false identity state, divorced from your native grounding in ego, Self, and Soul. You might identify as a nucleus of identity or a spiritual essence that is not aligned with your innate being. In other cases, you might believe a grandiose delusion that you are a world savior or embodiment of another archetype.

In those who embrace conspiracy theories, we commonly see that they tap into stages four, five, and six—many demonstrate fixed conviction and dissociative trance states; some are also having revelations that confirm their delusional beliefs. Cult leaders may additionally induce identity distortion in their followers.

Those who are trying to come back from their involvement with cults and prolonged immersion in an alternate reality may find our Cult Recovery Coaching Program helpful to re-own your life, your genuine values, and your sense of life direction and purpose.

Working with the Challenges of a Confused Mind

By George A. Boyd © 2021

There are many people who are confused today. They are under the thrall of conspiracy theories and false beliefs, filled with fear or hate, or give their devotion and dedication to someone who perverts it. We quote from one of our articles, “The 49 Archetypes of Disciples and Aspirants”:

“Some of the greatest challenges of modern civilization are dealing with the excesses of [these four stations of confused mental operation], in which malevolent agendas pervert reason, motivation, and values of those unlucky enough to be caught up in their nets of delusion…”

These four stations are:

Deluded Believer – This individual embraces conspiracy theories; false information clouds his or her judgment.

Terrified One – This individual is absorbed in doomsday or apocalyptic scenarios; he or she attempts to find a way to survive the impeding calamity. He or she may harbor paranoid beliefs.

Deluded Devotee – This individual worships a cult leader or demagogue. He or she allows this cult leader or demagogue to shape his or her beliefs, values, behavior, and choices.

Hate-filled One – This individual embraces a hate group or terrorist group. He or she seeks to eliminate those who are of other religions, races, ethnic groups, or cultures.

“People who are caught up in these mindsets of delusion may truly believe that they have discovered the truth. When challenged, they will tenaciously defend their beliefs and their leaders who disseminate these warped visions of reality.
For this reason, it is difficult to break people free from the thrall of these enveloping bubbles of belief to get them back into touch with their humanity and innate spirituality—to enable them to extricate their Self and their Soul from the illusions in which they are immersed…

We have treated the methods by which these delusional beliefs can be deconstructed in our article, “Getting Untangled from Delusional Beliefs,” which is our blog post for July 19. 2019. You may wish to read the entire article for an overview of this topic.

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

We will excerpt from this article to detail specific strategies how people can extract themselves from these delusional mindsets:

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

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

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

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

The inner scaffolding of these four types of the confused mind is constructed of a network of beliefs—beliefs that influence people’s choices, values, emotions, and behavior. It is possible for people to change these beliefs and extricate themselves from the hypnotic spell that these distorted doctrines and perverted ideologies cast upon their minds and their lives.

Those of you, who have gotten out of these life-consuming mindsets, but have lingering issues from your involvement in these groups and movements, may benefit from our Cult Recovery Coaching Program.