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.

Patterns of Spiritual Falls

By George A. Boyd ©2022

Q: You have said that sinful or adharmic action causes darkening of consciousness. Are there different types of spiritual falls? If so, can you describe them?

A: Spiritual falls are of two types:

  1. Veiling of the Soul – in this type, the Soul does not actually move down the scale of being (devolution), but a curtain of darkness forms in front of the Soul. This darkening can range from a few nodal points to many Planes in front of the Soul.
  2. Descent in consciousness – in this type, karma builds up behind the Soul in the unconscious mind. When it exceeds a certain critical mass, it actually moves the Soul to lower nodal points on its Path.

Different antecedents are associated with each type:

  • Type one affects character, belief, and behavior; type two may bring loss of ability, knowledge, and core virtue.
  • Personal choices and motivation trigger type one; violation of Soul Purpose or disobedience to the Divine Will precipitates type two.
  • Misuse of personal volition may generate type one; misuse of higher octaves of will can bring about type two.
  • Lying and breaking promises may result in type one; breaking a sacred spiritual vow or betraying a spiritual Master may cause type two.
  • Acting on passions of intemperance and addiction, lust, greed, anger, or narcissism may result in type one; turning away from the Light and embracing evil ends in type two.
  • Not doing what needs to be done out of cowardice, self-doubt, or misevaluation of the situation leads to type one; not carrying out your Soul Purpose, or not enacting a Dispensation under the Divine Will (Mauj) and commandment of the Master (Agya) can be the cause of type two.
  • Rebellion and refusal to do what is necessary may yield type one; rejecting the Divine Mercy and Grace may end in type two.

The karmic darkening of both type one and type two can be rectified under certain circumstances:

  • In some cases, if aspirants or disciples admit their error, ask for forgiveness, and resolve to not repeat their mistake, the karmic darkening—if not too severe—can be forgiven. This is called absolution.
  • In other cases, if aspirants or disciples have access to a transformational method that dissolves and transmutes karma, they may be allowed to work off the karma through using their transformational method. This is called expiation.
  • In yet other cases, where there has been an egregious misuse of power or betrayal of a sacred vow, the wayward aspirants or disciples may be turned over to the Lords of Karma. The Lords of Karma will execute a karmic sentence, which requires these individuals to undergo a period of retribution for their deeds, which may last for a few days to multiple lifetimes. This is called remediation.
  • In a few rare cases, Masters may send the Light to burn away these karmic impressions and return the Soul to its native purity and harmony. This is called forgiveness of sins.

Absolution is granted to certain clergy—ministers and priests—to bestow on those who confess their sins and ask for Divine forgiveness. Absolution is one of the sacraments that Catholic priests are empowered to grant, for example.

Expiation, working off of sins through using a transformational method appears in spiritual groups that disseminate a method that actually dissolves and transmutes karma, and purifies the mind. Expiation is the primary method that we hold out to our disciples in Mudrashram® to work off their karmic darkening. This also appears in the Catholic Church as the penitential practice of repeating the “Our Father” or “Hail Mary” prayer a set number of times to atone for their sins.

If the sin is of such gravity that it requires remediation, aspirants and disciples will find that the Lords of Karma will begin to intervene in their lives. This may be episodic, in that the remediation will take place for a delimited period in their current lifetime. In extreme cases, a karmic pattern may be encountered over a series of lives, in which the karma is experienced in varied, repeating cycles.

Some Cosmic Masters, Supracosmic Masters (Gurus), and Transcendental Masters (Sat Gurus) have the ability to make attunements to burn off karmic impressions that accrue as a result of sin. My first spiritual teacher, Maha Genii Turriziani—who was a Cosmic Master—had this ability.

If you have had a spiritual fall, it is important to identify what has caused this and work it out:

  1. Notice what you decided… thought… felt… desired… and the speech or behavior you did that resulted in that darkening of your consciousness.
  2. Identify another way that you could approach this situation that would not result in sin.
  3. Resolve to not repeat the behavior.
  4. Choose to perform the alternate approach in the future.
  5. Use whatever means to absolve or expiate the sin that is available to you.

Many aspirants and disciples, despite their best intentions, may precipitate a spiritual fall. If this happens to you, we recommend you recognize what has happened and take measures to clean it up.

Breaking Out of the Prison of Belief

By George A. Boyd © 2022

Many people have difficulty releasing beliefs that are based on lies and misinformation. To begin to let go of these erroneous beliefs, it is important to understand the stages of belief:

Stage One – Belief acquisition. In this stage, you learn about an idea or proposition and you choose to believe it. It may intuitively resonate with you. It may explain something you didn’t understand. It may make connections between ideas that give you a larger perspective and new insights into some world events.

Stage Two – Belief maintenance. In this stage, there is nothing to challenge your belief, so you continue to hold it as true.

Stage Three – Belief confrontation. In this stage, someone challenges your beliefs and tells you it is false. You may defend your belief. You may not listen to the arguments of the person, who confronts you. You may attack and demean the person, who challenges your beliefs.

Stage Four – Belief modification. In this stage, you gather new information about the belief, which allows you expand your understanding of the belief, and you can more cogently communicate it to others. Your experience with belief confrontation allows you to better counter arguments against your belief.

Stage Five – Belief dissemination. With sufficient knowledge of the belief and its implications, you are able to explain the belief so others can understand it, and convince them why there is value in holding it.

Stage Six – Belief reconsideration. When you find inconsistencies or errors in the belief, you may reconsider it. In this stage, you analyze the validity of the belief and you decide whether to maintain or reject it. If you find palatable explanations for the inconsistencies or the error does not detract from the overall coherence and explanatory value of the belief, you will retain it.

Stage Seven – Belief rejection and adoption of a new belief. At this stage, you find the belief is incorrect and you jettison it. You form a new belief based on new knowledge.

Here’s an example of the process:

  • We learned that Pluto was the ninth planet (stage one).
  • We didn’t question this belief for many years (stage two).
  • New astronomical discoveries about the nature of planets and the zone of space where Pluto dwells led some scientists to question the status of Pluto as a planet (stage three).You learn more about the solar system, and this seems to confirm your original belief that Pluto is a planet (stage four).
  • You communicate to your children that Pluto is the ninth planet; if you are a teacher, you teach this to your students (stage five).
  • Other worlds about the size of Pluto are found in the Kuiper Belt; those worlds and Pluto are found to not clear their orbits, as do the other eight planets. Scientists re-examine their belief that Pluto is a planet (stage six).
  • The scientific consensus shifts and re-labels Pluto as a dwarf planet. You learn this new information and reject your old idea that Pluto was a planet; you now embrace the new belief about Pluto (stage seven).

If you learn an erroneous belief based on misinformation, you may never go beyond stage four, where you may modify your belief with new misinformation and learn to defend it against attack. If you are strongly committed to the belief and feel that others must know it, you will disseminate the belief to others through writing, speeches, or social media (stage five). You never critically examine the belief (stage six), so there is nothing that allows you to release it and adopt a more accurate belief.

When many beliefs link together to form a network of beliefs about a topic, these enmeshed beliefs can become a veritable prison within the mind. Conspiracy theories, political and religious dogmas, and the hate-filled ideologies of terrorist and hate groups construct these mental prisons, from which it is very hard for people to escape.

Byron Katie, in “the Work,” used as series of questions that were designed to help break people out of their prisons of belief. This questioning process asked people to consider (a) what is the implication of holding the belief, (b) what might they perceive if they let go of the belief, and (c) what would their life be like if they abandoned the belief.

Examples of this questioning method are:

2020 Election was stolen: (a) “What are the implications of holding this belief?” (b) “If you didn’t hold this belief, what would you perceive?” (c) “What would your life be like if your abandoned this belief?”

Everyone needs to be a Christian [or Muslim, etc.] or risk going to hell: (a) “What are the implications of holding this belief?” (b) “If you didn’t hold this belief, what would you perceive?” (c) “What would your life be like if your abandoned this belief?”

If you are not a Republican [or Democrat], Satan has deluded you: (a) “What are the implications of holding this belief?” (b) “If you didn’t hold this belief, what would you perceive?” (c) “What would your life be like if your abandoned this belief?”

Only the God in which I believe is true, all other gods or goddesses are false: (a) “What are the implications of holding this belief?” (b) “If you didn’t hold this belief, what would you perceive?” (c) “What would your life be like if your abandoned this belief?”

People don’t escape their prisons of belief until they reconsider the implications of holding the framework of beliefs that construct them, and discover the inherent untruth(s) that locks them into its thrall. Those who dwell in the shadow of the lie rarely question it. Those who get free have examined the underpinning of these cognitive structures and found them to be erroneous.

How Do Conspiracy Theories Arise?

By George A. Boyd ©2021

Q: How do we explain the prevalence of conspiracy theories?

A: We can look at this phenomenon from different perspectives:

  1. Targeted information triggers an innate tendency in the mind – this standpoint believes an “informational stimulus” interfaces with people’s karmic substrate and triggers an unconscious pattern. This position posits a stimulus-response mindset; if the tendency is already in the mind, the information will trigger it.
  2. Intentional influence – In this point of view, influencers manipulate people’s unconscious mind through specific words or images: they prey upon people’s desires, fears, hatred, guilt and shame to evoke emotions and to stir them to take action. You see this used in advertising; those with a political or religious agenda also utilize this strategy.
  3. Awakening negative character traits – This view holds that certain individuals only respond to the message of the conspiracy theory because it stirs innate character traits in them. The message draws out the mental aberrations of people with dark triad personality patterns—paranoia, antisocial, and Machiavellian traits—or borderline personality disorder. This perspective suggests that those who believe in conspiracy theories would have high levels of these associated personality disorders.
  4. Genetic substrate – This position holds that people’s response to a conspiracy theory is an inborn predisposition to process information in a non-linear, irrational way. In this perspective, people who believe in conspiracy theories potentially have different neurological wiring.
  5. Learned beliefs – This perspective holds that conspiracy theories are constructed. What people learn about a conspiracy theory consists of an array of beliefs that conform to their unconscious fears and desires. These irrational beliefs, with skilled intervention, can be deconstructed through psychotherapy or deprogramming.
  6. Splitting – In this stance, conspiracy theories evoke psychological splitting of people’s worldview into black and white, good and evil—and those who hold this mindset cannot reconstruct the whole picture of those they demonize. We see these dualistic mindsets in Zoroastrian, Manichean, Christian, and Islamic sects. These world views demonize those who are labeled alien, or non-believers; those who engage in religiously proscribed behavior; or those who support views different than their own. This same dualistic polarization and demonization of opponents can similarly be found in political ideology.
  7. Immersion in thought streams – In this outlook, conspiracy theories arise from listening to the thought streams of Occult Adepts, the purveyors of nonsense from the Psychic Realm, and those who misinterpret scripture in various religious groups. This same dynamics operate in religious cults, radical political organizations, and terrorist groups. This outlook perceives that people tune into a particular inner channel of information through intuition or outer information through the media—and this message resonates with what they have come to believe is true. This information stream (a) defines what is true, (b) gives people a rationale to believe it, (c) rewards them for believing it, and (d) it urges people to take action on these new beliefs.

People are exposed to the information from proponents of a conspiracy theory. Through whatever internal processing takes place for this information—through whichever explanatory perspective among one to seven—it changes their beliefs, reframes their perspective, and leads to new behavior. We can point to certain mental operations of the unconscious mind as contributing to the adoption of conspiracy theories; the cognitive behavioral approach (perspective five — learned beliefs) gives us hope that people who become enmeshed in these delusional frames can regain their rationality again.

Those who are interested in the dynamics underlying religious influence systems may find our book, Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What the Heck Are Doing? helpful.

We take on these layers of false beliefs in our Cult Recovery Coaching Program, which is designed for those who have been involved in religious or political cults, and want to find their authentic inner compass again. We have several articles we have written about conspiracy theories in our web log: we invite those are interested in this topic to search for these articles.

When Your Intuition and the Internet Lead You Astray

By George A. Boyd © 2021

Q: What if your intuition tells you gonzo stuff?

A: What your intuition tells you is information. This information may be true or false. Where this changes you is if:

  1. You believe it
  2. You emotionally react to it
  3. You act on the basis of the belief

If my intuition tells me there is an abominable snowman that lives in the thicket outside my house, I might consider that my intuition is playing with me.

But if I believe this is true, it affects my emotions and my behavior:

  • I might be afraid to go outside because I fear the yeti might kill me and eat me, injure me so I need to go to a hospital, or drag me off to its lair so its children can eat me.
  • I might walk out the back door, so I avoid the thicket where the yeti lives.

At issue, I have not verified the statement is true—that an abominable snowman actually lives in the thicket. If I do an exhaustive search of the thicket, and there is no trace of Mr. Yeti or his offspring, I might conclude my intuition is tripping, and I might laugh at myself for my gullibility.

When people believe something that isn’t true, it engages their emotions, and may also change their behavior.

If someone is lying to them, they may carry out what the person who is sowing this false narrative wants them to do. We see people manipulated through this means through government propaganda; misleading advertising; the speeches and writing of demagogues, cult leaders, and leaders of hate and terrorist groups. This dissemination of misinformation is rampant on the internet: one “thought leader” can introduce these falsehoods and compromise hundreds—even thousands of people—with a tweet or social media post.

Finding Out What Is True

There are four positions I can take regarding a statement is true, whether I receive it internally from my intuition, or externally through others’ communication:

  1. The statement is true – I have verified its veracity. I conclude the information is reliable.
  2. The statement is false – I have analyzed its message and I have found logical errors, or attempts to deceive me. I conclude the information is not reliable.
  3. The statements truth is unknown – I cannot verify the truth of the statement as the evidence I need to verify it is not available to me. The information may be based on the statements, opinions, testimonials, or beliefs of others, but I cannot independently verify their claims. I conclude the information is not verifiable, and withhold my belief.
  4. The statement is non-sensible and clearly false – The information appears to be the product of fantasy, delusion, or irrationality. I conclude this information is not reliable, and I reject it outright.

Let’s review these four conditions:

In condition A, I am able to prove the statement is true. If I suspect that I have termites in my house, and I find an insect that looks like a termite, I can verify that I do have termites.

In condition B, I am able to prove the statement is false. If a politician tells me that he had the largest crowd size “ever recorded” for his inauguration, and historical records and actual photos of the crowd show that it wasn’t the largest crowd, I reject his statement.

In condition C, there is not enough verifiable information to prove the statement, so I hold it as an unverifiable hypothesis. If someone tells me that there are extraterrestrial bodies in a freezer locker in a secret air force base in the Nevada desert, I have no way of verifying this is true. Maybe this is possible, but I have no way to prove it.

I rather doubt if I ask the guard at the gate of the facility is going to let me in to view them if they were there. For example, if I showed up at the west gate of the base, and told the security officer, who is armed with a high-powered, deadly-accurate automatic weapon, “Oh hi! Hey, I’ve heard that you’ve got ETs in the freezer in here? Mind if I have a look? I promise I won’t take any souvenirs!”

In condition D, the statement is so clearly a statement of fantasy that I can reject it outright. For example, if I told you, “I am Spiderman and I’m actually from the planet Venus,” you would know that I sho’ be trippin’—and you wouldn’t believe me.

Sowing of the Seed

To set up misinformation, the one seeking to disseminate it must make you believe that condition B, a false statement, is actually condition A, a true statement—that something false is true.

This commonly occurs through giving you false proof based on spurious or distorted facts—what one of the press secretaries of the Trump administration famously referred to as “alternative facts.”

Sometimes in my leisure time, I watch UFO conspiracy shows on Netflix. I listen to these reports, and I conclude, “I cannot verify this hypothesis and I suspend my belief that it is true. This is condition C.

However, if the scout ship with the grey aliens—the ones with the large heads and prominent black eyes—lands on my lawn… Three aliens come out of their vessel… they come towards me and one of them gives me a high five—or in their case, a high four, as they only have four fingers—my belief that there are space aliens has been validated. I then can say, “yes, there are space aliens: they are parked on my lawn.” This is condition A.

When people get seduced by conspiracy theories; entrapped in cults, hate and terrorist groups; or deceived by propaganda—they believe something that is false is true—and this conditions their emotions and behavior. They believe the false statement, which should be recognized as false—condition B—is actually A, verified as true.

To bring people back from this alternate reality, these false beliefs that appear to them to be true must be shown to be false. The challenge of this is that they tenaciously defend these false beliefs as “the truth.”

The “Aha Moment”

The sudden insight or realization—the “aha moment”—that makes someone realize that something they believe is false and reject it, is the catalyst that enables someone to escape their alternate reality. For them to change, they must have this realization.

For a person who is committed to a false belief:

  • You cannot argue with them. They will not listen.
  • You cannot convince them through showing them other information. They will not believe what you show them.

They must discover that it is false. Then they emerge, and awaken from the dream.

To the degree that you can catalyze this realization, you can assist them to break the spell. Our best psychotherapists and coaches can do this, once in a while.

Going back to your original question, you must verify what intuition tells you, the same way you might check out something another person tells you, or something you view on social media.

If you can’t verify it, it’s conditional—an unverified hypothesis. Perhaps if people could learn to hold more things as an unverified hypothesis, instead of wildly believing them, we would have fewer people getting lost in conspiracy theories and cults.

Those interested in learning more about the dynamics that underlie religious and political cults, you may enjoy reading our book, Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What the Heck Are We Doing?