Finding Truth with the Intellect

By George A. Boyd ©2018

Q: Is it possible to find truth with the intellect?

A: The intellect can provide us conceptual models of the truth, but remains removed from the essence of spiritual reality. To find spiritual truth requires that you unite your attention with your immortal spiritual essences and your objects of meditation.

What can the intellect contribute to the quest for truth? There are several strategies that the intellect uses to search for truths that lie beyond its level of immediate comprehension:

  1. Frame – A frame establishes what are the relevant factors to consider. If you want to know about God, you may wish to exclude information about chimpanzees.
  2. Meaning – The quest for meaning seeks to uncover the connotation and implications of a conceptual idea. For example, you might seek to understand what the word God means to a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew, and look for their common and dissimilar beliefs about what God is like.
  3. Associations – Associations form the basis of knowing how two factors correlate with each other, and how multiple factors inter-correlate with each item in a matrix or array. Participation in religious rituals, engaging in prayer, and attending worship ceremonies appears to highly correlate with belief in God.
  4. Apparent causation – This strategy identified an outcome and traces back the associated factors to an event or actor that appears to have been their cause. The universe appears to have originated from a immensely tiny point from which emerged the Big Bang. In some cosmologies, there was a Creator that planned and manifested the universe—in these viewpoints, God is the Power that created the universe.
  5. Historical, anthropological, and philological analysis – This strategy looks for the historical background of an idea, how it expresses in culture, and how the concept changes as it appears in new languages. You might explore how the Hindu God Shiva, who first is identified in the archaeological excavations of the Indus Valley civilization, about 3500 BCE—and mentioned in the Vedas that were written in the Sanskrit language—this same phrase, Shiva, appears in the Hebrew language, and means to sit in remembrance of someone who has died.
  6. Looking to an expert or authoritative source – You may believe that a particular person or a book is an authoritative source, and you derive your belief that something is true based on that source. You may believe that The Holy Bible or The Koran is the true revelation of God, and you will look to that scripture as your touchstone of truth.
  7. Model – Here you create a synthesis that ties together all factors and how they inter-correlate, assign appropriate causation, and develop an explanatory theory that accounts for the relationships of all factors.

The intellect presents information in writing, through speech, via mathematical formulae, graphics, visual images, or symbols. While it can communicate spiritual ideas, it remains ever disconnected from the actual essence it is describing in words and pictures.

Knowing this, the meditator lets the intellectual concept indicate the essence that is the object of meditation. Through depth meditation, the aspirant gains union with this object upon which he contemplates, and knows the truth of it beyond the words that describe it.

Limitations of the Types of Knowing

By George A. Boyd ©2018

Q: There are so many crazy ideas that come out of religion and mysticism! Why would anyone want to venture into that territory and become a complete cuckoo?

A: We base our sense of reality—what is true, what is knowable, what is valid to believe—on different mental faculties that we use to determine what is real. Each of these types of knowing has limitations. Each type of knowing has a particular strength, but it isn’t helpful outside these parameters. Let’s look at some of these types of knowing and what their strengths and limitations are:

  1. Reason – This faculty of knowing operates through the mental seed atom in your Conscious mind. It is one of the primary tools you use to determine whether something is true. It uses logical tests to determine what is true; if your logic is fallacious, you may come to a wrong conclusion. It also helps you test reality—what is real in the environment around you. Optical illusions, stage magic, and people engineering what information you receive, however, can fool your reality testing. Reason is based on the information you receive from your senses or the instruments you use to extend them: it can’t detect anything beyond these limits, so the range of what it can know is limited.
  2. Memory – This faculty of knowing dwells in your Subconscious mind, and records your experience as it occurs. You can highlight certain aspects of your experience as more important to remember, as when you are studying information for which you will be tested. Certain highly emotional and meaningful events in your life will be more memorable. You use mnemonic cues to recall memory; if you don’t give the right cue, you cannot recall the information you have stored. Since memory stores its information in the biological hard drive of your brain, if your brain becomes damaged, you may not be able to recall what you have experienced or learned. Since memory records associations and these associations can change over time, you may incorrectly recall what actually happened to you.
  3. Intellect – This faculty of knowing exists in your Metaconscious mind, and uses your intelligence to operate certain problem solving skills. It allows you to solve problems using mathematics. You can use deductive, inductive, dialectical, and synthetic reasoning to reflect on ideas and uncover their meaning and interrelationships. You can form a hypothesis, and subject your conjecture to testing to determine whether it’s true. You can communicate your ideas verbally, in writing, and through symbols. Your level of education, which conditions how many problem solving and communication strategies you learn, may limit the problems you can solve—for example, if you only learned college algebra, you would not be able to solve problems in trigonometry or calculus. Certain neurological conditions may limit your ability to use intellectual problem solving skills, and suppress the operation of your native intelligence. If you have incorrect data or ask questions that do not yield a correct solution, your intellect may not be able to solve your problem.
  4. Collective Scientific Knowledge – This repository of the collective knowledge of humanity dwells on the Temple of Science Subplane of the Abstract Mind Plane in the Superconscious mind. Our knowledge continues to grow as scientists investigate different aspects of the physical world, our bodies, and our mental functioning. This knowledge is stored in journals, disseminated in seminars and professional conferences, discussed in books, taught in classrooms, and subjected to analysis and re-analysis, critique and testing. We continue to update this knowledge as we learn more. Sometimes we find that something we concluded was true based on our testing was inaccurate, and we have to revise our theories and beliefs about something we had accepted as true. Science is developing new technologies to penetrate deeper into the world and ourselves; it never arrives at a final truth; it continually revises its theories as we learn more, and discover that what we formerly believed was inaccurate or flawed.
  5. Psychic Sensing – Psychic sensing operates in your vehicle on the Psychic Realm of the Superconscious mind. It synthesizes three streams of knowing: the data coming from the senses of your astral body, the operation of the intuitive knowing of your “psychic eye,” and the intuitive guidance received from spiritual guides. It initially appears as a series of images, felt impressions, or words of intuitive guidance that you can hear. If you do psychic readings for others, you communicate these images, impressions, and words to others. Projections from your unconscious mind, and fantasy and imagination readily contaminate your faculties of psychic sensing and intuition.
  6. Illumined mind – Your Illumined Mind or Buddhi fully operates on the Buddhic Plane, to which your Soul has access when it takes the Fourth Planetary Initiation. However, this faculty of mandalic reasoning and discernment operates partially through out the Soul’s spiritual sojourn, expanding its range of penetrating intuitive knowledge as you evolve spiritually. Like scientific knowledge, your Illumined Mind continually revises your sense of what exists in the Superconscious mind as you continue to progress upon the spiritual Path. You tap this vast reservoir of intuitive knowledge in the deepest stages of meditation—this state of mind has been called Samadhi, Illumination, or Enlightenment—in which the Soul reveals to you what it is experiencing on the Higher Planes. This is the most important faculty by which you come to know your Soul and to gain knowledge about the spiritual worlds. Because much of this knowledge has never been framed in language, much of it is ineffable—you cannot put this ecstatic downpour of supernal knowledge into words.
  7. Soul Gnosis – This state of Oneness and Mystic Union has been called Gnosis and Realization. It brings about the direct experience of who you are at your core. This experience is difficult to access for many people, so those who enter this state are relatively rare. While you can enter into union with the Soul in the deepest stages of meditation, you may not be able to derive contextual clues, e.g., where you are on the Path. Since these states of Soul Union are highly blissful and ecstatic, it is possible for some individuals to believe that they have attained the highest stages of spiritual development and Mastery, when in fact, they are in a relatively rudimentary stage of development. If spiritual aspirants do not adequately prepare for this experience, they can become grandiose and delusional.

The faculties of reason, memory, and intellect are your passports to scientific knowledge, which comprise levels one to four of knowing. Meditation gives you the keys to knowing types five through seven, which are beyond the ken of science—you might consider them as trans-scientific modalities of knowing.

We suggest that the rigor of scientific study and testing can be applied to your spiritual quest, as well. You can strive to verify each element of your psychic sensing, your intuitive knowledge, and your Soul’s actual station on the Path. If spirituality can be approached in this way, you can gather more valid and less cuckoo information.

As to why someone might want to embark on the spiritual journey? It is your highest potential that yearns to be actualized. It calls you to the greatest adventure, if you will hearken to its voice. It is your next step of growth beyond the threshold of science, which only considers information derived from study of the physical universe, and excludes the entire realm of spiritual experience.

No one can convince you to explore these realms if you are afraid of entering them, if you are doubtful of their existence, and you cannot conceive of their value for your human experience. When that day dawns, you can enter the portals of Light and learn to reunite with your Soul, and transform it through each stage of the Path, to ultimately attain Liberation and Mastery.

How Do I Know If Someone Really Is the World Teacher?

By George A. Boyd ©2016

There are several individuals in the world who claim to be—or their followers claim they are—the reappearance of the Christ or World Teacher. They cite scriptures, and point to similarities in descriptions between what they are teaching or demonstrating and what is written in the scriptures.

They often reach a state of consciousness in which they feel they are one with the consciousness of the World Teacher. Many of these individuals have some type of internal confirmation that they have reached this state. There may be powers or intuitive revelations that dawn upon their mind when they attain this state.

But typically, these are reflections of the World Teacher in his actual form. In the Planetary Realm, he has reflections in the Biophysical Universe, Psychic Realm, 1st Mesoteric, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Initiations—his actual form is as the Monad in the Planetary Hierarchy, the Astral Soul in the Cosmic Hierarchy, and the Satchitananda/Soul of the Bridge Path in the Transcendental Hierarchy. He also has a reflex form in the Supracosmic Hierarchy on the Orzhmad Plane through which he ministers. There are also archetypes of the World Teacher in the 1st Exoteric Initiation, with which some individuals come to identify.

An individual who reaches this consciousness at any of the reflected states may wrongly assume he or she has become the World Teacher. Based on the intuitive revelations and powers that they gain in this state of union, and the voice of inner confirmation, they identify with this state and come to believe they have become Christ.

This voice of inner confirmation may take a variety of forms. Common phrases that may lead the spiritual wayfarer to believe he or she has attained this sublime state include:

  • “You are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” (Psychic Realm)
  • “You are the Light of the World.” (1st Exoteric Initiation)
  • “Upon thee I have placed the government of the world.” (1st Mesoteric)
  • “You are my anointed one.” [This occurs without any actual empowerment: the individual is not anointed to minister the Light.] (2nd Initiation)
  • “You are the Word made flesh.” (2nd Initiation)
  • “You are the incarnation of My Eternal Mind.” (3rd Initiation)
  • “Thou art the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (4th Initiation)

So compelling are these voices of inner confirmation that these individuals may start ministering and teaching, start religious organizations, and make declarations about their inner Divinity. Some of the groups that form around these inspired individuals may become religious cults: the self-proclaimed savior may begin running the lives, dictating the beliefs, and guiding the decisions of those who follow him or her.

Those that master the art of Soul Reading can readily detect the imposter Christ or spurious World Teacher. One glance at the actual attainment of the individual will reveal the genuine Master from the deluded claimant of the mantle of Glory. We encourage aspirants and disciples to develop their faculty of discernment so they can determine the actual state of attainment these individuals have attained—and not follow those who proclaim to be another false Second Coming of Christ.

What Motivates People to Meditate

By George A. Boyd © 2013

Q: What motivates some people to meditate, when others are content to simply live their lives in their waking state of awareness?

A: There are a variety of motivating factors that lead people to seek an altered state of consciousness. These include:

  1. They seek to escape from misery and pain – The dissociative effects of meditation are well known. Those who engage in meditation with this motivation gravitate towards cultic groups that advocate remaining constantly in an altered state of awareness. Others with this motivation will attempt to deaden their pain and escape their misery through using drugs and alcohol, instead of utilizing meditation or hypnosis.
  2. They seek to gain magical powers, so others may regard them as special, respect them, or fear them – This group is often attracted to Kundalini Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Kriya Yoga traditions, which recount tales of their advanced initiates performing miracles or demonstrating magical powers. Similar miracle tales attract seekers with this drive to the Occult and Magical traditions, the Spiritualist and Psychic schools, the “I AM Movement” groups, and the Tibetan Buddhist lineage of Milarepa.
  3. They seek to become famous – These seekers want renown as a great sage or saint, to have a noble reputation, to have many followers who worship them and contribute great wealth to them, and to accrue honorary titles that attest to their greatness and majesty.
  4. They seek to be of service – They are inspired to use their spiritual knowledge and abilities to help others; they have altruistic and compassionate motives. These may seek out service oriented religious traditions and the Karma Yoga Path.
  5. They want to become pure and holy – These seek to develop saintly virtues, holiness, and purity so they may please God, and draw nigh to Him. These ones are attracted to Sant Mat, Meher Baba, and Bhakti Yoga traditions, where their love for God is primary and they surrender all to their Divine Beloved.
  6. They seek to be enlightened – These are looking for wisdom, discernment, and illumination. This group is drawn to the Jnana Yoga traditions, and the Buddhist Paths. Coaching, Process Meditation, and New Age groups, who train their followers to focus their attention on the wave of the present time on the Akashic Ether, and to move through that portal into union and identification with the Divine Atom within the Soul may also appeal to this group of seekers.
  7. They seek to transform, so they may ascend to spiritual Mastery and Liberation – These seekers focus on traditions that offer transformation of their spiritual essence, so they may make progress on the Path, and to gain Mastery and Liberation. Mantra Yoga and Guru Kripa traditions that promise spiritual transformation are a magnet for this type of seeker, as are Nada Yoga traditions of the Transcendental Sphere, and Mudrashram®.

We suggest that unfulfilled personal needs often contaminate motivations one to three, and these may generate ongoing hindrances for those who aim to complete their spiritual journey. The pure motivations of selfless service, love and devotion, the quest for wisdom, and spiritual transformation and progress activate the immortal principles within a human being, whereas egoic impulses often color the other three motivations.

We note that not all players in the spiritual arena are benign, or are based on altruistic motives, so the seeker must be vigilant. For example, there are groups that:

  • Exploit others and form cults, live off the donations of others, and entrap and enslave others—these can deceive seekers with motivations one to seven.
  • Act out motives of revenge and hatred, such as hate groups or terrorist groups, which can draw in those who are driven by motivations one to three.
  • Focus on sexual pleasure or use drugs to get high, which can also waylay those with motivations one and two.

It is important that you recognize what are your motivations for entering the spiritual Path. If your motivations are pure and uncontaminated with egoic agendas, you are setting up the best conditions for authentic and lasting spiritual progress.

We further encourage you to educate yourself about the potential pitfalls of different techniques that can alter your awareness and concomitantly generate perceptual and energetic anomalies, and about the cultic and terrorist groups that can entrap you. We discuss these issues in greater depth in our book, Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What they Heck Are We Doing?

Breaking through the Bubble of Belief

By George A. Boyd © 2016

Q: How would you break out of the bubble of belief to directly experience the Soul and God?

A: Belief in God appears to pass through seven stages:

  1. Initial belief (faith) – At this stage, believers affirm the existence of God based on convincing personal criteria.
  2. Relational belief – At this stage, they affirm that they are related to God, e.g., a child of God, a disciple of Christ or other spiritual Master.
  3. Doctrinal belief – At this stage, they construct a belief system about God, the creation of the Universe, and humanity’s relationship with the Divine based on the study of scripture and the teachings of clergy. These may include beliefs about what will happen in the future of mankind, what will happen after death, and what God requires of humanity.
  4. Moral belief – At this stage, they construct a set of standards and values based on interpretation of scriptures and teaching and inculcation of clergy to guide their personal behavior.
  5. Authoritarian belief – At this stage, they hold a conviction that the truths espoused in the scriptures and religious organization to which they belong are true for everyone, and must be implemented in the family, the workplace, and the society in which they live.
  6. Missionary belief – At this stage, they gain a conviction that they must being the message to others to save their Souls and guide them to the one true Path. They may engage in active proselytization or evangelism at this stage.
  7. Integrated belief – After many years of professing the belief system and practicing its tenets, these beliefs remake their personality, and dictate their behavior, their values, their world view, and their relationships with those who are in the religious group and those who outside of it.

There are three barriers to move out of the bubble of belief into direct experience.

  1. Existential terror – Believers fear that if their beliefs are abandoned, their life would have no meaning; they would lose their sense of identity; and they would have an infinite number of other options for choosing their life anew once they let go of the certainty of their safe harbor of belief.
  2. Ontological terror – They fear they will lose their soul; they will go to hell or transmigration after death; and they will risk the opprobrium or censure of their religious group for their apostasy.
  3. Psychological terror – They fear having to face the deep-seated anxiety, shame, self-hatred, or inner conflicts for which the religious belief system provided a solution, and insulated them from facing these dysphoric emotions.

Once believers face and work their existential fear, they discover the attentional principle, the principle of immortal consciousness.

Once they resolve their ontological terror, they encounter the Soul—the principle of immortal being—as it is.

Once they penetrate and release their psychological terror, they uncover their spiritual heart, the principle of immortal love.

These three immortal principles comprise the “third eye,” “brain,” and “heart” paths of spiritual development. Raja Yoga activates the third eye path. Transformational mantra unfolds the Soul upon the brain path. Nada Yoga awakens the spiritual heart and frees it to open the inner channels through which the spirit travels back to God. [We teach all three methods in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and on-line Accelerated Meditation Program.]

You can only consciously tread these three paths when you transcend the limitation of these environing structures of belief, which have their corresponding “eye,” “brain,” and “heart.”

The “eye” of belief is the perception that is created when belief filters reality. This must be transcended through awakening the third eye, the attentional principle.

The “brain” of belief constructs a theoretical story or rationale that explains human identity, the creation of the universe, and specifies how people should behave towards one another and the Divine. The here and now experience of eternity and the wordless presence of the Soul supplants this.

The “heart” of belief that imbues religious convictions with passion and urgency and that powerfully energizes the cord of faith must be relinquished to discover the pure and innocent spirit within.

Most never unlock this inner door that opens Pandora’s box—where they must face these three layers of terror—so they remain trapped in the prison of their beliefs. It is a telling observation that perhaps only one to three percent of those who are part of a religious belief system are able to move beyond it into direct experience.

Mudrashram® has its students directly move beyond belief into essence through directly focusing their attention on the three immortal essences—attentional principle, Soul, and spirit—and activating them. This enables them to have direct experience beyond the shell of belief. In time, they are able to dismantle those beliefs that are not founded on the bedrock of Core Realization, and that they cannot verify through direct experience.

Discovering God through direct experience means that these three immortal essences travel into the Presence of the Divine as It is, and know It directly. Mudrashram® gives the aspirant the keys to the direct experience of these immortal essences and the Divine when the core techniques of Integral meditation are practiced regularly and correctly.