The Seven Faces of the Religious Mind

By George A. Boyd © 2018

There are different ways of engaging with religion. One can rail against religion, or be its staunchest supporter. One can study about religion, or become immersed in its mystic depths. One can pick and choose from its fruits, or one can believe its doctrine in its entirety. One can flit from faith to faith as the butterfly rests upon different flowers, or one can be steadfast in observance of only one faith.

Some of these different faces of religion can be briefly described as follows:

  1. The critic – The critic gathers information to discredit religion, to find fault with its beliefs and practices, and to promote an alternate viewpoint.
  2. The scholar – The scholar likes comparing the ideas that religion disseminates, reflecting on the meanings of the passages in scriptures and their commentaries, and discovering the hidden gems of truth. The scholar does not necessarily, however, take these dictums of religion to heart, and apply these principles in his or her life.
  3. The eclectic – The eclectic studies several different spiritual traditions, and creates a synthesis of the nuggets of truths from different Paths that he or she has gleaned. He or she adopts some of these truths as moral values, and uses these to guide behavior.
  4. The dilettante – The emotional believer, the dilettante, may take initiation in multiple Paths, but does not follow through on any of them. After the initial excitement of becoming a member of a new group and learning initiatory secrets fades, he or she readily leaves the Path. The dilettante starts many Paths and does not finish any of them.
  5. The anchorite – The anchorite scrupulously follows the guidelines of the Path, practices prayers and meditations regularly, and studies the teaching of the Path assiduously. The anchorite insists that before he or she can begin to teach or take a leadership role in the group, he or she must have perfect knowledge and ability.
  6. The devotee – The devotee wants to idealize and worship the spiritual Master, who supervises development on this spiritual Path, but may not feel worthy or capable to do the work to become a teacher or leader in this spiritual tradition.
  7. The surrendered one – The surrendered one dedicates him or her self to God’s Will, and carries out his or her daily work under the Master’s direction. The surrendered one asks for God’s Grace to teach and help others, recognizing that he or she is not perfect—but does the work, and learns and grows more proficient with practice.

Those that become teachers and initiators in spiritual traditions typically are of type seven. Types five and six, scrupulous observance and devotion, fervently adhere to the Path engaged, but they lack the core commitment that marks the surrendered one.

These three types form the core of any religious group; the other types are not serious about their commitment to make progress along the lines described in this Path and to follow its precepts. Those that do the work deepen along the track that this Path opens; those that dip their toes in its waters make limited or no progress towards its consummation.

If you are currently engaged with any spiritual or religious group at the present time, notice what patterns you adopt in relation to it.

  • Are you its critic, continually finding flaws?
  • Are you a scholar, content to learn about it without adopting its practices or principles?
  • Are you eclectic, selecting truths from many different Paths and creating your own synthesis?
  • Do you have pattern of taking initiation in multiple Paths and not following through with any of them?
  • Do you scrupulously perform the prescribed practices of the faith, and are working to perfect them?
  • Does devotion drive your spiritual quest and you are on fire to make progress on your chosen Path?
  • Have you surrendered yourself to become God’s Instrument of Light and Love for others?

If you evolve to the stage where you can become a surrendered one, you will become the emissary of God’s Light and Love in your tradition. Those that become teachers and initiators in Mudrashram® transform over time into this posture, and show the inmost facet of realized Divinity and Grace to all who cross their Path.

Different Perceptions of God and Where They Arise

By George A. Boyd ©2018

Q: I was reading an article online in Science Magazine, “Democrats More Conservative, Republicans More Liberal in Some Ways,” which was published on 2/21/18—the original article appears on the Baylor University website [1]. In this article, it said that people’s political philosophy varied depending on how they saw God. They mentioned that the Baylor researchers, whose findings in Sociological Forum [2] were summarized in this article, categorized study participants into seven different perceptions of God:

  1. God is distant
  2. God is ever-present
  3. God is removed from the world
  4. God is concerned with the world’s well being
  5. God is concerned with personal well-being
  6. God is directly involved in worldly affairs
  7. God is differently involved in personal affairs

How do these different perceptions of God arise? What states of consciousness give rise to these views?

A: God appears in different forms depending on where you encounter this Universal Being on the Great Continuum of Consciousness.

Type one, where God is distant, is commonly found when people relate to God through the cord of faith, which links the ego to God in His Form in the First Mesoteric Initiation.

Type two, where God is omnipresent, is found in those people who keep their attention ever merged with the Divine Spark within their ensouling entity, and they see the Divine everywhere. This is the pantheistic viewpoint: God is all-pervading in Nature, the Universe, and on the spiritual Planes.

Type three, where God is removed from the world, typifies spirituality where you are identified with a nucleus of identity, a spiritual essence, or an ensouling entity in the Cosmic, Supracosmic, or Transcendental levels of the Continuum. Here the emphasis is on getting away from the world—or having as little to do with it as possible—and to return to the God Source on your inner horizon.

Type four, where God is concerned with the world’s well being, resembles the idea of Providence, where God loves the world and all creatures and cares for them. Ecological movements and aboriginal religious groups commonly adopt this Deistic viewpoint.

Type five, where God is concerned with personal well-being, people believe God responds to your prayers and grants them, and He may send an angel to watch over you. This perspective conceives that God is loving and benevolent, and will guide you and protect you if you approach Him. Catholic and Evangelical churches of the First Exoteric Initiation hold this view.

Type six, where God is directly involved in worldly affairs, views God as the engine behind history. This gives rise to God-inspired movements that change the leadership of nations and installs benevolent leaders; social justice movements that struggle for equality, presses for independence from colonial oppression, seeks freedom from injustice and slavery, and seeks to protect human rights and freedoms. This type resembles the Social Justice Christianity of the Fifth Ray in the First Exoteric Initiation, which Dr. Martin Luther King embodied.

Type seven, where God is differently involved in personal affairs, suggests that God has selected a chosen people, an elect, or a group of secret initiates, and shares with them esoteric knowledge, a special dispensation, or unique blessings that others, who are not part of this group, cannot receive. This viewpoint is commonly seen in cultic groups, in groups that interpret their scriptures that God has made them a chosen people, or those who are the direct initiate of a spiritual Master that imparts esoteric knowledge and confidential meditation methods.

If you transform your ensouling entity at the cutting edge of spirituality, and explore your relationship with the Divine at every level of the mind, you will encounter each of these viewpoints along the way. Your Soul Ray and Personality Ray often influence the way you view God and how you establish a personal—or impersonal—relationship with the Divine.

To help you understand these viewpoints better, we have written on the varying perceptions of the Divine in our book, “Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What the Heck Are We Doing?.” It may also be valuable for you to study about the Great Continuum of Consciousness and the Seven Rays—we have summarized these ideas in our book, “A Mudrashram® Reader: Understanding Integral Meditation.”
Those of you who may wish to take your God exploration to the next level may enjoy “The Mystery of God” workshop. This is one of our public webinars available through our Public Webinar Access portal, under the Public Webinars tab.


[1] Perceptions about God Make Democrats More Conservative and Republicans More Liberal — But in Different Ways

[2] Thomson, Robert A. and Froese, Paul “God, Party, and the Poor: How Politics and Religion Interact to Affect Economic Justice Attitudes,” Sociological Forum 1/30/18


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.