A Brief Primer on Stress and Resistance

By George A. Boyd © 2021

Have you ever noticed that some activities seem relatively easy to do, while others evoke reaction and resistance? It’s important to understand how this process works. We can start with a model of the psyche that graphically portrays this interplay between the conscious and unconscious zone of functioning.

chart of stress

0 is the transition point at the border of the Conscious/Unconscious boundary.

You experience the Conscious Zone of the mind as an area of light, where you are free to act. You experience the Unconscious Zone of the mind as an area of darkness, where you feel stress, anxiety, craving and desire, resistance, and dread.

When you are operating in the Conscious Zone of the mind, as the task becomes more difficult and challenging, you move from +7 to +1. Ease of action, even playfulness marks +7. The experience of challenge and having to operate at your maximum capacity indicates you have reached +1.

When you move to the 0 point, you reach the transition point between the Conscious Zone and the Unconscious Zone. You may feel a certain anxiety as you move across this border into operating from the Unconscious Zone.

At -1, you begin to feel stressed, like the task is getting to you and you are looking for something to lower the stress and demand upon you. At -7, you cannot function any more; you are experiencing your painful core emotions—such as suicidal depression, full panic attack, primal rage, or intense self-hatred.

The more time you spend relating and reacting from the Unconscious Zone, the greater physiological markers of stress you exhibit; the deeper you go into this layer of the mind, the greater emotional distress and misery you experience.

To expand your comfort zone, you need to engage activities that elicit a -1 response, and relax as you do engage in this activity. As you practice the activity more and it becomes easier to do, you may find that your stress response lowers and you are become willing to engage in the action without resistance or reaction. Through this means, you begin to open this area of your Conscious Zone to integrate new behavior; the Unconscious Zone yields this aspect of your behavior to the control of volition.

Methods such as Wolpe’s systematic desensitization, used in Behavioral Psychology; and mindfulness help this process of reintegration, as you are able to loosen the death grip of these reactive patterns of the unconscious and extend the zone of your conscious functioning.

In our intermediate meditation classes—the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program—we teach methods to work with material in the unconscious. These include methods like Process Meditation, the Mandala Method, and the Rainbow Technique. These methods empower you to work with unconscious material in the -1 to -5 range.

The deepest levels of core psychological pain and defensiveness at -6 and -7 are typically out of the range of effectiveness for self-help methods, such as we teach—these are deepest levels of the Unconscious Zone best addressed with professional psychotherapy—and sometimes, medication must be used to lessen the severe reactions and dysfunctional reactive behavior that arises from these deep wellsprings of the mind.

We encourage you to monitor your behavior and notice, which aspects of your behavior come out of this Unconscious Zone. When they come up, notice what you feel… notice what your thoughts and beliefs are when this arises… and notice any desire or aversion that accompanies this reaction. This will help you identify what your deep issues are—once you know what they are, you can work with them using the self-help methods you have learned, or seek professional help when these are beyond your ability to resolve using your own resources.

The Seven Ray Expressions of the Conscience

By George A. Boyd © 2021

Q: Does the conscience evolve? Are there core expressions of the conscience?

A: We see the full expression of the conscience in the following roles:

1st Ray – The Prophet manifests on this Ray, as the one who speaks the Word of Power as God inspires. The archetype for this expression is the Fire atop the Mountain that is the presence of the Divine.

2nd Ray – The Psychologist or Therapist adopts this posture, and seeks to bring about psychological wholeness. The archetype for this expression is the Soul at the core of the psyche.

3rd Ray – The Social Reformer aims to change others’ behavior so they live in a way he or she believes is best, through enacting rules, policies, and laws, and enforcing those laws. He or she seeks to compel others to follow the rules, using rewards for compliance and punishments for non-compliance. The archetype for this expression is the Horned God, the Lord of Matter.

4th Ray – The Saint exemplifies holy virtues and lives love and service. The archetype for this expression is the Christ, the fourfold image of the whole Self.

5th Ray – The Law Giver views the ancestry and phylogeny of human beings going back to the origin of life, and views the entire content of the ancestral unconscious. He or she brings moral rules to humanity based on their state of spiritual evolution. The archetype for this expression is the Manu, the guardian of the potentials of the human race.

6th Ray – The Devotee follows scriptural guidelines scrupulously, and attempts to be a perfect role model. The Devotee conscience style may be found as the good son or daughter, the exemplary student, the model employee, or the impeccable soldier. The archetype for this expression is the Crucified One.

7th Ray – The Theocrat attempts to impose his or her religious doctrine and morality on the entire society, demanding obedience. Those that do not comply may be threatened with excommunication, inquisition, torture, or execution. The archetype for this expression is Kal, the Dark Lord.

Most people do not reach these depths of development of the conscience. Instead, what you will see is character style.

  • The Prophet character style gives commands and expects obedience. He believes he is always right, and does not handle criticism well.
  • The Therapist character style is empathic, listens, and considerate. She may attempt to analyze your behavior and give you feedback on how it impacts her.
  • The Social Reformer character type tries to change the world. He may be involved in politics or advocacy for his chosen causes.
  • The Saint character style is self-effacing, modest, and humble. She finds things to be grateful for, to appreciate. She treats others with love and kindness.
  • The Law Giver character style is highly aware of the language, non-verbal signals, and culture of others and attempts to enter their frame of reference to reach them and communicate to them in a way they can understand.
  • The Devotee character style holds her self to the highest standards. She may be self-critical, perfectionistic, and seeks to please others. She may deny herself and neglect her own needs to be a role model of the behavior that is held out to her as ideal.
  • The Theocrat character style seeks to impose his religious or political values on others. He may be intolerant of views other than his own. He may seek to convert of others to share his beliefs and values through preaching or arguments.

It is sometimes hard to determine what character style a person embodies, as there are overlapping characteristics. For example, 1st Ray, 3rd Ray, and 7th Ray types may seek to force their viewpoints and values on others. Both the 4th Ray and the 6th Ray types may wish to be good and virtuous. Both the 2nd and 5th Ray types are empathic and work to understand others.

As you study these character styles in yourself, you may find that there are strengths that this type embodies, as well as some negative characteristics. You may wish to identify and strengthen the positive qualities this character style embodies through practicing that trait; and lessen the negative characteristics through choosing to not express them.

We do a lot of comparisons in our writing between the Seven Rays. We have an introductory section on the Seven Rays in our book, A Mudrashram® Reader: Understanding Integral Meditation. We recommend this book to those of you who want to have a resource that will help you understand the meditation types we introduce in Mudrashram® and many key meditation concepts.

The Four Key Elements of Human Life

The Four Key Elements of Human Life: Identity, Desire, Meaning, and Change

By George A. Boyd © 2018

Human life is predicted upon four key elements: identity, desire, meaning, and change.

Identity asks, “Who am I?”

Desire asks, “What do I want?”

Meaning asks, “What is my life about?”

Change asks, “What should I become?

There is a scale for each of these elements that ranges from non-existence to the fullness of existence. These 12 factor scales are shown below:

Identity

  1. I am nothing, voidness—I do not exist.
  2. I am whatever I fancy my self to be in my imagination.
  3. I am my emotional and physical pain. I am my pain and unhappiness.
  4. I am what other people say I am, based on their labels and attributions, and their ideas of whom I should be.
  5. I am my possessions and my wealth—my identity is based on what I have.
  6. I am my relationships—my identity is based on whom I love and care about.
  7. I am my roles in work and in the community—my identity is based on my profession, and what I do.
  8. I am my body—I am in touch with my organismic wisdom and it guides me to inner truth.
  9. (a) I am the witness of my experience (attention, witnessing mind) and (b) I am the conscious, intentional being inside the body (attentional principle)
  10. I am the loving heart (spirit)
  11. I am the creator of my personal destiny and what I experience in my life (Self)
  12. I am the inner Divinity within me (Soul).

With each new identity state, the ego reaches a new state of integration. At the most complex stage of integration, the Soul becomes incarnate in human life.

The non-existence stage of identity connects you with the wave of the present time on the Akashic Aether. New Age authors like Eckhart Tolle and some Buddhist teachers regard this as the state of enlightenment.

Desire

  1. I have no desires.
  2. I have endless fantasies of what I want and I don’t know which to pursue.
  3. Whatever I desire, I can’t have—it is denied to me.
  4. I desire to please others, to serve their needs, and obey their wishes.
  5. I desire to have more possessions and more money.
  6. I desire to have sexual and sensual pleasure, comfort, and continual happiness—to have whatever I desire.
  7. I desire to advance in my career, to make more money, to gain greater recognition, and attain greater power and authority.
  8. I desire health, wholeness, and harmony.
  9. I desire to know and enact my purpose.
  10. I desire to love and serve.
  11. I desire to create my core life objectives.
  12. I desire to fulfill the Divine Purpose I was sent forth in the beginning to achieve.

The desireless stage similarly places you in the void, in union with the wave of the present time. Without desire, there is no motivation to do anything or achieve anything.

Meaning

  1. Life has no meaning. I do not exist.
  2. Life is whatever you want it to be. It has any meaning I assign to it.
  3. Life is suffering, deprivation, continued frustration, and want. The only meaning I can derive from this is to survive and endure.
  4. Life is doing what you are told to do, to obey and follow the commands of others.
  5. My possessions and wealth give my life meaning.
  6. My relationships are the core of what brings my life meaning.
  7. What I achieve, do, and accomplish provides meaning in my life.
  8. Being in touch with the wisdom of my organism and in harmony with Nature gives my life meaning.
  9. Inner discovery and journey into the levels of the mind, and gaining insight and wisdom fills my life with meaning.
  10. Going back to God as the spiritual heart bestows meaning upon human life.
  11. Becoming what you were born to be and actualizing your full personal potential grants meaning to life.
  12. Fulfilling your spiritual destiny and rising into Mastery and Liberation is the essential meaning and purpose of life.

The nihilistic or meaningless state is the abandonment of life. It is without desire or any sense of identity.

Change

  1. Life is ceaseless change. There is no “I” to change anything. Everything exists and unfolds of itself, without any doer.
  2. Life is chaos. There is no clear direction as to what I should do. Everything appears random, with no sense of how things might turn out. I could choose to do anything.
  3. Whatever I try to change is thwarted, frustrated, blocked, or sabotaged. What’s the use of trying anymore? I just give up.
  4. Change comes as others direct me. Others seem to know what is right to do, so I’ll follow their lead.
  5. I can obtain what I want if I buy it. I will change my life through accruing great wealth, so I can have anything I want.
  6. I can create change in my relationships through learning to effectively communicate with others, to persuade them, or to manipulate them to get what I want. I can learn the social skills to improve my ability to create change in my relationships.
  7. I can become whatever I want to be through study and experience. School, work experience, and getting mentorship hold the keys to become whatever career or community role I want to assume.
  8. I can build my muscles. I can lose weight. I can become extremely flexible through hatha yoga. I can achieve peak sports performance. I can become an invincible martial artist. I can learn to control my autonomic responses through hypnosis. I can learn to tap into healing energy within me.
  9. I can give suggestion to control my body and any vehicle of consciousness. I can travel to any level of the mind. I can use intention to activate the downpour of Spirit and bring about transformation of my Soul. I can use intention to send the Light to others through attunements.
  10. I can pray to bring God’s Love and Light to help others. I can dissolve the karma between where I am and where God is through meditation on the channels of the Nada, and I can go back to God.
  11. I can use my will to change my life. I can counsel, coach, teach, guide, and mentor others to success and fulfillment, and I can empower others to make life-changing choices.
  12. Within the sphere of my consciousness, I control all things through my transpersonal will. I give permission to allow my personality to operate independently to accomplish its goals, or I may direct it to enact my Divine Purpose in human life.

Lacking any sense of identity, it appears there is no doer, and life unfolds of itself. Some teachers regard his voidness as the state of enlightenment.

We invite you to monitor these four elements of human life to discover which of these identity, desire, meaning, and change factors are operating in you.

In Mudrashram®, we give you the keys to work on factors 9, 10, 11, and 12 for each of the elements of human life: we teach you how to activate your attentional principle, your spirit, your Self, and your Soul to actualize your personal and spiritual potentials—you can learn about these tools in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

How Not to Be An Asshole

By George A. Boyd ©2021

Q: Why do some people act like assholes much of the time?

A: The problem is that they spend their time in asshole consciousness. What is asshole consciousness? We describe this in our article, “The Nine Stages of Personal and Spiritual Growth.” We excerpt from the article: the nine stages are explained below:


When you regard human beings, there are nine stages of personal and spiritual development. These are:

  1. Degenerate – These are the layers of criminality and insanity to which human beings can embody, when they are functioning at their worst.
  2. Ego-driven – At this level, people’s personal desires are primary drivers of their behavior.
  3. Conscience-overshadowed – This level is focused on reformation of character and overcoming the excesses of the ego.
  4. Self-direction – People functioning at this level set goals and make plans to actualize their dreams.
  5. Receptivity to the Superconscious mind – Those that access this level are able to activate the cords of faith and intuition to receive emotional comfort, guidance, and insights into the nature of Ultimate Reality. This marks the beginning of the aspirant or seeker phase of spirituality.
  6. Mystic awakening – Those that operate at this level awaken as the attentional principle, the spirit, and/or their Soul. These ones become capable of depth meditation and inner work.
  7. Higher integration – These individuals align with their Soul Purpose and begin to express it in human life. The Soul actively guides their daily life.
  8. Accelerated spiritual evolution – These intrepid individuals use transformational methods to travel through the seven stages of the spiritual Path—Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, aligned Transcendental Path, and the Bridge Path, T6, and T7 to the Infinite Stage (Param Moksha Desh). This is the disciplic phase of spirituality.
  9. Divine Empowerment – These individuals complete their spiritual development and ascend to the stage of Mastery in their tradition. The Divine empowers them to minister, teach, guide, and initiate others.

People who reach level five can entertain the concepts of spirituality. For these individuals, Mudrashram® has articles, webinars, and books to help educate them about spirituality. To bridge from this stage of development to the stage where they can begin to do conscious inner work, we have put into place the Introduction to Meditation Program.

Those who reach level six, Mystic Awakening, can begin to actually practice meditation. These ones can take and benefit from one of our intermediate mediation courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation or the by-mail or online Accelerated Meditation Program.

In Mudrashram®, we actively guide people through stages seven through nine. We have students who have already reached Param Moksha Desh, and are beginning to develop their capacity to function as an Initiate in our tradition, which we call an Adi Sat Guru or Multiplane Master.

For those who are focused on reformation and recovery at stage three, we have coaching courses that will assist those who are recovering from addiction, working on overcoming the issues of growing up in a dysfunctional family or abusive relationship, or seeking to return to normal functioning and healthy spirituality after involvement in a cultic group.

For those currently established in stage four, who are developing the potentials of the Self, we have our Life Coaching Program to assist them rehabilitate their ability to function at their best and achieve their goals. These individuals can also benefit from taking the Introduction to Meditation Program, which teaches them how to turn on and utilize the executive functions of their personality.

Those who are polarized at the level of the ego, stage one and two, perhaps only truly grasping the consequences of continuing to function at this level can change them. Those who do break out of this armored mindset, typically do so through religious conversion and repentance, and resolve to change and reform themselves.

In Christianity, there is an outreach to “preach the gospel,” to evangelize those who are operating in the “sinful” mindset of the ego, and lead them to a life based on moral principles and faith in God—there are similar roles that other religions play to reach and reform those who operate in these two lowest strata of personal functioning…


Stages one and two comprise the zone of asshole consciousness.

For people to move out of being “living demons”—criminals and monsters capable of committing atrocities and horrific crimes against other people—they need to find legal and socially acceptable means to achieve what they desire without harming, threatening, or manipulating others.

For people to break out of the defensive prison of egoic polarization, they need to gain insight into how they are wasting their life and how they are harming themselves and others through their speech and actions. They have to decide to stop doing this behavior and let go of their arrogant attitude, and become willing to be corrected.

Asshole Consciousness

Some of the markers of asshole consciousness include:

  • Not caring about other people’s feelings or welfare, only caring for yourself (selfishness)
  • Having a sense of entitlement to obtain whatever you desire, and to get it through any means fair or foul, regardless of whether others are harmed or exploited (greed)
  • Having a sense of entitlement to enjoy sexual pleasure with whomever you are attracted, using them to obtain sexual release, and then abandoning them (lust)
  • Having the desire to acquire far more than you need to show yourself as successful and wealthy and to compete with others to show you are superior (attachment)
  • Expecting others will fulfill your every wish, will always agree with you, and will always give you everything you want without resistance or complaint (narcissism)
  • Expressing rage at others if your desires are thwarted or hindered in any way (egotistic anger)
  • Considering yourself to be far superior, much more intelligent and important that others, and treating others without respect—even being rude, cruel, and abusive to them (arrogance)

In mystic poetry, the person who is locked into these two stages of egoic polarization is pictured as living in a prison. The system of defenses locks their awareness in the Conscious mind, and makes them unable to transcend this band of the mind.

The ego has six personal layers:

  1. Behavioral – this is the ability to use the vehicles of the Conscious mind; the egoic octave of your volition operates here.
  2. Motivational – this is the array of desire images that drives your behavior from the ego.
  3. Ego identity and roles – these are the “I AM statements” you make about the roles you play—for example, as a worker, parent, or a member of a political or religious group. At this level, you are actively engaged in pursuing your desires, and you are aware of your behavior, emotions, thoughts, and motivation that operate in this role. [Those who meditate upon this layer of roles discover that each of these roles operate to fulfill some aspect of desire.]
  4. Life narrative – This is the story you tell yourself about what you have achieved in your life. When you are functioning in asshole consciousness, you may highlight and exaggerate your successes and achievements; and minimize, omit, or lie about your deficiencies or failures.
  5. The layers of defenses – This defensive layer holds your core pain, shame, and fear out of your awareness, and lets you maintain the illusion that you are invincible, you are always right, you are superior to anyone else, and you are entitled to instantly have whatever you want.
  6. The Shadow or Personal Unconscious – This is the repository of your painful feelings you hide from others, the secrets you do not want to reveal to others. For you to transcend egoic polarization, you need to disarm your defenses, to re-own your inner woundedness—to tell the truth about these feelings and stop pushing them away—and decide to stop being an asshole.

Undergoing psychotherapy or having a religious conversion facilitates this gradual transition to the place where you are able to inventory your character flaws and begin to transform them.

An evocative exercise to help you begin to dissolve these negative components of asshole consciousness is called the Renunciation Meditation.

Imagine that there is an inner flame, an Altar of Sacrifice, behind your ego—from which your ego ultimately arises. By meditating on this lighted flame, you will come to understand how this negative construction of the ego arises, and how these layers of negativity are dissolved. Holding your attention on this inner flame reveals the following defensive layers of the ego:

  • Resistance and limits – This layer sets boundaries and keeps people away from your core of pain and shame. Typical statements that come from this layer are, “Stay away from me! Stop that!”
  • Anxiety – You feel worried that someone will come to know your secrets, the things about which you feel ashamed—and will make you experience what you fear. You might feel worry and fear arising at this level and feel like your world is falling apart.
  • Projection – When you can’t accept what others say about you, you may attribute it to them. You might say, “You are to blame! It is you who are the angry one!”
  • Introjection – At his layer, you get into touch with the statements others have said to you or you have said to yourself that make you feel badly—ashamed, inferior, unworthy, or incompetent. This layer brings up statements like, “I really am no good! I’m a jerk!”
  • Regression – If your normal defenses do not protect you, you may go into earlier ways of defending yourself—you begin to act in ways that you used when you were younger, even going back to the way you acted when you were a child. You might have a temper tantrum, for example, or begin throwing things at other people.
  • Denial, paralysis, and shock – At this layer, your defenses begin to break down. You feel that others are going to be able to see what you have been hiding and will hate you, shame you, and reject you. Statements that signal you are broaching this layer are, “This isn’t happening! This is a nightmare!”
  • Surrender – At the core of this layer of defenses, you can no longer hide your shame, your pain, your fear, your rage, and your self-hatred. You feel in this inmost layer of your defenses like giving up and surrendering. You feel you can no longer fight against the world, and you surrender. This moment of surrender allows Love and Grace to touch you and heal you.

As you dissolve this negative armoring over the ego, it will begin to domesticate. You will begin to jettison your asshole consciousness piece by piece, and you will begin to act with honor, integrity, kindness, and consideration for others. You will develop a genuine humility, and feel gratitude for the blessings of life.

If you hold your attention on this inner altar until your ego’s defenses are exhausted and it surrenders, you will open the portal to your conscience, your Higher Self, and the Divine—this will allow the character reformation of the third stage of personal growth to occur. As you let go of the tenacious defensiveness, narcissism, and manipulation that asshole consciousness embodies, you will begin to bring forward your better nature—a kinder and gentler you that was veiled behind the self-constructed walls that have kept out love and healing for far too long.

Getting Ready for the Spiritual Path

By George A. Boyd ©2020

Q: When does someone become mature enough so they can embrace the spiritual Path?

A: If you examine what governs people’s lives, we can characterize seven major stages:

  1. Whim governs your life – You act on any idea that occurs to you. This leads to chaos and disorganization, and you seldom achieve anything worthwhile.
  2. Other people dictate what you do in your life – In this stage, other people define your life, and tell you what you should be, do, and have. This leads to a life where you feel empty and inauthentic.
  3. Passion governs your life – You pursue a primary passion: for example, making money, being famous, becoming powerful, or making love to beautiful women or men. In this life pattern, you do whatever it takes to realize your desires and dreams, regardless of how it affects you or others. You feel temporary pleasure when you realize one of your desires, but then emptiness and boredom set in. [Some people operating at this stage use alcohol and drugs and constant distraction to deaden these unpleasant, underlying feelings of guilt, shame, inadequacy, and phoniness.]
  4. A quest for meaning governs your life – You dedicate you life to uncover your genuine values. You jettison the false values of materialism and other people’s programs for your life, and you begin to discover who you are. At this stage, a humanistic counselor, an existential therapist, or a coach can help you discover your genuine Self.
  5. You govern your life through aligning your goals to your core values – Once you know who you are as a human being, you can create a life based on what you truly want to achieve—a life that gives you real satisfaction and fulfillment. At this stage, you can also benefit from coaching, which can support you in reaching the vision of your future that you visualize for yourself.
  6. Spiritual awakening reframes who you know yourself to be – You enter this stage when you have an out of body experience, a peak experience, a psychedelic encounter with a god-like part of you, an infilling of the Holy Spirit, or the rising of your Kundalini. When this occurs, you have a glimpse of something greater than your personality. [People react to this experience in one of two ways: (a) It frightens them, and they seek to shut down the experience—they may believe they have experienced temporary insanity and they get medication from a psychiatrist. (b) They explore this experience further, and try to understand what happened to them—this openness to go deeper into this experience, we call the neophyte stage of the spiritual Path.]
  7. You dedicate your life to the spiritual quest and inner development – If you choose to explore this initial awakening experience more deeply, you begin the aspirant stage of the spiritual Path. During this phase, you discover your true spiritual essence and your Soul Purpose. Those who achieve this reorientation around this higher spiritual essence enter the next phase, discipleship. During discipleship, you develop the spiritual essence with which you identify along its track, until you reach the Other Shore of Mastery and Liberation.

Spirituality is not something you can natively integrate until you have passed through the first five stages.

At stages one to three, you are living a life that is not real, that is not authentic. You have to let go of these patterns of idle imagination, the agendas of others, and the addictive fascination with the bright shining illusions of materialism. Each of these externalizes you, and alienates you from your genuine Self.

At stages four and five, you discover your genuine Self, and begin to found your life on your real values—not the values of others. At this level, you can benefit from psychotherapy, counseling, and coaching.

At stage six and seven, you reach beyond your personality to experience your transpersonal life, and you embrace your spirituality.

Your questions about who is mature enough to enter the spiritual Path?

Those who dwell at stages one to three are not ready for spirituality—they’ve not even discovered who they are.

Those at stages four and five are building the foundation for spirituality through constructing the bedrock of character and a life established on living their genuine values.

Stages six and seven can be entered in a stable way once the personality has been made ready.

Q: How can Mudrashram® assist others in this process of embracing their spirituality in a stable way?

A: We can assist others at some of these stages; but at other stages, people are outside of our ability to assist them. For example:

At stage one, those whose lives are governed by whim follow a path that leads to madness. These need the help of a social worker, a psychiatrist, and a psychotherapist. These are outside of our purview: those at this stage are not candidates for the spiritual Path.

At stage two, those whose lives are governed by others, often experience abuse at the hands of others. Those who direct their lives might be:

  • Parents who raise them in a dysfunctional family
  • Religious, political, or terrorist groups that re-parent them to follow this group’s leader’s agenda

We can assist these ones through our dysfunctional family or cult recovery coaching programs. These programs are designed to help these people rehabilitate their lives, so they can find wholeness, and be ready to embark on their spiritual journey.

At stage three, those who are near the end of their dance with an addictive passion—and have tried to deaden their feelings with alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, or thrill seeking—can receive value from our addiction recovery program. When they have uncovered the real issues that made them pursue their addictive patterns and address them, they can re-own their genuine Self and rise to the level when they can become open to their spirituality—to pursue what 12 step groups call the 11th step.

Those at stage four and five, who are seeking an authentic life, will find our life coaching program helpful. Indeed, in each of our coaching programs, we give exercises to help those who are taking the programs explore the deep questions of stage four.

However, our true strength in Mudrashram® is guiding others through the aspirant Path, and leading them through their disciplic journey to Mastery and Liberation. We do this through our beginning, intermediate, and advanced meditation classes that teach others how to awaken spiritually and how to transform themselves to reach their highest spiritual potential.

Q: Who influences people at stage two? Who governs their lives?

A: There are several scenarios through which people come under the control of others. These include:

  1. Parenting – dysfunctional family upbringing leaves lasting issues you must work to overcome
  2. Peers – getting involved with gangs and criminality leads you into involvement with the criminal justice system and the dangerous criminal underground
  3. Politics – political cults that develop around charismatic political figures can take charge of every aspect of your life
  4. Religion – religious cults that develop around charismatic religious and spiritual leaders can dictate every aspect of your life—behavior, beliefs, values, choices, and life direction
  5. Radicalized groups – terrorist groups that form around doctrines of hate and prejudice can waylay your life and lead you to acts of violence and crime
  6. Military and police – militaristic groups can program your life to regard others as the enemy; you are ever vigilant and ready to go into battle with the enemy, forgetting about your own life in the process
  7. Media – Influential media personalities can shape your beliefs and values; this is typically a gateway to involvement to scenarios three, four, or five.

Q: How do you avoid letting others shape and govern your life?

A: Until you know who you are and what you stand for—it’s very easy for others to control you. Look beneath the surface, and you’ll discover they are manipulating you through fear, shame, and guilt to enact their agendas. They give love and approval if you do what they want; they make you afraid, shame you, threaten you, and make you feel guilty if you do not.

Q: How do you get free?

A: Well first, you have to leave: get out of the arena of their influence. You need to find a safe place where they cannot find you.

Next, you have to heal and discover through you are and what you stand for. This isn’t an easy process: it’s hard and often painful. It means you have to look at each way others used and manipulated you. A therapist or support group can help you do this.

Q: It seems like most of this process to awaken to spirituality is a personal journey.

A: Yes. You have to genuinely know who you are before you can authentically embrace your spiritual nature.

When cults get a hold of you, they can lift you into the spiritual realms, but they do so before you discover who you are as a human being.

In this case, you are readily hypnotized, manipulated, or programmed to carry out the cult leader’s agenda, instead of living your genuine human and spiritual potentials.

So instead of living the core values of your life, you’re living to bring people to Jesus or to enlist people to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. You don’t know who you are or your genuine Soul Purpose—rather, they are giving you an identity and having you carry out their purpose.

That’s why it’s important for you to reach personal maturity before you start the spiritual Path. This enables you to free yourself from other people’s thrall and start from step one—knowing who you are and knowing what you stand for.

You can achieve the first step, knowing who you are as a person through psychotherapy, coaching, and our Introduction to Meditation Course. You can learn to awaken your authentic spirituality—your attentional principle and spirit—and unfold your Soul’s spiritual potentials in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.