Reflections on Levels of Thought

By George A. Boyd © 2018

Q: There are certain coaches, eastern Gurus, and New Age teachers who state that there is no thinker, that thoughts “arise by themselves,” and that thoughts are a false story that veils the truth of our inner Divinity and perfection. Can you shed some light on this?

A: If you hold your attention in certain altered states of consciousness, this appears to be true. You have to keep your attention fixed in this altered state of consciousness, however, to maintain this perspective.

For this reason, these exponents of this view advocate that people do continual inquiries or process meditations, or keep their mind fixed or absorbed in this “enlightened” state. They may teach a number of techniques to keep you merged in this state, or they may have one key method to bring about this state of awareness.

If you simply notice the layers of thoughts you experience, you may discover that there are several different bands of thinking, some of which directly impact human life and others that transcend it and view it from a detached perspective. These 16 major platforms of thought are shown below.

Levels of Thought Directly Impacting Human Life

  1. Stimuli – These are thoughts that your contact with objects in the environment generates. They typically remind you of things you want or things you need to do.
  2. Reactions – These are emotionally laden thoughts that events or things people say trigger in you. These are your issues or “buttons” that express as upset, rage, sadness, or terror.
  3. Dreams or fantasies – This is where you imagine what you want to do, be, or have in your life.
  4. Logic – This is the activity of reason, which operates like a computer—making the calculations for your behavior, analyzing probable outcomes, and assessing the truth or falsity of statements. This aspect of your mind is responsible for reality testing.
  5. Schemas – These are associated thoughts that you organize into categories. These are integrated within the role identities of your ego. For example, if you are a bowler, you have all bowling-related thoughts compartmentalized within the capsule of your “I am a bowler” role.
  6. Task oriented thoughts – This is the activity of your concrete mind, which plans, schedules, identifies key points, and steps to completion of a project.
  7. Conceptual thought – These comprise the problem-solving and conceptual reflection functions of the intellect. You use these intellect’s cognitive strategies to learn, solve problems, and explore ideas.
  8. Emergent thought – These are mental impressions that arise within the present time, which come into conscious awareness—they seem to arise independently from the “thinker.” These enter the Conscious mind through the preconscious portal. They enter the Metaconscious mind in the state of being, where it seems that behavior and decisions happen spontaneously. They arise in the Superconscious mind in the wave of the present time on the Akashic Aether—the Soul’s thought and intention enters human life at this stage. Many process meditation groups, coaches, and metaphysical teachers consider union with the wave of the present time to be the state of enlightenment.

Levels of Thought that Do Not Directly Impact Human Life

  1. Psychic impressions – These images and ideas become impressed on conscious awareness. They arise from your vehicle of consciousness on the Psychic Plane, or they may be channeled from guides or spiritual beings from this Plenum. Typically, you need to enter into an altered state of consciousness—through hypnosis or meditation—to become aware of these thoughts
  2. Voice of wisdom – This marks the emergence of the teacher within, which gives you guidance for your life and answers your questions. This arises from your form on the Wisdom Plane. Your mind has to be silent and receptive to receive this thought stream.
  3. Inspired thoughts – These are revealed truths and insights that arise from your revelatory mind and from the Holy Spirit. You contact this level through contemplating the nucleus of identity of the First Planetary Initiation, the Moon Soul or Christ Child.
  4. Voice of the Mighty I AM Presence – These are decrees that you speak aloud or you hear as “power thoughts” that arise from the Mighty I AM Presence in your form on the Second Planetary Initiation. You must raise your attention to this level to be aware of this thought stream.
  5. Thought ministry – These are the higher mental activities that operate in your Manasic Vortex in the Third Planetary Initiation. These activities include contemplation of seed thoughts, visualizing blueprints for projects and organizations, creating mental synthesis and synergistic cooperation between people, actualizing the gifts of the Soul, enacting Soul Purpose, receiving intuitive guidance from the Masters of the Planetary Hierarchy, and participating in thought ministry through reception and transmission.
  6. Illumined mind – This downpour of intuitive knowledge arises from the Illumined Mind or Buddhi from your vehicle of consciousness in the Fourth Planetary Initiation. It purifies your attitude, reveals truths, uproots ignorance and superstition, shows the content of your vehicles of consciousness and the inner Planes, awakens the abilities of your forms in the Superconscious mind, guides your spirit and attentional principle on the inner Planes, and brings remembrance of your Soul’s essential nature.
  7. Attunement – This is the channeled Light from the Divine Spirit that purifies the inner vehicles of consciousness; promotes physical, etheric, and emotional healing; counsels and guides the attentional principle and spirit; awakens revelation and illumination; and bestows initiation to unfold the spiritual evolutionary potentials of the Soul.
  8. Samadhi – This is the direct, wordless experience of the Soul beyond thought. This confers Soul Realization and Gnosis.

Those that seek to put you into the state of enlightenment will typically ask you to attend to the upwelling of emergent thought in the wave of the present time (level 8). In this state of consciousness, it appears that thoughts arise without a self or a thinker—and that life is just unfolding on its own and the “mind” and its stories are just an overlay upon that perfect state of being.

We suggest it is important for you to become aware of each of the layers of thought and how they impact your life, or how they enable you to view your life from a detached, higher perspective. While it may be productive to do certain aspects of spiritual work from the wave of the present time on the Akashic Aether, we do not recommend that aspirants maintain that state of awareness beyond the time required to perform their process, inquiry, or contemplation; instead, they should ensure they return their attention to their fully grounded awareness again after their meditational inner work is completed.

Those of you who are interested in learning how to access these many layers of thought can acquire specific techniques that allow you to do so in our intermediate meditation programs: the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

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