Reflections on the Context of Consciousness

By George A. Boyd © 2022

Q: I was listening to a talk where they referenced Dr. Roger Penrose’s theory about how consciousness arises out of the subatomic quantum field, and the brain operates like a quantum computer. Is this the basis of consciousness? Is consciousness only an epiphenomenon, an emergent property of the brain?

A: People interpret consciousness at the level where they perceive it.

  1. If you regard someone to be the body, the physical organism, the actions, emotions, and sensations of that body you can observe or measure are the evidence of consciousness. The field of behavioral psychology holds this view.
  2. If you regard someone is a network or system of cells, consciousness is the firing of neurons that underlie the observable actions, emotions, and sensation. Physiological psychology explains behavior, affect, and sensation from this platform.
  3. If you regard someone is the atomic matrix, the electrical activity of the body and brain is consciousness. Technological innovations such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Electroencephalography (EEG), and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) enable researchers to detect “brain waves” and the electrical activity of the living brain. Those who try to alter awareness using auditory and photic brain entrainment modalities tap this level.
  4. If you regard someone as a localized subatomic field within the universal subatomic field, you will look at consciousness as analogous as a quantum computer or a hologram. This is the perspective that Dr. Penrose and other physicists embrace.
  5. If you regard someone as an integrative node in the Information Aether, you witness consciousness as the dynamic acquisition of information (learning), information storage (memory), and manipulation of information (intelligence). Information that is no longer needed is jettisoned (forgetting). Cognitive psychology adopts this viewpoint.
  6. If you regard someone is a vortex on the Resonance Aether, you behold consciousness is the wave of the present time, through which you create, sustain, or transform the content of the mind. New Age, New Thought, and process meditation groups access this level.
  7. If you regard someone is the etheric body, you observe consciousness is directly linked to the life force. Movement of life energy in the fine mental channels (nadis) of the etheric body gives rise to thought and emotions; movement of life force in the somatic channels (meridians) governs physiological functions; and the integrative functions of the etheric body plexuses (chakras) coordinate and integrate behavior. Energy healers, Chinese medicine practitioners, and chiropractors work with this energy body and observe the linkage of consciousness and life force.
  8. If you regard someone as a magnetic center on the Desire Aether, where the Law of Attraction operates, you visualize that consciousness is the attentional principle. This essence can direct intention and thought to magnetize and manifest what you desire in your life. Spiritual coaches, metaphysical counselors, psychic teachers and channelers operate at this level.
  9. If you regard someone is the mental field or aura that encapsulates thought forms on the Thought Form Aether, you consider consciousness is the dynamic force that creates, sustains, and destroys thought forms—the attentional principle again appears as the agency that can directly interface with thought forms. Those who work at this level consider that each thought form embodies the desire seeds of karma. Humanistic and Transpersonal therapies that work with subpersonalities access this level.
  10. If you regard someone is the Self, you view consciousness is the expression of this core of the personality, which uses volition and intelligence to activate the faculties of the Metaconscious mind. These executive functions of the personality manage the issues of human life and create personal destiny. Humanistic and Existential therapies work at this level.
  11. If you regard someone is a Superconscious seed atom or nucleus of identity, consciousness appears as the activity of this essence through its form or vehicle of consciousness. Consciousness in this viewpoint is the embodiment and expression of an archetype. Transpersonal therapies that utilize the archetypes of the Superconscious mind, such as Jung’s Active Imagination and Assagioli’s Psychosynthesis interact with elements at this level.
  12. If you regard someone is the Soul, you envision consciousness resides innately in this essence. It is eternal and immortal (Sat), eternally conscious (Chit), and abides in bliss and power (Ananda). This consciousness is expressed through the faculties of the Soul’s essential vehicle, which in turn controls and operates the vehicles of the Superconscious mind (level 11) and connects with the Self (level 10). Planetary Adepts and Adept Masters view human beings in this perspective.
  13. If you regard someone is the spirit, you will see consciousness innately abides in this essence. Nadamic Masters and Sat Gurus of the Transcendental Sphere perceive consciousness at this level.
  14. If you view someone from our Integral meditation perspective, you observe consciousness inheres in the Soul (Pole One – level 12), the spirit (Pole Two – level 13), a nucleus of identity (Pole Three – level 11), the attentional principle (upper Pole Four – levels eight and nine), and the Self (lower Pole Four – level ten). This the way we view consciousness in Mudrashram®.

The relative awakening of individuals determines which of these perspectives they see. This limen of perspective only admits the content of the levels up to the stage of their spiritual development. Someone who adopts the subatomic perspective of level four can also view the content of levels one to three. However, the more subtle view of level five on the Information Aether, is outside their threshold of comprehension.

Using a transformational mantra keyed to the Soul transforms this veil, and those who practice this method can begin to comprehend those levels that are beyond his or her current threshold of conscious awareness. Those who open this veil over awareness to the Bridge Path can grasp all 14 levels.

Those who take our intermediate mediation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation or the by-mail or online Accelerated Meditation Program learn a technique gradually part this veil and open up the perspectives of the grander vistas of consciousness. We invite those of you who wish to view these other levels learn how to catalyze your Soul’s unfoldment.

Transformations of Memory

By George A. Boyd © 2016

The recent research in the study of memory at the neurological level reports that there is an actual transformation of the cells, and as these cellular changes persist, these memory traces remain. They also have discovered that there are different types of memory—such as visual, auditory, olfactory, tactile, kinesthetic, and emotional—that are stored in different locations in the brain, and are tied together to create the composite of memory.

This memory composite appears to be different each time it is recalled: different aspects of the remembrance are called forward, so what we remember each time is different than the imprint of the original incident. It has also been shown that with the skillful, intentional suggestion of an interviewer or interrogator that a subject remember something that they didn’t do, or having a subject do exercises that utilize visualization and imagination while they are relaxed, these memory traces can be changed, and false memories implanted.

The emotionalized component of memory—which is implicated in causing the affective dysphoria in phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders—can be separated from the other components.

One novel method used to treat arachnophobia involves exposing a patient to the phobic stimulus, and then giving him or her a small dose of propanolol, which blocks the action of norepinephine. This appears to strip out the emotional component that either freezes someone or makes him or her want to run away in terror—and the patient can then approach the spider without any terror, and can touch it.

It was further suggested that as psychologists learn more about this actual working of memory, they would be able to apply these insights to actually cure phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety disorders. This application has been portrayed in movies such as “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Inception.”

The new concept of memory has changed with these new discoveries. It is no longer viewed like a collection of books in a library, but rather it is like a dynamic hard drive in a computer, where data can be recalled or modified as new input comes into the mind.

Meditation and Memory

Meditation builds upon these discoveries about memory that neurologists and psychologists have made. Meditation sees that memory can be utilized and transformed in ten ways:

  1. Memory retention and recall – this aspect of memory is the foundation of learning and experience, and is embedded in the neurological substrate of memory.
  2. Imagination – this creatively combines the components of memory composites in new ways, to come up with novel constructions.
  3. Praxis –this uses remembered motor skills to carry out a behavior, or remembered data to solve a problem or communicate an idea. This is the skillful application of memory.
  4. Life recall – this is the autobiographical aspect of memory that appears to be layered in six temporal zones—that which is being recalled in the moment, the life narrative back to the first conscious memory, the memory traces arising the zone before the first conscious memory to birth, the organismic memory of embryonic experience going back to conception, and the experience of eternity, where the Soul views the entire life as a detached observer. This is the aspect of memory that is encountered in the first layer of the Subconscious mind.
  5. Intuitive memory – This is the categorical summarization and application of experience that takes place in the chakras of the Subconscious mind, which enables you to synthesize your associations to create correspondences, analogies, and metaphors, and to group similar associations together. For example, in one of the petals of the second chakra, your diverse and varied associations related to courtship are brought together in one place. This is the aspect of memory that is encountered in the second layer of the Subconscious mind.
  6. Applied etheric memory – This aspect of memory utilizes the dynamic, computer-like functioning of the etheric body of the Metaconscious mind, which has access to the knowledge and experience stored in each band of the mind up to this level. This interface between the Subconscious mind and the executive functions of the Metaconscious mind—commitment, persona, conscience, concrete mind, intellect, personal intuition, and volition—enables you to dynamically draw upon your skills and knowledge to carry out the activities of daily life and work.
  7. Stored etheric memory (Akashic Records) – This aspect of memory is found on the fifth Subplane of the Abstract Mind Plane, and it records each moment of life in multiple dimensions—sensory, emotional, cognitive impressions are all recorded here. Process meditation can tap this level. This zone is the level at which you can access remembrance of past lives. This level records the lives of this Cycle of Time; at higher levels of the Continuum, there are bands that retain the experiences of even more ancient Cycles of Time.
  8. Karmic memory (Samskara) – In the causal body of the Soul—and layered on the inner helix that makes up the unconscious mind—the impressions of karma are stored. These desire-laden impressions that underlie motivation and craving influence thought, emotions, and behavior. Transformational meditation transmutes and integrates the positive impressions, and dissolves the evil impressions that are stored in this zone of the mind.
  9. Illumined memory (Buddhi) – This is the eternal knowledge that the Soul retains throughout eternity. As the Soul ascends of the spiral of spiritual evolution, it expands this sphere of illumined knowledge. This zone of the mind has been called mandalic reasoning, spiritual discernment, and viveka.
  10. Gnosis and Path Knowledge (Bodhi) – This is the Soul’s remembrance of its eternal essence and the path ahead to Liberation. Accessing this level of consciousness confers enlightenment.

Those who meditate access the deeper aspects of memory that are contained in the inner vehicles of consciousness. Types 1 to 3 operate in the Conscious mind. Types 4 and 5 come from the Subconscious mind. Type 6 functions in the Metaconscious mind. Types 7 through 10 arise from the Superconscious mind.

If we do not alter our awareness from the waking state of awareness, it appears that all aspects of memory, behavior, affect, and cognition are products of the operation of the brain and nervous system. Those that move their attention on the thread of consciousness behold the working of these inner vehicles and the subtler aspects of memory, conation, emotion, and thought that operate within them.

Those who meditate will be enriched to learn of the neurological substrates of memory and the other functions of consciousness shown to us in the patient and methodical research of the scientists. We encourage them to begin with these foundations, and explore the vehicles of consciousness to extend these understandings into the core of being.

Those who wish to explore the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind can do so in greater depth in our beginning meditation course, Introduction to Meditation. Those who wish to extend their journey of inner discovery into the Superconscious mind will benefit from taking one of our intermediate courses, the in person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation or the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.