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:


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.