Bound or Free

Bound or Free: An Inquiry into Control

By George A. Boyd © 2018

Q: Am I deceiving myself that I have control over my life, when I really don’t? Is my will just an illusion? Is everything just unfolding on its own and I have only the false belief that I am doing anything at all?

A: To answer this question, you need to inquire what enables you to create change and what you cannot control.

Internal factors that you control include:

  1. Your personal liberty – you are free to make choices between alternatives using the volition of the Self
  2. Stored karma – you can use transformational spiritual practices to work out stored karma behind the Soul (Adi Karma), in the channels of the Nada (Sinchit Karma), and behind the seed atoms of your vehicles in the Superconscious Mind (the stored aspect of Kriyaman Karma)
  3. Your transpersonal liberty – your Soul is free to carry out its ministry and service using its transpersonal will; your attentional principle operates its intention freely; and your spirit expresses its wish without barriers

Internal factors you do not control include:

  1. Destiny (Pralabdha) Karma – these are psychological and constitutional factors that you cannot control through your will, intention, or wish
  2. Divine Will – this is the Eternal Force that animates the Soul and guides the process of spiritual development; it is fully manifest in spiritual Masters

External factors you can control include:

  1. Using the egoic octave of will, you can initiate individual units of behavior to operate on the environment to carry out the activities of daily life and to design and organize your environment
  2. Your zone of responsibility extends to your property and possessions; and to your relationships—your duty and commitments to other people and the society in which you live. You can choose to exercise this responsibility or to neglect or abandon it.

External factors you do not control include:

  1. Other people’s choices – while you can attempt to use negotiation, persuasion, or manipulation to attempt to make people do what you want, you do not control their ultimate choices
  2. The activity of Nature and the world around you – you do not control the weather, the movements of the earth or the sea, or the creatures that dwell in Nature
  3. The activity of other spiritual beings – you do not control the activities of other attentional principles, spirits, or Souls; angels, Masters, gods and goddesses, or the Divine—these beings operate independently from you.

Your challenge is to identify what you can control, and use it effectively to carry out your Soul’s purpose and make a positive contribution in the lives of others. We suggest that you study the conative principles within yourself—will, at both its personal and transpersonal octaves; the intention and suggestion your attentional principle generates; and the wish that expresses your spirit.

There are several states of conscious awareness that certain spiritual teachers point to as states of enlightenment. In these states it appears you have no self, and that things unfold of themselves, without a doer.

These states of awareness, where it appears that spontaneous action arises, include:

  1. The voidness of being – this highest center of the Metaconscious mind appears as a pool of peace, and action appears to effortlessly arise without choice
  2. The wave of the present time – this first nodal point of the Akashic Records Subplane of the Abstract Mind Plane is the nexus where the Soul’s thought pours into human life. Passive absorption into this center brings the awareness that there is no self or abiding identity, no desire, no meaning, and no one to make any change.
  3. Brahman – in the first Cosmic Initiation, at the pinnacle of the seventh chakra of the Cosmic Man or Woman, it appears that the entire Creation is God’s dream, and only God is real. Human life and its parade of actions are like a movie that plays spontaneously, with no actor.
  4. The Supracosmic seed atom on the Vipassana Buddhist Path – here is appears that everything arises out of the ground of Mind, and is an eternal flow in which the heart-mind experiences in the moment. Everything is transient, impermanent, ceaseless change. This ceaseless change is called Samsara; the consciousness that perceives it is Nirvana.

We point out that if you don’t focus your attention in these states, you will be aware of integration centers in the personality—the ego and the Self; and integration centers in the Superconscious mind—nuclei of identity and the ensouling entities. You will also become aware that volition arises from these integration centers, and that you can generate action and life change through your volition.

We suggest that these is a time when it is appropriate to repose in these flowing, passive states of being and non-action; for example, when you are in need of rest and wish to experience peace and reduce your stress. It is also important that you be able to operate out of the empowered states where your volition acts to promote change and accomplish your goals. The challenge for aspirants is to locate both these wellsprings of being and will, and to be able to function in both states as the situation requires.

Signs You Have Connected with Your Soul

By George A. Boyd ©2017

Q: How do I know when I have connected with my Soul? How can I be sure that I’m truly hearing its voice?

A: Some of the signs that you have touched your Soul include:

  1. Joy – When you feel that deep “yes!!!!” inside of you, like you hit on that perfect thing, you have tapped into your Soul.
  2. Conviction – When you know something is right from the very core of you, in every fiber of your being, you have contacted the Soul.
  3. Sense of purpose – When you realize this is the reason you have been born, you uncover your Soul’s expressed purpose. You may feel that your Soul has a mission that it has come here to accomplish, and you have the opportunity to cooperate with it in manifesting its purpose.
  4. Unconditional love and great compassion – When you feel boundless love and compassion welling up from the core of you, you have come to the fountainhead of the Soul.
  5. Permission and direction – When the Soul allows you to do something that you have suppressed or postponed out of fear or doubt, the Soul is at work. When the still small voice within speaks to you and tells you what you need to do, the Soul is communicating with you.
  6. You get multiple confirmations – You get the same guidance when you do reflective and receptive meditations: when all intuitive guidance you are receiving points to the same message, your Soul is guiding you. [We teach several types of reflective and receptive meditation in our intermediate meditation courses. The in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. We teach advanced meditations that tap the intuition in the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation.]
  7. You have a completion and release experience – When your Soul is winding up some aspect of its karma, you may have a completion and release experience. This is the culmination of your sustained effort and inner work: you experience that you are complete with this endeavor; your mission has been accomplished. If this is a spiritual Path upon which you have embarked, this occurs at the stage when you achieve Liberation or Jivan Mukta. If it is a personal project you have been directed to undertake, you know that you have accomplished everything what you were asked to do.

Much of the inner struggle of the aspirant arises from trying to ascertain the true voice of the Soul from the ten thousand messages coming from different layers of the mind. To verify a communication is from the Soul, you must place your attention upon the Soul, and then see, hear, and feel—with your inner senses—that it is the Soul that speaks to you and not something else.

In time, you will learn to recognize the signs that your Soul is giving you direction, and you will come to trust your own perception that this genuinely is your Soul. As you gain greater discernment, it will become easier for you to determine which messages come from the core of you and which arises in the labyrinth of the mind.

Q: Can the Soul communicate to you from coincidence? You know, experiences that happen seemingly randomly, but set you up for a mysterious encounter? Like someone meeting their spouse, or meeting their spiritual teacher through a series of uncanny coincidences?

A: Coincidence, the unfolding of events in a non-linear, synchronistic way, is more commonly associated with destiny, which is the part of your karma that you experience in human life. Destiny reveals itself in a strangely involuntary, magical, or irrational way; the direction of your Soul is purposeful and seeks to accomplish specific aims—and your Soul will guide you unequivocally when you truly contact it.

Types of Destiny

By George A. Boyd ©2016

Q: Are there different types of destiny that people experience? It seems there are lives of suffering and privation, and lives of great affluence; lives of the common man and those who are luminaries and leaders; and those who make spirituality their primary focus. Is there a rhyme or reason to these karmic patterns we observe?

A: The Lords of Karma set up the destiny karma for each individual is set up at the time of birth. Those who are conscious in the interlude between lives may be able to choose between different scenarios presented to them, this destiny is generally executed once one is born into life—although we may see the precursors of genetic conditions during the embryonic period of development.

We can describe seven general categories of destiny. They are not mutually exclusive: individuals may experience aspects of more than one category simultaneously, or during discrete episodes in their lives. These categories are:

  1. Karmic retribution – these are genetic conditions, chronic physical illness, intractable patterns of addiction, and mental illness that incapacitate an individual throughout their lives—these are lives of suffering and retribution for evil karmic deeds committed in former lives.
  2. Karmic reward – these are lives of privilege, wealth, and leisure founded upon charity and good deeds in former lives
  3. Lives of learning and achievement – these are lives which are based largely on an individual using their liberty to develop their knowledge and abilities and contribute something to their families, and to the community and the society in which they live
  4. Lives of power and influence – these individuals rise to become eminent in their field, and become leaders of institutions, companies, and governmental bodies
  5. Lives of aspiration and devotion – these individuals begin to have spiritual and mystic experiences, and pursue spiritual development as the first priority of their lives. Some will become members of monastic communities, some will become clergy, and some will study spiritual teachings and join spiritual groups, often becoming initiated into different spiritual Paths.
  6. Lives of Mastery – these individuals gain spiritual Mastery in a tradition and work to minister and disseminate its teachings.
  7. Lives of Mission – these individuals have their entire life track—the goals they must accomplish—predestined for them, and they must simply enact what is written there. This form of destiny does not appear until one has achieved Mastery, and is associated with those who are working on the Ascension Path.

Types one and two seem to have little control over their lives: much seems to be predestined and they just live through the nightmare or the good fortune they have been granted.

Types three and four bring to mind the ideas of an individual making their way in life or creating their destiny prevalent in wealthy, industrialized countries. They have much greater liberty and can make new choices that improve their abilities and knowledge and their position in life; they can also misuse their liberty and vitiate their lives.

Spirituality strongly influences types five and six. This can have different permutations: individuals who fight for moral values to be enacted in political and social arenas; individuals who retreat from life and embark on a spiritual quest; individuals who share the spiritual gifts they have gained through healing, counseling, guiding, or initiating others; and individuals who lead spiritual groups and movements.

Type seven is most rare; it is seen only in those Masters, who are enacting a mission on behalf of the Dispensation that God has granted them. An example of this is seen in the Bible, which hints that Jesus Christ may have had events of his life predestined—his ministry, his betrayal, and his crucifixion. Living through the episodes of his life, he demonstrated the Ascension after his resurrection.

We note that destiny karma can be all encompassing for some individuals, and condition nearly everything they experience. For others there is much greater liberty.

We encourage aspirants to contemplate what is their zone of liberty, and use this to do what they can, where they are in their lives, with an aim to improve themselves—both in their personal lives and spiritually. We are reminded of Dr. Steven Hawking, who despite living with a debilitating type one illness, is one of the pre-eminent physicists of our time. Whatever obstacles your destiny may be currently putting in your path, optimize the liberty you do have to achieve what you can and actualize your human and spiritual potentials.