A Motivation Scale

A Motivation Scale: from Materialism to Spirituality

By George A. Boyd ©2023

Q: What markers are there for those who enter the spiritual path. How is their motivation different from one who is not spiritual?

A: We can describe on eight-point motivational scale. Four of these are primarily involved with human life; four of them are spiritual postures:

  1. All material desires – one is completely focused upon possessions, home, car, and family. If there is any religious affiliation, it is only to ask God to fulfill desires.
  2. Religious ritual – One’s focus is primarily in material desires, but the family regularly attends religious meetings on a regular basis, and religion conditions their values and beliefs. At this level, one identifies as a member of a religion.
  3. Spiritual study – There is interest at this level to read about spirituality to gain greater understanding of one’s faith. Initially, this will just be scriptures and books about one’s religious faith. Later, at this stage, one may read the books and teachings of other spiritual traditions to better understand other faith traditions.
  4. Removal of suffering – If one has undergone traumatic experiences or loss in one’s life, on looks to the Divine, as a source of healing, comfort, and strength to be able to cope. One may learn meditation at this level to be able to process and transcend—at least temporarily—the ongoing suffering one feels.
  5. Initial mystic experience – One undergoes an experience that radically changes one’s perception, beliefs, values, identity, and behavior. This can come from:
  • Use of psychedelics
  • Awakening of the Kundalini
  • Reception of Light Immersion from a spiritual Adept (Shaktipat)
  • Astral projection, where one views the body from outside of it
  • Encounter with a numinous being, such as an angel or a materialization of a spiritual Master in a vision
  • A peak experience, where one gains union with a higher spiritual essence
  • A near death experience, where one experiences a vision of the spiritual realms while one is clinically dead, before one is resuscitated

This experience leads one to orient towards spirituality, to make sense of what one has encountered. This leads some individuals to engage in a serious spiritual quest. For some individuals who have had this experience, material desires and suffering taking a back seat to the desire to know more about this portal to a transcendent reality that they have opened and passed through. In Mudrashram®, we call this the Neophyte stage of spirituality.

  1. Aspiration – One begins to seek to know one’s true nature, and how one might develop one’s spiritual potentials. This takes the form of studying many spiritual systems and getting initiated into several spiritual traditions. We call this in Mudrashram®, the Aspirant stage of spirituality. Several characteristics mark this stage:
  • Studies, reads books, listens to lectures and audios, watches videos on the Internet to learn about spirituality
  • Asks many questions: gets many confusing and conflicting answers
  • May begin to express the Soul’s abilities in science and art, and as psychic gifts
  • May begin to commune with one’s Soul to gain understanding or may get answers from spiritual guides
  • Re-evaluates one’s beliefs and values; reviews the information one was taught to align with the Soul’s inner truth (dharma)
  • Gets clear on one’s intrinsic and extrinsic Soul Purpose; one seeks a Master to help one actualize this Purpose—one identifies a resonant spiritual Path—instead of selecting random Paths, based on the promises of spiritual teachers, with no clear understanding whether this Path is appropriate or not
  1. Discipleship – one realizes a spiritual essence as one’s true nature, and begins to operate from this level. The disciple develops:
  • Devotion
  • Dedication and discipline
  • Perseverance on the face of adversity
  • The practice of regular meditation and transformation techniques regularly (sadhana)
  • Humility and a willingness to learn
  • The capacity to love unconditionally and feel compassion
  • The capacity to engage in selfless service
  1. Mastery – One completes spiritual development on one’s chosen track and enters the Presence of the Divine. The Divine anoints the Initiate:
  • To send the Light to awaken the spirit, a nucleus of identity, an ensouling entity, or the attentional principle (Awakener)
  • To act as guide to the attentional principle or spirit on the inner Planes (Guide)
  • To convey the teachings of one’s Path (Teacher)
  • To counsel aspirants and disciples to give them practical and moral guidance (Counselor)
  • To assist aspirants and disciples work with personal issues, and hindrances and obstacles to spiritual development (Therapist or Healer)
  • To inspire aspirants and disciples to make the next step in their spiritual studies and to progress on their Path (Coach)
  • To send the Light of Grace, Love, Wisdom, and healing through attunement to support students in times of adversity (Minister)

People have to pass through the portal of an initial mystic experience to awaken to their deeper spiritual nature. If they do not close that door out of fear, they may progress to the Aspirant, Disciple, and Initiate stages of spirituality.

Stages of Establishing a Disciplic Relationship with God

By George A. Boyd © 2018

Establishing a disciplic relationship is ultimately a direct connection with God mediated through a Master or Initiate. It appears to pass though several stages.

The first order of a disciple’s relationship with God is at the personal level. This is part of what we call the aspirant or seeker stage of spirituality.

When aspirants relate to God from the ego, the first sign is the establishment of faith in God. The believer, at this stage does not know God, and imagines what the Supreme Being might be like.

When aspirants begin to relate to God from the core of their personality, or the Self, they often receive an intuitive reception of guidance, revelation of the meaning of scriptures, and directives to act kindly, ethically, and compassionately towards others.

The second order of a disciple’s relationship with God we might call mystic communion with God. In this this stage, the disciple enters into an altered state of consciousness and travels into the Superconscious mind. Several markers typify this state.

When aspirants are able to unite their attention with their attentional principle and travel consciously onto the inner Planes, in many traditions, they are called a chela. As they become more proficient with this skill, they may behold the inner guide form of the Initiate who supervises them, and experience astral communion with their Master.

Once the chela has gained the ability to travel at will into the presence of the Soul, the supervising Initiate will commonly anchor the Light or Holy Spirit (Shakti) in the attentional principle. This attunement channels the Omnific Power and Grace of God through the chela.

In many Paths, the chela will be led to meditate on a nucleus of identity (Manasa Dhyan), and learn to transform it along its track to a universal stage of consciousness. Once disciples reach this stage of Union with Divine Life, or Christ Consciousness, the Holy Spirit (Shakti) may anoint them to begin ministering, teaching, and guiding others.

The third order of a disciple’s relationship with God is the enlightenment and empowerment stage. At this point, the disciple moves beyond universal consciousness and moves directly into the Presence of God. At this stage, the disciple becomes an Initiate.

The Initiate, who the Divine anoints, and who dwells in the Divine Presence, has been given many titles. The Initiate might be called an Adept, an Adept Master, a Yogi Preceptor, a Light Master, a Cosmic Master, a Supracosmic Master or Guru, or a Transcendental Master or Sat Guru.

In the Christian tradition, the Master is referred to as the Son of God, who is an intermediary between God and human beings.

The Initiate or Master who guides chelas and supervises their spiritual evolution is capable of leading them through all stages of the Path and ultimately enabling them to become an Initiate in their tradition.

In some traditions, some rare, select Initiates become Incarnations or Avatars, where God the Father expresses directly through them. This form of the Divine that empowers other Initiates is the ultimate source of the Light they send to others.

If you practice meditation under the tutelage of a God-inspired and Divinely-empowered Initiate, you will journey through the mystic stages of discipleship and ultimately become like your Master. The form of Mastery you may ultimately attain is contingent on who the Initiate is, who supervises your spiritual development.