Concerning Patterns of Spirituality

By George A. Boyd © 2020

Q: What is the optimum strategy for maximizing personal success and spiritual progress? It seems like people adopt a variety of patterns of spirituality, but these don’t seem to yield the best results.

A: There appear to be several patterns that people portray in their spiritual life, ranging from repression of their spirituality to clear focus. Seven major patterns aspirants adopt include:

  1. Resist the Light with all your might – Those that operate from this platform typically are atheists. They repress the inspiration of their Superconscious mind, and only listen to the voice of their own reason. Assuming this posture blocks communion with their higher mind. From this standpoint, they believe that their reason can derive all truth—and others, who operate from other perspectives—are deluded or insane.
  2. True believers – These have a spiritual experience that powerfully affects them. Based on this experience, they believe that they have found the ultimate truth. They may be so touched by this experience that they wish to bring everyone else to have this experience. Those who undergo conversion into a religious group or get have a powerful initiation experience commonly become true believers. They may feel compelled to proselytize or evangelize others.
  3. The polemicist – These seek to change the beliefs of others so they align with their own. They delight in debating with others and challenging others’ beliefs. You might find among this type, prolific writers, lecturers, teachers of exotic doctrines, and podcast and radio show hosts.
  4. Be here now – These “abide in the present time.” They follow the “flow state” and let the Spirit guide their actions. They don’t plan. They let their life and destiny unfold. As a result of this “completely open to experience” mindset, they have many interesting personal and spiritual experiences. Many of them do not achieve much in their lives, but they have many stories to tell.
  5. The syncretists – These ones adopt beliefs and practices from multiple traditions, and follow what feels right at the time. One moment, they may do a Krishna mantra; in another, they invoke the archangels; and in yet another, they might do a magical or shamanic rite.
  6. The spiritual addict – These use meditation to get high and stay high, so they won’t have to deal with painful feelings and the difficulties in their lives. They may get multiple initiations from different traditions to experience bliss and ecstasy—they chase this high in each meditation. If their meditations do not yield ecstatic light shows or drown them in bliss, they may readily leave the group and go to another, seeking this constant cascade of euphoria and phantasmagoria. Anecdotally, we note that some of those who adopt this strategy may experiment with hallucinogenic drugs, or may be in recovery form other addictive drugs.
  7. Laser Focus – These use techniques to achieve specific personal and spiritual objectives—in example, for personal or spiritual transformation, for communion with their higher mind, to work on their personality. They use this laser focus to manifest desired outcomes. Those who can spend time in this focus can be highly productive and achieve much in their lives. [This is the strategy we advocate in our system of Integral meditation.]

At the outer edge of this continuum of spiritual patterns, we have those who don’t have spiritual experiences, and consider those who have them as deviant or pathological. These ones typically are atheists. They embrace an empirical and materialistic mindset in their worldview.

Those that undergo a conversion experience may come to believe that the religion or spiritual group to which they belong is the one and highest Truth. They may feel an urgency to get others to have this experience and join their religious sect or spiritual group.

Others like to wrestle with ideas to arrive at the discovery of truths through disputation, analysis, and synthesizing disparate points of view. These ones become teachers, lecturers, writers, and media hosts: they seek to widely disseminate their ideas.

Those that live “in the flow” have a variety of serendipitous experiences, and follow a breadcrumb trail of coincidences to discover their next insight or realization. These ones become storytellers, musicians, and poets in an attempt to communicate their mystical experiences.

Syncretists put together a toolbox of methods, but they lack a coherent sense of what is their Path and purpose. They have a wide range of things they can do, but they lack clarity on how to tie these skills together towards a coherent purpose.

Spiritual addicts will do anything they can to stay high and dissociate, so they will never have to encounter their pain, shame, and misery. Spiritual addicts commonly present as their “good and spiritual” selves; they will never let you know them personally or intimately.

Finally, there are those that operate from a spiritual laser focus. They achieve this one-pointedness of mind through:

  1. They are clear about their innate Path back to Source.
  2. They are clear about their spiritual objective and purpose.
  3. They have the tools to reach that spiritual objective, and they use these tools in a regular and methodical way.
  4. They reflect upon each stage of their unfoldment to mine the hidden truths and insights, and to awaken their latent abilities.
  5. They consciously own their problems and emotional issues, and they work with them until they are resolved.
  6. They have one-pointed commitment and resolve to achieve their objectives, personal and spiritual.
  7. They establish regular habits that promote productivity, and achievement of their personal goals and their targeted spiritual attainment. This strategy yields success in their personal and spiritual life.

Clearly, you will get the best results if you are able to achieve laser focus. Through establishing laser focus, some of our Mudrashram® students:

  • Have done the spiritual work of 10,000 lifetimes in this very life, progressing from their original station in the Subtle or Planetary Realm to the Bridge Path—moving from the first or second stage of spirituality to the seventh
  • Have dissolved their stored Kriyaman, Sinchit, and Adi Karma from the Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, and Supracosmic levels of the Continuum, and from their aligned Transcendental Path, and the Bridge Path
  • Have opened each of their vehicles of consciousness on each band of the Continuum, readying them to be an instrument of their Mastery
  • Have progressively liberated their ensouling entities and spirits on each band of the Continuum

If you choose to learn our system of Integral meditation—and you can maintain this consistent laser focus—you can achieve these same results.

Q: How do you attain this laser focus?

A: Realize each of these spiritual strategies has some strengths and benefits:

  • The first strategy of remaining in the waking state of awareness and relying upon your reason and senses strengthens rationality. This posture is good for the scientist, who must analyze and study phenomena objectively, to arrive at new truths and insights without subjective bias
  • The true believers gain the ability to convince and persuade others. This leads to facility with sales, which is the foundation of commerce and political advocacy.
  • The polemicist guides people to think, and see new perspectives. Teachers, philosophers, and thought leaders capitalize upon this skill.
  • Those that embrace the present moment can deeply process their experience to break up old patterns, to accept change, and to promote growth.
  • Syncretists can adopt solutions others have discovered to deal with many types of personal and spiritual issues.
  • The spiritual addict can kindle the spirit’s devotion, which is the true motivator for spiritual advancement.

Each of these strategies, when utilized, develops important aspects of your human nature. To break through to laser focus, however, you need to answer some key questions for yourself:

  1. What is my purpose for being alive? What is my Soul purpose?
  2. Who am I?
  3. What do I stand for? What are my core values?
  4. What is the source of my consciousness and intention? [What is my attentional principle?] How do I operate from this platform effectively?
  5. What is the source of my love and virtue? [What is my spirit?] How do I express this aspect of my nature?
  6. What is the nature of my Soul? How do I actualize its potentials?
  7. How do I bring about transformation in my personal life and for each of my spiritual potentials?
  8. What Path will enable me to know and actualize these seven levels?
  9. What is the highest objective of spirituality that ultimately turns all of the darkness of the unconscious mind into light? How can I dissolve the accretions of karma that holds me back from spiritual liberation and Mastery at each level of the Continuum?

[You may find the article, “The 14 Questions of the Seeker,” which is in our online library, will help you explore these key, life-changing questions. This article may also be found in our book, A Mudrashram® Reader: Understanding Integral Meditation.]

If you can answer these questions for yourself, you will facilitate gaining the laser focus that will optimize your time and make the most of your human life.

You cannot guess at these things. You cannot take others’ answers for them, because they purportedly are experts or authorities. You cannot rely upon channeled guidance.

You must know. You must be able to verify all things. You must plumb your mind to its depths and arrive at the Source.

When you do this, you will gain the key to Mastery. Upon attaining this key, you will complete your spiritual journey, and fulfill the aspirations of the countless lives you have lived, but have forgotten. You will fulfill your spiritual destiny, and become a blessing to us all.

We can start you on this journey in our intermediate meditation courses—the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. Will you let us take you there?

Effect of Attentional Withdrawal on Mental Functioning

By George A. Boyd ©2017

Q: When your attention moves along the thread of consciousness in meditation into an altered state of awareness, is there a concurrent shift in mental functioning? For example, if I move my attention into the field of the senses, will my perception of the world change from the waking state of awareness?

A: There are three major ways that you can travel within along the thread of consciousness.

  1. You feel your awareness deepening, but you have no clear vision of the content at each level of the mind. In this state, you move into greater depths of feeling and energy, but you can’t recognize any landmarks of any vehicle of consciousness through which you are traveling. Your body is immobile and you are in a trance-like, passive state.
  2. You feel your awareness deepening, and you note distinct markers at each level. You can differentiate the content of each focal point. You become aware of the content arising at each level of the mind in the present time. You are inwardly alert and mindful, and can witness and label the content that is arising. For example, you might unite your attention with the focal point of the feeling center and you become aware of a succession of feelings that arise and pass away. Your body is immobile, but inwardly, you are fully conscious.
  3. You feel your awareness deepening, and you intensify and become completely absorbed in a succession of states of mental functioning. This shift of functional set can occur while you are walking around or engaged in other activities. You are aware that you have shifted into a new perceptional and operational mindset in which the content becomes richly alive and vibrant—you may receive insights and revelations as you are in this state.

The beginning meditator often experiences the trance-like movement of attention without clear awareness and differentiation of content. This type of meditation experience commonly culminates in falling asleep.

With greater facility with meditation, the meditator is able to achieve mindful, inner alertness, and is able to witness mental content and differentiate the content of one level of the mind from another. This type of meditation results in you becoming fully aware of your mental contents at each focal point upon which your attention rests.

The most profound state of meditation is when you are able to shift your functional set during your daily activities. On Buddhist Vipassana retreats, for example, they introduce students to this lyrical state of mind through walking meditation. Meditators are initially fully aware of the experience of walking, but as this state deepens, they enter into clear states of intense insight and revelation.

This deepest state of meditation has been referred to as Samadhi, Satori, or a peak experience. This mental shift of perception and functioning appears to pass through 12 discrete states of absorption.

  1. The ground state of awareness – Here you are aware of your attention witnessing the activities of your daily life, and you operate on objects in the environment. You might, for example, be cleaning your house, but the experience of each piece of furniture and environmental surface is intensely vibrant, and every movement seems meaningful and purposive. Your tasks take on a sacred quality.
  2. Movement flow state – When this mental set dawns, you are completely absorbed in your movement. Time seems to slow down and there is an unbroken link between your intention and what your body does. You are capable of peak performance during this state. You feel one with your body and your movement feels effortless.
  3. Heightened sensory state – In this state, the objects in your environment appear to glow with light—you may become aware of energy fields or auras around each object. Colors are rich and luminous. The world around you seems magical and animated. If you are a painter, you may feel compelled to capture this magical experience.
  4. Body absorption – When you shift into this mental set, you become aware of your body in a heightened way. You become aware of each muscle moving, each tendon stretching, the operation of your organs and physiological rhythms. You become aware of your heart beating, the movement of peristalsis, the blood coursing in your veins, and the whole process of breathing. It is almost like you are looking into your body with x-ray vision. Your vision penetrates into each organ, each cell, and each sub-cellular structure—even down to the molecular and atomic level.
  5. Emotional and relational synchrony – Shifting into this mental set, you gain powerful insights into how emotions are linked to thoughts, memories, and attachments to other people. You gain intensified empathy for others’ experience. When you listen to others, you completely connect with them and become one with their experience—they feel completely validated and known. This state inspires great trust and safety in others: they feel profoundly loved—you sense great love and compassion for others while you are in this state. Those therapists and coaches who tap into this state experience their deepest work and most profound therapy or coaching sessions—it is almost like some deep and wise being came through you and moved your interaction with your client to a whole new level.
  6. Logical fascination – When this mental set dawns upon you, you become aware of the computer-like operation of your rational mind. You become aware of the mental commands that govern each movement, the calculations the mind makes to orient your body with the environment, and the chain of causation for each action and event. Your logic operates in a heightened way—your analogical, inferential, and deductive reasoning powers become penetrating and precise. You become capable of connecting sensory details with behavior, and inferring motivation. Like Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective, your ability to investigate and solve crimes is heightened, as your powers of observation and logical deduction are amplified. If you are someone who enjoys solving puzzles or playing games of skill, you may find that you come across the solutions readily. If you are a student, entering this state moves your study to a whole new plateau, and you discover that you are able to do very well on difficult tests.
  7. Egoic union – When you enter this functional state, you become aware of the layers of activity of the ego. You become aware of the egoic octave of will that governs individual units of behavior, and you are acutely aware of your ability to control each vehicle of consciousness within your survey. You become aware of the identify states and the roles you play. You become aware of your story and life narrative. You gain penetrating insight into the layers of psychological defenses and your core life issues. You tap into the joyful, inner child that transcends the stress and suffering of your life. You may feel connected with a great Life within you that is your true essence.
  8. Stream of consciousness – When you enter this state of absorption, you are able to clearly access the rich reservoir of your memories of the past. In this reverie, it feels like you are re-living each moment of your life and you re-view your significant relationships, your greatest lessons, the most important events, and the meanings you have derived from living. You touch a deep wellspring of peace, wisdom, and joy—you sense that behind your life is your ancient, eternal Soul.
  9. Chakra insight – When you shift into this functional mindset, you become aware of the chakras of your Subconscious mind with penetrating clarity. Each petal opens and reveals its creative intelligence and intuitive wisdom. In this state of absorption, you may feel the chakras that operate in yet higher vehicles of consciousness similarly begin to reveal their knowledge and abilities. You gain the highest discernment of each level of your mind. You may experience a full awakening of the energy of awareness, the Kundalini Shakti, rising up into the Soul, and revealing every vehicle of consciousness within you.
  10. Existential illumination – When you become completely absorbed in this state of awareness, you become aware of the Self at the core of your personality, and the state of being that is behind it. You gain the greatest insight into each vehicle of consciousness of the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind, and you become acutely aware of the power of your will to alter your destiny and change your life. In this state, you can make radical life changes, transform your habits, alter your life direction, recommit to new objectives, and create new congruent and authentic goals that capture your passion and powerful desire to achieve them. When you spend time in the transformational state, you can reinvent yourself and transform the way you function in the world.
  11. Atma Samadhi – When your attention is lifted into this ecstatic state, you realize the true nature of the Soul, discover the atom of Divinity within, and experience Gnosis. Knowledge pours through you, revealing each aspect of your nature, each vehicle of consciousness, and each layer of the mind. Your illumined mind (Buddhi) ignites and you are able to discern the nature of the Soul and its reflections on each Plane of Light, and to penetrate and bring forward the knowledge that is contained in each nodal point upon the Soul’s transformational journey of spiritual evolution. When this state becomes actively established in you, you gain the capacity to function as a guide and teacher for others.
  12. Higher Octave Samadhi – Those that work on spiritual Paths outside the cutting edge of spirituality may experience Samadhis with higher aspects of their nature—a nucleus of identity, ensouling entity, or spirit. This transcendent state shares similar features with Atma Samadhi, but revelation and intuitive downpour enlighten another spiritual essence. At the summit of these higher octave Samadhis is union with Satchitananda, the highest state of consciousness—Divine Knowledge or Brahma Vidya—that extends this penetrating insight to every level of consciousness.

Bringing out this deepest level of experience and illumination does not come readily.

Some people may touch this state only once or twice in their lifetime. It dawns upon them and then withdraws, and they cannot go back to that state.

Those who practice a skill for long periods of time and develop it may have more episodes. For example:

  • The artist may experience stage three.
  • The physician and healer may drop into stage four.
  • The psychotherapist and coach may cross the threshold into stage five.
  • The detective and scientist may go into stage six.
  • The psychoanalyst may penetrate stage seven.
  • The fiction writer and poet may encounter stage eight.
  • The hatha yogi and psychic voyager, who meditate on their chakras, may kindle stage nine.
  • The existential and humanistic therapists, counselors, and coaches, who work to get their clients in touch with the Self, may trigger existential illumination in themselves.
  • The meditator who removes the veil over the Soul through patient and methodical inner work uncover the ecstatic state of Atma Samadhi. Those who meditate on higher octaves of being likewise bring about Samadhi for these other essences of consciousness.

Those who meditate can ignite these states after long practice, and sustain them as they train their attention to focus intensely and continuously on different focal points within. We encourage those who meditate to recognize that these Samadhi states exist. We urge them to continue the practice of meditation until they can awaken these most profound states of mind.

For those who complete our advanced course, the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation, we have a program that trains you in attaining Samadhi in the Superconscious mind called The Online Samadhi Week Program. We start with Atma Samadhi and explore each higher stage of Samadhi in the Superconscious mind.