Criteria for Assessing Spiritual Experiences

By George A. Boyd © 2020

Q: How can I know my spiritual experiences are genuine, and not the product of my fertile imagination?

A: There are a number of criteria that you can use to assess spiritual experiences. These include:

  1. Ontological – Your ensouling entity becomes one with the nodal point at which a particular ability, intuitive wisdom, or virtue is anchored.
  2. Spiritual – Your spirit ascends to the Nadamic tone where a particular ability, intuitive wisdom, or virtue is anchored.
  3. Vehicular – A seed atom of one of your vehicles of consciousness or a nucleus of identity is tuned to a nodal point at which a particular ability, wisdom, or virtue is anchored.
  4. Ideational – As a result of you focusing your attention in your ensouling entity, spirit, vehicular seed atom, or nucleus of identity, you can perceive and describe the content of the nodal point where a particular ability, wisdom, or virtue is anchored. This enables you to teach others about this state of consciousness.
  5. Operational – As a result of reaching this station on the Path, you are able to use the octave of will at this level to express the particular ability, wisdom, or virtue that is anchored. You may express this directly from that higher octave of will; empower your attentional principle or spirit to utilize it; activate an inner center through which you can access this ability, wisdom, or virtue in an altered state of consciousness or channel it directly through the personality as a gift.
  6. Imaginal – You imagine what it would be like to have this ability, wisdom, or virtue. You may create myths or stories to reveal the content of this state to others. These mythic stories, when written down, may form the basis of scriptures. When they are transmitted as oral traditions, they can become embellished, exaggerated, or distorted. When these stories are translated from one language to another, there can be a loss of the original meaning.
  7. Conceptual – You study what others have written in books and scriptures, and communicated through other media, and you summarize what you have learned in a scholarly paper, journal article, or essay. You may communicate your findings in a seminar or lecture. This approach typifies the scientific and academic approach to uncovering the meaning of a scripture or book describing a particular spiritual experience.
  8. Mystic experiential – You place your attention on this state of consciousness in your Superconscious mind, and you attempt to gain insight into the ability, intuitional wisdom, or virtue that is anchored at this nodal point. Your ability to see and hear within and your ability to receive intuitive information circumscribe the information you acquire through this type of contemplation. In some cases you may gain clear information about this state; in other cases, you may not get any impressions at all.
  9. Doctrinal – In this scenario, you learn about the experience from clergy or “spiritual authorities,” who teach you about what scripture says, and ask you to believe what is said in those scriptures as Divine revelation. You are asked not to question the teachings you are given, and you are to accept the teachings as truth.
  10. Analytical – In this perspective, you take an empirical, skeptical, materialistic, and atheistic perspective, and attempt to explain away spiritual experiences as epiphenomena of the brain, as self-delusion, or mental pathology. Those who approach spiritual experiences from this standpoint maintain an active bias that does not allow them to believe in these states of consciousness as real and valid, but seek to debunk them and invalidate them.

Criteria one through five are the inner experiential core of this state of consciousness. Criteria six through eight represent attempts to penetrate these states from without. Criteria nine and ten are based on a cognitive mindset that does not permit actual appreciation and experience of this state where this particular ability, wisdom, or virtue is anchored.

Assuming these experiences are not illusory products of your imagination, you could inquire:

  1. Where do I have this experience on the Great Continuum of Consciousness? In which exact nodal point does it reside?
  2. On what Path, track or Ray do I have this particular experience? If this an experience that my attentional principle is having? My attention? My spirit? Is it the intuitive prehension of my Illumined Mind?
  3. How do these abilities, aspects of intuitive wisdom, or virtues express in me?
  4. What knowledge or perception is contained in this inner nexus? What does this state communicate or reveal to me when I dialog with it?
  5. Does the product of this state of consciousness affect my behavior, beliefs, or values? In what ways does it shape my character?
  6. If this state arises from karmic purification, from what layers of the mind has this karma been removed? What types of karma have been purified to allow my spiritual nature to enter this state of consciousness? What discrete sections of my karmic reservoir have been dissolved to enable me to enter into this state?
  7. If I have entered into this state through using a transformational method that dissolves karma, will anyone who uses a similar method and enters this same state of consciousness have a similar experience?
  8. How do I identify the exact location where this state of consciousness exists? Are there analogous experiences on other bands of the Continuum that might be conflated with this state? How do I ascertain I have located the genuine source of this experience?
  9. If I do not attempt to create or visualize this experience through exercising my imagination, how do I verify that I have genuinely contacted this state of consciousness, and I am experiencing it as it is?

Ultimately, you will need to verify for yourself that these states of consciousness exist independently from:

  • What you imagine about them
  • What you visualize they are like
  • What theories you use to explain them
  • What sensory impressions these states evoke in you
  • Any preconceived beliefs you may have that does not permit you to experience these states for yourself

After much meditation, you will tease out stable landmarks and identify these states of consciousness as they are. You will begin to contemplate them and know them—you will be able to express them and improve the quality of your life.

Those of you who wish to learn how to have spiritual experiences of types one through five will benefit from taking the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program, where we teach you how to access these bands of the mind where you have direct experience of your spiritual essences.