Perspectives on Thinking

By George A. Boyd © 2019

There are a variety of perspectives on thinking that drive decision and how they interface with the thinking process—whether they engage thought actively to produce behavior or whether they passively observe it. This spectrum of levels of interface with thought is shown below.

  1. Detachment from thought (Vairagya) – You witness thought from a detached viewpoint. This is typical of those who identify with a seed atom on a Supracosmic Path. After maintaining this viewpoint for some time, you can begin to watch thoughts arise and pass away; to stop yourself from acting on thoughts; and to lose the sense of identification with thoughts.
  2. Experiencing thoughts as waves of energy that arise on the surface of the mind (Vritti) – From this standpoint, you sense that thoughts appear to bubble up from the depths of the mind to the surface, where they enter consciousness and you become aware of them. Learning to notice the space between the arising of thoughts makes you aware that you are the ball of observing mind stuff (chittam), which we call the attention. Following these thoughts down to the depths makes you aware of the underlying karmic impressions (samskaras) that give rise to thought. Yogi Preceptors impart a variety of transformational methods to teach their disciples to dissolve these samskaras in the field of the Cosmic Mind. When these impressions are fully effaced, the state of perfectly still mind dawns (Nirvritti), and Yogis realize oneness with Brahman.
  3. Thought appears to arise from the Divine Spirit at the Nirvanic Flame – Adepts—those who reunite Soul with the Monad—use attunement of thought as a carrier wave for the Divine Spirit, and they can initiate, awaken, illumine, guide, and purify others through this laser-like beam of intention-driven thought.
  4. Thoughts are the radiant downpour of the Illumined Mind (Buddhi) – From this standpoint on the Buddhic Plane, which arises when your Soul undergoes the Fourth Initiation, you view the golden waterfall of thought that purifies the mind of ignorance and heals the emotional wounds of the heart.
  5. Volition channelizes thought to accomplish an objective and fulfill a purpose – During the Third Initiation, it appears that you constructively utilize thought to enact plans, fulfill goals, and actualize your Soul Purpose. At this level, we call these directed thoughts, Intelligent Activity; in this perspective, they appear to be the working of the Third Ray.
  6. Thoughts spoken aloud manifest reality – In the Second Initiation, those thoughts that stream forth from the vortex of the Mighty I AM Presence that you utter under inspiration appear to create and manifest the outcomes you intend. You program this center, and allow it to “speak the Word.” This type of creative meditation has been called decree, affirmation, or fiat.
  7. Thoughts are inspiration from the Divine – In this scenario, you view inspired thoughts coming from the Holy Spirit and angels as ideas sent to direct your decisions, to reform your character, and help you understand the meaning of scriptures. You experience thought in this way when you are undergoing the First Initiation, when you raise your attention into the nucleus of identity of this level, the Moon Soul or Christ Child.
  8. Thoughts are the kinetic expression of karma in expression – It appears on the Wisdom Plane that thoughts are the energy of your karmic seeds, when they become activated. These dormant karmic seeds, stirred into life, give rise to thought, imagination, emotion, desire, and action.
  9. Thoughts are the creative force of your intention that activate the Law of Attraction – In this perceptive frame of the Psychic Realm and the Universal Mind Subplane of the Abstract Mind Plane, it appears your thoughts can either attract or repel what you desire. Through carefully controlling your thoughts, you can direct what you receive from the Universe.
  10. Thoughts channel the force of intelligence that activates the intellect – Through visualization, hypothetical deductive reasoning, creative “possibility” thinking, philosophical inquiry, process meditation, and goal-directed thought, you activate the faculties of the Abstract Mind Plane that enable you to use ideas in your career, in school, and in your avocation to innovate, solve problems, produce successful outcomes, and enhance performance.
  11. Thoughts are the content that arises from the mental bands of the personality – Thought appears as the content of the operation of the mental field of the Metaconscious mind—personal intuition, intellect, and the concrete mind—and the content of the mental seed atom of the Conscious mind, which governs the faculty of deductive and analogical reasoning. The Self directs thought in the Metaconscious mind through the personal octave of volition; the egoic will operates the faculty of reason.
  12. Thought is an epiphenomenon of the firing of neurons – in this viewpoint of the waking state of awareness, it appears what we regard as thinking is simply the firing of neurons, which gives rise to the executive mental functions of the prefrontal cortex and directs behavior through the neural motor pathways. In this view, there is no self or Soul directing thought; instead, the organism itself reacts and adapts to conditions in the environment, learning from its mistakes through experience to perform better responses to the stimuli it encounters. This gives you the illusion of a self and free will, when in fact, your organism has a predetermined response that you rationalize as your decisions.

The perspective from which you view the force of thought influences how you use it. For example:

Aspirants who take up the spiritual Path in the traditions of Supracosmic Gurus and Yogi Preceptors are trained to interface with thought through perspectives one and two, and have a detached view of thinking.

Those who undergo the Planetary Initiations experience thought in perspectives three through seven.

Those sojourning through the Planetary Probationary Path—the band of the Planetary Continuum from the Biophysical Universe to the Wisdom Plane—encounter thought via perspectives eight through ten.

You view perspective eleven when you focus your attention on your Self at the core of your personality.

Perspective twelve appears when you do not move your attention out of the waking state of awareness and you only perceive the functioning of your brain and body.

We suggest that those who become fixed in the detached thought postures of perspectives one and two would value from learning to shift their attention to the perspectives of the Planetary Sphere, where they can utilize the perspectives of goal-oriented, creative, and intelligent thought to carry out their Soul Purpose and actualize their personal potential.

Remaining in these detached perspectives fosters the belief that the physical world and personal functioning are an illusion, and the only true objective of human life is to realize God. We point out that it is possible to make spiritual progress while concomitantly working on your personal goals and objectives, and actualizing the facets of your Soul’s unique purpose.

Reflections on Levels of Thought

By George A. Boyd © 2018

Q: There are certain coaches, eastern Gurus, and New Age teachers who state that there is no thinker, that thoughts “arise by themselves,” and that thoughts are a false story that veils the truth of our inner Divinity and perfection. Can you shed some light on this?

A: If you hold your attention in certain altered states of consciousness, this appears to be true. You have to keep your attention fixed in this altered state of consciousness, however, to maintain this perspective.

For this reason, these exponents of this view advocate that people do continual inquiries or process meditations, or keep their mind fixed or absorbed in this “enlightened” state. They may teach a number of techniques to keep you merged in this state, or they may have one key method to bring about this state of awareness.

If you simply notice the layers of thoughts you experience, you may discover that there are several different bands of thinking, some of which directly impact human life and others that transcend it and view it from a detached perspective. These 16 major platforms of thought are shown below.

Levels of Thought Directly Impacting Human Life

  1. Stimuli – These are thoughts that your contact with objects in the environment generates. They typically remind you of things you want or things you need to do.
  2. Reactions – These are emotionally laden thoughts that events or things people say trigger in you. These are your issues or “buttons” that express as upset, rage, sadness, or terror.
  3. Dreams or fantasies – This is where you imagine what you want to do, be, or have in your life.
  4. Logic – This is the activity of reason, which operates like a computer—making the calculations for your behavior, analyzing probable outcomes, and assessing the truth or falsity of statements. This aspect of your mind is responsible for reality testing.
  5. Schemas – These are associated thoughts that you organize into categories. These are integrated within the role identities of your ego. For example, if you are a bowler, you have all bowling-related thoughts compartmentalized within the capsule of your “I am a bowler” role.
  6. Task oriented thoughts – This is the activity of your concrete mind, which plans, schedules, identifies key points, and steps to completion of a project.
  7. Conceptual thought – These comprise the problem-solving and conceptual reflection functions of the intellect. You use these intellect’s cognitive strategies to learn, solve problems, and explore ideas.
  8. Emergent thought – These are mental impressions that arise within the present time, which come into conscious awareness—they seem to arise independently from the “thinker.” These enter the Conscious mind through the preconscious portal. They enter the Metaconscious mind in the state of being, where it seems that behavior and decisions happen spontaneously. They arise in the Superconscious mind in the wave of the present time on the Akashic Aether—the Soul’s thought and intention enters human life at this stage. Many process meditation groups, coaches, and metaphysical teachers consider union with the wave of the present time to be the state of enlightenment.

Levels of Thought that Do Not Directly Impact Human Life

  1. Psychic impressions – These images and ideas become impressed on conscious awareness. They arise from your vehicle of consciousness on the Psychic Plane, or they may be channeled from guides or spiritual beings from this Plenum. Typically, you need to enter into an altered state of consciousness—through hypnosis or meditation—to become aware of these thoughts
  2. Voice of wisdom – This marks the emergence of the teacher within, which gives you guidance for your life and answers your questions. This arises from your form on the Wisdom Plane. Your mind has to be silent and receptive to receive this thought stream.
  3. Inspired thoughts – These are revealed truths and insights that arise from your revelatory mind and from the Holy Spirit. You contact this level through contemplating the nucleus of identity of the First Planetary Initiation, the Moon Soul or Christ Child.
  4. Voice of the Mighty I AM Presence – These are decrees that you speak aloud or you hear as “power thoughts” that arise from the Mighty I AM Presence in your form on the Second Planetary Initiation. You must raise your attention to this level to be aware of this thought stream.
  5. Thought ministry – These are the higher mental activities that operate in your Manasic Vortex in the Third Planetary Initiation. These activities include contemplation of seed thoughts, visualizing blueprints for projects and organizations, creating mental synthesis and synergistic cooperation between people, actualizing the gifts of the Soul, enacting Soul Purpose, receiving intuitive guidance from the Masters of the Planetary Hierarchy, and participating in thought ministry through reception and transmission.
  6. Illumined mind – This downpour of intuitive knowledge arises from the Illumined Mind or Buddhi from your vehicle of consciousness in the Fourth Planetary Initiation. It purifies your attitude, reveals truths, uproots ignorance and superstition, shows the content of your vehicles of consciousness and the inner Planes, awakens the abilities of your forms in the Superconscious mind, guides your spirit and attentional principle on the inner Planes, and brings remembrance of your Soul’s essential nature.
  7. Attunement – This is the channeled Light from the Divine Spirit that purifies the inner vehicles of consciousness; promotes physical, etheric, and emotional healing; counsels and guides the attentional principle and spirit; awakens revelation and illumination; and bestows initiation to unfold the spiritual evolutionary potentials of the Soul.
  8. Samadhi – This is the direct, wordless experience of the Soul beyond thought. This confers Soul Realization and Gnosis.

Those that seek to put you into the state of enlightenment will typically ask you to attend to the upwelling of emergent thought in the wave of the present time (level 8). In this state of consciousness, it appears that thoughts arise without a self or a thinker—and that life is just unfolding on its own and the “mind” and its stories are just an overlay upon that perfect state of being.

We suggest it is important for you to become aware of each of the layers of thought and how they impact your life, or how they enable you to view your life from a detached, higher perspective. While it may be productive to do certain aspects of spiritual work from the wave of the present time on the Akashic Aether, we do not recommend that aspirants maintain that state of awareness beyond the time required to perform their process, inquiry, or contemplation; instead, they should ensure they return their attention to their fully grounded awareness again after their meditational inner work is completed.

Those of you who are interested in learning how to access these many layers of thought can acquire specific techniques that allow you to do so in our intermediate meditation programs: the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.