Types of Boundaries

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: I have had an issue with keeping appropriate boundaries with other people. As a result, others have manipulated me, exploited me, and abandoned me after using me for their agendas. Can you give some advice about restoring and maintaining boundaries?

A: Boundaries are based on the rules you set and the decisions you make about what is an appropriate boundary. If you do not have any rules and you don’t make a decision as to what is appropriate and what is not, your boundaries are permeable, and others can take advantage of you.

First, let’s describe the types of boundaries that you have.

  1. Physical limits or boundaries – These are the rules you have set about touching, sexuality, or harm to your body. This is your zone of physical discomfort and vulnerability.
  2. Vitality limits or boundaries – This is the amount of energy you have available to expend on a project or to carry out the activities of daily living until you must stop what you are doing and rest. This is your zone of endurance, strength, and resilience.
  3. Emotional limits or boundaries – This is your “personal space.” This is the level at which you decide what type of relationship others will have with you, what you are willing to disclose to them, and what feelings you will share with them. This level also includes what you will allow others to say to you—you communicate to them to stop when they are saying something that is offensive, inappropriate, or hurtful. This is the zone of your emotional sensitivity and relationship parameters.
  4. Mental limits or boundaries – This is the field of your current knowledge, intelligence, and skill. This boundary puts a filter on what information you will admit into your awareness. It acts to keep out material that you cannot currently integrate from your unconscious mind. It operates as a valve on the information you will accept from others. This is the zone of your active mindsets through which you engage with the world around you and other people.
  5. Volitional limits or boundaries – This is the range of choices you find morally acceptable and you give yourself permission to do. It gives you the capacity to say “no” to others, when what they propose to you is outside of your ethical guidelines that make up your character, define your Integrity, and set limits on the behavior you will let yourself perform. Once you have defined these moral rules for yourself, you can also set behavioral standards, rules, and policies for the behavior of others that you supervise—for example, children, dependent adults, or co-workers. This is the zone of your moral choice.
  6. Personal limits or boundaries – This comprises your total personal capabilities that enable you to respond to the issues and events of your own life; the coping skills you have to deal with the behavior of others; and the relative risk you are able to tolerate when your situation requires you to change. This is the zone of your human potential, where you can generate personal transformation and life change.
  7. Spiritual limits or boundaries – This is the totality of your consciousness in the Superconscious mind—the relative amount of the unconscious mind behind your Soul, your vehicles of consciousness, and your spirit that you have transformed into light and made conscious. This purification activates your innate love, wisdom, and power, enabling you to express your extrinsic Soul Purpose and share your Soul’s gifts with others. This limit is the boundary between the conscious and unconscious levels of your entire mind. This is the zone of actualization of your Soul’s spiritual evolutionary potentials. Spiritual teachers need to respect others’ spiritual boundaries.

There are five major ways people experience boundaries.

  1. Violated boundaries – You experience this when you have known physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, and the perpetrator may or may not continue to breach them. You feel violated, abused, de-valued, used, and abandoned. Your self-esteem is degraded.
  2. Threatened boundaries – You feel discomfort and alarm that someone is trying to violate your boundaries. They may make physical taunts, threats, or engage in sexual harassment. They belittle you and criticize you. You are in a state of vigilance and you actively defend yourself.
  3. Intact boundaries – You feel that you are respected and honored, and believe no one will harm you. You feel safety, trust, and that others care about you.
  4. Expanded boundaries – This is an increased awareness of your potential abilities that occurs when you enter an altered state of consciousness through ingestion of psychoactive substances, or through hypnosis or meditation. You feel euphoria and that you have access to enhanced abilities.
  5. Dissolution of boundaries – This is the experience of ego-death or loss of your sense of Self. You may feel your spiritual essence is merging into its origin; concurrently, your sense of personal identity disappears. You can experience engulfment from the unconscious mind in this state; this leads to psychosis. Alternately, you can experience Mystic Union, or union with the Divine; this grants full spiritual freedom and spiritual empowerment.

Your experience of these five boundary zones has characteristic signs:

Generally, if you have experienced violation of your boundaries, you will benefit from psychotherapy and support from those who have experienced the same traumas that you have. It is essential that you separate yourself from the perpetrator to avoid further harm.

If you are experiencing threatened boundaries, it will be helpful if you learn assertiveness skills, and learn to document and report behavior that is threatening or abusive to those who have the authority and ability to check those who are acting inappropriately.

Intact boundaries are the “sweet spot” of interpersonal relationships. Hopefully you have some relationships in which you can experience unconditional positive regard, support, and respect.

Expanded boundaries give you a glimpse of your higher potential. You must exercise some caution here: Many people attempt to remain in these altered states of consciousness through continued drug ingestion, or staying in a hypnotic trance or union with a spiritual essence in meditation. If you do this, you run the risk of generating hallucinations and delusions, and you can readily slip into a grandiose, manic state, or a defensive paranoid state.

Given that these are highly suggestible states, you can readily come under the control of cult leaders and spiritual teachers that are all too willing to program your values, beliefs, perception, and behavior to their specifications, and completely take over your life. We recommend that if you enter an altered state of awareness, ensure that you return to your grounded, waking state of awareness again.

The state of dissolution of boundaries is the most challenging of states. Repeated assaults on personal boundaries beyond their ability to cope can trigger psychotic decompensation in susceptible individuals. This state can also be triggered when significant spiritual and psychological imbalances occur though using inappropriate meditation techniques. They also appear when well-meaning aspirants trigger Kundalini syndromes tampering with dangerous meditation methods.

Those who are approaching merger with their Divine Ideal (Ishta Devata) must carefully manage their progress unto Beatific Union. A wrong step in these sublime heights can lead to a spiritual fall into nightmarish realms, where they are under perpetual psychic attack and they no longer have any personal boundaries.

To reconstruct your boundaries you must first be clear what levels of your boundaries have been breached. You need to get away from those who continue to violate your boundaries. You must determine what needs to be in place to avoid this boundary being broken in the future, and you need to learn whatever skills you need to protect yourself.

If you are aware that you are currently in the violation of boundaries or threatened boundaries condition in certain areas of your life, you need to do what you must to get to a place where you are safe and respected, and people care about you. If this means you have to move, move. If this means that you have to say goodbye to abusive and dysfunctional people in your life, say goodbye and edit them out of your life. If it means you have to get therapy to heal the wounds these people have wrought in you, get therapy. Do whatever you must to restore your boundaries and regain a state of emotional poise.

If you have been dabbling with altered state of consciousness, make sure you come back down to ground after each experience. Take the time to reflect upon your experiences and integrate them. Avoid fooling around with meditations that you don’t know what they do. Carefully set limits on those who want to reprogram your life to meet their own spiritual agendas, and steer clear of those who ask you to remain in altered states of awareness.

If you follow these general guidelines, you will begin to rebuild your boundaries and experience greater control over who and what you let into your life.

Those of you who grew up in a dysfunctional family or are recovering from an abusive relationship commonly have issues with boundaries. They may find our Dysfunctional Family Coaching Program helpful: it has now been released.

On Spiritual Boundaries

By George A. Boyd © 2017

Q: Are there spiritual boundaries?

A: Boundaries at the personal level are mediated through trust and disclosure; spiritual boundaries are constructed from ethical considerations and discernment. There are seven major spiritual boundaries.

  1. Non-injury – Non-injury means not forcing your will on another, not causing injury in thought, word, and deed. Lack of observance of this principle demarks those who work in the Lower Astral, the so-called Occult traditions, in contrast to those who work beyond the Lower Astral.
  2. Group cohesiveness – This is recognizing that certain individuals are a member of a group based on adherence to certain beliefs, doctrines, and practices. This differentiates one group from another.
  3. Plenum content discernment – This is an ability to recognize the content of the inner Planes and to discern the themes that make up a Subplane, and the collection of themes that constitute a Plane. This is primary spiritual discernment. [We teach this in a series of webinars on this topic available to intermediate students.]
  4. Vehicular content discernment – This is the ability to recognize the content of your inner vehicles of consciousness of the Conscious, Subconscious, Metaconscious, and Superconscious mind, and perceive those vehicles embedded in the matrix of the unconscious mind. This is secondary spiritual discernment. [We train you to cultivate this type of discernment in the Introduction to Meditation course, and in the Mudrashram® Correspondence Course.]
  5. Conscious essence discernment – This enables you to behold and recognize your attention, your ego, your attentional principle, your Self, your spirit, your nuclei of identity, and your Soul, both within yourself and in others. [We introduce you to personal identification centers (ego and Self), attention, and Soul in the Introduction to Meditation course. We go deeper into this examination in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program, where you learn about the attentional principle and the spirit. You study nuclei of identity in the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation.]
  6. Spiritual relationship discernment – This enables you to detect the attunements or energetic connections that identify someone as a disciple of a spiritual teacher. Spiritual teachers of other traditions, who recognize these energetic markers, do not work with these disciples, recognizing they are under the supervision and responsible stewardship of another Initiate. This allows individuals to develop spiritually in an orderly way on the Path.

We note that not observing this rule leads to a kind of spiritual promiscuity, where disciples of one tradition are subject to the ministry and influence of other traditions. This can result in a number of untoward consequences, including:

  • Developing imbalances in spiritual vehicles
  • Intuitive bifurcation – opening streams of intuition on more than one octave of the Continuum, or for more than one spiritual Path
  • Cognitive confusion – not knowing which worldview, beliefs, or values espoused by different teachings is correct
  • Emotional conflict – this leads to conflicted loyalties and wavering commitment
  • Behavioral inhibition – when you do not know which set of beliefs or guidelines to follow, this leads to passivity and immobility—you cannot move forward in your life if you don’t know which way to go is correct
  1. Discernment of the Divine Will – this enables you to know which conative impulse arises from the different octaves of your mind, and which emanates from the Divine. Those who operate outside the circle of Planetary Initiation, on the Probationary Path—comprising the Biophysical Universe, Abstract Mind Plane, Psychic Realm, and Wisdom Plane in the Planetary Realm—and in the Subtle Realm, their own choice largely governs what their lives become. When you enter the stream of the Planetary Initiations, you begin to become conscious of the Divine Will. Those who contemplate the Moon Soul or Christ Child nucleus of identity can hear the whispering of the Divine Will, even before their Soul has taken the First Planetary Initiation.

Initiates, who draw into the Presence of the Divine, receive direct communication of the Divine Will. They are immersed in it. It is clearly transmitted to them.

Those stages of spiritual Mastery where the Divine Will can be known directly include:

  1. Adepts and Adept Masters (Planetary Hierarchy)
  2. Yogi Preceptors (Zone of Mastery in the First Cosmic Initiation)
  3. Light Masters (Zone of Mastery in the Second Cosmic Initiation)
  4. Cosmic Masters (Cosmic Hierarchy)
  5. Supracosmic Master or Guru (Mastery of one Supracosmic Path under the aegis of the Supreme Guru)
  6. Transcendental Path Master or Sat Guru (Mastery of one Transcendental Path and becoming an emissary and conduit for the Grace and Power of the Divine at that level)
  7. Multiplane Master or Adi Sat Guru (Mastery of the six other octaves of Mastery, with the ability to know the Divine Will and minister at each of these levels)

Occult Adepts, who operate in the Lower Astral Plane, are emissaries of the Dark Force, called Kal or Satan. They operate outside of the Divine Will; they are responsive to the will of the Being who embodies the Dark Force. Their activity constructs and holds in place the maelstrom of collective evil that we call the Lower Astral Plane.

It is a primary task for beginning aspirants to gain discernment of the first two types of spiritual boundaries. Advanced aspirants and disciples need to develop discernment for the remaining five.

You need to develop your ability to discern these spiritual boundaries within your self and others, respect group identification and established spiritual relationships, and endeavor to follow the Divine Will that leads you to completion of your Soul Purpose and fulfillment of your spiritual destiny.