By George A. Boyd © 2019
Q: When I do affirmations, nothing changes. What am I doing wrong?
A: Affirmation is at its root a form of subtle speech. It is first important for you to recognize where affirmation fits on the spectrum of speech.
The first level of speech arises from the unconscious mind. This includes:
- Expression of emotions that are buried in the unconscious. These come out during periods of upset, argument, and defensiveness.
- Certain types of psychotherapy encourage the communication of this material. This includes abreactive methods such as Primal Screaming, or dialog methods that give a voice to issues in the unconscious mind
The second level of speech is called consensual speech. These are statements made without emotion. They are factual reporting. These include:
- Sensory report of what you are seeing
- Reading technical or legal material aloud that is a statement of facts
- Reading lists of information, such as names from a phone book
The third level of speech is called invocation. The most common types of invocation are chanting and prayer.
- Chanting the name of a Divine Being, as is used in many spiritual traditions
- Using a rote prayer that is written down in a scripture or hymn book, for which you do not have any emotional connection
- Praying for a heartfelt desire, for something that impacts your life and that you genuinely wish to have granted
- Intercessory prayer, in which you ask the Divine to meet the needs of others
- Universal prayer, in which you invoke blessings for everyone
The fourth level of speech includes affirmation and suggestion. These include:
- Statements addressed to the Subconscious mind to retrieve memory, or to the Akashic Records to trace back the origins of emotionalized issues. Process meditation employs this type of suggestion.
- Suggestion is given to one of the hypnotic bands of the mind—spanning the Subconscious, Metaconscious, and Superconscious mind—to introduce change or to produce specific outcomes. This is applied in hypnosis and autohypnosis. This is called Suggestion.
- Affirmation is performed at the periphery of awareness, repeating this affirmation at progressively deeper levels of the unconscious mind until it is anchored in the Superconscious mind and you feel powerful conviction it will come true. This type of affirmation is sometimes coupled with observing the content that arises in the liminal bands of the mind as you are doing the affirmation, which gives you insight into the inner resistance of the unconscious mind that may be interfering with the manifestation of what you desire. This type of affirmation is called Anchored Affirmation.
- You speak an affirmation aloud with the core conviction that it is true, and you have complete faith that speaking this word will create or manifest whatever you desire. This is called Command Affirmation, Fiat, Power Affirmation, or Decree.
The fifth level of speech is called Inspired Speech. This occurs when you become a channel for the revelation or intuitive knowledge of the Superconscious mind. Examples include:
- Communication received from another spiritual being, such as an angel, a departed spirit, or an Ascended Master. These words can be spoken aloud, which is referred to channeling or mediumship. They can also be written down, which is called automatic writing.
- Revelations or prophecies received through the Holy Spirit, when it dwells in the inner altar of the Moon Soul or Christ Child nucleus of identity. This may take the form of revelation of the future (prophecy) or inspired teaching, which has been called preaching.
The sixth level of speech is called core speech or Satsang. This type includes:
- When your ensouling entity speaks through you to give teaching and wise counsel (Atma Satsang)
- When your attentional principle shares its experience or guides someone in meditation (Nirat Satsang)
- When your spirit communicates its experience (Surat Satsang)
The seventh level of speech is called Divine Speech. Spiritual Masters (Initiates) utter this type of speech. Examples include:
- The Word of Power, which anchors the Divine Light to destroy thought forms, or to bring the Omnific Power of Divine Intention into manifestation
- Mantra Shakti, the ability to activate and animate a transformational (bija) mantra, so it is able to unfold the spiritual evolutionary potentials of others
- Uttering the Words of the Divine, which have become the foundation of the world’s scriptures
To use suggestion and affirmation, you are tapping the fourth level of speech. In suggestion, anchored affirmation, and command affirmation, you utilize conation—intention or volition—to initiate change. It is important, when you are performing suggestion or affirmation, to observe the following:
- You need to know how to correctly perform the method. If you don’t apply it correctly, you won’t get results.
- You need to do the technique when it is appropriate. It needs to be the right technique to bring about the change you want.
- You need to have a genuine desire to change. You need to be invested in getting the results for which you are utilizing suggestion or affirmation.
- You practice the technique for a sufficient amount of time until your deeper mind—Subconscious or Superconscious—accepts your suggestion or affirmation, and begins to change old patterns of behavior, belief or emotional reactions.
- Your suggestion or affirmation needs to be in alignment with your Soul Purpose or the Divine Will, so you are not inadvertently working counter to their guidance. For your affirmation to be accepted, it should have relevance to your Soul’s ministry and service, or be germane to the expression of its abilities in your human life (Expressed Soul Purpose).
- Make sure your affirmation is not attempting to counter an element of destiny karma, which may not respond to your intention or volition to induce it to change. Suggestion or affirmation has little or no effect upon destiny karma.
- You believe the suggestion or affirmation is true, it would bring about positive change and improvement in your life, and it is for your highest good.
Affirmations don’t work when:
- You’re not using the technique correctly.
- It’s not appropriate to use them. It’s the wrong technique to achieve what you want.
- You don’t really want to change. You resist change on a deep level of your mind.
- You give up on the method before it has time to “take” within you.
- You are using affirmation to manifest something not in keeping with your Soul’s purpose—in effect, you are asking for something that is not in alignment with what your Soul aims to manifest in your life—so your Soul denies its permission for your request.
- You are trying to uproot elements of your destiny karma, which affirmations cannot change.
- You are trying to do an affirmation someone else suggests to you, and it doesn’t genuinely resonate as true for you.
Affirmations are not a universal panacea; they do not work in all situations. If you do them correctly for the issues for which they are effective, they can powerfully promote change.
Q: I was reading some affirmations in one of Deepak Chopra’s books. While I recognized the perspective in which these affirmations were true, it didn’t seem to actually change anything. For example, there were a couple of affirmations in which he said that I was free of addictions and compulsions. I affirmed I was free from them, but these patterns haven’t changed. What am I doing wrong?
A: There’s nothing wrong with visualizing the state in which you are free from these patterns. However, until you eradicate the karma that underlies these issues, affirmations are not going to miraculously dissolve and release them. They are just not the right technique to purify, transmute, and integrate karmic patterns in the unconscious mind.
To do that, you need a transformational technique. These methods include:
- Transformational mantra
- Kriya Yoga
- Nada Yoga (this works as a transformational technique in the Transcendental Sphere)
- Light Immersion
We teach the rudiments of autosuggestion and using anchoring affirmations in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. We go into greater depth on these techniques in the companion book for these classes, The Yoga of the Seven Mudras: Introducing the Mudrashram® System of Integral Meditation. Volume One: The Fundamentals of Meditation.
We also teach transformational mantra in our intermediate classes. This enables you to actively burn away the karma that underlies many of the patterns you are experiencing.
If you like affirmation as a technique to support the objectives you are attempting to actualize in your life, we would suggest you read different authors’ approaches to this technique to find one that works for you. Test each one: see if it gets you results.
If you do affirmation for the issues you can change, it will be an effective tool in your inner arsenal. However, your expectation that it will magically change what it is not designed to do needs to be tempered with a realistic appreciation of its appropriate application.