The Four Quadrants of Volition

By George A. Boyd ©2013

There are four quadrants of human activity:

  1. The zone of voluntary personal action – This zone encompasses the operation of the first three octaves of volition: personal will, habit, and the desire driven will of the ego. This quadrant aims to fulfill goals and desires. The individual senses that this zone is fully within his or her control, and can determine the outcomes. This is sometimes called the zone of free will. Coaching and counseling address this level.
  2. The zone of involuntary action – This zone comprises the operation of the unconscious mind, which is out of awareness and functions autonomously to the control of the will. Compulsive or impulsive behavior, as well as self-sabotaging behavior, arises from this zone. Hypnosis and psychotherapy tap this zone.
  3. The zone of transpersonal volition – This zone comprises the activity of the higher octaves of volition in the Superconscious mind, up to the level of transpersonal will, which is anchored in the Soul. It also includes the activity of intention of the attentional principle, and the wish of the spirit. This operates outside and beyond the control of the personal will; it is the higher order of will that permits the Soul to express its gifts, its wisdom, and its love and compassion. Meditation enables access to this zone.
  4. The zone of Divine aegis – Those Initiates and accepted disciples, who have entered the presence of the Divine, know this zone—and they have been empowered to teach, to guide, and to minister to others. This brings them the knowledge of the Divine Will directly—these Initiates communicate this Divine Wish to their disciples, aligning them with their purpose and the Great Plan for their spiritual development, and leading them progressively to Mastery and Liberation. Masters reveal this Supreme Direction to their disciples.

It is important to recognize what can be done voluntarily, and what operates outside of that zone. Personal volition can shape human life and situational behavior; it can express those talents that have been learned through education and training; and it can learn new knowledge and skills. If skillfully used, it can lead individuals to personal fulfillment.

It does not control the octaves of the transpersonal and Divine Will; however, these octaves of the will can come to overshadow the personality to express the Soul’s gifts and genius, and to reveal the Soul’s purpose. It may only partially control those elements of the unconscious mind, which operate autonomously.

At certain levels of the Great Continuum of Consciousness, it appears that all consciousness is a product of the brain, and that volition and the sense of self are nothing more than products of the firing of neurons, and the construction of language. Those who meditate, however, find they readily transcend this “brain consciousness,” and encounter the will as a dynamic force that expresses through the brain and activates the vehicles of consciousness beyond it; and discover the Self, attentional principle, spirit, and Soul far beyond the confines of the skull. They directly gain union with these essences beyond the webs of language: they experience these essences wordlessly and immediately.

Aspirants and disciples should meditate on these four quadrants, with an aim to discern what aspects of their lives fall within each zone, and whether or not the Will Divine has been intimated to them. They should aim to expand the zone of voluntary personal volition, learn ways to cope with and resolve those issues that arise from the unconscious, and cooperate with the transpersonal will so that the Soul’s gifts can be shared with others.

Dealing with Issues that Meditation Does Not Resolve

By George A. Boyd © 2019

Q: I have been meditating for over ten years, and I still can’t seem to resolve certain patterns in my life that sabotage my success and happiness. Can you speak to how you overcome these?

A: There are two orders of mental function:

Conscious – these elements of the mind are integrated into your core identity states—ego, Self, and Soul. You use the octaves of will anchored these identity states to operate voluntarily to accomplish specific aims. These elements of the mind are aligned with your inner sense of truth and harmony, which we call in our spiritual tradition, your Dharma. When you operate in this zone of the mind, you operate in harmony with the Divine Law.

Unconscious – these elements dwell in the unconscious part of your mind, and operate autonomously from the conscious aspects of your mind. You may sense this part of your mind as split off from the conscious part of your mind, and it appears to operate independently from the octaves of the will integrated into your core identity states. When you operate under the influence of these unconscious elements, you step out of harmony with the Divine Law—and you may create new karma.

If you analyze what spiritual techniques actually do, you will see why they might not impact certain patterns that are embedded in your life matrix. For example, when we look at some of the key methods we teach in Integral meditation:

Transformational mantra purifies the karma behind the Soul and the vehicles of your Superconscious mind, and behind selected centers of your personality. Its major influence is on your Superconscious mind, and expands your capacity as Soul.

Nada Yoga clears the karmic patterns in the channels of the Nada that track through your Superconscious mind. This practice develops spiritual purity, love, devotion, and virtue. This aspect of spiritual development is integrated into your Soul.

Kundalini Yoga awakens your awareness into your Superconscious mind and allows you to become aware of the content of your vehicles of consciousness and glimpse the Soul. It does not per se impact the issues in your life matrix.

Raja Yoga trains your attention to witness the different levels of the Conscious, Subconscious, Metaconscious, and Superconscious mind; and shows you how to travel in full consciousness as your intentional consciousness, which we call the attentional principle. Witnessing or contemplating the contents of the conscious portion of your mind, however, does not typically have any effect on these wayward patterns of your unconscious mind.

Jnana Yoga can give you insight into these patterns and give you guidance to work with them, but it does not resolve them.

Agni Yoga can use attunements to elucidate what these patterns are, and can sometimes temporarily disengage them—but until these patterns are genuinely completed, they tend to come back again.

We teach these methods and many others in our intermediate meditation programs, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.

The core issues embedded in the physical etheric matrix of human life are typically not effaced through spiritual practices. This is the reason you continue to struggle with them, despite your experience that you are making progress towards your inner spiritual horizon. What can you do?

  1. Develop patience and acceptance of these patterns. Until you can ultimately resolve them, you may have to live with them for a time.
  2. Use insight practices to gain understanding of them. We teach these methods in our intermediate meditation programs.
  3. Pray to the Divine to help you resolve them. Sometimes things that are beyond your control can be readily resolved through Divine Healing and Ministry.
  4. Obtain assistance from others who have overcome these patterns. This may involve getting counseling, psychotherapy, or coaching.
  5. Carefully analyze your behavior, emotions, and beliefs that are contained in these patterns. This can lead to insight, breakthrough, and resolution for certain patterns.
  6. Don’t give up on yourself and the Divine, if speedy resolution is not forthcoming. It is helpful to have hope and optimism that a solution exists, and believe you are going to find it.
  7. Look to the functional patterns in your consciousness. You may tend to look to these character flaws and autonomous tendencies that arise from your unconscious mind as your great failing—and this may occupy much of your focus and concern. Realize that much of your consciousness is integrated and functional, and you may benefit from focusing more on cultivating and enhancing your strengths, instead of spending much of your time trying to root out your weaknesses.

You will find that nearly everyone you meet is dealing with these stubborn, wayward patterns. If they tell you they don’t experience them, they probably are too ashamed to tell you they have them too.

Focus on your zone of freedom to make spiritual progress and to move forward in your life. Acknowledge that today you might not have a solution for these issues, but at some point, you may find your key. Use these methods to work with these patterns and cope with them.