Varieties of Enlightenment

This is the first article of two in which we will explore pseudo-enlightenment or delusional enlightenment. This week, we will discuss where delusional enlightenment fits on the spectrum of potential states of enlightenment. Next week, we will explore what is needed to ensure your enlightenment experience is truly integrated and genuine.

By George A. Boyd © 2021

Q: We usually think about enlightenment as the experience of the Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree, awakening to Supreme Wisdom and Knowledge and Boundless Compassion. But the term appears to be widely used outside of this context. Are there different types of enlightenment?

A: There are seven major varieties of enlightenment. Not all of them are similar to the experience that Lord Buddha’s enlightenment exemplified:

  1. Delusional enlightenment – Awakening as a higher spiritual essence—ensouling entity or nucleus of identity—or a state of consciousness without any context or understanding. This state of so-called enlightenment conveys a state in which an individual feels god-like and omnipotent, but they believe irrational things. This is the state of those who:
    1. Awaken to the so-called “truths” found in conspiracy theories
    2. Are swept away to become “true believers” in religious cults and in hate and terrorist groups
    3. Encounter a higher state of consciousness through the use of hallucinogenic drugs
    4. Discover the “enlightened state of mind of the wave of consciousness on the Akashic Records” and believe that they can magically “create” whatever they want
    5. Slip off into a psychotic state

While their attention may be in union with a spiritual essence, unconscious mind material and the false indoctrination from the groups that promulgate these states of consciousness contaminates and vitiates this experience. They believe they have found profound truth: instead, they have found delusion.

  1. Non-functional enlightenment – “Samadhic trance” characterizes this type, where aspirants behold a beatific state or encounter a form of the Divine in meditation, but they are locked in a state of trance and catatonia. They cannot move. They cannot speak. They cannot think. Their emotions are numb.

This type is commonly found in meditation systems that unfold a spiritual essence outside the cutting edge of spirituality, and creates severe imbalances—there is a wide gap between their development on this track and the ensouling entity at the cutting edge of spirituality.

  1. Enlightenment “Possession” – These are states in which individuals encounter a spiritual being on the inner Planes, who takes over their mind and consciousness. These individuals become channelers, shamans, and emissaries of new or novel sects of established religions.

They may be granted spiritual powers from this encounter. They may channel guidance. They may be empowered to bestow attunements or healing.

This state appears to be a blending with the being that possesses the individual, so that the individual undergoing this possession experience effectively disappears. The entity possessing them may come to dictate every action of their lives. Those who encounter them commonly observe these “God-possessed” individuals undergo radical changes in their beliefs and behavior.

  1. Incarnation of the Loving Heart of God – These individuals, who practice devotional meditation for sustained periods of time, merge into the Sun of the Divine Beloved, and lose themselves in the Ocean of Love. The greatest love and compassion for others and lives of selfless service characterize this type of enlightenment. They may not articulate teachings or doctrines, but their lives are a testament to their genuine encounter and union with the Divine.
  2. Creative enlightenment – This type results from the full awakening of the Illumined Mind or Buddhi. This type of enlightenment appears as the prolific inspiration of the Soul and expresses this in areas such as literature, music, invention, or poetry. At this stage of spiritual development, the Soul is awakened, and directly communicates its genius and mastery through this form of expression.
  3. Universal state of consciousness – A disciple enters this state of consciousness when an ensouling entity or nucleus of identity reaches this universal nexus on the Continuum. When disciples ascend to this state, great knowledge dawns. They gain access to spiritual powers. They have penetrating insights.

Yogis refer to this state as Sabikalpa Samadhi. Among the levels at which this type of enlightenment occurs include:

  1. The Light at the top of the Ideational Plane in the First Cosmic Initiation
  2. The Realization of Brahman in the First Cosmic Initiation
  3. Assumption into the golden lotus of the Yogi Preceptor in the First Cosmic Initiation
  4. Union with the Light Master at the top of the Cosmic Soul Awareness Plane in the Second Cosmic Initiation
  5. Awakening of the God Self in the Fifth Cosmic Initiation
  6. Fusion of a Supracosmic seed atom with the Supracosmic Soul on a Supracosmic Path
  7. Ascension of the Supracosmic Soul to the point between the eyebrows chakra on a Supracosmic Path, which opens a universal vista of consciousness
  8. Attainment of Supracosmic Mastery in the throne of Realization and Empowerment (Guru Padam) above the brain chakra on a Supracosmic Path
  9. Rising to a state of empowerment below the highest stage on a Transcendental Path, such as the Subud Master on the seventh Plane on T1; the Shabd Master above the second Plane on T2; the Brahmi Bhut on the seventh Plane on T3; the Maharaj above the seventh Plane on T4; and the Madhis on the fifth Plane on T5.

This is the type of enlightenment that Buddha appears to have attained, according to the popular imagination. [His attainment in this perspective would correspond to (h); the Bodhisattva to (g); and the Arhat to (f).]

  1. Synthetic enlightenment – This type combines several forms of enlightenment in one. In this type we see the combination of:
    • Incarnation of the Loving Heart of God as the Nadamic Master
    • Creative enlightenment as the illumined teacher and fount of inspired discourse (satsang)
    • Attainment of a universal stage of Mastery with empowerment and Divine anointing
    • Ability to extend guidance and Grace to aspirants and disciples

    We see synthetic enlightenment in beings that have become members of the Hierarchy of Light at Planetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Transcendental levels; Transcendental Path Sat Gurus; and Adi Sat Gurus (Multiplane Masters).

    In truth, Lord Buddha’s enlightenment was of this synthetic type. While his disciples see him in the context of his realization upon the Buddhist Paths of the Supracosmic Sphere, he possesses and operates through many other forms of Mastery. For example, he served as the World Teacher in the Hierarchy of Light before Jesus. He achieved the high throne of Sat Guru on several Transcendental Paths.

    We suggest that the delusional and non-functional types are not enlightenment at all, even though those who enter these states claim to have profound experiences. The groups that hold out these states of awareness as enlightenment believe that these rudimentary experiences are of the highest order, when they actually are not.

    Enlightenment possession has given us remarkable individuals with spiritual gifts and insights, but they do not possess these abilities and wisdom through the aegis of their own ensouling entity—these powers and inspiration are vouchsafed to them though the mediation of another being. Those who receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit are of this type: they preach under inspiration; they demonstrate supernormal abilities—but when the anointing goes away, so do the knowledge and abilities.

    Incarnation of the Loving Heart of God is associated with the highest development on Pole Two.

    Creative enlightenment typifies the highest development on Pole Three, representing the full flowering of the Illumined Mind.

    Attainment of universal consciousness is correlated with the unfoldment of the ensouling entity on Pole One. Varieties of this type of enlightenment may also be conveyed through a nucleus of identity, as is characteristic of universal consciousness stages (a) to (d).

    The synthetic variety of enlightenment combines Poles One, Two, and Three, plus the attentional principle on Pole Four is able to gain full conscious union with this blended nexus of Mastery.

    In Mudrashram®, we hold out the goal of synthetic enlightenment as being the goal of spiritual development. In our Integral system of meditation, we develop Poles One, Two, and Three in synchrony, and travel on the Fourth Pole as the attentional principle to witness this development. At advanced stages of discipleship, the attentional principle actively participates in spiritual ministry and initiation.

    Those who wish to learn the methods to ultimately develop synthetic enlightenment will benefit from taking one of our intermediate classes—the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program—where this training is imparted.

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