Levels of Dream Interpretation

By George A. Boyd ©2015

Sigmund Freud popularized dream interpretation in the early 20th Century. A number of other experts have elaborated other approaches to dream interpretation. These are shown below:





Major exponent




All dream symbols are reduced to sexual, aggressive, self-destructive, or conflicts of sexual maturation

Sigmund Freud




Signs of an individual’s “neurosis” or mental illness are identified in the dream

William Stekel




The actions of the figures in the dream suggest wishes, motivations, or intentions; these are the expression of the vital force, which Reich called orgone

Wilhelm Reich




The therapist analyzes the words of the characters in the dream, which reveals patients’ conflicts, their essential existential anxiety, and their quest for meaning

Victor Frankl




The therapist explores dream symbols as urges to growth, healing, progress, understanding and a resolution of symptoms; the dream reveals the fears and shame that underlies resistance to change

Carl Jung




The therapist asks the patient to become and enact the images in their dream to unlock their personal meaning

Fritz Perls




The therapist asks the patient to examine the dream at different levels, each discovering a different layer of meaning. Layers that can be uncovered through this process include the physiological, emotional, vital or energetic, mental, personal, higher mental, and mandalic.

Roberto Assagioli

In the synthetic approach

  • The physiological layer corresponds to classical Freudian analysis.
  • The emotional layer reveals the affect seen in Steckel’s approach.
  • The energetic layer draws upon the body-mind matrix that Reich explored.
  • The mental layer uncovers the meaning of experience that Frankl’s work tapped.
  • The personal level uses the humanistic and psycho-dramatic methods of Fritz Perls.
  • The higher mental layer interacts with archetypes; Jung utilized this transpersonal approach.
  • The mandalic layer views the dream as a multidimensional conveyer of meaning, and posits that the dream story points to the re-unification of the psyche in the figure of the Soul

The multi-faceted synthetic approach examines

  • To what physiological process—sexuality, hunger, urge to survive as an organism, urge to defend oneself or to kill another, urge to word off disease or death, or surrender to death—can these dream symbols be attributed?
  • What does the dream image symbolize? What constitutes change in the symbols representing the patient’s illness? What indicates resolution?
  • What wishes, desires, or urges does the dream express?
  • What meanings does the dream express? What central issue does the dream present that presses for resolution?
  • What do the individual dream elements reveal about themselves? What unconscious, disowned aspect of personality (subpersonality) do they represent?
  • What spiritual or transpersonal process does the dream portray?
  • What is the Soul teaching or disclosing through the dream?

Each approach draws out different aspects of the dream’s communication to the dreamer. A dream be alternately construed as:

  • A neurological process, consolidating the day’s experiences into long-term memory
  • A symbolic discharge of repressed biological drives
  • A randomization of mental processes; a chaos out of which the mind imposes order and meaning in daily life
  • The experience of the astral body, as it travels through the track of life history and on the Astral Plane
  • A symbolic code that unlocks the mysteries of the unconscious mind
  • A message from the Divine Spirit, which reveals the Divine Will or Divine Plan
  • A communication of the Soul to the surface mind, veiled in the cryptic language of the dream

We filter different levels of meaning from the dream,depending on the lens through which we view the dream. The dream is actually a multi-layered loom, which operates at these different layers simultaneously.

We suggest that a multi-layered approach could be captured in an evocative questionnaire, which asks clients to examine these elements at each level, and to tease out the essential message at the core of it.

When It Is Not OK to Be Human

By George A. Boyd© 2016

Q: When does spirituality not make it OK for someone to be a human being?

A: In many spiritual traditions, the objective of their spiritual developmental Path is to realize God. This takes three major forms:

  1. Discovering Inner Divinity – This brings the knowledge that God dwells within the Soul as a Divine Spark. In this perspective, there is no attempt to transform this spiritual essence: one is content to simply be one with this Inner Divinity.
  2. Realizing one is God – This approach presupposes that there is some obscuring substance or force—Cosmic Illusion (Maya); spiritual ignorance; or mind in its unconscious, nescient form—veils the truth that one actually is Almighty God. Here, it is the sense of separate “I-ness” that is the root of the problem: one works to overcome this fundamental error of the sense of separation. This philosophy characterizes Vedanta and Advaita, which espouse that Brahman is the only Reality. This is also seen in Sufism Reoriented, Meher Baba’s Path, which declares that only God is real.
  3. Discovering a Divinized aspect of one’s nature, and moving this essence into the Presence of the Almighty – This method uncovers a God Self or inner Divinity within an individual (Microcosm), and then moves that essence into the Presence of God that ensouls the Macrocosm. This process disengages from the ego and the Self, and fully identifies with the essence that migrates into the Divine Presence. The Risen Christ Ashram, which unfolds the Astral Soul through the Cosmic Sphere typifies this style of spiritual work; other Paths that teach their followers to identify with a spiritual essence and move this into the Presence of the Divine as it can be known on their Path—while regarding the ego and the personality as hindrances to spiritual development—follow a similar approach.

In type one, one can have an inner Divinity, but can concurrently be a human being. In this approach, human life is a Divine Joke or Divine Play, and can be engaged in consciously and joyously.

In type two, one can only sustain the experience that one is God by holding human life and personality as unreal and illusory, and by maintaining the altered state of consciousness that allows one to perceive they are God.

In this scenario, the ego and personality can continue to function, but may be suppressed or attenuated to allow the state of Divine Realization to express through the body.

In type three—when the track of spiritual development interferes with the functioning of the personality or aims to dissolve the ego and the sense of a separate human Self—this deconstruction of personal identity can lead to states of spiritual narcissism and grandiosity. In this state, one believes that he or she is a God-like being, who cannot deign to act like a common mortal—similar to the way the “god-king” Pharaoh could not mix with the common people. If an individual in this state is subjected to probing questioning, they may become defensive, agitated, and even paranoid.

In Mudrashram® we see what is common with these three approaches is that the philosophical rationale they give for clinging to the Divinized state predicates that it is not all right to be a human being and to function in the world in normal waking awareness.

There are four major postures regarding spirituality. We first described these four postures in our article, “Learning to Be an Amphibian: A Model for Re-entry for Cult Members Returning to Society.” [This article was published in our book, Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What the Heck Are We Doing?]

  1. Reject the existence of the spiritual world – This is the posture of the materialist, who believes only that which can be verified in the physical world is real.
  2. Reject the material world as unreal – This is the approach of those that advocate remaining continuously in an altered state of consciousness; and also those that seek to identify with Divinity embrace this posture.
  3. Reject both material and spiritual worlds – This is the perspective of the psychotic, who becomes immersed in the unconscious mind, tossed to and fro by the maelstrom of inchoate thought. By rejecting both poles, they lose the ability to function, to think rationally, or create a coherent worldview.
  4. Accept both poles – In this approach, one is a human being and a spiritual being and a human being, at the same time. One makes progress as a human being on personal goals; one makes progress towards one’s spiritual calling through inner work.

This fourth posture is the one we advocate in Mudrashram®: to embrace both your humanness and your spirituality; to respect and honor each aspect of your nature

The ego has its job to carry out individual units of behavior and to ensure the survival of your body.

The Self’s job is to create meaning and value in human life, and to create and enact your personal destiny.

The Soul’s job is to actualize and express its full spiritual potential, and to fulfill its Divine Purpose.

We suggest that rather than attempting to suppress or deny the functioning of the ego and the Self, one should empower and support them to do the job they were designed to do. In this way, one avoids:

  1. Derealization and depersonalization
  2. Delusional thinking
  3. Spiritual narcissism and grandiosity
  4. Inability to function effectively as a human being
  5. Paranoid mindsets and world views
  6. Manic judgment that arises from a grandiose perspective
  7. Suppression and repression of legitimate human needs and restricting the healthy expression of the human drive to growth and progress towards meaningful and life-enhancing objectives

We urge that those who believe that it is not OK to be human re-examine their beliefs and consider, as a more life-enhancing alternative, the Integral approach.

Types of Destiny

By George A. Boyd ©2016

Q: Are there different types of destiny that people experience? It seems there are lives of suffering and privation, and lives of great affluence; lives of the common man and those who are luminaries and leaders; and those who make spirituality their primary focus. Is there a rhyme or reason to these karmic patterns we observe?

A: The Lords of Karma set up the destiny karma for each individual is set up at the time of birth. Those who are conscious in the interlude between lives may be able to choose between different scenarios presented to them, this destiny is generally executed once one is born into life—although we may see the precursors of genetic conditions during the embryonic period of development.

We can describe seven general categories of destiny. They are not mutually exclusive: individuals may experience aspects of more than one category simultaneously, or during discrete episodes in their lives. These categories are:

  1. Karmic retribution – these are genetic conditions, chronic physical illness, intractable patterns of addiction, and mental illness that incapacitate an individual throughout their lives—these are lives of suffering and retribution for evil karmic deeds committed in former lives.
  2. Karmic reward – these are lives of privilege, wealth, and leisure founded upon charity and good deeds in former lives
  3. Lives of learning and achievement – these are lives which are based largely on an individual using their liberty to develop their knowledge and abilities and contribute something to their families, and to the community and the society in which they live
  4. Lives of power and influence – these individuals rise to become eminent in their field, and become leaders of institutions, companies, and governmental bodies
  5. Lives of aspiration and devotion – these individuals begin to have spiritual and mystic experiences, and pursue spiritual development as the first priority of their lives. Some will become members of monastic communities, some will become clergy, and some will study spiritual teachings and join spiritual groups, often becoming initiated into different spiritual Paths.
  6. Lives of Mastery – these individuals gain spiritual Mastery in a tradition and work to minister and disseminate its teachings.
  7. Lives of Mission – these individuals have their entire life track—the goals they must accomplish—predestined for them, and they must simply enact what is written there. This form of destiny does not appear until one has achieved Mastery, and is associated with those who are working on the Ascension Path.

Types one and two seem to have little control over their lives: much seems to be predestined and they just live through the nightmare or the good fortune they have been granted.

Types three and four bring to mind the ideas of an individual making their way in life or creating their destiny prevalent in wealthy, industrialized countries. They have much greater liberty and can make new choices that improve their abilities and knowledge and their position in life; they can also misuse their liberty and vitiate their lives.

Spirituality strongly influences types five and six. This can have different permutations: individuals who fight for moral values to be enacted in political and social arenas; individuals who retreat from life and embark on a spiritual quest; individuals who share the spiritual gifts they have gained through healing, counseling, guiding, or initiating others; and individuals who lead spiritual groups and movements.

Type seven is most rare; it is seen only in those Masters, who are enacting a mission on behalf of the Dispensation that God has granted them. An example of this is seen in the Bible, which hints that Jesus Christ may have had events of his life predestined—his ministry, his betrayal, and his crucifixion. Living through the episodes of his life, he demonstrated the Ascension after his resurrection.

We note that destiny karma can be all encompassing for some individuals, and condition nearly everything they experience. For others there is much greater liberty.

We encourage aspirants to contemplate what is their zone of liberty, and use this to do what they can, where they are in their lives, with an aim to improve themselves—both in their personal lives and spiritually. We are reminded of Dr. Steven Hawking, who despite living with a debilitating type one illness, is one of the pre-eminent physicists of our time. Whatever obstacles your destiny may be currently putting in your path, optimize the liberty you do have to achieve what you can and actualize your human and spiritual potentials.

Engaging the Mental Faculties

By George A. Boyd © 2015

The mental faculties engage progressively as the Kundalini Shakti begins to awaken higher and higher vehicles of the mind. These layers of mental functioning, from the outside in are:

  1. Sensory engagement – used in tracking and hunting, this seeks specific objects in the environment; this faculty also expresses in product inspection and food tasting.
  2. Analytical reasoning – this faculty uses reason, testing, and verification to assess the truth of an assumption or hypothesis. It uses mathematics and deductive reasoning to arrive at a proof.
  3. Narrative and myth – this faculty of the mind tells stories and relates personal lived experience; it creates meaning from experience.
  4. Imagination – this faculty of the mind is able to creatively modify visualized objects to come up with new inventions, to personify others, and to generate humorous ideas.
  5. Planning and goal setting – this faculty of the mind itemizes points for a presentation, schedules, plans, and sets goals for the future.
  6. Reflection and problem solving – this faculty engages inductive reasoning and the problem-solving strategies of the intellect; it organizes information and presents this information to others in a variety of ways.
  7. Personal encounter – this faculty allows a person to intuitively know themselves and others; it enables empathy and understanding of others.
  8. Dialectic reasoning – this is able to look at two opposing ideas and find a synthesis between them.
  9. Multi-factorial, simultaneous comparison – this faculty is able to look at several viewpoints at once; this type of mental processing, for example, is able to examine the viewpoints of the Seven Rays side-by-side.
  10. Conscience searching and introspection – this faculty permits the examination of behavior and performance against a standard; it is able to compare behavior with a moral rule or commandment, to see if one has lived up to it.
  11. Intuitive discernment – this faculty brings awareness of the content of each vehicle of consciousness up to the level of the Soul. It is called spiritual discrimination, or viveka.
  12. Mandalic reasoning – this is the ability to detect the stages of unfolding of the Soul’s consciousness, up to its current level of spiritual evolution. This form of knowing brings exact knowledge of the Soul, and confers Gnosis.

Aspirants should ascertain whether each of these faculties is active in them, and they should learn practices to engage each of these 12 modes of mental functioning.

Meditation is key to activating these mental faculties. We teach methods to access these bands of the mind in our meditation courses.

In the Introduction to Meditation Program, you learn techniques to contact levels 1, 2, 4, 5, and 10.

In our intermediate courses, the on-line and by-mail Accelerated Meditation Program and the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation, you additionally learn tools to engage levels 6 and 7.

In our advanced course, the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation, you learn how to activate levels 9, 11, and 12.

We encourage you to utilize the full capacity of your mind so you may connect with your Soul and express its innate inspiration and genius.