Validating Spiritual Experiences

By George A. Boyd ©2017

Q: How do I verify my experiences are genuine? For example: If I see Jesus in my meditation, how do I really know that was Him? If I’m told I should do something, how do I know if it’s something I should carry out? If I receive a vision or revelation, how do I know if the knowledge I received was accurate?

A: During certain stages of spiritual development, it is sometimes hard to ascertain what is true and what is not in your inner experiences. Your task is to find something to validate your experiences.

Spiritual experiences tend to fit into one of six frameworks

  • Astral (Imaginative)
  • Causal (Karmic)
  • Visionary (Revelatory)
  • Purposive (Divine Plan)
  • Mastery (Divine Command and Empowerment)
  • Lineage Founding (Dispensation)

Each of these “containers” of spiritual experiences operates outside the empirical framework of factual evidence based on your senses and reason. So you cannot validate these experiences the way you validate a physical object, a logical problem, or the accuracy of your recollection. We will explore in this article methods to validate these experiences using the faculty of discernment.

First, let’s examine what your experiences are in these different frameworks, plus the foundation state of consensus and foundation reality in which you function in your waking state of consciousness.

  1. Physical evidence (facts) – You note an object is present in the environment using your senses. Its behavior is logically consistent, and it obeys the known laws of the physical universe. This is the consensus reality that you experience in the waking state of awareness.
  2. Astral Imaginative (fantasy) – You construct a scenario in astral matter where you picture that your dreams and desires are fulfilled. You create something new that improves and transforms your current condition. What you visualize may or may not be realized in your life—your “dreams” may not necessarily come true, despite your efforts to manifest them.
  3. Causal Karmic (passion) – You enact certain patterns from your unconscious mind. You feel driven to perform certain actions. Craving, obsession, overwhelming desire and drive to achieve or have something may guide your actions in this state. This passionate behavior may feel like it operates outside of your voluntary and rational channels—you feel you have to do it.
  4. Visionary Revelatory (revelation) – You enter a state of meditation or hypnosis and you see spiritual beings, archetypes, or forms of the Divine. These numinous beings may tell you “mysterious and wonderful” things. You may be told that you are a special, chosen one, or an emissary or prophet of God. You may be guided to carry out a religious or spiritual project, such as writing a scripture or holy book, doing charitable work on behalf of those who are needy or suffering, founding a religious organization, building a temple, or bringing forward a new religious teaching.
  5. Divine Purpose and Plan (Spiritual Destiny) – In this state, you discover your unique spiritual destiny and service. You see the spiritual work you are to do mirrored in the archetypes in your unconscious mind, and you gain insight into what you are meant to accomplish. You enact the steps to carry out this plan, which might involve education and training, skill acquisition, or career development that ultimately enables you to live your Soul’s purpose.
  6. Divine Command and Empowerment (Mastery) – This state brings direct knowledge of the Will of God. This is the station of an Initiate, who ministers from an Office in the Hierarchy or as a lineage holder of a Cosmic, Supracosmic, or Transcendental Path. Here you serve the Divine and humanity through Light Immersion, guiding, and teaching.
  7. Dispensation (Establishment of a Lineage) – This aegis of the Divine appoints select individuals to found new lineages, to colonize and seed new aspects of the Continuum of Consciousness, and to act as Avatars or Divine Incarnations.

The spiritual teachings of the New Thought and New Age groups typically tap into the layer we call the Astral Imaginative. Followers of these groups are taught to “create” their experience. They are told that they have to do is visualize and intend, and they will manifest what they desire through the Laws of Mind or the Law of Attraction.

Other individuals appear to be passion-driven. They are motivated from within, for example, to go to designated places in the world, to embrace specific careers, to marry a particular person, to study selected subjects in school, or to join a certain spiritual group. This powerful motivation arises from passion or strong desire. This can impel great achievement; its dark side can lead people into addiction, criminality, and patterns of self-destruction.

Spiritual revelatory experiences are commonly seen in the First and Second Planetary Initiations, in the teachings of Yogi Preceptors of the First Cosmic Initiation, on Supracosmic Paths, and during the opening of the channels of the Nada in the Transcendental Sphere. In this state, meditators go into states of trance or deep absorption, where they are shown something or told something. A spiritual being or guide may tell them that they have reached a certain spiritual state, or they get the impression that God or the spiritual Master wants them to do something. These visions are poignant, powerful, and moving—those who enter these states feel compelled to share what they have seen or heard with others, or to carry out what “God is telling them to do.”

These revelations are commonly disorganized, chaotic, and lack any theme or consistency; material received in successive meditations may be contradictory. [For an example of this revelations received at this level, look at the book of “The Revelations of St. John the Divine” in the Bible.]

Aspirants undergoing this stage of spiritual development experience the most confusion, as there is nothing to tie together these mysterious communications and mystic disclosures. This forces many of those who function at this level to “live in the moment” and try to gather what meaning and insight that they can from this visionary cascade.

Those undergoing the 3rd and 4th Planetary Initiations commonly get in touch with their crown of purpose or the overarching vision of the Great Plan of their spiritual destiny. This brings clarity and understanding of a coherent framework that ties all spiritual experience together. This brings integration and aligns the personality with the Soul’s purpose and spiritual destiny.

The last two stages—Divine Command and Empowerment and Dispensation—are in the purview of those rare individuals who become Initiates. These beings directly move into the Presence of the Divine and operate as Masters under the Divine Will.

In those stages before the Divine Purpose and Plan—stages two to four—you often do not have a way to validate the veracity of what you are experiencing. You visualize creating something and believe your dreams will come true. Powerful passions move you, but you don’t know if you’re doing the right thing. You have visions of inner worlds; voices tell you things about yourself, the world, the future, your spiritual attainment, and what spiritual worlds are like—but you have no way to verify if what you are experiencing is real.

If you are in this situation, there are three things you can do that will help.

  1. Recognize the stage you are experiencing. Are you creating something? (Stage two) Do your gut level feelings and passions powerfully move you to do something? (Stage three) Are you having visions and voices in your meditation? (Stage four)
  2. Establish criteria to evaluate your experiences. For stage two, do your metaphysical treatments or processes yield results—did you get what you intend or desire? For stage three, when you achieve what you seek, do you experience a sense of completion and release? For stage four, you can use, for example, historical or philosophical criteria.
    • An example of using a historical criterion, if you receive a vision telling you that in a past life, you were traveling in a flying saucer with particle beam weapons in the time of the great war described in the Bhagavad Gita. At 3,500 BCE, humanity was still in the Bronze Age. You conclude that it is unlikely that there would be flying saucers at that time, or particle beam weapons, so you determine your revelation was likely fanciful.
    • An example of using philosophical reasoning is when your visions and voices are telling you that you have now become the savior of mankind. You could examine what is the actual state in which the great Masters dwell in the Hierarchy, and notice if your Soul has reached this state. If you haven’t, your intimation of your greatness is likely delusional. [If you were nurturing delusions of your greatness, perfection, and grandeur, you would deconstruct each of them through this means.]
  3. For anything you cannot examine using your testing criteria, place it in abeyance in the category of unconfirmed hypotheses. Until you know something is true, you don’t automatically believe it because Lazarus [a popular entity channeled in New Age circles] said it was true, an angel you saw in a vision told you it is true, or a beautiful, Christ-like guide you think resembles Jesus affirms it is true.

To guide your actions, align with your Self and your Soul, and check in to see if you are acting on that which is correct, appropriate, and honors your integrity, and not on suggestions that come from these revelatory sources.

Until you reach the stage of knowing your Soul Purpose and what is the Great Work that you were sent to do, you may be led down a lot of dead ends and chase a lot of mirages. If you can put discernment in place, however—recognizing what you are experiencing, establishing criteria to determine its veracity, and holding in abeyance what you can not now verify—you will save yourself a lot of grief, confusion, and consternation, and avoid wasting your valuable time.

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Reflections on Higher Spiritual Forms

By George A. Boyd © 2017

For Swami Shyamendra and Jonathan
[This is our first post generated from your Facebook questions]

Q: Could you give more information about yogis and Masters in their astral forms in Mount Shasta, the Himalayas, and other power spots of the world?

A: In addition to the physical forms of advanced Initiates that can be experienced with the physical senses, most spiritual teachers also manifest higher etheric and astral forms through which they are able to minister the Light of their lineage to those who are in attunement with them—their disciples and the aspirants who have begun work with their tradition.

Mirrors of Spiritual Development

One of the places you can view these higher forms is on the so-called “etheric grid” on the Planes of Etheria, which is the highest Subplane of the Biophysical Universe in the Planetary Realm. On this level, you appear in a spiritual form that resembles a pilgrim. As you evolve spiritually, you move along the winding path of this grid.

Picture of “Guru Rahman” in his spiritual pilgrim form
© Maha Genii Turriziani

We can mark certain places on this etheric grid as corresponding to certain Initiations that the Soul is undergoing. [So if your pilgrim form shows up in this location, it suggests your Soul is journeying through one of the Planetary or higher octave Initiations.] For example:

  • Mount Shasta is associated with development in the Psychic Realm.
  • Mt. Olympus in Greece is associated with development on the Wisdom Plane.
  • Jerusalem, shared by Israel and Palestine, is associated with the First Mesoteric Initiation.
  • Northeast India is associated with Third Planetary Initiation.
  • Tibet is associated with the Fourth Planetary Initiation.
  • The Masters of the Planetary Hierarchy appear in Shambala, which is associated with the eastern Gobi Desert in Mongolia.
  • Yogi Preceptors inhabit a celestial heaven world beyond Shambala.
  • Supracosmic Gurus appear in their glorified forms on the etheric representation of the spiritualized Himalaya Mountains, which appear beyond the celestial heaven worlds corresponding to the Cosmic Realm of spiritual development.

So this is a mirror of your spiritual development on the Planes of Etheria. We can find other mirrors of development in the highest Plane of the Subtle Realm, which call the Subtle Illumined Mind; or the Ancient Wisdom Subplane of the Third Planetary Initiation, for example.

Reflected Forms of the Masters

In addition to looking for the mirrors of the spiritual development of advanced yogis and spiritual Masters, you can also find these higher forms through meditation on the platforms of Mastery on the Higher Planes.

These platforms of Mastery include:

  1. The Planetary Hierarchy
  2. The nine lineages of the Yogi Preceptors of the First Cosmic Initiation
  3. The Light Master of the Second Cosmic Initiation
  4. The Cosmic Masters of the Cosmic Hierarchy
  5. The Supracosmic Gurus upon each one of the 64 active Supracosmic Paths
  6. The Sat Gurus upon each of the eight Transcendental Paths

When you meditate upon where the spiritual essence of these Masters dwell—their ensouling entity [See the tab on “The Possibilities of Ensoulment”] or nucleus of identity—in one of these platforms of Mastery, you can then trace their many reflections on each Plane of Light.

So, were you to meditate upon Jesus in the Planetary Hierarchy, you would find that He is reflected through His forms on each Plane below. If you follow the thread upward, you could find His forms of Mastery in the Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Transcendental Spheres.

Before you get too excited here, just like you don’t send email to someone who has not solicited your contact, you are not invited to start meditating on Masters without having them invite you. If you try to do this, you will be held in abeyance by the force field around them, and you will not be able to get in.

When you have been working with a Master, devotedly and one-pointedly for many years, he or she may take you into his or her confidence and reveal his or her inner forms to you, and let you call upon him or her in one of these forms. This permission to call upon spiritual Masters and invoke their Light through one of these forms is called the stage of “disciple upon the thread.”

This is a much deeper stage than simply invoking spiritual Masters through prayer and supplication, which in common in religious organizations. There is a response to your evocation, but this does not make you their disciple, and does not qualify you for deeper communion with them. Those who seek to have deeper communion with any Master that they love need to spiritually evolve to the stage where you can have direct communion with them.

For example, my first spiritual teacher, Maha Genii Turriziani ascended into the Cosmic Hierarchy and was anointed to become a Cosmic Master. At this stage, he had direct communion with Jesus and other Great Masters that dwell in those sublime spiritual heights.

Just My Imagination… Running Away with Me?

Before you actually reach the levels where these Masters dwell in their spiritual essence, your imagination can play many tricks on you and make up all kinds of wild stories—like, that Jesus went to India, that he was married to Mary Magdalene, that he visited a Buddhist monastery, or that he lives in Rome, Italy—but how do you verify any of this? Until you know the Master directly and he tells and shows you, how do you know any of this is true?

Those who have developed inner sight and hearing can behold these reflected forms on the Planes that mirror spiritual development. The forms that express a Master’s spiritual development can likewise be contemplated by those that have the permission to do so.

The Masters minister periodically to humanity through the Divine Light and directed thought: those who developed the requisite sensitivity to tap into their thought streams are uplifted, ennobled, and purified—and some may be actively Translated and granted accelerated spiritual unfoldment (Initiation) through the Grace of their supervising Initiate.

The Thought Form Aether

By George A. Boyd ©2008

Q: What is the thought form Aether? What does it contain?

A: The thought form Aether can be discovered through meditation on the psychic eye, in the center of the forehead in your form on the Psychic Realm. Contemplation of this center reveals the following levels of the mind and consciousness:

  1. The chemical Aether – this comprises the molecular, atomic, and subatomic strata of matter
  2. The information Aether – this consists of the digital and analog information that processes through the human brain and in computers, and is exchanged between individuals
  3. The resonance Aether – this is the space and silence beyond information that is its container. This resonance ether is purported to retain the vibrations of every event, every thought, every emotion, and every action, and makes up what is called the Akashic Records or Akashic Aether.
  4. The life force Aether – this level reveals the movement of the life force (Prana, Chi) through subtle channels in the etheric body. These channels are called nadis and meridians; the places where these channels come together are called chakras. Learning to channel this living force confers the ability to heal others.
  5. The desire Aether – this level contains the impressions of desire (attraction), dislike (repulsion), and equanimity (neutrality). By focusing your desire and commitment to achieve something you want, you activate the Law of Attraction, which brings fulfillment of what you desire. Certain patterns of thinking and believing may paradoxically block or repulse what you desire; programs that purport to teach you how to activate the Law of Attraction work on countering these negative patterns to release what you desire.
  6. The thought form Aether – this level holds your ideas and thoughts, which appear as animated forms. You can learn to make these thought forms do things for you, and augment your creativity as you tap this realm of possibilities.
  7. The consciousness Aether – this level appears like a stream of thoughts and impressions arising from the voidness of consciousness. Those who do mindfulness meditation or Vipassana appear to enter this level of the mind.
  8. The archetypal Aether – this level portrays your vehicles of consciousness of the personal and transpersonal bands of your mind as archetypal forms. You enter the collective unconscious realm of myths—heroes and gods—when you enter this band.
  9. The Divine essence – when you are able to fully open the psychic eye, you penetrate to the core of perception available through this center, and you can behold the essence of the Soul, or higher Self. This enables you to behold the inner “God atom” that dwells in each individual.

The thought form Aether appears to contain several strata in which you progressively encounter “thoughts as things.”

  1. Idea – here the thought appears as a bubble in the thought form ether. It forms networks with other ideas through association. This stratum appears to parallel the neuro-electrical association webs of the physical brain.
  2. Name – at this level, you give a name, description, and attribution to an idea. By doing this, you objectify the idea, and place it within the container of language.
  3. Form or pattern – at this stratum, you engage your faculty of perception, and you group the idea with other similar ideas to form categories or schemas. You distinguish the idea from others through finding similarities or differences, and you can tease out complex interrelationships with other ideas.
  4. Quality – at this band of the thought form Aether, you behold the idea with your subtle senses. You note the idea’s shape, color, sound, smell, taste, texture, shape, and feeling. You may begin to note that some ideas are static, but others appear to be animated and kinetic. You can behold thought forms in this way during the state of hypnosis, astral projection, or intoxication with psychoactive drugs.
  5. Suggestion – when you reach this stratum, you encounter the thought forms as if they were containers of your desires and wishes. They take on the forms of subpersonalities, with which you can dialog and gather information about emotional issues or problems. Systems of psychotherapy that use imagery to interface with the unconscious mind tap this level of the thought form Aether.
  6. Creation and destruction – at this level, you discover that thought forms attract certain circumstances and outcomes. You discover that you can create a thought form to bring about a particular outcome, you can sustain a thought form that is producing a result in your life, or you can dissolve a thought form that is producing unwanted consequences.
  7. Discernment – when you reach this deepest level of the thought form Aether, you can begin to locate where thought forms dwell. You locate them in a particular vehicle of consciousness, in a conscious or unconscious zone of the mind, or clinging to the energy fields around people’s bodies (aura). You may locate them dimensionally relative to the top of a Subplane or Plane, or identify where they dwell on the Great Continuum of Consciousness. When you activate this faculty of the mind, you discover that certain thought forms are contained within archetypes at different levels of the Continuum, and you can differentiate which thought forms cluster with these archetypes.

[For example, you discover that different types of thought forms arise in the Mystery Schools of the First Esoteric Initiation than in the Psychic Realm.] Thought forms appear in this discernment matrix from the system of chakras in the Subconscious mind to the abode of the Lords of Mind in the Third Planetary Initiation.

Academic education appears to access the first three levels of the thought form Aether through the intellect. This enables students to recognize ideas and their associations, to work with them through language, to categorize them, to compare and contrast them, and utilize other intellectual strategies to manipulate them.

Hypnosis, psychotherapy, or meditation trains you to visualize thought forms through your subtle senses, interface with them through suggestion and dialog, and ultimately, learn to create useful thought forms or destroy ones that bring about unwanted emotions and behavior. We teach several suggestion, insight, and dialog methods in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the online and by-mail Accelerated Meditation Program.

Though deepest meditation on this Aether, you will be able to discern where these thought forms dwell on the Continuum, and you can use them to recognize what band of the Continuum you are visiting.