Reflections on Enlightenment

By George A. Boyd © 2017

Q: What is enlightenment? It seems every group has their own description of what enlightenment means, and it is confusing.

A: There are many definitions of enlightenment. It may be helpful for us to break enlightenment down into its component parts, so you can understand what it happening.

  1. Enlightenment is a state experienced in the Superconscious mind. In it, you transcend the personality and your attention becomes completely absorbed in a spiritual essence. In Mudrashram® we look to your union with your ensouling entity at the cutting edge of spirituality as the natural nexus of enlightenment; in other groups, they may define this enlightened essence as a nucleus of identity, spirit, or ensouling entity outside the cutting edge of awareness.
  2. In enlightenment, you experience Gnosis. This is a state of identification when the God Atom in the core of the Soul awakens, and you identify as that inner Divinity. You are conscious that you are one with the God Immanent, the Presence of God within your Soul (Atma Samadhi). In groups that teach you to identify with another spiritual essence, you experience a similar state of Gnosis for that spiritual essence.
  3. In the ecstatic state of enlightenment, your illumined mind (Buddhi) turns on so that it reveals every level of your Superconscious, Metaconscious, Subconscious, and Conscious mind. It reveals the seed atom in which your Soul is reflected and all of the content at each level of the mind. In groups that lead your attention to focus on another spiritual essence, there is a similar multi-dimensional insight that is kindled.
  4. In this state, the highest octave of will within you is switched on, and you become aware of all of the latent powers of your Soul. If you are meditating on another spiritual essence, you will experience the abilities (siddhis) that are anchored on that part of the Continuum.
  5. In enlightenment, you experience the relative omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence that are present in your God Atom—or in another spiritual essence that other Paths use for contemplation. This is a state beyond time and space, beyond body and universe—you feel a sense of ecstatic god-likeness.
  6. In the enlightened state, your ego boundaries temporarily dissolve and you experience yourself as the God Atom within your Soul. You may feel that a veil has been rent, and you are finally at one with the true core of you—your ego and personality are revealed to be vehicles for the Soul’s expression—and you break your identification with these personal integration centers for the period you are in the state of enlightenment.
  7. For many people, the Kundalini Shakti will be fully raised into the God Atom with in the Soul in the state of enlightenment. When this occurs, the personality shuts down and you experience the Soul in its primordial light. When Kundalini drives enlightenment, you experience is an ineffable state; you are unable to speak. It lifts you into a mystic state, which dwells far beyond the ability of reason or intellect to penetrate. It grants you ecstasy, conveying the highest bliss and joy. [The awakening of the Kundalini is not required to experience enlightenment, but when your enlightenment experience combines Kundalini awakening with attentional union and identification, it is much more profound.] In other Paths, Kundalini is raised to activate other spiritual essences, which similarly intensifies the experience.

There are a number of misconceptions of enlightenment, which we would like to briefly address.

  1. Enlightenment requires that you transform a spiritual essence to a particular state on the Path. For example, some traditions teach that attainment of the 7th chakra on a Supracosmic Path or awakening of the brain chakra in the First Cosmic Initiation convey enlightenment. Actually, you can experience enlightenment at any stage along the Path on which your spiritual essence unfolds.
  2. Enlightenment occurs after only years of meditation. You can experience the enlightened state relatively early in your meditation career if you use selected meditation tools effectively. There are teachers who specialize in training you how to enter the state of enlightenment—they report even novice meditators are able to enter this state.
  3. Once you become enlightened, it is permanent. It is only permanent if you do not ever separate your attention from the Divine Atom within you—most people who experience the enlightened state of mind spend time in this ecstatic state, but return to normal awareness again.
  4. The awakening of the Kundalini is required for enlightenment. As we have said before, if you reach the state of enlightenment and your Kundalini concurrently awakens, you will have a much more powerful experience, but it is not required.
  5. Enlightenment means realizing you are Brahman. In Vedanta and Advaita Jnana Yoga traditions, enlightenment is defined as identifying with Brahman. We suggest that this is an enlightened state, a state of Samadhi, but enlightenment is normally associated with the God Atom within the Soul or other spiritual essence—the God Immanent—rather than the Soul of the Universe, or God Transcendent, like Brahman.
  6. You cannot attain enlightenment unless you maintain the highest standards of virtue and purity. Keeping the heart, mind, and body pure will certainly help your meditation, but it does not guarantee enlightenment. We suggest facility with meditation combined with the Grace of God and the Masters plays a greater role in attaining enlightenment than holiness—spiritual literature abounds with stories of rakes and scoundrels who had an enlightenment experience despite being sinners. Indeed, the enlightenment experience inspired them to change their behavior and dedicate themselves to God, which ultimately transformed them into saints.
  7. You can only become enlightened if you receive an attunement from a Master. The granting of Light Immersion or Shaktipat can trigger enlightenment, but many people experience the enlightened state without this Omnific Attunement.
  8. Taking a psychedelic drug can make you enlightened. Some people, in the proper setting, have touched the state of enlightenment during their drug experience. People have reported these experiences with LSD, peyote, mescaline, psilocybin, ayahuasca, and other hallucinogenic drugs. These drugs take you on a passive astral journey, where you have little control over the depth to which you travel in your mind or the locations you visit, so while some individuals have had enlightenment experiences with these substances, the vast majority of people do not.
  9. Once you attain enlightenment, you have completed your spiritual journey—there is no higher state to attain. When you become enlightened, you gain the relative enlightenment available in the nodal point where your Soul dwells. The Soul—or other spiritual essence—still must complete the remainder of its spiritual development to rise to Mastery and Liberation. Many misguided individuals, having an enlightenment experience, have concluded they were Buddha or Jesus Christ. We point out that Buddha and Jesus transformed their spiritual essences to the highest state of development on many bands of the Continuum. Look in the Hierarchy—they are there. Look at the stage of Perfect Master or Sat Guru on Transcendental Paths—they are lineage holders among the long line of Masters who bring the Light anew to those of each generation.
  10. Only my Master is enlightened. Enlightenment experiences can be had at each level of the Continuum—Subtle, Planetary, Transplanetary, Cosmic, Supracosmic, and Transcendental. They can be had on each of the active Supracosmic Paths and on each of the Transcendental Path. They are not the exclusive province of any Path or lineage.
  11. When you become enlightened, you become an empowered teacher. Empowerment means that the Divine anoints you to minister, guide, teach, and initiate at some level of Mastery on the Continuum. Some rare individuals have become enlightened concurrently when they were anointed, but most individuals have an enlightenment experience way before they ever ascend into the presence of the Divine and they are empowered to operate as an Initiate or Master.
  12. Enlightenment ends the necessity to reincarnate. Freedom from birth and death occurs when you complete your spiritual development, not when you discover the God Atom within the Soul. The necessity from physical embodiment is attained upon union of the Soul with the Monad after completing spiritual work at the Subtle and Planetary bands of the Continuum (the state of the Planetary Adept); from astral embodiment, with the liberation of the Astral Soul in the Brahma Jyoti after completing both the Transplanetary and Cosmic legs of the spiritual evolutionary journey; and from causal embodiment, at the Mahatma stage on the Bridge Path.

We invite aspirants and disciples—from whatever spiritual tradition you adhere—to contemplate these benchmarks that are required to enter the state of enlightenment. We also encourage you to examine whether you may be clinging to some of these misguided notions, and to jettison them.

Signs You Have Connected with Your Soul

By George A. Boyd ©2017

Q: How do I know when I have connected with my Soul? How can I be sure that I’m truly hearing its voice?

A: Some of the signs that you have touched your Soul include:

  1. Joy – When you feel that deep “yes!!!!” inside of you, like you hit on that perfect thing, you have tapped into your Soul.
  2. Conviction – When you know something is right from the very core of you, in every fiber of your being, you have contacted the Soul.
  3. Sense of purpose – When you realize this is the reason you have been born, you uncover your Soul’s expressed purpose. You may feel that your Soul has a mission that it has come here to accomplish, and you have the opportunity to cooperate with it in manifesting its purpose.
  4. Unconditional love and great compassion – When you feel boundless love and compassion welling up from the core of you, you have come to the fountainhead of the Soul.
  5. Permission and direction – When the Soul allows you to do something that you have suppressed or postponed out of fear or doubt, the Soul is at work. When the still small voice within speaks to you and tells you what you need to do, the Soul is communicating with you.
  6. You get multiple confirmations – You get the same guidance when you do reflective and receptive meditations: when all intuitive guidance you are receiving points to the same message, your Soul is guiding you. [We teach several types of reflective and receptive meditation in our intermediate meditation courses. The in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. We teach advanced meditations that tap the intuition in the Mudrashram® Advanced Course in Meditation.]
  7. You have a completion and release experience – When your Soul is winding up some aspect of its karma, you may have a completion and release experience. This is the culmination of your sustained effort and inner work: you experience that you are complete with this endeavor; your mission has been accomplished. If this is a spiritual Path upon which you have embarked, this occurs at the stage when you achieve Liberation or Jivan Mukta. If it is a personal project you have been directed to undertake, you know that you have accomplished everything what you were asked to do.

Much of the inner struggle of the aspirant arises from trying to ascertain the true voice of the Soul from the ten thousand messages coming from different layers of the mind. To verify a communication is from the Soul, you must place your attention upon the Soul, and then see, hear, and feel—with your inner senses—that it is the Soul that speaks to you and not something else.

In time, you will learn to recognize the signs that your Soul is giving you direction, and you will come to trust your own perception that this genuinely is your Soul. As you gain greater discernment, it will become easier for you to determine which messages come from the core of you and which arises in the labyrinth of the mind.

Q: Can the Soul communicate to you from coincidence? You know, experiences that happen seemingly randomly, but set you up for a mysterious encounter? Like someone meeting their spouse, or meeting their spiritual teacher through a series of uncanny coincidences?

A: Coincidence, the unfolding of events in a non-linear, synchronistic way, is more commonly associated with destiny, which is the part of your karma that you experience in human life. Destiny reveals itself in a strangely involuntary, magical, or irrational way; the direction of your Soul is purposeful and seeks to accomplish specific aims—and your Soul will guide you unequivocally when you truly contact it.

Deepening in Your Experience of Meditation

By George A. Boyd © 2017

Most meditators begin meditation learning to collect their attention and reaching the stage of mindfulness, where they are consciously present and they can monitor the content of their experience arising in the present time.

Meditation deepens when attention begins to move along the thread of consciousness and moves through the dimensions of the mind. Depending on your dominant mode of inner sensation, this takes the following five forms:

  1. Feeling – You feel deepening bliss as you move along the thread of consciousness.
  2. Hearing – You hear a series of high frequency sounds that correspond to each the resonant seed atom of each vehicle of consciousness at each level of the mind.
  3. Primary visual – You witness different colors and patterns arise at discrete levels of the mind.
  4. Cascading visual – You behold different symbols and images arise within each vehicle of consciousness.
  5. Discerning visual – You clearly visualize each vehicle of consciousness, its content, and its structure.

Whatever your primary inner sensing mode, it is important that you verify that you are moving along the thread of consciousness and are accessing deeper layers of the mind. This conscious movement is a sign you are actually penetrating into successive bands of your awareness and gaining insight into their contents.

After some practice of meditation, you will recognize each level of your mind and discern its unique function. At this stage, you can begin to practice landmarking.

In landmarking, you are able to identify which vehicle of consciousness that your attention is contemplating, and notice that each level of the mind has distinctive content. Like assigning number to each floor on an elevator, you begin to know what level you have ascended through the bands of the mind.

We explore the levels of the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind in our Introduction to Meditation class, This course is suitable for those of you who have never meditated before, are not aware of the levels of the mind, and have no experience with the process of attentional introversion.

This course prepares the non-meditator to subsequently unite attention with the three immortal essences—the attentional principle, the spirit, and the Soul—and perform the more advanced spiritual practices that become possible when these essences are activated. We introduce these more advanced practices in our intermediate courses, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and on-line Accelerated Meditation Program.

We encourage you to develop your meditation to the point where you can consciously move to deeper layers of the mind and not just float on the surface. Learning to follow the thread of consciousness with your attention is a marker of this transition to deepening meditation, and ultimately leads you to the capacity to do conscious inner work.

On the Three Major Modes of Spirituality

By George A. Boyd © 2017

Q: Why do people have such different perspectives on spirituality? Some people relate to God from the standpoint that the Divine is far away, only to be approached through prayer. Others seem to stay in a state of altered state of consciousness in which they claim to experience oneness with God. Others seem to emphasize traveling on a Path to unify with God at the end of their spiritual journey.

A: We discuss these relational modes to the Divine in our book, “The Winds of Adi Sat Guru Desh,” in greater depth. While there are several other types we discuss in this book, the three most common ones we call the Brahma mode, the Vishnu mode, and the Shiva mode.

  1. Brahma mode – In this relational posture, you relate to God from the standpoint of the ego, and connect with the Divine through the cord of faith or your Soul through the intuitive thread (Antakarana). You dialog with your Higher Self through the intuitive thread; you pray to God and listen for the response to your prayer through the cord of faith. While you interiorize to the level of the Conscious mind to access this mode, you do not enter deep states of trance. Many sects of the Abrahamic faiths—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—relate to God from this viewpoint.
  2. Vishnu mode – In this perspective, you enter an altered state of consciousness and keep your attention united with a spiritual essence. There are two types of Vishnu mode: unitary and relational.

In the unitary type, you might keep your attention focused in the Soul, and dwell in an unbroken “enlightenment” experience. Vedanta and Advaita groups might ask you to keep your attention continually fixed on Brahman, until you experience complete Oneness with God.

In the relational type, you unite your attention with a nucleus of identity or your spirit, and develop a relationship with the Divine. For example:

  • Certain Jewish and Christian sects teach their adherents to keep their attention fixed on the Moon Soul or Christ Child nucleus of identity, and develop a relationship to the Father God or to the Son of God or Christ.
  • Groups of the I AM Movement counsel their adherents to gain union with the Solar Angel within and activate the Mighty I AM Presence, and develop a relationship to an Ascended Master and with God, who appears as the Central Sun.
  • Groups operating in the First Cosmic Initiation have their adherents identify with cosmic consciousness, and develop a relationship with the Yogi Preceptor, and to the Lord of the Yogis (Yogeshwar or Ishwara).
  • Groups anchored in the Supracosmic Sphere have their devotees focus on the seed atom on their Supracosmic Path and identify with it. They establish a relationship with the Supracosmic Master on that Path and the form of the Divine that Master has realized.
  • Groups on Transcendental Paths one, two, three, four, five, and seven have their followers identify with their spirit, and they cultivate a relationship with the Sat Guru of that Path.
  1. Shiva Mode – In this relational mode, the emphasis is on unfolding your ensouling entity and its vehicles towards its Divine Source, and achieving a state of Mastery and Liberation. Unlike the Vishnu mode, you do not keep your attention fixed in an altered state of consciousness, but you visit that state of consciousness to do your spiritual work, and then you return to your waking awareness. In these Paths, the spiritual teacher gives disciples a transformational method, which enables disciples to dissolve the karma along the track behind their spiritual essence and move that spiritual essence along this track, which constitutes the delineated Path of that tradition.

In Brahma mode, you open a portal of communication between your personality and an agency in the Superconscious mind. For those who lack faith in a Higher Power, this might simply take the form of waking up in the morning and having their instructions of what they need to do for the day delivered to the preconscious doorway.

In Vishnu mode, you enter an altered state of awareness and remain fixed in it. With sustained union with this spiritual essence, you identify with it. You begin to see this essence in others and relate to others as if they were that essence. You may feel compelled to help others identify with this same essence.

In Shiva mode, you objectively measure your progress along a delineated Path. The emphasis here is on unfolding this spiritual essence and its associated vehicles of consciousness.

Mudrashram® is an example of a Shiva mode Path that unfolds your ensouling entity and its associated vehicles of consciousness at your cutting edge of spirituality, and you concomitantly open the track of the Nada to this same level to achieve balanced spiritual development. You do not remain in an altered state of awareness like the Vishnu mode Paths. Like the Brahma mode Path, we do teach you how to receive guidance from the Soul and the Divine to conduct your life. You do your daily work at the level of the personality; you do your daily spiritual work at the level of the Soul—you make progress in both areas of your life.