Reflections on Sacrifice

By George A. Boyd ©2023

Q: What are some of the sacrifices that aspirants have to undergo in order to make this life [the one in which] they unfold all [of] their spiritual potentials, and at what stage do the sacrifices end?

A: Sacrifice is part of all worthy personal endeavors. For example:

  • Children must sacrifice play and games to go to school and obtain an education.
  • Athletes must sacrifice to develop their skills.
  • Young adults must sacrifice going to parties to go to college and do their assignments required to pass their classes.
  • Adults must sacrifice other things they might want to do to work a job to provide livelihood for self and family.
  • Parents must sacrifice their needs and desires to care for their children.
  • Soldiers are willing to sacrifice their lives to defend their country.

It should not be surprising that sacrifice is also a part of your spiritual life:

  • Neophytes must sacrifice their old, comfortable view of the world to experience the inner worlds of consciousness.
  • Aspirants must sacrifice aspects of the life of their ego to become alive to the inner life of the attentional principle, the spirit, and the Soul.
  • Disciples must be able to sacrifice activities that take up time in which they can make progress along the spiritual Path.
  • Initiates sacrifice their personal choices and preferences to be of service to those who are under their watch care and receive their ministry.

When we look at the progression of willingness to give up desires—to sacrifice for something greater—we can visualize seven major levels, ranging from complete self-absorption to complete selflessness:

  1. They only care about their own desires. They use others to achieve what they want, and abandon others, when they are no longer useful.
  2. They mainly care about their own desires, but they are capable of looking after the needs of others for whom they have responsibility.
  3. They continue to care for their own desires, but they begin to have genuine concerns for the welfare of others. They may start to engage in charity or acts of kindness at this stage.
  4. They balance care for self with caring for others. They bring love and thoughtfulness into their relationships with others.
  5. They begin to take care of others and neglect their own needs. They make sure others are taken care of before meeting their own needs. This stage may express as martyrdom or codependency, when they are poignantly aware of the sacrifice they are making, and they resent and resist it.
  6. They forget their own desires and needs and only live to serve others. They completely sacrifice their desires and spend nearly all of their waking hours taking care of others. Saints and other highly advanced disciples on selected spiritual Paths operate from this stage.
  7. Very rare individuals incarnate Divine Love and Grace, and live only to bring the Light of the Divine to others. At this stage, they become an Avatar or Divine Incarnation.

In spiritual life, we see individuals begin to function from levels (4), (5), and (6). They become capable of expressing spiritual emotionality: love, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. They become more willing to sacrifice their own desires to help others.

We encourage you to reflect on the ways you have sacrificed personally to obtain an education, to enhance your skills, to work, and to care for your family. If you have embarked upon your spiritual journey, you may wish to reflect upon the ways your spiritual development has required you to sacrifice.

When Does Sacrifice End?

As for when sacrifice will end? If you regard something is more important than simply fulfilling your desires and indulging your fantasies, you will make sacrifices. You make sacrifices in your personal life; you will make sacrifices in your spiritual life. Personal growth requires sacrifice; spiritual development also requires sacrifice.

As long as you aspire to something greater than a life of mediocrity or idleness, you will sacrifice. As long as you work for worthy goals, or to achieve self-transcendence, you will sacrifice.

The parts of you that want their desires fulfilled and resist deferring gratification will fight against you like inner demons when you sacrifice. But if you wish to progress, and not merely stay where you are—or even deteriorate—you have to sacrifice.

It is not comfortable it is not easy… it is not convenient… it is often unpleasant to sacrifice, but if you want to move forward in your life and mature; if you want to advance on the spiritual Path, you will need to willingly embrace sacrifice.

You need to sacrifice your addictions. You need to sacrifice your ignorance and delusions. You need to sacrifice your selfishness and narcissism. You need to sacrifice your clinging to old patterns that no longer serve you. You need to sacrifice your limitations and embrace your greater life and potential.

Do not regard sacrifice as a burden; you cannot grow and learn without it. Even though it is difficult and challenging, you cannot move from where you are today to the next step in your life or your spiritual development without sacrifice.

Do not regard sacrifice as an enemy; it is your friend. It forces you to marshal your resources and summon your strengths, and do something better and more noble than you have done before. And if you persist, sacrifice will open the doors to even greater possibilities than you have even dreamed…if you can let go… if you can have the willingness to face change and undergo transformation… if you can sacrifice, these greater things will also become possible for you.

What Is Required to Connect with a Spiritual Guide?

By George A. Boyd ©2023

Q: I’m not having experiences of guides—not Mudrashram® guides or those of other spiritual traditions. How do I prepare myself to commune with a spiritual guide?

A: If you are initiated into Mudrashram®, one of the Multiplane Masters of our tradition looks after your spiritual progress. He or she sponsors you and guides you through your entire spiritual journey from where you start to the Infinite Stage. We call this Master, your Supervising Initiate.

    In other spiritual traditions, the Master on their Path plays a similar role. We point out that those of your who are currently studying with Mudrashram® may often see the guide forms of Masters from other spiritual traditions, who operate at different levels of the Continuum of Consciousness—it is common to encounter them if you were affiliated with their Path in your current or past incarnation, or if they play a role in helping you develop some aspect of your Soul Purpose or your Aeonic spiritual mission.

      Many meditation students are not aware of this Supervising Initiate, in our spiritual tradition, despite regularly practicing the core techniques of Integral meditation. The same may be said for those of other spiritual traditions, who likewise practice the meditations that have been imparted to them, but they also are not contacting the Master that supervises spiritual development on their Path.

      Several factors facilitate contact with this inner teacher:

      1. Devotion – Meditation students who have devotion and love for God create a “magnetic center.” This lets a Master know an aspirant is sincere about making spiritual progress and drawing closer to God. It is said that the Masters readily work with those who have an active magnetic center.
      2. Ability to contemplate – Those who have honed their ability to concentrate and contemplate can, in time, successfully discern the guide form of the Master. The Master’s guide form may appear to the attentional principle or the spirit; it may manifest as a Ray of Attunement anchored in a nucleus of identity or an ensouling entity.
      3. Requisite depth of meditation – Aspirants need to be able to move their attention to the level on the Continuum of Consciousness where this guide form dwells. Those who get waylaid in the bands of the Conscious, Subconscious, or Metaconscious mind aren’t able to go to the inner location in the Superconscious mind where the guide can be contacted.
      4. Selfless service – Seekers who contact the guide have pure spiritual aspiration, and dedicate themselves to the service of humanity and God—asking nothing for themselves. Those who are critical of the Divine and the spiritual Master of their tradition may believe they are entitled to immediately have all of their needs and demands met; these individuals have difficulty transcending their ego.
      5. Accurate meditation – Meditators who gain mastery over the three core techniques of Integral Meditation—Mantra Yoga, Nada Yoga, and Raja Yoga—improve their chances of communing with the inner guide form of a Master. Those who do their meditation practices robotically without giving their full attention have decreased probability of contacting the inner guide.
      6. Good ethical character – Developing holiness and virtue purifies the mind, and makes it more likely the aspirant can qualify for the inner sight of the radiant form of the Master within (darshan).
      7. Achievement of inner silence and stillness – The inner Master’s presence dwells in great stillness and silence; having emotional reactions and projections, and cascading waves of thought do not allow the aspirant to reach the state where he or she can behold the Master within—and where he or she can hear the Master’s voice.

      To the degree you are able to make progress on these seven factors, the more likely you are to encounter the inner Master. We invite you to reflect upon these seven factors, and to see which ones you can begin to implement.

      If you are able to incorporate one or more of these skills and qualities, it will be easier to contact the Mudrashram® guides and those of other spiritual traditions.

Social Orders of Motivation

By George A. Boyd ©2023

Q: Why do fear, anger, and shame run the lives of so many people? Can people get out of these circles of influence and live lives of love and altruism?

A: We need to look at the seven major social orders of motivation that play out in human life:

  1. Shame and embarrassment – the drive to not have one’s awkwardness, deficiencies, or secrets revealed
  2. Fear – the motivation to escape or avoid situations or objects that frighten one or that one perceives may cause them harm or loss
  3. Anger and rage – the impulse to harm or attack others, to right perceived injustices, or to force others to do one’s will
  4. Challenge and competition – the quest to be superior or the best, or to be recognized for one’s achievements, and to succeed
  5. Compassion and love – wanting to make a difference in the world, for one’s life to mean something, and to help and heal others
  6. Devotion and aspiration – the impetus to grow and transform spiritually and draw closer to the Divine
  7. Grace – the sharing of the Divine Spiritual Light to support personal and spiritual transformation, and to fulfill the devotion and aspiration of those who seek to advance spiritually

We see examples of how these seven orders of motivation play out in society:

  • Social control usually employs shame (1) to influence people to adhere to the social norms of the family, friendship, education, employment, civic, and religious arenas of life.
  • Politicians and demagogues—as well as many who seek to sell their products and services—often tap into fear (2) and anger (3) motivational frames.
  • Those who seek to gain respect from others and wish to be perceived as successful and winners draw their inspiration from challenge and competition (4).
  • Those who are on the spiritual Path awaken love and compassion (5) and devotion (6), which enfires them to make spiritual progress and actualize their personal and spiritual potentials.
  • Those who have achieved spiritual Mastery share the Grace (7) of their Divine Empowerment.

In Mudrashram®, we support the development of compassion and love (5), and aspiration and devotion (6) through our teachings, meditation training, and Light Ministry. To shift out of the lower four social motivational platforms into these two higher ones, you need to focus your attention on your inner spiritual essences—your attentional principle, the spirit, and the Soul.

We teach you how to do this in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program. Those who have not meditated before will benefit from taking the Introduction to Meditation Program, which prepares you to perform the more advanced meditation practices of our intermediate courses.