By George A. Boyd ©2024
Q: I notice many seekers in the New Age Community seem to rely greatly upon sources of “spiritual causation,” and don’t seem to focus on actions that would improve their lives. They seem to want to get what they desire through miraculous manifestation and not have to work for it. Is there a reason for this?
A: We can characterize seven different functional states, as people advance in meditation. A functional state is both perceptual—what you are aware of when your attention is focused in that statemdash;and dynamic, which defines what you capable of doing in that state and what you perceive as the source of that behavior.
These are seven common functional states that seekers inhabit:
- You only operate in a material, brain-based consciousness, and you have no awareness of any higher state of consciousness.
- You primarily operate in a material, brain-based consciousness, but you are aware of a subconscious or liminal zone of the mind that appears to operate autonomously; it seems to strongly condition or influence behavior—this had led some researchers, who have discovered this state, to conjecture there is no free will, or that free will is an illusion.
- You become aware of a witnessing consciousness, which we call attention that can observe the activities of the mind objectively. You become capable of entering the state of mindfulness at this level.
- You become aware of different layers or levels of mind as attention interiorizes along the track of the thread of consciousness. At this stage, you begin to move into deeper stages of meditation.
- After moving along the thread of consciousness through the focal points of the Conscious, Subconscious, and Metaconscious mind, you become aware of the Self at the core of the personality. You discover the faculty of volition, through which you can make choices and determine what you will accomplish in your life.
- As you continue to move more deeply into the mind, you become aware of the levels of the Superconscious mind. At this level, you may have spiritual or mystical experiences, and encounter archetypes and numinous beings.
- As you continue to ascend though the levels of the Superconscious mind, you gain union with the Soul or Higher Self. Many seekers identify themselves as the Soul at this stage, which leads them to perceive they have the power to create whatever they visualize.
At levels one to three, action appears to come from the brain or mind in response to environmental stimuli or from somatic and intrapsychic motivation, but there is no sense of an abiding self or a stable volitional power.
At level four, the layers of mind appear to add their perception and abilities to material, brain-based consciousness, like modules that provide additional capabilities to human functioning.
In the Conscious mind, you can observe your experience of movement and body position (proprioception), sensation of the external world, awareness of the sensations arising in the body, your emotions, your thoughts, your identification with the roles you play in life, and memory, as they operate in the present time.
In the Subconscious mind, you become aware of the reservoir of memory, the creative intelligence of the chakras, and the subtle bodies that operate in the dreaming and sound sleep states of consciousness.
In the Metaconscious mind, you become aware of the executive functions of the personality: commitment, social skills and humor, conscious, planning and goal setting, intelligence, and the capacity to intuit what you are experiencing at each level of the mind and to enter the experience of others through empathy.
At level five, when you discover the Self and volition, you can begin to take charge of your life. Activating your volition enables you to use the faculties of intelligence and problem solving, goal setting and planning, the ability to identify your values and guide your life with them, to establish supportive and collaborative relationships with others, and to sustain long-term commitments. When you can operate from this level, you are capable of work; you can set goals and achieve them.
At level six, you begin to have mystical and spiritual experiences. If you do not have a framework for understanding and integrating these experiences, you can come to believe in conspiracy theories and delusional ideas. For some people, this immersion in the Superconscious mind can drive them off the deep end into madness.
At level seven, you ascend to the presence of the Soul or Higher Self. At this level, you can contact the source of your Soul’s intuitive wisdom and unconditional love, and uncover its innate gifts. Continually remaining in this altered state of consciousness, however, can lead some people to become detached from their life, grandiose, and delusional.
Those that remain in the consciousness of level seven may come to believe that simply by visualizing and affirming, they can miraculously manifest whatever they desire. Some who remain in these states become passive, and they wait for the universe or God to manifest what they need—instead of using the constructive action at level five to actively obtain what they want.
We suggest that those who have reached a state of union with a higher spiritual essence at level seven learn to readily shift into level five, where they can take action to achieve their goals and dreams—and not merely rely upon visualization, affirmation, decree, claiming God’s promises through faith, or using hypnotic suggestion to the subconscious mind to miraculously fulfill them.
We teach you to progressively master meditation in our courses. We train you to explore levels three through five in our Introduction to Meditation Program. We teach you how to safely enter and integrate your experiences at levels six and seven in our intermediate meditation classes, the in-person Mudrashram® Master Course in Meditation and the by-mail and online Accelerated Meditation Program.
We encourage you to learn how to commune both with your Self and your Soul, and to be able to flexibly operate from these two functional states as the situation requires. Do your work of visualizing and affirmation, but also take constructive action.