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.

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