What is Initiation?

initiation

By Cathy Eck

 

Initiation Defined

I received a great question from a woman in my mentoring program.  She said there was an article in her local paper about a child being killed by initiation.  Since I use that word all the time, she wondered what they were talking about.

It’s for that very reason that I hesitated to use the word initiation for a long time in my writing.  Just like God, religion, and Humpty Dumpty all took a fall, so did initiation.  They all fell in basically the same way.  Our human perspective changed from spiritually oriented to physically oriented.  But I went back to using the word because initiation is a great word.  It simply means to go back to the beginning prior to man’s fall into the illusory perspective of good and evil.

 

Physical Perspective

The fallen perspective was born out of the imaginations of storytellers and astrologers who viewed the night sky as a theater.  Their night-time characters became templates or archetypes for our human minds.  Drama was interesting and entertaining; just as it is today.  The Hermetic theory said, “As above, so below.”  What was born out of the stars would eventually come to fill the minds of man.  Thus, we eventually had the same drama on earth as they imagined in the stars.  A little drama makes life interesting; too much makes it hell.

Eventually, the people who wanted all the power said, “I’m creating the play.  I’m the lead, and you guys are all walk-on slaves who worship and serve me.”  In order to obey someone outside of us, we had to shift our perspective.  We could no longer focus on our own mind and our own emotional guidance, we became focused on pleasing others and fulfilling their desires.  If we didn’t, we didn’t live long.

As the human drama became more top-heavy, and suffering and death became more common, some people said, “We’ve had enough.  We want to figure out how to get out of this man-made illusion.”  They discovered initiation — the way out.  They learned how to discriminate and how to return to a virgin mind.  And while it probably wasn’t their goal, they did become powerful.

The men who took the path of initiation became Jesus-like.  They were kind, compassionate, great healers and teachers, and miracle workers.  They no longer wore the blinders of the illusion.  They had potential beyond ordinary humans.  Thus, it was said that mortal men entered the chambers of initiation, and Gods exited.  Therefore, these men were called Sons of God.

 

Everyone Deserves This

The teachings of these true initiates were shared through story because they felt that everyone deserved to have the way out.  They decided that if one had the eyes and ears to see and hear (or the pure desire to be initiated), the stories would trigger them to come and ask for initiation.  Those who were not of pure mind wouldn’t understand what in the hell they were talking about.  Thus the teachings could stay pure.

The power-hungry leaders were obviously jealous of the raw power of the initiated ones.  They wanted the same power; and they presumed it was done through physical training (they couldn’t see beyond their physical perspective).  Thus, it seems that they invented their own schools of initiation.  They trained men to be brave and face their physical demons — like military training.  They also hijacked the true initiation stories and put their own physical, literal spin on them.

The false initiates created terrifying tests of power to prove their worth.  They killed off their emotions, and they studied magic and illusion so they could look God-like to the masses.

These false initiates were wolves in sheep’s clothing, but no one could tell.  The masses followed the wolves blindly to their own demise.  Not much has changed, really.

From the outside both sets of initiates looked unemotional and magical but their foundation was very different.  Jesus was referred to as a lamb, i.e., not a wolf, as a sign that he was from the group of true initiates.  But religion even messed with Jesus by focusing on his crucifixion and teaching people to do like Jesus rather than think like him.

There was a huge difference between the two groups.  The fake initiates talked about good and evil as if it were real; they had rules to make you good.  God was in the sky in heaven and hell was below.  These men saw themselves as good, right, and superior.  Sadly, they gave birth to modern religion.  So they still have power today over the masses.

The True initiates didn’t speak of heaven and hell or good and evil.  They spoke of God within.  They saw everyone as equal and divine.  What they could do, so could we once we knew how.

 

Remnants of Initiation

Today we still have remnants of these two different forms of initiation.  There are those who understand this is all an inner journey and a process of releasing what is false from their minds.  This sort of initiation can only help others; it never hurts them.

Then we have people who are still hungry for power.  They develop strong wills by training their mind instead of freeing their mind.  They do this to win over others, fulfill false desires, or to be seen as spiritual when they really aren’t.  In fact, these people tend to oppress their followers as they project their own belief in evil or wrongness on to them.

The strange notion of hazing, often found in fraternities or gangs, came from these false initiates.  It was all about proving you were worthy to be a member.  We should just ignore these groups.  They have no power unless we give them our power by fearing or obeying them.  If we stop teaching our children to be blindly obedient, they won’t want anything to do with those organizations.  And the organizations will die a nice quiet death.  True initiation will remain.