What is 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.



Fighting, Manipulation, or Letting Go

Fighting-Manipulation-Letting Go

By Cathy Eck


Great Lessons in Simple Events

A few days ago, I faced a simple but meaningful challenge.  Returning to my condo, I noticed two Jehovah Witnesses reading the Bible to my neighbor.  They saw me, and I could almost hear them say, “There’s our next target.”

I went into my condo and started to think about what I might do with these two young men.  Certainly anything out of my mouth would rock their world.  But I really wanted to avoid their manipulation.

I actually have no problem with religion as part of the illusion.  I have a problem with people calling it the truth.  Everyone has the right to choose as much or as little religion, politics, and education as they want.  Sadly, without the ability to let go; these choices have always been permanent.  Once programmed, you couldn’t escape the false self’s grip.

I suspect the idea of selling religion with manipulation came from the notion that there’s power in numbers, which is the reality in the false world.  If you want your religion to be the One, you need followers.

I could hear the young men reading verse after verse.  So I thought, “What do I know about them?”  Ah, I know they are highly obedient.  So I put a sign on my door, “Do not disturb.”  They came up to the door and obediently walked away.  Problem solved, and conflict avoided.


The Art of Manipulation

There was more to let go because they did come to my door so I’m equally responsible.  I recognize a little, “Oh shit” pass through my mind as I saw my neighbor’s eyes meet mine in a plea for help.  I could have let that go, and yet it never occurred to me.  My True Self backed away because I needed to see the deeper issue.

I followed my feelings back to my former marriage.  My husband had rigid views of life that didn’t work for me.  He couldn’t see that his views were beliefs because they sounded true in his mind.

I realized that early in our marriage, he became as transparent to me as the Jehovah Witness boys; and I could have used manipulation to control him.  But I never did.  I had the winning card, but chose not to play it.  Manipulation requires grabbing the masculine role, and giving the opponent a taste of the feminine.  I’d watched other women do that.  When they didn’t manipulate, they got bitchy.   Those were the two options available in my memory; and I avoided both to the point of exhaustion.


Fighting Back or Manipulation

When the Jehovah Witnesses presented me with these familiar options, I could see clearly what I could not see earlier in life.  I was always trying to please my husband’s false mind and not rock his world.  But that meant I had to honor his beliefs, and honoring his beliefs degraded my life experience.

His beliefs worked fine in the illusion, because he didn’t acknowledge that his mind had power (his True Self was buried in beliefs); but I know my thoughts count.  If I listen to beliefs and act like I believe them, my body will be screaming with emotion for weeks.  If you step into the illusion, you need to have your game face on.


The Manipulation Game

The illusion was devised as a game.  Granted the rules were top-heavy, but it was still invented using gaming strategy.  If these young men were at my door, then I had the right to use my best gaming strategy, and I did without realizing it.  Likewise, my husband’s moral code and nice guy personality was simply his gaming strategy, and he fully deserved to be manipulated or bitched at.

I played games in business like a pro, but I didn’t want to game full-time.   I truly desired real love.  I knew deep in my heart that you don’t play games with those you love except for mutual entertainment.  I wanted my home to be a place where my True Self felt welcome, where unconditional love was the norm.  I didn’t want to live in a boxing ring playing match after match.  Gaming is fine, but it isn’t love.  The illusion is fine as long as you don’t confuse it with the truth.


This Old MAN

In order to gain a power advantage, ancient leaders would take a game and relabel it something else.  This is now considered normal, and people don’t even notice.  Sex, romance, and caretaking are all relabeled love; when they aren’t.  They are sex, romance, and caretaking.  Religions are relabeled spiritual, but spirituality is void of beliefs and religion is ripe with them.  Slavery for the MAN is relabeled virtuous hard work.  Killing for the MAN is relabeled patriotism and heroism.

We will never beat another at their own game if we think they are spiritual or loving or virtuous heroes.  We’ll submit effortlessly.  But if we take off the blinders and see that they’re asking us to play their game, we can play to win or deny the request.  We won’t feel guilt or shame for beating their asses.  Gaming is only fun when everyone has the same rules.

My Jehovah Witness experience was simple, harmless, and packed with insight.  In the true world, there are no games.  Living in this world requires us to undo our level confusion.  We can’t confuse the true world with the false one because the rules are 180 degrees apart.  If we keep them separate and know where we are in any moment, we can allow both worlds to coexist while keeping ourself safe and sane.  When we dip into the illusion, it’s time to play to win.  When we finish, we need to shake off the illusion and relax in peace and love.


The Good Shadow of Bad Pirates” was one of my most popular talks on the cruise ships, but maybe that was because Johnny Depp is so damn cute.