Aspects of Initiation
Initiation, or the process of undergoing an expansion of consciousness, is part of the normal process of evolutionary development, viewed on a large scale, and not from the standpoint of the individual. When viewed from the individual standpoint it has come to be narrowed down to the moment wherein the evolving unit definitely apprehends that (by dint of his own effort, aided by the advice and suggestions of the watching Teachers of the race) he has reached a point wherein a certain range of knowledge of a subjective nature, from the physical plane point of view, is his. It is in the nature of that experience wherein a pupil in a school realizes suddenly that he has mastered a lesson, and that the rationale of a subject, and the method of procedure, are his to use intelligently. These moments of intelligent apprehension follow the evolving Monad throughout his long pilgrimage. What has been misinterpreted somewhat at this stage of comprehension is the fact that at various periods the emphasis is laid on different grades of expansion, and always the Hierarchy endeavors to bring the race to the point where its units will have some idea of the next step to be taken.
Each initiation marks the passing of the pupil in the Hall of Wisdom into a higher class, marks the clearer shining forth of the inner fire and the transition from one point of polarization to another, entails the realization of an increasing unity with all that lives and the essential oneness of the self with all selves. It results in a horizon that continuously enlarges until it includes the sphere of creation; it is a growing capacity to see and hear on all the planes. It is an increased consciousness of God’s plans for the world, and an increased ability to enter into those plans and to further them. It is the effort in the abstract mind to pass an examination. It is the honor class in the Master’s school, and is within the attainment of those souls whose karma permits and whose efforts suffice to fulfill the aim.
Initiation leads to the mount whence vision can be had, a vision of the eternal Now, wherein past, present, and future exist as one; a vision of the pageant of the races with the golden thread of pedigree carried through the many types; a vision of the golden sphere that holds in unison all the many evolutions of our system, deva, human, animal, vegetable, mineral, and elemental, and through which the pulsating life can be clearly seen beating in regular rhythm;
• a vision of the Logoic thought-form on the archetypal plane,
• vision that grows from initiation to initiation until it embraces all the solar system.
Initiation leads to the stream that, once entered, sweeps a man onward until it carries him to the feet of the Lord of the World, to the feet of his Father in Heaven, to the feet of the threefold Logos.
Initiation leads to the cave within whose circumscribing walls the pairs of opposites are known, and the secret of good and evil is revealed. It leads to the Cross and to that utter sacrifice which must transpire before perfect liberation is attained, and the initiate stands free of all earth’s fetters, held by naught in the three worlds. It leads through the Hall of Wisdom, and puts into a man’s hands the key to all information, systemic and cosmic, in graduated sequence. It reveals the hidden mystery that lies at the heart of the solar system. It leads from one state of consciousness to another. As each state is entered the horizon enlarges, the vista extends, and the comprehension includes more and more, until the expansion reaches a point where the self embraces all selves, including all that is “moving and unmoving,” as phrased by an ancient Scripture.
Initiation involves ceremony. It is this aspect that has been emphasized in the minds of men, perhaps a little to the exclusion of the true significance. Primarily it involves the capacity to see, hear, and comprehend, and to synthesize and correlate knowledge. It does not necessarily involve the development of the psychic faculties, but it does entail the inner comprehension that sees the value underlying the form, and recognizes the purpose of pervading circumstances. It is the capacity that senses the lesson to be learnt from any given occurrence and event, and that by means of these comprehensions and recognitions effects an hourly, weekly, yearly growth and expansion. This process of gradual expansion – the result of the definite effort and strenuous right thinking and living of the aspirant himself and not of some occult teacher performing an occult rite – leads to what one might term a crisis.
At this crisis, which necessitates the aid of a Master, a definite act of initiation is performed, which (acting on a particular center) produces a result on some one body. It keys the atoms to a certain pitch, and enables a new rate of rhythm to be attained.
This ceremony of initiation marks a point of attainment. It does not bring about attainment, as is so often the misconception. It simply marks the recognition by the watching Teachers of the race of a definite point in evolution reached by the pupil, and gives two things:
1. An expansion of consciousness that admits the personality into the wisdom attained by the Ego, and in the higher initiations into the consciousness of the Monad.
2. A brief period of enlightenment wherein the initiate sees that portion of the Path that lies ahead to be trodden, and wherein he shares consciously in the great plan of evolution.
After initiation, the work to be done consists largely in making that expansion of consciousness part of the equipment for the practical use of the personality, and in mastering that portion of the path that has yet to be traversed.