Someone asked me to talk about the process called initiation, often mentioned in various texts about accessing deeper knowledge of our reality, and how initiation compares to enlightenment.
I can’t cite all the books I’ve read about “the mysteries” and being “initiated” during my younger years. I read many and during a time when I didn’t understand most of what I was reading. I vaguely remember reading a page or two of a book and feeling absolutely exhausted afterwards, requiring lots of sleep to recover.
Reflecting back, I may have a better understanding of what happened. However, I don’t usually talk or even write about this – so this post is an experiment.
There is a very old saying (paraphrased) that we can only access information at the level of our consciousness. If the configuration of our system does not match the energy of the transmission, there will be rejection, only a partial reception, or even distortion. However, if one is close in configuration to what is being shared via any vehicle – like a piece of writing or music or contact with a person – one’s being will resonate and become imprinted by the transmission.
The process of reconfiguring a being to adopt a specific pattern is initiation. Some books were written to initiate.
In every culture, there are stories of spiritual beings “transmitting knowledge” to someone. These transmissions were actually imprinting the transmitter onto the receiver – much like a rubber stamp. If the transmitter held new knowledge, which may have been previously invisible and inaccessible to the recipient, this knowledge was shared. Darkness in occult literature does not always refer to “evil,” but neutrally references that which is currently outside our scope of understanding and applying (a.k.a. is unseen).
When someone interacts with a spiritually mature being, cycles of preparation and initiation are always occurring to varying degrees. To make initiation stick, many teachers emphasized devotion to facilitate the student’s process of accepting and holding an unfamiliar configuration. Without devotion, it was much harder to imprint the more advanced (or different) state onto someone. If a student wanted to transform and they could do so by adopting the teacher’s print, initiation seemed like an easier way to make progress. However, not unlike an organ transplant, someone else’s print can be completely rejected simply because of a mismatch.
My teacher had a different approach. To a degree, there was some initiation by demonstrating what the more advanced state looked like. However, the new element my teacher introduced was emphasizing one’s uniqueness through one’s own creative expression. Thus, any modeling of the deeper state was a jumping-off point to developing and evolving each student’s unique potential. Devotion was still important.
Unfortunately, initiation can also be done by beings who are charismatic and not spiritually advanced. Such beings tend to brainwash their targets to make them more susceptible to being imprinted. Inept or ill-intentioned people can greatly destabilize a person via such interference and cause issues, including distorted perception, twisted interpretation, and the loss of ability to ground in a specific plane of existence. A truly evolved being will always break the connection with anyone who is not “compatible” and may even be hurt by additional exposure.
During initiation by a teacher from a lineage, the teacher may also transfer most or all of the knowledge to the recepient from the preceding teachers. Thus, an initiate may come out of the process being ready to apply what the prior teachers had already mastered.
Looking back in time, true teachers were very careful who they initiated. The odds of a successful initiation were incredibly small. The “worthy” were simply just “compatible.” It’s too bad that the term “worthy” was used because it implies that some were better than others – evolving one’s consciousness is neither a contest nor a status symbol.
Not all initiation leads to enlightenment, and not all initiation even leads to a more advanced state of awareness.
The path to enlightenment still requires someone (preferably living) to model the advanced state. However, pure imprinting is very dangerous, can reach fewer people, and may be grossly misused by ego-bound individuals. It feels much more open to be in the company of an advanced being while having the freedom to evolve creatively according to one’s unique disposition.
In the meantime, life is the perfect teacher for all of us. Some can use an accelerant to whom they feel connected, while others have no need for such intervention at this time.