|By Timothy D. Harris, R.O., B.A.|
|Initiation is a process. The purpose of this process is to awaken and expand the conscious awareness.
Consciousness is defined as the state of being conscious; awareness of one's own existence, sensations,
thoughts, surroundings. The thoughts, sensations, and quality of awareness of one's own being is
dependent upon the definition of one's surroundings.
Our surroundings are the world in which we live, what it is are composed of and from whence the world came. St. Paul defines this world in Acts 17:28 this way, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being." The idea that we live, and move, and have our being in the creator is one of the seven hermetic principles.
This principle states that the concrete reality underlying all the outward manifestations and appearances which we know as the material universe, the phenomena of life, matter, and energy, is Spirit, which is infinite living mind. Thus we can best understand the words man and woman as being abbreviations of the word manifestation.
Spirit fell into manifestation to gain control of it, upon entering the veil of materiality the spirit had only five avenues (the senses) through which it was able to function. The indwelling spirit fell into the sleep of materiality. The act or process of the spirit awakening to its divine heritage is initiation.
Through the process of initiation the spirit learns the art of self transformation which is referred to as alchemy. Each degree of initiation awakens the sleeping spirit to the concrete reality of its true identity.
The Awakening of the human Consciousness to God-Realization- as the Awakening of the seed below the earth--begins below the level of conscious awareness. It stirs deep down in the subconscious realms of the mind and being just as, while we still sleep, towards morning, certain sounds or movements bring us almost Awake, yet, drowsiness holds a curtain about us.
It may be hard to topple out of bed; but once out, we begin to bloom as the fragrant rose in the early morning Sun. Birds begin to sing in the flowering trees, and we come outside to breathe the wonderful scent, and yawn, and breathe deeply to take in more of the oxygen of God's own Life-breathe which is the pure air.
As the animal--having spent the winter in gestation--comes forth from the womb to frolic on the spring meadows, as the seed unfurls its embryo to push up and show itself above ground, as the baby bird pecks its way out of the enclosing shell, so does, the locked-in Spirit burst its bonds as the solar energies within get rid of impurities and so one opens the eyes to the true nature of one's own being.
"Sleep", says the dictionary, "is a state of reduced physical and nervous activity, accompanied by suspension of voluntary movements, and a complete or partial unconsciousness; to be dormant; inactive."
"Wake", is to emerge from sleep to become active or alert after being inactive or dormant; to keep watch or guard at nights, to rouse, stir up, excite."
All the waking of earth corresponds to the timing of the Sun, so does the waking of the Spirit of man and woman correspond to the coming of the Christ consciousness into being. This is the eternal journey of rebirth.
From ancient of days the initiatory schools have passed face to face this eternal unfolding of the soul. Though all schools have used rituals through-out the initiatory process, these rituals are not the initiations, but celebrations of the soul's growth into the initiations.
Isaiah said: "Thy dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. O Dwellers in the dust, awaken and sing for Joy! For thy dew is a dew of light, and on the land of the shades, thou wilt let it fall."
In Thessalonians 5:4-10, Paul wrote: "But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day: we are not of the night or of darkness."