The Three Faces of Initiation

As many of you realize, Esotericism and Initiation, are often portrayed by the creation of a sacred imago depicting two complementary entity or symbols. For instance, Romulus and Remus in ancient Rome, Castor and Pollux in pre-Hellenistic Greece, First Man and First Woman in Navajo creation stories, the twin flames of the Vedas, the state of original man prior to being separated into man and woman by the Homeric pantheon, ad transfinitum.

Careful study of the Zodiac of the Occident demonstrates that every astrological sign is drawn to show three forces acting within the operational world: an active, bestowing and inseminating force, a receptive, receiving and germinating force, and an unifying, cohesive and reconciling force. For instance, the triads of Father–Mother–Child, Source–Love–Wisdom, Upper–Middle–Lower worlds, and Kether:Chokmah:Binah–Zeir Anpin–Malkuth.

An immediate question arises for a student of a genuine mystery school, “If every occurrence is the resultant of three forces, then, what must be added to the dyad of Esotericism and Initiation and to form the Sacred Triad?”

The answer is simple. The third member or force is a student, but not any student. A student is not admitted through the entrance pylon opening into the temple courtyard, unless he or she possesses what true Initiates have called, a ‘point in the heart,’ ‘a magnetic center,’ ‘a small god within,’ ‘a divine fragment,’ or ‘soul-seed.’ Those allowed entrance through the temple pylon find themselves in the temple courtyard, fully exposed to the heart-searching rays of Solar-Ra.

As only qualified postulants may pass from the courtyard into the first hypostyle hall, each postulant is carefully observed as to his or her inclination for succeeding with instruction, exercises, and tasks–all given in the full light, life, and love of the Sun. Why? So to determine whether the postulant has the physical and psychic stamina necessary to succeed in ‘making a fully functional soul and gain immortality. Nothing remains hidden to the temple Masters.

Having passed the first tests and trials, the temple Masters begin initiatory work with the postulants. The preliminary initiations are designed so to open the student to the more hidden aspects of the psychoistic, virtual, or astral world of our common species mind. As I have discussed previously, even though, our corporeal body-brain resides within the physical world of Malkuth, our minds reside within a unitary dream world (though mistakenly taught that waking is different from sleeping) which can be likened to the Kabbalistic World Assiah. The initiatory work of opening the student to the immensity and complexity of our common species mind proceeds for a very long time.

For it is a truism of Esotericism that none may penetrate into the hidden worlds encompassing our limited, microcosmic, and underdeveloped species mind (der Geist). Subsequently, the preliminary initiations are designed by the highest members of the esoteric fraternity, as noetic–aesthetic experiences expanding the heart and mind of those initiated into the archetypes and forces created by man and functioning within our Geist. Students need to face the demonic and the angelic so to learn the dangers and attractions of each. Failure carries a most severe price.

Such initiatory work, I label as ‘horizontal’ initiation, or initiation ab homine usque ad hominem (from man to man). Horizontal initiation requires significant cooperation between the tyro and the initiator. The candidate must desire success and trust the initiator. The initiator must possess the capacity to psychically attune with the tyro so to raise his or her vibratory rate sufficiently to traverse the astral world as planned. Clearly, some initiators are much more powerful than others.

Successful completion of a course in esoteric study and initiation will have opened a student to the full wonder of the astral world, der Geist. How the astral world is experienced is most dependent upon the expectations of the student and the genre of the school, i.e., [one] in an occult school, der Geist is experienced in demonic and angelic archetypes versus [two] in a mysticoscientific school, der Geist is experienced as opposing and cooperating forces which are largely impersonal.

However, horizontal initiation will not introduce the student directly to the higher worlds, as such Initiation flows directly from the Invisible Order to the Adept. Such Initiation is called ‘vertical’ initiation, or initiation quod a Deo in hominem (from God to man).

A student is blessed, if he or she happens to be taught by a true Initiator, as such people will automatically attune the student to higher centers of functioning so that the probability of vertical initiation will occur for the student in this particular lifetime. Horizontal initiation is most useful for it allows the student to become a ‘stream-enterer’ and esoteric student in future lives.

In R+C terminology, a successful student of horizontal initiation is an accomplished Rosicrucian. A successful student of vertical initiation is known as a Rose-Croix. We discuss such tomorrow.

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