Q: Dear Athos, I must confess that I have often wondered where the Initiates were and are inside Freemasonry.
I won't deny that I feel like having a long sleep, but my “thirst” is just as big, therefore, armed with patience, I continue my journey waiting to find the fountain where I could quench my thirst...
I often wondered what real initiation was, I thought that before being initiated you must “Die” and that the aspirant doesn't “die” only once. Perhaps the first “Death” can be as heavy as a burden and as dark as the deepest night, then a tiny light breaks the darkness; the burden becomes as light as a feather and “Death” is sweet and bright... P.
A: Dear Friend, I have always felt uncomfortable in the role of Expert and Terrible Brother, but you know what they say, for want of something better, we must “ make a virtue of necessity” . Therefore I will venture in this role, trying to offer sensible answers to judicious questions.
The thing is that we should get used to distinguishing between virtual representation and initiatory reality.
Whoever has reached the slightest initiatory conscience, by seeing the mundanity of certain people, busier to gain a political-institutional chair than anything else, cannot but feel the desire to get away from it, perhaps by going to “sleep”. But wiser Brothers have convinced me that this is a mistake; by doing so, we would leave the “profane of the Temple” free hand to spread their nefarious counter-initiatory interpretations.
But you must not fret too much for what the low laborers are up to.
Rather, you should try and “recognize” the route left by the Initiates and Master Builders. You will then obtain, in the most natural way (truth is never complicated), the answers you need, on the “real” initiation and on who the “true initiates” of Freemasonry can be. “Silent presences” that correspond to denied realities (for many Masons Masterhood is only a symbolic thing, therefore there aren't any true Masters) or unsuitably neglected.
It has already been written about the difference between virtuality and reality; for example when we talked about those who believe they see the “Mystery of Nativity” into the symbolic representation of a grotto, rather than look for it in the inner meanings of Epiphany, in the sense of Theophany (the tangible manifestation of the Divinity to men); from this the terms applicable to the initiate, such as epiphāinesthai (in Greek, to appear) and epiphančia (in Greek, manifestation), which indicates the inner (spiritual) birth of the initiate, also called second birth or re-birth.
The exoteric part of Freemasonry, as well as the exoteric side of the Church, mixes up the results of an “inner process”, called (real) Initiation, with its metaphor, or its allegoric and symbolic representation. From this exchange, or rather misunderstanding, the mistake of “false initiates” originates, adorned with paraments and badges, whose meanings don't find any correspondence in the inner value (only symbolical as well, viz. said but not done) of people. Therefore, referring to the anomaly of certain “initiatory symbolisms”, we might say: there's an elephant in the room!
But in order to relive we must die first, to the old habits and uses. We must take upon ourselves, in the literal sense of the word, all the responsibility (the burden) of our material destiny (Jesus the Nazarene said: bare your own cross and come after me), which will be sublimed (see Spiritual Alchemy from lead, material; to gold, spiritual). Our human burden is built through profane ideas, words, actions and desires. In other words, this burden is made of the drives of material personalities, which too many “aspirants” stay attached to, because they mix it up with themselves. But it is not so, because the “sensitive instrument” (see The Sensible Sphere ) is not us (in the sense of material personality) or at least not completely, but it is only what we need in order to “ formalize ourselves”, to determine our presence in Malkut, the World of Matter. And we should get into the deep meaning of this last rule.
I can assure you that the transition of Initiatory Death is never sweet; it is indeed long-lasting, heavy and painful.
It is indeed painful to stand next to a part of oneself that dies. It is like witnessing the agony of a younger brother, dying at a young age, innocent of the weight he represents, asking us for help and begging us not to let him die.
So, slowly, after a long battle, a terrible one indeed, the defeated part curls up and slowly dies. The show of a dying loser cannot but arouse pity in the light soul of those who haven't got rid, yet, of most of their profane ballast.
Therefore, the “passage towards the Light” (inner) is another distressing journey that can be made easier by the presence of those who “understand” what's happening, because they have already gone through it; and they can help us leave the inner Temple from the same door we entered.