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Comments on Initiation

by Athos A. Altomonte

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For the initiate, Initiation has a unique meaning and purpose; it originates from a unique source and brings always the same results. At the same time, the top of the humankind is unique, its knowledge is one and the bond with its Creator is unique as well. Unique is also the transmission of what we must know in order to be able to ‘build' the path through our own inner apex.

There isn't and there never was an external ‘shortcut' towards Initiation; nevertheless, during the vulgar era, many interpretations, of exterior and exoteric character, have been built around this subject They originated from the imagination of initiatory Societies or religious Associations which, with the passing of time, became apparently believable traditions. This was because they founded their criteria on fragments of a greater initiatory tradition. But these fragments are kept in a re-veiled form, i.e. veiled twice. This is one of the reasons why many of those meanings have remained veiled in the allegory, even to those who guarded them.

In other ways, many theories created around the same topic are so distant from the timelessness that characterizes the continuum of wisdom through which those meanings pass, that they actually appear totally unbelievable to the researcher.

Therefore it seems probable that the traits of likelihood or unlikelihood that characterize the differences in the various initiatory customs are the result of affinity with the profane culture where they originated, rather than the result of an unequal view of a precise ancient and accepted initiatory reality. As far as the differences relating to the topic of initiation are concerned, it would be useful to form an idea on the real meanings applied to this first ‘element', looking for clear and unmistakeable tendencies.

Initiation is the purpose and goal of the adept and the path that leads to Initiation is often veiled in the allegory of an untouched Mountain. It symbolizes the inner world of each of us. Even Dante, guided by the master he chose because of his elective affinities, carried out the search for his soul (Beatrice) with a journey all inside that Mountain. But in the end, what is Initiation?

In the profane view initiation is the beginning of an unknown journey. The access to a Labyrinth to be crossed carefully and cautiously. On the contrary, for the initiate initiation marks the end of his own ‘journey'; a journey carried out with a spiral of transformations through all the degrees of the inner mountain (axis).

Therefore for the profane initiation is the beginning of a journey towards a rather unperceivable destination; if there is no guide, it sometimes ends up by running towards nothing. For the initiate, Initiation marks the end of an inner journey, which coincides with the beginning of an exterior work dedicated to the search for the common wellbeing and therefore called ‘for the Benefit of the Humankind'.

In the vulgar era any initiatory conception has been fragmented and reduced in a form suitable to the popular conscience; what was left has been put in terms of common languages. Here is that initiatory science, which compared the macrocosmic and microcosmic models of man and looked for the analogies they shared, has been interpreted trough common parameters and divided in parts, even far away from each other. Initiatory science studied the correlation between man, nature and the universe. Nowadays, man, nature and the universe are concepts as distant from each other as science and religion are.

The initiatory view has also been separated by languages. Devotional and mysteriosophic languages are only two of the interpretative trends that introduce us to the concept of inner elevation. But after a first access, only carried out through a reason with, sometimes, unreasonable terms, the adept is not always able to abandon the custom to use and abuse ‘exoteric languages' tinted with passion and intense emotions. Nevertheless, to abandon them means to abandon the path of diversity and separation and to find the (geometrical) point of great synthesis where the knowledge of man can blend with the divine knowledge.

For the initiate, Knowledge (science and conscience) and ritual Power are the joining points between human and divine conscience.

Through science and conscience man can educate himself (knowledge) to recognize the higher expression; through ritual Power, he can make himself recognized by the divinity.

In the motto: ‘by recognizing you will be recognized' is hidden, or highlighted, depending on the points of view, how the ‘contact' between two ‘ similes ' of different entity occurs. Such as, for example, the contact between master and disciple, soul and personality, human and divine heart.

In order not to fall into the mistake of esoteric or fideistic sectarianism, it is good practice not to let the relativity of an idea prevail over another. It is always necessary, then, to start by ‘testing' a good number of intellectual ‘positions' on a topic, without stopping ‘at the first tavern' we meet on the road. By correlating again and again, without being partisan, we will build the ability to discriminate that will become the ‘compass' for any researcher.

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This article comes from Esotericism Readings

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