The Nature of Initiation

By Frater 414

1 = 10▫ A.`.A.`.

What is Initiation? What is Its nature? Every Aspirant early on in their Magickal Career must pose these two fundamental questions, for, without this type of inquisitive thinking, no Adept can emerge from the Work. Oaths taken superficially and without a proper reflection can be disastrous for the budding aspirant, and the effects produced more negative than positive. One must, at any rate, have a general understanding of what it is being sought; what Aim is driving the Work; what motivation one has for pursuing so ambiguous a path. We have all heard the word “Initiation” thrown around among colleges, fraternities, as well as mystical and magical orders, but how many have actually contemplated the implication of this word, outside the typical designation of a “traveling inwards”?

It is true, in simplistic terms, that Initiation is the traveling inwards. “But to what?” one asks. “To the Self, to the true Reality,” replies the lighthearted Theosophist. “This explanation seems a bit too painless to be sufficient,” interjects the Buddhist. From a practical standpoint, Initiation is a process of self-exploration and self- discovery. Involution, defined in most general dictionaries as a multiplying of a quantity by its self a particular number of times, could be appropriate as a description of Initiation when we consider that the Work raises our level Being to new heights. As a verb, Initiation is the moving progression of transcending the lesser self and realizing the greater. It is a merging of the Nephesch into the Neschamah and is organic in that it grows, develops and must be nourished lest it wither away and die. The essential nature of Being is the fabric out of which Initiation is sewn, and the force that holds it together.

This raises the question posed by philosophers throughout the ages, what is Being? For the sake of this treatise, Being can be defined as any one point in relation to any other point, each point, therefore, can be assumed to be. Being, as a reference to a particular manifestation of Nuit (Hadit) is a conglomerate of the five elements, its powers are those of these elements. The Being is like a point in a mathematical graph; composed around this point are the five elements. It has the power to move and to change form and the power to change events in accordance with its will. A Point with position and no size enclosed by the four elements and held collectively by the Fifth, can herein be used to describe a Being that has a location determined by horizontal and vertical axis. The Being is Manifestation, the level of consciousness and realization of that being determine the degree of Being. The Probationer is pledged to obtain a scientific knowledge of the nature and powers of his or her Being. This being is the Essence, the Soul, the Absolute consciousness, the Atman who is at once the same and different than the Brahman. Hadit in relation to Nuit. The Jechidah, the Chiah, and the Neschamah. This does not mean that the probationer has to fulfill this pledge within the course of his year, but rather must devote his life to that aim. That is the beginning of initiation, to pledge to obtain knowledge of, then control of, the nature and powers.

Initiation is the system of escalating this level of being; increasing the involution, that is, the complexity of the Being under consideration. Its disposition is to GO. Its nature is to present to the consciousness of the Aspirant issues that must be dealt with, dilemmas that provoke reflection, and choices of path. The process of Initiation inputs shocks into the consciousness that will cause one to progress in a particular direction, i.e. inwards to the Self, Jechidah, the quintessential element of the soul. Without a doubt, the nature of Initiation is to initiate! Gradually and absolutely one is initiated into the mysteries of the self. But the word initiate means to bring inwards, thereby leading us to a grammatical definition of Initiation in the form of a noun, with Initiate as the verb. Viewing the Initiation as an entity, it is ‘It’ that initiates. It is ‘It’ that shows one things that one does not fancy to notice (seemingly) and confronts one with obstacles that challenge perseverance and determination. Its nature is moreover composed of Force and Fire, as one remembers that Horus is the Lord Initiating. He is Initiation, and His method is to Initiate, presenting to the psyche the option of pursuing the Will, or plummeting into the pit of the Nephesch and neglecting the Aspiration.

For example, a relationship with a woman, if the Aspirant be a male, will 9 times out of 10 emerge to tempt the Neophyte. The course of action chosen will be an unswerving trial of one’s Initiation, and must be based upon “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” Even the degree of being in regards to employment, one has choices to make, emotions to manage, and intelligence to evoke to do well in the employment, so that one may continue to be Initiated with the luxuries of Shelter, Food and Resources. The inability to adequately direct emotions is a grand test of Initiation, and deals intimately with Liber Pyramidos. Initiation is asking, “How well can you control your emotions when this happens?” The response, when viewed with genuineness, is usually “not very well”. Horus, Initiation, Adonai, or by whatever term one defines both the process and the Aim, is extremely personal and not identical to the process of any other being. The initiation is not merely the Rituals and the Adorations and the Holy Books, the formal trappings of Magick, but rather the practical reality of experience on the Earthy plane. If the work does not manifest on Earth, in our lives, it is useless. Corresponding with the Work are the practical aspects such as self-observation and self-remembering (Pantacle) and the technique we use to synchronize the Body, Emotions, and Intellect. Synchronizing these areas will fashion the Temple wherein God can dwell. By developing these areas appropriately, one creates the Self that will surpass death, the immortal Self who is at once identical and altogether different than the every other being, and also is One (nay, NONE) with Nuit. 

To initiate is to bring one inward to an Understanding of every aspect of self, to bring one to a point of complete control over the self and its environment. To initiate is to bring one to the state of human perfection by way of ordeals and trials through which one will learn about the self and its tendencies, thereby harmonizing them and converting them from hindrances into positive components of Life here in this body. The Nephesch, as well as the Ruach, must be trained to obedience to the Supernals. The Ruach, realizing its misery on a cosmic level, aspires to the Understanding by which the existence will have significance, purpose, and joy. The Nephesch is not to be shunned, it is not evil. It is the instrument through which the Being of man (from Yesod even unto Kether) gains experience.  The function of the Nephesch is to accumulate impressions of phenomena through the senses and transmit them to the Supernals, via the Ruach. Though habitually it tends toward pleasure while shunning pain, taking in, therefore, an improper balance of impressions, giving the Ruach a false conclusion regarding the nature of existence. It must be trained to be impartial and collect impressions indiscriminately, letting the Supernals, or even the Ruach when it is aimed toward Neschamah, to do the discriminating. The impressions that are taken in must be selected based on importance to the higher purpose. Retained and examined, filed away in the library of the mind, as it were, must the impressions that are useful be, while those that are useless shall be thrown utterly out of mind.

The work of the Neophyte consists primarily of collecting these impressions. The Nephesch must be trained to receive impressions indiscriminately and unbiased. It is not the work of the Neophyte to apply the Dagger to cut out impressions that are not in accordance to the Will. “Evil” impressions, as well as “Good” impressions, must be collected equally. Crowley writes of Selection in regards to the Pantacle. This could be taken as meaning that the Neophyte, though he collects ALL Impressions, must select certain impressions that appear important. Since not all impressions can be retained in conscious memory, the Neophyte selects those impressions onto which to focus the attention, in relation to the Four Tests and the Nature of Initiation. When receiving an impression, one must ask, “What does this impression reveal about the Nature of my Initiation? What does it say about the Four Tests?” Note that here there is no determining of right and wrong, good and bad impressions, all are collected and those selected are contemplated without any value being placed on whether they are pleasurable or painful. The only value is in the personal insight the impression gives to the Aspirant. Discrimination here is needed, and the responsibility, as explained above, must be handed over to the Rauch, under the subtle guidance of one’s Holy Guardian Angel. And though the relative facts of pleasure and pain are meaningful when collecting impressions, one must be warned against letting the tendency toward pleasure go unnoticed. This, of course, does not mean that one must develop the unhealthy behavior of considering pain as pleasure, or that somehow getting hurt ‘feels good’, but rather that both are a necessary part of the whole and are equally useful in the Pantacle.

Harmonizing the elements of which Being is composed, controlling the powers of its aptitude to transform, in accordance with its Will, both itself and its course together comprise the essence of Initiation. To obtain control of the nature and powers of being delineates learning how to, and in what direction to, move the being, to establish a knowable Will and to be able to exercise that Will; to move the harmonized collection of elements and it’s position within the universe. By the trickling flow of the stars of the Mother Supernal, the Aspirant shall be led, albeit blindfolded, into the Pyramid. The initiation commences but does never cease. As soon as one begins to view the Universe and Its Life from a different perspective than that of the average sleepy person, new avenues of self-research and true self-empowerment begin to germinate. Inevitably one shall attain unto the End, only to realize, much to his Delight, that the Journey has just begun!