Initiation in Occultism

Q&A and discussion on the Path of Initiation

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Postby Froclown » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:22 pm

Well I would say that the practices before the first initiation are open to anyone to try them out, and have allot to do with developing the ability to concentrate, the memory, and greater control over ones psychology, part of the process is introspective deconstruction of ones identity.

These practices trigger a sort of re-construction of the mind that shifts the center of identity, and the actual initiation is more like a test to prove this has happened as well as the explanation/solidification of that new center of self via relation to external symbols and situations. The culmination of which is the invitation to form a sort of social identity than supports the new self-identity. The actual Grade and title is merely a badge or sign.

What I mean here is that as I see it the actual work of the initiation is already completed, before the group ritual itself is offered. The ritual provides more or stable set of common symbols to help provide stability for the initiate who is probably by this point feeling a bit shaken up and unsure of his new perspective.
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Postby deleted » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:43 am

Greetings of Peace to you as well.

Qualification to these answers: Your own mileage may vary...

philalethes wrote:Greetings of Peace. Seeing that this thread has become sidetracked toward the consideration of scientific objectivity, I would like to take the opportunity to restate my last questions in the hopes of eliciting a response.

Are there more or less objective criteria that a prospective candidate may use for exercising discernment prior to joining an initiatory order.

There are less. It's pretty much an entirely subjective process, and it's not uncommon for individuals to change orders after they have gotten their feet wet in one and developed their own set of criteria. Also, I don't know how much you interact with Reality on a spiritual level, but you might also make this aspiration of yours a matter of prayer, meditation, or symbolic action. But as you are asking for "objective" criteria, probably the best thing you can do is ask around about the reputation of various orders and read what material you can find from their founders and present leadership.

Mostly, the only "objective" criterion I know of is that the more their webpage attempts to convince you of their "sole authentic lineage,"
the less they are probably authentically participating in the true mystical tradition of universal brotherhood.

Is there such a thing as "orthodoxy" and "orthopraxy" in occultism or are the standards of judgment entirely subjective and relative?

In my experience there isn't as much orthodoxy and orthopraxy as much as there is good scholarship vs. poor scholarship, safety concerns vs. poor safety concerns, consistent results vs. negligible results, and order-serving leadership vs. self-serving leadership. Yes, perhaps those can serve as your "objective criteria." Apparently, those are mine. And, yes, I realize they are actually rather subjective. :wink:

The only questions of orthodoxy -praxy arise when you have offshoot orders who are experimenting with changing how the tradition is understood and used. For these orders, safety issues and questions of results are largely unknown because they are admittedly working outside the tradition or in new fields. Such experimentation is not recommended until much later in the initiatory process, but they'll probably welcome you with open arms. I refer you to your own standards for safety.

It is a much repeated axiom that initiation is for the few rather than for the masses for whom, in the words of the introduction to the Temple of Thelema, "conventional religions are provided". What criteria, if any, are used by occult orders to determine who belongs to this few?

The criteria are internal, not external. In other words, you are the one who decides whether initiation is for you and how far to go.

According to occultism, are there any intellectual or moral qualifications for initiation?

Intellectual - if you can understand it enough to desire to step across the threshold, then you've pretty much met the criteria. After that, it's like school, some subjects may come easily, some subjects you may struggle with.

Moral - Some orders have moral requirements to be met. It's good to ask to be sure.

Finally, although aspirants possess diverse motives for pursuing initiation, what is the purpose of initiation as determined by the occult orders?

Hmm... Do you mean "initiation" in terms of what happens in the heart, intellect, and spirit of the initiate, or do you mean "initiation" in terms of initiatory rituals? Initiation proper is simply the flowering of the individual into understanding of the universe and his or her relationship to it. Initiatory rituals can serve as Froclown suggested above, but they can also serve to stimulate Initiation proper as the mind (consciously and subconsciously) chews on what has been enacted. I don't know enough about the theory of one person's "psychic" energies affecting anothers toward this same aim to comment on it further.

Also, how does the fruit of initiation manifest itself within the life of the initiate (or within your lives for those of you who are initiates?


Ultimately.... Light, Life, Liberty and Love

There are also times of intense struggle and drastic change both internally and externally.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the law, love under will.
Last edited by deleted on Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:50 am

By their fruits ye shall know them.

(I think that covers all of your questions.)

Corollary: By their fruits & nuts ye shall know them.
Love is the law, love under will.
Yours in L.V.X.,
Jim Eshelman
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"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" - CCXX 3:42
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Postby underabloodredsky » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:23 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:By their fruits ye shall know them.

(I think that covers all of your questions.)

Corollary: By their fruits & nuts ye shall know them.

Yes, but that supposes one knows their fruits (or nuts).

One usually one won't find that out unless one affiliates with an organisation.
I mean, as far as I know, if one was trying to judge an occult order or even just sticking with A.'.A.'. lineages, the only information that I'm aware of is: 1. a website (most of which are the same one-page, Syllabus 2. Here say on a forum (which may or may not be helpful) but since the forum participants are anonymous (usually) that confounds it more. 3. Published works by individuals associated with a particular order (provided they tell you).

So, there is really very little information in helping aspirants choose the next step- or perhaps too much information. Like finding a needle in a hay-stack.

My personal conviction regarding this problem has been two-fold:
1. Rely, trust, accept- solely on Divine Providence to guide me through whatever path I need to be on now. There really is no right or wrong, only cause and effect and our individual Karma dictates what lessons, challenges we face and 2. I have a hypothesis that any mature (i.e. ripe) intitiate worthy of Adepthood may not need any special incarnate guru, teacher or school (although s/he may participate with) but rather uses the published material of the last century and simply does the work and makes contact astrally with the discarnate school, the true A.'.A.'.
After all, isn't that what Crowley did after the collapse of the G.'.D.'.?
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the law, love under will.
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